Saturday, February 11, 2006

Prelude to a bigot

I have dated guys who:

* Thought watermelons grew underground. (Also pumpkins. Even after we went to a pumpkin patch.)
* Filled his pockets at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
* Wore earmuffs on a date, and - wait for it - pretended to get a signal from space on them.
* Over my protests, tried to guess my weight, and guessed a full 35 pounds over my actual weight.
* Interrupted my story to (mis)correct my pronunciation of "red herring", saying the H was silent. When I looked it up, he said the dictionary was wrong.
* Literally could not go through a conversation without working his height into it. We almost made it through 15 minutes on the phone, but the last thing he said was, "Well, it should be crowded at Macy's today with all the tourists. Good thing I'm 6'2" and can see over them."

Awesome dudes all. (O.K. the last three were all from one guy.) But I can't help feeling like something is missing. What happens when you throw a little light racism into the mix, Kate?

Let's find out this week.

I agreed to out with a guy for dinner tonight (before blizzard '06 came to town) and it's going to be awesome. We've spoken once and this is a sample exchange: (keep in mind he sounds like a very demanding sports agent)

"You work as a nanny? Where do you work?"
"For a family..." before I could say "with two little girls in Chelsea" he jumps in with "Well I assume for a family. Of course you do. Where are you right now?"

He later told me that my neighborhood was ''full of dirty Mexicans'' and I tried to laugh it off saying "Oh no, it's all Dominicans and Puetro Ricans, don't mix it up" hahaha, he says "Same thing, they all smell. Do you smell like Mexican food all the time?"

The kicker: He teaches English as a second language.

I can't not go! I'm taking a pen with me to write down all the bon mots that pour out.

More to follow...

Friday, February 03, 2006

A leak Judith Miller would go to jail for

I'm actually under house arrest for the moment, awaiting the sure-to-be photo-finish between the bed delivery guys and the mattress delivery guys. The reign of the air mattress is officially coming to a close, which is great because it all but abdicated its throne two weeks ago, acquiring a leak so big Times reporters would go to jail to protect it. So I've felt very much like a starving artist in the big city, without the art.

I was flipping around, partly watching BET last night (no apologies. I keeps it real.) and at a certain point their programming changes from the most vile uncut videos to gospel hour. There's no sort of segueway (although how could there be, really? "That was good work with the pole Laquanna, now we're going to pray for your soul.") In honor of that, here are some random segueway-free stories that don't really merit their own entries:

* I lied, they aren't totally segueway-free. Most days on my way to work I see a guy about my age riding a Segway Human Douchebag Scooter. He looks normal enough in his NYU cap. He doesn't look handicapped or like a massive muscle-atrophied nerd, which are he only two reasons to own one. I tried to find out how much one of those suckers would set you back, but the Segway has further offended my sensibilities by listing the prices part by part (motor, handles etc.) and I'll be damned if I'm doing math voluntarily. I did learn that it can get up to 12.5 miles per hour.

* Speaking of transportation (crap. I'm still transitioning. It's too ingrained) I was almost run over by a guy on a unicycle the other day. The baby I babysit for and I were waiting for the light to turn and this muchacho on a unicycle comes dangerously close to us, trying to zip between the stroller and the lightpost. I wanted to smack him for many reasons, but topping the list was the look of "Hum dee dum, I'm just a guy going to work. What are you guys all looking at? You need to open your mind a little more. I can't help it that I'm more evolved than the rest of you."

* Second only to The Unicycler was the man who plowed into me coming around the corner. This happens many times a day and it's generally unavoidable. However, I can't help but thinking that he could have taken a step around me if he hadn't been SHAVING WITH AN ELECTRIC NORELCO on his way to work. It's times like this that I give up asking questions and just start looking for the hidden camera.

* I had Mentos for the first time in years the other day. Why Mentos? Why not just go completely obscure and get a Symphony bar or something else that nobody ever eats? I'll tell you. I got some White Out on my black shirt and it wouldn't come off. So - a ha - I got a Sharpie and colored over the spot. I felt pretty clever; I felt fresh and full of life. That set off a minty craving and a citywide search (limited to 22-26th streets). The freshmaker indeed!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

New lows in blog narcissism. Subtitle: Groundhog's Day

In honor of Groundhog's Day, a look at my mornings:

I am nothing if not a creature of habit. Out the door at 7:45, insert iPod buds, dig for $1.25 on the way down the street, give $1.25 to Ahmed at Optimo Cigars for the Times and the Post, swipe MetroCard at 7:53.

From here I snag a seat and open the paper (The Post. Eat dessert first.) I make it through everything in the Post except the TV page (skipping sports). I get to Penn Station at 8:22 - I don't know how that happens, but it's always the same time. About once a week, I'll get a bagel (everything, plain, not toasted) at Zarro's (motto: "Send a challa to walla-walla"). There's an escalator to the street, but I take the stairs with pride in the training from my fifth floor walk-up (penthouse).

I emerge Punxsutawney-Phil-like on 34th Street and walk to my magic Starbucks (no lines! always seating!) where they begin to prepare my drink (medium-I-mean-Grande-skim-no-whip-peppermint-mocha-thanks) before I reach the counter. My breakfast companions are Guy with Buzz Cut and Besuitted Man with Laptop. Everyday. I feel like it'll be weird if I don't send Christmas cards next year, or at least saying "hi" soon. I read the Times through the page 2 corrections (the best part of the paper besides metropolitan Diary and Alessandra Stanley's articles. Most of the latter end up being referred to on the next day's page 2 anyway.)

I leave Starbucks at 8:45, heading due south. In the eight or so blocks I walk, I'm offered two other chances to refill my Starbucks cup, three shots to buy a halal kebab from vendors, no less than three opportunities to rent a porno/and or inappropriate outfit to nanny in and seven chances to buy flowers wholesale. I love the flower shops because every morning they pile their trees, plants and flowers on either side of the sidewalk and it's a nice way to mark the seasons: orange and white pumpkins, mums, ivy, pine wreaths and trees, 8-foot branches sprayed white and silver. Up next, roses. During New York's two-week winter 2005-06 the wind was blowing hard enough to make my eyes water, and one of the flower guys thought I was crying and slipped me a flower from a bouquet he was loading in a van.

I love Chelsea.