Sunday, January 31, 2010

hungover. srsly.

this is hilarious. more hilarious: azi is a friend of mine and i was, apparently, the first person to send him the link...
me: 2010/01/when-typos-suddenly-make-you-a-racist-twitter-edition
 Azi:  FUCK
 me:  sorry
it's funny!
it's okay!
 me:  it has a "sorry azi" tag
 Azi:  love it

the boys and their gay ski week reports.
CHANGE IT UP, FEAR NOTHING, RESPECT THE UNEXPECTED, HARM NOBODY. totally brilliant/interesting/funny post by amanda palmer. fiancee to one of my most favorite people in the world i've never met, neil gaiman.
more love...this domino's review that i somehow missed first time around. i am totally girl crushing on mary hk choi. and can i say, really, how much i enjoy and how much you guys should be reading it? and i don't say that because i enjoy editors balk and choire as people (which i do) but they just have incredibly good taste in other people's writing. their contributors are bananas and great and i can't get enough...

the obama Q&A with the GOPers was amazing. to have him sit there, one dude, and successfully bat down every suggestion they had, to acknowledge that he 1.) knows that they're saying and 2.) understands all the issues and 3.) why his ideas are the better was remarkable. i mean, this is what democracy is supposed to feel like. GOPers are just so consistently wrong on the issues and they knew it. they also knew how bad it looked because party sources were talking about what a bad idea it ended up being televising that shit so that everyone could see that he knew better than a room full of 140? people what the fuck was going on. it was commanding. totally ridiculous. we elected a fucking genius.
and holy crap! jessica coen, back in the gawker fold as exec editor of jezebel?! happy nick denton is trying to hold onto/get back some of the talented people who've jumped ship/been fired over the years....

oh my god, you guys. the day started with justin sending around this in preparation for brunch. we went to berimbau. there was one girl to make all the drinks, take orders, run food. basically everything took ages AND the place was advertised as having a free drink with brunch but then we get there and they're like, "oh, not anymore, sorry!" i order a veggie omelet (tomato, mushroom, asparagus, pepper onion and goat cheese). BUT this fucking omelet comes and it's dry as shit and has only tiny cubes of carrots and green beans in it. like the frozen kind from a bag. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! never ever go to this place. it's terrible. but we were drinking caipirinhas and they were strong, we had two each. we then thought it was a great idea to go across the street to cabrito for jalapeno margaritas (again, two each). oh god. THEN we went to kettle of fish and i think had beer? and then went to fat cat and a few PBRs each and stole some pool table from a birthday party that had reserved it. and then went to some other place that i never even got the name of but our friend knew the manager who bought us vodka sodas and then i knew the bartender who bought us more beers. WASTED and at like only 11pm we head to the local hell's kitchen diner and then to rudy's for another beer. suffice it to say today has been rough. really really fucking rough. colin ended up at kenny's castaways and the barenaked ladies were there and gave a surprise acapella performance! GAH! i missed it. 

looking at my phone this morning i found 20 or so text messages from people that i responded to but don't even remember reading. invites to super bowl parties. justin's name in my phone was now "hora hora from bora bora" which i vaguely remember colin being responsible for at some point. questions about my increasingly crazy status updates (many with egregious spelling errors), texts from the bartender telling me how i left without saying goodbye, maybe some pictures of my boobs sent to the cuban drummer boy who says they've got gigs in nyc next month and can he just bring my blazer back to me instead of mailing it? ugh. also, that he wants me to come to cuba with him next time. right. my friends keep joking that he'll wear it onstage at the grammys. something that would be hysterical but he's not going to the grammys so isn't a possibility, however funny. 

i saw st vincent at the allen room at lincoln center for their american songbook series and HOLY HELL was it good. bryce dessner from the national was there, so was justin vernon (aka bon iver), and david byrne. i've definitely seen david byrne in concert at least a dozen times now. he's always someone's special guest. this guy knows EVERYONE and apparently never turns down and invitation to play anywhere with anyone. i swear to god. he's everywhere. i'm hard-pressed right now to think of a concert that he hasn't special guested on. when jesse and i went to see lucinda williams, he was there and afterwards, out in front of town hall, there he is. white spiky hair, unlocking his bike from a lamppost outside the venue so he can ride it back down to the east village. he's so awesome. jesse had me take a photo of them together and he texted to remind me about it. anyway, the concert was amazing. YES YES YES. LOVE. 
i feel like death. taco night with alex while watching the grammys tonight. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

St. Vincent w/Justin Vernon, Bryce dressner & David Byrne!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

state of the union reaction...

bless andrew sullivan and his unrelenting "pass.the.damn.bill." series. hopefully people start to listen. if we don't get health reform now, we won't likely get it at all...

re: the creep, i sent that comment out to a couple dozen friends and they all were unanimously freaked out by it. to the point that even the next day i had girlfriends e-mailing to be like, "i'm still thinking about how creepy that is." so WAY TO GO! random guy who was so delusional to think that i even noticed him, much less would welcome such a comment.

SOTU: it was laid back and funny at moments, some ad-libbing peppered in, which isn't something i remember being much a part of any SOTUs in recent memory. that's obama for you, i suppose. his comfort at the podium is unmatched. i think as far as substance, he hit the points he needed to. pelosi's blinking still makes me batty.

i wish he'd been more specific that the house pass the senate bill. because it's the quickest way to the best plan. this is a no brainer. srsly. it's interesting to see where he appeals to people. "america doesn't come in second place" is the macho competitive line. but he needs "the woman, who wants to be her own boss" to be able to achieve success as a small business.

he, rightly, pointed out that the US is failing as far as clean energy and transportation goes. and that, you know, if we invested money where we see the highest prospect for growth, that it's a win-win situation. i'm glad he talked about hating the bailout because i think people still believe it's something he wanted to do. it sucked but it DID need to be done. i've read volumes on this shit, people. TRUST. putting jobs front and center was right and necessary.

i cringed when obama said, "just stating the facts" after reminding people that bush fucked a lot of things up. i was waiting for a "you lie!" but i guess the GOPers aren't dumb enough to let that happen again? i sympathized with the section about bipartisanship, about disagreeing to disagree, about the media's "win the day" and i admire that he's still trying this, has stood by this attempt to change the way things work in DC. fantastic of him to point out that, NO, you don't actually need 60 votes to pass a bill and YES the dems DO have a majority. SHOCKING. get some fucking shit done please!

blah blah non-defense discretionary spending: key words for the ages. freeze, fine, if you must. i'm not that offended. it's a small carrot at the end of a stick. he, unfortunately announced the freeze as an independent action instead of using it for leverage. politically, that's a failure.

