I forgot to send my imprisoned dad a card this year, and I feel kind of bad about it. But, in my defense, they don’t really make cards that say, “I love you. That doesn’t mean I’m going to impersonate an attorney while illegally taping phone conversations in an effort to gather evidence for your appeal in your attempted murder conviction.”
Yep, that’s what my dad asked of me in his last letter. He timed it just right since I wasn’t sure what to send him. He even wrote, “Will you do and cares me?” (Translation: Do you care for me enough to do what I asked?) Lesson: Steel bars can’t cage the even the weakest passive agression. It is true, a hundred schoolmasters never taught me such things.
I prefer this quote by Anne Sexton, “It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.” That handsome young buck who lived life fast and furiously was a whole lot of fun. Happy Father’s Day to him.
Last year’s gift ideas for the incarcerated dad: Here.
First, happy birthday to Bob. Long time, no see.
My dad’s birthday fast approaches. Let me tell you, there simply are not enough cards for fathers in jail.
I settled on one that said something about how a dad’s love means so much to little girls and big girls, too. That seemed innocuous enough. I mean, he does love me, and that’s gotta count for something, right? How much it really means to me (a big girl, for those in doubt), I don’t know, but Hallmark needs to pick up the ball on this shameful void.
Per his request in his most recent letter, I purchased him 60 weeks of USA Today. He says, “You kow that USA [Today] is best news in the world.” Whatever you say, Dad, your subscription starts tomorrow.
Fun Father Fact: His parting advice to me on first dates,”Don’t fuck.”
Verbatim quote. No lie.
We’re still celebrating. Look, we’re under a horseshoe. This should bode well, yes? How does that lucky charm work? I don’t think it follows the people, after all I got drug by a cab a few hours after this photo was taken.
I digress. So tonight you should join us for Sweet Paprika at the Village Lantern. It’s Ophira’s birthday (I’d link to this very talented and charming Canadian, but she is sans website — see, my use of French when referencing a Canadian? I am very, very clever.), Christian is a surprise guest, it’s only $5.00 and the comedy is superb. So, if you thought you didn’t have anything to do, you thought wrong. Again.
You really should stop thinking that.
We had a great dinner at Mexican Radio — a bit overpriced, but “that’s SoHo for you” — then an even better time at a party in a very lovely Midtown apartment. I didn’t have to worry about a hangover, but even at this age, I still always worry about all the stupid things I must have said. The next morning I usually try to rehash all conversations and wonder at which point did things turn awkward and was it my fault. Probably.
Then I got knocked down and dragged by a cab who refused us service to Astoria. So I worried about that instead.
Alive, but bruised.
Yesterday I received the first note from my incarcerated father since last May. He’s been busy, I guess. It was a Hallmark Christmas card. The front read, “God made all the nights and days and all the world to sing His praise.” The inside read, “The very sweetest song on earth once brought the news of Jesus’ birth – And as we sing His praise today, may you be blessed in every way.”
Then my dad wrote a warm and fuzzy Christmas note in his “deaf speak” handwriting that included this sentence, “I had been [in] solitary confinement four times since April for fighting with n*ggers cause me mad because stealings – all offenders are haters, thief, jealous, etc.”
Don’t you just want to pinch his cheeks he’s just so cute? You know you want him as a prison pen pal for the new year. Don’t lie.
Come on, he did care enough to send the very best!
Christian successfully “made” Watergate Salad and brought it over proudly in a borrowed bowl. I immediately took a big bite and found it to be perfectly delicious. “Good,” he said, “because I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to melt down the marshmallows or, you know, smush them…” What a cutie . . . in fact, so cute I smeared it all over him and added turkey and gravy and had myself a big, giant feast before kicking his butt in Monopoly for the umpteenth time. I’m so very thankful!
Seriously, I can’t think of a more perfect dinner. I’ve never tasted meat that moist and juicy – – and I cooked it. Do you realize how crazy that is?!? Unbelievable. The next day we gnawed on leftovers and it was STILL juicy and moist — THAT’S how good it was. Since you’ll now be taking your meat cooking advice from a pro like me, I’ll give you a meat cooking hint: slow and steady wins the race.
Eat that, Emeril Whatsyourface.
Cooking is easy! Cleaning sucks!
“Belle” for a day, (insert bitter sarcasm here) but a memory to last a lifetime!
Tonight’s the night. I’m gonna pretend to like children and know how to waltz as I play “Belle” to a bunch of little kids who actually believe in that fairy tale shit that Disney sells. I fast forwarded through the movie during my lunch break and learned that Belle’s Papa, as she calls him, was an inventor and therefore considered to be the town nut and that girls who read are considered odd and should find “better things to do with their time.” Nice message there, Walt.
So tonight, as I make my way through what promises to be the two longest hours of my life at the Times Square Toys R’ Us, my turkey is thawing. Yep, you read that right “my turkey”. You know what this means? Christian and I will be getting salmonella after eating my first ever Thanksgiving dinner. I’m actually kind of excited about my attempts and we went grocery shopping together to make it more of a joint venture. He is determined to help prepare something, so I gave him my mother’s “Watergate Salad” recipe and the ingredients. This salad is quite possibly the easiest, cheapest, most trailer trash thing ever, but I’ve had to give him instructions and reassurance several times.
“So I just put it in a bowl and stir?”
“Yes! Just dump everything in. Don’t think about it. Don’t chop or cut anything. Just stir.”
It’s almost as painful as teaching Jack how to copy and paste on the computer. I need to record the instructions for later use. “Open the can, dump the contents, open the box, dump the contents, open the bowl, dump the contents, open the bag, dump the contents. Stir!”
Just dump it in a bowl and stir!
Me: What should I do to make Christmas special. Something only he and I do together?
Gina: Oh, I know, you could go to the neighbors and knock on their doors . . .
Me:. . . and RUN! Yes!
Gina: Noooo, sing Christmas carols.
Me: Oh. Right. Of course. Christmas carols.
Grinchess in the Making
Jack did it again. He made someone so enraged they called him a “Mad Dog with AIDS”. Nice, huh? Later, the finally calmed down man emailed Jack with an “olive branch” with a link to a daily motivator. Little does this person know that sending Jack something like this only gives him more ammunition and desire to cause hate and anger.
