Saturday, January 31, 2009

Did you dial 311 or 911?

Apparently if you call the fire depart- ment, the FIRE DEPART- MENT shows up. Three trucks' worth, and me sitting with my laptop writing a lecture and watching Law & Order and suddenly a bunch of those sexy beasts in full get-up with the axes and the picks and the oxygen tanks standing around taking carbon monoxide readings, because the boy called to complain about the barbecue smell coming from the restaurant downstairs.

I managed to snap a little photo just as they were leaving...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fuck. Gross.

Phil, I know you don't believe in blue jobs, and that's real cute, but you haven't yet heard about how today I was chilling out max and relaxing all cool at home when I realized a small animal was trapped inside of my air conditioner. What, I'm gonna start wrestling with a 90 lb. air conditioner teetering on my crumbling windowsill while finding the right screwdriver to dismantle the thing just to - what, tangle with some kind of rabid, pooping, clawing disease bag that you know is just going to go right for my face/hair and make me scream and drop the air conditioner and kill someone and have to move and pay a whole 'nother broker fee?

No, Phil. A blue friend of mine works nearby so I bribed him over with a sandwich and brought out my ladies' petite royal blue all-in-one tool kit and let him deal with it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

There is something delightfully cozy about bad theatre

I took the boy to see a play about Meyer Lansky, because he likes the idea of Jewish gangsters. This was before the opening, which meant that we were the only people who had paid to see the performance. Everyone else was either

(1) writing notes on their copy of the script
(2) a geriatric on a field trip from the nearby temple.

Seriously it was like Palm Beach in there.

Lemme tell you, regarding point (1), ain't nothing gonna save that play. You could have set your watch to the predictable character arc, and the lead couldn't keep his stereotypical Jewish accents straight (Brooklyn thug? Polish immigrant? 80-year-old grandfather?). Anyway, "Lansky" kept talking about reubens and celery soda, so afterwards we ran over to Stage Deli, which is no Katz's mind you, but the waitress was really nice and gave us some freebies in our take-out bag.

The E train

Is different insofar as the driver compartment is off to the side such that you can stand at the very front of the train and look out the window and watch yourself travel through the tunnels of New York. It instantly triggers "roller coaster" as a result of which you do feel like you are on a thrill ride and at risk of derailing at any time. You realize how close the stations are to one another. You realize how many offshoots and cubbies and side rooms there are along the tracks. You realize how ridiculously close people stand to the edge of the platform, and skirting along it you take in a rapid-fire of faces (anticipation· annoyance·excitement·fatigue·indifference·boredom·contentedness) as everyone looks the train square in the face. You realize how humdrum a job it must be for the driver, who doesn't manipulate the doors or the intercom or the announcements; all he does is accelerate, brake, wait, accelerate, brake, wait, smokes a cigarette and coughs a lot.

Guest Post: The Secretary

Hi lady, I wanted to send you this because it is so new yorky and lovely. I got in the G train this afternoon to go pick up a 'secretary' desk I'd found on craigslist. It was way out in flushing, queens and I wasn't going to go, but then figured it would be a good way to procrastinate, and I do need a desk since I'm a grad student, right? And I had bargained the price down to 50$ from 125$. I'm good.

G all the way to court square, then the E across into flushing. it took an hour, no biggie. then got a car service at the E stop, went to the house, met the sweet lady and her mom living in a tiny apartment together, lugged the damn desk out to the cab whose driver wasn't going to have anything to do with it, went back inside for the drawers, then out to the cab and back home. the driver did such a shitty job tying down the trunk that he insisted that he drive slow to avoid the trunk lid banging down on the legs of the desk. Okay fine. But I looked around us on the BQE and cars and trucks were passing us like mad, EVERYONE was honking at us and it was getting unbearable. He was driving 25 mph on the goddamn highway. It was insane, and probably very dangerous. He asked my how old I was and whether or not I was married. He was old and married.

The desk is awesome.

Here's the email I got from the lovely lady I bought the desk from - this is the new yorky lovely bit: (oh and read the earlier email too where she uses the term 'nosy-body').

Saturday, January 24, 2009

SMS Highlight Reel vol. 21: We work with a bumboclart

Wah gwan babe

This bitch need to leave me ah blurtnort

I knw. She just fucked up another order

They asked for that two fucking weeks ago!

