Saturday, December 30, 2006

Also, as an Aside

One great thing about being evil and proud of it is that you can pretty much do whatever you want. For example, Michael Malice, formerly of Overheard in New York and now featured in a comic book at a store near you, among other ventures, decided to ring in the New Year by blogging about the baby without a face. I did this awhile back and got hate comments from 18 year olds. I bet no one will do that to Malice. Know why? Because Malice does not care. He's friends with people who have chopped up people in bathtubs. Do you want to mess that? No, you do not.

Also, he doesn't allow comments on his blog. Clever!

Mrs. P Has a Vivid Imagination

"What time is it? I have to walk my dog. (Sigh.) I have to walk my dog, and then the conehead guy from Silent Hill is going to kill me. He's going to kill me and he's going to rip off my skin just like he did to that little girl who threw the rocks. Don't laugh! We'll see if you're laughing when I don't have any skin."

Friday, December 29, 2006

Luke vs. the Cable Guys

I now have a cold, my period and a bad attitude, but the good news is that my sister's dog is home with us in sunny Needham, Mass., and he is quite amusing.

His name is Luke, and I actually let him kiss me on the lips, which means that I am either very lonely or that he's an unusually charming dog. Until today, I would have said the latter. Now, I'm leaning toward joining

I worked a half day today from Mom's sofa and then collapsed into a sniffly fog, only to be awakened by the cable guys, who'd come to upgrad Ma and Pa Smash's TV setup. There were two of them, and they were very friendly. Unfortunately, their very presence was seen as a clear act of aggression by Mr. Luke. (Full name: Luke Lucius Rufus Optimus Prime Beauregard Bourque.)

He barked. He growled. He snapped at their feet. After a couple seconds of this, Meg swooped him up and put him in this crate, where he mostly settled down. Sometimes, you'd hear a little "Rrrrr ... ORRRF!" But mostly, he was good.

The cable guys were here for hours. At one point, long after the sun had set, Ma Smash came over to my sick bed and hissed, "I swear to God I hear one of them showering up there. What the fuck are they doing?"

Mrs. Piddlington (full name: Meghan Hubley Bourque) concerned that he was unhappy in the crate, would try to let him out. She did this three times, and each time, he started tracking the Evil Cable Guys, sniffing out their location in the house and then barking uproariously as they cowered in the basement or upstairs or in a corner of the living room.

After the third time, she said, "Well, this was to be expected. He hasn't had a bad day yet."

"I think it's hilarious," I offered from my couch.

"He's just a sweet boy!" said Mom.

"Oh yeah? You think so?" Mrs. P leaned over the back of the couch and called into the dining room, where Luke's crate was. "I'm going to sell you, Luke!"

"Oh no! Don't say that."

"Mommy doesn't love you any more!"

"What if he can understand you? You'll hurt his feelings!"

I raised my head for a minute. "He thought the cable guys were going to murder us. I don't think he gets it."

"Yeah, it doesn't matter what you say," Meg said. "It's how you say it." In a sweet voice, she said: "Mummy's going to give you away!"


"Who wants a puppy? Free with crate and toys!"

"Oh, Luke, don't listen to Mummy. You stay here with Gramma. Gramma loves you best!"

"I'm going to put of those little cords down outside the house, aren't I, Luke? Yes! Just like at the gas station. The first time it goes DING! I'm going to run out and give you to that person! Doesn't matter who!"


I got up and ran into the bathroom.

"Sweetheart? What's the matter?"

"I believe it's called 'giggle incontinence.'"

I am not the funniest person in my family. I just need the most attention.

My Annual New Year's Cold

One of the writers I work with from time to time sent me an email not so long ago to say that she'd been reading my blog and that it occurred to her that I get sick a lot. She's a qualified aromatherapist, so she suggested a few things I might use to make myself less susceptible to every damn thing that comes around. This was last year, when I got sick constantly. I was new to the City, and I think the combination of an unfamiliar gene pool and staying out all night far too often did me in.

This year, I've been much healthier. (Side note: My friends who are native New Yorkers hardly ever get sick, and when they do, they shake it off pretty easily.) However, I still got my Annual New Year's Cold.

Yesterday, I thought I was dying, but today, I feel much better and sound much worse. I'm still staying in my pajamas, though, which will be entertaining later this afternoon when I go out to meet my former roommate for coffee.

"Do your pants say 'ho ho ho'?"

Me: "Maybe."

Anyway, it was a really spectacular Christmas, the best ever, maybe. You can read select quotes from SMASHmas over at Legend of the Drunken Mouse. When my head clears its cold medicine fug, I'll fill in the gaps.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Quote of Christmas Eve

From my cousin:

"I don't gamble at all. I'm like a Mormon, except for the whole gay, caffeine, alcohol thing."

Merry Christmas!

From all of us here at the Smash (meaning me, my Mom and five regular commenters), I wish you a very merry Christmas and happy New Year. I'd leave you a YouTube video or a yearly wrap-up piece or something, but honestly, it's 10:35 am and I've already eaten 10 sugar cookies and a slice of pie, so I'm having trouble seeing my screen.

More when the sugar coma wears off. Ho ho ho!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Merry Unbirthday to Me

I just realized something. I'm 30 and a half. I am totally so much older than you and should get all of your toys. Ha!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Laters for Your "Fresh Air"

I've been on a few dates lately with an outdoorsy sort of fellow. What he sees in me is anyone's guess.

Sample conversation:

Him: I really like camping.

Like, outside?

Him: Yes.

Me: Where the animals are?

Him: Well ... yes. But they don't really bother you, you know. It's a cliche, but they really are more afraid of you than you are of them.

Me: I'm frightened of squirrels.

Him: ...

Me: Seriously. I had lunch in Madison Square Park the other day, and a squirrel jumped in front of me on the path and did, like, this little back-flip in the air. And then he stared at me, you know? So I screamed and my friends all looked at me like I was crazy. But he could have been rabid! Anyway, he was definitely mean-spirited. He was a vicious attack squirrel!

So ... what about hiking?

Me: I live a pretty long way from the train!

And so on. I'm an indoor cat, is my point. My favorite things - reading, writing, drinking beer, worrying, talking about people behind their backs - are all best done in an indoor setting.

Does anyone know of any outdoor-themed bars?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

All Hubley Things Are Weird

Me: Did your ribs hurt when you were losing weight? Mine are killing me.

Ma Smash: No, but yours did that before, remember.

Me: Yeah, that's right, they did. I forgot about that.

Ma Smash: And your sister's did this time, too.

Right. And I think Dad said something about that, as well.

Ma Smash: But not me. Nope. Must be your weird Hubley ribs.

Me: They are pretty weird. I have an extra one, you know. And an extra vertebra.

Ma Smash: (Cheerfully.) Yup. You're a mutant!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

This Ain't My First Time at the Rodeo

I just cleaned my apartment for the gayest* reason ever. I was watching Mommie Dearest on Oxygen, and when Joan Crawford is torturing her daughter Christina by throwing Ajax at her and insisting that she scrub the already clean floor, I actually thought: "Jeez, I wish she'd send Christina over to clean my floor."

SCRUB, Christina! SCRUB!

* No, I'm not using "gay" as a pejorative. Cleaning because of Joan Crawford is gay, all right? It's gay. And therefore, great.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

A Tip From Your Barista: I Hate You

I had maybe the worst day with members of the service industry ever, today. I got berated by a barista and hit on by a Fresh Direct delivery person. My friend Jude pointed out not too long ago that I don't do anything for myself anymore: not my laundry, not my grocery shopping, not even making my own coffee. Surely this is some kind of karmic comeuppance.

I'm working at home right now, so it's worse than usual. I generally roll out of bed around 8:00 and go across the street to Starbucks to get my iced venti americano. (Yes, even in cold weather.) If they're lucky, sometimes I'll do something with my hair or brush my teeth first. Usually not, though.

Anyway, today I also decided to get an egg sandwich, which they have now. Thing is, I'm on a diet, and the "reduced fat" sandwich ... well, reduced from what, I'd like to know. 100 grams of fat? I decided to ask.

Because I have waited on the public, and am not a dick, no matter what Jude tells you, I asked thusly: "Excuse me. I'm wondering if you have any nutrional information on the egg sandwiches?"

Barista: "Nutrional information?"

Me: "Yes, like fat and so on. I got the 'reduced fat' but you know how that is. If you don't have it, don't worry. Don't like, look or anything. I just thought you might have a card or something."

At this point, the manager came over.

Manager to barista: "What does she want?"

Barista to manager: "She wants to know the nutrional information on the sandwiches."

Me: "It's cool. Don't worry about it."

Manager (looking disgusted): "There's fat in it, OK? Like a lot of fat. A LOT OF FAT."

Me: "OK, that's fine, whatever. Thanks!"

Manager: "It's an EGG SANDWICH, you know? It's not good for you."

Me: "Fine. Great. Thanks."

Barista to manager: "She ordered the reduced fat, though."

Manager: "Well, there's still a lot of fat."

Me: "OK! Thanks again!"

Then I headed over to the bar to wait for my drink. Manager guy? Followed me. Now he had a wrapper from the reduced fat turkey bacon sandwich and was reading it to me.

