Thursday, December 22, 2005

Unfortunately, my house is no longer celebrating the Festival of Lights. Our blue and white lights are no more, we now have far less cheery red white and green lights decorating our house. Too bad, our ecumenicalism might have done some good for our eternal souls. My mom is always worried about that.

Since being home, all they've been talking about on the radio has been the upcoming 2005 Team Canada lineup. Other than the every-Canadian-understands-hockey-and-is-vaguely-interested-in-it-no-matter how-scornful-they-appear theory of genetics, I can't explain why I knew some of their names and teams.

Brendan Shanahan made the team, hoorah. I had a huge 2002 olympics crush on him.
You would too.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

My first post from home....I still ate too much/not enough of my mom's cooking, she got mad at me for saying something anti-Christian, I haven't had a cigarette in 48 hours (to be remedied momentarily...but i think my dad is bribing me with something big to quit smoking which I promised to do anyway. I feel VERY guilty about this. My sister's friend came out for lunch with us, and I haven't seen her in a long time, and neither have my parents, but they were still asking her advice about me and whether she thinks I would be able to quit smoking. Very convoluted.)

Speaking of convoluted, we went to a Pakistani grocery store/movie rental place and my parents bought a Bollywood movie for us to watch later (cringe) and casava chips (painful that I can be bought off so easily). Like most of us, I revert back to childish behaviour when sleeping in my childish bed, so I stayed in my room after dinner for as along as I could to delay the watching of the movie (called Garam Masala in case want to netflix it) but eventually I found myself curled on my couch with my pajamas from 1998 on and my A Life Without Classics is for the Dogs (obviously a picture of Actaeon being ripped apart by hounds and Artemis on the front) tshirt bonding with my parents. I watched for about 15 minutes and then promptly fell asleep. Let me tell you how awful and boring yet complicated and filled with hijinks this movie was. The sidekick, John Abraham, is an absolute hottie of the David Beckham genus and species (and he's half Malayalee, see above). Which is why we had to watch it, so my parents could convince me that my big fat CPA Indian husband could look like John Abraham. And that's why we always watch M. Night Shyamalan's movies (full-blooded Malayalee) because then they could convince me that my big fat computer programmer Indian husband could be the next Hitchcock. Okay, I must confess, in my search for images, the first 15 were horrible pornstar/Fabio style grossnesses, and this one is actually quite tame and uncheesy...anyway, to sum up the movie was so boring that a cutie like this couldn't keep me awake. At 9:15.

Further descent into childish behaviour, I was sleeping on the couch while my parents are roaring with laughter at the hilarity of Garam Masala (the main character is a player who has 4-5 different girlfriends who are all air-hostesses (and yes, they are called that in Bollywood movies) and thus they're all in town at different times, and he has 4-5 different pictures that he has to keep switching out of a picture frame everytime a different girlfriend comes into town, he has a Shakespearean-style servant (comic relief) who always cooks the wrong favourite food for the wrong girlfriend and then the hottie sidekick who ends up with the girl) and I got mad at them for being so loud and interrupting my sleep. Then they went to bed and I watched The Jacket, which was also shite, don't get me wrong, but I guess it was guys-get-objectified night in our household because I only watched it for the lovely Adrien Brody.
I think he looks a little bit Malayalee around the eyes, don't you? God, internet lightning will probably strike twice and he'll sue me for slander for saying that he looks Malayalee. Fine. I think you're cute, sue me, I think you're cute, sue me, I think The Pianist was a bad movie, sue me, but you look good in it, I loved you in Dummy and i'm even afraid of ventriloquist dolls but i'm truly scared of your new ripped King Kong physique, why bother working out and looking all healthy when your face is all heroin chic? it just looks weird and makes me not love you so much when you're fakely posing on a sailboat with your shirt open.

Average age regression per day spent at home: 4.7 years. I should be experimenting with heavy black eye makeup soon and fantasizing about marrying Bono tomorrow morning...

Friday, December 16, 2005

Whoever said that Christmas in New York is a wonderful thing must have been the crackhead on the corner. People are shove-y, there was almost a transit strike (actually, there still might be) and shopping for presents, while wonderful, is exhausting. I'm considering getting everyone The Nightmare Before Christmas next year. EVERYONE.

