Thursday, December 25, 2008

One time I was in a club

And this guy rated me 'an 8'. At first, I found this strategy of giving a girl a "room for improvement" rating ill-advised, or at least questionable. But then I found myself kind of admiring the guy's honesty. Point of the story: it's easy to be a dude in Manhattan.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

If I had live blogged my trip to airport this morning, it would've read something like this:

[For the busiest/most impatient of my dedicated readers, the really exciting stuff starts around 5:43am.]

5:10am – Wakey wakey, eggs and bac-ey!

5:18am – Ok, if I put the two makeup cases in my suitcase it makes the carry-on too fat for the overheard storage bins. But if I put the two makeup cases in my purse, they make the purse super wide and unwieldy. Even if I wanted to abandon one, I’d have to go through each of them individually and reorganize what to take and what to leave and who has time for that? When did I become the type of girl that can't fit all her makeup into one damn case? Wait, where did my cute new hat go? I really wanted to take that hat! It’s actually cool, and I like looking cool when confronted with high school classmates. Oh, hey, if I shift my boots this way then there’s more room for the makeup cases…

5:25am – Alright, need to leave in 2 minutes, everything’s good. I’m dressed, deodored, my suitcase is shut (and of the appropriate storable size), boots are on (should I really take the brown ones? I’m wearing a black cuddly sweatshirt for the flight… do they look stupid together? Well, I should take them, they’re the only cute brown winter shoes I have, really. Oh, and this way I can take my green skirt! Ugh, I hate myself…), computer in bag, iPod charged… sweet!

5:34am – Where the hell is that hat? At this point I’m more concerned that I’ve lost it altogether than I am about bringing it. Last seen on my head on the way home from work last night. Hmm, not on the table or the kitchen counter. Oh I ordered Indian last night. But I wasn’t wearing the hat when it came. What if it’s in the trash can? Checking the trash can… why would it be in the trash can?? Oh god, late now, forget the stupid hat! It’s too trendy anyway, you hate that.

5:37am – Great, out the door. Didn’t slip on the stairs, that was good. Leaving the building, I’m surprised by a woman who’s walking super close the fence outside my apartment building. She’s clinging to it and warns me that the sidewalk is super slippery. She’s pretty right. Basically the entirety of Brooklyn is covered in a minuscule, invisible, but absolutely effective layer of ice. Oh yeah, and those brown boots I insisted on wearing? No traction. At all.

5:38am – Reach my corner; contemplate going into the WaMu to put on better walking shoes. Abandon idea… only other shoes I brought are heals and my Vans, which aren’t that much better in traction terms. Girls are dumb. Girls who wear Vans are worse.

5:43am – Woman starts yelling for help across the street. Uh oh. Stupidly respond to pleas for assistance from what appears to be a crazy bag lady. “But it’s Christmas Eve, you have to help her.” “But she’s a crazy bag lady, and I’m running a bit behind schedule.” “You might be a bag lady one day.” “Yeah, and I’ll have the good sense not to be outside in the winter at 5am; that’s no condition for… wandering around with bags.” “Well that’s irrelevant anyway, you’ve responded to her. You’re engaged now; you know you’ll feel way awkward if you ignore her.” “Fuckity.”

5:44am – Help crazy bag lady walk a few blocks on the ice mass that is Brooklyn, NY after she is nearly hit by a van (as people who are standing in the middle of the street making no attempt to move out of the path of oncoming traffic might expect to be, but logic is apparently totally irrelevant in the real world). Learn that crazy bag lady is not actually a crazy bag lady, but is in fact a 55-year-old woman who is being driven crazy by her mother who lives with her and hoards things. She tells me she was out this morning to throw some of those hoarded things away, since this is the only hour she can get away with such actions. I don’t feel the need to ask the crazy lady why a simple action like throwing something away would require walking any more than a few steps away from ones apartment, thus necessitating assistance on the several blocks slide home. I’m just happy she feels the urge to get breakfast now; because that’s normal.

5:54am – Finally arrive at subway station… wanted to be here at 5:45am latest so I could catch the 6:30am bus to Newark. Oh well, the train will probably be here soon.

