Wednesday, November 25

Big news (if you live near Smith Street, that is)

Astro Turf to Open "Occasionally"

I wonder if it's because in mid-October I wrote them a note on the back of a receipt, sliding it under their door, to mention that I wanted a table that was in their window. "I've come by three times, and you're always closed. Please call," I wrote, since I'm not really much of a negotiator, or good at hiding my shopping wants. Actually, the entire note exuded desperation. But maybe it worked?

Because now they are open (ish) and I am ready to try to give them my money again. That yellow vintage kitchen table must be mine (so long as none of you folks figure out their mysterious hours first, and buy it before me).

Monday, November 2

Please Buy Me Presents From this Site

Have you guys been reading the Things That Look Like Other Things blog? It's the best. Each time there's a new entry in my RSS reader, I have the exact same reaction, Groundhog Day-like. "Wow,"I mutter to myself from my cubicle or couch, "that thing looks like that other thing. I want it!"

I picked three things that in particular I really feel my life is incomplete without. But really, anything from the site makes me thrilled.

Typos I Love

J spotted this at the Key Food by our apartment: Sassy!

Wednesday, August 19

Life Imitating Art Imitating Life
or something like that

I'm sure I saw the black undercover police SUV before I read Richard Price's Lush Life. The book starts with four cops in a fake cab, cruising around, looking for problems:
The Quality of Life Task Force: four sweatshirts in a bogus taxi set up on the corner of Clinton Street alongside the Williamsburg Bridge off-ramp to profile the incoming salmon run; their mantra: Dope, guns, overtime; their motto: Everybody's got something to lose.
Even if I saw the black SUV before reading Lush Life, I never noticed it. After, it seemed to be in the Lower East Side all the time and seeing the car with its sirens on, de-cloaked, made me feel in the know. But I figured the taxi idea had been a literary twist.

'Til yesterday, when I saw four kids (teens, really) sitting on the curb alongside their van. The doors of the van were open so you could see in, to piles of blankets and inoffensive looking things. One of the kids was shirtless, with a bandaged wound on his back shoulder. Behind the van was a cab, and at first I imagined there'd been a fender-bender. But why, I wondered, does the kid already have a bandage on? Then I noticed the whirling police light on the cab's dashboard, and thought, ooooh. I wonder if Richard Price witnessed a similar moment when he was plotting out the book.

Monday, August 17

Unsolicited Rave Reviews

Dear people at the gas station on Houston & Ave D:

Let's admit it: Things weren't looking good for me. I was in a gas station alone, surrounded by a motley selection of New Yorkers -- cabbies, folks in inordinately-large-for-ny cars, and a man refueling his ice cream truck. My car was all gassed up, but wouldn't start.

No one was honking, but there was a man in a giant green SUV who looked like he had his hand poised. I kept putting my key in the ignition and turning. A/C - check; Radio - check; actual on-ness of car - nothing. When I tried to put the car in drive, it just slid backwards toward the man refueling the ice cream truck.

I tried another 12 times, give or take, trusting that "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again" would pull through for me. The gas station attendant approached, as it became clear the theory wasn't working.

He wasn't able to get the car going, and neither was the Hispanic man who came over to help, saying "mami, just look at the instruction manual." More gas station attendants swirled around me, and I got lots of advice, until finally they put the car in neutral and dragged it away from the line of cars impatiently waiting to fuel.

I called zipcar, and it turns out that I used the car's key, when you're supposed to only use the magnetic entry card doohicky. The woman on the phone gave the car a hard restart (just like when you call Time Warner because your cable is out). Cheers to the zipcar lady, and jeers to me, for goofing everything up.

But biggest amazement and praise to everyone at the gas station, who was genuinely concerned, 100% patient, incredibly helpful, almost bizarrely involved, and truly uninterested in stealing my tote full of freelance & my wallet, which I did not monitor well in the chaos.. All this, and I even returned the zipcar 10 minutes early.

Tuesday, August 4

Made By Me.

Of course I did research before J, Joe, and I went to the Home Depot in Brooklyn to get plants for my rooftop garden. I consulted the internet, my mom (oh, anytime in April or May sounds good), and my dad (who gave a very precise date, along with evidence from the New York Times for the rightness of the timing) for the best date to start planting.

I spent about 50 bucks. Dirt is more expensive than you might think. I needed planters, and plants, too. $50 seemed like a lot for just a little garden, but I figured everything would go swimmingly after all my research, and that the garden would pay for itself in deliciousness.

