Thursday, November 30, 2006

Girls in Cars (Or, Cars in Girls)


Much has already been made of a certain newly divorced, fading pop-star's inability to wear panties and exit sportscars at the same time. I'm hoping and praying and praying some more that this is all part of some sort of oddly conceived master plan on her part. When you think about it, the world had to endure months of obnoxious party going on Lindsay Lohan's part before we saw her delicates (or rather, her lack of delicates), and yet we're seeing the former Mrs. Backup Dancer's party parts in just under a week.

Perhaps I'm old-fashioned. I miss the days when actresses feigned ignorance when their nether regions showed up naked and quivering on the silver screen. Nowadays (insert sound of a rocker creaking on a front porch here), it seems the making of movies or records or entertainment products are afterthoughts to the managed filth and spectacle of Hollywood "reality."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Wheeze, A Cough, A Matinee (Or, The Play's the Thing)

I just saw a matinee performance of the most excellent The Little Dog Laughed. I haven't been to a matinee Broadway performance in quite some time. Now that I think about it, I don't think I've ever been to a matinee on Broadway midweek. It was kind of a scene. Here comes the why:

I figured there'd be a lot of tourists (there were). I figured there would be a lot of self-employed single gay men (there were). I figured there would be the avid theater goers who've seen this show thrice already - not counting the previous off-Broadway run (right again).

What I hadn't counted on was the retired uptown lady factor - the serious mid-day gal dates that consist of taking in a show after a long lunch/shopping spree/manicure/gossip extravaganza.

One such four-person group lady-date was seated next to me. They were a bit agitated and loud - the loudest of the bunch was seated just next to me. She wheezed and coughed her sentences like she was out on a day-pass from internment in an iron lung. Here's a transcript of her pre-performance performance:

"Oh, my god. I didn't even look at the goddamn program yet. Here it is. Four people? There's only four goddamn people in this play? A four person play for two hours? It better be a good play if it's only four people. I mean, if it's only four people, what are they going to do? This is a Broadway show. They have to do something. What are they going to do that's so great if there's only four people? Four people..."

Every sentence ended with a coughing fit. I guess the playwright should have factored in a few extra characters, just for my new best friend Weezy McCoughalot since she belted out "This is God-awful. We're leaving at intermission." full-voiced about twenty mintues into Act One. Her three play-mates looked frightened - apparently too scared to offer a differing opinion.

After intermission, all four were gone - save one. She had an air of triumph about her, having stared down the devil in the shape of late-in-life peer pressure. As I stood to let her into our row, I have her the biggest smile of encouragement I could offer without looking completely insane.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Wearing Mary Out (Or, Red Sheets of Rain)

I have some Thanksgiving stories to share, but before I can do that, there's something more pressing to address:

My winter jacket reeks of Bloody Marys.

Now, I know what you're thinking. I got heady at a Sunday brunch (it's happened before), had one or two or ten too many breakfast cocktails, and somehow expelled and then fell into a pool of my own freshly processed filth.

Sadly, such is not the case...this time.

I did have brunch on Sunday with two friends at an overcrowded, subpar French place in the Village. I won't mention where, but let's just say it's the type of New-York-in- training wheels place that newbies and fresh-off-the boats and tourists and grandmothers rave about not knowing that there are thousands of better, slightly less-subpar French places mere inches away from the yuppity hustle of lower 6th avenue.

Given the holiday weekend, we had to wait a while for seats to open up. We were finally sat at a precariously mashed up set of two two-tops that had the priviledge of being too close to the door. Within moments of being seated, one of my friends got into a faggoty uproar and demanded that we be reseated. "This is just unacceptable - this isn't even really a real table!" he welped at the hostess. After a set of exchanged eyerolls and further "This is horrible!" pleasantries, we were moved to a much more comfortable table near the back of the place. I was seated on the outside of the table and my two friends were seated safely on the inside.

(I know what you're thinking - "Safely?". Yes, that adverb is dangling there in a less-than subtle shade of foreshadowing.)

We ordered drinks - they asked for a Bloody Mary and glass of Champagne each and I ordered a simple Cafe Au Lait. The waitress disappeared for a bit longer than usual and appeared suddenly at my side. Before I could look up to watch the set of five drinks gently land on our table, I heard a crash, a gasp, and an French-accented "Oh Shit" - a demonic threesome of sounds you never want to hear in a crowded French restaurant. Slow-motion seconds later, I was covered in the always delightful combination of tomato juice, vodka, champagne, and au au laity coffee. My back and side were soaked and stinky - as was my jacket, which was thrown over the back of my chair.

