Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Umbrella Scandal declared Completely Outrageous by Melissa

Dateline 12/27/11: While enjoying her evening in a deceptively snug restaurant in vermont, Melissa's umbrella was purloined from the communal umbrella jar by the door. Although in direct proximity, Vermont is not New Hampshire. In Vermont, there is no living free or dying all dry and comfortable beneath someone else's expensive wind-proof, auto-open umbrella. The criminal element, especially ones predisposed to fine dining, should keep an eye on state lines.

Possibly unbeknownst to the perpetrator, the heist resulted in serious repercussions beyond the obvious damp clothing problem. Umbrella theft is no victimless crime and such was the case yesterday. Inadvertently, Silla plucked a third-party umbrella from the communal stand causing a thievery chain reaction and thrusting her deeply into the thug life. The bandit slope is slippery. Next, she may feel the lure of the rain slicker! 
Although crack reporters such as myself are paid a large percentage of all blog profits to maintain our objectivity and refrain from offering advice only relevant in hindsight, I was unable to curb my zeal for a new and surefire business concept: Umbrella PomPom Crime Deterrent Craft Kits. 

The idea would be to attractively and distinctively decorate the exterior pelt of the umbrella with sequins, LOLcatz waterproof stickers and shiny non-edibles. Now that they are retired by the loving grace of Jesus, Silla and David may want to consider investing a top drawer idea like this.

In summary, despite my best efforts and how much they amuse me, I was unable to work the words "chicanery," "rectitude" or "virtue" in this recounting of actual events.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tom's Charity #Fail

Tom exits the grocery store and throws a ten dollar bill in Santa's basket. Santa hollers that he is simply there to hand out candy canes. Tom fishes his money out of the pile of candy canes and puts it back in his pocket.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

This fricassee tastes like paper

Since it is unlikely that I will ever find myself interviewed about my so-called artwork by a publication like the NY Times or the Randolph News Bee, I've decided to interview myself.

Me: What is the genre of your art?
Me: I call it Hedgewitch Modern. Or maybe Abstract Packrat. My genre is loosely based on Joan Miro and his large-scale dystopic paintings of potatos.

Me: What inspires you?
Me: I'm inspired by paisley, scuff marks, lantana, fingerprints, paint chips, metal dust, used Scotch tape, crumpled paper, shredded fabric, circular objects, moss, black chess pieces, bubbles, reptile scales, crystaline molecular structures, mutilated stripes, and things that have been burned in a fire.

Me: Where do you keep your art supplies.
Me: In the dishwasher, your rumor mongerer. I will also have you know I've removed my sweaters from the oven. Although admittedly a titanic example of storage genius, a fire hazard risk-reward evaluation caused me to reassess.

Me: What brochures are you most likely to cut into strips?
Me: I've grown partial to Rubin Museum member mailings, Starbucks handouts and AAF catalogs. I also enjoy slicing up New York Magazine.

Me: Have you ever boiled a Resoration Hardware Catalog?
Me: Only that one time.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Meeting Minutes: Scandinavian Club : November 12, 2011

Scandinavian Club owes a sincere debt of gratitude to, a hardwood-floored, brick-walled shared office space off of Canal Street where Scandinavians, pretend Scandinavians, beanbag chairs and the corduroy-clad feel right at home. If you are a freelancer or a startup in need of office space, you should go there to work because too much time in Starbucks causes systemic Tourettes.

Meeting called to order at 16:30 EST.

Tom was the first to arrive at the November S.C. gathering, invited despite a Swedish vocabulary limited to "kräftskiva," "tack," "skål," and "köttbullar." Besides being terribly handsome, he is also good at moving around furniture. Other early arrivals included Klaas Pieter, who speaks a Swedish dialect that sounds suspiciously like Dutch.

Since it is November, not December, no Partridges or Pear Trees attended the festivities last eve, but Haley gave us some tasty Chicken and Tangerine Fruit instead. Lucky for us, we were able to easily find her to extend our thanks for her time, effort and expense. This may have proven considerably more difficult had she worn her gorgeous new hardwood-floor patterned outfit, stayed low and crept about stealthily.

Also as would be expected, no Turtle Doves, Pipers, Drummers, Maids-a-Milking, Colly Birds or Geese-a-Laying put in an appearance but unseasonably, at least one Lady attempted the salsa which probably counts as Dancing and there were confirmed reports of Lauras-a-Leaping.

We were happy to see Hannah and her sisters, as well as Hanna and her Cupcakes. Unbeknownst to Alex, he may need to marry shortly on behalf of the greater good and to lock down our supply of homemade baked goods. Should nuptials come to pass, odds favor our groom in sporty orange tone-on-tone alter gear.

With latent respect for the recent passing of 11|11|11, the day that looks the most like corduroy, ever, we felt a measure of despair when a virile gentleman descended upon us clothed in an admittedly rather dapper purple velvet jacket. After it was mentioned that velvet is oft called "the poor man's corduroy," (hail the wale), the gentleman vehemently disagreed. He informed bystanders that his purple velvet accouterment had set him back an astonishing and clearly impressive $700. I am uncertain whether this sum included state and city taxes, shipping, handling, and/or any other requite fees or duties.

