Monday, December 17, 2007

The Magic of Christmas™

You know how in every hack Christmas movie (where you’re shouting at the screen, “Can we just fast-forward to the end to learn a Very Important Lesson about how the real meaning of Christmas is spending time with our families?”) there’s that moment where some adult character learns to believe in the Magic of Christmas™ because Santa leaves them the toy they wanted as a kid? (That or it’s how the girl knows the guy is the one for her when he comes through with an Easy Bake Oven that her sister got instead of her. Really? Thanks, you mean you want me to cook us one brownie at a time? Like I don’t have better things to do as an adult? Or maybe you only see me as the little woman who cooks for you? Is that it, you ungrateful bastard? Cause I slave and I slave in this kitchen to make dinner and now you want me to cook with an infantilizing pink oven in my free time too? You know what? We’re breaking up.)


I had some awesome Christmases as a kid. Cabbage Patch Kids with their funny names (Nora Emmaline? Why the hell not.) and tattooed butts. A doll swing that I’d later dismantle and use as Nora Emmaline’s wheelchair when I wanted her to have cerebral palsy like my classmate Crystal. Art supplies enough to tickle my fancy all year. Board games I would immediately lose all the pieces to. A purple toothbrush! A stable’s worth of My Little Ponies.

I was just telling my sister the other day about how one year we were done opening gifts (probably at 6 a.m.) and I forgot it was a weekday – because Christmas exists in its own time-space continuum, not beholden to a mere day of the week – and my dad turned Sesame Street on. I immediately passed into a happiness-overload coma.

Amidst all these Christmas memories, I was reminded of the gift I never got…glitter for our dining room floor. Sure, it was a nice enough floor, but it lacked that certain oomph that sets good dining room floors apart from the great, uh, discotheques. I distinctly remember in Christmas 1984 writing: Care Bears, books, Play-Doh, glitter for the dining room floor. What can I say? I’ve always had an eye for interior design.

I’ll never know if it was the newborn twins in my house or my parents’ general aversion to awesome things, but Santa did not deliver. Well excuse me for wanting to pep up the joint, Old Saint Nick. I sang songs to and about you, I’ve created art in your likeness, I corresponded with you for a decade.

This is your year to make it right! Maybe it’s enough to start believing in the Magic of Christmas™ again. But God help you if you give me an Easy Bake Oven.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dysfunction Junction: The accurate version

I’m nothing if not committed to the utter and complete truth in every entry. (If I say I saw Al Roker, you'd best believe I saw him. And that he's really a wee 3' 7".) So it excites and pains me to report we have our first correction here at Postcards. (Unrelated sidenote: I was always jealous Red could call her old blog The Tent. Mine doesn’t shorten into anything cool. The Po’? Meh. Moving on.)

My fabulous sister, Annie, has been good enough to email me and add info to the Dysfunction Junction family story. (Although it sheds little light on how these people got to be how they are.)

Please to enjoy…

First of all, the mother is only missing her two front teeth so I suppose around this time of year she might have issues saying "sister Susie sitting on a thistle" but she does have 2 fake teeth but chooses not to wear them most of the time.

There was an incident during the first deployment when some other neighbors and I were standing outside talking one chilly October evening and the younger son (not the one evicted) stormed out of the house only wearing shorts and was kicking their truck as he is yelling curse words about his mother. About 30 seconds later we hear the door open thinking the mom would try to get her son to come back inside out of the cold but instead threw a wife beater and track pants and I think shoes outside and slammed and locked the door. He put those on and then proceeded to walk down the street. I peeked out my blinds that night before I went to bed and there he was, sitting on their porch.

Now to correct the car story....I think he was 17 or 18 at the time he was evicted and he was going to buy an old purple Saturn that our neighbor was selling and live somewhere with it, definitely not in the driveway considering that he was ordered to not come on their property after the 30-day notice of eviction. She threatened that she was going to buy the car and give it to her daughter, his younger sister but she ended up not doing that and I don't think he bought the car either. He now has a baby momma (that's right someone decided to sleep with him) and I think he's in some Job Corps school somewhere.

The last story I will share is when (friend) came down for Valentine's Day of 2006. We ordered a pizza and were waiting for it to arrive when we noticed lights flashing outside and cops were at the house I think breaking up a fight. When the pizza arrived, the delivery guy said "Man they're fighting again? They were fighting last week when I delivered a pizza on this street." I think it's a bad sign when Papa Johns knows you have issues.

So there you have it. I'll see you at Maury Povich.

Friday, December 07, 2007

I continue to recommend shows you’re already over

I have some sort of super insomnia where sometimes my body just refuses to sleep. I remedy this with the Food Network or HGTV until they wimp out at 4 a.m. and switch to infomercials (p.s. Lindsey Wagner is really, really concerned about the mattress I’m sleeping on.) That is, until I discovered my new love: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

If you like Full House (and you do!) you’ll love black Full House! If you like Webster, you’ll love gangly Webster! If you like The Cosby Show, you’ll love Cosby updated for your early-‘90s lifestyle!

Finally, there’s no more hanging my head in shame when everyone else does The Carlton. I can join in! Check out Will Smith in neon overalls. Do you know he works that sideways hat and neon-striped shirt from the opening song throughout the pilot too? I forget, G, what West Philly gang wears bright yellow and green stripes. Crips? It’s the Crips, right?

I wasn’t allowed to watch Fresh Prince during its original airing (1990-1996) because it was too risqué. I think the rapping at the beginning threw my parents. (True story: America’s Funniest Home Videos and Full House were occasionally turned off too. God, I was a lonely kid.)

Speaking of the opening rap, I have a few questions, Will:

Is five verses really necessary to catch us up on the backstory?

Why is your mother 85?

Was it really the most efficient mode of transportation to take a cab from West Philadelphia to Bel Air?

What did you and the cabbie talk about the whole time? Did you rap for him?

Did you ever, in fact, “smell (him) later”?

Why is the Banks’ house so huge, but they didn’t even have a formal dining room?

And finally, your mom got scared after “one little fight” yet you get to Bel Air and you’ve been shot, unjustly jailed for stealing a car and taken hostage by an insane clown in your uncle’s courtroom (really!)? And those are just the few episodes I watched this week.

I’m starting to think that you shouldn’t be blaming those guys who were up to no good for your troubles.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Holiday wisdom


Basement of the Astor Place Kmart

Me: perusing Martha Stewart’s big shiny balls for my Jewish roommate’s and my pan-religious winter holiday decorations.

Other players: Assorted unenthused Kmart team members shuffling around ribbons, trying to look busy, shouting back and forth to each other.

Guy: I hate this department! The merchandise sucks. The customers suck.

I tip my hat to him. He’s remarkably unembarrassed.

Girl: You just gotta man up and do it, Trevon.

Guy: (Heavy sigh) You can’t man up in seasonal.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Next time on "As the Tenessee turns"

Blogging from the homefront continues...

I spent the first week of my vacation with my sister, Marianne, in Tennessee, where I can’t be awed enough by the amount of space she has for just her husband, her and their two comically oversized cats: three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a freakin’ bonus room. Are you kidding me? Bitch, your whole house is a bonus room. Basically, she’s living the life known as How The Rest of The Country Lives.

But in her otherwise lovely Wisteria Lane-like neighborhood, I’ve named the house across the street Dysfunction Junction. Why? Stellar question. It all started when the (toothless) mother and (probably un-toothed) 16-year-old son got in a fight. In fact, I’ve been on the phone with Annie a few times when she’d be stealthily watching the police arrive as the shirtless teen punched walls and stuff outside the house.