But here's why I love the holidays:

1. It's almost always a white Christmas in Toronto. I think I'll always feel like a little kid, getting up early and running to the window to see the snow. This year my cigarette butts won't be littering the snow.
2. We usually go to see a movie with the whole family every Christmas, this time is Syriana I think. I love the fact that our movie choices have nothing to do with Christmas cheer.
3. I get to see my friends back home and sleep over in Anne's guest bedroom and she always puts flannel penguin sheets on the bed. HEART!
4. This year I get to meet Patti's baby and see her menagerie...oh and see Sault Ste. Marie for the first time. Somehow that's less thrilling than seeing the new family...
5. Our house always has blue Chanukah lights and since the majority of my neighbourhood is of non-Caucasian heritage, no one cares or thinks it's weird.
6. My mom gets more excited about Christmas than we do.
7. My mom always puts money in our stockings and tell us not to tell our dad.
8. I'm 30 and I still get a stocking.
9. My mom has great taste in sweaters and I always score...
10. My dad still does the, "I have to shower and eat breakfast first before we open our presents" charade, I guess the best thing about Christmas is the continuity and sense of tradition and family. Cheesetastic! but true.
11. We always have appam and chicken curry for breakfast...since I had leftover sushi for breakfast this morning, it'll be nice to have homecooked meals.


1. New Year's Eve always sucks.
2. My cat will be here and lonely.
3. A lot of people commit suicide.

So, happy holidays, loyal readership. I'll see all 4 of you back home. Chanukah rocks!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I've had a bad day.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


i like her style, even though her mother insists on dressing her in wal-mart clothing.

what does patti like to wear, you ask?

j. crew.

anna baby, when you want to be emancipated at 18, come to me and i'll give you some good dish on your mom.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Nobody knows you...

I'm sick, I need to stop listening to this band. So you start listening to them. Canadians unite.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Two months, and you finally look like your mom...I know you're going to be beautiful but try not to talk at any great length about the perfection of your nose; it tends to foster resentment (loving) in others. . .

Ephemeralization vs. CNN morning news

I woke up this morning and felt like watching the news instead of the Weather Channel, so I turned on CNN. Guess what? Jon Stewart isn't a comic genius, he's just an astute observer of the car crash that is the American media. I know, why beat a rotting, liquefied, already-reincarnated horse to death? Because it's fun. Here's what I learned this morning.

Ben Bernanke:

1. scored 1590 on his SATs (so did Bill Gates, but Paul Allen scored 1600)
2. skipped classes at M.I.T. in 1975 to watch the world series (CNN commentator: "I guess that makes him a Red Sox fan; a man can't be perfect)
3. used to work at South of the Border
4. did well in English classes
5. won the South Carolina state spelling bee, missed the word 'edelweiss' (dumb fuck, I wouldn't have missed that one)

Nothing about his background, his politics, his economic world view. Then, in a very natural segue, the idiot anchorpeople started talking about VH1. It might have been a slow news morning, but if Bruce Springsteen is releasing a remastered Born to Run boxset today so how slow could it have been? They could have just played that song for 30 minutes with stills of Bruce punching the air and it would have had more social relevance than CNN news stories. Sickening.

At least Bernanke is smart. Academic credentials never impress me (some of the biggest assholes I've ever met have been Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford grads) but MIT grads do. I just imagine superconductors and compression machines and giant magnets and lasers...hoorah! I'm sure that in another life, when I was born with an real attention span and an abstract-problem-solving capability, I was a mediocre computer programmer who ended up marrying someone who was an MIT professor and we had a long unhappy marriage filled with inadequacy, emasculation, eyeglass prescriptions for our children and mathematical sex. Hence my geek fetish.

Interesting fact. Wikipedia has a list of polymaths through time (don't anyone steal that book title, something like Pigs in Space... Polymaths through Time...) Nat Hentoff and Nick Cave made it on the list!!! So did Condoleezza Rice (she plays the piano and brokers fake peace treaties in the Middle East--genius.) and Danica McKellar (that chick from the wonder years that every guy my age inexplicably adored. She had a huge moon face. ) , who apparently is a mathematician.

But my genius pinup is Richard Buckminster Fuller. My favourite molecule (actually, most people's favorite molecule C60), Buckminsterfullerene, is named after his geodesic dome design. But he should have more things named after him, he was a true genius, philosopher and crazy as shit. He was also expelled from Harvard for dancing and lack of motivation. Any enemy of Harvard is a friend of mine...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Another reason to hate the wedding. I lost my lipgloss there. I know that sounds really Heathers, but come on. I really loved that lipgloss. I bite my lips a lot and thus ingest a lot of lip gloss, balm and lipstick, and for my money, this stuff was the best going down.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I know that you all are dying to hear about my cousin wedding. First, I tried on one of my mom's saris. To her credit she did pick a beautiful black one out for me; she is my mother after all. Well, the blouse was too big (big hooters mom) and since a sari really depends upon the fittedness of the blouse (the rest having a drapey curtain-like effect), I looked pretty silly. So I ended up wearing my Michael Kors shirt and a tiered skirt and 3-inch heels, same old coconut girl. Brown on the outside, white...I hate that, I shouldn't perpetuate that racist shit. Total of three 'so, when are you getting married?' inquisitions (not including my own parents). By the end of the night I decided to have fun with it . One 'auntie' said, "I'll get you married" and tried to drag me out to the dancefloor for the dance part of my wife audition, I assume. Actually, I had already had a few watered-down drinks by that point (not enough, not nearly enough. I don't blame them for watering down the drinks, I saw that pitiful tip jar) and of course, alcohol+yasmin's blood+any music other than house music=painful urge to dance, so I ended up dancing for about 45 seconds to...Runaround Sue. Sigh. Another 'uncle' asked me when I was going to get married and I told him I was already married and walked away. He was a pervert, he deserved it. The worst/best moment was this horrible drunk Indian woman (Ever been to a wedding with a deserted open bar? To avoid the shame of actually getting a drink from the bar and having every woman in the room counting your drinks, some of the men went for the flask of Chivas in their jacket pocket option. Smart. But Indian women aren't supposed to drink at all, she was an anomaly...) accosting Liz' (bride) mom in the's how it went:

Dramatis Personae
Setting: Sheraton hotel bathroom
Drunk auntie (millionaire, so can act however she wants, D.A.M)
Bride''s mother, (blond-bobbed unwitting victim (B.B.U.V), she was actually wearing a powder-blue suit, poor dear)
Two women in the background, dressed in black, laughing hysterically, playing the role of the Chorus, manically washing cigarrette stink off their hands)

DAM: So, you finally got your daughter married. But she's the oldest, isn't she?
Chorus: (whispering) Oh no she didn't...
BBUV: Yes, she has two younger sisters. They're very happy for Liz. (trying to leave, DAM is holding on to her sleeve to continue the conversation)
DAM: Now you just have to get them married too. I have been married for 35 years with two grown children who are both doctors and they're both happily married with children. At least Liz finally got married. You better get Liz and Angus to give you a grandchild soon.
Chorus: (whispering) Her carrot-red dye job and sweet disposition must be the reason for the longevity of her marriage, she's absolutely irresistible...
BBUV: Well, they did just get married, we should give them some time.
DAM: Of course, of course. But they shouldn't wait too long.

Exeunt BBUV (running) and DAM (stumbling)

Chorus: (addressing the audience) Even though this was funny, it was also tragic. A good person/Chorus would have stepped in and tried to change the subject or lighten the mood. But knowing the nature of Indian mother on the prowl for an audience for a recitation of her children's accomplishments, whose joy is only ever fully realized when she can simultaneously inflate her own ego (has married doctor children) and deflate yours (unmarried, aging smoky girl with bare legs and no sari), the Chorus chose not to engage the predator for fear of bringing the full force of her velociraptor gaze upon themselves. It's every woman for herself in the land of the emasculated man and the determined mother. And you wonder why Indians almost had the world's first female prime minister (damn you, Siramavo Bandaranaike) ?



Friday, November 04, 2005

Anna is so freaking cute. I asked for a baby bath picture of her, because those are the the cutest and babies look like little tadpoles or little worms. Judge for yourself. I love obese babies the best, with the rolls on their arms and on their knees, and Anna is fairly skinny (damn you, Patti), but there are a few budding rolls on her arms. Good girl, keep up the relentless breast-feeding, Patti can take it.

I'm going home to Toronto for a few days for my cousin's wedding. Should be okay. I don't think I'll wear a sari because I'm pmsing and feel like the Michelin man, but I do have something nice to wear. Too bad, mom, all black is very chic. I miss my friends back home so it will be nice to see them, and I hear my sister has a paper she needs help writing.

Friday, October 28, 2005


I saw The Piano Teacher last night, jesus. I know I have sort of a Victorian thing going, but that's really limited to manners, gagging at horrible smells and my distaste for handling money. Oh and the colonial heritage thing. But Isabella Huppert masturbating with a straight razor was a bit much for me. It was excellent though, shocking and disturbing, but subtle and funny as well. Isabelle Huppert is a daunting, prim-looking conservatory, master-class teaching piano teacher who lives with her demented mother and her 'love' interest is a gorgeous blonde puppyish boy who literally bounces around with enthusiasm, talent and everything beautiful and shiny. She says at one point, to paraphrase, "You're so good looking that you will never have to suffer anything". It was oddly easy to identify with her, even taking into account her extreme sadomasochistic urges, I guess all marginal people in the world have to unite against the blonde, brilliant and beautiful (he even played hockey). But she isn't a victim either, she lashes her students and uses her intelligence as a weapon. I thought of my father who took this movie out from the library by mistake. He called me up to tell me, because he was so horrified, but was too prim to tell me why it was so shocking...

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5, lost a point for the razor scene). If you think you're into S&M because you liked Secretary, this movie is not for you.

