Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Will you still need me will you still feed me, when I'm twenty four

In two days I will officially be twenty-four, which to me means I will be out of my early-twenties and dipping my toes into my mid-twenties, but also able to just slightly tip my head up and catch sight of my late-twenties.
(Erica calls twenty-four “So young” and will probably smack me for my whining, so I guess it is all relative.)
But I panic because I am crazy and I have/do/always will feel life slipping by in a quick way that I cannot handle in my brain. We only get one chance at each day and after that it’s gone forever, and that is a thought that stays with me always. (Pills anyone? Just throw them at my face and I’ll grab whatever I can.)
I can’t even grasp how people can spend days laying around in bed, or watching TV; the idea is so petrifying to me that I get panicky just thinking about them and how I can help them get outside and seize the day. I am big on doing things, feeling complete, worrying that others are not feeling complete. I write it all down, I take pictures, and I tell stories. I need to know and to feel that what I am doing is a forward motion, something that makes my life better and that I will never look back in sadness or regret.
Regret is a word that I cannot stand in the least. (A little Dr Seuss for you.)
This is probably why birthdays mean a lot to me, even after twenty-four years of having them.
And although I feel like someone is pushing a glass window down over my head when I think about getting older, I actually (maybe for one of the first times) feel good about this past year. It’s odd because I am so neurotic that I am even hesitant to make that statement. But that is how I am feeling—yes it is in waves, and only when the waves of panic pass, but for me, this is really big.
Sure there are things I would change and goals I have not yet attained. But this summer has been really wonderful, and for me, walking into my twenty-fourth birthday sort of feels… okay. Okay with a big side of panic and unsure tension, of course, because hello I am me and I don’t want to have to take my life more seriously and think about things like job security and adult relationships and savings. But still, I feel… ready? It was like this summer has allowed me to feel this way and for that I am truly grateful. I feel prepared to take the next steps that I have to take to achieve my goals for twenty-four.
Plus, in a way, twenty-four sounds like a very sexy age.
“Hello, yes, I am twenty-four, what’s that? My table is ready even though I didn’t make a reservation? Of course it is. Champagne? Sure I’ll have some.”
It sounds more grounded than twenty-three, which can still have connotations of…
“Hello, yes I am twenty-three and, what do you mean you don’t serve onion rings here? What’s that? Okay yes, sometimes I throw up after I’ve had too much to drink, what does that have to do with anything?”
Anyway, I’d still rather it not have come up so quickly, but since it is here, I guess I’ll try to take it in stride without my head blowing up. And as I make everyone do (Some more begrudgingly than others) I shall muddle over my goals for twenty-four.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sample Blog I wrote for Chief Magazine

Blog 2 – This town is going straight to Hell

So last night I was using my laptop in Aroma coffee shop (since the asshole that I used to steal wireless from had the audacity to move or die or some other lame excuse for not providing me with free internet any longer), minding my own business, when a whole bunch of police cars started parking on Greene Street.
Now, although the flashing lights were an annoyance and a general indication of something gone terribly wrong, I decided to pay no mind.
Like any true American hero, I generally make it my policy to ignore whatever is going on until it directly affects me or my personal space.
So I continued with my imperative Facebook Profile updating until even more cop cars showed up, now accompanied by what looked to be hoards of very agitated people.
The thin Asian man on the laptop next to me turned away from his Jonathan Rhys Myers background and touched my arm. (Now affecting my personal space, I was forced to address the situation.)
“What is going on?” he quivered.
I sighed dramatically. “I don’t know, I don’t know! Alright, let’s find out.”
“Oh yes,” he nodded, happy enough to be the Joe to my Frank Hardy.
Hopping off of our stools we made our way to the front of the shop, shoving open the glass doors with some difficulty as the street was now teaming with what was, upon closer inspection, about a hundred teenaged girls. Strong-arming a few in the face I paved a path for my companion and myself, only to be stopped dead in our tracks about five feet through the unruly crowd. A piercing scream came from my left side as I realized that the world was ending; the monster from Cloverfield was finally as real as I had told everyone he was, and he was already dining on Yuppies in the West Village.
More screams rose all around as the crowd surged forward, knocking me to the floor. Asian Joe Hardy grabbed my arm and shouted into my ear…
“It’s the Jonas Brothers!”
My mind raced. I knew the name from somewhere, perhaps Americas Most Wanted? Terrorists? Criminal masterminds? Evil scientists? A thirteen year old sobbed into her cell phone as she ran by. Dear God.
“They are a boy band, from Disney. They are sworn virgins!” he shouted, rushing head first into the crowd of girls who were now chasing a black Chevy Suburban down the block, tearing their hair in madness.
I remained on the floor as the crowd thinned around me, all rushing down West Houston in a mass of maniacal passion. Two girls on the street corner furiously waved a cardboard sign that read “We love you Nick” and did not read “Recovering prostitutes and meth-addicts please spare some change” as I had previously assumed.
“They are the Beatles of this generation,” a plump mother explained to a terrified looking father as their daughter ran into the street while grabbing at her chest.
Virgins? Sweet lord, I thought, this town is going straight to hell.

Friday, August 8, 2008 designer profiles

Designer Profile
Diana Widman
Diana Widman Design

Diana Widman began her career as a bookbinder and a printmaker. This passion for paper and fabric is extremely evident in her work; Widman’s ‘Gold and Silver Linen’ collection actually has the look of paper or fabric. Using a style called fold-forming, this Montana artist has been able to create pieces that are innovative in their whimsical designs. This softness affects even the texture of the pieces, which are smooth and silky to the touch. Her other pieces also utilize these fluid lines and shapes, as seen in her ‘Squiggle Collection.’ Widman often uses pearls, gems, and diamonds, and takes great pride in combining stones that are not often seen together. This ‘mixed company’ technique piques a sense of curiosity that will surely have wearers answering questions about their jewelry time and time again. “Elegance for Every Day” is the motto that Widman attempts to uphold with her work, as she believes that her pieces are perfect for that transition from day at work to night out on the town.

Designer Profile
Donna Distefano
Donna Distefano Ltd.

Once the senior goldsmith for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Donna Distefano brings an amazing amount of experience and background to her work. She has been in business for over fifteen years, and her jewelry has appeared on the red carpet and in the pages of countless magazies such as InStyle, Gotham, and Modern Bride. Distefano’s lines are all created by hand, and her Amor Fati line has become a big name in the bridal market. Harnessing trends and styles from the renaissance era, Distefano’s pieces feature intricate scrollwork, medallions, gemstones, and rich colors. The collections highlight her preference for deep colors, and many pieces are ornamented with rich blues and reds. One of her most intriguing endeavors is a necklace made from an actual portrait, recreated in miniatures and placed on a 22k gold pendant. Distefano’s work is for the woman who wants a piece that combines the old with the new a piece that can be passed through the generations.

Designer Profile

Gintare Kizys
Gintare Jewelry

Although Gintare Kizys is a new face at the JA Jewelry Show, her designs seem to stretch back to medieval times. Kizys’ line, Gintare, is reminiscent of the jewelry and detailing that we see in the Bayeux Tapestries. Her use of crosses, fleur-de-lis, angels, and chalices are all capable of transporting us to another era. When speaking with the willowy blond Lithuanian, she refers to dynasties and historical events as her inspiration; she clearly pulls her muses from religions and traditions of the past.

Kizys often uses 18k white, rose, and yellow gold, making her work delicate and somehow simple in its detailing. Many of her pieces feature precious and rare stones, which are enfolded into the gold in a soft and tender way. One of the most striking Gintare pieces is a ring with quartz, and within the stone there are small water bubbles; details such as these pull you in to Kizys’ designs and keep you entranced.
One of Gintare’s signature pieces is the interlocking ring. Patterned with the fleur-de-lis and spotted with stones, this piece (like most of Kizys’ pieces) is unisex. Composed of several layers, the ring can be taken apart and worn separately, or mixed and matched with other interlocking rings of assorted colors. This creativity and depth gives all of Kizys’ pieces a sense of history and purpose that harnesses the past but brings forth a breath or fresh air.

