Thursday, December 29

The Internets: Damn, There's A LOT of Stuff on it

And in this post, I will share with you the wonders of the wild & wooly internets: so internetlicious, it's a plural.
Again, this shit's bananas: the banana, so mighty it can cure depression, hangovers, anemia, bloodpressure woes... pretty much everything but the good 'ol common cold. (Link via the quiet drunk mouse.)

***

This is somewhat like an old-school SNL spoof: it's the Russian version of Sex and the City. In what I'm sure is not much of a shocker, the Russian version of the show is a tad more dark than the American version. (Nu-uh, Russians are a little dark?) In the Russian SATC, Samantha's character is not just a nymphomaniac, she's a prostitute.

***

This is an oldish link, and a little out of date now that the strike's over, but wow -- design DOES serve a purpose. Thanks to Armin, from the blog Under Consideration, who redesigns the signs people made to get rides home after the strike--looking at font & word choice. (Link via Katherine Yu.) I'm easy, so I'm maybe more impressed than you will be over the rollover on the photos.

***

If you were wondering: Rachel Ray? Not God after all. Keep lookin'. (Link via Bookslut.) And, I'm going to choose to not be distressed that the blogger that reported this newsflash was fired by [redacted] bookstore/cooking store.

***

The Guardian gives us a Christmas Gift: a mix of songs about drinking. It includes one of my favorites: Tom Waits' The Piano Has Been Drinking (not me).

Old links, New Links, and Blue Links for my internet friends. Happy New Year to you all -- and thanks for reading the bloggy blog.

And now, in weird news...

The Washington Post* has a roundup of weird news from the year 2005 that you may have missed while you were drinking, or setting up your google news alert for face transplants, or you know, whatever.

This little bit might be my favorite:
THE LAWS OF IRONY ARE STRICTLY ENFORCED When CNN/USA Today/Gallup pollsters asked in a telephone survey whether President Bush is a "uniter" or a "divider," 49 percent said a uniter and 49 percent said a divider.

--CNN, Jan. 19

The other entries are also great, or even more great if we don't share a sense of humor.

And over in Flushing, the former home of my grandma, thieves are stealing car doors from Toyotas. Easily removable doors: great for car-repair-people, even more great for thieves.

*WaPo requires a password. Try bugmenot.

Wednesday, December 21

Links: Still Not on Strike

Who doesn't want to fill out the Law and Order coloring book? Thanks to the Morning News, and to the boy, for finding this.

Gothamist hearts my brother's map that helps people find their way around NY during the strike. I like the part where you can report your transit trauma and read about other commuters' adventures the best.

Hmm, I think I've found a present for a certain hypochondriac coworker. (link via Maud Newton)




Strike: Day 2

Day 2 of the transit strike, and I walked to work.

According to a woman passing next to me in an oddly uncrowded SoHo, "the MTA killed Christmas."

And, in other news, I finally use my Gawker Empire comment love to defend people who delete ex-BFs phone numbers. Other commenters continue to think deleting digits to deal with failed love is "emotionally crippled behavior." And, further, that this kind of behavior would only have from a girl with a "bejunked trunk."

Friday, December 16

In Aid of the Prevention of Tooth Pain

I have purchased two (2) portions of the Best Toothpaste Ever. Previously available in NY for the low, low price of $1.99, apparently the low price was because no one liked the Aquafresh with PUMP but me. But why wouldn't you like it?

It's the same great toothpaste, but with a pump! and when I say pump, I should really be writing "Marriage Saver." You'll note that the review on the page reveals that this toothpaste helps our gentlemen reviewer deal with his wife's unpleasant squeezing-from-the-middle-of-the-toob habit.

So, that's right, I spend $6 on toothpaste, and $6 on shipping and handling. And it was worth it. Well, maybe not quite worth it. But if I were married and this held off divorce and couples therapy, you would totally think it was worth it.

Also, it turns out that when you are blogging about toothpaste, you don't get to make fun of the person that wrote an amazon review of the very same toothpaste.

Links--a sticky combination of wax and technology

I just saw the 40-Year-Old Virgin (a copyeditor's nightmare) for the first time the other day. And, now for a word from the lady that waxed Steve Carrell's slightly hairy chest:
I really love waxing people and when I hear them scream, I love it.

I always knew Firefox users were smarter than IE users.

Thursday, December 15

More Face Transplants

Who knew there'd been a race on in the science world to see who could do the first face transplant? And now there will be a second transplant in the UK. It's like a latter-day race to space.

Tuesday, December 13

So, Where are all the Posts About Boys, Anyway?

It occurs to me that I've been failing you (my lovely loyal 3 readers) in my promise to deliver stories about bikes, books, and most importantly, boys. Well, maybe the boys weren't the most important thing to you. But I'll go with definitely liking boys more than bikes. And I'm pretty sure that I like boys better than books.

So to end this drought of posts on boys, let's chat about the dating siesta. After all, it's not like the people haven't wanted to know about the start and finish of the siesta. And when I say "people," I really mostly mean the drunken mouse . I think it's pretty clear to most people why the dating siesta began. Who hasn't been involved with a self-avowed asshole, become moody and broody as result, and realized that they had to abandon their fun girl title as a result of all the moody brooding. All that seemed like enough for any person to embark upon a dating siesta.

Starting a dating siesta is easy--after all, it's really just spanglish for taking a small break from dating. During a dating siesta, remember to be your own best PR person: tell everyone, everywhere about the siesta. Tell Bert, hitting on you at an East Village dive bar, tell friends, tell neighbors, tell the guy who keeps meeting you for drinks (because, all this meeting for drinks--isn't that kind of like dating? Has he not heard there's a siesta on?). Explain that the siesta is by choice. Explain that it's a siesta, and not a coma--you will one day wake up.

And that, I think, brings us to the most frequently asking dating siesta question: How did the dating siesta end? If you follow the link, upon being pressed, the boy reluctantly confessed his successful (and secret) strategy to breaking the siesta: Andonstrone!

Monday, December 12

Coping in Brooklyn

Welcome to Brooklyn: in a PBR shortage, we don’t worry cause “luckily we have other crappy beer.” Coping skills in Brooklyn are unstoppable.

Sunday, December 11

Links for you, my internets(tm) friends

Links for you on an industrious Monday:

To me, it might be the height of lazy loserness to out-source the boring parts of your video game to other people.