HALLELUJAH on the DADT section. i think he should have started in on that while talking about national security, not equal rights. the argument is stronger when you talk about how fucking expensive it is to both fire and then replace teh gays. in all, this is but a minor quibble. i also did think the same thing (as did everyone else, by the look of twitter): In 2011, gays also get to openly be denied PTSD benefits after killing people for wars started on false pretenses.

the ending killed. so emo. so touchy feely. it's his sweet spot and he knows it.

i thought he hit every topic he needed to, said almost the perfect amount on each, said it reasonably. really, totally great speech (not perfect), delivered beautifully.

GOP response was lame but didn't suck! surprisingly! live audiences make a difference. as does not having a guy who sounds like kenny the paige. that being said, obama took the wind out of the sails on almost every talking point from the repubs that are going out now.

cute bit from ben smith. embargoes! hahaha

people are making lots of funny jokes on twitter re: the strategically placed minorities behind mcdonell. because it's true, there probably aren't any republican minorities in VA. or if there are, he found every single one of them to stand back there. of course, they might be democrats but oh! they weren't invited. (but then were invited once people pointed out that they hadn't been invited, a whole 2 hours before the actual speech was to begin.)

dceiver, as always, was an amazing liveblogger. i don't follow anyone else on twitter so consistently clever and quick. his american idol recaps are brilliant.

texted kate to see how her dr appt went today. she was in the hospital, on steroids (which will make the baby grow, fast, so helps lung development, etc.) because her cervix is 90% thin and she'll likely be delivering within the next week or so. she's at 29 weeks, so she's early. the baby will probably have to live at the hospital for a month, but she's (most importantly) probably going to be perfectly healthy. cross your fingers or pray for her, if that's your sort of thing. i'll probably have to get the fuck outta dodge the minute she checks herself in, seeing as she wants me in the room with her as she delivers? yikes.

unpromted product recommendation: crest is making a 3D whitestrip and they are awesome. they stay put and don't get slimy. oh, is this where i need the "i got this free" disclosure? for real, i get a lot of things for free because i know a hell of a lot of people in PR. i write about what i want to write about. the end. and nobody gives me things because i'll write about them. my friends give all their friends free things because they actually LIKE the product and are happy selling it. imagine...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


so i'm on the community board in my neighborhood. i thought it would be interesting but the meetings end up being, hands down, the most annoying things i do all month. people talk over each other just to listen to the sound of their own voices. they say dumb things, ask dumb questions. members of the community can reserve time to speak so you have total crazies showing up because they have an audience for 3 whole minutes to rant. there are a few people who roll their eyes at the same times i do. a young rabbi with whom i can exchange "this dude is a moron!" glances. and these meetings are looooooong. i spend the entire meeting checking my watch.
i get a comment on the blog yesterday: "You spoke up only once or twice at the meeting. I'll admit I couldn't keep my eyes off you and I felt you knew it. You use your weapon very well. See you next month."
how fucking CREEPY is that? i have no idea who the F this is but it's another reason why i shouldn't allow annonymous commenters. there isn't a single person on the board i'd touch with a 10 foot pole and the only reasonably good-looking people there are usually reporters or photographers from the manhattan times. so anyway, GREAT! now another reason to hate these meetings...
i would mention the "american songbook" concert i'm going to this weekend but because of 'ole creeper up there, i might just wait until after the concert to post about it.
also creepy? i got a message from fedex that i'd missed a package delivery. a package that i'm not expecting to an address that i never get things shipped to. being sent by a woman named phyllis. i called fedex to tell them i wasn't expecting anything but they insist that the package is for me. i'm having it re-routed and am hoping it's not anthrax or something. meh.
SOTU at my favorite bartender's favorite bar tonight.

Monday, January 25, 2010

trufflepalooza, latin lovers, conan, linkdump

went to trufflepalooza (redux) at locanda verde. black truffles this time! Somehow didn't feel as decadent but white truffles are more savory, even if black truffles are more flavorful. I don't even know if that makes sense and being able to compare the taste of white and black truffles seems like such an elitist "white whine"y thing to do anyhow. Like, I feel I should stop at the country club to play tennis afterwards, and then have my butler my laundry while I talk stock options with my financial plannner. 
have been getting crazy, kind of hilarious, nonsensical e-mails from my cuban. i have no idea what's going on but it's cracking me up. life is funny. my life is, anyhow. i'm missing my black blazer, one of the only things i'd consider a sine qua non as far as my wardrobe goes. i wear it at least once a week. it is perfect over every dress. he has confirmed he has it but hasn't indicated that he has plans to send it back. we're at a standstill. i need to work on my spanish, i think, if i want to tell him how to get it back to me. his e-mail went exactly like this: "i haveeeeeeeeee yourrrr jackect sorry i take is the only think that i have from you ja ja thanks for put the music i love youuuuuuu i have a tv you now in the morning you jacket smells soo good im leaving nowwwwwww kises for you princess te quierooooo jasmineeeeeeee muaaaaaaaaaaaa"
i mean, that's amazing. there are no words. i'm obsessed. his emails make no sense! 
my love for conan is well documented. we threw a freaking party on the debut night of his show. we loved him before we even knew him, that's how obviously great he is. so this NBC stuff is, well, distressing. jimmy kimmel has been rocking. and he even did a whole show in a really decent leno impersonation. i'd say i would take an NBC boycott but i don't even really watch tv these days so i guess i've been on an unintended boycott for a few years now...
this is so delayed. this was posted in november. of 2009! like LAST YEAR y'all! but i'm just getting around to some old starred items in the ole' reader and you MUST read this. i laughed out loud, a lot, for the fact that this is a 1 paragraph post about how to fucking cook a steak.
andrew titled this: if you can't get ezra klein. which reminds me that ezra did very well on the colbert report the other night. (i actually found that by googling "ezra" and "werewolf". awesome.)
was at brunch with erika, talking about vancouver, when these people at the table next to us blurted, "we spend lots of time there! we were eavesdropping! sorry! but go to all these restaurants..." so i took out my pen and started furiously taking notes. how helpful! what a small new york moment that was! too bad erika and i had spent basically the whole meal making fun of them for talking loudly in affected accents about their squash games and having brought in their own wine claiming it was "a special bottle" when really it was average and they'd just picked it up around the corner. and how she was wearing a giant hermes scarf. anyhow: now i've got some recs. so that's good!
am VERY unhappy with the echofon app (formerly twitterfon) update. not only does it prompt to use location services EVERY single fucking time i open it up, but it crashes immediately regardless of whether you tell it yes or no. it's miserable and useless and so i'm trying to figure out twitterific. but i don't like change. and it's dark and i don't know what all the icons are for because they're hardly self-explanitory. a star lets you retweet? a funnel lets you see your message? WHAT? i don't know.
also, apologies if you've sent an e-mail that has been unresponded to by me. i've been a bit scattered and all over the place lately and haven't had much time to do, i dunno, little things. post here, get to the drug store, drop of drycleaning, etc. i hope to get things straightened up soon...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

sexytime with tiempo libre

"if he's a musician, as long as he's 18, it's okay to hook up with him," so said my friend stephenie when the band came out at SOB's, in response to my saying "that guy is so hot. OMG, he's walking onto the stage...he's the drummer! he looks like he's 12!"