6:10am – Train arrives. Lazy jerk. Sit next to lots of guys who look like they work in construction or some other industry that actually requires labor whilst at work. The smell of sawdust and/or dried concrete powder permeates the subway car. Think about how I probably get paid more for far less real work. Feel guilty. World kinda sucks and is unjust and stuff. Oooh, “Jump” comes on the iPod.

6:35am – Emerge from the subway depressingly close (but just too late) to the bus’s scheduled departure time. Do some mental calculations… “if you catch the 7am bus, you’ll be cutting it close but you should be at Newark by 7:30ish, and that’ll give you like half an hour to get through security and get to the gate for boarding, which should start around 7:55.” Cool.

7:12am – WHERE IS THE BUS?

7:17am – Ok, everything is fine… I’ll only have about 10 minutes to get through security, but it’s fine. Everyone’s on the bus, we’re on the way. We’re even hitting the lights pretty nicely.

7:45am – OH MY GOD WHY ARE WE STILL IN MANHATTAN? We have been stuck at the same intersection for almost 20 minutes and the driver WILL NOT think about an alternate route EVEN THOUGH WE CAN SEE A RAMP OF BUSES MOVING DECENTLY 50 YARDS AWAY. Finally a couple passive aggressive women bitch and moan enough for the driver to UM, DO HER JOB AND DRIVE. Y’know, that whole way with dealing with life typically annoys me, but it gets shit done. I can’t believe I'm gonna miss Christmas because I stopped to help that crazy bag lady. Stupid.

7:55am – On the phone with Dad, like 13 Delta agents and getting a little hysterical about how I’m going to be calm no matter what. My flight is boarding now and we’re still 30 minutes from Newark. Delta says there are no seats available on any flights out of Newark today and I’ll have to go tomorrow morning instead. I ask if they can check other airlines; they claim they can’t but I know they used to. Assholes. Dad finds out there’s a flight going out of LaGuardia at 4pm. Call Delta back and reserve a spot on that flight since I’ve probably missed mine. They tell me to call back when I’m sure the flight has left Newark so they can edit my reservation. Because I, on the bus, have access to Delta flight information and can tell when the flight has left. OH WAIT, I’M A PERSON, THEY’RE DELTA AND HAVE ACCESS TO THAT SORT OF INFORMATION.

8:25am – Arrive at Newark Airport, Terminal B. Thank the driver when she unloads my bag from under the bus. Feel pretty good about myself for being polite since she’s the reason (along with my good samaritan-ness) I’ve missed my plane and not might make it back home for Christmas. Feel defeated by life, and think karma is a sham.

8:26am – Enter terminal and look for departure screen to verify that the plane has departed so I can confirm my new flight. Flight #847 to Atlanta… BOARDING! Look around frantically for some Delta rep to let them know I’m here and that I’m coming and that I will do all sorts of degrading things if they’ll just please please please hold the plane. Only 2 Delta people are around and they’re both helping people… there’s a line… I could maybe cut in front and just ask what I should do… it’s the holidays, which means people will either be generous and ok with that or be totally stressed out and will yell at me and make me cry… shuffle back and forth, confused… accidentally get in the AirFrance line… start running towards Security (which I’m sure is a smart thing to do in a period of heightened alert).

8:28am – The guy who checks your ID and Boarding Pass is taking LITERALLY FOREVER with some foreign family. Let them through! They’re a nice family of 7! They’re from Europe! Two of them are old! Dah!

8:35am – Make it through Security and sprint towards the gate, sans shoes. Think fleetingly about how I could compare myself to Shoeless Joe Jackson, then realize that I'm basing that comparison solely on the commonality of being shoeless; consider reading up a little more on baseball, but conclude that I really don't care enough to bother. First automatic sidewalk is broken. Second one works. Hop on and continue running. Scare young child on end of sidewalk… she was keeping 20 feet back from her mom, as kids do sometimes… only then she sees a crazy lady sprinting towards her (still no shoes)... desire for independence crushed, she rushes to her mother's side. Oh well, I’m teaching her to not wander too far. This is Jersey. Shit’s dangerous. Good life lesson.

8:37am – Arrive at gate with another dude who is equally late. We are both overjoyed to learn that the pilots are stuck in traffic on the way from Manhattan (surprise!)… planes can’t leave without them!

9:12am – Did I brush my teeth?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Over 13 years ago...