Mallomars: to some just a cookie, to others the Greatest Cookie Ever
. Now, of course, in the cookie wars, I've always got to have my loyalties to the madeleine. Aside from the madeleine, the mallomar is one of my favorite cookies ever. I love that it's seasonal. Love that it's so fabulous -- with the chocolate, the goo, and the crunch. It's perfection. As a mallomar purist, I was sad when the design of the box changed. I'd liked the ritual of carefully cutting the plastic surrounding the outside of the box. I disagree completely with the people in the article that want mallomars to be available year-round. It's all part-and-parcel of the cookie's charm that it's only available for a few seasons of the year. I also like that tri-state is eating the bulk of the cookies produced (and do not think the Canadian version is even close to being as good).

Strikes excite me. Slowdowns do not -- but I do hope that everything works out in negotiations.
There's only been one strike from the transit workers in my lifetime--and I was two, so I wasn't exactly riding the trains much. Remember the last time there was almost a strike, when Bloomberg bought that twerpy kid a bicycle and said we should all bike to work? Man, he's a winner.

Monday, December 5

If I link to Nerve in a post that also is about Santa, is that creepy?

Forbes created a list of the 15 richest fictional characters. I like that Forbes takes the time discussing their methodology in creating this list, but then also admit that it is clearly arbitrary that Santa is on the list! Santa is not rich. (Um, I know Santa's not rich because I know he's my parents, who used to tiptoe down our creaky stairs in the middle of the night carrying extra gifts with labels that read, "To madeleine xoxo Santa" in my mom's distinctive handwriting.)

***

Aimee Bender has a short story in nerve. Here's my favorite part of the story:
I have recently broken up with someone who I did not expect to break up with, and every morning, the earliest time I wake up is suffused with remembering. I can't seem to beat that moment, no matter how early I rise.

it is brutal to imagine the idea of meeting a new person. Going through the same routine. Saying the same phrases I have now said many times: the big statements, the grand revelations about my childhood and character. The cautious revealing of insecurities. I have said them already, and they sit now in the minds of those people who are out living lives I have no access to anymore.

***

Uh-oh: potential ethical problems with the face transplant.

If you saw me this weekend (or, if you date me) you may be thoroughly sick of this story. But it's so damn fascinating. I'm always entranced by a news story that reads like fiction, where characters have personality. You should have seen with the Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill, the Unabomber, and Clinton and Monica.

At first, this story seemed to fit most neatly into the scifi genre. It reminded me of Vanilla Sky, a Twilight Zone episode, Dark Passage (when Bogart has face surgery).

I'm so intrigued by the 2 women--both relatively young, and apparently both suicidal. It's such psychological drama, and I keep wanting to call the women characters instead of people. The whole idea of having someone else's face--how bizarre it must be for the family of the woman who has a new face. Is it any more difficult than looking at her damaged and destroyed original face?

Friday, December 2

Donate Your Face

The article about the face transplant woman blows my mind. I want to make fun of it, but then it's just so damn awesome. Science is cool. Also, the whole idea of a face transplant reminds me of my second favorite Twilight Zone eposide: The Eye of the Beholder.

Thursday, December 1

in tooth-pain news

Given the title to the frickin' blog, it seems pretty wrong not to report the latest word from my dentist:
Madeleine, root canal is not a cure, it's a treatment.
I'll spare you how he continued to tell me about his SIX root canals on ONE tooth. And I thought TWO root canals was TOO many.

Links!, or other people have smart thoughts.

An explanation for why you wake up 5 minutes before your alarm clock -- from Psychology Today

If you love Brooklyn & Christmas, like me, you'll go out to see the lights in Bensonhurst.

The Toastabag
; or, the greatest new use for the toaster for people who don't cook like me (thanks to Jeff for the link).

If I can't have a puppy for Christmas, then I guess the next best addition to the apartment would be a Bandai to clean & swiffer. (thanks for the link, anonymouse--I assume you're not implying that my apt's dirty, right?)

Authors Tom Wolfe, Jonathan Franzen, and (madeleine-fave) Michael Chabon will be starring on an episode of the Simpsons. Also Gore Vidal, who doesn't watch the show. All the authors will have a cartoon death except for Vidal.

Sunday, November 27

Bike NYC: A list of things stolen from the pink bicycle


1. Attempted bike theft/prank: July 2005, LES

Someone lifted the bike over the meter it was chained to, and walked it about 3 yards before they got sick of carrying the bike, which couldn't be rolled since I'd chained the wheel to the frame. Cost: 30 bucks for a new & better lock.

2. Blinky reflector light: October, 2005, LES

Come on! It's like breaking into a car and stealing the change for the tolls! Cost: 12 bucks for the original light, $12 for the replacement: $24 together.

3. Bike Seat: October, 2005, Chelsea

I should probably note here that although my bikeseat was stolen, a very nice man who also had his bike locked up had a spare seat and gave it to me. Cost: $5 to install the free and lovely bike seat. Gift from stranger: free!

4. Handlebar plastic shield thingy: November, 2005.

Not sure. Do I really need to replace this right away? We'll see how it goes with only one handlebar condom.

Thursday, November 24

Airshaft Love

In general, I don't complain about noise in my apartment. I bought my ticket moving to the LES...I knew what I was getting into. I don't want to be the whiny jackass complaining about noise when I'm living in party central. Also, my roommate falls asleep to the sounds of diesel trucks, so whining from me is particularly absurd.

The domestic partner's room faces the street. My room is on an airshaft. There is pretty much never any natural light in my room, or, as I like to call it: The Bat Cave. I'm thinking of getting those lightbulbs that stimulate sunlight to ward off SAD, my favorite imaginary disease.

Life on an airshaft is interesting. You learn all sorts of things about people you never see. There is a gentlemen that struggles so with a perpetually runny nose and hacking cough, and if I could discover what building and apartment number he was, I would surely go over with a lovely cup of hot tea so that I could stop falling asleep to the sounds of his hacking.


This morning I woke up to the sounds of a female having a very pleasant time. Thing is, she happened to fall into that category of women who orgasm like they're dying. In my beverage-induced sleep, I thought death was imminent, and was reaching for my cellphone to call 911 when I finally realized this was no emergency at all. Airshaft love is great for some people (3 times for the dying orgasmer!) and although I don't know who she is, I think I do know what she's thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm at the sitting around portion of my Thanksgiving, where I remember that I come from a family of late people. So that when my father said, "Be ready at 1! no later," he really meant, "Be ready at 1! and I'll see you at, I don't know, maybe 3?"

