Thursday, January 31, 2008

david herman's genius... (originally posted July 13, 2005)

"this country really needs to institutionalize the siesta."

david herman, 2005 (in response to my use of ordering from

Giraffes hate encyclopedias, or at least encyclopedias from 1976 (originally posted December 31, 2005)

i just arrived back in New York City after an 8 day siesta in Oklahoma City. It was great seeing my family and catching up with some old friends (Fluff and Stevo...holla). But alas, I am sitting in my apartment, losing my vision from lack of sleep and wishing I could clear my mind enough to fall asleep.

I had a dream last night that I was put in charge of the New York Public Library. And on my first day, a rampaging giraffe made it's way into the library, and before I could stop it, the giraffe ate almost every book the library had on the shelf, with the exception of a few Encyclopedias from 1976. I woke up distressed and confused, but more distressed because I was actually confused by my dream. I take the whole incident as meaning I need to get my act together, but I guessI don't need a giraffe destroying the New York Public Library to tell me that. David Copperfield was in the dream too, but he was just reading a book as the giraffe wreaked havoc. I don't know why I remember the Copperfield, but he was definitely there, in the dream that is, and I'm somewhat certain he was reading a book about squirrels in California that carry the plague virus.

So 2006 is less than 24 hours away at this point, and I have to say that I'm actually excited, only becaus 2005 has been a bit of a shit year, and I am exceedingly more eager every passing second to see it end. 2006 is getting started off on a rather odd note, neither good nor bad. I feel that every facet of my life is in limbo. I'm neither here nor there. Normal situations can not be defined, and I'm too apprehensive to try to define them.

"Obsessed" is kind of a subjective word... (originally posted January 12, 2006)

11:48 p.m., January 11, 2006

I just finished reading articles for work in hopes of completing the second most arduous task in the yearly media audit. My brain is in technology overload and my craving for real literature/writing kicks in. And as if it had been sent down from Heaven, I spot my copy of David Sedaris' "Me Talk Pretty One Day." The light cast upon the cover from my side table lamp illuminated the book, and with ducts swelling with emotion, I reached down gently and scooped up my prized piece of fiction as if it was the baby Jesus on that oh so holy of day of his birth. Oh David Sedaris, how you save me from my mind numbingly boring profession and whisk me away to exotic places like North Carolina, the world of a 9 year old gay boy, or large department stores at Christmas. Your insights into making curtains, being a 30 something year old employed as one of Santa's elves, or simply the delightful tale of a middle age whore at the holidays makes me want to love you forever. And by love I mean hang out with. And by hang out with I mean I'm not above forcing him to hang out with me. And by forcing him to hang out with me, I mean him telling me I'm prettier than ever other girl. And by telling me I'm prettier than every other girl, I mean freak dancing with me at some bar. And by some bar, I mean the nightclub Heaven in London. And by London, I mean my bedroom.

Exploding Microwaves Do NOT, in fact, Give You Super Powers Immediately (originally posted January 20, 2006)

While enjoying a bowl of Whole Foods' Cream of Mushroom Soup, I gazed longingly out the window. Why did I have to go back to work? Why couldn't I stand outside with that man in the dress parading around the south steps of Union Square, instead of looking online for upcoming trade shows? That man in the dress needs a posse, and I'm that posse. As the soup dwindled down, I resumed conversation with Damien, who himself was staringly blankly at his chicken tenders. Confused by the fact that he did not appear delighted by the chicken tendery goodness in front of him, we resumed complaining about our jobs and how we feel so professionally unfulfilled. And then it happened....


Sparks and bright lights emerged from the corner. The smell of burning plastic and cheap fireworks filled the air. What was going on? As the hippie bus boy ran from the corner, I saw it. The microwave was on fire! The Whole Foods Microwave was seething with flames*! Lunch eaters ran or quickly walked away from the area. Cous Cous was left behind, lentil soup was abandoned, and I swear to you that I saw a woman hand her oatmeal cookie to someone on the stairwell, maybe knowing or hoping that the stranger could give that oatmeal cookie a better life. It evoked memories of women handing their babies over to soldiers in order to save their tiny lives. I cried as that defenseless oatmeal cookie disappeared down the stair well. Would it ever see the digestive system of it's original owner? What if the stranger had acid reflux problems? Was an oatmeal cookie suitable for his dietary needs? I was plagued with fear and doubt.

A posse of Whole Foods employees had rushed to the scene at this point. A man with a walkie talkie was radioing for help, or maybe to inform the bakery that the upstairs bakery kiosk was out of scones. A young blonde woman approached the burning pile of microwave hell, while an unidentified heroically carried a fire exstinguisher. A 55 year old busy put out the flames, and the moment had passed. Or had it?

Was it fate that I had been in Whole Foods at the exact moment that pile of food warming mess had shot out radiation? Is it coincidence that I only just started my fan club yesterday? Oh. My. God. In case you don't know where I'm going with this, I'll just lay it out for you: There is a slightly higher than average chance that I have super powers now. I tried moving Damien's orange cream soda can with my eyes and then with forces from my hands, but alas, it didn't work. I'm guessing I won't figure out what my powers are until fate throws me in front of a taxi, along with a young baby and a crippled. I'll either be able to freeze time as to prevent the taxi from hitting us, put up a force field for the same reason, have super human strength AND the ability to fly so I can save said baby and cripple, or I'll be made of steel and be able to use my body as as human shield. I'll let you all know how it works out. My only request is that when they make a t.v. movie about my life story and that fateful day at Whole Foods after I pass away, please have them cast Valerie Bertinelli as me, and Martin Lawrence as Damien. Thank you and have a great weekend.

Homesick for wheat fields... (originally posted January 29, 2006)

This morning I woke up at 9:30 a.m. I'm pissed for several reasons, but mainly because it's Sunday and I have to work tomorrow. I relish by weekend sleep schedule must like Ethiopians relish...hmm...lets say food. But at 9:30 a.m. on the dot, the sound of drums filled my apartment. I thought to myself that if some asshole construction worker downstairs, working on one of the numerous new eateries or shops that is set to open on my beloved Orchard Street, is banging on the wall to a break beat, I'm going to be in court charged with murder before Monday dawns. Peaking out my window, I observed my street was abandoned with only a few random families and young Chinese children running. Where was this drumming?

Remembering that at some point this weekend, according to my good friend Damien, the Chinese New Year was to be celebrated. With a hazy Sunday morning conclusion, I guessed that the drumming must be related to this festivity, so I threw on a zip up hoodie and a scarf and set out. Hey, at least I would get my full day's worth of doing nothing important i.e. actually ENJOYING a day in New York City, instead of having to go into the office.

About a block from my apartment, I spotted a group of teenagers outside the Chinese Tao Association office. They were dressed in red hooded sweatshirts with a Chinese emblem emblazoned on the back. A red sash hung from their individual hips, revealing just enough to show that elaborate costumes were hidden underneath the hoodies to keep these kids warm. A small group of them were playing a mix of instruments. I did not recognize most of them, so it's safe to guess that they could possiblly be allocated to Chinese culture: something I find utterly fascinating. Maybe because it's a mystery to me and I've never been farther than Germany, but something about this music was alluring. I joined a very small group of three to four Westerners on the other side of the street, watching a display of culture that we literally live on the fringe of. And by literally,I mean it in the truest since of the word: My street is considered a border of China Town. so on some days when I'm certain that I'm an unidentified genius, I'm surprised I haven't picked up on one of the numerous Asian languages I hear on a daily basis.

As the music went on, two dragons danced on the sidewalk. The red fringe of the dragons matched perfectly to the sashes of the band, so no one can say that the Chinese don't know the importance of color coordination. The dancing and music went on for another ten minutes or so, and the conclusion was a tiny explosion of paper and streamers. It was not a grandiose ending like Americans are used to, but for a girl who was raised smack dab in the middle of midwestern culture, waking up at 9:30 in the morning to see a trifecta of chinese kids playing drums, dancing dragons, and streamers was something I was pretty amazed by.

Deciding that since I was up, it would be a good morning to check out the new coffee houseon the corner of Delancey and Orchard. It was bound to be cheaper than the cafe two doors down from my apartment, so the extra crosswalk had the highly probable chance of pleasing my dwindling checking account. Also, those bastards on the corner don't accept debit cards, and I believe that 2004 was the last year I regularly carried cash on me.

The new coffee house turned out to be the sibling of my favorite coffee house in New York, Kudos Beans. The owners wanted to branch out from the East Village, so alas, The Bean blessed my neighborhood in the Lower East Side. Not only can I buy my favorite apple cinnamon bread and small coffee for $4, I don't have to walk eight blocks to do it. Waking up early on Sunday morning isn't so bad after all. It was only 9:55 a.m., and I had been to the far East and then back to the Lower East Side.

As of late, I have become somewhat obsessed with I blame this primarilly on the fact that I work in a cubicle, and anyone who has experienced this professional work environment, you know on most days you'd rather dick around than look at one more Microsoft Office Excel sheet. Instead, you dick around on the Internet. It's like a little oasis trapped inside a box. A little oasis that helps you forget for a few hours that you are trapped in an office, something that almost two years ago while still in college, you never imagined that THIS would happen to you. I'm going to be a writer. I'm going to travel. Fuck Corporate America. Then you recieve your diploma the same day your first rent check is due, along with your cell phone bill, electricity bill, and possibly a massive credit card bill, and the realization that a cubicle might not be so bad finally inches its way into your conscious. It's only after you are sitting in said cubicle in above mentioned office space that you realize that you have been going down the wrong path: the horribly wrong path lined with time sheets, bitching bosses, CEOs, and human resource managers. The road cluttered with pay stubs raped by taxes. Essentially, you look back and try to sort out what happened,and this morning I found out where I, as my dad likes to say, screwed the pooch.

In the summer of 2003, I participated in a study abroad trip, sponsored by my school. And to make a long story short, I not only fell in love with Edinburgh, Scotland, I fell in love with a boy. This boy and I decided that love at first sight wasn't quite as absurd as most people liked to believe, and we decided that we could make things work. And we were right: Things did work, and the day after I graduated (literally the very next day) I was on a plane moving to Edinburgh to be with him. He still had a year or two of university left, so it made sense for me to be the one that packed up and travel across the Atlantic. When the time came, we would come back to the U.S. and settle in New York, at least for a bit. Well, shit happens, and anyone that knows me knows that I settled in New York eventually, but I was alone. Not technically alone because said boy was still very present in the tears and late night phone calls and text messages, but if you were to peak into my apartment on any given moment, I was the only person there.

