Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year!

Ah... expectations of '09. You've been keeping me up at night. As I lay in bed with the holiday cheer wearing off like a hangover: sweat and smokers' breath, I've come up with a few theories, each one bleaker than the last of what the new year will bring. I don't know about you, but I'm a consummate believer in low expectations leading to high results. If your expectations are high, then you might as well lay down and let the new year walk all over your tender hopes and dreams.

That being said, I'm pretty sure that in 2009 we'll be driving around in flying cars, or just lifting off ourselves into orbit. I predict streets paved in recycled concrete and cars running on solar power. A return to prohibition times for a whole two weeks before an uproar occurs which leads to the de-criminalization of marijuana. Weekends on Mars and summers on the Moon. I predict lots of strollers, lots of coffins, lots of success and petty failures. I expect some hardships, a moment of grace, and then all that good stuff we've been imagining, dreaming and holding onto, rolling in like waves off an ocean touching the grains of a parched beach.

I don't know what I'm saying. Just publicly publishing dreams I have. People twirling, flying, expanding and contracting, a whole sky full of people playing, laughing, dancing and jumping. In my dreams, no one ever touches. The digital revolution at a high price. Will we become nothing but ideas conversing in an open space of more ideas, forgetting the physicallity of the human experience?

Before I get too carried away let's have a round up of great '08 things:

1) vampires
2) "consumer rebellion"
3) dance pop

4) free shows
5) parties
6) accountability
7) new way of life
8) change
9) green revolution

and of course the not-so-great:

1) Palin

2) recession
3) bail out
4) corporate corruption
5) nihilism
6) loss
8) prop 8
9) break-ups
10) rock

and the in-between
1)the digital revolution

For a roaring '09 a couple of bottles of champagne. What's the point of celebrating if what you're drinking isn't bubbly and doesn't light up the inside of your heart and head like a christmas tree? At midnight, instead of searching for that magical kiss supposed to erase all our troubles so we can start fresh, I'll be standing outside looking at the sky and seeing our future written in the stars.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holy Shit Holidays!

The economy is in the shitter and everyone I know has been working OT to get that cheddah. The problem now isn’t how much to spend, but when and where to shop. Let’s face it, all that planning and budgeting and list making doesn’t mean a damn thing in the final stretch. There’s always someone you miss and if you work in retail, no time to shop during normal hours. Quick and simple is my motto, wham, bam, thank you ma'am.

Years working behind the counter have made me a pro at holiday shopping in a jam. I know you hate when you get a gift because it’s "soooo funny" and to avoid that item at all costs - (This year? squirrel underpants....I agree...not funny) - here I am, desperate last minute shoppers, passing my knowledge on to you in hopes that someone out there will heed my advice and maybe, just maybe, get one less shitty gift.

Gun Ashtray

We all smoke something sometimes.
(Alphabets NY 115 ave A)

Cheer in a Box

Giving an ornament as a gift is a no-brainer, but giving one worth hanging on their tree, not grandma’s (sorry nana), that’s a challenge. I hate to give credit to the regurgitating hipster monster that is Urban Outfitters, but sometimes they do it right. Their selection of ornaments is off the chain with something for everyone. Diet coke can? check. Glittering handgun? check. Absolutely amazing sparkling Hello Kitty? check and already on my tree.
(Urban Outfitters around the globe)


Some girls ooze glamour at all times. I’m a fuckin’ train wreck until I’ve had my delectable first cup of coffee. Faux diamonds in the morning brings out the glamourpuss in me. Help out a girl you love and bring some class back to breakfast.
(Alphabets NYC 115 Ave A)


Know a guy who thinks he has everything? Hates everything? Just a snob? Hit up Nort/Recon and surprise him with some kicks or a tee that he has to like.
(Nort/Recon NYC 359 Lafayette St.)