To be frank, I was far more impressed by Art's socks, which if you didn't notice, coordinated with his scarf. I applaud a carefree, sock-conscious ensemble.

Near the end of the evening, Zack contended that it is difficult to learn to brew absinthe if one is absinthe from absinthe class. It was very funny at the time. Earlier in the day, Zack and Eric had attended the Chocolate Fair but neither owns enough cats to have stayed at the fair very long or fully understand chocolate etiquette or chocolate culture.

Meeting adjourned 23:15 EST.

Thanks much to Fredrick for the venue of champions, everyone who came, everyone who did their part and donated a paltry $5, and everyone who brought something to share. See you next month!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Banned for Life by NYC Tarot Reading Practice Club : The Triumph of my Ejection

To date, I haven't been kicked out too many times. One time I was kicked out of the Madison YMCA but it was really a passive-aggressive sort of ousting. It was like a dip in lake lackluster. I don't know about you, but if I'm going to get my ass forcibly removed, I'd prefer more of a chuck norris roundhouse kickin' what the fuck cowboy kind of thing then a moment mostly defined by pointed glares and fingers tapping on clipboards.

Another time, I got kicked out of the Bubble Lounge in TriBeCa. Unfortunately, I was not the manager's focal point, merely a somewhat less than innocent bystander unworthy of specific attention. This Bubble Lounge turmult was a take two of the first time I proved myself lousy at disorderly conduct. In the early '90s, Carrine cleaned the clock of a drunken, drink-tossing Asian shortie and Tom somehow got thrown out for getting in the middle.

I couldn't even manage to get kicked out of the Girl Scouts like Nikki for "inappropriate dress and foul language" despite the fact that I excel at both. I'm always the bridesmaid, never the one who gets shoved out the backdoor on her petard.
But yesterday, I had my day in the sun. I got kicked out of the NYC tarot reading practice club. Granted, it went down beneath the impersonal shroud of the internet, but nonetheless, I found the whole affair really rousing.

Here's the play-by-play:
  1. The new club president, this long-haired velvet-wearing chick named Chea, starts charging $40 for meetings, promising arcane learnings well worth the cash outlay.
  2. Nobody, for the most part, comes to her meetings.
  3. Chea sends out a series of nasty emails berating club members for not coming to her meetings and begging someone to tell her why
  4. I succumb to her plea and send her an email articulating, among several other things:
    • my indignation for clearly believing that I am so retarded as to not recognize that this "club" is now a for-profit business venture.
    • my resentment at being held accountable for her success as a business owner, as evidenced by the chastizing tone of her lengthy and frequent emails.
  5. I receive an email stating that I have been "banned for life from NYC Tarot Club."
Ho ho! Look at me feeling the door banging my ass on the way out.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

At Least I Can See The Crazed Woodsman Clearly

It's been a weird couple months for me and medical professionals. After so recently chatting up my PCP in the dark, I am largely serene about yesterday's peculiar eye exam. My appointment started out normal enough. Dr. W asks me if I had done anything fun over the past couple months, and I reply that we had "gone hiking." 

Immediately, the doctor slides back in his eye doctor stool in slackjawed disbelief. "Hiking?" He pauses, shaking his head. Unable to form the words to express the gravity of his message. Finally he manages to say, "And were you armed?"

I mumble incoherently because it's tough to talk with that giant steampunk double monocle optical contraption locked up under your chin.

The doctor is unconcerned about my lack of concrete response. "I want you to know that whenever I go hiking, I always carry a small Beretta which I conceal in my backpack. There are crazy people out there in forest," he says. "Read the last row please."

"Very good. Now the other eye. My brother-in-law is an E.R. physician in Tennessee. It's so horrific. Do you want me to tell you this? It's always tragic with the woodland events." Dr. W gravely taps his black plastic eye patch spoon on his leg. 

"Ok, I'll give you just one example. This couple went camping. Two sex offenders wielding heavy logs attacked them. Luckily, the husband had a twenty-two and he shot the criminals dead. If he hadn't had the weapon... Look down and to the left, please."

"If you don't want to carry a pistol, I recommend a blowdart. Look to the right now and keep your head still. There are blowdarts you can pick up for about forty bucks at Fairly accurate targeting. With practice, you could definitely hit an aggressor on the neck or head from a range of approximately ten to fifteen feet. Which can you see better, one? or two? One? or two?"

I notice Doc W has fresh outdoorsy breath when he gets in tight to dilate my pupils.

