Sunday, January 29, 2006

I have lost my goddamned mind.

I spent the day with the folks a little ways up the coast. We had a little pre-birthday family time (pizza, ice cream. Yes, it was all my choice. When I'm with my folks, I become 15 again. What?) We also did a little shopping. I really, really needed a new bag for the upcoming trip, you see. The shops in the 'burbs have so much more stylish discount goodness (theory: the ladies who shop in the burbs aren't exactly down with the Baby Phat and/or are down, but think the prices are too high, because clearly they don't have crazy NYC mark-ups to deal with; either way, more for me). I was really, really good. I got this 20" United Colors of Benetton rolling bag and the matching flight bag/knapsack for $68. Like, together, bitches. That's $68 combined! They are green, much like the many travel bags I have admired recently. And they can both be carried into the cabin with me. (I do not believe in checking bags. Just, no.) And I got them both for a third of the cost of one of the others I'd lusted after. All of these features together outweighed the fact that I fucking hate rolling bags, man. So yay, I gots (inexpensive) travel gear, I can pre-pack for Chicago! But do you know how I celebrated my shopping victory? Hm? How I rewarded myself for my thrifty thinking? I took a great big bite of stupid. Now, to be fair, I have always wanted a big old amethyst cocktail ring. It is my birthstone, after all. And I do prefer white gold to yellow because it goes so much better with the undertones in my skin. And those are actual little diamond chips all around the outside, adding up to almost half a carat of sparkles in addition to that big ass purple stone. And this is rather close to what is in fact my dream engagement ring and I see nothing wrong with buying it for myself because who knows if I'll get married, and why wait to find out? But... It wasn't cheap. Sigh. I might return it. But I will wear it around for a few days, first. Just to see how I feel. Ed: This just in! I think my ring is a knockoff of this Fortunoff ring. Now that's a lot of ring. So my future ball and chain still has something to aim for.

Travel Bag Heaven

Must resist temptation. !!!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

My eyes! MY EYES!

Today, I had my annual eye exam. They dilated my pupils. See? Normally my eyes are very brown. But right now they are drowning black with a tiny, tiny ring of brown around the edges. It's freakin' me out. Also, everything up close is blurry. This is what life will be like when I hit late middle age and my vision starts to crap out on me. I don't like it. But I have so much more sympathy for my folks now. My eye doctor is cute. At least I think he is. Usually when I see him I am without vision correction and bright lights are being beamed directly into my eyeballs. Eh. He's got great chairside manner, for sure. Happy Thursday.


So...I just did a run through of my tax situation. Last year I paid out about $11,000 in all taxes--federal, state, local, SS and Medicare. As this is a rather significant chunk of my salary, I just knew I'd be getting a hefty refund this year. I mean, seriously. And yet I find I'll owe, net, about another $200 to The Man. Son of a bitch. I'll be fucking giddy when I move to Chicago. Of course, I'll have spent another half year in this soul-sucking vortex of despair before I go, so I'll have the pleasure of watching my wallet be ass...aulted by this city again next year, too. But still, I am so out of here. I hate being broke. And yet I'm trying to move into an industry where my GROSS starting salary, if I'm lucky, will be less than my after-tax income for 2005 at my current job. My monthly student loan burden is about the cost of a studio in a decent Chicago nabe, and of course I'll have to actually pay for a studio in a decent Chicago nabe, plus utilities, food, entertainment expenses... Fuck me. But I predict Chicago will do wonders for my diet. Because I'll be goddamned if I give up my Pumas and shiny things! Argh! *fetal ball, incoherent muttering*

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wantwantwant it!

I LOVE Totoro! I really didn't need to know this existed. It's $168. But if you're feeling particularly generous, I live at...

Apropos of nothing.

But I just thought of this guy randomly, and since V day is rapidly approaching, I thought I'd throw it out there: EW. Chubby, bespectacled, ginger-haired white kid in my art class, freshman year of high school, was my only actual high school crush. He is one of two random fellows I like to think of (because it's dramatic and hooey and easy) as possibly missed, unlikely soul mates. Or something. Okay, your turn. Spill. They'll never know! Oh, also, I just ate a third of a pound of Oreos, with soy milk. Damn my lack of restraint! This means double time at the gym tomorrow. Hells bells.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I'm not jealous.