Manager: "There's 11 grams of fat, OK? And 4 of that is saturated. But there's no trans fats in here, no siree."

Me: "You know? That's OK. I'm really all set."

Manager: "You sure? Cuz I could read the calories."

Me: "Yeah, that's fine."

Barista: "Iced venti americano on the bar!"

Me: "Thanks."

I walked back over to the registers to wait for my sandwich. The manager followed. The microwave dinged, he took out the sandwich and wrapped it up, and then held it out.

"That's mine," I said.

"All sandwiches get picked up at the bar," he said. And walked over to end and put it down.

I hope he gets second-hand arterial sclerosis from breathing in all that "reduced" bacon fat.

So, after all that, home I went to await the Fresh Direct guy. Who was early for a change. I met him at the door and let him in, extra careful to be nice to him, since my service person karma was so out of joint for the day. I opened the outer door. I opened the inner door. I opened my door, and signed the sheet with a smile and gave him a tip. As I was bending down to get my purse, he said:

"Is that a tattoo?"

I grabbed my lower back, where I do indeed have a tattoo. If you are a female and you were born in the U.S. in the late 1970s, you now have:

1) A blog.
2) A tattoo on your lower back.
3) A pierced belly button, and perhaps a nosering.

I don't make the rules.

Anyway, still concerned about my karma, I replied: "Yes, yes it is a tattoo."

"What's it of?"

"Um, it's just like a flower thing," I said. Usually, I say, "It's an arrow, pointing to my ass, in case anyone gets lost." But this didn't seem wise, given the circumstances.

"I like it."

"Thanks," I said, all but shoving him in the face to get him out the door. Which I then locked immediately and blocked with my physical person, whilst sliding to the floor in a sigh.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

You're Really Weird!

At at drinks thing on Saturday night, I wound up sitting at a table with a guy named JP, whom I'd met before, and a stranger in a knit cap. Knit Cap had a sort of interesting nervous energy about him. He seemed like he might be a writer, or an academic, or some other professional neurotic. Just as I was in the middle of writing my own story about his background, he reached into his bag and hauled out a thermos.

"Which one is my pint?" he asked JP.

"That one."

"Thanks." He poured a little of something coffee-colored into the thermos top, as if measuring it, and then poured it into the glass.

"What is that?" I asked him. I figured he'd brought his own booze or something.

He furrowed his brow in concentration and produced two or three packets of something, which he tour open and dropped into the glass. "It's chai," he said. "And some other herbs."

I picked up the empty thermos top and sniffed it. "Ginger?"

"Among other things. I realized, when I left the house today, that I hadn't had my chai today." The look on his face said clearly that a health disaster of major proportions had been averted.

I stared at him. JP stared at him. Then -- I blame the beer -- I grinned hugely and proclaimed, "You're really WEIRD!"

Knit Cap, to his credit, smiled back.

"No, I mean it!" I said. (Sometimes, when I get started, it's really hard to stop.) "That is so, so weird. You know that right? To bring a non-alcoholic health beverage to a bar and drink it out of a pint glass?"

"Yes," he said, still smiling. "I guess I do know that."

"That's awesome. You are totally and completely weird." I paused. "I really like you!"

Now we were all sitting there beaming at each other, like converts at the pivotal cult meeting, the one where we all decided to change our names and start wearing the same outfits.

"It is weird," JP said. "I was totally thinking that, but I never would have said it."

Every party needs a blabber, that's why they invited me.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Preeeverts of the Internets, Thinmozation, Etc.

Someone got here today by Googling "jenny 12 year old p*ssy." This person lives in Finland, and is a pervert. Nice job, Finnish pervert person. I've really never been more grossed out by a search term. (BTW, in case you're wondering why I got all prudish all of a sudden, well, let's just say I don't need to encourage the preeeverts of the Internets in their quest for kiddie porn. Yech.)

In other news, I'm on a diet. I know that listening to someone else talk about their diet is about as much fun as watching your Auntie's slideshow of her trip to the Yucatan, but listen: I'm starving over here and if you think I'm going to suffer alone, well, you obviously don't me very well. I am starving, people. My brother-in-law, who went to Ranger School and thus actually knows something about starving, likes to remind people who say that they're actually just hungry. Other than that, though, he's a really great guy.

Anyway. Ramble. Ah! Yes. I'm on a diet because I put on 20 damn pounds this year, via beer-guzzling, cheese-eating, and sitting, and I no longer fit in my pants. Therefore, I am beginning the Great Thinmozation of 2007 -- one month early, cuz I hate starting anything on New Years. So far, I've lost 4.5 pounds by doing Weight Watchers and weeping. You can be sure that I'll keep you informed of my progress, whether you're interested or not.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Help a Reader Day

Loyal Smash reader Tracey wrote to me today to ask for my advice. This is always a mistake, as I'm sure you will all agree. My advice in any case is calculated to produce the maximum entertainment for your friends, rather than solving your actual problems.

For example, if you were a pal of mine, you might call me up and ask me whether or not you should break up with your girlfriend, the annoying one who calls all the time when we're trying to have a beer, for God's sake. I would advise you to so immediately. Further, I would suggest taking out a full-page ad in your local paper. It would say something along the lines of "Hey, Hookerpants*: Guess You're Going to Have to Find a New Sucker to Drive You to New Jersey on Sunday" and it would feature a picture of her with a phone glued to her ear, looking angry, as usual.

Anyway. Fortunately, Trace didn't have a question of this nature. Here's what Trace needs to know:


Since you are a savvy NY woman who knows the city, I'm hoping you will be able to give me some advice.

My wife turns 40 in January. I think I'm going to surprise her by packing a bag and taking her on a train trip to NYC. I understand that there are plenty of things to do and places to stay within walking distance of Grand Central Station. Maybe you can provide me a list of "must sees" that my wife would really enjoy. Also, if you have any hotel suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Hope things are going well.


God, poor Tracey. I sure have him fooled, don't I?

Anyway, trouble is that my NYC knowledge is limited to about four neighborhoods in Brooklyn and a stretch of downtown Manhattan from Delancey Street to 17th. So I'm not much help with the whole Grand Central thing. Which is why I'm turning to you, dear readers, in the hopes that you will have some advice for our pal Tracey. He's being a nice guy and all. Anyone have any ideas?

* Tm AJ Daulerio.

Monday, November 27, 2006

This Sounds Dumb, But...

...this idea might also work. Basically, you're supposed to list three things you're grateful for each day, which will make you more aware of the good stuff in your life, which will make you happier. Makes sense. You're supposed to do this at the end of the day, but I like to get started right away on my self-improvement projects, so that I can get sick of them ahead of schedule. I'm a high-achiever, you see.

So here goes. Three things I'm thankful for, this morning:

1) I have 18 POINTS (tm) for the rest of the day. (More on the Weight Watchers thing later. Let's just say that Tubby had to do something.) This is fantastic, as yesterday I'd eaten all of my allowance by 5 pm, causing me to whine and complain so much that my family is probably pretty happy to see me go back to New York today.

2) I got up at 5:30 this morning, which means that I've already caught up on my email from vacation and gotten quite a few things done. Here at the Smash, we get more done by 8 am...

3) I have coffee. I really feel sorry for those of you who don't drink it. I know I only need it because I'm addicted and all, but the thing is, addiction presents you with an easily achieved goal. And isn't that all one can ask for?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ma Smash Has a Dirty Mouth

Ladies and gentlemen, there is no hope for me. I am sitting in my parents' livingroom, listening to Ma Smash discuss the fact that most people are not as organized as she is. How does she express this? I'm so glad you asked.

"And she can't find the paperwork! I had the paperwork in that drawer, and now it's not there. She cleaned all my stuff out, and now it's all full of her pussy powder or whatever--"

"Excuse me. What? Her what?"

"Her pussy powder! Pussy powder!"

"OK. What the hell is pussy powder?"

"Ah! OK. See, when I was in college, there was this big thing where we were all convinced that we were smelly. So there was this huge market for powders and sprays and deodorants or whatever. I mean, I didn't use them, because I had a UTI for like 6 years when I was young and was on bactrim and wearing giant cotton undies like a sail. But everyone else was crazy about it. Particularly my roommate.

"So anyway, Barbara and I kept a bottle of raspberry schnapps in the room, for special occasions, like, if it was after exams, or if it was Tuesday. And one day, I had had a little social snort, and her boyfriend -- now her husband -- called while she was out. And he was all, 'Well, do you know where she went?' And I said, 'I have no idea. She was out like a shot. She just powdered her pussy and went out the door.'

"He loved it so much that years later, when your father and I went to visit them, he said, 'You know, Barbara was so excited that you were coming that she completely forgot to powder her pussy.'"

Whereupon, my sister asked, "There's raspberry schnapps?"

And Ma Smash said, "It's so delicious!"

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sometimes, the Mouse and I Shop Online... which I mean, he shops, and I offer my opinions about things he might buy. The Mouse is much more fashionable than I, and also, not as cheap about clothes. When I am a rich person, I will hire him to be my personal shopper. I will look like a million bucks then: 10 pounds thinner, ever much more elegant. In the meantime, I subsist on Prince Street earrings and Old Navy t-shirts from 5 years ago. I do enjoy our conversations, though.