I woke up with heartburn this morning, I think I got it from watching this movie. Downgrade. 3.5 stars.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Spear of bees! If another shitty day like this one happens along, I will cut through it with a spear made of bees. I'm not crazy, this phrase was originally coined to describe PJ Harvey's guitar skills, but I'm adopting it. Reasons why today sucked so hard:

1. Nor'easter.
2. Because of Nor'easter, flat hair and having to wear most-hated coat ever that makes me look twelve
3. Avalanches and snowballing effect of work-related woes and fires that needed to be put out that I was instead fanning in hopes that it would burn the whole damn thing down.
4. A nice blogger was fired from Conde Naste (bastards, want to hire me?) for putting work-related stuff on his blog
5. Cute art department boy spoke disparagingly about girls who wore all black as I walked by to pick up my ugly art (the only non-black thing on my person, including my thunderous face)
6. My mother called me three times at work on my cell
7. I forgot to put on antiperspirant.
8. I woke up before my alarm and couldn't go back to sleep
9. My coworker, who is the willing/captive ear for all my work-related woes and otherwise (don't feel bad for him, I make them funny) is on vacation. I'm talking to myself mostly.

Reasons why tonight will be better:

1. Netflix
2. I love my cat
3. Red wine
4. Nor'easters sound lovely when tucked into bed
5. I still love my fishnet tights I wore today, I will give them an approving pat on the shoulder before I throw them in the wash ( invariably,
to be chewed up. Wash them by hand, jerk.)
6. Listening to PJ Harvey and imagining all bad things in the world being eaten up by a swarm of skinny, but fierce English bees.


Thursday, October 20, 2005

On the UPN news last night (whatever, I was watching America's next top model) one of the top stories was about angry Park Slope parents (aren't they adorable?) who got a racy billboard removed because it was across the street from a school. I assume they accomplished this by throwing millet at the offending billboard, firing off irate letters to their local city councilperson on recycled protest paper, and shielding their children's eyes with handknit balaclavas. What are Park Slopers worried about anyway? It's not like this will encourage their children to have sex. They grew from pods, as will their children. Why hate on Park Slope so much, you ask? Because there's a fucking crack house across the street from a primary school in my neighbourhood that hasn't quite made the news yet. From Eugene Mirman's column 'Around Town':

Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Park Slope are beautiful neighborhoods filled with everything from delicious restaurants to shops that sell weird crappy glass things from Europe. Hey, do you know where I could get a children's shoe made of silver to hang in my kitchen? Yes, there are five stores for that. Where can a guy go to get a glass penis with eagle wings (hand crafted in Vermont!)? Where
can't you buy that, fuckface? Is there an accessories store whose tag line is "Peace is always in fashion"? Yes. Finally, a skirt that says (through its spirit of design), "We should not have entered Iraq under false pretenses," or a pair of mittens that frown upon America's actions in Chile.

To all Torontonians should recognize this wasteland as Yorkville sounding, but at least there are fucking couture shops there. This is just food co-ops, bad clothing stores and gelaterias (go Brooklyn!). For about five more minutes, my neighbourhood is going to stay dirty, with no bookstores and one Brazilian coffeeshop and real children playing in schoolyards (pity about the crackhouse though), just the way it should. Until the pod people move in. You can't defeat the pod people. I've always wanted blonde hair in braids and a Che t-shirt, I could maybe do it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A man was standing on the median at Broadway and 23rd, in front of the Flatiron during the 1pm runtogetfedbeforerushingbacktothecubes witching hour, just lounging. A brave woman/coworker/tourist asked, "Are you getting some fresh air?" and he said, "I just got my divorce settlement and thought I would just hang out here and think about it". Really, I couldn't have made up a better joke that had to be followed by a drum roll.

I'm locked up in my office feeling very antisocial right now. Inexplicably, because it's beautiful outside and I just had spicy tuna rolls and seaweed salad. I think it's the lag time between eating and the nutritive proteins getting metabolized and in about twenty minutes I'll be my normal tweaking self.

I went to see Neil Jordan's latest movie, Breakfast on Pluto, last night. It was good, even very good. Cilian Murphy makes one beautiful woman, but unfortunately, is only really hot when his head is shaved, when he's covered in blood and being chased by zombies. But still, he rocked a turquoise peignoir and platform boots.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Your Personality Profile

You are elegant, withdrawn, and brilliant.
Your mind is a weapon, able to solve any puzzle.
You are also great at poking holes in arguments and common beliefs.

For you, comfort and calm are very important.
You tend to thrive on your
own and shrug off most affection.
You prefer to protect your emotions and stay strong.
The World's Shortest Personality Test

All of this is true, of course. I mean, either they are true (thriving on own like camel, cactus etc!) or they are the things that I would love to be true (elegant, wtf). I find myself wondering about Patti's baby, what kind of personality is she going to have. I just got new pictures, here's my favourite.