I know these things happen. I know that, from time to time, one can only expect to be pelted with trays of brunch beverages in cafés you don't often frequent. It's the way the universe works. Someone was going to get drenched that day and that someone was me.

Before I had the chance to laugh it off and forgive the waitress, she nervously said "Oh - I'm so sorry. All of your drinks are on me." That statement set me down the slow burning road to fully-irate-ville. My two brunchmates - the orderers of the beverages that I was now bathing in, unscathed by the torrential downpour of tomato juice - were now beneficiaries of my misfortune. Suddenly, my soaked coat and sweater and pants were worth all of $3.50 - the cost of my singular coffee.

While the waitress fluttered away and a hoarde of busboys descended upon us to address the mess, my anger bubbled to the surface. "Just our fucking drinks?" I asked of my friends rhetorically. "They should pay for the whole fucking meal. There's dry cleaning involved." Given the near gay-armageddon my two friends invoked earlier at our seating placement, I thought they would be in full agreement with me. Oddly enough, their bitchery had evaporated. It must have been mopped up with the broken glass and booze at my feet:

"We can't ask her to comp the whole meal. She's paying for our drinks."

"Jesus, it was an accident - why are you so touchy?"

"Do you need the name of my dry cleaner?"

The lesson, I suppose, is this: when it comes to bitchery - it's acceptable to make a scene when there's no real reason to flip out. I mean, why not?

And conversely, it's completely inacceptable to make a scene when there's a real, bonafide reason dripping from your pockets, making little pools of booze on the floor while your friends are waiting desperately with the shakes for their morning drinks.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Beauty In the Feast (Or, Poetry In Lotion)

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There, I've said it. It's my favorite due to one simple, glorious (yes, glorious) thing:

Food.

That's all there is with Thanksgiving, thankfully. No consumerist shams. No gifts. No Jesus. No G-d. No Allah. No Krishna. No Zeus. No Ganesha. No Madonna. No Baby Buddha unless you order in Chinese. No stress. No season change. No cards. No thank you notes. No costume. No looting. No bright colored baskets filled with bunnies and eggs and plastic grass. No disappointment. No romance. No shame. No dashing off to other events. No unnecessary inebriation. No amateur night. No passing out in a pizza parlor at 2 AM. No passing out in a pizza parlor at 2 AM without pants. No passing out in a pizza parlor at 2 AM without pants or underpants. No crying. No fuss, no muss. No need. No regrets.

Just food.

Before I get lost again in dreams of food, here's the poetry:

Today in my email in-box, I received a charming email promoting some sort of online pornography that I didn't need to see. Its subject line was:

evanston mediterranean bateau

I'm not sure what this has to do with "hot asian ladieez 100% for you!" since the title's absurdist charm has nothing to do with the subject matter (and all to do with getting past spam filters), conjuring up the image of a Greek flat bottomed boat harbored out of context on the shores of Lake Michigan somewhere near Northwestern University.

Authorship is attributed to one "Vonda Tabitha," but I have a feeling that's a pen name.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Brown Flower Power (Or, The Sweet Smell of Sexcess)

I came across this little ditty last week: Tom Ford No Fan of Soap.

Which made me do a sort of walk of fame/shame down memory lane...since I'm not really a fan of soap either: Blow Out (Or, Thighs and Whispers)

Leading to the need for this obvious and mildly inappropriate shout out:

Tom–as long as I have a face, you have a seat.

And, quite naturally: vice versa.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Dancer Upstairs (Or, I Feel the Earth Move)


Watch out, here comes Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman...

My upstairs neighbor has taken to playing music every Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 AM until midnight. This would be tolerable enough in a sort of forgiving I-live-in-New-York-on- top-of-beside-below-next-to-under-thousands-of-people kind of way, save for one detail: the music he plays is that gay culture wonder of wonders - the uh-uh-uh- dom-dom-dom- unts-unts-unts- thud-thud-thud brand of faceless, colorless club music.

Well, the thuds and thumps and diahrretic vibrations that make their way through my walls and ceiling are colorless anwyay. There might be words in these songs. There might be some sort of spoken word content (Carol Channing reading the collected works of Allen Ginsberg, for instance) over the heavy, droning beat. Hell, for all I know, there might be unicorn doing the merengue in lead soled cha-cha heels up there with him.

I do know the "music" starts early and ends late. I also know it's a seamless affair - no matter how long I'm gone from the apartment, the thuds and grunts and moans and deadened chortles of noise are still pumping when I return.

