Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fine, It's Adorable, Okay?

I don't really do "cute." I don't care for bows, I dislike stuffed animals, and squealing is really not my thing.

But, guys, I saw this video today, and if you don't say, "Awwww" at some point in the video, I'll assume you have no soul. Be sure to watch it all the way through to the end.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My Two Cents on a $650,000 Investment

Through a publishing contact of mine, I got my hands on a copy of Dana Vachon's debut novel, Mergers and Acquisitions, and read it this past weekend. For the uninitiated, it's former blogger Vachon's roman à clef about his days working on Wall Street.

I liked the book. I didn’t love it. But I liked it enough to talk about it later with friends who hadn’t read it. There’s a sense that this territory has been covered before, by books and movies as similar to the subject matter as Wall Street and removed from it as The Devil Wears Prada (rich, fashionable, cutthroat people = bad; helping others through journalism or medicine = good). As the PW review pointed out (scroll down to read it), its portrait of the rich – at once sycophantic and horrific -- is a bit of an oxymoron. The book is not particularly qualified to be a true social commentary about young people in Manhattan (at least not most of them -- most definitely not me!), and it’s not an especially hilarious book. Somewhere between those extremes is a well-written novel that’s silly and winking, but when Vachon attempts to pin any sort of morality or consequence – however fleeting – to the characters, the intellectualism comes off as a bit too big for its britches.

It was Vachon’s stellar writing and dry sense of humor that spirited me through the book; I turned the pages quickly to see what crazy, over-the-top scenario he would describe next. What irritated me was the dearth of sympathetic female characters who aren’t either prostitutes or completely bonkers. (But maybe that's Vachon's opinion of women.) I was interested in hero Tommy Quinn's long-suffering mother, but she didn’t get enough page time to make much of an impact. Even with the lack of women to root for, I fell hard for Makkesh Makker, a 29-year-old JS Spencer employee who gives his life to the company.

I don’t feel as strongly about Vachon as the bloggers who love him or the writers who want to rip him a new one (though I love Lizzy Ratner’s writing – her "Murray Hell" piece couldn’t have explained the 'hood better): I don’t want to do him raw, and I don’t hate him for his heritage. I would like to ask him exactly how fictionalized the book was – which parts of it were made out of whole cloth or if most/all is ripped almost directly from his own nights out in the city.

Print publications have described the book as a satire, but I don’t necessarily see how somebody can make fun of such high-falutin' places as Le Bilboquet while choosing to make their dinner reservations there after the fun has been made. Again, it smacks of at least some reverence. It’s possible that Vachon is a little too close to this social caste to properly mock it. Also, according to a few news articles, it seems Vachon used his friends as near-exact molds for the characters. And those same friends still like him – and apparently dine at Le Bilboquet with him. How
that’s possible I’m not sure. Perhaps they haven’t read the book closely, or maybe they’re taking it more lightly than even Vachon himself intended.

A lot of people have weighed in about the book so far. I liked what Emily from Gawker said today: "Five or six more years of actual life experience would have enriched the book considerably, potentially transforming the easy caricatures into insightful portraits." But I think I agree most with Lindsay, who wrote, “It is a much better book than it needed to be.” I don’t have any more sympathy for the rich now than I had before (which is none), and it didn’t change my worldview, though it did change my dinner conversations for a few days.

Verdict? Wait for the paperback and read it on vacation, but you'll sure as hell enjoy it when you do.

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Refreshingly Alcoholic

For some reason, tonight it's just too late for my brain to get up and running to blog about anything of substance, so I'll just say this:

In New York, there are few bars that I feel have restorative properties. Most of the time, bars here take my money, my brain cells, and my dignity and leave me in excruciating pain the next morning. And then I kick the bartender out of my bed. Just kidding.

Still, when I need some sanctuary in the city, I go to KGB Bar in the East Village and down a bottle of Baltika beer while either listening to a reading or hanging out with some old friends. It's moderately quiet there and has the faint air of pseudointellectualism, so of course I'm right at home. The one caveat: You might have to listen to some bad music. Really bad music. They played Fergie tonight, and I'm not sure I'll ever view the bar the same way again. Oh, who am I kidding? You know I'll always love you, KGB.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Check, Baby, Check, Baby, 1-2-3-4

Check out the illustrious Dr. Blogstein and lil' ol' me on Dr. Blogstein's Radio Happy Hour, via Blog Talk Radio, tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9 p.m. EST. Call in at 646-652-4804 to hang with us live, on-air, or click here just to listen.