Designer Profile
Lena Sklyut
Lena Sklyut Fine Jewelry and Accessories

Lena Sklyut’s jewelry is impossible to ignore. Love it or hate it, her pieces are made to be noticed. As an American designer of Russian descent, Sklyut brings forth two separate backgrounds and mixes them together into her eclectic line. This is statement jewelry, fully adorned with snakes, skulls, and spiders. Most pieces are made of 18k gold or sterling silver and feature a dominant LS symbol. These large rings, bracelets, and necklaces are often ornamented with diamonds or semiprecious stones, and are quite large in their sizes. Sklyut’s color choices are often regal in their combination; many of her pieces feature dominant pinks and reds, or diamonds and gold. “This is one of a kind jewelry for a one of a kind woman,” Sklyut says. “It is for a woman who can handle attention and wants it.” The five different Lena Sklyut lines feature many unique limited edition pieces, ranging in themes from the depth of the ocean, to symbols of love and prosperity. The lines also feature other accessories including belts, money clips, and pendants. Sklyut’s jewelry is powerful and bold, and not to be worn by the meek.

Designer Profile
Sonja Picard
The Sonja Picard Collection

The Sonja Picard Collection boasts over 300 pieces, each with a different meaning. This Canadian designer creates pieces that honor the ancient yogic concepts and call upon its mantras. Picard practices yoga for the mind, and believes that her jewelry allows for a connection to meditation throughout the day. Pieces are first hand-carved in wax and then produced in multi-color 14k gold adorned with various gemstones and diamonds. Each item is then inscribed with divine symbols, Sanskrit mantras, or celestial images. Some of the pieces, like her ‘Om Shanti’ necklace, have both Sanskrit writing on one side and English on the other. What makes Picard’s jewelry stand out is the spirituality that emanates from each item; she is a practicing bhakti Yogini and she has created jewelry that is deeply rooted in those beliefs. These items range from studio to couture, allowing you to practice your ‘art of adornment’ wherever you go.

Designer ProfilesKristin HansonKristin Hanson Jewelry
Jewelry available on
With designs inspired by the raw beauty of our earth, Kristin Hanson's jewelry lines are flawless embodiments of the natural elements that surround us. Each piece is motivated by an organic object and the names of her collections reflect this theme: Sea, Petal, Rain, Bone and Forrest. Most of Hanson’s work is made with 18K gold and silver, but each piece is cast from actual organic materials; the designer first molds her pieces in bone, coral, and shells, giving them the shape and feel of nature. She then adds gems and precious stones, enhancing these forms to reflect the beauty of the objects. This handmade process allows for incredibly intricate details.

A multitalented woman, Hanson is not only a designer; she also owns and runs her own school. The Kristin Hanson Fine Jewelry School (located in New York City) teaches students of all different skill levels, and classes range from learning fundamentals to producing your own designs. Even with so much going on, Hanson still strives for more, saying “I hope to continue to develop my collection, open a signature store and build up my school on an international level.”

my UnVogue Informer articles

Red White and Blue Issue

American Models

I see models, everywhere. It’s almost as if they are following me, taunting me with their unbelievably long legs and increasingly young age. As fashion week rolls around, the West Village is overrun with all of these lanky youngsters; they are certainly hard to miss in a crowd. But what always strikes me most about these pretty young things is the fluid stream of French/Spanish/Russian drifting over from their conversations. It seems that American runways have become a giant melting pot for models from all over the globe, leaving the natives in what seems to be the minority. But fear not patriotic readers, for there are still a ton of up-and-comers who hail from the US of A.
Jordan Richardson was born in Norfolk, Virginia and graced the cover of our very first issue of UNVOGUE. Hailing from Colleyville, Texas, Ali Michael is another American model to watch. Besides starring in numerous Vogue editorials, Ali has made her name known for speaking out against the pressures to be thin in the fashion industry. Chanel Iman is an Atlanta, Georgia native, who appeared on the cover of Teen Vogue and has been photographed by Annie Leibowitz. Some more established American models like Bridget Hall have crossed over into Hollywood, appearing in films like The Devil Wears Prada and The Outsider. So keep your eyes peeled for these American beauties as they continue to flourish.

Dieu Ex Machina

There is a new brand in the world of luxury sportswear, and the clothes are a striking as the name. Dieu Ex Machina’s designs are clean and effortless, but capture a dark spirit. The label is the brainchild of Carissa Knapp and Thulinh France, two designers who met while studying at Parsons School of Design. They launched their line in the Gen Art Styles 2008 in New York City and plan to reintroduce the line in the fall of 2009. Both Knapp and France feel that their mission is to keep the customer in mind; they find the Dieu Ex Machina woman is moody and wild but also very fresh. The label’s lines are rather androgynous in their silhouettes, but still manage to capture a sense of femininity with their sensual fabrics and furs.

American artists

At the moment there are a plethora of young Americans dominating the arts scene. None have had their names become more synonymous with the youth of New York than Ryan McGinley. Originally a New Jersey to New York transplant, Ryan’s photography has been lauded for capturing the voice of our generation with particular focus on those who remain on the outsides of the norm. At 24 he was the youngest artist to ever have a solo show in the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 2003 he was named photographer of the year by American Photo Magazine and in 2007 he received the ICP Infinity Award for best Young Photographer. His photographs often feature nudes in motion surrounded by large still spaces; his ability to capture his subjects is apparent in the New York Times Magazine Oscar Portfolio in which he shot the likes of Paul Dano and Ellen Page. Part of McGinley’s fame must be credited to his friendship with Dash Snow, another young American artist known more for his graffiti, outlandish behavior, and dominant roll in the New York social scene. The two were featured together on the cover of New York Magazine in 2007. In the upcoming year McGinley will be holding a number of solo gallery shows ranging from California to Portugal to Greece, truly spreading his vision of American youth and sub-culture all across the globe.

American dreams

The USA has been taking it hard lately. Between the war, the economy, and the President, our stock is not at its highest. Yet America has always been and still remains the land of opportunity. As natives we forget the vast opportunities that are open to us, and how lucky we are to have all that we do. Artists, writers, painters, students, teachers, parents, and children from all over the world still regard coming to America as a new chance and a new place to start a life. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the young talent that has journeyed to our shores to find success in their chosen fields. Gonzalo Garcia immigrated to California from Zaragoza, Spain after being selected by the San Franscisco Ballet School. He is now a principal dancer in the New York City Ballet. Junot Diaz moved from Santo Domingo to New Jersey when he was a child. In 2007 his first novel was published; The Brief and Wondrous life of Oscar Wao won the Pulitzer Prize as well as several other prestigious awards. Actor Dijimon Hounsou left Benin at age 13 and is now a naturalized US citizen. Hounsou has had leading roles in a variety of films, is the face of Calvin Klein underwear, and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in two separate roles. These people came to American soils to achieve their goals, and we are all the more lucky that they did.

American Bands

The music of the 1960’s was heavy with political messages and societal commentary. Sadly, few bands of today harness that same passion and urgency towards making a change; it seems that the music of the millennium is more focused on money, fame, broken hearts, and sex. The Dixie Chicks are a standout among a sea of misogynistic lyrics, brainless whines, and pop beats. Attacking all facets of media and art, this country music trio has sung out their messages loud and clear. To be fair, the Chicks weren’t always this politically charged; their battles began after lead singer Natalie Maines made an anti war/anti Bush statement during a concert in London. After this incident there was a boycott of the Chicks’ music, and three years of drama surrounded their every move. In 2006 the Chicks released a documentary called Dixie Chicks: Shut up and Sing, which followed the girls through these years of abuse and accusations. The Chicks went on to win five Grammy Awards in 2007, and gained their positive public image back, now with political depth. Currently the ladies are taking a break, but still continue updating their ever-popular MySpace page with letters and discussions about government and society.

