Thursday, December 28, 2006

Procrastination by Numbers

Being productive when I'm not on a deadline or crunched for time is not my strong suit. I have a freelance project due on January 10, and I was too under the weather to go to the gym today, so I swore I'd start working on the project well before it was due. As in, tonight.

Here's what should have done:

1. Work on my freelance project.

Here's what I actually did:

1. Made a bowl of pasta and Ragu. Ate it. Washed it down with a Diet Coke.

2. Ate several chocolates.

3. Told my roommate three stories about my holiday vacation.

4. Watched "Ugly Betty." Laughed out loud. Flipped through Good Housekeeping during commercial breaks.

5. Turned on computer.

6. Checked e-mail.

7. Wrote two e-mails.

8. Wrote rent check.

9. Watched a YouTube video I'd heard was insanely sexy. (It didn't live up to the hype.)

10. Checked e-mail 42 more times, including junk-mail e-mail and blog e-mail.

11. Bought a Victoria's Secret underthing.

12. Got glass of water.

13. Bought a wedding present for an ex online. Wedding took place several months ago, but I brush thought aside and click "send" anyway.

14. Paid cell phone bill online.

15. Checked a couple of my favorite blogs. Neither had updated.

16. Threw away some Christmas cards. (But saved the checks inside.)

17. Wrote two new addresses in my address book.

18. Took contacts out. Washed face. Brushed teeth.

19. Unpacked suitcase. Threw its contents on various flat surfaces in my room. Took suitcase to closet. Put suitcase inside closet.

20. Located NyQuil.

21. Blogged.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Not So Fast, Victoria

Victoria's Secret's "Semi-Annual Sale" is going on now -- RIGHT NOW! Run! -- so, being the gullible Web-advertising-clicking woman I am, I surfed on over to the site to see what I could buy. No bras on sale in my size? Perfect, excellent, thanks. But while I was there, I thought maybe VS had something I could entice the Boyf with. Seeing as how we've been dating for almost three years, not much planned "enticing" goes on anymore, unless you count "watching TV" as "foreplay." It was my turn to step things up.

Victoria knows this, it would seem. Because when I clicked on this

(tasteful, right?) another picture appeared at the bottom under the heading "MAY WE ALSO SUGGEST":

Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the majority of Victoria's Secret customers are not, say, strippers. I don't have anything against women wearing heels before and/or during sex, but these 3 1/2-inch gold metallic heels with large bondage buckle on the ankle are going to be a little, shall we say, TOO MUCH for the average American sexual encounter.

If the Boyf saw me in this outfit... um, well, I don't know exactly what he'd do, but he'd probably file the outfit in a brain folder somewhere between "trying too hard" and "Paris Hilton gone wrong."

I'll just take the $20 lace thingy, okay, Victoria? Thanks, though. Really. You've helped enough.

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Christmas Coma

I giggled my way through this well-written (and oh-so-true) Times piece by Mike Albo.

My favorite part:
Every year I arrive at my parents’ house in Springfield, Va., armed with my healthy self-edifying projects — big leafy Penguin classics, Chomsky-explains-it-all books and a backlog of fortifying magazines. And every year I think I am going to actually read a paragraph of one of these things. But then I walk in the front door, say ‘hi’ to my mom and dad, stand at the kitchen counter and start eating cheese.

Ain't it the truth?

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

For the Woman Who Has Everything

Okay, this is kind of another cop-out YouTube post, but I assure you that your life will be better after watching this video (unedited version!):

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Those Shoes Are Mine, Betch

Oh, sweet Lord, this is funny. I've watched it with my coworkers, I've watched it with the Boyf, I've watched it with my bosses. Obsess much?

The guy who made this video is going to be the next Amy Sedaris.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Drat! Foiled Again (By Those Nosy Hipsters).

Those wry and witty hipster kids over at Gawker quasi-stole my idea today, as evidenced here. But I'm not mad; the concept of a Mounted Deer Head Necklace is so ridiculous it deserves as many mocking posts as it can garner -- or "lock," as it were. By the way, is anyone else baffled by the fact that two different companies make two different versions of this bizarre, overpriced bauble?

You know you want to see the picture of the one from Daily Candy again:

And here's the new Gawker-endorsed one:

Oh, yeah. That's the stuff. Santa, you're listening, right?

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Hipster Karaoke!