One would think it would have struck me then that I had perhaps not thought things through, but it was this morning, this early Sunday morning where drums from China woke me up to find a friend request from an old friend. An old friend who I had been very close to. And with this friend request, I was reminded of my old life in Lawrence, KS. Although I didn't grow up in Lawrence, and in truth, I only lived there for four years, I consider that brilliant city my home. Everything I love, with the exception of my family, is sandwiched between The Kansas Turnpike and 23rd Street. Almost every fond memory from the past six years of my life revolves around early breakfast at Milton's, late night parties in the Student Ghetto, where people will not only give you free beer, they'll loan you a smoke without even batting an eyelash (something completely unheard of in New York City). Every joke, laugh, and frienship wrapped up in the Replay Loung, the patio and bar stools of the Bourgeios Pig, the giant pitchers at Louise's Downtown, and the endless, endless stackes of vinyls at The Love Garden. The point where I fucked up was the day I left Lawrence without looking back. Although I don't regret moving to Edinburgh, because the love I felt for E was real, I still miss every day I skipped in Lawrence. I miss the all night coffee houses and the late night mexican food at La Parilla. I miss the summer afternoons spent in the park downtown, followed by spontaneous front lawn barbeques with frisbies, pot, and soundtracks that ran the gammut of Hendrix to the Gorillaz. I miss the ever present Lawrence music scene, and all the snobs and bands that went with it. I miss the jazz band in the basement of the Taproom, and the red light bulbs that lit the mood perfectly. I miss 1960s soul dance parties on the patio of the Replay, and truth be told, not one of those dance parties either before or since beat the dance party started by myself, Brian Anderson, and a Ms. Laurel Woodhouse. Lawrence is a city where everyone from hipsters to engineering students like University of Kansas basketball; A city where everyone owns at least one album from The Love Garden and everyone has at least one friend who has played at The Bottleneck.

I find it funny that I had to travel to Scotland, then to New York, then to the East (at least in the non-literal sense), and then back to New York to realize that I missed a small city in north east Kansas. I'm sure the intellectuals at the Pig would find this hilarious....

Batman Pajamas and Cinnamon Buns: My Mid-Twenties Crisis (originally posted February 8, 2006)

I'm 24 years old, and for the past year, I've been enduring the beginnings of a life crisis. I've been trying to answer the important questions of "What do I want to do with my life?" and "How do I not fuck up and have to move back in with my parents?, and these questions have been resting at the forefront of my brain. I'm 24 going on 25, and the only thing I've learned is that I still have no clue what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm still at square one.

I know people, who at the age of 5 years old, knew what they wanted to be, and those bastards actually followed through. They wanted to be doctors, nurses, lawyers, cowboys, etc. Now, those same people are in law or medical school. In my defense, none of those boys turned out to be cowboys, although a few came out of the closet in college. I can honestly say that I don't know a single person who owns a ten gallon hat, rides a horse on a regular basis, nor has "wrangle some cattle" sandwiched in between "take out the trash" and "go to the grocery store" on their to-do list.

I remember in kindergarden, teachers got together and decided that a "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Day was in order. Nothing is more fun than pigeon holing four and five year olds, so on the big day, the parade of nurses, doctors, lawyers, firefighters, and policeman filed into Harvest Hills Elementary. I went as a nurse, only because my mother made it very clear that my Batman pajamas with the velcro cape were not an option on that day. Oddly enough, a classmate went as a princess, and twenty years later, she is my best friend, we are both living in New York, and both of us have no clue what direction we are heading in.

At some point growing up, I decided that I wanted to be a journalist. I had excelled in writing at school, so it seemed like a natural fit. By the time I reached college, my definition of journalism had broadened to include strategic communications, which is simply an umbrella term for public relations, advertising, marketing, and every other unholy form of communication. I had started out as claiming "undecided" when asked what my major was, but by the middle of my freshman year, I chose journalism. Looking back, it was not the smartest of all decisions, considering that I hated the two journalism classes I had taken, and I disliked all but two people within the entire journalism school. But for whatever reason, and I'll blame it on parents who told me that I had to get a job after college, I stuck with it. By my junior year, I had added English as a second major. I loved my professors and lecturers, my fellow class mates, and overall, the curriculum. It must have been around the same time that the idea of teaching entered my train of though, but somewhere down the line it was pushed to the back of my brain. I graduated in May of 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, and Bachelor of Arts in English. It would have been more appropriate if I had simply stuck with "undecided" and recieved a Bachelor of Science in What the Fuck Do I Do Now? I pondered the idea of graduate school for a bit, but at the time, the idea of three more years of school sounded about as pleasing as writing a thesis while having an enema performed.

After traveling abroad to be with a foreign boyfriend, my adventures landed me in New York. I got my first job at a new restaurant in the Lower East Side, right up the street from my apartment. It wasn't the dream job I had been looking for, but it paid well, and I didn't have to deal with authority figures. I worked the day shifts mostly, and the staff consisted only of me and a line cook, who was also an "artist." We bitched about not having any money, smoked cigarettes, and drank coffee for eight hours, then left when the managers and night crew arrived.

A few months later, I landed my first "big" job, the job I had gone to college to get, or so said my parents. I was hired at a public relations firm to work in their technology practice. In all honesty, I know nothing about technology. It took me two hours to hook up a VCR, and two days to hook up a DVD player. I consider myself part of the technological elite because I own an iPod. But I put on my biggest smile and said exactly what they wanted to hear, and they offered me the position on the spot. The only thing I learned in my short five months there was that I was bad at pitching story ideas to reporters, I had no sort of memory about when certain articles ran and who wrote them, and that overall, I was about at good at public relations as I am performing heart surgery. So what did I do? I made the decision to move to another public relations agency to work in their technology practice. I blame this astute career move on desperation and retardation , but I encountered the same problems, and found myself back in the same position.

I remember in college a professor telling the class that public relations is the fastest growing industry in the job market today, and after working in this industry, I believe he was right. Most people are smart enough to leave public relations early in their career. I haven't met one person who particularly likes public relations, and even fewer who actually love it. People who stick with a career in P.R. are the same people who while in the junior high cafeteria line would ask for spaghetti, but would get tuna casserole instead. And they would take that tuna cassserole, grab their plan milk, and eat the damn tuna casserole without saying a word. These are the people who have taken the hand that was dealt them and never challenged it. When I was in that same junior high cafeteria line, I would look that hair netted food monger from the other side of the sneeze guard and tell her what I wanted. She would have been tempting death had she even tried to give me that tuna casserole. I asked for spaghetti and I got spaghetti. And a cinnamon role. And both chocolate and plain milk. Maybe my choices were random, but I knew what I wanted, and I made sure I got it.

So after four to five unsatisfied and angry bosses, one year of complete unfulfillment, and enough tenacity and naivetivity to fill an eye dropper, I have decided to make a career change. I've started studying for the GRE, and I'm applying to positions at universities and other student advising/teaching jobs. I guess whether I realized it or not, I've known I'm not the type to settle, and I'm not the type to take conventional Corporate America and succumb to its business casual ways. I knew this when I wanted to wear my Batman pajamas with accompanying velcro cape on career day. I knew this when I ordered both spaghetti and cinnamon rolls. And after having experience in the corporate world, I have factual evidence that I'm not made to wear slacks, sweaters, and heeled shoes every day. So I'm busting out of this cubicle infestation, and there is nothing you can do about it. See you on the other side, with that other side being academia. I'll wave to you as I plan my lesson plan for the class "Mary Shelly and her Inspirations" during my summers off. Farewell. Don't call me, I'll call you. It's not you, it's me. And so forth.

Dr. Pepper Tastes Like Aqua Net: Why I like not having too much responsibility (originally posted March 27, 2006)

This morning, I woke up hung over. And not only that, I woke up late. I jumped out of bed at the cusp of sleeping in and oversleeping. It was 7:15 a.m., and I needed to be uptown by 8:30. I brushed my teeth as the shower heated up, and I frantically ran around my apartment trying to get things in order. All the while, I felt as if I was going to throw up. The room was spinning and I was freaking out. I didn't want to be late when I had only been at my new job for a week.

After setting the new world record for vomitting AND shampooing my hair at the same time, I clocked the rest of my morning ritual in under 15 minutes flat. I typically don't like to rush, so I was amazed at just how slow I must be in the morning if I typically wake up at 6:15 a.m. and don't leave my apartment until 7:45 a.m. Apparently I can stretch the task of eating a small container of yogurt into a 15 minute ordeal.

After cleaning up what was left of the half eaten bagel and goat cheese I ate the night before in a drunken haze, I headed out the door, telling myself that once I got some fresh air, I'd feel better. I learned an important truth this morning: I am, in fact, retarded. To think that New York City air is going to make you feel better is something that only lends itself to the mentally challenged, and I, my friends, am apparently running on half a brain most of the time.

Getting on the F train was the closest thing to nailing my own coffin that I've ever experienced. People crowded around me, and all the while I thought "Oh god. I hope that man doesn't like his suit too much because I can give no guarantees about my ability to projectile vomit" and "please little kid step away from me. I don't want to yack on your head. I imagine bile and goat's cheese is impossible to get out of corn rows."

The V train was a bit better, as I was able to get a seat, and the train was relatively empty. The V train has this magic ability to always remain half empty despite the fact that it runs a very central route through the city. My seat was right by the door, so I was lucky enough to get a nice breeze every time the doors opened. Also, a man who resembled Superman sat across from me, and I believe that the 20 minutes of incessant staring at his chest to see if I could see his trademark costume did a fine job of creeping him out. His chest was also acting as a point of reference as to stop the spinning in my head. And oddly enough, I think being on the subway whilst experiencing the hung over spins is the closest thing to LSD I'll ever experience. If only Led Zeppelin had been playing in the background, the scene would have been complete.