American Food

When I was studying in Australia, the question that I got asked most often was “How bad is American food?” Apparently it was assumed that I survived on white bread and processed meats, pizza slices, and the occasional gallon of soda. It took a while to convince my classmates that I came from some of the best food in the world, and that perhaps they should be questioning some of their own palate choices, such as meat pies and vegemite. When I think of American food I cannot help but spend time salivating over the Bromberg brothers’ Blue Ribbon restaurants. The brothers were originally born in New Jersey, but left the country to attend culinary school in France. In 1992 they returned home to open Blue Ribbon in New York City. Soon after seeing the immense success of the restaurant, the brothers went on to open sister eateries, including Blue Ribbon Sushi, and Blue Ribbon Bakery. Spanning throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan, these immensely popular restaurants cater to whatever urge you have; their menus stretch from wine to beer, oxtail marmalade to fried chicken. The Bromberg brothers take pride in their American background, and feel as though it contributed greatly to their techniques and therefore their success both in New York and abroad at school. While enjoying their duck sandwich and a side cheese platter, I could not agree more.

my UNvogue columns

Green Issue

The Informer Goes Green
Gabrielle Sierra- UNVOGUE Issue 2

Green Feet
Natalie Portman is one of my all-time favorite brilliant babes. As smart as she is
beautiful, the young actress can now add Green Designer to her ever growing resume.
Ms. Portman has teamed up with the vegan shoe line Te Casan (‘A Woman’s Path’) and
created her own collection. I had a vegan roommate in college; she wore a lot of
hemp and kept her pants up with a long lanyard necklace. Needless to say, I didn’t come
away with the best image of vegan fashion. The phrase ‘vegan shoes’ conjures to mind
some sort of cloth sandals decorated with pinecones and leaves. But Natalie Portman’s Te
Casan shoe line ranges from flats to high heels, and is made from various satins and faux-
patents, not dirt and sand. Although some of the shoes may seem a bit pricey (most of the
heels run at around $265.00 per pair), this limited edition line is certainly a wonderful
step in the right direction. Just don’t wear them with your snake skin jacket.

Recycling is a girl’s best friend
Talk about trash becoming a treasure! Your recycling has never looked better thanks to the smarty-pants at Cool Planet Jewelry. The company has partnered with to produce a line of entirely eco-friendly designs created from recycled precious materials. Celebrities like Sheryl Crow and Kristin Cavallari have been sporting the recycled gold, silver, and platinum jewelry, which features the Stop Global Warming insignia. These simple pieces come in both men’s and women’s, and what they lack in intricacy they made up for in purpose, as fifty percent of the proceeds are donated. The straightforward style would go great with a plain white t-shirt and pieces range from $35.00 to $450.00. Even the website itself is green, as it is run on solar power and all orders are sent in hemp packaging.

Radiohead tours naturally
Summer is coming and so is the wave of music festivals that go along with the warm weather. Music lovers everywhere have already begun buying their tickets for events, eagerly positioned at the edge of their seats in anticipation for the outdoor concerts, drum circles, and overpriced falafels. But rumor has it that eco-friendly rock band Radiohead will not be performing at this year’s Glastonbury Music Festival in England. Lead singer (and my future husband) Thom Yorke has said that the band will not participate in any festivals or events that do not provide public transportation for its attendees. The Glastonbury Festival website does suggest some other means of reaching the grounds including ‘lift sharing’ and the frightening idea of hitchhiking; however, they are one of the few large festivals that will not be providing any public bus or car transportation. Radiohead has long been active in trying to reduce its carbon footprint on the world. In the past Yorke has stated that he has a hard time dealing with the harsh environmental impact of touring, and it seems that the band has begun to take action with their new 2008 schedule. Radiohead will be playing many other festivals and venues around the world, so get your bongo drums ready.
Treat yourself (and the earth)
Being eco-friendly doesn’t have to go hand in hand with limiting your luxury. Nowadays many top resorts are being designed with going green in mind. No longer will you feel required to go camping and roast organic tofu hot-dogs; these vacations are crafted for style, adventure, comfort, and relaxation. Chaa Creek was one of the first eco-lodges opened in Belize and now has a spa, horseback riding, and a five star rating. El Nido Resort in the Philippines is also a turtle sanctuary, and therefore provides amazing diving opportunities to its guests. Vacations aren’t the only way to green the luxury in your life; you can indulge in fine dining while still going green. allows you to find eco-friendly restaurants of all different cuisines in all different areas. Or you can green your massage and facial treatments at an eco-friendly spa, many of which are listed on Thanks to these various environmentally sound services, being eco-friendly doesn’t mean that you ever have to give up your favorite treats.

Models lend a hand
It’s not just designers who are getting in on the Green Movement; models are showing their environmentally friendly side as well. Super-beauty Cindy Crawford is teaming up with PUR Water Filtration and launching a new campaign called “Thirsty for a Change”. This program aims to cut down on the massive amount of water bottles that are piled up in garbage dumps everyday. Natalia Vodianova is another model who is striving to make the world a better place. In 2007 she was a part of Al Gore’s ‘The Climate Project’, through which she designed an organic tee shirt. She is also the board president of the Naked Heart foundation, an organization that was created to fund and construct play parks around Russia. Summer Rayne Oakes shows that beauty, brains, and a green lifestyle can all go hand in hand; Summer is an environmental scientist and a model who travels the world participating in sustainable development programs. These ladies aren’t just pretty on the outside; they are making wonderful steps to help our earth and raise awareness.

Want to go green but don’t know where to start? Look no further than, a site entirely dedicated to Green event listings. Sorted by date, time, type, and location, this site makes it hard to find an excuse not to get involved. Contributors are able to post their listings for all types of events, ranging from arts to business, health to design; visitors are able to search and link to their exact interests.
Larry Sheehy is the creator of, and he is just as warm and kind as you would expect a green-site-maker to be. “For now I would say the main purpose of the site is to increase awareness of the sustainability of the revolution/green living movement by way of publicizing the events of this growing-by-the-day revolution.” He places all credit into the hands of Ida Tremblay, the creator of the green living expo aptly and originally named Ecopalooza. Larry has high hopes for the green revolution. “Simplify, Switch and Join together in cooperation!” Larry says. “The easiest and most effective ways we can green our lives is to simplify by purchasing fewer things and when we buy, buy recycled or green. Switch to a plant based diet and eat as local as possible. Join in a community and cooperation with our neighbors to create cooperative green ventures that promote green living. If there’s not a green living event near you, then think about creating one. Let a thousand Ecopaloozas Bloom!”

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The dress code of rebellion

The Dress Code for rebellion

I once worked with this artsy bar-back guy with whom I had a conversation that went sort of like this:

Him: “I like your shirt. Is it real?”
Me: “It’s a real shirt, yes.”
Him: “I mean is it a real Rolling Stones concert shirt? Or is it like, from Urban Outfitters?”
Me: “It’s real, my friend’s mom found it at a thrift shop in New Paltz.”
Him: “Good. I hate everyone who buys their shit at Urban Outfitters. They sell shirts that look like that, you know? And ones that look like this. With holes in them made to look vintage. But this is really vintage. It was my dads.”
Me: “That black t-shirt?”
Him: “Yeah.”
Me: “Oh. Neat.”
Him: “What are you doing on Friday?”

Clearly I walked away from this conversation mumbling “Good god, this kid is so friggin lame,” but it did get me thinking.
If I had said that it was, in fact, one of the many shirts that Urban Outfitters spews forth from their Soho location then, what? Would my co-worker have taken back the compliment? Would that have meant that I was any less of a Rolling Stones fan and therefore less cool? Less music savvy? Less date worthy? Probably.
Now I know that I have the annoying tendency to play devil’s advocate. I am certainly aware of how much cooler it is to have a shirt from the actual concert than one from a chain store that also sells Happy Bunny books. So I am not arguing that point.
My argument (or debate or point or meandering thought) is: why is there a dress code for rebellion?

Our sense of style is pretty much our best form of expression and by far the most useful tool in:
a- stating who we are
b- Judging others

How you dress makes a declarative statement so no wonder rebellion has its own dress code. Clothing makes the man, and therefore it is also our best form of evaluation. Some of the biggest generalizations come from our everyday wardrobe:
“I am not attracted to guys in suits” (A clear oversimplification that means that men in suits go to bars in midtown and chug beers and can’t possibly be interesting.)
“You are such a hippie. But you dress too well to be a real hippie.” (Oversimplification of a girl sitting on the ground while in line for a Phil Lesh concert, but also wearing seven jeans)
“I can’t wear that.” (Stated by a fellow who will wear pants with no button, underwear with holes, and a shirt covered in BBQ sauce, but wouldn’t step outside in anything he finds to be too hipster oriented)
These sorts of statements show us just how important it is that our outside reflects what is inside so that there is no confusion to the outside world. There is a uniform for everything that we do, for every person that we become.
In my mind there is a longstanding notion of rebellion and what one should wear in order to properly display that agenda. I remember the rebels of my Junior High School; they were the kids who wore band t-shirts and had green hair. There were lots of them, mostly thin guys or chicks with bad acne. And if you wanted to be one, well, you had to dress like that too. I could certainly not be called a Goth while wearing everyman clothes, even if my attitude, music choices, and lifestyle clearly displayed my gothic attitude.
You ever see a film where a preppy guy walks into a biker bar? Who says that that guy isn’t the most badass biker around? His clothes do. He needs the uniform.
It is certainly an interesting thought that even being rebellious invites a certain level of judgment and consideration from the other rebels. There is no place that you are truly free from this societal norm.