i hadn't known who was performing but, apparently, they were grammy nominated, called tiempo libre, and were quite good (featured on dancing with the stars) and had JUST BEEN ON THE LIVE AND LINCOLN CENTER PBS PERFORMANCE WITH JOSHUA BELL. you know, that one that i would have killed someone to get on had i known who the appropriate person to murder might be? i could not believe it. i'm in the car with the band after the show, we're on the way to fat cat, and i keep saying "FUCK! FUCK! i wanted to go to that SO badly!" they were more impressed by an encounter with sting at the sony building earlier that day during a visit with their record label and pulled out their camera phones as proof.

anyhow, nobody at SOB's is even really salsa dancing with each other because the band is THAT good. the lead singer started dancing and gyrating his hips in a way that made me think someone was going to rip their clothes off and try to rape someone. and that that person might be me. the whole band is good looking and they dance while they play and the whole thing was good fun, so go see them if they perform at a space near you. there isn't really a better looking (and better moving) band to contemplate a wild orgy with. they all ooze sex.

as we leave, i see the drummer! he smiles, i smile back, and seconds later he's asking us to come out with them afterwards. we'd been heading to mcdonalds for food so told him we'd stop back over in a bit. at mcds we made fast friends with a group of guys coming from an intramural soccer game. they called us "princessas" and gave us their seats and then tried to give us food that didn't belong to them. this mcdonalds was all windows with just a counter and it felt very nighthawks meets modern day new york. they joked around with us without trying to hit on us and after 45 minutes, we all went our separate ways. back to the club, all the band guys are there waiting with their jackets on (something we hadn't  realized they'd do, otherwise we'd have maybe not dawdled so long at a mcdonalds express). my drummer ran up to us, and said we were headed to some jazz clubs. his name was armando. and he was young. i grabbed his ID to check and was relieved to see that, yes, he was old enough to drink! but he was only 23. born on the ides of march. i tried explaining what the ides were, but the language barrier made things a bit tough and i'm not sure how well versed he was in shakespeare or roman history. the language of love is universal, you know.

armando apparently comes from a family of drummers. his brother was also in town and had played at the blue note earlier that night. we hung at fat cat until i brought him home. (so bad! i know!) i'm not sure who trained him in how to have a one night stand, where he learned his tricks from, but i can't stop laughing about it as i play it over again in my head. over the course of the evening he told he he loved me (about a dozen times) and that we were going to get married and that he wanted me to meet his family and that he wanted to move in with me. into my apartment. the apartment that doesn't even have a living space because i've converted it from a two bedroom to a 3. however, he also told me how beautiful i was about once every five minutes which is certainly something i could get used to. he wanted to know all about my life and family and made me pull out my mac to show him all the pictures i had there. so he was either THAT passionate or a huge player with a strange emotional angle. regardless, he was adorable and sweet as can be which is as much as you can ask for in someone you're not sure you'll ever see again.

the gays are still in aspen but this will make a good story for brunch next week, at least. and maybe someday they'll play with joshua bell again at some super exclusive private concert and this time i'll know who to call...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

V is for...

victory: scoring the gold beaded flats from zara that i saw in early december and fell in love with but wouldn't let myself buy because they were $90, now on sale for $35.
vancouver: ted's client is sponsoring the olympics. they have a condo in a trendy area of town with plenty of space for an extra body so i'm headed out there for a long weekend. it was an impulse buy, but i found a direct flight on cathay pacific for $450 RT and when is the next time i'll be able to go to the olympics with a free place to stay? so now to figure out where to eat, what to see, what events i want to try to scalp tickets for. anyone with vancouver recs: send 'em over!
village: (west village, to be exact)...where my new office is. i've done the math and figured out that i will actually end up with a net loss while working down here because there are so many awesome restaurants. i've stopped into the grey dog cafe every morning for overpriced lattes and breakfast. on monday, bernadette and i discovered movie mondays at cabrito. we drank with the bartender until last call and i see myself becoming a regular there quickly. i mean, i've been there once but i think i might be a regular there already.
violin: And to underline his point he has chosen to make music for us on Live From Lincoln Center with, among others, singer-songwriter Jane Monheit; composer, conductor and musical wit, Marvin Hamlisch; and renowned baritone, Nathan Gunn – all of whom can be identified as "Joshua Bell and Friends." Singer/songwriters Frankie Moreno and Regina Spektor are on the bill, as is trumpeter Chris Botti and bandoneon virtuoso Carel Kraayenhof. Joshua will add his violin's voice to the Latin sounds of Tiempo Libre, soprano Renée Fleming, and Sting will be with us to sing music by John Dowland! How amazing would it be to know whomever it is you'd need to know to get into this private little concert dealie?! i will never kick my childhood crush of joshua bell. unless he comes out as a scientologist or against gay marriage or something. that might do it.
very small world: ran into exactly 7 people i know walking around in the city over the past few days. 2 of which i hid from because i didn't want to stop and talk. 1 of which i was sitting next to at a bar but she had her back to me and never saw me. she waited tables with me while i was in law school and even way back then she was a crazy ass bitch who used to cry ALL the time about stupid things. she'd spill a drink and get flustered and cry. over a spilt vodka soda. i'm serious. so i sat next to her and listened to this nutcase talk about all these men that are in love with her. one that she dumped because he didn't even live here and she "didn't see a future with him" and then there was the irish guy who dumped her and she went on and ON about how he'd regret it because she was his ticket to a greencard and how her parents would have paid for his family to fly over and blah blah blah. point is, this girl isn't cute and is kind of batshit and i was really enjoying eavesdropping on her convo until my friend showed up. i can't go anywhere, really, without running into someone i know. i know a lot of people. i get that. but there should be enough room and enough places for me to go without having to chat with random people i knew years ago every time i leave my damn house! on the upside: she's one of those people that makes me feel so unbelievably grateful to be me. and, you know, hours and hours of reading reports and looking at photos of haiti will do that too. speaking of: DONATE. it's better to do it directly instead of via text because there's a billing lag.
verde: truffle monday at locanda verde! black truffles this time. am bringing colin with me, again. i feel i've been cheating a bit on locanda with joseph leonard. i'm a woman torn between two lovers. locanda has the ricotta. joseph leonard, the brussels sprouts. locanda, the gorgeous open space. joseph, the cozy bar. locanda, the cute hosts. joseph, the chatty bartenders...what's a girl to do?
Vaekstfonden: the danish venture captial firm that funded this AMAZING thing. YES.
ourscenetV: (okay, a stretch, whatever) gays, reporting from gay aspen ski week!

