You may know that today is Leap Day. And although the word "leap" brings to mind visions of yellow puppies joyously frolicking across verdant fields of clover or frogs lying in wait on lilypads in crystal-clear ponds, all is not necessarily nice. Some people, I have been pained to witness, can be ostracized on this day. But it is not their fault they are pariahs. It is the fault of the stars. And by stars I do not mean Hollywood luminaries, such as those you will see tonight when you watch the Academy Awards. Although of course I am willing to blame ostracization on a movie star, especially if that movie star is poorly dressed or arrives on the arm of Tom Cruise. Or is Tom Cruise.
So, anyway, today is Leap Day. This year is a Leap Year. This means that today you are free to do or say anything without fear of reproach, because February 29 will not exist next year. Thus, your best friend will not be able to turn to you while flying a kite in the meadow this time next year and breezily wonder aloud, "Hey, Clarissa, what were we doing one year ago today?" You may think this is sad, but it is not. You see, this gives you license to eat something not good for you or treat people poorly.
I did both today. I ate french fries.* And about an hour later yelled at a chunky blonde at the Macy*s ATM (sadly, I do not have a photo). In all fairness, both were deserved: I worked out this morning for two hours. And the chunky blonde stood in front of the ATM for two hours doing all the banking she hadn't done since Leap Year 2000.
I would love nothing more than to expand upon this notion for the next few hours, but with only four hours and 41 minutes to go before the end of this Leap Day, I have a lot to accomplish. As do you. So what are you waiting for? Go! Do something beyond reproach! And don't bother looking before you leap!
* Look! (accompanied by seitan cheesesteak, and what appears to be a disproportionately large slice of pickle, at Life Cafe)
Sorry if I neglected you today, but I was out eating this:
Spicy Gluten, Herbed Homefries, and Zesty Gluten
All from Tiengarden, 107 Allen Street
and seeing this.
So all I have left over for you, at the end of the day, is this:
Don't worry. Tomorrow, just for you, I will only leave the house to go to the gym. And then I'll be back on track with stories of how wretched everyone is!
I am happy to have found Little Saigon, which serves this:
My happiness shares a table with sadness, however, because one of my favorite websites, Giant Genius, maintained by one of my favorite people in all the land, is going away. However, that sadness is tempered with glee, because that friend has started a new venture entitled How To Do Things, which I hope will be a huge success.
You should visit all of these places. I would suggest Giant Genius first, as it is not long for this world. Then drown your sorrows at Little Saigon. But hey, I am not here to tell you what to do. Or how to do it. That is the purview of How To Do Things.
All right, French Connection. It's time to abandon the "FCUK" campaign or branding or whatever the fcuk (LOL!) you call it. It was approximately 4% funny for about 61 seconds back in 199whenever. Come up with something new, motherfcukers. (Oh, LOL! Never mind! It really is hilarious!)
Because I do not have enough do-re-mi stashed in my cleavage to see "Lost In Translation" this afternoon, I am going to the Macy*s sale instead. So instead of cutting a hole in the bottom of my popcorn cup, pulling my dick through that hole, and challenging myself to "butter" my snack, I will be emulating Wilma Flintstone and her pretty sidekick Betty Rubble as I grasp my charge-a-plate, extend my arm skyward, and giggle-yell, "Chaaaaarge it!"
So if you've been meaning to meet me in person ... if you've been aching to see me in glorious full color ... if you've been dying to buy me a pretty present and have me be present (and, of course, pretty) while you do so ... today's the day to do it. Just come to Macy*s Herald Square and look for me. It should be easy, because the store has only eight floors and only takes up an entire city block.
See you there!
This morning at the gym when you pedalled on the recumbent bike while watching VH1 and you sucked that water bottle, little lady, the guy behind you on the elliptical trainer, you know the guy, the one whose shorts ride up between his too pink thighs that remind you of uncooked pork, yes, that guy, well, he did more cardio today than he has all month, and he pumped those pink pudgy pigsticks faster and harder than he ever did, surprising himself, really, and sweating like he actually did something. When you touched your peachy glossed satiny smooth beestung pouty pretty lips to the sport cap on your Poland Spring 16-ouncer, he didn't know whether to keep his eyes open so he could see your mouth taking it in or to close them so he could substitute that sport cap for the sporty cap flopping pinkly and porkly against his thighs underneath the shorts that ride up between them.
