I'm prettier than you are.
Sunday, 30 December 2001
Every day is like Sunday

Well, it's been January 2 for all of ten minutes, and I, for one (or two or three), couldn't be happier that the "official" holiday season is now at an end. I enclose the word official in quotes, because it's a distinction of my own creation. I know that for some people, such as the Armenians (and those of you who are Armenian may certainly correct me if I'm wrong) (that doesn't mean that I won't get pissed at you for pointing out my error, but still you can do so), the holiday period is extended until January 6 or so, but for my purposes I'm just talking about "the holidays" as regular ol' bohunk "Americans" consider them: Christmas and New Year's. (And really, who cares about all that crazy Channnuuukkkah and Kwanzaa stuff, anyway?)

I'm just glad it's all over. But then again ... it really isn't ... not even for them there Regular Americans. No, we're going to be reminded, far too many times each day, until February or so, that we are, indeed, in a new year. We will be treated to an ebullient "Happy New Year!" (spoken with initial caps) when people first see us and another one when they depart -- sort of like "Shalom!" but not nearly as groovy. Secretaries will sing it in unison as they dash to and from the elevator. Businessmen, sturdy and hearty in their business suits, will clap each other on the back with all the robust good cheer of the same Santa who signed his secret name to this year's versions of their pollyana ties. People will feel compelled to say it to others they ordinarily don't even greet with a simple hello.

Twice today, I heard my voice attach itself to those three little words. Both times were at the gym, and I daresay I audibly cringed with each occasion. The phrase flew out of my mouth like some strange butterfly who knew it wasn't quite comfortable coming out to play in the cold but who came out anyway just to see what it felt like. And I've just gotta say ... it felt ... stupid.

(Oh my god. You didn't really think I was going to say, "It felt ... oh so right, like hot cocoa on a cold day," did you? Oy!)

The party's over. And I wasn't even invited!

fresh-baked at 09:52 AM
Friday, 28 December 2001
Let's B brief

I'm really mad at myself. Not for the usual stuff, such as eating a cookie on a day when I didn't go to the gym, or for hanging out all day in my pajamas and not taking advantage of all that New York has to offer, or for lolling on the sofa and watching a rerun of an episode of "Maury" that I hated the first time I saw it. No, I'm mad at myself because I've actually been associating, via e-mail and Instant Messages, with a couple of people who abbreviate.

I'm not talking about those people who use "NY" for "New York" or "Mr." for "Mister". (As an aside: I can't stand when people, when speaking, say "Lex" instead of "Lexington" or "Bloomie's" instead of "Bloomingdale's". But that's fodder for another day.) No, I'm talking about people who, when communicating in writing, use abbreviations such as: "u" for "you"; "4" for, well, "for"; and "cya" for "see ya" (for the record, I'm not a big fan of "ya", either).

How much energy does it take to type out "you" or "for"? Is it really that taxing? Does it really save that much time to type abbreviations rather than full words? And yeah yeah yeah, I know that the offenders are getting their points across, but that's like telling me that people who say stuff like "He don't" and "Jim and me went to the park" are getting theirs across. Yes, they're making their point. Yes, I know what they mean. But I can't help it. When someone sends me an Instant Message that asks me, "what R U doing 4 the wknd?" I want to tell them to Fk off.

fresh-baked at 09:53 PM
Thursday, 27 December 2001
Sleep Shmleep

It's one of those nights. I'm semi-sorta-kinda-not-really sleeping. Which means I'm "sleeping". It's taking six hours for two to pass. "Um, wait," you're saying. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but, well, isn't that a good thing?"

Yeah, it's a good thing. But it's only a good thing if you're actually, well, SLEEPING, not just sort of sleepwalking through your sleep. I think that that "REM sleep" thing isn't going to be achieved, and I'm going to wake up having not really slept.

Damn it! I knew caffeine at 4:30 wasn't a good idea. Plus, I'm sure that Starbucks itself (nefarious, insidious, hideous) is to blame. I can't even characterize my sleep as "ZzzzzZzzzzzzzzZZZzz". It's more like "NnnnnNNnnnnnnNNnnn".

