Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sunday Top 10: Best Everythings of 2006 - Ciara, Gawker, Lesbian Teevee, My Friends, NPR

Because I'm cooler than you, I'll be roasting like a little chestnut at the O'Donnell condo in Vermont for New Year's Eve, watching movies and drinking and playing Cat's Cradle with my friends and perhaps watching other people ski/snowboard and thinking about how cold their fingers are in comparison to our fingers, although actually my fingers and toes get cold pretty fast even in hot rooms. (Though we're staying at a "ski resort," none of us intend to go "skiing." One time, Lewis and Dad and I went skiing in Vermont and Lewis fell off the mountain. It was AWESOME. Also, one time Scot and I went snowboarding at Brighton (which is a landfill-turned-mountain in Michigan) and by "snowboarding" I mean that by the time we got our shit together and got there, it was closed, and so we just went to Big Boy's. This is gonna be kinda like that.)

I feel like I need some sort of grand Sunday Top Ten though, for the last day of the year? I am so tired, I think I am going to poke my eyes out with chapstick except I can't find any goddamn chapstick!!!????

SUNDAY TOP TEN: TOP TEN OF 2006



10. The Music Video for "Promise" by Ciara

If there was a channel that showed this video over and over again, 24-7, I would sit in my bed and watch this channel for the rest of my life, until I died, and I would still be happy and snug as a bug in a rug.

9. Images from the Permanent Collection, Part One.
Janet. Me. March 06.


Me. Lo. July 06.


Me. Tara. Feb 06.



8. The Debut of Automatic Win Into the Public Eye
On May 22nd, 2006, Automatic Win Made it's Debut on Gawker. That seems so far away now, like Chutes and Ladders and learning to read. I was so young then, so naive, so new.

Yes, this chart landed me, for the first time in my young life, on Gawker.com:


We can't decide whether we think it'd be thoroughly terrifying or thoroughly amusing to owe one's entire life to Craigslist. But one Williamsburgian realized this weekend that she owes everything to the listings service, and she constructed this intriguing chart to prove her point. As for us, all we can owe to Craigslist is the successful sale of some old furniture and, for a few weeks a few years ago, a painful burning sensation when we peed. We think it best to leave that uncharted. (Gawker.com)

7. Images from the Permanent Collection, Part Two
Lainy/Baby Spice. Me/Sporty Spice. May 06.


Me. Haviland. May 06.

Me. Jenny. Feb 06.



6. Rosie O'Donnell on The View. And South of Nowhere, Workout, The L Word, America's Next Top Model, Imagine Me and You, Ellen, Top Chef, Degrassi: The Next Generation, and seriously, y'all: Britney F***n' Spears.
You don't even have to love Rosie like I do to love what she's done for the show. It is funny now. And the press is eating it, like wolfing it down. You can have your haterade with Donald Trump, but I love the hell out of this woman and I always have, since A League of Their Own, and I still have my sweaty-palmed ticket stub from when I went to see her in "Grease" in 1994 in Detroit with my Dad and I remember sitting there thinking "I am in the same room as Rosie O'Donnell," even though our seats were in way way back.

But the fact is that things are fucking CHANGING, guys. The fact is that G.W hates gay people so much, and has used the whole gay marriage debate to get his way with the right wingers and so now what he has done is actually made it really totally uncool to be homophobic. I mean, do you really want to be in cahoots with the dude who is staying the course in Iraq? We've got two women on daytime television who are out lesbians and one of them is on there every single goddamn day talking about her kids and her family without any apologies, and she is humble and honest and good and she can flounder or fly like the rest of us, is human, is human, is just like the rest of us, but funnier, better informed, with cooler art, and more to say, and the fact is that there is a show on The N right now and it's called South of Nowhere that teenagers are turning on their TVs and just seeing it as if this relationship between Spencer and Ashley is just as valid, just as real, just as possible as Donna and David were to us when we were kids, and maybe the finale sucked, I don't know, I didn't see it, but when Tara and I were dissecting the many threads of the confusing ridiculous spectrum that is "Bisexual Identity" and figuring out where did it come from and what do we see and what have we been socialized to do and what is how we feel what comes really, really from the very deep inside core of us, something for us to pull out and believe in and trust as we tumble in and out of beds and hearts and loves and swoon in dark rooms for people who are all wrong for us and overanalyze voice mails with an attention we can never bring, really, to our schoolwork or work-work, to anything that doesn't get us laid or loved, and she said "You know, if South of Nowhere had been on when I was a teenager? That would have blown my mind!" People are turning on their televisions and seeing that hot girls just like me are lesbians and are bisexuals, and, just like Will and Jack and Dawson's-Creek-Jack and Rickie Vasquez and the Queer Eyes and all of the beautiful stylish gay men who have crossed our screen, I think that lesbian and bisexual women have, really, now, actually, arrived, and that's good, and it can only get better from here, because it's changing really fast, because that's what women do, we make things change, and we make it happen fast.

5. Images from the Permanent Collection, Part Three:

Me. Lo. March 06.


Me. Steph. November 06.

Maggie. Me. December 06.


4. NPR's This American Life: Now in Podcast.
I am, at this point, more or less an unbearable person to be around, as I am constantly having anxiety attacks if I am not accomplishing at least three things at once. Walking is one of the things that seems to be particularly wasteful in terms of time, which is why I often read as I walk. Doing laundry also feels spectacularly unproductive, which is when I first started looking into Podcasts to begin with, so that I could do SOMETHING other than just like, fold, and I can't imagine anything better that I could be doing while walking/folding/pretending to listen to you talk than listen to IRA GLASS, who is the LIGHT OF MY LIFE. As of like, a few months ago, you can download This American Life to your ipod, and that, my friends, is real, true, honest, old-fashioned American democracy in action.

3. Images from the Permanent Collection: Part Four

Christina. Haviland. Me. Karen. September 06.

Cameron. Me. Michelle. August 06.


Susan Powter. Haviland. Me. Joy. June 06

Steph. Me. We Have No Idea. September 06.
(as seen in TIME OUT, y'all!)


2.Agent Cameron, In the Flesh, Susie Bright, The "Bigger the Better" Editors at Seal Press, Suspect Thoughts, the very existence of Stephen Barbara, RKB, the Big Bi Survey, nerve.com, blogger, bloggers, myspace, technorati, marie claire, blogrolls, NYCB, the cruise, maasagency, the reading where i met saw shane, marie claire, curbed, gawker, mediabistro, this macbook, and all that shit that rocked my virtual world this year.


1. My BFF, Haviland Stillwell

I just think she's really good as The Factory Girl, that's all.

OurChart.com

OK, I have never posted a blog before in my life simply to transmit a piece of information I have just received to my own audience because it is so exciting, so mind blowing, that it requires their attention and simultaneously does not necessarily reach the intended parties so rapidly as it would if the information was shared right here, right now. So I'm gonna do that.

(P.S. My Re-Cap-View Of Season 3-Episode 5 is on Automatic Straddle right this minute, too.)

From the SHOWTIME website, where, btw, you can see some hot previews that seriously, I think, show a great deal of promise:


THE L WORD ® CREATOR AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, ILENE CHAIKEN, TO LAUNCH VENTURE TO EXTEND THE WELL-KNOWN BRAND INTO ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKING WORLD.

New York, NY -- December 18, 2006 -Ilene Chaiken, creator and executive producer of Showtime Networks' groundbreaking prime time lesbian drama, "The L Word," and one of the television industry's leading pioneers, has partnered with a group of prominent women from the entertainment and technology worlds to form a new company called OurChart.com.

Launching in January, 2007, OurChart.com will be a vibrant, full-featured social network on the Web for lesbians and their friends. It is expected to be the first online social space built entirely to interconnect and engage this community and will feature original content, as well as encourage user-generated content. It will be both a destination and a jumping off point for lesbians on the Internet.

