Monday, February 27, 2006

Cuz That's How We Roland

The Drunken Mouse and I enjoy several bars in my neighborhood, but our favorite is Botanica. It's got all the stuff a good bar needs: lots of places to sit, cheap beer on tap, surly but charmable waitstaff and a decor that could have been lifted from my Gramma's rec room, circa 1983. (Think paneling.)

But the best thing about Botanica? The freaks.

Since I've adopted it as my home away from work, Botanica has thrown me into the path of many a weirdo. I've met a girl who looked so much like a boy that I talked to her for half an hour before I realized that she wasn't a he. (Good thing she wasn't my type.) I've met a homeless dude who claimed to have just spent two days in Rikers for picking up bent Metro cards on the platform of the F-train. (A lie, as it turns out, since people don't go to Rikers until after they're arraigned.)

But my favorite weirdo of all time is Roland.

The Mouse and I were sitting in the back room, where the couches are, when this dude came over to us and asked if he could sit down. He was about 40 years old, black, plainly dressed, and a little freaked out looking. Why soon became apparent, when he plopped down next to me and promptly poured a neat little pile of powder on my knuckle.

"Go ahead!" he said, gesturing in a friendly fashion. "I have plenty!" And proceeded to pull bag after bag of cocaine out of his pocket.

"Oh, my goodness!" I said. "I couldn't!" I swear to God: Just as if he'd offered me cake after the church cookout. I am so, so hip.

"OK, then," he said, and proceeded to snort the powder off my knuckle.

In the next hour -- during which the Mouse and I were too mesmerized by his lunacy to ask him to leave or get up and move, ourselves -- he told us that he was an actor, that his birthday was coming up, that he thought I was really cute, that he didn't think he looked 40, that he'd like to sit closer to me, that he thought we were really nice people, that, no seriously, I was really cute, that he liked the Mouse's hat, that he didn't use that much cocaine, that he'd be happy to give us some if we'd like some, that he wasn't certain if we were sure we didn't want any, that I was really cute, that the Mouse was a cool guy, that he'd like to give us some cocaine, and so on.

It was seriously like watching someone live about 25 years of life in time lapse photography. I kept waiting for his hair to recede into wisps and his cheeks to shrink up. Soon, we would be sitting next to a mummified corpse and he'd still be offering us drugs.

After while, he changed tacks: He was sure that we didn't like him. We didn't like him right? We could just tell him. Should he leave? He was leaving. He was leaving because we didn't like him. (He got up. Sat down again.) He was staying. He was going to stay. He wasn't going anywhere.

Finally, the Mouse looked at his watch, saw that it was about 3 a.m. and recommended that we give a move on. Roland bid us adieu sadly, and we parted company. I'm sure he moved to the next couch and started all over again.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


The other day I went to the ATM to get some cash and a hobo came up to me to ask me for some money. It was broad daylight, and there were other people in the bank; still, I got a bad feeling right away. He was a big hobo, drunk at 1:00 in the afternoon, and he was missing most of his top front teeth.

He hit up the guy next to me first. "Hey, man, can you spare some change? You got a quarter? A nickel? A dime? Everything helps, but a dollar is better!"

"If you wait til I'm done here, I'll see what I can do."

"Thank you, man, thank you." And then he went down the line. I was next. I was desperately punching buttons trying to get through the transaction as quickly as possible, but those ATM computers are slower than the 286 I had in high school.

"Hey, ma'am, can you spare some change?"

"If you wait til I'm done with my transaction, sure." I didn't look at him, but I could smell him. He was standing way too close and crowding out the light from the window.

"Oh, lady! Thank you!" He grabbed my shoulder, trying to pull me in for a hug. "I love you! I love you, lady!"

"JESUS CHRIST!" I yelled, pushing him off me. "Don't TOUCH me! What is the matter with you? Get your goddamn hands off me right now or I'll knock the rest of your teeth out!"