We're heading up to the relatives in the 'Chester. Due to logistics difficulties, and my brothers' popularity with the ladies, we're not all going to fit in the car. Some of us are taking metro north over the hills and through the woods to the relatives, and I guess what I'm thankful for this year is that I'm not in that group.

Happy Thanksgiving all! and especially to Ben, my curious and diligent reader....



Monday, November 14

A Small Success Story

I spent my weekend in Boston hanging out with the girls. It was lovely (and maybe slightly scary for the boyfriends).

Getting ready for Friday night dinner/alcoholism with Jane from Ohio, we listened to her "Happy Mix" which is comprised of a lot of slow & sad songs and is clearly mis-titled.


The first song on the mix was really awesome, and so I snuck over to her pod to check what it was. I was pretty shocked that it was a They Might be Giants' song. I thought I knew all things TMBG (it was my first concert, and my password on all unimportant things for 2/3 of my life!).

Back in New York, I made the boy play it for me 4 times in a row. I think he got a bit sick of it, cause there was a rather abrupt transition to metal after that 4th listen.

Today it was still stuck in my head, and not in anyone's iTunes at work. Slackers!

But here! I found it! Cause more than anything, I exemplify the stubborn ways of the Taurus!
Get your free download of Another First Kiss here!

Note: here are some lists of good resources for the free music on the internets:
Lifehacker's list and then also Largehearted Boy's A2Z list of music on the web.

Thursday, November 10

Put the fucking lotion in the basket!

Augusten Burroughs on his excessive lotion purchasing while abroad.

*Obligatory Silence of the lambs reference via imdb.

Wednesday, November 9

Meta Madeleine

I am meta. Here are some administrative annoucements:

1. Much like Madeleine, my blog hates IE. Oops. Sorry IE users: the blog is broken.

2. Yes! I know that there is some kinda text-wrapping extending text beyond margins issues.

3. Yes! I know that the colors are hideous and that the header font is not so nice either.

All these problems will be resolved shortly. And when I say shortly, I mean by the time I am 26. That's right, I'm going to give myself over a year to fix this problem.

Here's the thing. At one point, the little blurb info about the blog said something along the "welcome to my blog and come on it." But did anyone let me know about this obscene invitation/typo? No! So, I do not feel overly guilty about the crappy appearance of the blog. *

*that's a lie. I feel extremely guilty. Don't you know me at all?

Fair and Balanced Questions Dept.

All the time!
Wait, is that a problem Fox?

image via Gawker.

Tuesday, November 8

I was wondering when someone would make fun of the stupid New Yorker cartoon contest endpage...

...cause I'm not really funny enough to do it myself. Thanks Daniel Radosh! And check out these monstrously bad captions. I couldn't choose a favorite -- as VH1 would say, they were all awesomely bad.

I live in a strange place

That's no insult, because really, I love where I live. There is non-stop drinking, unlimited people in converse sneakers, and pretty much always some crappy (or not so crappy) band playing nearby.

Also, I live above a porn shop and in between 2 bars. So the essential things of life are
really always near.

But sometimes the fun in my neighborhood goes too far. Too far? What's too far?

Well, last night I came home to find my bike knocked over on its side. That's not unusual. The kids (and by kids, I mean the drunk people who are drinking) like to knock over my bike. It's pink --so I see where they're coming from when they kick it over and try to steal it.

But this time apparently, they wanted to have sex on top of it. Sounds strange, huh. But! I have evidence. See that photo over there to the left that I cannot center because I am too lazy to leave my WYSIWYG editor -------------------->


Please note the condom sitting below the spikes of my bike. If you're wondering, it's a lifestyles condom. There may also be a cigarette butt next to the condom. Classy.

And that, my friends, is how they party on the Lower East Side. On top of bikes. With condoms. Well, at least they're being safe. My mother would be happy about that at least.

Monday, November 7

Germans (and Madeleines) love David Hasselhoff

Wax on, Wax HOFF is a lovely time-waster from our friend the internets.

link via Uncle Grambo (my personal reason for hearting detroit).

Welcome to the Working Week

Random stuff to get through Monday:

A super-great Out of 5 mix this week, as OO5 continues to redeam all my Monday mornings. The super-greatness of this week is a result of the mix having Because the Night. [note for friends at work: website plays when you enter it.]

At the NYT a random but great study of British book-buying habits. The Brits, it turns out, fake reading to impress people. In my mind, this strategy is clearly to impress the opposite sex. So, the Americans fake-tan to impress and the Brits fake-read. Awesome.

Also, I am loving my new ta-da list! For someone who had "listmaking" as a friendster interest for so long, it's kind of shocking that I resisted the technology upgrade of my lists for so long.


And speaking of Friendster (you love the SMOOOOTH transition there!), one of my friendsters has updated his "about me" section to discuss his new dating siesta! The term is spreading and I think it might time for "Dating Siesta" to enter the world in a larger way. And when I say "a larger way" I might mean a wikipedia entry.

Friday, November 4

maybe I'm dumb...

...but what if the fake David Cross wrote this email about real v. fake David Cross in nyc?

this post is mostly for the domestic partner. and anyone who ever used "ham and cheese sandwich" as an insult back in the good ol' days at the 'deis

The other writer-y Goldberg brother (that would be Tod) is seeking out photos of Jews eating Pork.

Also the list of people who find ham and cheese sandwich to be a classic insult is probably short. But those of us on it, well, we think we're pretty damn clever.

"where has your love gone"


I'm with Lee Goldberg on this: I too did not win the cleavage award that Jessica Simpson recently received.


the prize winner (s) -->

No one on the internets* understands this story

All sorts of people are confused by Harlequin creating a series that is cobranded with Nascar. They claim to have all sorts of marketing stats about women loving the Nascar. Personally, I haven't met any race-car-lovin'-ladies, but they must be out there. I bet they're in the mid-West.

And THAT is why I'm so entranced by the mid-West: everything I cannot understand exists there.

Also, I want to work in marketing. It seems like the kind of field where imagination really counts.

