Thursday, July 31, 2008

Closing My Curtains

From: Delusional Stalker
To: C-Belle
Date: July 31, 2008 04:57:07 PM EDT

Hi baby

Sitting in Atlanta

Flight so, so very delayed

Was in Chicago last night

There was a moleskine notebook for sale in my little honor bar

Thought of you of course

But I pretty much always think of you


I find it interesting that he is apparently having an entire relationship with me, completely without me.

But then, I guess that's what makes him a STALKER.

Pedal Point

The last time I used my passport was last Spring when I went to HK to visit FC. That's a sad realization. I used to keep my passport in my purse, because I never knew if an invitation to lunch on Korean food meant a day trip to Seoul (when in Beijing), or if "let's eat Portuguese!" meant a quick ferry ride to Macau (when in HK).

I know exactly where my passport is at this exact moment because I looked at it, shamefully, the other day. Why shamefully? Because I let it expire. That feels akin to not paying a credit card bill on time, or not stepping onto a yoga mat in a month.

And that last passport-necessary trip was also the last time I entered HK on the resident line. How I LOVED bypassing the long (yet rapidly moving) tourist line! But alas, my residency status in HK has expired along with my passport.

But I digress, as usual.

On that last trip to HK, I had left my old, beaten-up, Prada wedge sandals at the hospital where I was visiting FC. I decided not to even mention it to FC, the last thing I wanted her to worry about was a pair of used shoes. But of course, she found them and sent them to me. The package went around the world several times, collecting far more miles that I have recently, and finally made it to my door over a year later - just earlier this week.

I've been wearing them non-stop because it feels rude not to after all the effort involved in getting them to me. But also in the package was a gift box from Aesop's - my FAVORITE skincare line that I had become completely addicted to when living in HK! (Thank you, FC!)

After many a long day, I would spend entirely too much time at the Aesop's store on Lyndhurst Terrace in HK, smelling everything and rubbing everything I could on every exposed limb (my own, generally).

But I continue to digress.

In the package of Aesop's treats, was enclosed The Unabridged Pocket Book of Lightning, by Jonathan Safran Foer. Apparently, this is a standard enclosure for Aesop. The book opens with a short story titled: A Primer For the Punctuation Of Heart Disease. As the title suggests, the story organizes itself around the discussion of various punctuation marks.

An excerpt:

~ Placed at the end of a sentence, the 'pedal point' signifies a thought that dissolves into a suggestive silence. The pedal point is distinguished from the ellipsis and the dash in that the thought it follows is neither incomplete nor interrupted but an outstretched hand. My younger brother uses these a lot with me, probably because he, of all the members of my family, is the one most capable of telling me what he needs to tell me without having to say it.... Very often he will say, 'Jonathan~' and I will say, 'I know.'
I'll postpone my review until I've read more of it, but what I can immediately say I like is the cross marketing, of sorts. While the inclusion of the book falls more in the category of branding activity - branding Aesop as a smart, intellectual, and hence quirky skincare line, there are shadows of the beginnings of cross and integrated marketing going on.

I'll hold off on commenting on the execution of such, but I thoroughly approve of the idea of it.

And who knows, perhaps tonight, while I soak in my tub scented with the Aesop's bath oil that traveled such a long way to get to me, I might finish reading The Unabridged Pocket Book of Lightning, and then start emailing the people I miss who are a passport-necessary trip away; Or, perhaps those of you reading this, will email me ~

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Falling Down on My Face

Sent to me by Ergo.

A couple observations:

1. The Muppets are BRILLIANT.
2. Feelings is a lot like Für Elise; heard after a long absence, and with a "twist" to the interpretation, you appreciate it anew.

In My Bag Of Tricks

Why is this billed for men? I would LOVE this.

On the Sly, Your Direct Line to Voicemail
A true man about town always cultivates an air of unavailability.

Drawn-out phone calls, getting caught on the line with a "talker," emoting—these are situations that must be avoided at all costs. So allow us to quietly point out a new hush-hush operation that lets you skirt conversations.

Introducing Slydial, a service that allows you to discreetly send a voicemail without actually making a call, and the latest phone gadget in your ample bag of tricks.