Blogstein and I will be talking to a psychic duo, and I'm looking forward to that. I've always suspected I was Marilyn Monroe in a former life. Oh, wait. I think Anna Nicole Smith has that whole thing covered.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Classin' Up the Joint

Taking the Greyhound bus round-trip from New York City to Baltimore isn't the classiest voyage, but that's how I roll. Today, on the trip back to the city after a fun stay in B-more, I was reminded of exactly how posh Greyhound can get when a busty thirtysomething woman with a young baby stood up near the front of the bus and turned around. The following phrase was printed in black on her tight white T-shirt (original punctuation and capitalization retained):

If you think I'm a Bitch, you should meet my Mother!

"Luxury coach," indeed.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Blogging = Bad

I shouldn't be blogging. I have been out with a high school friend and into the wine, and I just subjected my roommate to a long story involving San Diego, a guy named Fabian, and a plastic surgery conference. She deserves acccolades tonight, much more than I do.

But here are the lyrics behind the music that's haunting me and turning my mind toward the positive:

Only thing I ever could need,
only one good thing worth trying to be, and it's
love, love, love, love. I do it for love, love, love.
-Sara Bareilles, "Bottle It Up"

I wish I were that optimistic anymore, my dear young musician. Thank God I'm going to Baltimore this weekend. Even New Yorkers need escape sometimes.

UPDATE: I fixed the lyrics to make them, oh, correct. Like I said, I'd been into the wine last night.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

So. Geeked.

May 1 cannot come fast enough.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

Okay, I was going to spare you all from my usual stupid-rich-people rant and not blog about this story, a Times Real Estate feature on parents who "help" their children buy fancy New York apartments. But then I saw that Madame X blogged about it, and she has real class, so I decided to follow suit.

Whenever I read stories like this, about parents giving so much to their children, or meet people who have had extraordinary help from their parents in their adult lives, I get ever so slightly angry. Is it because I'm jealous? Hey, maybe I am. If, upon my graduation from college, I had had a set of rich parents who offered to buy me a studio in the high-rise Manhattan sky, I would not have had to endure nearly as many hardships -- financial and interpersonal -- as I did trying to get here.

On the flip side, if I had acquired that fancy, free apartment...I would not have had to endure nearly as many hardships -- financial and interpersonal -- as I did trying to get here.

Let me explain:

At twentysomething years of age, I have been through deadbeat subleasers, insane roommates, disrespectful roommates, dirty roommates, credit-card debt, three dollars total in my wallet, asshole temporary friends, a move to a strange post-industrial town all for the promise of a short-term job, and general despondency in Jersey while looking across the stretch of the Hudson River at everything I could not have. But I survived. I figured shit out. I saved my pennies. I worked hard. I suffered in silence. I acquired a thicker skin.

But most importantly, I acquired some semblance of self-respect that I don't know that I could acquire otherwise. I call bullshit more often. I don't trust as quickly as I used to. I obsess over my financial accounts. I still choose generic groceries over name-brand products because it just makes good sense. I know in my heart that I got here, mostly* on my own, all the way from a lower-middle-class family smack dab in the middle of Nowheresville, Midwest. That makes me less willing to give it all up, be it for a shaky new job, a man, or a whim when I hear California whispering to me. And it makes me love New York and appreciate good restaurants, diversity, and the way the sun glints off of skyscrapers' windows that much more.

The people I've met who have had a lot of help from their parents? They're worldly in the materialistic ways of the rich but naive when it comes to picking their acquaintances. They spend too much money. They don't quite understand the value of a dollar. They have no backup plan.

But they don't need a backup plan because of their family's money. Unless, of course, something bad happens. But they can't see that, either. Dare I say it, when bad situations arise, they might not have the wherewithal to manage themselves in a time of personal (or financial!) crisis.

It is my view that if I ever have children (God forbid), I will teach them to be independent. That if they fuck up, there will be no hammock woven out of hundred-dollar bills to cradle their fall. That if they spend all their money on booze and coke, there will be no reservoir into which they can dip. That is they can't afford a fancy New York apartment, guess what? They don't get one. Unless, of course, they save their pennies, suffer in silence, work hard, and buy generic groceries, and even then, there is no guarantee.