Monday, July 7, 2008

All you need is LOVE

Love conquers all.

Recently I read a rather lengthy and rather bitter statement by Lentyne Bennett on the statement ‘Love conquers all’ (originally written by Virgil.)
Basically Bennett shits all over one of society’s most treasured, cliché, and poetic sayings.

“For centuries upon centuries we have been misinterpreting this famed trio of words. The uninformed masses breathlessly hold up this dwarfish phrase as a justification for snogging in public squares, abandoning wives, cuckolding husbands, for the escalating divorce rate, for the swarms of bastard children begging for handouts…when there is nothing remotely encouraging or cheerful about this oft-quoted phrase.”

Bennett goes on to stress that the Latin poet did not write ‘Love frees all” or Love liberates all.”

“…therein lies the first degree of our flagrant misunderstanding. Conquer: to defeat, subjugate, massacre, cream, make mincemeat of.”

It is quite interesting to think of such a popular turn of phrase in this fashion. Generally the ability to say “Well, love conquers all” is a powerful thing; it means that you have an instance in which love is the ultimate and deciding factor. No doubt your statement will churn up some sighs from those around you and those far off wistful looks of ‘oh I wish I had some instance in which love conquered all.’
I have never used the statement in a negative light. But wow does it apply. Love conquers all, including reason.

example: Did you hear about that mother who abandoned her kids to run off with her boyfriend? Well, what can you do, love conquers all.

example: What about that peace prize winner guy who murdered that chick’s boyfriend and wore his skin like a suit so that she would be reminded of him?
Well, ya know, love conquers all.

Leave it up to us to take a phrase such as this, so heavily laden with meaning, and associate it with something beautiful and light. And I am not slamming on love by any means. I love love and am lucky enough to be in love. But we all know what love is capable of. Love is visceral; it can make people physically ill. It conquers reason, and there is no rationality in love. You could be the best Jewish daughter in the world, but if you fall in love with a black Arabic woman, then no amount of cajoling from your parents about that nice lawyer Shlomo will change your true feelings. Love is passionate and love is unbelievably violent. Love of self, love of another, love of your children, love of God… we have seen all of these result in unbelievable violence, both in history and in our daily lives.

But in violence there is another type of beauty. All worthwhile tales posses some element of violence.

We take much more notice of those who overcome obstacles to get where they are today. Living a blessed life and completing the NYC marathon is great. Having had both your parents die in a tragic accident and then running the NYC marathon is news worthy. Through violence there is victory, and no story is a good one without conflict.

As a society we hold great respect for violence and the aftereffects. Perhaps this is why we so embrace the “Love conquers all” mentality. There is respect in the face of violent acts. There is a level of understanding in the irrational movements powerful emotions can force us to make. “I know my stalker was crazy but wow do I wish I felt as strongly about something as they did.”

"...we risk the massacre of the things we hold most dear, including our sense of self," Bennett says.

Sounds pretty awesome though.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Money, thats what I want

I just paid 105.00 to my bank for some sort of bounced check safety program. In return for my rent check not bouncing, they charged me $105.00.


Things like this always make me feel like a child. Checking my account online and being greeted by a negative number is never a great feeling. Having a conversation that goes:
“Well use your credit card”
“I don’t have a credit card”
“Are you joking? How old are you?”
Never makes me feel good. I’m not a money lover but sheesh do I need to get on the stick. I’ve always prided myself on not being someone who feels they need money, but it gives me neck cramps to think that I am sitting on nothing.
Personally I blame my parents (and why not?). They are the worst when it comes to saving. Growing up my family was constantly on the edge of being okay, but never quite there. It was well known that my parents would spend on awesome vacations, inviting our friends along for the ride. But when we got back it was go time, and there was no room for financial flaunts. It’s hard to live your life that way, and I knew it then, and I see it for myself now. My parents still live like this; when I told my mom about my bounced checks she laughed and then told me she ate too much left over Chinese food and maybe it was bad and she should probably go.

I am not a good spender or saver. I’m not a haggler; I’m not one to ask for money I deserve. I pay for rounds and I lose dollars. I say yes to dinners and drinks, and I’m a child when it comes to food shopping because I buy things I don’t need or like and sometimes they rot and I say “…oh that. I forgot about that. I would’ve eaten that, maybe I should buy more.” I’m very naive about these life-business sorts of things, which is an irony to me since I find myself to be very exposed and well versed in other subjects. Important things like movies quotes.

But ya know, I’m not really a big money lover, and maybe that’s my big flaw.
I love clothes and food but I can do without if I was happy with my life and profession. If I was a money type of person then why would I want to be a writer? If I wanted to be rich why wouldn’t I just be a dentist? Or a contraption inventor? Or an MLB All-star?
Instead I chose to be a writer, a profession that will never get me a key into Bungalow 8 or a key into a mansion or a key into a fancy car but maybe a key into a bicycle lock unless someone filled it with gum and in that case I’ll have to walk to work.

I think that tomorrow I’m going to go get a credit card. Yes. And then a taco to celebrate. And I’ll charge it on my credit card and then I’ll have some credit. Taco credit. And then when people say “Gabi you have no savings?! What are you going to do?” And I can say “Yes but I have credit. Taco credit.”
Which is clearly the best kind.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

He wants to be alone, to ponder this to the point of understanding-ness.

I just finished a really short good book that I would recommend called The Body Artist by Don DeLillo. Its a bit of a downer in a way but its well done and very visual. He is very good at highlighting small human actions that remind you of things you do or know. I actually went and got two more of his books to read while in Israel, so I'm pretty excited to have found a new author I like. So yeah he's written like a ton of books, so check him out.

The book is big on loneliness and how it makes you act and feel when you are alone, so it made me think, which spurned me to discuss with my friends. The idea of being alone and what being alone really means to different people is just so varied.

On my end, I am more the sort of person who likes to be around people. I have never lived alone and always had a brother or roommate to be around. I have an endless compulsion to be doing things and recording the things I am doing for proof that I am doing things. (Who needs therapy?) But I digress, we'll talk about that compulsion some other time.

When I was about eleven I used to go around the corner to Tony's pizza place, order a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich and a Tropicana fruit punch and read at a table alone. I liked doing it. It made me feel adult to be alone. I liked that moment I had to myself.

Now I am that girl who goes to movies alone, museums alone, and sits in the park alone. I take long walks alone. I even prefer shopping alone. I have been known to start big alone art projects which I never finish. Yet I have friends who would never do those things alone, hate being alone, feel lonely all the time. Its very interesting to see how people act when thrust into a situation like that.

In The Body Artist the main character Lauren winds up all alone in this giant house by the sea. It is pretty intense to think of living and existing and being so alone like that, and its something I have never experienced and probably never will while living in the city. But I can relate to her actions. She makes up a schedule, unimportant things that have to be done. She cleans.

I have a pretty stellar boyfriend who likes to be around me, or at least puts up with me being around him, so that makes the times that I am alone a few and far between. I also have lots of friends and a roommate. But its very interesting to read about and think about.

On an unrelated note but another part of the conversation I had with my friends; the importance of the phone.
So I am not a phone person. I used to be one, but I've become increasingly less dependant on my phone as the years have passed. I'm a big screener, which is really annoying for all my friends, and also annoying for me since when I miss a call everyone thinks I am doing it on purpose.

But still, I am definitely one to screen my calls or keep them as short as possible. But I believe that phone conversations are important in relationships. All relationships. Friendships, family, love, whatever. Maybe its not the actual HAVING of the conversations, but the knowledge that if you did have one it would be a good one. Fluidity of conversation, back and forth questions and answers, discussions of topics that you cannot wait to talk about. Laughter at one another's jokes or stories.