Of course, instead of bitching about it here, I should just go up and ask him to turn the volume down.

Unfortunately, I can't do that.

I'm karmically bound not to.

See, earlier this year, my next-door neighbor took issue with me for playing my music too loud and I, like a schmuck, brushed him off as being too sensitive.

"Move to Connecticut, " I thought. "This is New York and you have to deal with it."

Pure brilliance on my part. Clearly.

Once, we nearly got into an altercation when my music was too loud for him. He knocked on my door, I answered, and we exchanged heated (yet, entirely polite) words. I caved and agreed to turn the music down to a level that he could tolerate.

I went back into my apartment and turned down the offending music in question: Carole King's album Tapestry.

Yes, that's what was playing when I was "busted" by the neighbor. Go figure. (I nearly had an aneurysm when he said "I really don't like Carly Simon").

Now, whenever I hear "I Feel the Earth Move" I wish to Hell that's what was clobbering its way through my ceiling every Sunday morning.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ellen of Troy (Or, The Less Than Gay Divorcee)

I'm not quite sure why, but this recent item from Page Six (via Gawker.com) had me tickled pink:

Ellen Barkin threw a glass of water at her ex-husband, Revlon mogul Ron Perelman's face and called him a "wifebeater" at the Waverly Inn.

I'm a huge fan of Ellen Barkin - and I'm happy to see her back in her element, rightly where she belongs: being one hell of a broad.

Hopefully, all the cash she made from selling Perelman's jewelry will keep her comfortable enough to focus on her craft.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Bring Home The Bacon (Or, The Second City Sex)

I live across the street from the offices of a group called NEW (Nontraditional Employment for Women). NEW provides training for women in a variety of industries - including the building trades.

Thank you for indulging that set-up...

Two summers ago, my friend Jessica stayed with me for a week. Jessica lives in Chicago and is as sapphic as they come on the girly end of the spectrum (wink, wink). Anyway, one day a bunch of women from NEW were taking a cigarette break outside their building - (Remember the set up? this means they're outside across the street from me so if you looked out of my window, you'd see them. Duh.) and Jessica got very excited. See, the NEW women are a sexy, rough and tough looking lot, with their tool belts and Carhartt work pants and Timberland boots and all. (Of course, I had to refrain from using any other term but "women" in that sentence. As catchy as saying "the NEW gals" or "the NEW ladies" or "the NEW broads" sounds, if I said anything close to that to any one of them, my ass would certainly be the greenest grass you ever did see).

Seeing all this butchdom got Jessica all hot and bothered.

She asked, "What's going on there across the street?"

I replied without much thought to word choice: "Oh, it's some getting women to work program."

"Like that's such a problem," Jessica snarled.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Hero Never Dies (Or, Sucker For It)


I'm a sucker for shitty movies. I'm a sucker for good ones, great ones, greater ones, greatest ones, etc. - but there's nothing like the predictable thrill of a shitty movie.

Of course, in this day and age, shitty movies tend to hide out. They've sought refuge from their B- and C- and D- movie parentage under the glossy sheen of high production values and masterful cinematography and action-sequence set pieces.

It's all drag, really.

I watched Transporter 2 (also known as Le Transporteur II) recently on a rainy weekend afternoon. Despite knowing exactly when and where things were going to happen (oh, she's the one he'll sleep with at the end of Act II, just before the shit hits the fan; oh, those three thugs are so dead in five seconds; oh, that car is going to stop an inch short of going over the edge), I was sucked in - entirely. A lot of it had to do with the gruff and rough and roguish allure of its star - Jason Statham, but more of my captivity had to do with the comfort of its features.

Sure, there were car explosions and ass-kickings and face blows.

Sure, there was canned dialogue, hammy performances, and a plot that was seated far to the left of implausible.

But, my mind was way out the window, down the street, and trying to concentrate - and the rest of me sat gleeful, occupied.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Redemption of One Ms. Cruz (Or, One Mo' Betta Blue)

In my blue state delirium last week, I forgot to add this to the list of the early Christmas gifts the universe has on offer this year:

• The Redemption of Penelope Cruz via Volver.

Of course, I already went on and on and on about seeing Volver in Berlin - but I didn't go on and on and on again after seeing it again in Spanish with English subtitles. As with all of Almodovar's films, Volver was better the second time around - the references to Mildred Pierce and Two Women and The Rose Tattoo cut in stronger relief. At one point, which I suredly missed the first time around when my mind was working over time in translation, The Rose Tattoo is even seen on a TV screen in passing. All that aside, Volver should be/will be credited for bringing Penelope Cruz back from the brink of oblivion.