"Very good. Hey, when you go on Do you want me to write the URL down for you on my prescription pad here... I saw a blowdart model that appears to be an innocent walking stick. But the handle comes off and it's really a blowdart."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Really Awesome Marmot Victimized by Hoary Squirrel : Episode 1.1 : Real Rodents of the Savannah

Terrible news swept the valley recently after a Marmot was forced from his burrow by a knife-wielding Hoary Squirrel. The marmot was incensed by the unprovoked and grievous encounter. No one was physically harmed, but the resulting mental anguish left the marmot no choice but to ditch his marmot children and seek refuge in the nest of his longstanding paramour.

"So many hardships afflict me," intoned the middle-aged marmot, often referred to as a martyr of biblical proportions. "If it's not rancid berries, it's some other booby trap. The other rodents have always been out to get me, that's why I need to own a lot of expensive sweatsuits and other things."

When asked what he will do with his future, the marmot shrugged, a picture of indulged tranquility. "Luckily," he sniggered, looking quickly over both shoulders, "I'm kind of a trustfund baby."

Responding to an inquiry into the veracity of this claim, the marmot replied simply that he "deserved someone to pay his way and fix his problems." Further probing revealed this belief justified by several incidents where the townspeople had, groundlessly, chased him around with torches.

"Let's put it this way... no one has ever told me I can't take what I want, even if sacrifices need to be made on my behalf. No one thinks it's a problem if some other marmot goes a little hungry to keep me in the lifestyle to which I've become accustomed. I'm me! These are the good times, just ask my two-thousand dollar sunglasses!"

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Swedish Club Minutes 10-8-11

Meeting called to order at 16:30

Thanks more than much to Fredrick for hosting our club meeting yesterday evening, and it's not just the brännvin talking when I say it was a five-star crowd at a five-star venue.

For the first time, we had a quorum of norsk talare who kept busy removing the Rs from words. The Danes really need to pick up their game, as once again, Allan was our sole red and white flag waver. Luckily that flag he has is pretty big and he's got excellent wrist strength.

Aside from the mountaineers attempting to summit the building next door, the risk of bodily harm was kept to a minimum throughout the evening. The same cannot be said of the little kid's birthday party on the other side of the courtyard wall which, judging from the shrieking, was a snakepit of Machiavellian antics.

I can't even remember how many cute little chocolate pies and hallon cupcakes I managed to put away. All I know is I collected a sizable pile of toothpick flags and I know I wasn't the only one. Thanks much for your baking prowess, Haley!

Thanks again to everyone who came and I look forward to seeing you next time, even if Leah will not be in attendance because she's ditching us for a friend's wedding. (we'll miss you!)

Meeting adorned 23:30

Saturday, October 08, 2011

It's like the Scapel of Flashlights

I figured something out which you may already know. I fixate erratically. This problem of mine predicates a cornucopia of odd shit.
For example, a couple days ago, I mentioned to Tom that right after Hurricane Irene in August, I went to our family doctor to review some routine bloodwork. The doctor’s power was out so we went into a pitch-black exam room and huddled around a Coleman camping lantern to discuss my cholesterol levels.  He was having some trouble reading my patient chart in the flickering darkness so I told him he should feel around for his little ear lamp thingie and use it like a precision reading torch.
Anyway, Tom got this bushy eyebrow look about him and was all incredulous that I didn’t see fit to mention this incident earlier. I’m sure he was just retroactively worried since I could have easily tripped over the exam table and crashed to the floor tangled in a roll of crinkly exam table paper and wedged up behind the EKG machine and no one might have found me for three days despite extensive search-and-rescue spelunker activity.
But in my defense, the Blair Witch Doctor Affair did not strike me as worth mentioning because at the time I was fixated on this organic Vicks vapor rub stuff that says on the side of the bottle you’re supposed to rub it under your nose with your pinky finger.
Why your pinky finger instead of your index finger which is much stronger and more dexterous as a rule? And why are they legislating which finger to use? Does it really impact the clinical effectiveness of the product?

I spent about five days actively sticking my fingers in my nose assessing the pros and cons of various options. Ultimately, I might advocate the knuckle of the index finger for reasons of sanitation, fingernail safety and general appearances. I can send you the spreadsheet if you’re interested in seeing the results of my seven-prong evaluation methodology.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Caught in a Web of Lies

I probably should not have bragged to our nephew Mark that I have a viking broad sword. First he wanted to know if it was bloody and if he could whack it against a tree for practice.

I told him I always polish the blood off after pillaging and that it would just sever the tree right in half due to its finely honed double-sided blade. He said I should get it out and show it to him. Right now.

I said that I kept my broad sword in the basement of our apartment building.

He said we should go down and get it.

I said that it was locked up down there.

He said, somewhat disdainfully, to just remember to take the key down with us.

I said that after, ummm, 7:10pm on Friday the guards close down the basement for the whole weekend. No entry until Monday morning.

He said it was only 7:12 and maybe we could act all nice and the guard would let us in.

I said the guards were extremely punctual and definitely not. 7:10, done.

He said then we had no choice but to get some knock-out spray, sneak up on the guard, spray him, wait for him to faint, steal the keys from his pocket, avoid the security cameras, grab my broad sword remembering to sheath it in a shoulder scabbard with golden scroll designs, and run away.

