tales of a girl in the city

mars 28, 2004

100 Things. Re: Moi. Part IX (Is that right, Sam?). Whatever Else I Can Think of To Get This List DONE.

81. Prior to being a Guest Relations Associate I had a (thankfully) brief career in retail, as a manager of a large clothing store in Manhattan specializing in designer items at a discount. Meaning that all the customers were snobby enough to care that everything on their person--including their socks--was designer, but too cheap to buy any of it at full price. After working there for several weeks, my hands were already cracking from having to touch so many metal hangers, and--despite the fact that they'd given me the rather fun task of decorating the store windows--I needed a day off.

SO, my Saturday shift came around and I decided to call in sick. Unwilling to rely on the usual, "stomach flu" excuse, I racked my brain for something not too gross, but VERY contagious. Voila: Pink. Eye.

But, here, guys and gals, is where I take it to the next level. When I returned to work the following day, I wore glasses, lined my eyes with pink eye shadow, AND SMEARED THEM WITH VASELINE so they'd look all shiny and infected.

Totally unnecessary.

A little scary.

But, also, kind of genius.

82. I can't fall asleep unless my ears are covered.

83. I went to a John Denver Concert. By myself. For fun. Less than ten years ago.

84. I have never actually laughed at any joke involving "toilet humor." I may have fake-laughed once or twice, but have never genuinely found anything about farting, etc. very funny.

85. My favorite smell is the smell of Lillies of the Valley. Either that or the smell of the armpit of any man I'm in love with. Tie.

86. I received The Best Free Thing Ever last week on Wednesday night when I went to a trendy film premier party and got a coupon for a free pair of Lucky jeans. Fuck. Yeah. Before that my Best Free Thing Ever Record was probably just the free box of Biore pore strips I got at Lillith Fair.

87. Want one. Want one. Not so much.

88. My absolute all-time favorite website. A Dictionary is also, by the way, one of the three things I'd probably choose to have if stranded on a desert island. Also a 100 color box of Crayons with that awesome, but useless crayon sharpener built into the back. Also a magic carpet.

89. Favorite flower. Don't bother to send. Have killed two already. But, then again, if you really WANT to send, can send anyway. Kitchen table is looking a bit bare.

90. Because I have too much time on my hands, and because I sit in front of a computer all day, I have been forced to do this. I am now officially a cliche. So: Probably. Probably not. Unless, of course, I marry an ostrich. In which case, I'd consider it kind of homage to his family.

mars 23, 2004

On Ricki Lake this afternoon guests will "debate the constitutionality of same-sex marriages."

I plan to be there for every. Intellectually Stimulating. Moment.

Therefore, this will be brief.

Let me say that I received an email on Sunday from the on-line dating service that I had formerly been part of, informing me that I was eligible to sign up for the service again AT NO COST.

I am normally not a sucker for such things, but--well, this weekend I was. The Con-Artist Formerly Known As Unicorn Fiasco really threw me for a loop. I was in need of a little love, a little hope. A little joy.

Also, I just really want to be taken out to dinner.

AND since, when I go out in real life, no one talks to me. Ever. I figured I'd live dangerously and take advantage of my three free days of the wonder that is on-line dating.


Big one.


This morning, my email was filled with these:

Hey u--

Read your profile. U r so cute. Lol. Think we might have some things in comon. I luv travel, sports, and exploring the city. They're is so much 2 see here. Let me know if u wnat to see it with me.

Now, I think we bloggers all know each other well enough to be REALLY honest by now. To be--for lack of a better phrase--blatantly fucking cunty.



(And, as long as we're at it: You. Over there on the left. Mini-skirts are not for everybody. Repeat after me, "Mini-skirts are not for everybody.")

My profile uses the word "magnanimous." Not in a pretentious, uber-academic way, but--it's in there. Nothing is misspelled. As on-line profiles go, it's pretty outstanding. And I get fifteen-plus variations on, "I'm way cool and into you pretty ladey"? (Southern Belle Boob was trying to get me to write back to that one. She is a sucker for anyone who tells her she's pretty. Cheap hussy.)

And, on the other side of the spectrum, there was one guy who, aside from mentioning that he was Ivy-League educated about--let's see--once a SENTENCE, actually told me his IQ. Like this:


I am an Ivy-League educated, extremely successful bachelor, looking for a girl who can keep up with me intellectually (IQ 157). I played squash and tennis for my Ivy-League University...

I know, I know. I am being whiny and bitchy BUT I DON'T CARE! I am a great catch. I am smart and pretty. I know the difference between "there" and "their" and "they're." And there are a lot of total wackos in this city. Really crazy people, who do all sorts of screwed up things!

British Boob: Right-o!