Anyone who's had the misfortune of seeing Sahara knows exactly what I mean.

I've tried three times now to watch Sahara on cable - and all three attempts were aborted due to an unexpected feeling of frightened boredom. There's nothing redeemable about the film - nothing funny/bad to hang on to for dear life, no characters worth caring about, no plot to giggle at - just a swirling shitstorm of forcefully executed blandness. And, alas, Ms. Cruz is one of its stars.

I could go on and on...but I'd rather let my love of her in Volver blot out all of that instead.

There's also the matter of her becoming something of a go-to beard in Hollywood - dating the likes of Tom Cruise and (is-he-or-isn't-he-with-that-body) Matthew McConaughey, but I'll quit while I'm sort of ahead.

Luckily, Almovodar yanked her from absurdity back to what she does best: cooing the spanish language and v-v-vamping appropriately.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

D-I-V-O-R-C-E Y'all (Or, Mama's Panty Crickets)


Jesus H Christ y'all...when did Saturday Night Live get funny again?

Which Craft (Or, The Process)

ACTRESS: I just want all my fans to know that, like, I'm so not like the character I play in this movie. I mean, I am her age, and she does look like me, but we don't have that much in common personally.

INTERVIEWER: Interesting. How so?

ACTRESS: Gosh, there are so many: she's from L.A. and I grew up in New York...um, she likes dogs and I'm allergic.

INTERVIEWER: What about the character's lifestyle? Was that hard to relate to?

ACTRESS: Oh, yeah. Totally. She's so different from me.

INTERVIEWER: Really?

ACTRESS: She's, like, out all the time, like every single night. That's so not how I live.

INTERVIEWER: Oh?

ACTRESS: I only go out during the week.

INTERVIEWER: I see.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Trials of a Bachelor (Or, Keeping Track)


An exchange from some time ago with a former boss:

BOSS: How do you know Charlie?
ME: I met Charlie through my ex-wife.
BOSS: Oh, you mean [X]. I didn't know he knows Charlie.
ME: He doesn't.
BOSS: Oh?
ME: I should have clarified: I meant my first ex-wife knows Charlie.
BOSS: (laughs) I see.
ME: [X] is my latest ex-wife.

CUT TO: much later...

EX: Have you been to [blank] for dinner?
ME: Yes - on a date. Guess who with?
EX: Please, no.
ME: C'mon, guess.
EX: I don't know...[A]?
ME: No.
EX: [B]?
ME: No
EX: [C]?
ME: Are you kidding? It's so easy. Who would like that place?
EX: [D]?
ME: What? No way.
EX: (sighs) Enough already. This could go on all night.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Requiem for the Sears Portrait Studio (or, Come Back to the Five and Dime, L'Oreal Studio Line)


As much as I miss the intoxicating hair volume and the glorious layers of 1980s fashion, I miss the high-quality studio portrait in front of the dappled teal and taupe backdrop even more.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Misplaced Masterpiece (Or, Shaking the World)


Reds is finally out on DVD. I watched it over the weekend in its entirety - after years of seeing bits and pieces of it here and there on random cable channels. (Turner Classic Movies tends to show it late at night - which, given the film's three-hour plus run time, makes it next to impossible to see.)

I have to say: it's astounding. The details of the story are hard to relate without a sea of hyperlinks, footnotes, and references. I'll just say this: for an epic that spans the globe and chronicles the Russian Revolution and the real lives of Emma Goldman, John Reed, Louise Bryant, and Eugene O'Neill, it moves at a very brisk pace without ever sacrificing content or story.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

He-Brand (Or, Something in the Way He Removes)


Please excuse the needless and self-indulgent banality of this statement:

I am brand-loyal to Brawny Paper Towels.

I'm not sure why I am or when I became such a committed Brawny customer. I'm kind of a promiscuous shopper in regards to all other household products and sundries. I alternate between being a cheap john and cheap whore when it comes to shopping at Duane Reade or Rite Aid or Eckerd or CVS: if something's on sale, I'll buy it (cheap john) and if something's in an attractive package, I'll buy it (cheap whore).

But Mr. Brawny, I'm kind of married to.

