Saturday, March 26, 2005


that was a crazy couple of blogdays there. in addition to several other small irritations that accumulated over the course of the week, it helped tip me over the edge at 1:05 pm Friday, at which i could feel the spirit of my little brother rising in me. my little brother who used to throw everything that wasn't nailed down while cursing the so-damn-throwable world, who was so enviable to me when i was only two years older but much more firmly stuck inside my head in an interminable, inescapable cocktail party with Inhibition, Anxiety, and Second-Thoughts -- his spirit rose and i wanted to smack Inhibition in the head with a computer monitor, drop-kick Anxiety into the coffee machine, and impale Second-Thoughts on a microphone.

i did none of those things, of course. if i ever were to, i think my little brother is the first person i would call: he would understand immediately. sometimes you have to make a little noise.

instead i calmed down. i used a giftcard to buy dry and curled up in an east village diner with it, a milkshake, some french fries, and an omelette. later, for dessert: strangers with candy.

this morning, i fixed my website, but: no more comments. at least no more from the external server i'd been using. sad! help me out by making more. if only to mention something i left off the blogroll in trying to reconstitute it.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

trading spaces

over at finslippy, the question "is the only thing worse than being finslippy in brooklyn being finslippy outside brooklyn?" generated over 100 responses. a complicated question. though i didn't offer my two cents, i read everyone else's and discovered people sure are passionate (and defensive!) about their lifestyle choices.

me, i grew up in a city. on unicorn lane, yes, but within the technical boundaries of washington dc. the closest i've ever come to spending an extended period of time not in a city was being at swarthmore for four years -- and even then i had a train that stopped at the foot of campus and deposited me in between skyscrapers. the question of whether to move out of a city becomes academic to me. how could i consider it? i have no frame of reference. i'm like a child that wanders into a movie ... and by the way, dude, chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. asian-american, please.

you might not think "city mouse" to look at me. i know that. i don't wear heels, for one thing. if i did they'd always get stuck in sidewalk grates. i don't have a sidekick, a blackberry, or an ipod. i must blend in to a certain degree though because people are always asking me for directions. and sometimes other things:

BUSINESS SUITED MAN IN ELEVATOR: (furrowing brow at chocolate bunny)
ME IN ELEVATOR: (standing quietly)
MAN: (suddenly turning to me) is this bunny angry?
ME: (peering) i'm not getting angry exactly ... he's definitely feeling something; that is a strange expression on his face. oh, i got it. he's sneezing. he's mid-sneeze.
MAN: (peering) you're absolutely right. you're absolutely right. ... how am i going to sell that?
ME: it's allergy season?
MAN: great idea!

i wonder if i can be happy in the long-term in this city without being either brilliant in art or brilliant in business. it seems like those are your two options. in the short-term, i'm quite happy with a free internet connection and a tofuti cutie.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

miracles. you know, from god

i wore my new pair of thigh-high stockings today and i think i'm in love. for some reason, it took me a long time to track down a pair: either they were expensive or in not-safe-for-work 80s colors. or, worst of all, they were sold in the back of stores in the Slut Section with the crotchless panties and nylon body-suits and i was scared if i picked one of the rack some kind of Slut Alarm would sound and before i knew it, congress would be passing legislation about me. no thank you.

H&M finally came to my rescue, and i've never been so happy to wear stockings in my life. not having that tight feeling around your belly is bliss. but enough about women's intimates. here's the other amazing purchase -- well, potential purchase -- to make me thrilled:

an ibook g4! only $999, with free shipping, and it's cute and small and portable. excellent qualities in a computer. also, it got five stars on epinions, by real dorks too! my parents were just giving me advice about how to use the money i've been saving, and while they had helpful suggestions along the lines of CDs and IRAs, i'm sure they meant to recommend a new laptop.

it wouldn't be necessary, except my laptop is throwing fits like a teenage girl: shutting down for no reason, refusing to communicate with me, being all needy. it won't function unless it's plugged in. and (see below) the w key exists in a precarious, semi-attached state. the q's on a slant, too. and it's only a year old!

anyone have any great reasons why i shouldn't get an ibook? or switch to macs in general? i'm such a mac person at heart, i feel like this is getting in touch with my true self. it just feels ... right.

oh heavens. speaking of right, i just unrolled and removed my stockings. i am a dead ringer for Mrs. Robinson.

Monday, March 21, 2005

My Roommate's Cat

poem in progress

My roommate’s cat tried to kill her
This was the first (cat) (sign)
Like a vampyre,
he punctured right at the wrist mistaking her
for a virgin
no doubt her blood tasted sour
He spat it out, detached, and her blood
performed Olympic feats: highjumping! tumbling! hurdling!