"I wanted to take the experience I have had telling stories on 'The L Word' and expand it to an interactive medium so that women can tell their own stories and share their own interests," said Chaiken.

OurChart's premise is inspired by one of the central story lines in "The L Word": a wall-sized, handwritten white-board "chart" designed to keep track of the various connections, especially the myriad hookups and heartbreaks among the show's many characters. OurChart.com will build a network of women into a real "Chart" in a unique and useful manner to allow users to connect their interests, hobbies, and communities and, if they choose, their love lives.

OurChart founding partners include "The L Word" cast members and accomplished actors, Jennifer Beals who plays Bette Porter, Katherine Moennig who plays Shane and Leisha Hailey who plays Alice. These actors will also contribute to the site by developing content for their fans that reflect their personal interests. "This is an exciting project for us, and a great extension of what our show is about" said Jennifer Beals. "For me, Kate and Leisha, it is a chance to broaden a conversation we started on 'The L Word', and have felt privileged to be a part of - about identity and community and the importance of representation." "I'm excited about this project for the same reasons that my character, Alice, created the Chart - because we all are compelled to, as Alice says, 'reach out from the alienation of modern life' in order to make connections," said Leisha Hailey.

Like hugely popular social networking sites, such as My Space, Facebook and Bebo, OurChart.com will facilitate connections of all kinds, but is aimed directly at gay women, as well as their friends and family. Although there are many lesbian-centered Web sites, discussion groups, classified listings and news outlets, there has never been an online social space that is strategically and conceptually aligned with a franchise phenomenon like "The L Word."

"The L Word" fans will have regular access to the show's creative team, exclusive material from the show, special insights and behind the scenes action on individual episodes. In addition, OurChart will commission original videos, stories and photos from prominent creative collaborators to feature exclusively on OurChart.com. "We hope," said Katherine Moennig, "that a wonderful variety of artists will help make this a home where people can have a great media experience."

The company's senior management team represents some of the most prominent women in the entertainment and technology worlds.

Ilene Chaiken, one of the entertainment industry's most accomplished female entrepreneurs and a leading television producer and writer, will be OurChart CEO. She has received numerous awards for her contribution to the LGBT community, some of which include: the 2006 GLAAD Media Award recognizing "The L Word" for Outstanding Drama Series; the 2005 Artistry Award from Power Up; the 2004 Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign; and the 2004 Community Role Model Award from the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.

Founding partner Hilary Rosen will serve as President of OurChart. Rosen is a respected executive with many years of experience in online entertainment. She is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the trade group representing the U.S. sound recording industry, where she served for 17 years before retiring in June 2003. For the last several years, she has served as an advisor to some of the industry's leading media companies. Rosen has also been an LGBT political leader for many years in Washington, D.C.

"Our top priority is that users find a welcoming environment when they visit OurChart.com," said Rosen. "It will also present marketers with a great opportunity to reach a consumer market that is targeted, financially independent and loyal," said Rosen.

Beth Callaghan, also a founding partner, will be Chief Operating Officer. Callaghan has served as Senior Director of Network Programming, Senior Director of Portal Operations and Editor-in-Chief of PlanetOut Inc., the largest gay and lesbian site on the Web.

OurChart.com has been formed as a joint venture with Showtime Networks Inc. "The launch of OurChart.com speaks to the many opportunities that exist now to expand the presence of a show beyond the traditional viewing experience," said Matthew C. Blank, Chairman and CEO of Showtime Networks. "It will bring the world of 'The L Word' to a whole new audience of fans."

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Top Ten Books of 2006: Some of Which I Have Actually Read

It's been suggested, even assumed, that I should have an opinion on the top 10 books of the year. Really, though, I mean, obviously my true talents lie in other areas of ranking and filing: e.g., Top Ten Relationships I've had with Animals That Didn't Involve Me Kicking Them in the Face and Top Ten Appearances by Flannel Shirts in Marie's Videos from Middle School. (See the Sunday Top Ten label for a complete archive of all the things I've endorsed thus far).

I mean, I'm obviously really into reading, and I have read about ten million books this year (Actually, 39. I keep track), but most of them weren't published this year, and I think that's part of the whole "Best of 06" thing. Tough break, Mrs. Dalloway.

See, I don't ever buy books in hardcover. (Except for Veronica,1 Fun Home2 and The Year of Magical Thinking3). Why? Because they are : 1. Expensive, 2. Heavy. So if I'm gonna read a new book, it better be: 1. The kind that comes out in paperback only, like the Gossip Girl series or a Vintage Contemporary thing, 2. A proof I somehow get for free. This happens more than you might think.

Anyhow I gave it a shot.

TOP TEN BOOKS OF 2006: SOME OF WHICH I HAVE ACTUALLY READ.

10. THE ROAD, by CORMAC MCCARTHY: I feel like this is the book to pledge support for if you want to sound particularly literary, without rousing opposition from people that are too hip to be hipsters (you know, the anti-Eggers and anti-Safran-Foer boys) and possibly encouraging supportive nods from Smart People. Basically everyone is digging this book. I don't think I'll read it in paperback either though, it sounds like a drag. "In this landscape, an unnamed man and his young son journey down a road to get to the sea." Yawn.


9. I AM NOT MYSELF THESE DAYS, by JOSH KILMER-PURCELL: Those smarties at Harper Perennial know that the readers of memoirs like this one (the story of an ex-drag queen's debauched relationship with large quantities of vodka and his crack-addled manic "escort" boyfriend) did not receive 12.5 bazillion dollar bonuses from Goldman-Sachs this year, and thus, HP released this gem on paperback from the get-go. So yes indeed, I read it!4 JKP is like Jay McInerney if Jay McInerney was a gay drag queen who had written a good book in 2006 (trivia: Bright Lights Big City, one of my favorite books ever, also forewent the hardcover run when it was published in 1984, opting for a straight-to-paperback release that clearly worked out well for everybody, e.g., me), what with "coming to" in his ad agency meetings, gazing with intent confusion at storyboards he can "say with relative confidence" he had something to do with and quipping that "Blackouts can be fun if approached with the right mindset."

Also this is just you know, perfect:

"I've explained this a million times, Ma." I sigh. "I don't want to be a woman. Transsexuals are the ones who feel trapped in someone else's body or whatever. I'm a drag queen. I'm a celebrity trapped in a normal person's body."

He also read at In the Flesh and Lo and I went to see him read at the Astor Place Barnes + Noble, where he was really cute and he made us both laugh and feel happy for a minute.


8. MADEA'S UNIHIBITED COMMENTARIES ON LOVE AND LIFE: DON'T MAKE A BLACK WOMAN TAKE OFF HER EARRINGS, by TYLER PERRY:
Obviously I would be ignorant to not include the winner of the 2006 Quill Awards. The Quills, for those of you that missed the grand ceremony this year, is a Barnes + Noble sponsored event, described on their website like this: "The Quills, an initiative launched with the support of Reed Business Information, is designed to be an industry qualified "consumers choice" awards program for books, honoring the current titles readers deem most entertaining and enlightening." Sort of like when Blockbuster started their own award show, and I went in and voted for Leonardo DiCaprio about 10,000 times, 'cause they had this little voting machine right there at the store, and I went to the store every day because I had no friends. 5


7. FUN HOME, by ALISON BECHDEL: She's careful and ghostly and humble and wry and mind-blowingly smart, all about the details and the investigation and the romance and the attention we bring to that back-of-the-head-gut-hurt stuff. Honestly, it's worth way more than $19.95.1 That's so laughably little, I mean, I could get an issue of some faux-European-graphic-arts magazine for more than that, and the pictures wouldn't be one-tenth as perfect.

Everyone else loved it too, which means that not only do I have my finger on the pulse of my body to check for an anxiety attack but I have my finger on the pulse of: 1. our generation, 2. the literati.

6. EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD, by STEPHEN DUNN (poems): There aren't many things in the world that you can count on to be good every time. But Steve-O, I count on you. If this book (which I haven't read...YET) is anything like your other books (and I am guessing that it is), it's probably the most beautiful thing ever. Krista, get this for me, stat. You are the only person I know who not only tracks SD's release dates but then spends the planned release date of every new book scouring every bookstore in the city to procure hardcover copies for everyone you love enough to pass this gift onto them, and you can't do this for me from New Haven. Krista, drop out. Yale Shmale. Get me some poems.

5. THE EMPEROR'S CHILDREN, by CLAIRE MESSUD:. When I was driving to the airport this morning and listening to my mother's Sirius Satellite Radio, Diane Rehm was interviewing this woman Claire Messud on NPR Now, and I was way into it. Also I've done some background research and discovered she's pretty much riding the pre-backlash wave of consensual acclaim right now, though my primo source for literary perspective, bookslut, points out that "If I ever met any of the characters at a dinner party, I would have to get so drunk that my facial muscles were immobilized in order to keep from rolling my eyes at everything they said," which is how I feel about a lot of my friends, who I imagine bear more than a passing similarity to the characters in this book. (Side note: I think it's weird that it's called "Sirius" radio. Mom pronounced it "Serious," which I assumed was the wrong way to pronounce it, but maybe not.

Marie: Is that how you pronounce it? Like "Serious"? Don't you get it confused with like, "serious" the adjective?
Mom: Yeah, that's how you say it, I think. Serious.
Marie: Does "Sirius" mean something?
Lewis: Yeah, it's a Greek God, I think.
Marie: The Greek God of what?
Lewis: The Greek God of Satellite Radio.

(36 hours later)

Mom: Isn't that the name of a constellation? Sirius? Like "Sirius Minor" and "Sirius Major"?)

This book is about three Brown graduates who are all thirty years old and somewhat lost, like "What should I do with my life?" sort of stuff. I mean, hm, usually I prefer books I can relate to like A Very Hungry Caterpillar, or The Illiad, but every now and then I like to know what's going on in the rest of the world, get a glimpse into another culture and way of life. How the kids feel, etc.

4.WHAT IS THE WHAT, by DAVE EGGERS: Look haterhipsters, I fucking love David Eggers. Jake gave me A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius in the summer of '99, before (to the best of my knowledge) it hit the bestseller list. I hadn't heard of it. But Jake knew I'd like it because:
1. It's funny, and I found all that formatting nonsense to be absolutely delightful, really, I thought it was great.
2. It discusses the direct aftermath of the tragic and untimely death of one's parents (and as I had freshly experienced the tragic and untimely death of my parent I therefore found the subject matter quite relevant and touching, etc)
3. It includes a detailed section on auditioning for The Real World, which at the time was def. one of my top five television programs.

Lewis and I saw his reading and we both LOLed. So, whatevs, backlash-mongers. Go drink your Haterade with Ariel Levy.

I probably won't read this book though, I'm not into Sudanese refugees. I tried to read the description of this book and fell asleep somewhere between "Sudan" and "civil war." I'd rather read ex-drag queen memoirs.

3.GOSSIP GIRL 10: WOULD I LIE TO YOU, by "CECILY VON ZIEGESAR" AKA ALLOY, INC.: These books are asinine/amazing. There are so many things wrong with this series, but how can love be wrong when it feels so right? Better than smoking crack and getting a foot rub on a Sunday afternoon. (almost)




2.TWIGHLIGHT OF THE SUPERHEROES, by DEBORAH EISENBERG:
Basically everyone who I have any respect for in the universe is saying that this book is good. So, I'm going to plug it as I wait for it's January 27th paperback release date. Also I am resisting the overwhelming urge to put DIRTY BLONDE: THE DIARIES OF COURTNEY LOVE on this list just because I think it would be funny. To me. I actually just LOLed a little in my mouth.

1.THE PARIS REVIEW INTERVIEWS: The first person to buy me this book gets to marry me. I am a decent cook and I promise to always keep my svelte figure.

The nice thing about this book, besides the graphically pleasing cover art, is that we already know it is good. Because it's "The Paris Review," which like, doesn't even take unsolicited submissions. It's like if "The N" put out a DVD of Degrassi's best moments, you would know it would be good too, because Degrassi Goes There.






FYI: these are the best books I read this year, and, when appropriate, who I owe the endorsement or the physical book itself to....
Shockproof Sydney Skate, by Mary Jane Meeker (cameron!)
Prep, by Curtis Sittinfeld
Soft Maniacs, by Maggie Estep (steph!)
The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion (krista!)
Surface Tension (essays), ed. by Meg Daley
Bastard out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison (lo!)
Wasted, Marya Hornbacher
Two Girls, Fat and Thin, Mary Gaitskill
Things You Should Know, AM Homes
Appetites, Caroline Knapp
Bookmark Now, (essays), ed. Kevin Smokler

1 Not purchased with actual money though, purchased with Amazon.com gift certificate, a blessing bestowed upon those of us with elephantine balances on our Amazon.com Visa cards.
2 Ditto.
3 The Strand--although initially I borrowed it from Krista, who did buy it in hardcover. Then I wanted my own copy and saw it there and snatched it like a hot potato.
4 Honestly, I didn't have to buy this one either; Lo told me to read it and lent me her copy, and then because I wanted my own copy, Cameron gave me one that Jay had got at the Book Fair.
5 Actually, I did, but I just liked movies better.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sunday Top 10: I Don't Wanna Grow Up, I'm a City-Type Kid

It is a widely believed truth that New York City is a hotbed of crack-whores, crack-dealers, crazy liberals, baristas like Rachel Green and hopeless aspirants. I think this is why Non-New-Yorkers cut their New-York-dwelling relatives (usually the black sheep or the dark horse of the family, depending on their present level of breakout success) a little bit of slack in terms of becoming a grown-up. No one is like "Where is your house?" because they all know that there are no houses in New York, except in Prospect Heights and some parts of Astoria, and I don't know if you can own those houses anyhow, unless you're Heath Ledger. I think the only New Yorkers on TV that have houses are those annoying people in "King of Queens," which I saw for the first time EVER last night at my Mom's house, because there was "nothing else on," which is the number-one selection criteria for television programs, apparently.

While on my vacation in the Midwest, which is far from over which means I have five more days to lose my mind and my quads from city-withdrawal, gym-withdrawal (and Haviland-withdrawal) these are some things I have noticed that people do in other places that I do not do. Many of these things are "grown-up" things. I would like to add that I am clearly not a grown up. I would incorporate this into my New Years Resolution, but I'm pretty sure that my immaturity is in fact charming, some might say seductive.

TOP TEN THINGS THEY ARE BETTER AT OUT HERE IN THE HEARTLAND, OR WHY NEW YORK CITY IS STILL A PLACE FOR THE VERY RICH AND THE VERY YOUNG (AND OBVS, I AM NOT VERY RICH)

10. Making Babies

My cousin is pregnant, which means she will be giving birth to another human person in April. This seems funny to me because I still eat push-pops, string cheese and peanut-butter-crackers almost every day. (Note: I eat the peanut butter crackers that come in 8-packs and are actually orange.) I think if I had a baby, I'd be good at relating to it because we would have a lot in common, like needing a lot of attention but usually crying and being semi-violent when we actually get some.



9. Having a "Pension":

What is a pension? The thing is, it sounds bad because it sounds like "prison" and like "penitentiary" mixed up, and both of those things involve shackles and anal penalties for soap-droppers.

"I was looking at the pension I've earned from my job and I realized if I cashed it in right now, I could probably get myself a pretty decent meal at McDonalds."
-My Cousin

I was looking at my wallet and realized I could probably buy myself and most of my close friends a decent meal at McDonalds, so I'm ahead of the game anyhow. (Note: I don't have very many close friends)


8. Buying a House:
Sometimes I imagine that Haviland will buy an apartment and let me live there in exchange for like, making salads and getting the mail?