Luckily, the train was moving fast, so I made it to work with time to spare. I immediately raided the pantry and learned that Doritos and doughnuts with pink frosting and sprinkles cure any sort of beer-induced headache. Also, Dr. Pepper tastes like Aqua Net if you drink it with Doritos. But the most important part is that I'm getting paid to do all this. My boss asked me if I was feeling okay, and of course I lied and said "Never been better." She replied with "I'm so hungover right now. God, I envy your job. No responsibility except to answer the phone and look cute." And she's right. I look like a fucking angel while eating a pink donut, and the FedEx guy told me I had a cute white girl giggle. Then he winked at me, so I'm guessing that was a compliment. The mailman even said that he liked my hair, and that he reminded him of the girlfriend he had when he was 22, because apparently I look "mod." I've noted this and plan on wearing shift dressed and big earrings for the forseeable future.

Envious? Well, you shouldn't be. Anyone can achieve this level of fame. All it takes is a severe lack of direction, fear of adult responsibility, an office that occasionally buys donuts and stocks their pantries with good snacks. Also, if you can look adorable while hungover, you're on the fast track for success.

Sips: "I bet it tastes like compromise."; Me: "I don't find that very funny." (originally posted March 29, 2006)

The title of this entry really has nothing to do with the entry itself. That small exerpt is from a conversation I was having about Snapple. Apparently, the British are not schooled on the most Jewish drink in the world, so I was giving a lesson plan. Don't worry Sips, you'll get to try it properly upon your arrival.

So onto the rest of it:

I always considered myself an observant person. Actually, that is only half true. I discovered that human resource hiring managers love to hear a potential job candidate say that, so I would always toss that little gem out during my job interviews, with the end result being H.R. smiling enthusiastically and offering me the job at some point down the road. However, I learned two days ago that I am somewhat observant, but only when it comes to noticing extremely gross things about strangers and people I know.

On Monday, I was sitting on the V train on my way home. I had gotten on at 53rd and Madison, so my journey had just begun. At 47th Street, a very attractive gentleman entered my train car, and I was immediately drawn to his excellent choice of suit and tie combo. But within seconds, I noticed something odd. He kept scratching his nose.

Now I'm not talking about the type of scratching you get from a tiny itch or the type of incessant nose knocking you get with a coke addict. I'm talking about the type of scratching you see when someone sticks their entire index finger up their nostril and proceeds to move said finger around. At first I thought I must be hallucinating. No man wearing that suit and that particular tie could possibly be displaying this horrible habit in such a public place. I looked around at other passengers hoping to match a set of eyes that saw what I was seeing, but alas, everyone was oblivious.

This man kept his finger in his nose all the way from West 47th Street to West 4th Street, and I shit you not, not one person took notice except for me. At some point, my mouth must have been hanging open out of the sheer ridiculousness of the whole scene, so for all I know, I was the weirdo on the train, as far as the other passengers were concerned.

I'm still baffled by the events, obviously since this happened on Monday and it is now Wednesday and I'm still thinking about it. This man was well dressed: nice camel colored wool coat, tailored pin stripe suit, silk tie, very proper and VERY British. His hair was slightly messy, but in that way that only British men can perfect. And then he had to ruin the whole image by sticking his fucking finger up his nose. I'd like to write him off as a sociopath, but frankly, I think he either knew that no one but me was noticing and was willing to take the risk, or he simply just really enjoys picking his nose. I've also batted around the idea of it being part of some hidden camera show, so if any of my friends abroad see me on BBC 1, BBC 2, or Channel 4 looking like a typical New York asshole, my apologies.

It was after this train ride that I realized what a dirty city New York can be. The train itself covered in spit and loogies, coffee cups and unidentified liquid, and now there is a good chance that some of you might find boogers hastily stuck on the seats and handle bars of the 2nd Avenue-bound V train.

Happy riding.

Admitting you actually like a Peter Gabriel song is like admitting you like poisoning bear cubs (originally posted April 4, 2006)

This weekend I made an important discovery about myself. I'm a Peter Gabriel fan. Well, I was a closeted Peter Gabriel fan up until last night, but regardless, I'm willing to step out of the shadows and proclaim my truth: I like the song "Solsbury Hill."

Admittedly, it's somewhat musically addicting. This song has the ability to be inserted into any slideshow, movie, film strip, or personal mental montage and evoke that feeling of 'things are changing, and they are changing for the better.'

I'm quite surprised that every Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie ever made doesn't include this song on the soundtrack. Can't you just see those two running through a crowded New York/Seattle/Where ever the fuck else they filmed movies about radio call-in shows and pervy e-mail relationships. Throw in a golden retriever and a cliche park (i.e. a CENTRAL one), and there you go. A Hanks/Ryan classic, complete with "Solsbury Hill."

However, there is a bit of shame I feel for having downloaded this song. "Sledgehammer" could have at least been written off as "Hey, it had a visually groundbreaking video" or "That song is a classic." But "Solsbury Hill"? It's like listening to Louie Armstrong, which inherently isn't a bad thing. But listening to Louie Armstrong, while sitting in a Starbucks, drinking a low-fat mochachino cold blast fusion electro shock espresso iced latte is dry heave inducing, and oddly enough, captures the essence of "Solsbury Hill."

But thank goodness I listen to an iPod, and not a boom box. I don't think the general crowd on the 8:00 a.m. uptown V train would appreciate my musical tastes if I was blaring out a song that could easily be described as "new age."

Oh. fuck. me. I just admitted I like a song within the "new age" genre. Pardon me. I'm gonig to throw myself off the Brooklyn Bridge. Right after I finish listening to Rod Stewart's greatest hits. By the way, does anyone know where to get a poncho dry cleaned?

Portrait of the New York City Subway System: A Snapshot in Time (originally posted April 28, 2006)

Friday, April 28th, 2006
8:24 a.m.
Typical New York City Spring morning: sunny, but breezy

New York City
Lower East Side (Essex and Delancey)
F Train Subway Station
Stairwell of the Uptown (Queens Bound) Platform

Mary Ann: Typical 24 year old Lower East Side resident; Self-described pseudo-hipster; long brown hair, brown eyes; dressed for work wearing pin striped pants, fitted cashmere sweater, jean jacket with a black zip up hoodie (typical Lower East Side scenester gear); also wearing oversized sunglasses and carrying oversized purse; iPod in pocket.
Hispanic Lady: Mid-thirties; short black hair; carrying Key Food grocery bag; wearing jeans, Reeboks, and a GAP sweatshirt.
Chinese Lady: Somewhere between the ages of 85 and 152; carrying small handbag and Chinese newspaper; wearing grey pants, purple jacket with green shirt underneath; grey hair; very wrinkly.
Japanese Mother: Late twenties; black pants; expensive high heeled shoes; jean jacket; stylish; knockoff Louis Vuitton purse (most likely bought off of Canal and Mulberry); accompanying two little boys.
2 Japanase boys: Between the ages of 4 and 6 years old; obviously on way to school; short, dark, hair; both wearing jeans, Nikes, and both are carrying matching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle backpacks; mother is accompanying them.

And now to the action...

As Mary Ann fumbled with her iPod while searching for the pocket she kept her Metro Card in, while at the same time attempting to jog down a flight of stairs to catch the approaching F train, something caught her eye.

Everyone on the stairwell had stopped.

There on the fourth step from the bottom, lay a thong. A bright red thong. And this was no ordinary abandoned bright red thong.

This thong was covered in human shit, most likely diarrhea.

All six of the commuters stared blankly. Were they actually seeing this disgusting, poop encrusted discared undergarment?

Yes. Yes they were.

The Japanese mother scurried her two boys away, along with the 1,000 year old Chinese woman, all four of them most likely wondering why the hell they ever immigrated to this god forsaken country known as the United States.

Mary Ann and the Hispanic woman looked on at the disgusting spectacle before them. Then, ever so slowly, the Hispanic woman looked at Mary Ann and said, "Fucking city. I'm moving to Brooklyn where them fuckers are civilized."

And then Mary Ann realized how proud she was to be a New Yorker, to live in a city where people feel free enough to crap themselves on public transportation systems, then disgard their shitty underwear in a public forum. How liberated these people must feel as they walk up the stairwell and onto to Delancey and Essex Street, wet poop drying on their butt crack.

New York Motherfucking City.

P.S. I'd like to dedicate this thread to tubgirl, where ever you are, whatever you're doing (most liking snorting cocaine and crapping yourself), this one is for you.

In China, the phrase "temporary employee" means "retard." (originally posted on April 28, 2006)

So it's 4:35 p.m. on Friday. My boss is leaving early for her daughter's birthday and I have nothing to do. The "nothing to do" part is actually what I do all day. It's my life at work. It's the life of a temp.

People look down on temps, but it's the closest thing to not working that will still pay you. Basically, if you are carrying the title of "temporary employee" you are are also wearing a make believe badge that says "possibly retarded." People don't trust you do to real work, so you spend your days piddling around the Internet. It's a sweet deal, but you don't get health insurance, which I'm certain sis ome sort of conspiracy since I will most likely develop wrist problems from chatting with my friends on MSN Messenger all day.

Since temping, I've developed a multiple personality where I like to pretend to be British. I say "cunt," "twat," "bint," and "slag" like a pro, and it keeps me quite entertained whilst at work.

Another thing I've learned/developed is an uncanny ability to look at only four websites a day. I feel that all of my personal interests are captured in these four sites, thus I do require any more stimulation from the Internet.

I also eat a lot of peanuts now, but that's only because they stock them in the employee kitchen. I like peanuts, so this is a good thing.

I've also learned the difference between an "inbox" and an "outbox" in regards to where mail goes. I already knew the difference, but my boss felt it neccesary to explain this to me. I felt enlightened in the same way you feel after you see someone try to light a fart on fire for the first time and you think "Man. I just learned something."

My boss has now exited the building, and I'm still sitting here writing this entry. I'm going to pack up a few packages of peanuts for the weekend and I'm out of here.

It's like animal kingdom...except there is no awkward animal sex or antelopes being eaten. (originally posted on May 11, 2006)

I'm sitting in my cubicle, trying my hardest to not eaves drop on office drama. But I've come to the conclusion that everyone here hates their job and argueably are bat shit crazy. But this is just a hypothesis. I've been formulating it for a while now.

This place is a cornucopia of beasts, the likes that have not been seen outside of the world's best zoos in ages. Well...that's not really true. I mean, I am talking about human beings here. But their voice modulation levels rivals those of zoo noises. They are loud, obnoxious, and frankly, most of them never shut the hell up when they are never saying anything important to begin with.

