Wednesday, December 13

Maybe the Best

The first time Rob tried to explain the routine, it was all pretty rambling and scattered, and no one understood. Confusion only got worst when he called his buddy JayBoom in Albany to help demonstrate.

[Note: JayBoom is not this guy's real name; my memory's just not that good. But I can tell you for sure that the guy had a nickname. Much like our president, Rob engages in the obnoxious hobby of nicknaming. If I sound bitter, it's only because to a select group of people, I'm forever known as Madcrazy.]

Rob: Hey, Jay-Boom, remember that thing we did last summer? You know, with the good? And great?
JayBoom: Uh, no dude. Cigarette inhale, cigarette exhale. Uh?
Rob: You know, like this: Star Wars was a good movie.
JayBoom: Yeah, yeah, good movie. I liked it.
Rob: Nah, man, I gotta go. That's not it at all.

The thing about Rob's routine is that it wasn't really that clever, and yet it was so damn satisfying. You'd be sitting around, and the end credits of Arrested Development would come on. Someone would comment, "good episode." And then from another person, slumped half on the floor, and half on a couch rescued from the street, would come an enthusiastic, "great episode!"

At that point, you're two thirds there, and it was just a matter of turning to Rob, or the biggest fan of the show in the room. The person would pause, thoughtfully, and then say, "Maybe the best."

And, that, friends, is how you play Good, Great, Maybe the Best. You can actually play this game with anything. I'll start: Good Blogpost.

Thursday, November 30

I'm a Hobo

Midway through exploring my poor tooth that's suffered through two root canals and a crown, the doctor said, "yep, we're going to have to pull it."

"What!" I said (and maybe my sailor mouth came out a little), "but I just got a crown!"

Dr. Z didn't respond -- perhaps because my sailor mouth was not appropriate in his Madison Ave office. Even numb from Novocaine, you can't shut me up.

"But! I paid 600 bucks for the crown! And only 5 months ago!" All my sentences were fragments, finished with exclamation marks. That's never a good sign.

Shouldn't the dentist chair be raised to give such bad news? Apparently not -- the chair stayed a mere foot off the ground, as if I were revisiting kindergarten.

Dr. Z looked sad, or maybe I was just confused by the binocular extension on his glasses.

"I'm sorry," he said, as if it were his fault. I liked that -- someone should owe me an apology. And with that, I moved into phase two: acceptance.

"Can I keep the crown?" I asked, but Dr. Z thought I was joking. He responded with a laugh, and then went in with the pliers. But I wasn't joking -- I like souvenirs, and deeply buried within the crown is gold. Sure, it's encased in porcelain, but still -- sparkly! pretty!

Now I have a hobo-rific hole in the middle of my mouth. I am a hobo. Let's all be grateful my two front teeth are intact -- that joke would have gotten old real fast. This is probably all punishment for being so delighted when Seth was mistaken for a hobo.

Wednesday, November 29


I sign all emails that aren't going to close friends with "best" -- I just don't really see any other way to go. I guess I could try "cheers," but it feels a little too British to me; I'm fauxster, not an anglophile.

The NYT has determined that "best" is poor netiquette. Says one dude: "an e-mail sender who writes "Best," then a name, is offering something close to a brush-off."

To clarify to everyone I've written emails to in the past seven years or so: I'm so sorry for being cold and unfeeling. Thanks Style section -- I was running out of meaningless things to worry about.

Returning to My Roots

I'm getting a root canal.


In the same tooth.

Actually, it's not actually a root canal. It's something far grosser and more complicated. I can't really explain -- I spelled it so badly when I wrote it down at the dentist that even the Google can't figure it out. Anyway, apparently I'm part of the five percent of people who have failed root canals.

If you'd like, you can read more about past tooth troubles.

Monday, November 20

Dear New Yorker,

Whhhhhhhy? Is it because I'm not influencial enough for you? It's not like I really thought I was going to get a free copy of An Inconvenient Truth.

Except that I did, you know, and I could tell I really wanted it as I flipped through the pages outside of my mailbox. Nothing but subscription squares, same as always.

Since I've seen the movie I've drastically reduced use of the A/C and used NO HEAT AT ALL. None. I mean, when I was in college I used to crank it to 87 and run around in my bathing suit. I've reformed; I've changed & grown.

I understand your decision, but you've made my Monday sad. Those influencial folk in influencial industries like "business, government, and the media" better take some action now that they've got the free DVD.


PS: At least I got my favorite of the four Chris Ware covers.

Wednesday, November 8

Watching the Detectives

My obsession with Law & Order: Criminal Intent is rapidly becoming a full-on addiction. It's potentially time for an intervention and here's why: in my dreams each night, I'm a detective.

Detective Burry, that is, complete with uncomfortable looking trousers, straightened hair, and a seemingly endless supply of evidence bags and plastic gloves.

Have you met me? I'm a bit, well, squeamish. It's not that I faint when I get shots (I do), but that I feel faint when other people get shots. I'm very aware I wasn't cut out to be a detective. Unfortunately, dream Madeleine--or should I say, Detective Burry--does not seem to be aware.

In my dreams, I wander around grisly crime scenes, feeling faint and nauseous. I'm very bumbling, and solve none of the cases. Mornings, I'm exhausted and dissatisfied: it's hard work not solving the problems of New York city.

But one time, wandering through dream NY, in my ugly dream suit, handcuffs dangling from my pockets, I solve a case. I found the murderer, made him confess, and heard the satisfying bum-bum of success. So go ahead -- rip from the headlines! I'm ready for it.

Monday, November 6

Remember the World Series?

yeah, this is a true story of one night in madcat's life during the world series. posting delay due to blogger difficulties. my one true reader complained, so up it goes!

I'm full of hate for domino's today. (Never fear: the crust of my hate is filled with cheese and comes with a side order of dipping sauce.)

Last night I made a decision to be spectacularly lazy. (Wait, how is last night different from every night?) There was gonna be a game on. And I was gonna get in touch with my inner frat boy watching the game with beer and wings.

Things went off track quickly. For one thing, the game was rained out. Then the wings didn't come...for over an hour. The delivery guy apologized, but you can't eat "I'm sorry" dipped in bleu cheese.

So the Domino's (and people, I'd craved bad wings! I knew what I was getting into) was a disappointment.

Then this afternoon, sitting, watching TV, being monstrously lazy, I saw the Domino's commercial for Brooklyn Style Pizza. It's an absurd ad, like they called up the dept of Brooklyn cliches. I'm from Brooklyn and I never rarely scream out the window. To call in my own cliche dept, you have to see it to believe it. Better: taste the pizza. It's an offense to Brooklyn.

Domino's: we're so on a break.

Saturday, October 28

"excuses are like assholes; everyone's got one"

That's a quote, obviously, from Vito. That's just to say that I'll spare you this round of excuses for one it's been a fortnight since I've last blogged.

You can enjoy this collection of excuses for not blogging that's been floating around the 'nets lately.