The possibilities are limitless, especially if you're familiar with the seductive game of phone tag. Sometimes a check-in is required, but a voice-to-voice encounter will only add drama to a situation that would do better as a slow simmer. Instead of calling directly, call Slydial first and then dial the number. They'll route you straight through to voicemail, where you're free to communicate your unavailability as sympathetically as you can, without fear of a prolonged discussion.

Of course, the service isn't perfect quite yet, and your tag partner may get a "phantom call" when you ring them up (meaning your number will come up on their phone), but it's nothing you can't blame on phone company shenanigans. And when you're finished, you can use the same trick to get out of next week's meeting without getting caught up in too much conversation.

As always, leave them wanting more.

Slydial, 267-SLY-DIAL

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Spin-Cycle

Remember in high school or college, when you read Ayn Rand for the first time and then spent weeks afterwards obsessing about Objectivism and drawing dollar signs everywhere before someone finally turned to you and said, "well, what's so wrong with being NICE?"

I feel that I've been spending whatever little time that is not being spent buried in spreadsheets and powerpoint, doing that all over again.

Except not about Objectivism.

I've been thinking reflections and pictures and mirrors and how they are often not accurate but that the inaccuracy can be both the strength and the weakness of the image. Blah blah blah.

I had a conversation today about a person's fundamental self. And that sometimes, people need to focus on the "just me."

"Just me." I don't know what that means. Aren't we defined by our relationships - with work, with lovers, with friends, with family, with neighbors, with strangers, with conflict, with our interests and passions, with solitude? And aren't all of those relationships critical to who we are?

Any one of those mirrors tell an incomplete picture, so don't we need all of them? And if all those mirrors are removed, what's left? My friend would say that what is left is the "just me." Intellectually, I sort of understand that. There needs to be something there in the first place, something to reflect. But isn't that moot? What value does the "just me" have in a vacuum? How do you work on the "just me" if it's not in the context of a relationship with something else, someone else?

Perhaps I'm stuck in the spin cycle of mental masturbation. Perhaps I don't fully understand because I'm not as wise as my friend; her greater wisdom has been proven repeatedly.

So I'll end this post with a quote. I can't remember exactly where it's from, and I'm too tired to Google it:

"...a river, suffering because reflections of clouds and trees are not clouds and trees."
- Czesław Miłosz

Wh*ring It Up

Keep in mind that I have not communicated with him in anyway. I've been doing my best impression of a black hole.


From: Delusional Stalker
Date: July 27, 2008 6:10:34 PM EDT
To: C-Belle

Can I ax you a personal question?

From: Delusion Stalker
Date: July 28, 2008 7:21:34 AM EDT
To: C-Belle

I was just going to ask if you're seeing someone. Since it's been about a year since we were last connected in any way, it seems likely that you are. I suppose I've been in denial of that. If you are, or have been, please let me know. Thanks.

From: Delusional Stalker
Date: July 28, 2008 8:55:53 AM EDT
To: C-Belle

I know it's none of my business but I would appreciate knowing because obviously I've made myself completely available to you emotionally in the hopes of some sort of relationship and if I'm just one of many options then I need to know that now


Late Friday night/early Saturday morning, I predicted that it would take three days before he started calling me a whore. We're getting very close now...

But the silver lining is, the next man in my life is going to have it EASY (other than the fact that I will cheat on him with Viggo) since he'd be following some great acts - Sociopathic Alc0holic, Rock Lock Guy, Creepy Skincare Product Guy, Fat Outdoor Voice Guy.

But it really doesn't do any good to petition me directly. Any future sexual congress on my part needs to be approved by my board of directors since apparently, I have HORRIBLE taste in men.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Only When Chased...

I've given up the fight against running.

In 2002, I picked up running. Always HATED running, but something possessed me to start. So I purchased running shoes, socks made out of some high tech wicking material, and an assortment of cute running apparel. I ran exclusively on treadmills at my gym (I need to watch TV while I'm running). And back then, the best thing for me to watch was re-runs of Murder She Wrote. I have no explanation for it. It's not like I watch that show when I'm NOT on a treadmill, but I suppose it was just the precise balance of boredom and entertainment that I needed in order to get through the tedium of my five daily 12-minute miles. (Yeah, I know. I'm FAST).