Tme most recent adventure was the son was kicked out so he hatched a plan to buy a used car and live in the driveway. So far so good, right? But then the mom put her teeth in, went to the car dealership and bought the car out from under him.

Stay tuned tomorrow when I get a haircut at Wal-Mart. Really.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

P.S. I love you mom! Don't be mad!

I've been home for two weeks now, reverting to a younger Kate, in my old bedroom, not driving, rolling my eyes at my parents. My mom lives for her kids. She doesn't yell or raise her voice or share unkind opinions. (No, I'm not sure I'm her real daughter either.) Unfortunately, she says things that only 80% make sense.

Me: Mom? Can I finish the broccoli?
Mom: It's all about you!

I've held off blogging about it as long as I could, but dammit I've reached my limit. This whole exchange started innocently enough. I mentioned I was one of the few people who had blogs whose parents knew about it.

Me: Wouldn't it be weird if I came home and told you I'd had a blog for three years and you didn't know it?
Mom: I still think it'll happen for you someday.
Me: What????? You already know about my blog.
Mom: I think it'll happen for you someday. You'll be on the Today Show.
Me: (More concerned) WHAT?!?! No, I mean if I told you, "I have a blog" and you didn't know about it.
Mom: Oh. I still think you'll be on the Today Show someday.
Me: Of course, but not for my blog.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I have like a half a cold, which basically means I’m living my life but staying away from the gym. Too sick for that!

But it also means that two or three times a day, I think I’m going to choke to death on a clot of my own mucus that’s gotten stuck.

My thoughts for the day...

Wake up.

Not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, CHOKING I’M GONNA DIE OH MY GOD IT’S STUCK, IT’S NOT GOING DOWN I CAN’T HACK IT UP!!!!!!!! not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, OH GOD HERE WE GO AGAIN. I ALWAYS KINDA FIGURED I'D DIE DRINKING COFFEE, I REGRET NOTHING, EXCEPT THE STUPID MANNER IN WHICH I’M DYING!!!!!!!!!!! not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, not choking, WALK TOWARD THE LIGHT KATE!!!!!!!! not choking, not choking.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"He had no eyeballs, Officer. Does that help?"

Oh no! It's Halloween and you have no costume! Never fear. I've got one for you that's sure to scare strangers and loved ones alike: Go as a police sketch.

Everyone knows it's the scariest part of any crime. I have PTSD from just Googling these. So print out your favorite photo from below and make a mask. Add a hoodie. Wa-la.

The mutant people the sketch "artists" churn out look barely human. I loathe jumping to conclusions, but obviously these guys are all guilty.

This sketch artist is called the "Sketch artist Pacasso" for willfully ignoring of all sense of proportion.

Jayden James Spears-Federline in 22 years.

Yep, that's him. Second from the left. Yes, the eyeball-less one.

He's as surprised as you are that he knocked over that liquor store.

The Missing Link rapist

I'm not really sure how my African-American garden gnome came to life, but we'll never forget the trouble he caused.

So cute! He's like a baby with a gray beard!

"Hmmm, that's closer but needs a liiiiiiittle more forehead.”

Devo hat? Check. Manscaped eyebrows? Check. Face full o' makeup? Check. Let's go a-robbin'.

He kills his victims just by looking at them.

Someone called him "Angry Roseanne" one too many times.

Every serial killer ever.

Monday, October 29, 2007

"I like to relax!"

Another Match candidate comes so close, yet blows it. I think the extra special oomph in this attempt comes from the exclamation points. It feels like he's shouting to me at a club!


You seem very relaxed. What else do you love?


Why does “we” in quotes creep me out so much? What are your thoughts on race relations?


I’m sure Gods agree.


Really?!?!?! The megachurch minister who preaches that God (sorry “Gods”) wants us to be rich? The one whose wife got kicked off a plane for being such a bitch and ended up chartering a flight to their ski trip instead? That one? His impending to-be-determined scandal will be the greatest show ever.


Does this offend you somehow?


Fan of short thoughts!!


Editor’s note: untrue.


Say what?


Oh my God, he’s got a bank heist planned for our date and he’s going to use me as a human shield. Could you now just type out the next few nonsense thoughts/rap phrases you’ve heard somewhere? Just whatever comes into your head?


Thanks. This would be a good time to call your potential date a bitch and allude to domestic problems.



Really?(!!!) then why have I met you in every bar I’ve ever been in? But I’m sure a great guy like you has no problem meeting someone.


Editor’s note: Yes, she is. She’s the one with the lower back tattoo and the even lower self-esteem.

I RUN A CONSTRUCTION COMPANY IN MANHATTEN Editor’s note: Manhattan AND THE 5 BOROS Editor’s note: Boroughs SOMETIMES ON LONG ISLAND Editor’s note: one out of three ain’t bad.


Are you asking or telling?


Yup, you’re the first one to make the link between kissing and sex. Science should look into it.


Go on, finish the thought. No? OK. Now babble about sex for a bit…


To clarify, you’re talking about sex?

Friday, October 26, 2007


When you're a middle-aged man who's been corralled into going to some sort of Halloween function with your child the weekend before Halloween and you're walking on the dark street and you have a painted freakin' clown face but your black trenchcoat is covering your costume so everyone around you just sees a looming clownface when they look at you, it would be awesome to keep your kid attached to your hip so your neighbors at least stand a fighting chance of not pulling out their Mace when they see you. K?

I made it my whole life without being scared by clowns. That streak is over now. Good job, buddy.

Get with the program, New York Times, Burma's gone

Lawsuits are pretty awesome. Everyone knows this.

Last year, as the result of some legal settlement, (about what, I don't know. Who can keep up with them all!) my company made literally every last employee in this multi-national media conglomerate watch a video of our ethics policy. Over the course of a month we were herded by the thousands into this “1984”-style situation of a man projected on a giant screen reading … God knows what. Half of us fell asleep immediately. The other half waited to confirm it was the most boring thing they’d ever heard before falling asleep.

I was in the second group. I fought the good fight before nodding off, only to be woken up to the sound the man saying “Burma” followed by laughter. Say what? Burma humor? I asked my friend what I missed and she said it was this guy talking about something in Myanmar. Then he threw up huge air quotes and said, dripping with sarcasm “Burma”. Look, I’m sorry you don’t recognize the nation’s sovereignty from England with ….oh look at that. I’m asleep again.

So this country “Myanmar-formerly-known-as-Burma” as we’re all legally bound to call it. What up wit dat? (For these and questions re: airline peanuts and observations about white people dancing, don’t miss my one-woman show next week!)

What the? Where’d Burma go on my map? Myanmar must be a pretty new country for everyone to still be confused!

Oh well you better check your atlas’ year of publication (oh snap!), because (I just learned) it’s been Myanmar since 1948. That’s right. The year your grandparents got married. We’ve spent (counting on fingers, hold on) years calling it Myanmar-formerly-known-as-Burma.

Who is this helping? Isn’t this like saying “Abraham Lincoln, who is dead, was a tall man.”

Wake up, newspapers of America, with your mandatory Myanmar-formerly-known-as-Burma country. You've been in the pocket of Big Burma long enough. I know you all had winter homes there, but, like your stepfather Bill, it's gone and not coming back. Time to move on and forget it (and Bill) was ever in your life.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This terrible irreverence goes out to you, KayTeeGee

This post is brought to you by the number 3 and the letters "Musketeers."

Know how babies get that shocked look on their faces when you disappear behind your hands, only to mind-blowingly reappear seconds later? It’s a look like, “Never in my 9 months on Earth have I seen something so incredible!”

