29 October 2005

pre-Halloween hit and run

I am the biggest loser ever. Okay, maybe not the biggest, but I am a total effing loser, loser, looooooooooooser!


Why,” you ask?

It’s Saturday night, the Saturday before Halloween, and what have I done today??? Yeah, rode to the bank. Did some homework for the writing class I’m taking. And…. Oh god, this is horrible! And, I baked super dorky Halloween cupcakes. *sigh*

I know…

I know.

Of course, M Diddy would be uber impressed with the fact that I made the fuckers from scratch — none of that boxed bullshit for me: tastes like plastic ass. (Not that I was sober the last time I partook of plastic ass … er… I mean…. heh.)

And, well, I did get hit by a car Thursday night, so I am, quite honestly, sore as hell.

Now, people around me are shocked … shocked! … when I relate to them I got run down by a sedan on my way to class, especially when I add this is hit No. 7 or 8 — I can’t remember. I’ve lost track. You would too.

All in all, it would have been understandable — if the driver was blind.

It was dark, it’s late fall, the sun tends to go down earlier and earlier, but I had one of the schmancy blinky light doodads on the seat post, and my bag has a reflective strip on it. But alas, that did not seem to matter to Dickhead Driver, who, like Jaws, snuck up behind me and basically side-swiped me.

Only I’m not a several-thousand-pound piece of metal (though there are days… ) and flesh and blood balanced on two wheels against the Four Door of Death … well… I never stood, or rolled, a chance and down I went, face first, hands and shins sliding along the pavement, my bike clattering behind me.

Now, here’s where the story would have been different: instinct No. 1 — get the plate, which I did. Instinct No. 2 — get up, back on the bike, and chase the motherfucker, smash my lock through the window and get face to face with someone who, obviously, has no problem running down hapless cyclists and going on his or her merry way, because I was lucky — next poor sap could wind up six feet below.

Probably also very lucky for me, however, was the fact that the chain had spontaneously leapt from its home amongst the cogs and was useless, so I went back to plan 1, called 9-1-1, and, after laughing with the dispatcher, who immediately asked, “Are you conscious?” (I’ve wondered that before about myself, but never had a stranger wonder the same!), I immediately gave her the plate, explained I was fine just scraped, bruised and shaken, and told her I simply wanted to report the incident.

Now, being the professional, she immediately wanted to err on the side of caution, I can’t blame her, and send a medic my way. To make her feel better I said okay, send a medic, I could use some Advil and probably a few Band Aids …

And as I sat on the curb, explaining to my roommate I might be a little late to class and assuring her I would somehow survive, a wailing siren got louder and louder, closer and closer … my medic, I assumed, feeling a bit foolish.

But that feeling was replaced by absolute mortification as a full-sized ladder fire truck came roaring to a stop at the corner, lights flashing, a handful of firemen holding axes at the ready, I imagined. It sat there. It didn’t leave. I kept wishing it would leave. It didn’t.

Finally, I stood up, limped up next to it, gave a little wave and, when one of the firemen rolled down the window, asked, “Are you here for me?”

“We got a report of an accident.”

“Um, yeah, that’s me. But, ah, I’m not on fire … “

Note to self: next time you get run down by a car, and a fire truck full of firemen pulls up next to you, and, when you explain you’ve been run down, practice fainting. Especially when the medics immediately spring out of the secret back compartment and start feeling you over to make sure you’re not bleeding, broken or actually dead. “Oh, I don’t know what came over me! But you caught me, you big strong fireman you!” (This said with dramatic hand held over forehead, of course.)

Now, not that I’m that sort of person, but, in retrospect, considering the fact that it’s the Saturday before Halloween and I’m sitting in my kitchen making homemade cupcakes from scratch for who, I don’t know, certainly no offspring of mine, when I could be on a booze cruise with my friends, maybe I need to be more of that sort of person.