Link via the smart bitches! and thanks

(and also Maud and bookslut, but I can't seem to find their posts now. Lazy. I am very lazy.)

*internets -- tm, Jennie Smash!

Thursday, November 3

doppelgangers

In the same way that I'd describe Weezer as being indie rock even though they've sold a bajillion albums, I'd call Haruki Murakami a cult author.

Maybe that's not fair of me, but you've also gotta accept that this blog is a bit of a dictatorship, and that's how it's going to be.

Anyway, here's an article about Murakami, who spoke recently at Tufts. Writing, for him, is apparently a bit physically arduous. And here's him talking about doppelgangers:
Right now, I am talking to you at Tufts, but at the same time I might want to be [in another place]
This resonates oddly just because I'm so used to my Brandeis friends imagining (hotter, smarter) doppelgangers of themselves (who got laid more and danced better) over at Tufts.

Will you all come over to visit?

Will you all come over to visit when the domestic partner and I get a lovely puggle of our own?

Yes, I know you want to cuddle with the puggle. Huh, maybe all the puggle has going for it is the name. Cause the creature itself is kinda scrawny and sad looking.


PS: See! I update. Especially upon request. Also, stay tuned for potentially exciting posts like: The Case for Madeleine, and, How a Love Affair Ends (or, Why is my hair now blonde?)

Friday, October 28

this post is mostly for Lind

linkcity, and I'm the mayor:

"Often there's this big focus on the sad elements in our songs," he tells the Pitch. "Often people exaggerate that side of what we're doing, of being these sort of miserablists, which bums me out a little bit because most of the songs are sort of even in their moments of euphoria and silliness and humor and sadness."

This emphasis is not surprising, however; after all, the National does misery so well.[whatta claim to fame!]

****

“Besides lately having someone go to the bathroom for me, I don’t feel very ‘rock star’ at all,” Ounsworth types, presumably half-joking.' [I'm not sure why the writer wrote "presumably half-joking"; does he think that maybe Ounsworth *does* actually have someone to go potty for him]

****

In the piles of the discarded and forgotten, he [Chip Kidd] finds many of his most haunting images, which often echo the emotional concerns found in the novels he's reading. ...In the piles of the discarded and forgotten, he finds many of his most haunting images, which often echo the emotional concerns found in the novels he's reading.

****

the Times ran a front-page story marking the 2,000th fatality -- plus four pages of photos of the dead inside. --a nice moment for the paper that's been having the Worst Month Ever.

****

Madeleine is not happy about this--but it did mean that I did not bike n drink last night.

****

And finally -- I really really really like the new Franz Ferdinand song. I will request it everywhere I go and then I will smile when the people dance.

Monday, October 24

words we wish we had

An article about words and expressions in other languages that are great. And then a follow-up article with even more examples of awesomeness from other languages. Oh, I really wish I spoke German. And could go to Germany. And then I could just use talk about my Kummerspeck after every breakup-kummerspeck, of course, being the " German word which literally means grief bacon: it is the word that describes the excess weight gained from emotion-related overeating."

Also, if we were in Germany and speaking German we could talk about the day after tomorrow with so much more ease.

Finally, in a wrap up of the word-talk, my mother used to tell me all the time not to hock me a chinik. Um, apparently, I was spelling her insult wrong in my head for all these years. According to Born to Kvetch, that should be spelled:
Hak mir nisht ken tshaynik. Spelled either way, it's a great insult, as all insults in Yiddish are: if you get to spit while you're speaking, you're using the premiere language for insults.

Sunday, October 23

who'd want photographic evidence of 13?

The Sunday Style section writes about Bar Mitzvah Disco , a book of bar mitzvah photos from the 70s and 80s that will be coming out in early November. The Times notes:

Of course at a basic level the construction of a grandiose stage for a four-foot boy in orthodontic headgear is the stuff of comedy.

Note that Madeleine was spared a Bat Mitzvah due to being raised a godless heathen. And because of not living in the suburbs: the article really highlights the connections between celebrating man/woman-hood of kids and conspicuous consumption.

I have a shiny nickel for anyone willing to email me (damnmytoothhurts@gmail.com) a bar/bat mitzvah photo for me to display to my small corner of the internet.

link it: BarMitzvahDisco.com

Friday, October 21

Thursday, October 20

Books; Librarians; Sex

Someone asked me recently about nerve.com, one of the great sites (along with salon.com) that I used to go to all the time before so much of their content got placed behind a subscriber wall.

And this past tense feeling of both nerve and salon in my life--when they used to be goto sites--is why I still think that Times Select is a bad idea. Smart thoughts and writing that aren't easily accessable and aren't easily linkable are increasingly irrelevant in the world now.


Anyway -- I guess only time will tell with Times Select. Here's a little snippet of an article from nerve that is not behind any kind of subscription wall: it's about Sanford Berman, a librarian who urged the Library of Congress to remove certain subject offensive subject headings and cross references (like fellatio being cross-referenced under sexual deviancy).

Words and categories are important ways for us (readers of mad.'s blog ? americans? people?) to assert our values. See also my feelings re: usage of the word gay.

What are you reading?

New York Mag. surveys five NYers on what they read--from the Dr. Zizmor ads on the train to Plato's Republic. What have I read today? Lots 'o email; Antony & Cleopatra waiting for the doctor; trashy doctor's office mags waiting for test results at the doc's; skimmed the NYT waiting for my computer to be fixed.

I'm noticing a "waiting" and "reading" connection both in my habits and in a significant amount of the people in the NY magazine article. Reading is definitely a great use of the waiting time--but I'm nostalgic for when I scheduled in blocks of time to read.

Wednesday, October 19

Madeleine Hearts the New Yorker II (and Jews! and comedians!)

Here's Dana Goodyear (she used to be the Poetry Ed at the New Yorker, but I think now she's a staff writer?) quoting Sarah Silverman:


I don't know much about comedians --they kind of frighten me in their willingness to endure humiliation. The whole thing seems pretty awkward to me. Silverman, though, seems pretty damn funny in a caustic way.

more: TMFTML of Sarah Silverman/NYer article. Unlike me, he's gonna actually talk about the substantive issue in the article: can racist jokes be funny?

Just a reminder:


I really am a fun girl! Even the 1st Baptist Church knows it.

I expect full reportage re: my funness at prayer services & eulogies.


