Why the pooh-pooh punim, precious pink princess? Why were you crying? Or should I say are, since you are frozen in place, doomed to cry hot tears forever.
Tiny traumatized tyke's teddy's torn! Tsk.
If you really want to have nightmares, check this out! And make sure to sleep with the lights on!
I did it. I broke down and bought an iPod. (I won't link to the Apple/iPod site, because, really, you can find it yourself. In fact, Apple is so omnipotent that if you just think about it, your computer will automatically take you to the Apple website, even if you're not on the internet. Further, I know someone who bit into an apple Granny Smith! not even a red variety! while doing paperwork at his desk, without his computer on at all, and the thing turned itself on (hottt!) and then, first thing it did, was take him to the site.)
So, I bought an iPod. I broke down and bought one because the other mp3 player I had, a non-iPod, broke down. It just stopped working, mid-play. Like a dog who, during a walk, decides he's had enough and just plops himself down on the sidewalk, sprawled out and panting. Or "the girls" in certain offices I've worked in, who, at 5:00:01 p.m., are standing in their sneakers by the elevator bank, fingers curled through the handle-holes of CVS bags rather than above their keyboards.
I resisted buying one for a while, and told myself I wouldn't become "one of those people". I didn't want an iPod because "everyone else has one". Just like I didn't want breast implants because "everyone else has one" (or is that "two"). But now I have a 20GB iPod (the latest and greatest! the "fourth generation" of iPod!) and 40GG iTits, and I couldn't be happier.
Now all I need is a Razor scooter or a Vespa or a Segway or one of those seven-person bicycles or whatever the hippest, happeningest, and hottest trendoids are travelling on these days and I'll be "good to go".
I think it's safe to say, though, that I haven't been completely converted to trend-conformity, if I don't even know what the trendy transportation is these days. Or hours. Or however long a trend's lifespan is before it devolves into just another run-of-the-mill distraction (if regarded at all).
And now, if you'll excuse me, I must "jam". (That's what the posters at the Apple store told me I'd be doing, and by god, that's what I must do.)
P.S. I will be closing comments on Crybaby tonight, so if you haven't spoken up yet, due to shyness or procrastination or because you didn't want to follow the comment-leaving trend, now's the time to do so.
Oh no! Darling doll is dolorous!
Why is she crying so? You tell me! (Yes, this is a rare opportunity for you to leave a comment!)
P.S. Happy nightmares!
Once, a long time ago, so long ago he can't even remember if it was pre-Maria or post-Maria, he mentioned to someone in passing that he happened to like sharks. He didn't say he loved them, he just said he liked them, enough to watch Jaws at least four times in as many months, which, in his eyes, wasn't that much anyway, not when you compared it to how many times he watched Better Off Dead after Maria left him, and no, not just so he could obsess over Diane Franklin, to whom Maria bore an uncanny resemblance. (P.S. Maria, it was a compliment. A compliment! So what if Diane Franklin all but disappeared from the face of the earth after that movie? She was spunky and beautiful then! Much more appealing than that dime a dozen blonde who played the other girl whose name he can't even remember, that's how much she impressed him!)
So: Sharks. He likes them enough, he does. But why did that mean that people had to immediately start getting him shark paraphernalia? Why did his co-workers think he wanted a mousepad depicting a ferocious shark face gnashing its teeth? Why did his mother get him a "shark-a-day" calendar for his desk? Why did someone (Lisa, the temp? Bill from Accounting?) anonymously leave a stuffed "plush toy" shark on his chair with a note saying, "Shark! Who goes there?"? T-shirts, boxer shorts, books, and all other manner of gift: all given to him by people with sharky gleams in their eyes, all thinking they were original by giving him shark stuff. In rare charitable and magnanimous moments, sometimes in the shower, he thought, "You know, people are really very kind. They mean no harm. They're like sharks, really, now that I think about it. Given a mere drop of blood, they rush 'round and feed on it in a frenzy. People really do mean well."
