Sunday, September 30, 2007


Friend is waiting for the subway and some guy tells her she looks good, or something. So she says "Thanks!" and puts on her earphones. Then, the guy starts following her - onto the train, down the length of the car, trying to talk to her, keeping close by. So the next time she sees a cop on the platform, she asks him what she should do if a guy on the subway is harassing her. He says, "I don't know, he probably just wanted to talk to you. I mean, you're pretty good lookin'." So she asks again, and he says, "Well, you could move to the conductor's car, maybe. Or look for a cop. You also gotta carry pepper spray. Every woman in New York should have pepper spray. What's your number - I'll buy you some."

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Please explain

It was awhile ago when I first noticed that the tracks of the A/C at West 4th are littered with batteries - fistfulls (fistsfull?) of AA Duracells, some shiny and recent, some filthy old. But then I got on the C at Canal today, and same effing thing!

I know you can't tell from this crappy photo, but I would never lie about the subway.

Friday, September 28, 2007

This post is boring

I'm bad at spreadsheets but good at research, and I have one of those jobs where you have to pretend to know Excel, so my solution was to steal the perfect template from the MS website. But the real internet victory this week was learning what combination of browser and plug-ins allows me to watch Y&R online.

Speaking of which, the Brad-Carlton-is-jewish plot is so effing dumb. And I hate the new Colleen. HI-larious about Nick's amnesia, though.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I hear that, Ms. [deled]

from the work files...

NSU Officers/Local 128 Grievance Form
Location: [deled]
Officer Name(s): [deled]
Nature of Grievance: Suspension of Ms. [deled] violates article XXIII of the collective bargaining agreement.
Contract Violation: Including Act. XXI and Act. XXIII
Remedy Requested: Ms. [deled] be made whole.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bug drama

There was a bug in the bathroom, and it was small, but it was moving in the nastiest, most unnatural way. I grabbed a wad of toilet paper and smashed it before I had a chance to think about it. Problem was, the fucker didn't die - instead just unnaturally sidled under my shelves. So I screamed. Then I thought, "Oh shit, I hope my neighbour doesn't respond to that," since my neighbour's apartment is 3 feet from my bathroom. And then I thought, "Oh, wait..."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sigh, Canada

You know what's nice is episodes of Corner Gas online and CKUA over the internet. With the two hour time difference, I actually make it to work in time to hear the morning news. Holy crap Alberta news is boring. I mean, New York news is no less provincial, except that it's shootings and things. Very few, considering the number of people and the fact that shit is always going on. Speaking of which, New Yorkers are so nice it's almost nerdy. Like on the subway last night this woman - I couldn't figure her out: 40s or 50s, nice dress, ugly shoes, purse, gaudy (fake?) gold jewelry, busted-looking feet, but overall middle-class-looking (old hooker?) - anyway, she was bobbing and weaving on the train, and didn't notice when a seat opened up, so this huge rapper guy took his headphones off and pointed it out to her in this geniunely empathic way, unlike me who thought "Get this drunken weirdo the eff away from me".

Monday, September 24, 2007


The other day I was in mid-drunken rant when I realized that all the exhibitions I had wanted to see at PS1 had closed the day before, and got really depressed. It's that thing I've mentioned before about never going to stuff here because there's a ton of options (catch that, Kate?), but you have a routine and that routine is bed, work, coffee, books, class, drunk, bed. So for the thousandth time I remade that resolution to get out there and do stuff, and went to see Avi Lewis (hot Canadian radical) talk at Bluestockings (radical New York bookstore). Back in high school, when I had such a big fat crush on him, I never would have been able to converse with him on consumer debt.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Definitely something about boys feeding me

One time in high school I had this really bad head cold and was feeling kind of miserable on account of it, and for some reason - I don't remember why - none of my girlfriends were around (they were off on some extra-curricular activity that I didn't sign up for?). Anyway, my friend so-and-so, whom I knew but never really hung out with, in this endearingly understated way, took me into town on his moped and bought me lunch at this little café. We had sandwiches, and we didn't talk much, and afterwards we went back to mostly not knowing each other. It is all the more fond in my memory because it was so random.