Friday, January 15, 2010


hopefully the photos are back up...sorry about that...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

people being assholes: using haiti for evil purposes.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


on obama: people there obviously love him. whenever we said we were from the states we'd get an immediate, "OBAMA!" from people. we were actually known as "the obama people" to the natives wandering the beach in zanzibar peddling bad marijuana. en route from the mara to nairobi after our safari we hit a rest stop. we were pretty much in the middle of nowhere, a small pop-up tent with wares for sale and a few people loitering outside. a man who didn't yet know where i was from, but that it was not kenya, asked me whether it was scary to fly in a plane. whether, when you're in the plane and you looked down whether you could see the towns below or just clouds. and was mystified at how long the flights can take. i said, "well, from new york it was 7ish hours to amsterdam and then another 9ish to nairobi." "new york?! obama! he will take good care of you! he will take good care of us all!" our driver, apollo, was a luo tribesman, which was obama's fathers' tribe. "i'm obama's first cousin" he said with a cackle. colin's response, "you should come visit, i'm sure you could stay at the white house." another cackle.

on buying power: it wasn't just in the markets which were huge bazaars with lots of carved goods and dyed sheets and scarves. the minute we stepped off the plane we were hearing choruses of "we can negotiate, make me an offer." desperation runs large in poor towns. the markets were insane. most my friends found it intimidating and claustrophobic. colin, who was an expert having lived in nairobi before. if the price of something was being quoted at 4,000 shillings, his offer was 1,000. something i perceived as so low i was embarassed to even put it on the table. "do not pay a cent over 1k" he'd say with authority. and sure enough, that asshole would come all the way down to a price that i felt was close to stealing. i got a gorgeous huge ebony salad bowl, two sets of salad tongs, a carved dip bowl with bone insets and two tapestries with obama's head printed on them for less than $30 (which, incidentally, colin still thought was too much). considering it was half my christmas shopping, i thought it was a steal. 20 vanilla beans and huge packet of saffron for $3.50. i'd turn down an offer on one set of bowls and the 6 vendors eavesdropping would all run over at once to make me an offer better than the one before. they all surround you and yell at you but i'm willing to accept a certain amount of harassment/stress for a bargain.

on the mara serena lodge: i cannot recommend this place highly enough. it was serene and clean and the staff, incredible. food was good and drinks were cheap. it was built in a half arc, 5K feet above sea level, into the side of a hill/mountain. all the rooms overlooked a watering hole that was wide open and wehre animals roamed. thus, there were emergency buttons scattered to notify the staff if a wild animal was in your room if you somehow forgot to close your balcony doors. speaking of that...the boys forgot to close their balcony doors one day. we were all sitting by the pool and we saw this baboon jumping from terrace to terrace, trying to open all the doors. "um, you guys, we closed our terrace doors, right?" david responds, "no. you guys left them open this morning so i left them that way." ted is the one tasked with going back to the room to check things out and also the one who had to come back and tell us the boys' room had been ransacked. (thank GOD rebecca closed our adjoining door in the morning.) bags were emptied, edible things were consumed (tim tam cookies, protein bars and, possibly, some prilosec) and all that went missing, we think, was colin's comb. ted had chocolate fingerprints on one of his button-downs. it was hilarious. and totally awesome that it wasn't MY stuff, btw.

our schedule was relaxed, to say the least. quick tea before a morning drive at 6:30am, then breakfast (made-to-order omelets and a dozen fresh juices that ted and i went totally crazy combining/imbibing), then sunning/napping/reading by the pool, a 4pm drive, apres drive drinks (which, admittedly, were awful...though ordering manhattans or martinis were not our brightest idea) by a bonfire with a guy singing and playing guitar, dinner and then sleep (though one night we did all put on our bathrobes and play uno for a couple hours after dinner). at night, since our terraces opened into a watering hole, there were lots of loud animal noises. first night were water buffalo having sex which, for those uninitiated in such matters, sounds like a moaning/honking/foghorn type thing. another night i hear twigs breaking just outside our window, which, if you were in the suburbs, is scary beceause it means someone is WAY too close to your house for comfort. i get up, open the curtains and am eye to eye with an elephant. i gasp (thankfully, did not scream) and i hear colin rustle in the next room. "colin! get up! elephants!" and he runs to his terrace door and sees a baby just in front of his. earlier that evening as we came home from dinner rebecca and i went to stand on the balcony and saw 3 lionesses walking in the center of the arc. this is RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR ROOM, PEOPLE. insane.

on the drives: apollo was an expert driver. he had a good sense of humor and didn't seem offended by us (we like racist jokes now and then). and, like i said, enjoys a dick joke so we all got on swimmingly. he knew everything, pointed out every animal and tree. we asked what the most interesting thing he'd ever seen was and he's all, "oh, i dont know. not much." then a few minutes later he says, "well, there was that one time where i saw a python eat an impala and a leopard slice the python in half to steal the impala out of its stomach. that was interesting, i guess." OH. just THAT? i see that ALL the time, don't you? our third day in we were told we hadn't paid our park fees. he's right. we hadn't paid them because we didn't know they existed. so that evening's drive we drove for almost an hour before seeing a single animal. "hey, apollo, where are you hiding the animals? is this becuase we didn't pay the park fee?" he laughed, but not really because it's his job to find us animals and we were kind of pointing out that it wasn't happening. the one animal we hadn't seen was a rhino and we asked for it from the beginning. on day three, we were getting discouraged. we mentioned this to our waitress. "oh, the rhinos are by the olulolu gate, i saw them the day before yesterday." so we tell apollo, "hey, our waitress says this is where to find the rhinos." he says, in no uncertain terms, that we've been there several times and that the waitress should keep her day job. ouch! yet, the next day when we take our nature walk we ask dalmas about them, "oh, they're by the olulolu gate." at this point, we KNOW something is up. colin, who has a freakish sense of direction is all, "on the south side of the park we always take a left at this fork but i think we need to take a right to get to it." we all have plans, on our final drive, to make him go to this gate but sure enough, without us having to ask, he takes that right. which means he's been "saving" the rhinos till the end which is sort of sneaky, no? but we DID see a rhino and her baby but none of my pictures are good because rhinos live in the brush and the paths never wind very close to the brush. but anyway, mission accomplished, however delayed.

