I'm prettier than you are.
Thursday, 28 August 2003
Shop Girl

Dear Shop Girl at MXYPLYZK:

When I was in "your" shop on Saturday afternoon, a well-spoken young woman asked you how to pronounce its name. Your unblinking eyes looked at her with an air of icy superiority, and you supplied a monotone answer, barely inflecting the third syllable: "Mix-ee-PLIH-zick."

I'm sure this isn't the first time a customer has asked you how to pronounce the name of the shop. And I'm sure it won't be the last. In fact, I'm willing to bet (your life!) that people ask you this question every day. You should be used to it by now. And you should expect it.

May I tell you that the store's name is a bit unusual? May I direct your bored attention to its lack of vowels? May I dig my fingernails into your wrist and slap you across your supercilious cheek as I remind you the store is not called "The Smith Store"?

When you do move on to bigger and better things, dear, you won't have to deal with such atrocities as being asked to pronounce the name of the store. After all, everyone knows how to pronounce "Gap".

P.S. May I remind you, a la Edina of Absolutely Fabulous, that you are a shop girl? And inform you, a la me, that you are a FKNGZZHL?

Note:  I do not smoke, and don't allow it in this apartment, but that doesn't mean I don't want this.

fresh-baked at 09:02 PM

I lie. Like a rug. Or a thug. Or a plburjxoizug. I lie to you when I say I do not cook. And here is proof, in living color:

You must always serve food on a pretty plate!
It's not meat, it's Veat!

However, when a liar says he is lying, how do you know whether he is telling the truth about lying? This is like a question I posed to myself in third grade: If you come across a wooden stop sign that says DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO WOODEN SIGNS, do you stop?

Consider this food for thought!

fresh-baked at 11:18 AM
Wednesday, 27 August 2003
Very Important

The word is "important". The first "t" is not a "d".

If you mispronounce it, you sound like an itiod.

Just so you know.

fresh-baked at 10:50 PM
Deliver the Goods

A rare glimpse of my home decor!

A nice young man just delivered a twenty-pound bag of dog food to my fifth-floor walkup apartment. (That's one of the nifty things about New York: Everything we want is here at our fingertips, but we don't have to ruin our manicures to get it ourselves if we don't want to!) Of course this was at my household's request, and not merely a whim on the part of the deliveryman or his employer, so I gave him a tip.

How much did you give? you're wondering. What does propriety dictate?

I gave him the pleasure of hearing me recite select passages from the book I was reading when he arrived, because I figured he could use a literary boost in his day too. I knew he was too busy making deliveries to pause and read, so I did what I could to enrich him.

And really, the educational enlightenment is worth a lot more in the long run than the $5.00 he would get if I were an illiterate, uncaring, thoughtless recipient of delivery dog food.

You see, he delivered one kind of goods, and I delivered another. It's all a very fundamental balance, and it is important not to just tip it in your own favor!

fresh-baked at 05:52 PM
Tuesday, 26 August 2003
Not Just a Peeping Tom

I wondered why Shana was practicing "Come To My Window" in the shower. Now I know!

What are mew doing here!? I just had to see mew!

"We're just friends!" she said with a nervous laugh over her shoulder, and then scampered out of the room sideways.

P.S. Shana conserves household energy wherever and whenever possible. Note the prudent setting of 78 degrees on the window fan!

fresh-baked at 07:19 PM

Hello, Sir, with the long, wiry, gray ponytail and the youthful face!

Why do you like to smell like a revolting blend of urine-soaked barnyard hay, never-washed-although-worn-daily tube socks, and the lining of a week-old corpse's stomach, when you can just reek of baked-on sweat like the rest of the gentlemen at the gym?

Just curious.

Have a nice day!

*   *   *

Any application of patchouli is an over-application.

fresh-baked at 10:44 AM
Monday, 25 August 2003
Sunday is Funday!

Yesterday wasn't just all about ear cleaners. No, that was just part of the fun that my friend "A" and I had on a jaunt to Chinatown for delectables at our "usual" restaurant, Pongsri. Before we got there, we made a couple of other stops, including one at Duane Reade for bottles of liquid refreshment. This was one of the choices (beautifully displayed by "A", in true Carol Merrill fashion):

You've gotta admit that the bottle is pretty damned sexxxy. I blushingly commented on its possible alternative uses. I also decided the actual drink was probably about as effective as Red Bull. We passed, and settled for more sedate beverages in traditional containers.