Southern Belle Boob: But, Honey, all I'm sayin' is, beggars can't be--

Shut-up. *hits Southern Boob* Shit! Ow!

British Boob: Now, Now. Tut, tut.

You too. *hits British Boob* Fuck!


What was I saying?



Never mind.

Anyway, I gave up my free days. Not gonna use them. Waste of time.


I have to go watch Ricki Lake now.

mars 22, 2004

Someone from Moldova reads my blog.

I have been waiting my whole life to say that.

In other news, the ole' Unicorn post from yesterday has sure stirred up quite a frenzy. I love you all for being incensed on my behalf. Knowing that there are people in Moldova who care whether or not my boobs get touched, pretty much makes my life worth living. My boobs are also thrilled to be internationally known and cared for. In fact, they would like to say a few words:

Boob Left *with British accent*: Hullo. Bully for us, I say. Pip-pip.

Boob Right *Southern Belle*: We have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

I don't particularly care if any of you thought that was funny. That little boob dialogue will pretty much keep me laughing for the rest of March.

Anyway, onto things that--while bigger--are certainly NOT better than my hilarious boobs.

As far as the Unicorn is concerned, seems many of you have some unanswered questions that I will now attempt to address.

The largest issue seems to be regarding U's relationship with this mysterious Smoking Girl. Well, the answer to this quandry was provided by Emily herself last evening.

Time travel. Back to U's last visit in October, 2003. There was at that time, a small blemish on U's seemingly perfect record. He sent me a brief email informing me of his impending visit.

The email began, "Dear Eva."

NOW, I say, "AHA! Scoundrel! Who is this Eva person?"

AT THAT TIME, having met female friends of U's on several occasions who he knew from school, and who were absolutely, undoubtedly just CHUMS and nothing more (I know this because they were around when we were making out and were--at all times--perfectly calm and friendly) I made fun of him for calling me Eva, and believed him when he said that he had cut and copied the email to a bunch of his friends to save time and let everyone know when he'd be around.

He apologised. He came to visit. Insert: fun montage of us drinking and laughing and then making out all over Manhattan.

And no Eva appeared on that evening or any other.


Because (dun-dun-dun-DUN) last night Emily, who is a Super Sleuthing Best Friend Extraordinary Private Eye Genius, called with Big News.

Turns out, Em, who had stayed with the group after I left, had actually spoken to Smoker Girl at some point later in the evening (Em is so clever and tricky).

At that time, SG took the cigarette out of her lips long enough to reveal to Emily...

...that she was Eva!!

Smoker Girl = Eva!

I know!!! Right? It's like finding out the identity of the second shooter on the grassy knoll. HUGE.

Boob Left *British*: Quite important, really. Quite.

Boob Right *Southern*: Sweetheart, you could knock me over with a feather. He seemed like such a nice boy.

So that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is all we know. Because after revealing her identity, Smoker Girl Eva put her cigarette back in her mouth and returned to smoky silence.


Though this information raises other questions that will likely remain unanswered, it does give us a bit of insight into the destruction of this particular Unicorn.

As to why in hell The Con-Artist Formerly Known as Unicorn would've called me, that question was answered by TCAFKAU's friend J :

*Standing in line to get into second bar of the evening*

"It's great to see you again, J," I say, huddling with him and Emily under our umbrella.

"Yeah, I totally wanted to hang out. That's why I told Unicorn to call you."



Sometimes my life is so like an Unrequited-Love Molly Ringwald Teen-80's Movie that I can barely control myself from rushing home to my house on The Wrong Side of the Tracks, to start drawing sketches of the prom dress I'm going to sew myself.

I mean. Really.

Oh, and, lastly, as for Emily's whereabouts after my departure. Let's just say I received the following text message from her at 3:44 a.m.:

// Love. //

And that is all I'm going to say about that.

mars 21, 2004

That Bitch Stole My Unicorn!

Unicorn is my booty call from California who comes to NYC several times a year to visit friends. He is called Unicorn because, prior to meeting him, I believed such men were mythical. Here is a short list of the mythical qualities he actually exhibits:

1) Unicorn is handsome.

2) Well-educated.

3) Thoughtful. Leaves the occasional adorable phone message. Sends the occasional adorable email.

4) U is the friend of a friend from college. This means that I can make out with him without having to worry that he's a psycho killer who is in fact just posing as a great guy so that he can get close to me, kill me and then use my hair to make a himself a sweater. Which I guess is faulty logic (except the part about the hair-sweater, that makes perfect sense.) Obviously, he very well could be a psycho killer and still be friends with my friend from college.

But then that would mean that he's an Excellently Secret Psycho Killer who is so efficient that none of his friends even suspect his psychotic murderous tendencies.