I joyfully stopped running when I was Beijing and settled into a habit of daily yoga and horseback riding.

But now... that same inexplicable urge that got me into running in 2002 has re-infected me. So I've done my usual thing. I've gone shopping in preparation. I was going to use my same old running shoes, since they LOOK fine, but RL talked me out of it. Apparently, running shoes need to be replaced frequently. Who knew?!? I went to and bought the new Nike Lunar Trainers. In black, of course. I chose them primarily because they are cute. And black. Six pairs of wicking socks later, I was ready to purchase the fun stuff - the cute apparel. And I struck gold - the running skirt, with built in shorts and best of all... POCKETS.

I just wonder what show is now going to get me through my interminable treadmill sessions.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Noodling Around

I've been cooped up in my apartment, bent over my computer for what seems like days now without a break.

As much as I get antsy without constant internet access, I needed to remind myself that there is an offline world, so off I went into the Great Beyond (which is defined as anything outside a one block radius of my building).

I had a mission.

First, some background: last night, I was looking for a pen. For some reason, every single pen in my apartment chose the same day to die. I had vague memories of stashing rollerball refills in some box in my bedroom, so I tore through everything in search. I didn't find any refills, but I DID find an old Rotring Series 600 fountain pen with an Extra Fine nib that I had appropriated off my father's desk a couple decades ago.

As far as I can tell, this is a picture of a pen of the same make and model as my own. After some Googling, I can say with confidence that it's the Newton model, similar to the model that preceded it, but without the knurled grip.

It's made of solid brass, with a matte silver finish; it's a HEAVY pen. I rather like the weight, the feeling of substance in my hand.

So this afternoon, my mission was to find a pen/ink store where I could buy ink cartridges, a fountain pen piston converter (so I can use bottled ink with it too, if I should ever want to), and bottled ink.

But I wanted to purchase these things at a store not staffed with teenagers, but with old men passionate about all things related to ink and fountain pens. I wanted both the store and its employees to be old and musty and marked with permanent ink stains. You know what I'm talking about - the kind of place where, if I were to ask an innocent question about Noodler's ink, it would unleash a dissertation of the history of the brand, the advances in waterproofing, and how the "Heart of Darkness" color has a surprising amount of blue and, if you look closely, some green as it dries on the page, but it depends on the weight and composition of the paper. I made up that last bit, but you get what I mean. I wanted obsessive, knowledgeable passion.

I didn't find it - not the passion or the things I wanted to buy (and I had gotten the impression from my Googling that these are not obscure or difficult items to find). I'll try again perhaps tomorrow.

Walter F. Is Free

My stalker got out of jail today.

It might be the first time I've ever written that specific combination of words before.

Well, I suppose there's one good thing to come of it. Instead of receiving letters in envelopes stamped "Inmate Mail," I'll get emails. This way, my mailman might stop looking at me curiously.

And the first email arrived earlier tonight.

He's worried about me because he didn't receive a single letter from me when he was in jail and because he came home from prison today to find his email inbox empty of any emails from me.

That's almost funny.

And it makes me angry. On almost every possible level. Angry at his presumption, but also angry because I do not want to feel pity for him. I can be downright old testament when it comes to dealing with those who have hurt me and mine, but despite how I might talk about ruthlessly dispatching instant karma, it's at least partly, just talk. All flippancy aside, I do not want to conduct myself as a person who lacks generosity of spirit, as a person incapable of forgiveness.

In this case, however, I don't know if forgiveness is warranted. And even if it is, there's a world of difference between "I forgive you, now please go live your life and let me live mine" and "I forgive you, now let's start dating again."

But this is moot. Whatever pity I might feel now will evaporate when he moves onto the next phase of contacting me. I give it about 3 days before I start receiving emails from him calling me a whore. It's a cycle he's been repeating every few months for the last year. But insult, I can deal with, especially from someone whose only place in my life is as the topic of the occasional blog post. It's pity that is dangerous. It's pity that could cause me to write to him and to try to explain, firmly, gently, reasonably, that I wish him luck with his life but that he needs to move on, because I have. What pity doesn't always remember is that I've tried that before and that no matter how clear I am with my communication, it is only ever construed by him as an opening back into my life.