All right ... Back to the sleep. Back to the sheep. Fade to black.

fresh-baked at 03:42 AM
Wednesday, 26 December 2001

I’ve really gone over the edge. I mean, I knew it was only a matter of time before I snapped, big time, even bigger time than just the other day when I was having all of those horrid problems with my computer and Dell and the techs (is that sort of like Josie and the Pussycats?) and actually deposited myself in one of the hall closets so I could cry away from the prying eyes of Shana La Chat … But I didn’t think that my breakdown would manifest itself in the way that it finally did today, sometime around 3:00 p.m. EST, on the southeast corner of 23rd and Seventh, in beautiful Chelsea.

Yes, that would be the corner occupied by none other than Bloomie Nails, one of those walk-in places that I’ve been frequenting since I realized that they do just as nice of a job as Artista, where I had been going when I first moved here last year. Anyway, I went in for my manicure (trying to make it a weekly habit, and pretend that I’m deliciously high maintenance), and selected Futures French, a variation on my usual pale whitish-pinkish/non-"real" color. It gives the nails a “clean” look, a “classic” look, a look worn effortlessly by women whose closets neatly house the “collections” (and not the less expensive "bridge" lines) of Calvin Klein and Armani.

While Rachel (the name on her tag was certainly different from the Korean one on the cosmetology license behind her work station) filed and soaked my hands, I began to question my safe choice of polishes. What would happen if I threw caution to the wind, flat out on its ass, and went with something a little more … colorful? Something ... zany. Nothing too prepubescent, such as purple or blue, but something that ordinarily I would reserve for autumn and winter toes. Something I always considered “vulgar” for the fingers. I must’ve fretted for five minutes over even suggesting a color change to Rachel, but then … I made my move.

“I think I’m going to go with a different color!” I said, exclamation point visible. I didn’t think Rachel heard me, so I continued. “I think the one I picked is too light.” I tried to sound nonchalant, but I think I actually started to pant, and I dare say I felt my cheeks warm up. Rachel didn't flinch.

When it was time to choose my new color, I rose from my seat with the self-consciousness of someone who just discovered that yes, she had forgotten to put on pants that day. I walked the plank. Selected something called Wicked … obviously not just for its bold, “outrageous” (for me) color (akin to dried blood), but really more for the name.

“This isn’t too CRAZY, is it?” I asked Rachel, actually peeking demurely at her plain face, seeking its and her approval. She looked at me as if I were, and replied in the negative, even adding that "it's very popular". And with that endorsement, a voice in my head prodded me on, saying, "All the cool kids are wearing it," and years of awkward teenaged isolation instantly fell away. It was as if 1976 through 1981 ... vanished. Then, as Rachel began applying the craziness to my nails, one of the other girls at the station to my left said something to her in Korean and they both laughed, which of course I interpreted as mockery of my choice and a decision to refuse to let me sit at their cool-girl lunch table. But still I charged on, ever the "trooper" (yes, I just said "trooper").

Rachel expertly applied the polish (it even had the consistency of blood), and within five breathless minutes, I was the proud owner of ten perfectly wicked nails. Instantly I felt sexy … bold and daring … modern … on the edge … For a fleeting (oh so fleeting) second I pictured myself sporting a choppy, sassy, short, multi-colored 'do, skateboarding down Eighth Avenue in Skechers, a tiny T-shirt with a number across my perky, braless chest, and cropped cargo pants hovering low enough on my 18-year-old hips to reveal my tiny thong in back and my funky bellybutton ring in front ...

Despite the 30-degree weather, I purposely left my gloves off for the rest of my afternoon jaunt. During my entire foodquest through Whole Foods, I kept looking down at my hands and silently applauding them. I purposely let them linger on apples just so people passing by could admire them. When I placed my items on the checkout counter, I made sure the cashier got a good look at them. And about an hour after having left the nail salon, when I looked down at my hands wrapped around a cup of coffee at Starbucks (yes, I know, I know … I should really go somewhere cooler, especially now that I'm livin' on the edge), I just knew that everyone who saw me saw only my hands, and thought, “Now THERE goes one hip, wicked chick."

fresh-baked at 11:45 PM
Oh no ... not this again

Two minutes ago, when I finally made my way onto (but not yet into) the bed, that insidious old thought flashed into my head. "One day I'm going to be dead."