But THREE megapixels? Hmph.

I guess.

Blogthings idea stolen from Keidra.

Your Life Path Number is 3
Your purpose in life is to express your unique self. You are a creative and artistic person with an interesting view on life. Witty and outgoing, you enjoy sharing your crazy ideas with anyone who will listen. A total social butterfly, you're the life of any party. In love, you inspire and enchant your partner. You are often an object of fantasy and desire. While you are very talented, you sometimes lack the ambition to put your talents in play. And while your wit carries you a long way, you occasionally use it to mask your true feelings. Your natural abilities can bring you all the success in the world ... if you let them
What Is Your Life Path Number?
True that. I guess. Dunno about all that love-life and party malarkey... Also, I would apparently strip to NIN "Closer" (true) and am secretly Japanese food (also true).

Monday, January 23, 2006

Oh, l'amour.

You know, Valentines Day is fast approaching. Do you know what shoes you're going to wear? Might I make a few suggestions? No date, dinner with the girls: Delman Shoes "Wrap" These flats are darling, aren't they? Perfect for a quiet, girls-only dinner. (Admirably stylish, which says "We're worth dressing up for by ourselves, we don't need any commercially-driven holiday foolishness to go out and be the single, wonderful women we are!" yet they're flats, so when you stumble home after that fifth "Men are bastards anyway, Philip was a bastard, oooooh, I should call that bastard right now and tell him what I think of him" martini, you won't break an ankle.) No date, plan to have one by the end of the night: The Manolo's "Filippona" I don't think these need any elaboration, do you? Big Date: Delman Shoes "Yvonne" The lipstick-red suede and kinky crisscrossed straps say "Fuck me!" but the sweet rounded toe says "But first, take me home to meet Mom." And the heel is just demure enough to keep you balanced on that ridiculous romantic tightrope. I love shoes. So. Y'all got plans? Personally, I'm thinking of spending that day shooting at West Side Pistol and drinking all the sangritinis I can stomach over at Pastis. I'll probably just wear my red/red Pumas. Eh, I got a little time to polish that plan up, y'know?

Hello, New York.

So, Saturday I took myself on a New Yorkish date. First, we hiked over to Crif Dogs (somewhere on St. Marks between 1st Ave and Avenue A) to grab a bite of tastilicious badness. A chocolate shake, cheese fries, and a spicy redneck--a hotdog wrapped with bacon and smothered with chili, jalapenos and cole slaw. And since we're pretty comfy together, myself and I, we snarfed it all down with little regard for manners and read the paper in amiable silence. Or in amiable Crif Dogs background chaos noise, same dif. Next, since it was an almost balmy, very beautiful day, we strolled the several blocks to Union Square to take in a few shows. First show: Underworld Evolution. It was every bit as good as the first Underworld. (Even a tiny bit better, because that guy who plays Kraven dies violently, like, ten minutes in.) Take that as you will. Then, since we had a little more than an hour to kill before our next show started, we made our way to Filenes Basement and farted around trying on clothes. We came away with a couple of pairs of hose and a few blazers, including a blush velvet City DKNY number. There was a picture but it got lost somewhere between my phone and the Internets, and I cannot be assed to take another right now. (The black satin Calvin Klein ended up being not as nice with the rest of the wardrobe as hoped, so it went back today. Also, we fell in love with these shoes but couldn't choose between them and these Kenny Coles, so we waited, then discovered they were nowhere to be found online or in other stores and sweated with panic all through work Sunday, praying that the last pair of size 8's would still be there today. They were. Amenhallelujah.) Then we ran back to the theater to take in The New World. Turns out a lot of people wanted to see it, so we ended up in the shitty very front row, craning head back to look at the screen, cursing ourselves for being late, and cursing theater management for being money-grubbing bastards who'd cram a row in so close to the screen for the sake of boosting per-screen profits. Bygones. The New World: Did you know you could fill an entire film with shots of water and trees, and a cute girl in buckskins running through grass, waving her arms around? You can. This guy did it. Apparently that is okay if you only average one film every eight years or so. Also? Who has that difficult a time realizing that Christian Bale, after Colin Farrell, is trading up? I could maybe have understood Pokey's lovelorn moping if she had started with Chris and then gotten hitched to Colin, but not the other way around. Kidding, the film was lovely. Visually stunning and all that. (Oh, I know, I tend to oversimply and reduce everything to an easy joke, but really the film was very nice. Also, the girl who plays Pocahontas is adorable and more accomplished than me at half my age.) Then we came home, curled up and watched a little telly before drifting off to sleep. Best Saturday in a long time. Here, a little slice of New York to love:

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Action Plan, Saturday, January 21 2006

1. Movie 2. Movie 3. Shop After a fascinating dinner and drinks with Mr. C, his Ms. P, and several of their assorted friends, I am all peopled out. After two weeks of my mission to escape New York, I'm all ambitioned out. It doesn't take much these days, apparently. Who knew? Okay, I knew. Anyway, I'mma go see two movies, back-to-back (which I haven't done in years, what's wrong with me?) and then I'mma go buy some shoes, bags and draws. I really like the idea of the most critical decision I make today being which flavor Pringles to smuggle into the theater... Happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Joy of joys, Restaurant Week is coming!

Why did my friend in D.C. know about New York Restaurant Week before I did? Why is Restaurant Week two weeks long? Why does it matter? Great restaurants featuring $24.07 prix fixe lunches and $35 dinners!* It's a great excuse to treat yourself to fine dining in the middle of the week. *Weekdays only, I believe. Speaking of cheap+eats, is it wrong not to tip the grocery store delivery guy if I've already paid a $5 delivery charge? Usually I tip well for everything, but damn, once grocery delivery and tip are tallied, I could cab it home for less.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Water Buffalo Milk Yogurt

Not half as narsty as it sounds, you know. In fact, it's rather delicious, despite the fact that the company that produces it thinks describing it as "firm" is a good idea.
It is, by the way. Firm, I mean. Buffalo milk yogurt is really quite firm. In consistency, it is midway between yogurt and cream cheese.
Still and all, it's rather tasty.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

God Damn the Internets.

So ma mere has a wee bit of le boeuf with mon pere (a la the lovely and talented Ms. Golden, re:The Sperm Donor). Ma mere seems to really, really love to work herself up into a good frothy rage whenever she's got a spare minute, you see. She had a spare minute. She Googled mon pere. She sent me the results. Now, you may know from past MF-related posts that we have issues, he and I. Basically, as regards him, I'm done. Not mad, not curious, just done. So when I got the Google info from my mama, I was tempted to ignore it, or at least not follow any of the links. Two were just links to some educational board of directors he serves on, with his complete current contact info right there in the link description. Blah bloody blah. (I've officially gotten to the age where I might soon reasonably be expected to support his old ass, so you better believe I'm not tracking him down now, lol. Though I do now officially know what year he graduated from Fucked-Up Black Men University, I didn't know that before.) But one was a link to an ancestry/family-tree site (or so it seemed) and while I could care less about MF, I have been thinking about doing a family tree for a while now. So I clicked. This is what I learned: 1. Contrary to family assertions, a goodly chunk of my father's people are from the South, just like my mama's! As far as I could see, only one (okay, maybe two) folks were West Indian. And apparently not even from where I thought. I was thinking Jamaica. Try St. Kitts. WTFE. Of course, my paternal grandmother's information wasn't listed, so maybe the assertions were about her, but again, WTFE. 2. I remember very few things from my early childhood, but one of them is my really rather nice step-mother, who was married to MF by the time I was three or four and divorced from him before I hit puberty. And yet, that family tree puts TWO marriages between my mother and step-mother. Um. Saywhatnow? I mean, there wouldn't even be any reason to list said relationships unless there were offspring, which clearly there was with my mother, and yes, there were as well with my step-mother. Now, I know those fine children, and I just met another sibling from one of his relationships after the step-mother. So do I have at least two siblings I've never even HEARD of? That is some bullshit right there. And I mean, damn, two in what, three years? Negro, KEEP YOUR PANTS ON. 3. As it turns out, the whole site was the creation of a relative who was a member of a once-popular pop band, and its purpose was to establish and display our family's descent from a figure only known to scholars of black history, religion and the South. And to maybe talk up his own illustrious music career. Um. While a little odd, not so bad as the revelation that the whole reason said relative lived with me and MF and my step-mother when I was little was BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN ORDERED TO DO SO BY THE JUDGE WHO HEARD HIS FUCKING JUVENILE CRIMINAL CASE. So, yep, I love him and he's great now and all, but I SPENT CHUNKS OF MY YOUTH BEING BABYSAT BY A CRIMINAL?!?!?!! ARE YOU SHITTING ME?!?!? That's it. I'm giving up my blog-moniker. Just call me Humility in the City. Or Careful, My People Might Rob You in the City. Or Fuck Me, I Could Have a Million Man March with my Siblings Alone in the City. *hanging head* I've got to tell my mother to stop sharing.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Could someone with a little more eloquence in matters pertaining to fashion please explain what is going on here?

