December 31, 2003

Happy 2004!

New Years is always a let down. Every year I feel compelled to do something crazy and spontaneous. I go out of my way to make it memorable and special and then the clock strikes midnight and it’s always just so anti-climatic. I do have some strange New Years stories though. One of the most interesting ones was when I was in Rome.

I was all alone and determined to have a good time. My hotel room was all dirty white tile and smelled like a sewer. That morning the hot water had broken, so I couldn’t even take a shower. There was no way I was going back there until well into the morning.

I decided that I was going to sit down to a nice dinner. I never sat down in restaurants when I was alone and I decided I should change that. In Europe on New Years every place has a pre-fix menu, all the courses and wine at a set price. I wandered all over the city and no one would seat a single girl, it would be a waste of a table I guess. Finally I ended up at the place I’d had dinner the night before. It was sort of a crumby place, more of a café than a restaurant, with an internet station in the corner. They were willing to have me, though, and they had dressed the place up for New Years with streamers and table cloths. I ate the whole three course meal and the half carafe of wine that came with it.

After dinner I wander over to the Spanish steps. The city was madness. The streets were filled with people and all the street merchants, who normally sold bootleg Cds, had filled their blankets with bottles of spumanti and noise makers. I climbed to the top of the steps to watch the fire works. There was no getting around it, I was lonely. I was wandering aimlessly down the steps, waiting for midnight to strike, when some boy gave me a look and said hello. At this point in my sojourn in Italy I was pretty desperate to hook up with an Italian, you know, as part of the cultural experience. This guy wasn’t gorgeous, but he wasn’t ugly either.

I started talking to him. Midnight came and he wished me Auguri, I wondered if he was going to kiss me. There were more fireworks and then he did, and it was awful. No subtlety what so ever, he just attacked my mouth with his tongue. I continued to make out with him, hoping I could work through it and eventually find his lips. Finally I just refused to open my mouth and he got somewhat insulted, “what? You don’t want to kiss me?” he asked. The making out proved hopeless, but I figured he could at least help me find the subway. Unfortunately he wasn’t from Rome, he was from some small town in the country In fact it turned out he wasn’t even Italian, he was Greek!

As we walked he kept expounding cheesy romantic sentiments saying, “do you think it is really possible that a man who speaks very little English and a woman who speaks very little Italian can fall in love?” and something about how all he cares about is football (meaning soccer) and women. Eventually we found the subway and I said, “well you should probably go meet up with your friends now, right?”
“oh no,” he said, “I’ll find them later,” and he proceeded to get on the subway with me.

Under the greenish light of the subway car he suddenly did look very ugly to me. I was disappointed and annoyed. My face must have betrayed my feelings, because he gave me a meek, pitiful look. When the subway came to my stop he got off with me. Now it was time to lay down the law. I tried to be nice about it, I really did. But he seemed to think I was just playing hard to get. Eventually I just flat out yelled at him, “Go Away. Don’t you understand? Va via, NOW!” He backed away, at first startled and looking somewhat heartbroken, then he knit his brows fiercely, turned and stomped off without looking back. So much for my new year’s kiss. Hopefully tonight will be better.

Posted by at 7:26 PM

December 30, 2003

I swear someone is out to get me!

This morning I got a prank call at 6am. My phone said Withheld Number, like it does when my mom calls. I figured it might be important so I picked up and gave a weary hello. It was a stange man's voice he was sort of stumbling over his words in a confused way--wrong number I thought and hung up. He called back and I let it ring.

An hour and a half later, when my alarm went off, I listened to the message. It was some redneck who thought he was really fucking funny. He sounded all confused and worried saying, "Shaniqua, is that you? I think that was you who just picked up. Listen I don't know, I don't know how anyone could forget their own child. I found Donelle in my car this morning. He'd been in there since last night."

This freaked me out a little because I was still half asleep, however I had a feeling that it was a prank call. He went on,

"Now don't worry, he's just fine. He was real hungry, yeah he ate my burberry scarf that I had in the seat back there..."

Hearing this I got confused, was he talking about a dog?

"He seems to be holding it down alright though, Oh wait no! Now I've got a burberry couch, he just puked it up. But don't worry, I gave him a bottle of New Castle to quiet him down, yeah, and he liked that alright. Then I gave him some Hennesey..." It went on, it was like a 20 minute monologue. A really shitty one.

When I came home tonight I sat down to eat some tempeh salad I 'd made this weekend. I'd eaten half of it when I first made it and it was good. Tonight I was sitting there munching away, talking to Janine when we both heard a loud crack. She thought I'd broke my tooth. I felt a large hard cold thing in my mouth that was about the size of a tooth, although I knew I hadn't lost one. I spit it out and discovered that it was a big ole' piece of glass. I was shocked. We searched through the rest of the salad and found another piece. I don't no where it came from. "I feel like some one is out to get me," I said to Janine and then we both looked at each other and whispered "Barton". He's our evil reclusive neighbor and arch nemesis. We call him Barton Fink, like the Coen brother's movie. I think Barton might be trying to kill me.

Posted by at 10:19 PM | Comments (2)

December 29, 2003

Live Journal

Mood: Wicked ;)
Soundtrack: Dashboard Confessional
Wow did you guys here about that thing? I’m so bummed, I think I’m gonna take a nap.

Just kidding.
What’s really happening is I’m reading The Long Secret, the sequel to Harriet The Spy. It’s all about the quiet girl, Beth Ellen, who has no parents. I relate to her somewhat because she thinks that when she grows up she wants to marry a rich man and have kids and just be a wife. When I was 12 or 13 this was my plan as well. Before then I wanted to be an artist, but my mom assured me that it would be lifetime of suffering. At the time I felt dull and depressed and being a wife just seemed like the simplest thing. I also wanted a nose job.

Being 13 has to be the worst. Everything cool trickles down to 7th grade in the most convoluted way. I remember when all the girls started sucking on pacifiers. I’m proud to say I didn’t take part in this trend. It’s weird to think that originally it started with ravers, but for the 7th graders it was more like an excuse to revert to infancy.