And, there’s still hope. Tomorrow morning’s the 5K run, and I’ve still got the option of falling over and rolling about on the side of the road in faux (hopefully! knocking on wood!) agony. And, there are bound to be medics there, right?

25 October 2005

Someday my prints will come ... off this dish...

Phew! Okay, so, getting sick this early in the seasonal coldness sucks. Hopefully this is not a harbinger of weeks and months to come, but I’m staying away from birds and small children with runny noses just in case!

Of course, sickness has never stopped me from a damn good reason to go out — I went to see Allen Ginsberg while attempting to douse a flaming temperature and full-blown bronchitis with ginger ale and diner food when I was 19 (remember Noddy?), and haven’t stopped since.

So, when VIP tix to the Beaux Arts Ball magically appeared, courtesy of Christine, who rawks, I downed the Sudafed, Advil, Tylenol, Robitussin, Vitamin C and Vicks like a trooper, because there’s nothing more fun than dancing around to bad ‘80s music and playing dress-up.

Makes no difference if the actual event is lame.

And, it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad, and the food was awesome, especially the multi-tiered chocolate fountain, and it took every ounce of willpower in my soul to keep from sticking my head under it and drowning in its sweet, chocolaty goodness.

Some day I will get one of my very own, which will sit right next to the Easy Bake Oven (sometimes you just gotta’ have cake!), uber cappuccino machine and Hello Kitty toaster.

Of course, life continues on post-ball, no glass slippers, prince charmings or even charming pauper, for chrissakes. But, I’d probably just laugh ol’ princy off to some grouchy stepsister anyway, considering the fact that one snippet of conversation between me and one of the rapidly multiplying short (sorry, short=death in dateland for me), obnoxious, trying way to fucking hard to impress men at this gig included, “So, just how small is your penis?”

See, I’m doomed. Singleton. Feral cats. Locked in an attic. Social pariah…

But, the thing is, I don’t care what you do, how much money you have or what purchases you’ve just made, if you’re treating the catering staff like shit and snapping your fingers at them, I hate you, because when I’m broke I work for a caterer, or a restaurant, or any other gig that’s not glamorous and involves serving dickheads who think an Armani suit immediately entitles them to belittle those they perceive to be below them.

But I digress, as I want to mention something very exciting, and while I can usually be found beating the crap out of him, calling him bitch and forcing him to feed me his home made, organic vegan delicacies or face certain death, Justin today surpassed us all and has made the lefty pinko communist big time! Bravo!!!

Park, my friend, when I visit next we shall celebrate: What’re you making?!!?!!?

19 October 2005

I've been passed by speed walkers, you know...

Rode out to Manyhunks for weekly din-din with the bro and sis-in-law, who reminded me that I signed up to run a 5K next week. Ooops… forgot about that…


And here I sit, running shoes next to me. They stare at me, taunting me, daring me to put them on and attempt to do the one thing my body is less than prepared to do:


Very fast.


Oh, it's not like I don't exercise on a regular basis. Although I've recently embraced the so-called French diet (a bit too enthusiastically, I fear — it's unlikely I'd find any French person who'd recommend chocolate croissant, cappuccino and yummy Trader Joe's Dublin cheese for breakfast. I should probably get the book and find out what the deal is really about… ) the one element of the plan I definitely do not adhere to is the alleged French aversion to exercise.


I love my bike more than any man I've ever dated. I belong to a gym, and I actually go there (and not just to pick up the current schedule and bolt). Due to a summer filled with jaunts on two wheels and the poverty created by the endless thirst of an alcoholic hanger-on, I put my membership on hold for two months, but I headed back as soon as the cash was debited from the account, thus reminding myself that spinning is really dull on Mondays. To compensate, I imagined my dream sitch: Imax'ed Alpe d'Huez video spinning class. (Think about it, no matter how slow you're really pedaling, it'd be like riding next to Lance (or Ivan or Jan, depending on your preference…))


But this 5K is another beast entirely: I haven't been running in nearly a month, and back in the day I'd wake up hung-over, toss on the sneaks and plod my way to a 30-ish minute end. These days, waking up and not falling over as I attempt to put on my bunny slippers while simultaneously shielding my eyes from whatever light manages to make its way through my heavily fortified blinds and feeling my way down the stairs to the coffee is a major accomplishment.