Yes my queen. I think its longer than dat.

She a blurtnart ediot

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's very clean under my fridge

When I got back into town, I had no clean clothes, a fridge full of rotten food, and cetera, so I spent a week doing chores. That's sort of my version of self-love anyway. Those of us with overweeing superegoes can at least tidy up and treat ourselves to a very clean apartment. Especially when you can call in reinforcements for the hard parts and order from Fresh Direct. I'm basically one of those Real Housewives of the Upper East Side now, as my mom calls them.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Did you see that?

All in all, I think we all wish we were on that plane. You could dine out on that story for years. "One time I landed in the middle of the Hudson, midtown. You heard me."

I went and took some pictures for you guys. The plane is still in the river, at Battery Park City. The streets are closed off and clogged with firetrucks. All the lobbies of all the luxury waterfront condos are swarming with cops and firefighters, guys in diving gear, etc.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Katz's deli

When Kate was here, on her last day I had to work all damn day and then go to a seminar and then lecture, and so she was left to her own devices. I told her to walk around the Lower East Side, where she went to the Tenement Museum and Katz's (good choices). While she was at Katz's, she sent me this text message: "This is the most confusing thing I have ever done." They have a bit of a system, see. Luckily, the system involves making montreal smoked meat (known here as pastrami) that melts in your mouth, and half-sour pickles. When you come to New York I am taking you here.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

New York smells homesickeningly good

And then there's a lot of this - I don't know who does it (the doormen? residents?) or why (to compost? to discourage dogs? the sheer aesthetic?)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Your place or mine

Relationships in New York risk dying of attrition on the basis of this dilemma alone.

"I haven't been home in days."
"Well, I have to work in the morning."
"It's a longer subway ride from your house."
"Yeah, but it's a closer walk to the subway."
"There's no good coffee in your neighbourhood."
"Your apartment is too hot."
"I have wifi, we can both use the internet at the same time."
"Yeah but I can't blow dry my hair there without blowing a fuse."

Except on Saturdays, when you just stumble to the closest apartment after all the fabulous drug parties.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Bumper nuts

Finally visited the ghosts in Edmonton - the river valley, the highlevel bridge, Bistro Praha, Gateway Blvd, my old building, the scumbags who run the Garneau Pub, the University, Save-on-Foods, my uphill climb to Bay LRT station, the mall downtown, it was minus thirty-seven and yes that is my friend's truck. What's lovely? All of it, including how everyone mixes - knows each other, at least indirectly, the blue collar wobs and the poncy graduate students. Edmonton is where I made it, cobbled together an apartment-household over three years, finished my MA, got my first career-stream jobs, and feels way more like hometown than Calgary. There are two tenure-track jobs listed for the U of A, and I keep my fingers crossed that at least one of them stays open for the next three years.

Friday, January 02, 2009

SMS Highlight Reel, vol. 20

Century 21 sold out of tiaras!

that forgiveness is often considered a supererogation... Over and above duty.

Just hit a kid. For real this time.

your not becoming a hegelian my little kantian ? :)

Helvetica is Hegel

i know. fucking ny. but i love ny too. fuckin landlords...

It was always easy to be with you.

i just got so hit on in the mens bathroom while i was peeing...

haha. i am excited. no girls only wives. the woman at tj maxx just freaked out cause she thought i was jake gyllan hall

i have bourban early wake ups. supposed to go for traditional jewish food seszchaun style buffet with friends for lunch

I wanna get a tattoo after work in carroll gardens today. Wanna accompany me?

I'm Sitting In Strawberry Fields Still expecting To Wake Up

Does the seven dollar card also get me on the metro?

Ugh, waiting for the subway is boring. this is valuable drinking time! and this stop smells like fry grease. could smell worse!

I have red pajama pants.

This is one of the most confusing things i've ever done.

Cats, dogs, pot, dust, never vacuumed floor, but mostly cats and stale pot. congrats on your last class!

i love you. fireside christmas latkes...

descartes thinking is being. fichte. certainty is i. kant criticizes dogma. disrupts certainty. maintains assertion. categoris are plural. hegel categories are one

New School Occupation still going. Come in solidarity!

o my god you killed a super ego demon!