Meaning that he is very good at what he does.

Which I find sexy.

So we're fine.

5) Unicorn is emotionally and physically giving. He is familiar with the terms "snuggle" and "cuddle." And he knows when to do them.

6) U has a way of making me feel rather special. Like I am more than just a transcontinental booty call. Case in point: he says things like, "If I lived here, I would date the hell out of you." I like the sound of that.

7) U is charming. Exhibit A: He visited for the first time the day after Valentine's Day last year when I was still dating M. He said the following in regard to the fact that M and I were not together the night after Valentine's Day, "If I was dating you, I'm pretty sure I'd want the whole weekend." See what I mean? Unicorn.

This is our pattern: he emails me. He calls me. He comes out to visit. We make out. He goes back to California. He emails me. Calls. Comes out to visit. Etc. Six month cycle. Which I suppose adds to his general Unicorn-ness as well: seeing him is rare, brief and always exciting.

So when Unicorn phoned yesterday to say that he was on his way into New York, and would love to see me, I immediately did the following:

1. Let out a small, celebratory scream.
2. Blasted New Order's Bizarre Love Triangle and danced around my office.
3. Felt real sorrow over the fact that I have not seen Bella recently.
4. Considered making appointment with non-Bella bikini waxer at nearby salon, but then rejected that idea due to fear that Russian mafia would put a hit out on me.
5. Rushed home to find hot Victoria's Secret underwear scrunched up in back of drawer and blow dust off of it.

Sure, U hadn't responded since I'd last emailed him, but it is only fair to point out that in all my years of writing letters to Santa Claus, the Jolly Fat Guy has never written back ONCE. So I feel as though mythical people must just run on a slightly different schedule. Or have a hard time accessing email, magical glades being what they are. Bottom line: mythical creatures deserve some slack.

In any case, I was looking forward to an evening with my Unicorn, his two friends P and J, and my best friend, Emily. Tonight, I thought--for real this time--I will surely be kissed.

So you can imagine my surprise when I entered the bar and saw two Model-Like Women seated at the table with The Boys.


Fancy that.

And then I get a reception from Unicorn that is akin to the greeting you'd receive from a rather overzealous ex-babysitter. Brief. Semi-awkward.


Wait a minute I'm thinking. Our hugs are not brief and semi-awkward. This is my Unicorn. Our hugs are warm and long and filled with the promise of a night that will last until five or six a.m.

Clearly, something is amiss.

Then, simultaneously, Two Horrible Things happen.

I am ushered into a seat in a corner that is as far away as possible from where U is sitting--a seat that is even on the same side of the table as he is, so there will not even be an opportunity to make use of the only weapon at my disposal at this point: The Full-On Flirtatious Glance/ Meaningful Half-Smile Combo.

AND... of the Model-Like Women begins speaking Italian.


They're multilingual.

This is worse than I thought.

As soon as I am settled in the corner, Unicorn's friends, P and J, begin to enthusiastically welcome me.

Unicorn? Not so much.

I make chipper small-talk, and text-message Emily to apprise her of the situation:

//Come quick. Pretty girls. Am threatened. Help.//

While waiting for her response, I begin to feel out the Model-Like Woman nearest me.

Her name is Sylvie. (Of course her name is Sylvie. Model-Like Women always have names like Sylvie.)

After only a few moments I am able to discern the following things about this Sylvie person: she is very drunk and very skinny. These things I can handle.

However, then I find out that she is the most frightening type of all Model-Like Women--Quirky. Think Holly Golightly meets Zelda Fitzgerald. Within the first few seconds of our conversation, she has already begun peeling the labels off of my beer bottle and playfully lifting up her skirt to stick them on her thighs and arms. She crinkles her nose often. Add to this her penchant for breaking up her adorably accented English with long strings of excited Italian. Top that off with her super-cute flapper-esque short haircut. And finally, complete the image by punctuating her sentences with occasional drunken hiccups. Translation: every man at the table wanted her to have his baby.

Text message received from Emily:

//On bridge. Be there in a sec. How pretty?//

Immediate reply:

//Tres. Multilingual.//

Emily writes back:

//FUCK. Am conjugating French verbs in prep.//

(This is why Emily is my best friend.)

Unicorn has still not spoken to me, which prompts me to write Emily again, just so she is fully prepared for the gravity of the situation:

//Am in corner. Like Baby. Sans Patrick Swayze.//

Meanwhile, P and J are happily quizzing me on everything that has happened since we last saw one another. "You were just about to start on-line dating last time we hung out. How'd that go," says J.

"That's right!" says P.

Then, A Small Miracle.

"That's so funny. That's how Sylvie and I met," P continues.


Yes, yes, yes! Yes!