7. Owning a Car:
I remember when I used to have a car that actually belonged to me. You know, like, an "asset." (See photo of my old Lexus) What happened? I sold it to move to New York City, and now I have a Metro-Card and feet. Sometimes I kiss ES-300s that I see on the street. Like, on the hood sort of? I know that sounds weird and creepy, and maybe it is, but I think whatever gets you through the night is alright.

My brother owns a car that uses diesel. That's so hard core I can't even like, speak of it.

6. Getting Married

Seriously, I know that many members of the fam think I am a 'Career Girl' (har. har) and therefore statistically unlikely to find a mate, but like I said, I wanna have a baby some day. (And as far as mate-finding goes, I think "fear of emotional intimacy" is a more likely roadblock in this area, but whatevs). And I am not going to be the only one changing that baby's diapers and driving it to all of it's after-school activities in my hypothetical Lexus RX 350. Also I would like to have more back-rubs in my life than I do at present, and I think a husband or wife could do that for me.


5. Earning a "Salary":

I'm pretty sure this is overrated. I like to live on the edge. It keeps me on my toes.


4. Bathroom Backstock:

The bathroom of a twentysomething's NYC apartment is generally stocked with only the absolute necessities, divided by tenant. (Necessities include things like $50.00 face cream, Xanax and overpriced M.A.C foundation, but still ...) Rarely will a roommate have an entire cabinet filled with things they do not need immediately, especially because you can always go to the deli next door if you run out of something. They won't have what you need, but the possibility is there, and obviously you wouldn't be living in NYC in the first place if you believed that success was more important than the possibility of success.

Me:"So it has been suggested that I could save time in my life, like the time I spend going to Duane Reade every day, if I buy bigger sizes of shampoo and stuff. Like the jumbo sized ones. But I never do that, I mean one they are heavy, and two they are expensive."
Nat: "Oh, I never do that. Who can afford all of that at once?"
Me: "Oh good. Me neither! I mean, I know they are cheaper in the long run, but sometimes you've only got five dollars--"
Nat:"Um, I showered at the gym every day for two months because I couldn't even afford my usual travel-sized shampoos. But obviously I justified spending money on the gym membership itself."
Me: "Um, obviously."

When I go to my Mom's and to my other relatives, I find the back-stock of necessities like Tylenol, toilet paper, toothbrushes (like, they buy them in multi-packs!) and other things (that they don't even use!!) like tampons and hair-brushes. They have things in there from like, three years ago. I have lived in three different apartments in the last year, needless to say my hair gel has not made every trip.


3. Fully-Equipped Kitchens:

Likewise, kitchens tend to contain "basics" like spices, flour, knives, pots and pans of various sizes, dishes shaped for specific baked goods and various implements for wrapping and storing leftover food. Most NYC kitchens seem to contain a mishmash of various pots, Woks, Foreman Grills and utensils left behind by previous roommates and the lovely equipment brought for your temporary enjoyment by various subletters, combined with the equipment of present roommates, which is often paltry but usually involves 2-4 wine openers and a peppermill.

Also: a dishwasher. I need one of those.


2. Family Values:

Relative: "So was your friend totally annoyed by you being sick while you were staying at her place?"
Me: "Oh no, he was really sweet about it, actually."
Relative: "Oh, it was a he?"
Me: "Yeah, yeah, a he."
Relative: "Oh, so it was like, your boyfriend?"
Me: "Oh, no, I don't have a boyfriend."
(awkward pause)


1. Um, but Time said I was the Man of the Goddamn Year, Bitches!
There is nothing like the questions: "What is a blog?," "What is a literary agent?," "What is you-tube?" or "What is my-space?" to make my life feel 95% irrelevant. Which I realize that it is, but I need something to fill all the time I'm not spending making babies, meeting husbands/life partners, buying Fiesta Ware, driving my non-existent car, planning my clearly not-happening retirement, or cashing in my pension plan.



I am in Ohio. All my joints hurt from the fibromyalgia that I can't tame by exercising, so I took a Vicodin instead. My joints still hurt, but I feel a little woozy.

Maybe I need another Vicodin. My aunt has so many wireless servers in her 'hood, it's like Christmas.

OMG IT IS CHRISTMAS Y'ALL!!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

What's Worse, the Stomach Flu or Dial-up? Or both at once?

One of the differences between New York City and suburban Detroit is that people are not piled all up on top of each other, sharing their wireless service like tuberculosis. That means that not only am I attempting to update my blog from a machine that is not my pet Sparky the MacBook, but I am doing so from my Mother's "computer," using dial-up, via America Online which apparently still exists. I tried to sign on under my old screen name 'R Pop Tart' but I forgot the password. I can't remember who I had a crush on then.

"This might be more blog-worthy than Greyhound"
-Carl, after my 45th trip to the bathroom to wretch up my intestines, followed by chills, hot/cold flashes, and other symptoms that I am fairly sure are related to either SARS, anthrax, the West Nile Virus or Meningitis.

Thus, I am actually NOT in Ohio.

I am in my sweatpants, eating cup-o-soup, and I've spent the entire day in various poses of misery. Maybe Jesus is punishing me for coveting Emmit Honeycutt. I've been told that Christmas cookies aren't going to be good for my stomach but I can't help myself. Also I felt that perhaps around 2pm I was completely out of body fat and I felt very cold. So I'm trying to bring sexy back, via sugar cookies, which so far are going down better than the two sips of water I dared to ingest 12 hours ago.

But really how could I feel wretched sitting at this lovely desk.

To my right we have a variety of social-work and psychological therapy type literature, such as "choices & consequences," "paths to recovery" and "facing the shadow." Also I see a back-issue stockpile of Real Simple magazine and seven single-serving sized packets of McDonalds grape jam. Yes that's right, grape jam. I also find this a bit perplexing, though perhaps it is somehow related to the 'Anatomy Coloring Book,' which I am too weak to retrieve. There is a box labeled 'Faith.' Again, my weak limbs are overruling my perverse curiosity in this particular matter.

In front of me is a stunning photograph of Lewis and I dressed like monks or something in a sadistic Disneyworld photo shoot re-creation of Fanastia. I have a bucket in my hands like Little Red Riding Hood and Lewis has a wand. There's also a photo Alina and I took with the Mall Santa Claus, circa high school I think. Both of thse photos are very romantic and employ pleasent cultural figures (Mickey Mouse, Santa Claus), which is nice, right? (who am I? where am i? my head hurts. my stomach hurts. Haaavvvilanndddd) Also there are some motivaitonal greeting cards that claim the brightest light you can hope to see is the one I give to you when I smile. Also May success wash over me with everything I do, etc.

To my left we have "Robert's Rules of Lesbian Living," which include:
-Life is a process. Lesbian life is the process of processing the process.
-It is not against any written lesbian law to wear panty hose. They just seem silly under your softball uniform.

Either I am freezing or dying.

The true Christmas miracle is that Carl was a sweetheart the whole time I was sick although he missed the great chance to drive me to Ohio this morning as I was unable to walk or move. And although his car did not have heat, it was not particularly unpleasent as we drove from my Mom's place to his place, and the no-shock thing was kinda like riding a really dangerous roller coaster.

They don't get "The N," which means I don't know what happened with Spashley tonight. The agony, the absolute agony!

No photos. You have no clue how long it took just to load the 'create a post' page.

I've decided that when I get married, i want krista and natalie and haviland and ingrid to be my bridesmaids and I want Lewis to be my ring bearer and I want him to wear a monkey suit. I think that would be really funny. You know, a monkey at a wedding?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Merry F***in Christmas, or "I Bet SARS is Blog-Worthy, Too."

