Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Ma Smash: Have you changed the bandage yet?

Not yet. I was sort of thinking, maybe I could leave it til it's time for the stitches to come out. You know: Like a cast.

Ma Smash:

Me: Well, overnight then. Just so I don't disturb it.

Ma Smash: You need to clean it.

Me: But that will hurt.

Ma Smash: It'll be fine. Why don't you take the dressing off right now, while I'm on the phone with you.

Me: I can't! I'm doing dishes.

Ma Smash:
You're doing dishes?

I got gloves. Madcat suggested it.

Ma Smash: Clever girl! Cuz I was gonna say, that'll hurt more than cleaning the wound, doing dishes.

It does kinda hurt.

Ma Smash:
Is it bleeding?

Um ... no?

Ma Smash:
Is it bleeding?


Ma Smash:
Why don't you take the bandage off right now?

Me: OK.

[By the sink: A long process of unrolling, punctuated by dramatic sniffles and little hitches of breath, as though I'm unveiling my stump for the first time.]

Oh, hey! It looks pretty good.

Ma Smash: See?

Is that pus? No, it's just the edge of the wound. And the ointment crap they put on it.

Ma Smash: You're fine. Now wash that right off with plenty of antibacterial soap and put on more ointment.

OK. Hey! It looks really good!

Ma Smash:
Told you.


Ma Smash: Do you want to talk to your father?


[Hands phone to my Dad. This involves waking up my Dad, who has been snoring peacefully in the background.]

Hi, Daddy!

Dad: Hi, Peaches. How's your paw?

Pretty good. Mom just had me take off the dressing while we were on the phone.

Dad: [Pause.] So she could ... see?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Right: I cut the shit out of my hand this evening. Oh ho ho, you say. How bad could it be? Well, I just spent the past two hours at St. Vincent's, getting stitches. I am such an asshole. Who picks up glass when it falls? The answer is: ME! I pick up glass! Shards of glass! With my bare hands! Because I am super smart!

Jeezy creezy.

Monday, May 29, 2006

OK, Here's What I Forgot About Moving...

...You hurt yourself like 900 times while packing. My forearms are covered with pinchy little bruises and my thumbs are lacerated with cardboard paper cuts. I have also dumped several things on my head and barked my skull on a cabinet door at least twice. (It might be more. But I'm having trouble remembering things since the second time.)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Packing, Birthdays, and So On

I'm packing today, in preparation for Hop Across the Bridge 2006, and the following things have occurred to me:

1) Every box is either labeled "books," "clothes" or "shoes." Hardly any are labeled "cookware" or "knick-knacks." Apparently, I do not cook and I decorate my home solely in reading material and cast-off shoes.

2) My apartment is hella dusty.

3) I'm really allergic to dust.

4) I hate moving.

5) I really hate moving in the summer, which is the only time I ever seem to move.

Today, it was so hot out, I actually had to install my air conditioner, even though I'll be de-installing it in four days, which seems like a waste. The Donut called earlier and asked me what I was up to and I said, "Installing the air conditioner and whimpering." Which is an accurate summation of my activities.

So: The move takes place on Friday. Next Saturday, a mere short week afterward, I will turn 30 and have a party at a bar in the LES. It's a joint b-day, with my friend Angela, who is turning a spritely 29. If you know me at all, and I neglected to email you, please drop me a line and I'll give you the details. If I currently have a restraining order against you, remember: Trying to figure out which bar and what time is, in fact, a violation.

Friday, May 26, 2006

We Refuse

Jennie SMASH!: btw, i will not buy the mom jeans that are currently coming back into fashion
MadCat: the tapered tight ones?
MadCat: cause i'm boycotting that
Jennie SMASH!: i refuse
Jennie SMASH!: no way
MadCat: and the knee length shorts that don't look good on anyone who has hips or an ass
Jennie SMASH!: exactly
Jennie SMASH!: i'm like, thanks for making me look pearshaped
Jennie SMASH!: that's what i needed
MadCat: yeah, it's kind of unacceptable. i don't think i'll go along w/ the fashion industries scheme to de-hotify me
Jennie SMASH!: i know
MadCat: exactly. there's like, maybe one person out there who is happy about this
Jennie SMASH!: they're like, remember when people wanted to sleep with you? those were the days
MadCat: everyone else, is now i look even more pearish
MadCat: heh

Love Notes, Etc

Someone wrote to me at work the other day to ask if I was dating anyone in particular. This is because I write a daily newsletter, and there's a reply feature. Also, my picture is on the newsletter, and although I sort of look like I've been hit in the head with a board, I am recognizably female, which means that some dude out there in the Land of the Internets wants to date me. Probably more than one.