If I need paper towels and he happens to be taking a sabbatical from the "paper products" aisle - I'll go without for a week. If other brands are on sale - even at ridiculous discounts or offered with alluring gift with purchase teases ("free case of beer with purchase of one roll of Viva!"), I refrain and pay extra for the broad-shouldered man in the flannel shirt.

I'll admit I was saddened by his recent "make-over" - especially since his former mustachioed hot-stud-in-the-Castro-circa-1978 look is now creeping up within striking distance of being a bonafide trend.

I guess it all comes down to this: I'm stuck on the absurdist and alluring appeal of the brand's tactics. Knowing that there's a team of MBAs tucked in a corporate campus somewhere obsessing over Mr. Brawny's image - dissecting his sex appeal, his target market, his perceived strength, his ongoing battles with Viva and Marcal and Scott and Bounty - just kills me.

I'll keep on buying as long as he's smiling and beefy and outdoorsy (three brand attributes I wouldn't ever associate with a paper towel), screenprinted as he is on that cellophane wrapper.

Certain Teutonic Scenes (Or, What the Kraut Saw in the Mothership)

Three random photographs from Berlin, August 2006.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Blue Christmas (Or, Halle-Fucking-Lujah)


I have been giddy all day - like I was an 8 year old (gentile) on Christmas morning. After watching the world spin out of control for the last six years, the following got stuffed in our nation's stocking just last night:

• The Democrats take the House, a majority of Governorships, and 5 Senate seats (so far).

• Notorious scuzzball/dickhead Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania finally gets what he deserves:
unemployment.

• Rummy (a.k.a. the lost sociopathic love child of Goebbels and Eichmann) gets the boot, taking his clenched smirk and shitty squint to better pastures - most likely, to a bowel irregularity research facility.

• After finally putting down the Cheetos and washing her hair, Britney Jean Spears dumps her baby weight and baby daddy for good.

And, finally, the world rights itself.

Hallefuckinglujah.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Headstrong (Or, Getting Heady with the Waitstaff)


Sunday night I ate dinner with my friend Rob at a great Italian place that's just around the corner from my apartment. Rob's birthday was last Friday, and, due to the unfortunate side effects of, um, aging, we were still hungover from Friday's festivities on Sunday night.

I'm all for the benefits of getting older - of which there are too many to count. I like the process: the growing sense of wisdom and purpose. However, hangovers are quite another story. In my twenties, I could get drunk and be something resembling fine the very next morning. Now, hangovers linger. They move in for a day or two or three. They bitch and moan and don't want to leave, no matter what you do.

Anyway, back to dinner. There we sat, a little disoriented and wondering why we just didn't order in and veg out in front of bad T.V. instead (a surefire, albeit gradual, hangover killer). The older couple sitting at the table next to us were vaguely Russian - they were animated and lively, so we kind of paid too much attention to them because we didn't have the energy to drum up anything close to barely interesting conversation.

The couple had ordered Branzino - a large striped bass that's served whole. The waitress presented the fish to them, head and tail and all, covered in salt. The woman clasped her hands with glee and the waitress then took the fish away to be filleted in the kitchen. When the waitress returned with the newly dismantled fish, the woman yelled in two fast spurts:

"GIVE HEAD!"
"HE LOVE HEAD!"

She meant the fishhead, of course. The waitress apologized for her mistake (operating under the assumption that most people don't want the added stress and/or guilt of being looked at by their meals) and returned promptly with the head - which set off another spasm:

"THANK YOU MUCH! HE LOVE HEAD!"

I thought to myself: "Who doesn't?"

Friday, November 03, 2006

An Afternoon in August (Or, To Return)


Pedro Almodovar's new film Volver opens today in New York. I saw the film in Berlin in August, but I have to see it again today.

Walking through the streets of Berlin on a series of late September-like days, I saw posters for Volver everywhere. Penelope Cruz's gaze seemed to heat the city from all angles. Being the film junkie that I am, I had to go see it. I managed to find a times/theater listing in a local gay magazine, so I set out to see it one afternoon.

Volver was playing everywhere - but the theater I chose was in part of the city I hadn't yet ventured that far into. I chose a theater called the Kino International, located on an avenue called the Karl-Marx Allee, which fired associative connections I hadn't had to make since college (call it one of the sometimes fortunate side effects of the liberal arts education).

Walking to the theater, I passed through the more touristy sections of the former East Berlin into an area heavily dominated by Soviet architecture from the 1950s and 60s. I was mesmerized. The theater itself is a free standing early 1960s gem - its sides and front are covered in frescos depicting happy workers making films and happy socialist citizens enjoying them. I got to the theater early, so I was able to photograph the exterior of the building thoroughly.