It’s heartwarming, really.

Sadly, as you get older it takes more and more to blow your mind. Randomly disappearing faces won’t cut it anymore. We need helicopters and the lottery and Michael Bay ‘splosions.

And Mint 3 Musketeers. (Fun fact: You can't misspell "Muskateers" without "Kate." Wow your friends this Halloween.) HAHA, you're old news York Peppermint Patties and Junior Mints and Chocoalte Altoids and mint chocolate chip ice cream!

Boy howdy will these blow your mind. I’ve had mint, I’ve had chocolate, I’ve even had them in combinations that have been pleasing to my palate. But never has anything rocked my world like these suckas. First of all, they’re bringing dark chocolate to the party – always a welcome treat. And there’s a detectable amount of salt to it. Sounds bad, but it’s awesome. Slightly salty, but awesome. And the mint! It’s softer than York Peppermint Patties, harder than Junior Mints and sweet and really great. (I know, I know, I should be a judge on Top Chef. People always say that.)

Apologies to anyone who wants these at my Halloween party this Saturday, because I'm going to eat the rest of them for dinner tonight.

Now how does this blogging endorsement thing work? CHECK PLEASE, 3 MUSKETEERS.

Monday, October 22, 2007


I’ll be remembered by history for many reasons.

One was my creation of the fifth season: Slush. Anyone in a Northern climate will tell you it’s a special sort of hell on sunny frigid days when you plummet mid-calf into a puddle of grey, icy water that should by all laws of physics still be frozen. Everything around you is dead and muddy. It ruins Christmas knowing this is around the corner.

Like those wacky Caesars (Julius and Augustus) before me who named July and August after themselves (only to screw up the whole rest of the calendar, since ancient timey people apparently ran out of steam with giving actual names for the months and just started calling them "seventh month" etc. But now September is the ninth month! Confusing? Yes, we also would have accepted boring.)

I'll win you back with my next idea. I'd like to create a sixth season: Shouldbefall.

It’s October! Why am I all pit-stainy still? Is it because I’m refusing to wear short sleeves? Probably. Is that because not ready to accept that it’s 80 degrees and I can’t will it to be cooler with my super powerful mind? That could also be the case.

Each and every day, I leave my house bundled up, convinced that today will be the day I’m glad I put on a sweater and have a scarf. It should be sweater weather (swether?) and sooner or later – with the power of my super mind – it will be. But the past few weeks it’s not been. Each and every day I crawl back home on the verge of heatstroke, encased in a patina of sweat like I’ve been oiled up for the Miss Hawaiian Tropics pageant.

Thanks to global warming, trick-or-treaters this year probably won’t even have to obscure their Halloween costumes under parkas, like we always had to. Every year I was a clown, bobby soxer or geisha from the waist down, but pure Eskimo from the waist up. It’s hard to demand candy from strangers, then eat said candy in said stranger’s driveway with the double obstacles of gloves and your stupid hood stings pulled so tight it blocks everything but your nose.

You kids today with your melty glaciers and text messaging. The only thing I can console myself with is that every kid ever now is allergic to peanuts, so people probably don’t pass out Snickers – the holy grail of tick or treat loot – all willy nilly the way they used to in the good old days (by which I obviously mean the late 80s/early 90s.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mr. F

So I was babysitting last week (because why wouldn’t I?) and I’m at the playground with this 6-year-old boy. The jungle gym is totally empty aside from us, which is great, because the precious little snowflake says he wants to play tiger and jungle hunter. (Because why wouldn’t he?)

Oh kill me now, Jesus.

So there I am, trying to climb out of harm’s way on some sort of spider-web apparatus, when the tiger decides he’s tired and curls up (because why wouldn’t he?) in this enclosed slide, hidden from sight.

That leaves me, an adult just sort of standing there looking like I’m ready to finally conquer my fear of the top of the jungle gym.

I was briefly filled with glee at the silence, hoping I could milk this into a five-minute break. But then it dawned on me: I’ve suddenly become the adult at the playground with no kid. Awesome. Am I mentally challenged or a pedophile or just sort of a generally sadult trying to recapture her childhood? Is there a best option in that scenario?

“At least nobody can see me at the new low I’ve reached,” I console myself, just as this nosy old lady spots me sans child and scopes me out suspiciously. Then the 6-year-old wakes up from his self-imposed nap and slides down the slide.

“It’s ok, Ruth, she has a kid with her,” she calls to Ruth. BECAUSE WHY WOULDN’T SHE.

I’ve never felt more like a MR. F. Ever. Not even the time last year when I dropped my can of soda at the deli, then whacked my head on the counter picking it up, then hit my elbow on the same counter when I went to grab my new forehead egg.

Please, seriously, strike me dead.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

You win again, Interwebs

There's really nowhere I can go with this Match email. I'm totally outwitted. And also curious about this trip to moon I've been hearing so much about.

well, i want to go out and paint the town red!!!!!
i dont want to fall in love kind relations!!
JUST have FUN!!! party!!!
unless the the girl of my dream appears in my way to get??????
yes i said marriage!!
but i dont think i can find my dreams in the earth. i am trying to buy on of this trips to moon, hope to find her!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Putting the rath in Rathbones

Food inspires a lot of emotions in me. The emotion of hunger mostly. But also happiness! It’s all smiles times when there’s dinner afoot.

It takes a lot for food to inspire rage. This is the girl who once went on a first date and was completely happy eating a bowl of leeks because it was the only non-meat item on the menu.

As I’ve covered, white chocolate, raisins, licorice and cooked green peppers make me feel all punch-y. Sandwiches were not on that list until yesterday.

I went to a bar with friends for a two-for-one drink deal, and I know that when it’s beer that gets you in the door you shouldn’t complain the lack of gourmet cuisine BUT that’s not going to stop me from pointing out that two slices of unbuttered toast with melted Kraft singles (presented open-faced) does not constitute a grilled cheese sandwich on this or any other planet. When I order a grilled cheese, I expect to see Jesus' - or at least Mother Teresa's - mug all up in there.

And when you charge $8 for the plastic-cheese toast and notice the customer has only eaten one bite, you – the waitress – shouldn’t bother to argue that it was, in fact grilled cheese because the bread was grilled and had cheese on it.

Argh, foiled by semantics again.

Can I just point out that you can’t just start breaking down foods into their literal meanings? If I ordered Grape Nuts and got a bowl of gapes and walnuts, or if I wanted to snack on some tasty peanuts and got a bowl of snap peas and cashews IT WOULDN’T BE THE SAME THING.

Not smiles times. Not smiles times at all.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What the hell is wrong with me? Vol. 2 (James Blunt edition)*

*Bring on the lawsuit, Jacob.

Welcome to my nightmare.

Know how everyone is all like “Why doesn’t MTV ever play music?” Look, I’m as enraged as everyone by Spencer and the scary plastic face he’s got going on, but I don’t need more music videos in my life. Why? Because this was my day after hearing the James Blunt song “1973” or as I venture to guess the original title was, “Beautiful 1973.”

It’s been not just a pleasant soundtrack in my head, it’s been getting in the way of me functioning.

Bus driver: Good morning.
Me: …Wish I was sober, so I could see clearly now, the rain has gone.
Bus driver: It’s 9 a.m. I’m not sober either.

Friend: Hey, Kate, wanna meet up for dinner later?
Me: Simona, You're getting older. Your journey's been etched on your skin.
Friend: Excuse me? You’ll have crow’s feet too someday.