... a footnote was included in a rather thick novel that, over 13 years later at 3am on a Saturday night, would induce in a 22-year-old professional woman an irrepressible fit of laughter that would not be abated, as it should have been, by concerns of waking those within a close proximity to her bedroom. Rather, the fit could only gradually dim and disintegrate as it was overcome by sheer awe at having been given the privilege of sharing a laugh with the author over 13 years ago, others who enjoyed the footnote before her and those who would enjoy the footnote in years to come.

Books are neat.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


How come Ziploc baggies always come out of the box closed? How could that possibly be helpful to anyone?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Oprah, Once Again, Sensible

Oprah does lots of sensible things. She endorses the right people. She guest stars on the right shows. She gives presents to audience members that have been vetted with greater scrutiny than certain Presidential candidates' VP picks. A new addition to Oprah's list of sensible actions: Oprah reacts sensibly to the idea of a grilled chocolate and brie sandwich.

Oprah: at least 4, Giada De Laurentiis: 0

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

UCBT-LA gets Jon Hamm??

Ok, I get that this was cool. And yes, perhaps my comedic sensibilities and nostalgic impulses feel strained upon the the realization that I do not appreciate Robin Williams' surprise appearance at UCB a couple weeks ago nearly enough (presumably because I wasn't there to witness the miraculous, hilarious event myself). But damn it, I'm an adult now, and I want this:

I'm moving to Cali. Like, right now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Foxstamp Murphy Sketch Comedy Premier(e) Show

Announcing the debut of my sketch group, Foxstamp Murphy, comprised of 4 of the funniest Columbia grads to grace the streets of NYC and Gabe.

Foxstamp Murphy is:

Shira Danan
Matt Kantrowitz
Gabe Miner
Liz Varner
Olivia Whelan

Check us out online at or IN PERSON at our debut performance at the Triad Theatre (72nd and Broadway) this Saturday Dec. 6th at 9:00pm. Tickets are $10/$5 w/ a valid student ID with a 2 drink minimum. It'll be hella awesome, for reals.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A penny for your thoughts? Nay!

At least a quarter! After much urging by ardent supporters and friends bored stiff at their day jobs, here is an update to my quarter life crisis project. For $0.25 in New York City (or its burroughs) you can purchase:

Balls! This particular item is available throughout the metropolitan area in a variety of sizes, colors and levels of elasticity (surprisingly, however, they all seem to come in the exact same shape!). Those pictured here I found especially nice due to the preponderance of orange hues; however, while sizes of available bouncy balls around town did vary, I did note a decided decrease in average size as compared to my childhood memories of the majority of bouncy balls encountered. Although, again, this might have been symptomatic of my formerly tiny hands.

You can say a lot of things about the Lower East Side. But why waste energy or time talking about a place where $0.25 can't even buy you a properly constructed extra large plastic die? (For those of you not in the know, a die's opposing sides are suppose to add up to 7... spot the error if you dare.)

What's there to do in Douglaston, Queens, you ask? Well lots probably, but finding a decent engagement ring for a quarter dollar certainly isn't a viable way to pass the time in this upper crust section of Kevin James' fiefdom. Is it so much to ask that the plastic jewel be auto-hot glued in the center of the faux-gold ring? Romance is dead. But I digress.

Monkey, see?! In Brooklyn (clearly the best of the suburroughs, despite its commute that makes me want to strangle myself and those bunched around me on the subway with my purse straps), you can buy a friggin' monkey for 25 cents! Now that, my friends, is an improvement from the days of yore. Monkeys were definitely not available for purchase in the small town in Georgia where my tenderest years were spent. Although I'm pretty sure I could legally rent a tractor.

I cheated a little on this one, I will admit. I broke a rule I had held to steadfastly (miso soup arguments aside) and spent TWO quarters on this little find. But I couldn't help myself. I was on the UWS... things are expensive there... and I was drinking. The best part about this purchase was that this little plumber dude is actually just one in a set of ten "white trash" figurines. I want to meet the person who is actually trying to amass the collection in its entirety. "Come on, please let it be Drunk Truck Driver, please oh please!" *Clink, clink, crank, sssss, thmp* "STD-infested diner lady again? That makes 7! Son of a-." I think we'd be friends. And I think s/he'd be an ibanker.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Caring is creepy?