This is what I look like as of yesterday. This is Exhibit A ("The victim looked stable and content in a dashing crimson sweater only days before the incident!") for when I am in court testifying about the attempted assault that will take place on the Greyhound Bus in Cincinnati this upcoming Saturday. Also notice the beaming smile. I won't be smiling on Saturday. Don't let that boggle you. I know you've played PhotoHunt, and I know you've played it after four tequilla shots.

So.

Every holiday season, my brother and I make like Moses and leave the earnest burning oil of our Mother's Hannukah menorah in Michigan and head South. Unlike Moses and his Jewish friends, we usually do this in a car, and also unlike Moses we do not have to deal with false idols (though we've had some heated arguments about music, e.g., my desire for most of the late 90s to listen to either a sad emo boy or a lesbian folk singer at all times) or parting the red sea (though we once skidded on black ice outside of Bowling Green and almost died). Also we are not going to the promised land, we are just going to Gold Star Chili. I mean, to see the Christian side of our family, like our Grandparents, and have wholesome feelings in the deepest pits of our charred souls.

This year we face a challenge, and that challenge is that Lewis is driving up to Ohio from NOLA. I could call this a "betrayal of dire consequence" but I won't.

I am flying into Detroit on Friday morning, where my Moms live, and as I don't have a car (or, at this point, a drivers license, though I hope to acquire one at the Royal Oak DMV on Friday), I don't know how the fuck I am going to get to Ohio.

What I really want to talk about is how this relates to abuse of the semi-ironic term "blog-worthy," which I employ with the same (relatively) witty sarcasm that I use for terms like "omg" and "LOL really." I don't know if those are terms so much as paradigms.

Thus far, the "blog" hasn't caused me much harm, aside from time suckage: no, I haven't been "outed" at work or punished for things I've said or, even, had aforementioned Ohio family stumble upon this blog and wonder if I'm serious about the whole 'bi thing,' nor has anyone told me that I suck (not including my anonymous friend, who thinks I am a dirty whore, a dirty bitch, and a dirty slut, but I think he kinda likes me that way, so whatever rolls your dice, dude) BUT now my mother has co-opted my language for her own sinister desires.

Exhibit B (selections of e-mails exchanged on Dec. 18th)
From: Lewis
To: Me and Mom.

1. I'll be driving to Ohio from NOLA on the 23rd. Michigan 25th or 26th
2. May I suggest you "Go Greyhound" It could be "blogworthy" as the kids say.



From: Me
To: Lewis and Mom

Uh-oh,
Mom how I am going to get to Ohio, even if I do have a license? Can I borrow your car? I am not going Greyhound. I'll get killed.
also, the tickets are SIXTY BUCKS!! which is more than i will ever spend to be sexually harassed for.....um....SIX HOURS.



From: Mom
To: me and Lewis.

Marie ........
I agree with Lewis, a Greyhound trip would definetly be blog-worthy.

and for gosh sakes, you take the subway at all hours in a very crime-infested city and lived in Spanish Harlem. and you wait in lobbies of community mental and medical health ..... you've already dealt with and been exposed to more then any Greyhound trip could possibly provide.


Some things:

1. I bet that giving away all of my things for a life on the streets, and by "streets" I mean inside my largest fresh direct box or perhaps 2-3 taped together, which I will set on the corner of 180th and Somethin' Awful, injecting myself with needles i find on the "crime-infested' streets and paying for my Popeye's chicken habit by hooking (dressed in my Halloween costume and a warm scarf) would be pretty effin blog-worthy too, but you don't see my ass in a box on the street do you? No you don't.

Also, things like going to Iraq or going to a tornado are examples of things that people do for "news-worthy" stories. However those people get paid.

News=information someone pays you to share
Blog=information no-one pays you to share.

2. I do not take the subway at all hours. Only hours before midnight, or one a.m. Whatevs. Def. not shy of springing for a cab though.

3. While in East Harlem, I started dressing like a boy and walking like a boy so that I wouldn't get harassed and/or assaulted (the former happened constantly, especially in Snow Bunny Outfit '04, which involved pink yoga pants and a puffy white coat and was the last time I wore tight pants north of 110th), which worked pretty well. I also felt protected when I started spending almost 75% of my time-at-home-in-Sparlem with my dear friend the 6'4 slightly-crazy male model, house-builder and club bouncer who drove a monster truck disguised as a big-ass red jeep and knew everyone in the 'hood. Including the drug dealers. So where is that bouncer now? New Jersey.

4. New York City has the lowest crime rate of any major U.S City.

5. During the summer of 2005, Krista and I made a very poor choice to travel from Medford, Oregon to Denver, Colorado on a Greyhound. I've taken Greyhounds before from Ann Arbor to Interlochen (with friends, every time), but never had I truly felt the authentic Greyhound experience that we discovered in the Wild West. In fact, this trip was so pleasurable that, after subsisting on no sleep, eating only processed foods that come in plastic bags (e.g., Combos, M n'Ms, Twizzlers, Wheat Thins, Welch's fruit snacks) and living through a ten-hour layover in Salt Lake City (during which we had to sit on our suitcases and not move, just wait, while people had Jerry Springery fights and drank too much Sprite) and of course, spending time on the bus itself, which was completely full of people who probably collectively could not have mustered up an entire set of teeth, we actually got in a semi-physical squabble.

Because Krista is my heart, obviously you can imagine the kind of stress we were under for this to happen.

Phone conversation in Colorado, at some stop where we split up to go get supplies for the next few hours (including a small pillow we passed back and forth and more bags of junk to cram down our pie-holes):

Me: Krista, I can't hear you.
Krista: I can't hear anything you're saying.
Me: Can you hear me now?
Krista: Goddamit Marie, why don't you get a new phone service? I CAN NEVER HEAR YOU!
Me: Are you yelling at ME about Sprint PCS' failure to provide a suitable coverage within it's wireless network?!!!!
(Krista hangs up)

The passengers were a rowdy bunch, all looking to make friends, and somewhere between California and Colorado, a debate over the merits of The DaVinci Code resulted in several passengers rising from their seats to yell at one another (while drinking beer out of paper bags). I mention this because...

Despite the apparent plethora of Dan Brown fans on our trip, a passenger (who, being without a shirt of his own, was leasing shirts from fellow travelers for the duration of their journey and, when the shirt-donator got off, finding a new traveler to lend him a shirt) asked Krista and I if we were students.

"No," we said, looking confused.

"Ah," he nodded. "I thought you were."

(Krista attempts to deliver a genuine smile that comes off as a pained grimace)

He continued: "Cause you're both--you know--readin'."

(pause as we look at our books, and then at each other, and then up at him)

"Um," I responded. "We just uh, like reading."

(He looks at us with that look I used to get when I told strangers "I go to boarding school.")

This is the only surviving photograph from this expedition, and I got it from my camera phone. I don't know where we are, probably somewhere between nowhere and purgatory.

People kept staring at Krista and I, because we didn't look like the other people on the bus because we were wearing clean clothes. At first, at least. We replenished with the Hanes wifebeater 3-packs because that's how we roll. By the time I got to Chicago, I probably smelled like Kools with a dash of Wal-Mart.

UPDATE: Carl is taking me to Toledo, and my aunt will pick me up there. HOLLA.

Anyhow, so parents, you should know that making your kids miserable is not blogworthy, it's probably better for like, youtube, except that on greyhound someone would fo-sho steal your camera.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sunday Top 10: Some Highlights from the Written Quotes of 2006

Is there a definition of the word "quote"? Like, when does a quote become an "excerpt"? I wish I knew. I wish I knew a lot of things, like: where to find some money, how to turn a fictional character on a TV show into my life partner, why it takes so long on the subway to get from the Upper West to the Upper East.