Grocery store girl: Here’s your change, miss.
Me: … And we sang, "Here we go again". And though time goes by I will always be in a club with you in 1973 Singing, "Here we go again."
GSG: Do I know you?

James Blunt, you and your falsetto are ruining my life. And I don't even need to go into the logic of you being like a fetus in 1973.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Communist boys

Communist Boy (noun): 1. He's smart, funny, just your type, but somehow it's not clicking. 2. A relationship that should, by all logic, work. It looks flawless on paper, like communism.

Friday, October 12, 2007

An open letter to the FCC about the old ladies at my gym

Hey there, old ladies! I'm not clear how your mother, Vogue, religion or society in general dropped the ball in filling you with a healthy self-loathing about your body, but where did we go wrong here?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m really excited about being as old as you someday and no longer giving a flying crap about who I insult or whose toes I crush with my Rascal. But here’s a rule of thumb: If your body looks like you spend your days writing letters to the FCC about the foul mouth on the little boy from Two and a Half Men, perhaps you ought to not frolic about the gym locker room .

I know I should be applauding you for being all active at your advanced ages, but I promise, there’s NO NEED for you to parade around naked. It seriously challenges my ability to keep my food down when I turn from getting stuff from my locker and I’m face to droopy boob with you. Call Dr. 90210, become a recluse or just take a page from the rest of us and put a damn towel around your offensive self.

In honor of what I presume you do all day, here’s my letter about you to the FCC about you:

Dear FCC,

As a concerned citizen, I applaud the many censoring moves you’ve made to improve airwaves. America’s children do not need to see breasts before their wedding night. (This goes for young men and young women.) Likewise, they do not need to be saying the F word, the S word, the R word or h-e-double-hockey-sticks. It’s best to ensure they never hear these words at all.

Can we have another Depression please to teach them about life?

And also, can you please start using your powers in real life as well? It’s all fine and well if primetime is cleaned up, but what good does that do if we just hear these words and see offensive images in our daily lives?

Please start with the old ladies at my gym who walk around naked. They are offensive on many levels. That form of nudity should not – must not – be celebrated or encouraged. It diminishes my quality of live and concerns me for my own future when I look at all that appalling sagging.

American flags!


P.S. These colors don’t run!

P.P.S. Good job with the whole Janet Jackson thing. Truly your finest hour. I was disgusted when I saw her flash us the first time, but when I relived it on cable the next 9,000 times, I got progressively less appalled each time.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Jiminy Carter!

I saw Jimmy Carter last night. Or as the girl behind me kept calling him "Jiminy Carter." Like the cricket.

It’s gotta make you feel like a pimp to be (I assume) 94 and still get security detail and decoy cars. All I want in life is a string of decoy cars.

He might look like he stuffs his pockets with Werthers Originals, but clearly people are out to assassinate him at a moment’s notice. People who hate humanity being habitated. Even if they aren’t exactly sure how to pronounce his name.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Getting to know your friendly neighborhood blogger

1. Name

2. Birthday
Sept. 8. Yeah, you missed it. Feel bad?

3. Do you have tattoos & how many
No and none. Kinda want a shamrock.

4. Do you have piercings & how many
Yes, three in my ears. I was a super rebellious teen. Ovbs.

5. Ethninc background
My “ethninc” background? I freckle.

6. Do you have any phobias
No, but I get violently angry when people chew loudly. I also have an aversion to lots of holes in things, like mesh. Makes me queasy.

7. Do you like thunderstorms
Yes! I hate sunshine. Also flowers and the sound of children's laughter.

8. Do you dance in the rain
No, because I'm not mentally ill or in love in a musical.

9. What is your weakness
Am I a supervillian!? My weakness is flan.

10. Do you dye your hair
No, not after I accidentally dyed it black for my sister's wedding so I looked like a long-lost Ramone. That was following my (intentionally) dying it blonde in college as a feature story to see if people treated me differently. Verdict: I got a few marriage proposals, but I think it's because it was such an obvious dye job it looked like I had low self-esteem. I looked like an Eastern European hooker.

11. Who do you think is the most intelligent person that ever lived
Clearly the person who put these questions together.

12. Do you get along with your parents
Yes, but I'm several states away, so it makes it different.

13. Have you ever made a wish on a shooting star
Again, no. Not mentally ill or in a Disney movie.

14. Name one person you miss more then anything (that's still alive)
My sister! Mostly because she forgave me for looking like a Ramone at her wedding. Also, she lets me call her like 14 times a day even when I have nothing to say.

15. How do you want to die
Same way I want to give birth: Heavily drugged.

16. Ford, Dodge, or Chevy
Metro Card. Rephrase the question? Here's a story: When we moved to Kentucky when I was 14, I knew I wasn't at the right high school for me because there was a fight in the hallway between a guy who was drawing Ford logos in the margins of his history notebook and a guy drawing Chevy logos. An honest-to-God fight! It was a long four years.

17. Country or City
I suffer from an acute case of reverse claustrophobia where I get antsy and uneasy in wide-open spaces. I like to be hugged by tall buildings.

My perfect Guy:

18. Hair color
Grey and thinning

19. Eye color
Does anyone dismiss someone because of eye color? You do have to bring the 20/20 though. My kids won't wear glasses.

20. Tattoos
So many

21. Piercings
Yes, infected if possible. I like to tend to the infirmed.

22. Clothing style
Straight up sk8er boi or gold prospector

23. Older or younger then you
Near death

24. Smoker
See above

25. Can you take them home to Mom
I'd love to meet a guy who'll embarrass me by burping a lot at the table, maybe even yelling at my parents, someone who'll really drive a wedge between me and my whole family. That would be hot.

26. Are they funny
Oh Christ no.

27. Are they like you or your opposite
To sum up: I'd like an elderly smoking skater/prospector near death who hates my family and is the opposite of me in every way. They do have to like Fords though. That's non-negotiable. Dear Diary, will I ever meet such a man?

28. Has anyone ever wrote a song about you
Actually, yes, someone "has wrote" a ditty about the blog. It was like 8 bars. One of my life goals is to have someone write a real song about me. Kate rhymes with so much stuff! Get on this, you guys.

29. Have you ever been on stage
Oh God, here we go. I was in a pageant named after a cake mix in high school. I wore a blue sparkly dress. I did not win, which means I didn't get to cut the ribbon at the next day's world's largest brownie attempt. Oy, what a girl will do for a chance at a scholarship.

30. Have you ever done anything you saw on Jackass
No, you know why? Because of Half the deaths on there are because kids attached rope to the back of their trucks and spun their friend on a merry go round until they flew off. Half the deaths!

31. Have you ever snorted a pixie stix
Pixie stix, no. Altoids, yes. Is that what the kids are doing now?

32. Have you ever done stupid things in a shopping cart
How vague and random.

Friday, October 05, 2007

What the hell is wrong with me? Vol. 1

Time for my new favorite game: What the hell is wrong with me?

In future issues, we’ll examine why other people drinking tea makes me so angry, why I suspect I might have weekend diabetes, why I sometimes wake up with curly hair, and why I think things are purpleish when everyone else in the room says it’s blue or pink.

But first, let’s tackle why I constantly think my phone is ringing. I probably reach for it 20 times a day because I think I hear those first few “dee DE dodolee deee” trilling out of it. But, just like in a horror movie, nobody’s there. (I guess, strictly speaking, in a horror movie, the caller would be inside my purse, but there’s no time for logic when I have problems like this going on.)

It’s not tinnitus because it’s not constant. It strikes when a note similar to the first “dee” of my ringtone is struck somewhere in the vicinity. From experience, I’ve learned these include most, if not all, songs; children’s tiny voices; laughter; espresso machines; horns and squealing breaks.