on bowel movements: we, as a group, did a fantastic job of doing our business subtly, and taking private time to head to the loo. traveling always screws up my digestive system. i have a few friends (i'm looking at YOU al and jess) that are extremely open about such things. if i "make a dood" as alex would say, twice in one day i might send al and jess an e-mail about it. i'd get an enthusiastic "mazel tov!" from jessie in reply. but we all were nice and classy and quiet about it. disappear back to the hotel room, etc. and it didn't have to be embarassing or a thing.

on the people: earnest. there is a simplicity to life in rural kenya that keeps people honest and un-jaded and sunny and grateful and kind. the exceptions are those with something to sell who are supremely agressive. everyone from cabdrivers to people selling wool hats in shanty-towns. but on the whole, everyone seems so innocent, isolated. case in point: our nature walk guide. he was unlike anyone i'd ever met. i'd never wanted to adopt a grown man until i'd met Dalmas (his real Maasai name: Polenparsitau). he had this thirst for knowledge (knew 4 or 5 languages at a basic level) and wanted to learn another 5 more. he had to take many tests and knew the latin name of every bird and plant he saw but he didn't seem 100% confident so he would name the plant, then stop to look it up in his plant guide and then proudly show us that he was correct. (it was also helpful to see the name spelled out because it was hard at times, through his swahili accent, to understand the latin.) however, he did quiz us once and none of us could recall the name of a certain plant with red flowers and BOY did he seem disappointed. he told us of graduating levels within the Maasai tribe which involved being in a group that killed a lion and adult circumcision (TMI). at one point on the trail he said, "this is where i was when i was given my teacher's cell phone to hold in my front pocket during class one day and it started ringing! during class! and i didn't know what to do! oh, i cried!" the man cried because he was embarassed because a cell phone went off in his pocket during class. he just broke my heart. everything about him. he'd point to a random tree. "you probably know this." "no..." we'd respond. "wow." he'd say, truly shocked that we didn't know what species of accacia tree this was. and then there was charles, the gap-toothed jolly man who was our cocktail waiter for the week and never judged us for extreme tusker consumption. and stella (known to Dalmas, and possibly others, as "the tall one"): our drop-dead gorgeous waitress at all our meals. we'd heard a series of crashes and a scream by the pool one day and came to lunch to find a harried stella. a baboon had broken into the restaurant one afternoon and chased her through the restaurant becase "baboons do not like women! he kept chasing me!"

dominance of men in nature: in the wild, men rule. lioness' do all the hunting for their men. seriously, male lions do nothing. they don't even feed themselves. oh! and what's better, if a lion meets a lioness he likes and she has babies with another lion, he kills those babies so that she'll have no one to be protective over and also so that HE can then impregnate her. it's terrible. and the impalas? the men all fight each other until one wins/survives and then he gets this huge harem of female impalas, around 40 at a time. one by one he picks his favorite, chases her around until exhaustion, and then screws her. meanwhile all the other male impalas are fighting each other to see which one is the toughest one, so that the toughest one can challenge the king and claim his harem. so basically all guys do is fight and terrorize women. it all felt so ruthless. it felt like dating in nyc.

on flying: i think anthony lane said it best in his review of "up in the air": Airports are the seedbed for all that is most alien, angering, and atomized in our twenty-first-century days. the worst parts of the trip were there airports/flying time. i'm grateful that the annoying people we saw weren't ALL americans. it's mortifying/depressing to be abroad and hear a bunch of people from the states being loud, stupid, and otherwise obnoxious. a spaniard tried to bring a spear on the plane. like, a pointy sharp thing at the end of a big stick. then when he was told to check it, he takes the pointy part off, wraps it in newspaper and tries to just check that. the security people were like, "NO, CHECK IT IN YOUR BAG, ASSHOLE." we saw the tannest people in the world. they were gross. the germans behind us on the AMS to JFK leg were loud and annoying. apparently her in-screen t.v. didn't tilt so when i put my seat back she had troubles seeing her screen. this meant that she 1.) told me i couldn't put my seat back. you know what my response was to that. it maybe entails a middle finger. i mean, not really, but in my head it did. in real life it was me shaking my head like i didn't understand her english and saying sorry but not moving my chair 2.) she proceeded to jab at the back of my seat, continuing to try to move her screen but more likely just to annoy me. as i enjoyed "the holiday" (i could watch that on repeat for days) and "julie and julia" (hated amy adams in it, LOVED meryl, of course) i had the satisfaction of knowing that she had to sit there being german.

on animals: oh my god, so many. i was so much closer to some giraffes and things but didn't even take out my camera because i was all, "girl, you've got 1000 giraffe pictures! no mas!" then i went back over them i was all..."hm, none of them are all that close. maybe should have take a few more pics." my point is that the animals were a little old hat by the time we left. our favorite, strangely, ended up being the warthog. right at the beginning we saw one with about 5 babies and thought they were the cutest. they don't have necks really so they kneel down with their front legs to eat. it's hilarious-looking. and the babies are the cutest and their little tails stick straight up when they run. dalmas said that they're sometimes called the "kenyan express" but that "if you really really like them, you call them double-cigarette smokers." which started colin on one of his bouts where he says the same phrase over and over, randomly, to the point of exhaustion. (the last one was, "sad songs say so much".) so we heard a lot of "DOUGH-bull SEEG-a-redt SMO-kahs" interspersed throughout the day. appollo said they're dumb because when they're being chased, they'll often forget why they're running and they come to a sudden, grinding halt and then get eaten. sadface.

did you know that zebras bark? they TOTALLY do. and that lizards do push-ups to attract females? we saw a bunch of baby lion cubs playing around with their mama, climbing and jumping on her. those might be my favorite of the whole trip. we were also, at one point, completely surrounded by lionesses. there were about 12 of them, of various age and sizes. sprawled across the path across which we were to drive. some just stood right next to the car. none of them seemed to mind. and for a minute you think, "oh! cute kitties!" and then something reminds you that THEY COULD KILL YOU INSTANTLY. the boys were hungry for some carnage but we got lots of cute babies instead, which was more my beat. we arrived just after a green season, when animals are programmed to give birth so that their babies will have plenty of food when they're born. the closest we got to carnage were some lions and water buffalo charging at each other, playing chicken and some cheetahs that looked to be staking out some little thomson who was all by himself. RULE OF THUMB IF YOU'RE EVER A WILD ANIMAL: stick with the clan; do not venture out alone. being alone is a pretty instant death sentence. also: DON'T BE FEMALE. IT SUCKS.

