I'm prettier than you are.
Wednesday, 30 April 2003
Ding Dong

My bank tries to pretend it's down-to-earth and homey by putting up little signs that encourage its patrons to ring the bells at the tellers' windows and customer service representatives' stations. The bank likes to compensate for extorting its customers by way of ridiculously high minimum balance requirements and charging outrageous fees for the most basic of services, so these charming placards provide the friendly touch that eases any tension engendered thereby.

I have been known to ring the bell upon receiving the excellent customer service for which my bank prides itself. And I must say that the service I've received at the branch in my neighborhood has indeed been excellent, so the bell wasn't rung capriciously. The service I received when opening my account at an uptown branch was deplorable — but that's another story that I won't recount, because not only are the details boring, but recalling them gets me mad, and I so enjoy being full of good spirit, sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns!

Anyway, the other day I was told by the sign to ring the bell if the teller used my name during the transaction. As I waited in line for my turn at one of the windows (yes, I still wait in line like a regular person; I don't play the "Don't you know who I am!?" card unless I'm in a real rush or I'm feeling particularly impatient), I started to fret. Would the teller say my name? Did I even want her to say my name? If she said it, should I ring the bell? Or should I just ignore the sign's cheerful invitation?

I didn't think I had anything to worry about, because for the duration of my wait, I didn't hear one bell ring. Apparently, I noted to myself with a slight huff, the tellers disregarded the memo that addressed the name/bell concept. Apparently, I fussed, those signs were there just for show. Appaaaaaarently, I fretted, shifting from foot to foot, customer happiness means absolutely nothing to these employees. Oh, why didn't I send someone to stand in line for me!?

So you can imagine my surprise when I was caught completely off guard at the end of my transaction. "Thank you, Jodi!" the teller said in a friendly voice.

What the ... who the ... why the ... Huh??!

I paused. I didn't know what to do. Did I just leave, the way everyone else did, and ignore the polite request of the little sign? Did I show that I was just another cold-hearted, grim-faced, pole-up-the-ass bank customer? What to do? Should I ring the bell and risk looking like an absolute dork?

A slow motion replay of my other experience with the bell instantly filled the movie screen in my mind, and I remembered the sunshine and rainbows that shone on downtown Manhattan as a result of my singular bell-ringing. I remembered people of all races, religions, weights, and shoe price ranges joining hands and hugging. Music drifting on a honeysuckle-scented breeze and the angelic tinkle of children's laughter and song.

So of course I rang the bell ... ! ...

... then left the bank, and as I went to skip down the two steps onto the sidewalk, slid on a streak of someone's spilled smoothie and landed face first on a gelatinous gob of freshly expectorated human sputum.

Today I received a settlement check from the bank in the amount of $24,000,000, for my public humiliation ("Don't you know who I am!?" I cried in court!). I plan to deposit some of it into my old account. And even if the teller says my name (oh, and they will!), I will not ring the bell!

Oooh, yes, the paycheck is superb. But payback — oh, it's even more divine!

fresh-baked at 07:59 PM
Take time to ...

Bryant Park, toward the southeast

All right, so you don't have to smell them. You only have to look.

But really, what harm is there in filling your lungs with their perfume and your heart with joy, however ephemeral?

If you prefer to whine, "Oh, but you never know when a bee might be hanging around!" then you don't deserve even a look, let alone a smell. Don't slow down, grumpy loser. Speed up instead, and get back to your cubicle and the stale odor of withering failure.

fresh-baked at 10:29 AM
Remedial Regis
Dear Regis:

There is no such word as "stubbron".

If you have any plans to say "modren", "stoled", or "drownded", please note that those words do not exist either.

Enjoy your day.


P.S. Have you forgotten what I've said about your fingernails? They're really getting out of hand.

fresh-baked at 09:30 AM
Off on the right foot!

Ahhh. There's nothin' like the combination of too little sleep and a big buncha weightliftin' to make you feel like your day's off to a grand start! Top (or bottom, as the case may be is, and is) it all off with a particularly enthusiastic (and undeniably sexy) blister on the bottom of your right foot, and you have all the makings of a wonderful Wednesday.

All I need now is a bout of "sensitive teeth", that always welcome sensation that makes me think someone took a carpentry plane to the edges of my teeth when I wasn't looking, and I'll be set for the day.

As if all of these early morning treats weren't enough to satisfy my beloved masochism, I am now about to subject myself to an hour of absolute torture: the Madonna interview with Matt Lauer, which I taped last night.

Nothing's better for breakfast than bile!

Update (8:37a.m.):  The only time I said, "Yeah right" to Madonna during her interview was when she said she doesn't drink coffee anymore. She had just told Regis and Kelly last week that she must have coffee every morning, first thing. But that's it.

So what does it all mean? Well, it means I have to find an alternate source of bile. This might warrant a viewing of Maury at 10:00. I will stay tuned. I hope you'll do the same.

fresh-baked at 07:15 AM
Tuesday, 29 April 2003
Star Struck

Star, I apologize for the wretched photo, but you just refused to give me a better view!

One of my best friends, the lovely and beautiful Mrs. Z, was in town today, and we spent part of the day with the lovely lady pictured at left. Mrs. Z suggested we go shopping at Payless, but I insisted on full star treatment.

In other news: Someone very close to me, who spent his entire day working with Victoria's Secret model Fernanda on a shoot for PETA, raved about my highlights later this evening. So much for the limp insults attempted by the poor sport who approached me in the park yesterday.

All in all, the day was a most enjoyable one, and thus I have nothing fresh about which to bitch. Tomorrow, however, the tide will turn, I'm sure, and I will be full of newborn vitriol.

Stay tuned.

fresh-baked at 10:18 PM
Monday, 28 April 2003
Aveda? Avoida.

I'm on a bench in Bryant Park, finishing Luigi Pirandello's "One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand", a marvelous book that deals with, among other themes, notions of identity and self-awareness of identity. I have just read this passage, 12 pages before the end of the book:

"When you're before the mirror, at the moment you look at yourself, you are no longer alive."

"Why not?"

"Because you have to arrest the life inside you for an instant, to see yourself. Like standing before the camera. You pose. And posing is like becoming a statue for moment. Life continuously moves, and can never really see itself."

A somewhat attractive dark-haired guy, probably in his twenties, neatly dressed and carrying some sort of satchel, approaches me and sits down uninvited. The following exchange takes place:

Guy (with fake friendly smile and forced conviviality): Can I ask you something? [obviously a rhetorical question since he doesn't pause to see if I'll grant him permission] Where do you get your hair done?

Me (a la Daria): You're going to try to talk to me about a salon and try to get me to go there, and I'm not interested.

Guy: ...

Me (unblinking, unsmiling): ...

Guy (cattily): I just noticed that it's been a while since you had your highlights done, and I want to tell you about a salon ...

Me: My highlights are fine. I have no problem with my highlights. I like my highlights. I like my salon.

Guy (puffed up like a [pea]cock): I'm with Aveda.

Me: That's nice.

Guy (with a huff): So ... you're ... happy with your highlights?

Me: Yes.

I want to tell this dolt that coming up to me like that, unsolicited, and taking callow stabs at my highlights (which I just had done four weeks ago and are oh so vibrant and fresh) would be the same as a personal trainer coming up to me and telling me I look like I haven't been to the gym in two months. But before I have the chance, he jumps up to his feet and runs away with his tail tucked between his khaki'd thighs, clearly daunted that not once did I break a smile or melt in the face of the charms that he thinks he possesses. I notice as he leaves that he could use a little time in the gym.