So, totally unrelated: my friend Dave is an SEO consultant. I'm not really sure what that means either, but the short version appears to be that his paycheck comes from driving traffic to company's websites using cunning, subterfuge, and scads and scads of Excel spreadsheets. The other day, Dave wrote to me to ask me to link to some of his companies, so that they'd get the full benefit of my twelve readers and the glory that is my Google ranking. But I'm mean and frosty, so I said no.

I don't even have ads on my site, not because I particularly have a problem with ads, but because I'm lazy. (True story.) But if I did have ads, I'd put 'em outside the posts. Because I love you all and want you to trust me, so that we can build a beautiful relationship full of trust and mild cursing and the occasional thrown ashtray, but I'm sorry baby, I didn't mean it, you just make me so mad. Ahem.

So if Dave gets fired, I'll owe him a beer or something, I guess.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Instant Karma

I'm know I'm not totally bitter, because I got my friends' wedding invitation tonight, and it made me happy. OK, there's an open bar, but that's not why, I swear.

It's been a good couple days for giving back. Smyres called me tonight and needed a Chicago Manual of Style for a freelancing gig. I have one, so I can help her out. And then we'll get Mexican food. It's not much, considering that I slept on her sofa for six months while I was moving to New York, but she was happy, and it was nice to feel like I'd stepped into the breech.

Last night, I met up with a friend of the family who just moved to New York. It hasn't been that long since I did the same thing, and it's really familiar territory: fear of failure, financial craziness, unfocused ambition, etc and so on. I almost felt bad. Basically, I'm gonna give this guy a couple of contacts and he's going to make me feel like a big shot, which I'm clearly not. It's not an even trade at all.

One of the reasons that this is my favorite city in the world is that the wheel never stops turning here. Less than a year after you arrive, you could be an elder statesman, full of wisdom to share. Or: You could be bankrupt. Either one. Maybe both.

Anyway, my year anniversary, figured by when I signed my first lease, is July 1. Not that far away. It feels like years and years. I have a job I love, and projects I'm interested in. Good friends, and all kinds of adventures. The next year could bring anything. I'll let you know how it ends.

PS: One of the hundreds of suckers who came to look at my apartment today left his hippie energy drink on my counter. Fuck those people. I hope he takes the place. I'll leave him a packet of poo.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Updates on the Living Situation

I woke up at the ungodly hour of 11 a.m. this morning, because a broker was letting himself into my apartment. Apparently, the Evil Management Company neglected to tell him that someone was living here. Thank God I have a chain on the door.

Anyhoodle, it's official: I am hopping the bridge. (Or jumping the shark. Or screwing the pooch. Whatever.) I signed my lease on Tuesday and all necessary fundage has left my bank account and I'm moving to Park Slope. According to Gawker's commenters, this means that I need to get an MBA immediately.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Sex, Lies and PowerPoint (Only, Not So Much Sex)

I have a ginormo presentation tomorrow, and I should be freaked out about it, but I've spent so much time tinkering with PowerPoint that I can't really get exercised about the whole thing. I would like to think that this is because I have a great deal of confidence in my abilities, but I suspect that I am exhausted. (Although I do have a lot of confidence in my abilities. It's going to rock, this presentation. Let's all say the mantra: Ihavealotofconfidenceinmyabilities, Ihavealotofconfidenceinmyabilities, Ihavealotofconfidenceinmyabilities...)

Here's the thing about me and these presentations: They require math, and I am just not a math person. I am almost entirely right-brained. Here are some things I am good at:

  • Making things up.