And to think one of these baboons had the nerve to ask me to turn down my iPod when I was listening to Sigur Ros. God forbid that beautiful Icelandic symphonic noise trump the horriible screeching of the ferret in the cubicle next to me, the incessant chattering of the televisions constantly tuned onto CNBC, or the never ending arguing of at least two grizzly bears at any given point of the day.

All I'm saying is that no one hesistates to drag sick animals into the street and put them out of their misery...just put the word "proverbial" in front of "street" and I think you'll see my point...

I need a proper job. Seriously. Someone hire me.

The Unification of My Hypopigmented Brethren (originally published on May 17, 2006)

This morning, while I was "working" at work, I came upon an article on focusing on the negative reviews and protests aimed at "The Da Vinci Code." Normally, I would have skipped this article and headed straight for the piece announcing the separation of Paul McCartney and his one-legged wife, but I had recently listened to Tom Hanks on National Public Radio, so my interest was somewhat current.

I've never gotten swept up in what I like to call "literary diarrhea." This lovely term encompasses everything from Oprah's Book Club to generally anything and everything in the "chick lit" genre. I think this rule is serving me well because look what happened to James Frey's masterpiece "A Million Little Pieces"? It was a fake, and Frey turned out to be the asshole of early 2006. My point is that I never read "The Da Vinci Code" and I generally avoided its existence. The hype surrounding the book never appealed to me, and frankly, I find anything "churchy" a bit boring. And besides, I love the tacky factor behind everything based in Catholocism. From their art to general congregations in Staten Island, New York, I'll be damned if anyone fictionalizes the utter kitsch factor involved with the Catholic religion.

The movie version of "The Da Vinci Code" excites me about as much as the book has. I'm a Tom Hanks fan, but I'm relatively certain a giant keyboard, a sidekick dog, or a volleyball that provides feelings bordering on sportsmanship and lust are not key players in this new film.

And after reading the reviews thus far, the movie has not received much praise. Hanks has been described as giving a "wooden performance" and apparently their isn't much "chemistry between the hero and heroine." Since I haven't seen the movie, obviously my opinion is a bit skewed, but I can honestly say nothing can capture the bond that Hanks had with the dog in "Turner and Hooch." Seriously, that dog was classic. No woman can show up that dog. But I digress. The film itself was described as "a bloated puzzle," but I think anyone will admit that Hanks does look a bit fat in the promotional photos for the movie, so perhaps the reviewer was not being critical but honestly observant. The "puzzle" of "a bloated puzzle" could be a remark on his choice of hair style, because quite frankly, a universal "what the fuck?" was uttered when Hanks debuted that atrocity of a man's last attempt to hold on to his hair line.

Slightly more interesting than the shitty reviews are the protests being waged around the world. Hunger strikes in India, boycotts in South Korea, and requests for censorship in Singapore are a few of the uproars being raised in reaction to the movie. It's interesting that instead of Christians seeing this as a test of faith, they are demanding the film be censored. I can say that certain parts of the Bible are not really offending, but bore me to death, which i find offensive. So censor thoughs. Give me some white-out and I'll take care of it. Speaking of white-out, this leads me to my next point...

By far, the most interesting group to take offense to the movie is the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation. Apparently, the villian in the movie is an albino, and this pisses off the fair skinned (fair eyed, fair haried). Now dont' get me wrong. I love the albinos. Granted, their Casper like features scare the shit out of me, but as a non-albino that has been described as sickly pale most of her life, I too, can identify with their plight. Even though I have a normal hair and eye color, I too suffer from sunburns and the constant taunts of "Why don't you get a spray on tanner?" writes:

Also, while not planning a protest or boycott, members of the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation expressed unhappiness with the film's heavy, a monk-assassin, being an albino, as described in the book.

Michael McGowan, an albino who heads the organization, said "The Da Vinci Code" will be the 68th movie since 1960 to feature an evil albino. He said the group aims to use the movie's popularity to raise awareness about the realities of albinism. People with albinism have little or no pigmentation in their skin, eyes and hair.

According to this article, we're averaging more than two evil albino characters a year in the motion picture industry. I think it's fairly apparent what is going on here. This is obviously far greater than any conspiracy theory presented in "The Da Vinci Code." Far more sinister thant he Pentavret Mike Meyers described in "So I Married an Axe Murderer" (the Queen, the Vatican, the Rothchild's, the Getty's, and the king of the Kentucky Fried Chicken empire, the Sanders). This my friends, is a modern day alliance not seen since Hitler teamed up with the Russians and the Italians.

From what I can tell, the major players are Hollywood celebrities (excluding Jim Gaffigan, Nicole Kidman, and Conan O'Brien), Neutrogena, and a secret organization of tanning bed/salon manafacturers and salon owners. Hollywood is out to villianize the pigmentally-challenged.

This whole task force of uber tanned evil was first brought to my attention sometime last year when photos of Lindsay Lohan surfaced revealing she was a fake tanner. She was waving to a camera which resulted the documentation of orange-stained palms: A tell-tale sign of at home tanner. And now with the staggering statistics presented by the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation, I believe an all out epidermis war is on the horizon.

God bless Dan Brown for writing such a ridiculous book about a murder conspiracy in the Christian church involving an evil albino. I doubt he ever saw the prophecy he was proclaiming...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Red toe nail polish does not mean I want you touch my feet during the morning commute. (originally posted on June 6, 2006)

This morning was one of those mornings when you think "Why did I get out of bed? Why don't I live in a city where owning a car is normal?" This pissy attitude was stemming from the fact that the V train subway line was under construction, but the MTA didn't bother to tell anyone. After being informed by a homeless man, who had obviously been drinking since around 1984, shouted "You motherfucking stupid honkies! The motherfucking train ain't runnin'! Give me a motherfucking fucking quarter! Fuckers..."

So yes, I was informed in the most eloquent language that my favorite train in all of New York City was not running. Luckily, I have a Plan B for such situations. I can take the Uptown F train up two stops and catch the Uptown E train. dThe Uptown morning E train is my second favorite train in the city because it, like the V train, always has empty seats.

After catching the next available Uptown F train at 2nd Avenue, the site of the failed V train, I made my way up to West 4th Street where I transferred to the Uptown E. True to fashion, the E train provided plenty of empty seats, as well as some majorly attractive French tourists. That is another reason I adore the E and V trains: Both typically have extremely attractive men on them. I'm not one to talk to strangers, but I am one to stare at strangers.

As the E train made its way Uptown, it became increasingly full of passengers. This is an obvious observance since generally every train after 14th street is generally packed on the morning and evening commute. However, one man standing in front of me stood out in an odd way. Unfortunately, he wasn't a foxy frenchman. Instead he was Mr. Non-descript guy. You know the type: Khakis (most likely Dockers brand), light blue button up shirt, brown shoes, brown belt. He had light brown hair and I'm sure his eyes were probably brown too. He wasn't unattractive per se, just not memorable.

By the time we hit 34th Street/Penn Station, the train was mobbed with commuters. Mr. Non-descript inched closer into my personal space (a concept that oddly enough, still exsists even in New York). I noticed he was spending an obscene amount of time staring at my feet. I started to squirm uncomfortably in my seat. What the hell was he looking at me for?

I don't if this is a result of poor self-esteem, or a result of simply being a woman, but my first thoughts were kind of demeaning: "Does he think my feet are gross?", "What's wrong with my feet?", "Are they too big?", "Do I have a gross callus that I haven't noticed yet?", "Did my pedicure from this past weekend already lose its appeal?" I began staring at him too, in hopes of working out what the deal was. He must have felt my persistent gaze because he looked up, only to make awkward eye contact with me. Then he continued to stare at my feet.

By this point, the E train was fast approaching my stop at 53rd Street and Madison Ave. I stood up from my seat and made my way to the door, once again making eye contact with Mr. Non-descript. I gave him one of those "I'm raising my eyebrows and giving you a half ass smile as to say I know you were staring at my feet" looks just as the train screached to a halt.

As the doors opened and I stepped onto the platform, he spoke.

Below is a break down of the conversation:

Mr. Non-descript: "Your red toe nail polish makes me want to touch your feet."

Me: "Thanks?"

(Doors shut. Train departs)

Yes ladies and gentlemen, I had my very first encounter with a foot fetish man. You hear stories about woman having their feet and shoes grabbed on the subway by stilleto-induced crazed perverts, but my foot fetish man was quite pleasant, although a bit of a starer. Wherever you are Mr. Non-descript, and to whatever pair of shoes you jerk off to this evening, you hold a special place in my heart. Right next to the homeless guy who wears a dress and curses at the George Washington statue in Union Square.

*Special thanks go out to the Asian ladies at Shin Modern Nails for the excellent pedicure on Sunday.

Indiana Jones and The Zimple of Doom: The story of an infected pimple. (originally posted on June 20, 2006)

Yesterday afternoon, I received a job offer that puts me back on a career path. No more temping. And because of this tremendous news, I agreed to meet up with my dear friend Jessy for drinks at our favorite bar, Swift.

For those of you that talk to me on a regular basis, you know that I was ill last week. I had a full blown cold: stuffy / runny nose, watery eyes, fever, sore throat, ear ache, etc. Also, I had just started my period, which sometimes causes me to sprout up a pimple. Well, this time around I sprouted up one hell of a pimple.

This blemish started off like any normal zit does. just red, kind of gross, but nothing a little makeup concealer can't handle. However, this zit was inconveniently located directly under my right nostril. To be more specific, it was located slightly to the right side below my right nostril, but moving on...

Because of the cold and constant runny nose, which resulted in numerous tissues rubbing the surface where the pimple was located, the blemish became infected. And not only did it become infected, it spread to other small irritations caused by the constant tissue wiping. Basically, I looked like I had a massive wound from my right nostril to my lip. It sort of resembled the state of Florida in shape. And I hate the state of Florida. So i was doubly pissed off.

