Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bikini Lime Pie

Ahhhh...the Florida Keys.  What do they bring to mind?

The Key West Hemingway Fest
Maybe Hemingway.

Maybe hurricanes.

Sexy, Delicious Murder
Maybe a classic film noir.
Bang Bang!

Maybe delicious key lime pie.

I'm trying to think more of the bangs and less of the pie because my friend is getting married in Key West this May, and I want to look as smoking as the gun in Humphrey Bogart's hand.

But dieting is hard, you guys!

I mean, people do some crazy things to motivate themselves.

Who's got two thumbs and a rockin' american bod?

Don't munch on me.
For instance, one of my friends is on the Sarah Palin Diet.  (No- that doesn't mean he can only eat the caribou he kills himself.)  He's written a big check to whatever election fund Sarah Palin's camp has created.  If he doesn't meet his weight loss goal, he HAS to mail that check and take a reprehensible part in the degradation of everything good.

Well I need my own external motivation - something that will hurt no one but myself if I fail.  And that is why I'm vowing to post a picture of myself in a bikini on May 13.  You heard it here first, folks.

On May 13, this blog will have either a slamming or sickening photo of me in a bikini.

This is the actual bikini!
Pretty sure all these women
 have thousands of  babies.
Cause really, what it comes down to is that those contestants on The Biggest Loser are two steps ahead of me.  Most of them are losing weight for their families.  So that they can be there when their daughters get married, so that they can play with their grandchildren.

Well I wanna be there when my daughter gets married!  I want to play with my grandchildren, too. But shit!  First I have to meet a man and have that daughter.

I'll miss you!
And to do that, maybe I need to get skinny so I can feel confident and be more myself.

And to do that -- no more key lime pie for me.

Care to share what you're doing to drop the pounds?

Race Relations

Remember how in the first blog post I promised that there would be some hate-filled rants coming your way?  This is one of them.

Washington Heights is what it is - a truly residential neighborhood that is sometimes gorgeous and usually drab and dirty.  Living here, you quickly learn to appreciate the neighborhood's pluses: some of the best and cheapest rotisserie chicken ever, proximity to the cloisters and other pretty parks, very polite cat-calls (God bless you, mami), and the sense of community on summer nights when old men sit at card tables on the sidewalk playing dominoes while everyone else hangs around and music floats in the air.

One unexpected quirk of the blocks around 168 is that every winter, thousands of high school and collegiate athletes migrate to the area.  Suddenly they're everywhere! Thirty spandex-sheathed, lean-legged long distance runners speed past you in the snow. A group of sixteen sixteen-year-old boys in running shorts invade your favorite tiny pizza shop. Moms and dads with mascot hoodies roam the streets looking for the lone rumored Starbucks.

The New Balance Track and Field Hall of Fame and its Armory Track is what brings them to this place that is at once New York and yet not the New York they have imagined.  This weekend they came in droves for the New Balance Nationals Indoor 2011, and one particular pink-bowed, ponytailed part of those droves drove me insane.

I saw them when I approached to cross Broadway at 178. At least seven of them.  Noisy in that desperate for attention girl-pack kinda way.  I jogged to get in front of them so I could cross the street in peace and beat them into the Rite Aid on the corner it seemed we were all headed for.  It was a good move.  I already had my item in hand and had gotten in line by the time they finished crossing the street and made int into the store.  Horns blared outside.

I got my first good look at them when they came walking in the door.  Six with long, straight blonde and dyed blonde hair. Identical Ponytails. Identical Pink Ribbons. Athletic pants and mixed t-shirts from various past races.  All lean and straight in that slightly butch, under-developed high-school athlete mode.  I hated them on sight.  "You know she slept with the long distance coach," one of them said.

Then havoc. Cacophony. Contempt.

These 15-17 year-olds scattered, took products off the shelves, and ran - chasing each other around the store, spraying at each other, and at no one, and at us (the innocent bystanders in line) the body mists and hairsprays they had no intention of buying.  Two girls literally pushed through the line where I was standing behind an elderly woman with a cane and a group of three young girls.

The big security guard in the corner said "Oh Shit," as if he were an old almost-retired sheriff in a peaceful town who suddenly had an outbreak of serial murders to deal with.  Please remember that we are in WASHINGTON HEIGHTS  - the neighborhood of the easy drug score and the ugliest prostitutes on the East Coast.  This security guard had never had to deal with anything as taxing as this female track team.

"You can't run in the store."
"Put that back unless you're gonna buy it."
"Stop yelling."

He tried to aim his voice at the girls, but they were hard to pinpoint.  For one, they barreled through the aisles. For another, their adolescent shrieks and screams defied acoustic principles.  The noise was inescapable, ever-present.

"Sorry sir!" they yelled back in a patronizing southern twang. Feigning ignorance! as if this is exactly how they behave in all drug stores in Kentucky!  The sole chaperon ignoring everything as he loaded himself up with as many bottles of Mountain Dew as he could carry.

I wanted to scream.  I wanted to shake them.  I wanted to get out of line and criticize Mt. Dew Dad.  But the one thing that I've learned from living in Washington Heights is to mind my own business.  So instead I shot them dirty looks and tried subtly to impress upon the other bystanders that I hated those girls.  That I was nothing like those girls. That not all females with white skin and long blond hair were so rude, boisterous, and clearly  motivated by a sense of superiority and entitlement.