Sylvie and P are dating. U has not been put under her bobbed-hair, Italian-speaking spell. Relief. One Model-Like Woman down. One to go.

I offer up my best on-line dating horror stories while checking out the Model-Like Woman sitting next to U.

Personality? Too far away to tell. Possibly silent, heavy-smoking type. Hmmm. As bars in NYC are now smoke-free, is difficult to assess. Several minutes of observation later, Far Away Model-Like Woman has still not opened her mouth. Smiles often, though. Finally--Ah-ha!--leaves to smoke. Am happy. Pegged it--silent, heavy smoker, indeed.

Now can move over to speak with Unic--

Unicorn follows her out.


It is serious then. Being from California, Unicorn has an aversion to smoking, and yet...there he goes. To be with the smoker. To stand with her outside in the rain. As she smokes and smiles in Model-Like silence.
My heart sinks. This is bad.

As the night wears on, I am not even given the opportunity to put up a good fight. Unicorn is fully and completely occupied with Smoker Girl. They sit together, stand together, smoke together, drink together, and so on. I speak to Unicorn only once, as the group is deciding which bar to head to next. I offer up my suggestion--a place only one block away with good music. Unicorn acknowledges my contribution...

...and promptly turns to SG to offer the suggestion to her.

It. Is. So. Not. Fair.

Who is this mysterious Smoker Girl? How did they meet? Why is she so irritatingly silent? And, most critically, why did she have to go after MY Unicorn? Why? Why? Why? Why? WHY?

Forgive me for stomping my foot like a petulant child but, *she stomps petulantly* this blows.

I wish the story ended differently (you have no idea, trust me), but...I ended up leaving.

I normally reject games entirely, but, for the sake of putting my Good Vicki's Secret to some use, I would've stayed if he had established that he was just trying to make me jealous. I can flirt and play games with the best of 'em. (Plus, I actually speak, so I'm pretty sure I'm even better at flirting than The Smoker Girl.) But U clearly wasn't playing a game. He really wasn't acknowledging me. At all. Which is not fun or sexy. And certainly not in keeping with The Unicorn Code of Conduct. In fact, I'm pretty sure that Real Unicorns are deathly allergic to Model-Like Women. Even the Quirky Ones. And especially the Smokers.

In any case, as it became clear that the people in our group were going to pair off, leaving me as The Odd (But Still Sexy) Woman Out, I knew it was time to depart.

And so...

In the cab ride home, I was sad and annoyed and buzzed and horny, and far too aware that my pretty underwear was now just a lacy reminder of the fact that I had anticipated a very different ending for this night.

Huh. Unicorn.

Too bad.

Turns out, they don't exist after all.

mars 16, 2004

On Children's Theater

To the person who found my blog while searching for, "cruel female torture of having nether holes fucked by horse" Hey. Welcome. Today's topic will be children's theater. So. Maybe tomorrow.


I am never going to hire a clown for a child's birthday party. You shouldn't either.

Though ten months of touring the country as a performer of children's theater doesn't qualify me as a clown per se, it gets me damn close. Puts me, I would say, on the cusp of clown-dom. Clownishness. Whatever. Anyway, I'm closer than most people I know. And that means I understand on a personal level that all people whose job it is to dress up in really stupid outfits and entertain other people's children are a few zippities short of a doo-dah. No exceptions.

Having recently been attending parties which require me to "mingle," I have been badgered rather often into revealing details about my past.

Here in NYC you meet a lot of people who do pretty much the same thing: lots of bankers, lots of lawyers, lots of advertising people, marketers, publishers, etc. Their jobs are awesome as far as I'm concerned--they actually make money. But, their careers do not necessarily yield much in the way of "entertaining party stories." So when it is my turn to say what I do, people get all interested. And then, when they ask the inevitable, "Have I seen you in anything?" (annoying) and I say, "Not unless you have children," they get all giddy.


"You did children's theater? Oh, that's so sweet. John, she did children's theater. Isn't that just the sweetest thing?"

"I did two tours," I will say, "First I went out with a musical called Reading Rainbow based on the
tv show with Lavar Burton. Then I did a musical based on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I played The White Witch."

"I loved those books. C.S. Lewis, right? And Reading Rainbow! Did you get to sing that great theme song?" my companions will ask.

"How'd that song go?" another one of them will chime in.

"Will you sing it for us?" a third one will say, excitedly.

"No!" I will snap. It is at this point that the back of my neck will start to tingle.

"Oh, come on!" they'll continue, beginning to sing it now themselves, "Butterfly in the sky...."

"STOP IT!" I will say too loudly.

They'll sense the desperation in my voice.