I started trying to assemble various tid-bits of wit and brilliance from 2006 for my promised TOP TEN QUOTES OF 2006: WRITTEN KIND, and then realized this is exactly the kind of project that I choose to embark upon that prevents me from living a normal life, like the kind of life where I sleep and return phone calls. Although actually no one really calls me anymore. I've trained my people really well. Like before the dinner party, I was getting text messages every 5 seconds (you know, "Should I bring red or white wine?" "What are you wearing?") from all the RSVP'ed attendants, and not a single phone call. Lemmings! That just goes to show what happens if you give a moose a muffin.


(not exactly the) TOP TEN THINGS (but still, close enough) WRITTEN BY PEOPLE IN ANY FORM DURING THE YEAR 2006

I hope my friends like being quoted. Personally, I love having my words on the internet for everyone to see.
Or at least that's what I tell myself. To keep on keepin' on.


10. Natalie Raaber, e-mail, Feb. 2006:


"Question. Is it OK to Febreeze my hair?"


9. LupeDeVolga, Gawker commenter, Nov. 2006:

(Re: "By Popular Demand: Susan Sontag's Box Lunch," featuring photograph of Susan Sontag, preggers, which is summarily bashed by the commenters as causing "irreparable psychic damage" and "all that ugly")
"Ummm...so what? It's a picture of a hugely pregnant lady. What's the big deal again?

BTW when did the comments section become "Hot or Not" for every single woman in the public eye?

Yeah, that's right, I said it. See you at the execution."



8. E-mail Exchange. August 2006. Re: "Which Dawson's Creek Character Are You?" online quiz, which I plugged in my blog.

Ingrid:
I'm JOEY on the Dawson's Creek quiz. HOLLA!

Krista:
fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

i'm dawson.

Ingrid:
Dawson always had better boobs than Joey, anyway, Krista. And he
probably knows more about etymology, Hegel, and important shit like that.


7. Robin Raisfeld & Rob Patronite, New York Magazine Food Reviewers, September 2006:
From: Milking It: Review of "Max Brenner: Chocolate By the Bald Man"
(To date, this is the only food review I've ever read from start to finish, aside from Lewis Jacob Lyn Bernard's food reviews in the Community High School newspaper circa 1998, and it is also--again, aside from the collected works of LJLB--the only food review to make me literally LOL)

"Like ChikaLicious and Room 4 Dessert, Max Brenner strives to be a dessert destination, and the minuscule cafĂ© tables tend to be taken by groups of ­diet-be-damned girlfriends yapping away like overstimulated mynah birds, gurgling tots, and sheepish young couples on dates."

"You can order this invigorating libation to go at the takeout bar or in the dining room, where it’s delivered to the table in what your server will describe to you as a “hug mug,” a ceramic cup tapered at one end in such a way as to encourage the drinker to grasp it reverently with both hands the way a frostbitten Swede cuddles his goblet of glogg."



6. Scribe Grrrl, March 2006:

From Scribe Grrl's recap of "The L Word" Season Three, Episode 11: "The Last Dance"

"They hike on some more; Max says he can hear the waterfall, so they must be close. Yeah, well, I can hear your voice: does that mean I'm close to a factory where they make those shrieking golden eggs from the Harry Potter movie?

They get to the waterfall. We know this because we can see it, but also because Jenny says "Hey you guys, look at the waterfall."

They get ready to scatter the ashes. Bette says that Dana is in a peaceful place, but Shane says she doesn't buy "that fucking spiritual bullshit." I can't type up any more of the dialogue because it's just too painful — and I'm not talking about the fact that Dana's dead.

The other sign that you need to stop writing is when even your best actors can't rise above your crappy dialogue. Even Alice's tears seem crocodiley.

So they each scatter some ashes. Hey, hear that music? It's Jane Siberry again. What a waste of her talents.

As they leave, Alice looks back and sees some sort of fairy ghosty angelic tinkerbell (but giant) version of Dana in the waterfall. Please make it stop."



5. Rev. Jen Miller, January 2006:

From "I Did it For Science: Sex and the City Marathon, in which Jen Miller watches all five seasons of Sex and the City in a row, in celebration of the release of the complete series on DVD.

" Do people in Nebraska think this is how New Yorkers live? The women on this show work about as much as Mr. Rogers."

Tanya is a well-informed fan of the show.
"How can she afford an Upper East Side apartment on a writer's salary?" I ask.
"It's rent-controlled and costs only $750 a month," Tanya says.
"My apartment is cheaper than that."
"See, you could be living a life of Manolo Blahniks and you didn't even know it."
"You know what's weird? This all happened before internet dating. People still met in bars."
"And yet they manage to be so slutty without the help of internet dating."
"True. It was tough back then."


You should read the whole thing, it's a funny article. Also I was the intern who was supposed to procure an SATC DVD set and I spent like, 30 hours on hold for no reason. And e-mailing and shit. I think Malaina tried too.


4. Rosie O'Donnell, March 2006:
From "A Rosie is a Rosie is a Rosie," in New York Magazine, from way before the whole View thing was announced...

“I’m always like that Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon. You know how there are only, like, twelve of them, and it takes a hundred people in order to get them down the street safely for one day? And they have to all be synchronized and know how to move in unison in order not to let this big, big thing not crash into a pole and kill someone? Kelli's like the main tether. She gets me down the street without killing anybody.”


3. Letter from the Editor of GQ.
I quote things from New York Magazine too much. I would quote any number of the other 5,000 magazines I have read this year, but they have more pages and don't have such fantastic online archives. So I thought I'd try to at least quote one other magazine and there's a GQ with Clive Owen on it (HOT) that I can totally reach without leaving my bed. Here we go:

"Let's just get it out there: Fall is the shit. Unlike spring, which is overrated because it takes too long to happen and then never happens, fall delivers what it promises. Fall says it's going to get cold ad empty-feeling, and guess what: It get's cold and empty-feeling. Fall's a doer. (I've always hated 'spring people' and their trumped-up optimism, those chipper guys who, at first whiff of fifty-degree weather, start..whistling. "Looks like spring has sprung, good buddy." No it hasn't. It's going to rain for eighty-three days. Get used to it.) Spring is a liar; fall is as honest as a watch." (GQ, September 2006)


2. The Costumes of the Day, exercpts from various e-mails, Haviland Stillwell:

December:
i think our next costume night should be "ghetto fabulous". we should do this when heather gets back...she has the ridiculous, gawdy/awesome bling that the younguns wear these days. ;)

November:
we are meeting karen at 44&X at 6:30, The costume for the day is TIPPING THE VELVET. Yeah, I am busting out the pinstripe pants and suspenders, baby. Dress accordingly. (This could involve you as Nan, or as Kitty, or whatever...just run with it...) :)


September, Invite to my Birthday Party to my Friends:
The costume theme for the night is the hottest you've ever looked in your life. :) Think "I want Marie Lyn Bernard to find me absolutely irresistible tonight." :) Only the best for my friend.



August, with Forward of Bruce's Cruise Pics:
i love that someone got a pic of me in my 80s costume!!
(it was clearly the best costume for the day..)

August:
They are aparently beaters with pink writing - on the front it says, "Jill and Adam: Sept 8, 2007" and on the back of mine, it says "maid of honor." Which is amazing, and i'll definitely be wearing it out....what a fun costume! we could have like "ridiculous things our friends make us wear" night!! :) your would be, i don't know, lauren's lacey undies? ;)

May:
my friend is getting married in a few weeks, and this is her sort of "going away for a while" party...and i am frankly scared of venturing into astoria alone!!! and also..i mean, its a THEME party, and we can invent revolutionary costumes...

...and i like you in your cowgirl boots. (there's the real reason, ok?)


1. Scenes from the Collective Breakdown:
Krista, February, e-mail:
i totally miss the ghetto.
i even witnessed a fairly violent robbery yesterday and it didn't help.
everything is too predictable.

Matty, E-mail, March:
I have nothing to do but wait around for people to call me, I am going insane! The high light of my day is whe my mother comes home and I have to drive the car to go and get her. I get to listen to the radio play in the car, they usually have a Led Zepplin set playing when I am on my way there. I like that band alot, I head bob all the way there.