XOXO and happy shopping my lovelys
-Amanda S

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sebastien Tellier

(Photos: Nicole Wasilewicz)

At first I thought: this must be a joke. Some sexy, pervy looking Parisian papa in sunglasses whose electronica album (aptly titled Sexuality) is only available in American Apparel stores and contains a song called "Sexual Sportswear”?

Then I listened to the album, felt like Air and Daft Punk made music babies and remembered why I love Paris. I started dancing and haven't stopped. And that's just when I’m listening to the album (and the awesome Midnight Juggernauts remix of "Divine" that my brother posted on his blog).

Seeing this man live completes the equation - which adds sweat, panties in the air, wine and glittery sports coats multiplied by the aforementioned dancing and taken to the fifth power by whiskey.


-Lauren Mooney

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Catwoman in Dogtown

I’ve always been a cat person. I identify with their inherent hunger for individuality, their effortless cool, their blasé attitude towards humanity. Also, they have really cute tummies and ears.

Growing up, our household was sans feline because my father was deathly allergic to them. He made jokes about strangling kittens with his bare hands or tossing them in gunny sacks and sending them down a river. As a sensitive eight year-old, I failed to see the humor. His teasing and my indignant silence created an emotional chasm between us. My mother, who also longed for a housecat, among other things, exploited my ill feelings towards cat-hating Daddy to fool herself into believing I‘d be cool with her leaving him.

“Wouldn’t you just love to live in a little house with a sun porch and a kitty?” she would ask.

”Yes!” I exclaimed. Having a sun porch was only second to cats on my list of things I was deprived of as a child.

“But, what about daddy?” I queried.

“He wouldn’t come. But you’d get a kitty!” she countered.

”Can we name it Dangermouse?!?!”

Dirty pool, Mom! Anyway, they divorced (surprising, huh?) and I got the kitty I was promised. A giant Maine Coon. Mom named her Cleo, after my great-grandmother, which was fine. Cleo didn’t really look like a Dangermouse anyway.

At 19 I got my very first apartment on my own, which meant I could get my own cats and name them whatever I wanted. My mother’s cat had a litter, and I picked out a boy and a girl. The brother was a tabby I christened Cletus the Slack-tailed Kitty (he was born with a crook in his tail). Cletus’ sister was a tortoiseshell calico beauty called Stella Marie You’re My Star (I was going through a PJ Harvey phase). They were my bestest buds. Cletus was like, obsessed with me. He watched me shower. He spooned me. He wrapped his little orange paws around my neck and massaged my shoulders. Best boyfriend ever.

Ten years later, Stella’s in kitty cat heaven, Cletus is someone else’s boyfriend, and I’m petless. Strange feelings are stirring inside me. Urges I've never felt before. Puppy urges.

Dogs represent everything I’m against. They’re born with an innate sense of co-dependency, a blind love towards humanity, a dorky disposition that reeks of desperation, and a tendency to eat shoes and dirty underwear. Yeah, okay, they have really cute tummies and ears, but still, not even the cutest lil’ puppers can make up for all that slobbering neediness. Right?

I’m not so sure. I see some pretty cute little buggers messing our Manhattan sidewalks. I wave at them as they’re walked by. Terriers, Labradors, Poodles, Labradoodles. My friend Chris from back home in Kansas City sent me a photo of his brand new beagle puppy Blossom, and my head nearly exploded because she’s so g’damned adorable.

(Photo by Angie McDaniel)

My father, who’s since remarried, lives in Massachusetts with the rest of my family, including a miniature dachshund I named Klaus. My dad loves Klaus. Even if he gets a little sneezy around him, he is not compelled to send Klaus down the river in a gunny sack. I love Klaus too, mostly because the little bugger’s more feline-acting than your average dog.

So, why this newfound interest in newfoundlands and their brethren? Is it because I’m fast approaching 30, meaning I only have like 10 years max to get a baby in me before I’m all dried up?