Monday, October 17

Top 2 Reasons Madeleine is Cranky

1. Someone stole my blinky reflector light from the back of my bicycle.

So, I understand stealing. I want stuff all the time, but I don't really enjoy paying. And I get why people would want to steal a bike--after all, I love bikes, and again, paying for my bike wasn't really fun.

But the reflector light? First of all, it was 12 bucks. Second, that's my safety! That's like breaking into a car and stealing the seat belt! It's just kind viscous and I don't like it at all.

2. Amongst other pieces of mail (read: bills) that I opened last night was a bill for a doctor visit in July 2004. Wait, did you read that fast? Maybe you didn't see how it was a bill from JULY--and not July of this year, but JULY OF LAST YEAR.

In July of 2004, I was only just barely 23. Now I am 24-and-a-half! And I do not remember seeing this Dr. Luis, and I do not want to give him or an insurance company money. I don't even remember being sick--who gets sick in July? If I hide really well, do you think the bill collectors won't see me?

Thank you for listening to my crankiness.

Saturday, October 15

this song is by Oneida

Last Labor Day weekend, when I somehow forgot that three day weekends are a time to flee nyc, I rode my bike out to Williamsburg to see Oneida with xxx.

xxx had told me about the show on Friday, but hadn't given me many details. I was confused when I got to the street where the show was--it was under the Williamsburg Bridge and pretty much in the middle of nowhere. I was pretty convinced for a solid five minutes that I'd been bamboozled -- there was no show, there was no venue, there was no xxx.

There were no stores on the block, and really only warehouse buildings. I don't know how the show was organized, and I'm kinda convinced it must have been illegal. Cause, can you do that? Just decide to have a show in a parking lot under the bridge and sell $3 red stripe? Apparently, if you stay for Labor Day weekend in ny, anything goes.


Anyway, seeing Oneida was great. By far, the best part was that they introduced every one of their songs by saying, "Here's another tune by Oneida," as if Oneida was some entirely unrelated and separate band.
The Voice writes about them having technical difficulties at the parking lot show, but I don't remember any.

link via Largehearted boy, and thanks!

I agree with this argument, but I hope when I say it I sound like less of a power-hungry douche.

Just because you disagree with someone does not mean that person is “gay” or “retarded.” These words, and others like them, are thrown around jokingly, but the misuse and abuse of such terms is really no laughing matter. It just shows how apathetic society has become, and it should not be tolerated.

Yee Haw: Day 2

I guess, actually, today is day 3 of the Austin Adventure. Last night was a big drunken ball of fun and mess. Photos TK, but basically, everyone was drunk. Your mom was drunk, your brother showed up hammered; we were all there, and we were all drinking.

There's nothing like a night of drinking being followed by a day of conferencing. Especially a day of conferencing that begins at 8:30. I showed up at 8:15 (cause I'm a dork; cause I 'm the organizer; cause I'm a youngest child and want everyone to love me the most) but three other coworkers beat me.

I like to claim that I do not get hangovers. What can I say? Sometimes I lie. I woke up this AM feeling decidedly uncomfortable...but don't feel too bad for me. The hangover was cured by a soak in the hot tub. Fun fact though -- before sunrise, even Austin is kind of chilly.

Also: I don't know who beat me up last night, but it's not funny at all how much my leg hurts right now.

Friday, October 14

Yee Haw!

I'm in Austin, Texas, so the blogging is a bit difficult. My internet access is coming from Schlotsky's Deli, perhaps the ONLY Jewish place in all of Texas? As my parents would say, "We hear that Austin is different from the rest of Texas." And by different, I think they mean civilized. Or liberal. Or closer to New York City.

Traveling yesterday was interesting. I was insanely early for my flight because I'm neurotic like that. My flight took place in two parts -- the first was on the Smallest Plane I've Ever Been On, and was to Detroit. I'd thought sitting in row eight was a good thing, since it would have to be in the front of the plane. In fact, that was the second to last row of the plane, and as we approached Detroit, the flight attendant warned us that if we hadn't flown on a tiny plane the landing gear was going to make a large cracking noise, and not be concerned. Umm, the large cracking noise was scary, but less scary than the fact that it felt like the landing gear was descending from below my seat!

We landed safely (duh! I'm writing now!) and the Detroit airport was uneventful.

The next flight to Austin was a normal huge plane. Also on the flight was a menagerie of puppies, babies, small brats, large brats, overwhelmed parents, and the baffled elderly.

A middle-aged gentleman sitting across the aisle from me got out his cell phone mid-flight and kept opening it up and almost turning it on. There was yearning on his face, the kind you don't usually see in the middle-aged. I tend to believe that he was engaged in an affair, and was finding it hard to wait until the landing to know if there was going to be a voicemail from his lover. Yeah, it was a LONG flight.

The other best part was the stewardess who with a complete lack of humor kept screaming out "Nuts for a dollar" and "Would anyone like my nuts? they're only a dollar." I am easily amused like a 10 year old boy.

And finally, for all my readers (ha! all! the 3 of you!) in rainy NYC: last night I spend a lot of time lazing in the hot tub on the roof. Yes. Be jealous. Tonight will be the drinking paid for by my job. (Free drinking = the best kind).

Monday, October 10

Coors: not punk rock at all

The Dead Kennedys canceled a show because it would've been sponsered by Coors.

You may remember that Coors employed Mary Cheney to make their brand gay-friendly after they got known as a homosexual-hating company. Check out this article for background on their unfriendly ways to the gay community.

I'm a sucker for earnestness -- and for the punk/political connection. Coors really is not punk rock at all--and conservative companies like Coors, and Dominos and Blockbuster piss me off. Companies donating money to causes that offend me is like being charged to use a credit card, only worse.

Also, Coors is a damn shitty beer. And when I call beer shitty--in between gulps of Bud--it's really bad.

Cookies; Books; Madeleine

Francine Prose on reading Veronica by Mary Gaitskill:[it's] rather like biting into a nightmare-inducing, virally loaded madeleine. I think I would have written about this article either way (I'm a big fan of Francine Prose) but the above sentence made it certain.

I'm so proud to be the most famous cookie in literature.

Reading Mary Gaitskill is a distressing experience. [Read this excerpt from the short story Tiny, Smiling Daddy, for a glimpse at her tone.] You can't trust her to love her characters. That said: her writing is tight, good, smart.

more later on this perhaps. But you know, it's all about me, so I just wanted to get the quote about madeleines out there.

