Friday, October 30, 2009

rufus wainwright and the new yorker festival, belatedly

i had time for two new yorker festival events before i had to head down to Baltimore.

The Moth and The New Yorker present an evening of stories about life at the magazine. With Roger Angell, Adam Gopnik, Ariel Levy, Mark Singer, and Judith Thurman. Hosted by Andy Borowitz.

first off, andy borowitz is hysterical. he totally killed at his intro. i was sitting a mere 10 feet away from david remnick! i did not go up to him to say, "hey! i totally freaked you out really early one morning at ohare!" maybe i should have. the city winery space was gorgeous and intimate. arial levy talked about her greenness as she was starting out at the nyer. she says remnick signs his e-mails, "as ever" and when she got the job offer, her friend asked her, "are you sure he didn't mean 'as if'?" judith thurman told a beautiful story about how her mother formed her as a writer. mark singer told the story (that i'd heard before) of his feisty relationship with donald trump. adam gopnik talked about his relationship with the new yorker writer who never wrote. a cherubic-looking books editor called leo carey played the cello before the stories started and as an end to the intermission. i love the cello. kate used to play and had a cello quartet at her wedding, just gorgeous. but, people, roger angell....i need him to be my grandpa, STAT. he was the most awesome little old man EVER. told a series of hilarious stories and went on past his time and poor leo had to kind of play him off but he was all, "bish, please!" and kept on talking anyhow. he was curmudgeony but riotous. it was definitely the highlight of my evening, being regaled by roger angell. LOVE.

New Math: With Nancy Flournoy, Bill James, Nate Silver, and Sudhir Venkatesh. Moderated by Ben McGrath:

i got here just as this thing started and managed to find a front row center spot on the bleachers. a man behind me leaned forward and sighed, loudly, right next to my ear, scaring the crap out of me. i jumped but didn't want to turn around because i thought i might knock into his head, he felt so close. ben seemed nervous but had very dryly funny introductions for the panelists. nate silver is hottish and so awesomely nerdesque. the topic ran the gamut, but the theme was the role that statistics plays in daily life and the whole discussion ended up being really informative and interesting and probing. sudhir is a dream panelist, just really thoughtful and eloquent with the perfect anecdote for every point he wanted to make. but the man behind me continued to distract, making little comments to himself throughout. "interesting!" "i see!" it was loud enough for a 4 person radius around him to hear. at one point nancy had forgotten what she'd wanted to say and he's all "it'll come back to ya, it'll come back." weird.

of course, he starts talking to me afterwards. maybe because i have a huge sign on my forehead that says, "plays well with strangers" or something. "so, what'd you think?" i told him i enjoyed it. he asked if i was a statistician. i told him sadly, no. even sadder: i was a corporate attorney. which led to a discussion about my student loans. "jasmine, listen to me," he says, drawing his face uncomfortably close to mine, his head tilted down and his eyes peering at me over his bifocals, "you have to be open to the fact that someone may come into your life and pay off all your debt." i said, "yeah, that seems less than likely, statistically speaking" "i'm serious, _________ [famous writer] is a client of mine, here's my card." he was a life coach. so i guess he's working some motivational mojo on me about envisioning things and that if you see them, they'll happen. "i can tell you're skeptical but i really want you to think about this. really try to be open to it. because i'm saying it's fate that we met here today." "listen, i'll try. but i was raised with a fairly good work ethic and with the idea that if you want something and work hard, that you'll earn it so i'm not big on accepting random gifts from people" "but what if, by working hard and honestly, you earn it. it's not a gift, it's earned." meanwhile, i'm thinking that if i ever did meet some rich dude who paid for my loans that i'd totally be obligated to sleep with him. a lot. i mean, david letterman totally paid for that bitch's law school. nothing in life is free. but, because he asked me to, i will be open to the idea that some random person will deposit 140K into my bank account one day because, how awesome would that be?

my hero.

went to a private concert with rufus wainwright last night. the caterer was awesome. mini cubans! more filet with lots of dipping sauces. rufus played for about 45 minutes. he just sat at the piano and sang and it was beautiful. his voice is so steady and clean. he finished off with leonard cohen's hallelujah which, i know, i know, everyone and their damn mother covers, but his version is lovely. justin bond and alan cumming were in the house. the crowd, again, was tres chic. i asked david's friend lauren about a cute editor. she said, "he's 50/50 with his girlfriend." i asked her what on earth that meant, she said, "it means he's with her but he's not that into it and is open to other possibilities." isn't that slightly a shady position to say you're in? that he's looking at his options? to be fair, this is lauren's version, maybe he didn't put it that explicitly. but do you think the girlfriend knows she's 50/50? ugh. men in new york.