Next time we’ll tackle why I could watch people push on “pull” doors (and vice versa) all day.

Monday, September 24, 2007

It happened last week. A roundup

Just in case you thought not working a 9-to-5 job might be boring, you better check yourself.

1. Found out my roommate’s moving out because she doesn’t want to split the broker’s fee for the apartment with me, as she agreed to do. She stuck me with the whole bill for that and gave me a week’s notice to find a new roommate and somehow twisted it around in her little mind that I was at fault and am somehow profiting from this. This will be a long, boring post once I’m not too angry to embrace syntax again.

2. Got hit on by a deaf guy. When I told (wrote) him that I didn’t have TTD (which in my mind stands for “talking to the deaf” but is actually some sort of voice thing so you can…talk to the deaf) on my phone, he told me I could call his brother, who would relay the message. I’m so following up on this.

3. Got Tiki Barber’s autograph. My dad’s a big ol’ Giants fan and my brother and I are in an arms race to see who can get him more autographs/phone calls with cool people. The Giants were in the Super Bowl a few years ago (Wikipedia it yourself) and he was severely injured in the games leading up to it, but then he was Mr. Goldenlegs on the field. They cut away to his twin, Ronde, in the stands and my dad and I were two people with the same thought…Ronde was the one playing! I meant to check with Tiki about this. Also, if Tiki got an online encyclopedia it would be Tikipedia. That’s just how my mind works. Embrace it.

4. Tiki was very concerned about my dad’s heath because…

5. My dad is starting radiation after they removed a cancerous bit of his nose. I’m so wanting a Nose Cancer Livestrong bracelet and/or run-walk. Yes, this is the same dad who came within inches of death last year around this time.

6. Emailed with the writer of an Oscar-winning movie because he wanted to see my scripts. More on this soon, you best believe.

7. A homeless man did a sketch of me on the subway. I was excited about the cool piece of art coming my way as he was working. That soon faded, as the result looks like me if my face were shot with a horse tranquilizer. I still gave him $2 since I’m nothing if not a patron of the arts.

8. I heard a guy get shot. I was leaving someone’s apartment. Although they’re in a nice building, it’s across from (what’s the P.C. way to say this?) an ungentrified area. I watched a herd of teenagers shouting each other, careful to stay across the street (because bullets can’t go across the street. Duh.) There was a huge blast and everyone started running (except for that one kid, I suppose). Girls — not women, but girls — pushed their strollers away quickly, which I’m sure disappointed the infants, because what baby doesn’t want a front-row seat to a fight in Harlem at midnight?

Friday, September 21, 2007

This man might not exist, and other things I learned today

Hey Fordham, remember when I was too poor to get into you? Here’s who you let in instead. It’s my archenemy across from me at Starbucks: All-The-Trends Girl. She’s got bug sunglasses, layered necklaces and head-to-toe 80s garb. She also says everything in not only upspeak, but in an elongated final sound, as though her own jaw is too bored with what she's saying to bother to close.

They’ve been jabbing for 20 minutes about something for their history class, and their assignment is either to list pop culture things that America exports or to list things that happened last century. Their thoughts are so muddled I honestly can’t tell which.

Here’s the liveblogging:

Girl 1 (in a Fordham sweatshirt): My mom asked me if Stephen Colbert is made up or real (presumably she means if he’s adopted a conservative persona, as opposed to a hallucination) and I’m like, “There’s no way, I mean the way he says stuff I can tell he knows what he’s saying is complete bullshit.” (She says this with the smugness that the people who cracked the Rosetta Stone must’ve felt.)

ATT Girl will take over the conversation from here. Please enjoy the highlights:

* I can always tell when Chanel sunglasses are fake, I mean I just have a talent for it. (She, without a pause, then went on to recount a South Park episode and told the group about how Oprah “totally shit” on James Frey.)

* What about that movie with Dirk Diggler? You know the one? I feel like that really encompasses the ‘80s.

* Bottled water is like a danger to our environment. No, it’s not just the environment, it’s like human rights.

* If it’s like an actual spring, couldn’t you like drink out of it? It’s underground? Oh.

(Me: Please slow down. I can’t type fast enough to keep up with your bon mots.)

* What else was big in the '80s? Reagan! Everyone hated him. Wait (giggle) That’s Nixon.

* I think I’m an English major.

* There’s a KFC in China. No! There’s more than one. (Then she recounts the urban legend that it’s not really chicken. As fact.) I’m openly staring at her at this point.

* I like snails, I think they’re cute. I don’t like slugs though. I don’t think they count as animals.

* Some come out unfertilized; hence, eggs. They play music to make them lay eggs faster. Like an aphrodisiac.

* I think we should list Hitler and Nixon as bad.

* What about that movie where the guy ate only McDonald’s for a month and almost died? I like Wendy’s; that’s the big Staten Island thing.

* I really want to get an iphone. I say I’m going to get one every weekend and I never do. (Note: iphone has been out for like 8 weekends.)

* China is like nuts, they’re going to take over like everything soon. There was a girl who just pressed elevator buttons and told you to have a nice day. That was like her job.

* Has anyone seen “Across the Universe” yet? Is it visually amazing? I want to see it on pot brownies. Hang on I gotta text my friend, Gary. Do you wanna go smoke?

At this point I black out from rage.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It’s time to kino escalate that shiznit, yo!

It’s September, which means I get to officially start thinking about Halloween. (More accurately, I can go public with the thinking about Halloween that’s been going on since July.)

Journey back with me to last year and you’ll recall I was Maternalina Jolie: Wax lips, head-to-toe black and – most importantly – dollar-store dolls with masks of her kids duct taped around my waist.

This year, I’ve got a couple of ideas knocking around.

1. The first, my favorite, requires two guys. I really want a set of people to go as Dateline To Catch a Predator’s Chris Hanson, a pedophile and a 15-year-old girl. I’m having a surprisingly hard time into talking any of my guy friends to go as a sexual predator, so this on is up for grabs.

2. That English rapper Lady Sovereign, because I rock a mad mean sidetail, yo.

3. In the same vein, I want to be Any Winehouse. I’ve got the brown wig and plenty of newspapers to make it a beehive. Eyeliner and fake blood are pretty much the only other ingredients. The only drawback is that because I don’t do any appetite-suppressing coke, I’d have to go as Fat Amy Winehouse.

4. My latest obsession though is going as Mystery from VH1’s The Pickup Artist. I’ve been glued all season, and near as I can figure out, it’s about the offspring of lead singer of Jamiroquai and Seth Green’s character from Can’t Hardly Wait who’s taken a heard of D&D playing basement-dwellers under his wing. He also sometimes wears a lipstick kiss tattoo. That is the new hotness!

It’s with the principle of “know thy enemy” that I was bombarded with terms like “neg,” (making fun of a woman to get her interested, ie when Brady said to the stripper he was trying to pick up, “Too bad there aren’t any cute girls working here tonight”), “higher value,” (which is basically a take back on what you just said. You can add “just kidding” and she’s a bitch if she can’t laugh with you) and of course “kino escalate” (which is apparently what us women-folk do when we’re touching our hair or something.)

Mystery hooked me early in the season (see how well his plan works?!?!) when they made over a geek who said the ladies thought he was gay and they remedied that by piercing his ears and painting his nails. They also play that song “Boston” with the line “No one knows my name” when a dude gets kicked off. Yes, it is awesome.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Running on empty, also cookies

My sister and I have decided we’re going to run in this 7-mile race called the Bix next summer. It seems like a good bonding experience and just an all-round grownup thing to say you’re flying to Iowa for a race. We tried to talk my brother into it too.