The downside of working for what you have is that you become just a tad bit bitter.

If you liked this rant, you're gonna love the ones here, here, and here.

*I did have a minimal amount of post-college help from my parents, but we're talking a few hundred dollars when I was working two part-time jobs and was still unable to pay my rent for a month, not a few hundred thousand for a sweet penthouse.

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See You Tonight

Don't forget to tune in to Blog Talk Radio tonight at 9 p.m. EST. You'll hear Dr. Blogstein and me pontificate on such subjects as e-mail spam and Armageddon. Fun!

Also, I read this story on post-traumatic stress disorder and our female soldiers yesterday and was deeply affected by what's going on with our women overseas and on military bases. It makes me want to clip this article out and hand it to the men and women I overhear saying that sexism is over and that men and women stand on equal footing these days.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Lost and Found

Have you ever discovered an object in your apartment that looked completely foreign? You know, something that may or may not be a piece of glass from a plate you can't remember owning or some metal part or button that looks like it might be vaguely important. I found this thing on the floor of my room a while back:

It's a little hard to see here (because my digital camera is the most useless electronic device I've ever owned), but it looked to me like a gilded shark's tooth.

Because I am weird, I didn't throw it away. I simply kept it on my desktop, hoping that whatever object it was from would come back to me, boomerang-style.

About two weeks later, I found this in a bag:

The piece was from a Christmas ornament from my childhood. Her wing had chipped off. I felt oddly sad. I'm gonna get her Krazy Glued up, and she'll be back in action in time to adorn the next tree I lug four avenue blocks and up three flights of stairs with my roommate.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Not Suitable for Children

Last week, Jerry, one of my favorite bartenders in Midtown, recommended a delicious wine. He has a knack for pouring velvety, spicy, rich reds that taste expensive and chic. When we all had received a glassful, he unveiled the bottle's label and everyone I was dining with smiled:

Only a person with the hardest of hearts couldn't appreciate the whimsy of this Walla Walla, Washington, brand. I didn't realize it until I went to the L'Ecole No. 41 website later that day, but this red is a mix of several different wines: 42% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Syrah, 11% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Carmenère. How's that for an intriguing table wine?

Gentlemen reading this blog: I don't mean to sound condescending, but I think this wine is a sure bet if you're having a lady over for dinner. The flavor is rich without being overpowering, and the label is funny and sweet enough that she'll see you for the good-hearted suitor you most certainly are. Click here to buy straight from the winemaker.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

And Now Here's a Link from Our Sponsors

I hate to foist y'all off on a link, but, trust me, this is funny: A Radar commentary on quasi-high fashion.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I Can Die Now

I went out with my fantastic old friend D tonight. He's of the same mindset as me: Give us an Irish pub and some karaoke, and we're set for the night.

Of course I did an old standby ("Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles), and after a duet with D, I debuted Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U." Note to ladies who are thinking of singing that in the near future: It is not as hard as you think to bust out. Trust me: You already know the words after hearing it on the radio 5,000 times in the early '90s. (See my other karaoke posts here, here, and here.)

What I consider the prize comment came early in the night, from a woman who was sitting at the bar while I was singing Alannah. "That's not fair; she's a professional," the woman said. Oh, if only. If only. I think that was the best thing I've ever heard in my karaoke career. Those of us who adore the karaoke also adore the compliments, and I was beyond flattered.

D and I shared laughs and deep thoughts and all the things you're supposed to share after a few beers (only one of which I spilled squarely on my pants, thankyouverymuch). I walked home looking at the reflections in the office building windows on Madison Avenue, walking on the concrete of Manhattan's empty streets, and breathing in deeply, the chorus of U2's "City of Blinding Lights" in my head.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Corner of Margarita between Booze and Sauced

I had a couple (okay, a few) margaritas after work with my awesome friend N tonight. We left the bar and parted ways, and about halfway home, a woman asked me where Lexington Avenue is. "That way," I said immediately, motioning to the left. "It's two blocks down. One, two." She bounced off happily.

Then I realized something: I never give the correct directions when I am sober.

Usually, I'm trudging up the steps from the train around 7 p.m. sober as a judge, in my usual routine, thinking things about work like, "Why, God, hast thou smote me so?" so when some 21-year-old blonde forces me out of my reverie by saying something abrupt like, "Excuse me. Where's Madison?" I say, "Uhhhhhhh. Uhhmmmmm," and then, puzzled, I stare at the intersection next to me, almost as if I've licked my index finger and have raised it straight upward to see which way the wind's a-blowin'.