When I told the Mouse this story later, he said that this was one of the funniest things he'd heard in a long time, but I will admit that I immediately felt bad. I mean, the poor guy had to be an addict of some kind, right? No one else in New York walks around without teeth. Still, he scarpered off pretty quickly, and that was the ultimate goal.

When I came out, he was standing outside the door, begging for change on the street. He pointed at me as I stomped by. "This lady does not like me anymore!" he told everyone. "She does not love me! She hates me now!"

All of which was true, by the way.

I then went to catch a train out to Park Slope to visit my friends who live in more than one room, and shared a subway platform with a woman in a clown outfit and a schizophrenic man who was loudly declaiming to all and sundry that he didn't like white women. The clown, who was a white woman, was calmly applying her makeup and didn't seem to notice him. She was wearing a polka-dotted blue clown suit and giant rubber sneakers that looked just like Converse All-Stars -- Sideshow Bob edition.

"I don't like white women!" The man said, glaring first at the clown and then at me. "Chinese women! Black women! They're OK. But white women! Tch!"

I opened my bag and got out a book, which is my usual defense in these situations. He paused for a moment, and I sneaked a look over at him to make sure he wasn't, say, sharpening his knives. But no, he was actually deep in thought. After a minute, he looked up thoughtfully and said, "Well, except for Donna. She's OK."

Good old Donna. Where would we be without her?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Because You TALKED!

If you're feeling low, and you live in New York, all you need to do is hail a cab and cross a bridge from one borough to another. This works best if you're going from Brooklyn to Manhattan. When you see water beneath you and lights above you, it's hard to feel bad. Six dollars later, you're home and in the meantime, you've seen more than most people do on a guided tour.

When I got out of the cab this evening, there were about 400 kids from New Jersey gathered outside my apartment building. They weren't waiting for me, or anything. (I pay my bills.) They were smoking outside the nightclub downstairs. One girl was beautiful and had hair like Priscilla Presley when she married Elvis. She was screaming to her friend who was riding his skateboard down the street.

"I give you a 9.6, MUTHAFUCKA!" she yelled.

"What's 'at?"

"9.4, because YOU TALKED!"

I'm going to start docking people as well. Thank God for the B&T crew. I never knew what luxuries I deserved.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ma Smash Soundbite

Me: No one believes me that you swear like a sailor.

Ma Smash: Wait -- I swear like a sailor? Really?

Me: Well, you know, like when you're driving...

Ma Smash:
Oh, that! That's because of all those fuckers on the road.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I Am Totally Sane and Not Neurotic At All

JennieSmash: i MUST cut down on the beer

JennieSmash: MUST

JennieSmash: i am so obese

JennieSmash: i have a huge beer belly like a truck driver

JennieSmash: men drive by and hoot from their cars



MadCat: hahahh

MadCat: if that actually happened

MadCat: i would be so genuinely entertained


Cross Purposes

I've been going to the gym lately, in an attempt to keep my butt from spreading into the exact shape of my chair, and also because it's good for you and blah blah blah. But mostly, because I'm vain. But here's the thing: Now that I know I'm going to be going to the gym at lunch most days, I don't do my hair anymore. There are a lot of sloppy ponytails and headbands and buns these days. So basically, in an attempt to make myself cuter, I have adopted a hobby that precludes ever doing anything about my hair. I'm not sure this works. Maybe I should go the Homer Simpson route and just get the lipo.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hunker Down!

My neighbor is having some sort of party, and the nightclub downstairs is going ballistic. The latter means nothing, as nightclubs are often wont to go crazy. However, the idea of my neighbor actually enjoying the company of others is both weird and terrifying. I can only assume that the end of the world is on its way.

Maybe I Have Been a Bit Negative, Lately

Ever catch yourself saying something and think, oh my, that state of mind is not OK? That just happened to me a few moments ago, on IM with my friend Jude.