The "zit" kept getting worse, but I thought that it was just a mutant pimple, thus naming it "the zimple": Not quite a zit. Not quite a pimple. I put Clearasil on the zimple, but nothing helped. Finally, in a conversation with my mother on Saturday, I mentioned the atrocity on my face. Her reply? "For god sakes Mary Ann get some Neosporin! Or Polysporin! That infection is going to spread!" Basically, I took from that exclamation of health care advice that it was just a matter of days until my face rotted off, so I immediately dashed to Duane Reade, which is a pharamcy chain (for those of you who don't live in the New York area). For the next twenty minutes, I read, and reread, and read again the boxes that contained Polysporin and Neosporin. I still don't know what the difference is, but I finally decided on Neosporin, but only because I liked the packaging design better. Polysporin needs a new design team. There box is a snooze fest.

I started applying the Neosporin to the zimple as soon as I got back to my apartment. But then the first problem occurred. I still had a runny nose, so I was still rubbing the zimple constantly. However, I remained diligent in my application of Neosporin, and the zimple slowly started to shrink. It no longer resembled the state of Florida, but more like two of the Hawaiian islands.

Now don't get me wrong. The zimple was still disgusting and noticeable. Applying Neosporin didn't really cover it up either. If anything, the Neosporin illuminated the spot and made it even more noticeable.

I hadn't gone out all last week because of the cold and because of the zimple. I was self conscious about my runny nose, but mostly because of the facial growth I had acquired. While commuting to work, I found myself staring at the ground, as to avoid grossing out my fellow commuters. I felt like a leper, thus going out on the town wasn't that appealing. I didn't want my zimple mocked and stared at. And I knew people would mock and stare at it, because I'm one of those people. I love mocking and staring at people. So alas, I stayed indoors.

This brings us up to speed to last night, where I decided to go out and celebrate my new job with Jessy. She was late getting to the bar, so I awkwardly sat on a bar stool, trying not to make eye contact because of the still apparent zimple, which by this point had been downgraded to an orange level on the zimple scale of terror. However, I was still grossed out by the spot.

To my surprise, a man sitting next to me asked me if I wanted to read his newspaper. I said sure and began reading the sports section of the New York Times. The conversation kept going and I finally made eye contact with him. To my suprise, he didn't even flinch. He was forced to face the zimple and he didn't even bat an eyelash. Was it not as noticeable as I thought? This man even bought me a drink after I told him of my big news of the job offer.

Once Jessy arrived, I was relieved. I'm not one to chat up people in bars usually, and I wasn't interested in this man to begin with. He seemed a bit arrogant, and I thought there was a slim chance he might be losing his vision due to his lack of reaction to the zimple. But he persisted, occassionally interrupting our conversation, constantly offering free drinks, etc.

At one point, this man left the bar to run to the bodega around the corner. I'm guessing he needed to buy more cigarettes because I noticed he was a smoker. When he came back, he brought with him a bag of candy for Jessy and I. A roll of Life Savers was inside, so Jessy and I proceeded to eat those first.

My friends in middle school through high school might remember a certain talent of mine. It's called "gleeking." For those of you who don't know, gleeking is when one spits in between the gaps in their teeth, forcing out a stream of spit. I was blessed with the ability of having perfect gleeking aim, and I rediscovered this last night. I don't know if it was the tang of the Life Saver, or possibly the four pints of Amstel Light I had consumed, but I started to relive my gleeking glory. I gleeked on this man over and over again, and he didn't care. I think I kept doing it to see how far I could push him before he denounced me and the zimple.

Did I mention he was a New York City police officer? I don't think I did. So yes ladies and gentlemen. I spit on a New York City police officer, and not only was I not arrested, HE ENJOYED IT! This probably means he's into golden showers and other things I would never consider doing, but that's beside the point.

To make a longer story short, I was also given another man's phone number. I thinked he worked in the financial industry or something. I just remember his name was Fred and I have his business card in my purse. He actually was sitting to the right of me, so he had a clear on view of the zimple. Maybe he was blind too.

Basically, I learned that zits and spitting on people of the opposite sex are effective ways of attracting positive attention. Maybe it's the pure shock that someone is actually spitting on them, or the fact that a person with an infected facial appendage is seemingly confident enough to go out into public, but I've never gotten that much male attention in one evening. So ladies, if you're interested, I stocked up on Crisco to rub all over my face, and I'm announcing this morning an official ban on washing my face. If ONE zimple did the trick, imagine what FIFTY zimples will do? I'll be ruling this city in no time.

Ever feel gypped because no one has ever dry humped you on the subway? Me too. (originally posted on June 23, 2006)

On most mornings, I have the same routine. The routine is as follows:

1. Get out of bed and either put on or carry my slippers to the bathroom.

2. Pee.

3. Weigh myself.

4. Look in the mirror and stare, thinking about what I have to do that day.

5. Turn on the shower.

6. Turn on the curling iron.

7. Shower.

8. Dry off and apply moisturizer.

9. Fix breakfast while wearing a towel on my head and towel around the rest of my body.

This morning was no different. I followed my morning routine as usual, and at around 7:30 a.m., I sat down on my couch to enjoy my granola with skim milk.

I have a love/hate relationship with morning t.v. I feel as if every single morning news program has its faults. I can't stand the tourists from Salt Lake City, Omaha, Phoenix, Orlando, and various other places I'm glad I don't live in waving their poster board signs outside the Today Show. I don't even know what channel Good Morning America is on, and New York one is a snooze fest, with only one man doing sports, weather, news, etc. He actually reads from the daily newspapers when talking about current events. Good Day New York is even worse. Mike Jerrick deserves to be dragged out into the street and shot. The shows only saving grace is Jodi Applegate, who despite what some people might say, is generally hilarious. I think she's one of the few NYU alumuni that don't drive me to homicidal thoughts.

However, Good Day New York has its fair share of the peppy morning schmooze factor. What I don't understand is that in my entire life, which has almost spanned a quarter of a century, I have never met anyone who actually enjoyed waking up in the morning. And the last thing anyone wants is some hyperactive individual barking at them in the early morning hours about where to get swimming lessons or how to bake the best pizza crust in the city.

Good Day New York used to have some lady named Penny who would host the general interest portion of the news. She was this 60 washed up news anchor, who like Mike Jerrick, deserved to be put down like a sick dog. Her lame sexual innuendos to her sad attempts at humor were a constant pitfall in my morning routine, and I was glad when I noticed one day that Penny had disappeared. I'm sure she's rotting in a home somewhere (*Author is enthusiastically pumping fist in air).

However, Penny has been replaced with Anne. Her segment is called "Anne About Town" and it's pretty simple to describe. Basically, the producers of Fox 5 dream up these ridiculous, however never life threatening stunts for Anne to perform. I've seen her take sailing lessons, walk on a tight rope, drink Vitamin Water made specifically for dogs, and numerous other activities that are just slightly too upbeat for 7:30 a.m. And it's not even so much WHAT she's doing. It's the fact that it's HER doing it. I'm hoping that one day I'll be a producer for Fox, and my brainstorming sessions would go something like this: "I've got an idea for Anne's segment: Lets set her on fire and have her wrestle a hungry bear! Seriously! We can accept bets and donate the money to charity!" And by charity I mean the foundation I'm setting up to have Michael Rappaport banend from doing anything on television and only allowing him to write stories about how bat shit crazy Natasha Lyonne is.

This morning, Anne was officially put on my list of people to run over with a bus if I ever become liscened to drive a bus. Because of her overly perky attitude, I almost changed channels to Saved By the Bell: The College Years, which would have resulted in two things: I would have become certifiably retarded from watching Mario Lopez at 7:40 a.m. (Seriously foks, I think the FDA passed a law saying no Screeh or Mario Lopez that early in the morning. Their third rate acting ability has been known to cause spontaneous/permanent blindness, infertility, and deafness). The second event that would have occurred is this: I would have missed the announcement of the successsful completion of "Operation Exposure."

Admittedly, up until 7:42 a.m. this morning, I had never heard of "Operation Exposure." But as Lucy Noland explained in the "Today's Big Story" segment, I learned that the New York City Police Department had been running a sting operation to catch perverts on the New York City subways. I can't remember the exact number of people arrested, but apparently there are quite a few dry humpers and testicle displayers on the subway. Admittedly, I felt a little jipped. I ride the subway at least twice a day, and I've never been dry humped or witnessed a pair of nuts. A girl grabbed my boob once, but only because she fell into me when the train jerked. I would try to rationalize that maybe that "girl" was actually a dude, but she was definitely a girl. Man, what a rip off.

Ed. note: After investigating, I believe I have found why my hatred for Anne Craig goes so deep:

She shares the same last name of someone I have emotional isues with.

And more importantly...

She got her start in Orlando, Florida. If it wasn't for those dumb asses in that state, I wouldn't be suffering through her shitty skits every morning.

Note to Florida: You're on my list.

BREAKING NEWS: "MUFFIN TOP" PHENOMENON RAGES ON (originally posted on July 21, 2006)

I was once a fat girl. I came to this realization the summer before my junior year of college. I was walking down Mass. Street with my friend Mike Baumhover. I was wearing my 1997 Beck Odelay tour teeshirt, GAP jeans, and a scarf in my hair, because at that time, I had really short hair. I looked like the poster child for bull dyke lesbian.

It was the middle of the afternoon so one could see their reflection in the store windows, and that's when I saw it. My fat ass was staring back at myself and I realized just how ginormous I had become. It was an upsetting moment. I decided to take up jogging at that very second.

After incorporating exercise into my daily routine, I realized I still wasn't losing any weight. I decided to join Weight Watchers, and in 9 months I lost almost 40 pounds. It was a great feeling.

Now that you have the background history, I feel like I have a certain right to be incredibly judgemental of fat girls. I can't help it. If my "eat two extra large servings of soft serve ice cream twice a day" fat ass can get into shape, so can anybody. So when it comes to the "muffin top" phenomenon sweeping my city, I have an opinion.

The one question I ask is this: Is it really comfortable to have your body fat squeeze out over the top of your ill fitting pants? Is it really comfortable to have a zipper imprint permanently implanted in your gut? I wouldt hink the answer would be a resounding "no," but if you walk around the Union Square area of New York City on any given day, then you might wonder otherwise.

According to, the following is the definition of a "muffin top":

1. A word coined by australian comidiennes Kath and Kim, meaning when a woman wears a pair of tight jeans that makes her flab spill out over the waistband, just like the top of a muffin sits over the edge of the paper case.