Once at the restaurant, however, we bucked tradition! Get a gander at the dish we both got:

It's pad see eue (the last word is pronounced like "ew", which is a misnomer!). With tofu. Although the menu does not indicate tofu as one of the options (chicken, shrimp, or beef are offered), the waiter rewarded me for my boldness in requesting it. "Fried or soft tofu?" he asked with a charming smile, whereupon I overrode my usual concerns (tradition-bucking in action!) and chose the fried. So did "A". After all, you have to live a little. (If I'd been with the DOG, we would not have ordered the same thing. If we did, then when he didn't finish his food, I would not have any variety when I finished it for him. See?)

Because we are both ladies, we availed ourselves of the room designated for our use. By the sink was a big bottle of blue "body soap". Apparently, as "A" pointed out, it wasn't enough for the employees to wash just their hands before returning to work. (I had a flashback to a sign I saw many moons ago in a Chinese restaurant restroom that admonished EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS BEFORE RETURNING TO WOK. When the flashback was over, I was covered in blue suds, rolling with laughter on the Pongsri ladies room floor!)

We were quite full from our delicious noodles. Ordinarily we will get little treats from a Chinese bakery afterward, but we didn't even suggest it to one other. I didn't have the stomach for either more food or the Canal Street crowds, so we took a slight detour (I'm Queen of the Side Street!), and found this guy, who looked like he'd just had his share of noodles:


Notice the flurry of activity from one shot to the next. It was dizzying trying to keep up!

On our way back up Broadway toward Union Square, we stopped in Pearl River Mart. We wanted to try to hate it less than we did the last time we were there, but we failed. The old Pearl River Mart, on Canal Street, was a cluttered, haphazard, dusty-floored, three-story bazaar of the bizarre. Although it did attract quite a bit of tourist traffic, it was nothing like its new incarnation on Broadway — a grand, carefully ordered, shiny-floored, two-level tourist bonanza.

One of the best features of the store is its selection of Asian snack foods, both sweet and salty. But nothing — and I do mean nothing — inspires me to gales of laughter more than this:


You must read the fine print on the
bottom right corner of the left image!

Needless to say (but of course I'm saying it anyway), I couldn't wait to get home to scan my Pocky, which actually beat out my suggested uses for the energy drink bottle in terms of salaciousness.

Oh, and we made several other stops, none of which were memorialized by my camera. (But you can visit the Sephora and Gap websites on your own!) All in all, a perfect Sunday afternoon. A pretty lady on my arm, delicious food in my stomach, and Men's Pocky to scan!

fresh-baked at 12:03 PM
Sunday, 24 August 2003
Ear you go!

It's never too late to start your Christmas shopping, and I have just the hot ticket for all you early birds out there who really do deserve the worm and whose family and friends only deserve the best. Check out these snappy little doodads, and at such a good price:

Tasteful satin display!

This luxury item reminds me of the scene in one of my all-time favorite movies, Breakfast at Tiffany's, where Holly and Paul, with $10 burning in their pockets, dash to Tiffany's, and the salesman suggests a marvelous little sterling silver telephone dialer.

Why use your own indelicate finger when a delicate implement designed exclusively for the activity is available at your fingertips? Indeed! Although cotton swabs (or Q-Tips®, for those who enjoy using trademarked names as generics) serve the same purpose, you just don't get the same elegant effect from swabbing your ears as you do from scooping them (see the melon-baller-esque tip). And as everyone who's anyone knows, it's not just what you do, but how you do it.

Note:  Please excuse the less than stellar quality of this photo, which was taken surreptitiously.

Item available at Pearl River Mart, 477 Broadway
(as of this afternoon, by the cash register downstairs)
Grab your personal Paul and hurry, Holly! Hurry!

fresh-baked at 05:06 PM
Saturday, 23 August 2003
Causing Quite a Stir!

Thank you to Mrs. Cindy Beckwith from Metuchen, New Jersey, for the following delightful Relationship Recipe:

  • 2 cups of togetherness
  • 1 cup of laughter
  • 3 Tbs. understanding
  • 2 tsp. shared interests
  • A pinch of mischief
  • Liberal sprinkling of trust
  • Whipped cream, strawberries, and chocolate sauce, LOL!!!
    (Serves 2 hungry honeys!)

Mix the first two ingredients together in a big glass bowl. Make sure you use a wooden spoon. (No, not that one ... I said wooden ... WOODEN. Wooo-ooo-ooden. Do I have to spell it out for you? Apparently I do!)

Gently fold in the 3 Tbs. of understanding.

Slowly add 2 tsp. shared interests, swirling gently with a fork to "marble" the mixture. (What do I mean by marble? Oh come on! I know what a touchdown is, don't I? I know what a spark plug is, don't I? I know what ... deep throat is, don't I? Don't I?)