Mouse: Chinos? Who the hell wears chinos?

Me: I hate the word chinos. It sounds like a pejorative word for a Mexican person.

Mouse: It does sound a bit racist.

That's at least as interesting as talking about hems.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I'm Not Really on Hiatus

Via Googlism:

Googlism for: jen

jen is a badass
jen is 34"
jen is having fun with two men
jen is in the
jen is 11
jen is cool
jen is da man
jen is getting her backbone back?
jen is making me do this"
jen is dying because you
jen is the best
jen is an exceptional person who is to be worshipped and adored at all times
jen is something one learns rather than something one is born with
jen is 34 2000
jen is finishing up driver's ed
jen is in the background
jen is at it again
jen is the coolest person ever
jen is a loser
jen is the anit
jen is
jen is all smiles
jen is keen on stopping this
jen is an original glass artist working in and around melbourne
jen is a joe moreira black belt
jen is on hiatus
jen is connected to the following things

Rosy-Fingered Dawn, Etc.

So last night, after a long evening of enforced gaiety with work folk, I got on the F train, as I do, only to discover that the F train no longer went to my home. This was a problem, because:

1) It was 1 a.m.
2) I was sorta loaded.
3) I don't have a third reason.

Anyway, supposedly the G was going to take over for the F, so no problem. You'd think that anyway: In reality, something weird happened that I still can't quite figure out and I wound up going the wrong way on the G, which was still, alas, the G and not the F. When I realized my mistake -- which was quite quickly, thanks very much, as I am a clever drinker -- I got off and asked one of the lovely and helpful MTA employees for assistance. This, as near as I can tell, is what she said:


It was terrifying. I half expected her to throw a cat at me and stalk away.

At this point, I realized that the train thing was not working out, so I left the subway and went out to the street to get a cab. Great idea, right?

Um, there were no cabs.

What there was, was a 12 year old cop in a squad car, who very nicely helped me find a cab, and probably had to file a report about the whole thing:

"1.25 am. Drunken redheaded person demands cab. Find cab. Put her in it. How many years again until I make detective?"

The cab, of course, got stuck behind a garbage truck for 20 minutes on my ride home. OK, maybe not 20 minutes. But it felt like it. In fact, as near as I can tell, I pretty much just got home.

I hope you're satisfied, people. I don't enjoy making a fool out of myself, you know. I only do it to keep you entertained.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I Give Up: How Crazy Are You?

Here's how crazy.

Every time I have a good date, I become convinced that one of us will meet with a terrible fate directly after we kiss goodbye. Because of this, I nearly gave myself a heart attack while waiting for the F last night -- first, because there was no one on the platform, and my heels were making creepy clacking sounds, and then because a random teenager entered the platform, which meant that he was obviously a serial killer, come to get me at last.

I told you: Cuckoo!

Friday, November 10, 2006


The comedian Emmett Furrow has no collar bones. I'm not really sure what you'd all do if I weren't here to tell you these things -- but fortunately, you don't have to worry about it.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Why I'm Doomed

Sometimes I like to play a little game called "Why I'm Doomed." This is similar to the game "What's Wrong With Me?" which is when I scan my body for tumors and palpitations and phantom pains. It's a hysterical displacement activity, meant to explain anxiety I'm already feeling because I'm cuckoo. Understanding these things doesn't change them, people. G.I. Joe lied!

Previous games of "Why I'm Doomed" have revolved around popular topics such as "Maybe I'll Never Write Again," or "Secretly, I'm Getting Very Fat," or "It's Possible That Everyone I Know Is Irritated With Me."

Today, however, I'm rocking "I Will Never Have a Boyfriend Again." This is an excellent version, and good for at least two weeks of solid boo-hooing, at which point, my friends will be sufficiently bored with my behavior that they'll stop returning my calls, and I can go back to "It's Possible That Everyone I Know Is Irritated With Me."

I'm quite resourceful about my insanity. For example, today I informed Ma Smash that every time I see a woman with unfortunate body or facial hair, I wonder if she knows that she has this unfortunate hair. And then I wonder if I have unfortunate hair, and nobody has had the heart to tell me.

"By the time I'm done, I'm pretty much convinced that my entire face is totally covered with hair, just like those Wolf Boys in the Mexican Circus. Do you know what I mean?"

Ma Smash paused. "I can honestly say I never thought of it. But I will now. Every time I look at someone with extra hair. So ... thanks."

Do you think she was being sarcastic?

That's Service!

Me: I love my salon.

Coworker Dennis:
Because they spoil you?

Yes. For example, a beautiful italian man just massaged my scalp.

Coworker Dennis:
That happens to me in the shower every morning.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

People Should Not Live Anywhere Near Other People

My upstairs neighbor appears to be pounding something into the floor this morning. Is she tenderizing a steak? Installing a boot scraper? Expressing her rage at the current political climate? I have no idea.

Prior to this, I'm pretty sure she was tap dancing. She's really lucky she lives on the third floor, is all I can say, because our landlord lives below me, and he claims he can hear my stocking-clad feet on the rug-covered floor.

I would love to know what she's doing up there.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

I Might Have Been Punked

Alert commenter Taupey claims that my opera-singing pal from the F train the other day is actually part of some evil marketing conspiracy:

Hah, that was a viral live live "street" ad for the follow up to "Borat." You are now another marketing tool. Congrats.

--Taupey, the Cynical Kangaroo

Anyone know anything about this? I like a good joke on me as much as the next person.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Motherless Brooklyn ... the Musical!

A guy on the train tonight started peeping and beeping and then launched into "Fever" in a weird high operatic falsetto. Then he sang "If I Only Had a Brain." Then he started imitating Moe Howard: "Why, I oughta..."

It was completely awesome. At first, as usual, I was the only fool who looked up from my book. To be honest, I've been a little overtired, and I was afraid that maybe I was having auditory hallucinations. I kept just missing my chance to catch him singing. And he looked so normal, I really wasn't sure it was him until he finally sang a whole verse of "If I Only Had a Brain." By the time he got to "I would not be just a nuthin', with my head all fulla stuffin'," I had definitely determined that he was the dude.

He was about 50 years old, heavyset, with gray curly hair and a pleasant face. He was dressed like most everyone on the train, i.e., business casual, and didn't seem to be drunk or homeless.

I rode the F with him all the way from 14th Street in Chelsea to 7th Ave in Park Slope and he sang the whole way. By East Broadway, people -- including one bemused Hasidic guy, a skinny red-headed fashionista a la old Stephanie Klein, a smattering of hipsters and yours truly -- were exchanging glances with one another. By Jay Street, we were laughing. By 7th Ave, there was outright guffawing. I was afraid the Hasidic guy would drop his prayer book.

You can think us cruel, but I promise you: I was laughing with him, not at him, and I'm pretty sure everyone else was, too. It was a fantastic train ride. Also? Our Tourettic pal got off at 7th Ave, with me and all the other Park Slope-ians. Which means that Park Slope is now the home of yuppies, lesbians, a few random hipsters ... and one mentally ill guy who does a mean Peggy Lee.

So awesome.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

...It's Another

Ma Smash: On top of everything else, the fucking boiler broke.

Oh, no!

Ma Smash: I'm standing in a puddle right now.

Me: Did you call the guys?

Ma Smash: Yeah, they're "on their way." Whoop-te-do!

Me: (Stifling a laugh.) Oh dear. Maybe you should go to a hotel?

Ma Smash:
I might. I just might.

I think you should. Go to the Sheraton, watch some premium cable, order room service.

Ma Smash: Go to the bar. I'm so pretty now, I bet I could get guys to buy me drinks!

Me: (Failing to stifle a laugh.) Yes, that's true!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Calculus of Grief

My family lives all over the country. My Dad's people are from Illinois and Indiana; my Mom's are from Boston and its environs. Some of us are in NYC now; others in the Pacific Northwest.

Not a big deal, til someone dies.

On Wednesday, near as we can figure, my cousin committed suicide. He was only 21, and he was upset about how things were going. I remember 21. Things were a lot more dire.

Anyway, I tried to figure out a way to get out there for the funeral, but it's just too far. And you only get a day for a cousin at most companies, so that's another wrinkle. In the end, I ended up staying here, where I've mostly been sitting very still with my mouth open for the bulk of the weekend.

"This is really hitting you hard," Mom said, during one of our fifty phone conversations this week. She was supposed to go out, but she got the stomach flu. This is significant, as she never gets sick. Mind-body connection, and all of that. I myself have opted to develop adult acne.

"Yeah," I said. "And I feel really dumb."

"Why? I think it's normal, don't you?"

"It feels like I'm overstepping, somehow. Like, cousins get X much grief, and we should mostly be rallying and being useful to his parents."

I can't seem to help it, though. I just keep thinking about how he was the youngest of the cousins, and now he's gone. He was also one of only two boys in the family. He got very manly Christmas presents, as you might imagine. Little footballs and things like that.

"If you ever did anything like this, I'd find you," Ma Smash said. "I'd find you, and I'd bring you right back."

It's really tempting to think about that. I picture us all on horseback, or something, with daypacks, going down into the afterworld to get him. "Sorry, we need six grandkids," we'd tell him, "You'll just have to reschedule. Excuse me, various deities and sprites. We'll need this one back."