And then he'd get out of the shower, start to shave, and, mid-stroke (usually when he was doing the little part just under his lower lip), he'd come back to his senses and think, "I hate the shark crap. It's gotta stop." One morning, after one such thought cycle, he decides to get to the office early and get rid of it all, and replace it with sophisticated office stuff from somewhere respectable. No more of this Spencer Gift garbage.
So he gets to work, and sees someone has already been to his desk. First of all, there's a rather treacherous stack of papers peppered with Post-Its, and he knows he didn't leave them there the night before. But then, acting as a paperweight atop the heap, is a can of Starkist tuna (albacore).
"What the " he starts. Couldn't Jim've just used the marble shark paperweight like everyone else did? Especially since Jim was the one who gave it to him last Christmas?
"Great job on the Shonlyn case," someone says. It's Jim. "You could say you're shark as a tack!"
"You mean 'sharp'," he says, removing the can of tuna from the stack of papers.
"Sharp. Not shark."
"It's 'sharp as a tack'," he says. "Not 'shark'."
"Oh. I know," Jim says. "But you know you and your sharks!" He takes the can of tuna and tosses it between his hands. "Like this guy," he says, indicating the label.
"That's Charlie the Tuna. Charlie's a tuna. Not a shark."
"What?" Jim says.
"That's Charlie the Tuna," he says.
"I thought it was a shark," Jim says. "That's why I gave it to you."
"Come on," he says. "It's Charlie the Tuna. Charlie. The Tuna. He introduced himself as Charlie the Tuna in the old commercials. Everyone knows who he is. He's a tuna. A tuna. Not a shark. Why the hell would they put a shark on a can of tuna fish? Why?"
"I never really thought about it," Jim says, and tosses the can at him. "See, that's why you and me are such a good team."
"You and I," he says.
"It's 'you and I', not 'you and me'," he says.
"I ... me ... oh, all right. Got'cha," Jim says, pointing his fingers like a gun, pulling the "trigger" and making a little "clickclick" sound with his mouth. "Catch you later, Charlie the Shark!" And with a wink Jim whistles his way down the hall.
Stupid shark shit, he thinks, watching Jim retreat, tasting blood.
In honor of me, for no real reason, I decided to take me on a romantic date today. "It's Hump Day, after all," I told me with a wink, "and you know what that means!" And then I slapped me across the face, called me a filthy pig, and demanded I hail me a taxi to take me home. Thankfully I realized my insensitivity, wrapped me in my arms, brushed my hair (silken, so silken) off my face, and forgave me.
So, anyway. "Hump Day". Yes, I hate the term. I think "Wednesday" has such a nice, wholesome ring to it. But still, I thought it was appropriate to use the term in honor of the movie I took me to this afternoon, The Story of the Weeping Camel. I knew I was in for teary trouble when I watched the trailer for the movie, and I should have come to the theater better prepared, i.e. with tissues, napkins, a rasher of bacon, or something else suitable for tear-swabbing. (I chided me for this oversight, and sat two rows behind me during the previews.)
So if you see this movie and I am hereby yanking your remote control from your claw-like grip and pushing you out the door with both hands and you leave the theater dry-eyed, you are dead to me (said in my very best Jewish lady voice) and also, coincidentally, dead to yourself.
So, like, see it 'n' stuff. See it and weep.
And then take yourself to an intimate lunch, like I did. I know how to treat a lachrymose lady. I take her from an icebox theater to a restaurant frigid enough to offend ice cream. But the people at Tara Thai were so warm and inviting that I pretended I didn't mind. Believe me, I took full advantage of the iciness to help defrost my beautiful date.
Oh, and yeah, the food was really good. Look what we shared:
I walked me home, arm in arm, and asked me in for a drink. And the rest, well ... I don't kiss (or hump!) and tell!
Read more about the movie here.
May I make a suggestion?
