Tuesday, August 30, 2005

NOT APPLEBEE'S



Last night E took me to dinner for my bday. It was a quiet and amazing place in Brooklyn that we have been once before. The food was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOD. I was late to meet him because my train was crawling out to Brooklyn inch by inch. That and I also lost track of time while looking for wedding jewelery. When I finally made my jewelry picks I noticed what time it was. Plus the lady at the counter was like 'Hmmm...what is this thing you call cash register?' so I threw down everything and left. At least I had someone else to blame.

No one likes a happy blog and no one likes to hear how great and in love everyone is but I can't help it. E is adorable. When I finally made it off the train I called him immediately and blamed the lady at the jewelry counter and told him I'd be there in five minutes. He said not to rush because he was having a drink at the bar. It's always good when your husband to be has a drink at the bar after his shitty day BEFORE you meet up for a fancy meal. It just is.

When I arrived he had flowers for me. He pulled out my chair and ordered me a cocktail. He told me how lovely I looked. When I apologized for having to run to the bathroom the minute I arrived he said 'take twenty minutes if you have to'. It was like dating Frank Sinatra. He was just short of slipping me a twenty for the powder room.

When we sat down to our meal it was a quiet table for two by the window with a view. We had the tasting menu. Did I mention the food was SOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD? E then excused himself to the bathroom. When he came back a few short minutes later the waitress came out with my mixed berries and cream dessert and with a tiny candle in it. He'd planned the whole thing. When the waitress left I said to E,

K: WOW! Can you BELIEVE they didn't sing Happy Birthday? That's such a relief! PHEW! Did you tell them not to sing? Did ya? Did ya? Thank goodness!!!! Wow.

E: (silence) Honey, this isn't Applebee's.

Perhaps it is true. You can take the girl out of Long Island but you can't take the LI out of the girl.

Monday, August 29, 2005

WHAT 32 IS


Today is my bday. I am 32. At 32 I've:

1. Only been on a roller coaster once
2. Once ate a steak dinner on the Forbes' yacht
3. Lived in England
4. Played on the actual drum set used by Artimus Pyle from Lynyrd Skynyrd
5. Volunteered in a Jamaican hospital where a woman died in my arms
6. Played bass in a pop punk band
7. Grew up with possibly the world's oldest living chicken
8. Stole Halloween candy from the kid I was babysitting for
9. Got thrown out of the Tate museum for laughing too loudly
10. Worked in a perfume factory one summer
11. Am a fantastic backgammon player
12. Was a model in a PAPER magazine fashion show (back in the day)
13. Wrote and published an article about transexual female wrestlers
14. Got hit on by one of the Beastie Boys at a party
15. Shook hands with Tom Hanks
16. Wore a tuxedo while catering and had Bill Gates take a wine off my tray
17. Used to give poetry readings (cringe) in college
18. Once had a subscription to Thrasher magazine
19. Love to draw
20. As a kid was in an ad with Lorne Greene of Bonanza fame
21. Was a Hospice volunteer at Cabrini Medical Center
22. Had a proper ten course meal in a chateau in France at Easter
23. Have always been good with kids
24. Know how to play the flute
25. Had two commercials I wrote go on air
26. Had lunch with Henry Wrinkler aka 'The Fonz' when I was a kid
27. Was named (middle name) after my father's friend that drowned
28. Was lucky enough to mentor a number of kids I am still in touch with today
29. Got locked in a stairwell for 45 minutues at my first job
30. Designed a prop that appeared on Nickelodeon kids show 'Double Dare'
31. Met the love of my life

But I have yet to be 32.

Monday, August 22, 2005

HAPPY

what happy looks like... what happy sounds like...
View this clip on Vimeo

Sunday, August 21, 2005

THE ANTI-ANTI-BACHELORETTE WEEKEND



This weekend I invited the 'ladies' for an 'anti-bachelorette' weekend in the country. My parents were out of town and we had the whole place to ourselves. Woo Hoo. When I invited them for the anti-bachelorette weekend I really meant it. You know. None of that 'stupid', typical bachelorette style crap. Yeah right.

If there was any crew that was NOT going to let me get away with playing it cool it was this one. There were penis necklaces and penis balloons and penis candies and penis drinking and trivia games and drinking and drinking and drinking oh my god the drinking. There were photos I hope never see the light of day (yeah right). There was champagne and lobsters and fresh corn and then all of us walking downtown late at night with glitter scarves tied around out necks, heads and waists to go 'dancing' on the docks of the clam bar. We got a 'bachelorette' break on the cover charge to get in. The cover band played Van Morrison and Jackson Five classics. We drank Pina Coladas. We got our photo taken next to a white limo. I mean you really couldn't have gotten more sterotypical bachelorette style if you wanted to. And you know what? It was hilarious the minute I let go and stopped being so serious.

