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.