In the meanwhile, I pace my apartment, picking things up and putting them down again. It feels like my whole body is full of novocaine, and I can't imagine how much this will hurt when that wears off. I'm making myself notes: "Eat something." I'm making little plans: "Clean the tub."

When I get out from underwater, though, maybe things will be easier. And I probably won't think about this every second of every day, after awhile. That's something I wish I could have given him, that thing you only get when you get older: Knowing that painful things, like joyful things, cycle away on their own. Tincture of time.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Gay Marriage in Joisey


All Must Submit to the Combing of the Hair

If you're like me, you don't know that your love life is going badly until you see your hair in the mirror at work.

I swear to God, I caught my reflection this morning, and it was like seeing a homeless person outside the Port Authority. What. The. Feh.

After catching my creepy reflection, I sat down and tried to think of the last time I gave my hair a proper brushing. Honestly? It was days ago. No wonder I had a curl like the handle of a coffee cup jutting out over my left ear.

It's totally Fight Club when you're like this. People sort of walk around you and pretend not to notice. Or: Horrors! Perhaps they don't. I know I'm not my most observant when I'm trying to do the stuff I'm paid to do.

Anyway, the blog-hating fella is not working out, and this is entirely keeping with the record. As long-time readers know, I am famous for dating guys for 3 weeks to 2 months. Since I was 22, I haven't dated anyone for longer.

I'm thinking of running a contest on the Smash for my first 3-month-plus boyfriend. What do you think? The idea is that I would cull contestants from my write-ins and comments, and then, if I made it to 3 months with any of them, hold a party at the end. You can laugh if you want, but I think this is a brilliant idea. Anyway, it might contribute to the Combing of the Hair.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Thanks, as Always, for Your Help in This Matter

As we know, I spent most of this weekend laying beneath my duvet, examining the particularly wonderful light that one only sees at high noon, shining through a cleanish window and partially parted drape, and then through a genuine down alternative comforter. (I'm allergic to every kind of mammal. And bird. Are birds mammals? Anyway, I'm allergic to them.)

The debate here is whether or not this constitutes a restful respite from the everyday grind, or whether I should be seeking professional help. I'm quite reassured that most of you seem to think I'm fine. It's nice when people have faith in you.

To continue this argument, I invite you to include your favorite slothful activity in the comments section. I'll give you an example: I enjoy eating shredded cheese right out of the bag while watching true crime shows. Now you go.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

It's Always the Quiet Ones

If my neighbors knew what I've been reading or watching this weekend, I'm pretty sure they'd call the cops as a preventative measure. Certainly, they'd take me to task for my low-brow taste. This is Park Slope. People wear natural fibers and read Proust. Well, OK, maybe they don't read Proust, but they have it on the bookshelf.

I have been intensely lazy all weekend and it was everything I dreamed it could be. I'm either resting up, or experiencing a minor depression, depending on how you look at it. I'm hoping the former. I took a shower today, so that's a good sign.

This happens to me every year around this time. The days get shorter and I just want to curl under a blanket with a good book. (Or a really trashy book. Which is another type of good, and just fine with me.) I just finished Anna Karenina, which was both good and trashy; now I'm reading murder mysteries. I went to the book store today to buy research material for a project I'm trying to convince myself to do, and wound up walking out with $70 worth of books -- only one of which was actually related to the project. Then I went home, spread the books out beside me on the couch, and fell into a coma.

It's maybe not the most thrilling thing to read about, but I have to say, waking up from a Sunday nap to find a stack of unread books next to me on the floor is what I imagine heaven would be like.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Rainy Day Sick Day Blues

I was out sick today, but I was online for three or four hours anyway, because I'm addicted to the Internet, and because I write the daily newsletter, and it's daily, so I have to write it every day. (See?) After I finished, I went back to bed for four hours, and then got back up and checked my mail.

Someone had written me a little fan letter in response to my newsletter. It began by telling me that I appear to have "woefully low self-esteem" and asked me if I knew how predictable my writing was. "Gratingly formulaic," in fact, is the term he/she used. (I couldn't tell the gender of the writer, since the email address -- an AOL address, ho ho -- didn't give me any clues as to the first name.)

Now let me ask you this: If you were concerned about someone's self-esteem, would you write to them to tell them that they suck?

Ever the professional, I wrote back and said: "Hey, thanks for writing! Hope you enjoyed those camera tips!" Oy.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Green Hole

I've been experiencing a bit of burnout lately, and for that, I apologize. You can blame that for the less-than-frequent (and less-than-stellar) updates.

If you're a regular reader, and much love to both of you, and have been disappointed, you're not alone: My mother is positively livid, mostly because she looks to the Smash for a major source of her press. It's fair enough. People ask about her when she doesn't make frequent enough appearances on this here blog.

Anyway, for those of you who are wondering, my mother is having a midlife crisis. She's lost 17 pounds and she just got a tattoo on her ankle. It's a shamrock, and I haven't seen it yet, but I hear it's cute, despite the fact that my father has taken to calling it the Green Hole. As in, "How's the Green Hole? Is it healing?"

This means, BTW, that Ma Smash weighs the same as I do and has the same number of tattoos. Although, mine is on my lower back, and it's an art nouveau thingie that points to my butt, in case I lose it. I'm told that this is called a tramp stamp, and I'm so, so glad that Mum didn't get that one.


It has been pointed out to me that I am a cat. Evidence supporting this assertion:

1) I take frequent naps.
2) I enjoy attention, and need lots of it ... until I don't. Then go away.
3) I catch and eat mice.
4) I enjoy being petted. Until I don't. See #2.
5) I have my own agenda, and may or may not decide to make that agenda clear. If asked what I'm thinking, I might just stare at you. Unblinkingly. You will be unsure as to whether I am thinking of scratching you, or merely mesmerized by your earrings.

The good news is that I'm easily bribed with bits of string.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Why I Love Having a Guy for a Best Friend

Text from the Mouse: You have no texts.

Text from me:

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pressing Questions About Project Runway

Where the hell does Laura live? She has, like, a 5000 square-foot loft somewhere in New York. Do you know how much that would cost, just to rent? Multi-thousands of dollars, my friends. And she has 800 kids to support. What gives? Is she rich? I bet she's rich. Goddammit. If this were high school, I would totally push her ass in a mud puddle. I still might.

Are the Luckiest People

Today a crazy woman in Union Square tried to make friends with me, the Mouse and Mads. Now, we're friendly folk. But we have to draw the line somewhere. Here's where we draw it:

Crazy Lady: Hello!

Mouse, Mads and Me: (Chewing.)

Crazy Lady:
I said hello!

Me and Mads: (Looking around.)

Crazy Lady:
You don't got to be antisocial!

Mouse: Um, hi.

Crazy Lady: That's what I'm sayin'! What are you having for lunch?

Mouse: Chicken.

Crazy Lady:
Chicken! That's good! You know what I'm having? Wendy's!

Mouse: Oh. Good.

Crazy Lady:
Well, I got to go now. You want the rest of my sandwich?

Mouse: No, it's cool. We're good.

Crazy Lady: Enjoy your chicken!

I hope her Wendy's had lithium sprinkled over it.

Monday, October 9, 2006

I Left My Heart In...

Just got back from a business trip to San Francisco. I love SF, but I have to say that once you get used to New York, you're ruined. We're hothouse flowers here. We don't do well outside the five boroughs.

For example, today I received this text from Coworker Dennis:

Dennis: Heading to the airport. Just passed three organic pet food stores. Can't wait to be back in NYC.

To which I replied:

Smash: Omg, i nearly wept at my first glimpse of queens

The airports are in Queens, you see. And Queens? Eh, probably not the borough your average location scout would pick to represent the beauty and glamour of New York. Just sayin'.

Monday, October 2, 2006

Oktoberfest in Photos

When the Mouse invited me to the annual Oktoberfest at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens, I said yes right away. It was only after I checked his nerdy little Google invite that I started to get nervous.

"This says 1:00 in the afternoon," I said. "Are we seriously going to start drinking then?"

"Damn straight we are," he said. "You don't want to get there much later than that. You'll never get in."

He was right. The Mouse, T-bone, JoJo and I got there right at 1 pm, and there was already a line around the block. If our Queens crew hadn't held a spot, we would probably still be standing there.

As for the festivities themselves, well, let's just say that I'm glad I've become one of those irritating people who always carry a camera. Thanks to the photographic record, I think I can pretty much recreate a memory of the day.

1. We arrive at the Beer Garden. Mouse gets food. T-bone and JoJo get beer. Funke and I drink the beer:

2. Under the influence of said beer, I decide it's a good idea to ask innocent children to pose beside dead pigs. The girl in this picture pointed at the pig and said, helpfully: "Look! A pig! And it's dead!"

3. JoJo drank some beer and turned into a little angel:

4. Mouse drank some beer and turned into a silly person:

5. I drank some beer and...

6. ...spilled it on T-bone's shoe:

7. It's cool, though. He forgave me. He even commented on how springy my hair was. (Beer is good for hair.)

8. Later on, we all put on helmets for safety.

I'm pretty sure that's how the day went, anyway.