Throw in the pinch of mischief. (Not like that. Like this. Oh, you're doing it wrong! You're doing it all wrong!!!) Stir gently. (I said gently. Just like I said last night ... but did you listen then, either? No!)

Turn the mixture out onto a pretty plate. (And you know what, you can just forget the whipped cream, strawberries, and chocolate sauce! I saw you across the mall when I was in Casual Corner! I saw you flirting with that cheap floozy from Hickory Farms, stuffing your face with cheese and pepperoni!)

Note:  I forgot to mention what you do with the liberal sprinkling of trust. But never mind now. It's all ruined anyway! :-(

fresh-baked at 07:12 PM
Friday, 22 August 2003

A poltergeist lurks around my apartment. It's not scary, and it doesn't do anything particularly creepy, but sometimes it does manage to take over my keyboard and insert some bizarre text into the middle of an otherwise normal YOU WILL email. So if, say, you get an email from me asking how your day at work was and how your lunch SUFFOCATE IN with that special fella was, and then somewhere in there you read something a bit "off", YOUR SLEEP TONIGHT don't be alarmed. And don't blame me, because really, I have no control over AND BY THE WAY JODI IS ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS EVEN AFTER SHE JUST GETS OUT OF THE SHOWER it.

Thanks for your patience.

fresh-baked at 06:45 PM
Thursday, 21 August 2003
Window of Opportunity

As you certainly know by now — unless you're living in a two-bit town whose only source of news is the local newsletter printed using the old mimeograph machine at the general store — I am kidnapped regularly. By now I have learned to accept it, and even expect it, given who I am and what I have.

Behold the site of my next anticipated kidnapping, which my sources tell me will occur sometime before the official end of summer:

On 17 August, the windows were closed! Two days later, the windows were open!  It was like MAGIC!

As you can see, these windows are fantastic, and my captors — invariably a select group of bon vivants with exceptional taste — know that window treatments ruin the effect. So you may want to start camping out on the sidewalk across the street in order to get a prime view.

What: My Next Kidnapping!
Where: 7 East 20th Street
When: Sometime before the first day of autumn, 2003
No need to R.S.V.P.
Come early for best seating!
Oh, and BYOB!!!

fresh-baked at 10:02 PM
Wednesday, 20 August 2003

A certain Manhattan household was host to a bacchanalian birthday bash last night. In attendance was a little cake, lovingly baked by the hostess*. Here are the only photos that my censors permit:


Since I know you want to know what the plate looks like underneath the cake, here it is, none the worse for wear after all the hoopla:

* if by "lovingly baked" you mean "bought at Whole Foods"

P.S. The cake is called "bumblebee cake" for obvious reasons, only one of which was apparent before slicing. But imagine my jubilance when I discovered the second reason, after slicing! You'd have thought it was my birthday, what with all the buzz!

P.P.S. The bees's wings failed to stand upright in the icing, despite the countergirl's assurance that they would!

P.P.P.S. This year, the candle was not the kind that relights itself upon being blown out. I did not want to be predictable.

fresh-baked at 09:34 PM
Tuesday, 19 August 2003
Roof With A View

I have friends in high places. Take a look at this detail at the top of the Post Tower at 75 West Street, where one of them lives:


The wonderful thing about being on this roof is that shifting your gaze slightly yields this:

I shifted my gaze in the other direction and saw a big open space where the World Trade Center used to be, just across the street.

It's a good idea to shake up your perspective from time to time, even if what you see leaves you shaken.

And then it's a good idea to ground yourself again:


fresh-baked at 06:50 PM
Monday, 18 August 2003
I'm a Total Knockout!

Check out those GUNS!

On Saturday, at noon, we saw this gentleman on the corner of Sixth Avenue and West Fourth Street. He stood with a duffle bag at his feet, batting a little punching bag. He had a basket for donations/alms/tips/whatever and a sign that proclaimed NON-STOP SINCE 11:30.

I went up to him and said, "Big deal. My heart's been pounding non-stop since 1963, and you don't see me out here looking for compensation, do you?"

He stared at me wordlessly.

"No," I said, "you don't!

He stopped batting the bag, stepped toward me, and punched my lights out.

What a showoff!

fresh-baked at 06:23 PM
Sunday, 17 August 2003
A Date With Jodi! (continued)

As you certainly must recall, we ended the first part of our date at the edge of the Christopher Street entrance to Hudson River Park. I'd completely missed that street in true Mr. Magoo fashion, wandered around a bit in blithe ignorance of my blunder, and then, realizing the error of my ways, made a beautiful about face and headed up Hudson Street. I coveted a cookie jar shaped like a pineapple and dessert plates with a pineapple motif.