In my sexually reckless early-to-mid 20s, I never really thought about biological clocks ticking and all of that, aside from the occasional pregnancy scare (thank gawd for Plan B!). Now I realize time’s passing me by, and if I want to make sure at least one living creature will love and need me as long as she shall live, I better get preggers. Or a dog.

And since I haven’t met a dude I want to share a meal with, let alone a child, looks like this cat lady just might do it up doggy style. Yeah, I went there.

–Megan Metzger

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

No Bueno

People. Out there. In the World. Who go to restaurants. Or salad bars. And order food: Stop saying bueno. 

And gracias for that matter. 

You were raised in Connecticut. You sound ridiculous. 

Here's what I mean: While ordering my salad from one of those Choose-a-Topping places yesterday, the kind where a bunch of Mexicans toss greens, freeze dried chicken and anything else you’d like together before passing it along to another who stands, poised with gourmet axe, asking “is the chop?” before mauling your roughage into small bits, I was dismayed to hear the woman next to me. “I’ll have the shredded mozzarella. Do you have portobello mushrooms today? Oh! And a few water chestnuts, too. Bueno.” The Mexican nodded and chucked the lady’s chosen ingredients in her plastic bowl. “Gracias,” she replied. Now, is that really necessary? I mean, it's one thing if you can carry out the whole "I’ll have the shredded mozzarella. Do you have portobello mushrooms today? Oh! And a few water chestnuts, too?" exchange in Spanish. That's pretty damn cool. 

But to say all the complex shit in your language then casually throw out a "good' in theirs, is that really fair? Like, if I were a salad bar worker in Japan and some chick came in and said "Shi Hu Tsa! Ga Na Nu Nook Dye! Nu Ki Ka! Neokasha. Fi Fruck Dong!....thanks" would I really be psyched that she said 'thanks' in English and not 'I'll have the three egg omelette with spinach and feta, hold the yolks'?

No. I would prefer she not tease me like that. Similarly, there’s no need to be rolling out the bueno. We are not in an open air market in Cuzco. We are on 55th Street in midtown Manhattan. Stop patronizing the good workers. Your busboy doesn't care that you can say the most ubiquitous word in the Spanish language. It's not helping him feel more at home, like you are his sympathetic American ally, or like you two have anything in common. You don't. You are going to spend thirteen dollars on your lunch then go back to your office overlooking Central Park on the 44th floor. 

If you want to be your dishwasher's friend, invite him over for dinner. Until then, can we ease up on the faux-bonding with the immigrants?!

It kind of makes my stomach hurt.

-Sarah S.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Something Fishy in the Fountain of Youth

Working on the Upperish West Side I’ve caught Barbara Walters and Anthony Kiedis lunching al fresco--not together. I’ve spotted a very dazed Jeff Goldblum stumbling around Columbus Circle in a porkpie hat.

One not fun sight is a species of woman I call the rich fish lady. Rich fish ladies are that rare breed of older women who’ve “kept it tight” way beyond menopause. I see RFLs every day, swimming upstream on Broadway for a hair appointment or a light lunch, wearing size 24 Seven jeans, clutching handbags that could pay my rent.

Their hair, an exuberant blonde, is perfectly coiffed, framing a taut face that looks like something out of the fucking Twilight Zone (see episode “Eye of the Beholder”). Mothra-sized designer sunglasses shield bulging eyes that peer over emaciated cheekbones. Then, there’s their mouths. Their fucking mouths. Puffy, protruding, all spackled with gloss, taking up 57% of their total body mass. You’d think with faces that cartoonish these women would have animated expressions, but they’re capable of only mild anger or irate surprise.

I know I’m not breaking new ground here. www.awfulplasticsurgery.com and its ilk have been around since Al Gore invented the Internet. I just don’t understand how any of these RFLs think that having a puffer fish face equals a “fuck you” to aging.

Maybe it’s easy for me to be all preachy, since I’m a genetically blessed older-than-she-looks twenty-something, but what’s wrong with looking older when you’re, well, old? Yes, our culture values youth over the aged, but there are benefits derived from getting old and wizened.