As it turned out, swimmingly was an overly apt term for what happened to my garden. You know what happens next: The rain. Buckets of it. Daily rain for entire weeks. The dill was the first to go. One strawberry plant drowned, and the other one blew away. Times were tough, and I gave up. But these two lonely tomatoes survived -- twenty-five dollars each, delicious and costly.

Tuesday, June 30

o, hello!

Even with the rain, it is summer and I have been doing things. I've been to Connect-i-cut, Ohio, Baltimore's airport (do not like), & New Hampshire. I've been to three weddings. No progress has been made on my New Year's Resolutions. I have bought four dresses on eBay. Because of the rain, I have no tan lines & have not been to the beach. I've become obsessed with a French actor (this guy; fyi, I remembered his name by searching "daniel french actor" and cannot believe that technique was successful).

Mostly I haven't been up to a whole lot that I've felt like writing about. But you knew that already, since you can see the gap between this post and the last one. Here's a blog I read this week & liked: Metacritique. I don't really know much about the person writing, but he/she/they seem like possibly the only person who could write about the Alice Hoffman kerfuffle and make me care.

Monday, May 18

Cliches Gone Scary

To be honest, I can't really picture what it looks like for someone to gnash their teeth. It's the "g" in "gnash" that throws me off, possibly, but when I saw the phrase "literally gnashing her teeth" in a book recently, I tried to approximate what it would feel/look/be like. Is it biting? grinding? chewing? A forward-and-backward movement, or just side-to-side?

It was only after 48 seconds of this attempt to literally gnash that I remembered I was on the F train. I got off at the next stop and went to another car, so that no one would have to step away from me, terrified of my angry teething.

Tuesday, April 21

TNT Knows Emoticons

Emoticons do not make your lack of Mac-compatibility better.

Thursday, April 16

Talking Dirty 2

I'd propose quim as another one of those words you see in books, but never, ever hear said aloud, except that Urban Dictionary informs me that the phrase "quim doctor" is slang these days. Consider yourself informed.

A few tangential notes:
  • Do you think it confuses Google's tracking of me as a person and purchaser that my major searches today have been "vintage pyrex" "is pyrex worth something" "pyrex microwave?" "jo malone perfume" "bond no 9 perfume" "deep water highsmith movie" "stop kittens from biting" "out loud aloud" and "quim doctor"? I live in fear of my searches being exposed like those poor AOL users.
  • I like that this antiquey slang word has been transformed into a modern-day slang term. Sort of like how Slate was able to connect Britney to Joyce & Shakespeare in less steps than you might imagine that would take.

Internet Fact-Checked Once Again

I was all set to proclaim that Patricia Highsmith's Deep Water should be made into a movie with the speed and the quickness. As if the movie-optioners were reading here, and would offer me the opportunity to write the script, despite a total lack of knowledge about script writing. Turns out, it's already been made.

Now I've shifted gears into a concern that the movie will be a disappointment. I'm not a visual person (see below; evidence) and it's rare that I read a book and have clear and specific images of the characters and events. But I found Deep Water particularly visual, and am concerned about the movie matching the style of the book, and the visuals I had while reading. Here are some snippets from the book....

The first paragraph of the book:
Vic didn't dance, but not for the reasons that most men who didn't dance give to themselves. He didn't dance simply because his wife liked to dance. His rationalization of his attitude was a flimsy one and didn't fool him for a minute, though it crossed his mind every time he saw Melinda dancing: she was insufferably silly when she danced. She made dancing embarrassing.
And then this, after Vic tells one of Melinda's would-be lovers that he'd killed one of her lovers in the past. It's a lie, but the would-be lover turns would-not:
The waltz had always been his favorite dance. He waltzed very well. He saw Melinda notice him and stop short with surprise. Horace and Evelyn were looking at him too. Vic shortened his steps so that he would not look silly, because a joyous exuberance had filled him as if a long-repressed desire had burst forth. He felt he could have flown with Mary, if it had not been for the other couples that cluttered the floor around him
"Why you're a wonderful dancer!" Mary said. "Why've you been hiding it all these years?"

Tuesday, April 14

The curse of being a bad recognizer...

Katherine & Elizabeth are the same person to me. If they're ever cast in the same movie, I'm doomed to not follow the plot and be that annoying person whispering "Wait, so is that...?"

In fact, I almost uploaded two pictures of Katherine -- or was it Elizabeth? -- when writing this.