The phone puts a distance between you where you can no longer rely on physical closeness or other distractions. Its fine to walk side by side and not speak or have a pause during dinner while you are both eating; these actions fill silences and allow for an actual closeness and comfort. But on the phone a long pause just feels like a waste of time and leaves you wondering why you cannot think of anything to say to one another.

I asked three of my friends on a scale of one to ten how important phone conversations are in relationships. All three of them listed in the high 8-9s. Okay yes one of these friends likes to talk A LOT both on the phone and off, but it was good to get a sort of general opinion on it. If they felt that it was about an 8 on the importance scale, for me it is around a 7 or 6, which is still above 5 and therefore on the more important side.

Maybe my views are skewed do to some phone pasts. I've had long distance relationships that purely rely on phone contact, and a mother who I can talk to for hours both on the phone or off, friends who enjoy hearing what type of soup I'm eating or what I bought at the mall on Tuesday, friends who actually ask me about these things. So maybe I never even questioned phone conversations back then. I was probably bothered by the amount of time I could spend on the phone, which is what leads me to believe it isn't the actual phone conversations that are important but the idea that you could have one if you so chose.

I also think that sometimes I just like hearing details. I like hearing what other people are doing so that I can get a real glimpse into their lives and feel like I know more about how they operate, how they live. When i want to be close to someone or I miss them, it's nice to know what they are feeling or doing, whats important to them on this day, what they will be doing later. I like to talk out decisions I am making so I can hear how they sound. (I do this constantly to my current roommate, poor girl.) And I like to hear answers after I say something, I like to feel funny or at least heard. It sounds so emotionally high maintenance but I don't think it actually is. I think it's just normal.

Anyway two separate topics that can kind of go together if you think about it, maybe. Maybe not. Regardless, to end my blathering, I just wanted to say that I think I am going to change my blogging policies and begin doing it just once a week or so. If this is going to be a writing exercise for me I should be putting more thought into the entries as opposed to just passing fancies or wonders. So that's what I'm thinking, and I'm sure no one will lose any sleep over it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Kills on Fire!

Hey so remember when I posted about the fire in Webster Hall During the Kills Concert?

Well has way better pictures of it than I did, PLUS Alex and I are in one! If you click on the one to the top we are in the crowd on the second floor right under the exit sign. I am wearing a white shirt and looking at Alex with a drink in my hand and she is looking right at the camera. Candid moments with fires. Awesome.

Opposites Attract

I wonder what Paula Abdul was trying to say to us in her video Opposites Attract.
I mean, it is her dancing with a cartoon cat, and the song is about opposites attracting. Two steps forward versus two steps back, movies versus TV, quiet versus shouting, and neat versus messy and so on. Opposites.

So does that mean that she believes cartoons are the opposite of human beings?

If someone asked you to name opposites in a quickfire challenge, would you blurt out "CARTOON!" when they said "Human beings?" I don't think I would. Yes we have some opposite traits, such as flat versus 3d, living versus not living. But a cartoon is at it's core comprised of elements of human beings and human behavior; their every move is created to mimic our feelings and behaviors.
I think I might say "Dog." I guess that doesn't make a ton of sense but that is the first thing that pops into my head. "Slug" would probably make more sense. Slugs don't look like us or act like us, they aren't driven by any of the emotions or impulses we are. But they do like beer. I've seen them drown in the stuff in my old backyard. So then okay we aren't complete opposites. In fact slugs also breathe and move and eat and mate, so they really aren't our opposite at all.
Maybe "Chair." Chairs don't move and they don't eat or sleep or mate. They don't have a heart. But they do support, which human beings are capable of doing. And a wood chair was once alive. Still, I think chair may be a better opposite than slug or cartoon.

But maybe Paula meant that cats are the opposite of human beings.

Generally I'd say that the opposite of a cat is a dog, not a human being. But then again the opposite of a cat could be a mouse, as has been inadvertently stated by such cartoons as Tom and Jerry, Sylvester and Tweetie, Itchy and Scratchy. Or a fish. Still, I think that a cat exhibits far too many human traits to be called an opposite. Especially a rapping dancing one who calls himself Paula Abdul's lover.
Paula's opposite in that video should really be like, a man, who is old, and fat and can't dance. And he should be nude, and every time she smiles at us he should burst into tears. That would be more appropriate than a cat who shares a great many traits with her. MC Cat enjoys dancing (both break dancing and tap) and so does she, he likes singing and so does she. He likes Paula and Paula likes Paula. They are both hams for the camera and they both agree that opposites attract. At one point they are both wearing white sneakers.

And yes sure opposites do attract but you must have SOME things in common in order to be compatible. Even if one person is messy and the other is neat, they still have to be able to live together or be around one another and therefore have found some common ground.

So really my point is, what is Paula trying to pull? Are we to believe that
A- She is really attracted to this cartoon? I mean he's thin and energetic but come on, he's wearing suspenders.
B- That MC cat would really be loyal to Paula when he has his back-ally buddies just waiting to take him out to strip joints and milk bars? The temptation is far too great and why would a dancing man such as himself want to be held down by the demands of fame on Paula's schedule? Can you really see him sitting in the back of a tour bus waiting while she signed autographs? he's not a background kinda man.
C- That Paula Abdul has the power to dance on cartoon steps?

....I lost track here didn't I.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

ladies ladies please

My mother once told me that at some point in my life I would find myself playing mother to the world, and namely to men. And she was right.
When I see an ailing case it's like I can't stop myself; there is something in me that enjoys running headfirst into a burning bus to rescue an already dead body. And it's not just me. I have girlfriends who have dated men with drug problems, gambling problems, drinking problems and money problems. And lets not even get into the list of men with emotional problems, they seem to be the most desired in our lives. Is he a head case? Then yes I'll date him. Please.
What is it inside of a woman that feeds off of the need to help, to heal, to be the source and the cure of love for someone who will never change? Is it something we are born with, born into? I feel a neverneding obligation to make everyone happy, to protect my family and friends, to clean up. And I'm not even clean!
It's like we enjoy pain. And maybe we do. Strong women are masochists too. Maybe even bigger masochists than weaker women.
Being a strong female is trying. It causes alienation both in the workplace and at home. While climbing to the top you are inevitably trying harder than most men and therefore exhausting yourself and those around you. Controlling everything you possibly can. Strong women are bitches, they are demanding, they are independent, they are feminists. These types of stigmas allow little room to play the submissive. And maybe the only place that a strong female can find that outlet is in a male dominant relationship. It is exhausting to play queen, hostess, organizer etc etc.
So is a little abuse welcomed? Is a little submission necessary? To feel even or whole or to let lose for one second or to get off do strong women need to feel weak?
It is an interesting parallel that the strongest girls I know have also had the worst relationships. They are bored with the smooth sailing ones that they can control; it is the rough, tumultuous ones that stick. It is the men who are mean that you go back to.
My mom says it's just a phase, that you go through your phase with the bad guys the wrong guys and you get your kicks doing so. But times they are a changing, and women are stronger than they have ever been.
Sorry this was a sort of jumble of suppositions and questions but I am eager to get some answers from you guys

Friday, May 2, 2008

The roof is on fire

what a goddamn eventful day yesterday was! let me tell ya about it.
(Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.)

For those of you who don't know I lead a project called the Young Authors Club through New York Cares. Its a group of about 12 kids and 12 volunteers and we all meet in PAL Duncan, Hells Kitchen. PAL Duncan is this really amazing program; it is run by the Police Athletic League and it allows these kids to have a place to go and learn and read etc. Their tuition is based on family income so some of the kids there pay about $5 for the whole year.
Okay yes it's a bit of a madhouse. The first time I walked in the receptionist was nursing her baby behind the desk, and the bathroom has no doors that lock and one stall is missing a seat.
But regardless of all that stuff these kids love to write and some are pretty damn good.
Every time we have a session I am truly surprised at the level of comprehension and writing skills. It is very interesting to see what the kids know and don't know and what they like to write about. For instance I gave them an assignment to tell us where they are from or what their names mean; none of them knew. Most live with either very young parents or foster families and you forget that they probably won't ever know this sort of information.