It's all coming back to you now, isn't it? Yes, it was oh so long ago that I wrote about this ... yesterday.

So here we are. At one of the Hudson River Park piers. Look:


So nice and clean. Verdant. Inviting. Brisk concrete along one side of the pier and a beautiful boardwalk on the other side. Why I didn't take a photo of the boardwalk side is beyond me. I suppose this means I'll have to go back some other time ... just to get the photo of course. I mean, not to enjoy this lovely strip of open air and water and ... boys ... without ... shirts ...

All right, so he's not the best specimen. I just liked his purple shorts. The pier was dotted with all manner of youngish men lounging on the grass and on benches, almost all of them shirtless. I saw only a handful of girls, all of them shirtful. At first I thought I saw some shirtless girls, but they turned out to be boys with long hair and particularly smooth, young backs. I wanted to take pictures of quite a few of these people; alas, their poses were not for me but for each other. I just strolled along the periphery of the pier, sucking seductively on my strawberry Froz-Fruit.

I stopped to enjoy a sailboat:


It wasn't until I saw this, to my left, that I felt like I was really on a pier:

These stumps — or whatever they're called (O, forgive me for being a landlubber!) — reminded me of pedestrian traffic on any street corner in Manhattan. Except they smelled better and were less aggressive.

To my right was a reminder that I was still in the city:

Some people thought they were safe in their own backyards:

These two, along with many other people, were on one of the lawns to my right. I wanted to steal this woman's baby and prop it on one of the stumps, just for fun, but I refrained. I also wanted to kick the woman in the head to let her know what an utter cretin she was, but I refrained from doing that as well.

I had no desire to sprawl on any of the lawns or pose with the boys, so I ended my stroll along the river, and headed toward West Street, which separates the park from the rest of Manhattan. Just before crossing West Street onto West 13th Street, I came across this pretty pink patch, which was apparently the place to, well, be(e). Everyone here was beehaven:


I was curiously drawn to this fantastic set-up at Big Fun Toys (at Hudson and Horatio):


Yes, that's a pretend can of foie gras you see there. Please. This is a cosmopolitan city. The children whose parents can afford this fabulous faux stove don't even know what "mac 'n' cheez" is!

I went into the store and chatted a bit with the girl (I guessed she was about my age or a little older, so of course she's just a girl) behind the counter. We laughed over my tales of not even being able to bake a cake with a Suzy Homemaker or E-Z Bake oven. I considered buying sea monkeys, but discounted the idea when I remembered I only had $8.00 and change in my wallet and also realized that Taxi and Shana would be jealous of their new brothers and sisters.

So I walked eastward, toward Chelsea. Let the camera rest. Daydreamed about my lunch. Wondered if anyone stole the sleeping baby yet. Thought about how good Froz-Fruit is and how I should get it more often, but how I really wanted cherry but all the guy had was strawberry but oh well, I'm flexible, I can handle the adversity.

These pineapples interrupted my stream of consciousness:

I marvelled at how cute pineapples are. Daydreamed about the pineapple cookie jar and the dessert plates.

I didn't bring the camera out again until I saw these, at 264 West 22nd Street:


Perhaps they should have used sunscreen, I thought. The man looked to be in a strange state of cross-eyed confusion.

As I was snapping away, a slender brunette beauty dressed in black pants and a black tank top and a very flattering hat passed by and asked me about my camera. She smiled at me very broadly and, I daresay, invitingly. I considered asking her to join me for a cup of coffee, but I didn't.

Instead, I was charmed by this fellow and his dog, who were just steps away from where I stood on the sidewalk, watching the girl retreat:

He jokingly asked me to take his and his dog's photo. I quickly found out that the man's name is William, and he's from Germany. His dog, Brillo, is a three-year-old female Pit Bull. We discussed Brillo's sweet disposition and the idiocy of people who train Pit Bulls to be mean. I don't remember much of what else we talked about (I did not ask William about the scrape on his knee), but I do know that I laughed quite a bit and played with Brillo even more. (You can see more photos of Brillo in the "Dogabout" album, here.)

I made my way toward home, debated whether to pick up some Soy Delicious at Whole Foods, decided against it, and entered my apartment. About an hour and a quarter later, I was glad I hadn't bought anything perishable, because the power went off.

So I took a nap.

And thus concluded my date with Jodi! I promised myself I would call myself, but so far I haven't heard a word. That's probably because I refused to kiss myself goodbye. (I probably would have had better luck with the pretty girl in the hat!)

Oh well. It's my loss, I guess.

fresh-baked at 04:04 PM
Saturday, 16 August 2003
A Date With Jodi!

