$240 worth of pudding
If I told you how much of my work day today was spent asking the Microsoft Office Paperclip to marry me, I might get arrested. Other offers he DID NOT UNDERSTAND PLEASE REPHRASE: I love you; you’re so cute; will you go to the fish under the sea dance with me; mail merge.
I have to go cut up my third-favorite shirt now because in a few hours I’m going to see Stella at Irving Plaza, thus fulfilling my decade-long love affair with The State, and hopefully making out with Michael Ian Black, much to the dismay of others. Others namely being Michael Ian Black’s wife, and maybe the Microsoft Office Paperclip.
Abandon all hope ye who enter here
I just came home to a giant FedEx box containing my bridesmaid’s dress for my cousin’s wedding this summer. According to the tag, its official color is Victorian Lilac, and it has spaghetti straps and lots of beading and some sort of long gauzy scarf-thing that perhaps I’m supposed to wear in my hair Rhoda-style; I'm not entirely clear. This wedding will take place in Texas in July, and the groom is a fireman named Buster who proposed while reading from the bible on the back of a firetruck. Word on the street is that Buster is intent on making his own groom’s cake, and went out and bought special frosting accoutrements, and has been practicing since January by making little cakes and then lovingly icing them with the words “Practice Cake.”
As much as I love and adore this side of my family, and as truly excited as I am at the prospect of having a Buster-in-law, this dress just screams updo, and I’m afraid the only way I’m going to make it through this wedding is with my trusty sidekick strapped to my thigh the entire weekend. Or perhaps a tattooed date.
If that ain’t love then tell me what is
Liz is promoting Loretta Lynn’s new album, so this weekend we rented Coal Miner’s Daughter, and I cannot believe that I have lived this long without anyone ever bidding two bits on a picnic basket full of my baked goods. Everyone knows you end up married to the guy who outbids the other guy in the hot bidding war for your basket, and then you get fantastic hairpieces and your own tour bus and become best friends with Patsy Cline and addicted to dolls, but then Tommy Lee Jones builds you a house in the mountains and you go on to sing an awesome duet with Jack White when you’re 70. You should get this album, because it fucking rocks, and it’s all I’ve listened to for the past 48 hours.
In other news, my new temp assignment is basically me and this guy my age in a small room together in an abandoned building playing solitaire. He looks like a hot Steve Zahn, or a young blond George McFly with five o’clock shadow in his flat-front dress pants and tie, and he has the squarest jaw in the history of history and I’m pretty sure this can only end with us frenching. When I walked in this morning, he said, “Oh, are you the new secretary?” and my heart leapt and hoped he meant it in a James Spader/Maggie Gyllenhaal kind of way because internet, I have been practicing for that for only my whole entire life.
Things That Have Made Me Happy As Of Late
Spring ’04 Edition
This old man who followed me on the street yesterday shouting “Oooh baby GIRL! I got MAD LOVE for you! I want you to be the BARBECUE SAUCE on my RIBS, the COLLARD GREENS on my NECKBONE!” and I was laughing so hard I couldn’t even pretend like I was ignoring him, and then he saw that I was laughing so he started laughing and shouting it even louder.
Chris Noth from Sex and the City and Law and Order sitting next to me at lunch yesterday, and he somehow managed to pull off the whole jeans/loafers/navy blazer thing without looking like an asshole.
My new skull and crossbones slip-on Vans.
Popsicles for dinner.
This picture of Ryan and Chris picketing.
When Emily and Tony were in town visiting this weekend, and at one point I expressed to Emily my fear of dying alone and wild dogs picking at my bones, and she assured me she’d come click some sticks at the dogs to make them disperse. I hope you have a friend who will keep the wild dogs from picking at your bones, internet.
Front row center seats for Wicked on Saturday night, and after the show, the leads came out and led a live auction for a photo Joel Grey had taken, and then Joel Grey started performing numbers from Cabaret to sweeten the bidding. This would have been a lot cooler if, when Joel Grey walked onstage and everyone started clapping, Tony and I hadn’t whispered to each other, “Who’s that?” because we thought maybe it was Sloane from Alias. We’re just not musical people, apparently.
My dad sending me a Happy Arbor Day e-card at 3 in the morning, saying it’s his favorite “second tier holiday” because “the trees are always there for you.” I’m concerned that perhaps he took 4/20 a little too much to heart, and that my parents are sitting around watching Cheech and Chong movies and eating Cheetos for dinner, having redecorated their empty nest with doorway beads and pewter wizards and dragons.
Larry at Sharps. I emailed him, despondent from losing my favorite astronaut pin when I realized at the end of a date that it had fallen off my bag strap at some point in the evening, and not only did he respond immediately, he sent me two new pins free, along with a note wishing me luck and summer lovin’. Were I a guy, I would have to use only Sharps products now for the rest of my life. Since I’m a girl, I’ll have to be content with my new old pin and my cool Sharps lighter/bottle opener combo. MVP, Larry. MVP.