Assistant to Mad Dog
Jack and I had a big old fashioned fight today. Names were called and in the end I was right. That’s cool, because I got to walk away in a huff and slam his door loud and hard, so hard it shook Rockefeller Center. A good door slam is an argument orgasm. It’s the grand finale, an explanation point to end all rebuttal sentences, and my lordy what an extremely satisfactory way to end things. Another moment like that and I might start smoking again.
I like to imagine that during this final punctuation mark of mine, there was some sound tech flunkie (a la John Travolta’s character in Brian DePalma’s Blow Out) waiting in the wings trying to capture the perfect door slam to dub in his new movie and yesterday was his coup d’état. His grand triumph; perfect and exhilarating. SLAM!
A few minutes later, Jack and I were just as civil as we ever were. Him talking lewdly of sex with his wife (or the lack thereof) and me oohing and ahhing as though everything he says is spun gold. It is kind of nice to be able to express such immediate frustration in an immediate way then immediately get over it. Especially since I was right.
USDS Champion ’03 and Right.
I don’t get why other people can see great things in me and yet I can’t. My personality mirror must be broken. My own positive self image is a vampire to me. I can’t see the reflection despite everyone seeing its existence.
What’s worse than not seeing the good in yourself? Knowing what you want, but not being able to get it. Watching “Born Rich” made me want to kick Ivanka Trump off her tower and drown that Johnson & Johnson schmuck in a vat of hot baby oil. Give me three of your crappiest designer handbags to sell on Ebay so I can start my own theater space you whiny, self-interested pieces of spoiled diaper waste. It’s intense, this hatred of my present situation and those with trust funds.
So, with my broken personality mirror, I can only write negative things. Aren’t you lucky?
The un-fairest of them all.
My usual dry cleaners is closed for vacation, so I called Christian for another suggestion. That was silly. There are like 1,063 in a two block radius. I found a very clean, new-looking French cleaners directly across from Key Food. I dropped off two sweaters and two shirts and figured I’d stop in Key Food for a few items. Thirty minutes and $45 later, I had bags filled with groceries that I think I might actually eat before they rot. Never mind that they’re mostly non-perishables.
I left two pairs of the daintiest girly shoes with the oldest, gruffest man who will have them ready for me later today for only $10. Normally I would just throw out shoes thinking they aren’t worth the hassle, but I had barely worn these shoes when the little heels wore through from walking on the sidewalks of New York. One pair was worn much before its time because I walked home in them during the blackout. These tiny little stilletos weren’t meant to trudge across a bridge!
I’m so proud of my diligence and responsibility today – dry cleaning, grocery shopping, shoe repairs, vacuuming, and organizing – you’d think Martha Stewart laid eggs in my ear while I was sleeping. Could that be why it hurts? Hmm . . . I think I want to check my stock prices.
Okay, enough. I have more “things” to do. I like doing “things”.
Jack’s China trip is proving exciting and worthwile for him. He called me twice over the weekend to let me know he lost his insulin pen and needed backup fast among other demands. Why he was calling me at 3:00 in the morning is beyond me. He’s at a five star hotel, the concierge gets paid to cater to high maintenance blustery guys like Jack. It was all in control by this morning, he was given needles and drugs galore with no prescription necessary. These Commies sure know how to operate.
It was good to hear his voice though and not from the confines of a dank prison cell. We must have chatted for twenty minutes about the food alone. He made me laugh with tales of his refusal to eat fish lips and the like. In fact, he was calling me from a Mongolian restaurant where they have baby lambs wandering through restaurants. “You pick the one you want, just like lobster! Then they take it in the back and prepare it for you. So fresh!” Followed by, “Baaah Baaah” in the background. Later when giving him a phone number he said, “Give me another pen, this one’s got blood all over it.” I was mortified.
Thankfully it was all a ruse. All those “Baaahs” were courtesy of his new Chinese friends following along in his joke. Say all you want about Jack — how he’s rude, crude, bossy, mean, high maintenance, demanding — but people love him and no one ever forgets him. These new Chinese friends of his have already started inundating his inbox with emails. They will miss him, but not as much as I do. I need a free lunch!
My mid-life crisis all started with a broken heel. As I’m limping along, trying to look as though I belong on 5th Avenue office on which I work, I tried to convince myself that I matter in someone’s life — someone who is not a direct link in the hierarchy of successors in the event of my intestate death.
A chain of events was spurred:
• I limped with the broken heel to the subway. — I cannot afford taxis to and fro on a daily basis.
• Sitting on the subway with my broken heel, I observed all the schlubby working class people headed to the same neighborhood. — I cannot afford to live in Manhattan given my spacial needs and am, therefore, a schlubby working class minion.
• I hobbled home from the subway to a dog and nothing else. No letters or emails, no projects or parties, no calls from the paparazzi. — I have no one to leave my fortune in the event of my testate death. In fact, I could rot for days and days before anyone was the wiser.***
So I bought a new pair of heels.
Okay, Mommy’s better now, so quit calling me “Mommy” and for God’s sake put down that grilled cheese sandwich!
***Okay, Christian might wonder why I didn’t return his calls, but would he bother looking for a corpse? I’m not sure. My mother never calls. It could be months before my maggot ridden body was recovered and by then my stocks could have plummeted, so let’s not count on her. Dad? He’s now confined to a year in solitary, does he need the money for a Johnny Cochran-like defense? Sure, but is he worth it? Only if he keeps sending me nude sketches. Yowzer.
After the longest week of work, I’ve sent Jack off to China. Stay tuned to CNN for any strange international incidents involving an obnoxious American. Trust me, in nine days Jack is bound to cause some newsworthy trouble. I filled numerous prescriptions to ensure he’ll enjoy himself during his meetings with the Ministers of Defense and Energy, et al. and his scheduled “Shanghai Nightlife” and “Forbidden City” trips. While I was at the drugstore, Jack’s pharmacist actually intimated that he was trying to “get rid” of Jack. You know you’ve made some enemies when a man who actually does semi-like you threatens to kill you on occasion.
Meanhwhile, Mommy’s having a mid-life crisis. Now be a big girl (boy) and go fix yourself a grilled cheese sandwich.
I have never encountered more snags and silly stresses in basic travel than when travelling with Christian. He says he’s never had this much trouble except when with me. Are our travel juices mixing to create a disastrous formula? Considering I’ve been to Europe and the BVI’s, all over the US and Mexico and he’s never set foot out of the country, I’m more than happy to blame him. Besides, I wasn’t with him Friday when he had one of his worst airport experiences.