Sometimes I like to take myself out for a little jaunt about town. I like to make a big deal out of it. I put on my Sunday Best, complete with ruffled pinafore, bloomers, bonnet, and a pocket-size sheep (just to add an insouciant touch to the whole Little Bo Beep ensemble), open up my parasol, and take to the streets.

I don't like itineraries or plans. I don't like having anything set in stone or written on a list. I like to have, at most, a general idea of where I'm going to go and what I'm going to do — but sometimes even that is too specific. So it was somewhat uncustomary for me to have two items on my non-existent agenda this past Thursday afternoon: lunch at Village Natural on Greenwich Avenue, and then a hop, skip, and few jumps (quite adorable when done while wearing bloomers and Mary Janes) down Christopher Street to check out the Hudson River Park excitement.

I eschew public transportation whenever possible, so I forewent the subway in favor of walking. (You know how in magazines there are articles about ways to fit a little bit of exercise into your ordinary life, i.e. take the stairs instead of the escalator/elevator, park your car in a spot far from the mall entrance, churn your own butter ... and you wonder who the people are who actually do these things? Well, I'm that person.)

Village Natural's darkness was a welcome refuge from the too-bright sun. I settled in with my menu and glass of water, and delighted in the options. I chose this:

Special #2:  Baked soy protein patties w/ mushroom & wine sauce served with steamed veggie & soba noodle ($6.50)

My mouth watered prettily when this was set before me:

It was so delicious that even the drone of the coffee-slurping, Arhoolie Records T-shirt-wearing, greased-back-ponytail-trying-to-take-attention-away-from-receding-hairline-sporting schlub a few feet to my left, couldn't detract from the fact that my food was worth the walk and the wait. I did not have dessert, although the apple walnut carrot cake with tofu frosting was calling me like a Siren.

On my way back to Sixth Avenue, and presumably to Christopher Street, I came upon a lovely little garden. New York is full of these little plots of green. This one is called Jefferson Market Garden and is .361 acre:


Yes, I could have easily gone into the park and shot lovelier photos, but someone official-looking (translation: someone in clean clothes) was sitting at a card table just inside the entrance with a sign asking for "donations" and a little cash box. I didn't want to feel obligated, which I wasn't. And I didn't want to feel cheap, which I'm not. I also didn't want to feel poor, which I was that afternoon, with a mere $8.00 and change in my wallet. I shouted, "Hey, the best things in life are FREE, man!" and ran away crying.

These guys cheered me up, though:

Village Showcase Florist Village Showcase Florist

I headed for Hudson River Park. Why I failed to remember that Christopher Street was right there, by Jefferson Market Garden, is beyond me. Look:

The golf flag icon shows the location of Jefferson Garden Market. (The "1" indicates Village Natural.) How could I miss Christopher Street? Easily. You see, my sense of direction is so poor that if I leave any building by a door different from the one by which I entered it, I have to draw a map in my head so I can position myself properly. Or if someone blindfolds me on a street corner and then spins me around several times (an event which happens with startling frequency), I act, when the blindfold is removed, as if I've been deposited in the busiest intersection of a completely unfamiliar city.

While going completely out of my way and entirely too south, I came across some other delights, including this house at 121 Washington Place:


The poet Edwin Arlington Robinson lived here in intervals from 1909 to 1912. I was particularly fond of the pineapple, as you may have guessed.

I also came across these masterpieces:

Dosha Gift, 89 Sixth Avenue Dosha Gift, 89 Sixth Avenue

Feel free to make whatever hilarious connection you want about Elvis and pigs. But please don't miss the fine detail work of Elvis's snarling lip. (P.S. Today is the 26th anniversary of his sexy death!)

I wandered down Sixth Avenue quite a bit more, still innocently thinking I was going in the right direction. Then I tried Seventh. Oh, I was having a grand time! I don't remember precisely when I realized I was way out of the way. (It was before Houston, though. Please. I'm not a total imbecile.)

I took Hudson Avenue for a spin, and headed back north. On the way, I came across these gems, just south of Morton Street:

Although I was very tempted to take the lid off the cookie jar — why people do this, I do not know, but I'm sure I can set up a test complete with a control group (contact me if you're interested in being part of the study) — I did not do it because I only had $8.00, and I knew that wasn't nearly enough to cover the cost of a broken cookie jar. Still, I stood and drooled, and eyed the shopgirl inside who I swore was watching my every move even though she wasn't even looking my way. I dreaded the almost inevitable "May I help you?" that happens when someone stands motionless in front of a display with a deranged, drooling expresion on her face ... so I moved on.