(What's with the [unintentional] rhyming? Who am I -- Dr. Seuss?)

And now I'm supposed to fall asleep?

fresh-baked at 01:49 AM
Tuesday, 25 December 2001
"We speak fluent delicious"

So declared a cheerily confident box that I saw resting just inside the locked gates in front of The Cutting Room on my way home from the gym this morning. The box was from a place called Voila! Bakery in Brooklyn. It actually made me chuckle -- or dare I say chortle? -- and I had to go back to check it out again before heading to my building. For a split second (or maybe ten), I actually considered bending down and reaching my hand through the gates to grab the box's lid, fling it open, and take a few of whatever was inside the box, but then of course I realized that that would be, like, I dunno, stealing or something, and decided not to do it. Yeah, all of a sudden I sprouted "morals". But where were those so-called morals when I swiped that really cool Japanese tea mug/cup from a certain midtown sushi restaurant a few Friday afternoons ago?

Anyway ... I suppose I was haunted all day by the specter of forbidden sweet treats. Which may be why, when I got home, I instantly went to the freezer and popped a truffle into my yawning maw. I figured if I couldn't have whatever was in that box outside, I could at least approximate the fun by sneaking something from the freezer (as if I had to sneak it). And yes, I know that you're not "supposed" to freeze chocolate, but ... well ... you know me ... I'm such a renegade.

What I actually thought was that by placing the box in the freezer, the truffles would be subject to the crafty ol' "out of sight, out of mind" axiom, but of course I was only fooling/lying to myself. (That was the same sort of reasoning that, two years ago, had me hiding three boxes of chocolate-dipped Oreos in my freezer, only to be rescuing one of the boxes from the icy depths later that same day and inhaling every shivering cookie inside.) Later I ate the other two, on two separate trips to the freezer.

And maybe 20 minutes ago, in a fit of "Well, I should just eat the rest, so I can get rid of them and just be guilty this one day rather than stretch it out for one or two more days" rationalization, I did just that. I ate four more ... bringing today's truffle tally to a whopping SEVEN. Yep, seven. Seven out of 16. And a 16-piece box is 8 ounces, which means that I ate 3.5 ounces.

Then again, they are GOOD truffles. Or "truffes", as I discovered they're called by going to the Teuscher site. Champagne truffes -- Dom Perignon! They're definitely more delicious and far more elegant when eaten at room temperature, but if you eat them when they're frozen, the calories are stagnated and thus aren't completely absorbed by the digestive system.

Voila! I speak fluent nonsense.

fresh-baked at 10:49 PM
OK, so I was wrong

I heard him on the fire escape. He just snuck in through the window. I'm talkin' about Santa, here, kidz. And he's not what I expected. He's not the florid-faced, huffin' 'n' puffin', out of shape shmuck I thought he'd be. He actually looks like a cross between Johnny Depp and Armand Assante, so ... I'd better get going.

Merry XXXmas.

fresh-baked at 12:03 AM
Monday, 24 December 2001
The excitement is killing me!

Xmas is almost upon us, and I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of Papa Noel, that red-cheeked, jelly-bellied, white-bearded, black-belted, watery-eyed, bad-breathed pedarast ...

I dunno, but I just don't like Santa. He bothers me. Maybe it's that his beard is just so obviously fake, or his gut isn't really all his, or I know he's wearing dirty old jeans and a cruddy T-shirt under his red duds. Maybe it's that his "ho ho ho" sounds forced, or his hands look too young, or I know he's silently cursing the little pissy-pantsed brats who squash his lap. Or maybe it's just because I can't stand the entire Xmas experience. I have sub-zero desire to sing any chipper, cheery, seasonal tunes. I have no desire to go a-wassailing, even if I don't know what it is. I just know I'd hate it.