  • Telling stories.

  • Meeting new people.

  • Making new people like me, whether they want to or not.

  • Ignoring the pathology in the above statement. La la la.

  • The making things up thing can be a problem, because while I never precisely lie, my stories tend to get out of hand. For example, the other day, I told someone that my father plays the bagpipes. Now, I'm pretty sure he can play the bagpipes. He's almost obnoxiously musical. He can play guitar and violin and drums and the harp and an astonishing array of recorders, tin whistles and flutes. Why not the bagpipe as well? Because he doesn't have one. That's why. Lies!

    Anyway, back to my point. I'm right-brained, not left. For example, here are some things I am not good at:

  • Finding my way anywhere, no matter how many times I've been there. (This extends to woefully simple things like coming out of the subway the right way, and so on.)

  • Math of any kind, especially "simple" arithmetic, ho ho.

  • PowerPoint, fer crysakes.

  • I spend most of my professional life doing things I really love, which is what they promised me in school, if I was very patient and got all A's and was an intern for years and so on. (Lies again: They told me I'd have to move to cheaper state and become a waitress, since it was clear that writing was my only skill.)

    But presentations, arrghh! So not my strong suit. How bad is it? Well, let me tell you. It's like this: Someone from the research department will try to explain some formula or methodology to me, and I'll blink at them a minute and then say something like: "I LIKE YOUR SHIRT, CUZ IT HAS DOTS! DO YOU LIKE ICE CREAM? LET'S SIT IN THE SUN! I SEE A BUTTERFLY!"

    It's really very impressive.

    Monday, May 15, 2006

    Me Against the Evil Management Company: Part 2

    I got home from Boston tonight to find my apartment largely intact, which was a relief. Lately, I'm never sure what I'll find when I come in. The other day, Evil Management Company or its minions, the Evil Brokers, left the door to my apartment wide open after they showed the place. For those of you who are keeping track at home, this means that I am protected from the outside world by two broken front doors, one wide-open back door and one unlocked apartment door. Sweet!

    The door was locked this time, but my blinds were up and there were footprints everywhere, so I know they showed the place. I left the blinds down when I went away, which was a favor to them, really. I'm sure that the prospective tenant saw my view of the airshaft and ran screaming from the building. I hope he or she hit the broker with his or her purse on the way out.

    I have a new plan to twart the Evil Ones, by the way. Before, I was just answering honestly whenever anyone asked me if this is a nice place to live. Now, I'm making the place look as shitty as possible by leaving empty antidepressant bottles and dirty underwear absolutely everwhere. I might actually ask my friends for empty liquor bottles, too, just to complete the portrait. The portrait, of course, is called "This Apartment is Currently Rented by One Bummed-Out Whore. Don't You Want to Be Like Her? You Know You Do. That'll be $7000, Please. Don't Stub Your Toe on Your New Fridge on the Way to Your New Bathroom."

    (Do you think it's too long? Cuz I could work on it.)

    Oh, Also:

    Thanks to Michelle for the e-card. I think it was inspired by the new comments policy. I emailed all my non-Internets pals with that name and they went, "huh?" So I'm thinking it must've been from an Internets pal. Anyway, thanks!

    In Which I Bring All My Friends to Brooklyn With Me

    My friend the Donut called me yesterday to tell me that she's being booted out of her apartment in the East Village. Apparently, the landlord neglected to make sure that he could build residential apartments in her building, and now the authoritays are coming down on him.

    Long story short, it looks like I might get the Donut for a neighbor in Park Slope. This is excellent, because I need someone to help me take on the legions of strollers and dogs.

    Seriously, though, when the Donut moves, you know the rental situation in Manhattan has gotten totally out of control. I'm not from these parts, and I have trouble dealing with shoebox-sized apartments and no trees at all, but the Donut is a native New Yorker and made of sterner stuff. You see what you've done, Manhattan landlords?