Ode to Anna

You are red and white and beautiful
(can you get any more Canadian?)
Forget secession, frenchies, this is a
maple-leaf baby
Your poop is a weapon
There's vomit in Patti's hair
Don't lick the cat litter
If your parents teach you French
I'll teach you Greek or Latin
(not both, because I want you to have friends)
But, if you ever get me sick
This love affair is over.
Babies are Typhoid Marys
I'll still send presents, though.
Clash CDs and smutty poetry
Grow up fast
We already love you more
Than we do your mother.
Love, Aunt Yasie

p.s. bad purple can happen to good people. I chose it as the accent colour on my business cards and it looks like a muddy brown. This purple looks pretty shitty too. Thanks, Anna.

Friday, September 09, 2005

I have something against watching movies with 'happy' or 'good' in the title. They are often quite the opposite. Except for Happy Gilmore and Goodburger. Don't get me wrong, I prefer morose to peppy all the time, but if I know from the beginning that something is going to be stab-you-in-the-heart depressing, it's hard to get motivated to see it. But I saw Happy Together (love love love Netflix) finally. It was so beautiful, of course, and I have a hardcore crush on Tony Leung (for obvious reasons, see right) and I would give anything to see the world in Wong Kar-Wai's reds and oranges and yellows and shadows. It was achingly, squirmingly, and ordinarily sad, with the occasional laugh that jarred you out of your complete absorption in the movie. Moments like being woken up in the middle of a feverishly ill night to cook for your lazy, broken-handed boyfriend, like having to buy cigarettes for him at 3am, it was the ordinariness that was both touching and funny.

About the humour in everyday life, I fell down the stairs yesterday. Just another highlight in a miserable week of trying to quit smoking and failing, of worrying about my friend and her cancer scare, and then feeling depressed that the threat of cancer looming all around isn't quite scary enough to make me quit smoking, and then feeling ashamed because somehow everything always has to be about me, thinking I was head-injured, and having a battle of wills (in my mind, but as she probably doesn't give a fuck, I guess that means she wins the battle of wills hands down) with my useless fucking roommate who will never clean the kitchen. Oh, and I killed a huge Chernobyl cockroach that FLEW into my room this week. I thought cockroaches only flew in the southern hemisphere (payback for hot weather, mangoes and lychees all year round). Money also makes me feel blue. I have to pay back my student loans and the monthly payments are not small, so I want a laptop (need) and want to go to Paris to use up my vacation before I lose it (yeah, I know, Paris is so over) and I can't do either. Wow, tears just filled my eyes, I have to stop and have a laugh-at-myself-for-the-pity-party and get-some-perspective moment. I guess I just have to get my ass in gear and try to get more freelance work.

I guess this is what mundane sounds like. It's not expansive blue-washed waterfall scenes and beautiful people looking sad in cabs. It's killing fucking cockroaches, forgetting to buy cat litter, being poor, hating your roommates and having an ugly bruise on your shoulder that looks like stretch marks.

Here's something that isn't false advertising. A list of truly happy movies. Not poignant happy, or a succession of tragedies ending in one small happiness, or huge romantic happy movies that make you feel sad about your life, but real I-feel-like-hugging-myself-afterwards and kissing the world happy movies:

1. Anne of Green Gables (epic, romantic, CANADIAN! orphan makes good story, what more could you ask?)
2. The Cutting Edge (included in the 'any dance movie is cheerful' category)
3. When Harry Met Sally (you must sing 'Surrey with the Fringe on top' for this to work)
4. Any Jane Austen book adapted for the screen. I highly recommend Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma (shudder, Gwyneth). Hijinks in pinafores, repressed lust and choreographed dances in drawing rooms!
5. Whale Rider (uplifting movie, totally kickass little girl and Maori tattoos)
6. 200 Cigarettes. (Great music, Dave Chapelle, and finally the right girl ends up with the right guy, Janeane Garofalo + Elvis Costello)
7. Se7en (happy movie only for me because Gwyneth Paltrow's head gets chopped off)
8. Sneakers (any hacker movie with themes of bringing down big business. See Hackers, Antitrust, WarGames, The Net)
9. Eat, Drink Man Woman (most movies about food fall into this category, not cannibalism a la The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her lover or Hannibal (both very cool though), or stupid Big Night, but greats like Scent of Green Papaya, Like Water for Chocolate, Mystic Pizza...which brings me to the final and the most perfect happy movie ever, that is romantic, uplifting, funny, and murderous and empowering and timeless and perfect....
10. Fried Green Tomatoes. Everything about this movie is wonderful, and just because you cry everytime doesn't mean it isn't happy. We just do that sometimes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The funniest morning commute, ever. Picture it. Skinny little punk girl, wearing a black anarchy t-shirt, studded belt, mullet and camo pants and converse (old or faux-aged?). Her t-shirt was pretty cool, actually. Graffiti font on the front with the big A, and on the back it read "People are not dispensable, government is". She was also reading 1984. I checked around to make sure I wasn't on candid camera, but sadly, this was just harsh reality. People are sad, but mostly their unoriginality is fucking hilarious (and that the intrinsic inviduality of humans is the main tenet of anarchist philosophy makes it funnier) . And I didn't describe the best part. There was another girl in the SAME, my car, standing near little Emma Goldman, wearing the same shirt (it wasn't me). She also had the same ear-cartilege piercing. (They clearly didn't know each other, either). That's when I was sure someone was getting pranked, but I guess it was just the cosmos obliging me with a morning laugh.