I went home and spent the next hour debating writing a letter to the Athletic Director of the school I was pretty sure these girls were from.  In the end, I decided against it.

It would have soothed my anger, but now I seethe.

I'm considering standing outside of the Armory next year with a sign saying
"White Girls Go Home. You're destroying the neighborhood."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Bologna Has a First Name

It's Oscar.

For the past couple of years, the media have been telling us that you're either a Superbowl watcher or an Oscars devotee - that is, you're either a guy or a girl.

But some of us are a little more gender-bending in our viewership.  Hermaphroditic even.  Take me.  The boy parts of me love the pyrotechnics, the hitting, the poorly-conceived halftime shows of the Superbowl. The girly parts love the dresses, the hair, and the poorly-conceived dance numbers of the Oscars. And while I'm thank-goodness 100% biologically lady, the Oscars even give me my fair share of phallic symbols

So with all this stimulation, you may think that I totally get off on February. 
Sadly - that is not the case.  February, (even forgetting about the "I-wish-those-flowers-were-for-me" fest that is VDay), is the loneliest month.

You'll have to wait till next year for the full rundown on my superbowl ritual, (which includes drinking beer alone in my apartment while curling my hair and watching the 21 hours of televised pregame, venturing out to a rando bar alone, and hoping to attract attention by my high heels and honed knowledge of the new overtime rules) cause this post is all about AA rituals in twelve steps.

1. Bathe.  Some of you may take this for granted, but when you live alone, the chances that you've showered on a Sunday are just as slim as the chances that you're up for Best Sound Editing.

2. Dry and curl hair.  As you get to know me, you'll see that the importance of a life event can be indicated by the preceding time I've spent in hot rollers.

3. Slip on a slinky black dress - preferably with sequins. It doesn't matter that it's February and cold. In my pre-war apartment, the temperature inside is always a dry 85.

4. Apply lipstick. Usually an audacious shade that I would never wear in public.
So classy.

5. Hop into heels and a dressy coat and hustle over to the bodega on 181 - the one with the flirty Korean 20-something cashier.

6. Pick up a six-pack of Miller High Life.  (On this occasion I would prefer actual champagne, and I would have no problem consuming a bottle myself, but drinking champagne alone is so sad even I can't bring myself to do it, so I settle for the champagne of beers.)  It's golden and sparkly and like having six of your own stautettes.

7. Agonize over ice cream flavors.

8. Check out and flirt obligatorily with the aforementioned cashier.

9. This is the best (read: lame-o) part. Spend at least 25 minutes and an equal number of bobby pins piling my very long and now curly hair into an intricate red-carpet hairstyle that no one will see.

10. Tune into the Oscars.  Remember how obsessed I was with them early in the millennium.  Relive the glory days of past Oscar pools won and almost won. Regret that I didn't institute an office Oscar pool this year.

11. Dig into the beer and ice cream (which despite the bodega indecision is always, invariably Phish Food).

12. Feel lonely as there is no one to quip wittily to, no one to hear me claim prescience of all winners, no one to agree with my theory that Anne Hathaway is a robot set on total media saturation, and ditto for Franco...

Well, these solo rituals are a bunch of bologna.  This year, I'm socializing the steps.  I'm watching with other people.  I'm bashing pre-show fashions out loud.  I'm tweeting every thing that pops into my head.
I'm going to drink champagne.  What will you be doing?

Not with a bang but a whimper

This is the way the blogs begin.
Not with a bang but a whimper.

I'm really good at whimpering.
That's just one of the many reasons why you might consider reading my blog. Maybe you're a dog-lover, but your pup's asleep and you need a comforting fix of late-night whimpering. Maybe you're an egoist who reaffirms your self-worth against the whiny noises of the masses. Perhaps an evolutionary biologist writing a paper on why mammals developed the whimpering response? Welcome. There will be lots for you here.

But one thing's for sure - TS Elliot fans should go away! For one, I only accidentally quoted him. For two, who is actually a TS Elliot fan these days? SO bourgeois.

Here are the things I AM fan of:
1. music and obsolete
methods of obtaining music, like record stores
2. clothing and the cheapest possible method of acquiring the latest fashions
3. complaining about how difficult it is to be tall, while secretly reveling in my tall-ity
4. men, especially new men, and super-especially tall, new men
5. the city: the big apple, of brotherly love, windy, foggy, music, yours, mine, any
6. sports - this is mostly derivative of number 4.
7. diet mountain dew
8. life: you know, rainbows, puppies, the beatles, ice cream, babies, the beach, my amazing collection of friends and my super-supportive, loving family.

And that is really why this blog is whimpering forth. Lately, I've been forgetting about how good number eight can be. I promise that there will be a lot of hate in this blog. Without even thinking about it, I just know there there will be rageaholic blogs directed towards things like auto-formatted numbered lists in Microsoft Word, the area of our bodies my sister and I call the"assthigh," and Dunkin' Donuts diet saboteurs who mistake cream for skim milk and give me two donuts instead of one. Stop trying to be nice to me!!! You're ruining me, Dunkin' Donuts man!

Ok, settle down, me. So as I was saying, yes. Lots of hate and rage here, but in the end, this blog will really just be a way of getting through all the Mr. Yuck stuff out there to get to My Little Pony land. The land of happiness where you are just ok with being whatever version of you that happens to exist today. And where you can occasionally braid something.