Kids will do anything to fit in. I remember one day when we were off from school for Passover. Both of my bestfriends were Jewish and they called me up that morning while I was eating my Rice Krispies. “fast with us,” they said. I told them it was too late because I’d already had the cereal, but they said I could start then. I said “ok”. We went to the mall and wandered around lightheadedly. Eventually we cheated and ate some gummy worms and dunkin' donuts.

Posted by at 9:06 PM

December 28, 2003

How do you spell brussel sprouts?

I finally hooked my computer up to the internet! I’m so proud of myself for finally figuring it out. The thing seemed just useless without it, although it is still a bit useless. It moves terribly slowly and lets out long low moans like a hassled old man. It makes me feel rustic-- like I’m writing on a faulty old typewriter, tapping along just barely with the intermittent interruption. They give one time to think anyway.

The night before I returned from London I freaked out a bit. I think it was all that Jasmine tea, I was wired. When we got back to the hotel I changed back into my jeans, took my notebook and went into the bathroom. I sat in there scribbling away furiously. I just felt so cut off from everything; I thought maybe I’d changed, gone jaded or something. That night I couldn’t sleep at all. I lay in bed frantically analyzing everything. I always loose my mind some when I go away, it’s necessary because if I don’t travel I get bored and start hating everything.

That night I came to pinpoint the exact climax of the trip. The whole reason that I was unhappy was that it had occurred on the second day and everything after was just a let down. It was in The National Gallery. We got there at 2:30 and the museum closed at 6:00. I had demanded that we buy sandwiches in the tube and eat them while on the train, because I knew that I would want to see everything and we just didn’t have enough time. My dad had bought some French cheese at the Notting Hill market earlier that day and I could smell the thick stench of it right through his backpack. I couldn’t stand to be next to him for another second. In the museum I steered us toward the 15-16th century wing and made it my duty to loose him. I wasn’t hard and soon I was in Renaissance heaven.

I can’t really enjoy looking at art unless there are many paintings in a room by one artist, or maybe if the room is empty except for one fantastic painting (although the only time I can think of like this was with a Pontormo in a tiny church). On this day it was perfect: the slow warm up, a few random somewhat mediocre paintings, and then a Michelangelo. It was an unfinished one, called The Entombment. Most of it appeared to be complete and then a hand or an arm or bits of the background were left completely untouched, a gaping hole in the middle of the canvas. I’m convinced he just did it to show off, no one can paint like that! I walked onward.

There was a nice build up with the Botticelli’s and then I hit the Titian and Veronese room. The very highlight of the trip occurred when I saw the huge Veronese painting. I can’t even really remember it now, just that it was huge and had Mary in it. There was a flash of light with disembodied winged angel heads flying down it. There were many figures. It was one of those paintings that made you want to see the whole thing at once, but it was so big and complicated that it was impossible. Your eye got caught on all the details and whizzed around the whole canvas, looking everywhere at once. I stood way back and tried to see it all and then walked in close and concentrated on everyone’s faces.

When the museum closed I walked out the front entrance. Trafalgar Square was all lit up and there was a huge Christmas tree out front. We went to a pub up the street and I sat with a beer, listening to the beatles and writing a post card. It was perfect.

Usually upon leaving on a trip I feel the worst sort of loneliness—an anxious far away feeling down in my lungs, my breathing goes shallow, and there is a distant ache in my chest. It’s the most awful sort of fear, but eventually it subsides. This time I didn’t feel anything as I was going. Even sitting on the plane it seemed I was hardly aware that I was heading any place, I just felt listless and a little exasperated. My seatmates were a dopey British couple and they didn’t say a word to me the whole six hour ride.

The night before we went home I began to wonder if I’d changed. I thought that maybe I’d traveled so much I’d become jaded by it. Or perhaps it was because it wasn’t really my trip, I didn’t plan it or pay for it. It was my dad’s trip and I was merely a witness. I worried that maybe I drink too much, that beer had killed off all sensory stimulation in my brain, I’d turned into a strange blob. Distant. Emotionless. Then I realized that no one had really spoken to me all week. Conversation didn’t go beyond the formalities, my questions answered, it was all felt very superficial. I guess the Brits like to keep to themselves, and then again so do I.

The most intimate I felt was the few words exchanged with the French waiter at a café down the street. It was the only thing opened on Christmas, so we went there twice that day. He was long and lean, with dark hair, and an unshaven face. His left eyebrow seemed to be perpetually cocked giving him a wry, teasing expression. On first look he wasn’t terribly attractive, a bit too skinny and his face was somehow rough and weathered. There was something about him, though.

When he spoke to you he drew you right in—his voice at just the right level so you felt as if there were something between you, some sort of private joke or secret knowledge that you shared. It was like he had a particular interest in talking to you, and feeding you, and making sure you were satisfied by what he gave you. He showed me all of the dishes they had and carefully explained each one. When he called the brussell sprouts bean sprouts and my father corrected him he leaned into my ear and asked, “what do you call them?”
“bussel sprouts” I murmured nearly melting into the floor.
“brussel sprouts?”
“Yes, brussel sprouts.

Posted by at 11:33 PM | Comments (2)

December 27, 2003

I'm baaaack!

and what a long strange trip it's been...
Traveling always does something weird to me-- something good weird, I guess, because it always makes me want to start something new when I get back. It's good to stir things up. While I'm on the road I always have strange unsettling moments though. I get all detached feeling and very confused. The trouble with this trip was that the best part happened early on and it sort of pettered off from there, due in part to the holiday and everything being closed. The last day of a trip is always the worst and this trip was a remarkable example of this.

On our last day we went to The Four Seasons Hotel for tea. It was something my co-worker suggested and it sounded like an amusing way to spend Boxing Day. We got dressed up and arrived at the hotel's posh little sitting room. It was filled with overstuffed chairs and little coffee tables, christmas trimmings dripped off every available surface (in a classy way, of course). There was an old man playing christmas songs at the piano. He was wearing a velvet suit jacket although the room was very warm and during his breif pause between songs his head would bow and threaten to droop into slumber, but then he would jerk up stumble right into Santa Clause is coming to town.