He wants to thank you, this porcine Precor pumper, for giving him something to get him through the morning and the afternoon and the night. And the long long commute home to his pucker-lipped, sallow wife and the Wednesday night casserole that is as dried-up and desirable as she is. He wants to thank you, but he fears you will think he is a hairy, dripping mass of leaden lard and will switch to the recumbent bikes on the other floor, where there are no elliptical trainers. So he says nothing.
And sees you tomorrow!
You can hide your TV inside an étagère or armoire. Shove it behind heavy drapery, a huge cactus, or a grand floral arrangement. Stash it in a black lacquer entertainment center. Allow it to seek refuge inside a hand-painted tromp l'oeil dollhouse. Disguise it as an old-fashioned safe. Secrete it behind a custom-made bookcase stocked with textured-leather-bound books you pretend to have read or pretend to intend to read. Cover it, impasto-style, with a mountain of mashed potatoes and a pile of peas and call it shepherd's pie. But everyone still knows you have one. We know it's there. And we know you watch it every night. For hours. And you love it. So who do you think you're kidding?
Yes yes, very nice. Fine. Except I just hate when things are mislabelled!
This weekend I indulged two of the greatest loves of my life. These:
Creole Soul "Chicken" and French Fries, both from Red Bamboo
Dogs, I adore every day. Dogs I pass are greeted with a minimum of "Hello, puppies!" Fried food, I enjoy only once a month, if that. Most fries I pass. But some, like those pictured above, in which I indulged this afternoon, are greeted with "Hola, papas!"
Puppies and papas. Oh, woof. Life is very very good.
Note: These dog photos, like all others featured on this site, have a permanent home in the Dogabout gallery.
Today, just like last Sunday, and Saturday the week before, I had breakfast at Life Cafe. I am trying with all my might (and believe me, that's a lot of might) to become a "regular" so I can feel loved and accepted and part of the in-crowd. If the waitstaff at Life Cafe is what you consider the in-crowd, that is. And I do. I just know all of them are colorful and brilliant artistes. Painters, writers, musicians, poets, sculptors, designers, actors all.
I've gone to Life Cafe three times now, during the weekend, and each time have sat at the same table at approximately the same time.* I have been served by the same fellow each time. I have even seen one of his T-shirts twice. This makes me feel I am on the road to becoming a true regular.
Today I placed my usual (!) order with a bit of world-weary, slightly bemused wryness. "Eggless rancheros" (pictured here!), I said with a slight, self-deprecating chortle. The subtext, of course, was "Today I still have to place my order with you, young man, but trust me, soon when I am seated at this table, you need not even ask for my order. And eventually, you will automatically bring hot sauce!" I even slumped a bit in my chair, as seems de rigeuer in the restaurant, instead of maintaining ramrod perfect posture (thanks, Pilates!), just so he would not deem me uptight or uptown. It is very important that the server approve of and adore me, so he does not, for some zany reason, slip eggs into my rancheros!
It is my hope that someday soon I will not only not have to place my order at all, but it will be waiting for me, hot, at my table, the moment I enter the premises. And the waiter will just stop by the table to chat the easygoing chat and wink the special wink reserved for the regulars. And I will know I have, at long last, succeeded in Life.
* No, I will not tell you what time I go. I do not want you showing up. I do not want you to think you can approach me there, clutching your portfolio and résumé, and expect me to put down my fork to interview you on the spot. Send it to me via email like everyone else.
I'm very moved by the expressions of love and concern you display when I do not write here for a day or two. I'm touched that you worry. I love how you send "snail mail" to "Jodi, c/o jodiverse.com, NYC, USA" with little stickers all over the envelopes and sometimes even lipstick prints of your pouty mouths, with handwritten notes inside asking me if I still love you and if I don't write for a day or two, does that mean it's over between us. It's really sweet.