Wednesday, October 18

Project Runway Thoughts

some pre-judging thoughts...

the whole Jeffrey thing:
That was really mature of everyone. It's like these people never watched reality tv before, so they don't actually get how to really backstab and bitch talk. That's refreshing. Also Jeffrey's a weeper.

michael kors: why is he wearing sunglasses at an indoor runway show? is it to justify his ludicrously orange fake-and-bake tan?

jeffrey/runway show: is it creepy when a man clearly loves his son more than his wife? (Also, wow, did you see that one dress that totally made his model look seven months pregnant?)

vincent/audience: yep, he just always looks creepy. A wife, people, someone is married to the man!

uli/runway: I can't wear camel or neutral colors because they make me look beige. So usually I work that out this way: Since I can't wear camel colored clothes, I don't like them. (Selfish. I admit it; I'm a selfish lady.) I've got to say, though, that I really liked the neutral colored clothes from the beginning of her show better than the vibrant blue colors at the end.

laura/runway: so I'm totally not Laura's demographic. You will see me at NO cocktail parties at all. Her clothes are gorgeous, and I liked the music choice -- it's like jazz meets the circus or something. She's got the best intro yet.

michael knight/runway: his models seem like they're on drugs. maybe it's all the white clothes that are confusing me. One of his models is wearing a pink sateen romper dress! it's like hussy meets three year old.

question: why do all the designers love backless dresses w/ boob cutout areas so much?

technorati tag:

Thursday, October 5

Signs of Trouble

I was at a party the other day, and a friend -- a male friend! -- said, "So, what's the plan for your highlights?"

Plan? I don't have a plan for my hair. I don't even have a five-year plan. I still don't know what to major in at college. Ok, I guess I somehow solved that one. But no, I do not have a highlights plan. Also, jesus, nyc guys: your product love and hair awareness is now officially creepy.

Bad Situations Made Worse

I flew cross-country from New York to San Francisco today. I don't do well on long flights - it's not like I'm tall or anything like that, but I still feel like I need more room than the airplane provides.

The whole flight system is so bizarre. It's bad enough that I have to fly in the crappy McMinie seat; I don't think there's a need to make me walk through first class and observe how great things could be.

Here's what made me really cranky: after hour seventeen of the flight, I was feeling hungry. There's no free meal on airlines anymore, and not even a free snack. But in first class, apparently everything is different. In first class, they were getting FREE FRESH BAKED COOKIES. And let me tell you, I think they purposefully piped the fresh baked smell into the lowly ordinary class section and it made me sad.

Sunday, October 1

Pain In My Ass

Saturday night, I fell down a flight of stairs. Yup. An entire flight. Important things to know: I was not drinking or drunk leading up to the fall. After the fall, I anesthetized with a lovely screwtop Reisling.

Bonus terribleness: I was carrying a glass of wine down the stairs with me, and spilled the entire glass on my shirt. It's always nice to smell like a wino on a Saturday night.

My ass, by the way, is now purple. There's some lovely green and black streaks as well. I'm going to have to come up with a new favorite hobby, because sitting just isn't working out for me today.

Thursday, September 21

Jury Duty: Day One

So when you're serving Jury Duty, most of the day is spent waiting. I pictured the DMV going in, but really, JD is not quite so bad at all. (I don't really want to imply that it was fun, but at least I did get to sit while waiting.)

I was part of the first "call" to be a perspective juror on an assault case. All jurors have to participate in voir dire. That's French for "listen talk" -- but since I haven't spoken French in awhile, and spoke it poorly when I did, take that translation with a shakerful of salt. Anyway, there are a lot of questions the judge asks of each perspective juror: were you a victim of a crime? Are you related to a cop? Where do you live? Where are you from? What's your job? Are you married?

It's kind of like dating, but not, because no one's ever asked me if I were related to a cop on a first date. One of the questions is: What are your hobbies? How do you spend your free time?

FUN FACT: the hobby of every single person in New York county is reading or pilates. Seriously. Every person. (Well, except for the one weird guy whose hobby was his kids. Creepy.) Some people shook things up by saying they had two hobbies: reading AND pilates. And sure enough, when they asked me, my little cracking voice said, "Um, I like to read. And um, bicycle?" And seriously, I think if I'd ever done pilates in my life I would have just substituted that in.

Monday, September 18


So I did the upgrade to the new iTunes. But on my work computer only -- the thing's a Dell toy. Worse, a nearly broken toy that fans itself and whirs entirely more loudly than it should.

I made the upgrade because a coworker had: thanks Apple for that cool new feature where different versions of iTunes are no longer compatible. Sans coworker, my work music became a third of its former self.

Anyway, all that to say that damn! the new 'tunes is busy. There's so many things that I can click on accidentally. And all my settings were erased by the upgrade. I'd no idea how I'd miss my original preferences until they were gone.

Wednesday, September 13

Tequila: Miracle Alcohol

The amazing thing about tequila is that it's the only alcohol that makes you feel more awake.

No. Really, it's true. Or, alternately, this is a factoid that I heard once when I was drunk, and now it will forever seem true to me.

Anyway, when I proposed this fact at the start of the mouse's party, at least one person believed me and proposed a shot. I thought he was joking, but then, like magic: classy tequila shots presented in champagne glasses rimmed in salt.

It only took four more minutes for me to propose that a site might exist called that possessed all the secrets of womanhood. Apparently my vag is an organization lately. When Jen heard this, she said with an expression of shock, "Oh, Madeleine's getting DRUNK tonight!

Monday, September 4

I Am So Cheerful! I am FULL of Cheer!

Thanks all, for your patience during my radio silence the past week or so. It felt a little bit to me like my inner monologue was missing. Hmm, maybe that's stretching things. A big thank you to everyone who got in touch with me after seeing this post (you do realize you just validated my public whining, right?). Seriously: Thank you.

Here's how Seth felt about radio silence & my general pissiness:

Seth: I like emoticons on IM. They're a good way to approximate tone of voice.
Mad.: I think they're terrible. Why don't people just write better, and convey their tone with their words, instead of an AOL sponsored emotive-face. God. That might be what's making America terrible. We can't even communicate anymore without a fucking winky smiley face! It makes me so cranky!
Seth: Umm, you do remember that you promised to be in a good mood September 1st, right? Cause it's REALLY public when you do things like that on the internets.

Happy Labor Day everyone! I'm back, and bring on your smiley face emoticons because I'm cheerful, cheerful, cheerful!

Friday, August 25

August is Broken

Morale is low and I've decided to deal with it by resigning myself to a rotten summer. August: it's broken.

I'm not saying this is the worst summer ever (that would have to be the summer of '04, when family issues tangled with the loss of a best friend, the dating of a douche, and a job that involved masturbating with Excel spreadsheets).

Still, this summer's not going so well, and I've decided to stop pretending it is. One of my closest friends in the world is known to give her bad moods end times. She's a nicer and smarter person than me, and so her bad moods are usually scheduled to end two, or four, hours later. For me, high morale, enthusiasm, and good cheer will resume Sept. 1.

Tuesday, August 15

Madeleine's Weekend Lessons

1. When you puke in public, no one likes you. Really. Maybe in your head you're thinking -- but I did it in the flowers! It's fertilizer! -- but that argument is not going to work.

2. I'm not the only one that just got free Bravo myseriously! The cable gods gave this present to ALL of lower Manhattan.