Friday, September 29, 2006


So, here I am whiling away my morning, waiting for the plumbers. My sink has decided that it's a fountain, and is spewing crap everywhere and generally behaving badly. Also, there's a horrible smell, and I've spent all morning trying to figure out the worst possible explanation for it.

These include:

1) Cheese build up, similar to what's probably going on in my arteries.
2) Sink schmutz, which, if you've ever worked in food service, you know is the vilest and most toxic substance known to man.
3) Rat. Dead rat.
4) Pipe rot, or similar. Something that would require me not to use my kitchen for a month, which would give me an excuse to continue not cooking. (Hey! That rules!)
5) Severed fingers of previous tenant, preserved zombie-style in the elbow of the drain, just waiting to creep out under cover of darkness and pinch my nose shut while I'm sleeping.

Probably it's cheese, though. That seems a safe bet.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ladies and Gents

I'm not the world's best blogger this week. It's the end of the quarter, which is not so bueno for those of us who are operating on a quarterly system. It means that there's a lot of work to do.

While I'm doing that work, which pays the hosting and all, I leave you with the following question: Would you date someone who had a blog? Don't rush to answer. This is important.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Question for a Sunday Night


Seriously, I'm still traumatized over the flashing incident. One must be prepared to see a naked man. Naken men cannot just be, ah, thrust upon one.


Um, I hope it's OK with all of you that there was a NUDE MAN sitting in his first floor window, WAVING AT ME as I walked home from the train tonight. NUDE, in case you missed it. Also waving.

Also, FYI, he found it extremely amusing when I shrieked and ran. I suppose that's just about everything a nude, waving, first-floor-window sitting maniac could hope for.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Shut Up, Jared Leto

The Feed, via Salon:

Jared Leto: "The blog is yesterday's parachute pants. It's here now but it's gone tomorrow."

Everyone Else:
"Nice Crocs."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Yes, Yes, I'm Going to Hell

Me: OK, celebrity dead pool. Who will die first, Kate Bosworth or Nicole Richie?

Ma Smash: Um ... Kate Bosworth!

Wrong! Nicole Richie will be dead as mutton by Christmas.

Ma Smash: Dead as ... you're a crazy person.

Me: Wrong! I'm a terrible person. There's a difference.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

You Know It Will Take You Where You Want to Go

I love the subway. When I moved here, people told me not to take it after a certain hour. They told me not to take certain lines. I listened, because I'm not foolhardy most of the time. But I resented it. I want a world where I can take the subway all the time, at all hours, without any fear.

New York is supposed to be one of the country's safest cities now. What that means is that there's only one crime for every 37 people. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound all that safe to me. Although it's probably accurate. I did a count tonight in my head, and I probably know about 30 people well enough to say I know them, and two of them have had their pants pockets cut open on the train, and one has been mugged at gunpoint.

It's not safe here, is my point. But there are attractions. Tonight, I rode the subway home from Hell's Kitchen, where I met my old friend Jes for drinks. We hadn't spoken in 5 years. When we knew each other, we were young and soft and dumb and worried, and lived in Boston. She's married and has a baby now, and I'm ... older and tougher and hopefully less dumb. Anyway, I live in New York.

She got on the bus at Port Authority, which used to have homeless crack-addicted teens living there, and now has a bowling alley (or maybe always had both.) I got on the train, and sped back to Park Slope.

If you ever look look out the window on my train, you'll see a lot of interesting things. For one, you see your real face, not your mirror face. I have thin lips, so I make a dreadful draggy mirror face most of the time. It's only when I catch myself unawares that I see my real expression.

You also see, long about Bergen Street on the F, the underground. The tracks opposite plunge down a level, and if you're looking out, you can see lights beneath the platform, and trash collected beneath the tracks. No mole people, but it's still a world no one lives in, as far as I'm concerned. Like a snowglobe, only not pretty.

Ms. Jes asked me this evening if I was happy I moved here, and I gave her my platitudes. I told her about my friends, and my apartment, which has more than one room, and my job.

"You think you'll stay?" she asked. She lives upstate now, has a house.

"I think so. Although, you know, it's only been a year. Ask me when I'm 35. I might have a different story for you."

Not smiling, she looked me over. The thing I forgot about Jes is that she actually looks at people. "Some people get here and they stay forever," she said. "It's just where they belong."

"Yeah, I dunno about that yet," I glugged my beer. "But I'll tell you. It's better here for me, so far. It suits me. Everyone's obsessive and crazy like me, so I don't seem strange. I can work as hard as I want without being weird. Also, I'm cuter here than I was in Boston, as far as boys are concerned."

"That doesn't surprise me. You're a New York girl."

Nice to have confirmation of that, after a year of thinking so.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I Need My Secret Decoder Ring

The woman at the laundromat is trying to tell me something. I don't mean psychically, and I'm not cracking up. I mean that she's actually trying to speak to me, but due to the fact that she is Haitian and I don't speak patois, I have no idea what she's saying.

She seems to think we're friends though. She's always delighted to see me. And I can sort of tell from the inflection of what she's trying to say that she approves of my sartorial choices.

We did have a bad patch there, when I threw an empty box of Tide into the trash outside instead of the indoor trash at the laundromat, but I think we've moved past it. She spoke English that time, for a couple words. I managed to make up out "NO" and "BUSINESS TRASH" and "INDOORS." I'd like to reciprocate, and learn a couple words in patois, just in the name of politeness.

I'd start with whatever the translation for "I'M READING" is, or maybe: "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE SAYING. PLEASE GO AWAY."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Ahhh! Baby Without a Face!

I spent most of today nursing a hangover. Thankfully, I have cable now, so I could watch horrible cheesy movies on Sci-Fi all day long.

Unfortunately, at some point I switched to TLC and they were showing some documentary about a baby who was born without a face. That's right: No face. Just a toothy slit where her mouth should be.

I might never be the same again. I might need to sue TLC. I'm not sure I can really deal with a world in which babies are born without faces.

I'm sure all of this would be easier to cope with, were I not exhausted and vitamin deficient.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hey, I Can Try Something New

Me: So, I have a date on Wednesday night. At a place with tablecloths. There might also be candles.

Dad: There are supposed to tablecloths and candles.

Me: Well, you know, I don't like to be that girl.

Dad: Mmmmph.

Me: But I have to say, I like this better so far. Usually the boys I date are less, "how about dinner on Wednesday?" and more "so, I'll call you when I get out of Kinkos, if I'm not too high."

Dad: (Dryly.) Dare to dream, Peaches.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Where's Smash?

Blogging Fashion Week. So, um, please read it, please? Thank you.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

At the Beach With Ma Smash

A beautiful (windy) day at the beach. Mrs Piddlington stands before the tossing waves, smiling gamely as her loving sister fiddles with a camera. Shortly before the shutter clicks (assuming digital cameras have a shutter, what do I know) Mrs P falls over into the sand.

Mrs P: (Standing up, shaking sand out of her clothes.) Ah! I have sand in my pants.

Ma Smash: Oh, that's nice, Jennie. Make sure you get a good picture of your sister's SAND ... BOX.

Truly, there's no hope for me.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Church Sign Generator

Almost Outta Here

My friends, it is long past time for me to have a small vacation. I can tell, because I'm getting subway rage. Anyone who cuts in front of me, slops over into my seat, steps on my foot, or smells bad runs the risk of getting my pointy little freckled elbow right in their eyeball. That's just about everyone, FYI.

I don't want to talk to strangers -- not even cab drivers or laundromat attendants, people I usually find quite entertaining. I do not care what they did back in Haiti. I'm sorry that life has been difficult lately. Still, I do not wish to hear about their ungrateful children.

If you have a stroller, you should learn how to jog with it or get out of my way. If you are in front of me on line, you should move forward immediately as soon as the person in front of you moves up. If you are looking for an address, you should move out of the middle of the sidewalk. If you do not, well, here comes the elbow again.

Saturday, I will be going to the Cape with Ma and Pa Smash, Mrs. Piddlington and the LT (Mr. Piddlington, who is actually a Captain, but "the LT" is more fun to say). We will sit on the beach. We will eat fried foods. We will read books and not pester each other while we are reading books -- unlike, say the laundromat attendant this evening, who felt that I was reading out of boredom, and would love to hear about her kids.

The origins of this tirade, I hope, are now clear. I cannot wait for vacation!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Jennie Smash: Not a Dodgeball Champion

Do you know about this thing Dodgeball? No, not the humilating game, played by my middle school classmates and at yours truly. Dodgeball, the social networking phenomenon. What you do is, you go to the website and sign yourself up. And then you get a bunch of friends to sign up as well. (Or, more likely, if you're me, your friends ask you to sign up, and then wait patiently while you absorb the information. "Dodgeball? Will people throw things at me? No? Is it like Friendster? No? I'm just not sure about this. But you say I should sign up? Is it free?" And so on.)

Anyway, it is free, and here's how it works. Via the site, and some means I've never quite figured out, you text and email your network of friends with your current location and activities, and then they can meet you wherever you are, if they wish. This saves you the trouble of actually texting your friends by hand, the old-fashioned way, which is wonderful if your hands have been replaced by hooks, or if you're very drunk, or if you're hoping that your ex-boyfriend, whom you "accidentally" forgot to remove from your network, will come stalk you at your favorite bar, grill, or speakeasy.