Lo, E-Mail, April:
I had this crazy idea to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond. I know its weird and might drain me of all remaining energy but I thought at least getting new towels would make me feel productive?

Haviland, E-mail, May:
your hotel is f-ing us over, preventing the online
banter between us...it's just like Shakespeare!

Natalie, E-mail, July:
i am working on my thesis right now. and am having my 4 month requisite i-have-no-idea-about what-i-am-doing-in-my -life-right-now-and-basically-i suck! and- i- am -leading- a -mundane,-meaningless- existence freak out.

Krista, e-mail, August 26th:
i have been on hold with the following companies in the past two days:

ikea: 76 minutes (need to turn gift certificate into much needed cash)

t-mobile: five thousand hours (broken brand new $200 phone)

u-haul: three separate phone calls 40 odd minutes each (making, re-making, changing and changing again reservation #496500)

new york sports club: thirty some odd minutes while their computers crashed (trying to cancel my very costly membership seeing as i won't be living here anymore. this was yesterday. as of today they claim their computers will still not allow them to cancel my membership.)

the new york times: 20 minutes four days this week (they want money, the delivery guy forgot to deliver, they have the wrong card on file....blah blah blah)

apple: on hold for all of eternity until i burst into tears gave up and hung up (recalled battery five days before graduate school)

duane mother-fucking reade: on hold for the majority of the best, most beautiful years of my life (as they tried to locate my prescription. and they are all retarded. literally. retarded.)

my doctors office: 18,000 eight minute long calls to leave messages on their machine. you have to listen to all six hundered options before the beep. there is no way to skip ahead to the beep. (trying to send immunization reports to school so they'll let me in the gate)

yale health: 18,000 eight minute phone calls with the receptionist (to see if "said files" have been received)

skagen watch central offices in nevada: seriously. i can't even explain.

every, literally every, used and rare bookstore in this time zone: on hold for the length of time it takes some stodgy librarian type to scroll through antiquated computer systems or, rather, shuffle up and down every cat -pee smelling aisle of books in their basement store in jersey looking for an 800 page theatre history text book that has been out of print since the mid-80s but that i'm going to be tested on on september fifth. (because this faculty is evil and i feel like i'm going through some perverse initiation. no one has it. it is not to be found.)

i swear to god ris when i close my eyes i hear elevator music and
canned recordings telling me "your call is important to us"
little pieces of me die with every 'in the order it was received'
message.

Haviland, E-mail, September 2:
From Stephanie on FULL HOUSE: "I guess when you use something too much,
it just shuts down."
(yep, I just quoted Jodi Sweetin)

Ingrid, Birthday Wishes e-mail, September 23rd:
If you were here I would carve "Wingnuts 4-eva!" in my chest with a razor and then rub ink from a Bic pen all over it just like Marky Mark did for Reese Witherspoon in the classic movie Fear.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The L Word Season Three, Episode 4 Recap on Automatic Straddle Blog

So this episode is called "Light my Fire." Personally, I like my "fire" "lit" by hot sex and compelling dialogue, but that's just me. Actually I wrote a novel in 8th grade called "Fly by Night" about this homeless pyromaniac girl. It was inspired by: The Boxcar Children, Stephen King's The Firestarter and Dicey's Song. Although my talents at that age were questionable, I would actually argue that the dialogue in said novel is (was) perhaps a little bit better than some of the dialogue in this particular episode of The L Word. Anyhow.

We open at one of those De-Gaying group meetings, the kind with the folding chairs and the dogma and all the nervous homos who usually look about as straight as Emmet Honeycutt in his Jackie-O outfit. We segue quickly to a bed (I wish I had the chance to use that transition more often in these re-caps) where Agatha (the nun from last week) is getting it on with another de-gayed girl and a dude who tells them that this is "better than hell's fire." As far as lines-to-get-girls-to-have-a-threesome go, that's just above "It's my biggest fantasy to see you with my ex-girlfriend" and below "I just think two women together is a beautiful thing."

P.S. Isn't everything better than hell's fire?
P.P.S. Jesus, being the heterosexual man I believe him to be, would probably agree that a threesome is better than hell's fire. I think.

Lesbian Sex Moment #7: Threesomes: Better Than Eternal Damnation?
The Players: Agatha, Frank, and another ex-gay.
The Pick-Up:"Jesus hates the sin between two men much more than that between two women."
Hot or Not?: I'd like a little less hell-fire in my sex, thanks.


Lesbian Squabble #9: Too poor for firewood. Must burn "Bastard out of Skokie."
In the Ring: Little Prince and Jenny.
Little Prince comes home to find Jenny throwing a draft of her novel into the fire.
Little Prince: "I hope you backed that up on your hard drive."

(I wish she hadn't said that, because actually it draws attention to the fact that she is burning a manuscript which she has printed out somewhere (maybe en route at a "typical small-town lesbian copy shop"), which is essentially meaningless--or, rather, it is only meaning--it is symbolic, but has no actual real-world repercussions. She's not like, burning her computer or something. In any event, where else would she have saved the document to begin with besides her hard drive? LP obviously means external hard drive, but even then, it's more or less irrelevant.)

Jenny: "Where the fuck were you?"
Little Prince:"I was hanging out at the beach, look, I was like I was sleeping in my truck, you know, I was trying to figure out what I'm doing here in L.A."
Jenny: "What are you doing here in L.A?"


(Good question, Jennifer. We are wondering the same thing, because I.C. has failed to provide even the most minimal backstory on this particular relationship).

Little Prince: "I don't know. I don't know what I'm doing anywhere, I don't know who I am anymore actually--"


JENNY MOMENT!
Jenny:You know what, nobody knows who they are. You know? That's what life is about, you walk through life and you try to figure it out and you probably won't figure it out.
Little Prince: It seems like you know who you are.
Jenny:Absolutely. I am the picture of togetherness and sanity.

You GO GIRL! Jenny, you rule so far this season. Your lines have been pretty spot-on. I kinda like--like--you. You kinda remind me, sometimes of me, but I almost like you better than I like me (not hard to do).

Continue Reading and Comment on Season Three, Episode 4 Recap on Automatic Straddle...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Why Is This Day Different From All Other Days? Or, "What a Lark!"

Mrs.1 Monkeypants said she would buy the discontinued limited-edition Betty Crocker "Chocolate Chip Cookie" flavor candles from the Dollar Store herself.

Last week I failed spectacularly and repeatedly on many fronts, and because (like Beyonce) I am a survivor, I began this week with a burst of uncharacteristically human-like activities; e.g., other humans make doctors appointments and then go to them, e.g., other humans enjoy the company of other humans, so much so that they would invite said humans to where they live with other humans and perhaps offer them food and drink. I did both of these things yesterday (Monday).

(brief tangent for those who care about such things: Please check out Automatic Straddle: My L Word Blog if you want to experience a brief moment of impenetrable bliss, via Season 4 Promo Photos, just discovered this morning.)

I present: Manic Monday, a Work in Three Acts (like Ira Glass does!), or "An Inspirational Tale of Riese's Triumph Over Counter-Productive Habits and Behaviors":

Act One: Our Heroine Attends a Dermatologist Appointment at The Ryan Center, which is located in the Fifth Circle of Dante's Inferno.

(Note: I have a really bad habit of not showing up for doctor appointments. Or canceling them on a voice mail the night before. That is, if I even make them to begin with. I skipped one last week, in fact.)

Characters:
Me
Dorothy at the Desk
Elizabeth the Dermatologist
The Nurse

I.
10:20 AM: I arrive only 5 minutes late, which is pretty much as close to "on time" that I can be. I am sent to the desk "down the hall on the left." This desk is horse-shoe shaped, with two chairs and terminals. I go to the side with a person at it. Dorothy tells me I need to go to the other side of the desk. I do this. I figure I just need to wait for this other woman to return to her desk.

