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.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Siren Festival in Coney Island

I didn't realize until I was on the train that I actually had no idea why we were going to Coney Island.

"Hey, what are we going to see, anyway?" I asked Jojo. It might seem weird to you, but I have a policy about always saying yes for any adventure that can be traveled to on my metrocard.

"The Siren Festival."

"It's a free music thing," T-bone said. "There's going to be a metal band and some sort of French jazz psychedelic band ... and then a bunch of hipster bands that may or may not be good. I listened to the stuff on their websites, but I couldn't always tell."

The research wasn't so surprising. The 'bone works in TV, so I guess doing pre-production work just comes naturally.

When we got to Coney Island -- which is much closer to my new home in the BK than to my old place, BTW -- it wasn't crowded yet. The sun was shining. You could smell the ocean and hotdogs and people. Two stages were set up at different ends of the park. The first stage we hit was right under the Cyclone. As the bands played, people zoomed around the track, screaming.

Later, Jojo and 'bone went on the Cyclone, and I held their bags. Jojo's coworkers met us. They, like Jo, were blonde. The blondes and 'bone and I drank huge cups of beer from Nathan's and wandered around buzzed, looking at the people.

"Look at that guy," 'bone said, pointing to a dude who was asleep against a barricade. "I'm pretty sure he's on smack."

"Look at that girl," I said. "She's why I don't wear shorts."

We saw 857 tattoos, two couples of shockingly mismatched size (two squares in hipster bingo for 8-foot tall guy and 4-foot tall girl), a five year old boy with a full-on, two-foot tall, dyed-green mohawk, and more babies than I'd care to count. At festivals like this, you realize that the majority of mankind is not so pretty to look at -- or, at the very least, that it is inclined to wear unfortunate pleated shorts that don't do it any favors.

We stayed all day, leaving after the Scissor Sisters and trying not to pass out on the train. I lost my lip liner and my sense of proportion, but not my bankcard, phone or wallet, so I felt that I came out ahead. All in all, a wonderful day.

The Ma Smash Point of View

Me: "Well, I dunno. I mean, my last shrink used to say..."

Ma Smash: "Oh, shrinks. What do they know? Psychics are right just as often, and they cost less!"

Me: [Crickets.]

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Server Migration Hoodoo

Thank cripdiddy Christ, the server migration is over. I woulda warned you about it, only I never open any mail from my hosting company because I'm stupid. So I didn't find out until I went to update my blog and then I was like, huh, dang, this doesn't seem to be working. I wonder if I have any mail from my hosting company? And then I couldn't understand the changes they needed me to make, because I think that the Internets are run by elves who live in a hollow tree.

Anyway, we're back!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

MySpace, YourSpace

All of a sudden, I'm getting 1100 messages a day on the ol' MySpace. Most of them are from bands I don't know, which means that I delete them. (Come on: I know it's a promotional tool and all, but do I really need 15 pages of "friends" I've never met?) The rest are from dudes. Here's a random sampling:

hay sexy r u single i am!

greetings from nepal! i am like to move united states. is you status single now? i would like very much to meet. xo amir.

Pardon Myself,Excuse me, if you were busy,but after viewing your page taken a liken to what i see & seein what i like.Leaves me with no choice but to speak my peace. PS. I READ YOUR PAGE... BUT YOU KNOW SHIT HAPPENS AND STATS VARY,AND I DON`T KNOW IF HOW MUCH YOU UPDATE YOUR PROFILE...

Ah, MySpace. Without you, the Internets might have left their porn-y teen years far behind.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Bodega Boys

Me: (To the cashier at my local bodega.) "Do you have Kotex? Or any kind of pad?"

Bodega Boy:
(Standing beside the counter, almost permanently. He's maybe 16, hasn't got shit to do, and is talking to the cashier aimlessly.) "Shit! You can't ask for that here! You got to go to Key Foods!"


Bodega Boy: "Cuz ... uh, shit man! That's gross!"

Cashier: "In the far aisle. Juan will get it for you."