I also wanted to talk to him about how his invasion into an area involving my appearance, and thus my notions of my own identity, was ironic in light of the passage that I'd been reading when he so rudely interrupted my beautiful afternoon, and that, in honor of that passage, I thought it was only appropriate that my response to him would be one of stone-faced indifference, like that of the statue referred to therein.

That, indeed, would have been the highlight of my day.

P.S. I think I deserve some sort of award for not guffawing in his face as he tried to be flirtatious and cute while repeatedly saying the word "highlights". I'm sorry, but there's no way a guy can come off as a swaggering he-man when uttering that flowsy word.

fresh-baked at 07:50 PM
Baby Dip

Have you tried the dip?

Yesterday I was at a gala fête in another part of the country. A grand catered affair with lots of hobnobbing. Three dogs and a few children, including one six-month-old baby, were among those in attendance, and all were better behaved than most adults on the subway.

One dog loved the baby. The baby was lying on the floor as his mother was preparing him for his trip home. He was completely quiet and still, relaxed and smiling his round-eyed, crooked mouth smile, as the dog gently licked his cheek. The baby did not act startled or cry. He just let the dog do it. I had admired each of them separately throughout the day for various reasons (but no, at no time did I coo over the baby, although I did over the dog), but at that moment was completely enamored.

The best part was when the dog picked up the baby in her mouth (she was careful not to tear his overalls strap), walked him over to the bountiful vegetable display, and dipped his face into, well, the dip (I think it was dill), gently, set him back down on the floor, and licked his face again. When she wanted more, she availed herself of a spoon and placed several small dollops on his very delicious creamy white cheeks, which she then delicately licked clean.

"It's amazing, how well-trained she is," I said to the baby's mother. "No double-dipping!" She agreed.

"Well, that would just be rude," the dog said.

"And disgusting," the baby said.

A good time was had by all.

fresh-baked at 10:26 AM
Sunday, 27 April 2003
Escape from New York

Today I am going to a land far far away. To a place where peacocks (excuse me while I giggle at that word) roam freely. Yes, I realize that I can just as easily see peacocks strutting in Chelsea, but it's just not the same thing.

Have a fabulous Sunday. Go to the park or something. Put on your iPod and strut to the Sheena Easton song of the same name. Do it outside, though, instead of in front of your full-length mirror. I promise you'll look really sexy and not at all like an idiot.

Have a stunning Sunday.

fresh-baked at 09:06 AM
Saturday, 26 April 2003
Secretion: A Love Story

His name was Lou, and he smelled like an Italian hoagie. It was only fitting, though, since he was indeed Eye-talian and his last name was the same as that of a very popular restaurant (although he claimed no association with it, like the good mobster he no doubt was).

So Lou smelled. Any activity that required even a minimum of exertion would result in Lou's body emitting an odor that would have me wondering if indeed he was secreting a miniature salumeria somewhere on his rather muscular person and if there were some sort of specially cured meat hidden in the slight roll around his waist.

It was July. He was 25, and I would be 20 in October. A man of experience, he was. A man of great wisdom. A man who bought new underwear instead of washing the old. (But really, I should applaud him for his ingenuity. Have you ever tried to get salami oil out of silk?) A man who had more money strewn around his bedroom than unwashed underwear. I never asked why.

"I will have to stop seeing you when you turn 20," he said. "When girls turn 20, they get all fucked up."

I stopped seeing him around Labor Day. I didn't wait around for the cold cut.

fresh-baked at 12:37 PM
Friday, 25 April 2003
A Story In So Many Words (#3: 100) - "In A Pickle"

So after the frostbite forced the surgeons to amputate every finger on little Jessica’s right hand, everyone thought it was going to be the end of the world. How would she do this and that? How would she survive? What would become of her? But Jessica didn’t let anything stop her. With her left hand, she opened a jar of pickles, affixed five to her right hand, and learned to use that hand all over again. When she was 18 years old she wrote her inspirational autobiography, “In A Pickle”, and with the proceeds bought herself some really nice stuff.

*   *   *

Note: In a sort of wacky twist of fate, it so happens that I find myself in a pickle today. Figuratively, of course. I haven't been literally in a pickle since September of 1992, but I can't go into that right now. You see, I'm at a cybercafe, because for some reason I don't have internet access at home today. I'm pickled tickled pink over the coincidence.

fresh-baked at 12:07 PM
Thursday, 24 April 2003
The Writing Room

Somewhere on Central Park West

I just want people to let me into their houses so I can look around. I want to see what their stuff looks like inside. I don't have to touch anything. I just want to look.

I want to see if they have the good taste I hope they have. I want to see if their furniture is as fabulous as I want it to be. And I want it to be, so I can tell them so. So that when they die, their wills will read, "To that lovely girl who took the time to enter my life if only for ten minutes, I leave my entire dust-free, perfectly appointed apartment and its flawless contents."

It is in this patina'd window alcove that I will write my fifth volume of intentionally bad poetry that receives worldwide critical acclaim. In this window where I will drink iced coffee upon iced coffee, with a nice chocolate-dipped biscotti on a very pretty plate. It is from this window that I will watch a girl on the sidewalk below looking up and wishing she had the nerve to ring the bell and ask if she could just come in for ten minutes so she can see if I have good taste. She won't want to touch anything. She'll just be curious, is all.

It is from this window that I will flick crumbs that land atop her unsuspecting head, and softly cackle.

fresh-baked at 09:04 PM
Formal Function

Today (24!) is a lucky day!

Does this mean I have to start wearing a ball gown to the soup kitchen? I'll only do it if one of the Bowery boys brings me a corsage. And if the soup I'm serving is a delightful vichyssoise and not just some pallid chicken 'n' stars wannabe. Otherwise, it's just not worth the effort.

fresh-baked at 11:44 AM
Wednesday, 23 April 2003

As you may have noticed, it isn't very difficult for me to hate people. It requires very little to annoy me or piss me off. Indeed, all some people have to do is merely inhale after they exhale, and that's enough for me to despise them.

But what about those overachievers among you who want to put in a little more effort? Those of you who want a little more of a challenge? Well, you're in luck, because with just a bit more planning and effort, you can be assured that I will hate you. Indeed, I'll hate you even more for wanting to kiss my ass by actually wanting to somehow please me by making me hate you. There's a whole psychology involved, I'm sure, but I neither care nor want to know.

So now, without further ado, I present six simple ways you can make me hate you if you really want to make the effort. Most of these items must be effectuated in my presence, but there are one or two that don't require that we be on the same continent, let alone in the same room. So don't worry. Even if you never meet me (and you won't), that doesn't mean you have to be left out.

  1. Speak in a fake British accent or Irish brogue. Do it in public, loudly, and while ordering from a menu. Call the hostess and waitress "love". When I tell you to knock it the fuck off, do it more.

  2. Pretend that picking your nose with a tissue over your finger doesn't count as picking your nose. I don't care if the finger is cloaked in Kleenex® or hidden beneath a handkerchief. Fact is, if the finger enters — or, if I may be so bold as to say penetrates — the nostril, the finger has picked the nose. (Please note that if you actually use a handkerchief, I hate you no matter what, nostril-invasion or not.) (Please also note that if you now [or ever] feel compelled to make a reference to the Seinfeld episode about "the pick", you will be hated for life.)

  3. Use words like "concur" and "peruse" when "agree" and "read" suffice. Nothing brands you as an idiot faster. And since I hate idiots, you are automatically placed atop the hate heap.

  4. Cook turkey somewhere in my apartment but keep it a secret. Someone has been roasting a turkey here for the past few days (the smell is contained within this apartment), but the location has yet to be revealed.

  5. Come to the gym early in the morning, when I do, and look around at everyone else with a wry "Hey, we're all in this together" expression on your face.