Of course you may! you say. You may also make a strudel!
The strudel will have to wait, but the suggestion can't. And the suggestion is this: Would everyone please stop calling movies "films", parents "folks", and problems "issues"?
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the health club.
So, I'm at Village Natural (home of the "macro platter" whose photo I've delighted you with many a time), and I'm waiting for someone to vacate the one-room ladies room at the back of the restaurant. It's been like, what, 500 years? Five minutes? Whatever it is, it's too long. I saw the woman go in, and a quick crane of the neck reveals that she hasn't yet returned to her table, where her friend is waiting with what looks like a fair amount of fidgety embarrassment. (You'll have to wait for another day for me to tell you what I think about people who are embarrassed to be seen alone in restaurants.)
"What the hell is she doing in there anyway?" I say to the DOG, flashing back in time to something I wrote two years ago, in which I asked this very question about people who spend an inordinate amount of time in public restrooms. "Is she in there with her pants down, juggling her ... buttocks ... with one chunk in either hand" and here I presented both of my own hands, palms up, in representation of weighing something on a balance scale "just for the fun of it? What is it? What?"
And then she emerges, in all her plodding, baggy-ass, oversized smock top loveliness. I regard her with disgust, as I picture her hands overflowing with the weighed halves of her floppy flesh. I get up quickly, to stake my claim on the one-room restroom.
I am in the room for no longer than ten seconds, when the doorknob turns with brisk purposefulness. Left (my left), right. Left, right. Left.
"Someone's in here!" I say with a tinkle (in my voice, you swine).
Left, right. Left. Right. Left. And then silence. The doorknob, quivering, attempts to recover from its assault.
I wash my hands, pout prettily at myself in the mirror, fluff my hair, tell myself I'm the cutest girl in all the land, and turn to leave.
Left, right. Right. Shove. Shove shove. Push. Pull. Left, right. Push. The doorknob lock jiggles. Jaggles. The sliding bolt shimmies. Pull, push. Push.
"Someone is in here!" I say. "Hold on!"
I turn the doorknob lock, slide the bolt, and pull the door to open it. And there she stands ... the fidgety fussbudget whose frumpy friend had kept her waiting 500 years or five minutes. And whom I have kept away from the toilet for a total of 42 seconds. I feel it is my duty to glare at her, so I do.
"Jeez," I say, charitably.
"I thought it was stuck!" she says with a whine. She looks up at me. I daresay she ... cowers. Like she knows I want to ... smite her.
"I thought it was stuck!" she continues. Exclamation point! Again! Panic! Panic!
"Patience," I say as I brush past her, drawing the word out into more syllables than it's ever been afforded in the history of its pronunciation. If she hasn't already shit her pants from having to wait 42 seconds (or 500 years and 42 seconds, or five minutes and 42 seconds), she looks like she's about to do so right then and there.
So the thing is this. What's with the fevered door-wrenching? The frenzied knob-pulling (down, boys)? The crazed lock-jiggling? The all-around generalized panic? Once you try the door and realize the knob's not going anywhere, don't you just think, "Well, let's see. The door is apparently locked. Since I am a sane person with the ability to make simple deductions and I am above the age of three, I therefore conclude that the room is occupied. Thus, I will have to wait." However, from the flabbergasted look on this woman's face, it was clear she did not have the brain power required to make that leap.
What was she thinking, then? That I was crouched on the other side of the door with two enormous tubes of Crazy Glue, using both hands to methodically squeeze glue between the door frame and the door itself, just to keep her out? (What an idiot she must be, I thought. Obviously this would keep me in, too.) Or did she think I was standing on the other side of the door, feet rooted, knees bent, both hands grabbing the doorknob with white-knuckled determination, pulling the door even more tightly in its frame in direct opposition to her pushing (oh, those laws of physics!), in an impromptu game of tug-of-war?*
So I left the restaurant before she left the restroom. And she's probably still there. Because little did she know what I, as a regular, know: the door can also be locked from the outside!