Good friends know when to get you out of you shell. They wait for you to warm up (without judgement) on being the center of attention. And when you finally do step up to the plate - wearing white pants, a white tank top with E's name scrawled in silver studs, a penis candy necklace, a blue glitter scarf tied around your neck, clutching a Bud light, dancing and singing your guts out to a bald, mid-forties, overweight cover band singer's version of Outkast's 'Hey Ya!' ... there is just about nothing better that could happen in the world. Except maybe be E's wife.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

DRUM CIRCLE


Dear Young People That Are College Kids Right Now,

One day you - yes you - will come across a photo like this from your 'youth', your 'wild past' that will make you want to curl up and die. Perhaps not a photo of you in your 'hippie' days playing in a 'drum circle' at your southern women's college per se but something as equally as frightening.

You can do two things when you find this photo: hide it or share it. Technically, in my book if you make fun of yourself first - you win.

God I was so skinny and my arms looked great. Perhaps it's time to go back to drumming.

I post this now because E and I are four weeks away from our wedding. I think it's only fair that he finally knows about my 'wild' past. My past hanging out with fellow drum circle friends 'Rush' and 'Sandstone' (no...seriously) coming up with some 'new beats'. Yeah man.

But seriously, what is going on here? It looks like a bunch of homeless kids giving a congo drum presentation at a senior citizen home.

Who's condo is this? I half expect Morty Seinfeld to peek out from behind the curtains.

Possible flyer for this photo:

WANTED. FUTURE BANKERS AND LAWYERS AND TV WRITERS PRETENDING TO BE LAID BACK HIPPIES TO JOIN FUN LOVIN' SOUTHERN DRUM CIRCLE. MUST BRING OWN DRUM. MUST NOT HAVE SHAVED NOR GOTTEN A HAIRCUT IN PAST TEN MONTHS. DRESS-JEANS AND 'WACKY TOP' OPTIONAL - ALTHOUGH ENCOURAGED

It's funny how these things come back around to haunt us again.
It's because life man...is like just one big drum circle.

Friday, August 12, 2005

WHAT PROJECT?



Some things never change. You think they would but they don't. A few moments ago I was reminded of a project that was due today and I nearly had a heart attack. You don't seem to understand but I've been like this my whole life. Plan in advance? God forbid no. It's bad.

I recently found a photo flashing me back to a time in my life where I had a lot of these last minute panic moments. College. In particular, the moment I am thinking of is the day before my senior year exam in photography where we had to shoot, print and mount a series of photographs (around 20) to present to a panel of art professors for our final grade. Y...e...a...h. People worked MONTHS on this project and yet somehow it managed to slip my mind. Duh.

I remember the moment when I 'came to'. I was sitting on the private back patio in my bra sun bathing with a friend of mine. (It was an all women's college) We were soaking in the rays and counting down the days until we were outta there. Then I got a call. It was a girl named B in my photography class. She said,

B: So, I was just calling to see when you are dropping off your portfolio project.
K: (heart attack) What portfolio project?

Within 15 minutes I ran inside, threw on a shirt, called six friends to serve as 'models', scanned the room for anything...anything that would serve as a 'theme' in the photography project and my eyes zoned in on this funky old corner couch I had sitting in my room. I borrowed a friend's car. I threw the corner couch in the back of the car. I called the six friends and told them to meet me in various locations where I shot them sitting on this couch. 1 at Taco Bell. 1 at a dumpy run down motel. 1 at an Arby's, etc. In the end I managed to capture a number of pretty good shots for the rushed job I must say. I stayed up all night in the darkroom and walked out just as the sun was coming up.

When I went to present my pieces that morning, I got good reviews from most the panel except the one prof that had had it out for me from the very start. He asked to 'see me' after my presentation. When I went into his office he began to ask me a lot of questions. How did I come up with this idea? How many takes of each shot did I have to do before I was pleased? How did I like working in the dark room?

He went on and on. I felt like I was under interrogation - a hot lightbulb hanging over my head. I started to sweat. I remember feeling guilty. Not guilty for being a dumbass that waited to the last minute to do everything but rather guilty for having to defend myself to this man. He was hinting around that I might not have even taken these photos in the first place. I started to sweat more than I should have but to make it worse I started to button up my cardigan because I noticed my tank top underneath was a little too revealing. Great. Guilty and slutty. By the end of the conversation my cardigan was buttoned to the top of my throat. I looked like Mary Poppins. He gave me a C.