  6. Fail at suicide.

Of course, as with all my lists — as I always say — this one is by no means complete. But if you are in a rush for me to hate you, write to me and tell me that my list is "wrong" or that I "forgot" or "missed" a few things. That will show me that you weren't paying attention. And I really really hate that. And, by extension, you.

fresh-baked at 08:30 AM
Tuesday, 22 April 2003
Out of Arm's Way

Throw yourself into your work!

Why is the pictograph guy not just smiling but laughing and having quite a rollickin' good time? Is it because he knows that he may be able to get a tidy little sum for his injury? (The ad, after all, is for a law firm.)

Or maybe it's because this is his first major injury. (Rock-n-roll sage Rod Stewart tells us the first cut is the deepest, but he doesn't tell us it's also the funnest.) Because after the first few times, mangling your arm isn't quite as much fun as it used to be. It's just a big pain in the ass more than anything or anywhere else. And the novelty of seeing your nerves and tendons and bones and nougat hanging out just wears thin, if not completely off.

fresh-baked at 02:06 PM
Monday, 21 April 2003

There is no way you can live inside your head when you come across a tree full of cherry blossoms. (Central Park, near 72nd Street) Against a clear blue sky, they take my breath away. (Central Park, near 72nd Street)
There is a face in this tree. (Central Park) You may not see the same face in this tree as I do, but there's no denying there's one there.  (Central Park) Will meets way. (At my parents' house)
Daffodils always seem to say hello! (At my parents' house) It's not the weed's fault it's called a weed. (At my parents' house) I do not step on moss.  I don't like to hurt it.  (At my parents' house)

It's not enough to just get out and look around mindlessly. You have to look up and down too. Mindfully. Be aware of every little thing. You'd be amazed how it gets you out of your own head and into the world around you.

Take off your sunglasses, get rid of the iPod, and get out. Out of the office, or the house, if for even ten minutes. The ten minutes you waste making excuses why you don't have time.

"There's nothing new to look at where I live," you may say. That's no excuse, I say. You just have to know where to look. Look up. Look down. You'd be surprised at how gorgeous something as simple as moss can be if you really want to see it. You just have to want to look.

Hover over the images for captions.

fresh-baked at 05:36 PM
Sunday, 20 April 2003
A valuable personal note from Jodi

Two little hates:

  1. The device of writing about yourself in the third person (in, for example, an "About" page or a biographical blurb). I am probably not the first person to mention this.

  2. Takeoffs on the MasterCard "priceless" campaign. I have not seen one yet that was worth whatever effort it took to create it.

That is all.

fresh-baked at 06:52 PM
Simple Solution

To you, dear parent, your screaming and crying child aboard the train is doing such a nice job of expressing himself. My, what healthy lungs! You proudly encourage his enthusiastic display by dint of doing nothing to discourage it.

To me, you slovenly heap of flesh, your expressive child is the subject of a particularly vicious daydream in which I come up with innovative ways to separate his lungs from his body and him from your charge. I will spare you the details, as they are about as unfit to print as you are to travel with your child.

Perhaps you are unaware of the simple mathematical formula (no math skills beyond basic algebra needed!) by which you can determine the true value of your brat's adorability in relation to your perceived one. Please allow me to share it with you here:

a = how adorable you think your child is
b = 0
c = how adorable I think your child is

a x b = c

Please make a note of it.

fresh-baked at 05:58 PM

No, I do not really put bunny ears on my dog.  A yarmulke, yes.  But bunny ears?  No.

"I don't want to hear a peep out of any of you," Taxi sez.

Taxi is mad. He cannot eat chocolate. That's because he is a dog, and dogs can die if they eat chocolate. (Really. And don't give your dog chocolate to see if I'm right or not.)

fresh-baked at 12:18 PM
Saturday, 19 April 2003
Easter Candy

'I want to lick it, I want to eat it ... it's SWEET TARTS!'  (That's what I said to someone I met on the street who was also stopped in her tracks at the sight of the tower.)

The best-lookin' Easter outfit in the city, I'm sure.

Note:  This photo, like all others of the clock tower, has a permanent home in Clock Watch.

fresh-baked at 11:54 AM
Friday, 18 April 2003
Sassy! Saucy!

People look at you like you're photographing a tiny supermodel when you take a picture of a condiment in a store.

(I guess it's really not so hot, because it doesn't appear on the company's website!)

fresh-baked at 05:30 PM
A Real Hoot

I couldn't wait to get home from the gym this morning so I could vacuum.

Now, I know you're thinking, Hey now. Who? What? Where? Vacuum? and checking your moon phase chart to see if that big hunk of cheese is either full or blue tonight. And I understand your confusion. The mere thought of me doing anything domestic is enough to make even the most stoic of people break into an apoplectic fit or at least raise a disbelieving eyebrow. I know. I would be as amused/bemused as you are.

Of course you know there had to be a reason why I'd be so rabid about wanting to perform this chore that ordinarily thrills me as much as listening to someone talk about a qualified subchapter S trust (QSST, for those in the know). That reason, of course, has to do with something I came up with a long time ago called "an eye for an eye". Perhaps you've read about it.

You see, the new tenant who just moved into one of the apartments below mine — the one in the back, which is just underneath my apartments' two bedrooms — has taken to being a loudmouth miscreant during the hours that non-loudmouth miscreants ordinarily like to perform such activities as, oh, let's just say, sleep. His first display of inconsideration included speaking in a voice that not only wasn't sotto voce but one that, if I'd been sitting next to him, I would have had to tell him to modulate. It was that loud. But I wasn't sitting next to him; I was lying down, trying to do the sleep thing. And he was speaking as if it were 2:00 p.m. instead of a.m.

His next offense, a night or two later, but no earlier during the night, was even more charming. This time he was hooting like an owl. I woke up and heard the hoot, and my first instinct was to holler. To throw open the window (or "the sash", if I were feeling particularly dramatic, which is my wont) and tell him to kindly shut the fuck up. But then I realized that my window was already open. I shut it, to see if the noise abated, but that was no help. I opened it again, and opened my mouth as well, ready to yell down to him, but decided not to disturb the others in the building. See, there's this little thing called consideration. I have it for other people. I know it's an outlandish concept, but what can I tell you. I'm crazy that way. So I shut the window, shut my mouth, and hoped he would do the same.

Last night he was doing something (it involved a sort of pounding) that sounded like running or jumping. I would guess it wasn't anything sexual, because from the DOG's description of the guy, it didn't sound plausible that he would actually be getting "action".

Ordinarily I will not vacuum (wait, let me finish the sentence) until at least 10:00 in the morning, because I want to be reasonably certain that the people who live below me are awake. The guy who lives in the apartment in the front (under my living room and kitchen) has two dogs, and if for no reason other than that, I don't want to disturb his household. In some respects I do like to let sleeping dogs lie.

But the guy with the talking and the hooting? Well, no. I have no respect for anyone who shows none for other people.

So, anyway, I came home to vacuum at 7:50 a.m. in order to disturb this jackass' morning. I figured a little tit for tat, a little eye for an eye, a little pushing coming to shoving ... Who knows. I figured that someone who's so obviously active at 2:00 a.m. isn't going to be awake before 8:00 a.m. I thought it would be a real hoot to disturb his sleep.

I don't know if I woke him up, but it certainly made my morning. I feel so much better now.

Note:  For another entry about NOISE, see this entry from just over a year ago.

fresh-baked at 08:46 AM
Thursday, 17 April 2003
Dog Scoop

Less than an hour ago, I met and petted Sheila and Mookie, the dogs of Heidi Klum and Kyle MacLachlan, respectively. The dog walker told me he was taking them both back to Heidi's place.

I think this may be a scoop! Are HK and KM a couple?