"Don't," I'll say, calmed down by their alarmed looks. "Don't sing it. Sorry. But don't. It's a horrible song. I sang it 285 times. I hate it. Don't sing it."

This is when the trouble starts.

Even two years after my last stint as The White Witch in the musical version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I still cannot talk about the experience without feeling myself lapse just the tiniest bit back into the Dr. Pepper-addicted, truck-driving, Motel 6-inhabiting, rash-covered, sweatpant-wearing, child-hating LUNATIC that I was then.

"Tell us everything about it. Gosh, how interesting! Were the children just the most adorable? Their enthusiasm! And introducing them to the theater!"

What the party-goers would like to hear at this point is a sunny tale of rosy-cheeked toddlers whose first theater-going experience involved me skipping around stage a la Julie Andrews.

What the party-goers would NOT like to hear is that, during our week of performances in New Orleans, our Aslan, the play's noble lion/Christ-figure, ran off the stage at least once every performance to vomit in a trashcan because he was DRUNK. For example.

But, truth be told, there was a rash-less, vomit-free happy day somewhere amongst the ten months of touring.

I believe it was a Monday. I believe it was the first day of the job. If memory serves, I finished the show, walked off stage, and said to the bluebird who had just landed on my shoulder, "I am the luckiest person in the whole world. I get paid to play pretend. I get paid to make children laugh. Oh, joy. Oh, rapture!"

End Scene.

For the benefit of these nice people, then--who, I understand, are really just trying to make conversation--I will recount it. Especially the part about feeling like the luckiest person alive. They eat that part up.

"Gosh," my rapt party-audience will say, "you must love children."

At this point, the back of my neck will start to burn and I'll begin to taste peanuts. My mind will flash back to a day near the end of tour. To a certain Denny's in Ohio. To a particular slice of peanut butter pie.

I will remember it like it was yesterday. I recall gasping for air, struggling to form words while sobbing. I see distinctly the tears that plopped, shining, onto the surface of my pie. We have to get her out of here, I hear someone say in my memory. I cry harder, shoveling down larger mouthfuls of salty-wet, gooey dessert.

"I just wanted to eat my pie. Without them here," I remember gasping pathetically. "Why'd they have to come here? I just wanted to eat pie."

The cause of my complete breakdown?

I was seated too near a children's birthday party.


Looking into the eyes of my party companions, I am tempted to tell them about this haunting peanut memory--fucking children and their fucking laughter, I am tempted to say.

But, I reign myself in (I can do that now, it's been two years). Instead, I make up something bright and cheery about how I hugged kids outside the stage door right before every performance.

What they'll never know is that, in reality, my pre-show ritual went something like this:

Insane Domineering Grimace-Shaped Stage Manager Mimi: So! Is everybody ready to have a good time?

Me, standing backstage in a huge polka-dot dress *quietly, under my breath*: Don't fucking do it! Don't do it, Mimi. I asked you not to do it!

2,000 Screaming Children: Yeah!!

Me *still quietly*: Mimi. Come on Mimi. They said, "Yes." Leave it at that. Come on. You promised.

Insane Grimace Stage Manager: That didn't sound very excited to me. Let's try that again. Is everybody ready to have a good time?

Me: *gasp*

2,000 Screaming Children: Yeah!!!!! AAAAhh!!!!! Yeeee!!!!! Yayyyy!!!!!! YeEEEEEEeeees!!!

Me *shouting now*: I asked you not to do it! Mimi! Bitch! Fucking Mimi! I'll fucking fuck your shit up! I know where you sleep! You know I do!

It drove me crazy, all of their cheery noise. I'm being totally serious. I did that show something like 285 times almost EVERY DAY for six months. And by show number 78 or so, that yelling ritual thing Mimi did at the beginning of every single ate at my soul.

Around show number 179 it actually made me weep.

The kids would be screaming in their seats for the show to start. Tears would be streaming down my face. The music would begin; my cue to clop--in my grey Aerosole ugly costume shoes--out onto the stage. Wiping snot from my nose with the sleeve of my huge blue and white polka-dot dress, I would sit in an enormous purple plastic chair. In the dark. Still crying, waiting for the spotlight. Children tittering in their seats.

The spotlight would come on.

I could see the demons in the audience now. A fat kid in the front row would be standing on his head, legs shooting up from his red-velvet seat. His teacher would be leaning over to him, whispering loudly that he should sit "like a good boy."

Sniffling, miserable, I would begin: Butterfly *snuffle* in the sky....

A question from one of the party-goers in NYC brings me back to the present.

"Tell us more. It sounds so wonderful!"


mars 13, 2004

On Taxes, Gypsies and Other Goings-On

These are some things that have happened to me lately, during the period that we will now refer to forever as The Dark Time.