A confession: I am so not in the mood for people's dating stories right now. I'm on a siesta, m'self, and trying to be diligent about work and projects and this class I'm taking and so on. And also, more importantly, I've just had it up to my eyeballs with guys' shit. (Before you write me, I am aware that we women bring out own special brand of crappola into the equation. Howsomever, I do not date women. Therefore, I am only concerned with men's crappola, and its effects on me. Thank you.)

So anyway, Jude runs through his latest adventures, and then asks me what's going on with me. Specifically, what he said was, "Is the booty ban still on?" Because my pals are classy like that.

I assured him that it was, and then admitted that I was not as gung ho about the whole thing as I'd been, say, three months ago when the siesta started. I miss all the fun stuff that goes along with the crap. When your interaction with men has become fighting off drunk dudes in bars and trying to convince Romanian cab drivers that you never lived on the mountain in springtime, well, it's a little depressing.

I would start dating again, I told him, but I'm very busy. I just don't have time to have my heart stompled on right now.

Being a good pal, he suggested that perhaps I would not get my heart stompled on.

I assured him that I would: "What you need to understand is that for about two months, I am totally the most awesome girl anyone has ever met. After that, my stock plummets. Why? I dunno. Alls I do know is that if I sucked at my chosen career the way I suck at relationships, one might suggest that I seek other line of work."

"Jesus," he said. (And here it's helpful to know that Jude is a goth.) "I'm not lending you my eyeliner and fishnets."

Which is good, cuz I look silly in them. However, I do see his point.

Monday, February 20, 2006

That Would Be Good for the Blog!

Ma Smash: You've got to be kidding me! All the funny stuff I say, and Tito makes the blog?

Me: Hey look: If I wrote down every funny thing you said, I wouldn't have time to bathe, sleep or go to work.

Ma Smash: But I've said a lot of funny shit lately! What about my fans?

My Mother is No Longer Allowed to Watch Law & Order

Lenny Briscoe: Any idea where Tito was on Saturday?

Tito's Girlfriend: He hangs out at the park. On Chrystie and Houston.

Ma Smash: JESUS.

Oh God.

Ma Smash: That's across the street from your house!

Me: Ma, it's a TV show.

Ma Smash: Is it dangerous there? Tell Mummy the truth.

Me: NO. It's not dangerous, there, OK? It's Disneyland. With more Chinese people.

Dad: Ha, ha! Thanks, Law & Order.

Ma Smash: Just think: Tito's been in the park this whole time!

Weirdos Heart Me, Part One-Million-and-Four

The Drunken Mouse and I were having a discussion the other night, as we do, whilst drinking beers (as we do), about how I have one of those faces that attracts weirdos.

"Is it cuz I'm nice?" I asked him.

"Could be," he said.

"Is it cuz I'm extra cute?" I asked him.

No fool he: "Could be," he said.

"The thing is that I tend to think that most people are good, until they prove otherwise," I said.

He looked at me with shock and horror. "OK, that's the one way in which you are NOT a native New Yorker," he told me. "We do NOT assume that people are good. You're going to have to get over that."

Considering that I had a 20 minute cab ride the other night with a crazy Romanian driver who informed me that I "looked like a Polish girl he loved once" and definitely thought we were going to meet up for drinks some time, I think the Mouse is right.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Winners

Many of the comments weren't mean at all (aw, you guys!), so I didn't have many to pick from. Still, I think this is my favorite:

I found you in my browser history between and I have no recollection of going to any of these sites. Yours included.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Jennie Smash Sucks!

The ol' blog has been getting lots of negative comments lately. I'd like to think that this is because I've been less frequent with the updating, but more likely, it's cuz some folks think I suck. This is actually good news in the bloggy world (g-nash your teeth, hate-filled friends of mine) cuz it means that someone is actually reading.

When I started this blog, I had three readers: my friend Kara, who sponsored my livejournal account, my friend Jude and my sister. That was it. Only three years ago, or thereabouts. Now I've got hatemail. It's like being famous! Only a lot less annoying.