And here you thought you had to read Page Six to get the dirt.

fresh-baked at 07:01 PM
A Dog's Life


In November, I met Jessica and her dog, Mackenzie, a red-nose pitbull, sitting on the sidewalk outside the Petco at Union Square.

Jessica was homeless. And still was a few months later, when I saw her sitting on the sidewalk on Sixth Avenue in Chelsea, again with Mackenzie. Just like the first time, they were both extremely friendly. But unlike the first time, Mackenzie didn't stand with her tail between her legs.

This time, Mackenzie seemed happier. Peppier. Puppier. Jessica, however, seemed slightly stressed. Her companion (a young guy about her age, whom I hadn't seen the first time) was getting up to do something (I didn't ask). Jessica told me they weren't allowed to hang around outside Petco anymore, and had to find a new "home". So Sixth Avenue it was. For the time being.

When Jessica met Mackenzie, a short time before the above photos were taken, Mackenzie was also homeless. Abandoned. Cold, shivering, and cowering. She was tied to a bench in Washington Square Park with a ragged rope. She was emaciated. And obviously had just had a litter of puppies. "That's what they do," Jessica said. "They just have the dog so she can have puppies, and then they sell the puppies and abandon the mom." Milk, Jessica said, was just pouring out of Mackenzie's pained body.

I've met quite a few homeless people and their pets. And the stories are always similar. The person finds a stray, or the stray finds the person, and they somehow manage to survive together. As all of the people I've talked to have told me, they consider their pets their best friends and their comfort. They share everything they have with them. Food, blankets, water. Loyal companionship and trust.

So, hearing their stories, it tears at my heart to read what my friend Tess wrote a couple of days ago. The world needs more people like Tess and fewer who have absolutely no consideration or regard for living creatures who need only to be loved.

I would say more, but there's really no reason. I'll stop here before I tell you to go out and do something nice for someone today. No one should have to be told that.

P.S. Happy Pesach. (That's Passover.)

fresh-baked at 11:27 AM
Wednesday, 16 April 2003
Hot Dogs


A perfect afternoon. Me, my camera, and five hot dogs.

Sisters Chloe (left) and Louise (right), (14 and 4 months, respectively), were two of them. They were the last ones I met today. The others, in order, were Martine, Lulu, and one whose name I didn't get but who was lounging on Elizabeth Street. I thought it was only appropriate that the street's name was female, like all of the dogs.

You can see the other photos here, in the "Dogabout" album.

fresh-baked at 06:43 PM

When I was a youngster, someone I knew with a pool had a sign or a mat that said Welcome To Our Ool. You will notice there is no P in it. Please keep it that way.

I think I marvelled over that ingenuity for three weeks, or maybe three months. Actually, I think I'm still marvelling over it. Years later I saw similar signs displayed by churches — not admonishing about pee, of course (heaven forbid!), but saying something along the lines of, "CHRCH. The only thing missing is U." I marvelled over that for a while too, but it didn't delight me as much as the pool/pee/P sign/mat.

So, anyway. Pee. Today I realized that there's a great injustice going on with the water/pee correlation. Seems the more you drink, the more you go. And I just want to go on the record as saying that it's just not fair that those of us who drink so much water should have to pee so much. We should be rewarded for our healthy habit by not having to go so much. As I said to the DOG this morning (he's always delighted by my notions, of course), "People who don't drink water should be the ones who pee 100 times a day. They should be the ones punished by having to run to the bathroom constantly! I deserve to be rewarded, not penalized!!!"

I felt positively evangelical. It was quite enlightening.

It's important to have a cause, and this is mine.

P.S. Yes, "penalized" is pronounced with a long "E". (Hey, I don't like it either, but that's just the way it goes.)

N.B.:  Ordinarily I don't like to mention bodily functions, let alone actually address them. However, I will never write about the mechanics or experience of actually performing the functions. In no fewer than two BLOGS this week has someone not only addressed but gone into revolting detail about, well, let's just say secondary bathroom habits. Here, more than ever, my standard reply applies. "Feh. Kaka."

fresh-baked at 09:04 AM
Tuesday, 15 April 2003
Wash Out

Oh, I'm in such a lather!

I've found myself in such a conditioner!

Why oh why, when a shampoo has a companion conditioner, does the conditioner have to smell less fabulous than the shampoo? Why? Why, I ask you, why?

I believe in saving the best for last. Like with food. I want the last thing on my plate to be the best, the tastiest, the most mouth-watering, so when I finally eat it, its flavor will reign supreme over all others.

Is it too much to expect the same from my hair products?

It's so dis-tressing!

P.S. Please stop pretending you're appalled at my puns. Even people who groan and say they don't like puns secretly like them. And those of you who insist you don't like puns, well, I kindly suggest you return to C-SPAN and enjoy a satisfying mug of Postum.

fresh-baked at 12:09 PM
Weight To Go

Every time I've been at the gym lately, I've had this overwhelming urge to steal the free weights.

I don't know what the deal is with the urge to steal these things. I mean, I haven't stolen anything ever since some lawyer wrote this letter to me, telling me to clean up my act. Well, OK, so I take straws from the café every day when I leave the gym, and there was that time when a copy of Fitness magazine may have found its way home with me, too, but that's about it.

So, anyway. The gym. The weights. The stealing of the steel. Or the iron. Or whatever those things are made of. The ones I want are cast iron, I think. Not the cushy vinyl ones. Not the colorful ones. Not that they're not pretty 'n' all, but ... Please.

It probably would be easy to do, since the ones I have my eyes on (but not my hands) are kept in big bins in a large studio on the third floor, which is generally unoccupied when I'm there early in the morning. In order to avoid the not too subtle leers of the cardio creepers who I'm sure use the third floor elliptical trainers in order to get the best "view" of the activity going on in the weights area on that floor, I have taken to using this studio on that floor to do any exercise that would afford them a coveted rear view. And it is in that studio that the free weights reside, just waiting to be ... stolen.

They just look so unloved. All crammed in those containers, pecking at each other with their beakless maws. When I come in, there's such a clamor for my attention that the din drowns out the furious beating of my panicked heart.

I've "cased the joint", and haven't seen any sort of surveillance camera in there (the ones in the open areas are not too cleverly disguised as white, bulbous lighting fixtures). I haven't checked to see if the mirror glass is two-way (yes, there is a way to make that determination), because that would be a bit of a self-admission that I'm really considering committing this horrible crime.

You see, I'm not really going to take anything. I was caught shoplifting a few times when I was "underage" (maybe one day we'll all sit around a BLOGfire and I'll tell you about it), and one of the times, when I was dragged (yes, by my upper arm) by the security guard to the little office upstairs at Clover, I was warned that it was a good thing I wasn't several years older. Well, I'm a few years older now. (Just a few.)

Still, the weights cry out to me every morning. And every morning I picture myself slipping one inside my gym bag and casually descending the two flights of stairs to the ground floor, where I stroll even more casually toward the turnstile out into the café — where I blithely take a straw or two (so as not to arouse suspicion) (it's just another day, after all), and then ... just as I'm about to push through the door into the small vestibule, where only one more door waits to be pushed through before I reach outside ...

... someone claps his strong arm on my shoulder and demands that I open my bag. And then I say, as shocked as can be, "Oh, I put it in my bag so I could take it downstairs to do triceps, and then I decided to just skip it. I totally forgot it was in there!"

And then I wind up in what my sister and I call "dyke jail", where no one is pretty and wearing lacy Maidenform bra and panty sets and I have only the straws in my pockets to use as barter.

But don't worry. It's not going to happen. I am not, after all, a dumb belle.

Note: For another tale of pilfering paranoia, check this out!

fresh-baked at 08:00 AM
Monday, 14 April 2003
Sorry, Buddy

You know who it must kinda suck to be?