I can only hope that part of whatever court ordered rehab he now has to undergo includes serious therapy and that it will be successful and that one day, he will finally let me be.

When did my personal life become so completely ridiculous?

You know, spite is SO much more fun. Now I'm cranky. Where the heck did my cleaning lady put my tiara?!?

Friday, July 25, 2008

People Management Skills

I generally don't have the best listening skills vis-a-vis men. I usually talk pretty much exclusively about myself. Sometimes out of boredom with any other topic if I have a spectacular lack of interest in the man, sometimes out of excitement to share everything I've been saving up specifically for him if I adore the man and don't see him very often (Gorgeous Hunk O'Man (JF), for example), and sometimes, almost deliberately, because I'm curious to see how my seeming (although sometimes very real) aggressive self-centeredness will be handled, if I don't really know the man.

I had a conversation with MomVee over lunch many moons ago when she was in NYC for the day. I shared my belief that personal, romantic relationships can be managed EXACTLY like professional relationships. I had all sorts of examples worked out and presented them proudly. MomVee, to her credit, did not mock me mercilessly, but very graciously re-introduced me to reality. Because after all, in a healthy romantic partnership, the fundamental and fixed hierarchy of manager and direct report should not exist. Who wants to be "handled" (as distinct from "manhandled") or "managed" by their romantic partner?

So back on speaking terms with reality (at least on this particular topic), I changed my mind entirely.

But of late, I have spent some time thinking about relationships, in particular, romantic/sexual ones. The trigger is obvious. I had a phone conversation last week with Chloe, one of the many matchmaking directors at It's Just Lunch - that matchmaking service I've already posted about. I believe AM will go for her first in-person consult next week. I've decided to postpone mine until later in August, perhaps even September, since currently I barely have time to pee during the days, my evenings are too booked with work, and my free-time is entirely too rare and valuable to be used on random men who will, I have no doubt, arouse in me only disgust or profound boredom. (Clearly, I'd rather blog about dating than actually do it). But during our phone conversation, Chloe asked me the expected question, "what kind of man are you looking for?"


I knew that my usual answer of "Clive Owen, David Boreanaz, Johnny Depp, James McAvoy, or Viggo Mortensen, and preferably only after they've just finished shooting something that required them to work-out for hours a day" would not be helpful. After all, I was talking to Chloe, not The Universe. And the "I'll know it when I see it" attitude defeats the entire point of outsourcing.

I was at a loss, and actually speechless. Because while I have an enormously well developed repertoire of flippant responses suitable across a number of topics and venues, I hadn't thought through my real answer to this question.

And who is this "Chloe" anyway? Her phone manner is perky-professional (I suspect she used to work in publishing) and that's all I know about her. Would she understand what I mean when I say "smart"? For that matter, do I? Because a list of "required" or "hoped for" attributes never consists of independent pieces of data. It's the combination that's important, and the acceptable tradeoffs. What they should do, instead of the asking if a particular trait is important to you, and then asking HOW important it is to you, is to offer up a survey that lends itself to forced tradeoff, conjoint analysis.

I think I will suggest that to her. I'm sure that will go over well.

But I digress.

Because I think I DO want to be "managed." Not according to the employer/employee dynamic. But in the "I'll call you on your bullshit in this case", "I'll challenge you on your sloppy thinking here", "I'll back off and just be nice right now", "This is the time to just agree with you and say that you absolutely right and beautiful and perfect" kind of way.

Maybe "managed" isn't the right word.

I'm talking about the mutually appreciated, and adroitly delivered combination of challenge and comfort.

But I don't think that will help Chloe at all. So I guess I'll just tell her, "not fat, please."

Guitars and Spam and Sex

In answer to FruityFran's innocent question about my guitars, the floodgates have opened and I am deliriously happy that I can share the fruits of my obsessive research.

First of all, is the classical/acoustic guitar divide. Classical guitars have nylon strings versus steel strings. The fretboard is a little wider. The sound is more mellow - more suitable for classical music, obviously. And the wider fretboard makes detailed finger picking work easier. (But that wideness can also make it "difficult" for people who are used to the narrower fretboard of a steel-string to easily transition over to a classical). But the most obvious difference is in volume, steel string guitars are MUCH louder.