(After some struggle with the tall-shelf-grabby-thing, I slap my Kotex down on the counter. Bodega Boy looks pained.)

Bodega Boy: "You don't gotta slap it down like that."

"Oh, yes I do."

Bodega Boy:
"Shit, man, why?"

Me: "Because my uterus is shedding huge tangled chunks of bloody tissue, and I need napkins to absorb the flow."

Bodega Boy: "Shit!"

(Leaning in confidentially. Almost flirtatiously.) "Every one of these napkins is just waiting to catch a giant bloody clot of uterine lining."

Bodega Boy:
(Crickets. Shock shock, horror horror. It's clear he'll stay a virgin until he's 36.)

Cashier: (Smiling. Enjoying himself immensely.) "Good night!"

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Overheard at the Airport

"I have no booze, nothing. From now on, I'm travelling with at least two flasks. (Pause.) Well, we've been delayed three hours."

Please note that this was not said by me, nor will I propose marriage to this person. Mostly because he was wearing sandals and a bandana around his head. Otherwise, it would've been a close thing. I like a man with a solid appreciation for a beverage, and if he's prescient enough to bring his own, so much the better.

Now's when I should probably point out that I finally caved in and took that Xanax I've been saving. Delays freak me out. Airplanes freak me out. Being delayed while waiting for an airplane for the third time in a week is definitely freaking me out. It was high time for chemical assistance, is all I can say.

Hubley's Law

If I am scheduled to fly, it will rain. This rain will result in a delay of 4700 hours. This is known. The end.

Sunday, July 2, 2006

LOL! Thanks for the Add!

I would like to announce that a naked 23-year-old boy just propositioned me on MySpace. This beats all hell out of the penis pictures I used to receive from my various deranged admirers, back before I started making fun of them on this here blog.

I'm not responding, obviously. This is because I'm girl. Boys of the world, listen to me: The shirtless photo is for when you're picking up dudes. The one with you holding the kitten/puppy/toddler? That's for picking up chicks.

You're welcome.

Danger Smash

Many of my friends in New York cannot drive. Imagine how surprised I was, this weekend, to discover that I have become one of them.

I can't stay in a lane, I can't parallel park and I sure as hell can't moderate my speed. Several times I caught myself going 50 MPH on the highway -- a crime that will get you killed in many states, and justifiably so.

I'm not sure when all this happened, but it probably shouldn't shock me. I've never been what you'd call a fantastic driver. I'm nervous, distracted and have little to no sense of where I am on the road, due to larger spatial problems that have also kept me from being able to tell when a flying object is going to smack me in the face. (Softball was fun.)

I also suffer from automotive hypochondria. If I were to nearly get cut off by a Mack truck on the highway, I would spend the next 15 minutes displacing my fear by hyperventilating and imagining hideous metal-on-metal grinding coming from the undercarriage of the car -- an area as mysterious to me as Antarctica or the surface of the moon.

Daydreaming is also a problem. When I'm in New York, I get everywhere on foot. I'm good at sensing proximity, at bobbing and weaving around people and carriages and cars and carts. I can do this while imagining what I should say to this or that attractive young man, when next I see him, or re-imagining a smarter retort for that snotty cocktail waitress. Multitasking, see? But I wouldn't recommend it, when you're behind the wheel.

The good news for America's roadways is that I'll be hanging up my keys once again in two short days. In the meantime, I recommend staying indoors.

Saturday, July 1, 2006


Today is my first day off in 12 days, and I have no idea what to do with myself. I'm online right now, because if I'm offline, I feel naked and alone, smaller somehow, and humbled. Anyway.

At the moment, I am lying on my sofa in loose pants. This is the only thing to do on a Saturday, and I don't care how nice it is outside. You fresh air fascists can go have fun; I have cheese to eat.

I have many other stories for you, for reals. They are not about cheese, or loose pants or how hard I work or anything boring like that. They're about ... um ... candy? I don't know. But I'm sure I'll remember what I meant to say right after this nap.