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Enough with the "introvert" hoohah littering the Book of Face. I give about as much of a flying fuck whether you're an introvert or extrovert as I do about your Briggs-Myers personality type, which was all the rage back in the heyday of the personal "blog". The need to classify, categorize, pasteurize, pigeonhole, cubbyhole, and otherwise assign a label smacks of a bizarre desire to fit in to a special group even as much as everyone likes to think he or she is a special snowflake. As ever, I adhere to the two-group model: Asshhole and non-asshole. Over and out.
Street Notes No. 1:
Willowy woman strolling in the opposite direction on Eighth Avenue, soft/blurred edges as if filmed rather than videotaped, sporting a hair configuration that was the perfect blend of Leather Tuscadero's anachronistic rocker style, Carol Brady's fifth season shag, and Doug Henning's magical frothy mop. Thank you for your derring-do and daring 'do.
Young fellow in camouflage quasi-jeggings cuffed at the ankle, not quite sashaying down Eighth but close, I'm pretty sure those are NOT standard issue, but gurrrrl, they're certainly standard swish-you. I never, ever, EVER say "Werq!" but I thought it loudly inside my head.
Oh no. "Robert Redford", he of the renovated Pennsylvania barn, the vintage Porsche restoration, the love of cats and good food, of roaming around Union Square buying us pretzels and brownies, of the incessant soul-stealing soul via the camera attached to his hand like a parasitic twin, the paparazzi-like frenzy of photos and videos and preoccupation with my face and hair, he who insists that "cute" doesn't work for me -- oh, this digitally-obsessed Don Juan has just visited my OKCupid profile for the first time in months. I have a feeling he thinks the third time I'll be charmed.
I have some sad news to report, so please brace yourselves. Yesterday night, while at a new friend's house for dinner, I learned that all of the stereotypes about pit bulls that I've read on Facebook are true. I learned that you should never put your face anywhere near one -- unless you want it kissed with all the ferocity of a butterfly. That if rub the velvety belly, the almond-shaped eyes will reduce to slits and the mouth increase to a grin. That if you proclaim your love in a near-tearful whisper, the tail will wag. Horrible. Just horrible.
Cute lanky dad in Whole Foods shopping with toddler daughter: Just because I told you your little girl is gorgeous, and smart, too, because she was politely adamant that she knew what she wanted, doesn't meant you have to say to her, loudly, as she and I are smiling at each other, "... and then we'll go home to Mommy!" My admiration of your kid wasn't a pathetic passive-aggressive approach to hitting on you. If anything, I thought the two of you were going home to her other daddy. Calm down, Daddy-O. I'm not in the market for a DILF.
I'm on my way to the laundromat to retrieve my hot clean stuff. A guy on the sidewalk in front of me has the same laundry bag I'm carrying, only his is full. I want to overtake him but hang back because I can't decide whether or not I want to compliment him on his fine taste in laundry bags from a little boutique called IKEA. This is like the time a guy on the subway was reading the same issue of "The New Yorker" as I was and I felt like we were members of a secret book club.
People see everyday things in clouds: Prancing elephants; Abraham Lincoln; the state of Texas. Other people see religious stuff in everyday items: Jesus' face on a slice of Wonder Bread toast; the Virgin Mary in a puddle of oil at the local BP; Moses in a handful of M&Ms (peanut). In my teens, I was convinced that "GET OUT" hazily appeared on the stucco wall above my bed (thank you, Amityville Horror!). And now this: Vincent Gallo in profile, smoking, in a snappy fuchsia suit, in this melted glop of Rorschach Chip ice cream in Central Park. (Buffalo 666, mayhaps?)
You know what, Bookers of Face? I'd be willing to read every single goddamned post about Doctor Who and Beyonce's 'do; willing to view every photo of your vacationing feet in the sand and every multi-filtered Instagram; indulge the Monday-hate, the TGIF-celebrate, every mention of "hump day" and even stop cringing at the term "baby bump", okay. I'd let you get away with "your" for "you're" and look over "their" instead of over "there". I'd let you wear toe shoes and fanny packs and pleated pants. If, in return, the fucking bacon celebration would go the way of the dodo.
Street Notes No. 2
Standard-issue guy minding his own business on Eighth Avenue, wearing a bright red T-shirt on which is written in enormous quasi-comic book lettering, "LOL @ UR SWAG".
Pigeons splashing in a puddle on the sidewalk just outside Central Park South wall, ducking their heads, as if playing Marco Polo. My bus is stopped, and I grin down at them. A very "urban" looking young guy approaches, stops, and grins at the spectacle at his feet. He looks up at the bus, we catch each other's eye, and laugh together even though we can't hear the sound.
Don't you get it yet, fuckers? We're all in this whatever-the-hell together. What you do affects me, what I do affects you, what that guy over there with the stupid T-shirt does affects the lady over there with the enormous backpack, that smile you tossed out to no one in particular landed on top of that little kid's head and he's feeling it like a kiss even though you didn't know it'd reach him. You're not alone, as much as you think you are, as much as you simultaneously wish you were and you weren't. Got it? Pass it on.
