Saturday, April 28, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pale, Rested and Ready

I'm back from the wilds of San Francisco, where fleece is formal wear and it's perfectly OK - nay, encouraged! - to look strangers in the eye and say hello when you run into them in the street.

As is usually the case when I return from an extended trip anywhere, I am:

1) Suffering from insomnia. Check that timestamp!
2) Deluged with work.
3) Mysteriously on the rocks with the guy I'd been seeing before I left.

As for the last item, well, here's the best way to sum it up. Yesterday, when things became apparent that things were in the ol' shitter, I had the following conversation with a friend on IM.

Me: Will you come visit me when I'm in the convent?

Him: I will if there's booze!

Me: It'll be an Irish convent. There will be booze.

Him: OK, then. What's going on?

Oh, my God. It's so boring. It's so boring I can't even go into it. I'm bored just thinking about it.

Him: I love boring!

Me: Boy stuff. The usual: "I love you, I love you, I love you ... I will get a restraining order."

Him: What happened?

Me: I dunno. Maybe I shouldn't have called him "daddy" and hit him with a roll of quarters. It's so hard to tell, though. I mean, how can any of us know what other people like?

Him: Hey, if he doesn't like that, he has larger problems than you can solve.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Just Another Day in the Hubley Vacation

So here I am in sunny San Francisco, where it is not raining at all, I'm sorry to have to tell you, pals of mine on the Right Coast. To make you even more jealous, I'm with my very weird family. Also, my sister's dog Luke, who is quite charming, but very odd, if you didn't grow up with dogs. Which I didn't.

Luke has absolutely no concept of himself as an entity. He can walk past his reflection without noticing it. He has no modesty: He spends a good part of his day cleaning his personal area. Mrs. P thinks this is hilarious, and is wont to point out to him that "shake it once fine. Shake it twice, OK. Shake it three times, Luke, and you're playing with yourself."

His favorite thing to do, though, is to lie on the sofa on his back, exposing his gentleman parts, and stare at you. And when I say "you," I really mean "me."

Me: Meg! Can you make your dog stop showing me his penis?

Mrs. P: (Shaking his legs from side to side, to improve my view of her dog's bits.) Woo hoo hoo! Look at my penis, Auntie Jennie!

Me: Ew!

Mrs. P: I want you to see! Take a look!

Me: Mom!

Ma Smash: Oh take a look, honey. It will make her feel better.

Friday, April 13, 2007

You Goonie!

One of the many hilarious things about is that it asks you to describe your tattoos, if any. I have one, on my lower back, which can safely be described as "strategically placed," so that's what I picked.

My friend Mark, on the other hand, has sleeves, so he had to pick "visible tattoo."

"The thing is," he complained. "ALL my tattoos are strategically placed. It's not like I went in to my tattoo artist and had him randomly throw some tattoos on me."

Mark's best tattoo, by far? A banner that says "Never Say Die" on his forearm. Sounds pretty badass, right? Yeah, it's from The Goonies.

You Goonie!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Can't Help You Get Over

It's boring to write about being bummed out, so I usually don't. There was a time when if I had a cold, or felt blue, I'd write several posts on it. These days, I'm too busy, and also, significantly less interested in myself. But I'll mention this because I think it's worth mentioning.

The other day I woke up happy.

There's been a long bad stretch in Smashland. It started with my cousin and continued through the winter and a billion other things of significantly less importance. I began to worry, as you always do, that I would never come out of it.

The good thing about getting older is that you remember having gone through bad stretches before. You know what is required: More sleep, more exercise, more books. A little bit of charity toward yourself. A lot of time. It feels like shit, but it goes away, eventually.

Then, a few weeks back, a friend of mine who was due to give birth, went early. Six weeks early. That's a real problem, not one you make up in your head, and it was sobering. All of sudden, there was something in the world that didn't relate to me directly, that I couldn't control, that was big and important and scary.

For a couple days, we were all in limbo. We waited for news. We heard about the birth, and my friend's trip to the ICU, and the french-fry lamps that warmed up her baby. Nothing to do but hunker down and wait, and know that nothing that's ever happened to you has ever been so important.

In a week or so, we got the email that he was all right: Eating and sleeping and gaining weight. He was out from under the lamps and his Mom was OK. I called everyone I know. I was elated, really up, for the first time in weeks.

Years ago, when I was in another Great Depression, I decided the only way to get out was to try to help my friends with whatever was going on in their lives. I brought coffee to a friend with back spasms. I made myself ask more questions than give answers to friends with personal drama. It was hard, but really good for me, like an exercise for the soul.

I'm at a point now where people's lives are dramatic enough on their own. I don't need to try to remember that their situation is more important than mine. That's good, I guess, as long as things keep working out.

At any rate: Welcome to planet Earth, little Leo. It's a beautiful place, full of weird and tricky things. You're gonna live here!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Your Hair Is So Round!