It took me a click to regain my bearings and ask him where you buy knock-out spray.

He answered probably at the spy shop where Uncle Tom got the binoculars and the secret bed hidden inside our couch.

I asked if he was hungry for bar-b-que.

He said yes.

I asked him if he thought that the bar-b-que might be made out of dinosaur meat.

He told me probably not because there was only one live dinosaur left on earth and it was at the Museum of Natural History.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Dad. Kardashian. NBA.

"Who is this Kim Kardouche-ian?"

"She married a guy with an MBA? Did he go to Wharton?"

"Is that their picture? Wow, that guy looks just like a basketball player on the Nets."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tripping the Light Fantastic in Zumba Class

I like the Zumba. With brutal repetition, I can even manage all the steps. I can shake it in the grand style of a non-latin white girl, olay olay olay. My Zumba career mostly goes down at the YMCA in New Jersey. There's a class right after work.

In Zumba class, I like to stand way over to the side and keep to myself. A lot of scuffling for position goes on in the middle of the room and despite the impressive nature of my moves, I see no great need to grandstand front and center.

As it turns out, this peripheral position also afforded me a measure of safety when the fight broke out recently. The one lady got a little angry when the other lady spun wild with her salsa twirl. A spandex New Jersey catfight broke out, slap slap slap.

The instructor turned off the music and we all silently watched the two of them go at it. Some others were really worried the brawler ladies would hurt themselves, but mostly I just damned it all to hell that I didn't have my phone on me with the camera. Freaking YouTube massive viral opportunity FAIL.

Last week it was too hot to run on Saturday so I decided I'd take a Zumba class at Alvin Alley on 54th Street. I don't know what the hell I was thinking. The class consisted of 45 broadway dancers and, oh yes, me. I would suggest it was inspirational in a stretch goal sort of way.

For example, when the teacher said "kick it" most of the students flung up a leg and touched the ceiling with the pointed toe of their special dancing sneaker. On the other hand, I focused on not mistakenly nailing anybody in the back of the thigh.

I also noticed that it takes a broadway dancer like, one viewing, to memorize five hundred steps. In the end, I think I earned an A for effort. Nonetheless, I was careful to apologize to everybody in my immediate vicinity lest anybody want a piece of me. Luckily, I wasn't in New Jersey.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Is there a 3 foot tall doctor in the house with a solid right hook?

Scene: Ella and Jackson’s 4th Birthday party at the community pool. Shallow end. Bright afternoon sunshine.

Three chubby-cheeked girls in flouncy pink bathing suits cluster over a soggy stuffed dog with mangy tan fur. The dog has been laid out on miniature boogie board near the edge of the water.

Little Girl 1: “The doggie wants to go swimming!”
Little Girl 2: (Hands on hips). “No he doesn’t. That dog is dead.”
Little Girl 3: “Quick! Maybe we can do CPR!”
(Plucks off Ariel Princess Ring from forefinger, starts pounding the drenched stuffed animal on and about the chest and head.)

Tan colored water sluices from patient, fur barely visible under earnest paramedic wallops.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Where can I buy Stiletto Pumps for my Drag Queen Ferret?

Nothing exists in this world that compares to Swedish candy. They don’t call it gummy candy for nothing. Screw teeth, who needs ‘em. When you're toothless (and gum-my, get it), you can tear into floppy gelatinous sugar like a rabid herring. In fact, that’s probably the inspiration behind the Swedish fish.

Besides Swedish fish, there are also green frogs, race cars, worms, pop bottles, pacifiers and what I had previous thought were unquestionably mice. At Swedish Club on Saturday, Tom got his hands on one of these mice. It was a green little sucker. After some careful study, Laura piped up that Tom had eaten, not a mouse, as previously suspected, but a gummy ferret.

Personally, I was skeptical of Laura’s provocative remark.

First, the creature in question was green. Not a soft, pleasing green, but a really radioactive green. I felt that a ferret would be too self respecting to parade around like a charlatan frog.

Second, the gummy rodent exhibited what I considered very mouselike traits. There were the ears, the rotund abdomen area and the slender tail.

And third, it was simply too synchronistic. Mercedeh had just been talking about a ferret moments before. It is statistically dubious that right after a whole conversation about a ferret, one would find another ferret damply flopped on a plate.

Also notable is the following coincidence: the first ferret, also a cross-dresser. This first ferret more traditionally cross-dressed in girl ferret habiliments, unlike the ferret Tom ate, which took a more cold-blooded style. Nonetheless, in both cases, drag-action was afoot.

What Mercedeh had said was that when she was in D.C. waiting to see the Dali Lama give a rousing and inspirational speech which profoundly influenced her world view, a guy shambled by walking a ferret. The ferret happened to be wearing a little pleated ferret skirt.

Mercedeh said, “Ohh, how cute she is.”

And the guy told her that the ferret was a male, but the skirt get-up was the only ferret outfit he could find locally.