2. A member of the female sex who adorns herself prodominantly in clothing too small for herself, creating an effect of her figure spilling out over the top of her pants, resembling the top of a muffin. Muffin tops are generally unaware of their condition, and typically even believe that they are MORE attractive than non-muffin tops. These females are very easily spotted in nearly all social events, and the muffin tops even parade themselves about in a way to advertise their willingness to participate in sexual activity with willing members of BOTH sexes. Most of the time, muffin tops can be found in the pressence of and under the influence of alcohol and other substances.

Now that you, the reader, are familar with the term, I'll continue.

Understandably, as the UrbanDictionary definition mentions, muffin tops are quite common among the drunken bar scene. Composure is lost after 3 or 4 Smirnoff Ices, so understandably, the task of sucking it in while pulling down ones shirt is considered tragically difficult. But what possesses these girls to go out in the first place dressed in too small clothes.

Katrina Gugenberger, West New York, New Jersey resident, is quite familar with the concept of the muffin top. On a daily basis, Gugenberger sees about five and half muffin tops, on average.

"Muffin tops are a travesty. Stores like Lane Bryant exist solely to prevent such a phenomenon and apparent social virus," said Gugenberger. "We need to spread the word and donate to the Latina Muffin Top Education Fund (LMTEF)."

Gugenberger brings up an interesting point: The muffin top phenomenon is demographically skewed. Its prevelance is most noticeably in the Latin women population. Whether it stems from better body image issues, not putting emphasis on ones weight, etc., is yet to be determined.

Men are just as confounded by this trend. Mike Dory, Jersey City resident, said, "It's one of the most disturbing things I'll see on any given day."

In recent reports (recent report meaning the author keeping a tally while she walks to get food during her lunch break), an average of 10 to 15 muffin tops can be spotted, and that's only a small sample, considering that the research was conducted in only a two block by two block radius.

Damien Ragsdale, Spanish Harlem resident, is living smack dab in the center of the epidemic. As muffin tops ravage the northeast part of Manhattan, the slender Ragsdale has strong opinions.

"Well, i can begin by stating that i'm against muffin tops more than i'm against, say, bird flu," said Ragsdale. "It's the ..1 cause of spontaneous eye hemorrhaging among dudes."

Obviously, the muffin top is a burgeoning crisis that the residents of New York City need to address. Is this the possible end of New York City's reign as "Fashion Capital of the World"? That remains to be seen.

Does Tom Cruise have strong feelings towards cheese pizza like he does antidepressants? (originally posted on August 8, 2006)

Today at work, the Senior Vice President of our company ordered pizza for the participants of a meeting, and I was lucky enough to be one of those participants.

I've begun to think that when you live in New York, it's somewhat of an obligation to talk about the best pizza you've ever eaten while eating pizza. Everyone talks of Grimaldi's in DUMBO, Brooklyn and then the various other pizza eateries throughout the city. And it never fails to raise a few eyebrows and conjure some doubtful glances when I say that the best pizza I've ever eaten was in Lawrence, Kansas.

Most people have no opinion of Kansas, which is both a good and bad thing. Outsiders see it as boring, a place where nothing happens. Some see it as the Bible Belt of America, while others think the entire population is made up of farmers. Considering that the state is smack dab in the middle of the United States, it's essentially a foreign territory, much like the rest of the Midwest to people not born and raised there, but I digress...

Lawrence, Kansas was my home for four of the greatest years of my life thus far. The University of Kansas is there, my leap from teenager to adult was made there, and more importantly, it's the city where I first started to figure out who I was, or at least who I wanted to be in the future. And in the middle of all of this was Rudy's Pizza.

Rudy's was this little hole in the wall eatery off of Mass. and 7th Street. You had to walk downstairs to get to the place, and it was very easy to walk by without noticing. However, it had a sort of local legend behind it, and on Wednesday nights the place was packed wall to wall with a line all the way to the front door. On Wednesdays, the management marked down the prices to $3 for a small pizza, $5 for medium pizza, and $7 for a large. It was a great deal, and have I mentioned how good that pizza is?

I'm a fan of simple pizza. By this I mean I like plain old cheese pizza. No frills. But Rudy's had the ability to make no frills pizza deliciously "frilly." They had almost anything you could imagine putting on pizza on the toppings menu, and the front counter staff was always pleasant when people requested weird orders. I believe it was mandatory to be an avid fan of marijuana in order to work in the kitchen at Rudy's. I think this stemmed from the fact that the owner was a devoted Grateful Dead fan, adoring the walls of the restaurant with his Grateful Dead ticket stubs and other memorabilia. There was a wall that ALWAYS had the fliers for the best shows coming to Lawrence (which arguably has one of the best music scenes in the United States), as well as various posters for debut albums, yoga classes, and art gallery openings. It was warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and quite honestly, you couldn't say anything bad about the place.

For me, Rudy's was a social outlet. I briefly dated one of the cooks there (Hi Aaron...hope you are still enjoying China). I had a Wednesday night dinner date there with my good friend Bryan Anderson (Hi Bryan, hope married life is treating you well), and every week or so, I would meet up with my long time friend Wood for an after-class late lunch. Diane and I would occasionally pick up some pizza for dinner, and if someone was visiting me from out of town, I made sure they always got to try Rudy's.

Rudy's was the site that Diane and reconciled after a two month long fight, and it was the site where we agreed that dancing on stage in animal costumes at a Flaming Lips show was actually a good idea. Rudy's was the place we went to cry over break ups, and it was the restaurant of choice to cure hang overs.

In that tiny restaurant, I moaned about relationships, about college life, not having any money, hoping to graduate in four years, why I liked summer school, how I missed Scotland and how I missed someone there, and what waited for me and all of my friends after May of 2004: The day we all knew meant we would no longer have our close knit friends, our romanticized downtown life that took place essentially between New Hampshire Street to Iowa Street, from 23rd Street to 6th Street. Rudy's was a safe haven, a place we were guaranteed good music, good times, and really fucking good pizza.

My last day in Lawrence was May 22, 2004. I had graduated the day before, and I was leaving for Edinburgh, Scotland with a one-way ticket at 4:12 p.m. My parents were still in town and were planning on driving me to the airport, and one of my best friends, Laurel, wanted to have one last lunch together. Obviously, I chose Rudy's. It had been the site of so many good times during my life in Lawrence that it only seemed fitting to wrap everything up there. But Rudy's was closed that day. I guess that "Closed for repairs" sign hung in their window was pretty prolific in regards to what was to become of the next almost two years of my life. My entire being was "closed for repairs" for the next two years. It was the time where I realized how hard it was to be that far away from home and growing up in ways I wasn't quite ready to. It was a time period where I learned how much I needed my friends and family, and a time where I realized just how much I love those two groups of people in my life. It was a time where I realized what I wanted and what I was capable of giving. And it was a time where I learned how it felt to have a broken heart. I had to repair the confidence I had lost, the space left in my heart, and it was the beginning of me having to find myself again.

I was back in Lawrence, Kansas for the first time this past June. It was just over two years since I had left, and I have to say I had mixed feelings about the visit. Most of my close friends had moved on, scattered across the country, keeping in touch at times, others disappearing for good. My usual haunts were still there and hadn't changed one bit. The Replay was still the Replay, just with a bigger beer garden. The Bourgeois Pig was still the Pig, and it's still my most favorite bar in Lawrence. But the highlight of my trip was my dinner at Rudy's. Four of my closest friends came out to see me, and it was as if we had never split up in the first place. We talked about what each of us was up to, how we were adjusting to working life, who was dating who, and other usual stuff. We continued the reunion down to the Pig where we sat out front all night, smoking cigarettes, drinking Boulevard Wheat, and talking about how each of us has changed in the past two years. Diane had moved to Kansas City and had a new job, Mike B. was getting ready to move to Minneapolis to pursue his dream of working in the recording industry, Jeff was in Kansas City trying to make a difference in the world, and Wood was a few weeks shy of moving to Brooklyn, New York. Out of all of us, I think I had the most hodge podge story: Moved to Scotland, had my whole plan fall apart in front of me, moved to New York, floundered for a year, and am now on track again, happy with where I am and with what I'm doing for the first time in almost two years.

So when people raise their eyebrows about the best pizza in the world being in Lawrence, Kansas, I just remember that I was one of the lucky ones that got to experience that life for four years in a hidden city in northeast Kansas, downstairs in a hole in the wall pizza joint.

So I heard Hitler liked Philly cheesesteaks. (originally posted on September 18, 2006)

I've been meaning to write about this for a while, and I honestly thought I would forget about the topic. However, the idea keeps popping up in my mind, so I've decided to purge these thoughts into an electronic forum. So here it goes: I hate Phlly cheesesteaks.

Up until 2004, I didn't have an opinion of Philly cheesesteaks. My knowledge of the sandwich came from the hit television show "Fresh Prince Of Bel Aire" where Will Smith portrayed a character from Philadelphia. The subject of Philly cheesesteaks came up often enough for me to remember. I'm guessing it was attempt to give Will Smith some Philadelphia street cred, but I think we can all agree that any street cred Mr. Smith may have had went out the window with such hits as "MIB: Men in Black," "MIB II: Men in Black II," and "I, Robot." Does anyone else remember that crap video for the "Men in Black" movie theme song? God, someone stick a fork in that guy. Is he even really from Philadelphia? Ah fuck it. I don't care.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah. Phillly cheesesteaks.

It was February of 2004. I needed a part time job to fund an adventure I was planning to take just after I graduated from college, and it just so happened that a restaurant was opening up in the building I lived in. "How convenient would it be to take an elevator three floors down and be at work," I thought. I'm guessing this was the laziness in me. Why should I walk more than ten feet to a job I didn't want any way? If it's not by elevator, I didn't want any part of it. So luckily for me, PepperJax Grill was opening up on the ground floor of my building, and more importantly, they were willing to hire me.

Now let me explain a few things:

1. I was desperate for money. I had credit card debt to pay off (note: I still have credit card debt to pay off). I needed to make a fair sum of money to not only save for my trip but to pay off money I owed Capital One, Bank of America, etc.

2. I knew I only had roughly around four months left in Lawrence, Kansas, so I wasn't really concerned with my image.

3. I didn't realize that i was this close to working in fast food until one day I realized I was standing over a fry machine wearing a sun visor, which matched my polo shirt, both emblazoned with the PepperJax Grill logo. Friends, It was a defnining moment in my life. I believe anyone about to graduate from college who finds themselves standing over a massive vat of boiling grease has the same thought: "OHMYFUCKINGODI'MMAKINGFRENCHFRIES!" It's a humbing experience. You never really forget that feeling.