I think there are two kinds of love. Well, maybe three if you count Kill Bill Vol. 2, which was just an excuse for Quentin Tarantino to gaze at Uma Thurman through a camera lens and then lay claim to her with a giant cinematic facial at the end by shooting his name across her face in huge letters that might as well have been dripping down the screen. Anyway, I think there are two kinds of love. One is the kind of love where a person already has decided the things they want to happen to them, the things they desperately want and need and associate with love, they’ve mapped them out on their own heart beforehand, and they’re just trying to find someone to do them with. They’ve already decided that love = zany photobooth pictures and sharing their favorite movie on the couch once a week and saying this one pet name and them both liking the same band and going to the same coffeeshop and looking up and smiling over a book. So every person they date, they take them on the same walk to the same place and take the same pictures and pose the same pose and try the same lean-in and give the same mix tape, just giving the routine they want a test drive over and over again until it sticks, and then they get all the comforts that come with the routine of loving someone who holds the same things dear, or is at least game for holding your things dear with you.
And then there’s the other kind of love, that kind that sneaks up on you and punches you in the throat, and every part of it seems crazy and foreign at first, from the person and how they make you feel to the new things you find yourself doing, and you’re almost weirded out by how strange it is, and how you’re simultaneously repelled and attracted to it, and you might roll your eyes at it all and say, whatever, I’m not in love, I’m just doing this for awhile, but then one day you realize you want that strange new routine and person and it’s more love than anything else has ever been ever in your whole entire life, ever.
Interchangeable photobooth people, I wish you well, but I’ll take my punch in the throat.
Basically about pigtails.
On Friday night Greg and I went to see The Main Squeeze Orchestra at Galapagos, home of the most beautiful ladies’ room ever. The Main Squeeze Orchestra consists of eighteen girls in pigtails and knee socks playing “Glow Little Glow-worm” and James Brown and Kinks covers on eighteen accordions, conducted by a German accordion maker in a dapper sportcoat named Walter. I was prepared for it to be a one-joke act, but it was actually sort of fantastic, and I couldn’t get over the fact that there were eighteen girls my age in New York who could all play the accordion and be hot at the same time. I wish they wanted to make it a cool nineteen, because I have some knee socks that aren’t being put to good enough use.
On Saturday I went for brunch with Josh, and at one point he called me Downtown Sarah Brown, which reminded me of why I like Josh in the first place. Downtown Sarah Brown is the only thing remotely close to a nickname I’ve ever had, and it was printed on the back of a powder puff football jersey that I wore to school on game day in the spring of my junior year of high school, paired with a sports bra and denim cutoffs and tennis shoes and a RED GROSGRAIN RIBBON around my ponytail. Also, that black stuff under your eyes. The seniors rocked the juniors, as they are apparently wont to do when it comes to powder puff football, and then afterwards we all went back to some girl named Angie’s house and celebrated our defeat by drinking Bud Light out of cans even though it was still daylight and I don’t really care for beer, much less Bud Light. Cut me some slack. Spring of 1994 was a tumultuous time, people.
Anyway, I went for brunch with Josh at a place called Chango, where for $14 you get a delicious meal and unlimited mimosas, and everytime they bring you a new glass there’s a new plastic monkey hanging from the rim. After brunch we went to the Whitney Biennial, rolling our mimosa-d eyes at each other over the bad stuff, and after that I went to Williamsburg for a haircut, but not before I walked the wrong direction for half an hour and then realized that it was 494 Lorimer, not 949. The upside to this trek was that when I passed McCarren Park, these cute boys were lagging equipment to a van while some guy said loudly, “Come on guys, we need to hurry, because the crane is on its way and so is the snow machine.” When I walked back by 15 minutes later, though, I sadly saw neither.
Things had gotten pretty bad on the hair front lately, ever since my last cut in January when a very nice Russian girl shampooed me within an inch of my life and then evidently took me saying “Please, don’t cut any layers” as BY ALL MEANS CUT MY HAIR FULL OF LAYERS. This resulted in me wearing my hair in pigtails for roughly two months. But then I went to see Nikki at The Beehive Salon, and it was sort of a religious experience, and if you want an excellent haircut by a cool girl at a cool place that was plays Gn'Fn'R and Weezer and Biggie and is very reasonably priced, I highly recommend her.
There’s all this other stuff about Easter and crap, but is anyone still reading this far? I would have stopped after the powder puff bit. I mean, seriously, a red grosgrain ribbon? What was I, some kind of gayhole?
If you get back a roll of film that has two months’ worth of pictures on it, and there are several pictures of you and someone you are no longer in contact with, the best picture of you on the roll will also be with this person.