Oh well, it's for a good cause, and it's only 3-point-something miles. Worse comes to worse I fake a cramp, fall over, melodramatically roll about, and then get up and limp to the finish, thus making myself look like a real champ for overcoming the odds of spasmic-muscles "for the cause"! Muwahaahaahah!!!!!

14 October 2005

Brains!!! I need brains!!!!

Okay, yeah, I really do need brains, but not for the reason you might think: being the friendless hermit I am, I had no idea a truly fantastic day of zombie fun was taking place tomorrow in this here mini-opolis, but when I passed the e-mail along my ol’ friend Mo sent me, I discovered I am, alas, the last to know…

And, according to one of my roomies, there’s a zombie bike parade happening at some point in the undead festivities.

With that in mind, I decided I should probably check out the damage to the baby, which occurred on one of my journeys home from Manyhunks: turning to look behind me as an ambulance nearly made me its next passenger, my front wheel was attacked by a particularly ornery piece of tree…

It was an angry piece of bark, more bark than bite, thankfully, but surly and sticklike and thus it stuck itself in between my wheel and brake, taunting me to try to ride now, sucka’! (Tree parts must get v. angry this time of year, all the wind and such making them ground up ground covering.)

Alas, the damage is minimal: a professional will be needed for a bit of a true, but for the most part, it’s just a wee bit wobbly … much like its owner.

What I did discover, however, is, while attempting to return the wheel to its fork, a crunchy dirt-like sound, which turned out to be … dirt. And lots of it.

Much like my many-thousand-dollar four-wheeled cup-holder’ed bike carrier, my modes of transport get fantastically filthy. I can remember nights, after hours spend riding in the grip of El Nino, my ex would come home, dry off, and immediately begin cleaning off his bike in preparation for another 10 hours, 100+ miles of the next days’ soggy messenger hell.

And look! On the couch! Who’s that?

Well, that’s me, also having ridden 10 hours sopping wet, flopped on the couch watching the Simpsons. Of course, I also had a fantastic bike mechanic at the time who was more than patient when my shit would get all fucked up due to my utter lack of care for the intricate mechanics that made the gears shift when I told them to, wheels turn and brakes stop.

Alas, he ceased to exist ages ago, and my two-wheeled debacles continue, unabated.

And it’s not like I haven’t tried to make new bike boy friends: I chased the hottie on the LeMond for blocks, but, more than likely the grit populating every turning part slowed me down enough for him to escape…

From now on I resort to second grade tactics, and instead of trying to impress them with my outrageously muscled calves and cycling skills, I’m just going to knock them down and kiss them…

Hey, it worked back then!

How the worm turns...

If you can get beyond the first few words of this piece from the NY Times (what kind of fat fuck dickhead works for the U.S. government and drives a Jaguar? Scum... lying, federal jail bait scum, that's who...) it's worth it:
WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 - Karl Rove nosed his Jaguar out of the garage at his home in Northwest Washington in the predawn gloom, starting another day in which he would be dealing with a troubled Supreme Court nomination, posthurricane reconstruction and all the other issues that come across the desk of President Bush's most influential aide.
But Mr. Rove's first challenge on Wednesday morning came before he cleared his driveway: how to get past the five television crews and the three photographers waiting for him. He flashed his blinding high beams into the camera lenses and sped by.
Methinks the doughboy better get fitted for some stripes... and hey, they're slimming!

09 October 2005

I write, therefore I am (unsure...)