One time, I said, "This is Madison." The young lady looked at me, and then she looked at the street, pointed to the telltale grassy median, and said, "This is Park." I muttered something about "long day" and "ask someone else," and then I tried to pretend the incident had never happened.

I should set up some sort of a directions booth in Midtown around 1 a.m. on a Saturday and charge for my stellar map services. Payment in booze, of course.

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Monday, March 12, 2007


I saw a great musician tonight: Sara Bareilles. She's a singer/songwriter/pianist, and I was hooked from the first note. It's hard to describe how she sounds. As I was standing at Hiro Ballroom, watching her, I came up with "a cross between Fiona Apple and Billie Holiday." That's moderately accurate. You can hear her songs at her MySpace page, but her official website is here. But trust me: The recordings don't do her voice justice.

I'm a sucker for female singer/songwriters anyway, so it's no surprise that I like her. Strangely enough, a man -- the Boyf -- introduced me to her.

The thing about hearing an artist perform or reading something meaningful is that it takes me aback a little. As adults, we're so good at pushing away our feelings in favor of stoicism, keeping the peace, or simply surviving. When I heard Sara's voice tonight and listened to her lyrics, something was peeled back -- one of those New York onion layers that I've wrapped myself up in. Sometimes we need a nudge in order to cry.

(Also, please tune in tonight at 9 p.m. EST to hear Dr. Blogstein and me spout off our opinions on such things as March Madness and the Barbie Bandits on Dr. Blogstein's Radio Happy Hour. Just click here to listen.)

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

How Now, Wow Vows?

I'm not one of those women who voraciously and/or wishfully reads the New York Times' Vows section. I haven't been planning my future wedding since age 5 (or at all), and I sort of hate canned, drippy tales of pursuit and subsequent romance -- you just know they're sugar-coating certain parts or conveniently leaving out the alcohol-consumption levels.

Confession time: I do skim the Vows, but I skip over the engagement particulars and instead look for what kinds of jobs the brides-to-be have and by what age they've achieved such things. It serves as a barometer of sorts for my career. Usually they beat me out (lawyer) but sometimes they don't (grad student who probably will not work after she's married). It's ridiculous to play that game, especially considering most of the couples featured are Ivy League grads with deep pockets, which I decidedly am not, but keeping tabs on everyone else is fun and New York-y, what with our competitive streaks and all. (Speaking of Vows, Gawker's new-ish Altarcations feature is pretty funny.)

Today, though, in the midst of my career comparisons, I read something I found lovely. The Levine-Alswang courtship tale in today's paper seemed refreshingly honest, especially from the groom's side. I loved this quote:

“I never met anybody that could be a female version of me,” he said. “She’s a tiny little thing but she’s rough and tough and she shoots guns.” He added, “When we go somewhere, I wish I looked better because I find her so beautiful.”

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Nectar of the Gods

Holy. Lord. I have found the Platonic ideal of chocolate candy.

If you had described these chocolates to me before I took a bite, I wouldn't have believed they could be quite so delicious. If you had told me, "Hey, take a bite of this chocolate-covered sugary cube that has the consistency of a Styrofoam peanut," I might have said, "I'll pass!"

But trust me: The Sponge Candy from Fowler's, a company based in Buffalo, NY, is the best thing since ice water. No -- since cell phones. No -- since James Spader.

Imagine the most delectable caramel in the world, woven into silken threads by Rumpelstiltskin, shaped into a cube by Hephaestus, and then dipped into a creamy milk chocolate that only exists in Willy Wonka's REM-stage sleep. I had the milk chocolate kind today, and it was literally all I could think about for a good portion of the afternoon.

I almost wish I were a gentleman caller with a lady to woo just so I could present someone with these candies in their elegant silver box. Click here to buy some. I exhort you: It will be $16.99 well spent.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Gentle Souls

I was inspired today when I ran across a great photo Mike over at Midwesterner's Guide to Living in New York City has on his blog: a terribly cute pic of him with Boss Hogg from The Dukes of Hazzard. Wow, I loved that show when I was a kid. I even had a small plastic General Lee without windows and with doors that didn't open, just like on the show. Check out the snapshot. There's something calming about seeing a picture of one of your childhood icons.