the penthouse space has a recording studio with a perfect view of the empire state building. we stepped inside and found this guy singing and playing his guitar. he was just a random guest at the party who sat down to kind of mess around but he has a whole slew of songs he's written. he's not persuing this music thing anywhere, doesn't play regular gigs and it's bananas because he's great. stumbling upon him playing like that was such a perfect new york moment. this fantastic impromptu concert in a professional recording studio, ESB in the background, 10 people listening and singing

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

monty python reunion

oy oy. have been busy and all over the place the past couple weeks so some obviously light posting. will write up everything else this weekend i suppose. '95 bordeauxs, maryland crabs with old bay and mallets, the new yorker festival, great private party this thursday with one of my favorite musicians, korean day spas....
the monty python reunion was awesome. (found a sweet girl on craigs to buy my extra ticket. she's a pre-med, raised in queens, with amazing taste in clothes/shoes. we have a date for her to take me to consignment shops on the UES. i'm looking for miu miu bag and she said she knows just where to find one.) the documentary will run on IFC in 6 parts, one hour each. they showed a 2 hour version last night which was funny and touching. i did not know my favorite beatle (george) was the one who bankrolled "life of brian" because he "wanted to watch it" and then put his house up as collateral to raise the 4M necessary. pink floyd and led zeppelin were the ones who financed holy grail. awesome. john cleese is so smart/funny but also the cocky one of the group. there were a lot of stories and remembrances about graham chapman who was still clearly missed. a life size cardboard cutout was put on stage in his place for the Q&A, which was really pretty awesome. they all still make each other fall to pieces. and michael palin (who was always my favorite, even though graham was the prettiest), is still adorable. so it was an experience i won't forget. also awesome that it was at the ziegfeld where you get free soda and popcorn, cuteness times two. steve coogan (whom i LOVE) totally brushed by me in the lobby and i'm proud that i resisted the temptation to grab him somewhere inappropriate though i suspect he probably would have enjoyed it. video here!
insane. click through to the lemur flying.
i'm an idiot and could have sworn i had another year on my passport but no! expired in august and i only discovered it last week. made an appointment with the passport agency here who actually saw me right on time and two days later i had a new passport in my hands. how's that for service? rock the fuck on. am sending it off for my kenyan visa tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

jury duty

there were lots of people sleeping. a name gets called like once ever 45 minutes, it's never mine.

there's a gaysian sitting next to me. he's so old he uses AOL. and i keep hearing the "you've got mail!" announcement which means he's probably also too old to know how to turn off the volume on his laptop. but YAY for getting to use laptops at jury duty! he's wearing a french blue oxford and red capri pants. he types, loudly, with two fingers and i just glanced at his screen and it said, "That us utterly utterly divine!" so basically he's a caricature of himself. then he e-mailed an ebay member with a story about katie being in the hospital and mary chasing all the reporters away to sit with her. this is all strange but now i'm kind of obsessed with him. he's looking up mademoiselle fifi on imdb. this guy is hilarious.

where i had lunch. had banh mi and a shaved ice drink with coconut milk and red bean and some green jelly thing that i didn't love...may do dumplings and bubble tea tomorrow!

got let out at 3:30, did some damage in soho after getting a ginger citrus iced tea at the balthazar bakery and then met the boys for some drinking and sausages and sauerkraut. 

day two is rocking so far. didn't have to report till 10:30 so i went to breakfast at balthazar for a bowl of skim latte and eggs benny, my favorite weekday morning spot in the city. exchanged some boots at steven (one was squeaky) AND got an extra set of house keys made and made it here just in time to yell "HERE!" at roll call. 
lunch was dumplings and bubble tea with a nice long sit in columbus park, which may be my new favorite place. it reminded me of washington heights in that everyone was just hanging around and seemed to know each other and were playing with cards or tiles. except for the fact it was mah jong instead of dominoes and they were chinese instead of dominican. but the feel was the same. people taking time to enjoy one another's company. the weather was beautiful. a bunch of guys were playing football in an fenced in grassy field. there was a man behind me sitting on a rock, carrying a covered birdcage. he gingerly pulled the fabric off to reveal a gorgeous, large, creamy yellow bird with distinctive markings around his eyes in a gorgeous wooden, delicate-looking cage. he blew on this tiny little silver whistle and the bird, i swear, was speaking back to him. i, honest to god, think they were having a conversation. it was mezmerizing. ladies with paper parisols. just gorgeous.