Part of it, though, is that he gets very riled up at the smallest hiccups whereas I tend to just stay silent and think, “Hmm, this sucks, ooh, that coffee smells good. I wish I had coffee. My ass itches. If I lean up against that pole I can scratch it unnoticed, but will that pole leave schmutz on my pants?” You get the idea.
I think the Travel Gods look down on him and think, “Let’s halt all subway service into Manhattan. Can you just picture the fury on his face? MMWWAHAHAHA!”
When they see me, they think, “Aaah, why bother? She’ll just meet a taxi driver willing to drive her to Manhattan in exchange for a Stoli light up pen because he’s already headed to Manhattan, and why should he charge her for a trip he’s going to take with or without her?”
I suggested Finnegan make a sacrifice to the Travel Gods: like buy a Metro Card and give it to a migrant worker. He queried, “But what if I do that and then my travel karma doesn’t change? Can you imagine how pissed I’d be then?!?!”
See. He’s destined for delays. You just have to trust that when you put the goodness out there, it will come back not to smack you but kiss you lightly on the lips and ask, “Mmmm, is that Dentyne Arctic Chill? It is?!?! Then, please accept this first class upgrade. I insist.”
Honestely, though, the MTA can suck my dick.**
**Just kidding, MTA God!
I’ve always been a hard worker and good at mechanical things. I can read maps and directions like no other person with a vagina. I’ve helped build decks, reshingled roofs, painted homes inside and out, built foundations, gardens, sewage lines, wired lights, refinished hardwood floors, I’ve repaired mechanical and constructional failures and assembled many complicated items of furniture alone and with swift ease. So, imagine my shock and dismay at the conversation I had today:
Me: Scott, thank you so much for all that food! You cooked for me? Left a pizza? A bottle of wine?! Wow! And the tub! What on earth did you do to fix it? Did you call the Super?
Scott: No, I just flipped the little switch.
Yep, the little trip lever thing that turns a shower to a tub, he flipped it. That little thing got flipping flipped.
While in Florida, Scott and Brian stayed at my place to babysit my menagerie of Phish, Larry Bird and Paquita. Before leaving, I took great pains to hide my *ahem* Valuables. I wouldn’t risk passing them through an x-ray machine at airport security (“Ma’am, please empty the contents of your bag”) and Christian was not willing to be a Page Six snippet and wouldn’t carry them on my behalf. So, I stashed them as best I could.
I’ve known Scott since I was 15 years old; there is little, if anything, in my drawers life that could shock him. I still, however, found myself compelled to bury my Valuables out of sight. “As long as I survive four more days, my secret is safe,” I thought. There are a few things wrong with that scenario:
• I have never kept my Valuables a secret.
• I’ve talked about my Valuables with Scott at length.
• If I don’t survive the trip, the cat is out of the bag.
My logic is, as long as you can’t picture them, they don’t exist. Plus, I don’t want Scott using them.
I left Scott with a clogged tub and no food in the fridge. I returned to a sparkling, clog-free porcelain tub and more food than I’ve had since . . . umm . . . well . . . never. He even left a bottle of wine. Surely this was a mistake. Didn’t he mean to take it? I can’t believe I was so selfish. Next time, he can have my Valuables. I’ll just buy new ones.
So, there was a deaf British comic on Christian’s Portable Comedy lineup named Steve Day. His appearance is what prompted me to make a whole night out of Friday. I was fully prepared to applaud with my deaf jazz hands and “chat” the night away. Turns out he doesn’t even know sign language. He is 70% deaf since the age of 18 and hasn’t yet learned a single sign. Not one.
So I taught him how to say “fuck” and told him a story that made him laugh heartily. The kind of laugh that makes your eyes close, mouth open, and an embarrassingly loud bellow come from your belly. When I retold the story to a chick that walked up during his guffaw, she stared. Blinked. Smiled. Blinked. Hey, he got it, because he’s 70% deaf.
The story, which does not translate to the written word very well and is, therefore, shortened and dulled as follows:
A boy I consequently broke up with because he blinked too much — hard intense blinks with purpose and annoying frequency — once came to my place to pick me up for a date. My dad, rarely having the opportunity to be fatherly to a girl like me (fabulously and sometimes painfully independent), decided to greet my date and give me advice before I headed out to play video games and air hockey. He shook hands with said boy and glared menacingly before turning to me and signing stern advice which I ignore to this day.
His advice? “Don’t fuck.”
What I told the boy? “He said, “Nice to meet you.'”
And off on our merry way we went.
Christian and I trekked to the Boudoir Bar in Brooklyn for Larry Getlen’s comedy show, Brew-Ha-Ha. Christian’s set went well considering the audience was nearly comatose through the performers that preceded him, save for Joe DeVito and Ray Somethingorother who both reminded everyone it was okay to laugh.
So Christian performed some new material including a joke in which I was the source of humor. As soon as he mentioned “his girlfriend”, my breathing stopped. I was suddenly aware that too many people in the room knew that I was the girl in “his girlfriend”. I wanted to take back all the ridiculous white-man-overbite-dancing-naked-save-for-my-grass-skirt, breaking-bed-frame, taking-other-calls-during-phone-sex moments we’d ever shared. I found myself laughing more loudly than usual punctuated with nervous giggling until it was over and I was certain my reputation was intact: I like AC/DC and sex. Whew!
So, I didn’t stick around for the VMAs. (I did, however, take some photos of the carousel and stuff.) After dodging and darting through an ocean of teeny bopper boys and girls all set to go to college this year on Daddy’s dime, I realized I have no clue who most of the nominees are and don’t care. Frankly, I’m a numb-skull when it comes to music. I’m the same chick whom Sheila corrected at her luau. “I’m a believer!” turned out to be the Go Go’s “Our Lips are Sealed.” SAY WHAT?!?! Sheila was surprised at me, “It’s the Go Go’s! It’s the name of the song!”
Yeah, and they’re singing “I’m a Believer!” What don’t you get?! She’s making this sh*t up!
My ex-boyfriend from four years ago, Mark, who now lives in Orange County, California as though he’s retired (playing golf, biking, hiking…where’s the work, there Mr. Mark?!) insists that I’ve ruined his favorite Who? song forever because now when he hears, “Eminence Front” all he hears is “Lemonade Strut”. As he put it, “I should have pushed you out of the car.”