So it turns out I'm a big jerk and it took a blog 'experiment' to really elucidate that fact for me. A bunch of time ago (Sept. 10th, if you'll scroll down a couple ticks), I decided to make fun of strangers and, to a lesser extent, my dear friend Flo's audacity in hoping to find some sort of meaningful connection with another human being on this emotionally crippling cement island I have isolated myself upon. That was douche of me. Not because Flo didn't think my idea was smashing good fun, but because I was setting literally everyone else up for failure, and in retrospect that's not all that nice. My bad, strangers. Many apologies, Flo's hopes and aspirations

I set up my profile, which was a nice blend of good-natured sarcasm, free-spiritedness and chutzpah. It also included important personal details like my aversion to wasabi (since remedied), my unnatural appreciation for the movie Independence Day and the standard list of books I provide, when requested, that is meant to impart to my judges a well-rounded literary background without actually communicating my preferences, saving me from scathing critique of the obscurity, low quality, pretentiousness or played-outtedness of my favored texts. (Just because I read Grisham on the subway doesn't mean I'm not a person, you elitist fuck.) (Nor does it imply that I consider it good literature, plebeian.) I then prepared for the grotesque responses that I would hyperbolize for my own purposes.

Who knows why I anticipated such negative fodder for my silly little blog. Perhaps it was the anonymity of the internet that I figured would allow men (or women) to saturate my inbox with messages containing the sort of depravity that would make my grandmothers weep. Maybe it was my assumption that all men (or women!) are shameless sex-fiends with an innate business sense allowing them to capitalize on a search engine capable of locating many of the loneliest of city women, starving for attention and affection, surviving on hope inspired by the matchiness of internet-based personality tests alone. Could be I had had a bad commute, the soul-crushing kind characterized not so much by the observation of human viciousness as by the depraved indifference that 98% of commuters pretend to exhibit in response. In any event, I giddily awaited the responses I would get from the assumed plethora of lecherous hooligans lurking in the tangles of the interweb, counting on the creepiness of people to supply me with ample material at a point when I was otherwise uninspired.

As the old proverb goes, "When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me." I think that's kind of unfair, because I really don't think I made an ass of anybody but myself in this situation. (I will also point out that anybody who would say that phrase in any amount of seriousness would be, for all intents and purposes, an ass.) But good news for humans: I'm an ass! I was surprised to discover that the vast majority of messages I received were... well... really nice. There were a couple chuckle-worthy attempts (dude commented on how hot I was before my picture was up; dude sent me two identical messages a month apart, both in which he professed to have just discovered my profile and to have instantly fallen in love with me), but for the most part the messages were semi-thoughtful (dudes had actually read my profile and asked questions about information found therein) and not even a little creepy (despite my darndest attempts to look at them as such).

This was unfortunate partially because it gave me a stunning lack of blog-spiration, but mostly because it made me realize I'd been being callous and drawing from an "everything sucks and has gone to hell" place, rather than a "lots of things suck, but maybe pointing them out and getting people to think about them can actually improve things" place. So I'm starting to approach, I hope, that second place with my whole comedy/writing/thinking-about-shit thing. So although the experiment failed miserably, it sort of failed super happily in the long run. Yeah, I'm sure many of those bros were just feeding lines to get some, hoping to take advantage of the fragile young thing than I am. But I'm also gonna go out on a limb and hope that some of them weren't. We'll see how that goes.

Oh yeah, and on a clearly related but causationally/correlationally questionable note: gObama!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I think...

... you can learn a great deal about a person by their reaction to reaching the subway train just as the doors have closed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How creeped out can I get after 4 years in NYC: An Experiment

Fear not, $0.25 for 25 days shall continue on, but another investigation to add to the mix!

Inspired by my friend Flo - who is essentially me (a Euro History major at Barnard, currently a paralegal in Midtown living in Park Slope) but Asian and better at video games - I have created an account on, a terrifying website that attempts to predict everlasting love based on extremely scientific personality tests (ex. the "Superhero Archetype" quiz and the "Which Color M&M Are You?" quiz). Of course, this sort of relevant information in combination with the details available in my carefully constructed profile (favorite books strategically listed to appear intelligent but not too pretentious, activities in which I no longer participate, interests about which I am for the most part dispassionate, etc...) provides a completely accurate picture of myself as a person, how well my suitor and I will get along and how fantastic our sex life will be!