back inside i got called to a courtroom. my name was drawn from a box and i was in the jury box answering the voir dire questions. defendant was HOT. like, distractingly good looking. was selling drugs, in jail which i thought was kind of resourceful of him. i asked what kind of drugs when the prosecutor said, "we can all agree that illegal drugs are harmful, right?" i thought 1.) leading questions! and 2.) but not if it's just pot! he said "crack cocaine" as an example of a drug which i then agreed with him was harmful. my brother has been convicted of drug possession and i was pretty nonchalant about it so that wasn't working in my favor either as a potential juror. and i did get excused that day. 4 black ladies in front of me were trying to get out of serving. first complained about the timing (trial was the following monday and tuesday) but the judge didn't excuse them. then when the judge asked if anyone had any moral or religious issues with judging people (i.e. jehova's witnesses! come on down!) the ladies got up and all told the judge that they could not convict a fellow black person. once the judge let them go, the rest of the black people in the room did the same thing and the only jurors left were a bunch of white people (many of them bankers who seemed to still have their jobs) with a few asians and latinos thrown in for good measure. so much for a jury of your peers.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Birthday dinner, L'Artusi! Cutest place settings!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ladies playing cards at the park

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Banh mi, shaved ice

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Skyline from weehawken, Baltimore bound!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Andy Borowitz: Moth New Yorker Fest, city winery

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Monty Python reunion!!

cows, faux leather, afghanistan, trillin, cano, trivia night, pro bono week

i cannot stop laughing at this. i've been wheezing away for some 20 minutes. the UPDATE! oh, you priceless update, you.
people will laugh at me, but i've had this insane NEED for black leather shorts. but since one would be crazy to spend money on black leather shorts i've actually been hunting for black faux leather shorts or a miniskirt. forever 21 was the obvious place for that. all this started when i saw charlotte ronson at a party in black leather shorts, black heels and an adorable leopard print silk tank top. i mean, something about the outfit sang to me. i feel crazy typing this out but it's all TRUE.
i've been on a bit of an afghanistan kick lately. as in, i cannot stop reading things about afghanistan. and you know what? those things are really damn depressing! that situation is worse than bad and then you've got all those numb nuts hooting about sending more troops there and how GREAT would a SURGE be?! hey, no. they need the memo that puts them on notice that the government over there? totally not into helping itself. we're already encouraging bad behavior. they're asking to fail. they make iraq look damn civilized and conscientious. it's a scary world folks.
agreed! except i'd add that it's now nearly impossible for me to want to be loved in any other way than the way calvin loved alice. oh, did he love alice. i want to be loved that way and ONLY that way. it would help if i were as cool/fun/smart/lovely as her too, i suppose. minor details.
still getting a million hits from ladies who want to know who robinson cano's girlfriend is. did nobody know thow the F the yankees were until playoffs started? or did they just not care. he's MY boyfriend. and we're REAL serious. like, he wanted to buy me a promise ring the other day but i was all, "baby, i'll wait for the real engagement ring but i appreciate the thought." except i said some of it in spanish 'cause i'm trying to meet him halfway, you know? that's why we work so well. neither of us know enough of the other person's language to get real nitpicky about what we've said to each other. also, we're too busy having sex all the time to even really talk at all. we could not talk, for hours. so yeah, he's totally into me and all and i'm one lucky bitch, aren't i?
went to this charity trivia thing last night. i have an awful memory for details so trivia is just not my thing. we happened to run into friend's of katie's boyfriend who are professional trivia players or something so they joined us. my friend's doctor boyfriend knew like most the answers which made me feel pretty good about the education of our healthcare providers. so anyhow, we were kicking ASS until the "final jeopardy" question that we could wager points on. we didn't know the answer. it was a ridiculous question whose answer was grover cleveland. but then my friend in her drunken state looked it up and blurted out "sesame street" so then we knew the answer. but do we use it? we went back and forth. used the answer but wagered 10 measly points. well, some other table of assholes looked it up and because they have no conscience, bet the farm and won. which  makes me think that being a scared cheater might be the worst fate of all. you have not only a bad conscience but nothing to show for it. so if you're going to cheat, cheat BIG i guess, is the lesson for the day.
it's national pro bono week next week which begs the question: what on earth doesn't now have a week devoted to it? my right boob doesn't. let's fix that. so anyways, free CLE credits during pro bono week and i'd be a fool to turn that shit down. CLEs are hella expensive. the bar association is such a racket, i swear...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