Even though this particular government is dispensable, I don't think all governement is. It's perfectly normal to want to destroy the things that oppress you, but I think that's too easy. And statelessness is terrifying. Freedom and equality are necessary to facilitate human progress, but while this progress is predicated on differentiation among individuals within a society, society cannot be defined by personal moral sovereignty. Human nature tends towards egotism, and I don't think we can trust that we will be moved to look and act outside of ourselves by the higher call of sociability. That's taking a lot on trust. Has the functioning of our society given us any evidence of this ultimate altruism of the human spirit? There are still people eating dog food on the street last time I checked. At least they're wearing original Converse. I don't believe in a government that will suppress my civic and personal freedoms and inhibit my expressivity, but I also want a government that will force our *altruistic* asses to pay BIG taxes so we can have roads and the NEA and welfare and hospices and community centers and meals-on-wheels, so we can read 1984 in school, wear black, and tear everything down again.

So what's the difference between an anarchist and a libertarian? Other than the obvious libertarians-have-small-dicks difference, there are quite a few. Like anarchists tend to be smart and well-read, except they come with explosives and goatees. Libertarians can't seem to escape the I fuck my sister in a wooded Michigan utopia stereotype. I once had an argument with a libertarian (weird, because I usually try to avoid eye contact) about welfare and taxation. Never the twain shall meet, right? Except when you're drinking. I suppose anarcho-capitalist is maybe a better term because he spun some sort of fairy tale about voluntarily-funded institutions (competing businesses) taking over the role of taxation. Yawn, fantastists are boring. So, other than finding out that Christian fundamentalists love the Jayhawks, apparently the freedom to trade, a free-market economy and owning personal property should be our only inalienable rights. I suppose they just shoot people who fall by the wayside. People who rent, smoke weed, can't build fences and hang out in museums, have illnesses or were born into or fell into poverty. Scum, all of them. Anarchists sound warm and fuzzy in comparison, right?

So remember, when deciding between extreme political ideologies (like most of us do over our lunch hour), think about the things that matter to you. If you think white men need to get richer, that's cool. Vote Republican. If you think white men need to get richer and feel guilty about it, vote Democrat. If your inalienable right of choice is tax-free flannel (how come libertarians look so damned dishevelled and dirt poor if they're capitalists at heart, anyway?), don't vote, hole up in your cabin and dream about secession, you wooly-haired hearbreaker. And if you like throwing acid on World Bank-ers and and hating liberals, you can't vote because Bush has taken your criminal, anarchist ass off the voter registration rolls, so eat your kasha and start a Tom Morello fansite.

I know good criticism shouldn't be reductive, but should provide constructive advice and promote new thinking and creativity. But I'm lazy, so I just read a lot. La vraie bombe c'est le livre, right? I'm afraid of the police and hate crowds, so I won't protest. I haven't done a tour of New York's socialist landmarks (worst date ever, by the way), I think that System of a Down is funny, and feel very sad about Dennis Miller's life-change. I'll probably buy an SUV, start wearing Cherokee belts and join a book club later in life, but I'm not there yet.

P.S. How hot does Milton Friedman look in this picture, by the way?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Wow, it's been a week. Let's see, what's new? Moms against Bush, Gaza, Nate is dead, they're all dead, some good movies and more bad movies opened and closed (I still haven't seen 2046, I know, I'm ashamed, pickle). I'm a bit bored at work, and I was bored at home. Everything seems the same and it seems like it always be that way...