Finally, my friends in Columbus were mortified when, during an Ohio State pre-football game tailgate, I declared to anyone within earshot that the live band sucked because they didn’t know the lyrics to, “She’s a Freak, OW!” The band had the audacity to sing, “She’s a Brick House.” Whatever.
I finally bought a set of dishes. That’s right, you read it here first. After six months of living with one dish that in its former life served as a candle holder, I am the proud owner of a set of simple, dark red dishes. And a shower curtain. I own a shower curtain now. Still no shower rings, but I’m working on that. Today I might get all crazy and buy some flatware and a bowl or two. It just depends on how exciting these VMAs are.
P.S. Please pardon my delayed posts. I’ve had some publishing problems.
I scored more free Yankees tickets . . . this time versus Baltimore. I rang up my best boy (pictured far right — click for a big pic) and asked him to join me for a last minute adventure to the Bronx. Lucky for me he said yes, and off we were on the 4/5 Uptown Express to watch the Bronx Bombers prevail yet again.
It was quite the perfect baseball game . . . lots of excellent plays, perfect weather and, my food group staple: beer mixed with hot dogs and mustard. Really nothing of importance happened, and I thought how telling that is of New York that so many absurd and wonderfully bizarre things happen so regularly that when I have just an amazing, perfect date it seems unworthy of a journal entry. That somehow if no one took a tumble down a flight of stairs, if I didn’t catch a foul ball with my beer mug or see a homeless guy take a dump in someone’s nachos, that I might as well have been comatose. That somehow to just simply laugh and talk and hug and have sex in the bleachers while being filmed on the jumbo-tron is equivalent to my sitting on the couch eating an entire can of Salt n’ Vinegar Pringles while watching a Forensic Files marathon. Well, it’s not. It’s messier, and apparently it’s illegal. Who knew?
Luaus are fun. Grass skirts itch the hell out of sunburnt skin, but luaus are fun. Once again, Sheila’s amazing rooftop served as the location and David Bowie and Iman still didn’t come over to join the fun…they just gazed at us longingly…their pretty, rich noses pressed hard against the glass. Losers.
I spent today nursing my skin by hanging out in Central Park, reading, writing, drinking beer, eating hot dogs and nachos and watching Orthodox Jewish kids play softball in full Orthodox Jewish garb on one field and a bunch of rowdy old men play a double-header in full baseball uniforms on another. Team “Butt Spankers” won the first game. I didn’t stick around to see who won the second, especially after seeing one Butt Spanker rip his shirt off and start bumping chests in a show of aggressive foolishness. I wanted to shout to him, “You are middle-aged. This is for fun, remember?!” What kind of example was he setting for the little Jews?
Part of what makes a person mature, the thing that makes them worth knowing, is their ability to admit their mistakes. To say, “Yes, I was wrong. You are right,” is a horse-sized pill to swallow. I want to know people with the capability of swallowing it all, without question, every last drop of their mistake(s).
Last night, I gave my mother what was quite possibly the worst tongue lashing I’ve ever given anyone. She listened and agreed. She was wrong. I was right. My baby is called “Tex in the City”, and until it provides me with the income I am currently afforded by filling Viagra prescriptions and rushing insulin to various chi-chi NY restaurants, well, it’s still in diapers and needs my nurturing. I told her, “Consider it adopted from Korea. It doesn’t carry your DNA, but you have to love it just the same.” Besides, my baby won’t grow up to be a paranoid schizophrenic a$$hole like some people, so she should love it even more.
She also said, “Please don’t tell anyone. I’m ashamed.” Umm, too late.
She’ll be making her third trip to NYC next week. Her first consisted of a Big Apple Tour Bus across the City with NO stops. (They were a-scared.) Her second included the premiere of an award-winning feature film and various touristy stops. Her third, well, I hope it will be the charm. No parties, no premieres, no paparazzi — just possibilities . . . and me, her potty-trained, self-sufficient, fiercely independent baby.
I never get hateful or vindictive on this site about anyone I know personally. First of all, I just am not a hateful person (unless you are under 4 feet tall chasing me through a store asking, “Do he bite?”) and find negative energy to be useless, futile and, more importantly, contagious. You reap what you sow, you get what you give, what comes around goes around, blah, blah, blah.
Mainly, though, I generally just dig everyone. In fact, I find something to love about most everyone so easily, that Christian has queried, “What makes someone special?” We, of course, were talking in the romantic sense and my answer I will save for another day called “Never”.
Instead, let me go against the grain. Why not? I’m really annoyed that I’m now too chicken to go up on my rooftop ever again (even for an innocuous dinner) and that my Super knows too much about the placement of my various freckles, so let me spew my anger on you.
As you know, I threw a party. (No, I won’t talk about it ad nauseum anymore, so ” Silent Friend” of the comment box; just relax your anal glands lest you pop when I poke you with my index finger.) Well, it took six months of planning and hard work and we were all very excited about it. I, naturally, wanted my mother there to share in the fun, especially since Meredith and Greg had their families there and Scott, at the time, was expecting his to be in attendance. She said she couldn’t afford it and didn’t have the time. Okay, understood. Hopefully there will be another, more exciting event that she can make.
Well, what is it? Ten days later? Guess who just left for a two week trip from Texas to Florida then Niagara Falls with a possible stop in NYC to see me? Um, yeah, my mom. The same woman who hasn’t even asked me how the party went even after I emailed her and left several voice mails.
She did call, however, to find out the price of diesel fuel. Wha? About ten minutes of listening to how she was going to be traveling all over the country over two weeks in a travel trailer and also has another trip planned to Washington (the really far away state, not the city), she finally asks if anything is going on with me. Hmm, I just threw a party for the Governor of Texas, but, no, not much is happening really. Same old, same old. Thanks for asking. If my party wore diapers and sh*t itself she would’ve tripped over her ovaries to get here and clean baby bottom, because, as you know, mopping up infant feces is validating.
So now you see why I’m bursting with excitement to tell all you anonymous folks about my mini-successes ? Because no one genetically connected to me even gives a rat’s ass. They’re all old-school deaf people (i.e., don’t read hearing people stuff), in jail, on medication or otherwise too poor and “busy” in the suburbs watching television, mowing lawns in criss-cross patterns and tending to the cows. So you, Silent Friend, you are the best thing to ever happen to me, and I can’t seem to please you, either.