on corruption: bribery and extortion there are extremely half-hearted, to say the least. on our way to the Mara we were stopped at a checkpoint. they made apollo pull out all his license papers. after several minutes he got back into the car. "we all set?" i ask. "yes. we are fine. they wanted something small." "did you give them something small?" "no, i only have big things," he responded with a hearty chuckle. we didn't at the time even think he was capable of dick jokes but, in hindsight, after he made another 2 or 3 of them over the course of the week, we figured that's what he'd meant all along. prices from government officials seem arbitrary and tanzania was the WORST but you can't really argue with a customs officer. the ATM at the airport wasn't working and they wouldn't accept their own currency for us to buy our visas with. we had to leave the airport, find a barclays, and go back and convert the tanzanian shillings into US dollars. everything was listed in dollars. did they not get the memo that the $ isn't so primo these days? we stopped by a maasai village and were given a tour and danced with them. we had to go into their cow dung huts and we sat in them, in the near total darkness, listening to a short lecture about how they lived. afterwards, they tried to sell us stuff and took dollars! and when i bought some jewelry for $25 and needed $15 in change they brought me 500 shillings, which is about $7. then came back again with 2000 shillings. no go. i had to just get my $20 back and give them a $5. so i basically almost got hustled by primitive people who live in cow dung huts. awesome.


on children: i now understand why every time angelina leaves the country she comes home with a new baby. the kids are the sweetest, sunniest, most beautiful things ever. these are the children of sally struthers commercials, bugs in their eyes and all. but they see you and they smile with such pure joy and have the cutest little faces and they wave at everyone who passes by. we brought trinkets for them and you could see how incredibly excited they were to have, well, anything.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

AMNH, new york is so small, joseph leonard (redux), passion pit, rodarte

the museum of natural history does these "one step beyond" programs on first fridays. a dance party in their planetarium. it was hipster central. someone started smoking in the little pod-like space show that hovers above the main floor. animal collective was djing. dylan ratigan was there looking pretty tool-ish. wine bar after where we promptly got approached by an older ugly man. (i can't ever go out with erika without some random dude coming up to hit on us. she's tall with red hair and a rockin' body and older men LOVE her.) ugly man says, "now what are two beautiful women doing sitting here alone when you could be chatting with two men?" my feministic flares shot off and just before i went into a rant about "why wouldn't women just enjoy each others company and what makes you think that they can't have a good time without men being involved" i hear erika say, "have you ever met a lesbian? we're lesbians. we're not interested in talking to men." and old ugly kind of stuttered that that was okay and to have a lovely evening.
had to attend a birthday party at a bleecker st. NYU bar. the kind of fratty place i usually steer clear of. i get there and the birthday girl's boyfriend went to law school with me and some of his friends from law school were there. all huge assholes. mech. also in the bar were guys who play basketball with my friend joyce at a super fancy gym. she is, beyond a doubt, a treasure trove of straight single men. the problem with most of them is that they have too much money so suffer from "i think i should have whatever i want, whenever i want it" syndrome. they're generous with their money but if they buy you a beer, they think they have the right to kind of grab and take possession of you if that's what they want. i don't really play by those rules. the one really hot guy in the group was tall with a pageboy cap. as i'm talking to him his friend comes over, "dude, how much does she look like diana?" "i know man, it's kind of freaking me out." diana = hot man's ex girlfriend. game over.
after the party, erika and i hit up a really good taco truck on 6th ave and chilled on her boyfriend's couch watching the rest of the football game and then some SNL. my arm was twisted into a sleepover since erika and i also had brunch plans the next morning. and HOLY HELL is their couch comfortable. LOVE. we slept in and i cuddled with the nytimes crossword for the morning, warm and cozy. got a text from my roommate that our heat and hot water were out (again).
(and quick aside to mention that it was also out again this morning and that if i were in the girl scouts i'd certainly have earned my laura ingalls wilder badge or something for showering using three big pots of warm water straight from the stove. this is CRAZY. and there's nothing we can really do about it until someone dies from the cold in our building. 311 comes by a few days later and sometimes the heat is back on by then, other times it's not. to get any kind of response from the mgt co we'd have to withhold rent and let them sue us for it which puts dings in our credit scores. we can't win.)
brunch at joseph leonard where i was immediately recognized by the bartender, a cherubic madison, WI native, as "that girl who said that the brussels sprouts changed [her] life." i am INDEED that girl. and not ashamed of it! this bartender is awesome. he used to give bike tours of versailles and can name every king of france back some four centuries. on top of making a killer bloody mary (with the ever important beer chaser that cuts the tart/spicy with some cool, crisp, almost sweetness) he's an excellent raconteur. this time he told us about his uncle frank who opened up for the jackson five once at a concert in gary indiana. there's actually a poster of uncle frank, shirtless, with an accordion advertising the concert. AWESOME. the same uncle frank also interrupted a family wedding once, accordion in arms to rant about the fact that young people dont know anything about love. uncle frank sounds amazing. we got the hash browns which were good but greasier than i'd have liked.
passion pit last night was amazing. the first opener was comprized of three men so skinny that they almost disappeared when they turned sideways. the "singer" was bird-like and weird and kept throwing things on the ground and kind of convulsing. at first we thought their name was bronze (i heard brahms). then we though bronx. we were like old people. i mean, we literally WERE old people compared to the crowd. but to see us saying, "what? what did he say? did he say bronze? like third place?" "no, i think he said brahms." "what" "brahms. like johannes." "oh." second opener walks out and they are large and in charge and wearing sequins and lots of glitter on their face. julie says, "wait! that's cara!" and it turns out she's friends with two members of the band. they are tragedy: the tri-state's best bee gees heavy metal tribute band. they were hilarious and brazen. the lead singer kept saying, "you're welcome new york!" and finished their first song with, "no need for applause. we know we were awesome!" all the while some weird guy in a windbreaker gets on stage, takes off his pants and just kind of runs around, dancing. i wondered whether the staff didn't pull him down because the band seemed okay with him. at the end, he came out in a wrestling outfit and was introduced as the band's personal trainer.
passion pit gives a good concert. they're friendly, modest and energetic. they have a lot of catchy songs with recognizable intros so people can easily go wild at the first two notes. the hooks are easily remembered and the whole place sang along to every chorus as they jumped up and down, arms flailing up in the air. people were happy to be there.
two dorky guys were standing in front of us on the ground level (we had a perch up a few steps and against a railing near the bar, the perfect spot). julie says, "i just overheard that guy say, 'i'm not going to put all my eggs in a meg ryan basket.' " we debated what that meant and, most importantly whether they were gay. do straight guys talk about meg ryan? julie decided they were on a date because they seemed to be trying to impress each other and look cool for each other. then halfway through the concert she hears a young girl start talking to one of the guys. "i'm 17, i'm in high school. how old are you?" "i'm a little older" "what, 18? 19?" "i'm 19." WHAT?! this guy, who couldn't have been younger than 25 was trying to pass himself off as a 19 year old to get some high school ass. that is just pathetic! later she looks at him and we hear her say, "high school is hard, isn't it?" and the guy nods in agreement. what losers.
on my random day off, after the del posto lunch, i walked over to anthropologie and actually had a very relaxed browsing session amongst the sale items. i'm what you'd call a competitive shopper. my arrival at a store starts a hunt and i'm usually pretty ruthless in the racks. i'm not aggressive with other people but i go about it like a drill seargent inspecting troops. my machine-like relfexes paging through hangar after hanger, making split second judments about whether i pick up the article or not. a scan for stains/tears. analysis of color, fabric, style. i'd told myself i wasn't buying anything so there was no pressure to FIND THE DEALS. it made shopping more of a pleasant experience than stressful one.
from the new yorker: "Rodarte is the fashion equivalent of a Basquiat," she says, quoting a writer for the New York Observer. "People in the know really love it, but to everyone else it's inscrutable or a little bit ugly." that's EXACTLY how i feel about basquiat. i just don't get him. i've never gotten it. so i suppose that makes me someone that's not in the know. but here's the twist: i have a not-so-small obsession with rodarte. their S/S09 line gave me lovesick pangs. i want everything to be off-kiltered knit. i still dream about that strappy leather jacket.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Passion Pit at Terminal 5