Regarding steel-string acoustic guitars... there are countless shapes and sizes. With all guitars, the bigger the body, the larger the sounding board, and the louder and more resonant the sound.

FruityFran, you've seen my Baby Taylor - it's a 3/4 size, steel string guitar - billed as either a beginning guitar for a child, or a travel guitar since it fits perfectly in overhead storage. The sound is VERY bright (even though my Taylor is made of mahogany which is a darker wood and has a commensurately darker sound).

While, as a general rule, bigger guitars sound better, you have to consider playability. Small, petite people with small hands 1. can't even get their bodies around one of those enormous dreadnought guitars and 2. have difficulty with the longer fretboards. And the bottom line is, the better guitar is the one you will pick up to play.

In the classical guitar world, the "standard" sized guitar has a 650 scale length. The shorter the scale length, the smaller the guitar, the shorter the fretboard, and generally, the lower the tension on the strings, and the easier to play.

Since I have the hands of an 8 year old, my Alhambra classical guitar is the "petite" model with a 630 scale length. It's roughly 7/8 the size of a "full-sized" guitar. It's a barely noticeable difference to the eye, but I can tell the difference when I play someone else's 650 scale guitar.

Regarding wood vs. laminate. It's rather like all the camera manufacturers that brag about the number of megapixels. Not all megapixels are created equal. And things like sensor size can have far more impact on the quality of the image. So while generally, a guitar made of solid wood is "better" than one made of laminate, you have to consider the maker, etc. Definitely get a guitar with a solid wood top. The back and sides can be laminate. My Alhambra, for example, has a cedar top and laminate back and sides, but it is a BEAUTIFUL guitar with a LOVELY sound and is vastly superior to cheaper guitars that are made entirely of solid wood.

The darker the wood, the richer the sound, and the easier to play immediately. Woods like spruce are lovely and bright, but can take quite a while to "open" up. I went with cedar because that sounds good right out of the box. And I'm all about immediate gratification.

Phew! I'll stop here. If you want specific recommendations, let me know. There's the Larrivee parlor guitar (a smaller bodied steel string acoustic) that I've been lusting after for some time now, and should a man give me one (preferably made of Hawaiian Koa or figured Pomele Bubinga or pretty much any wood) along with a tin of low-sodium Spam, I will have sex with him.

For English, Please Press "2"

Homesick for smog?

Jonesing for the music of a lugee being hawked up and landing perilously close to your open-toed Blahniks?

Carry your own toilet paper with you everywhere you go?

Craving deep fried whole scorpion on a stick?

Look up at the sky and think, "shouldn't the color be... well... more gray?"

Walk through the oppressive heat of NYC and think to yourself, "it should be MORE humid"?

If so, you're not alone.

And you're in luck - you don't have to take a 12-15 hour flight - just click over to The China Chronicles, starring the fabulous, talented, gorgeous, Fran Chen. But before you fall madly in love with her, just know that the role of #1 Obsessive Fan, is played by yours truly.

FC, sweetie, I miss Beijing, Hong Kong, singing the entire soundtrack of Grease while at The Commune, being regularly thrown off the back of a 1200 pound animal and trying to land in the nice soft pile of dirt rather than the less nice pile of horse shit, and most of all, you.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Overdue For A Facial

My Alhambra classical guitar is newly strung with lovely lower-tension strings (easier on my oh-so-delicate finger pads), and my Baby Taylor is spending the night at the Chelsea Guitar Shop getting "refreshed." If only a comparable trip to a spa would have such a dramatic effect on me because the humidity is getting to me as well, causing me to warp and lose my pitch at the drop of a hat.

The Baby Taylor is having an especially hard time of it because of neglect. It just hasn't been getting much love since the Alhambra moved in.

MB apparently thinks I am likewise suffering from neglect:

"NYC hasn't been good for you."
"You need to have sex."

It's enough to drive a girl to anti-wrinkle eye cream.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Miles To Go Before I Sleep

For me, sashaying down memory lane usually means remembering music school, and I completely gloss over middle school and high school - as if my formative years were completely encapsulated and represented by my activities on the weekends.