There was a great lesson learned here so take note. Next time...unbutton the cardigan while talking to the male professor. Your C might just be a B.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

THE TIME IS RIGHT FOR...OHIO!

Miss Teen Ohio 2005

Last night I tuned into some trash TV watching - The Miss Teen USA pageant. It was great. E seemed pretty excited too. Figures.

There are quite a number of comical elements about the whole thing. The ridiculous outfits they choose for 'evening gown', the jerky movements and crunched up nose faces they make to look cute for the the camera, the things they say, the panel of judges they flash to now and again which this time included Mrs. Hilton (mom to Paris and Nicky) who clapped her hands awkwardly like a dolphin.

Another distracting element was the script writing. The writers use these weird phrases to introduce the various teens. Here are some examples:

Coming into town...California!
This is it...Kansas!
Jump if you want...Georgia!
Say it like ya mean it...Nevada!
Pass the toll...Michigan!
Pop it up...New Mexico!

Pop it up? What? What are we talking about here?

E was bummed that his pick for Miss Teen Missouri (slut) didn't even make it to the top ten. This is her - painted on eyebrows and all:
I mean really people. There is no contest between her and the winner. After all Miss Teen Missouri's favorite food is 'Jack Links Peppered Beef Jerkey'. Need I say more???

Miss Teen Ohio 2005 won. I liked her although I must confess I originally was voting for Miss Teen Michigan. But Miss Teen Ohio had such an energy about her. A real 'stage presence'. I sound like my grandmother. I also liked that her favorite song is 'Eye of The Tiger' and her favorite food is 'Aunt Connie's chicken salad'. That seemed wholesome and nice.

This is what she won:
-1 year modeling contract
-Custom-designed wardrobe
-4 days in Mexico
-a scholarship to college
-one-time appearance on a soap opera

And what appeared to be the only huge bummer in the whole deal...'during her reign she will share a Manhattan apartment with Miss USA and Miss Universe'.

I mean give the girl a break people. New York living is hard enough much less having to share your small Manhattan apartment with Miss USA and Miss Universe. I mean, think of the closet space for one. The limited number of outlets for hairdryers and straightening irons. And some days in general you just don't need the pressure to be the 'best that you can be' among your roommates. You just want to look like shit, throw on your sweat pants, not wash your hair and stuff yourself with chips and well...watch the Miss Teen Universe pageant.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

HOW WAS YOUR TRIP

My Friday night:

-Took 3:55PM train from Penn Station on Long Island Railroad to parents house in order to make wedding dinner in our honor for all relatives that can’t make upcoming wedding in a few weeks. Told E to ‘take his time’ while I met him out there taking an earlier train. Simple right? No.

-no AC on the 3hr train

-Standing room only - wedged between 3 strollers (empty), Long Island teenage girl breaking up with boyfriend on cell phone, 2 sweaty cops and around me multiple children age zero that have their own seats

-Someone spills giant Starbucks Iced Latte on floor. This thing has undertow. Sticky coffee splashes around feet

-Next, normally 3 hour trip on the LIRR literally stops and starts SEVERAL times and at one point even rolls backwards. Announcement is made that due to ‘branches fallen on the track’ after a storm our normally 3 hr trip will now take 4 hours and 45 minutes

-Followed by flurry of calls from irritating cell phone abusers on train:
ANNIE? IT'S JOE. YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHERE I AM.
ANNIE? HI. IT’S ME. THERE ARE BRANCHES ON THE TRACK.
ANNIE? YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE IT. IT’S JOE. TRAIN WAS MOVING BACKWARDS. OK BYE
ANNIE? IT’S JOE AGAIN. ORDER ME A SALAD.
HELLO? HI ANNIE. YES I FORGOT. MAKE SURE YOU GET CESAR SALAD DRESSING. NO BREAD.
ANNIE? IT APPEARS I AM CLOSE. I SEE A VINEYARD.
ANNIE? JOE HERE. YEAH. STILL NOT THERE YET. CALL YOU WHEN I GET THERE.

-Finally step off the LIRR and search several minutes in pitch black for what mother says is a ‘white Volvo’ – a family friends car that they have left for me with keys under the mat. Turns out after several minutes of searching come to find that it’s actually a blue Volvo not white I am to be looking for in parking lot. Want to scream and die.