Neurotic + Nicotine = Madeleine

If you last 19 years without smoking, you should feel happy, not wonder what will happen if you take just the one drag. I started smoking knowing I'd want to quit someday. That's the thing about starting smoking when you're 19--lung cancer is more than just a rumor.

Even after I was smoking, I never considered myself a smoker.

People who really smoke carry around their pack of cigarettes, but also a spare pack, for when the last cigarette of the first pack is sucked down. People who smoke schedule their life around smoking; I schedule my life around the library hours. Today, for instance, the Carroll Gardens Library is open until 8PM, so I'll be able to replenish my books after work.

So I'm not really a smoker. But starting Sophomore year, I smoked. At first, it was so casual. A drag off someone's cigarette at a party. A way to meet people at bars. A fun way to flirt. It got worse when I realized that the smokers, huddled outside in the entryway to the parties and gatherings, are the most interesting people not allowed in the room.

Cigarette prices went up in Boston, went up even more in New York City. I began to feel guilty about bumming cigarettes; battered packs and half-broken lighters made an appearance in my purse. I bought a larger evening purse, since my tiny old purse meant choosing between cell phone and cigarettes, which felt too much like Sophie's Choice for me.

I still called myself a social smoker, but wouldn't tell people that I went out nearly every night.

Not to worry; I created the "great quitting cigarettes" plan on the day of my second cigarette. I'm not really the kind of person that does long-term self-destructive things. Also, my dad is on the record as saying, "people who smoke are suicidal." So long-term smoking--that was never going to happen.

So starting to smoke led to the development of Smoking Rules and Regulations:
  • No smoking because of stress EVER.
  • No smoking during the day except if there was a really good excuse.
  • No smoking as a break from classes or work.
But most importantly, since I'd seen too many people refuse to quit because of the weight issue, no decrease in eating was allowed as a result of smoking. In fact, I took this rule so seriously that within a month of my first cigarette, I became the first person to gain five pounds from starting smoking. I'd wake up mornings, dehydrated from a night's drinking and smoking, and wanting nothing more than to go back to sleep. Instead, after reviewing the night, I would carboload with pancakes. I would order the trucker's special at diners, and insist on eating lunch afterwards.

After all these rules and regulations--after 3 increasingly difficult smoke-free Febuary's--it was truly a relief to quit. Life is simplier now that I'm not force-feeding myself, and asking people for judgement calls on the time of day at dusk.

And so you see, I do not miss smoking at all. I am so not the kind of person who would force people to blow smoke in my face. I do not purposefully walk 3 paces below smokers on the sidewalk. I have never forced an entire group of work folk to take a cigarette break and take me with them. I do not hang outside of bars on cold winter evenings pretending I'm one with the smokers. Right. Cause, you know, that would be kind of crazy.

Friday, October 7

the bad thing...

about biking to work is that sometimes it rains.

Like today. What's going on out there: a whole lot of water. The water's coming down in every rain metaphor you've ever heard: sheets, cats, dogs, waves.

And the bad thing about taking the train is that apparently the terrorists are out to get 'em. And also, everyone who's riding them.

So the big plan is to work until the rain stops? That might not work...it's Friday. It's after 5PM. The beer is calling my name. And, you know, Madeleines don't melt.


Go Team Madeleine-Go!

In case you didn't know, there is in fact a Team Madeleine. You can join; membership is pretty open.

Team Madeleine convenes mostly in times of trouble. It may be that I've accused my parents of not being on my team in the middle of arguments. I'm like George Bush sometimes: you're either for me or against me. Umm, I just compared myself to George Bush. That's kind of alarming. Let's just move along.

Last night I went to see a show at Mercury Lounge. The show was good, even though smack in the middle, Julian told us "I'm not really feeling this show. Can we just admit this show is not really going well?"

I paid 12 bucks, so after that kind of self-reflection from the singer, I felt entitled to heckle my way through the show. Heckling's fun, so I had a great time, and to be honest, it was easy to heckle when Julian put a roofie joke on the table.

The best part of the show did not really involve Julian or the music at all. The highlight of the evening was definitely the incompetent cocktail waitress. She traveled sans tray, carrying two cups at a time back to the thirsty hordes. It was like her own bizarre Sisyphean task, because on each trip, she got about five additional drink orders.

On one trip, she and a man bumped into each other. It was crowded; the beverages were full; some beer was spilled. No one was really happy about this, but the stare the waitress gave to the bumping man was frightening. It was so scary that I had to tell the guy, "My god! It's a wonder you're still alive. That was the scariest look of death and hatred in her eyes EVER."

And then the man said, "Yeah, I know! Terrifying! Hey, thanks for being on my side-you can be on my team anytime.*"

In all seriousness, as a glasses-wearing, uncoordinated, physically-challenged person, opportunities to join teams have been rare in my life. So an open invite to be on a team...this is a GREAT and HISTORIC moment of my life.

*italics mine, cause I don't really believe that people ever talk in italics.

Thursday, October 6

Wear Sunscreen

Kurt Vonnegut is definitely a boy author. I've read lots of his stuff and enjoyed it, and don't mean that previous sentence to be any kind of an insult. Unlike Jon Stewart (aka my hubby), I would not say: 'As an adolescent, [Vonnegut]made my life bearable.'

Working in bookstores, Vonnegut was a go-to when mothers came in asking what their teenage son would like to read. [I also liked to recommend the Perks of Being a Wallflower, but that is a friend's pick that I stole.]

I'm not often a USA Today reader, mostly cause I like to read actual articles and not McNews Nuggets, but this interview of Vonnegut is really well-done. Not that he wasn't always there, but Vonnegut's gotten to the age where you really get the freedom to be as blunt as you want to be. So he gets to say things like "Our President is a twit" and yet still be an inspiring optimist.

Vonnegut is probably one of the only people that can utter the advice to "please notice when you are happy" without making me cringe. From Vonnegut, I'll take the advice and note it down.

Pretty Shiny Things Make Life Better

Yesterday I had the most boring yet satisfying adventure yet. How boring? Well, I was at the Gap. How satisfying? Well, I am wearing a blazer that looks quite similar to this one right now. (Hmm, the internet kinda let me down and I can't seem to find the exact jacket I actually bought.)