I felt like a tremendous slow child sitting in my fat armchair, towering over the little tea table in front of me. I was instantly emarrassed by my foolish outfit. I was wearing a black dress and a grey cardigan, but as an afterthought I'd put on black knee socks over my black stalkings, there was no full length mirror in the hotel room and I foolishly accepted my dad's comfirmation that this wasn't a bad idea. The cardigan, knee length dress, socks and my large round-toed shoes made for a ridculous combination.

My emabarrassment over my clothes made me immediately shy, I clammed right up and the whole thing was made worse by my dad's patronizing attitude. He immediately asked the waitress if they served mince pies, saying it was the whole reason I came to England, that I'd been talking about those silly pies ever since we'd arrived. As the waitress poured our tea she gave me condiscending smiles and asked over and over if "I was enjoying my afternoon tea?" I nodded and showed her a wide grin as my big feet squirmed around and nervously tapped the rug. I knew I was acting freakish, but I couldn't stop.

Then I went upstairs to use the lavatory. It was all oak and brass with rows and rows of dressing tables, each surrounded by mirrors. There were cloth towels and bottles of mineral water with glasses. I sat down in one of those pretty little bathroom stalls and took a shit. Then I slinked back downstairs to finish my tea and scones with clotted cream, smiling goofily at the wairtress all the while.

Posted by at 7:58 PM

December 26, 2003

A Merry Xmas to you all...

The half drunk british man at the counter just announced that there's 10 minutes till closing. Ohhh, and how emabarrassing his collegue just shutdown the computer next to me, hope he didn't read the 1/2 drunk part. I guess I'm slightly tipsy me-self. I'm heading home early tomorrow. I'm not sure what to say about the trip overall, except that I already feel like it never happened. I feel like all week I've been looking in through a window, like in A Christmas Carol. Did I learn that all along I've been an awful scrooge? I don't think I've felt much of anything really. That's how it is when you're a tourist. You see so much it all blends together and pretty soon it's as if you haven't seen anything at all. Oh well, maybe I'll come back again someday.

Posted by at 5:55 PM

December 22, 2003

London Calling

I won't be writing much this week because I'm in London for Christmas! I've never been here and it's very exiciting. I wish we ate all our meals in pubs in America. It's much more festive, although it's true what they say, the food leaves much to be desired. It seems that the most popular vegetable is mushy peas, and that's actually how they advertise them "We have mushy peas". So far what they say about the weather isn't true, it hasn't rained at all (knock on wood). The undergound is much less hostile than the subway in New York, more like the metronorth. I like the Brit's liberal use of red for buses and phone booths, I guess it brightens things up since most everything else is grey. This is pretty much the extent of my observations from the last two days. Happy X-mas to all and Cheerio!

Posted by at 6:18 PM | Comments (2)

December 19, 2003

Xmas Feasting

Yesterday was the greatest workday ever. My whole department left at 2:30 in the afternoon to go see The Lord of the Rings and have dinner. The best part was that it was all on the company charge! Rather than having a company wide Christmas party the various departments go out on their own and the company pays for it.

Unfortunately I was incredibly bored by the movie, And yes, I’ve seen all three, and yes I think Legolos is hot, but it’s a reluctant attraction formulated as a result of the lack of any other even remotely good looking boy characters. I actually found myself thinking that if Brad Pitt were in the movie I might be entertained—that’s how bored I was.

Through much of it I found myself fretting over a phone call I forgot to make before leaving work, my attention would drift back to the movie and I’d be momentarily confused before remembering that there really are no twists to the plot: the freaky deformed guys are bad and the freaky not-deformed guys are good, after overcoming innumberable and somewhat repetitive obsticals the freaky not-deformed guys win.

The annoying thing is I'm probably going to get tons of hateful comments for that little rant.

Our dinner was the really amazing part. We went to City Crab and I ordered the special with monk fish over mushroom risotto. It was delicious. I’ve never had monk fish before, though, and the huge bone in the middle was a little creepy to my mostly vegetarian sensibilities. I also had two beers and salad. We ordered desert too, I had crème brulee with rice pudding and honey. It was so good, afterward I felt the sort of pleasant euphoria that can only come from an intensely satisfying meal.

It turns out the reason my company doesn’t have a big Christmas party is because of the trouble that arose last year when, for the first time in many years, they held one. They invited everyone and even bused people in from the warehouse in New Jersey. Apparently these warehouse folks decided to really tie one on and went all out at the free bar. And why shouldn't they? It's not like they'll have to face up to it at the office on Monday, they stumble back to New Jersey at the end of the night and all is forgotten. Turns out there were so many people passed out in the bathroom that the company decided to never throw a Christmas party ever again.

Instead we get a week off, which we all agree is 1000x’s better anyway. Thank you warehouse folks! If they had thrown a party this year I would have been there on that bathroom floor with you.

Posted by at 5:11 PM | Comments (3)

December 17, 2003


Yesterday I got my haircut. I went to Jean Louis David because I knew it would be cheap and I was somewhat comforted by its being a chain (that's right, I'm an American goddamn it!). Well, I have to say it was the most bizarre haircut experience of my life. I think the best way to describe Jean Louis David is as a barber shop for ladies.

There is plenty of the usual hair salon pretense which us ladies love: the special white robes, the gigantic photos of models with thier layered haircuts getting all blown around by a fan, special Jean Louis David books with pictures of models getting their layered haircuts blown around by fans, and very MODERN decor involving many white tiles. Underneath the pretense it is secretly a barber shop.

First of all, they only have walk-in appointments. they keep the combs in one of those gross jars of blue mouthwash stuff (I'm sorry, but mouthwash on my head does not make me feel more sanitary) They also have their regulars, but instead of old guys who sit on the bench it's all those ladies who like to pay $20 to get their hair blown dry once a week.