From the "Um, Ewww?" Files: Is the fluid (ewww) inside a "Tide to Go" stain (ewww) stick supposed to smell like the sun-slanty corridor of a suburbans elementary school circa 1971 when some unfortunate third-grader, full of "Salisbury steak" and tater tots, was forced to avail herself of its speckled linoleum floors because she couldn't reach the girls' room in time to properly spew the contents of her lunch into a toilet like a lady? I bought this thing at Kelly Ripa's urging a few years ago and haven't used it for a while. Do these things expire (like Regis)?
Here on this thing she'd like to call a veranda but which she'll just call a porch, over a chilled glass of what she'd like to call fresh-squeezed lemonade but which is just yellow powder mixed with water, this stuff called tears pouring down her face which are more like a waterfall. Here wind chimes tinkle in concert with the ice in their glasses, the same sound they'd listened to this morning as they lay together under the cloud masquerading as a down comforter. Here is where this thing she calls a heart is becoming that thing they call broken.
Somewhere in the distance a dog barks, and she focuses on it instead of the words crammed into the space between her and the man she still considers her boyfriend even though his words are removing that connection. The dog may as well be on the porch with them, its wet nose nuzzling her hand for a treat she doesn't have. She convinces herself the bark is in concert with her heartbeat, even as that heart is in her throat, and her mouth opens, not to speak, but because she fears if it remains closed, she'll chew it like steak.
My trip to California can't get here quickly enough. I'm told I won't want to come home. And more and more, as much as I love this city, I think maybe I might not want to return. Would it be so terrible to live in Monterey, near the kind of beaches I like (completely unlike this hideousness of the "Jersey shore"), in a laid-back community, where I could have a cute little house for less than what I pay for rent here, and just spend my time with my quiet pursuits, the sort that make me the happiest? Oh, temptation!
No, I don't want to meet for "drinks". I don't want to sit on a bar stool, holding a glass full of something I don't even like, across from someone I'm 90% sure I won't like, and only drink the drink because I don't really want to be there and would rather be home with my cat, drinking iced coffee, scouring eBay and Etsy for cute vintage dresses. I don't want to have spent way too much time fretting over what I'll wear, come up with something I think is smashing, only to have the dolt not even mention it.
Things I would kill for right now: Eggplant parmigiana. Also, eggplant parmigiana. In addition, eggplant parmigiana. Therefore, eggplant parmigiana. Eggplant, in a parmigiana fashion. Parmigiana in the style of eggplant. More eggplant parmigiana. And more eggplant parmigiana. And, believe it or not, even more eggplant parmigiana, but this time, oh yes indeed, topped with more eggplant parmigiana, followed by eggplant parmigiana. Non-stop eggplant parmigiana-a-gogo, a marathonigiana, perpetual parmigiana, endless eggplant. An entire weekend of nothing but eggplant parmigiana.
Note to FBI: I am not really a parmurdergiana. Any evidence to the contrary will have been eggplanted on the premises. Mangia!
Here's some small stuff I "sweat", so those of you who admonish others not to do so (even though you secretly do too) can live vicariously through those of us who have the AMAZING COURAGE to admit we do and put it out there:
1. "Falafel" pluralized as "falafels".
2. When someone jiggles a handful of candy (M&Ms) in his palm before jauntily popping one into his mouth.
3. Non-Southerners who say "y'all." (Akin to "ciao" and "cheers" for non-Italians and non-Brits, respectively.)
4. When invited to someone's house, no towel other than their bath towel, is available for hand-drying.
I stumbled upon a Larabar (apple pie variety!), on the sidewalk while returning from the laundromat this morning. It was in its wrapper and appeared fully intact. I thought, "I will leave this treat for someone less fortunate, even though I have not gone food shopping and boy oh boy does 'apple pie' ANYTHING sound good right about now." Needless to say, it found a loving home in my stomach. (I did check for air-tightness first, by pressing on the wrapper!) Just in case you don't hear from me later, and the forensics team assigned to my case needs clues.
You write to me on OKCupid nine months after our 1-1/2 dates, just long enough for me to have had a baby if I'd been moronic enough to fall for your limp attempts to seduce me by suggesting mutual back rubs a la 1981 and accompanying your admittedly fantastic guitar-playing with singing that could've passed for the mating call of a deaf dodo. You're shocked that I remember you, noting that I hadn't seemed particularly interested before. You'll probably interpret my remembering as interest. Sorry, handsome 34-year-old cardiologist, but what works for girls half my age doesn't work on me.
I've often been commended on speaking my mind, for saying what others, for whatever reason, say they've always thought but for whatever reason never said themselves. This is true in "real life", where people have opened their traps only in slack-jawed reaction when I've opened mine to let the words out, and it's also been true as long as I've had an online "presence". But what you don't know is that at any given time there are at least half a dozen people I'd like to slap hard across the face with my tongue. And not in a good way.
This morning I noticed that the "flagship" Fairway at 74th and Broadway now has the same green awnings it's been using for all the new branches of the store popping up around the city. The color, which I call "golf course green", coupled with the chunky lettering, make it look like a suburban oasis. This is the Upper West Side, damn it, not the Zoloft Meadows Shopping Center. The old blue awnings made me happy every time I passed. Just one more way my neighborhood is turning, like much of the city, into a big fucking mall. Feh, Fairway. Fehway.