My roommate’s cat
had the right idea

I took the opposite approach: when she yelled
I mewed
She kept yelling

But she had a soft spot for the cats
One after the other, when their claws
clamped down on that soft spot she said,
They’re only playing

My roommate’s cat –
-- the second one -- assimilated heat
like the Borg. anywhere he could find it, he pounced, absorbed
it all. Radiator Lap Keyboard ... When I tried
to pry him off, he took my W key with him. O fare_ell dubya!
I never thought I'd miss you yet here I am
_ithout hope, _ishing helplessly
for my _ords back, _istfully _himpering (small comfort:
a _, by itself, provides _eak _armth.)

My roommate named her cats
absurd things like Gumbo Ginsberg
and Soda Pop. no matter how many lashes
they inflicted, she never learned to flee from them
though I’m no better
How long did it take me, after all? to flee from her

Saturday, March 19, 2005

save ferris!

poor terry schiavo. fifteen years of assisted-pseudo-living and of listening to her husband fight with her parents, dealing with jeb bush's attempts to insert tubes in her inert body (who would want jeb that near their orifices?), and all the while becoming the focus of the most galvanizing, bitter fight over a woman-as-symbol since citizen ruth. and all because -- why? she didn't eat her bananas?

get the government out of my precious bodily fluids, that's what i say. congress has no business going to such absurd lengths to keep a judge's ruling from being enacted, and one woman's halflife should not be the priority of our nation's government, i don't care who she is. the steroid use of baseball players shouldn't be either, in my opinion. who cares? of COURSE they used steroids. of course michael jackson molested little boys. these things have been punchlines for years. why now this outrage over the obvious?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

flex capacitor

in response to the crushing wave of curiousity, i felt impelled to post: yes, i moved, and the move went fine. in fact, now that we have the Monster's check safely tucked away, i could tell as many Monster stories as i like!

the Monster, for those of you to whom she has not been technically introduced, is also known as the Harridan and my (now Former!!) Flatmate. since some indeterminate point mid-autumn, when she decided she didn't like sharing her apartment with ben and me, she turned off her earth mother, art therapy, 420 vibe and started blasting Bitch!! at us. i don't react well to Bitch!! -- i have a fragile constitution.

i trying to counter her Bitch!! rays with a shield of Conciliation. that was a bust. i followed up that effort with Constructive Confrontation, attempts at Dialogue, Appeasement, and other girly, pacifist weapons at my arsenal constructed of four years of liberal arts college. nothing worked and her Bitch!! rays were growing ever stronger.

hence, finally, the decision to move. my family, bless them, lined up behind me, giving me aggression pep talks on hitting back and learning to drive like a new yorker. at two critical junctures, i did manage to channel their courage, and the decision to move out was made to my-and-ben's advantage. hoorah!!

following that, i had only to hide from the Monster for the two weeks until the move and keep myself from dangling her wretched cat out the window for the pure joy of it. ben's-and-my families converged this past weekend to bring the hideous misadventure of apartment sharing to a close and ben and i are now safely installed across a body of water ... er, again, not entirely sure which. more details to follow but thanks, as always, for the well-wishes.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Thursday, March 10, 2005

contemplation on a theme

i would work for:

the sake of having an Experience

i would not work for:

moral obligation
(are those the same thing?)
only money
scented candles
god and country. unless i got to write screenplays on the side.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

all night on the ferry

finally, it's final, done and done. ben and i have signed our new lease (!). sometime tomorrow we will obtain the key to our new apartment (!!) to which we will officially move, with the help of our various families, on saturday (!!!). it's all terribly exciting and i would be even more thrilled except i had to go straight back to work after the lease-signing and couldn't even knock back a couple of cocktails to celebrate.

on the subject of cocktails, last night i had three excellent retro ones courtesy of a Vintage Drink book and my hostess's well-stocked bar. three of us were at the hostess's house to play pinochle -- or rather to learn how, since three out of four of us were pinochle illiterate.

everything about the evening was charmingly retro: the hostess's queens townhouse dates back to my favorite decade, the 1870s, and has fireplaces in every room like watermarks to prove it. fittingly, she furnished her parlor with an antique love-seat, and i got to perch on the love-seat as we played on her slightly rickety but genuine card-table. covered with green felt and everything!

on each corner of the card-table, there was an indented cup holder for our cocktails. our hostess has a tradition for pinochle night in which the guests pick three or four different drinks to mix. all of ours were resounding successes, even the algonquin, a mixture of rye, vermouth, and pineapple juice that i lobbied for based on the name. it went excellently with pizza.

slowly but surely, i am fulfilling my goal of mixing with polite society. my first poetry workshop this past saturday also got me out among people. and yoga.