And truthfully, when I look back on those years, it's not the Mon-Fri that I remember clearly. Memories of high school are pushed to the distant background, and it's the memories of music school, the sights and smells of NYC on Saturdays, that present themselves at the forefront.

But of late, there's been a great deal of activity from my fellow high school alumni on facebook.

And it's caused me to reflect on a part of my life that usually doesn't command much attention.

For better or for worse, whether the memories are positive or negative, regardless of the fact that we weren't even human beings yet, the people that I grew up with, the people I saw every day, share a kind of intimacy with me. Perhaps we never cared to speak to each other, perhaps our real lives moved in circles that were completely separate and distant, but we watched each other grow up. And there's a certain knowledge that comes from that. And that baseline of data is more meaningful than one might think, at first glance.

Because whether it's affirmation or discovery or re-discovery, having even a flawed baseline to work with infuses the reconnection with more meaning.

"She's still as mean as a snake."

"Funny, but I can see how it makes sense that s/he has turned into a responsible parent and spouse."

"Huh. He's a lot smarter that I thought he was."

"Really?!? I always thought he was such a NICE guy!"

I love big cities for a number of reasons. But the primary one is this: at night, when you look at the skyline, every single light, in every single window, in every single building, is a story that is immensely important to at least one person out there. But sometimes it takes work to remember the significance of each lit window; sometimes it requires the impetus of memory and imagination. Sometimes, it requires the presumption of intimacy.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Boo to Saturday Nights Out

Boozy sushi on the east side turned into going to some club whose name I have never been able to remember.

WC, RL, AW, EA and I went up to roofbar which was crowded beyond belief with the typical Saturday night B&T crowd. We all had to pee, so we waited patiently for the single stall that was housed in a beautiful private area of the roofbar. While waiting, I started chatting with the positively enormous bouncer, Solo. He was the kind of thick-necked guy who needs to turn his entire body when looking around. I had noticed that there was a private outdoor area on the other side of the roof that was EMPTY.

Me: What's up with that space over there?
Solo: It's private, baby.
Me: Oh that's too bad. I just HATE crowds, darling.

You see where this conversation was going...

One thing led to another, Solo and I started up a detailed conversation about martial arts and I did my usual thing of lifting one leg up above my ear. In return, he gave me his pack of cigarettes and his lighter and then he completely hooked us up; he talked to the owner and got us entry to the private roof deck area.

But only WC and I recognized the value of it! Our friends decided that it was no fun to be there because it was "just us" and wanted to rejoin the throng.

I think it's because they wanted to talk to boys.

Men. Even when they are not around, they ruin my fun. Boo.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Email exchange with Bartleby:

Bartleby: Reading this at the urinal in Goccia. Look forward to seeing you wherever! Glad you're over writer's block.

C-Belle: Good to know that my blog has breached the men's room and is being read with exposed penises about. But wait. You meant my EMAIL. Go back to the bathroom, wait until exposed penises are about, and open up my blog on your blackberry. I want it to be truthful when I post about it.

Conjugal Visits

And the letters keep coming. Rather than returning them to sender, I'm keeping them. There's a book idea germinating in the recesses of my mind.

But I wonder if my mailman now thinks that I am one of those crazy women who fall in love with death row inmates.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Better Late Than Never

I've been giving the Universe a lot of grief lately - criticizing its listening skills for not offering up Viggo Mortensen or Matt Damon or James McAvoy or Owen Wilson or Clive Owen or Johnny Depp and a winning lottery ticket.

But as SK just pointed out, after hearing my latest stalker news, the Universe IS working hard on my behalf. Perhaps there's just a significant lag time between asking and receiving? (In which case, apologies in advance to the next man in my life. I WILL cheat on you when the Universe finally gets around to offering up any of the men listed above).

Remember my ex - the jailed sociopathic alcoholic stalker? Well, I only empty my mailbox when my mailman yells at me to do so. And when that series of events occurred today, I found three letters stamped: "Inmate mail. XXXXXXX County Jail."

Of course, the first thing I did was to call EVERYONE I know so I could read them the letters.

There's only word for it. Even KK, who is, BY FAR, the nicest person I know (and objectively a truly nice person), agreed. It's delicious.