So . . .
this is Kambri Crews, signing off. The pleasure, it seems, has been all mine.
When walking home from work, I do not recommend these shoes.
Unlike the four hour, scary and lonely walk across the 59th Street Bridge on 9/11/01, it took me a mere hour to get home from Midtown and was shared with a friend from work. Quite a different adventure.
Christian and I bumped into each other in Astoria and decided to hang out on a rooftop where it was surprisingly cool. We enjoyed a candlelight dinner of pasta and wine, played cards, and talked of the stars and passing planes and laughed too hard about something silly. In other words, it was just like any other night we share together . . . only hotter.
So when people talk of yesterday it will forever be:
the day Tex in the City made the NY Times for the first time;
the day some guy knocked his head hard into the wooden security sensor at Barnes & Noble trying to check me out;
the day a NY Times fact checker wrote me regarding an item referencing Tex in the City in this Sunday’s edition of the NY Times. (Yeah, the edition that the whole world reads!);
the day of the Blackout of ’03.
We made history!
So, obviously I’m super busy what with planning a book launching party and all. (Tune in tonight at 9:00 to CNN to watch our lovely guest of honor on Larry King Live.) On Friday it dawned on me: I haven’t a thing to wear. So, I went shopping at Bloomingdales and Macys for the first time ever. That’s how much I hate to shop. Top my hatred of shopping with the change of the fashion season and you have one frustrated chick. I found a so-so dress . . . it’s simple, which I love, but it’s cutesy and I fear the color is too dull for photos . . . anyway, I digress.
Whilst shopping I encountered two of the most unruly kids EVER. Let’s call them Motherfu*ker and A$$hole. Motherfu*ker and A$$hole were screaming (no exaggeration) and running full speed (I do not lie) and weaving in and out of unsuspecting shoppers (kill, kill, kill).
Let’s pretend for a moment you are allergic to cats. Well you know how when you’re allergic to cats, cats will then invariably come sit on your lap? Well cats are to you as kids are to me. This is especially true when Paquita accompanies me.
Assuming the above equation is true, you know that they instantly gravitated towards me. Now, generally, I will let kids pet Paquita for two reasons: (1) they’re just kids who want to pet a dog…they’re not having me change their diaper or anything co-dependent like that; and (2) it helps keep Paquita socialized and friendly. Well, not when you’re Motherfu*ker and A$$hole, and certainly not when your mother can’t be spotted. There was no woman within 100 feet that closely resembled these children. What a bit*h she must be. So, I told them, “Go away, I don’t like kids.”
Then they chased me–literally chased me–through the store, while A$$hole kept asking in her three-year-old gibberish nonsense voice, “Do he bite? Do he bite?” She never even waited for an answer. I hate that. If you ask a question, wait for an answer. If you don’t, it means you don’t really want to know the answer. Jerk.
Finally I turned and said in my most sinister teacher voice, “YES, she WILL bite you. Now, I don’t know where your mother is, but I don’t want you near me. GO AWAY!”
In unison, they took one step backwards, did an alarmed take to one another, then bolted. Victory was mine!
I got my hair cut today and Joe wanted to cut it in a short bob. I said, no. I’d like to grow it long again, actually. “Why?” he asked. “Well, I think I’m turning in to that woman. The one that all the kids run from and says is a witch. I give balls back, really I do! And I’ve never hexed anyone, I swear! If I have short hair, then I’m old AND mean. So, let’s go long and blonde.” So in a few months, I’ll be long and blonde haired and yelling at kids, “You want your ball back? Well you can’t have it! Posession is 9/10ths of the law you sh*thead, now get off my stoop!”
God, I can’t wait.
If you are easily repulsed or offended by half naked muscular figures, do not – I repeat – DO NOT click here! (You readers who are supposed to be working right now, it’s safe to open).
Last night I sat reeeeeaaaaaaaallllllllllyyyyy close (I could have licked the third base umpire on the face if I felt so inclined) to the Visitor’s dugout in Yankee Stadium and watched Roger Clemens whoop the tar out of the Texas Rangers. Put a Texan in New York and just watch that Southern hospitality melt away faster than a jackrabbit running from a twister! The nerve! View the pics.
Miss Universe (not the one with the tiara, the one with real duties like dealing with my cosmic destiny) was kind enough to hold back the ominous impending thunderstorm and provide me with nine full innings complete with five homeruns and lots of foul balls that I totally could have caught if only I weren’t wearing a skirt. Otherwise, I definitely would have lunged over seats and knocked over any slow moving child or senior citizen that got in the way of my scoring one of those puppies. See what I mean about that lost Southern hospitality? I’d better take a trip back home and fast!
A big Texas-sized thanks to Keith for the free tickets and lovely company.
I mailed my payoff check for my car via overnight mail. I can’t describe the relief I feel. The burden has been lifted. Ever since I sold it a few weeks ago, I’ve been unstoppable — Task Mistress, Queens, New York. For so long I had been putting of the responsibility and the looming guilt and frustration paralyzed me. I’m $600 a month richer, but loads happier. Hell, look what I did to my kitchen in SIX hours! I never would have done that had my car still been collecting dust; because, if I weren’t doing something proactive to rid myself of it, then I certainly shouldn’t be doing anything.
So now, for the first time since I bought my first car at age 17, I am car(e)-free. I’m living in a City which caters to commuters and my wallet now understands why rents are higher here. It’s a lovely, lovely thing 24-hour, cheap public transportation. Now, if I could only face my Super and have him fix my tub.
It’s a Blog World, After All
Peter, of The Inside of My Head, promises a detailed entry on our small world happenings of today. I’ll be clicking refresh obsessively until I get the full report.
What a boring day. I paid off my only debt (my car), obsessively cleaned my entire apartment, painted my kitchen, installed a new kitchen floor, went to the park, got some sun and read a book. God, I’m bored.
P.S. Comments are desperately solicited on the home improvement link. (Specific questions are bold.)
Things like Hunting for Bambi, the last few pages of a magazine (hell, any magazine front to back), earning $0.75 on a man’s $1.00, it’s enough to make me just give up – throw in the towel – say, “Screw it! It’s a man’s world, and I want a penis!”