The main reason it is like a barber shop is that they cut your hair with an electric razor. I'm completely serious, they don't even have any scissors in the whole place. They keep their wireless electric razors poised on a battery charger ready to go. They take the comb and use the razor like scissors and shave the hairs right off the end. I think it's because razors are much quicker than scissors and you don't even have to worry about cutting straight. I didn't mind, I was only there for a trim anyway.

The bad part was actually the famed blow dry. I hate that hairdressers always insist on straightening my hair. I have wavy hair! Many people admire and covet wavy hair and I personally like the texture. Hairdressers, however do not understand this. When mine asked me how I wanted my hair dried I told her, "don't straighten it!" She said, "ok, you want it natural, like blown out." I wasn't sure what she meant by blown out, but it sounded big and fabulous so I nodded a vigorous yes. Unfortuately, by "natural" and "blown out" she meant straightened with a gigantic flip at the ends. You know, the Mary Tyler Moore. I guess it was fitting, I am a wacky single gal living in the big city...and I'm gonna make it after alllll!

Posted by at 10:47 PM | Comments (2)

Teen Queen Tantrum

I would like to announce the fact that someone found my site by searching google for Brookline high porn. I think that's pretty awesome and i hope they found some starring our favorite alum Conan O'Brian.

Here's the latest from page 6 on the Disney brats. Sounds like Hillary Duff might me a Shannen Doherty in the making and Aaron Carter is learning how to be a little weasle just like his brother.

TEEN tantrum erupted between young Hollywood rivals Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan at the "Cheaper by the Dozen" premiere in Los Angeles Sunday night.
Lohan and Duff have hated each other since earlier this year, when Lohan found out her boyfriend, Aaron Carter, was cheating on her with Duff.
Duff then added salt to the wound by showing up at the premiere of Lohan's "Freaky Friday" with Carter on her arm.

Last weekend, Lohan arrived with a few friends to the "Cheaper" premiere - where her mere presence was enough to send Duff into a tizzy. And according to eyewitnesses, Duff was infuriated when she saw Lohan at the after-party for the movie at Lucky Strike Lanes in Hollywood.

"Hilary got her mother and started freaking out," our source said.
Duff's mom, Susan, known around Tinseltown as a ham-handed stage mother, got Duff's huge bodyguard, Troy - Duff's former acting coach at Disney - to try muscling Lohan out of the party.
"It was pretty amazing," another spy said. "Here is this huge man trying to manhandle a 100-pound girl."

Lohan at first wanted to leave, but her agent was livid and told her to stay. After Troy and Susan Duff became more rude and physical, Lohan finally shot back, "I am not leaving. I was invited. Why should I leave?"
Susan and Hilary then took their case to Fox executives. "They walked up to the people at Fox and started screaming, 'We are not happy! We want Lindsay to leave! Get her out!' " our first spywitness said.
But Fox executives, not ones to be pushed around by a 17-year-old, shot back: "Lindsay was invited. If you are not happy, you can leave," before turning to Lohan and saying, "Lindsay, please stay."

The Duffs were so angry they left immediately, while Lohan stayed and partied with Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and Steve Martin.

Posted by at 10:17 AM

December 16, 2003

D & D

Right now I’m at work reading an Australian book about horny D & D kids and as if that wasn't bad enought the whole thing is written in verse.
Here is a little sample:

Drank a little wine.
Meredith’s Nick was there, too,
looking side-eyed at her,
a little bit goofy and sweet and
out of bounds
I wanted her brother, the Dungeon Master, the chef.
I gave him all my party lines,
dragged out the M & M’s,
and I could feel his eyes all over me.
I could feel his heartbeat quicken.
He took me out to his bungalow and we stood there
looking at his plans for a catamaran.
We stood close but not
Not yet.
No more sports shed scenes for me.
I want a slow scene with some candles,
a little music.
I want the Dungeon Master
to plan his next move.
I want him to lead me to his single bed.

I think I’m going to have to pass on this one.

Posted by at 2:34 PM | Comments (1)

December 15, 2003

The Rodent Mire of Childhood

I’m reading Geek Love, by Katherine Dunn. It is a brilliant and frightening book about a family of circus freaks. One of my favorite quotes is about the grief and darkness of childhood:

It is, I suppose, the common grief of children at having to protect their parents from reality. It is bitter for the young to see what awful innocence adults grow into…
...How deep and sticky is the darkness of childhood, how rigid the blades of infant evil, which is unadulterated, unrestrained by the convenient cushions of age and its civilized anesthesia. That terrible vulnerability that must be sheltered from the rodent mire of childhood (p.105-106).

This was what I wanted to talk about in reference to the Scientology play, but with the awfulness of the day I couldn’t bring myself to sit down and write anything that wasn’t obvious. It was fitting that the play was a spoof on a children’s Christmas pageant, because Scientology is all about the belief in the purity of childhood happiness and that to attain such happiness one must erase all memory of the sour moments that tainted it.

It was interesting seeing children talk about these things. It was apparent that they knew that the play was funny and sarcastic and they got a kick out of it. Hearing children proclaim that childhood is the one time that people are truly happy drives home the absurdity of the statement, because everyone does this. Everyone looks back at childhood as a glorious and simple time.

I do have the distinct memory of wanting to indulge my parent’s belief in my innocence and I was a tremendously fearful that they might discover that I knew more than I let on.

I remember when I was 7 years old eating dinner with my mother and my aunt; half listening to them talk about another aunt and uncle. “They want to have children,” my mother said.
“But they sleep in separate beds!” I blurted out. My mother and my aunt stared at me in disbelief. “You got that from your dad, didn’t you?” My mother asked. I nodded yes even though it was a lie.

When we got home I sat in the darkened living room watching through the kitchen doorway as my mom and my aunt interrogate my father. He denied saying anything, but they refused to believe him. I felt terribly guilty and vowed to one day apologize to him about the whole matter, but I knew I’d have to wait until he was on his death bed because it would be far too humiliating if he wasn’t on the verge of dying. That vision of sitting by his bed and confessing everything was the only thought that gave me comfort.