How many times do people wish misfortune on their ex after a ugly breakup and even uglier relationship?

I haven't thought about it one way or the other in a very long time, but for a concentrated period of time, I will admit that I did. And the Universe has delivered. No one else was hurt. No loss of innocent limbs or life or property (which would have made it significantly less delicious).

OK, Universe, job well done! Now get crackin' on my winning lottery ticket hand-delivered by Viggo or Matt or Clive or Johnny or James or Owen! And by the way, perhaps you wanna think about whether or not a certain someone drops his soap in the shower.... just a suggestion... Best case scenario, he'll decide he likes it and can start favoring a different demographic with his attention.

Is that mean of me? *wide-eyed innocent look*

C*ck Block

For the last few days, I've been staring at the most intimidating thing in the world - a blank page (actually, an empty blog post box, but you get the idea).

My hands have been hovering over the keyboard, but nothing is happening.

And the emptiness is mocking me.

"Yo girly, can't think of anything to write? HAH! I mock you with my blankness!"

The blank screen has been far more vocal than I have been. I HATE it when that happens.

I told Ergo that I've hit a wall, that the well is dry, that I'm all tapped out. She suggested that I just rant about something I dislike, since, frankly, I'm very good at that. So I'm hoping to burst the dam by ranting about my inability to write. Fascinating, eh?

Well... maybe it's working. Here's a little tidbit. IC and I have hired a small army of part-time employees. I brought them all together the other day and realized that we've hired only young, ridiculously attractive women in their early to mid 20s. I have been training them to sell, and been advising them on their makeup and wardrobe choices, and telling them that their boyfriends are lame and should be dumped ASAP.

SK is in hysterics. She thinks I am forging a generation of mini-me's. All without having to risk alteration of my 105 lb, size 00 frame.

The good news I guess is that if this internet marketing thing doesn't work out, I can branch out into an entirely different kind of business altogether.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Someone stumbled upon my blog today by doing a google image search for "gutter slut" and the search results produced my picture and blog url.

I'm not sure whether to be appalled or proud.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What if?

It's been brought to my attention that I apparently spent much of my youth cutting classes at music school.

Which probably goes a long way in explaining why I am not a better musician.

But think of all the adventures I would have missed if I had dutifully attended all those theory and composition classes!

Alternatively, perhaps I would have been too busy performing at Carnegie Hall to write my silly blog. The sad thing is, I'm not sure if that's an argument for or against truancy.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


"Once upon a time..."

As far as opening lines go, it's the opposite of original. It's formulaic and trite. But it's also a ritualistic opening that cues the reader into a familiar state of expectation.

On one of my first ever visits to The Strand (I have vague memories of cutting my afternoon solfège and composition classes at music school and taking the subway downtown - notable because it was my first time taking the subway alone), I found the unedited versions of the stories of The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. I was both horrified and fascinated to learn that Cinderella's stepsisters had cut off their toes and heels so that they could fit their feet into the slipper, and that they were found out only when their bloodied white stockings were noticed and pigeons came to pluck out their eyes.
And thus, for their wickedness and falsehood, they were punished with blindness as long as they lived.
But the story that captured my imagination and broke my heart was Andersen's The Little Mermaid. For those of us who watched the Disney version, we know the story. A beautiful young mermaid princess saves the life of a young human prince and falls in love with him, and trades her voice for legs.

But what Disney edited out, was that part of the spell that required the little mermaid's tongue to be cut off, and that while her legs were beautiful and her gait graceful, every step she took felt as though she were walking on countless knives. And, of course, that the feckless prince chose another to love. (Men. SO typical.)

Bruno Bettelheim, in his book, The Uses Of Enchantment, writes that children can well tolerate such violence and evil, because it affirms their understanding of and satisfies their desire for justice. Good triumphs and is rewarded. The evil are horribly punished.

I don't know anything about child psychology. Hell, I don't know anything about children at all. And I read the original versions of these fairytales when I was around 12, not 5, so I can't even point to my own experience and claim that as a small child I wasn't adversely affected by the brutality.

So I'll content myself with saying that as an adult, I wait, with great expectation, for the terrible beauty and fierceness that follows the words: "Once upon a time..."