Or maybe I just hate it because I haven't bought anyone anything. "Yet".


(G)oy to the world.

fresh-baked at 11:58 PM
Sunday, 23 December 2001
It's raining men!

All right, so it's not, really ... it's not even raining cats and dogs ... or buckets ... but damn it, it's raining, it's a Sunday night (but Sunday nights are no longer "school nights" [although that phrase doesn't quite affect me in the vomitous way it used to, it still nauseates me for some reason]), and I'm in my sexy pajama bottoms, ubiquitous gray turtleneck, and thick socks (the kind that some chicks, those who insist on sporting headbands and thongs, still wear to the gym), with nowhere to go, no one to see, no phone calls to return (like that ever bothers me anyway), so I'm kinda happy ...

sorta ...

not really ... because one little thing can ruin EVERYTHING ...

and that one thing is this:

I have to mop the floors. Sometime this week, I have to mop the fucking floors. Every just-in-from-the-rain footstep that we've taken in this apartment since the last time I mopped (lo so many weeks ago) is still in evidence, as is every dusty pawprint ... and that pesky chalk outline of that smarmy guy I murdered two weeks ago is still taunting me. I absolutely dread mopping. I dread anything "domestic", of course, as everyone knows, but for some reason mopping just pisses me the hell off. I don't think there's been a single occasion when I've mopped that I haven't thought, and, yes, muttered (or perhaps yelled, if you can imagine it), "I am too fucking good for this." And I always picture a movie set with a camera on a boom or a crane (whatever the hell the thing is called that looms and hovers way above everyone's heads), and an aerial shot of me, poorly lit so that the ever-present shadows under my eyes threaten to take over my face ... I just can't stand the image. "I shouldn't have to do this."

Amazing how one little thing can totally fuck everything else up. It may as well be a school night.

fresh-baked at 04:30 PM
Note to grayish-whitish-haired guy at gym

Dear Chinless-n-Spineless: Stop staring at me. Please stop staring at me. You've seen me how many times now since I started working out at Equinox (sorry, kidz, but I simply cannot and will not divulge the location -- paparazzi and all that jazzi, y'know ...)? You see me how many mornings every week, doing my thing (oh, now that sounds lovely, doesn't it?), pass me how many times each session ... and STILL you feel the necessity, the impulse, or just the plain ol' annoyingly freakish desire to stare at me? Just say hello, for Christ's, Pete's, God's, and fuck's sake. Just say something. The worst that can happen is that I'll ignore you, but chances are, I'll say hello back ... so let's just get it over with already so then you can, perhaps, greet me in a similar fashion the next time you see me, the next time you pass me, and not have to do that ridiculous surreptitious corner-of-the-eye ogling garbage that you've sometimes resorted to doing. Have the balls (and I know you have 'em, fella, 'cause I see 'em [though thankfully shrouded by your underwear] when your "trainer" is stretching you) to say something. Anything.

Thank you.

fresh-baked at 01:49 PM
Saturday, 22 December 2001
Byte Me

I'm still cursing. Cursing everyone at Dell with whom I've come into contact regarding my supremely fucked-up hard drive ever since it decided to totally "conk out" on me on Thursday, 13 December. Everyone except for two nice women I spoke with on one of the toll-free numbers I had to call various times during this horrible ordeal. To those women -- Carmella and Donna -- I extend a smirky "thank you". To the rest of you incompetent cretins -- especially David, the Tech Support charmer who failed to put through my order for a new hard drive and tech service, and who so adorably failed to log our communication into Dell's system, and Jerry, the inept, floundering lech who incorrectly installed the new hard drive (no thanks to the aforementioned dolt, David), I extend not only the curious contents of my cat's litter box but also all of the bitter-green bile you forced my liver to produce in reaction to your incompetence. Merry Xmas, motherfuckers.

fresh-baked at 11:57 PM
Thursday, 13 December 2001

Yeah, that's right. You heard me.