3. Don't go to work hungry if your job is waitressing.

Thursday, August 10

Coming Soon: Varicose Veins

Oh no, not another part-time job? Oh, yes, really! Part-time job, full-time job: I got 'em all!

The new PT job is at a trendy Brooklyn restaurant. I'll reveal no more: the restaurant folks might know how to use the internets. For now, I waitress & hostess, and request daily to be trained to bartend. Mostly, I hostess.

Before I ever hosted, I assumed that the main requirement was to look busty. So I showed up to work in a lowcut top the first day. This was not such a success, mostly because lowcut tops are only interesting if you have boobs. (See: failed attempt at boobal growth spurt.)

Really being a hostess involves three things:

1. Being fake. Fake Madeleine is delighted to see you. This is the first time she's heard that joke! You're so clever, and really, Fakeleine will seat you before all those other folks.

2. Climbing up stairs in front of people. Do you think I can't tell when you're staring at my ass? Oh, I can tell. I've changed tactics, and now I wear tight skirts, instead of lowcut tops. The kitchen staff likes it, and I've been getting free shots from the bartenders.

3. Trying to convince people to sit inside, when clearly the best seats are outside. This involves lying about the respective wait times and performing a hard sell on the greatness of air conditioning.

And that's all really. Here's the best part: the other night I worked, and so much standing was involved that I could feel my feet swelling, and varicose veins a'forming. All was redeemed when at the end of the night, the boss Vito said, "You did good" and slipped me an extra twenty bucks. Not being a hooker, I've never before been slipped an extra twenty for doing well, and I've got to report: it's pretty nice.

Saturday, August 5

Best Freudian Slip -- EVER!

Madcat: It's crazy, because they've been dating for ages.
Joanna: I know -- forever!
Madcat: You can't be seriously dating someone, and trying to sleep with other people. It's just not allowed.
Joanna: Exactly! You've either got to break up, or stay monotonous.

Wednesday, August 2

Dubious Compliments

A coworker to me when I handed him a mix tape to put on the bookstore's sound system:

Your taste in music is so much cooler than you look.

Two guys, on my street corner, my 16th birthday:
Guy 1: She's got a nice little figure --no tits, though.
Guy 2: Yeah, no tits at all. But she's young.
Sad news: I am still awaiting my boobal growth spurt.

My college buddy, at a recent party:
Buddy: Madeleine! I hear you're dating someone. And I haven't even met him. But I've heard he's awesome. Just, really cool--everyone likes him.
Madeleine: He's good people.
Buddy: That's great, really, cause in the past...some of those guys have been less than awesome. Madeleine <<>>
Buddy: I mean, first there was that college nonsense. And, oh, god, then there was that guy who was just such! an asshole.

Friday, July 28

From the Land of Borrowed Cable

Over at my apartment, the domestic partner and I borrow the cable. (We'll return it if the cable company ever asks for it back.)

Wednesday, just in time for Project Runway, the domestic partner discovered Bravo. Had we just never investigated as high up as channel 98? Was the weather somehow giving us reception?

Who knows? But today, on (borrowed) TBS, there's a big photo of the empire state building and a note saying, We are required to black out this program in compliance with FCC rules and regulations.

The cable gods give, and the cable gods take away.

Thursday, July 27

Cheapness v. Squeamishness

Sometimes you go to Smiley's in Park Slope and have a slice of pizza.

Other times, you go to Smiley's, sit quietly with your book & slice of pizza, and a homeless person sits down at your table.

The homeless man had a slice of pizza, and I'm glad he was eating. On a personal level, though, I wish he hasn't smelled.

The only way to survive living in NY is to convince yourself to believe in things that aren't true. Like that it's reasonable for one paycheck a month to do nothing but pay your rent. And that all metal objects--like subway poles--are self-sterilizing, and destroy homeless goo and germs.

Of course, that's not actually true. Watching the homeless man grab handfuls of napkin out of the metal dispenser, my elaborate suspension of disbelief in the laws of science had to end. All I could think about was the homelessness that he was leaving behind on the napkin dispenser.

I know: I'm such an asshole. I'm a terrible person, and you're never going to read about my tooth pains again.

But, dammit, I'd paid my two dollars, and come 5th graders making farting noises, and homeless men sitting at my table, I was going to finish my pizza. So I did, and then washed my hands ten times in a row.

Wednesday, July 26

Only the Pink is Saving Me Now

Lessons learned from this video:

  • My bike is still in my possession (or is, as of this writing) only because it's pink. That's it. I can't think of any other reason it hasn't been stolen.

  • I should actually feel really fortunate that it's only the seat and handlebar grippy thing that have been stolen.

Thanks for the link, Theo!

Tuesday, July 25

The Boy is FAMOUS!

Breaking news in the "my boyfriend does stuff and I blog about it" department: Gods of Fire will be the "the live band for a musical" about air guitaring.

Note: when I read the description of the band's style, I briefly confused thrash with thrush. Right. Those two things are NOT the same at all.

Tuesday, July 11

The Word of the Day

Did all of you already know the word cankle?

'Cause I didn't. I learned it last night from an Israeli guy, who seemed shocked by my ignorance.

Tuesday, July 4

Happy 4th of July!

I love the 4th. After all, it's a holiday that comes with fireworks & meat. Honestly, I don't think a person should request more than those two things in any given day.

I'm throwing a BBQ today (know me? not invited? oops! just a dumb mistake. give me a call & I'll give you directions!). You can thank me for all the rain. I was inordinately lucky until roughly June of 2004. Then my luck ran out. Now, when I throw an outside party, it rains.

Anyway, I'm pretty revved. Gung ho drunken love of America only surfaces once a year. The rest of the time, I think American flags make for tacky decorations of people and houses, and that patriotism is for fourth graders. For today, though, YAH! Beer! Meat! Music! Fireworks! World Cup (Go Germany!)!Happy Making a Declaration of Independence from the Brits Day!

Friday, June 30

she told me to come but I was already there

The subtitle to my St. Thomas vacation is: and then we talked about imaginary weddings a lot. And kids.

And then, thank god, I got back to NY where I can easily ignore such nonsense in favor of having three drinks. Three drinks in, it's easy to realize, "Well, I'm not responsible enough for marriage or kids at all." (That realization might be slightly slurred.) And then once I realized that, I celebrated with more drinks.

The best thing to come out of the endless St. Thomas Wedding Discussion was a confession by one of the Jens. (Of course, there were two Jens, and of course, both their last names started in R.) Jen said, "My first song at my wedding is gonna be 'You Shook Me All Night Long' -- it's my favorite!"

We were all drunk, so to check that I had the right song I sang some lyrics to her:
Knockin' me out with those American thighs
Taking more than her share
Had me fighting for air
She told me to come but I was already there
I hope I get invited to her wedding; I want to take photos of her dad. Or her mom.

Tuesday, June 20

In the Tropical Tropical
Tropical Ice-Land

I'm leaving tomorrow to go to St. Thomas. I know: it's awesome. To be honest, I'm jealous of myself.

But, if it will make you feel better -- when I try to have a tropical getaway, it rains. Nothing but T-storms ahead.