Why not, I guess. I love me a drag queen as much as anybody who lives 20 feet from the “runway” in Chelsea. If the guy wants to raise a transvestite ferret, that’s his own business. Anyway, it takes a long time for a lady of any gender to learn not to pluck at her crotch when her pantyhose start to droop-- best to start early-- especially if you have four legs.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Carpe Diem Freaky Morning People

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
Ben Franklin, famously

It sends chills down my spine, this axiom of Franklin's. I do not sing in the shower welcoming the new day as a gift from our Creator. I am not a pre-10 AM self-starter. I do not let my first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through my entire day.

Frankly I have no idea what happens before 9. I'm not coherent in that timeframe. But while I'm strewn out on my petard, come to find out the Morning People are gloriously prancing about checking priority to-do's off their ambitious daily plans. By the time I get to work, it's practically the next day for them. Each and every crack of noon, I hear about the miles run, the pages turned, the hostile takeovers accomplished.

So you can't blame me for concluding there's some sort of occult jubilee that goes on at dawn in which time is warped and one hour becomes like seven or eight. All the Morning People clasp hands and murmur and a productivity portal opens in the time-space continuum. Then there's a big party where the Morning People whoop it up with fiesta maracas and day-glo pants.

I had been feeling so bereft and forlorn due to my tragic inability to shake my money maker beneath the majesty of the rising sun. But then I learned three things which made me pretty happy even if I'm so D-List for the Morning People Party:

1) After Zumba on Tuesday, I said to Leslie that after about midnight, I didn't get much done except putzing around, and she said and I quote, "Well if I get up really early I just putz around until I have to get ready to leave." Aha! Not all Morning People receive yods of fruitfulness raining down upon them from heaven. Some of them might as well be slacker Night People.

2) When he read Ben's "early to bed, early to rise" advice, George Washington was quoted to respond: "I don't see it."

And 3) Facts add up to Ben Franklin smack talking. Not for nothing, in between his statesmanship and jotting down bons mots, he managed to find time, quite a lot of time, to take part in wildly blasphemous ceremonies that invariably culminated in drunken orgies involving randy ladies dressed as nuns.

Unless this is what he meant by "early to bed."

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Heja Sverige! Swedish Midsummer in New York City

People think midsommers eve is all about frolicking around a may pole like a bunch of dew fairies, all spirit fingers and butterfly wings.

Yeah, no. It’s an outdoor mixed martial arts smackdown set to polka music. It is frankly lawless underneath that pole: people teaming up, holding hands and skipping over the weak. I almost got mowed down by a really machiavellian old lady in a peasant costume.

As the Scandinavian Club’s default organizer, my original intention was to have everybody meet up by this landmark in Battery Park:

That didn’t work out so well, but I did accomplish my goal of sending a photo of majestic bronze boob balls to my legions of Scandinavian Club members, thus locking down my reputation as an erudite patron of the arts.

Again this year, Laura amazed the crowd by turning out some beautiful flower crowns for herself and Amy. She needs to open up a kiosk.

Last year, before I finally gave up and Laura saved me, my crown consisted of a smallish clumped ball of manhandled greenery. I didn’t even try this year, having surrendered the dream of getting my craft on without endangering bystanders. It’s all good fun until someone gets their eye poked out with florist wire.

Leah, Awe, Natsai, Amy, Brett, Merc, Thomas and I did take more than one foray into the snakepit ringing the maypole. We cavorted like frogs, flute players, fiddlers, and foxes scampering on the ice while multi-tasking a string of antics such as rolling with a rolling pin, weeping like a soap opera star and what I took as getting into a fight with a monkey. The Swedish government really needs to crack down on festive bloodsports.

Zack and I discussed swimming, OCD-related topics, scootering (to scoot, to have scot), William as a middle name, #96, Pricilla Queen of the Desert, my tushey dominance, the conniving letter K, Norwegian URL opportunities and some other things there in the middle.

Tack så mycket to everyone who came. I had a blast.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Resplendent Bidet

On the occasion of my surprise birthday party, the OC Girls, Kenny, Tom & Michael round-tabled the Subject Bidet over dinner at Cookshop:

I have very limited experience with bidets. They scare me. I wouldn’t want to flood the house.”

“You can just splash around in there. Usually there’s an adjustable faucet head. The bidet comes with a soap dish and a special towel rack.”
“I would approach any towel in the proximity of the bidet with extreme caution.”
“I just tripled my knowledge of bidets. This is all news.”

“I turned a bidet on once and it gurgled. I thought bidets were supposed to shoot up like a fountain.”
“Can someone ask our waiter to weigh in on this?”
“I’m going to find a bidet manual on you tube.”
“Are we still talking about bidets?”
“Yes, there’s a lot to talk about.”
“Why is the man in the bidet instruction video shirtless? You don’t have to take your shirt off to use a bidet.”

“I would not want a toilet that transforms into a bidet. That is simply wrong.”

“I’m really excited about this cookie.”
“Sorbet, bidet... vive la france!”