Now, Flo is not the only friend that inspires this blog post/experiment. My roommate, Shira, frequently posts some of the ridiculous/adorable/ hilarious emails her company receives from curious kiddies in her blog. And if we can find humor in the total inability of children to engage in logical follow-through, then it must be possible to find the hilarity in the creepy messages I am bound to receive! Since my profile's completion at 1:00am today (approx. 33 minutes ago), I have already received 3 messages and 1 "five star rating," whatever that means. As of now, the messages have been pretty mundane; but if all goes well, some really terrifying dudes will think I'm pretty and the laughs will roll. As a proud Barnard grad, I am stepping up and Taking Back the Site; I will not fear the terror - the terror will fear me! Or, like, I'll get bored and delete the account.

Confession: I am already a little in love with some dude's profile. The "I thought meeting people in real life was the way to go" romantic in me finds this sad, but I think it will ultimately make for a funny story to tell our grandkids.

Further confession: Incorporating my inspirational friends into my blog post was inspired by my friend, Hibben. Who can now die happy.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My project needed kelp

So today I was going to use a portion of my lunch break to find a 25 cent treat in the area around my office on 59th and Lex. I was very excited about this, primarily because I tend to crave the impossible. And finding a reasonably priced item in Midtown East is about as feasible as resolving the "who's the better superhero, Batman or Superman?" debate. I digress.

Alas, as sometimes happens in the fast-paced, action packed world of the litigation paralegal, my lunch was canceled due to a rather sudden deadline, which, if missed, could only result in chaos, fire and brimstone. Fortunately for the world (and unfortunately for those with their money on 9/4/08 in the Armageddon pool at the office), I skipped my lunch break and persisted. The focus, intense; the hilarity, minimal. I trudged on, past my normal frozen yogurt break, through my typical blog perusal and facebook checking hiatus, even beyond my daily quitting time.

Still in my cubicle at 8:30pm, my stomach reminded me that I'm a human and I ordered dinner. There are some slight perks to being a super-paralegal/saving the world from ultimate destruction. One such plus is $10 towards dinner from the firm if one stays two hours past departure time.

Sushi! One visit and 30 minutes later, my food had arrived: a spicy tuna roll and a seaweedy tub of miso soup. Total (w/ tip): $10.25. Total (w/ tip) - firm overtime $10 dinner deal: $0.25. That's right, ladies and gents. Bitch got miso soup for a quarter. As evidenced above, the soup was about 20% broth and 80% wakame. So it's possible to get some broth for $0.05 and some seaweed for $0.20. Mom would be so proud. (Note: I am aware that based on the above logic it is equally possible that bitch got a sushi roll for a quarter or gave the delivery dude a 25 cent tip; however, I find the implications of paying $0.25 for raw fish equally disturbing as being a cheap asshole. So I paid 25 cents for miso soup.)

Incidentally, the answer is definitely Batman.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor's Sticky.

Purchase #1! Made today (day 'o labor) outside of the Met grocery store in Park Slope. As hoped (who knew the odds, it was a vending machine that distributed random toys!), a sticky green hand!

We outsource sticky hand manufacturing nowadays.

I then got to the playing. When I was little, as I might have mentioned, I would throw sticky hands against car windows. Now, I throw them on Picasso's "Guernica." Movin' on up!

When I was young, I would also gleefully throw sticky hands onto the ceiling, thinking it immense fun to have my parents retrieve a ladder to fetch them back down. My ceiling sticky hand stickage would result in the confiscation of my sticky hands. But it was worth it.

Now that I have to climb to unstick sticky hands from the ceiling myself, I have realized, in retrospect, that I was kind of an asshole.

Purchase #1 in the Amassed Purchases Box (APB).

Some other things that APB stands for:
  • Accounting Principles Board (accountants)
  • All Points Bulletin (law enforcers)
  • Advanced Peripheral Bus (Advanced Microcontroller Bus architects)
  • Atrial Premature Beat (abnormal hearts)
  • Anti Pass Back (parking management and really lame club bouncers)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quarter Life Crisis

As many of my peers are faced with indecision and uncertainty following their graduation from college and entrance into the "real world," quite a few of them find themselves experiencing a "quarter life crisis." This depresses me no end, in part because it means my friends are unhappy and in part because it implies they will all die somewhere around the age of 88-92.