What I'm loving about this little exercise in fashion criticism is that everyone has something to contribute. So many astute observations about the style catastrophe that is this outfit...all of us, united in snark. Brings a tear to my eye, it does. Well, that or the glare from that big-ass belt buckle has seared my retinas.

Long goodbyes.

I'm ready to leave New York. That doesn't mean I won't miss it when I go. I'll miss nights in New York, nights like last night--clear and warm despite the fact that it's January. And the lights... (Did I mention I took these shots with Angus? In the dark? Like, at night? I realize that these shots are crap in terms of artistry and composition, but they're roughly 97.499 times better than the shots in my V300. Bless you, megapixels of life! I love this friggin' phone.) I think I'm going to try to post a few shots per week of New Yorkishness that makes me happy. I'll try to do better with that whole quality issue. Another thing I'll miss about this town? The eats. Chicago better have this: It is the best store-bought hummus ever. *** In other non-news, I have to say a big "Nuh-UHN!" to this movie. I love Bollywood, but fucking Oldboy? There had better not be any extra singing and dancing. I swear to god, that would be soso wrong. This is equally horrifulizing. The teaser tagline for Bollywood's Fight Club: 'Everyone has their issues … but it can be sorted out. Welcome to Fight Club'. Don't even get me started on the mutilated phrasing. What kind of bitch-ass line is that? Seriously! Shameful. I am so begging Dr. P to bring me bootlegs of these when he returns to the States. Bollywood news courtesy of these guys, who deserve special mention and a linky-link for gifting the Internets with a holiday music compilation project called Dreidle 2 the Grave. Scroll all the way down.

I heart this man.

*shrug* What, and you don't? Pfft. Straight men should heart this man. He is the beautifullest man in the history of ever, damnit. And for the record? This is the only man with cornrows I would look twice at, ta very much.* TGIF. *Thanks for reminding me how much I heart him, Keidra!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A few of the handy writing tips I learned from Neil Gaiman

1. Write things out in longhand. According to Neil, writing things out in longhand has the tendency to tighten prose--when you get around to typing out everything you wrote, you're far more inclined to look at four pages of crap as four pages of crap, skip it, and pick up typing again where the prose gets good. 2. Write without distractions. If you are a clever writer like Neil and have several bestselling novels, comics and story collections under your belt, you have a cabin on a mind-numbingly dull lake you can go to in order to write. Once you are there, sit down and allow yourself to do one of two things: write, or absolutely nothing at all. Nothing. No reading, no phonecalls, no doodling. Nothing. "After about three-and-a-half minutes of looking at that lake," he said, "you start to write in self-defense." 3. It's okay to sit on good story ideas until you feel you're up to writing them. If by chance, even after several years as a bestselling author, you still aren't sure you're good enough, well, start writing anyway, because you probably won't get much better. I actually hate writing things out longhand; I haven't been able to keep a written journal for more than a few days ever, because I just can't be bothered to sit around scrawling things out. Hell, I'm already more adept at texting with Angus than at handwriting. But maybe if I had handwritten the first 15 pages of that novel I've been working on since forever, I'd have chucked them and written a new intro chapter a long time ago. I love the cabin-writing anecdote, but I fear I actually could do nothing but look at a lake for hours on end. It would, in fact, be my defense against writing, god help me. Then again, I haven't seen his lake. As for that last bit...yeah, I'm off to get started. Toodles and what have you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