Pensively thinking of how it all sucks, I got the sense that this handsome, well-dressed, 30-something man was keeping pace with me as I walked to work. He stayed by my side from 7th to 6th Avenue. Finally, between 6th and 5th Avenue he managed to eek out, “Thank God it’s Friday, huh?” As I instinctively do when someone addresses me, I turned my head to face the speaker. I made no response but rather raised my eyebrows as if to say, “Huh? You talking to me?” He repeated, “I said, ‘Thank God it’s Friday, huh?’” “Yeah,” I smiled, turned my head face front again and kept on walking.
I wasn’t rude, but just lost in my own thought and not interested in faking a conversation with someone I won’t see again. Having failed, he crossed the street, weaving in and out of oncoming traffic just to get away from me.
Then it dawned on me: I don’t want to be a man after all. I don’t want to be so driven by one thing, to always be hunting for Bambi only to have my bullets ricochet and shoot me down over and over again. So, I guess I’ll be keeping my vagina for the time being and the only penis I’ll have won’t be my own. Anyone know of a penis I can borrow?
Post Walden Pond, Christian’s great set at the Regatta Bar in the Charles Hotel and many beers, buffalo wings and chicken fingers, we crashed our pretty little heads on the best fu*king bed and bedding ever created on earth. I tried to stuff the down comforter in my bag, but the lush towels and terry cloth robe were hogging up too much space. Who wants that nasty old comforter anyway? We already used it once; time to move on. So move on we did.
We hustled back down to Boston’s version of Chinatown (whatever…they have no raw meats and/or fish visible anywhere. Even here in Astoria, we hang out skinned goats and rabbits for the world to see. Chinatown, schminatown) and plunked down our $10 US Currency.
For four hours and thirty minutes, I was the girl in junior high I always wanted to be. I was seated in the back seat of the bus where all the cool people sit* with the most popular, cutest boy who could see only the good in me.
We made out for a few minutes then ate apple pie and Coke for breakfast. Then we napped for a while. Then we made out for a few minutes before we played a few rounds of the slapping game. Then I re-told Christian stories about how I once stole a girl’s purse and kissed a nasty old cab driver to save $1 on my cab fare. Then we made out some more. Then we made up stories about Fung Wah, a bus driver afflicted with anal polyps, and Willie Booker T. Washington, the world famous basketball player with no arms. Then we made out and almost had sex on the $10 Chinatown bus. By then we had reached the Bronx, and the bus was bouncing too much; so Christian chickened out, because he didn’t want to have a scandalous report in Page Six right before he goes to Montreal for the biggest annual festival in comedy. I tried to convince him that the only bad press is no press, but he didn’t buy it. So instead I flashed all the truckers with http://www.christianfinnegan.com/ written across my boobies. **
Five hours later, we found ourselves back in Astoria and I was all grown up again. I returned my boss’ voice mail to tell him the name of the restaurant he wanted was not called Chez Glue but rather la Gouloue, unpacked, French kissed my dog and met with my business partners about a very important book launching party that we are hosting. During the meeting, I had cappuccino and French fries for dinner.***
P.S. If you ever have a chance, be sure to check out the lovely Kelly MacFarland. She is one spunky, funny chick. She’d better get her ass to New York soon and bring all her fabulous wooden toys with her.****
*Rosa Parks excluded.
**This is a lie. It actually read: www.christianfinnegan.com/TowerofHubris.htm
***I said I was grown up. That was a lie, too.
****This is not a sexual reference. Wooden sex toys could be problematic, what, with all the splinters and all. Simply put, she is from Maine. They make wooden toys there.
It’s physically painful being away from my computer, and, of course, my little lover Paquita. Here I am back where I belong . . . not really rested, but feeling stress-free.
Monday included a walk around Walden Pond — the Walden Pond — and, other than crowds, cell phones, numerous visitor parking lots all packed full, an ice cream truck and souvenir shop, Walden Pond is just how Thoreau left it. It is lovely and peaceful and woodsy.
To protect Christian’s reputation, I will not post the photo I snapped of him chatting on his cell phone on the very spot where Thoreau’s cabin once stood. (In his defense, he’s a very popular man and was in town on business. The Walden adventure was a spontaneous suggestion and a diversion of his primary purpose.) I will merely tell you, dear reader, how the call was dropped due to poor reception. It seems a cell tower has yet to find it’s way into the woods, unlike the land fill that resides next door. Yes, I said “land fill”. Some urban planning genius, in his basest form of civil disobedience, thought it would be a good spot for the accumulation of massive amounts of waste. Genius, pure genius. He’s on the road to the Presidency, I tell you!
After handing over the keys to my apartment to Bob so she can take care of my mini-zoo (tiny little Phish, wee Larry Bird and the sweetest, smartest petite girl with the big name: Paquita Borgito Borgato Chorizo Jimenez), I met Christian for our mini-vacation to Boston.
It took us four subway transfers to get down to Grand Street in Chinatown, where we paid $10 to board a bus and entrust our precious mini-lives with the mini-driver for four and a half hours. The cynic in me kept waiting for the bus to fill with women carrying live chickens and lots of filthy crying babies. Instead we were surrounded by a mish-mash of people that were, for the most part, like us: bargain-hunters looking for a cheap ride.
Aside from the queeny black guy who dropped the “F” bomb every other word while dripping sweat all over the seats as he searched for his ticket he seemed to have misplaced during the 25 feet trip from the ticket booth and his bus seat and the overweight Asian women who ate a full platter of the smelliest Chinese food in her seat before the bus (and, therefore, ventilation) was turned on, the passengers and the trip was smooth sailing and comfortable.
Mad Libs littered with such classics as:
“Ballet companies are springing up like the Chinese;”
“My hobby is collecting boobies”;
“Remember, the baby gets his warm he sauce around six o’clock”; and . . .
a telephone conversation in which Christian’s dad asked for the definition of camel toe.
I think I’m going to enjoy this trip.
Sheila hosted one of her rooftop parties on her 1200 square foot (#$@%!&*) private roof. This little New York oasis sits on top of a building in Chinatown and is positioned so that both fireworks displays were visible (click the picture below to see a few more photos).
With the radio blaring patriotic music and with the beer, burgers, hot dogs, swimming pool and hammock, I couldn’t help but feel American. Ah, holidays without war: blissfully uneventful.
I tried that whole May/September romance thing once. Not on purpose. It wasn’t like I set out to date a younger guy than me or that the guy had nothing to offer other than taut skin and a fake ID. He was a really smart guy attending the University of Notre Dame and I agreed to go out with him before I knew his age. The thing is, we never made it past first base. Why? One night I offered to cook dinner at my place. Of course that meant he had to drive (this was Ohio, folks, they have Amish people that still live there on purpose). So, he asked his parents if he could borrow their station wagon.