Or at least I did love it. Until I realized that you don't give a whit (rhymes with!) about me. Nope. Your concern is solely for yourselves, you selfish masters of charade. You feign concern for me because you don't have anything else to read or do and you come here looking for succor.
I suppose that means I am a sucker.
And I am sure that means you suc!
The next time you want to amuse yourself in a public restroom and you don't want to go with the standard modes of amusement, I suggest you do the following: Imagine there are no dividers between the individual restroom stalls and giggle to yourself about how cute you and the rest of the resters look all lined up in such an orderly fashion, pants around your ankles or skirts hiked up around your waists (shitty maids all in a row!). And in such close proximity to each other!
The more efficient-minded among you should grab the opportunity to have a spontaneous book club meeting right then and there! Because everyone knows that anyone who belongs to a book club is already full of shit!
Isn't it neat the way everything works out in the end?
Listen. I can't be expected to do everything around here, you know? I am only one woman. Or two-thirds of one, given my petiteness. I am only one woman with two hands. (No tengo mil manos!) One woman with one head. One woman with a measly 24 hours in her day. And given that a New York minute is faster than any other, that means my hours fly by faster than most of yours. Unless, of course, you also have the great fortune of living in New York, and thus you know what I mean. Tempis fugit or something. Or fuck it. Or something.
So I am one petite woman with a few paltry hours. And in those hours, I go to the gym, I pilate, I visit the Upper West Side so much that I am now both an honorary Shark and a "little sister" Jet, I cavort around the East Village, I shop, and I lunch. Plus a whole mishmash and hodgepodge of other girly goodness! And sometimes the heel of my shoe breaks off and I hold it up in one hand and coyly cover my mouth with the other as I smile for the video camera that follows me around just in case I do something worthy of a Mentos commercial.
What does this all mean, though? It means I don't have time for you. How can I, really? Do you really expect me to want to sit here and entertain you and get you through your wretched day, stuck in your shabby office in a gray cubicle or trapped in the dingy hospital in traction or however or wherever it is you spend your days while I'm out and about giggling and pilating and doing what I would call "my thang" if I were so inclined to use slang that is probably now outdated?
Well, I'm sorry if that's what you expect. And really, that's very selfish of you. And because you need to learn a lesson about patience and selflessness, I'm going to deprive you of snippets of my life for several days and go about doing whatever it is that I do that keeps me away from you.
Listen, gym dandies. If you have the balls to squeeze into horrifying, shiny bicycle shorts, kindly have the decency to wear a shirt that covers them. No one needs to see what is inside the package before they unwrap it.
I don't ask for much. (Well, actually, that's bullshit. I do.) I don't like to complain. (Again, a lie.) I only tell you this because I love you. (Triple-decker, sky-high lie on pumpernickel toast, complete with Russian dressing, sauerkraut, and a side of homemade cole slaw.)
The ball(s) is (are) in your court (shorts).
While doing some pressing online research on the "Midge" doll (she's like Rhoda to Barbie's Mary), I came across a page listing a vintage Midge for sale. This particular doll, the listing notes, has been "well played with". But apparently, from the description, perhaps all was not play ... and all was not well:
She does have a nick on her lower chin and her breast points are somewhat indented. She is also missing a pinky finger on one of her hands. Still in very nice condition and her clothing hides imperfections.
A nick on the chin? That's fine. I will not question its cause. (She was probably asking for it.) A missing pinky finger? Perhaps an overzealous play session. Or, a curious child, having just learned of the starfish's ability to regenerate, decided to see if a doll shared that ability. I am willing to forgive this experiment, given that my sister once hacked her Bert puppet's tuft of hair and was later dismayed to learn that it, unlike hers (on which she and I had performed a similar experiment several years before), would not grow back. But the stuff about the "breast points"? That just sets off all sorts of alarms.
As disturbed as I am over the mere words "breast points", which I suppose is doll-person jargon for a naughty word rhyming with "xipples", I must say that I'm much more disturbed that those "points" have been tampered with. (Look!) This makes me think of horrible little boys who, we later learn, after they grow into horrifying little men convicted of unspeakable crimes, used to torture small animals in their back yards.