1. Taxes.

Since many of you guys aren't American and, therefore, have gotten out of dealing with US Gov't Tax Forms (LUCKY!), I will attempt to recreate their magic...right...HERE.

Start with a number. Any number, really. If you're poor, like me, it should be a pretty small number. No more than five digits; REMEMBER, this number represents your income.

Put that number on a sheet of paper, and draw a little box around it. In the corner of the little box, make a teeny-tiny Number One.

Now, take a ruler, and divide the rest of the paper into seventeen-thousand-twenty-five other boxes.

Next to each box, write something utterly nonsensical, but official-seeming. Like, "Part-year city of New York resident tax on capital gain portion of lump-sum distributions created by the sale of dairy products between the hours of five and seven p.m. on days of the month divisible by five."

Now, this next part is very important.

Next to each utterly nonsensical, but official-seeming thing you have written, you must also add AT LEAST ONE, and possibly all, of the following.

a) The phrase "(See instructions)". However, do not under any circumstances write any sort of page number following this phrase. Do not even indicate which set of instructions you might be referring to. Let the average US Citizen think that you mean some unknown page of the US Individual Income Tax Instruction Book. They will, of course, be wrong, but it is crucial that you keep them in the dark. In reality, you can be referring to any instruction manual--the instruction manual for your microwave oven, the directions for the toy you just bought your infant son, that little pamphlet that comes with tampons. Whatever. It doesn't matter; the goal is confusion. Look toward the goal.

b) Something like this: "If the amount on this line is less than the amount on line 456.6b, divide both numbers by the square root of your age as of July 19, 1984, and enter that amount here. If the amount on this line is greater than the amount on line 3446.75d, take this form and hold it up in front of a mirror. Write down the backwards versions of all of the numbers you can see in the mirror on a small sheet of yellow paper. Wait until the next lunar eclipse. Then eat the yellow paper, counting the number of times you have to chew the paper in order to swallow it. Enter that number here."

c) Something like: "(Refer to Form HDTV-STD-53, tables I, III, or XIIIIIIIV. Also refer to a copy of your older sibling's Form EZ-1040. Notice how much more money he/she makes than you. Feel badly. Finally, refer to page 163 of any novel on the lowest shelf of your bookcase.)"

I hope all of you non-US Citizens can now be a bit more understanding about America's plan to take over the world. We're just grumpy and confused about our taxes.

2. I feel it is important to add here that the amount of money I made this year is so small that it's actually ha-ha funny.

3. A small man knocked on my (new) office door Wednesday morning and RETURNED THREE LARGE BAGS OF GARBAGE. To me. Apparently, he was dissatisfied with the garbage we had thrown out, and was confusing me with The Garbage Return Center. As in, "M'am, I bought these three large bags of garbage earlier this week, and, I'm sorry, but they're just not smelly enough. I had wanted real smelly, egg shells and cheese-rinds garbage. These are mostly just sesame Thai noodles and soda-drenched newspaper. They won't do."

Apparently, he was unhappy because the people who have been working at this office for months and months and months and months. And months. Those people, have not been recycling. And so, as a result, this disgruntled man had reached his non-separated garbage limit and, had come to demand that someone PICK THROUGH THESE THREE SMELLY BAGS OF GARBAGE and separate out the recyclables.

Guess who got to do it? Guess. I dare you.

I love being The New Girl.

4. But, just when I was feeling like a toothless, grimy patched-jacket-wearing HOBO, and was ready to pick up my bandana-tied-to-a-stick napsack and point my floppy shoes West, my friend called and invited me to his law school's formal.

And with every piece of garbage I picked, I spoke the following mantra: Tonight. I. Will. Once. Again. Feel. Pretty.

5. At this formal I was having a fine time meeting lawyers, and future lawyers and the lawyers of the lawyers of lawyers past. And their girlfriends.

Most of these girlfriends are from out of town, and so I am playing a fun game, in which I compare the girlfriends to the girls their boyfriends fuck on the weekends when the girlfriends are NOT in town. (May I add that the girlfriends win hands down. Hands. Down.)

So we're all karaoke-ing and having our portraits drawn and all of the other things that you do at these dances, which are kind of like carnivals for grown-ups. With lots of alchohol. And, late into the evening, lots of wine-spills and vomit. Not classy, but kind of fun.

And just when talking about law is getting kind of old, and watching law students stumble around and throw-up has lost its charm, I walk past a table, and see that...

...out of all the people at this huge event that I could've known...

...the person I know.... the woman dressed up as a crazy gypsy giving Tarot card readings.

She's in my acting class.

I am thrilled to see her. She gives me two extra-long readings and we talk for an hour, pissing off all of the drunken law school students in line, which causes us no small amount of joy. Because by that time, I'm sick of being lawyerly and having conversations about summer internships that I pretend are interesting.