macarons, nycwff, esca, saving children by stuffing my face and imbibing

the boss brought back pierre herme macarons from paris. OH GOD. they are heavenly. transcendent even. salted caramel was my favorite. or maybe the vanilla and olive oil.
the anthony bourdain interview with frank bruni was good. bourdain talks in soundbites and is genuinely very funny. and bruni is eloquent and smart so the questions were thoughtful and interesting which is just what you ask for from interviewers, i suppose. i had a haircut in the meatpacking dist on saturday so managed to catch the cute wine and food festival activities down there: farmers market, illy cafe, some diet coke tent, lots of restaurants passing out cheap samples of whatever.
katie had me up to the showroom where a lot of clothes that get sent out to magazines end up back in their closets afterwards and then straight to salvation army. she said i could take whatever i wanted. i possibly went crazy. maybe took home three pairs of shoes and like 10 dresses. maybe.
sam texted, which is rare because he's usually on the other side of the planet doing whatever rich people who don't have jobs do. most recently: seeing the F1 race in singapore. who knows. he and mike hit a snag when, after flying into kuala lampur mike got stopped by customs because he didn't have any empty pages in his passport for them to stamp. enough begging and probably greasing of palms, they were allowed out to go to the embassy so mike could add pages to his passport. dummy. sam bought a hella expensive leica (M8) and a custom made case by a guy named luigi in italy. i mean, i can't even comprehend that life. so we met at esca because i was craving linguine with clams. ruth reichl was in the house. showed up without a reservation on a night they were fully booked. they found her a corner table (of course) and she thanked them a thousand times telling them she'd never do it again (yeah, i'm sure). you could tell the hostess was sweating it out a bit but then had a last minute cancellation which meant the crisis was averted. then we went to rudys to watch the second half of the yankees game. rock. on.
went to a save the children benefit party last night. a very random mix of people. julianne moore, deepak chopra, the queer eye guys, peter sarsgaard looking very hairy, vanessa tabber! hooray! this party was the bomb. they had a manhattan bar, a rum bar where some mixologist was setting your drink on fire, a tequila bar (100% agave, $300 a bottle, which the rep swears won't give you a hangover. all i know is that i did a shot and didn't black out or even cringe as it slid down my throat which is an accomplishment for tequila), a filet mignon bar with several sauces for dipping (my favorite: chimichurri), paninis, lots of yummy passed stuff. it was busy without being crowded and everyone there was very rich and sophisticated looking. just a good time all around which is rare for this kind of thing.
it was funny to see actual people in the penthouse apartment. last time i was there it was just me and my friends goofing around for a while. last night there were security guards EVERYWHERE telling people not to touch things. and we were all, "i was IN that bathtub a couple weeks ago" and "i was WEARING that fur coat" and "we DANCED in that recording studio"
my director friend is in from LA this week and of course i'm booked straight through until she leaves. she came in last minute and i'm having trouble shuffling things around. a wedding in baltimore on sunday and new yorker festival events friday and saturday. suppose it gives me a reason to head out west to see her soon instead. the wedding couple both went to st. johns (that college where you learn ancient greek and then read plato and euclid in greek, then you learn french and read decartes and pascal) so the group is guaranteed to be eclectic and kind of brilliant if not maybe the most socially graceful. i'm excited to see gina's dad, a huge chicago wine rep, who always has the best stories from his trips to italy and always brings the most amazing vino anywhere he goes. gina's an accupuncturist now so maybe i can get her to throw some needles in me while i'm there.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ice luge, esquire party

Saturday, October 10, 2009

robinson cano is my boyfriend

GO YANKEES. as omar would say: teixeira wants pie. 
if ONLY the mta would give announcements like this when the they know trains aren't coming. i've been left to stand, for forever, on several occasions.  
my mom sent this to me, which means everyone and their mother but me has seen this. but here it is anyhow...