Posted by at 3:23 PM


Yesterday was the most depressing of Sundays.
For some reason I’d been looking forward to Sunday all weekend. Sleeping late. The lazy, easy afternoon. Sunday night in front of the television. Stringing popcorn for the little Christmas tree. But then it came and it was just disappointing and awful.

All day nothing felt right. Everyone was strange. People didn’t fit together. Janine and I wandered the aisles of the grocery store listless and sad, unable to decide on anything. The weather was snowy and rainy and slushy and difficult.

Saddam Hussein was captured, but he turned out to just be a scared old man in a hole. Everyone on the news pretended to feel triumphant, but I’m sure some of them were disappointed. His scraggily grey beard and frightened eyes, you couldn’t help feeling sorry for him.

He must be the loneliest. Sunday of all days I understood him. Mass murder, genocide. A monster, so mean, and so bad he dug himself in deeper and deeper and then he got caught. Cornered there alone in his hole, there was nothing. Nothing left to him. He burned it all away hating and now no one loves him. The loneliest.

Posted by at 2:12 PM

December 14, 2003

The L is for Looney

Yesterday I went with Frank to the theater. We dressed up like sophisticated grownups for the occasion, him in a brown wool suit with gold accents and a distinct odor of mothballs, me in a sleeveless gold blouse, red slacks and my hair in an up-do. The play was called A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pagaent. It was a spoof on a childrens Christmas pagaent, telling the story of the life of the blessed L. Ron Hubbard. All the were actors actual children.

The topic of Scientology has been particularly amusing to Frank and I ever since we were ambushed by them in France. At the end of our abroad program in Italy our film history class took a trip to the Cannes film festival. A group of us were wandering around between films and a woman approached us asking if we were interested in seeing an art show. We asked who the artist was and she told us he was a very great man.

I was somewhat suspicious, but we had nothing better to do so we followed her to "the gallery". It was immediately apparent that the display contained not one piece of art. The exhibit was actually a biography of this "very great man". The woman lead us through the exhibit at first telling us about how this great man started out as a Science fiction writer, his name was L. Ron Hubbard. The name rung a bell, but I couldn't quite place it at first. "I've heard of him!" I exclaimed. The woman nodded. Finnally she got to the part when she mentioned Dianetics. "Wait a minute!" I blurted out, "You're a bunch of Scientologists!" and we all burst into laughter.

The woman got very upset and with a quiver in her voice she told us we could all just leave if we wanted to. It was apparent that we'd hurt her feelings, so we stifled our laughter and told her to continue with the tour. At the end the Scientologists offered us glasses of bright red punch and we all hesitated for a moment, throughts of Jonestown flashing through our heads. "Don't worry it isn't posioned or anything!" the woman scolded as if reading our minds. We all nervously took the juice. They loaded us up with pamphlets and magazines about Scientology and we hurried out the door. I seems that the juice was untainted as it had no adverse effects, none other than a persistant fascination with Scientologists that is.

Posted by at 3:06 PM

December 12, 2003

Queen Bee

Today the company big-wigs are in the office. We’ve been forewarned that today does not count as a casual Friday. We should look presentable and neaten our desks. Everyone is to be at their stations and looking busy between 2 and 3 o’clock. The email implied that this behavior isn’t exactly mandatory, but that we should all care enough to be personally concerned with the news.

The warning message was sent by the assistant to the department president: the queen bee. It is strange how there are hierarchies even among assistants. Girls like her seem like they’ve been bred for the role, like Geishas, they are masters at the simple art of service. It’s fitting that her boss looks like the old fashioned version of a company superior. He wears suspenders and his grey-streaked hair pushed back in an almost pompadour. He was a sturdy booming voice that it seems was made for announcements. When he stands up to give his quarterly report he leans back on his heals and tucks his thumbs under his suspenders, like he is feeling very successful and pleased with himself.

His assistant is youthful, pert, and immaculate. You can’t help but think there might be something between them, or at least that he wants there to be. I imagine this is why the very occupation of secretary was invented. When he’s got some pretty young thing trailing around after him, scribbling down his every word it automatically bolsters the illusion of a man’s power.

Really and truly one of the key attributes to a good secretary is a tidy and pleasing appearance. The queen bee has a short, sophisticated blond bob, good posture, an expensive wardrobe. Her desk is decorated with a quirky yet stylish lamp. She takes notes at lightening speed.

How do you become this person? You can’t work up to it. No one’s goal is to be the very best assistant. You’ve got to be predestined for such a thing. It’s like being the most popular. No matter what you’re told, it isn’t something you can earn; it’s something you’re born with. Same as having star quality.

Posted by at 3:46 PM

December 11, 2003

Nicole Richie's Foul Mouth

Last night The O.C. was preempted by The Billboard Music awards. I have to admit it was almost worth it to hear Nicole Richie say "fuckin'" on live network televison. It was weird because her whole speech was completely scripted and the joke was that she has a foul mouth, but somehow they only bleeped out her first swear and then missed all the others.

The Billboard Awards is the ultimate in sarchastic awards shows. Apparently this is a new trend in the world of awards shows, because everyone knows they are boring and pointless and that there are too goddamn many of them. It was pretty shocking and somewhat appalling the way the celebrities kept hurling insults at each other. Dave Grohl and Triumph the insult comic dog went on forever about Britney Spears, which was pretty pathetic because she's an easy target and Dave Grohl is so over the hill. Not that he was that cool to begin with.

On the topic of Nicole Richie, it turns out she's way more awesome than I at first realized. In her first appearance on The Simple Life it seemed that she was just Paris' wannabe side kick, trailing after her all day trying to impress her prettier more famous friend. It turns out this is not the case. Nicole is such a badass. She is the one that always starts the mischief on the show and isn't afraid to say shocking and inappropriate things to old ladies and Sonic employees. Paris is more of a stuck up maniquin. She laughs at Nicole's hijinx and then gazes at her own reflection for half an hour. I think Nicole in part acts up to impress Paris, but it's great none the less.