I also almost bought a
winter coat from KidsGap--it fit, but it kinda made me look like a snowball.

What's the point of this story? There might not be one. Or maybe the point is: some people believe in therapy, some people believe in prozac, but I believe in spending my imaginary money.

I'm going to add that I think the boringness of my life might correspond to the reintroduction of television into my life. I'll tell you all about that later: it involves a coaxial cable, a boy, and a dazzled roommate.

The end result of the reintroduction might have been Madeleine on the couch having quality time with the WB. And as I fell asleep--TV blaring--I wondered for a second if having TV back in my life was really a good thing. But then Seinfeld came on...and it was the Pony episode, which is so quality, and really, there's nothing so bad about TV. Right?

Monday, October 3

And they wonder why I hate children...

People wonder why I don't like kids -- but the children bring it upon themselves, really.

Just think about this Worst Moment of the Shift at the Law & Order retail job. As always, it's hard to choose, but I'll go with the worst moment being when a 4 year-old bratty girl took a break from her temper tantrum to point at me and say, "Look, Mommy. A monster!"

Ouch. A monster? And here I thought I was a nice Jewish girl.

Couches and Boyfriends: the secret connection

Some people deal well with being dumped: they lose weight, rediscover lost friends, write novels.

Not me: I tend to rediscover my loves of carbohydrates and wallowing.

During the Great Breakup of Valentine's Day, 2002, I was able to put down the carbs and quit the wallowing, mostly because of a single phone call with my dad. It's probably worth noting that my dad is a psychologist.

"Madeleine," my dad said on the fateful call, "dating is like buying a couch." At this point in the chat, I was just trying to pretend that I was not the kind of daughter that would cry into a huge bowl of pasta. So my response was, "Huh?"

"You go into a store, and you take a look at the couches. And pretty much always, you'll see a good one.
So, you know, you'll go over to the couch, and look at it a bit closer. You might sit down, see if it's comfortable. You'll take some time checking underneath the cushions --does it look clean? Is everything in decent shape?"

At this point, I was fully distracted from the pasta.

He continued, "Now, if you're comfortable sitting on the couch, you might lie down, see how that feels."

This part of the analogy was awkward. I'm pretty sure "lying down on the couch" = "sleeping with someone you're dating" and while my dad's a shrink, and clearly had his shrink hat on, he is still my DAD. One part of our relationship is that we all like to pretend that Madeleine only ever holds hands with boys. It makes the whole family more comfortable.

But awkwardness aside, I saw his point. And with that, my friends, I released the pasta. Dating is so much easier when you picture yourself at a Jennifer Convertible Store.

Friday, September 30

Breaking (bad) News!

Friendster made a HUGE goof--you can now see who's been looking at your profile. Of course, we've all been dying to know who's checked us out.

But! We didn't want the flip-side. No, I do not want every single one of my ex-boyfriends to know that I stalk them on a regular friendster basis.


So. The reaction so far? Well, one friend is trying to get Friendster's email so that she can tell them how they've ruined her life.

One coworker is gleefully checking out the ex-boyfriends who have checked her profile. She's also starting to name people who should have, but didn't, check her profile.

And another unnamed coworker spent five minutes shaking back and forth, and is now deleting herself.

Now, there is a way to view profiles anonymously. But too little, too late. What about all the people I looked at before I knew that I would be punished this way?

The only good thing about this is that it doesn't reveal how *many* times I've stalked (I mean...looked at) people.

EDITED TO ADD: I broke the news to *a lot* of people and someone just said cause of me they're going to need a fistful of SSRIs. Wow. Don't blame the messenger, folks!

Thursday, September 29

Madeleine Hearts the New Yorker (and Vodka! and Weddings!)

“Guests will sit on big black velvet pillows decorated with gold crest, like Romanoffs. We follow menu of Tsar Alexander III. Best beluga caviar, served only with blinis and sour cream. Highest quality piroshki! Russian meatballs in vodka sauce on black toothpicks, quail eggs with horseradish cream, red borscht, whole roasted sturgeon, suckling pig, beef Stroganoff. Chilled Imperia vodka! We drink, we drink, we drink!”

The New Yorker -- "A Better Life"

And from Philip Levine's poem "I was Marrried on the Fiftieth Birthday of Pablo Neruda" in the New Yorker (sorry no specific link; poem is not online; let's all pray this is not a copyright violation, since I think we all know how Madeleine feels about suing):
Neither of us knew how crucial a day
it would become in the history
of poetry

[snip]

while I was in a courthouse in Boone,
North Carolina, staring at a poster
of three auto wrecks and the one word
"Think!" in blazing red. The circuit judge
who'd just asked me, "Do you plight your troth?"
--seeing my befuddlement--saved the day:
"Just say yes, young fellow, and we can all
move on to what you been waiting for."

And now here's some info on Pablo Neruda.

A Very Important Annoucement

This Sunday, October 2, is International Pickle Day. I do this research for you because I love you. And you're welcome.

The best thank-yous are expressed in beer.

Wednesday, September 28

Loose Lips

Last night I went to Bowery Ballroom to see Supergrass. [Full disclosure: Supergrass is one of many bands on my list of Music I Should Know But Do Not Because Actually, I'm Not That Cool. Other related bands that I do not know would be: Supertramp and Superchunk. ] The show was good, with an intimate feeling, despite being in a relatively large venue. It was an acoustic set, billed not as a concert, but rather as 'An evening with Supergrass.' So it was weird that I wound up standing next to a flailing hot girl who was clearly underage and her posse of boys that she kept calling biatches.

Anyway, I'm a patient person. (Hey, stop snickering!) So I was mostly entertained by the chick and her biatches. But some of the gang of biatches behind me kept screaming "Loose Lips" at the end of every song, at the beginning of every song, in the middle of every song...there was a lot of "Loose Lips" screaming going on.

So, you know, when my huge mass of patience ran out, I turned to the loudest dude in the gang of biatches, and said, "You know, they have a set list. So if 'Loose Lips' is on the setlist, they'll play it."

And the loud dude said, "It's just that we really like the song 'Loose Lips.'"

"Yeah," I said, "I got that impression."

Anyway. It was a relatively peaceful interaction -- he repeated the whole conversation to the biatches, but without anger. And maybe some beer was spilled on me, but I chose to think that was an accident, not retaliation.