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Manhattan Mayhem vs Queens of Pain : Color Commentary and Hotpant Mongering

I make it a point to know very little about an extremely wide range of topics; this is how I stay objective. I’m like the ombudsman of fact-free opinion rendering. Given the level of my notoriety in this specialty area, I was unsurprised when no one asked me to record my observations and/or insights relative to the Gotham Girls Roller Derby bout last night.

Things to remember to bring next time:
  1. Bleacher Cushion
  2. Pizza
  3. Pinocle deck
Roller derby is transcendental when it comes to the passage of time. Fanhood requires rising above such trivialities as an hour here, an hour there. What is 90 minutes of clenching your hiney on a wooden bleacher waiting for the opening bell when in the proximity of so many fine athletes dressed up like dominatrixes?

On deck for the bout were Queens of Pain vs Manhattan Mayhem. The Queens of Pain had the practice track first. They spilled out of the locker room decked out in some incredibly stylish black spandex set-ups. A few sported reckless hotpants in a range of glitter tones and neon leopard print. Meanwhile, the Manhattan Mayhem went in for more of a fresh perky mini-dress vibe which may have looked practically normal on a tennis court if the dresses weren’t flaming orange, paired with thigh-high striped socks and accessorized by tattoos representing a wide range of non-sports related themes.

After the opening bell, the track became a whirling vortex of trajectory, ballast and random deathblows. The Queens of Pain dominated from almost minute one and I pumped a shaking fist at the Mayhem’s head coach, a corpulent gentleman in a spirited orange tie. He needs to get off his man cushion and sketch out some fiery plays for the Mayhem playbook. The team had zilch when it came to working together in pursuit of like-minded goals.

The star Mayhem jammer, Anne Frankenstein, had a Night of the Living Dead style I originally perceived as lumbering and kind of tepid. But then I realized that 90% of her game is half mental. While slowly heavy-footing around the track she is doing quantum predictive modeling in her head. At least I think this explains the brief but startling episodes of frisky point-scoring revivals into the world of the living.

The half-time show featuring swing dancers in a sort of musical theatre revival of a Mexican tele-novella definitely trumped the contortionist we’d seen at the Harlem bout. The jeer leader routine was also a right cheery little g-rated sexcapade. Toward the end of half-time, one of the assistant coaches caught my attention. Nothing says roller derby like hoofing a stack of 20 chairs across the gym in four inch princess heels and a striped kaftan hiked up with suspenders.

Post bout, Darcey, Kent, Tom and I sprinted out of the venue in single-minded pursuit of food. We ended up at Yama sushi in Union Square because tic tacs, Swedish fish and two packs of pretzels don’t count as dinner.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

5 Things that Chap My Hide

  1. Foaming soap that does not foam, but splooges into your hand like half-rabid Smeagol spit.

  2. Salmonheads who refuse to stand aside to let the people get off the subway before they push their way onto the subway. Way to create a completely unnecessary melee of full-frontal collisions! I paid to ride the E train, not participate in a fucking sumo wresting pick up game. Luckily, I’ve noticed the culprits are inevitably a squad of fat girls in bedazzled shooties so you can always stomp on their toes.

  3. People who fancy themselves stoic and warrior-like yet suffer from frequent episodes of quiet whimpering and resolutely do nothing to attenuate their tragic contretemps, which may or may not involve the 1 train, movie selections and/or vegetarian tacos.

  4. Citizens on a crowded escalator who stand to the left like solid walls of ass barricading those of us with places to go, people to see attempting to hurry past them.

  5. Multi-packs of toilet paper sold on that look normal in the pictures but are actually sized about right for a barbie dream house or an aborigine powder room. Are you kidding me? I clutched a 12-pack of double ply in one shaking fist. Read the fine print, wary consumers because images may not be shown to scale on

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Game on Gotham Girls Roller Derby Girls!

As a rule, I do not enjoy watching women’s sports. I do not enjoy watching any sports, even those involving tight pants on hotties. Retract that. If there was a sport involving tight pants and hotties, I would probably watch it, but only if the competition somehow involved swordplay, vampires, a fire pit, and dramatic lighting. There would probably also need to be a backstory around avenging unbridled malice.

But yesterday, I went all mercurial, if you will. My heretofore repugnance for sitting in a gym shattered in a gritty sweat-drenched pile up of pleated mini-skirts. Plus one of the jeerleaders threw a mini-Snickers right at my head which has possibly impaired my judgement.

The evening began thriftily enough. Tom and I squeezed every red cent out of our Metro cards on a train ride to Harlem. I felt like we got a lot of distance for our $2.25. We were en route to spectate the Gotham Girls Roller Derby: Bronx Gridlock vs Brooklyn Bombshells.