* Update, 12:14 a.m. (19 July 2004): I realize this is technically incorrect (even though I hail "the laws of physics"). I know that if I pulled the door at the same time she pushed it, my action would not be in "direct opposition" to hers, and, in effect, I would be helping her in her quest to gain entry. Work with (not against!) me, here, OK? (And please don't send me diagrams or formulas or angry physics-infused email.)
My love affair with the New York Public Library has waned. Somewhere along the line, after one too many run-ins with suspicious stains (go here and here for the dirt), I decided to make a clean break and start buying books instead. I had to literally wash my hands of the library experience.
So now when I have a hankering for a li'l lit., I go to Amazon.com and browse cleanly, sans stains. And when the books arrive in their neat little bundle, all fresh and crisp and free of the crime of grime, I am as happy as a clam or a pig in shit or whatever the kids are saying these days to indicate glee. At last! Hundreds of pages unsullied by fingertips that moments before had swiped grayed grease from alongside a bibliophilic bum's nose! Volumes of vellum unmolested by errant genitalia! No crumbs, no coffee rings, no blood, no sputum! Ahoy! Oh joy!
Or ... maybe not.
Check this out:
I have no idea how it happened. I'd left the book on the bed, face down and spread open (not the most delicate of positions, and one for which I apologize given my general reverence of books and concomitant desire to preserve their dignity) perhaps to run to the aid of an orphan sobbing in the street below and when I returned and picked the book up to continue reading, I noticed the stain, glaring at me with no small amount of defiance from page 98.
"What is this?" I said, flipping through the pages with trepidation. I discovered that the stain had not just affected page 98, but had seeped through to page 97, and then and here is when I fully shuddered with the realization of the enormity of the damage all the way to page 93! Like wildfire, it spread! Like a venereal disease, it spread! It was too much to bear.
Once my nerves had a chance to settle somewhat, I took a deep breath and felt the bedclothes where the book had been resting. Perhaps the cat, manifesting her defiance bladderally? No. Seepage from a secret corpse? No. Perchance an upended, opened, wicker-encased bottle of extra-virgin olive oil, imported from a Tuscan village? No. What, then, what?
My forensic inspection yielded very little information. And when interrogated under bright white lights, the stains refused to budge and offered no information. However, those same lights revealed that the parts of the pages touched by the stain were translucent (think mayonnaise), and a cursory frisking revealed that the stains are still a bit moist, thus bringing me to the conclusion that they are indeed oil-based.
But how did the stains get there? What do they mean? And why, if you squint at them, do they look like faces in profile ... faces that regard me with ill will and malice ... faces I may have encountered ... in the New York Public Library ... ?
Whirling in the cyclone of my mind, I find neither Spirit nor sweet Melissa, as Barry Manilow intimates in his tender ballad, "Could It Be Magic". Within this cyclone whirls stuff certainly less sweet and, lately, absolutely more scientific.
However, I am definitely not a scientific sort. Although I do enjoy the basic principles of physics and find the Periodic Table of Elements quite stirring, things scientific are not what move or inspire me. So why is it that I cannot get the following three things out of my mind:
- Punnett Squares and a discussion in a biology class about why we don't see evidence of some dominant traits, e.g. webbed feet (the answer involved the sad sad fact that webbed feet are generally not considered attractive [although the kid in I Wish That I Had Duck Feet thinks otherwise], and no one wants to fuck a duck [or at least a human with duck feet]; hence, therefore, and ergo, the trait eventually loses steam and no one sees much of it except in textbooks and sideshows).
- Excited electrons! I never quite cared what they were or what they did, but I did wonder, much as I do now, why they were always so revved up. And of course I loved the peppy exclamation point. Whenever I see the "E!" representing the entertainment channel, I automatically think, "Excited electron!" and get all caught up in some sort of nebulous hubbub that I can't quite identify.