    Saturday, May 13, 2006


    If you don't hear from me for the rest of the summer*, I'm sorry. I'm probably passed out in front of an open bar at some function hall or other, the remains of a tray of gin and tonics scattered about my prone body. This is because I'm spending the whole entire summer at weddings, or else at a baby shower. (Less gin at baby showers, and more's the pity. That's really when we need it.)

    This brings me to my next point: If you're getting married or engaged, or moving in with a boyfriend, or having a baby, don't tell me about it. I am so serious. I am sick and tired of all you people and your mental health and your relationships and your growing up and whatnot. It's making me feel much more emotionally crippled than I normally feel. It's like being a little person and standing in front of one of those fun house mirrors that makes you look squatty.

    Yesterday, I actually snapped. I was out at drinks with a bunch of my friends -- two of whom are married, to each other, and one of whom has recently started dating a handsome Italian anthropologist that she met online -- and one of them started telling me about a girl we know who's getting engaged.

    "Her ring is gorgeous," she said. "It's an orange diamond" -- at this, I kicked my only single friend at the table and whispered zircon -- "with all these little diamond chips around it. It would look great on you."

    "Well, that's pretty hypothetical, since it's obvious that I'm never going to need an engagement ring."

    "Oh, no! That's not true..."

    "Oh, yes! It probably is, given that I haven't dated a man for longer than two months since I graduated from college nearly ten years ago. And don't tell me there's someone for everyone, because there clearly isn't. Just do me this one favor: Don't tell me any more stories about people getting engaged, falling in love, or having babies. Call me when someone gets a rash. I don't need reassurance. I need schadenfreude."

    In other news, I think "schadenfreude" would be an excellent name for a cat. I'd get a couple, to facilitate the crazy spinsterness, but I'm allergic.

    * There's not a chance in hell of that happening. I can't afford therapy. Lucky you!

    Friday, May 12, 2006

    New Comments Policy

    Starting this very morning, anyone who wants to comment on the ol' blog will need to sign up for a user account. It takes very little time, and I hope all my regular comment-people will do so. But your old pal Smash needs a small break from the amount of anonymous meanness going on in the comments section.

    When I started this blog, I promised myself that I would never delete comments, a la some big blogs, just because they weren't complimentary. And then I started getting comments, and, well, let's just say I understand the impulse.

    I think it's very strange that some people feel the compulsion to write in and tell any blogger that they hate them. If you hate them, stop reading them. All we care about are our stats anyway. You're not making your case very well if you're giving us clicks.

    So anyway, the new policy: You can still say horrible things, if you like. You'll just have to sign in and give an email in order to do so. This way, if you say anything about me I don't like, I can have my gang of scythe-wielding monkeys track you down and give you a terrible haircut. After which, you will be placed in the stocks in the public square for all to see.

    Tuesday, May 9, 2006

    I (Heart) Brooklyn

    I am waiting to hear about an apartment. It is a beautiful apartment, in which my bed would live in a separate room from my couch, which would live in a separate room from my stove. While sitting or sleeping, it would be purely impossible for me to view anything in my kitchen. This is like paradise to me.

    Also, the street is so nice, I might vomit. When I saw it, all brownstones with little trees on the front stoop and wrought-iron railings running up the steps and bay windows and little doodads like fleur-de-lis or vines over the doorways, I thought, well, hell, this will be fun til the bouncer shows up. And indeed, people did look at me strangely while I was sitting on the stoop, waiting for the broker.

    After I submitted all my paperwork, Smyres met up with me and I showed her the place from the street.

    "You a-hole!" She said, and socked me in the arm. And then she chased me up the block a bit, menacing me with her umbrella.

    On our way to dinner, we passed a church that wasn't squished between two buildings and Smyres said, "If you get the place, you'll have to go in there and thank the LORD for saving you from hobo poop."

    And when I got home, the hobo poop-masters, a.k.a. the management company, had left my apartment door wide open, after having shown someone my apartment, without letting me know they were going to be in there at all. Brooklyn can't come soon enough.