This week or last - I don't remember which because I've had this cold forever - some similarly adorably unsolicited thing like this happened two days in a row. One day I had exactly an hour to kill, and no will to buy food even though hungry, and friend happened upon me with two big take-out containers of leftovers, which we ate in an empty classroom. The very next day another friend gave me exactly half a black-and-white cookie, transversally still half black and half white, and there you have the point of this post. That's a New York thing, right? Tick. Kind of like an iced doughnut in cookie form, by the way.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I bet there would be brie with almonds

On the weekend, all the trains are diverted away from Lower Manhattan, I know not why. Of course, taking the diverted train over the Manhattan bridge at sunset is not a bad thing. Neither is walking home from Canal, on account of which you will run into a crowd of black cowboys from New Jersey (I know this because there were several horse trailers with Garden State plates and the guys had printed shirts that read: "Cowboy"). But my fave was the 50-something couple from Staten Island who had come into the city to shop and were trying to figure out how to get back to the ferry terminal (recall: no trains). Because Staten Island is this great, great irony - a NY borough but totally parochial. They were both so New York and suburban, middle class, boring. I really want to go to their house for dinner.

Friday, September 21, 2007

There ain't no cure

Dear lady,

Thank you for inviting me to your rooftop. That wine was good. Talking was fun. We're pretty smart. Man, those chips were good too. We'll have to do it again sometime.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's not all drinks and debauch

Wake up (730), shower and go to work, hit the grocery store (1245), get home, watch y&r, read for class, turn on crockpot (200), go to class, come home (615), eat dinner, do dishes, go to class, come home (1100).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Patron saint of riding the subway drunk, midafternoon

Facebook strikes again - this time a 12-year reunion with a friend from high school in Brussels. She's a solicitor now (faithful readers will recognize that this perpetuates my inadvertent trend of only ever hanging out with lawyers), so I made her buy me drinks at the St. Regis hotel. When I arrived she was being hit on by some businessman hotel lothbario, and it occurred to me that I could probably drink $20 cocktails for free every day if I put on some mascara and hiked up to midtown and sat alone at the wood. But then every day I would have to go home and have a four-hour nap. Gawd damn!

Monday, September 17, 2007

That's a colour photo, folks

Now that I'm no longer just the keyless, deskless, wandering filing rat and have actual drawers to hide things, and access to email, and place to eat my lunch, work is sort of the place I'd most rather be. Ugh.

Work is less depressing if you don't have to drive to it in a car.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Gallery opening

Great - very few pieces, all by local artists, showing their side of Queens, everything crammed in a narrow hallway behind two steel doors on the ground floor of a converted warehouse. A dozen cops were there when I showed up, apparently to bust the crowd of smokers outside (a huge problem, on a deserted warehouse strip in Long Island City). For an eternity, no one could find a corkscrew for the two magna of wine, so friend and I walked around optimistically with empty plastic cups. When someone finally did find one, the bottles were drained before we got any. It was time to leave.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturday afternoon

I went to Park Slope to study, to get free mochas from Grace, and to grow ever more annoyed with the way people here "raise" their children. I can't wait to see what kind of affected high-hats this city is going to breed. Dads, it is not appropriate to take your 9-year-old kid out for a latté. I don't think I drank coffee until Grade 12. Sometimes, when I was a kid, my dad would let me have a small sip of his instant. About as often as he would let me have a small sip of his beer. You know, so that I could satisfy my curiosity, and stop bugging him about it. Moms, don't take your kid on your two-hour-long coffee date/sales pitch/whatever the hell that was, with only a blank journal to entertain her. Don't worry - when she's a 22-year-old lesbian artist living in the Lower East Side, she'll have plenty to journal, and she'll even look proudly back upon her eccentric upbringing by Bette Midler in Beaches II (I read it), but right now she shouldn't have to be making witty conversation in both French and English, she's 11.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Boil half a cup of water. In it, dissolve one chicken bouillon cube and one tablespoon peanut butter.

That is what it tastes like when I cough.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The bathroom at [redacted]

For some reason bookstores and libraries give me IBS. One time I found this refuge. It may not be contiguous with the rest of the universe. Dead silent. An abandoned mess. It's technically for public use but you have to walk past a bunch of non-public stuff to get to it (boxes of old store decorations, boxes of unopened books, piles of crap). It's more mine than my bathroom at home.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fall 07

The new people make me realize:

1. I have many friends, perhaps enough.

2. I am used to it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Diuretic of Enlightenment

There is a certain awesomeness - no, super-greatness - about picking up a book you read on your own as a 19-year-old undergrad, and actually needing your decade-old margin notes in order to understand it now. Those interceding years of philosophical reading and education, not to mention the money you spent on that (at last count, at least a hundred dollars)... [finish this sentence].