The inside of the theater was even more intense - I had to walk through two giant, heavy wooden doors and up a dramatic staircase to a second-level lobby/café with massive windows that overlook the Karl-Marx Allee. Patrons weren't allowed to enter the theater until the film was about to start. I was awestruck by every detail of the place. The seats covered in a deep azure fabric, as were the walls and floor. The ceiling was a cascading series of ivory translucent panels that formed a massive wavy pattern. The screen had two separate curtains - one was the same deep blue of the seats, walls, and floor and the other was a glittery ivory sheath that matched the tone and effect of ceiling. The overall sensation was that of being underwater - in a deliriously stylized version of the sea.

After all that pomp and circumstance - the lusciousness of cinema as an experience that American movie goers have to take for granted in these days ofmultiplexess and teeny tiny screens - the film was a secondary but equal treat.

I have to say though, I can't review it even slightly.

Thing is, the version I saw was dubbed from Spanish into German - certainly an odd combination of sight and sound. Despite my occasional linguistic bravura, my German isn't nearly as good as I claim it to be. I was able to follow the film in most scenes where action was involved, where dialogue was contained to things like "let's go" and "can you dye my hair?" but longer scenes that involved a heavy amount of lush Almodovarian dialogue had me reeling. "Is that her mother, or her neighbor? Who is that? Why is she crying?" were just a few of the questions my limited German wouldn't grant me the answers to.

Long story short, I can't wait to see the film again.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Lunch With Lange (Or, Is It a Crime to Look at Lange?)


I had lunch with Jessica Lange last week.

Of course, when I say "with" what I mean is: "nearby" or "in sort of close proximity to".

I ate lunch at a little place I'd never been to before in the Village. The lunch was uneventful enough until I got up to use the restroom. The restaurant only had a one-seater, and a passing waitress cautioned: "Oh, someone's in there" just as I was about to yank on the sole bathroom's door knob. I waited patiently and after a few brief moments, the door opened and a very attractive, and somehow familiar blonde woman exited. I looked up and awkwardly smiled at her in that "oh-hi-I'm-waiting-to-pee" bathroom ettiquette way. The woman looked at me, but didn't return the smile. As she passed me, I recognized her.

It was Jessica Lange.

My smile torqued into that blasé oh-whatever-blankness that New Yorkers don when seeing a celebrity and I went into the now vacant restroom.

When I returned to my table, I whispered to the friend I was lunching with: "Jessica Lange's here - I just saw her coming out of the bathroom." No sooner than I had done this, my friend whipped around to see her.

Just as he asked "where?" Ms. Lange walked by our table - now in long black coat and sunglasses - on her way out of the restaurant. As we sat there, trying to not gape, she lingered for a minute before walking out onto the street.

"Is she still with Sam Shepard?" my friend asked, still whispering.

Then, in a well-timed stage entrance, Shepard passed by our table too.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Note to Self (Or, the Uselessness of Memory)

It's important to take notes. I make notes to myself, jot things down, and scribble important messages endlessly on anything that will absorb ink.

Note taking is always beneficial - even the most important things have a habit of escaping my head or reconfiguring themselves in different, playfully misleading patterns when I'm not paying attention.

Sometimes my notes - however important, hilarious, scandalous, etc. they may be at the time I wrote them - don't make sense.

At all.

For instance, last winter I wrote down this on the back of an envelope:

Téa Leoni bitchslapped my baby.

At this point in time - nearly one year later - I have no idea what this might mean. Although it's got a catchy snap to it and it's got a proper noun followed by a very action-oriented verb, it's shockingly not grounded in truth. (I know, I can't believe it either.)

See, I don't know Téa Leoni, nor do I have a baby that she could have been in bitchslapping proximity to recently. Maybe I was going to write in to Star or US Weekly or Gawker.com and make a false claim for some useless, yet delightfully diverting attention ("Crazed gay fan claims Téa hurt his imaginary African orphan! Exclusive photos inside!") There is, of course, one pedestrian, anti-climactic answer - the bitchslap in question might have been a note on a scene in last year's Fun with Dick and Jane, but I'm not sure.

Regardless, this note to myself has become a semi-anthem to me. A note of empowerment, if you will. Whenever I happen to be angry or down or hungry, I say to myself:

Téa Leoni bitchslapped my baby.

Suddenly, there's an outlet for the anger/depression/craving for something creamy and fatty. Téa hurt my non-existent child, goddammit. That has to count for something.