They said no.
End of story.
Today is my birthday (woo!), so last night a few friends and I went to Bowlmor. I got some great gifts — kitchenware, a “Don’t Mess With Jersey” tee (which I’m currently wearing), a forensic science book, Operation, a free dinner coupon, some pretty spring flowers and some great memories. HBO was even kind enough to give me the season premiere of Sex and the City. Isn’t that sweet?
Thank you to all my friends for their generosity and companionship!
I left work early yesterday with a couple of co-workers and went to the NYPD’s Firing Range in the Bronx for a special presentation for Foundation benefactors. The event was complete with the Mounted and K-9 Units, bomb squad demonstrations, beer, wine, burgers, hot dogs, lobster and so much more. I met the head of Homeland Security for New York and watched my boss eat while wearing a bib. (Click on the picture for a complete photo diary.)
I was a bit turned off by the sight (and smell) of my basket of “steamers”, or steamed oysters. That’s when I was given instructions on how to shuck them, clean them, and slather them in butter. Along with these directions came this tidbit from Person Who Shall Remain Nameless: “It’s just like eating pu$$y. They may look gross and hard to figure out but they taste so good.”
He was right.
My mother is a pretty lady. People say she’s classy. She is. She laughs a lot . . . real loud with a big, open mouth that reveals two rows of perfect teeth.
She’s deaf without the aid of two hearing aids, one of which will always be on the fritz or need a battery and ring incessantly. She can talk very clearly. So clearly, in fact, you wouldn’t even know she’s deaf. But ask her to say “Mississippi”, then you’ll know. I think sometimes that embarrasses her, but I love it. I love it when she says “Mississippi”.
My mom is the hardest working woman I know. She used to build helicopters but now works for Halliburton making oil sensors. She was in a Bud commercial during the “For all you do, this Bud’s for you!” advertising phase.
My mom built a helicopter for the NYPD and got a hat from it. My dad used the NYPD hat to try to get out of a traffic ticket. I was with him and acted as his interpreter. My dad told the truth to me, and I interpreted a lie to the cop which was better. We got off. We didn’t need the hat. Now I work for the attorney that represents the NYPD in their precedent-setting licensing efforts and confiscate unlicensed NYPD hats. Funny how things go full circle.
My mom can embarrass me, hate me, like me, anger me, comfort me and love me like no other and today is her birthday. I called her on her cell phone and she’s at the beach again.
I don’t miss that beach, but I miss that beach with her when she’d make homemade sour cream and onion dip, and I’d get scolded by George for double dipping the Ruffles.
When we would finally get back to our trailer in the woods, we’d smell like the ocean for days. Tiny grains of the beach would find their way into my bed and scratch my sunburnt skin as I slept. I would always get too much sun so my mom would rub me down with vinegar to take the chills and blisters away.
We’d talk about our trip. About how my uncle got stung by a jelly fish. About how we got a flat tire on our ’66 Chevy pick up truck. About how my Flintstones flip-flop fell through a rotted slat while riding in the back of that Chevy. About how my dad stopped the truck then and there to run across four lanes of highway traffic to rescue that flip-flop for me because he loved me that much.
What a dumbass.
Seriously. It’s a flip-flop; I’m not worth it, I promise you.
P.S. In the previous entry, I did not mean to imply that toenail clippings have no value. Paquita, for instance, goes wild for toenail clippings. I, however, do not care for them.
Today marks the one year anniversary of this right here blog. Technically, I was “blogging” (God, I hate that word) long before today, but it was more of a calendar of my upcoming performances, events, promotions, etc. without much exploitative exposition. I, however, no longer act, model or promote, so it’s all about me and Tex in the City.
Looking back on my very early entries, I’m so obviously afraid of offending Someone. (Note: “Someone” is defined as a person with a direct genealogical connection to my father.) Since, however, they collectively mean as much to me as my discarded toenail clippings, I have been slowly throwing discretion by the wayside. After all, Daddy Dearest is the blackest of the black sheep of any family and was such long before he was thrown in the clink. (He is nearing completion of the first year of his 20-year jail sentence hosted by the austere Texas Department of Criminal Justice.) I happen to have an exorbitantly large sum of his genetic code pulsing through my system. Love him, love me. Spurn him, spurn me.
So, offend away, I will. So what if they don’t like my potty mouth or party girl lifestyle, I didn’t try to kill anyone, did I? (Scroll down for answer.)
Come on, did you really have to scroll down to know the answer?
This weekend I will board a train en route to a wedding where I will meet practically every member of Christian’s family for the first time. Normally I am an ace when it comes to big parties, working crowds and meeting people. (Hey, I don’t do party promotions for nothing, honey.) This time, however, I think I would like to be very awkward and embarrassing. You know, spice things up a bit. Christian hasn’t introduced a girl to his family in awhile, so I’d like to be memorable. . . go down in history, as it were. I’ve come up with some ideas:
(A) When the priest asks if anyone is present who objects to the couple joining as one, I’ll make my grand entrance wearing an empathy belly and demand that the groom come home because his “children need their daddy!”
(B) Wear a dress that blows up when I twirl around on the dance floor revealing that I have “gone cowboy”.
(C) Dry hump the bride.
(D) Dry hump the groom.
(E) Dry hump the bride and groom during their first dance as Mr. & Mrs.
(F) Kiss everyone on the lips and try to slip ’em some tongue.
(G) Start a mosh pit and relive my days as a headbanger.
(H) Body slam the bitch that catches the bride’s bouquet and take what’s rightfully mine.
As one would expect, my deaf hippie parents had an eclectic bunch of friends. One such friend was a cartoonist specializing in caricatures. One afternoon he drew Risa and her coke bottle bottom glasses. Then Butch with his oversized smile. Then my older brother with his bowl haircut. We oohhed and ahhhed as each sketch was revealed and I waited patiently on the sidelines. Finally, my much anticipated turn came and I was in the chair posing for my first portrait at the tender age of three. I kept absolutely still, nearly peeing my pants in excitement. What would he see when he saw me? My big brown eyes? My cute little nose? My mom and brother looked over his shoulder and giggled, looking at me then the pad then back to me again and then would snicker some more. Oh I couldn’t wait! What was he drawing?! What were they seeing?