Yesterday I gave them an assignment which they really embraced. They were told to write a letter to the president and tell him what they would want to change and why. So okay yes some of them wanted things like tater-tots every Sunday for the rest of their lives. But others expressed some really genuine ideas including an AIDS vaccine, an end to the war, and money for their parents to buy a house or car. They also got into debates over whether they were voting for Obama or Clinton. (They are eight.) To hear them debate about political issues was really such an intense eye opener as to how influenced we can be at such an early age. It was wonderful. Every time I leave there I want to take a child with me. But that's illegal.

So after that I had to run to meet Alex for The Kills concert. My phone died because I'm a big softy and I had let the girls at Pal Duncan play with it which meant they were turning it on and off for an hour. So now I'm late, and it's raining and my phone is dead. So I did the grossest thing I could think of; I used a pay phone. Like three times. (As Alex said when i finally met her, 'Hepatitis in the ear!")

The concert was in Webster Hall, which is totally insane on the inside. There are mirrors everywhere and the floors are all checkered and the upstairs bar is made out of a giant fish tank. I had been there only once for a New Years when I was still underage and could still vividly remember the hoards of Asian and Arab men who surrounded us like gnats on the dance floor. Anyway neither Alex nor I had eaten but they wouldn't let us back outside once we were in (and the lady in the bathroom was charging money for one spray of perfume so we knew the cheese-its she had laying out must have been like ten bucks) so we just said okay fuck it let's get drinks.

Two drinks in we were drunk and enjoying ourselves much more. By the time the Kills came on we were warmed up and ready to dance.
And then the roof was on fire.
The band sounded great and we had a great view from the top right balcony. Everyone was listening intently when Alex pointed to the ceiling and told me we had to go. So I look up and say, "oh." The ceiling was this web of design and all carved and I watched as this orange fire slowly crept along the edges, making its way closer and closer to us. Suddenly managers and security guards began pushing people back from the area as the band played on. Alex and I gathered our stuff and stood there watching as the fire slowly made its way in new directions and then began burning itself out.
Nobody really panicked, in fact no one even moved. After a few minutes the fire stopped and everyone went back to their spots. After a few more minutes the firemen came, which every girl up in that balcony loved. Especially Alex. After a few more minutes a fireman came on stage and stopped the show, much to the surprise of the band and audience who hadn't even noticed that the roof was on fire. Security guards kept yelling at people not to take pictures of the firemen or the fire but we did anyway. I mean, come on.
After about ten more minutes the band came back on and all action resumed. It was a great concert and really one of the more freaky/scary things I've ever seen in my life. Imagining if the fire had continued and how people would have was frightening. I could only imagine the insane trampling/pushing/rioting that would've gone on.

To end the night I got a bacon egg and cheese sandwhich from Cozy Soup and burger, this diner on Broadway and Astor Place. It cost eight dollars.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Quote of the day

"My genius has come alive! Like toys when your back is turned."
-Tracy Jordan, 30 Rock

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Back to ole' NYC

Hello all.
I have skipped a few days as I was away in California for the Coachella music festival.

But as some of you know, before I left my babygirldog Zoey had to be put to sleep. I'm not going to get into it as I don't want to cry at work (again) but let me just say that there was never a better dog, and being there with her right before and walking out knowing... it was one of the hardest things I will ever have to do in my life. (I hope.) My mother stayed in the room, something I will never have the courage nor impulse to do.
Its very frustrating as I don't even know what to do with the hard ball i feel in my chest every time I talk about her, and I know I know, she was just a dog.
But she was my dog, my girl.
She was not even four. I will miss her forever and always wonder if there was something I could have done differently. (ANNNND crying at work, again)
I feel like my going away simply put off the inevitable sadness that swallowed me once I came back to New York; getting into bed last night at frigging 3 am after a long delayed flight and an overnight drive I just knew I'd lose it. And I did. Nothing like a good cry though, proves that I feel feelings just like every other human being.
But now I am moving the blog onto brighter tidings because life moves on and we must move on or else be pulled down into the sad stuff that sucker punches us in the back of the head with unexpected cruelty and without regard to fair play.
(Am I bitter? Fuck yeah I am. And I have every right to be bitter. I don't understand karma or good auras and I thought I did. I thought what goes around comes around but since this new year has begun all I have seen is this weird barrage of the bad getting rewarded and the good suffering and yeah I'm fucking bitter. All I see paying off for everyone to some extent is hard work, and how can you work hard at saving something that is sick or helping something out of your control. )

Coachella. Really fucking amazing.
Best bands--- (aka songs to download) as I can remember off the top of my broken head...
Justice (Genesis)
Hot Chip
Sia (Breathe me)
Cold war kids
serj tankian
Fatboy Slim
Adam Freeland
Gogol (obviously)
All in all I'd say that Bonnaroo was better; however, the dance scene couldn't ever hold a candle to Coachella. My biggest issues with Coachella were - drinking restricted to the tents, police presence, less hippies more hipsters, and some rather short sets.
But the weather was amazing and it was so nice to be at a festival without boiling in the sun. I've never been to Cali before and from what little I saw of it it seems like a place I would really enjoy.
I'd write some more but now I am back in New York, at WORK and I just don't feel like it. I JUST DON'T OKAY??!!
I promise my next entry will be riveting.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

PS- And now some good luck! Tim and Spike TV

So Tim (my boyfriend) has just gotten a call back for a Spike TV commercial! This is very exciting stuff and brings a little good luck and good news into the day, so I just wanted to share it.
Sort of puts the fun back into being a starving artist.

Twos Day

SO I had this whole epic idea about what I was going to write today but I've been derailed by the status of my puppy dog.

She is still very sick, and it's really just the worst feeling. They believe she has a very very serious case of pneumonia, but there is a possibility that she may have something else that they aren't treating, but they can't tell because she is too weak to do testing. She's so helpless, you know? I just want to cure her of all that ails.

Anyway shes still in the hospital, and for those of you who know Zoey, you know that she is a tough cookie so we are hoping for the best. I don't know if it is better for me to go visit her or to just stay away. Selfishly I want to see her, but is it worse for her to think that I am coming to get her to take her home? I don't know. I know it would break my heart to see her wag her tail at me and then get taken back into whatever room they keep the dogs.


Anyway on a brighter note Gossip Girl was back last night and despite some ridiculousness (okay a lot of ridiculousness) it was totally rockin.

We also had our very first kickball game last night which we won! I thought I would bust my ass trying to kick/throw/get hit with the ball but I came away unscathed.

We did decide to begin drinking before-during the games though. Should liven things up a bit.

Monday, April 21, 2008


So I am off from work today which is really awesome. My Jewish boss forces me to take these days off, but everyone else in the office has to come in. (Besides him, of course) Not that he really has to force me; generally, when he tells me that I have to take off I respond by saying "Thats awesome! Thanks Jews!" and then I do a little dance. (I don't know how much longer I can do this without him slapping me. ) He says that since my mother is Jewish it doesn't matter that my father is a Catholic Puerto Rican, so here I sit at home at Erica's computer since mine isn't stealing any Internet right now.

 I actually have a lot to do today, but I figured that since I am going to California for 4 days on Wednesday, I should try to get in as many blogs as I could. (Yay Coachella!!)

On Saturday I had to go to Long Island for Passover. Highlights?
1. Grandma eating dog food 
2. Cousin (also 83 years old) trying to eat the same dog food. She's not senile like my grandma, she just thought the dog food was hazel nuts.
3. Witnessing a conversation about online dating and blow jobs between my mother, my aunt and my cousin. 
4. Getting drunk with my father and listening to him ramble about terrorists. 
5. Listening to my uncle's mother talk about how bombing Hiroshima was 'an amazing decision'. 
6. Trying to read the passover prayer stuff aloud while Grandma yells at everyone "Who are you talking to? Why are you talking? Shut up all of you!"