By that time, I'm ready to hang with the gypsies.

mars 12, 2004


Thank you all for your comments and your emails. Such an overwhelming surge of love and concern has not been felt since the "We Are the World" video of 1985.

I am mystified by this phenomenon--all of these strangers walking around in my head, picking things up and commenting on my taste in dishware. Kind of. It's all very flattering, and interesting, and a bit...well, disconcerting when people make judgements or, even worse, throw out insults. (Ahem. Certain letters of the alphabet falling between W and Y. Ahem.)

What is a better image, really, to convey what happens in this odd, online world, is the idea of walking along a street at night and looking into people's windows. You see a couple sitting in their kitchen, and they're holding hands, maybe. Or maybe they are moving back and forth across their room, arguing, while you stand on the street for a moment to watch. You judge them based on that moment because it's all you know of their lives. It's an image that is caught, temporary. Also partial. They're so unhappy you think. Or They're so in love. They might be both, or neither. Everything you know of them has taken place in the frame of a window, in the slim space between two curtains.

I think we all see where I'm going with this.

As for your 17 (!!) comments on the March 2nd post, it has occurred to me that I should pretend to have instigated a Super Secret Grander Plan: TO FOOL YOU ALL INTO THINKING I'D GONE AWAY, JUST SO I COULD TOP THE PREVIOUS COMMENT RECORD OF 13.

But, I'm bad at pretending when it comes to Super Secret Plans. Really, I just had a lot on my mind and was moved to play Guest Relations Associate at a new location, where I work with a man who has absolutely no sense of other people's personal space, who weirds me out so much that I need to leave the office frequently to get away from him, and then end up walking around Soho and spending money on strappy summer sandals that I have no use for. Instead of writing my blog.

Perhaps the Real Super Secret Grander Plan should involve me finding a new job....

In any case, as you will see below, I have not been neglecting you or my writing, I've just been having trouble pinning my feelings down. I needed to get things in motion, so that I could get the fuck over this M Thing already and get my groove back. As it were.

So enjoy these posts, which I've entered in the order in which they happened in real time, so you can get caught up.

Tomorrow, I shall tell you more. Promise.

Unless the weird man stands too close to me again, in which case, I'll just buy more shoes.

From February 7:

I am close to getting M out of my system. Lest you get overly excited, let me remind you that "out of my system" is different than "out of my heart," and is in another universe entirely from "out of my mind."

So, what exactly is the significance, then, of "Out of my system?" you might ask.

To which I might reply, "Fuck off."

Let's just say that "out of my system" feels like progress.

And what REALLY feels like progress is the fact that I don't have M's phone number memorized, yet I STILL deleted it from my cell phone on Wednesday. Even better yet is the fact that The Moment of Deletion wasn't really that big of a deal. I didn't burn incense or read Audre Lorde poems or anything. I was just buzzed and standing in front of the Pottery Barn on Houston, and I turned to my best friend and whipped out my phone...

...and read her the numbers so she could program them into HER phone...

...and then deleted them from MY phone.

So maybe this moment didn't exactly have the total conviction of a Thelma-and-Louise drive over the cliff, but I am what I am.

POINT IS, I still look awesome in my new jeans. AND, I'm getting over him.

There are, however, little irksome tidbits and memories that keep skittering around in the corners. Bothersome, bothersome. They ruin my peace of mind and need to be dealt with. Herein lies the problem.

Since I have been A Number-One Superhero Genius and have not spoken to or contacted M since Halloween, and since M is A Sucky Coward, my guess is that I will never speak to him again. Which means, that, unless I find some way of getting all of these unspoken worries/madnesses/rantings/wishes out of my head they will remain there indefinitely, nibbling away at my sanity and causing me to end up like some tortured, lovelorn combination of Camille Claudel, Judy Garland and Eponine from Les Miserables.

Which, actually sounds terribly dramatic and painful in a glamorous "my-life-is-difficult-but-yet-still-chockful-of-a-ridiculous-number-of-extravagent-parties-and-lovely-designer-shoes" kind of way. Plus I get to die in the rain, singing in M's arms:

I cough. The gunshot wound from the battle on The Barricades is throbbing. "You've never looked so lovely," he says. I touch his face. People pass us. "Amazing shoes," one stranger says as he walks by. I smile, still gracious in my weakened state. "God you're so beautiful," M says, "You were always so beautiful. I cheated because I was afraid of your beauty. And your intelligence. And your deep and profound goodness." "Yes," I say softly, beatifically, "I know. *cough* It doesn't matter now." "It doesn't?" he asks, sobbing, "Then you forgive me?" "No," I smile, close to death now, "But the Angel that just came down to tell me it's time to die, also told me that your future wife is going to despise you, use you for your money and then leave you penniless and miserable after a horrible divorce." Then I bleed all over him, ruining his favorite U2 t-shirt, and am promptly whisked off to Heaven where I am reincarnated and returned to Earth as a Nobel-Prize winning supermodel.