But I suppose that all really is well. I mean, after all, just like in real life, Midge's clothes, like those of living dolls, hide
evidence of her abuse! imperfections anyway!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to put out a cigarette on my Betsy Wetsy!
Note: This photo, like all others of the clock tower, has a permanent home in Clock Watch.
Your tears, lonely girl, are heart-shaped. Picture perfect and smooth-edged, just like the ones you doodled all over the brown paper bag bookcover that protects your World Cultures textbook. The same doodled hearts that are now streaks of pink and red and purple, the color of the markers you bought just for that purpose. Streaks because you've had your face down on this book all afternoon. Your crying, sobbing face, wet with eye, nose, and mouth juice. You don't yet know there are reverse pink, red, and purple hearts on your cheek, pressed there like lick-on/stick-on tattoos. You can't face yourself in the mirror now. Not now. Not now when you know you're ugly because you're crying (why can't you cry pretty like the girls on TV?) and ugly anyway, so ugly, which is why you're alone today and not with him.
Cry heart-shaped tears, young lady, even though there's no chance he'll see and feel bad for being the reason you're crying. And even if there were a chance (and there's not!), he wouldn't notice anyway, because he never got close enough to your face or your eyes to be able to make out the shape (or to make out at all) anyway. He wouldn't notice your tears are special tears, just for him. He does not even know you exist.
And why should he? He's famous and has his own sitcom. And his pretty co-star? Well, she cries pretty.
Better luck next year. Chin (heart-shaped!) up!
Friday the 13th. Spooky, isn't it. Whatever. I'm not buying it. Not even if it's half-price and I can get an additional 15% off if I use my Bloomingdale's charge card. (Don't you just love women/shopping humor? I know I do.)
Some buildings refuse to acknowledge the number 13, so if you look on the panel inside the elevator door, you'll see that 13 is missing. The floors go from 12 to 14, completely bypassing 13. Which means that 14 is really 13.
So if you're thinking that you can avoid all the fuss and muss, hullaballo and hoohah, danger, peril, malice, and possible death by pretending that today isn't the 13th but merely some non-numbered, free-floating day hanging willy-nilly by its fingernails onto the calendar page, well, think again. That would mean that tomorrow, the 14th, would, like the 14th floor of those zany un-13'd buildings, really be the 13th. Which would mean that your Valentine's Day will be guaranteed to be just awful, in ways you can't even and don't even want to imagine.
So make sure you don't deny today its rightful place. Embrace it. Or else you'll have no one to embrace tomorrow. And that, of course, is very very sad.
Have a lucky weekend!
Yes, it's true that there's plenty of Indian food to be had in Manhattan. That I've established.* But I'm an adventurous girl. A Wandering Jew. So what better way to indulge my sense of adventure than to wander to lands afar in search of a luscious lunch.
Actually, if I must be truthful (and oh, I must), I did not wander. Kyria, my steady Indian food partner (no, LOLsters, not my partner in crime), and I planned (or pre-planned for the redundant and superfluous among you) our jaunt earlier this week. So where did it, and the F train, take us? To Jackson Diner, in Queens, for this:
Yes, a bounty from the buffet! This is the first of two dishes I filled. What I dig about this place is that a large sign by the buffet directs people to USE A NEW PLATE EACH TIME. I am always baffled by people who do not follow this rule or who do not even know it exists. I would think that ordinary intelligence would make that decision for them, but I know that is being presumptuous.
I also dug that the food including two varieties of paneer! was quite tasty. And only $6.95 (between 11:00 and 4:00) for all you can shove into your paneer-hole! (But make sure to heed the sign that admonishes DO NOT WASTE FOOD.) One day I plan to hang out for the full five hours. After all, the sign doesn't say I can't.
*What's that? I would provide links if I loved you, you say? I prefer to show my love by having you do the research yourself. Just like your dad used to tell you to look up words like "angina" in the dictionary if you wanted to know how to spell them. And also because he wasn't sure if "angina" was a word you should be saying aloud, or even at all.