Monday, September 10, 2007

From now on: all movies to be filmed in New York

At some point I developed the conceit of being disappointed when a movie I go to see has not been set in New York. I realized this the other night. Actually, the film was set in New York but filmed in Toronto. Even though they tried to stick to nondescript metropol, I knew right away that it wasn't the city. Kind of chaffed at me the whole time. In fact, watching movies that have been filmed in New York is sometimes uncanny. Not the vague street scenes in Soho or Midtown, but the inside of subway cars, or the ads on the street. Effing weird.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Funny/Not funny

What do you do when life sucks? Go see comedy in Chelsea, duh. What with the show costing $0, you have to line up a little early for tickets. And you get bored and tired from the humidity, and you buy a Tab at Gristedes and sit on the sidewalk in the non-moving line, and then you realize it's so humid that that sidewalk gum has transferred to the seat of your pants, and so you have to spend several minutes picking it off (it was mint), and really you couldn't be in a better place than Chelsea if you're going to sit on the sidewalk and touch your own ass for a prolonged period of time. Lame joke!

Because Chelsea is gay. Which also makes for the very interesting phenomenological experience of walking around late at night and knowing none of the men will attack you.

Oh, and New York kissed me on the forehead once again when I saw this in the window of said Gristedes.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Friday, September 07, 2007

What comes before Part B?

Academia in New York is like a torturous house arrest. Your favourite bands come through town in the summer to play free outdoor shows, your favourite authors do readings at the local bookstore, bars and galleries but on the funniest goddam events, but you can't go because you're supposed to be working, which means at the very least you have to stay home, even if it does just end up to be to watch reality tv and read gossip blogs.

Well, Friday has rolled around and we returners are itching to see each other and kick off the school year, so goddam it we are going out. But, sensibly, not before 10:00.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Googlism for: marianne

marianne is looking for a poem
marianne is so cold
marianne is de beste
marianne is a very quiet book
marianne is safe
marianne is a troublemaker and is deceitful
marianne is everywhere in france
marianne is a major talent
marianne is a very emotional girl
marianne is stuffed
marianne is criticized for her "excess of
marianne is pure temptation intelligent
marianne is short and doesn't look like she
marianne is one of the most fascinating persons i have ever met
marianne is beautifully drawn
marianne is in a
marianne is a research assistant who joined the cryptosporidium genotyping project in october 1999 and
marianne is wonderful
marianne is een echt nakomertje
marianne is an actress
marianne is aware of a vague anxiety
marianne is a teacher
marianne is a well
marianne is older and knows she will be difficult to adopt since she's not cute or pretty
marianne is raped? 6
marianne is big every sence of the word
marianne is in a group of 14 homeless children traveling with a guardian from new york to the midwest in 1878 in search of families to adopt them
marianne is 26 and lives with her partner
marianne is a convert to the betty edward's method of right brain drawing
marianne is very intuitive and she's able to get to the core of the issue
marianne is now two
marianne is
marianne is a philosopher
marianne is struggling with her finances on a day
marianne is a winner and she knows how badly she and i want to win
marianne is looking for a friend that is patient
marianne is organist for both the 9 and 11
marianne is a very bright girl and we talked
marianne is always right
marianne is never going to marry

marianne is the nickname given to the feminine allegory of the republic
marianne is rescued in a rainstorm by mr
marianne is no longer working
marianne is more beautiful than ever
marianne is alive
marianne is passionate about the arts and believes they are threrapeutic for the boys

Monday, September 03, 2007

Back in the city

I know the disorienting experience of arriving at a city in the middle of the night, and I can imagine that the landscape of hobos and cabs and litter and hoers and MTA Mobile Wash Unit trucks outside of Penn station last night would have disheartened someone who still had to find their hostel and how to get there, but to me it just felt like I could stop thinking.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Little New England towns

I went to a wedding this weekend, as well you know, and wore my new dress and old shoes, and made nice with the bf's family, and danced the hora (ok, just watched because I was afraid someone would point at me and say GET OUT YOU'RE NOT A JEW), and went canoeing on the Charles and got invited to the Hamptons and ate at Cracker Barrel (which is still the most American thing I have ever seen, though not in the way intended), and went to the best outlet mall ever where I bought sunglasses at Saks and a tee shirt at Barney's and later nodded seriously as the bf's grandmother's told me about the, um, holocaust and then caught the Amtrak home.