I'm not smart enough to figure this out, but it's probably just as well. I only like about five people at any given time, and am more than able to text those people by hand (or hook), in any state of drunkenness. You can ask them. They'll tell you.

Also, to be honest, if I were to lob them a dodgeball, it would look like this: :: jennie s. checked in...

Hey there, your friend jennie s. just checked in at her small but well-appointed home in brooklyn. She is lying around in her underpants and eating cheese.

In underpants
Her house

Why not swing by and say hello?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Comment of the Day

"Maybe you're the one who should be spayed! Hopefully your are sterile...I'd hate to see your hatred passed on to innocent children." [Exclamation point mine; misspellings hers.]

You'll be happy to know, pal o'mine, that I try to spread my hatred to any and all impressionable children who are left in my care. So as long as Mrs. P has kids, it shouldn't matter if I'm sterile. I can still destroy the youth of America.

Violins on TV

Me: I think Barack Obama should be our next president.

Ma Smash:
You think Eric Bana should be our next president?

No! Barack Obama! Barack Obama!

Ma Smash:
I know you love him, Jennie, but do you really think he knows enough about American politics? He's Australian. Also, they'd have to amend the Constitution.

Me: Mum. BAR-ACK. OH. BAH. MA. Do you know who that is?

Ma Smash: Oh! I thought you said Eric Bana.

Me: No.

Ma Smash: Well, I have no idea who that is.


Ma Smash: But I'm glad you didn't say Eric Bana. I don't think that would work.

Me: .

Ma Smash: Hello? Sweetheart?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Jennie Needs a Break

To quote the Donut: "I want to see a medical exam."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hubleyfest 2006

I woke up Saturday morning at about 8 a.m. This is not usual. Also: I was on my couch. Also, my Dad was sitting in the chair opposite, with a pair of pliers in his hand, working over the cable wire. When he saw that my eyes were open, he said, "I've figured it out. The stupid cable guy cut both ends. What time does the hardware store open?"

"I have no idea," I croaked. "Nine?"

He nodded. "I'll go out and get some coffee and muffins soon. And then I'll stop by the hardware store and get some ends for this. We'll have this up and running in no time!" He examined the end again. "Cut both ends. That's not right, you know. This end is your property."

My folks came to visit me this weekend, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I miss them now. We went to see the Statue of Liberty and hung out with my cousin in Chelsea and lounged around my place. Also, my Dad rewired my cable and my Mom cleaned my livingroom. And then Dad hung all my paintings and such. When they left, I looked around in shock. In five hours they'd managed to do more than I have since I moved into the place.

One of these days I'm going to grow up. Just not, you know, soon.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Little Help From My Friends

Eric: And what are you doing this evening?

Me: I just called the Mouse. I need him to come over and help me assemble my kitchen cart.

Eric: So what does it feel like to be married, but not?

Me: I hate you intensely.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Naked People

I went back to the gym today, after two weeks of being too busy and/or sick to go, and I was alarmed to discover that sometime during my hiatus, I became one of the naked people.

If you go to a gym, you know these people. They parade around the locker room, from the showers to the scale to the lockers, wearing nothing but their landing strip. I used to scorn these people, assuming that they were either hideously vain or possessed of such horribly low self-esteem that they wanted all of us to suffer their nudity along with them.

Many of them had weird habits, too. Horowitz once told me about a woman at her gym who used to blow-dry her ass. She'd stand before the mirrors, buck nekkid, and blow dry her hair. And then, when she was done, she'd bend over, spread 'em, and blow dry her hiney. Why? I dunno. All I know is that Horowitz starting bringing her own hair dryer.

I'm not that far gone, but I did find myself wandering around the locker room naked this afternoon. I was over at my locker and realized I needed a plastic bag to put my gym clothes in. So I padded across the room to the mirrors and grabbed one.

I realize that this might not sound all that strange to many people. To those people all I can say is: Keep your creepy hippie nudist lifestyle to yourself! When I start wandering around sans pants in semi-public places, you know it's time for me to start getting a bit more sleep.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

He Got Game

"The problem is, I have no game," Andrew said.

I considered the problem. It was one I'd heard before, from many men, but hadn't really given much credence to. I mean, c'mon: Do we really need to be fooled, we ladies, into sleeping with a guy? It seems silly.

"You don't need game," I said. "You're a handsome guy! Doing interesting things. Anyone would be happy to get with you."

He shook his head. "This is not true. Think about it. Guys need game."

I thought about it.

"You know," I said. "You might have a point. I know this one guy who gets girls by saying the worst possible thing he can think of."

"Like? I need examples."

"Well, OK. Like, on my birthday, I looked pretty good, right? I mean, I'd had my hair blown out and took a shower and everything."

"I remember."

"And he came up to me and said, 'You're looking for cock!'"

"See? See! Did that work?"

"No. I mean, I didn't jump on him or anything."

"But you thought it was charming! That's what I need! I need game."

"Well, I guess you just have to figure out what your thing is." Pause. "But I wouldn't recommend that routine. It's not for amateurs."

Smash vs. the Delivery Company

I am in the process of being destroyed by furniture delivery companies, but I will not let it happen. Nolite bastardes carborundum.

When I moved into the new apartment, I made a decision that I would no longer live like a college student. To that end, I have purchased a great deal of furniture online, and also given some consideration to buying more than one drinking glass and perhaps a pan that doesn't look like something a hobo would take with him on his cross-country excursion, in order to heat up beans before the railroad cops steal it and use it to beat in his head.

Cooking remains a mystery to me, is what I'm saying. But I am determined to have someplace to put my socks.

To this end, I went to and ordered, in the space of a few hours, a bureau, a desk, a kitchen cart and a rug. I'll show you the rug, but you can't see the rest, because frankly, we just don't know each other well enough for you to know what all my furniture looks like. Next you'll want to know about my underwear and before you know it, we'll be dating. (Hint: my underwear comes in packages of three from Old Navy and frequently features silhouettes of gender-neutral persons surfing or else ginormous Hawaiian flowers.)

Here's the rug:

As the rug shows, I'm in the process of turning my home into my grandmother's house, circa 1978. If I can locate a Formica table, rest assured I will have that installed right under the owl-shaped kitchen clock, and directly to the left of the brass wall hanging shaped like a sailing ship.

Anyway, all of this is fine, if a bit expensive, but the trouble is that most delivery companies suck ass. For one thing, they require you to be home during the day, which is kinda hard if you work for a living. (Which, let's face it, you probably do, otherwise how could you afford all this furniture you're having delivered?) Also, the "delivery window" is generally ridiculously large, like 10 to 7, and largely hypothetical. The last problem is that no one wants to be a customer service representative, so the person who fields your inquiry, when your furniture fails to arrive, is either stupid, in prison, or deeply unhappy. (Sometimes all three.)

This is what happened when I called the delivery company to inquire about the location of my kitchen cart.

Customer Service Representative:
Hello, this is [blankety-blank courier service]. For quality purposes this phone call may be recorded. How can I help you?

Me: Yeah, I've been waiting for a delivery for a couple of days now, and I guess you couldn't drop it off because I wasn't home.

Can I have your tracking number, ma'am?

Me: Sure, it's [blah, blah, blah].

CSR: OK, ma'am, I'm showing that the third and final delivery attempt was today, and that it could not be delivered because the signator [no, I'm not kidding -JH] was not home.

Me: Oh, yes, I know, see, the thing is, I knew I couldn't be home, so I asked Target if I could have my neighbor sign for it, and they said yes. So I put a sign on the door and told them to go across the street.

CSR: OK, ma'am, we cannot deliver the package to anyone other than the addressee.

Me: Um, OK. Well, what are our options then?

You'll have to come pick up the package.


CSR: It looks like the closest pickup point is on Foster Ave., ma'am.

Me: Foster Ave. Do you know what neighborhood that's in?

CSR: No, ma'am.

Me: Hmmm. OK. Well, listen. Today's Monday. Can you hold the package at the Foster Ave. facility til Saturday? Cuz that's as soon as I'd be able to get over there.

CSR: We can hold the package for five days, ma'am.

OK, so ... until Saturday?

Yes, ma'am.

Me: OK. What are your hours?

Ma'am, our hours are 9:30-6:00, Monday through Friday.

Me: And what are your hours on Saturday?

We're closed on Saturday, ma'am.

At this point, your humble narrator completely lost her shit. I was in the process of threatening to start some sort of grass roots campaign against the company, when my buzzer rang. It was the delivery guy, as you might have suspected. Great, right?


"This package weighs 150 pounds," he said. "Who's gonna help me get this up the stairs?"

I opened my arms and beamed, "You're looking at her!"

He looked me over. I was wearing a skirt and flip-flops. I'm about 5' 2".

"Anyone else?" he asked.

At this point, my neighbor from across the street wandered over. This is the guy I was going to have sign for the package in the first place. He runs a store across the street that sells incense and crystals and religious statues and seems to spend most of his time sitting in a round cushy chair outside the entrance, reading a newspaper. He's Indian and has a long gray beard and smiles almost constantly.

"Hello!" he said. "This gentleman was most anxious to get you this package."