Friday, June 16

Overheard Conversations

Drunk guy on cell phone, Essex Street, 6:30 PM: I beg to differ. We-all might be drunk; we might have had a few beverages. Sure. That's right. But're drunk on being judgmental, drunk on saying stupid shit. You're drunk on being an asshole.

Lost Albums

The guy I'm dating now lost Beck for awhile after a bad breakup. Couldn't listen to him at all, and didn't want to, either. He says Beck's back in his life now, but I don't know if I fully believe it.

Losing music because of relationships is terrible. I lost Astral Weeks, the Van Morrison Album, and I'm not sure I'll ever get it back.

J's dad played on the nearly every song on Astral Weeks, and the two of us listened to the album on long car trips. Driving between close Boston suburbs, our bad senses of direction would collide. We'd wind up on the New Hampshire border, swerving wildly towards exits to turn around. I did something shitty, and told my friend about it during one of car trips. For once, Astral Weeks wasn't playing -- the Beatles' cover of "Baby It's You" played on the radio. J. was mostly silent the rest of the car ride, but this was no comfortable silence; we haven't been good friends since.

Still, I'm fine listening to "Baby It's You"; it's Astral Weeks (any song, the entire album) that is nearly unlistenable even still.

Monday, June 12

Al Gore Makes A Funny

And it's not the same old tragic "I used to be the next President of the United States joke":

Please see An Inconvenient Truth. Here's my favorite line from the movie: "...there are a lot of people who go straight from denial to despair without pausing on the intermediate step of actually doing something about the problem, and that's what I'd like to finish with, the fact that we already know everything we need to know to effectively address this problem."

Friday, June 9

Leave Off the Last 'S' For...

I wouldn't want to call myself dumb, but I just realized two things that I bet you already knew:

1. When you type in a URL with a https in front of it, the last 's' stands for secure -- and mean that the site is encrypted and (at least theoretically) hackers cannot access your info. Do you know I work for an internet company? How did this knowledge escape me 25 internet-filled years?

2. For over a year (well, a year and two weeks), I've been thinking that since I live on the fifth floor, I have been climbing five flights of stairs every day. Not so! Perhaps my time in Ireland confused me, but here in America, the entry floor is considered floor number one. So living on the fifth floor involves climbing only four flights. I apologize for the complaining I have been doing for a year and two weeks re: walking up five flights of stairs.

And, for a rainy Friday, here's something pandorable for all of you!

Sunday, June 4

I Accidentally Painted My Room the Color of Bile

I switched rooms this weekend with the domestic partner. Hello, Sunshine! Goodbye, airshaft love!

The new room is a bit petite (quote the boy, "it's the exact size of a jail cell! you're lucky the bathroom's not inside your room!), and this morning it was painted lavender.

Tonight it's painted the color of bile.

You know how sometimes you rent an apartment and one of the rooms is painted an atrocious color? And you think, God! this person before me was such an idiot! Who'd pick this color!?!

Well, stop your judging. I'm that idiot! In the store, on the paint chip, the color was a lovely foresty green that I would thought would look perfect next to the closet-like portion of the room that I'm keeping lavender. On the walls of the new room: BILE.

Wednesday, May 31

You're Older Than You've Ever Been
(And Now You're Even Older)

I turned 25 recently, and I feel, well, mostly the same. But you know who thinks I'm older?


They're sending me mail. A lot. And I don't know if you know, but AARP is an advocacy group for people over 50. No offense, but AARP is for old people -- people who still have a chance at getting social security.

There's nothing more shocking than opening your mailbox and getting mail for old people when you've only been a quarter of a century old for two weeks. Worrying about being a half-century old will now commence.

Tuesday, May 23

NYC Might Want Me to Go Crazy

Yesterday I was on the F train back from Brooklyn when it decided to become an A train. It happened at Jay Street, which is where chaos tends to ensue.

So when the F becomes an A (and of course, everyone acts like this is normal, like a shift in sexuality, but you know it's not! The F should be an F! The F should stay an F! It shouldn't convert to being an A!) it skips my stop. By a lot.

And then suddenly the most efficient route home is to transfer from my former F train to the jizm. The jizm, in case you're wondering, is not one of the greatest trains of NYC. But transferring seemed like a good idea at the time.

Broadway/Nassau approaches, and I'm transferring. 'Course, it's been so long since I've actually taken the jizm, that I forget which way I want to go -- Jamaica? Broad St? Metropolitan Ave?

I walk through the station, doing that thing where you don't know where you're going, but you act real confident as you go. I call this being a New Yorker. I'm pretty sure I want to take the train to Metropolitan, but of course, I'm actually on the wrong platform.

I'm walking to switch over when all of a sudden I hear:
Oh baby I like it

And I think, thank god for my iPod! I get to pretend I didn't hear that & definitely, that's not about me!

Oh baby I like it raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAW

I mean, I'm not going to look around at this point, but there's a chance that Ol' Dirty Bastard himself had come back to life to try and ride the JMZ too.

Thursday, May 18

Technical Difficulties

Isn't it great when people make excuses? I love it.

Here's mine: there's been some internet outage at my apartment (a lovely gentlemen named Paul from the Philippines helped me through our issues) and some health outages in, well, my body.

So. I am full of stories about umm, stuff, but you're going to have to wait.

Friday, May 12

Madcat: Nearly a Quarter of a Century Old

So, I’m pretty excited for the big birthday.

In one of his typical comforting phone calls from the distance of six-years-older, my brother let me know that things were really just going to get much worse. 25! Pish-posh, said he. Wait until you’re 31. It’s gonna be fun when I turn 30 and he gives a wave from 36.

I hate to do the clich├ęd thing, but there was a momentary flip-out on Monday. You might call it a hint of an oncoming quarter life crisis. I was signing up for YouSendIt because I wanted to send my friend a CD over the ‘nets. It’s a free service. Except of course that nothing’s free, so you have to handover all your personal details except for your social security number.

Filling out the email was easy enough, name, occupation. These were all cake. Then I got to the drop-down menu for my age.

Friends. My bracket has changed. No longer am I in the most desired age demographic. So long being marketed to! So long having all the buying power and might of 18 – 24. So long having television geared towards all my loves. Oh good-bye 18 to 24; hello 25 to 30.

Come celebrate my birthday (I will be sloshed!) at Ace Bar. 10 PM. 5/13. See you there!!

Sunday, May 7

Transportation I: "Hey, Lady"

"Hey, lady," yelled out the man from his not-very-shiny sedan. He sounded desperate (not flirtatious), and so I walked over.

I stayed far enough away from his car that he couldn't grab me and shove me in. My mom taught me that when I was nine, and I've been successfully thwarting potential kidnappers ever since. We were both on 7th Avenue South. I was walking uptown, back to work, and he was driving downtown.

When I walked closer, he started speaking again. "Can you tell me how to get to Brooklyn?"

"Sure. Well...where in Brooklyn?" I asked. Closer up, he had gray hair, a bit of a gut, and a pained-looking wife riding shotgun.

"Anywhere," he replied. "Just get me to Brooklyn."