I decided to cheer for the Bronx, given it’s my pop’s hometown and all. At first, I wondered if I would regret my decision to honor my family heritage. The Brooklyn girls had much cuter outfits and a buxom, tattooed jeerleader skating around with a large tugboat strapped about her midsection. I realized I could probably desert to Brooklyn without too big a ding to my integrity because my grandfather worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and he drove a tug boat during WWII. Ultimately, I decided to stand tall and stick with my original Bronx allegiance. This was lucky as it turned out, because the Bronx won 127ish to a score less than that.

This roller derby business is all about unsportsmanlike conduct. Chicks with robust tattoos skate really really fast around this short track wonderworking some enviable hip checks. If I knew anything at all about rugby, I might say it reminded me of rugby. There is a lot of emphasis on fanged mouthguards.

The object of the game is to get your girl in the back of the pack up to the front faster than the opposing team. I think there is a lot of strategy involved, for example, it would appear to be good mojo to stack the middle of the pack with a wall of six-footer linebacker girls who can pull your arms off your body. Other competitor must-haves included a cocksure attitude, quadriceps strength, an ability to shake off wee kidney injuries, and an intimidating name like Bitch Cassidy, Anne Phetamean, Megahurtz or Tough Muffin.

Next bout is on June 4 and I do believe we’ll be there!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The New York of the South

It's not that I don't appreciate a good hard-boiled propositioning. You don't spend as much time as I do trying to talk people into things without developing a soft spot for a little florid salesmanship.

And I certainly had a great time in Florida. I enjoyed lolling around on the patio, taking in Butterfly World and the Wakadoheeko wildlife preserve, chatting up the octogenarians on the walking path and inspecting gold seashell bracelets in some shops on the main drag. However, I wondered at the final salvo of Tom's mischievous mom's pitch to visit her snowbird winter place. She had heralded Delray Beach as "The New York of the South."

Our friend Guy was fully on board with the description. He and Erin moved down to the Sunshine State last year and we were lucky enough to hook up with them the second night of our trip. Guy sat back in his chair as a wizened dude in a motorized wheelchair whizzed past beachside.

"The New York of the South. Yes." he said. "That's a fact. Delray is the sixth boro. We call it the "Granny Apple."

I laughed and laughed until I got distracted when the waiter brought over another mango mojito. Not so shabby, this alternate universe Manhattan.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

When Raw Doesn't Hide

We trotted over to Pure Food and Wine in the East Village on Saturday. Have Groupon will travel. Very cozy red velvet and brick, smelling like cardamom kind of place. After the adorably lanky waiter served our entrees, and following much talking amongst ourselves about the pros and cons of doing so, we called him back to our table.

"Umm, I mean, this food is really tasty, but it's kind of cold."

"Ah yes," our waiter explained in a helpful tone, "you're in a raw food restaurant, so that means we don't heat the food up past room temperature."

Oh right. Yes indeed. Good answer, Sir.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Foiled Again by the Golden Child

Tom, the Golden Child, considered going pantless to my cousin's wedding. T minus twenty minutes until departure, he couldn't find his suit pants. Anywhere.

Besides the option of screaming "mazeltov" in his scanties, Tom also contemplated going to the wedding as "that guy" in jeans. After all, he rubbed his chin, "jeans are my go-to pant" and "at weddings in Pennsylvania, there's always one dude in jeans." In the end, he ran across eighth Avenue to Banana Republic and bought a new set of wedding-type trousers.

On the way to the nuptials, I declared that I might just steal the Golden Child crown right out of Tom's clutches. I proudly displayed my little gold clutch handbag-- the same one my Mom carried when she was crowned Prom Queen. She'd given it to me a decade ago. "I'm so in as soon as she sees this," I cackled.

Tom smirked, a picture of confidence. "And right after she notices the handbag, I'll simply ask her to dance... oh, so sorry."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Golden Child would Never LOL

Growing up, my brother and I wrestled (both figuratively and literally) for the honor of 'golden child.' Contemporaneously, it's a lost cause for both of us. Tom has the deal sewn up solid. He's charming and occasionally amusing, I'll grant you, but there's a clincher when it comes to my parents. He's a computer nerd with the patience of a 1-900 line charge-by-the-minute astrologist.

So when my dad calls and I greet him warmly, "Hello Father," he will normally grunt and ask if Tom is home. If I say no, Tom is not home, Dad will pause. Then he will ask with little enthusiasm something like, "Well, do you know how to do the GPS?"

Tom was not home on Saturday. Dad had to work with the B team.

"I think this woman is flirting with me on the email," he tells me, equal parts distressed and baffled; Dad's been fully and completely married for forty-five years.

"Why do you think she's flirting with you on the email?" I wonder aloud.

"Because after every sentence, she's writing LOL. LOL. LOL."

(There's a long stretch of silence while I think about this. I'm not first string for a reason.)

Finally, I ask, "Pop, what do you think LOL stands for?"

"Lots of love."

At this point, my father probably does not appreciate my huge chortle eruption (or LOL, if you will). Tom would have kept a lid on it. That's why he's the golden child.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

I'm not a spacial relations genius, unlike some people

First thing in the morning, Tom accused me of savaging his business. In other words, I unintentionally punched him in the crotch while crawling out of bed.