"This guy's gonna help me," The delivery guy told me. "He said earlier."

Let's recap, in case you missed that: The delivery guy would rather have the guy across the street, who didn't strike me as a prematurely gray-haired man, help him with the 150 pound breakfast cart instead of me, a strapping, 30-year-old person who often goes to the gym expressly to pick up heavy things and put them back down again. Sexism!

Eventually, the delivery guy decided he would do it himself, and rolled the box up my steps to the landing, where he pronounced it as delivered as it was gonna be. And then I bid my neighbor goodbye, assuring him that I would call a friend to get the box inside.

"It's a nice hot day for it!" He said. "Have fun!"

I immediately went upstairs and called Smyres.

"The breakfast cart is here," I said.

"It is? Jesus. Where was it earlier? In the back yard, or something?"

"It's a long story. I need your help. Also, I need beer and meat. If you help me, I will buy you beer and meat. What do you say?"

"OK. I'll leave now."

This is why Smyres will inherit all of my new furniture when I finally have that stress-related aneurysm.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

The Old Switcheroo

I dedicated the bulk of this weekend to taking care of apartment stuff, because my place still looks like the Joad's jalopy after two months of living here. The trouble is, I don't notice that things are messy until they're really, really bad. It's one of many reasons why I live alone. When I had roommates, I'd forget all about cleaning the tub or even checking the mail until someone hit me over the head about it. I mean that literally. Roommates actually used to strike me, and no one blamed them. In fact, I think Ma Smash might've baked pies for a few of them, out of sympathy.

Anyway, the good thing about planning a whole day of cleaning is that it means I'll get a lot of writing done. Because I operate under the Old Switcheroo School of Productivity. Need to get writing done? Plan to clean. Need to clean the bathtub? Commit to a freelance project. It works really well, I'll tell you. Except that my bathtub is somehow filthy, and I've neglected even this blog, more precious to me than all other projects -- except the ones that actually pay the damn rent. Ahem.

So, in an effort to prove to you all that I don't have blogger burnout, I've decided to answer a few reader questions. This of course means that I definitely have blogger burnout, and that it's only a matter of time before I have to hang it up entirely.

Today's questions are from MiamiPRMama, whose profile seems to exist only for the purposes of this blog, and so I won't bother you by linking to a blank page. Ms. Mama recently posted the following comment and questions in reference to my recent exhaustion:

You know, pregnancy can also cause extreme exhaustion. I hope you're being careful.
And I'm sure you're not fat. Whatever happened to the new hottness? Or the dating fiesta? Where are the updates? Feel better.

OK, let's take these one at a time.

Q) Pregancy can cause extreme exhaustion. I hope you're being careful.

A) Yikes, Miami P., keep your voodoo to yourself! The new apartment is bigger than the old one, but it ain't big enough for a baby, that's for sure. Also, I just spent all my money on furniture, and kids are more expensive than puppies, even if they're less likely to pull at their stitches.

Q) I'm sure you're not fat. Whatever happened to the new hottness?

A) The new hottness continues, albeit not as regularly as it should. I figured out that in order to make it work, I'd have to eat less, as well as exercise. This is a drag, but I'm seriously vain, which gives me something like will power. (Otherwise, I have none.) So I've been cutting calories. Bleh.

Q) What about the dating fiesta?

A) The fiesta is quite festive, although New York is not helping my two-month relationship limit. This place gives you dating ADD, for sure. Although, I had a great talk with my old pal Horowitz yesterday about this, and she said that in her opinion, two months is how long it takes to figure out that you're not really into someone. For example, not so very long ago, I fell madly in lust with this one guy, only to realize, two months later, that: he couldn't spell, hadn't read anything since high school except the TV Guide, and smoked more pot on a daily basis than the entire population of Jamaica. Understand that I had convinced myself that we had a deep spiritual connection. This was based largely on the fact that he had a very soulful expression, I felt. It took two months to figure out that he wasn't contemplating anything. He was just squinting, because his eyes were dry from pot fumes.

So there you go. Updates! And now if you'll excuse me, I have to wander back into the bathroom and try to convince myself to clean the tub.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Occupation: Jackass

There are many things I love about living in New York, and a few I hate. People who ask you what you do, immediately after meeting you, are one of the latter.

The question goes like this: "What do you do?" It comes right after you learn each other's name, and it implies both "for a living" and "with your life" in equal measure.

Now, I love my job. But that hasn't always been the case. Years ago, when I was an underpaid peon at a publishing company and a boyfriend actually broke up with me because he felt that I wasn't serious about my career ... not so much. Or, you know, when I got laid off from my first decently paying gig ... not so much. But that was before I lived in New York, and in Boston, people don't ask you what you do, because they don't talk to you unless they already know you. So that was OK. I didn't have to deal with it.

But in New York ... oy. Five seconds after you meet someone, you're giving them your CV. Everything is a networking opportunity.

Last night, I went to a party and had far too many Stellas for one who is trying to shed weight, and at least five different people asked me the dreaded question. And each time, I gave them my occupation and company name and a brief sketch of what I do. But by the end of the night, I was sick of it, and decided to think up a few substitute answers. Here are a few of my imagined responses to the dreaded question, "So what do you do?"

"Your Mom."

"I work at Wendy's. Right now I'm doing the fries, but if everything works out, I'll move to the register."

"Oh, you know."

"I'm training to be a Welfare Queen."

"I perform unnatural acts with napkin dispensers for small fees. Because of the current legal climate, it's best if we refer to this as 'performance art.'"

"Ha! Ha ha ha. What?"

"Never mind that. What are we going to do about all these hurricanes, hmmm?"

I had lunch with my friend Cedric today, and I told him how irritated I was with this question, and he had an interesting perspective. A few things you should know, right off the bat: Cedric is German, uses the word "efficient" at least three times in every conversation, and believes that my desire to be known for my writing is evidence of "hubris."

Anyway, Cedric said, "You know that this question is just people who are trying to be polite and cannot think of anything else to say, right?"

I sort of stared at him for a second, blinking. "So ... then ... actually, by making fun of them, I'm sort of being a snob because I can think of something else to say?"

He smiled kindly. Hubris!

Several Unrelated Paragraphs on Various Things

It's finally a normal temperature outside, and I keep thinking I should be out there taking advantage of it, but then I lie down until the urge passes. At least I have the windows open.

I have three birthday parties this weekend. Two of the birthday boys are turning 29. November 1976* must have been cold and lonely. (It took me way too long to do that math.)

My apartment needs to be cleaned and the slave girl seems to have disappeared again.

I'm waiting for my new bureau to be delivered, so that I can stand the box in the corner and look at it. Because it requires assembly, and I'm lazy. When I get it put together, it will be the first bureau I've owned in five years. I'm confused about how I've been organizing my underpants all this time.

*Thanks Angelina!

Thursday, August 3, 2006

I Heart Mrs. P

I was explaining to a friend the other day what, exactly, is so fantastic about Mrs. Piddlington. She's my sister and all, but anyone who has siblings can tell you that that's not a guarantee of adoration.

Anyway, here's why: Mrs. P is the only person I know who not only puts up with my particular brand of lunacy, but also thinks it's funny. On any given day, I'm liable to call her up and this conversation:

Mrs. Piddlington:


Mrs. Piddlington: What's up?

Me: I'm getting fat.

Mrs. Piddlington:

Me: Yes!

Mrs. Piddlington: I'm sure not. You looked great when I saw you.

Me: In March? Listen, can you just tell me: Do I sound fat?

Mrs. Piddlington:
(Soothingly.) You sound very thin.

Me: Really?

Mrs. Piddlington:
Too thin, maybe! Why don't you eat something.

OK, one more thing.

Mrs. Piddlington:
Mmm hmmm?

Me: Do you think it's possible that I'm totally riddled with tumors? Because I've been really tired lately.

Mrs: Piddlington:
(Laughing.) I love you.

See that? Anyone else would have hung up! I love me some Mrs. P.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Gah! Snarfle! Erg!

The evil cold has returned. Not full force, mind you: Just enough so that I feel cranky and look worse. It's really possible that I have pneumonia or something. Or, alternately, that I've been such a crabby mccrabpants that I gave myself a cold, using the awesome powers of my own negative vibes.

Why all the negative vibes? Well, I'll tell you.

1) It's fegging hot outside. My deodorant has completely ceased to work, I can't wear jeans more than once, and even in my air conditioned apartment, I start sweating every time I so much as wash a dish or write a check. (Which is why I'm going to stop doing both immediately.)

2) I went to a wedding on Sunday. It was beautiful. However, it did make me wonder if, oh, say, a 30 year old person who has never dated anyone for more than two months at a stretch might want to get a bit concerned about, you know, dying alone.

3) I feel like poo. We've covered that already.

4) People are stupid and they smell worse than me. The guy sitting next to me on the subway this morning smelled like untended balls, and it was not OK with me, thanks for asking. Also, everyone has 9 screaming kids with them all of a sudden. This being Park Slope, capital neighborhood of over-eager parents, many of the kids are bilingual and can holler in two languages.

5) I have a lousy attitude and blah blah blah.