That night I went back to my parents house to see my dog Zoey. She is that adorable creature in the picture next to my profile. My roommate's and I got Zoey while up in college after having our house broken into while we were home watching TV. While at school the dog instantly became mine and has lived with my parents since I graduated. I know that's really bad-mother-pet-owner of me and I would do anything to have her with me here in the city, but living in a tiny apartment with a roommate doesn't really give you much freedom to bring your pit bull along. Anyway, my baby girl is sick. She is only 5.
I've had dogs all my life but I have never been as attached to a creature as Zoe. She is the sweetest thing in the whole world and seeing her too weak to stand was extremely hard. We had to pound on her chest for ten minutes three times a day to try to break up some of the gook in her chest and she wasn't eating or drinking. Anyway we thought she was getting better after being in the hospital a few days ago but my mom had to take her back today. They called her condition 'guarded' and are bringing in a specialist to see her as they don't know whats wrong. I feel horrid. And so helpless. 

Its amazing what sort of unconditional love you can have for another living thing; it scares the shit out of me for how I will/would feel when/if I ever have a child. To love something so much so blindly, it's very disarming. Anyway, please keep your fingers crossed for my pup. she's a good girl.   

Friday, April 18, 2008

Today Today

So, a few things have happened today.

1. My friend (and my number one blog supporter) Marc drew a picture of me. (See left)

2. A homeless man yelled a story to the back of my head while I was reading in the park. Well actually he was yelling at a picture in my book which he seemed to believe was real. Something about Vietnam and lying store clerks who tell you that you can have anything in the store but when you go to take it they call the cops so that's why you have to kill everyone. The picture was of Katherine Hepburn holding a monkey.
3. Its beautiful outside. I think I have told this to my co-workers about ten times, yet they don't seem to care. Which leads me to believe I am annoying, they are lazy, and I ate too much today. That last one is sort of unrelated but needed to be shared nonetheless.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Black tie Madness

So I attended a black tie gala last night thanks to my friend Ashley. It was the NYU Medical Center’s Violet Ball to honor this guy who donated 200 million dollars to the hospital. That’s pretty nutty. To be able to donate 200 million dollars and not even flinch. For me, that would be equal to like 50 dollars, and even that would make me flinch a little. Anyway, these were the highlights:

- The rich old white lady singing Ray Charles in the way only a rich old white lady can.
Said old white lady telling everyone in the room to shush because she still has two more songs to go and it’s rude to talk. Yes, she said shush to millionaires and doctors and millionaire doctors. But it worked! Good for you old lady, keep on rockin’
- The opening speaker of the night whose first line was “I want to open with some sad news.”
(Insert us thinking that this must be a jokey opener and mumbling ‘oh someone died today” while guzzling wine.)
“Mr. Allen Peters died tragically today. Let’s have a moment of silence”
(Insert us spitting wine with shock of this terrible way to open a fancy happy dinner, followed by Alex asking if we are allowed to drink during the moment of silence, then more wine spewing, me laughing during silence, and finally the devil marking down another point in his tally for my soul.)
- The 62 year old Cougar that pretended she was 46, loved Ryan, and told me she was too young to have listened to Bob Dylan.
- Ashley’s genuine surprise at discovering her stockings were crotch-less.
- Deodorant on my dress = rookie mistake.
- Alex insulting millionaires from Queens.

The event also made me realize that I am not cut out to wear stiletto heels, because no matter how sexy they make me feel I know I am walking like an ostrich. I also realized that just because you have money doesn’t mean that you don’t dress like you are going to junior prom. And lastly I realized that although it is really cool to dabble in the world of endless wine and black ties, it is not a place I would want to be all the time. And that’s nice to know, since I can gather that I probably won’t be there anyway.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Homeless man conundrum

This morning the homeless man who stands on the corner of Bleecker and Broadway asked me for some money. As I was getting coffee in Han’s deli I started to think about this homeless guy. For one, he is super tall, strong looking, and on the younger side. He looks like a bum, but mostly in the way that a guy traveling with no home would look like a bum. He has what seems to be a warm jacket on. Sure, he’s insane. I once saw him chasing a pigeon with ravenous eyes. But still, the question hit me, why is this guy asking me for money?
I don’t mean it in the way of - why is this guy asking me for money because he clearly doesn’t need any, like the guy who stands outside of Grand Central smoking cigs and wearing Nike Shocks. Or in the way Tim says “why is this guy asking me for money I don’t have any and he may be dressed better than I am.”

No, I mean it more in the way of, in real life, statistically speaking, this guy is more able to get a job and make more money than I am. I am a little girl; this man could save my life from a falling piece of wood. He could do manual labor that I couldn’t. He could probably run faster and jump further. In real life, if this guy wasn’t a bum, he would pull out my chair for me in a restaurant, open the door for me at work, buy me drinks at a bar, and reach to get something for me on the top shelf of Associated Supermarket. If this guy had some money, or even just a little leverage, he could get his degree, he would probably go further than me in the business world as a white male. He wouldn’t be hitting a glass ceiling or called ‘baby’ by random strangers. If we ever went on a date, he would insist on paying and treat me like a helpless chick when it came down to picking the wine or getting the coats. In fact, if it was cold he would give me his coat.

So okay, this isn’t the case. Instead of being a strapping man he is a bird eater. But it just makes me wonder what level you have to reach mentally in order for those barriers to be so broken down. To beg for a dollar from a 23 year old girl, something none of the men in my life would ever even consider doing. In our society it is the man who is expected to take care of things, protect his girlfriend/wife/daughter. Even independent women and dependant men still uphold some of these ideals; when a guy lets the door slam in my face, it is a shock. When you see a girl carrying something heavy and a man offers to help, it is expected and welcomed. I am not advocating a woman's rights thing or anything, I am just generally wondering when these respects are just gone for you.

What point do you have to reach where all these ideals and respects and so on are just completely gone to you? After asking me for a dollar he asked the tiny old smoker lady that lives next to me. I mean really? Her? She is old and tiny and a lady.

I guess once you have the desire to roast a pigeon and eat its sweet meat all other regular societal norms are sort of lost on you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

On the Road

I just finished Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.
So okay, I know I am way behind in reading this; most people loved this book back in high school. But I think it was just one of those books I avoided for some odd reason, maybe because it is a book that I am just expected to have read and enjoyed so I just stayed away from it. I’m a rebel baby.

Anyway I read it and I enjoyed it. Actually I loved it and want to live my life by it. What a cliché.

I read it mostly on the train, which in itself is some sort of irony, as I would read a few pages, be taken in with the traveler/beatnik/nature spirit, and then viciously elbow my way through the sea of businessmen so that I wouldn’t be late for my desk job. In a way this book made me hate my priorities and instilled a panic in me. “Why,” I thought to myself, “am I not living a life such as this?”

Obvious answers would be
a- society instills it in us that we are supposed to go to college and have a life plan
b- I like nice clothing and other such luxuries
c- I am a female, and females cant travel alone like a bum

But I want to have an experience like this in my life. The closest I’ve ever come to a rambling road trip was in New Zealand and we were all in a van so it doesn’t even count. I mean it counts, but it’s not the same. Alex has said she would go on an adventure backpacking across a cool European country with me, but again, the ‘two young girls alone in a foreign country’ is not as appealing in real life, what with the whole human trafficking thing. So it is more likely that we’d be staying in some sort of hostel. Tim has agreed that getting away from everything is an interest to him, but the idea of road tripping-wandering-adventuring doesn’t seem to be something he has taken a major shining to.

What I would like to do is drive across the US; there are so many places that I haven’t been. I would love to stop at truckers diners and eat steak and eggs even though I don’t eat steak and eggs, and I’d love to eat pie with real ice cream. And see the world’s largest ball of twine and set off legal fireworks on a beach and sleep in a crappy motel that is run by a mom and pop and go to a bar and play the jukebox and drink cheap beers.