A couple months back, Mrs. Piddlington and Ma Smash came to visit me in New York. Because I am an excellent hostess, I took them to all the tourist spots. We went to the Empire State Building, the Algonquin for brunch and got our hair straightened in Chinatown. This last was the cheapest and definitely the most interesting.

I love getting my hair straightened. I have very, very, very curly hair. So curly that I can't brush it when it's dry, lest I bush out the curls. So curly that when I used to comb my hair, I used a pick, not a comb. Curly hair, my pals. When someone mentions how curly, I call them racist.

I have come to love my hair, after fighting against it for most of my life, but it's fun to have it all sleek and straight. It's like being in disguise. If you go to any salon on East Broadway in Chinatown, you can get a blow-out for ten bucks, and they massage your head like crazy into the bargain. They clean your ears. The first time I had this done, I was ashamed at how they dug in there, like there was definitely something wrong with my normal hygiene practices. Now I just lie back and let them at it.

Mom and Meg were amazed. At the price, at the lo-fi feel of the place (placards from the '80s, featuring girls with punk rock hair cuts and prices written on them in another language, piles of hair left to lie on the floor, and the staff doesn't speak English), at the way you can walk through a door in New York and be in another country. I picked up the tab and felt like a big spender for 30 bucks, and when we all walked out the door, we were movie stars with our freakishly straight hair blowing around us.

But! The best part was definitely when I was in the chair and the stylist's daughters descended. They were maybe six and eight, if I'm guessing, and dressed entirely in bubble-gum pink. The younger one was the talker, looked like a boy with her neat little soup-pan bob and upturned face, and wanted to talk to me about everything.

"You have a cut," she said, poking at a spot on my arm where I'd gotten grazed by my broken fridge door earlier in the day.

The stylist looked at me like, is this OK?

"I do," I said.

"I have a Band-Aid," she said, and reached into a tin in her Dad's station and produced one.

"Let me put that on," I said, too late. "OK, well, don't touch the cut, OK?"

She cocked her head. "Why not?"

"Other people's cuts are dirty."

"But mine aren't?"

"Not to you."

She stuck her tongue out of the side of her mouth. "That doesn't make any sense. Hey! I have a Barbie!" She nudged her sister. "Show her my Barbie."

The sister, looking terrified, pulled a Barbie from behind her back. It was dressed in a bright green dress, very Christmasy, obviously homemade.

"We're going to change her outfit," she said. "Don't look!"

The stylist smiled at me and pulled out the flat-iron.

"Don't look!"

"I'm not," I said, and put my hand over my eyes.

"OK, now look."

The Barbie was now wearing another homemade outfit, this one blue and yellow.


"OK, we're going to change it again. Don't look!"

This went on for three or four more outfits. After awhile, she got bored, and climbed up on my lap.

"Oh, hi," I said.

She dug her hands into the side of my hair that wasn't straightened and fixed me with a very serious look, as though she was deciding whether or not to buy me. "Your hair is so round!" she said, pulling out a curl and letting it bounce back.

"It is."

"But it's so round! Is that your sister?"

Easy call: Mom and Meg and I were the only white ladies in the salon.

"She is."

"Her hair isn't round."

"No, it's not."

"Huh. Is that your mother?"

"It is."

"Her hair isn't round."

"Nope. I'm the only one with round hair."


"I don't know. I was born that way."

She nodded solemnly. She pointed at her sister, who now looked terrified completely. "Our hair is the same."

"Yes, it's very pretty."

She shook her head. "Your hair is very, very round."

What can you say? Mouths of babes, etc. It is round.

Coworker Dennis Has an Answer for Everything

JennieSmash: Meanwhile, since I've started working out again, I am gaining weight. I'm sure it's muscle, but it's annoying.

CoworkerDennis: You are just becoming She-Ra. It's a natural part of growing up.

JennieSmash: Ha ha ha.
JennieSmash: Oh, awesome.

CoworkerDennis: That's you on the right.

JennieSmash: Oh my God, there I am.
JennieSmash: With my FACE WINGS.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Last Name Freely, First Initials I.P.

Someone has seriously dropped most of my friends on their heads, because a significant portion of them claim to be engaged to people they've known for under six months. This is, as a saner pal of mine recently put it, "faster than movie stars" and just generally out of control.

It does however, give me a perfect opportunity to prank people.

TEXT FROM JEN HUBLEY, 4/1/2007, 2:35 PM:

Guess what?

TEXT FROM CATHY C-, 4/1/2007, 3:43 PM:


TEXT FROM JEN HUBLEY, 4/1/2007, 3:45 PM:

I'm getting married!!!

TEXT FROM CATHY C-, 4/1/2007 3:46 PM:


TEXT FROM JEN HUBLEY, 4/1/2007 3:50 PM:


TEXT FROM CATHY C-, 4/1/2007 3:53 PM:

ha ha ha