Personally, I anticipate living until the ripe old age of 117 (at which point I plan to OD on heroine), so my quarter life crisis should come around the age of 29.25. As a result, I cannot at all identify with the life-in-transit crisis that my dudes are experiencing. I can, however, reflect on the absurd depreciation of the value of a quarter in our modern economy and the profound sense of loss I feel as a result.

Now, unlike my mother, I cannot recall a time when a quarter could buy you a Coke (and a smile!) and a couple pieces of candy at the corner store. However, I can recall a period in which a quarter could get you a massive handful of candy (although I suppose my hands were smaller), most of which would end up on the ground (damn you, tiny hands!). A quarter was also enough to get a really cool toy, like a bouncy ball infused with glitter, a rubber finger puppet, a temporary tattoo or maybe - just possibly - one of those jelly-like sticky elastic things that you could fling onto the car window on the way home from the grocery store, or maybe at your little brother's face.

Well, America, I may not be having a quarter life crisis myself, but I am worried about the state of a quarter dollar for us all. It is with this in mind that I embark on my newest (and most exciting!) project: $0.25 for 25 days! That's right, you guessed it... we're gonna test how far a quarter can go in the world of today (and in the City of New York, no less). After the purchasing period has ended, the amassed tchotchkes will be analyzed, and we will know better the value of a quarter in the world in which we live relative to, say, a purchase at Starbuck's and, perhaps more importantly, how much better off we were as kids than the runts being raised today.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rotten things to do to Post-Its

  • Stick Post-It to felt. Remove Post-It. Attempt to stick Post-It to anything else. Mock Post-It’s inability to perform.
  • Affix the adhesive strip of one Post-It to the adhesive strip of another Post-It, forming a long rectangle. Call the sum a piece of paper.
  • Find old school Post-It pad that is stacked accordion-style (as opposed to the currently popular pad-stacking-style). Find calm cat. Attach first Post-It on pad to cat’s collar. Find laser pointer. Release cat, taunting with laser pointer dot as you do so. Please note: small dogs can be substituted for calm cats; pad-stacked-style Post-Its cannot be substituted for accordion-style Post-Its.
  • Write something really important on a Post-It. Start to frame Post-It. Stop suddenly and yell, “Oh my God! What am I doing?! This is important! I can’t use a Post-It!” Sneer. Cast Post-It aside.
  • Tell Post-Its you’re switching to miniature legal pads. Do so on a Post-It.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

R.I.P. Elizabeth Varner's Youth

January 20th, 1986 - May 15th, 2008

She was young. She was hip. She was so beautiful.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Elizabeth Varner's 401K.

Friday, March 14, 2008

'Ello, Govna

Lieutenant Gov. David Paterson is set to become the Governor of New York State Monday following the resignation of Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Paterson will make history as the state's first African American governor. But, perhaps even more significantly, Paterson will also be the first legally blind governor in U.S. history.

Finally, this neglected segment of society will be represented in the highest office of the State, giving a voice to those without vision.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Dr. E. Varnberg's "A Brief History of Time"

  • Sun.
  • Sand.
  • Gears.
  • Electrical power supplies.
  • Ralph Nader attempting to destroy all things good because he should be allowed to.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a rat's antebellum

I went to an international school. Subsequently, me and US History, not the best of amigos. Usually this only gets me into serious trouble when I laugh at what is recognizably an American historical reference, albeit one with which I am unfamiliar, at a comedy show or on TV, and the person next to me asks me to explain the joke. Unable to admit that I had only pretended to understand the quip, I begin the futile endeavor of trying to explain why the reference was hysterical in only the vaguest of terms. It's kind of like watching presidential hopefuls campaign in sparsely populated grocery stores.

This lack of a practical working knowledge of US History brings me to my most recent scholarly embarrassment… my lack of recognition of the term “antebellum.” Now, let’s not exaggerate my stupidity here (despite the inherent entertainment value this would bring to the blog). I knew we were talking about something that happened after the American Revolution and before the "war of northern aggression". – I would like to take this moment to celebrate the fact that in some of Atlanta’s more elite private schools it was not unusual for 16-year-old boys to begin a night of heavy drinking with a toast “fucking Sherman”. – In any event, it was time to start some serious soul-searching in order to determine what “antebellum” really meant.