-Go to call parents but cell phone is dead

-Speed drive home to parents house to quickly ‘freshen up’ and call parents before attending wedding dinner in my honor that I am now 2 hrs and 10 minutes late for. As driving try to use wipers to get rid of moisture on windshield except wipers are so old and bad that it appears they are squirting liquid butter all over the windshield and I can barely see out front window

-Cart all luggage including gifts for people up the front steps of parents house only to discover front door is locked, Now cart everything around the side of house where I successfully break into back yard fence and trip over garden hose in pitch black nearly killing myself

-Approach back door to house, which appears to be open and hear parents dog barking. But then hear more barking. Louder, fully, deep throated barking only to have parents dog, and smaller mystery dog run out followed by GIANT DEEP THROATED BARKING NEWFOUNDLAND DOG WEIGHING ONE THOUSAND POUNDS -three dogs

-Convinced about to die ‘(I hate dogs) I say ‘good doggie…good dog’ – sit ubu sit – good dog’ and grab nearest jar full of what appears to be dog food and dump it on floor to distract the wild pack of animals, throw bags inside and slam door behind me

-Sweating in thousand-degree heat. Pretty shirt wearing now sweat stained. Run back to car now having to drive 15/20 minutes in butter soaked windshield to restaurant where entire family has been waiting for me for 2hrs and 10 minutes

-On the way swerve dead, decapitated deer that has been just hit (by someone else) in road

-Peel into parking lot of restaurant only to discover remaining parking space will requiring wading through giant muddy puddle. Forced to do this – luckily wearing flip-flops.

At this point, tired, sweat stains under arms, hair frazzled, shaking from barking dog incident, hungry, thirsty and in muddy flip flops arrive into a room full of thirty of my closest relatives only for the first question to be, “How was your trip?”

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

SUSPICIOUS OF SUSPICIOUS

Last week Dan Barry wrote an article for the New York Times titled, 'What Does Suspicious Look Like?'. The article was interesting however it was the title that grabbed my attention.

I had just been thinking the same thing myself when riding the morning subway to work. It's true. What does suspicious look like and more importantly how will I know exactly what to look for when it arrives? You have to understand something. I live in New York. I ride the train every day with thousands of freaks - me counted among them. Take last week for example where I was faced with the most random combination of people: a man dressed like Richard Simmons reading a book titled, 'Potty Training: Easy as 1, 2 and 3", a Russian man with a bulbous nose and pocked face clutching a bug zapper on his lap, a Mexican guy with a giant stick full of multi-colored cotton candy, a transvestite resembling Mrs. Doubtfire, a homeless man with no arms or teeth holding a dirty Dunkin' Donuts cup under his chin while groaning, 'I'm hung-eee...I'm home-ess...' and a woman dripped in gold jewelry with a tiny rat of a dog in her purse wearing once of those elaborate hats women in England wear to weddings. Did they look suspicious? Yes. In a dangerous kind of way? No.

Last night on my way home however, I couldn't take my eyes off the guy sitting across from me. I first noticed him on the platform where he clutched a black backpack and zipped and unzipped it several times to peek inside. He also muttered to himself and giggled. The first thing I thought to myself was, 'oh great.'

He then boarded the train and looked around - eyes darted and sweat and more sweat poured off his temples. He continued to peek inside the backpack several more times and zipped and unzipped it over and over again. To make it worse he took out a mini-bible and chanted some prayer while giggling and by this time myself (and a few passengers around me) became visibly uncomfortable. Was this guy going to blow himself up or just nuts? More importantly, was I slowly turning into one of those paranoid New Yorkers? The kind that can barely step outside because the evil news media has somehow crept inside my brain and filled me with fear? At this rate I'd soon be one of those people I despise - New Yorkers that hold their ears when the subway car pulls into the station or when a fire truck drives past.

Despite all this rationale I did what any paranoid, overly active imagination type person like myself would do - I got off at Delancy. The minute I did this and my body was overcome by the suffocating heat from the platform I thought to myself, 'oh great.'

While I waited for the next, much more 'safe' train (?!?) to come along, I was surrounded by an old man that danced around me clutching two bananas and a woman in a wig with a peg leg wearing a spraypainted 'Selena' T-shirt who sang loudly and off key to 'Smooth Operator' on her headphones. By the time the second train came along fifteen minutes later I just felt foolish. There was no way someone like me would EVER be able to predict what was and was not suspicious. Ever.

Banana man, Smooth Operator peg leg and I finally boarded the F train. This time I sat across from someone I couldn't help but feel suspicious of despite everything I'd just reflected on. It was a Joe Wall Street guy with an 'American Psycho' look in his eyes. He sat with one hand that clutched his hard, black leather gym bag and with the other...he played with his balls.


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