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.