Peter Scolari, from Bosom Buddies.

I mean, yeah, sure he's "an accomplished juggler" and "skilled in circus acts", but that still means absolutely squat when you consider what his buddy's up to these days.

When that show came out, I said of Scolari, "Hey, he's a cute little guy. And funny." But of Tom Hanks I thought, "He's got 'something'. He's going to be a big star."

Sorry, Peter. It now seems like Tom's the one who's juggling ... big-time acting roles, that is ... appointments with bigwigs, that is! And he, himself, is one of the biggest wigs in the business!

Pretty damned hilarious that he started his career wearing one.

Oh, the circle of life!

(Sorry, Peter. I'm sorry I mentioned Tom more than I did you. But you're used to it by now, right?)

fresh-baked at 12:19 PM
Oh, You!

Oh no. I can't believe what just happened.

I just sent someone an email and spelled the word "honored" like this: honoured

Yes, I have friends from Canada. Yes, I have friends from England. Australia, too. But is that any reason for me to start spelling the way they do?

What's next? "Theatre"? "Realise"?

Will I start calling underwear "knickers"? Will I start saying I am "knackered"?

(Knick-knack paddywack, give a dog a bone?)

(Knock knock. Who's there? You. You who?)

(Who? Why? Huh? Whaaa?)

This is as bad as when the goy say "Oy"!

I'm so disappointed in myself.

I've gotta get outta here.


fresh-baked at 10:29 AM
Shirt Shorts

This Wednesday, it's supposed to be around 80 degrees here in New York City, which means that people's choices of warm weather clothing are bound to be woeful. In anticipation of that inevitability, I have just two brief things to say, and then I'll leave you to your co-workers so you can exchange details about your weekends even though neither one of you is really interested and just wants the other to shut up and leave you alone because it's Monday and you're so not in the mood.

So, anyway, here you go:

  • If you wear a "belly shirt", you'd better not have one.
  • If you wear a "muscle shirt", you'd better have some.

At first I was thinking that these two items could be gender-specific, but then I realized that, hey, I spend a lot of time in Chelsea, where there are many boys who bare their bellies, many of whom just ... shouldn't.

Soon I will address other offenses as well, some of which take place below the waist, such as skorts and too-short shorts; many involving foundation garments; still more about shirts; and, of course, the ever-popular shoes (flipflops have already been covered).

Bear with me. But don't bare near me.

Have a marvelous Monday morning.

Update, 12:14 p.m.: I wondered what my pal Pete was up to when he asked me about a certain kind of shirt, but now I know. Visit Pete to check it out.

fresh-baked at 07:36 AM
Sunday, 13 April 2003
Making headway

You know how sometimes you'll just be sitting around, not doing much of anything of significance, and all of a sudden you go to, like, push up your sleeve or something, and you notice there's a big bruise on your arm or a cut or some other evidence of an injury that you had no idea you'd suffered? Well, today I went to brush my hair away from my face and noticed that my head, from the nose up, was completely gone. Luckily I can "touch type", so I can report the news to you.

But still, if I had hair to brush away from my face, it must be connected to something, right? Well, you'll be pleased to know that those dreams that I frequently have — the dreams where I have a very full mustache that is just incidental to and not the focus of the dream — finally manifested themselves in a real life scenario.

This, however, will take some getting used to.

(At least I'm wearing pants and don't have to perform in a play for which I've completely forgotten all of my lines. So that's good.)

fresh-baked at 01:26 PM
Sunday Non-Sermon

I finally found out what the deal is with this.

And here I thought the Jews were too cheap to buy a vowel. You know those Jews. So cheap. Yeah, that's where the charming phrase "Jew him down" comes from. A real knee-slapper, that.

Gotta love a stereotype.

So, anyway, I'm not a religious Jew by any stretch of the imagination. I don't do the synagogue thing. I don't celebrate any of the holidays, High or otherwise. I know very little about any of them. "Is this the one where we eat or we don't eat?" I wonder. "Is this the one with the hamentaschen?" In fact, for some reason, on Yom Kippur, I invariably seem to start eating earlier than I would any other day of the year. And on Passover, before you can snap your fingers and say "shalom", I'm eating a pretzel or something else that is decidedly leavened.

Still, I dig "Jew food" (hello, macaroons and matzoh!) and Jewish music (the more melancholy, the better). I adore the Yiddish language. I love a Jackie Mason sort of inflection (I'd attach a little file of myself doing it, but I can't do it without falling all over myself laughing like a drunk hyena).

Even though I'm not a "Jewy Jew", I still identify myself as A Jew. I used to get a strange lump in my throat (perhaps I hadn't thoroughly chewed my knish?) when I'd thumb through my grandfather's Hebrew texts. I marvelled at the thick black characters and the way he could actually read and pronounce the words that I couldn't even distinguish. I was amazed when my brother, at his Bar Mitzvah, did the same. ("What the hell is he saying?" 11-year-old me wondered. "And what's up with the song thing? It doesn't have a real melody!") I don't know. It's something that's just baked into my soul or my heart or my liver (with onions) or wherever that sort of thing is branded or coded.

I figured there must be a reason why, on Saturdays, I like nothing more than to stick around the house and do nothing more than read and hang out on the computer and not drive a car. Now, I know that technically I'm probably not supposed to do anything involving electricity on Shabbat (see, I don't even really know the rules!), but still. I'm doing it my way, in my very little way, and it means something to me.

So I give you permission (my, uh, blessing) to not go to church today, my non-Jew friends and readers. Do your stuff at home. Or not. Whatever. Who am I to say what's what and what's not.

Thus concludes my non-sermon.

Enjoy your Sunday. I'm going shopping.

fresh-baked at 09:36 AM
Saturday, 12 April 2003
My Alibi

Oh, the glamour!

Please let this entry serve as evidence of my not being anyplace where anything stupid or sophomorically scandalous is going on this Saturday evening, 12 April 2003.

Shannen Doherty keeps accusing me of being places I wouldn't be caught dead anywhere near and trying to edge in on whatever glossy lobotomy victim she's currently madly in love with. None of it is true. Too bad she's not as good an actor as she is a liar, because then she wouldn't be floundering around hosting some new schlock (I don't have to see it to know it blows) on the Sci-Fi Channel.

So just for the record, in case Page Six or anyone else is wondering ... I wasn't there. You couldn't pay me to be there. I'm here, with Gwynnie, having what we call our "Girls' Night In", and we're just trying out new hairdos and the latest abs workout from Shape magazine. That's all.

fresh-baked at 09:22 PM
I see in a tree ...

It's not nice to stare. I see many different mouths, but it would have been a bit annoying to trace them all.  Sorry, Picasso.

The tree sees me.

fresh-baked at 06:56 PM
Check it Out

A few weeks ago I checked out three books from the library. Now, I know that library books should probably be handled only while wearing protective gloves, because you never know when someone with a finely honed sense of humor rubbed the books against his sweaty ass or placed his member between their pages in order to satisfy a base need to somehow get back at the librarian who rebuffed him again, but I still like the library because the books are, like, free 'n' stuff. And I'll take my chances.

I also like it because, despite the possibility of someone actually "frotting" a book or using its pages as the bread in a masturbatory "meat" sandwich, I like imagining the other people who have read the book before I have. I wonder where they read it (oh god no, on the toilet? on the subway? at the dentist's office? in a diner?). How they read it (lounging, feet up? standing up at a podium? hiding in the file room at work, pretending to file a stack of yellowed correspondence?). Why they read it. If they liked it. If they said, "Why the hell would anyone even print this dreck?"

And why they felt compelled, in some instances, to use a pen to highlight certain passages in books they did not own, thus drawing my attention needlessly to words I would not have considered important but now, because some stranger saw them fit to highlight, I now had to give a second, third, and fourth thought.