So it was at this job that I learned to hate Philly cheesesteaks. The cheesesteak was the main item on the menu, which i found funny for multiple reasons.

A. The man who started the restaurant chain was from Nebraska, and his name is Gary Rohwer. He was a cowboy to be exact. He had invented a certain way to cut a piece of meat that allowed it to cook faster, thereby revolutionizing the meat cooking industry (and yes, that is a real industry. Go take an aspirin, I understand completely). I can't remember the guy's name, but he was a millionaire. (I've learned from the website that Gary has "several well-established sandwich shops in Philadelphia." Funny they never mentioned this to their employees...To see the full story behind PepperJax Grill, visit

The cheesesteaks served at PepperJax Grill had no tie what so ever to Philadelphia. I don't even know if this Gary Rohwer had ever been to Philadelphia. The meat came from the midwest, the buns from another random state, and the vegetables from Mexico I'm guessing. So our philly cheesesteaks were actually bastard cheesesteaks. No one really knew who their father was or where they came from. And this thought makes me happy.

Upon doing a Google search this evening, I learned that PepperJax Grill now has a website. On this website, they refer to Gary Rohwer as a "legend." All I have to say about this is that the man wore skin tight jeans and cowboy boots every day, and he had no idea how to make his own product. Legend? John Lennon was a legend. The Knights of the Round Table were legends. The man who revolutionized the partnership between the Philly cheesesteak and "casual-quick dining" a legend? Gag. Me. With. A. Spoon.

Instead of describing what the rest of the menu consisted of, I've taken the liberty of just posting it below. The online version of this menu can also be found here:

Famous PhillyWhat legends are made of grilled to order and perfectly seasoned steak, chicken or veggies with loads of sautéed red or green peppers, onions and mushrooms taken right off the grill and piled over fresh cheese lining the inside of a hearth baked Italian roll. And if youre into messing with perfection, try any of our 40 additional fresh toppings to make it your own famous recipe.

Giant WrapOur wraps are made fresh to order starting with your choice of the finest steak, chicken, shrimp or veggies, seasoned and grilled to perfection with sautéed onions, peppers or mushrooms. Top that with vegetarian black or pinto beans, rice, fresh vegetables, salsa, sour cream, or any of our 40 different toppings. We wrap it up neatly in a jumbo flour tortilla, but thats where the neatness ends, because this is truly a knife and fork monstrosity.

Gourmet Rice BowlOur gourmet rice bowls start with a generous bowl of freshly steamed long grain rice, seasoned, then topped with grilled to order steak, chicken, shrimp or veggies, perfectly seasoned and sautéed with onions, peppers or mushrooms. Top that with vegetarian black or pinto beans, fresh vegetables, salsa, sour cream, or any of PepperJax special sauces for that extra kick you are looking for.

Fresh SaladFor the health and carb conscious, try our perfectly seasoned and grilled to order steak, chicken, shrimp or veggies over a generous bed of mixed greens. Top it off with any or our 40 different fresh toppings, sauces and dressings for a meal that is much more than just a salad.

First off, I feel that any claim to any of the food at this restaurant being healthy is ridiculous, and even Helen Keller would notice how outrageous this claim was...and I'm talking Helen Keller without her helper.

For instance, the rice bowl comes with a pound of rice. Yeah, you heard me. A FUCKING POUND OF RICE! Who needs that? Who needs a pound of rice?! Then add on top of that a huge portion of the meat of your choice, vegetables, and then all the unhealthy condiments, and not only do you have a meal big enough to feed a family of four, but you've got a meal that is only being consumed by one PepperJax Grill customer!

After spending four months as a PepperJax employee, I jumped ship. I had a month left until graduation, I had moved out of my loft by then, and was now living with my good friend Diane, sleeping on her couch. I no longer could rely on the elevator to take me to work. Instead, i was expected to walk six blocks to get there. So I stopped going. I hated that job more than any other job I've ever had. Having to seriously ask "Would you like fries with that?" is single handedly the most humiliating experience of my entire life. Call me a snob, but I didn't go to college to serve up this shit.

Philly cheesesteaks remind me of my lowest point. Philly cheesesteaks remind of how much I gave up to achieve a goal that I was never going to obtain. Philly cheesesteaks are the modern day Holocaust. They make people fat, they cause heart attacks...ok...maybe not the modern day Holocaust, but they are pretty close. Give them a few more years, and they'll wipe enough people for someone to start noticing.

To wrap this all up, and just in case you are as irritated with the Philly cheesesteak as much as I am, PepperJax Grill has actually posted a testimonials section on their website. Now lets all sit down together...and imagine the kind of people who submit testiomonials to a pseudo-Philly cheesesteak restaurant's website. Have you barfed on your keyboard yet? I have. Enjoy!

Testimonials (
"How fun! I enjoyed watching my food being grilled right in front of me!"
- Mary

"You won't leave hungry, the portions are HUGE!!"
- Bill

"The rice bowls and salads are a healthy alternative to sandwiches."
- Diane

"Probably the most overstuffed Phillies I have ever seen. Quite delicious mixture of meat and spices. If you get a double meat, get a lot of napkins, it can be a bit messy. It's worth a visit!"
- Michael

"The food is phenomenal! If you are in the mood to be impressed, stop in and let the guys behind the counter wow you."
- B.W.

"Great place for lunch. The Steak Phillies are awesome. Try the variety of sauces, offered both at the condiment bar and on the table."
- J.K.

"My family and I are absolutely addicted to this place. We all have different favorites and I haven't tried anything here that I didn't love. Besides great food, I love that its a smoke-free environment."
- Lesley

Meat-based psychic predictions. (originally posted October 26, 2006)

I'm not a morning person, and this point has been magnified since I moved to my new apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. My room is in the back of the apartment. Therefore, I never receive much light into my bedroom in the mornings, or ever for that matter. So imagine being snug in bed, warm and cozy, in a dark room. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. You wouldn't want to get out of bed either.

Because of this lack of wanting to go outside and function like a normal human being in the morning, I tend to be somewhat groggy until I get to work and actually start having to use my brain.

My typical commute consists of a five to ten minute walk to the Bedford Avenue L train stop, a 10 to 15 minute ride into the city (which only consists of four stops, but with the crowds, it feels like a lot longer), and in the end, I end up at 14th Street and 6th Avenue. I then walk up 6th Avenue, take a right onto to 17th Street and walk about half a block, and presto. I'm at work.

On my journey from the subway station to the office, I walk past a multitude of businesses, restaurants, fruit stands, bagel carts, etc. But last Tuesday, I saw the most glorious business ever. Outside of a shop located between 14th and 15th Street on 6th Avenue, there was a sign. And this sign, as if singlng from the heavens, said the following: "Ham and Tarot Card Readings."

My god! What could a ham possibly have to say?! What a magnificent idea! Perhaps my future lies in the honey glazed predictive powers of a lunch meat! Sadly, the preceeding statements were actual thoughts of mine. And what's even more depressing is that I actually stopped on the sidewalk and thought this. I wasn't counting the seconds, but this lasted all about 30 of them. After I focused in on the sign again, I realized it didn't say "ham," but instead said "palm." Palm and Tarot Card Readings is what was being advertised. Well that's pretty fucking boring.

I think the most shocking part of this is that I actually considered going into this place of business when I thought they could read a ham. Was I supposed to bring in a ham? Is there such a thing as "my ham"? What constitutes a ham being close enough to me that would it allow it know my future? Would I tell this ham my secrets? Would I confide in the ham when I had a bad day? Would I take the ham with me when I ran errands? How deeply would I be with this ham? If you've made it this far into the story, or just this far in this particular paragraph, you've essentially just taken a field trip into my brain. I know, it's sort of weird.

Now excuse me, my pack of frozen hot dogs and I are going to watch Law and Order.

"You have the biggest pupils I've ever seen...suprised you're not a pothead." -- My Optometrist (originally posted November 1, 2006)

I had my first eye exam since the late 90s today. I believe it was 1999 that I last had my eyes checked and got glasses, so I've been rocking the same frames since my junior year of high school. luckily, i had simple taste in glasses back then, because according to my optometrist, my frames are still considered "stylish" by the glasses industry.

My optometrist also made another observation during my visit. While checking my eyes and vision, she noted that I had, by far, the largest undilated pupils she'd ever seen. And then she uttered this little gem: "I'm suprised you haven't been mistaken for a pot head your entire life..." I didn't really know what to say, but I guess that's kinda awesome? Right?

My entire life people have commented on my eyes. I've been asked if I'm half Asian or Hispanic among other things due to their shape and color. People have also commented on the pupil issue, saying that it often looks like I simply have giant block dots, with no discernible iris. I've never been sure if this is being said in a complimentary fashion.

Since the pupil is what regulates the amount of light entering the eye, I must be taking in qutie a bit of the surrounding light, so I'd like to think that I'm possibly acting as an energy reserve. Perhaps people will look to me in the future for ideas on how to conserve power and energy. I'll be reveered for my massive pupils.

On another positive note, for people with obese pupils, a researcher named Dr. Eckhard Hess theorized that the larger the pupil, the more sexually attractive you are considered. So essentially all of you reading this are dry humping your keyboards just by me mentioning my larger than life pupils. I'm flattered in a weird way?

Ass sweat for the weary. (originally posted December 27, 2006)

Last night, I sat on a plane for 3.5 hours. It was a small plane, just three seats across, so ultimately, you could say it was designed to be one of the most horrendous transportation vessels created. To top it off, the small air valve above my seat wasn't working. As a result, I learned first hand how hot airplanes can be.

About an hour in, I realized my ass was sweating. Now, everyone has experienced this if you've ever been in temperatures above 80 degrees. It's a state of anxiety almost, as you don't know if you will have wet stains on the back of your clothes once you stand up, and because of this you panic and in the end sweat more. It might be the bitchiest of the bitchiest catch 22 situations.

So for 3.5 hours, I endured a sweaty ass. I couldn't get comfortable because of the heat, so somewhere above Iowa, I gave up the idea of napping and assessed my situation. I was hot. Everyone is asleep around me. I'm in a capsule to hell. Check. Considering that I was essentially alone, I stared out the window and found myself eventually thinking about my current situation, not just what was presently happening.