Being a little old lady guarantees a seat on the subway. Younger people look to you as a sage, and if they’re really nice they’ll carry your stuff. You are no longer obliged to follow exhaustive pop culture and current events (who cares! You’re dying soon anyway!) You can be kooky like Edith Bouvier and no one pays any mind ‘cause you’re an old bat and if you want to venture outdoors wearing support hose and a housecoat it’s totally cool.

If you’re an old lady, chances are you have some grandkids. Everyone loves their grandma! Unless, that is, you have one of those mean, VC Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic kind of grannies. If that’s the case, I’m sorry.

I was lucky enough to have a grandma’s grandma. Loretta baked cakes from scratch for dessert every Sunday, slipped $20s in birthday cards and said stuff like “bless her little heart.” After a visit, she’d stand at the window and wave to you as you drove away.

She passed peacefully in her sleep this past October. At the funeral, my family displayed photos spanning Loretta’s 90 years. As a young woman, she was movie star gorgeous, like a brunette Carol Lombard to my grandpa Lester’s Clark Gable.

It was a revelation to see her young, vibrant and gorgeous. I’d always known her as cute lil’ grandma. It confounded me even further as to why the rich fish ladies of the world are terrified of aging as gracefully as Loretta. Wouldn’t it have been grand to see Dolly Parton age into a sweet old lady like June Carter? Dolly’s my fucking homegirl and I’ll never disrespect her ‘cause she’s a precious angel sent down to the Smoky Mountains straight from heaven, but damn, girl, your face belongs in an aquarium.

–Megan Metzger

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Unforgiving Thanksgiving In Virginia

November 23, 9:30 pm, New York Penn Station:

The squalid, brown masterpiece that is Penn Station is filled to the brim with Rangers fans. It’s the first hockey game of the season and everyone is bursting with beer and hot dogs. They lost, and they lost it bad. There’s a tipsy aggression in the air that smells of fistfights and barf bags. I’m leaning against a rail, and some 50-year-old Uncle Buck type walks up to me and snarls, “You okay there, honey?” My train is 30 minutes late. Every train car is over-heated. I feel like an overripe turkey pre-heated and not brined

November 24, 3 am, Philadelphia:

I get kicked off the train. Public drunkenness. The conductor says, “Sorry, Miss, I can’t have this on the train….” He calls three officers to escort me off in Philadelphia. Me, the petite German, Hispanic girl poses a terrorism threat to the head honchos over at Amtrak. Mayday! Someone is drunk on a train somewhere in the world! “Miss you have a very clean record. Is there something wrong? How much have you had to drink tonight? You seem a little lost,” cooed Officer Anthony. “Let me tell you about my ex-wife.” All I’m hearing is white noise. “Do I need to call a counselor? Did your boyfriend break up with you before Thanksgiving? I have to go do some rounds now. But I’m going to have to take down your number.” I want to take pictures of this exchange but didn’t want to push my luck. You know, the Philadelphia Police force are a lascivious bunch. I give Officer Anthony a phony cell phone number I had 3 years ago.

4:55 am. There are no more trains at this time. I call Greyhound and the next bus leaves at 7:45 am. Jail would have been a better option. Philadelphia Station is slightly more pleasing to the eye than New York’s Penn, but with smellier, homeless people. The only thing that’s open is Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonalds. I sip on water, look at the clock one more time, and lay down on a bench. I immediately smell piss where I lay my head, so I jut right back up into Indian Style pose. I don’t sleep until I get on the next train. There’s an air of helplessness that creeps into my desperate scene. Some cracked up version of Bernie Mac (he’s dead) comes up to me and asks why the cops were giving me a hassle. I look at him and mumble “fuckughwhatdafuggafuckoffzzzmothaohhnevermind.” A law should be passed that bans all “small talk” in train stations after 3:30 am. I feel like a criminal on the run.