I am not, generally, a calm person. I'm a nice person -- I get that a lot -- but calm is not one of my strong suits. A college roommate of mine once described me as "unapproachable" when I get stressed, which is pretty much dead-on. That's something that's difficult for me to overcome, even though I've gotten much better as I've grown older, so I'm always genuinely impressed and a little awed when I meet someone who's soothing just to be around.

For me, the epitome of that was when I met artist Bob Ross when I was about nine years old. Yep, that Bob Ross, with the "happy little trees" and the Afro and the soft bass voice that could lull a baby to sleep.

As a child I was very into painting and drawing, so, for me at that time, the thought of meeting Bob Ross wasn't that different from the idea of meeting the president. For what I assume must have been some sort of product promotion in the late '80s, he was scheduled to appear at an arts and crafts store deep in my Midwest hometown: a place that most touring book authors wouldn't dream of setting foot in. My parents took me there to meet him, which, looking back, was quite nice of them -- to indulge my fantastical little-girl dreams like that. I clutched a single yellow piece of legal paper and a pen in my hand.

I remember waiting a long time for him that day. Maybe his flight was delayed or he fell behind schedule, but I was worried he wouldn't come. It was blustery outside. Wind can whip through the expanse of middle America at breakneck speed, sometimes knocking pedestrians off balance. When Bob Ross finally walked through the door, wearing a chambray button-down shirt and blue jeans, his Afro had wilted due to the weather: It was parted in the middle, up top, like a triangular slice taken out of a giant cheese wheel.

I was worried that I wouldn't get to talk to him, that he would be swallowed up by the crowd of puff-painted-sweatshirt-clad grandmas that had gathered to greet him. So I walked right up to him, the first person in the store to talk to him, and I said hello and would he sign this piece of paper? Most anyone would be annoyed by that. I was walking and talking out of turn, before he could even see the store manager or put his things down. But Bob Ross smiled and took the lined paper from me. "Let's see," he said. "Let's find a place to sign this." So he walked up to a giant bin filled with Tupperware containers and took one out of the pile. He placed the sheet on top of the lid's hard surface and signed, "Happy Painting, Bob Ross." I don't remember if he asked me about painting, about whether I liked art. He probably did. All I remember was his kindness. His patience. And the way he made me feel like I was just as important as any fan there, if not more.

I still have that piece of legal paper in my old bedroom's closet back in the Midwest. It makes me happy to know it's there.

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Wishful Wine-Thinking

Here is a picture of the label of the red wine I wish I were enjoying right now instead of staring bleary-eyed at my computer and waiting with bated breath to fall into my bed:

I came upon this red zinfandel at a quaint (but somewhat overpriced) wine shop in my neighborhood. A while back the Boyf and I were having a little contest to see who could pick the most whimsical (yet tasty) bottle for dinner that night. I remember that he picked one of my favorite labels -- a 1980s woman hugging a concrete statue of a lion; I think it's a malbec, but I'm not sure what the name is -- but I won hands-down with the Tumbling Tractor, because it's as delicious as its name is funny.

I like dry zins. I like most of my wines dry, spicy, and exploding with full, near-harsh flavor. This one is perfect. See the cute backstory about Gravity Hills's Tumbling Tractor Zin here or just take my word for it and buy it for cheap here.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

No Show for Me!

Unfortunately, I can't be on tonight's Dr. Blogstein's Radio Happy Hour. I mean, hey: I'm a gal about town, a mover and shaker, a rolling stone, don't fence me in, and any other cliche about wandering souls that you can think of. However, Blogstein will meet his match tonight at 9 p.m. EST in the form of Jaime, the swingin' sister from The Girl Also Blogs.

Please tune in to give Jaime your support and keep Blogstein in check!

And I'll be back on Blog Talk Radio next week. See y'all then!