And you probably did ... from here in beautiful downtown Manhattan, to all the way wherever you are.

I'm cursing. So much that to list them all would just be plain old overkill ... so I let the above symbols, uh, symbolize my frustration.

I can't seem to get this stuff to look the way I want it to look. I'm pissed. If you can imagine that.

fresh-baked at 11:25 AM
I don't know ... I think Frank Sinatra lied ...

The city is sleeping, breathing lightly ... perhaps a snuffling or snoring. At 4:15 (or so I thought), the only sounds I heard were the hum of the coffee maker, the tip-clacking of the dog's claws, and the crunch-munching of my cat. And all was right with the world ...

Just now, Someone I Live With (who shall remain anonymous, because he's famous and we don't want any publicity) came in and told me it is not 5:05, but 6:30 or so. Damn my computer clock.

And so off I go for my morning rendezvous with James.

fresh-baked at 06:33 AM
Wednesday, 12 December 2001
Welcome, Friends

WELCOME, FRIENDS (Romans and countrymen also welcome ... but those of you trying to slip menus under my door - keep out!)

Before entering, please remove your shoes, boots, or other footwear (especially those of you wearing those horrible fabric booties fresh from the Operating Room). I will not let you into my Japanese-inspired parlor if you keep them on, so please. Just do what I say. And don't ask why. I mean, hey, that's why this place is called Because I Say So!

Anyway ... I must say that my day today was rather jaunty and quite jodily. I woke up at 7:45 or so, brushed my teeth (the height of glamour), told my early-morning mirror image that it was, indeed, "very cute", and then, determined not to allow myself to sink into morning sofa spudness, stayed in here, my groovy purply lair, and read. I'm partial to Salon.com these days, which is oh so much more enjoyable than my old, embarrassing, high-fat diet of Maury/Regis, etc., ad nauseam (all right, shut up -- at least I'm confessing). I had an 11:00 Pilates session with my darling Christine, after which I flew up to the library, checked out three books (I'll tell you about them later), and then came back down, on foot, of course, to my neighborhood. It was finally cold enough to keep people out of shorts and sandals (don't even get me started on that), so I celebrated by keeping my coat unbuttoned and smiling to the chill. Of course, this meant that I got "looks" from various passers-by -- probably more for my lunatic smile than for my brazen unbuttonedness -- but, as always, I didn't really care. As the inimitable Mary Tyler Moore (aah!), says (paraphrased, I think), "Other people's opinions of me are none of my business."

The following are a few thoughts I had today. Weird, to think I thought these while smiling.

"Let's just get one thing straight, fellas ..."

When I make direct eye contact with you when walking down the street or in an elevator, or anywhere else, for that matter, it does not -- I repeat, does NOT -- mean I want to fuck/boink/shag you. I don't know which glossy "men's magazine" told you it does (but then again, you know, you silly boy, that you don't read the articles). I don't know which smushy-lipstick-smeared skank who blew you in a pissy alleyway after mere eye contact told you it does. All I do know is that this girl's not going to suck you, fuck you, or even give you a quick, complimentary (each topping $1.25 extra) hand job -- not even in the secluded area of a Barnes & Noble -- just because, for the ever so fleetingest of moments, her eyes rested on yours for longer than a nanosecond. It just ain't gonna happen, buddy boy.

"Big Crappy Ass" - Boy, do I love mnmnmneumonics!

This afternoon, I had reason to remember the letters BCA, in that order, and quickly had to come up with a way to remember it so I wouldn't, well, forget. Instantly, and without warning, the words "Big Crappy Ass" entered my mind. I smiled what I thought was probably my most mysterious of Mona Lisa smiles and walked down Fifth Avenue, wondering if anyone knew what I was thinking. I swore they did. I swore this one guy looked at me and thought, "Pig."

I just won on ebay.

And all I can say to the LOSER, is "Oh well"! I hope you had your heart set on winning. But you didn't. I did. (A friend I will only identify as "the lovely A.B." told me I am the "Master Bidder." She's so saucy!)

fresh-baked at 05:45 PM