1. Angus just might be okay. Yours truly took him back to J+R and stood by stupidly as the cellular sales guy opened Angus up and correctly locked my SIM into place. I had totally failed to do so. 2. Neil Gaiman's talk was great. It's wonderful when an author is even more interesting and witty in person than you'd imagined. And he stuck around for nearly two hours afterward for signing. I am now the proud owner of a signed copy of Anansi Boys. Neil Gaiman wrote my name. Woot. 3. My 28th birthday in T minus...25 days. Lordy, 27 went by way too fast. Last year I stayed home, did my birthday alone and spent a bunch of money on myself (like I don't do that all the time.) This year, I'll be celebrating in Chicago, at the four-star Hard Rock Hotel. I got five nights plus air for a hundred less than I spent on my last Chicago trip, and that was only three nights. Bwahahahaha! I am a travel-planning genius! You know, or the rooms are just harder to fill out there in the dead of winter. Whatever! Chicago, here I come! Again.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Why can I watch Point Break in any condition, any time?

Oh yeah, that's why. Whatevs, man. Hate him all you want. Hell, sometimes I hate him. I paid $10.75 to see Constantine. But! *dopey grin*


Okay, not a deadbeat, but he certainly has his glitches. For instance, he tends to just lock himself up for no discernible reason whenever he feels like it. Just goes right offline. I have to turn him off and on twice just to get him to acknowledge me and my SIM after that. Actually, that's it, but for $400? Oh, hell no, he doesn't get to screw up. So back I go to J+R for Angus N. Coxworthy, Jr. I swear, if we get to an Angus N. Coxworthy III, I will throw a shit fit the likes of which have not been seen around these parts since...well, I dunno when, but many people will be very, very sorry.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Right. Who's coming with me?

It's a whisky fest, people. At Tavern on the Green. There will be food, and music, and drink. Come on, who's in?

Death by Sexy: This Time, for Reals, You Want This

I am such a whore for the green leather bag. Last time, it was the Ani messenger. This time, it's this gorgeous Tocca 'Odette' overnight bag. Look at its buttery, supple leather. Can't you just smell it, the scent of your own fresh-laundered, hothothot weekend getaway outfit and toiletries mingling with that new leather essence? Imagine it wafting up to you in the little puff of air that escapes as you zip your bag shut, the final zzzzzip pregnant with possibilities--the thrill of travel, who you'll meet, what you'll see and do. And then that swell of emotion as you toss the bag over your shoulder, walk out the door and look back one last time before you lock up, taking in all the clutter and bits and baubles that make up your life. And then you exhale, lock the door, and set off with a walk that says I'm cute, I'm packed, and bitches, I. Am. Out. Oh, sorry. I got carried away for a minute there. Ahem. Nice bag, no? What, not moved? It also comes in pink.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Death by Sexy, New Year's edition, AKA International Beefcake of the week: Welcome, Angus!

I brought Angus home! I couldn't wait anymore. I went back to J+R and picked him up this morning, right after my session with my shrink :-D He is very handsome. Beefy, but graceful and sleek. I have decided he is a Scot, despite the fact that Chinese is quite clearly his first language. We're still working that out. Good thing I started my undergraduate career as an East Asian Studies major. I've got a year-and-a-half of intensive Mandarin instruction under my belt! If he says "The mountain is big," or "This is Miss Yu's older sister," we are so good. Okay, lies, I've forgotten everything. But I've still got my textbooks! When I got him home, I introduced him to Baby right away. I know you're supposed to gradually introduce new members of a household so the old ones don't feel threatened, but I just couldn't wait. Besides, Baby knows how much she means to me, and no one can ever replace her (not 'til she dies, anyway). And it worked out fine! Look at how well they are getting along already! See? I knew they'd like each oth-- OH MY GOD! WHAT ARE THEY DOING?!?! CUT THAT OUT! BAD SMARTPHONE! BAD! BAD! Geez. I guess I should have kept them apart for a bit. Then again, look at how happy they are now. Happy sleepy shiny toys. Shhhhhhhhh. You'll wake them. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I hate J+R