Clearly, in the dumps (summer cold). When feeling this way, I've been told that one should pick a small good thing and focus on it. Okay. I'm listening to this rocking song "The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth" ( not that they need more buzz or anything, but for other songs, not this one: ) . It's pretty unintelligible, with the hipster keening and all, the sky holds the wind, sun rushes in...but it's making me feel better. A lot. I kind of feel like dancing, actually. And those of you who really know me will know that this is not implausible. Thank the healthy strain of manic in my gene pool. I'm still sniffly and I left my crack-like cold medicine at home (Coricidin Cough and Cold, apparently used more often recreationally than for cold-cureness. I highly recommend it.) but I'm going to take my booty-shaking mood and go out for the night.

So about music and its central role in my life. A la Rob Gordon, I can map out eras of my life with music, in 30 seconds. Leaving home: nine inch nails, obviously. freedom: pulp. love:elvis costello. loneliness:wilco, whiskeytown, obviously. nervous breakdown: one ash song on repeat for 6 months, you don't do sensible things while having a nervous breakdown... add alcohol and garnish for effect. Is that supposed to be hard?

I can't do the same thing for literature, not that my tastes haven't changed at all, but I think there's something less casual about one's relationship to literature. Maybe music plays somewhere in the background of our life and books are the underpinnings, or touchstones. My dad and I bonded over books when I was little, and even though he was fairly judgmental about what I read (my harlequin romance phase at age 13 didn't help things any) and he tried to 'suggest' authors to me (I will never read John Irving), he did teach me that books are where it's at. I used to go to the library with him every Saturday, from the age of about 6 or 7 until I was about 14 and take out a stack of books. And then I would cocoon myself in my room for the rest of the day, in bed, reading. Blissed out. I didn't know I was a nerd yet, so I was just happy.

The very first time I travelled to New York by myself, I took the Chinatown bus and found myself somewhere under a bridge with a suitcase and a dream...kidding. I was really lost in Chinatown, though. I wandered down East Broadway, getting more and more flustered, bought a soda and had a cigarette and landed in front of the Chatham Square branch of the New York Public Library. This is the biggest afterschool special story ever (minus the cigarette), but I went in, grabbed a book, sat down with some homeless people and felt better. Instantly. So there you go, I'm easy to please. For my enjoyment, I choose escapism all around, rinse and repeat.

Monday, August 15, 2005


So, my eyes are 'fine' now. I had a dry patch on my left eye. I know, it sounds like I made it up. But it's pretty common, and even though I know that, I spiralled into a frenzy of hypochondriac whining and generally made myself intolerable. But remember, it's me. I have had a rogue eyelash that punctured my eye and created a hematoma on my cornea. I've had pinkeye and allergic conjunctivitis and once, I scratched my cornea so badly that I had to wear the pirate patch for two weeks, during summer school calculus (I didn't fail, remember, it was to boost up my shameful 89% to 96%? I guess my pirate patch was the least of my problems back then (but you will be glad to know that smartypants did fail organic chem, magnificently, two years later in university)). And when I'm forced to wear my glasses, I'm rocketed back to when I was 12 years old, with glasses and headgear, to the year of the UGLY, the year that we moved to the suburbs, the year I got my period, glasnost, the year I fought to shave my legs and lost, the year I protested Thatcher's reelection and lost, etc. I was very busy, but also, very ugly. Glasses, shudder, eau de Reagan. But everything is fine now (Reagan's still dead) and I celebrated with sushi, seaweed salad and minimal work done this afternoon.

I also saw a man sitting on a standpipe (the MTA standpipes that I ripped my pants on, remember?) masturbating, on 23rd street in front of Wendy's. I guess I wasn't the only one celebrating today.

Instead of doing my waist-high pile of laundry tonight, I am going to have pizza at Franny's, I think. I tried to go to L & B's this weekend, but it was overrun with fat men with fanny packs and fat women with eggplant boobs coming back from the beach. Pizza is verboten in my vocabulary, but today, the masturbator inspired me. Grab life and don't let go. Wring every bit of enjoyment you can out of it. And if that includes having sex with oneself on a piece of MTA hardware, it definitely includes pizza.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

So, it's Saturday and I'm at work. If I don't let myself get weirded out by the ghostly grey cubes, I think I love it here by myself on the weekend. No big surprise that I'm happiest when alone. I can play my music without headphones (listening endlessly to interpol lately, they were even playing it at Tilly's this morning, seems everyone is feeling a bit like knives and drowning and tight black suits) and curl up in my chair. And read about a dead general. Seems appropriate.

I wandered around the city yesterday after work, bringing me to my next promised topic, tattoos. I went to Barnes and Noble to look for Jane Caplan's (teaches at the alma mater of Despair) Written on the Body (almost as interesting as the novel) to read about the cultural history and anthropological theory of tattooing. Well, it was fascinating. Tattoos have been punitive, sacred, emblems of ownership and slave-branding, masochistic and decorative. There's even a Greek amphora depicting a maenad with a thrysos in one hand and a tattoo on the other arm (forgot the date). Darwin wrote about tattooing as a global, eternal human practice, and King Harold II's body was supposed to have been identified on the field of battle by the tattoo on his chest of his sister's name and 'England'. Very cool of him, and considerate too.

