Saturday, June 30, 2007

Finally, Some Truth in Advertising

A swanky salon near my neighborhood has a chalk-written sign outside advertising the "Laguna Bee-otch Mani/Pedi Special." This amused me.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Calorie Coma

I finally got jealous enough of all the people eating ice cream cones on the streets of New York that I broke down and bought a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. But this wasn't any regular ice cream -- oh, no. This was a brand-new flavor I'd never even seen before: Creme Brulee. And it tastes exactly like creme brulee. One bite, and I felt like I had just finished a tasty meal of duck and escargots at the neighborhood French bistro. It's also responsible for at least one pound of weight gain, but whatever! This is summer. And this is creme brulee ice cream we're talking about, people.

Listen to Dr. Blogstein and I shake it up on Dr. Blogstein's Radio Happy Hour TONIGHT at 9 p.m. EST. Go to Blog Talk Radio, tune in, and instantly become part of the cool crowd. Well, the cool online crowd anyway, but let's not mince words.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Barstool Philosophizin'

I like talking to old-timers in bars. Some of the most authentic conversations I've ever had in my life are from older men trying to drop some knowledge in the hopes that I'll stay and listen for a while. Loneliness talks.

I was at my neighborhood pub on Saturday, talking to a 60-something Danny DeVito type wearing a red pocket tee and khaki shorts. He's an old-school photographer -- hates the internet and what it's done to good work. Everything is so available, not as special as it used to be, he said. I could hear in his voice that he missed darkrooms.

He asked me what I do, and I told him. And then he asked me what I really wanted to do (because, we creative types, we all have a dream side project). I told him I wanted to write a book (um, join the club, I know), and he asked me why I hadn't started.

"I'm just...I'm afraid it will suck," I said, in my not-so-refined twentysomething parlance. "And then, well, I'll have no dream left."

He took a sip from his highball of Glenlivet 12 and stared straight ahead.

"Even if it 'sucks,'" he said, "it creates a bottom. You'll improve from there."

Wise words from a feller on a barstool.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Oh, It's Possible

As a single woman in New York, it is possible to really enjoy the title tracks to these records at the exact same time.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Awww, Dad

I'm pretty much the worst daughter ever, as I neglected to call my dad on Father's Day. I MAY have gone to the Jersey Shore that day with a certain Brazilian bartender, and I MAY have been way too drunk at the end of the day to remember to call my dad. But that is neither here nor there. I did call him on Monday, so I still get brownie points, but not as many as I should have racked up.

The great thing about my dad, though, is his view of relationships. He's a wonderful man -- into gardening, into drinking Miller High Life, into working for the church, into playing cards until the wee hours of the morning -- and I think that he thinks that every boy I date is as well-meaning as him. As. If.

When I was in the Midwest this past week, my dad was making copies of our written family history for me to take back on the plane. As he Xeroxed, I pawed through my closet, looking for my old softball glove and twirling an old baton I used to love, and I talked to him about men.

"[The Boyf] was good-looking," I said absentmindedly, stacking and unstacking some old books in my closet, looking for an old family photograph I had stashed there years ago. "I don't know -- I don't know if I'll ever find someone as handsome. But at least I'm prepared for that."

My dad paused, still making copies.

"You never know," he said with his back to me. "You might break the heel of your shoe on the sidewalk, and someone will be right there. Or maybe you'll be at the grocery store, and you'll meet someone."

I loved this. I loved every word of what he was saying. It was so charming -- the chick-flick version of the New York life he thinks I lead. The "meet cute."

Little does my dad know, though, what actually goes on. No parent should, really. But wouldn't it be funny if he did? Wouldn't his words of advice or reassurance be different? For me, it would go something like this:

"You never know. That bartender you've been scamming on could turn out to be un-sketchy and maybe take you out on a real date. Or that guy from the online personals might not be as bald as he looks in his photo, and then maybe you'll go from awkward beers at a neutral location to a less awkward dinner to wedded bliss. Or? That creepy IT guy from work could turn out to be a real charmer -- once you get past the whole creepy IT guy thing, anyway."

Reality is much less charming.

Listen to Dr. Blogstein and I rock it old-school TONIGHT at 9 p.m. EST on Blog Talk Radio. We promise witty banter...but don't hold us to much else. Though we DO have freaking Dick Van Patten, from "Eight is Enough" and a heck of a lot of other stuff (including "Wonder Woman"! Awesome!) on tonight. I think that means you should set your cell phone timer/Outlook calendar alarm for 9 p.m. and prepare to be entertained.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bloggers, Bloggers Everywhere

When I was on vacation in the Midwest -- at the time this happened I was actually drinking Bud Light at an Outback Steakhouse bar and trying not to inhale Middle Sister's cigarette smoke -- the unthinkable happened: I met another blogger. You think you're escaping the vain and self-obsessed masses when you leave New York, but no. The overeducated and opinionated are everywhere.