Friday, January 08, 2010

new yorker, chris potter, norm!

can i discuss for a second how much i enjoyed the jan 4th issue of the new yorker? choire beat me to the punch on the vampire weekend profile. the bit with the blink 182 guy was so priceless. and then he starts, like, basically trying to sell them timeshares. but it's not a resort in boca. it's some music website. but he sounds so cheap and shoesalesman-y. and the profile of mackey, the (former) whole foods CEO. that dude is, pardon the lingo, a real douchebag. he's spacey and annoying and hypocritical. and then that piece on van gogh and how maybe he didn't cut off his own ear and how maybe it was gaugin. AWESOME. and how annoying and kind of sappy and clingy van gogh was and what a jerk "cool kid" gaugin was. how van gogh's brother had to basically pay gaugin to be friends with poor van gogh. SO GOOD. reminds me of the stories ben would tell about gaugin's child bride. and then it finishes off with some words on grace kelly who is the lovliest.

poor syar: "Those of you who follow me on Twitter probably saw me freak out about bank issues, which utterly ruined my morning. It involved a phone call to my bank in Australia involving an international money transfer  and then it involved my utter failure to remember the answer to my absurdly difficult (self-set) second security question. "Who was my first written heroine?"* WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN, PAST SYAR? UGH YOU ARE SO DIFFICULT AND YOU RUIN EVERYTHING."
but two things: 1.) i have TOTALLY done that. forgotten the answer to my own security question. usually it's favorites that change. banks shouldn't ask me what my favorite thing is! i'm too fickle. 2.) how cute is syar's hair? oh, and one more! 3.) NANCY DREW. nuff said.

very randomly got invited to a concert by this guy. because i spend most my time listening to coltrane, i'm the last person to have known about the chris potter underground band but OH MAN, they rocked. a super tight group with a lot of energy and loads of creativity. (i mean, after seeing mccoy tyner, everyone feels young and plucky.) it was at the village vanguard, a space that oozes history. you can feel the legends lurking. an intimate, perfect little time capsule of a venue. music is seth's beat so he knows a million things about bands i've never heard of but would probably love if i knew them. or maybe not. i prefer the be-bop jazz while he likes the more atonal stuff. he also likes modern opera composers and i'd take verdi or handel or bizet over britten ANY DAY. maybe we can meet somewhere in the middle with glass or barber. who knows. talking with him really made me miss opera but it's not the same here. no guys chanting, "libretto! enjoy the opera with a libretto! and opera glasses" no regulars with whom to discuss the sets at intermission. it just doesn't feel like home. i'm afraid i expect too much. i'm used to people knowing me wherever i go. the world is my Cheers, except when it isn't. 

speaking of my cheers, i met julie very late at night at our dive bar the other night. i was home, comfy with a mud mask on (don't make fun!) and got a "girlfriend with a crisis" call. and then a "hey, your friend is here alone and wasted so you should come down to keep an eye on her" call from the bouncer. so i schlepped down at an ungodly hour, listened to the bartender go on and on about some japanese prostitutes he had one night while also trying to get me to say i masturbate to thoughts of him. i don't. (but even if i did, you think i'd tell him? the man is married with several children. i am NOT that kind of girl. or, at the very least, i need to try to seem like i'm not that kind of girl. and i MAY be into kinky stuff but asian prostitutes? do i have a sign on my forehead that reads, "ISO STD"?) (no. i do not.)

animal collective DJing at the museum of natural history tonight. i love any excuse to play at a museum after hours...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

del posto lunch

you all know i'm an eleven madison park devotee. that my lunches there when i'm between cases and have the rare weekday off, are blissful. i knew 4 stars would change that. what i didn't predict was the fact that they'd stop participating in restaurant week. that, never again, would i get 3 courses for $24. EMP, i love you but you've priced me out. i can't afford your dinners and i found a much more satisfying place for lunch.

when i read this post, lunch at del posto jumped to the top of the list. AND, LO, IT WAS GOOD. i mean, HOLY HELL: YES.

service is beyond gracious. really proper without being stuffy. billie and ella and edith and nina played in the background. i had the bastianich sauv blanc because it was from friuli and i'm slightly obsessed with his tocai (or friuliano or whatever it's called now, available by the glass at esca! sit at the bar with victor!). my server (though i don't think they're called servers. maybe head waiters?), though not flirty, was italian so he oozed sexiness. it's the italian swagger. i love it. he greeted me with a hearty "buon giorno!" and recommended the duck. and then did NOT ask me come come out back and get naked but in my head, that's what ALL italian sounds like. it all sounds like, "let me make love to you, bellissima"

tre amuses and one hell of a bread basket served with both lardo and butter. lardo, for those uninitiated...think gourmet bacon fat. but bacon fat so good that you briefly think of eating it with a spoon. or bathing in it. but then you remember that 5 minutes ago someone came over with a brocade stool for your purse. a chair! for a purse! i mean, how silly! but also: fancy. which is what stops you from rubbing said lardo all over your face. 

i started with the roasted vegetables because i'm a sucker for robiola. and though you'd think i'd be truffled out, i am not. my favorite part was the slice of apple  (granny smith?) on the far side of my plate. i ordered the duck. OH GOD. it was gorgeous and so tender, the skin so crispy. it's the best dish i've had in a long time. (i mean, it might have been better than the ribeye from carnevino.) it was transcendent. there are no words for this duck. i'm totally wasting my time trying to convey how awesome it was. if i could have sex with meat, i would screw the crap out of this duck. i would propose. i'd move into its brooklyn apartment even though i SWORE i would not leave the borough of manhattan.