- The word "ribosome" It is physiologically impossible for me to hear this word without defining it, silently, inside my head, over and over, in a crazed montone: "Site of protein synthesis, site of protein synthesis, site of protein synthesis." You'd be surprised how often this happens, now that the kids on the street have adopted "ribosome" as some sort of wacky slang!
If someone out there is willing to do a scientific study to tell me why oh why these items will not leave me alone, I will bake that person a nice batch of Punnett squares (from scratch! none of that boxed stuff for me!).
If not, I'll just have to conclude that it very well could, indeed, be magic!
I've been feeling out of sorts lately, but haven't been able to put my finger on the source of the sortsoutsness. I thought maybe I was too busy having my finger on the pulse of what's hip 'n' happenin' in New York City to notice where all my fingers were, but then I realized I've got enough moxie to multi-task, and enough fingers to go around. So I pulled all my fingers from wherever they happened to be (oh, you don't want to know), and realized that the reason I feel so ... off ... is because I haven't shown you my food lately. I knew it had to be something important.
So now, while I have all my faculties intact and all my fingers on the keyboard, please allow me to so indulge you:
Candle Cafe, Moroccan Eggplant Salad (with tempeh)
17 June 2004
I ate this so long ago that I can't even remember what I wore when I ate it. (Idea: Photograph outfits in conjunction with food ... order dishes that coordinate with clothes? If so, avoid all-black ensembles, unless ordering the Wholly-Hijiki platter.) Nevertheless, I remember it tasted a lot better than my shirt.
Why Curry?, Drunk Man Noodles (with tofu)
29 June 2004
Although most of my fun food fotos are of lunch, sometimes (rarely!) I like to flout convention and snap shots of dinner. Dinner ordinarily turns up its nose at such frivolity, but this dish didn't seem to care. Then again, it was too drunk to notice. Oh, and please note that this is the only time I have interest in a drunk man's noodle.
Gobo, Nori Wrapped Tofu
2 July 2004
I am physiologically and psychologically unable to consider "nori" without immediately conjuring up the image of Michael Nouri as Nick in Flashdance, in the scene where Alex (Jennifer Beals) removes her bra without taking off her trend-setting sweatshirt. I did manage to keep all my clothes on while eating this, though. After all, I'm not that much of a maniac.
Gobo, Braised Tofu in Black Bean Sauce, with Mashed Sweet Potato, Brown Rice
11 July 2004
Some people praise the Good Lord Jesus on Sundays. Gobo braised the Good Food Tofu. And I ... I am a believer. This was one of the best tofu dishes I've had in recent memory. And yes, I'd swear that on your Bible.
All finger-lickin' good! (But don't worry. I don't do that in public. At home I lick my plate, though. Yes. I do.)
Next up: Brooklyn! They have food there, too! Who knew!?
The window is open only about six inches, but that's more than enough to allow the almost obscenely mouth-watering aroma of something fried to waft up from somewhere below, through the screen, and across the room to where I sit. The smell reminds me of Kentucky Fried Chicken, which I have not had since 1988. I have not had any chicken in 14 years (soy "chicken" does not count!), but right now I can't help but fantasize about steaming bucketsful of just the skin, removed from the flesh and bone, in two varieties extra-crispy and original and making a mess of my fingers, lips, arteries, and conscience. The smell is so captivating that I fear it may have the power to lull me into a zombie-like state, at which time I will take to the streets and strangle the first stray chicken I come across. (Fellas, please feel free to wink at each other and suggest I choke the chicken instead.) Save me.
All right, ladies. You see, the thing is this. If you're going to put your tits out for the lads, you've got to expect that they're going to take an eyeful. If you're going to go through all the trouble of inflating yourself artificially and then displaying your at-least-C-but-probably-more-like-D-cups in a T-shirt so tight that it reveals your spleen, and then bending forward from the waist (which also happens to jut your ass out ... go figure!) in a pose calculated to expose the maximum amount of smushed cleavage available without a prescription, well, you'd better be prepared for guys to stare. But to act all offended by the ogling or bored by the brouhaha (bra-hoohoo?)? Please. Knocker it off. Who do you think you're titting, anyway?