Ta-Da! He was done and turned the pad around to reveal his creation. Staring back at me was not me at all, but my Snoopy sweatshirt. It wasn’t even a caricature of my Snoopy sweatshirt, but the exact same likeness of it. I was mortified and sorely disappointed. Where was the picture of me? You drew Snoopy? Motherfu*king, Red Baron-flying, Woodstock-loving SNOOPY? Where’s the creativity in that? My anger was made worse by the conspiracy that had taken place around me. They had all duped me, even my own mother. This very type of betrayal has sparked a thousand Greek tragedies and mass shootings in high schools, I’m certain of it.
Alas, had I already played the part of Helena in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I would have quoted her lines in Act III:
“Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
Now I perceive they have conjoin’d all three
To fashion this false sport, in spite of me. . .
Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
To bait me with this foul derision?”
After the tears subsided, one would think he would make it up to me by then drawing what he had led me to expect. But, no, it was back to bowl smoking and beer drinking.
At three years old, I learned that my level of expectation is sometimes too high. I know people are capable of disappointing me and yet I still hope that they’ll come through. I would like to believe that some day I’ll open my mail to find a tube with a little note from him stuck to a faded caricature of three-year-old-me, but I know that will never happen. Jerk off.
That, folks, is why I hate caricatures.
Tonight’s free movie (Thanks, Christian’s one year pass to any Loew’s Theater!) was Identity, an enjoyable, well cast thriller with a moderately clever ending and a few genuine gasp inducing moments. Yep, that’s my kind of movie: free and fun. We are the ultimately cheap couple, let me tell you. We sneak in candy and drinks to a free movie then go have dinner with a free gift certificate. There’s not much that we have paid for in our fledgling relationship, which is good considering neither of us are dripping with cash. Is there such a thing as a Date Registry for future dates he and I would like to take? Hmmm, maybe I’ll just create one. I could be on to something here.
Ten things you didn’t know about me:
1. I read magazines back to front.
2. Most of my immediate family are deaf.
3. I got whipped with a leather belt for (a) saying I hated someone; (b) pouting at losing Wahoo; and (c) laughing at my brother for getting whipped with a leather belt.
4. I’m fixated on sudden death, dismemberment, serial killers, forensic photos/files/cases, horror films and rotten.com.
5. I don’t watch nature shows any more because they make me sob uncontrollably.
6. I lived in a tin shed, then a trailer, then a tin shed again after the trailer got repossessed.
7. I stole a girl’s purse.
8. I drink almost two gallons of water a day.
9. I started working as a busboy at a yacht club at the age of 13.
10. I curse like a drunken sailor.
What is it with old flames or crushes who sporadically float in and out of your life or hover about merely to interject overt sexual flirtation and innuendo? Why do they do this? Is it to assure themselves that, yes, someone at some point found them sexually attractive without the lingering threat of developing a deeper relationship?
You know what I say to them? “Get the fuck out already with your Hang-Around-Self.” Because you know what they’re doing? They’re sabotaging any chance at real closeness with whomever is unlucky enough to have them as a mate and undermining your value by pigeonholing you as nothing more a temporary ego fix that’s not worth the investment of real energy or time. You exist when they’re feeling low* and it’s convenient for them. And, if you’re in a relationship with someone else, well they just ignore that little fact. They don’t respect you, so why would they respect your relationship?
Exception: If you actually do something noteworthy or are riding the wave of success, well guess who will suddenly be your good, close friend?
*Sometimes, if they know (in their eyes, at least) they are superior to you (be it in the category of beauty, brains or the combination of both), they are merely dangling a tasty carrot in front of you knowing that they are (to you, at least) an irresistible treat. Again, boosting their ego. They will continue to tease you without the intention of ever giving you a taste, unless of course the aforementioned Exception is in effect.
Well, guess what Hang-Around-Self? You’re pathetic. So, yeah. Leave. Now.
This morning I woke up because it was quiet. I’m talking the morning after the Night of the Comet quiet. No rain, no wind, no babies crying or dog barking in the distance, no cars whizzing past, no cabbies honking and no gang of teenagers speaking Spanish outside my bedroom window. Nothing. The countryside isn’t as quiet as it was this morning in Astoria. I lay in bed for about 30 minutes straining to hear something, anything. Nothing. I determined, yes, it is true, I am alone on another holiday. So, I peeled myself out of bed and turned on Game Show Network (hereinafter referred to as “GSN”).
I ate an apple danish, an entire canister of Salt & Vinegar Pringles, drank two large coffees and a 2 liter of Dr. Pepper, laughed and screamed at old episodes of Match Game and Pyramid, and got skeeved out by a smarmy Richard Dawson…all before 3:00.
When the rest of the country is spending time with family and you’re sans the necessary ingredient, there simply isn’t anything else to do.
Or, so I thought.
I have since discovered the joys of the GSN’s interactive gaming option. Oh, sweet Jesus, thank you for cable modems and Macromedia flash plug-ins. The Richard Dawson Kiss-O-Meter is just icing on the cake.
I must note, I get way too emotionally invested in the outcome of the show. I literally scream, jump up out of my seat, laugh heartily and loudly and say things like:
What an IDIOT!!!!
All for someone who is wearing plaid pants and a fat tie with diagonal stripes and giant, poofy hair because those things are in still in style; because these shows have happened well over twenty years ago, and yet I’m still thrilled when they win and oh so sorry to see them lose.
God, I can’t wait to go back to work.
P.S. My radiator is spewing heat. Yes, that’s right, HEAT on Memorial Day. Jealous much?
My tub is miserably clogged and Liquid Plumber doesn’t do what it professes. I need to call my Super, but I’d rather shower in ankle deep stagnant water than come face to face with him. Why, oh why, dear God, did Stevie Wonder’s I Wish have to be so fun and funky?
So after last night’s dinner and show (one of the best dates EVER) we came back to Astoria for a beer at Gibney’s and dessert at my place. We were having such a great conversation, we completely missed Christian’s appearance as “Chad” in the “Mad Real World” episode of Chappelle’s Show. It wasn’t until the closing credits when Christian heard a familiar sound that we directed our attention to the television screen. Ah, well, they’ll air it again I’m sure. Meanwhile, read all about him here in Backstage’s “Spotlight On Comedy: Comedy Best Bets 2003 – 10 Standout Stand-Ups Worth Watching.”