Yes, children, yes. Yes, I am aware that Monday's offering, Big Babies, is quite disturbing. Yes. I am also aware that it is the kind of disturbing that rivets those disturbed. Those oversized, overstuffed tykes are not unlike a puffy, sore, just-about-to-ooze-blood hangnail that you grip between your teeth and then peel down until your entire finger is flayed or fileted. Only not quite as tasty or cuddly.
Because I have not yet had lunch and thus cannot display photos of pretty food for you to look at instead (because, really, what else is there to photograph other than big babies and pretty food), I will show you another big baby that I encountered the same Monday, just outside Cafe Bari, several blocks south of the "Big Babies" display. This is the kind of baby I prefer over the perky, kewpie variety. Beggar is better than bigger, wouldn't you agree?
There you go, crybabies. Better now?
Later: Lunch photos!
Everyone knows babies keep you up at night. Check out these monstrous, oversized tykes guaranteed to make you want to stay up so you don't fall asleep and dream about them:
And hey, if you're feeling full of more than your usual self-hatred, you'll want to check out the close-ups of the heads. Punishment is guaranteed, masochists: you'll either force yourself into eternal insomnia so you don't have to face these shiny, wide-eyed, unblinking babies in your dreams ... or you'll force yourself to fall sleep, so they can crawl/hobble/stagger after you on their non-feet and -hands in your nightmares.
Good night! Sweet dreams! (Sleep like a baby.)
"Big Babies", Chan David and Joan B. Wheeler Broadway Windows, Broadway and East 10th Street
In case anyone asks: No. I did not watch the Grammys. But, LOL, wouldn't it be HILARIOUS if the Janet Jackson tit episode reoccurred so everyone could call the show the MAMMIES??? I'd be the first one ROTFL and possibly PMP too!!! LOLOLOLOL!
I hate when people say that certain foods are "addictive".
Jeanette: Oh my god, someone stop me! I just can't stop eating these things!
Mandy: What things?
Jeanette: Bugles! They're so addictive!
Mandy: I know what you mean, grrrrl. I'm the same way with chocolate!
Jeanette: Sooo many of my girlfriends are chocoholics too!
Mandy: I'm even more of a lost cause, though. I mean, hello, can you say Hershey whore? Those little kisses? And, oh, the hugs? So addictive!
Jodi: Die, please.
I had some pretty good food this weekend. Seriously good. Nothing that will have me sprawled face down in a pool of my own sputum and sweat if, by chance, the dishes are removed from their respective restaurants' menus, and nothing that I will say causes me to suffer from "withdrawal" if I don't have it for a while. No. The following few items are quite tasty, though, and worth risking a public plate-licking:
Life Cafe, Eggless Rancheros
7 February 2004
"That's disgusting," you say. "I can't believe she photographed her regurgitated brunch. But at least she made an attempt to artfully arrange it on the plate, so maybe she's not all that bad." Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but this is the way the dish was presented. Although I assure you it was so much cuter in person, its sass and spice would have more than made up for any actual aesthetic shortcomings.
Lunch today, at one of my long-time favorite restaurants, Zen Palate, was just as photo-friendly as it was tastebud-friendly:
I could live without these dishes. I would prefer not to, but that doesn't mean they're "addictive".
Which reminds me: If you're anywhere near Manhattan between now and March 14, you must see Mark Lundholm in his one-man show, Addicted. It is well worth the $40 you scrounge together daily for your Dove bar "fix".
This morning I awoke to the sporadic, grating tone of something that sounded like the "wrong answer" buzzer on a game show. The one that lets you know you just lost the $25,000 jackpot and houseful of prizes you'd accumulated before your greed overtook your sense of reason (and rhyme), but instead of winding up with more more more, you have nothing and may as well just thumb it back to Shmoetown, U.S.A. with a shredded bandana tied to the end of a stick because face it, you're a pauper now and no one loves you.
It was not a game show buzzer, though. As much as I wanted it to be one, so I could realize my lifelong fantasy of having a game show host in close proxmity to me as I lay in bed fantasizing about jackpots and fame (and the love that goes along with it!), it was not. I came to that conclusion because I did not hear cheering or booing. And I did not smell the sweet-smelling aroma of success or recoil from the fetid stench of failure. It had to be something else. And I, the ever curious Nancy Jew, just had to know. It was time for some sleuthing!