Last week's episode was amazing, the entire show consisted of the manager at Sonic scolding Paris and Nicole like an exasperated babysitter. The show has absolutely no grounding in reality and this makes it all the better. You can see the looks on the girls faces when they know they have to come up with a new and more outlandish way to screw up so that the audience will laugh. It isn't always easy and I truly do appreciate their efforts.

Posted by at 8:46 PM | Comments (3)

December 9, 2003

Dana The Jewish Christmas Elf

This weekend, in addition to ABC, I went to Macy's. I had to go see the Christmas window displays built by the ever amazing Dana. The windows contain scenes from A Christmas Story complete with moving dummies and the soundtrack from the movie. All the major scenes are there, the dad with his sexy woman leg lamp, the kid with his tongue stuck to the flagpole. I have to admit, my one disappointment came from the fact that when Dana described the windows to me I imagined lifesize manaquins of the characters, rather than mini diorama type displays. Life size dummies would have been so intensely creepy. Still, the displays had a nice level of creepiness.

Both the inside and outide of Macy's was a total mob scene and the tourists were out in full force. I forged onward anyway. This may sound materialistic and shallow, but riding on those wooden escalators, gazing up at the pine trim and ornaments, I was struck by the Christmas spirit. I'd kind of come to assume I was immune to it, but then there it was and still is.

I've been wanting a little Christmas tree. I keep seeing them on the street near my work. Today I started thinking hard about those little trees. The notion of making little ornaments and decorating one, it strikes me as the coziest thing in the world. I've really been wanting one of those little trees, I've been planning it, and thinking it, and saying to myself that I'm going to get one, then I walk right past. I do this with lots of things and I think it's why I've never been good at sports.

Posted by at 10:03 PM | Comments (2)

December 8, 2003

And your little dog too

I just want to set the record straight. I realized last night, as I caught the last part of The Wizard of Oz and noticed with disappointment that from the time the gang gets in to visit the wizard to the end of the movie there are no more musical numbers, that you may be under a false impression. You see I hate musicals. Honestly I do.

I came to this realization at the beginning of my teen years when I had stopped preforming in them. At that time I stopped harboring the secret wish that I might for once get a real part, maybe even the lead. As a child I was always cast in the non-singing roles, which by default rarely had more than one or two lines. At this time, finding myself on the other side of the stage I realized that musicals suck. They have ridiculous story lines and obnoxious songs, and what's with all that overzealous gesturing?

I also learned to identify the muscial boys. The ultra geeky, high pants wearing, mama loving boys who lived and died for musicals. I can remember the very day that I became aware of this phenomenon. It was at arts camp when a very ambitious 10 year old boy preformed a song from Phantom of the Opera. It was just the daily noon time show, but he'd still brought in a black cape to complete the look. He put his heart and soul into it, reaching his little hands out to the audience, wooing us with his pre-pubescent voice. Who would want to be associated with that?

Yesterday however, I sensed a contradiction within myself. Right here on the pages of this blog, which is but a week and two days old, I have already mentioned my love for two musical films. It is true, I love these movies and I love that they are muscals. Perhaps the difference is that they are movies, or maybe it's the fact that professionals preform in them reather than ambitious 10 year olds, or it could be that I am simply a liar. A bitter liar who is still wishing for the lead role.
Give me those ruby slippers! Give them to me now!

Posted by at 8:20 PM | Comments (4)

December 7, 2003


This Sunday afternoon Janine and I had a lovely visit to ABC superstore. ABC is the discount store in our neighborhood. They sell light up waterfalls, porcelin roses with gold accents, and quality polyester apparel at low prices. I got a pair of gloves and a shirt. It's the best place around for sweatpants. The bed sheets they sell, However, are not very soft due to the low thread count.

Now I must go watch The Wizard of Oz on tv. One of the best movies ever.

Posted by at 8:42 PM | Comments (1)

December 6, 2003

December Blast

All day there has been nonstop storm coverage on the news. One station is calling it the December Blast. They keep urging everyone to stay inside. It's ridiculous, there isn't even that much snow!

This morning I woke up at 9:30 am. I was having a nightmare about Oprah. Something about her being a coke addict in the past and there was old footage of her. She was maybe 14 years old and somehow doing drugs had made her head swell up so that it was a huge bulbos globe, like a South Park character's head. Her features were all squished into the center of her face and nearly swallowed up by her fat head, her eyes and nose looked like raisins pressed into dough. She was flailing about and holding her big head, like maybe she couldn't breath.

I couldn't get the image out of my head, so I really had no choice but to get up. All I wanted to do was watch some saturday morning cartoons, but all that was on was live coverage of snowflakes falling at the Scarsdale train station and some Japanimation crap.

I feel like I need to say something more about the death of Jonathan Brandis star of Lady Bugs. Tiger Beat voted him heart throb of the year once. I always thought he looked like he was wearing black eyeliner. I found a creepy blog about him, written by his #1 fan. I hope it isn't true that his acne medication made him crazy driving him to sucide. Acne really sucks.

Posted by at 8:49 PM | Comments (1)

December 5, 2003

First Snow

The flakes have just started coming down now. Whenever it snows I wish for a blizzard, even if it’s Friday and I won’t get any time off. I just want an interruption.

This morning in Dunkin Donuts these two guys ran into each other in line. They seemed like maybe they grew up on the same block or something. One of them was on his way to a funeral. The other guy cut ahead to join him in line and bought the first guy his coffee. “A small with lots of cream, very, very light.” They were talking about the snow saying, ‘Now I just think, “I’ve got to shovel the driveway.” It’s not like when we were kids, it isn’t exciting anymore.’ For some reason, when I saw the guy in his dark suit I wished I was going to a funeral too. It’s that break in the routine.