I signed up for a fiction writing class this semester. It’s actually more like a writing workshop, where students bring in a piece of short fiction for everyone else to take home, read and make comments on, then bring back to the next week’s class for a group critique.

What’s most interesting about the process is that, after a few opening comments, the writer is summarily done away with, “killed” as it were, in order to get the most out of the critique process.

I enjoy this: after about a bajillion years in art school, suffering through crits where the artist would either become sulky, belligerent or just wouldn’t shut the fuck up, this is a great way to get the most out of the process, for everyone involved.

Of course, I have no idea when I’ll be able to bring something of mine in. It’s not that I’m afraid I’ll get all sulky, belligerent or won’t stop thinking about things I’d like to say, albeit in a corpse-like way. It’s more that I’m worried that, once I put something down on paper, I’ll discover I’m actually terrible, complete and utter shit, not even fit for Harlequin prefab plotline bodice ripper WalMart tosh, and all the fantasies I’ve perpetuated in my addled mind of being the next literary icon will go down the drain.

No books on the shelves bearing my name. No book tour entertaining the three people who have read my book. (After all of you, of course: as my friends you’re required to at least skim the first chapter and read the end so you can pretend when I crash on your couch at my literary stop in your town you’ve devoured every word, in addition to searching for the parts that are actually written about you, albeit with different names and such.)

And no time on Oprah’s couch, the saddest part of all! Think about it, sitting across from the richest woman in the solar system, pouring out my heart and maybe even misting up a few times, milking the “I am woman watch me bear my soul for ratings! Yeah!” quotient with the skill of a dairy queen:

“The details and situations in your book are so compelling, and really, none of us could really imagine living such an existence. Tell me, how did you create these characters?”

“Well, Oprah, every one of my characters embodies a little piece of me, and honestly, I’ve lived through most of what I’ve written, the good, the bad and, worst of all, the ugly,” I’ll reply as the soothing light softly illuminates my face (thanks to the fifteen inches of foundation they’ve caked on me so I look less like the ghostly pale phantom I really am) as a small tear begins to trickle down my cheek. I’ll look embarrassed to be so open with so many millions of people, and the camera will hold long enough for me to look down and dab my eyes with a tissue. Books will begin to fly off the shelf and into peoples’ hot little hands of their own volition…

“I can’t believe it! It’s pure brilliance, and that you were willing to share that with the reader. It’s truly some of the best writing I’ve encountered. Truly cuts to the heart of pain and joy as few have seen it on the page…” Amazon.com will sell out in minutes…

“It’s all my life; my past…”

“Really? The emotionally crippled alcoholic who broke her heart? The bi-polar poet who kept promising to kill himself if she left him? The head quarterback???”

“All true… er… well, okay, not the last one…”

“Truly amazing! We can only thank you for sharing your tumultuous journey with us!” The Pulitzer people will call….

“And I thank you, Oprah, for making me filthy rich!”

Seriously, though, it’s not like I haven’t got plenty of source material to draw from. After all, I’m rapidly sliding closer and closer to the grave (yeah, I’m still stressing over turning 35 — shaddup!), I’ve had an interesting life, I think…

Not everyone can say they literally grew up in an airplane, with a hangar out their kitchen window, getting woken up in the middle of the night to fly some part or other to Pennsylvania, Ohio, wherever, while my mother worked the midnight shift at the hospital.

My brother and I would trudge across the runway, climb up the steps into the prop-jet, blankets, books, toys and teddy bears in hand, and settle down to sleep, read or just stare out the windows, bracing ourselves and our belongings during takeoff so we wouldn’t slide off the leather chairs. (When your dad’s the pilot, you don’t have to fasten your seat belts.)

Many people have never been out of the country; I can call two countries my own. I haven’t traveled anywhere near as much as I’d like to, but some days when I wake up I can’t remember — smelling the damp cold — if I’m in London, San Francisco or the Adirondacks. (Which isn’t nearly as bad as the days I can’t remember, when crossing the street, which direction the traffic’s supposed to be coming from!)