    Sunday, May 7, 2006

    Home Again

    I don't think of grownup people as getting homesick, unless they're away at war, but I've been pretty lonely for my family and Boston friends lately, so I was happy to go home for the weekend. It was my friend Cathy's birthday. We had a party on Sara's roofdeck. We drank sangria and ate entirely too much. It was a fine old time.

    A note about the ridiculousness of my homesickness: I live exactly 204 miles from my folks, which isn't that far, if you think about it. It's only a 40-minute plane ride away. Most of my friends in New York are much farther from their family than I am, unless they're actually from New York -- but then again, maybe most of them don't like their family as much as I do.

    A short while ago, I was talking to Smyres about how bizarre it is to find myself missing someone no matter where I am. Most people get to that earlier, I know. They go to college far away, or they move to another state after they graduate. I mostly stayed put, until I ran away from home at the tender age of 29, so this is all new to me.

    "You get used to it," Smyres said. After she left Boston, her Mom went back to L.A., where they're from. So she can't even visit for a weekend, if she wants. It's too far away. Also, it's expensive.

    Smyres is right, but I have a ways to go before I'm totally used to this. Things change while you're not there, and it's weird to come home to find out that some of your friends are thinking about having babies, and others have new boyfriends or jobs. I feel totally the same, which is silly, because I'm the one who moved.

    When I moved, I thought it might only be for a few years, and it still might, but now I'm not sure where I'll be. I might stay in New York, where I feel more at home than I ever have anywhere, despite being far away from the home I started out in. I might move back to Boston. I might learn French and move to Paris. Who knows.

    That's exciting, I guess, but it's also weird. My friends are having babies, and I'm thinking of renting an apartment that comprises more than one room. I feel ten years younger than I should.

    After our 47th glass of sangria, I mentioned this to Cathy. (OK, "mentioned" is a bit slicker than the actual situation. I think what I really said was, "Boo hoo hoo, you guys are real grownups and I have only one drinking glass at the moment, because I keep dropping them at 4 a.m., and anyway, they're from the Christmas Tree Shop, because I've never registered for anything.")

    And, of course, the grass is always greener, because Cathy pointed out that she couldn't have decided to move to New York on a whim, cuz maybe her husband would have wanted some input.

    Wednesday, May 3, 2006

    Why Don't You Just CHILLAX?

    It's springtime in New York, which means that everyone is behaving badly, running around in a drunken fashion, making rude comments, kicking over trashcans and trying to pick up strangers. This is a fine season, and I'm glad it's back. The last time it came round, I was too busy interviewing and looking for apartments and freaking out to really enjoy it.

    But now I'm ready for full-swing spring. The other night, I went out with a bunch of friends to a teeny little bar near my office and got to see maybe the best example of New York 'tude-'n-joy that I've witnessed in quite some time. Here's what happened:

    A bunch of us went out for cigarettes or phone calls or what-have-you, and someone above us opened their window and started screaming down. I must stress that the noise level was really nothing special on the street. My one friend is comedian. Maybe we were laughing. But the point is, we were in a busy neighborhood in the village and it was 8:00.

    "You shut the fuck up down there, or I'll call the fucking cops! I'm not kidding! I'll fucking call the cops! Shut up!"

    My friend Angelina, not the comedian, but funny nonetheless, stepped out into the street:

    "You live above a fucking bar! Why don't you just CHILLAX?"

    "Shut the fuck up!"

    "Why don't you JUMP OFF MY DICK?"

    Later we found out (from the bartender, who was trying not to laugh) that they had a baby. Which makes you wonder: What kind of person has a baby in an apartment above a bar in the village?

    Monday, May 1, 2006

    From the Comments

    That's a weird picture. it's like somebody is pulling your mouth in one direction and your eyebrow in the other.

    That's what I look like, for reals. Wouldn't you be ashamed if there'd been some sort of forceps accident during delivery? Instead, I'm just Irish. We have crookedy faces, especially when there are cameras around. In person, however, we give off a dim glow of whiskey and fun. Be forewarned: You'll never leave a party, so long as we want you to stay.

    I've gotten texts from friends who want to know how it got to be 4 a.m., what they're doing at Coney Island, and where their pants have wandered off to. You could be next! Beware!