At long last I found Christopher Street. I turned left/west, and was stopped in my tracks by this subway entrance:

I know that it's not supposed to be "cool" to look up in New York, and that doing so sort of brands a person as a gawking tourist, but I think that's a bunch of hogwash. I looked up to the top of the same building and saw this:

And here's a peek into the entrance:


I looked a bit more westward (ho!), and there, at last, lay my destination: Hudson River Park.

You'll just have to wait for that part of our date, though. My mother always told me I should leave 'em wanting more, and you know I always listen to my mother, except when I don't.

fresh-baked at 06:08 PM
Friday, 15 August 2003

Still my sentinel, even when still.

Power resumed here at 9:02 p.m. It's about time.

fresh-baked at 09:20 PM
Wednesday, 13 August 2003
Five Things Mrs. Hoffnagle Would Rather You Not Tell Mr. Hoffnagle, Dear (Thank You)
  1. Roy, the butcher, didn't really tell her her eyes "danced".

  2. The homemade cole slaw he loves so much and for which she won an award at the county fair? Store-bought in neighboring Coulton County.

  3. She did so make tapioca pudding yesterday afternoon, but she ate all of it by herself in a frenzy while watching Oprah give away nice things to an audience made up of people who looked like they weren't really needy. She even licked her bowl and used her fingers.

  4. She put that scorch mark on the cuff of his favorite white shirt on purpose.

  5. The Dawsons are coming for dinner on Friday, so there will be no pizza.

fresh-baked at 01:25 PM
Tuesday, 12 August 2003
Don't bawl!

Don't be sad if you suck at bowling. If you suck at it, it means you haven't done it enough to get good at it. And that's a good thing. Because let's face it, bowling is fun in a campy, kitschy way for about one or two games, and then after that, you're left wondering why you even went in the first place when you could've been out doing something really athletic, like playing miniature golf.

Hasn't she written about bowling before, somewhat marginally?

Yes. Yes, she has.

fresh-baked at 01:12 PM
Monday, 11 August 2003
Reaching Nirvana

I'm on the M1 heading downtown. I've had my teeth polished. I've seen the DOG. I've done a bit of walking, and a bit of talking to my crazy friend "L" on my new cell phone. I've dodged crane-necked tourists in plaid shorts and visors. I've just made a couple of delightful purchases at Banana Republic. I'm thinking about the pint of Soy Delicious® Cherry Nirvana I bought this morning and how I'm actually kind of glad Whole Foods was out of Praline Pecan, because I was "forced" to try a new flavor. I'm grooving in a very Zen-like state. Or as close as someone with my temperament, on a bus in New York City, can get to grooving.

Then I hear it. From the back of the bus. A baby. Just a few sobs. My shoulders inch toward my ears, and then ease when the sobbing stops. Then I hear it again. This time more insistent. Outright wails now. Not the kind that sound like the baby is choking on a porkchop, but close. And not just the baby this time. This time the person in charge of the baby (parent? guardian? kidnapper?) gets into the act. With lots of "lalalalalala"ing and chanting and singing and "ahhh ahhhh ahhhhhhh"ing.

The bus stops at almost every light. The baby stops crying. But the adult doesn't stop the singsong chant nonsense that has been making me murderous for almost the entire bus ride down Park Avenue.

I turn to my left slightly to see who the miscreants are. It's a man and a woman. The baby is on the woman's lap. Both the adults and baby are completely oblivious to everyone else on the bus. The bus is, in effect, their own private living room. I'm surprised they're not all in their "jammies" eating Cheerios and playing with their toes.

I can't stand it anymore. The next stop is not mine, but I push the strip by the window to signal the bus to stop anyway. I stand and walk toward the exit near the back of the bus. Just before the bus stops, I reach for the spare porkchop in my purse. I turn to the three gurgling babies, smile at the woman, and as the bus pulls over to the curb, I ram the porkchop down her throat.

"Sorry, but I don't have any applesauce!" I yell as I push the back doors open and jump down onto the sidewalk.

I think about how even more delicious Cherry Nirvana is going to taste now.

fresh-baked at 04:06 PM
Sunday, 10 August 2003
Taps for Gregory Hines

Gregory Hines, actor and tapdancer, has died of cancer.

He was 57.

I've gotta say, I'm shocked. I had no idea he was even sick.

Read more here.

In other news: Talk about a dick.

fresh-baked at 02:59 PM
Saturday, 9 August 2003
Saturday Evening Post

Sorry, but with all the excitement going on around here — memories of lunch at Better Burger and my inability to stop romancing my new cell phone — you're not gettin' nothin' outta me today.

But Jodi ... that's a double negative! Doesn't that mean I am getting something out of you today?

Shut up.