On my way out to the gym this morning, I noticed the apartment's door was ajar (of pickles!), so I was compelled to push it open and take a little peek around. That's why doors are left ajar, after all. No one leaves a door that way if the goings-on behind it are really top secret. A door ajar is like a locked diary wrapped in an old pair of flannel pajama bottoms and stuffed between your hot 16-year-old sister's mattress and bedspring: just begging to be noticed.
So what did I see?
You'll just have to wait. It's a real page-turner!
Something went a little bonkers with stuff behind the scenes here, so I've been unable to update the universe with all the exciting news going on in, on, and around the Jodiverse. But thanks to the amazing and fantastic Sarah, things are getting back to normal ... or at least what passes for normal. It is all very subjective, normalcy, so interpret as you see fit.
Although Sarah has been able to get this site back up and running and has fixed bitches of glitches to which you, dear friends and dread foes, weren't even privy, she is, unfortunately, unable to help my cable provider restore internet and email connectivity. This has nothing to do with her lack of willingness but the fact that she lives in New Zealand.
So how am I posting this entry, you wonder? Via telepathy. Yes, I have that ability. And here you thought all that skill was good for was bending spoons and setting high school gyms on fire.
No no no. I do not mean the movie. And I do not care how many times you've seen it. I do not care that you think it's side-splittingly funny and that you just love love love Bill Murray, oh my god, everything he does is just the best, and have you seen Lost in Translation? No, by "Groundhog Day", I don't mean the movie. Yes, I have seen it. But this is not about that.
This is about the whole event. This groundhog thing. I can't stand it. Never have been able to stand it. Never will be able to stand it. Now, I know about that "Never say never" stuff, but still. Groundhog Day is something I can say without a shred of doubt that I will never like or think is cute.
The groundhog himself? Well, yes. He's cute. Actually, he's downright adorable. And you know what? He wants to be left alone. He doesn't want you depending on him to not see his shadow so you can pretend that means the weather is all of a sudden going to get warm and you can wear shorts in February. He doesn't want you booing him in person in that hilariously named town in Pennsylvania when he sees his shadow. Or when you see his shadow. Because, really, who knows what he sees? You'll never know. So if you depend on "Punxsutawney Phil" to tell you if we're in for six more weeks of winter, you'll be waiting a lot longer than six weeks. He, himself, will never tell.
And although he will never forecast the length of the season, I am willing to bet that he wants nothing to do with all of this hullaballoo surrounding his predication. All he wants to do is sleep. Or burrow. Or hibernate. Or whatever it is groundhogs do 364 mornings of the year. So if you want to know if you're in for six more weeks of winter, get a calendar. And please: wear pants until April. End of story.
P.S. It's only a matter of time before Phil, disgruntled and not wanting to be dragged from the comfort of his hole, bites some chapped-lipped Pennsylvania zealot on this oh so special day. And when that day comes, poor Phil will probably be "put down". So just put him down now and leave him down on and in the ground where he belongs.
Listen. It's not that I don't hate anymore. I do. Trust me I do. If you have spent time with me in real life and a recent planet-wide poll reveals that only one of you has, and even then only as an imaginary friend you have witnessed the merciless mélange of misanthropy (the spew stew, in street parlance) in bold 3-D. Believe me, quite a bit of the effect is lost when you only read about it, here on the two-dimensional page.
So, anyway, I know I haven't been sharing my hate with you lately. At least not on a grand scale. Sure, I've been giving you little tastes. Sips. But I haven't held out the spoon for you to lick. Or handed you the electric beaters so you can place your tongue between them a millisecond before I accidentally turn them on. And I apologize.
I promised (New Year's resolution, everyone!) a very good non-imaginary friend that this year I would hate more fully and freely than I ever had. And I've been making good on that promise. Believe me. I'm just containing the hatred behind the scenes, is all.
So don't worry about me. Don't think I don't hate you just because I haven't expressed myself otherwise. I assure you that's not the case.
Thanks for your concern, though. For that, I love you.