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Going Potty, Part Deux

It's been almost exactly two months since I received my Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree. Those of you who read this post are already privy to the reality of my black thumb.

So, for the last two months, I have dutifully cared for my tree according to all the advice/instruction I could dig up through my obsessive Google searching on the topic. About 2-3 weeks after receiving the tree, the leaves started dropping. And kept dropping for a few weeks. I was, of course, very concerned. Google was no help. Leaves can apparently drop due to under-watering AND over-watering. But I soldiered on.

About 2 weeks ago, the leaves stopped dropping (there is still an abundance of leaves, don't want to leave the impression that I now have a bare stick jutting out of a big pot). And wonder of wonders, three beautiful white flower buds appeared! They bloomed quickly and in just a few days, they began to wither.

But all in all, this was a promising sign of life.

This morning, I watered the tree, and what did my astonished eyes behold? Three teeny tiny green lemons!

So I ran out and bought the biggest bottle of Grey Goose Citron I could find. I want all to be in readiness for when my lemons ripen. Perhaps next I'll buy a dwarf lime tree.

A Girl's Gotta Eat

AM, her recent breaking of the Man Fast aside (sex once a year just isn't anything to brag about), is considering signing up for a matchmaking dating service, "It's Just Lunch."

For a fee, they conduct a "confidential" interview and then guarantee 15 "dates" across the year, presumably with people who meet your requirements. And they do all the work coordinating time and place, in pre-approved venues, according to stated preferences. They swear up and down that they target busy working professionals. Natural skepticism aside, I do rather believe that; the fee is significant enough to weed out the broke and underemployed.

But the success of such a venture depends on two things:

1. The size and quality of the pool
2. The taste and discernment of the "matchmaker"

On, the only pre-date screening opportunity is afforded by the profile. And as I've learned, profiles can be, and usually are, VERY misleading. Just last night, I got an email from a 50 year old man who said that I seem very "soft-spoken" according to my profile. (I almost spit up my ginkgo tea when I read that.)

With online dating services, most people do not explicitly mention profession or education. Most likely in an effort to preserve anonymity and also because of the belief that it's the "person" that matters.

But in the offline world, when strangers meet in a social setting, what is generally the first question that is asked? It's the "what do you do?" question.

What a person does for a living, where they went to school... these things DO matter. Of course we are all much more than our resumes, but our resumes provide some sort of baseline, no matter how flawed a metric that might be.

So now I'm thinking... would such a service have introduced me to Rock Lock Guy? Possibly. But then Rock Lock Guy could not have coughed up the fee. Same with the Embryologist. Fat Outdoor Voice Guy could afford it, but presumably he wouldn't make it through my Non Fat preference. Indie Film Guy couldn't afford it, neither could Yellow Fever Guy. Creepy Skincare Product guy - well I guess there'd be no avoiding him.

Hmmm... so maybe there's some potential here.

I understand the women who might sign up for something like this. Desperate, certainly, but not necessarily unattractive physically or in personality. AM and I (when I am ready to actually be in and look for a relationship) certainly fit that mold.

So if the female pool is relatively robust, what about the men? What sort of men might do this? Especially in NYC where eligible men are vastly outnumbered by their female counterparts? Here my assumptions about men might cause me to draw conclusions that are wildly inaccurate. In the male world according to me, attractive, accomplished, intelligent, eligible men need only to swing a cat on the sidewalk and they will hit an eligible woman. And besides, men define "smart" far more loosely than do women. (I learned this from watching the Bachelor, where the Bachelor thought even the women who clearly couldn't pour water out of a boot with the instructions printed on the heel, were "smart." Clearly, "smarts" can be demonstrated via one's bra cup.) So if it is the case that eligible men do not need this and do not do this, what kind of men are in this pool?

AM and I do not go to bars with the purpose of meeting men (my penchant for flirting with cute waitstaff and telling them that my name is "Sabrina" notwithstanding). And we do not meet them through work. And online dating has proven to be an exercise in hilarious futility. So I think AM is going to try "It's Just Lunch" in her city on the West Coast and she will report back.

In the meantime, I will mull it over, and perhaps take the plunge myself later in the Summer/Fall.