But, at the same time, while it all seems like it might be entertaining, does anyone really care?

I guess it doesn’t matter. It’s simply a matter of putting it down, allowing my peers to ceremoniously kill me for half an hour, and going home to do it again. Because, it ain’t about the money … if I were interested in that I would never have gone to art school!!!

07 October 2005

Biblical Pimpin'

“So Saint Joseph is your pimp?”

My roommate; I love her. Like me, she’s totally upfront, pointing out the obvious, and at this moment the obvious seemed to be that my mother was pimping me out to some dead carpenter. Great.

“Well…. noooo… I mean….. ahhhhhh. uh….. yeah. I guess he is,” was all I could muster in response, because the fact of the matter is, somehow my “recovering Catholic” mother has lapsed into pop-Catholicism and, in a drive to get her daughter off the goddamn shelf, tasked ol’ dead Joe with getting me hitched.


Allow me to explain this here biblical turnaround: It has to do with the house.

My parents live in a simple, yet beautiful A-frame, hardwood-floored, cathedral-ceilinged house at the end of a dirt road in the middle of the woods in upstate New York. It’s surrounded by trees and has big deck and lots of scary wild animals and, as my father is mere months from retirement, they are trying to unload the thing because, quite frankly, it’s too goddamned much work.

In an attempt to sell the thing in an area where the average selling price is many thousands below what they’re asking for (although most structures in that area also tend to also come with, ah, wheels…) my mother took herself off to the Catholic tchotchke store because someone told her St. Joseph is the seller of houses.

And wouldn’t you know it, at the churchy tchotchke store, when my mom inquired about the statue the woman responded, “Oh, you’re trying to sell your house,” thus sending my mother into near-biblical (en)light(enment).

But there’s a hitch: you gotta’ stick Joey upside down in the ground near the road facing out. Simple enough. A little work with a garden tool and voila, he’s ready to do his thing.

Except, for the failed Catholic who only goes to church when someone dies or is born, some things don’t always go as planned.

Upon walking one of the dogs the next morning my mother was horrified to discover that Joe had managed to spontaneously unearth himself and was laying, rather accusatorily, by the side of the drive.

And that, my friends, is the kiss of death, because there is nothing more deep seated and ingrained in any Catholic, practicing or hiding in the coffee shop on Sunday mornings behind the heretical New York Times, than guilt. Without the guilt half the shit that goes on behind the gilt doors and holy water would never fly, and it is the guilt that will inevitably see us on our deathbeds calling for the last rites “just in case.”

I told her to get over it, stick him back in there, only this time put a big rock on top of him until he’s done his job. (Can you guess who never paid attention in Catholic school and therefore is doomed to hell?) She, however, was naturally spooked, and took him inside, cleaned him off and placed him on the windowsill.

And that’s when the pimping began. Seems they’ve developed a real relationship, my mother and St. Pimpalot, chatting as she washes dishes, cooks some food or just hangs around.

Because, you see, in addition to being a divine real estate agent, Joe’s also the protector of families, and who needs better protecting than the stray 34-year-old wild child who really just needs to settle down so she and my father can die peacefully knowing that I will not wind up on the streets surrounded by trash and feral cats, begging for change so I can get my caffeine fix. (See? The guilt…)

So now, what do I do? If I date someone, not only will that further convince her that Divine Master Pimp is working, it might just send my post-hippie no nonsense pro-drugs (but only things like pot and cigarettes), -choice and -premarital sex mother back to the pews.

And, even worse, this could potentially lock me into a relationship with the first sucker I’m silly enough to admit to seeing, thus forcing my (non-existent) love life underground. Or, even worse, could keep me from ever dating again because, well, who can go on with that sort of pressure and besides, I’d be afraid he’d be, you know, watching all the time….

05 October 2005

Technically speaking...