Me: We could all cross the finish line together, Kevin! All three (redacted) kids. It’s a metaphor, stupid.
Him: I will make a poster and cheer you on.

So anyway, two out of three of us are in. I mostly agreed to do it because July is in the theoretical future, like a nuclear holocaust or the Red Sox winning another world series. (What? Come and get me.)

My sister bought a marathon-training book and is charting her progress in a sensible manner. I’m continuing to let New York Sports Club take money out of my account and hoping for the best. I also spend as much time as possible stretching on the mats, hoping people think, “Wow, that girl must really be a serious runner!” instead of, “Boy, that girl really knows how to postpone doing any actual running.”

I tend to run in the afternoon, away from as many prying eyes as possible. (See previous running entry.) It also ties in well with getting my Oprah on, as long as she’s giving stuff away and not talking about something lame-o like childhood diabetes or overcoming racism.

The other part of my plan is that post running I get away from the vicinity of my gym, which is really more for their benefit than mine. They have a table set up outside to recuit new members, and when I exercise, all pigment drains from my face and gets redistributed in a color I like to call “blotch.”

Between that, the struggle for air, the dripping hair and posture of someone needing orthopedic surgery, I think I’m the worst possible poster child for exercise being a fun and satisfying pastime.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Happy 1995, guys.

Having searched every golf course in three states, O.J. got word the real killer was in that hotel room. Obvs.

As a Kate who suffered through a whole lotta Kato jokes in the mid-'90s, this is a day for sweet, sweet revenge. I never thought I'd get to crack another lame OJ joke! I thought we'd all agreed as a nation that Jay Leno could have custody of all of them.

Now I'm going to go put on my best flannel, listen to a little Black Hole Sun (on a mixtape! Awwwww yeeeeah) and wait for Bill Clinton to do something that shows us how much he doesn't not like young women. It's 90s day!

Pretty high and mighty, Google.

I have to say, I don’t care for the tone Google takes with me when I misspell a word. You know what Google? If I say I want to find a lavendar dress, then you find me a lavendar dress. Save the editorializing with your snippy little, “Did you mean lavender?” No. No I did not.

On the flip side though, it makes me disproportionately sad when spellcheck can’t supply an alternative suggestion for my word, such is the depth of my misspelling.

I’m complex!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Nothing I need ... Duane Reade

Manhattan’s ubiquitous Duane Reade drugstores defy geography. They are everywhere. They’ve run out of street corners to house their paper towels and canned goods so they’ve started stacking them on top of each other, the watchful eye of God on the city.

Their sheer volume dominates in lieu of every other possible service including, but not limited to: employees who will stop talking to each other when you approach with a question , reasonably priced goods and a jingle that rhymes. (“Everywhere you go … Duane Reade!” which leads me to believe that the jingle writers are locals familiar with the chain. Logic would dictate that the song should go “Everything you need ... Duane Reade!” but I suppose they’re bound by some sort of legal obligation to not lie to the people.)

My closest Duane Reade is literally feet from my home, which is was very psyched about when I first moved in. However, it soon became famous (to me, which is the only kind of fame that matters) as the drugstore that carries olive tapenade on a regular basis, but toilet paper only half the time.

I think they’ve outdone themselves with their current back-to-school aisle though. I was walking around yesterday, looking for some shampoo when my eyes gazed fondly at the day-glo notebooks, crisply pinstriped index cards and bright No. 2s just a-beggin’ for a sharpening. And there, next to the High School Musical 2 folders: Condoms. No doubt for the havoc Zac Efron’s baby blues are wreaking (meh!) on the young women of tomorrow. Homeboy creeps me out with those undead eyes.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mock trial with J. Reinhold

Never have I been a soap opera gal. I knew girls in high school and college who recorded the antics of Lucky and Stone and Alexa. Ridiculous plots aside, I could never get past the high school AV club production quality and the accompanying commercials for Depends and funeral insurance. Much like my theory of the Essence Sentence, soap operas were summed up for me on a forced viewing of one of those shows (Does it matter which one, really?) when some girl said, “This happens every time he gets kidnapped.” Every time? EVERY TIME? Your kidnappings are so routine that people see patterns in events? (My Essence Sentence for R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet”? “The midget faints again.” You’re the master, Kels.)

This all poses a problem for someone who’s got a summer vacation and no cable. I realize that every time I leave the house, money seems to leak out of my hand, so I try to stay in and write until I’m close to losing my mind. Then I go get coffee.

My solution: courtroom dramas. There’s Judge Joe Brown, Judge, Greg Mathis, Judge Maria Lopez and Judge Alex. (He’s like the cool guidance councilor of the group, ‘cause we get to call him by his first name.)

Like the cast of The Real World, each judge gives an intro with their hook. Judge Maria Lopez came from Cuba, her intro tells us. (Of course she did.) She is the American Dream! Judge Alex is all about family, Judge Joe Brown got a second chance after a scallywag childhood. That imp!

Now they fight for justice. Who you gonna call when your neighbor cuts down your tree, your friend loses your begle or your sibling won't pay you rent?

A typical case:

On Maria Lopez, it’s sister v. sister. Sister A, Lakisha, is 32 and bad with money, so she gave her 19-year-old sister Quinesha, her $1,800 income-tax refund to hold. Quinesha doesn’t remember her getting the money (“I gotta be focused. You gotta get my attention, especially about money. Anyone in my family know that.”) Except that she later says she does remember getting the money when she finds $100 bills swirling around the dryer.

Pete, the bailiff, cracks wise that it gives money laundering a whole new meaning and Judge Maria Lopez has to put her head down on her judge desk because she’s laughing so hard. The plaintiff and defendant smile politely, because they have no clue what’s going on.

On with the show.

Quinesha says she thought the $100s were different than the wad o’ cash her sister had handed her a few days before, so she assumed this was money of her own she had misplaced. She went shopping with a third sister.

Being a legal eagle, Judge Maria Lopez sees through the story and rules for Lakisha.

Meanwhile, next door, Judge Christina has upped the ante by kicking someone out of her courtroom. Bad ass!

She deals with a case about a wrestler who left his drum set with a fellow wrestler for a year and got pissed that the friend got rid of it.

Judge Christina is different because at the end, instead of hearing from the plaintiff and defendant, we hear from Christina. It’s like Jerry Springer’s heartfelt message/trying to find meaning in the crazy universe he created. At the end of the wresting case, Christina tells us, “It’s ridiculous. They get all dressed up in the costumes, but they’re not real wrestlers. It’s theater.”

I think – I think – there might be a metaphor here, but I’ll be damned if I can find it.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Where's my endorsement deal, Nike?

I ran 3.1 miles today. To a “real runner” or someone “in shape” that doesn’t sound like much, especially at my woeful pace, but I hadn’t run in about two years, so I’m feeling pretty high on life.

While doing my little treadmill 5K, I realized that it’s exactly one year to the Olympics, which means I really should get training if I’m going to make the team (WHICH I AM!)

Since I forget to train for the marathon every year, I knew I'd have to plan ahead for something as big as the Olympics. So I’ve come up with a simple straegy: If I double my running every day for the next year, I should be in decent shape for Beijing.