My set list tonight at hipster karaoke in Williamsburg was as follows:

1. "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles
2. "Doll Parts" by Hole
3. "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey

Few things make me happier than free pizza, cheap beer, and seeing hipsters spin around and around until they fall down. Additionally, I saw a beautiful Middle-Eastern girl who I swore for two seconds was one of my favorite bloggers but probably was not.

Oh, also:

Dear Karen O./Chrissie Hynde/Pat Benetar Girl,

I am sorry I kissed your boyfriend, the karaoke DJ guy, on the cheek after I sang the Hole song. He sort of swooned and asked for one, and he was really cute, and I didn't realize you were right there, and I really had no business kissing anyone because I have a Boyf of my own. Your striped dress was very pretty-slash-adequately weird for the look you're going for, and I enjoyed your rendition of "I Love Rock & Roll." Now please don't hurt me if you ever see me in the bar again. Okay?

Platonic Kisses,

P.S. But your boyfriend is REALLY HOT. Just sayin'.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Good New York Moment

Some nights (okay, most nights), I come home to my modest apartment and my unfabulous, average, non-designer-label, non-Tinsley Mortimer existence and think, "Fuck you, New York."

Tonight, though, over wine, I talked to a guy from Peru and a guy from El Salvador, each who had been here far longer than my four years. During it all, I was wearing a respectable-looking wrap dress and drinking decent pinot noir, and I thought, "I love you, New York." You can't get this diversity at the average Stop 'n' Shop, no matter how humorous their commercials. I told my South/Central American guys I was from the Midwest, and they looked at me blankly, as if I had told them I was from the planet Tron and was on Earth to further our species. I love that. I love that "Midwest" has no different connotation than "Upper East Side" when I'm talking to New Yorkers who've earned that title.

I live for these nights. No pretension. No labels. Just wine and pleasantries and a general feeling of goodwill.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Typing Pool's Crystal Ball

Remember that M. Night Shyamalan movie Signs? You know, the one where the weird quirks one family had ended up coming together all convenient-like to help save the world? That may be what happened to me today. These are the quirks of my day that happened within an hour and 30 minutes, which must be foreshadowing of some sort:

1. A homeless guy on Fifth Avenue sang Justin Timberlake's "My Love" as I passed by on my way to the gym. I barely know that song, let alone who sings it. Seriously: I was flipping through an entertainment magazine yesterday reading that "My Love" was one of the top-downloaded songs of this past week, and I thought to myself, "Not only am I not totally sure this is JT's song, but I have never downloaded a song from iTunes -- ever." It's official: Right along with my little sisters, my boss, and everyone else I know, the homeless are now hipper than I am.

2. I was changing in the gym, which is awkward enough as it is, but my gym is ghetto. It's not the palace that is Equinox. Hell, it's not even New York Sports Club. Frequenting a ghetto gym means that the minuscule aisles between the lockers that are not even big enough for a Barbie doll disrobe in. I had changed into my top and was waiting for this tiny little 20-year-old behind me to get the eff out of my way so I could change into my shorts. I guess she was waiting for her friend, because she just kept standing there, not changing, not putting her things away. She was in my personal space for no good reason. So I used what my Momma gave me to take care of the situation: In one swoop, I doffed my pants and put my round, lily-white, thong-clad ass in the general direction of her face. She scampered away like a cockroach under a bright flashlight.

3. Post-Boot Camp class, I was changing out of my gym clothes, facing my locker, and out of my peripheral vision, I see a young woman about 10 feet away gesturing to me. "Miss?" she said, and points to her bag and coat on the vanity mirror table. "Will you watch these for me?" I was so stunned I just blindly nodded. Did she think I was a locker-room attendant? Did she think that I -- out of all the other Midtown working girls -- looked especially trustworthy? Did she have some sort of visual impairment that caused her to think I was standing right next to her rather than 10 feet away? Oh, and "Miss" my ass. I spent enough time as a "Miss" working in a department store fitting room, thankyouverymuch. So because I am too nice (read: Midwestern to the core) to blow her off of flip her off, I sort of half-watched her stuff. She came back, and she did not thank me.

I think we all know what these Signs mean:

In the not-too-distant future, the homeless will take my job, and I will become "the help" at a fancy gym, where I will soon enough be fired for flashing my ass to everyone on Madison Avenue.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dreams Can Come True, They Can Happen to You

It's finally happening! I will have the chance to meet my absolute favorite money guru, Suze Orman, in NYC on Tuesday, February 27. She's coming to the Union Square Barnes & Noble to promote her yet-to-be-released book Women & Money.