This morning I woke up before I could respond to the questions posed by an enthusiastic group of well-muscled (what powerful thighs!) Latinas whose dark, lustrous hair was sweat-slicked off their damp faces. They followed me from a dense set-up of gym equipment to a clearing on the floor, and demanded answers with such fierce intensity that I had no choice but to escape by waking up. I am afraid to go back to sleep without giving them what they want, so here, chicas lindas, are your answers:
- No, the rumors are not true: I am not teaching the early morning spinning class on Sundays. I do not spin, on Sunday or otherwise, unless, of course, you mean those occasions when I take a little ride inside my washing machine alongside the whites. (And when I say "whites", I am not being racist ... it's just that I prefer not to mingle with the colors, because I always come out pink. So don't even think of sending me hate mail accusing me of racism.)
- No, I am not modelling for the Taj Mahal casino. You will not see my face and body splashed across billboards or in print ads this year. I did not sign a contract, and, in fact, never had any intention of modelling for Taj Mahal. You heard wrong.
When I go to sleep tonight, ladies, you are all welcome back into my dreams, but only if you keep quiet. Please feel free to parade in front of me, however, in those little shorts that show off the results of all the lunges you were doing before you bombarded me with silly questions.
Wait! Hasn't she dreamed of Latinas before? Yes. Yes, she has.
You may think that I enjoy a certain "princess" status, given that I am indeed a demanding Jewess with discriminating taste. You may think so, even if it is a touch politically incorrect (P.S. political correctness is retarded!) to regard someone as a "JAP", whether she is Jewish or Japanese. You are free to do what you like and think what you like. After all, isn't that sort of the point of the holiday that just left us several days ago? Freedom and whatnot? Surely the occasion meant more than an opportunity to gorge your poor self on substandard hot dogs, pyramids of corn on the cob, and stuff like this:
I actually had some of this, despite my general aversion
to things dairy. It was prepared with such genuine
enthusiasm by two adorable little girls that I could not
pass it up. That was a freedom I did not wish to exercise.
So think what you will. (And oh, you will.) But know that if you consider me a princess, you are oh so very wrong. You see, I have come to the shocking conclusion that I am a queen. And no, this is not where I reveal to you that I've been masquerading as a woman and am secretly a gay man. Although that was suggested yesterday by my good friend "C", who is indeed one of them.
I am not content to be a mere drone. I must be queen. Naturally, as such, I demand all the rights, privileges, and honors conferred upon royalty. And when I give the gift of sweetness, honey, you better be prepared to appreciate it. Learn to bee-hive accordingly and you will not suffer the sting!
That is all. You are dismissed.
In honor of this weekend's big holiday, I am declaring my independence from this site until f(o)urther notice. Which means you'll probably "see" me on Tuesday. And yes, here is where you giggle behind your hand and say, "See you next Tuesday", and someone else gets confused so you roll your eyes and say it again, drawing a "C" and a "U" in the air while saying the first two words and then emphasizing the "N" and the "T" while saying the last two.
Have a blast. But not literally. I had to add that so, upon your frantic entry into the emergency room on the Fourth, grasping a plastic baggie containing several of your blasted-off fingers, you won't have me to blame. Because I warned you.
If you need further warning, see last year's entry.
I feel like such an idiot. I can't believe I forgot to publicly welcome July with the open arms and warm heart it so rightly deserves. In all the hubbub surrounding the blowout ceremony to celebrate the end of June, I completely neglected to give July's hand a hearty hello shake. I was just too busy clinging to June, exhausting myself what with all the weeping and hugging. So, for what it's worth ... Welcome, July!