Wednesday, April 1

Talking Dirty

Here's a word that people say in books, but have never once said in real life: loins (referring to masculine & feminine sexyparts).

Tuesday, March 24

Learned a new word

I learned a new word from last week's New Yorker: abecedarian. I had a hard time looking it up (on the internet, not a paper dictionary, obvs) because I wanted to spell it "abcedian." It means "one learning the rudiments of something" which I think you could likely figure out just from looking at the word. Here's the paragraph where I read it:
The custom stringing of tennis racquets is abecedarian compared with the subtleties that have developed in the stringing of lacrosse sticks. Nobody over nine uses a factory pocket, or so it seems. Some players carry around with them as many as seven heads. They bake their heads and reshape them. They carry different heads for different weather, because moisture changes the webbing....

Saturday, March 21

Note to the (design) world: Please add "salsa jars" to the list of things that need to be redesigned. Why create a container that won't allow you to partake of its substance without getting salsa-coated fingers?

Thursday, March 12

2 things

First: I originally read the blurb below the image as "After Aretha Franklin wore one of Luke Song's hats at President Obama's inauguration, the internet exploded."


Second: I'd really thought we all didn't like that hat. But maybe that was just the exploding internet.

Tuesday, March 10


It's been a few weeks, and now I'm sick of both the Phish reunion and the Phish reunion backlash.

Thursday, February 19

Squint really hard, become one with the out-of-focus screenshot, and you'll see that included within the stimulus plan is 8 billion dollars for "Other."

Let's keep in mind that my notion of budgeting and financial planning involved signing up for Mint . . . and then dropping my (free) membership when they sent me one too many "you've gone beyond your recommended spending allowance for liquor/entertainment." (It's also possible that when they emailed to ask why I'd quit their service, I referred to them as Mom.)

I'm just saying that seems like an awfully large slush fund. Aaand back to figuring out where to spend my extra 8 stimulus bucks a week.

Adventures in Proofreading

Did you know that it is chaise longue and not chaise lounge? True! (Also true that spell checker is announcing that longue is spelled incorrectly.) More information than you likely wanted to know about chaise lounge v. chaise longue.

Friday, February 13

New Word

Today is the first day of me knowing the word bershon, sortakinda invented by Sarah Brown. I don't know how I've been living without it. And I think I have SEVERAL bershon pictures of adolescent madcat to add into this flickr pool.

Friday, January 23

A classical music scandal:
The somber, elegiac tones before President Obama’s oath of office at the inauguration on Tuesday came from the instruments of Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and two colleagues. But what the millions on the Mall and watching on television heard was in fact a recording, made two days earlier by the quartet and matched tone for tone by the musicians playing along.

Sunday, January 18

Mr. Latte Tad Friend's article in last week's New Yorker confirms a lot of things that you might have already assumed about movie marketing from watching previews. Some choice quotes:
Older women like feel-good films and Nicholas Sparks-style weepies: they are the core audience for stories of doomed love and triumphs of the human spirit. They enjoy seeing an older woman having her pick of men; they hate seeing a child in danger. Particularly once they reach thirty, these women are the most "review-sensitive": a chorus of critical praise for a movie aimed at older women can increase the opening weekend's gross by five million dollars. In other words, older women are discriminating, which is why so few films are made for them.

"How many great movies are there each year?" the trailer cutter David Schneiderman says. "We're in the business of cheating, let's face it. We fix voice-overs, create dialogue to clear up a story, use stock footage. We give pushup bras to flat-chested girls, take people's eyes and put them where we want them. And sometimes it works."

"Basically, the code is this," a prominent agent says. " 'We will show you thirty pumped-up people, so you will go do the junket and go on "Letterman" and fucking perform with a sense of enthusiasm.' It's the same meeting we were having five years ago, except now there's a girl in a sweater who does the Internet."

Friday, January 16

Stuff I Read on the Internet, 5479824

Gary Shteyngart:

"For $7 a word, I'll do anything. I'll write 'Mein Kampf: The Sequel.'"


"Writing is both boring and stressful, it's the worst combination. Sometimes I go to the gym, but it's very hard to lift things there, because they're so heavy."
I feel like this might be a secret, in which case, ssssh. But I spent four months at work being sad and missing muxtape, only to find out the other day about 8tracks. No one tell the RIAA.

Sunday, January 4

I just looked at my post about favorite books in '08 & realized that a lot of the things I read were related to my love of The Wire.