I’ve got the following things standing in my way though:

1. I’m not really fond of people watching me run. Sidebar: A few years ago, when visiting my aunt and uncle, I headed out for my usual nighttime run under the cover of darkness. (I was also wearing all black. Should I not do that?) My uncle was a little worried about me going by myself and we went back and forth about me taking my cousin Will with me. I told him I don’t like people watching me run and he finally burst out laughing and said, “Kate, he’s an 11-year-old asthmatic. I think you’ll be ok.” But you know what? Will is 17 and training for the New York Marathon, so who’s laughing now?

2. Ditto my un-fondness for short shorts. They look revealing and, uh, chafe-y. I think I have a solution though. I’m just going to ask everyone in the stadium to turn their backs during my races and NBC to cut their feed. Then I’ll put on my baggy sweats, hop on my Segway and cruise to glory. Simple. Easy as pie. Which brings up problem #3…

3. I like sugar. And loafing.

4. It’s kind of hot outside.

5. I don’t want to have bionic titanium knees when I’m 38.

Other than that though, glory is mine. I've got my Wheaties box smile ready to go and I'm willing to sign my name to any and every product put in front of me. After that I'll decimate a former boy bander on “Dancing with the Stars.” It’s gonna be great.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

You can stand under my umbrella, dawg

Part one of last week was the funeral, but for part two I became a DANCE MACHINE at my cousin's wedding. (No, no, not the reception, I do mean the actual wedding. Ass.)

It started with a warmup a week before at my friend's boyfriend's birthday when I found the magic elixer drink combo that made my feet fly and my arms flail rhythymically. Part of the glory goes to the DJ who was like my own personal dream iPod: MC Hammer? T.I.? Journey? Bollywood tunes? All of the above!

That night and the wedding were just what I needed to get my self-esteem back on track after the hip hop class I took. It may or may not be related to my abilities that the co-worker who invited me never made eye contact with me again.

But this weekend, I was a superstar. Dancing with members of your immediate family will have that effect on you. After that it got a little blurry. But there was also some talk of starting a band called "I suck? You suck!" Get your T-shirts now before they sell out.

With my dance confidence at an all-time high, I returned to New York only to have my bubble burst.

The girl next to me at Starbucks just shoutbragged (and if you're going to brag, shoutbrag) that she got paid $20,000 to create a dance for some commercial. And again I'm regretting not selling my now legendary infamous "Umbrella" dance. (I don't give away the milk for free, but let's just say it involves waving your curved arm rapidly over your partner's head. It's pretty fly.)

When I say Isabel, you say Attracta!

Were you ever the kid who tried to do your book report without reading the book? Now imagine you’re a priest and you’re asked to speak at the funeral of a woman you’d only met a few times. Same result. Lots of stuttering, few relevant details.

Yes, my grandmother’s funeral was hilarious. Thank you for asking.

In addition to dying just a week before my cousin’s wedding, apparently she also died on or near the feast day for some St. Attracta, which the priest found somehow amazing. Any time you start a speech with “Isabel would have loved to have died this week” because you don’t know it’s week of her grandson’s wedding, you’re bound to have near riot conditions on your hands.

At no point did he tell us why Gram would have loved St. Attracta, but he was so certain he saw a parallel with them that I was sure I’d missed a family joke somewhere.

Before it just devolved into him just jibbering away, he certainly hammered out the semantics of their respective names.

Here’s the highlight:

“So you have Isabel. Let’s break that down: Isabel Is. A. Belle. If we look at the translation, then we see: Is. A. Beauty. Add that to St. Attracta’s feast day and we have a beauty who is attractive.” (At this point my brother leans over and whispers to me, “Is he hitting on her? That’s my grandmother, you sick son of a bitch.”)

It went on like this for some time, with the priest just going back and forth repeating “Isabel, Attracta, Isabel, Attracta” in front of dumbfounded mourners.

My uncle later said he was worried the next step was for him to command the right side to shout “Isabel!” and the right side shout “Attracta!”

Having gotten that out of his system, he retired to his seat on the altar to let us all contemplate the wisdom of God.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Haiku contest!

There's a major prize for the person who turns this Match come-on into the best haiku:

Hello! I am off this week, a long deserved vacation,
but... i will be local up and about. How about coffee in
Newyork city - with you. Take apick, some restaurant you
love, give me the address, date and time this week and
lets meet.

Ambitious? you are too, so lets see what happens, like
they say, its "just coffee"

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A stream-of-consciousness remembering of my grandmom

My mom’s mom died last night at 12:01, one minute after my dad's birthday ended.

At 87, she’d had a front-row seat for a staggering amount of the 20th century. She grew up in Milford, Massachusetts and years of living in New York and Florida could not make her put an “r” in the proper place. My brother once asked her what her least favorite food was, and she thought for a moment and said, “Well, I was never paahhtial to paaahhsnips.”

Her parents ran a bar during Prohibition and they’d smuggle alcohol in her and her four brothers’ backpacks. (The statutes of limitations have passed on those charges, right?) They called the bar, The Office, so if you were there you could call and tell your wife you were still at the office.

Even just a few years ago, she’d tell us stories of her childhood in a frightening amount of detail. She’d share a story about a college football game, and tell us what the score was, or when her town had their big anniversary in 1920-something, and she demonstrated the song and flag routine she did.

She almost didn’t go on a second date with my grandfather because they were the same height. They had their wedding announcement in the New York Times, which I always wanted to go back and find.

While my grandfather was at war, she lived in Manhattan, right across the street from Grand Central. Rent: $60 a month. She said she'd run across the street in her robe and slippers for the newspaper. She was so excited when I moved to New York, saying she’d get to live it all again through me.

She and my grandfather raised 10 kids on Long Island after he got home from the war, living out the American dream in a big white house on the water. It's a home for autistic kids now.

We went back to visit it after my grandfather's funeral in 1998, and my uncle, who was one of the younger kids and felt perennially overlooked. He was so excited to be back as an adult to share it with his kids and nieces and nephews. However, the entire trip went thusly:

We go to visit their old neighbors, and the little old lady greets him with a huge smile.
Old lady: Dermot!
Uncle: No, it’s Liam.
Old lady: Oh, I thought you were your brother. Want to come in anyway?

She then proceeded to give all of us teenagers children’s books to read, with the admonishment to wash our hands first.

Here’s the tour we got of the town:

Uncle: I used to buy candy at this gas station up here! (Turn corner, no gas station) What? Oh come on!

Uncle: We’re coming up to this stone wall I used to walk on coming home from school.
(Pause as we turn corner) How can they remove a whole wall?

The trip reached its sad but somewhat inevitable conclusion when we turned the corner to see his old room and discovered that the room literally ceased to exist – the wall had been taken out and the door was plastered over.

When my grandfather retired, they obeyed New York state laws and migrated to Florida, like good grandparents do. She did some sort of Catholic ministry work with single moms in jail, which led to lots of hilarity along the lines of “Grandmom’s in jail again.” Those were happier times.

We played board games with her once, although she never quite embraced the concept of “teams” and would just shout out the answers she knew, so we switched to Scattergories, where you have to write your answers. (There’s an assigned letter and everyone has to write a word starting with that letter in a category.) This lasted only as long as “Four letter word starting with T” when she got distracted, apparently thinking of other four-letter words she knew. And wrote “Fuck.” What more do you want in a grandmother?

Since I was 2, whenever we’d sign off on the phone, she and I would end with “Amen sister.” I don’t know where it came from, but we did it for almost 25 years and it was something just the two of us did.

There are already three girls in our family who have Isabel in their name, and I’m sure there will be many more to come.

She was a good lady.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Who needs the Kwik-E-Mart? I dooooooo…

For me, this summer has been a long slog of movies I don’t care about. (Except “Knocked Up”! Call me Seth Rogan!) I’ve been all “Capt. Jack what? Harry Potter and the Yawns of Yawnington?” Vomity voms.