I gave him directions to get to the Brooklyn Bridge (or at least, closer to the Brooklyn Bridge), but I can only imagine what happened after he crossed the water.

Monday, May 1

Madeleine + Lindsay = Fugly 4 EVA

I've willfully chosen to adopt a possibly fugly style, and there's no backing down now.


Oh, they're on! With the warm legs, and the '80s style and the mocking. I'm there. Bring it, fashionistas.

There's nothing you can say that will make me feel bad about my comfortable and sexy choice (yes, that's how I feel about my leggings. They're the unity of comfort and sexy).

Hmm, what's that you say? Fugly? Well, when you say about Lindsay, "LEGGINGS! WHY DON'T YOU JUST STAB ME?" -- well that hurts a bit. But I cannot be swayed. I live in the LES and I wear my trendiness proud. So proud that tomorrow I might wear my leggings with COWBOY BOOTS and a TRUCKER HAT.

Take that mockers.

(photo of Lohan yanked from go fug yourself)

Tuesday, April 25

Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs, writer of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, has passed away. When a nonfiction book about urban planning written in 1961 can knock your socks off in 2005, it's something impressive. In Death & Life, Jacobs talks about what makes cities great, and what causes cities harm. My favorite parts are always when she talks about the LES and West Village (where she'd lived).
Last year I was on such a street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, waiting for a bus. I had not been there longer than a minute, barely long enough to begin taking in the street's activity of errand goers, children playing, and loiterers on the stoops, when my attention was attracted by a woman who opened a window on the third floor of a tenement across the street and vigorously yoo-hooed at me...."The bus doesn't run here on Sundays!" Then by a combination of shouts and pantomime she directed me around the corner. This woman was one of thousands upon thousands of people in New York who casually take care of the streets.
If you haven't realized, much of what makes Death & Life amazing is that Jacobs truly believes that people working together (in the rightly designed city) can make life better. More to the point, really, is that Jacobs believes people's natural inclination will be to work and live together happily.

Obits: from the NYT; WaPo
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Wednesday, April 19

My Carbon Monoxide Meter Went Off In The Middle of the Night

Well, it went off at 6AM, which I suppose for some people is first-cup-of-coffee-o'clock. The thing about carbon monoxide is that they call it a silent killer, and so once the alarm goes off, it's hard to know what to do next.

We checked on the internet, but the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are nausea, headache, and feeling tired. Who doesn't feel like that at 6AM?

Were we dying? Should the domestic partner and I leave the apartment? We really had no idea.

So we called 311, figuring they might know more than us. 311 connected me to 911, who connected me to the FDNY. After you've just paid taxes, it's a real thrill to see government resources at work.

Five minutes later, two fire trucks showed up with at least ten hot firemen. Yum. Firemen. I went up to one of them who was taking his axe out of his pocket and told him about our potential death by the silent killer. Then I said, "My, that's a lot of tools you have." And then I turned bright red.

Ten fireman followed us up our five flights (which I guess is nothing to them) and did a reading of our CO level. I hate to be anticlimactic, but our reading was zero. No CO; no silent killer death.

Tuesday, April 18

I'll Eat You Up!

Let's all get ready (waaaaaaaay in advance) for the movie of Where The Wild Things Are. Directed by Spike Jonze, and written by Dave Eggers, it's sure to be, well, either horribly twee and self-reflective, or enchantingly off-kilter & super awesome. I'm intrigued.

Monday, April 17

I Date a Hobo

Seattle has a lot of bums. No seriously, it does. It was a surprise to me too. Coming from NY, you'd think I wouldn't notice. No city could have more bums, beggers, and derelict mumblers than my own New York. Thing is, NY isn't so clean, so it's easier for all bums to blend in.

Seattle thought -- well, it's downright tidy, with spacious streets, parks and plazas. It's basically gotta be clean, since it's washed by a near-constant drizzle. All this adds up to more noticable--and more chatty--hobos than you'd ever meet in New York.

So I suppose it's no surprise that when the boy approached an indie yuppie chick in Capital Hill she assumed he was a bum.

As he said, "Excuse me, but we're looking for Broadway -- do you know where that is?" she gave him the I'm sorry, but no nod that translates to: I feel very bad for the life you're living but I am not giving you money, cigarettes, alchohol or blow.

It only took about four seconds before we both realized that the boy had been outed as a hobo. And with that, friends, I believe the boy has a new moniker.

(See the lil' hobo that can't get directions above.)

technorati tags: +

Thursday, April 13

This Is What I Do -- For a Living

I saw Rhett Miller & the Believers tonight at Webster Hall. Great show. Rhett Miller reminds me a little bit of an old friend & roommate, Eric wedreaminsound. (I think it's cause of the flock of seagulls-esqu haircut they both sport.) Rhett's style onstage is one-half sharp sexiness and one-half unselfconscious awkwardness.

Let's not say too much about the drummer, who was blonde, female, and a good chick drummer without any kind of grrrl power to it. (Well, let's say a little, if only because our birthdays are a month apart. And cause, ya know, maybe I have a wee girl crush. Oh. Angela Wilson...unfindable on the internet, but still pretty great.)

That's all. Just a old fashioned kickass show. Rhett Miller broke a string mid-song. Just as I noticed it dangling, a lackey ran up with a new & tuned guitar. (The boy would like to interject here and mention that the technical name for the lackey would be 'roadie.') You could tell no one in the band was a punk kid anymore, because when they burst out the champagne for Angela Wilson's birthday, they poured it into cups, and then played another song for the crowd. No drinking out of the bottle, and certainly no pouring champagne on bandmates.

technorati tags:

Tuesday, April 11

Back From Seattle

I'm back--and oh, internets, how I missed you! I did not have computer access for over FIVE days. No internet. When I wanted to find out the weather, I went outside (luckily, in Seattle, the weather seems to be kind of overcast/drizzly every day).

I'm back now, with email to read, blogs to catch up on, laundry to do...but don't worry, there will soon be stories about Hotel Demoralization and How I Found Out My Boyfriend Was a Hobo, etc, etc.

Oh, internets, it was a great vacation but I am glad to be back & wireless.

Tuesday, April 4

The Closest I Get to scandalous!

I had a mini-reunion with my Freshman Hall Girls (I mean, women) last weekend, and we met sailors!

Sailors! In Newport. They bought us two (2) rounds so we love them.

Note that there's a sailor looking down Jane's shirt. Note also that I'm holding on to a sailor's hand so it doesn't go a'wanderin' any further.

Friday, March 31


Signs like this make me think that soon my metrocard will go up in price.

I'll be in Newport, RI this weekend. See you Monday!

Wednesday, March 29

My Favorite Part of Last Week's Sopranos

was when JT got smacked in the head by a clipboard in the middle of his writing class and dragged outside to Christopher's car. When he comes back to the building, his class is disbanding, gossiping all the way.

"A room full of writers" he says, "and you did nothing!"

The statement is meant to be the ultimate condemnation, but his students don't really react. There's a two-second awkward pause, and then they just keep walking.

I mean, the writers of the show will get the last laugh (or the last gunshot, whichever) but it's a great moment of fun-poking at themselves.