I went there to buy Angus N. Coxworthy, I loved and stroked a floor model and fell in love all over again, but then the salespeople gave me some runaround about specials ending and new service rates and blah blah blah. Whatevers. Long and short? I would have had to pay $400 for him, or renew my contract and upgrade my mobile plan to include a $30/month data service to get him for $350. That was the best they could do. Bitches. I can get him at MyWorldPhone for $370, no service plan fuckery required. And I will, damnit, Angus will be mine. So. My dilemma: Do I risk life and limb heading out to *gasp* Queens, er, Sutphin Blvd., to be precise, to pick up this phone, thereby aquiring it immediately (tomorrow) and saving myself anxiety and $35 shipping, or do I just shell out the extra cash and have it delivered to me by, like, next week. *biting nails* The wait is killing me. But I'm afraid something else will kill me if I go tramping off into the ass of Queens with no real idea where the hell I'm going and several hundred dollars in cash. Oh, yeah, that's the other thing. How shady is an organization that demands its warehouse be paid in cash? Oh fucketyfuck. I just realized that having him delivered would really actually be more than it would have cost me to buy him out of pocket and renew my contract at J+R. So I need to either haul my ass out to the warehouse to save $30 or shut the hell up and go crawling back to J+R tomorrow morning. Damn it all.

On the record, I hate sappy romantic comedy type drivel.

Off the record? Love Actually didn't suck nearly as much as I expected. I just watched it for the first time on the cables, and I am ashamed to admit I might have even shed a tear or two. (But Timeline, which I also watched on the cables, sucked just as much as I expected. And then some.) That is all.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Do I want to pay $25 to hear Neil Gaiman talk about the creative process?

Um, YEAH. You should, too. He'll be at the 92nd St. Y next Monday, 8:15 p.m. This will almost make up for missing Eddie Izzard workshopping material downtown last month. Damnit.

Resolution #1

Get Happy. Not in the "stomping in the aisles of St. Paul AME" way but, you know, the "thrilled with career, home, health and relationships" way. Happy. See, broad resolutions like this cover all the crap I'd want to change while allowing me to feel as though I'm not making a million resolutions I'll forget by the end of next week. Or whatever. Career changes will take work. Ba-dum-bum. Eh, okay, not so funny. Anyway, I'm on it. Health. Mine, you see, has started to go to shit for the first time in at least five years. That whole high BP thing is a huge pain in the ass. And quite a shock, considering it comes at a time when I thought I was doing alright, health-wise, what with that gymming five-days-per-week thing. Sooooooo, I guess the venti iced black eyes are out for good. Actually, I think I may have to go off coffee almost entirely for a bit. *weeping* Ah yes, I may also have to revert to meatlessness. Or perhaps just beef-and-porklessness. And generally eat better. I'm actually having salad with breakfast now. Hell, I'm actually having breakfast. We'll see how long either of those things last. Baby steps. Now that I've joined a gym closer to home, I'm back to near-daily attendance. When my old gym closed and I had to start trekking to the other location, 20 blocks away, my visits fell to twice per week. I've already hit Crunch four times in the last six days. Oh, and on one of those days I had a complimentary training session with one of their trainers, a wonderfully adorable baby-faced Haitian who kicked my ass all over the gym. But it was okay, becuase he did all his counting in French. Er. (Speaking of things closing with no warning, why did I go to my local Hollywood Video last night and find a bunch of "Sorry, bitches, we've shut down for good, leave your videos in the drop-box" signs taped in the window? That's two local video stores in a year. Damnit. I was really looking forward to renting Dracula 2000 last night. Shush. Gerry Butler, Omar Epps and Jonny Lee Miller.) This lemon yogurt is tasty! Sorry. Non sequitur. Here's another: Munich was good. One more: tomorrow, at last, he will be mine! I'm still trying to come up with a name though. Udo? Scotty? Byron? Trip? Nassif? Fionn? Help. Oh hell, gotta go.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Celebrate it in these sassy red numbers. They are gorgeous. And on sale!