I am totally geeked. Not only is she coming to my city to speak (for free), but she's publishing a book (well, Random House is publishing the book, but you know what I mean) that I am already immensely interested in. If Nice Girls Don't Get Rich was great, imagine how useful this book will be!

I'm already mapping it out in my head: I'll get there at 6:45 p.m. -- no -- 6:30 p.m. Maybe 6:15. I'll ask to leave work early and haul it downtown as fast as possible. I will resolve NOT to merely say what I always say when I meet celebrities: "You're great." (See: The John Stamos Incident of 2002 and/or The John C. Reilly Incident of 2006.) I will work up something witty and intelligent to say. I will tell her how I've been counseling some of my girlfriends on money. I will tell her she's doing great things for women. I will tell her I have a 401(k) because of her. Or...I will only manage to squeak, "You're great."

Either way, I will meet Suze Orman. Hoo. Ray.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Surviving the Midwestern Brunch Buffet

As I believe I mentioned before, I dragged the Boyf back to the Midwest for Thanksgiving. The Boyf was an absolute angel the whole time, even helping my dad put a new "topper" for his pickup truck on the bed of the vehicle. (I wish I were making that part up, but I am assuredly not.)

Usually the Boyf is pretty understanding of the Midwest and all its odd and gaudy trappings, but there was one thing this vacation that I was worried that he simply wouldn't understand: the Midwestern Brunch Buffet.

The restaurant we went to for brunch that Sunday morning is pricey for the area I'm from, which means going there is a real treat for some families. (Case in point: My mom wore perfume and a blazer. But that doesn't mean that other people dress up for it. Three words: tapered, stonewashed jeans. And don't forget the requisite ball caps.) The restaurant also has a distinct wildlife theme, complete with giant fish tank and wall-mounted heads of animals such as African deer that I'm not entirely sure it's still legal to hunt. What was slightly disturbing to me wasn't that I was offended by the taxidermy or felt compelled to call PETA; I was concerned that I was so disaffected by all of it. "So the biscuits-and-gravy station is under a baboon head. What of it?" Also, I might mention that the buffet consists of two concentric circles. There's no discernible beginning, middle, or end, which means that crashing into crazed hungry people with visions of fried catfish dancing in their heads is pretty much par for the juice-coated, bacon-strewn course.

If I had prepared properly for our outing, I would have done some recon work in order to present the Boyf with this handy primer once I saw his wide eyes:

How to Survive a Midwestern Brunch Buffet:

1. Want more food than fits on one plate? Just take two!
One of our first buffet treats was feasting our eyes on a beer-bellied gent in tapered jeans and a Kansas City Chiefs sweatshirt who was bringing his booty (and his food, yuk-yuk) back to his table. He had two full plates -- one in each hand. Two. And I want to add that this is an unlimited buffet. Apparently making another 25-foot trip back to the buffet to get a second helping was just too time-consuming for this man, so he decided to maximize the helping for as little effort as possible. Bravo, sir. Bravo.

2. Use your girth to muscle women and children out of your way.
I was standing in line patiently in order to fish two sausage links out of a steaming vat, and when my turn came, I stepped up only to be cut off by a 300-pound 70-something grandpa wearing overalls and a red flannel shirt. No "Excuse me," no "Sorry," just some good, old-fashioned pushin' in order to get some processed pork meat. To add insult to injury, two more pudgy little girls weaseled their way in front of me before I could finally get my hands on the greasy protein.

3. Show disproportionate concern for others while neglecting your own health.
After my trip to the aforementioned biscuits-and-gravy station, I turned away to move on to the next circuit in my calorie cross-training program. Then the sweetest, most melodic, Dolly Parton-esque voice came from behind me: "Is this your juice?" I whirled around to see a 5-foot-tall obese woman motioning to a tiny plastic cup of OJ left at the biscuit station. "Nope, it's not mine," I said. And I felt sorry for her. Maybe unnecessarily, but I did.

Finally, I was able to make off with some white gravy over hot biscuits and other assorted goodies.

"This is fat-people chaos!" I hissed to my little sister as I sat down with my (single) plate of fruit, muffiny pastries, yogurt, and sausage.

"Yeah," she said without flinching, "you really have to hold your own in there."

No kidding, sis. Maybe next time I'll bring my ball cap so I can use its bill to peck people out of the way.