Monday, March 07, 2005

a raisin in the moon

another dream fulfilled, and why not? this is new york. one of the actors i work with comped me into a cabaret performance. the little circular tables! the candles! the stage, the pianos, the song! it was all much more satisfying than the stand-up comedy show i was comped into last week. much funnier, too.

it made me muse a little bit about how few love songs have earned a place in my heart. when i was a kid, it was always the break-up songs that got to me: don't think twice, it's all right; losing my mind; you don't bring me flowers (shut up, of COURSE i was into streisand). or else the kind of anthems that would have drag queens crying on each others' shoulder pads: i'm still here; take me or leave me. when i did like love songs, i preferred queer ones, as though there was something about the straight variety i couldn't bring myself to believe in.

even now, the sappy stuff doesn't do much for me. but there have to be some i'd like: love songs that are wise and rich and maybe witty? there must be some.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

joni mitchell could have sung about it

finally today, fulfilling a long-held fantasy, i went to coney island. the cars had all been stripped from the ferris wheel and the roller coaster was only bones. little puddles of snow flecked the beach. the whole place, in fact, looked frozen, packed away in a freezer to be brought again and thawed and fed to the masses in may.

it was an incredible feeling to be there with the gulls, the photographers, the occasional old russian couple and young orthodox family. the water was a bold, thick blue. what body of water is it, anyway? i don't know my geography. i would have liked to stop and write something by the anonymous water's edge but the wind kept whipping me around and i could see the sun setting above nathan's hot dog stand so i came home.

from an american history perspective, you know, coney island is a treasure. when it was built over 100 years ago it was one of the first places young men and women could go to mingle. in public and with no chaperones and incurring no disgrace. essentially it was the beginning of dating. women could scream as loud as they wanted if they were on a roller coaster, and anything was permissible to say in the tunnel of love. coney island killed the parlor.

or maybe i'm making all that up; i didn't pay that much attention in seminar. anyway, it's pretty out there. you should go.

Friday, March 04, 2005

like FIFTY femme points!

it's been a while since i accumulated femme points. moving to a new city, adjusting to a new job, cooking in bulk, taking long walks ... none of these activities lend themselves well to the enterprise. well, except the rare occasion when my boss asks me to fetch him coffee. even that is only a palty two or three femme points. more when the coffee includes cream, or a preassembled bagel with cream cheese.

but today! today i went to the dirty-place doctor. not femme-y in and of itself, although they did dress me up in a peppermint pink gown and keep me waiting for a while. i giggled to myself, feeling femmer than i had in a while, tossing my hair for effect and thinking about boys and shoes.

then a nurse came in and pointed to the scale.

my blood pressure skyrocketed (+3 femme points, right away). that's been my response to scales ever since i moved out of my weight-obsessed high skool phase and stopped weighing myself first thing each morning. i never developed a mature relationship with scales: i went from kowtowing and living in fear of their power to pretending i was past it and living in repressed fear of their power.
do i really have to? i asked the nurse, trying to sound cool, joking, unflustered and succeeding in sounding exactly like a panicked fifteen year old. +7 femme points. yes, said the nurse, unswayed.

i walked onto the scale like it was the plank and i was about to be forced into the water without even captain jack sparrow for company. before i could drown in my own anxiety, however, the nurse muttered the numbers to herself and i returned to reality with a start. i double-checked for myself and indeed it was true: somehow, without trying, i was back to my high skool weight. my peak-of-weight-obsession high skool weight! without a single angsty poem, draconian dietary restriction, or transition to all black clothing! i was so stunned i barely felt the dirty place exam.

this is our last weekend in this apartment. next week we move, mr. ben and i. i will miss the village but i will love my new peace of mind more.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

"but what good is a book without pictures?"

what made today better than yesterday, i think, was that i spent a good chunk of today laughing breathlessly at pictures of celebs. of course slate has a point that websites like these have contributed to a culture of red carpet timidity and fashion has been dulled as a result. but contrariwise, that culture couldn't be too entrenched, or such earthshattering faux pas as hers couldn't be possible. (check out the pic where she looks like a giant hen!)

the shot of chelsea clinton and a coked-out courtney love is now my desktop background. you know how to spell that, my friends? s-c-h-a-d-e-n-f-r-e-u-d-e!

this person pushed me yesterday. she hurried by, ignoring me, and in her hurry, pushed me and passed without a word of apology. a curious thing happens to little over-articulate me in these sort of situations: i lose my voice entirely. i gawk. i'm stunned. my heart starts beating at twice its usual rate, my appetite disappears. indeed subsequent to the Pushing Incident, i didn't eat dinner, the way i'd planned to, even though i'd been starving only fifteen minutes earlier while contorted in yoga class.

i plan intricate reprisals. i forget to breathe. ultimately i do nothing. this is, i'm afraid, why i'd make a shoddy superhero, and why maybe i have so much admiration for the people who OWN witty retorts, especially in the situations that matter. le sigh.