need. seriously. otherwise, i saw the cutest dog on the train. a chihuahua poodle mix. totally adorable. they looked fake actually. 
work has been hectic this week. boss is in paris so his boss and that his boss have been e-mailing, asking for things that don't exist. i don't get paid enough to break that kind of bad news to people that senior. let me hang in my cube in peace!
boss also recently added me on facebook. so did al's mother. not. a. fan.
i've had a crazy amount of traffic lately from people wanting to know if robinson cano has a girlfriend. the answer is YES. and that girlfriend is ME. i've loved him since before he'd even proven himself to be a solid second baseman. yes, that means i loved him solely for his looks. he's a gorgeous man with AMAZING lips. but now everyone knows he's a really good player so it seems i've got me some competition. three words:  BACK OFF BITCHES.
also, lots of traffic from a couple of guys who do a lot of googling of themselves. what is UP tabber?! i've got a few swank parties coming up so i'll undoubtedly be running into you again soon. woo. hoo. and traffic from cheyenne jackson fans: stay tuned on that, he's got a pretty sweet gig lined up, or so i hear from a little birdie. 
i've finished my fall shopping. and by "finished" i mean, "it would be fiscally disasterous to spend any more money on boots and sweaters". fall clothes are the cutest. so many boots! and scarves! and layers! vests! shorts! tights! sweaterdresses! cashmere! LALALA! what is also fun? helping other people buy expensive things for themselves. colin recently, with my assistance, got a rag&bone cashmere coat. double-breasted but he can totally pull it off since he has narrow shoulders. was almost as satisfying as having bought it myself. except for that i still have that $1000 in the bank.
am itching like crazy to get away. we've booked a safari. i kind of wanted to stay in a victorian style tent, four-poster bed, etc. would have felt very colonial.

Monday, October 05, 2009

sufjan! my spanish fluency, zanzibar, trumpet players, monty python reunion

i had a weird moment. i was walking to pick up some stuff from the tailor and i felt like everyone was staring at me. to the point where i actually felt my head to make sure there wasn't bird poop in it. and felt my face to make sure i didn't have any gunk all over it. i wasn't wearing tight clothes or a low cut shirt. it was just so surreal. and i'd say it was guys and not women but i was near wall street where the girl/guy ratio is probably 1/10. anyway, apparently i was distractingly exotic/interesting looking for all of 30 minutes the other afternoon.
 my spanish experiment is going well. i find that my comprehension really depends on who is talking. if they're speaking slowly enough i'll understand everything. if they're speeding through, i miss 2/3rds of what they're saying. but i suppose that's the point of this, right? to get used to listening at a rapid pace? i find myself making note of verb conjugations that i wasn't expecting or irregulars and i'm trying to remember the stuff i'm hearing often enough (and the tenses) to use them in practice.
the difference in language between the puerto rican stations and the espana stations is crazy. and all the stations in cataluna are out as they're all in catalan. but the mexican and puerto rican stations are just so loud and cheezy and the transition music is crazy. i listened to an interview with a bunch of 13 year olds and understood every word so i guess that's about where my comprehension is!
kenya is coming together, slowly. the only train to mombasa leaves every other evening from nairobi so neither does it leave nor return when we need it to. SO, we're going to hope over to tanzania and go to zanzibar instead. it's a one hour direct flight so it's easy peasy to fit into the schedule. we're also taking one day to spend in nairobi, do the markets, whatnot, visit the slums to remind ourselves how lucky we are or something. kidding! (not really.) but the good news is that colin is healing brilliantly and so there's a pretty good chance he'll be able to go since chemo looks like it's not necessary. all excellent!
alex balk, breaking my heart.
saw sufjan stevens last night. i don't feel that i'm exaggerating when i say that seeing him in concert is a spiritual experience. his voice is angelic. Nedelle Torrisi had a gorgeous voice and sang on most of the songs as well. he introduced himself as if he were on an audition. "my name is sufjan stevens. today i'm going to play _____" his new stuff was catchy and a little bit rock and roll. and every time he'd move from a new/unrecorded song to one we all knew he'd say, "okay, we're going to play a real song now." at the top of the show, in his sweet, sunny little voice he said, "maybe for this song i'll plug in the keyboard! this is a disaster. we have 44 effects pedals up here, the trumpet has the most!" speaking of the trumpet player, it was the same hot one that i saw playing with rufus wainwright. he looks better when he's not wearing crazy pastel striped jeans. c.j. camerieri. in my head he's a nice boy who doesn't cheat on his girlfriend (he MUST have a girlfriend, i mean, he plays trumpet. what? not all women are obsessed with trumpet players? see number 65. it all started with tony zator in high school. i can't even go there...) so, sufjan. he's maybe the cutest person i've ever seen. it was a good mix of new stuff and old favorites. two encores, the last was just him and his bango. he joked about how his guitarist was demoted to bass because sufjan had been wanting to play more guitar. anyway, superb show that left everyone feeling quite warm and glowy.
i have an extra ticket to the monty python reunion show. you know, the one that is bringing the cast together for only the 3rd time in over a decade. some idiot is trying to sell it for $699 on ebay. i suppose i'm the idiot if he sells it and i offer it to my friends at face value. that being said, my friends are broke/cheap/whatever so i'm not sure who is going to take the $150 ticket from me...

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Sufjan Stevens!!!!