Ho boy, is that coming to an end on the 27th with the Simpsons movie. Anything could happen! I might camp out, I might dress up. I might skip my cousin’s wedding. (I have a feeling he’ll be ok with it.)

You do not need any examples of how great this movie will be. It will change lives and be required viewing for our children’s children. But just in case you had doubts that these guys were geniuses, listen up. Leading up to this delight, they have turned the 7-11 in Times Square into a Kwik-E-Mart.

I talked friends into going down there with me by singing the Kwik-E-Mart song at dinner. (“Who needs the Kwik-E-Mart. Let’s hurl a brick-e mart. The Kwik-E-Mart is real…d’oh!”) I think they agreed to go just to shut me up. Whatever. I got my way.

Reality and cartoon perfection converged on 42rd between 8th and 9th. They pasted a Kwik-E-Mart sign over the 7-11, had giant Simpsons characters and sold Buzz Cola and Krusty Os (happy birthday, Kevin.)

There was only one small stumbling block/dose of reality/unfortunately quasi-racist moment when the real shopkeeper’s license was posted in the window with his 18-syllable Indian name and someone was like “Oh my God, that must be Apu’s real name!”

Oh, and we also got Squishies. I truly was like when Bart and Milhouse tripped out on them.

The only way to explain my behavior was that I went into a trance. Leaping with a nimbleness I didn’t know I possessed, having my picture taken with Homer and Chief Wiggum.

I also don’t think my friends would have gone if they knew I had a camera with me.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Screw you, J.J. Abrams

Pretend it's like three years ago as I ask you this: Have you seen this show called Lost? Dear God.

I've actually intentionally been avoiding it, because I knew this would happen. I knew I would get way too hooked for my own good, and the good of those around me.

Like my dear friend Taylor—whose wife banned all Halloween candy from their house after he made himself sick—I have what you might call "an addictive personality."

This happened with the legendary Law & Order SVU binge of '04, and some say I've never been the same since. I watched all of Lost season 1 (seven discs!) in about three days. I have binged, my friends, and I regret nothing.

This is the kind of show where it's 3 a.m., you're groggy and about to turn the TV off, but then a polar bear runs out of the tropical jungle. No mere moral could resist watching the next episode. A polar bear! In the jungle! Someone 'splain me that? Between the bear that will haunt my dreams forever, there's also a hatch that likely goes to hell itself. And this guy Ethan who's so creepy that I'll likely punch on sight the next Ethan I meet.

I will also punch the next polar bear I see, so watch your little back, Knut.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Should I use my power for good or evil?

I was getting off the subway yesterday cursing the little 14-year-old twerp in front of me with his pastel polo's popped collar. Did your date-rapey older brother at Yale teach you that at family weekend? Did you pick that nasty little habit up at the yacht club? Does your cold anorexic mother force you to do that?

And then, mid menal tirade, a miracle on 77th street happened...he FLIPPED HIS COLLAR BACK DOWN!

We have three choices here: 1.) He parted ways with his friends and realized what a young douche he looked like. 2.) It popped up accidentally. 3.) I did it with mind control. Obviously, that's a trick question. Of course I did it with my mind.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Kateie Awards: Saddest hippo edition

Most embarrassing moment (musical category):
When the first notes of “Under Pressure” came on and for a second I got excited it was Rob Van Winkle’s “Ice Ice Baby.” Second place contender: “I’ll Be Watching You” came on at Starbucks, and I was all jazzed thinking “Man, I haven’t heard this P. Diddy song if forever!” (Pouring some iced coffee out for you, Biggie.)

Most infuriating Barista:
The one at 86th and Lex who refuses to only put just a little ice in my coffee. It’s like she’s an evangelical Wal-Mart pharmacist morally opposed to selling Plan B.

Most excitingly confusing email subject line:
“Re: Birthday medicine.” Clearly, this is an awesome invention, one that is long overdue. Does it make me forget my birthday? Remember other people’s birthdays? Make Sept. 8th generally more awesome? (Like it could possibly get better!) I don't care what it is! I'll take it! Luckily “Krystian Jacobs ” has sent me answers. Sidenote: I can’t be the only person who falls for all these spams, can I? I know in my heart that I know no one named Krystian, but I still open it to double check. Every time.

Saddest hippo:
The one on the side of the Pink Hippo Party knockoff van. It looks like it had Down syndrome.

Most likely my future husband:
The Match guy who sent me an e-mail headlined “I used to live in Queens!” When I wrote back saying “While I’m excited for you about you formerly living in Queens, I’m not sure why you told me.” And he admitted the headline was leftover from him writing to someone else. Ah love.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mer-maid in heaven, you mean!

A year has hardly been enough time to get over my trauma from last year’s Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Hell, it’s barely been long enough to get the boardwalk smell out of my hair. And yet-like someone who forgets what it feels like to have food poisoning and reaches for the room-temperature clam dip yet again–I’m thinking about going back.

What’s not to love about people who willingly get dressed up like mermaids and take pictures with strangers? Well, a lot actually. It’s like a less bearded Renaissance fair. Or in some cases, more bearded. This is Coney Island after all. Disfunction and daddy issues abound.

The FAQ part of their Web site tipped the balance in favor of going back. So sassy! Makes me want to paint my body aqua, speak some Russian and eat a chilli dog.

To wit:

I'm going to stand in the street in front of the reviewing stand and take pictures because I'm very important and I don't care what anyone says. I might also satnd in the middle of the route and take pictures and hold up the Parade. What do you think about that?

It's a free country and you can do what you want. But if you obstruct the Parade or the view from the reviewing stand, we will bodily remove you. We're running a parade and don't have time to think about your portfolio, your video project or how expensive your camera is. Many of our security guards are poorly paid neighborhood guys who have no problem shoving someone face down onto the pavement when they don't listen. if you're nose, or camera, are broken in the process don't come crying to us when you were standing someplace that you shouldn't have.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Not dead, just not part of the workforce

So there have been some, ah, adjustments in my life lately. Adjustments like "not having a job." That sort of thing. I was considered a temp, even though I'd been there for a year, so the company kicks you out for a few months (exactly how long, nobody can tell me. It involves an algorithm to figure out.) So after a year without vacation, I'm getting a few months off paid for by Uncle Sam.

There are worse things in this world. But I'm a worker bee. I wasn't put on Earth to loaf about and have three-martini lunches in my Juicy velour sweats. I realized within my first day of being away from work that having no job is one of those things that sounds so much better in theory. So far, I've been to the Met, the MoMA, the freakin' U.N. and all up and down this crazy island. Then I got this sexy barking cough, so that's taking up most of my day today.

So far, my goals for my time off are:

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Walk the 13-mile length of Manhattan.
Learn to skateboard.
Go to the mysterious land I keep hearing about called "Staten Island."
Finish second screenplay.

To that end, I'm writing this at Starbucks to use their wi-fi, and this older man (I'd later learn he was from Puerto Rico and named Joseph) just cornered me and talked my ear off for about 20 minutes. He was teaching English to this woman, and when their session was up, he apparently just couldn't stop imparting wisdom, so he started teaching me English. I learned all about the value of flashcards, mnemonic devices and was instructed to go to Amazon "right now!" and buy a book called "1,000 English words you need to know."

Sounds pretty awesome, since I'll finally be able to understand this code my friends and family have been speaking in all these years.

All suggestions are welcome about how I can occupy my time between Regis & Kelly, and Oprah.