Also, while you’re looking at your pictures, the lady next to you on the train will comment on what an attractive couple you make.
If you duck into the empty conference room to reach your hand up your skirt to adjust your tights, someone will invariably walk by the door and peek their head in at just that moment. “Hi!” you will say brightly, your face turning pink. “Just reaching my hand up my skirt to adjust my tights!” But they will be gone before you can even make the H-sound, thus rendering you—God, I don’t even want to write whatever horrible inside-his-head nickname this man must have for me now.
Also, of course it will be a man.
When I got home from work last Thursday, there was a letter waiting for me from my genius former neighbors that read, in two-inch high red marker,
DEAR SARAH BROWN FROM R. I WANT TO TELL YOU THAT ME AND N. WON FIRST PLACE IN THE SCIENCE FAIR. N. DID MOLD I DID SHARK TOOTH COLLECTION. DAD SAID N. STUNK UP THE WHOLE GYM. ARE YOU GOING TO STAY IN NEW YORK FOREVER? FROM R.
Also included was a piece of original artwork from each child. One drawing depicted a rainbow and three suns wearing sunglasses, evidently a landscape of the world from The Dark Crystal, and the other was a detailed roster of every enemy one might face while playing Legend of Zelda. You never know when you might need this sort of information, so naturally I folded it up and put it in my wallet.
One thing I really miss since I’ve moved to New York is being around children regularly. Back home, I saw the family I used to live behind or the kids I used to nanny for at least once a week, and since I’ve moved here, I catch myself wanting to ask strangers on the street if I can hold their baby for just a minute. I keep asking my roommates if we could get a baby for the apartment, just to, you know, keep around and stuff, and despite my fairly compelling argument that this community baby would serve to fulfill any maternal leading we might have while simultaneously warding off any actual urges on our parts to procreate, no one’s gone for it yet.
Friday morning I sat across from an adorable family on the train, one of those families that looks like they just stepped out of an Ikea catalog—you just know they use Macs and read their children Goodnight Moon in French every night, and the parents are attractive and well-dressed and totally in love, and the kids will never grow up to marry girls named Ashlee or come home with tattoos of dolphins on their lower backs. So I sat across from them and developed this instant family crush, and I was so overcome with fascination and jealousy and want that I couldn’t concentrate on my book, but spent the whole time smiling at the toddler son, whose beautiful mother was feeding a banana, and in between bites he’d bat his eyelashes at me and laugh and I’d smile back, and my heart was mid-swoon when he suddenly turned, bugged out his eyes, and vomited his banana all over himself.
Suddenly my life seemed pretty fantastic.
Haverchuck for President
The coveted award of Best Roommate’s Boyfriend Ever goes to Rob, who came over yesterday with a copy of the Freaks and Geeks DVD Box Set just for us, marking the first time I’ve ever asked anyone if it was okay if I kissed their boyfriend. MVP, Rob.
Speaking of geeks, were I in Duluth (which is how I begin more sentences than one might think), I would totally go to this, if only because I harbor secret dreams of George McFly telling someone to get their damn hands off me. I mean, it’s at the aquarium! Fish under the sea dance! I dream in color, people.
Two things guaranteed to turn my day from no good to so good:
1) Someone sending me mail that ends with “I think we should be pen pals, so in an effort to persuade you I have enclosed a picture of a tiger and some cinnamon chewing gum,” and inside the envelope is a picture of a tiger and some cinnamon chewing gum.
2) Someone calling me and telling me the worst pedophile jokes they can think of until I’m so horrified I can’t stop laughing.
I had a cold fresh chocolate-covered strawberry first thing this morning, and it was so good that now my day can only go downhill, unless someone spontaneously gives me a flying pony or free plane tickets or a tornado machine or a beagle puppy, or, as my friend Brian suggested, puts me on a Bud Light drip. My money’s on the downhill, but feel free to be the one who surprises me.
Today on the ferry to Ellis Island, I fell in love with an articulate British 7 year old with a firm grasp of international political history and a T-shirt that read FAT FACE.
Tonight Christina and Lance and I went to dinner with Ryan in Little Italy, and he told high school stories about duct tape bombs and throwing 44 oz. Thirstbusters at the Lexus of a man named Master Kong that made us all laugh so hard we cried. I like it when my people come together.
I’ve been here exactly six months today. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of something that makes my heart feel hollow. Half of this, half of that. Outcome to be determined.
Tonight I took an hour-long bubble bath with the Magnetic Fields and some ice cream and a mug of wine, and I don’t mean “mug of wine” in a ye olde renaissance faire sort of way, like I had some spiced mead and a velveteen cloak, I mean “mug of wine” like all our dishes are dirty so I poured last week’s leftover chardonnay into my roommate’s Graceland mug. With some ice cubes, because I’m classy with a K.