But. Then. A great song was played. I, of course, did not know it (see full disclosure above), but still, I know a great song when I hear one. Hot girl + her gang of biatches rocked out like mad. I smiled and watched. And then one of the dudes leaned over and screamed in my ear, "Sorry we're here for the music and not the scene like you!"

He called me a scenester!

So, I know this is an insult. And I feel insulted and defensive and want to explain to loud screaming biatch that in fact, I'm like a puppy dog at rock shows; I'm not cool and blase at all.

And yet, I feel strangely complimented that someone thought I was knowledgeable enough about any kind of "scene" or "next cool thing" to be a scenester.

Monday, September 26

"Little Girls Can't Play Pool"

This is what the men will yell at you from their SUVs when you bike on 3rd Avenue in Park Slope at 2AM on a Saturday. It's a comment that would be strange at any time, but particuarly at 2AM when, to be honest, I expect the words yelled from cars to be rather more graphically sexual. But while this statement was bizarre, it was also true.

I am relatively little--fully 1/4 of an inch under 5"4. I am certainly a girl, and wore a fuzzy pink sweater as I biked on my pink girl's bike that day. And finally, I do not play pool, since I have a strict non-competition with siblings contract (and a brother that yearns to quit his day job and be a pool shark).

So, SUV dudes, you are correct: Little Girls Can't Play Pool. Or at least, this little girl cannot play pool.

Saturday, September 24

Love Actually

To all my friends that know about my tremendous love of Hugh Grant--how did you let me go so long without seeing this movie!?!?! How fabulous was Love Actually? So fabulous that I abandoned my hatred of children (temporarily). I made the roomie watch with me, and we kvelled together over true love. I mean, I know it's ultimately kinda lame that I'm giving into the estrogen-rush that is Love Actually, but hey, the movie solved my bad-mood-from-work-hangover.

Oh, were we talking about my horrific PT job to get myself out of credit card debt?

You may wonder how day two at the Law & Order of retail stores was -- bad. Terrible & no good. I was scolded for chewing gum and make 2K for the store.

Friday, September 23

I am shallow

...and so I'm absurdly proud that I got an invite to comment on Gawker. It's a thrill to have connections with people who are way, way cooler than me.

I think this might make up for receiving my gmail invite so late that there was no one left to invite. Everyone was already attending that party when I came in (unfashionably) late.

Thursday, September 22

Super-Awesome

Watch Kinky Friedman's campaign commercial here.

Link via the BookSlut. So slutty & so booky: much like me. (Kidding! Joke!)

If I lived in Texas I would vote Kinky, following along with his slogan of: Why the hell not?

The video is pretty genius: it makes the typical argument about the worthlessness of politicians with humor. And, of course, potentially offensive jokes about Jesus can't be offensive if they're animated, right? (Is this not what South Park taught us?)

EDITED TO ADD: This is the New Yorker article where I first found out that Kinky was running for governor. This article is long but also super-awesome:

No political observer in the state was giving Kinky Friedman any chance at all, and he was still saying things like '“If I win, the first thing I'll do is demand a recount,' and promising that, if elected the first Jewish governor of Texas, he would reduce the speed limit to 54.95. ... But, one after another, voters told him they thanked God that he had decided to do this, that they were sick of the way politics was being practiced.

Wednesday, September 21

Sometimes it's just as bad as you'd think

It's reassuring actually, when things are every bit as horrific in reality as they were in your imagination.

I had a root canal recently, and although I'm not afraid of dental work, I am at least a little bit sensible, and was certainly *not* looking forward to the exploration of my tooth's roots. Day of the work, though, I found myself relieved when the hands were removed from my mouth mostly cause it meant I could finally ask all my questions about what the f*ck had been going on in there, and less because it meant the root exploration was complete.

All this to say that I'm sitting with a beer having just finished my first shift at my new retail job. I'm working at a clothing store. I'm not going to name it--one of my smaller life goals is to die without having been sued--but let's just say that I'm certain that you own at least one item of apparel from this store. Let's further say that this store, and the stores related to it, are much like Law and Order: inescapable, and relatively likeable to the vast majority of people.

Why was the first shift so bad? I think mostly because it exceeded all of my negative expectations. I expected to feel cranky about the hours, the pay, the giving up of hungover Saturday brunch. And expected too that I would inevitably be given the Locker That Does Not Open Once It Has Been Closed. I expected my feet to hurt and my brain to feel numb.

On my interview, I was asked four times about how I work with difficult people. I had hoped, at least during my first shift, to not meet the reason I was asked this question. But I did.

He's not so bad. But he's pretty terrible. A toucher, a sweet-talker, a non-manager manager. There's sort of nothing more lame than wanting to be a manager at a retail store and not getting to be one. It means that the managers don't give you all the respect they would for a peer, and the fellow employees can only hate you for your attempt to cross the party line.

What else was terrible? Well, there was Melvin, who tried to bond with me cause we both work 9-5 jobs. Melvin, in case you're wondering, was a wanker. He told my future work friend, Duane, who pretended I'd performed more customer service than I ever will in my life, that he was a failure. Not quite so bluntly as breaking out the "f" word--but pretty shocking. A direct hit at D's lack of higher education. And let me just say this: I do not think Melvin is the brains-champ of the Queens.

What else was painful? Well, how about the sweater folding lessons, where I spent more time learning how to correctly fold a sweater (quick hint: it involves use of a board) than some medical students would spend learning the correct way to perform an appendectomy.

I could go on. But haven't we all had painful jobs? So I'll just end by saying that this job is as bad, if not worse than I thought it would be. And some small part of me thinks that must somehow be related to how much fun I had during my root canal.

Monday, September 19

Even Kids Can't Stand Life If They Can't Have A Drink


A slogan the alcoholics of the world can stand behind:
Even Kids Can't Stand Life If They Can't Have A Drink. The picture in the article is kinda priceless, mostly 'cause the kids look so shiny and ready to take on little league.

In places other than America, all sorts of cool things are available via vending machines. In Paris,
you can get a book from a vending machines, which is pretty awesome. Hey, I told you there would be stuff about books in this blog.

Mostly, though, I think vending machines should sell cigarettes. Remind me again: when did those go away? I saw a cigarette vending machine the other day at a bar, and it was like the machine was surrounded in a golden aura of nicotine goodness. Is it showing that I only smoke the candy cigarettes these days?