10:30 AM: Dorothy catches my eye.
Dorothy at the Desk: "What happened?" (but by that she means "Whats up?")
Me: Oh, nothing.
DD: Oh, I thought you were trying to catch my eye.

10:35 AM: There is no one at this desk. I am just standing here and there are people like, dying and having convulsions all up in my grill.

Me: (gesturing towards empty chair) Is she coming back?
DD: No.
Me: Didn't you just tell me to stand here?
DD: You need to put your form in that silver basket next to you and wait for the nurse to call your name.

I think we all can agree that was not the first chance DD had to share this coveted information with me.

Dear DD, I am sorry that you are fat and ugly and that you are wearing white jeans, but that is no reason for you to make me stand there like an idiot for twenty minutes, about 4 feet away from you, when you know full well that you haven't given me the proper directions. I will not forget this.


II.
10:45 AM: I take the only available chair. Directly to my left, an elderly woman is describing a recent accident suffered by her big toe, which is why she is here at the doctor today. Not content with merely relaying the tale, this woman proceeds to provide a visual aid: she removes her shoes and socks, and her friend, in an act of pure comfort with the obscene that rivals anything I've ever seen on Fear Factor (which, actually, I've never seen, but I've heard about it), inspects said toe and confers that the toe is In A State.

10:50 AM: I'm not sure how this happened, but my dermatologist is kinda foxy. At least I hope that's her--she keeps coming out here and calling people, I just have a feeling. She has great skin. She looks like a grown- up Elizabeth from Sweet Valley High.

WOMAN PUT YOUR TOE AWAY!

11:10AM: Yes, you, Mr. You in the tapered jeans and the orange sweater. We both appear to be Caucasian, unlike the rest of the patients in this room. But you are going to need a lot more in common with me (also, I mean, talk about judging a book by it's cover) to justify all those creepy looks you keep shooting my way. Seriously, stop it. Don't sit next to me. Achh!!

III.
11:15 AM: I am called back with two other whackos, asked if I have allergies, and sent back into The River Styx with my traveling companions.

This is known as "a tease" which is one step a way from "a complete douchebag."


IV.
11:17 AM: Every time they call for a "Maria," which is about every five seconds, I think it might be me. But it's not. It's never me. I have almost finished my entire book.

V.
12:30 AM: At last my moment arrives. At one point, Elizabeth coos "you poor baby!" and she totally means it. The good news is I don't have skin cancer so I should go tanning ASAP. She sends me back out there to wait for something else, who knows what the fuck.

VI.
1 PM: Seriously? I go into the back room like all the crazy people do and try to make my shit happen.

Nurse: So you need to see her again in 3-4 weeks, do you want to book that now or do it by mail?
Me: I would like to leave here either immediately or as soon as possible.
Nurse: Oh, I hear ya! Mail it is.


Act II: In Which Our Heroine Treks to the Upper East Side to see her Psychiatrist.

Characters:
Me, the psycho.
Him, the doctor. He is not the one I talk to about my problems every week, that's my therapist. He is the man who gives me pills once a month.

I.
Him: "Do you get blonder every time I see you?"
(is that literal, or figurative?)

II.
Me: "I have that same shirt!"
(he's wearing this shirt:)

Him: Oh yeah? I got it at one of those outlet places--
Me: I got mine at Filene's Basement--

III.
(We're still talking about clothing, and I told him all about when I worked at Banana Republic, etc. Very important convo re: prescription medication)
Me: I mean, I haven't really worn normal-people clothes for that long, like only since I was like, 16.
Him: What are "not normal people clothes?"
Me: I mean, I used to wear like, big skater pants and huge oversized polo shirts I bought at the Kiwanis sale and a winter cap every day and boxer shorts under my pants and all of this like, glitter? and tore-up sneakers-----
Him: (laughing) You had some uh--- gender identity problems?

IV.
(Clearly we can see where this is going)
Him: So do you uh--like girls?
Me: I like both. I like boys and girls. I mean, I think I like men better (Why do I say things like this? Internal homophobia? What's wrong with me?)
Him: Uh-huh....
Me: I mean, I don't like men better, actually. I'm just more likely to date one. Sort of. In the past..... ramblerambleramble..but now...baalaalhlblahablahah

V.
(yeah, still)
Him: I imagine a girl like you could really have anyone she wants, right? I mean, you're tall and thin and blonde, and Jewish and smart, you probably have men and women lined up around the block for you.
(What are you trying to say? Mr. Robinson are you...)
Me: Yeah, I don't know, not really.
Him: I'm sure you do--
Me: Just call me Cinderella.


Act III: In Which Our Heroine throws a dinner party at her apartment.

Mary, who originally suggested such an event a few months ago, has no clue that I am so not the kind of girl to throw a dinner party, but I am so glad that she suggested it because I can become that girl. I mean, even when I am surrounded by loved ones, I often feel an urge to run into my room and hide behind my bookshelf and write poems that read like Soundgarden lyrics, so this was important for me. Even Haviland's therapist was proud of me.

So Yay Mary!

Characters:
Me
My Domesticated Partner Haviland
My dear friends: Sherri, Katy, Anna, Janet, Mary.
My dear roommates: MM and LS.
My dear roommate's friend Evan, who supplies the testosterone not provided by a roomful of ladies (although the ladies present include 4 Homos, 3 Bis, 1 straight roommate and 1 almost-completely-straight roommate)

I.
I look online for recipes about 2 hours before party-time, and realize that if I am really going to feed 10 people, it's best to get a big pot and some pasta and sautee some shit up, and then try to get everyone stoned/drunk enough to like it.

II.
The guests arrive, we drink, we eat, I do not take photographs because you know, sometimes it's best to just let things be.

Also Janet is currently using a cane.

Evan: You're like, Tiny Tim!
Janet: God bless us, everyone.


III.
Sherri makes me laugh so hard I can't breathe, which reminds me of how I would laugh until I hurt with Veronica and Lizzie and Lisa and Ashley (from the Macaroni Grill in Michigan), which is an interesting memory to be summoned when my jaw is about to fall off, but still a fitting one: those girls really did almost make me pee in my pants more than anyone before or since. Until last night.

IV.
Anna, who was recently in New York Magazine (I would link to the specific article, but I am aware she would find this unsavory), and I, the Open-Minded Dater in marie claire magazine, discussed the travails of weird photographs and interesting "quotes" and sudden, overwhelming fame.

V.
By request, Haviland and I perform the In the Flesh reading again, the lovely tale 'Fucking Around.' Katy: "First I think you should put on short shorts and boots, like at the reading."


I try to re-create the original August night by asking everyone to vote for Stephen in the hotties of publishing, but I am told to make it a new experience. It is a success especially because of those who I love who could not be there at the time, which is a lot of people, and I was happy that Katy and Anna enjoyed it again. If anyone wants to know more about enjoying things again, I would encourage you to listen to the delightful This American Life podcast, episode titled "Reruns" that I downloaded this morning.


V.
In an act of unprecedented maturity, when my stunningly hot roommate offers to give me a lap dance because I have just admitted that I've never been to a strip club, I squeal a lot and then just admit I must deny on the "It is Not Healthy for Riese to Have Intense Pent-up Sexual Desire for Her Roommate" Clause, which was added this year in order to make my life less complicated and more comfortable. This clause battles other, more biological urges, but nevertheless I rose above the burning desires of my lap and did The Mature Thing.

VI.
In another act of unprecedented maturity, I do the dishes immediately. Here I am doing the dishes and MM is being fabulous:


We are rock stars, or something.


1: aside from the sex part and the money part and the living together part, tonight Haviland and I discovered that we are in fact engaged in a domestic partnership. FYI, we're allowed to see other people. that's right, Kim Stolz, I'm talkin' to you.