mark ladner was in the house. and joe bastianich also arrived as dessert was delivered. i asked for a skim latte and was told "we do not use skim milk" which, you know what? that's fine by me because whole milk tastes so much better and i never order it because i've got some female guilt that i'm sure i got subconsciously from looking at skinny models on magazine covers in the grocery store checkout aisle. i respect a restaurant that full on refuses to give you something they know doesn't taste that great in favor of the stuff that tastes better, even if it may be fatty (mmmmmm.....lardo......)

dessert: Chestnut Cake Warm Plum Macedonia, Crushed Chestnuts & Yogurt Gelato. i liked dessert but i liked all my little amuse desserts better. i'm not a real sugar person anyhow so might have sweeted out with them prior to even dipping a fork in my cake. delivered on a cheese grater were a teeny tartufo on a stick, an eensy lemon tart, a baby beignet, a sliver of truffle and something else i can't remember. so twee and perfect. and they also brought over a glass of moscato, gratis. i love when restaurants do that. bring over a free glass of something to the nice lady who came in to eat all alone.

but people: the food was only $29. that is bonkers and, as seen with my dear EMP, who knows how long it'll last. so GO. NOW. ORDER THE DUCK. 

Liveblogging lunch: Del Posto dessert amuses, chestnut cake, moscato

Liveblogging lunch: Del Posto duck

Liveblogging lunch: Del Posto roasted vegetables

Liveblogging lunch: Del Posto stool for my purse!

Liveblogging lunch: Del posto bread basket

Monday, January 04, 2010

new years resolutions.

neil gaiman had these over at his blog. i thought they were lovely, as are almost all things literary that spring from his head. wishes for the new year:

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine book and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.


I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.

from cousin on these "smart cookies" ladies that are all over the amex ads: further investigation reveals they mostly got themselves in debt through luxury spending and got themselves out by stopping.  And they're Canadian (something conveniently left out) -- no health insurance to pay for and an economy doing much better when all this was going on than ours.  Even that wouldn't be so bad, except they've parlayed this false riches-to-rags-to-riches story.

i'd agree with all of that but add that they probably didn't have school debt either. and realistically, anyone who spends like that probably comes from a privileged family to begin with. spoiled brats don't come from lower income households. perusal of their bios are equally uninspiring. their stress on shopping and finding men is insipid. the one chick who only had $2k in debt is ridiculous. that is not real debt. the whole operation is a total sham. 

i was walking up the subway steps and someone kind of portly and slower veered in front of me (cutting me off, if you will) and in my head i said, "move over bitch." i suppose i could award myself points for not having said it out loud but i still felt embarrassed for what a mean-spirited cynical person i've become since moving here. spending quality time in sunny napa where people smile contagiously, and never rush and, most importantly, never seem angry...i keep rethinking my new york attitude. and then i read alex balk's resolution (which i'm copying here in full, not that you shouldn't visit the awl, but mostly for those that won't click through regardless):

I was walking over to The Awl offices this morning and I passed by a dad and his little boy who were walking in the opposite direction. The boy, who couldn't have been more than four or five, was jumping up and down and yelling, "School day! School day!"
My first thought was, "Oh, you poor thing. That'll change." My second, almost simultaneous thought, was, "Jesus Christ, you cynical sonofabitch, give it a rest. When's the last time you were that excited about anything? When's the last time any of your joys were so uncomplicated, so direct, so purely expressed?"

I am not a big believer in New Year's Resolutions or the like. I think that after a certain point you are pretty much locked into who you are, and any attempt at self improvement is both misguided and dangerously self-indulgent. But you know what? I'm going to try to make 2010 the year where I'm a lot more like that little boy than not. I mean, sure, we all know that life is really a tireless slog to the tomb where the very brief pleasures we take upon the way are illusory moments of bliss meant to blind us to the meaningless struggle of existence, but even with all that, I'm going to try to pretend otherwise. Because who knows, maybe once or twice it'll actually work. Anyway, Happy New Etc. It's gotta be better than the last one, right?

so anyway, here's to being a little more cheerful, a little less jaded, a little more forgiving, a little less judgmental this year two thousand and ten.  (oh, and i really need to stop swearing. it's not becoming on me.)

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Street scenes

Saturday, January 02, 2010

my obsession with HGTV

had a few days off back in nyc that i hadn't planned for, and hadn't made plans for my city time. so justin and i spent many many hours (some 3 on new years eve and another 12 on new years day) watching HGTV. I AM OBSESSED. i found so many boyfriends there, you guys! how hot is scott mcgillivray? and don't get me started on john gilling. LOVE LOVE LOVE. (and, naturally he's gay because all the loves of my life are.) this jamie durie is FINE, even if he is slightly wacky and you know he's gotta have a guru that travels with him or something. and even this antonio ballatore guy is cute when he's wearing his hipster frames and his motley crew are funny/punkish/awesome. after my HGTV marathon i was thoroughly convinced that i knew some of these people. i wanted mike holmes to be my new adopted big brother, the tough guy exterior with a teddy bear inside who could also totally make my house safe and wire it correctly. several hours of "bang for your buck" and i was converted. it's awesome seeing these random people spend so much money on renovations and then seeing their reactions when designers come in and critique what they've done. lots of marital angst to be seen on that program, surprisingly. monica pederson is my new secret bff. she's so pretty, and plucky, and genuinely nice-seeming. 

it got to the point where we'd see subway tiles as a backsplash on someone's kitchen and justin and i would look at each other and say, "oh vern will totally love those!" and then vern steps in and is all, "oh, i love the subway tile backsplash." we ordered in two meals, all entered to win the HGTV dream home. by the end of the evening i was seriously considering ordering cable. CRAZY. especially since the whole network is clearly about buying houses and repairing/renovating them, when i'll maybe never in my life own a home. i mean, it would be a total lapse in judgment. watching kitchen renovations is my new crack. i cannot stop. and watching with teh gays adds a whole dimension. case in point: we're watching income property and scott walks up to the door to greet his clients and both justin and brian say, "he flexed his butt! did you see that?!" and i clearly didn't because i don't spend my days checking out guy's asses. so THANK GOD for DVR, we rewound and watched him, indeed, flex his butt muscles not once, but twice! i mean, this is "the entertainment" level of dangerous here. left to our own devices we may have stopped remembering to feed ourselves or to relieve ourselves or to even sleep. 

do we sound like crazy people? we totally are. oh, and it gets WORSE. we took a brief hiatus to watch the most recent episode of jersey shore wherein, despite my rantings, i officially have a mini-crush on vinny even though he's only 21 and on the worst reality television show ever. next to big brother. 

in short, over a short period of 12 hours i think i lost 20% of my brain power to television shows that have no bearing whatsoever on my real life.