There aren't many solid metrics in the blogosphere. You've got your free web stats, and whoever links to you. But if somebody hates your ass, you're doing pretty well.

In honor of this, I would like to announce the first Official Jennie Smash Sucks Hate-a-thon. Please post your most foul thoughts in the comment section. I'll give the best worstest comment a full-fledged post. Posts with email addresses get a full-fledged defensive fight. I'll even promise to cry like a little girl, but only if you're funny.

Monday, February 13, 2006


Because it's Valentine's Day, and I already feel like excrement, I decided to look at million-dollar condos online. OK, that's not true. What's true is that Gawker linked to Curbed with linked to this loathsome million-dollar development. Please take a minute to let the model apartment scroll by, so that you don't miss the Mysterious African Lady Dining Room Chairs. I swear to God I could not sleep with furniture like that in my apartment. For one thing? Racist. For another thing? Creep-dot-pee, my pals.

Don't You Judge Me!

I love Dr. Phil. I know he's fulla poo. I know I'm probably just about as qualified to dispense advice. However, the fact of the matter is that a lot of his advice is pretty good, for whatever reason (common sense, luck, the heretofore unsuspected superiority of sports psychology degrees to "real" psychology degrees, and so on.)

Today, for example, was the (I imagine) annual "why you love life so SAD, girl?" day-before-Valentine's show. Basically, Dr Phil was telling a bunch of self-sabotaging single women how to get along with men. The radical advice? Be, like, interested, and stuff. And maybe not so shallow, if you're gonna run around wearing that tired coral lipstick from 1983.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

I Don't Have a "Mrs. Bana" T-shirt Yet, But It's Being Made

Smyres and I went to see Munich last night. We went in when the snow was just starting and came out to white-out conditions.

More importantly, though, I managed to miss about 80% of the film's message because I was too busy drooling over Eric Bana. Here is a sample conversation to demonstrate:

Me: That. Was a good movie.

Smyres: Yep.

I guess a lot of people were pissed at Spielberg, because it's not pro-Israel.

Smyres: It's not anti.

Me: No, but I mean, he really gives you both sides of the problem. And no easy answers, which I feel is kinda different for him.

Smyres: I've never known what to make of the Israel issue anyway. I feel like I don't know enough about it and am too far away from it to really get what's going on.

Me: Yeah, I know what you mean. What do you think Eric Bana thinks?

Smyres: ?

Me: Cuz that's what I think. I've just decided.

Seriously, this man is so hot, it's sort of wrong. He even has the sticky-outy ears, so he's not obnoxiously perfect, unlike, say, Brad Pitt, whose charm has always eluded me. And yes, before you mention it, I do know that Eric Bana is already married. So it's not like I'm moving to Australia to stalk him. That you know of.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


It's getting dark out there, so maybe we are going to have a blizzard after all.

This morning, when I woke up, it was so bright and sunny and gorgeous out that I couldn't believe it would ever snow again. Then I went outside to bring my laundry to the nice Lebanese man who just opened up a Laundry for Lazyasses service around the corner from me, and I realized that it was tit cold outside. Also, there was that omnious clean smell to the air, which, this being NYC and all, could have also been a sign that the Rapture was about to happen.

What's my point? Oh! I know. I don't have to drive anymore. Because I live in a city. So let it snow! I can get cheese and beer and DVDs and books and dental floss and anything else I might need delivered straight to my home. I'm not sure how long it's going to take me to get over that novelty, but I suspect a very long time.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Fashion Week is over. This means that I can finally get some sleep. It also means that you can look forward to some actual posts some time in the near future. Big fun!

In the meantime, I'm going to bed.