So, anyway, stuck between the pages of one of the three books I'd taken out ("My Life As A Man" by Philip Roth) was Guest Check Number 309558:


"1 ER". I'm savvy enough to interpret that as "1 eggroll". (It could be, of course, "eggplant ravioli", but I doubt it.) CK garlic. I take that to be "garlic chicken" and not Calvin Klein's latest innovative fragrance. Both reasonably priced. An extra dollar for ... what? Couldn’t be tax, because, my calculator tells me, that would mean the tax was 11.25%. Delivery charge? Maybe. And what is "S.B.A. 647 x43945"? Oh, will anyone ever know?

On the reverse side, the person must have been figuring out sales tax of 7%, which instantly compelled me to think, “Philadelphia”, where the sales tax is 7%. New York City is 8.625%. So the person (a girl, I think, judging by the handwriting) took this book out of the New York Public Library, carried it to Philadelphia, and, as she turned its pages, enjoyed her chicken with garlic and eggroll. Dinner alone in a hotel room? And why alone? In which hotel?

Being the Nancy Jew that I am, I even sniffed the stain (now there’s a sexy few words if ever I heard them), hoping to get a faint whiff of garlic. (But don’t worry. I didn’t taste it. I mean, it could have been chicken, and I don’t "do" chicken.)

I wanted to call the library and have someone run a check on everyone who ever checked out the book. "I must know the identity of the girl who, alone in her hotel room in Philadelphia, slumped sadly over her greasy eggroll and garlic chicken, was figuring out the sales tax on the cheap teddy she'd just bought because she thought she was charged too much! Did her secret married lover ever make it to the hotel? Wasn't he going to treat her to dinner? Or had she ordered the cheap Chinese late at night, after realizing he was just not going to show up?"

But I didn't.

Still, I wish I knew. I really wish I knew.

P.S. The splotch wasn't garlic. I did a DNA test here in my lab, and it turns out it's BLOOD. The blood of a murdered married lover.

fresh-baked at 10:55 AM
Friday, 11 April 2003
A Story In So Many Words (#2: 100) - "Mammu"

Dear Ms. Verse:

Thank you so much for the sweet story you posted a couple of weeks ago about the green pepper! Little Man just lurved it! Do you have any more stories suitable for the kidlets?


Jill McAfee
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

* * *

Oh my.  Company!  And me without my pineapples!

It wasn’t until Martha was 12 and her family had moved into yet another new house in yet another new neighborhood in yet another new state, and her dad said, “This time, we’re going to stay put! Mark my words!” that she finally felt confident enough to make new friends and bring them home to meet the gang. Daddo, Mammu, Bing, Chet, and little Kippy. The whole kit 'n' kaboodle! What Martha didn’t understand was why her new best friend, Tiffany, ran from the house crying when she met Mammu. What was the problem? Wasn’t everyone’s mom a baked ham?

fresh-baked at 04:18 PM
Thursday, 10 April 2003
Forgive? Forget It.

In a moment of apparent insanity, I turned on Oprah this afternoon and watched for about ten minutes. The theme today was Forgiveness. Guests included people who were able to forgive other people for murdering their families or raping them or raping them and murdering their families (a special combination deal), and other horrendous crimes that I didn't stick around long enough to hear about.

You see, I couldn't watch. I couldn't understand it. And not just because I really don't dig Oprah. What I really couldn't get, and what I'll never get, ever, even if I live to be 200 years old (which is my plan), is how people can forgive other people for doing absolutely unthinkable, unspeakable things to their "loved ones".

I don't care what the Bible says. (I don't read it.) (I'm not really into best-sellers.) I don't care what self-help books say. I don't care what therapists or analysts or counselors say. Forgiving someone for something like murder or rape? No can fucking do.

"The anger was eating me up inside," one woman said (paraphrased). "I had to forgive the man who shot my son in the heart. When I met his murderer face to face, I realized that he was hurting inside, and I had a lot of compassion for him. I forgave him. If I didn't, I couldn't live with myself."

Sorry, but that kind of crap doesn't work for me. That sort of acceptance doesn't cut it. That sort of understanding and compassion has no place anywhere within me.

Fucking hurt someone I care about and I hate you for life. I may not dwell on it every day, I may not think about it every day, but I will never forget it. And I most certainly will never forgive.

Forgiveness, to me (note how I said to me, so please don't write to me and tell me I am "wrong") means forgetting. And I don't like to forget.

Fuck that stuff about not being able to live with yourself if you don't forgive. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I did.

Note: For a little relief, see this entry, from one year ago today.

fresh-baked at 05:53 PM
Heart Monitor

My friend Beau's mom, Amber, died two and a half weeks ago. If for some reason you need to test whether or not you have a heart, I encourage you to read his post dated today, entitled Looking for Mom.

It, like he, is breathtaking.

fresh-baked at 11:07 AM
Work It

On my way home last night ("Again, she was out and about? And on a school night? Wow!"), I passed a store that displayed, in its big plate glass window, "fantasy" clothing. One stunning piece that caught my attention, probably because it was fairly pulsing with white light, was a shiny white latex/vinyl nurse's uniform, cut down to here and up to there.

"Oh, how original," I thought. "A fetish version of a uniform worn by a health care professional!" I'm sure if I'd looked longer than the two seconds it took to absorb the uniform, I would have seen more, but, like the girl I am, I'd chosen style over substance in my own ensemble for the evening and the coat I was wearing was offering about as much warmth as the nurse's uniform was offering elegance. So on my way, I went. (Oh, and yeah, there was a creepy guy staring with an inordinate amount of wonder and fascination at a motorized Easter bunny in the neighboring window, and I kinda wanted to avoid him too.)

So, anyway, that nurse's uniform, and the idea of "fantasy" clothing, stuck with me for the rest of the cold walk home. I wondered why it is that fantasy/fetish outfits always have to do with certain professions, often those involving noble care-giving. Why is it that nurse's outfits are so over-represented? And why is it that other professions are so woefully under-represented? What about, for instance, a ticket-taker at the local movie theater? Or an appliance salesman? What about an assembly-line worker? Or a paralegal?

Who's to say that a Jones New York pantsuit, or Dress Barn floral frock complete with self-belt and lace inset, when translated into latex, couldn't be outrageously hot?

Also, does it work the other way around? What if your fantasy person is someone whose line of work requires a fetish-type getup? What if, say, you really lust after a dominatrix? Because her uniform is, customarily, already latex and shiny (the two requirements for "sexy", as we all know), wouldn't it be reasonable to think that in order to turn it into a fetish, it would have to be presented in, say, 100% cotton (coton/algodon) or some other sensible fabric?

Does that work?

I suppose it doesn't matter. Whatever works, works. And whatever outfit it works in — literally or figuratively — works.

Now get back to work.

And stop fantasizing about nurses.

And Easter bunnies.

fresh-baked at 09:45 AM
Site Note

Just so you know, because I know you want to be in the know ...

Thanks to the amazing grace of a couple of particularly groovy friends, some of the entries that I (or, rather, my hosting company) had lost have now been found. Details can be found in the two updates (italicized for your ease of reference!), here.

Oh, I'm just so amused by the irony of it all, in light of the fact that recently I've written about things I've found (and other people have lost).

It's almost enough to make me believe in karma. In things going around coming around. And all that garbage people say to make themselves feel better or keep themselves in check so they don't do the horrible horrible things to other people that they really want to do.

Almost, but not quite.

In other Lost and Found news ... would whoever STOLE my dark brown Old Navy racerback tank top (with built-in bralette!) and my black and white Totes umbrella (automatic open AND close!), kindly fucking return them? Thank you.

fresh-baked at 09:12 AM
Wednesday, 9 April 2003
Self Help

Someone found my site by searching for this.