I share a love/hate relationship with airplanes. I'm not afraid of flying, but I sort of dread boarding planes. Nothing good has ever come of walking through an airport departure terminal, and I consistently find myself with a knot in my throat every time the security checkpoint checks my ticket and allows me through to the gates. For me, I'm always leaving something behind. More importantly, I'm leaving someone behind.

My hatred of general aviation began the winter of 2005, which subsequently was the worst year of my life thus far. That January, I had traipsed unwillingly through the departure terminal at Edinburgh International Airport for what I didn't know was the last time (at least for the next two years). Unfortunately, there were things I couldn't store in the overhead compartment or check in at the ticketing counter, and as a result, the most important thing in my life at the time was left behind, standing in the general common area of the airport, waving goodbye and eventually walking away. Part of me knew that things were finished, but the definitive end was still three days away. Leaving your heart overseas is difficult. Passport control makes it very difficult to retrieve.

Because of this experience, I'm constantly reminded of a broken heart every time I'm in an airport. Instinctually, I look around the terminals when I find myself in such a place, scanning for that one familiar face I lost two years ago, always keeping my eyes open for that chance meeting. Every passenger passes through my vision, but to no avail. The person I'm looking for is never there.

Sitting on the plane from Oklahoma City to Newark, I realized that I'm in a constant state of flux. My plane rides are a transitory period where I have no boundaries, no limits, no home. I'm neither here nor there, and all it takes is one airline ticket to change this status. Because of this state of nothingness, one can take on roles. No one knows you; no one knows where you're from or where your ultimate destination is. Trying out new accents, various stories about where I'm going and why, etc. are some of my all time favorite activities. I don't completely lie to these strangers. I just, how do you say, make myself more interesting? Basically, who wants to hear about an average girl from the Midwest who has done nothing really to speak of when they can hear about a young Australian who grew up in six different countries with seven brothers and sisters and is now traveling to London to take up her course at the London School of Art? I'm proud of my ability to make up these stories, and as far as I can tell, people believe them. Maybe they just want to believe them, because same as me; their lives leave something to be desired in the adventure department.

Last night, however, I had no one to talk to. No stories to tell, no fake accents to perfect. For 3.5 hours, I lamented on the people I've left behind in all those departure terminals, fighting the loneliness I feel somewhere above empty spaces I can't identify from being so high up.

Blubber in the morning, blubber in the evening, blubber at supper time... (originally posted January 2, 2007)

It's midnight right now, and I've been attempting to fall asleep for the past thirty minutes, but to no avail. I find that in this type of situation, if I lie on my stomach and let my toes touch the metal frame at the end of my bed, I can typically doze off. Don't ask why this is because frankly, I don't have a clue. But tonight, no stomach laying, toe touching metal remedy seems to be working.

A few weeks ago, i reconnected with an old friend. We were chatting about random things, as we do, and I brought up my futuristic dog of the future that I plan on buying in the future. His name will be Loafy, and I brought up the topic of how sometimes when I wash my hands, I say the name "Loafy" out loud, sort of quiet and melodically, while rinsing the soap off. True friend that he is, he shared that he often thinks of the word "apple" when he can't think of another word. Tonight, I find myself mentally repeating the word "blubber." Blubber. Blubber. Bllllluuuubbbbeeerrrr. Blu-bber. You see what I mean?

Earlier this evening, I was lying on the couch channel flipping, as one does when their roommate is out of town and one is bored in the apartment alone. For those who don't really know me, you should know I watch only a few things, and typically this involves the word "syndication." Seinfeld, The Simpsons, and Law and Order (and the offshoots thereof) are the only programs I view on a regular basis. But tonight, I broadened my horizons. I ventured past channel 40. I went into the no man's land known as "Above Channel 41." And it was good.

Now I'm not sure what channel Discovery Health is on, but if you ever want to experience being frozen in time, both horrified and a bit ill to the stomach, watch this channel. First off, the minute I landed on this gold mine, a new show was just starting, and boy...was it a show. The focus was on fat people. And I'm not talking about muffin tops or the run of the mill lard ass you see orgasming in Whole Foods near the free maccaroons tray. These people were what they deemed "morbidly obese." For example, one woman's leg, and yes, i meant SINGULAR leg, weighed over 200 pounds. Are you still there? Did I just blow your mind? No? How about this: One man was so fat that he was crushing his lungs with his own body weight. There. Mind has sufficiently been blown.

Now I know some of you are probably thinking "God, that Mary Ann is so superficial. Who does she think she is judging overweight people like she does?" Well, let me begin by saying "Go piss up a rope." Secondly, I used to be fat, so I can talk all I want. Granted, I was 30 pounds overweight, not morbidly obese by any means, but fat is fat folks. Thirdly, if someone is so fat that they can't roll over by themselves or fit into the back of a mini van, I'm sorry. But you're fair game as far as I'm concerned.

While watching some of the surgeries being performed on the show, I was both completely grossed out and in what might possibly have been a catatonic state. For those of you that have watched scary movies with me, or perhaps watched me witness the killing of a bunny with an Indian throwing stick, you've seen my famous "cover my eyes with my hands but watch through my ring and middle finger" maneuver. Well, I'm proud to say that I was sitting on the edge of the couch, hands down to my sides, wide eyed. The surgery I was viewing was called "debulking," and at times, they would remove twenty pounds of flesh from various parts of these peoples bodies. Oddly enough, I had a brief moment of nostalgia where I was taken back to 11th grade zoology class when we would watch whaling videos. I'm not trying to be mean here, but when they would carve up an get my drift.

I know I sound cruel. I know I've probably lost about ten friends just by writing this post. But lets be fair here. We all get hungry. We all sneak that extra cupcake every once in a while. I mean, I'm 25 years old and I ate popcorn for breakfast the other day, so I'm fully aware that my dietary habits leave alot to be desired. And I'll be the first to admit that I've been known to drunkenly buy ice cream cakes and eat them in my underwear on the couch during the summer (god bless the Summer of 2005)*. But did I buy the king size ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins for a snack? No. I ate off of it for a few days. Did I top off that cake with a three course meal? No. Because I eat like a four year old. I ate the cake and I was happy! My point is this: I can't feel sorry for someone that eats four dozen crates of twinkies every day. If you are so fat that you can't physically roll over? Not. My. Problem. Perhaps when seeing your feet, testicles, or anything else that falls south of the border becomes something you strive for, one should ponder this: Now I know eating this entire cream filled cookie cake SOUNDS like a good idea, but I'm not even sure if I HAVE genitalia anymore...

On that note, I'm off to eat the left over Halloween candy I found on the bottom kitchen shelf. Thank god Tootsie Rolls have no expiration date.

* The summer of 2005 was a hot summer in New York. I was still living in the Lower East Side at the time, and one night while drunkenly walking home from Bull's on St. Mark's Place, the memories of ice cream cake from my youth came flooding back. I decided that the six block walk to the Baskin Robbins on Delancey and whatever that street is was doable, so I trekked east. I probably did this journey six or seven more times over the course of the summer, each morning waking up with dried icing around my mouth and chocolate on my teeth wondering "What in the hell...? OH! Goody! Cookies'n'Cream for breakfast!!!" I would then proceed to sit in my underwear on either the couch or directly in front of my window unit air conditioning system and eat the cake. Judge all you want. I actually LOST weight that summer, and I'm proud to say my diet consisted of microwave meals, beer, and cake. Fuck. Off.

El masturbation es malo. (originally posted January 11, 2007)

My new Brooklyn apartment is home to many things. Obviously, it's home to me. It's my place of refuge, blue bedroom walls and all. If I'm not clambering about the city or the neighborhood, I'm probably napping or reading in my room. It might be small, but it's got character.

When I moved into my new place, I painted my bedroom walls blue, with the exception of the brick wall. The color reminded me of a tapestry I saw in a house in Hempstead Heath outside of London, something that involved ornate flowers. It also reminded me of some kick ass eye shadow I bought in the ninth grade, and this is probably what actually compelled me to buy. Tapestries are for pussies. At this point, the walls have been decorated with an antique map of the London underground and two framed record albums: A limited edition Madonna Japanese import album and a Blondie record. There are also some various photos that have been framed, along with one of my diplomas. The journalism diploma is shoved somewhere amongst my book collection, still in the envelope the university registrar mailed it in. How appropriate.

The lighting in my room is perfect. It makes anyone look like have clear skin, which is something that I appreciate. It's as if the light fixture was installed just for me. Thanks unintentional mood lighting!

However, the best part of the room is the sound effects. Mind you, they aren't coming from inside my room, but instead filtering in from the apartments around me. Every Saturday and Sunday, I can hear one neighbor practicing his songwriting and guitar playing skills, and I have to say, he's quite good. He also has good taste in music, as he too has identified the one good Del Amitri song ever recorded.

The other neighbor starts every morning off by blaring various Mexican radio stations. I think it may be a radio alarm clock, as I can hear him slamming down on something and then the music/chatter suddenly stops. Also, this event occurs every day at the same time: 7:40 a.m.

The upstairs neighbor is, by far, the most entertaining/disturbing. An elderly man, he's most likely been smoking since the 19330s when he was born. His hacking is the most outrageous thing I've ever heard, both in pitch and length. It's actually quite amazing.

Today, however, the cough was not what I heard. Instead, I was awoke with the following:


Yes my friends, the elderly Mexican man was spanking it. Jerking off. Mas-tur-ba-ting. Due to the fact that it woke me up, my reaction was slow. At first I thought, "What radio station is that?" Then "I hope he isn't dying." And then finally "Whoa, maybe he just saw Jesus...OHMYGODHEWASWHACKINGIT!"

Have you ever experienced a moment when you couldn't move? Your body was completely frozen in time. I imagine this happens to victims of crime, or witnesses to an accident. But I too have borne witness. And the auditory hell I was forced to endure of an elderly Mexican man waxing his pole is enough to put one into a comatose like state. I feel like for a short time, I knew what it felt like to be Terri Schiavo...minus the real coma and the bloodthirsty husband.

My roommate shared that the previous occupant of my room had heard the same thing. She too, had been disgusted, as I believe anyone would be. But to be fair, if he can keep up this sort of schedule, it would be nice to have a back up alarm clock in the mornings...