If you've been feeling like the blog is a little boring lately & maybe noticed a complete lack of posting -- well, hey, I'm barely one writer. I'm nowhere near a roomful of writers, and even then: apparently I'd still do nothing.

Tuesday, March 28

And Why Not Wander In?

I'm thrilled for any (all) visitors.

Some people get here by searching "tooth pain" -- if they're looking for a solution, this must be a bit of a disappointment.

A few days ago, someone searched "Supergirl Porn" and got to my 'lil ol' blog. Speaking of disappointment...but man, how exciting that I was the number 2 result!

I've been knocked down the search engine rankings by Mischa Barton (oh, she's ever my nemesis) and since I wasn't really trying to get visitors looking for Supergirl Porn, I'm ok with that.

Sunday, March 19

Are You 'Ramped Up' for Monday?

Read the full comic over at Fatal Exception. Click this link if your work bandwidth is full. My god, I've been reduced to work humor.

thanx to the boy for the link.

Monday, March 13


In under a month I will be in beautiful rainy Seattle. (Hooray for a rainy vacation!) Somebody who is Madeleine's brother might think that my obscession with Seattle dates back to Doug moving there. Said brother is incorrect--I am not chasing after Doug.

I am half-convinced, however, that I'll fly cross-country and it will wind up being the '90s and I'll be able to see Nirvana play. This may be a problem.

The Shove

The great thing about Brooklyn is that people aren't afraid to let their emotions out. I'm not talking the kids who are in Brooklyn 'cause their friend from Pratt told them "man, Manhattan's over."

I'm talking about people who are from the kind of Brooklyn where if you want to get someone's attention, you open the window and scream their name. I'm talking about Brooklyn where if you're pissed off, you might want to give someone a shove.

Last Sunday, walking down Court Street, I noticed a couple: late-twenties, mutually good looking. She was dressed up in a skirt and the kind of heels that are hot only when you're standing still; once you start walking, they're just awkward to watch. He was wearing a suit.

I noticed them because they looked like they were about to kiss. Watching people make out in public -- and then pointing at them -- is one of my favorite hobbies. Turns out, I got the scene all wrong. They were in a fight, and she walked away from him. Well, tried to walk away, but her heels were not on her side.

The man in the suit walked fast to catch up, doing that sexy guy thing where he pulled his tie loose around his neck. When he did catch up, the girl gave him a massive show. She was skinny, but the shove: it moved him a few feet at least.

This might not be a public display of affection, but I still feel justified in my pointing. As I'm pointing away, a guy walks past me muttering, "nothing like domestic harmony."

Friday, March 10

Oh, It's Springderful!

Hooray for lovely weather in ny -- hooray, hooray!

Thursday, March 9

Why God Gave Me Ovaries

but the 'mouse might think I'm using 'em for evil.

You Know What Tastes Bad?


Cement does not taste good. Surprised?

So what happened is, I got curious and licked the sidewalk. Just kidding. No sidewalk licking, but the insertion of the permanent crown. It's gold (yup, I have gold in my mouth), but covered in porcelain. (I'm a little disappointed about the porcelain; I was looking forward to getting drunk and showing people the gold tooth.)

So the thing is, to get the sucker to stay in your mouth permanently, they use permanent cement. Which is how I know: Cement? Not tasty.

Here's what happened: the 'ol tooth got covered in wet gloppy cement, and the new crown got plopped on top.

"Stay still," said the dentist, "and don't move."

So I stayed still, thinking about how the wet gloppy cement was kind of dripping down my throat. And, you know, maybe it would get stuck and dry. I am a creative worrier.

Never fear. Cement is not in my throat and all is well. And, not that I'd needed to learn, but now I know that cement tastes like bitter sidewalk.

Tuesday, March 7

Vacation: In the Works

Vacations will not be a Disney Land or Disney World because I don't approve of organized fun. Also, I feel like if I've made it this far without going on a Disney-affiliated vacation, it would be silly to start now. It would be like taking up smoking at age 25.

Vacations may be had at St. Thomas and Seattle, because this year's vacations are sponsored by the letter 's'.

Crash Go the Oscars

The Washington Post has a lot to say about "It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp" winning best song. And when I say they "have a lot to say" I mean, they have two (2) articles on the song.

From Picking Up the Lyric But Missing the Beat: (sorry for the long quote):

Curious, then, that as news of the song's big win starting racing around the Internet, there was some confusion about the exact line. An Associated Press report began, "The Oscar people showed they were ready to embrace a song called 'It's Hard Out There for a Pimp.' " But the line was, "It's hard out here for a pimp."

Here, there. Inside, outside. The slip of the pen captures exactly how these things play out when appropriated across class and race lines. No one would ever say, and mean, "It's hard out there for a pimp," which would suggest actually sympathy for pimps, and for people out there, on the outside. But it's hard out here for a pimp, appropriated into white culture, becomes a way both to borrow the outsider's inherently cool status, while completely denying that any complaint from that place has value.

Monday, March 6

Memo to My Dreams

My last three dreams were:
  • a crisis at work.
  • a crisis at the assembly line where I was employed. (never in my life have I worked on an assembly line! so this was stressful just 'cause I don't actually know how to assemble cars.)
  • a cable bill that arrived with a scary legal note saying that my cable-stealing ways had been uncovered and that I owed $990 in back charges from when I'd first started being a cable-stealer.
These dreams were many things--bizarre in their precision! crisis-filled! frustrating! tiring!--but the one thing they were not is restful. It occurs to me that maybe these dreams are coming from Mao.

Regardless of cause, I would like to request a nice peaceful night. Dreams about St. Thomas, white sands, and blue ocean would be particuarly nice.

Wednesday, March 1

Giant Squid!

Watch the British Museum of Natural History preserve a Giant Squid! My favorite part is when 14 British scientists start carrying the Giant Squid! into a different room.

Link via

Tuesday, February 28

I Don't Date You, So You Don't Get to Call Me Bipolar

The other night at the Continental, a dude told me that I looked just like his former roommate.

"Oh, that's nice," I said. It's always hard to respond to that kind of comment, because, to be honest, I don't really care.

"No, really -- you totally look just like her! She was crazy -- bipolar, and stopped taking her meds. She didn't tell me that until I'd moved in." This last part was said a little bitterly. NY real estate is hard. If I had mental issues and was off my meds, I wouldn't tell perspective roomies either.

"So we totally stopped talking cause she was so CRAZY, and then she stole two of my dustpans--TWO--so I moved out."

For future reference: if you're going to compare me to bipolar people, can they please be interesting bipolar people? You know, the kind that stay up until all night painting great works of art. Dustpan-stealing bipolar roommates are a bit mundane, as the crazy spectrum goes.

I once had an involvement with a guy that thought New Year's Eve, 6AM, drunk at a bar was a good place and time to tell me I was bipolar. I responded my putting my head down on the bar and crying, which I guess didn't help much with my "I'm-not-bipolar" argument. It seemed like the best response at the time. So hey, continental dude: only people I'm dating get to call me bipolar, or compare me to the bipolar people of the world. Stop it, or I'll steal your replacement dustpan.

Sunday, February 26


View of construction from the roof of the Avalon on Chrystie and Houston. Many thanks to Dan, who taught me that if you're confident, you can go up on the roof of any building.