People get them for any number of reasons, and I think mine is that I feel I'm really an adult now (how sad that it took 30 to get me to admit that). My first job (don't be jealous of my freewheeling life), my first office, my dabbling in an American life, my first business card, falling in love with this city, living in a shoebox with strangers (fucking stop leaving your dishes in the sink), paying (or not paying) my student loans back, and generally joining the teeming hordes of workaday-life people should be commemorated in some way. Imagine what I'll get when I fall in love again and have a kid. I'm going to be that gross, sagging and inked mom that my bright and shiny, clean-living, preppy child is going to be so embarrassed of. And I can't promise that I won't wear cut-off Molson's tshirts and hot pink heels either.

I will not be swayed by a hot tattooist to get a giant coi fish sleeve tattoo on my arm (though they can be very beautiful), or to add tons of color and a few grinning skulls (though that's cool too). I think it's going to be a slinky dragon on my right ankle/lower leg. What do you all think?This is Apala, an Indian dragon that converted to Buddhism, tried to convert the other dragons who blew him off, and ended up converting humans. I think it's fitting for my soapboxing self.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

So, everyone I know has a blog. The most boring people I know have a blog. Being equal parts boring and pompous, I decided I should give it a try. I think funny things happen to me, I see strange things all the time, and spend a lot of time alone thinking about things, so I'm going to inflict all of this on the void. Who will even read this? Maybe I'll do the ultimate, alienated New York person-who-has-lost-touch-of-what-is-real-and-true-in-the-world thing and ask my nearest and dearest to update themselves on my life by checking out my blog. That's the ticket!

My plan is to go topical. Whatever catches my fancy, like that moronic new radio station. If I feel like writing about fashion theory today, then I will. Actually, I do. That, and the use of pink as a feminist issue.

the pink manifesto
Being femme is not giving in to sexism. I had a professor at the Unnamed College of Despair who told us that when she was a struggling graduate student, she didn't have time to do her nails, she was too busy contributing to the field of Despair Studies. I guess she did so, in her boring, conservatively structural textual critical kind of way. But why did she have to deny herself a pedicure?

Same thing with my book cover. One of our designers did a book about women in shocking pink. He's a genius, by the way. Well, I couldn't even see straight through the shitstorm of twittering old political scientists who could not believe that a book about women and by women, in this day and age, should be pink. The editor was similarly upset. Even though I did make my opinion known, the cover is now a suitably pukey colour (the designer is a vengeful genius).

The moral of the story? You have to take those 'feminine' things, those 'feminine' stereotypes and rework them so they work for you. Why should we stick to any one rigid form of femininity? I wear pink all the time (it's my favorite way to break up black), I wear lipstick and most importantly, I'm not a self-loathing feminist who has to diminish other women to validate my own life. We should decorate our beautiful selves however we want to, because beauty is not frivolous or trivial. So glory in your birkenstock-wearing, bowl-haircutted, wooden-bead-necklace-sporting, labrador retriever-owning beauty, and I will keep my purple toenails. Pace.

oops, I forgot about fashion theory. Inspired by another genius friend of mine, I started reading about fashion, about the body and its clothing as a springboard for discourse. I actually miss graduate school sometimes.

On that note, an obvious cry for help, Lord Leighton's Acme and Septimius gets to grace my first posting because its a beautiful illustration of my favorite postmodern Catullan love poem. Next time I'm going to talk endlessly about plans for my new tattoo. I love my selfish life. Other people my age are saving money, getting knocked up, (except you don't call it that when you want to get pregnant) and buying houses. I, on the other hand, will sing to my cat and get a tattoo.

Septimius, holding in his arms, Acme
Says "Acme my dearest dear,
I love you desperately and am prepared to die
If it's not forever, for all the days of my life,
If I lie, give me to a lion on the desert sands."
He spoke, and there was a love-sneeze
Somewhere as approval in the trees.
Now Acme lightly flicking back her hair,
And pouring kisses on the dear boy's eyes,
Kisses from that soft, vermilion lip of hers,
"My dearest love, Septimy, let us serve
The lord of Love forever, for I feel
Deeper even that you, this strong desire
Burning in my bones, in my deepest being. "
Love again sneezed in the trees, approvingly.
From this good beginning they proceed evenly
Loving and loved together, her he sees
Finer than any lady in this whole wide world,
She has eyes and soul for him alone, in him
She fashions all her dreams of love and fantasies.
Now tell me, have you ever seen anywhere
A better match, a more perfect love affaire?