November 25, 2:30 pm, Washington D.C. to Stafford, Virginia:

I managed to delete the day before from my mental hard drive. Washington D.C. is riddled with fat homeless people, coked up conservatives, and corrupt staff members. Slim doesn’t exist amongst the homeless in D.C. where public handouts are the bread and butter of the abandoned. At 2:30 I’m supposed to meet my Uncle Byron. He’s German and efficient. I had to be on time. He works at the Department of Treasury. Festive Macy’s provides me a temporary shelter before I meet him. Why am I required to drop $50 dollars on an eye cream? A glamazon Grace Jones type working the MAC counter begs to borrow my “wonderful bone structure” for a chance at her newest blush. I already wear a lot of eye make-up circa 1999 Marla Singer in The Fight Club, and I tell her “I don’t think I want to subject myself to the cocaine whore in a morgue look today. But, thank you.” She smiles back and looks at me as though I just spoke Mandarin.

November 26, 11 am, Stafford, Virginia at Potomac Winery:

I forgot my ID. You come to a winery in Virginia, Ana, and you forget your ID. I announce to the owner I have to do some wine reviews for the wine blog I work for. I’m frantically digging in my pockets but there’s still no ID. I quickly give her my business card. In big bold letters it says Editor and Chief. My Credentials are ignored. All the t-shirts around me proclaim “Virginia is for Wine Lovers!” Complete fallacy. “Sorry, I just can’t. I’ll lose my liquor license. I need to see some ID.” With all my pent up frustration, thanks to Amtrak, I’m pretty convinced I must look my 28 years. Well, I don’t and I’m not flattered. I promise myself that at some point during this ominous and tedious Thanksgiving I’m going to get as loaded as an Ak-47 at high noon in Fallujah, Iraq.

My Aunt Kayelynn and her husband, George, they are powerful lawyers from Texas. They arrive at the Winery with their daughter, Gabbie, who’s only 2. I shake her hand businessman style and introduce myself as Auntie Ana. She gives me “sugars” on my cheek but never lets me hold her. That’s fine with me, because later I discover that she leaves wonderful, shit packages inside her ruffled panties. Later, the owner of this winery makes it up to me by giving me a private tour of the wine grotto under the vineyard. This is for “high wine officials only.” High, I am not, and official couldn’t be further from the truth. She wants me to write a good review, so I indulge myself in her little tour of the label press and wine lab. I’m introduced to Simon, Simonsen, something like that. He’s the groundskeeper and Swedish. I’m left alone with him and pretty sure that in the next 30 minutes we could both do things to each other that would make Bacchus blush more crimson than a Pinot Noir. In the first moment of rare silence I’ve had since leaving New York, we make 10-second eye contact with each other, like two tigers circling around a medium rare steak. Uncle Byron wanders in and his command cuts like a knife “Little Gucci!! Let’s go see if we should stuff the turkey tonight, pus-pus!!!” Yes, there’s a cornucopia of names my family likes to call me. Simonsen laughs. I die a million deaths on the inside. I leave with no wine, and absolutely no steak.

November 27, 12pm, Augustine Farms, Stafford, Virginia:

Thanks for the meat. Thank you everyone for your unconditional love and your unconditional acceptance of my individuality.

I only have one helping of dinner, two helpings of dessert, and 6 glasses of Pinot Noir. I have to do a review of the stuff, and figure I might as well really, really absorb it. I get drunk. Half of the table declares they voted for McCain. In my family, it means you are a socialist if you voted for Obama. I’m pretty happy to be the only socialist in the room. I’d rather not be part of the “Joe the Plumber” tribe. I go to bed at 9:30.

November 29, Brooklyn, 2 pm

I’m home. Didn’t get kicked off any trains. Sober and “fasting.” Dreading the 7 tiny reindeer heading my way. And you know what Santa Claus? If you don’t have some serious Benjamin’s waiting for me in that big ass satchel, then you can seriously shove it.