How are you all holding up?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Pretty Miss Shitty

I've been stomping around all day long like some sort of evil, ill-tempered dwarf: Walking all flat-footed, so my little hooves make as much noise as possible, sneering at clerks and delivery people and my fellow Park Slope-ians and their damn baby carriages. Just generally, I've been unpleasant.

I figured it was because I woke up feeling a little crappy again, or because I have a wedding tomorrow and it necessitates my leaving New York proper and venturing into the wilds of Long Island via the LIRR (pronounced "lurrrrrrr"). I'm not an awesome traveller over short distances. Like, I can board a plane to Paris, no problem, and I don't even speak French, and it's not like it's easy to get home if something goes wrong and blah, blah, blah -- but I'm fine. In that case, you just surrender yourself to the travel gods and smile nicely. Short-term travel, though ... ugh. All those train schedules and cars. I really don't like to be too far away from the F train, if you'd like to know the truth. It's like my mass transit security blanket.

Finally, the real reason for my crabbiness: I believe I have the PMS. It's a little early, if so, but what can you do? Hormones wait for no woman.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Great Green Gobs

There is stuff coming out of my nose that doesn't bear describing. But I'm going to describe it anyway, because I have nothing else to talk about. Also, this stuff is free. The blog, I mean. Not the stuff in my nose. Although that's free, too, come to think of it.

I think a license plate fell out of my nose this morning, as well as an old-fashioned baby carriage, similar to the one featured in Rosemary's Baby. Definitely 457 separate germs emerged from my nostrils today, and despite my best efforts, I'm sure I left them on every subway pole on the F train and every phone in my office. Sorry about that. I didn't mean to. Mistakes were made.

Still. Since you're going to be sick now, here's what you can expect:

On the first day of your illness, you will awaken to find that your neck is stiff. Must be all that hooking up with unbelievably hot and unprincipled men, you'll think. Man, I should have stuck with gymnastics! But no. What you're actually experiencing is the first stage of tube neck. By day three, this condition will have gotten so bad that you'll give people a dirty look when you see them eating solid food, and whenever someone calls you from behind, you'll have to turn your whole body like an android.

By the afternoon of day one, your throat will be sore. By the evening, you'll have body aches. By then, you'll be pretty sure you're sick. Because you are insane, it's a good idea to consult the Internet as to the nature of your affliction. Decide that it's either cholera, malaria or industrial strength gonorrhea -- they kind they only get in Russian prisons anymore.

By the morning of day two, you will consider writing out your will. Your body hurts all over now, not just your skin and the muscles in your neck, but everywhere. Every muscle, sinew and joint screams. Flossing is out of the question. You cannot stand the idea of brushing your hair. You'll slump to the bodega across the street from Tylenol and be really pissed when the local homeless guy looks at you in awe and forgets to ask you for change.

By the evening of day two, you'll think about going to the hospital. You will not think about this because you're a hypochondriac, or because you like to think up scenarios for your own amusement -- although both these things are true. You will think about going to the hospital because you have the highest fever you've ever had, you're pretty sure (well, as sure as you can be without actually owning a thermometer) and because it occurs to you that the one flaw in the whole "living alone" plan is that no one would know if you were to, say, die. At least you don't have a cat. It would totally suck if Fluffy ate your face before the neighbors noticed the smell.

By the morning of day three, the sweats will have arrived, and your fever will drop. You'll be happy to sweat. For one thing, it's something you're pretty sure dead people can't do. Ergo, you must be alive. Thank God you took that one philosophy class in college, before you realized that all the boys in that department really did wear black turtlenecks and smoke Gauloises. I mean, really.

By day four, you'll feel almost human -- for nearly two hours at a stretch. After that, well, it's hard to say. By afternoon, you'll probably feel shitty again. At the very least, there's a nap in your future. But maybe not! You could lie down for a nap, and then discover that what your body really wants is another (yet another) Vitamin Water and a short walk around the neighborhood. (Which will feel like a triathlon, BTW.)

Day five is tomorrow, and it better be better, is all I can say. I've been mouth-breathing so long, my teeth are turning yellow and if I don't get back to the gym soon, there won't be anything left to rescue.

Now give us a kiss. I swear, I'm not catching!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Ma Smash: Remember when I told you that you had albino hepatitis?

Me: Ha! Yes.

Ma Smash: I think it made the blog.

Me: Yes, it did.

Ma Smash: I used to make the blog all the time, but I don't make the blog anymore.

Me: Oh my GOD.

Ma Smash: I just don't think I'm as funny as I used to be.

Me: Look ... no. I haven't been good lately. I've been busy at work.

Ma Smash: Sigh. Well, I'm not thinking of me, you know. I'm only thinking of Eric.

Fever 'N Ague

Last night, I felt like such crap I actually thought about going to the hospital. Ho ho, you say. You're such a hypochondriac! But for reals, folks, you never remember how bad the flu feels until you have it. Remember on The Cosby Show, when Cliff and Clair had the flu and stayed in bed for like three episodes? OK, fine, it was because Phylicia Rashad was pregnant and they needed to hide her belly under the blankets. Whatever. What I'm saying is that I felt like crap.

In fact, at one point, I decided I had fever 'n ague, just like the Ingalls family in the Little House on the Prairie books. (You can tell my brain is fevered: All these pop cultural references from my childhood coming to the surface.) Then, of course, I looked it up on the Internets and discovered that fever 'n ague is actually malaria. I might be crazy, but I'm not that crazy. I know I don't have malaria. Mostly because I never go places where mosquitoes might be.

Anyway, the point is: Don't get this cold or flu or ague or whatever it is. You don't want it. Trust me.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Out of Commission

I have the most dreadful summer cold in the history of dreadful summer colds. I'm either burning or freezing, and every muscle in my body hurts. I had to call into work, that's how sick I am. It's not OK.

Anyway, back with more stories when I'm recovered.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

On the F Train, Heading Home

It's been hot. So hot that you take three showers a day. So hot that you keep deodorant in your desk and reapply so as to spare your coworkers. Finally, this evening, it rained. I was walking back from the F train at the time, without an umbrella. It's many blocks from the F to my house. Halfway home, I realized that the rain felt good, after being sticky and hot for so long, and I started to run. I ran five blocks in heels, the rain streaming off me, laughing while people stared. You could call it joy, and it wouldn't be a stretch.

Anyway, when I got home, I found this piece, left over from a year and a half ago, when I first moved to New York:

The last time I saw Marie, she told me something that I've never forgotten. We were riding the F train from her apartment in Brooklyn into Manhattan for a day of shopping. We were taking, pretty much, the route that she took every day to get to her publishing job in Times Square.

"I hate this train," she said. "Even on the weekends. It reminds me of going to work."

It wasn't her job that she hated so much, she explained. It was more like everything. And like all depressed people, she dreaded the routine parts of her day the most, the rituals that reminded her that she was still dragging around the earth in the same old way. At least once a week, she told me, she'd be riding the F train back home, and she'd just start sobbing. And the fact that no one looked at her or even seemed to notice that she was so sad filled her with loneliness and despair.

This was the second anecdote involving transportation I'd gathered from the weekend. The first had happened to me in person. As I exited the Port Authority, dragging a huge duffle bag and trying my best not to get separated from Marie in the boiling crowd, I'd collided with a homeless man who was standing in the middle of the doorway screaming, "Welcome to New York! Fuck you! Fuck you!" It's pretty hard to carry a thirty pound duffle when you're hysterical with laughter.

Marie and I lost touch eventually, as you do. Last I heard, she'd gotten engaged and moved to New Jersey with her fiance. I hope she's happier on the PATH.

Today, I am on her old train, the F. This morning I went to Wall Street for the first time ever. I had an interview. If I get it, I'm moving. Just like that. New city, new job, new friends. I should be terrified, but instead I'm elated, energized. The subway smells like pee and I'm nearly happy about it. This subway smells like pee; it's a real subway. This subway ... has street cred.

After I interviewed, I went up to Chelsea to meet a friend for lunch. This involved digging out my little Not For Tourists guide to New York, and figuring out where the hell they'd stashed the ACE train, and then finding the restaurant.

This might not seem like a big deal to you, but I have no sense of direction at all. I'm the kind of person who can get lost driving from her apartment to a restaurant just down the street, without making any turns or even going around a rotary. But here, I found my way as if I'd laid out the city myself. I had a weird feeling, even without the map, that I already knew where I was going. This was the first time this had ever, ever happened to me. I experienced, for the first time, what it must be like to have a sense of direction. You lucky, lucky bastards, is all I can say, because it's great. It's like being competent, or something.

After lunch, on the F train, heading back home, I realize that I feel like I'm heading back home, and I start to cry. Not loudly. No big hiccuping sobs. Still, if you were looking right at me, you'd know I was crying. Fortunately, no one is looking at me at all.

I'm not crying because I'm sad. I'm crying because it's the first time in a long time I've been happy about something that's actually mine – not a guy or a stupid party or someone else's good news. This hasn't been given to me, even though I'm getting a lot of help from my friends, who are putting me up while I look for a job and an apartment, and from my family, who are donating time, money and patience to encouraging me to go. This is something that will be hard, and interesting, and entirely for me. I feel young and hopeful and very, very lucky. And when no one even blinks at me as I sniffle away, I don't feel alone at all. I feel like myself.