Yesterday evening, mere moments after my friend Kyria and I met up with her fella, Marcus, in Hoboken, fresh off the PATH, a disheveled gray-haired gypsy type inserted herself in our path, holding out a paper cup. Because none of us had a carafe of Sanka, Marcus dropped a quarter into her cup instead. She peered down at it, back at Marcus, and growled, "Five dollars! Gimme five dollars! Five!" Marcus supplied her with a different four-letter word beginning with the same letter, and they exchanged assorted heated pleasantries. Gotta love these beggars who think they can defy the adage.
How is it, sweat-soaked gym psycho, that you're the one who barreled into me, but I'm the one who did the "Whoops, sorry" smile along with an "Excuse me"? I've seen you before, drowning not only the recumbent bike but your scrawny carcass courtesy of the oversized cotton T-shirt you never change, mouth as expressive as a flatline, eyes riveted to the TVs above. I'd be willing to cut you some slack if I thought this was a "one off". But I've seen you in Whole Foods (in that T-shirt!), and it's not. You're a dick regardless of location. Kudos!
So it goes:
1. I'm perhaps inordinately excited about the keyboard I just ordered (Kinesis Freestyle2)
2. This morning, after meeting an Elvis impersonator in Whole Foods grabbing a breakfast sandwich en route to delivering a singing telegram, I declared it would be the highlight of my day.
3. Spending a "gorgeous" day indoors, working (and watching "That Girl" and "Freaks and Geeks") thrills me.
4. I cannot decide whether #1 or #2 was the day's highlight.
5. It's only 3:21 p.m. so maybe something else will trump both #1 and #2.
6. A nap
may trump ALL.
Although I told myself I would remain delightfully unaware of this Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke nonsense at the VMAs that has so many people flailing and frothing in horror and disbelief and disgust, I just made the mistake of going against my apparently tenuous vow and watched. (I'm sticking to my promise to myself that I won't read anything about it.) All I'll say is that the most offensive part of the whole shebang was the absolutely staggering, mind-blowing, jaw-dropping lack of anything even remotely resembling talent. The line between brilliant talent and festering bunkum has never been less blurred. Feh.
I deactivated my account this morning not in a pathetic passive-aggressive attempt to make you wonder if I was forced to do so by a top secret agency or my mom, offed myself, eloped with a Great Dane, or any other highly likely scenario. I am busy with work and didn't want any distraction (yes, you are all that riveting!) and I didn't want to be sad over dogs. So, I reactivated just to say that today I typed a name even better than my old favorite (Tequila McGee): Bronko Arsenic. (That's a person, not a Williamsburg store.) You're welcome.
I've been saying "Jesus, Mother of God!" a lot lately, in situations where an exclamatory outburst is warranted (meaning whenever I'm feeling "expressive"), instead of "Holy fucking motherless cocksucking shit pussy twat twat blow me suck my dick cunt zippity doo dah, yay!!!" Please do not take offense at my horrifying blasphemy or get your hopes up that this means I have found religion and will start wearing crepe-soled shoes and a wimple. I just need to shake things up around here, to get out of my rut, and this is me testing the not-so-holy waters and expanding my horizons.
I can whine that my rent has increased by $100 a month, the first change since I moved into this place seven years ago, or I can suck it up and not be a churlish twat about it, grateful for a funny, attentive, and lovely landlord and a very cute and safe place to live in one of my favorite cities on the planet. I'm sure you know which way I'm choosing. (And no, I won't tell you how much I'm paying, because I don't want you to tell me it's twice what your mortgage is in West Nowheresville, U.S.A.)
Apparently 211 people on OKCupid rated me highly (4 or 5 stars!), but if I want to find out who these lurking Lotharios are, I must upgrade to a paid account called the "A List". A one-month subscription is $20, which comes out to about 9.5 cents per silent secret admirer, less than the cost of a phone call in, I suppose, 1972. Given what I know about the quality of the cretins on the site, I'm happy to remain unacquainted. For $20 I can get a lovely smile from the delivery guy who brings me Indian food for dinner.
More than 30 years separate me from high school, yet I still cringe when I see those three horrible little words, BACK TO SCHOOL, in circulars and in store windows and anywhere else they may be hanging around waiting to ambush my memory. I adored fresh notebooks, unsharpened pencils, file folders, and all other supplies, necessary accessories to accompany me through the hated halls, but I disliked that the thrill was tainted by dint of the reason for their purchase. Even now, I often feel rumblings of a stomachache on a Sunday night, a low level buzz of anxiety nesting.
Ahhh, ta ta and so long, August. The end of you signifies, to me, the end of summer. Not the day in mid-September when the season officially changes, but at 12:01, when I envision a 1970s clock radio flipping to that time/number with a soft little sound, like an eyelash winking against a cheek. At long last bare legs will be replaced by pants, and those of us who choose to flounce around town in dresses will sport a variety of delightful tights, with maryjane shoes and T-straps -- and, for me, lurex glitter fishnets with gogo boots. I swoon!
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