Saturday, February 25


When I was little I lived about three blocks from Cammareri Brothers' Bakery in Carroll Gardens. You gotta understand that Carroll Gardens was different then: full of little old Italian ladies in housedresses, solidly middle-class families, and without any claims to hipsters or cutting-edge people at all. (Perhaps I sound a bit old as I walk down the streets of Brooklyn past.) When my mom bought cookies and Italian bread, her choice was always Cammareri's. A trip to Cammereri's was guaranteed to result in at least one free cookie for me (sometimes as many as three).

One day, when we walked by, there were tons of trailers, cameras, and very important seeming people. It was the first time I can remember seeing a movie filmed in New York.

Around a year later, my parents and brothers went to see Moonstruck. It was rated R, and I was deemed too young to see it in the theater. This was perhaps the first time that I can remember having a babysitter that was not a brother. I thought it was quite unfair I was not allowed to see the movie. In fairness to my parents, I was six.

Just a few years after the movie came out, Cammareri's closed. We went to other bakeries, but Cammerari's bread persists in memory as the best bread you could ever eat. I'm excited to see how the bread of Monteleoni's + Cammareri's compares to childhood memory.

Blondes: They Don't Always Have More Fun

A few months ago, I had what you might call a hair disaster. Now disaster may seem like a big, melodramatic word, but let's consider that I walked in Astor Place with normal hair, requested subtle red-brown highlights, and walked out with platinum blonde streaks.

I was not meant to be blonde, and particuarly not platinum blonde. In fairness, I do not think my haircutter spoke English, so confusion was perhaps inevitable. Her name was Flor [do not request her at astor place] and somehow, subtle red-brown got translated to chunky platinum blonde.

But now I'm back--and newly updated with cinamon streaks! This is all thanks to Fran [ask for her when you go to Astor]. I was always pretty sure that blondes didn't really have more fun. Now, after four months as a blonde, I can confirm: being blonde does not guarantee more fun.

Wednesday, February 22

Do You Think the Post Office Will Sue?

I know the post office was going to sue the Postal Service until some kind of a deal was reached, so maybe they will also sue over this bit of awesomeness. [link via bookslut, which preferred the word "genius."]

How Boring and Lazy am I?

Here's how boring I am: I blogged about laundry.

And here's how lazy I am: I didn't even drop it off!

Times are tough, my friends, tough indeed. Confirmation is rife that February is indeed the worst month (except of course for Dana and my mom's birthdays).

Look forward to better posts next week, with potential titles like: Moist is the Worst Word in English; Madeleine is 100% Sentimental Free; and How to Survive a Dating Siesta (hint: a siesta doesn't involve celibacy).

In fact, if anyone is feeling industrious and leaves a comment, I'll write the post. And how NOT LAZY at all is that!!

Tuesday, February 21

Laundry: it's for the little people

Tomorrow, when I wake up, the thing that will make my day great is laundry. And when I say laundry, what I mean is: dropping off my laundry to the lovely people on my corner, and knowing that when I get home from work it will be all clean and folded.

They even match up my socks! Even with free laundry in my own home, I would not match up socks. I'm quite lazy and really don't care about socks.

Dropping off my laundry only costs about 8 bucks, but it makes me feel like a bazillionaire.

Friday, February 17

Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby. And, You Know, God.

When churches get desperate, they launch salacious campaigns like this one: My Lame Sex Life.

Watch this video, which is complete with bare feet, flashing motel signs, and implied (gasp!) one-night-stands.

When the video asks, isn't there anyone who can give you straight answers?, you might be surprised to find out that the man with the straight answers about sex is, in fact, GOD.

Visit the Granger Community Church and you can attend lectures like: Porn: What's the Big Deal and What Happens in Vegas WON'T Stay in Vegas.

Link via the boy who got it from adrants

Thursday, February 16

But Who Will Reign Supreme?

Did you know that Iron Chef could go into overtime if the challenger tied with the iron chef?

Well, it can! But they didn't show the overtime...and I don't know what to do!

Wednesday, February 15

Three Links for Wednesday

Beyonce, on the word bootylicious making it into the dictionary:
"I wrote the song, but I wish there was another word I could have come up with if I was going to have a word in the dictionary.

"I don't know what it says (officially) in the dictionary, but my definition (of bootylicious) is beautiful, bountiful and bounce-able."

[link via bookslut]


Amelie Gillete discusses Rachael Ray, EVOO, and how to talk to your friends about your new boyfriend over at nerve. I have a weirdly obsessive dislike of Rachael Ray. She's so damned cheerful, that it makes me want to trip her. Then I feel guilty for being mean, and then mad at Rachel for making me feel guilty. Right: it's complicated inside my head. More from Amelie:
I don't hate Rachael Ray. Well, not as much as I could, anyway....Actually, I'm kind of grateful to her for showing me how not to act when you're a single woman who's just coupled up. It's annoying, and kind of pathetic, to constantly talk about your new boyfriend, though it does make for riveting television. Otherwise, it's best to keep your relationship to yourself: Just shut up and eat.
My mom launched a knitting site (in beta).

Friday, February 10

Meta Madeleine II

Myself and my ego would like to inform you that the thingy that tracks visitors on my site is broken. Why? How? I don't know -- I'm not that geeky. But I do know that I've had more than zero (0) visitors in the past few weeks.

When I told the boy about the tracker being broken, he asked if this was like thinking my phone was broken because no one had called. No! It's not like that AT ALL. Also, I've never thought my phone was broken 'cause of lack of calls. Anyway, I've been going to the site, even if you haven't, so I know that I've had more than zero (0) visitors this past week.

That's all she wrote -- have a lovely weekend.

related: Meta Madeleine I

The Case is Closed: I Don't Negotiate With Love*

From WaPo, an article about dating, and the crazy reasons people break up with each other.
One of my friends is on the hunt for the perfect boy: she'll know him by the corduroy he's wearing, and his big blue eyes and dark hair combination.

[For Peter, the dating dealbreaker was when] they went to grab a quick bite and she got a roast beef and brie sandwich, heated up. The brie was "oozing."

"I mean, when it's hot and running all over, it looked terrible, and in light of the taquito and mayonnaise stories, I was just like, I can't take it anymore," Peters says.

He stopped calling her. He knows this sounds really bad.

"Feel free to put in there what a shallow [bleep] I am," he says.

But is it really so shallow? Or is it merely efficient, given all the available women in the world Peters might have to date to find someone perfect? It's like shoe shopping; you can't buy the first pair you try on.


Once upon a time, The One would've lived in your village or another one like it. Now, she could be this sweet girl across from you at the dinner table, but she could also be someone you haven't yet met. What if there's another woman somewhere in the world, like this girl, but better? Someone who will snowboard with you, and doesn't do that strange throat-clearing thing.

Valentine's Day is coming. Get ready for lurve.

*Rachel Stevens -- You love the girlpop -- love it!