And isn't this post something, even if it's not an attack against someone grunting at the gym or the Poorly Dressed?

Shut up.

So will you give me your cell phone number?

Shut up.

Will you at least show me part of your lunch?


fresh-baked at 07:08 PM
Friday, 8 August 2003

Brother, can you spare a rind?

Bagels can't be juicers!

fresh-baked at 07:18 PM
Thursday, 7 August 2003

I'm an adventurous girl. Always on the lookout for the new and exciting. Always willing to try new things, taste new tastes, grab the bull by the horns and, with a big hearty "Yeehah!" plunge myself into uncharted waters. Undaunted in the face of new experiences, I am. Willing to take on a new challenge, I am.

So just last week, I took a bull by the horns and took myself for a ride. The bull in question was quite literal: the sugar-free variety of the popular "energy" drink, Red Bull. I'd had the original, regular Red Bull a while ago, hoping to reap some of the decaffeinated benefits that had been so broadly celebrated by caffiends far and wide, but, like most things that have been given a hearty two thumbs up by the general populace, I found it seriously lacking.

The sugar-free variety, like its sugar-full counterpart, was impotent. I expected that something that tasted like a blend of an off-brand of tropical fruit punch into which someone's witless mother mixed half a can of Tab® and a handful of Sweet 'n Low would at least have some redeeming value, but I was wrong. (Rarely am I, as you know, but in this instance I'm not ashamed to be wrong, and thus my free admission.) I choked down this hideous concoction, and then waited in earnest for it to work.

I am, by nature, intensely impatient, so it was with a great deal of fidgeting that I waited for a half hour. Then an hour. Two hours passed, and I was still just standing around whistling, my palms upturned, shoulders shrugged, still anticipating some sort of zippiness flowing through my veins or a warm tingly sensation as my synapses fired off left and right, to and fro, hither and yon, zip zap ZOW!, ricocheting off one another like pinballs against Tommy's supercharged flippers. Or dazzling fireworks colliding against one another in some sort of apocalyptic Independence Day free-for-all explosion a-go-go-a-rama.

"This is bullshit," I said, and made myself a big glass of iced coffee.

Maybe I've been desensitized to the effects of this sort of low-grade stimulation. Maybe the super-strong coffee that we enjoy so much in this apartment has ruined me for all other sorts of stimulus. Maybe this is like the stuff I've read in columns devoted to sexual dysfunction, where the advice-giver tells frustrated, climax-challenged chicks not to expect the same sort of stimulation from their partners as they enjoy from their battery-operated apparatus.

Or maybe, just maybe, Red Bull is just bullshit!

fresh-baked at 01:01 PM
Wednesday, 6 August 2003

Badass with a flat ass! (43rd or 44th and Lexington)

Ladies and gentlemen, I gently direct your attention not only to the portion of this maverick's physique that has been showcased by the tightest jeans ever to disgrace a man's bum (note the magnification for your ease of viewing), but also to the black leather puttees that make it appear as if this streetwise fashion warrior has painted his stylish dungarees with tar. (Never mind the outre rolled bandana headband.)

One has to pause and wonder just what sort of unspeakable crime this badass committed to warrant the large scarlet letter emblazoned across his limp backpack. (I suppose I should/could give him credit for not wearing a fannypack, but I am not that generous.) Could it have been a ... crime of fashion?

fresh-baked at 07:09 PM
Tuesday, 5 August 2003
Summer Accessories

Twenty-nine summers ago, when our road was paved, my sister and I lightly touched the soles of our not yet summer-tough bare feet to the newly sticky surface like dieters delicately dipping strawberries into chocolate fondue. Unfortunately, however, we couldn't quite manage to create the tar "shoes" we envisioned because the stuff wasn't deep enough, and were also wise enough to know that we'd be the ones scrubbing our feet in vain later that night.

So because we had to seek other, less seemingly permanent, more easily reversible ways to amuse ourselves, we turned to liquid cement, or whatever that thick mucilagesque stuff was that came in a dark amber glass bottle with a brush attached to the inside of its lid. With this, we would coat our hands, thus creating gloves (as opposed to tar shoes) which, once dry, we could peel off like sunburnt skin. We took great delight in seeing our fingerprints and hand creases imprinted on the dried cement.

Fortunately, our propriety didn't extend as far as headgear, so we spared ourselves the task of concocting suitable gooey ersatz sun hats to complete our accessory assemblage.

All of this, without the benefit of having sniffed the mucilage/glue beforehand. Amazing, what you can and will accomplish when you're having the time of your nine- and ten-year-old lives.

fresh-baked at 03:45 PM
Monday, 4 August 2003

Hint:  It's in New York City!