I'm a little confused. How hard can it be to do? Seems fairly elementary to me.

Because "Because I Say So!" is the fifth site listed in the search results (and believe me, I am indeed honored), I feel compelled to offer instructions. These are the same instructions I offer in my three award-winning children's books, "Ready, Set, Blow!" (ages 2-4), "Easy Come, Easy Blow!" (ages 5-9), and the soon to be released "Michael, Blow Yourself Some More (Hallelujah)" (ages 10-12), so they may sound familiar.

  1. Take it out.
  2. Put it in your mouth.

Ta-da! Yes, it is that easy. Downright child's play, indeed.

fresh-baked at 10:44 PM
Photo Nonos

If I see one more person using a baby picture or school photo of himself on the "About Me" or "Bio" page of his website (or "BLOG", if you will ... and I really wish you wouldn't), I'm going to have to beat his "inner child" with a stick. And, also, as a bonus, his outer one as well.

It's gotta stop. It really does.

That person (the offender) may be thinking, "Hey, this is a cute idea!", but all I can think is, "Hey, that person, who wasn't even a cute kid, must've really grown up to be one hideous adult."

In addition, if a person does decide to use a current photo, the current photo must not be altered using Photoshop or another graphics program's "paint" or other "artistic" tool. Making your photo look like a bad painting is not good. Ditto goes for blurring it. Not cute. Unadvisable. Stop it.

One more thing, and then I'll leave you to your bagels and chai. And that is this: Black and white portraits are not as chic and artsy as you think they are. You are not Richard Avedon. You are not Annie Leibovitz. You are just trying to hide a multitude of skin sins.

That's all. Carry on. Enjoy your Wednesday.

P.S. The word "nonos" is truly wretched and should never be used anywhere ever. Not even by two-year-olds.

Note (update, 10:04 a.m.): I originally mentioned Ansel Adams and Alfred Stieglitz in the paragraph that now names Avedon and Leibowitz. I did not mean to malign black and white landscape or building photographs, which I actually do like.

fresh-baked at 09:15 AM
Tuesday, 8 April 2003

OK, so I'm posting this quickly because you never know when my hosting company (whom I will not malign ... publicly) is going to conk out again and I'm going to wind up screaming so loudly that even those of you in OHIO (ahem) will be able to hear me.

Apparently the hard drive on which my hosting company saved my stuff malfunctioned, and they restored stuff from a two day old backup. Unfortunately, I had not backed up my Movable Type entries yet this week, and I don't have copies saved in a word processing program, so I'm fucked in that regard.

From now on, I type my entries NOT into the Movable Type text box but into a word processing document.

Anyway, the posts I lost are these:

  1. Sunday: "Looking for ..." — with a photo of a Mr. Goodbar, and text about items I'd recently found on the street

    Update, 11:13 p.m.: Restored — by magic!!! (Actually, it was by my personal assistant, Chad!)

  2. Monday: "Inside Out" — including photos of a white cat inside a shop and snowy treetops, with text about celebrating the April snow; "Crowe and Tell" (?) — saying how I don't give a, uh, fig about him or his wedding; and "Pillow Talk" — where 10:00 p.m. writes me a tender love note begging me to come to bed

    Update, 5:09 p.m., 9 April 2003: Restored!!! (Thanks to my future wife, Allison!)

  3. Tuesday (today): "The Weather, Oh My God, the Weather" — where I say 'basta' to all the talk about the April snow; and "Two Truths, Part 2" — including two images, one of the color teal and one of a hideous clown figurine

I think that's it. If you can think of anything else I wrote here since Sunday, please let me know. Thanks!

And now I will go before I start publicly maligning. I will now resume privately whining to anyone who will listen.

fresh-baked at 09:56 PM

Well, would you look at that.

My site, which has been down for most of the day, and, when "up", only sporadically, is now missing all of its entries for Sunday, Monday, and today. This is just fucking beautiful.

I am so pissed right now, I cannot even tell you.

fresh-baked at 09:08 PM
Monday, 7 April 2003
Pillow Talk

Dear Joey Jo Jo:

Come to bed, my sweet. You know you feel better with me than with 11:00 p.m., midnight, or those slatterns 1:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m.! I have so much more to offer. I'll make you feel sooo good.

All my love,
i love you

fresh-baked at 10:00 PM
Crowe and Tell

Am I the only person in the universe who doesn't give a so-called rat's ass, shit, flying fuck, or anything else about Russell Crowe? Am I alone in really, truly, honest to Pete and/or God not caring a whit about him or his bride or their very special day? Are there people out there who really care to listen to or read the details of Russell Crowe's wedding, or anything else having to do with this overrated, spoiled, puffy-faced, thoroughly self-absorbed brat?

My god. You'd think he was Liza or something.

fresh-baked at 06:49 PM
Inside Out

No, this is not Shana. This is not Shana, either.

It's Christmas in July ... three months early!

The snow blatantly ignores the fact that we just set the clocks ahead an hour. It's eating pizza for breakfast. It's wearing jeans to a black tie affair. It's laughing in the face of everyone who's damning it.


(And leave the umbrellas out of it.)

fresh-baked at 02:19 PM
Sunday, 6 April 2003
Looking for ...

Livin' on the edge!

He's here, in case you're wondering. Or he was, last time I looked. Still sort of lolling around on the stairs of my building, half on and half off a step, showing off his balancing skills. Still trying to seduce me into picking him up, lifting him up to my nose and inhaling whatever cheap chocolate scent lingers, and then hiding him in my jacket pocket, where I will feel him crumple beneath my fingers and keep forgetting to throw him out ... or encouraging me to dash to the nearest choco-shop in search of one of his many doppelgängers.

Oh, dear sweet Mr. G., you should know that if I've gone this long without giving in to my baser needs, I'm certainly not going to sin with the likes of you. Please. Save that sort of flimsy temptation for suburban soccer moms who don't know what true debauchery is, who still think that Godiva is the height of chocolosity.

*   *   *

So it seems as if there has been a theme here lately. A theme of "found objects". A grimy postcard. A dirty dollar bill. A tasty dime. (And other gems that I have not "shared" with my panting public. My lawyer advises me not to post photos of the pancreas I found in a shoebox on Seventh Avenue until the trial is over.) If I were the sort who felt compelled to actually save everything she found on the street, I suppose I could arrange all of this garbage in a pleasant, light wood IKEA shadowbox and display it in my foyer. Alas, I have no foyer. Which is fine because I have no such compulsion either. I already tore up the postcard I found the other day and ate the dollar bill. I spent the dime. No collages for me, thank you.

But I do like seeing what other people discard. Even more, I like seeing what they lose. (Like the dollar bill. What I didn't mention last week was that I rescued the dollar bill from the sidewalk just moments after it escaped from the grasp of its owner.) "One man's trash ..." and all that. Occasionally there is treasure, but more often it's just filthy garbage that should remain where it is.

Draw what symbolism you will from all of this. Craft a metaphor full of deep meaning. Or just drop it. (Onto the street, so I can pick it up and marvel over it for 20 minutes.)

fresh-baked at 06:10 PM
Saturday, 5 April 2003
I am worried

I am worried about Larry Hagman. Last night, in a dream, I said aloud, "Have you seen Larry Hagman? He looks very thin."

I don't know whom I asked.

All I know is that now I am worried.

About Larry Hagman.

P.S. In the dream, I was not dressed as a genie.

fresh-baked at 11:29 AM
Primary Colors

How lovely, Yellow Shirt (school bus, Dixon Ticonderoga #2, taxi). Instead of breathing (that's that thing with the inhaling and exhaling, in case you forgot) during your strenuous weightlifting session, chump, you decide to hold your breath, thus rendering your face a positively frightening ultra-saturated shade of red, the likes of which I have only seen on constipated infants struggling with all their might to make a kaka for mama.