Granted, he was lying there motionless, aka sleeping; but I am fully innocent of the charge. The length of his upper body torso simply surprised me. I always thought his legs were longer given their rangey stride.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Crack iPhone Care Mystery

So the time I was hopping into a cab, went to grab the doorhandle and mistakenly chucked my iPhone out the window and it skidded down Park Avenue while I shrieked at the driver to hang on a sec... Nothing happened. By that I mean my iPhone remained stoic and unfazed by its wild aerial adventure. Maybe a tiny scratch, but otherwise pristine.

So I was a little cocky when the iPhone flung itself out of my pocket on the Central Park Outer Loop and I jogged on it accidentally.

Sad face shaped big crack right down the middle of my poor little iPhone. Maybe stress impact is cumulative. Or maybe I run a lot faster than previously suspected. I like to be delusional, so it's still a conundrum.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Steadfast and Schwetty

So it's a done deal. I am steadfast. I'm talking about jazz acts featuring a lead singer who sits motionless with her eyes closed for lengthy stretches of my night out.

I don't care how tight the backing musicians lock it up or if her lovely voice conjures rainbows. It always plays out with me flatlining into a brainspace occupied previously by long car rides-- the ordeals where I'm wedged in the backseat with my little brother, a pile of wrinkled maps and three hardshell suitcases, my entire torso covered by a thin layer of saltine cracker crumbs, my soaring soul crushed beneath the pungent smell of old pleather and motor oil.

It's not just the ennui of it all. The no rhythm, no peaks, no valleys. It's the part where she banters between songs in this tone of voice that makes me expect her next words to be "schwetty balls." If only. That would certainly be a highlight for me.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Into the Lair of Werewolf Boy

infiltrating wereboy's radio frequency

When it comes to babysitting sleepovers, I go pumpkin at say 8pm. It takes me about six hours to get ready for bed and handle critical tasks like playing Angry Birds. So when I heard my five year-old nephew had a thing for ringing in the wee hours, I immediately crafted a plan. Although beautiful in its raw simplicity, admittedly the plan lacked a more detailed timeline and rigorous statement of purpose. Mostly I just figured we'd head out into the backyard and do tiring things.

I told Mark that we were going on an adventure in the forest. Where the terrain is savage and requires a lot of running to and fro. Specifically for the under 10 set. My nephew nodded in what I mistakenly assumed was mild-mannered acceptance. Then he declared, "While we're out there, we need to hunt down Werewolf Boy. My arch nemesis."

Oh. Indeed.

Game on. I am so in.

Given the change in overall mission, proper equipment was of course required. We shambled out to the garage and collected the bare essentials for a dangerous woodland sojourn through enemy territory:

1) Jumper cables
2) 1 broken umbrella
3) 2 bungee cords
4) Blue and yellow blacksmithing gloves

Stealthily, we crept up the hill. Low to the ground. OMG!!!!! We've been spotted by Werewolf Boy!!!!! Run over there and hide behind that tree! No, not that one! That one is rigged with plasticine Kpop fandango boy eaters! You must run way over to that tall branchy one up there!!!!

Finally we summited the trecherous slope above the patio. Our hopes plummeted when we caught sight of the deer fence protecting the perimeter of Werewolf Boy's lair. We donned our blacksmithing gloves to be safe, and that was lucky because the fence was electrified!!! Passing through without getting a skull-rattling shock would be a problem.

Mark and I debated our options in very quiet whispered tones with absolutely no whooping. Finally we settled on an ingenious plan. We took the jumper cables and attached one end to the fence. We clamped the other side to some sticks we dangled from a tree using the bungee cords. We waited thirty seconds for the power to drain from the fence before scuttling around it through a giant pile of leaves. OMG!!!! Werewolf Boy has detected a breach in his security system!!!! Run away!!!!

At the far edge of the neighbor's yard, we felt safe enough to halt our mad dash. We collapsed next to an abandoned ancient teepee fort slash fallen tree. Mark suggested setting up our Bonehead Spy Communication Station within the old ruins. We opened our umbrella collapsable satellite dish and wedged it into some high ground. From there, we monitored secret internal Werewolf Boy communications. I couldn't understand what they were saying because Werewolf Boy speaks in code. good thing Mark was with me! He was able translate and realize the weird old dish we found was actually an explosive device set to blow up in T minus five seconds. Run away!!!!!!!!!

I think Mark was in bed and out like a light by 7:45. I don't know for sure because I was already asleep by then.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Going to Hell on a Hand Scooter

If the time I almost beheaded the midget in Whole Foods didn't tip me into the abyss, it's now a done deal. I am going to Hell. I did not actually run over the blind lady with my new scooter, but I did get tangled up in her cane.

Since it was only a near miss, I thought I might have dodged the damnation bullet, but then Mary informed me that, "To blind people, a cane is like another finger."

I'll be spending the weekend working on scooter speed and endurance in case the townspeople chase me around with torches.