It’s like the time I had to go to court. I was eighteen and I got arrested for drinking. I was on the late shift that day and would have to go to work after court. I was anxious in that way where everything I said and every movement I made felt quivery. Before leaving my bedroom that morning I paused and tried to calm my nerves. I stood over my typewriter and tapped out the words “Boy, I’m in for it now.”

My dad told me he wanted me to drive to the courthouse with him. I hadn’t spoken to him since the arrest and I knew he’d ask me questions. Mostly the whole thing was embarrassing. He made me tell him all the details and I couldn’t lie to him the way I lied to my mom. She was a pushover and wanted to believe in my innocence, so the lies came naturally. I’d told her I had nothing to do with it and that I’d never drank before, the truth was I’d been getting drunk every weekend that year.

In the car I told my dad the facts. That we were drinking 40’s and that we’d bought them with a fake ID from a liquor store at St. Mary’s. He assumed that I’d done it before and I didn’t deny it. He was stern and disapproving, but not shocked. We stopped for coffee and I felt sort of relieved. Just doing something different, driving in a car and drinking coffee. I was honest with him and he accepted everything I said. “Why the malt liquor?” he asked, “that stuff is just about the worst thing you can drink.”
“It’s cheap.” I said and he nodded and smiled and understood. Amidst all the awfulness it was sort of a nice moment.

Posted by at 11:28 AM | Comments (3)

December 4, 2003

On the topic of Mtv's Rich Girls

I must disagree with bmad’s comments, I think that Jamie and Ali’s fake social conscience and fake sophistication is pure comedy gold. One of the remarkable things about Rich Girls is that Jamie and Ali are completely unremarkable, they are both heinously ugly, have no sense of style, and they aren’t even sluts or party girls. They have an uncanny resemblance (both in looks, personality, and grating tone of voice) to girls I have encountered repeatedly throughout my life. One could easily meet similar girls at Sarah Lawrence or Brookline High School. This is what at first disgusted me about the show. I hate being around those types in real life, so why would I want to watch them on television? Then I saw the prom episode. Jamie plans to loose her virginity to her ugly boyfriend, but he drinks too much coffee(!) and ends up puking and going home. Her night is ruined and she has been publicly humiliated. It's like getting revenge without all the work!

I would also like to make it clear that, although it insights my rage, I thoroughly enjoy the snobbery on The Simple Life even if it is fake and mean. Paris Hilton is a strange and amazing creature, she is barely even human looking she more resembles a lizard or maybe a mean ostrich. Fascinating.

At this time I think it's important to bring the subject of the Olsen twins to the table. I've heard it predicted many times that the Olsen twins will soon be doing porn. I think this prediction makes sense seeing as they have established themselves soley as commodities to be sold. They aren't actual teenagers, they are a brand name, so why would they avoid porn with its high earning power?

For this reason I was surprised when my roomate brought home some of her bosses old issues of playboy (don't ask). In the back of the 50th anniversary issue I saw projections for the 100th anniversary. There was a picture of the Olsen twins with fake wrinkles drawn on their faces (unneccesary if you ask me, they already look middle aged) and it said "the olsen twins finally do porn, at the age of 40!"

Does this mean that Playboy already asked them to be in the magazine and they refused? I'm intrugued. I suppose they are still trying to market themselves to children, so it wouldn't really be appropriate. It lead me to consider the fact that the Olsen twins are very shrewd when it comes to business dealings. I'm sure when the time is right for them to make porn it will be produced by their own company, Duel Star Entertainment. This way they will make 100% profit. For this reason you really have to respect the Olsen twins, even if their faces do recall the ever contemptable troll dolls.

Posted by at 3:41 PM | Comments (7)

December 3, 2003

Yellow is the color of my true love's hair...

I was dazzled by the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blonds. I knew it would be silly and campy in a great way, but I assumed it would be annoying too. All about Marilyn Monroe looking cute and giggling a lot while she strings along dozens of dashing young men, giving us all the urge to run out and buy a bottle of bleach. The surprise is that this movie secretly stars a sassy, wisecracking, party-girl brunette-- Jane Russell. Marilyn is simply the comic relief. At first glance it’s easy to peg this movie as the same old sexist Hollywood crap--the dumb blond gold digger and the bitchy brunette who needs a man to soften her up. It turns out that’s not what it’s about at all. The real theme of the movie is the unflinching loyalty of girlfriends.

In fact Marilyn’s love interest isn’t dashing at all; she goes for the easily manipulated, wealthy nerd. It isn’t even fair to call him a love interest, as she has absolutely no interest in love. You really have to admire her blatant and unapologetic materialism; there’s nothing underhanded about it, as she never deludes herself or anyone else into thinking she’s in love. Her philosophy that diamonds are a girl’s best friend comes in response to being made a sex object. She knows her appeal won't last forever, so she's learned to put her trust into shiny, hard things-- like Jane Russell.

Meanwhile Jane Russell is the one with a weakness for sexy jerks. Highlights include her singing with a chorus line of male Olympic gymnasts all wearing flesh colored hot pants. The important thing is that she isn’t blinded by love either; nothing threatens her allegiance to Marilyn. All of this is reaffirmed in the end when the girls have a double wedding (I didn’t give anything away, every old comedy ends with a wedding). There is a brief shot of the grooms, but the camera trains itself on Jane and Marilyn coming down the aisle, each flashing a big ass diamond ring, and you get the sense that this same sex marriage idea is nothing new.

On the subject of blonds, The Simple Life premiered last night. The show is super over-the-top in a fabulous way, but I think it could use a sassy brunette to put snobby Paris and Nichole in their places. When Paris claims she has never heard of Wal-Mart I just wanted to jump in there and tell her to stop being such a stuck-up liar, everyone has heard of Wal-Mart regardless of whether they’ve been inside one, it’s basically the same as K-mart where Martha Stuart and J-Lo and all those other asshole famous people sell their clothing brands made by little kids in Honduras. I don’t doubt that within a month Paris will have her very own line of Wal-Mart mini-skirts. Now how’s that for a reality show idea, Sweatshop Life tm. Paris and Nichole are forced to sew DKNY skirts for 10 cents an hour and the laughs don’t stop when Nichole’s hand gets stuck in the machinery!