How charming, that when you finally do breathe (unfortunately, as I was so hoping you would completely forget and put me out of your misery for good), you sound as if you are on the receiving end of a particularly skilled blow job that is on the verge of coming to fruition.

But maybe not quite. Because it would be so nifty if we could add blue into the primary color mix.

Color me disgusted!

fresh-baked at 10:53 AM
Friday, 4 April 2003
Late Lunch

It was very cold this afternoon, but that didn't stop these little guys from enjoying a nice al fresco lunch, supplied by a generous lady (whose eyes I've blacked out just in case she was supposed to be somewhere else).

Even though New Yorkers eat lunch late, this is still a late lunch, at 3:22 p.m. She knows that birds dig crackers.  She's no birdbrain! A very sophisticated lot, this. They do not take reservations!
You can't beat the service, really. Yes, I would say it's pound cake. Equal opportunity for all!
The best seat in the house! Clearly a business lunch. Even in the cold, a hot spot.

I shouldn't have to tell you this, but — hover over the images for captions. And, yeah, they're thumbnails, so you can click 'n' stuff.

fresh-baked at 05:11 PM
Note Note
Dear Miss Jodiverse:

Hello. Yesterday morning I lost a one-dollar Federal Reserve Note on Fifth Avenue in New York City. It was six inches long and two and a half inches wide and had a very nice drawing of President George Washington on the front. It was a Series 1999 and had a G on the front with the words "Chicago, Illinois". It was gray and green and crumply.

Ever since last morning I've been searching on the World Wide Web through Google and Yahoo to see if anyone had any information about my money. I was having no luck until about ten minutes ago, when I found your very nice website. I saw your article, "Finders", from yesterday, and thought I'd write to you. So here I am!

Could my misfortune be the good fortune you wrote about?

Unfortunately, I did not log this dollar bill into my ledger the way I usually do, so I do not know the serial number and can't compare it to the one in the photograph on your website. I do think it's mine, though. I recognized it almost immediately when I saw it!

If you don't mind, would you please bring the dollar bill to me so I can see if it's the one I lost? I am a tourist so I won't be in town for very long. But if you have some time, I will be in the TKTS line in Times Square all day today trying to get tickets for a nice musical. I will be the one in a track suit with a fresh perm.

Patricia ("Patti") Branson
Yellow Springs, Ohio

P.S. I love New York! :-)

fresh-baked at 12:16 PM
Thursday, 3 April 2003
Tower Power

Note: For more photos of the tower, go here.

fresh-baked at 08:06 PM
Chai* Time

More Jews than you can shake a shiksa at!

Every once in a while I like to do a little something to remind myself that I'm still a Jew. Something a little more involved than just wearing my stunning chai* (not to be confused with stunning yourself by wearing chai, the now trendy beverage). So last night I went to a shindig that was a combination talk/book signing/party for a very lovely and talented Jewish boy whose new book involves Judaism.

Of course there was food, including big warm knishes. Not the best I've ever had, but probably the biggest. (Biggest does not equal best in this instance. Or in many others. Trust me.) They were individually wrapped in foil and placed on one of the tables like so many precious gifts. They were as much of a hit as the author was.

The best part of the evening, other than hanging out with some truly fascinating people and laughing like a demented seal with one in particular, was being served mini-knaidlach* by gentiles. "Where did all of yiz come from, anyways?" I was asked. "Planet Jew-piter or somethin'?"

A good time was had by all. And some good hummus as well.

*Pronounced here with a throaty "ch". (Pretend you're clearing your throat.)

fresh-baked at 11:30 AM

Quite a haul!

The world is a wacky place. One minute you're walking down the street, whistling a tune you can't quite place because you think you may have made it up in a dream or something, puzzling over the same philosophical dilemma that's been nagging at you for quite some time — If I find something on the sidewalk, such as litter, and pick it up, am I considered a litterer if I decide I don't want the item for my personal collection and then return it to the sidewalk? Is there a time limit within which I must make my decision; something along the lines of the 'rule' whereby I am allowed to eat something that falls on the floor only if it has been there for less than, say, ten seconds? — and the next thing you know, you are confronted with a situation that may force you to make a decision. And quick.

Thankfully, however, the cat postcard ("CAT", drawing, 2000, © Maria Sochaniewicz) amused me enough that I didn't have to answer that question. I was, thus, off the hook.

And the dollar bill, well, need I say more than a pointed, "Duh"? Of course, I could have presented it with a flourish to the guy in the dirty army pants and dirty mustache sitting on a crate with a sign and cup that both suggested I make a donation, but I didn't. I need coffee too, after all.

Same goes for the dime, which I found on the stairs in my building. "See on the steps a grimy dime; pick it up and make it mine!"

And to think: somewhere, someone is weeping!

fresh-baked at 07:44 AM
Wednesday, 2 April 2003
Flip Flop Flap*

OK, so despite the freakish vestiges of winter that insist on showing their face on random days, it is, for all intents and purposes (whatever they may be), spring. And with spring comes warmer weather. And with warmer weather come shoes to celebrate it. And the closer one lives to a city, the closer he or she is to shoe stores that carry some seriously cute shoes.

So, people, why oh why in the world would anyone choose to wear something as hideous and pedestrian as flip flops? Flip flops do nothing to enhance an ensemble, nothing to lengthen a leg, nothing to guard a foot from all sorts of street goo. They only serve to make their unfortunate wearers feel as if it's OK to forget to lift their feet when they walk. Why lift your feet when you can shuffle them!

There must be some sort of intoxicant in the flip flops' rubber that, upon making contact with the pavement, releases itself in a gaseous poof that wafts upward into the nostrils of the wearer, thus rendering him incapable of picking up his feet to walk normally and reducing that person to shameless shambling. Or, if not a gaseous poof, secretes itself directly into the sole of the foot to similar effect.

Even though I have never and will never disgrace my feet with those floppy flippy flippity flop flappity atrocities, I won't completely discount their utility as footwear for the unimaginative who find themselves in locales where water, sand, and boardwalk replace urine, sputum, and sidewalk.

So listen. Do yourself a favor. If you're going to be walking around the city, invest in some real shoes. Sandals, even, if you must (and only if your feet are up to the challenge). Look like you actually care about your appearance. And whatever you do, please, pick up your feet when you walk. It's not that difficult. Last I heard, even two-year-olds were getting it right.

P.S. Don't send me email telling me not to "flip out". I won't think you're clever. Promise.

*And, of course, Flep, Flup, and sometimes Flyp

fresh-baked at 12:11 PM
Colin Power

Don't worry. This is not a political post. Please.

This has nothing to do with our country and everything to do with Colin Farrell, the actor who has girls everywhere (and boys too) swooning with his special blend of Irish swagger and his inability to keep "it" in his pants.

Two minutes ago, on "Live With Regis and Kelly", Mr. Farrell, who right now is regarded as "the shit", said he has does not have "the shingles" (in response to a question about David Letterman [who, you have to know, recently had shingles], on whose show he appeared, I think) or "the shits". (I am, of course, tempted to say something hilarious about the near-homophone — Colin and colon — but I will refrain.)

I was all set to hate him. And frankly I'm not entirely too fond of the term "the shits". But I have to like him, just a little bit, for saying it during a morning talk show. Hurrah!

I also have to like him because he's really cute. But that's another story.

Back to the show.

fresh-baked at 09:31 AM
Tuesday, 1 April 2003
No Fooling

There will be no entry today!

fresh-baked at 04:21 PM