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Zero to Confused in 0.6 Seconds

My friend S in Minnesota is a big gym-goer (a gal after my own heart), and she's recently decided to give swimming a whirl. S is also one of the funniest people I know, and so when she e-mailed this to me this past week, I laughed out loud:

So I just looked up a sample workout for swimming and honest-to-god it makes no sense to me whatsoever. WTF:

Week 1

1 x 400 (:30 Think smooth, include technique work
1 x 200 (:30 Kick mix easy and fast efforts
1 x 200 (:30 Pull Second half faster than first half
1 x 400 (:30 Think smooth, steady, body position
1 x 200 (:30 Kick mix easy and fast efforts
1 x 200 (:30 Pull Second half faster than first half
1 x 50 (1:00 very easy technique work
4 x 25 (:45 FAST!
1 x 50 (1:00 very easy technique work
1 x 200 (:45 Do as 50 fast + 150 moderate
1 x 200 (:45 Do as 50 moderate + 50 fast + 100 moderate
1 x 200 (:45 Do as 100 moderate + 50 fast + 50 moderate
1 x 200 (:45 Do as 150 moderate + 50 fast
1 x 50 (1:00 very easy technique work
1 x 200 (:45 Do as 50 fast + 150 moderate
1 x 200 (:45 Do as 50 moderate + 50 fast + 100 moderate
1 x 200 (:45 Do as 100 moderate + 50 fast + 50 moderate
1 x 200 (:45 Do as 150 moderate + 50 fast
1 x 100 very easy technique work
3,500 Meters

Okay, this weird, certainly-not-for-beginners workout is funny enough on its own, but imagine if you wordlessly e-mailed this workout to a friend (who is not a swimmer) with no explanation whatsoever. I think that would be the fastest way possible to baffle someone. In fact, if any of you want to try that for kicks, let me know what your unsuspecting friend says in return. It might be funny.

Also: Is my mind in the gutter, or could this pass for a really impossible sex-technique guide? Well, maybe not much past the part that says "FAST!" if you get my drift.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Foiled Again!

Drat! I was so close with the Barbie Bandits' names. They were captured today (shocker!), and it turns out that they're really "Heather" and "Ashley." I guessed "Lauren" and "Kassie." But I think I was pretty darn close.

"Lauren" does not look quite as sprightly now as she did in the surveillance photo.

I had such high hopes for the details of the case, but upon reading about the capture, I was disappointed. Instead of my initial guess of sheer and rampant stupidity as motive, it turns out what was really at the heart of the case were some dudes and some marijuana. How...pedestrian.

"Lauren" and "Kassie," I expected some class out of you!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Like, Breaking the Law and Stuff

I'm extremely entertained by this update on the so-called "Barbie Bandits" who robbed a suburban Atlanta bank like it ain't no thang, and I can't wait until more details are uncovered. (Read the backstory here.)

I've stared at the photo below of the young thieves for quite some time now, and I love how they didn't bother to wear shirts that were nondescript (read: no designer stitching) or even cover their hair:

I hope the real story behind it is as absurd as the one I've envisioned:

Lauren: Hey, Kassie.
Kassie: Yah?
Lauren: Like, remember how we wanted to buy matching Louis Vuitton bags like the one Jessica Simpson has, and we found out we could so not afford them?
Kassie: Yah.
Lauren: I, like, have a plan.
Kassie: Yah?
Lauren: Yah. Um, I, like, heard about it? On the news? And when this guy did it? It totally worked. For, like, a while, anyway. But we will so not make the mistake he did. He didn't even TRY to disguise himself! Dumb, right? Well, we will take his plan to the next level or whatever. We will wear those big Laguna Beach sunglasses everyone at school is always making fun of us for, and no one will ever know the difference!
Kassie: Yah?
Lauren: Are you, like, in?
Kassie: Yah!

In related news, going to school is not as entertaining as robbing banks.

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A New Comfort Zone

Roomie and I went out tonight. Nothing hardcore, just a couple of glasses of wine in the neighborhood -- one at the restaurant I recently went to with the Boyf and another at a totally new place that just opened this week.

Until now, I'd never had a neighborhood pub -- somewhere within two blocks that you can go to when you've had a rough day or when you want to meet a friend within stumbling distance of your apartment. But now, Roomie and I know the bartender at this new haunt -- a barkeep lifer who knows how to make a damn pretty rose out of a paper napkin in order to give it to the couple in the corner who just got married. I like the place. Pretension is not part of the equation, and it's okay that, when quizzed, neither Roomie nor I had any effing clue who the band Deep Purple was. But I've already talked about how patently uncool I am.

Tonight was low-key but important. I'm embarking on a sort of new chapter in my New York life, and it somehow helps to know that if I'm having one of those days, there is an old-school bartender in an Irish pub just around the corner who knows what my poison is. If a woman has that, in my opinion, she's doing okay. Life change or not.

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