I have one goal this week: to learn to make songs from my computer go in my iRiver.
I've had the thing for months, and still have no idea how to do it, exactly. I did manage to get a Duran Duran CD on there, which, as your only listening choice, will make you want to kill yourself by the second round!.

04 October 2005

New spot for baby fat?

Not to be too catty, but I'm struck by Britney Spears' big, fat wrestler neck. I've noticed it before, but it's like someone stuck Barbie's head on Henry Rollins…

She's got those trailer trash lines where fat rolls will soon sag out, too, if you look close… so eventually she's going to look like trashy Barbie on Henry Rollins' neck covered by a big, soft fleshy sock…

He he!

That's what I get for checking into Google news all day — you never know what's going to catch your attention. Could be a literal train derailment across the world, or a virtual one across the country!

I need these things to keep me entertained and informed. Sad but true. But hey, I'm journalist through and through, no matter what industry I may currently be whoring myself out for.

Which is why it shouldn't come as a shock, thought it does at least to me, that I'll be checking out Columbia School of Journalism's PhD program next month. Granted, the odds of me getting in are about the same as the odds of me marrying the prince of Denmark, (once he ditches that awful Australian, that is!) but hey, stranger things have happened.

And, I've got to be building up good karma by getting on the train by 6–bloody–a.m. on a Saturday to get to Man–effing–hattan on time, right?!?!?

Plus, if I don't like what I see, I can always move to Denmark…

Oh for fuck's sake

Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage's wife of 14 months gave birth on Monday to the couple's first child together, a son they named Kal-el — a moniker recognised by comic book fans as the birth name of Superman.

Latest Supreme Court nominee

I'm sorry, but Harriet Miers, BushCo.'s latest Supreme Court puppet, er, nominee, looks like the kind of person who would stuff small children in a large oven, cook them and eat them with a nice chianti...
Or the right-hand (wo)man to the conservative agenda. Not to mention the fact that she doesn't even have experience on the bench.
Be afraid ... be very very afraid...

03 October 2005

These Boots were made for shopping

Boots logo

Oh, heavenly toiletry gods, you have heard me and answered my prayers!


Boots, my most favoritest store ever ever ever—think CVS only super way cooler, and British—is merging with Alliance UniChem to create an uber-mega purveyor of most fantastic British bath and beauty stuffs!!!


Boots, the British drug store chain, plans to merge with Alliance UniChem, the European drug retailer and wholesaler, in the first step of a global expansion plan that will include Asia and the United States, two executives briefed on the talks said Sunday.

I am in heaven. I am practically rolling around on the floor in ecstasy. (Sad that it takes so little to make my day…)


Truth is, I love Boots. Love. It. And have even planned trips to the U.K. as such: "Okay, all I need is to visit so-and-so, drink some Guinness, and make sure I leave enough money and time and, of course, an empty suitcase for my purchases at Boots."


Anyone who has been with me in the U.K. knows of my obsession. When I was travelling back from Scotland with my writing and photo peers, they thought I was insane for bringing a bag filled with half a dozen pots of lotion they lovingly referred to as "goop" into Wagamama. It was a since-discontinued (everyone hang their heads in sadness now) Boots-brand scent called Daisy. I have about 1/16 of a jar left. I am so sad… Send more, oh gods... send more!!!


In Ireland my friends stood, annoyed I'm sure, as I wandered the aisles smelling every lotion, shampoo and assorted colourful jar and tube of gunk, goo and gloop.


Not to mention the fact that when I worked in London, Boots provided lunch (triangle sandwich, crisps and a drink), entertainment, manicures, remedies (Tylenol, a.k.a. panadol, with codeine, OTC, baybee!) and hell, even BOTOX for those well-to-do wrinkly Brits (Camilla aside, of course).


Therefore, it is magically good news that Boots plans to finally, FINALLY make its way to the U.S., and not a moment too soon for a product whore like me.


I may have to move to a flat with a larger bathroom….