“Ante” – from Latin, meaning “before.” Cool.

“Bellum” – from the French “belle”, meaning “hot people.”

Therefore: “Antebellum” – adj. Before people were hot.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New recurring dream!

If half of it happened twice, it must mean something / two halves make a whole lot of crazy!

So start by placing yourself in a state of bliss. You're swimming in crystal blue water. The sun beats down, the sea catching its glow from every angle and illuminating itself entirely. As you swim along, you daintily disturb the sea's surface, sending infinite ripples out into the universe and playful droplets dancing through the air, the sun's rays exploding each one with a rainbow of color as it falls back into the abyss of its own existence. The water is cool and calm, gently lifting you to its surface as you swim along as though on a cloud.

Cut to: one big fucking tidal wave.

Suddenly you realize that you're not actually cushioned in perfection's bosom; nay, you are in fact swimming in the Hudson, where all good things in Nature go to die. But that's not important right now. What is important is that big fucking tidal wave.

You start free-styling towards the shore, cursing your decision to quit your community pool's swim team when you were ten because you were a friggin' individual and couldn't stand the sound, sight or smell of stay-at-home moms and their brood of upper-middle-class, entitled-to-it-all (including but not limited to cutting ahead in line for the ice cream truck, thereby obtaining all of the chocolate fudge pops before some of us politer kids were able to get one) "children."

You feel the water swell up beneath you, and as the currents complicate themselves and start to pull you under, you wonder exactly how so much water can exist in this one spot of space/time while in Atlanta, a metropolis of 4+ million, people are worried about having enough drinking water. You then start to reflect on how life is pretty unfair. Then you remember that you've been sucked beneath the angry waters and will probably die, so you feel less bad about stupid Southerners not coming up with a comprehensive plan to deal with the growing population and the environmental pressures this growth will inevitably cause.

So now you're underwater, right? You get pulled and tugged, nearly split apart it feels, and try to curl yourself into a ball with every fiber of your strength. You then brace for some unknown yet inevitable impact that will in all likelihood kill you, but if not will hurt a whole whole lot.

Then, an eery calm. Absolute, deafening silence. 'Isn't absolutism crazy scary?' you ask yourself. Then you realized you just survived a tidal wave. So you start swimming towards shore. After what seems like decades (you're 22 now, you're allowed to say you know what 'decades' feels like), you finally reach land.

Cut to: you have learned in a literally unbelievable amount of time (dreams last like 3 whole minutes in life-time!) that this tidal wave has resulted from a scientist definitively proving global warming exists. You understand that there is a disconnect in logic here... I mean, global warming wouldn't suddenly and dramatically manifest itself just because empirical proof was finally presented substantiating its existence, right? Right?! But you're dreaming, so it's ok if your mind takes a few leaps you wouldn't otherwise condone. The tidal wave has caused the water around New York to rise 45 degrees. You, again, understand that this isn't how water level is measured or how an increase in water level would be expressed. You are OK with this. You are not bothered by what this might imply about your essential understanding of mathematical and physical phenomena.

You have also learned that the world population in its entirety has been reduced by a significant amount, and those remaining are now being controlled by a coalition of men wearing camouflage combat gear and bright red berets, carrying around ping-pong paddles covered with the same bright red fabric. That's right; it's a regime of vaguely French troops à-la-1998-Godzilla-blockbuster (starring Matthew Broderick of The Lion King and The Producers and other Broadway musicals fame). It is the new French Terror, and the neo-Jacobins dominate the masses by inducing an unconscionable fear of the paddle. What used to be part of a generally light-hearted pastime (although occasionally becoming an epic battle of wills) has been turned into a tool of destruction and violence to enslave the people and suppress their spirit. And only you - swimming back to shore while this new government took shape and thereby avoiding indoctrination - have the power to fight the politics of paddle-fear.

What will you do? How will you survive, thrive and save the world from an abundance of fraternité and paddlephobia? Tune in sometime in the distant future when you've worked through your shit and the dream comes to an exciting conclusion.