We regret to inform you that the person who maintains this site has been kidnapped. But do not worry. She is safe, and has been made quite comfortable in the building pictured above (see arrow for specifics).

If you know where this building is, then please feel free to free her. If you don't, then find someone who does. Otherwise, she will not be able to update this site, and you will have nothing good with which to divert yourself from your dim workaday existence other than zippy little online quizzes that allow you to discover which "Buffy" character you are, which household cleaner you most resemble, or which flavor of ice cream you are.

So really, it's up to you.

fresh-baked at 10:44 PM
Sunday, 3 August 2003
Flower Cheer

Pretty in pink! (Madison Square Park)

I'll bet you didn't think I have a green thumb, right? I'll bet you think that just because I'm no good at vacuuming or mopping or countless other -ings having to do with indoor chores/bores, I'm also no good at outdoor domesticity. You probably think I can't barbecue or mow a lawn ... or garden!

Well, you're right. I suppose. I've never really tried any of those things. Even though I grew up in the suburbs, I never learned. I somehow managed to get out of most things involving being outdoors, outside of baking myself to a luscious brown while reclining on a lounge chair for that express purpose. My mother likes to tell how I would be inside, baking cookies or brownies for everyone else who was outside laboring.

So, anyway ... the flower. I didn't really grow it myself. But I did snap this pretty picture of a flower saying hello, and waving a little flower pompom in its outstretched arm (positioned at 11:00)!

P.S. The key to getting out of doing things you don't want to do is to pretend you don't know how to do them. Or, genuinely suck at them, and be told to just go away because your "help" is none!

fresh-baked at 07:18 PM
Saturday, 2 August 2003

If something is an "acquired taste", I don't want to taste it more than the one time it took for me say it was so revolting that someone else was compelled to insist that the taste could be acquired.

My repertoire does not require acquired tastes. There's enough food 'n' drink in this world that does a marvelous job of exciting and delighting my palate on the first try that I don't need to involve myself with vile victuals that one day — if I try really hard and often enough and maybe even reprogram my synapses or rearrange my tastebuds — I will eventually come to realize that hey, aren't so gut-wrenchingly, eye-crossingly, spleen-splatteringly revolting after all. (That goes especially for you, you frothy blend of urea and stomach acid they call "beer".)

fresh-baked at 06:56 PM
Friday, 1 August 2003
One Word

I'm not big on promoting other sites, but it behooves me (I hate that expression, but I figure if I'm breaking one "rule", I may as well go all out and just break 'em all) (join me later as I rob banks, key some cars, do unto others as I would not have them do unto me, murder random "folks", and use the word "folks" without cringing!) to lead you into the temptation that is oneword.

I don't do it every day (I'm not that kind of boy), but I did it today. The word is "exposed". Here is what I wrote (it's a little saucy, so you may want to hide the little ones' eyes or not read it aloud!):

He pulled down his pants and exposed what nestled between his thighs. She'd never seen anything quite like it. It was HUGE. My god. The hugest map of the United States, complete with Alaska and Hawaii, tucked between his legs where ordinarily she expected to see just a sad little representation of the State of Florida.

For further amusement, check out the other submissions for "exposed" as well. Amazing, how seriously people take this junk.

Oh, and one more thing: You're not supposed to know the word beforehand, so don't go running over there with all these ideas in your head about the brilliance you're going to plunk down today. That'd be cheating. And that is one rule you just shouldn't break!

(Did you know that in prison, it's not the rapists and child abusers who are treated the worst by the other prisoners? Well, it's not. It's cheaters! And P.S. Cheaters never win anyway.)

fresh-baked at 06:32 PM
Hope for Faith!


Yesterday's New York Post, page 25

For more on Laura Stringfellow and Faith, go here!

fresh-baked at 05:12 PM
Mom Knows Best!

It's pouring here now. Thunder. Lightning. Cats and dogs, too, of course. (Taxi just flew by the skylight, with Shana hanging off one of his back legs. It was actually kinda cute.)

The kind of stuff that would have my mother saying into the phone, "I'm getting off the phone! We shouldn't be on the phone!" So I'm not on the phone.

She would also tell me not to take a shower or be on the computer. So I'm not going to do either. Which means I'm outta here.

It's very important to listen to my mother. (But not to be on the phone with her when there's a storm.) Even if you don't listen to your own, at least listen to mine.

I'm going to spin my own yarn by candlelight now, and then weave it on my loom into a nice blanket with which I will dry off the dog and cat.

Woof. Meow. Bye.

P.S. Get off the computer, if it's storming where you are. Don't worry my mom. Thanks.

fresh-baked at 04:28 PM