ANYway, where was I?

Oh, yes. Bothersome. Needing to get some things off my chest.

But what to do.... What to do.

From February 26:

Ok. Let's just get this out of the way.

I did it; it's done. After four months of being an Extraordinary Strong Wondergirl Valedictorian Beauty-Queen Genius who DID NOT HAVE ANY CONTACT WHATSOEVER with her ex-boyfriend, I gave in.

I emailed him.



First let's cover what this effort at contacting him was not.

It was not motivated by alcohol. It was not motivated by late-night loneliness. It was NOT a heartfelt epic poem that relied heavily on flower imagery or similes that compared my still-lingering love to an eternal flame. There was, in fact, no reference to love, still-lingering or otherwise. No flames.

Nor was it hate-mail.

Nor was there ever even an urge to make it hate-mail.


So that's the easy part: What it wasn't. Check.

Now we get to the harder part. What it WAS.

Well, this is what it SAID, "Hey M-- I'm going with a friend to a story slam tonight, and was thinking about you. Wondered if you ever got up to tell one of your stories? Tonight's topic is "stranded." When the topic is "children's theater," I wil be unstoppable. Would be good to hear from you, K."

I will totally own that the whole "going with a friend" thing was an unnecessary and blatant attempt at making him wonder whether or not I and this "friend" are currently engaging in hours and hours of carnal lovemaking, during which I frequently yell things like "You're so much better in bed than my last boyfriend!!!!". Fine. I admit it. Sue me.

The rest will take me some time to figure out. Which I'm going to do right now. With my friend, this huge martini.

From March 6:


I talked to M today for five hours.

It's out. There it is. Everyone ok? Someone get Maddie some water. She looks pale.

I was going to make a list of all of the the things I feel right now, but it started to look like a page out of a Thesaurus. For every word I listed, I also listed its opposite: satisfied/dissatisfied. Happy/unhappy. Immersed/distant.

It's hard to describe...well, really anything about this.

The inside of my head is like a swimming pool after a really windy Fall.

mars 02, 2004

We Can Never Go Back To Before

I don't know about you guys, but I miss our secret plan.

mars 01, 2004

What's bad is that I've been drinking a lot lately.

What's good is that I think that my drinking has destroyed only a small group of brain cells. You know, the ones that make it impossible for you to set your clock ten minutes fast so that you get up early? The ones that--when your alarm goes off at 8:00 even though the time is actually 7:50--say, "Don't get up now! Remember, you set your clock ten minutes fast yesterday. It's actually 7:50. You still have ten minutes of sleep. Idiot." (And, really, if you're me, you still have sixteen minutes of sleep because we all now know I won't get up until 8:06 under any circumstances.)

Well, anyway, where was I? Oh. Those. My drinking a lot lately has killed those brain cells.

I know this for certain because, for the past several weeks, I have been buying a chocolate heart every day at lunch and putting it in my pocket in hopes that I will forget about it and remember it later when I have a craving for something sweet.

"This is silly," I have said each day as I put the chocolate in my pocket. "I will totally be eating this chocolate in about ten seconds. This piece of chocolate won't even make it to the lobby elevator. Dumb plan. Like I'm really going to forget that this yummy chocolate is in my pocket."

And then...

...I promptly forget about the piece of chocolate in my pocket until hours later when I have a craving for something sweet and suddenly remember that there's a piece of yummy chocolate in my pocket.

I was actually mildly amused by this new trick of mine because it reminds me of the game we play with my dad's dog, Frankie. You know that game. The one where you pretend to throw his ball, but don't really throw it, and just laugh when he runs around like crazy looking for his ball, and then looks all confused when he turns around and you're still holding the ball in your hand. Silly Frankie. It's cute when he does it. And I kind of thought it was cute when I did my own version of it with this new, great chocolate trick. My alcohol-addled brain had turned me into my very own chocolate lab, and that kind of made me happy.

I'm just being honest.

But then today the trick worked again.


I bought the chocolate, forgot about the chocolate, had a craving for the chocolate, remembered the chocolate, ate it....
...and then forgot I had eaten it....
...had another craving for chocolate...
...remembered the chocolate that I still thought I HAD IN MY POCKET...
...went to my pocket to get it...
...and realized I'd eaten it already.

And now I'm just sad.

And an alcoholic. And a chocoholic.

And, apparently, quite stupid.