Monday, February 6, 2006

Oy with the Um

Two comments today began with the word "Um," which is one of my least favorite things. And so now we will have a poll, in which I get my readers' opinions, so as to avoid having to think too hard about my own:

A. "Um" is such a rude way to begin a sentence. When I am king, they will be first against the wall, etc.

B. Um, do you have PMS?

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Boys Send Me Emails, Part 435a

JennieSmash: Oh, BTW, did Mouse tell you about our new friend George?
Madcat: No!
JennieSmash: We met him at Botanika
JennieSmash: And he seemed gay, but apparently lurves me, which is odd.
JennieSmash: Anyway, we liked him, so we exhanged info.
JennieSmash: And now he's emailing me about his peepee, which is what he calls it.
JennieSmash: I just don't get people.
Madcat: Wait -- his PEEPEE? That's WEIRD.
JennieSmash: PEEPEE
Madcat: and GROSS
Madcat: ewwww
JennieSmash: He also told me that he wanted to touch my HINEY.
Madcat: You meet the oddest people of them all.
JennieSmash: Oh, I know.
Madcat: I mean, that's a bit fwd for the first email! Can you block that shit?
JennieSmash: Yeah. Men think that I want them to harass me
JennieSmash: They do.
JennieSmash: They're like, she'll love this: I'll mail her a picture of my penis. She will want to marry me.
Madcat: akfjdafjaldsjgalsdfja
Madcat: Argh
JennieSmash: I know.
Madcat: What a poor strategy.
JennieSmash: It's very sad.

"With This Mouth, You Kiss Your Mother?"

About halfway through today, I realized that I hate crowds. Sort of unfortunate, then, that I live in New York and sometimes have to go to very crowded events as part of my job.

The jostling is what really gets me. I'm only 5' 2", so most of the amazons at Fashion Week can elbow me right in the head if they feel like it. And they feel like it.

One of the best things that happened so far was getting to talk to a woman, maybe 65, who had been a fashion reporter for 35 years. She was wearing comfy shoes and a smock, and had short, sensible hair. Like me, she wore bright red lipstick -- regardless, I'm sure, of fashion.

"What you say is, when they're rude, 'Excuse me? With this mouth, you kiss your mother?'" She advised, in response to my comment that people were maybe a bit less than polite on the line.

I thought of saying just that, in her first-generation accent, a little Polish, heavy on the subjunctive, and wondered if people would think I was making fun. Whenever I hear an accent, I want to start speaking that way. It was really hard when I was in Ireland a couple years ago.

I told the sensible-haired reporter that this was my first Fashion Week, and she said, "Well then, God bless!"

When I grow up, I want to be the lady who wears red lipstick and says nice things to people in lines.

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Oh. So. Tired.

I'm covering Fashion Week this week, and oh my God, it is apparent that I am unused to standing. The backs of my knees feel like they've been shot with pellets. Or something. So tired. Can't type.

However, I do have many bags of teensy little nail polishes, and I saw a bunch of famous people, who are all midgets, just like you've always heard. All the famous people are teeny-weeny, but they look huge next to the models, who will be dead by Tuesday, at the very latest. It's not even attractive up close, but it is kinda stunning, as in "Oh, my God, my eye has been removed by Slavenka's wayward clavicle. I am stunned!"

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Ch-ch-ch ... Aw, Man, I Love Bowie, But I Just Can't

My neighborhood is changing. When I moved in, as you may recall, my doorman was a junkie named Floyd who showed his neighborhood loyalty by not mugging me on my way to work. The street was largely deserted. There was a glass shop, and a couple of restaurant supply places, and a lot of construction around a new yuppie apartment building on the corner.

Now we have two art galleries, a bunch of nightclubs, and Floyd is gone.

This is good stuff, I guess, or will be until it's time to renew my lease: "I'm sorry, but we're going to have to charge you a junkie removal surcharge. It's city law."

Speaking of which, I got my tax crap the other day and I have given the city of New York over 700 dollars in taxes since I moved here full-time in June. JEEZY-CREEZY. I better never see a pothole, is all I have to say.