My new friend's name is Darin, and he so eloquently pens (types?) the blogs Branson Missouri and Branson Edge. Over some serious ass-kicking sessions with the MegaTouch word-search game, we discovered just how much we have in common (blogging). And don't have in common (taste and self-censorship). If you go to the aforementioned sites, you'll see that Darin is a serious journalist, whereas I am -- to date -- not.

So. Dear Darin, thank you for the sip of your bourbon (that was not a euphemism, you dirty-minded hooligan readers) and the quarters we spent displaying our superior vocabularies, and I'm sorry I babbled about my latest male conquest for the better part of our conversation. I swear I'm over him now. XOXO, Jane

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sage Advice from a Midwesterner

One of my top goals for the vacation to the Midwest I took this past week was to reconnect with my two younger sisters. I tend to still think of them as roughly 11 and 7 years old, respectively, which is wildly inaccurate, as they're young women now. Middle Sister is 24 and quite the boozer, and Youngest Sister is 20 and decidedly pure and uncorruptable. And then there's me, with my, ahem, extremely social drinking and intermittent come-to-Jesus/I'll-never-drink-again moments. It's a wonder all three of us came from the same parents.

Being the near-alcoholics that we are, Middle Sis and I quickly became hell-bent on getting Youngest Sis to drink. And what sort of alcohol, pray tell, does one buy a young college-age woman who doesn't have much drinking experience? Say it with me now: Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill wine. Don't pretend like you don't know what it is.

Going to a liquor store in the Midwest is like going to a candy store for this New Yorker. First of all, everything is so cheap it's practically free, and they have every kind of liquor/beer/wine/glorified lighter fluid you can imagine. So I shouldn't have been surprised when Middle Sis and I strolled into the convenience store (called something like Kountry Kabinet or similar) and found no fewer than four flavors of Boone's chilling in a glass-doored fridge, as if they'd been plucked directly from Mr. Boone's farm especially for us.

"Oooh, they have it!" I literally squealed to Middle Sis. "What do you think? Strawberry Hill, yes?"

And then, out from under the fluorescent lighting of the store, came a hick voice to end all hick voices. Sitting in a plastic booth that could have been a furniture remnant from a McDonald's circa 1987 was a grizzled, portly gentleman with a Budweiser T-shirt and crossed eyes. We had no choice but to listen:

"You giiiiiirls are in luck. They haaaave your flavor," he said.

"I haven't had this in years," I said, trying not to look at him. But he wasn't finished yet. With a sense of urgency that can only come from one boozer to another, our new friend said:

"Well, git you some!"

And git us some, we did. Not only did we follow his advice, but that became the inside-joke catch phrase for the entire trip. And even though Youngest Sis only drank about 1/3 of the bottle before going to bed like the oddly angelic being she is, it was damn worth it to buy a perfectly chilled bottle of Boone's from the Kountry Kabinet deep in Nowheresville, Midwest, on the advice of a drunken stranger.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Taking a Break

Hi, guys. I want you all to know that I really appreciate you being with me through everything lately. I'm going back to the Midwest on vacation for a week to see my family, and I think it's pretty clear from my recent posts that I need one. That said, I won't be updating this blog for the next week or perhaps longer, but I think everyone will live. ;)

I'm going to stay positive, I'm going to get the old Jane back, and when I return I plan to have better posts for y'all.

Thanks again, and I'll see you guys in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Detritus is my word now. I've claimed it. I've staked it.

Detritus is what is left. It's a "product of disintegration," according to the Bible. Detritus, for me, is all of these shopping bags littering my floor. Packed up by him and filled with my clothes, my makeup, my books. I can't open them. I know my two good dresses are in there -- I have to trust that they are -- but I can't open the bags and look inside. I'll only remember where they belonged in his closet.

Distraction is another component: It's cranked-up music (a lot of Tool lately) or conversation or drinks or general loudness or quips. It's the bartender from Friday night. And Saturday night. It's opening a bottle of wine now, at 5 p.m., because I just can't sit with the feelings I'm having.


Friday, June 01, 2007

This Is a Test

Tell me I can make it go away.

Tell me that I can eradicate this responsibility, this accountability, this intelligence. Right here, on Madison Avenue, tell me -- amid the honking cabs and the catcalls and the losers who have to point it out like obvious idiots -- that I don't have to worry anymore. Tell me that I can be stupid for once. Oblivious for once. Unaware of the consequences of my actions and a certified grown-up, whatever that means anymore.

Tell me that I don't have to think about how he already has my belongings in bags, that I wasted the past few years on hope. That my drinking is normal. That I'll smell your soap on me for the next week at least. That I can forget what drove me away from him in the first place. That I'm younger again.

Tell me that this won't be awkward later, that this is a temporary phase of mine and that I, of course, would never do something this ill-thought-out unless the circumstances dictated it. Which they do. Don't they?

But they don't. This isn't.

And I won't.

This is a toe-dip. This is only a test.