Tuesday, February 7

My New Favorite Band

Ladies and gents, I have a new favorite band: Someone still loves you Boris Yelsin. I have been listening to them nonstop. They had me at their name, but I realized that nearly every song featured a tambourine, and better, that the songs without tambourine had clapping hands and "yeah yeah yeahs." Well. Now you know how to win my love. They're playing Friday at the Knitting Factory; Saturday at Southpaw.
In other news of blogging = the new corporate trend, McDonald's has a blog. The blogger, Bob, is in the director in charge of social responsibility. I'm sorry, make that Senior Director. Bog doesn't like corpspeak, but it's a hard habit to break. Once you've experienced the magic of everything "dovetailing" together as you "ramp up" for the "going forward" mission...well, it's hard to go back.

Good luck losing the corpspeak Bob! [news of the McD's blog via Naked Conversations]
The world is a scary place, and I want my privacy back
. (uh, yeah, I know, I've been meaning to blog this since 1/30 -- there's been a lot of working and drinking getting in the way of the lil'

Wednesday, February 1

I Like it When Science Confirms the Intuitive*

A new study finds that stressed-out women get relief from holding their husband's hands.

I would have assumed this. Glad that science has stepped in to prove the matter. Also, glad for confirmation that rejection really is just like getting an electric shock in its agony.

*a less polite word for intuitive might have been obvious.

Monday, January 30

The Chairman

I've been reading Mao: The Unknown Story on the train since over the weekend. It's around 800 pages (more including the footnotes & appendix, which I do not plan to read), so expect me to be reading this book for quite awhile.

Funny things happen when you're reading about the Chairman on the trains of New York City. On the F train to the p-slope today, a Chinese man was visibly reading over my shoulder and looking at the cover. I shoved it under his face, and said, "it's the new biography of Mao! It's really great." When he pointed at the cover and said, "Mao Tse-Tong," I realized he might not really speak English. Also, I realized, he might think I was a communist.

Just to clarify: I would like to know more about Mao; I do not support him. And, contrary to what some truly lovely gentlemen said at the bar tonight, I am not a communist.

some stuff on Mao: the Unknown Story at wikipidia.

Saturday, January 28

Another Post for my Hypochondriac Friends

Man is Alive Because of Dummy Series:

"Amarillo accountant Bob Berger told the Panhandle Press Association Monday that he wouldn't be alive today were it not for having read every 'Dummies' book ever published. "
"Berger said he first became interested in job possibilities in the health industry when he read Dummies books and ruled out over 750 illnesses from which he once felt he had suffered."

Monday, January 23

New York to Boston, and Back Again

Last weekend I went to Boston to celebrate Jane's 25th birthday (Jane would be the strawberry blonde on the right). It was a fabulous time! There were lawyers on Friday; Dentists on Saturday.

Happy 25th Birthday JaneRebec!

Wednesday, January 11

Starving My Cold: Not Going Well

Apparently starving my cold is not the name of the game today. Here are MANY links, all food-related.

The New Yorker uses William Leith's new book, The Hungry Years, to launch a discussion of obesity, the Atkins diets, changing views of fat & skinny, and the way we eat now (in America, mostly). Here's a money 'graph for you:
Having told us that our attitudes toward obesity are irrational, Oliver thinks we should just give them up and move on. But that'’s like fat William Leith telling the girlfriend who doesn't want to have sex with him anymore that she'’s being irrational. Maybe it should work, but it never does. The soft” cultural, social, and moral facts of the matter about obesity turn out to be harder to shift than beliefs about the relevant scientific facts. Fat was once considered a sign of substance and now it isn't. It was once thought sexy and now it'’s the opposite.

And WaPo has an article on eating lunch at your desk. Taking an hour-long lunch without an errand seems downright immoral to me at this point.

The NYT has an article on the drunkest citizens of the world: the Brits. When I was living in Ireland, Dublin, where I stayed, was a popular destination for 'hen parties' (bachelorette parties in the states). I have never seen puking like I did from those bachelorettes, not even during freshman year frat parties.

And, just to complete the theme, here's a list of the top cooking books of 2005.

In Which Madeleine Has a Conversation That Sounds an Awful Lot Like Her Interior Monologue

Today I went to my dentist, Dr. T., to get my teeth cleaned--I have a nasty winter cold, and it's raining out. So, actually, I figured that the dentist would actually be nice. Then this happened:

Dr. T.: So did you have good holidays?

Mad.: For sure, and a great new year.

Dr. T.: And when are you getting married?

Mad.: Married? Dr. T., I'm *only* 24!!!

Dr. T.: Well, you know Madeleine, in some Persian communities you'd be considered an old-maid. A real over-the-hill spinster.


Dr. T.: Does your mother nag you like this too?

Mad.: No, she's pretty chill. And, you know, I have older siblings: they're in charge of getting nagged.

The conversation paused, but it was not over yet. Later, while we had the mandatory lecture about how teeth get worse as you get older, and how I needed to brush & floss better, the good dentist came out with this one:

Dr. T.: See! This is why you need to get married before you're all broken down.

Monday, January 9

Happy 2006!

Postal workers: they go postal, and then they steal Netflix DVDs. omg, they steal my Veronica Mars and there'll be hell to pay!

William Leith writes about New Year's resolutions, or, the reasons he doesn't really believe in them:
I don't really believe in New Year's resolutions. If you do bad stuff and you want to stop doing it, you really have to work out why you were doing it in the first place, which takes time. It might take years.
Link via Maud Newton.

At this point, I think we've all heard about James Frey and his not-quite-true memoir.

*The photo is obviously of me & the Joanna--and, obviously, from early in the soberer side of the evening. *

Tuesday, January 3

The NYT has intellectual things to say about cuteness, but all I've got is "awwwwww"

The New York Times writes about things that are cute:
New studies suggest that cute images stimulate the same pleasure centers of the brain aroused by sex, a good meal or psychoactive drugs like cocaine, which could explain why everybody in the panda house wore a big grin.
But really, read the article--there's cute pictures over there of pandas, and penguins, oh my!

Bike Adventure - I

One day, on a fine autumnal morning, I was biking to work. I was on Hudson Street, the sweet spot of the ride to work that comes after the chaos of Houston (trucks! diesel! fumes! wacky pedestrians) and before the major traffic hub that is 14th St (cars! bikes! wacky pedestrians! slow-moving buses!).

Life was good: both metaphorical and actual birds were a'singing. I was in my own lil small-town movie, cycling along perhaps the widest & most bucolic bike lane of New York City.

I felt a faint tugging on my left foot, but ignored it. And why not? Life was lovely.

Oh, but that tugging was not nothing, but a definite something. My shoelace, perpetually untied like a five-year-olds', was caught in my pedal.

The more I biked, the more my lace wrapped around my pedal. Finally, I realized that all the brilliant sunshine and tweeting birds were but dramatic irony, and finally, I realized that I was trapped in my bicycle.

Calmly, coolly, and you know, collectedly, I bicycled over to the side of the road. By the time I got there, I'd firmly laced myself around my pedal. There we go, I thought, and now, to put my foot down and untangle myself.

Turns out, though, that when Madeleines brake, they put their left foot down first. So, calmly, coolly, and you know, collectedly, I tipped over, still attached to my bicycle. And I was delighted, really, to give everyone a morning laugh to go with their latte.