I want to go here

Walter De Maria: The lightning Field

The Lightning Field, 1977, by the American sculptor Walter De Maria, is a work of Land Art situated in a remote area of the high desert of western New Mexico. It is comprised of 400 polished stainless steel poles installed in a grid array measuring one mile by one kilometer. The poles—two inches in diameter and averaging 20 feet and 7½ inches in height—are spaced 220 feet apart and have solid pointed tips that define a horizontal plane. A sculpture to be walked in as well as viewed, The Lightning Field is intended to be experienced over an extended period of time. A full experience of The Lightning Field does not depend upon the occurrence of lightning, and visitors are encouraged to spend as much time as possible in the field, especially during sunset and sunrise.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A heartwarming story to share with the group

We left for the music festival in Tennessee on a Wednesday night at around 8pm. Ali and I had taken a short power nap which had mainly consisted of snuggling with the dogs, so my mother, being the charitable and insightful woman she is, filled us massive thermoses of hot coffee to take along. Jack arrived around 7:30pm just in time to throw his small bag into the already packed car trunk and leave his Vespa keys with my father in case my family needed to move it further into the driveway. We hardly knew Jack at that time since he had just started dating our friend Laura and we had only just met him at one of her parties but he had asked to come along at the last minute and we had gladly agreed as we needed someone else to help with the driving. But Jack was just a few weeks off the plane from Austria and kept talking about all the times he had driven on the Autobahn while visiting his cousins in Germany so we decided to handle most of the diving on our own anyway. The trip was set to take about fifteen hours, and we were going to ride it straight through the night so we could arrive the next day.
The first few states had flown by swiftly and we had only stopped in Pennsylvania for more coffees and a short bathroom break. In Maryland we got more gas and some snacks. At each rest stop we ran into other travelers on their way to the festival, and these encounters each proved to be small power boosts in themselves. Barefooted hippies and semi drunk frat boys wandered in and out of gas station Seven Elevens, everyone greeting one another because we all had this one goal in common above all else.
But now we were approaching West Virginia and all the cars with ‘Tennessee or bust’ scribbled on their windows seemed to have dropped back or picked up speed and disappeared. After driving for so long the urge to sleep hits you like a slap in the face and you can’t even try to fight it. We weren’t even aware that the CD had finished and we were all sitting in silence. It took a near accident to wake us all up enough to realize that something was needed to keep our senses sharp. So Jack pulled out a large bag of cocaine and began taking bumps off of a key.
“You better watch it!” warned Ali, “You don’t want to be an immigrant thrown in a West Virginia jail.”
None of us really knew whether or not immigrants were treated badly in West Virginia jails but it sounded like a real threat so Jack moved the bag down out of sight. We passed the state line into Virginia and this seemed to put Jack more at ease and he passed the bag forward to me. After taking a few bumps I moved it over to Ali who was driving. I missed her hand entirely and instead poured the stuff down between the seats. The word devastation had a whole new meaning.
“We must stop!” cried Jack in his Schwarzenegger accent that I had yet to learn to take seriously.
Ali and I agreed; this was the time to stop and figure out what we had lost and what was to be done. We stopped at the first gas station we could find and pulled over to the side of the pumps. I had an idea.
“I have an idea!” I cried, racing into the Seven Eleven and grabbing three straws. My idea was clear once I came jetting out the mechanical doors, and the three of us got down to business. By sticking the straws between the seats we were able to begin snorting up what I had dropped. At one point I snorted up a clump of dust and I turned away from the action to spit. I realized I was face to face with a chubby female store clerk.
“Now that’s a fancy car!” she whistled, swaying slightly. She was drinking something out of a big gulp cup.
I nodded and turned my head to Ali’s lime green Saturn Ion. “She likes the car, Ali,” I said pointedly.
Ali raised her head and pulled the straw from her nose. “Thanks.” She hit Jack on his back and he too stuck his head up and wiped his nose.
“That’s like a future car, ya know?” the lady asked me, sipping her drink.
“It’s a Saturn Ion,” I said.
“Never heard of it. You know, I see a lot of cars come through here but yours is the most futuristic I’ve ever seen,” she concluded.
“Maybe it’s the green color,” I suggested, wondering if this woman was crazy or just drinking on the job.
“It’s got three doors!” she began to chuckle. “Ya’ll ain’t from around here that’s for sure.”
I shook my head and fingered the straw in my hand. The lady continued to wobble in front of me, and Ali and Jack deemed her harmless enough to continue the snorting. They turned their backs to us and bent over again.
“We’re headed to the festival in Tennessee,” I continued, “I’m sure others have passed through here too.”
“Shoot, I don’t know. I’ve been in there all night and no one came to say hello!” the lady laughed again.
“Do you work here all night?” I asked, curiosity getting the better of me and cocaine seizing control over my mouth. “Do you get many customers at this time of night? Do you live around here?”
I heard Ali laughing behind me as she made her way into the Seven Eleven for some cigarettes.
“Well,” the lady drawled, “I live over the freeway, so I walk here every night. It’s quiet. I get to eat the hot dogs. It’s a good job.”
We stared at one another, her eyes clouded with booze and lunacy, mine clear with drugs and surprise.
Ali broke the spell. “Hey I left you some money on the counter alright? I took these.” She held up a box of cigarettes.
The lady nodded and smiled. “Alright sugar, you rich, I trust you. Rich crazy car.”
Ali and I watched as the lady laughed and laughed. “Well we gotta go.”
The lady nodded and took one more look at the car, ignoring the large figure of Jack bent over between the seats.
We climbed into the car and I waved at her wobbling figure as we drove back onto the dark highway and continued our trip into the South.
“I took some candy. And some coffee. What a nutty broad, she was creepy.” Ali said, reaching into her sweatshirt pockets and pulling out cans of iced coffee and a few York Peppermint Patties.
None of us were hungry though, and I was suddenly hit with a wave of panic and sadness and the idea of stealing from that poor lady. I opened a can of iced coffee and took a deep sip. Sure she may have been drunk or crazy, but she may still be held accountable for the missing inventory. I ground my teeth together and tried to think about something else as Jack began to talk about his first motorcycle accident and Ali laid her hand out the window to feel the warm night air rushing past. Without saying it aloud we agreed to keep going the rest of the way into Tennessee and not stop at any more gas stations.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Top five women I wanted to be when I grew up:

1. Jessica Rabbit

Yes she was with Roger Rabbit who was totally like three leagues below her, but clearly she had depth because she loved him for his good heart. That and no cartoon was more sexy in a grown up movie; even the real humans wanted to bang her. I used to walk around the house and wave my 'hips' and say "Honey" and "Baby" all sexy-like to my dogs.

2. Rogue

Again I managed to choose a very busty cartoon to emulate; however, she was kick ass. Not only did she have a sweet accent, insane strength, and a skin tight costume, BUT she was capable of draining men of all their powers. That's amazing. Plus she loved Gambit and so did I.

3. Jennifer Connelly in Labyrinth

It was my dream to find a world much more romantic and mystical than my own, plus she was just bratty enough for me to identify with. And the whole time she gets to hang out with trolls, monsters, Bluto, and David Bowie's giant bulge.

4. The Queen of Hearts

Oh what power.

5. Catwoman

Black leather, whip, ability to kick ass in giant heels. Okay so I had a child-like interest in S&M, but come on the woman oozed kinky sex which is something you can sense when you are 9 but can't figure out why you are attracted to it. Catwoman was also the only woman to really have a hold of batman's heart. I loved tortured souls when I was a kid and she was the sexiest one.

(Brrrrrrrrrrr) What happened to that boy

This morning on the train there was this guy standing in front of me wearing headphones. Now, the 6 train is very quiet in the morning as everyone is miserable and tired and aware of the fact that we are being herded like cattle into the open glistening mouth of cubicle hell, so it is always easy to hear what people are listening to regardless of headphone density. So this dude was listening to some repetitive rap beat which, every few minutes, would be punctured by the sound of firing guns. Yes. Firing guns.
And at first I was worried. What sort of person listens to the sounds of war in the morning? And, I thought, if he is listening to this song in the morning, what does he listen to at night? It could only get worse. What sort of effect does this have on a person?

But then I thought about this song that Lindsay and I used to listen to in college.
Birdman (baby?)- ‘What happened to that boy?’
Okay, well really it was just me who listened to it, and I did it to make her laugh, but somewhere beyond this façade of comic relief lay a genuine affection for the song. I liked the beat, and sometimes they’d play it at the Post.
Not only is the Birdman song unforgivably stupid (he coos like a pigeon during most of it) but it starts with a loud gun shot. I actually think there is more than one gunshot throughout the song as well. So what I would do during college is turn my speakers up really loud and then put that song on, pretending to duck when the gun shot rang out across the whole room. Then Linz and I would laugh and laugh while listening to the rest of the song and attempting to make the bird noises.

So what does this mean? Why would I laugh when I heard a gun shot? Am I just as bad as the skinny dude with a bad moustache who was listening to the machine gun diddy this morning?

And I came to a conclusion. No I am not. I’m funny and he’s a retard.