Like all reality shows there is something unsettling about The Simple Life. This straightforward midwestern family seems to be completely baffled by any hint of snobbery and as a result they have no defense against these rich bitches. It was awful watching these girls turn their noses down at their dinner (albeit gross looking) after the grandma plucked all those chickens, but nothing was crueler then that final freeze frame on the sexy 15-year-old son after Paris and Nichole share a titter over the thought of having a three-some with him. The audience knew from his first appearance that he was a sitting duck and the emphasis of the freeze frame serves only to reinforce his public humiliation. I guess that’s what I love about this show, like Paradise Hotel no one is immune to it's cruelty.

In other news Jonathan Brandis of the film Lady Bugs is dead. He hung himself on November 11th and the cops pronounced it a suicide yesterday. Which brings up the topic of blonds and suicide, like moths to light what is it that compels them? Bennett care to comment?

Posted by at 4:57 PM | Comments (4)

December 2, 2003

Bus Ride Riot

When I took my long awaited seat on the Chinatown bus to New York I announced to my fellow passengers that this was it. I told them I couldn’t take it anymore; I just couldn’t bring myself to get on that bus one more time. I knew I meant it because I’m someone who rarely chats with my seatmates, much less makes grand definitive proclamations. I knew that the Sunday night after Thanksgiving bus was going to be trouble, I had been dreading it all weekend. My mistake was that I left the house at 2:40. I knew I’d be arriving at the bus around 3:40, making me too late for the 4:00 o’clock. I knew it and I went ahead and did it anyway.

When I joined the line it was endlessly long, snaking down the block and bulging out in places. Luckily it wasn’t too cold outside. Two busloads of 4:00 o’clock riders loaded on and set off and still the line was miles long. Then I did something I’ve never done before; I went up to the front and scrunched in with all the cutters. Then we all waited there for an hour and ten minutes. You’d think it was the great depression or something.

In actuality I didn’t mind the waiting part so much. I started reading Harriett the Spy. At 4:50 the bus arrived and I was so relieved, I was sure to get on it! That’s when the commotion started. There was a hold up, and all of us in the back of the smooshed up crowd couldn’t see what was happening. One person got on the bus and then there was some yelling. All I could hear was something about 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock.

It turned out three big guys were blocking the doors and not letting anyone on because they had tickets for the 5 o’clock bus and since it was almost 5, they thought they should get on ahead of everyone. What I don’t understand was why they weren’t getting on. Everyone stood there in the cold while they argued for fifteen minutes. I watched the bus monitor ladies through the windshield; they weren’t doing anything. In fact they looked a little bored. I resisted the urge to call the police; someone needed to make these guys move! There was some very angry yelling and probably lots of pushing. I kept wishing someone would grab all three of those guys and throw them right out of the way, but rumor had it they were big guys, probably stupid BU football players or something. I wanted to scream. Surprisingly the people around me remained in good spirits, making jokes and sharing candy. You'd never see that on line for the greyhound.

Finally the other bus arrived and someone gave in. I’m not sure if the guys got on the bus or not, but people started to board. The girl in front of me, however, was far too polite. She thought everyone in front of her had a four o’clock ticket, which they didn’t. I urged her to move forward, but she wouldn’t. She let the whole line get in front of us. When she finally got on the bus was nearly full. She was almost as bad as the door blockers! The bus monitor went in to count seats. Everyone groaned. Then she announced that there was one seat left. I jumped up among all the hungry eyes surrounding me; at the risk of being pummeled to death I gave her my ticket. There were still some 4’oclock riders left in that crowd. I got the very last seat at the very back of the bus, right next to my slow friend from the line. The rest of the ride was painful and long and bumpy. I didn't share one bite of my trailmix with the slow girl. Next time I’m hitchhiking.

Posted by at 12:45 PM | Comments (3)

December 1, 2003

Wanting a window

I had a dream last night that my boss came into my cubicle she was frantic and distraught and said to me, "I... I just need some supplies!" I felt guilty, like when you've disappointed your mother. I thought to myself, "maybe I haven't done enough to organize the supplies." I felt bad because she's such a nice boss and asks for so little.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about working eight hours a day, forty hours a week. It seems really excessive to me. I spend a lot of time sitting in my little grey cubicle fantasizing about the day when I will have my own office with a window. It's not that I want more money or get a higher position, I'm happy where I am, especially considering I've just started. All I want is a window so that I'll have something new to stare at and an office so that no one will see me surfing the internet.

Last week this dream of a window started making me depressed. A widow. Who cares about windows? Have I already lost all my ideals? Am I just another dumb cog in the machine-- complacent and simple minded? Am I really going to sit in this chair for the rest of my life?

Sometimes at work I feel like I'm back in highschool. Like I'm that wierd girl who forgot to wash her hair and get the sleep out of her eyes. I stalk through the hallways slumped over and too bored and shy to talk to any of the other assistants. I always go to lunch alone.

But you know what? I like to eat alone. I told my friend's mom about wanting a window and she didn't think it was bad. Sometimes it's good to have simple wishes. And then I read Harriett the Spy.

It turns out Harrett the Spy is one of the greatest books ever and I never read it. I remeber picking it up when I was 10 or 11 and proptly putting it back down because the beginning is so goddamn boring. Whoever edited this classic piece of Y/A literature failed make the simpilest of revisions, chapter two clearly should have come before chapter one.

Well, it's probably all for the best because reading Harriett saved me this Sunday on my awful ride back to New York on the Chinatown bus. Harriett made me realize that it's good to be the weird girl at work, because everyone else is totally lame and spends all weekend playing bridge and manipulating their friends. I want to be just like Harriett. When her parents try to tell her that school is her job she just yells at them, No, she is a writer! Writing is her job! No one can keep her from her notebook and even in the end, when she learns empathy she doesn't stop bitching, and telling the truth, and writing it all down.

Posted by at 9:24 PM | Comments (2)