I saw a lot of great costumes last night, but I’m going to have to give the blue ribbon to the guy who came as a Danny Aiello diorama. What? Exactly. My own costume—1940s cigarette tray girl—was a bigger hit than I’d anticipated, and I actually ended up turning a profit, as people kept handing me money and then taking a pack of candy cigarettes from my tray. What? Sure, okay. It cost me $3.49 to order a carton of candy cigarettes off the internet (thanks, Jay!), and I converted the box they came in into a tray with a little help from Liz’s guitar strap and some twine while watching Carrie around 7 o’clock last night. Add some seam-up-the-back hosiery and ankle strap shoes, and that’s the cheapest, easiest costume in the world. Sort of hard to dance in, though.
In honor of Halloween, I’m going to share a little secret with you, Internets (TM Brianbyrne): my surefire hangover cure. Don’t act like you don’t need it; we’ve all been meaning to talk to you.
Sarah’s Surefire Hangover Cure
(Wouldn’t it be really cute if you wrote this out on one of your mom’s recipe cards that had like kissing pigs dressed as cooks at the bottom and then taped it to your bathroom mirror? Not if you ever want to get laid again it wouldn’t.)
- Drink a whole lot. Come on: just one more, quitter.
- Go to sleep.
- Wake up.
- Roll out of bed. Rolling is essential, because you are not ready to just stand straight up.
- See? I told you. That hurt, didn’t it? Quit trying to be a hero and make your sad way to the couch.
- You’re gonna need three things at this point: a couch, a bottle of red Gatorade, and a television that gets at least three channels, where you will inevitably find the cinema classic 3 Ninjas. You don’t even need basic cable, because it’s a law in America that 3 Ninjas must be played at some point between 10 am and 6 pm Saturday-Sunday.
- From here on out it’s pretty simple: lie on the couch and don’t get up until the Gatorade bottle is empty and 3 Ninjas is over. This really isn’t as hard as it would be if you weren’t so incredibly hungover, because your brain will ping-pong back and forth between “God, this movie is TERRIBLE,” and “Guuuuuuuh,” and the next thing you know, the credits are rolling over that guy who looks like Pat Morita’s face, the Gatorade is gone, and you’re ready to shower and face the day.
- I cannot even begin to tell you how many lives this manuever has saved. If you do it on a Saturday morning, you’ll even be cleared for drinking again that night.
- You’re welcome.
P.S. Happy Third Birthday, Website! Thanks for showering me with sex and money.
Things I did this past week for which I am proud:
- Mailed my absentee ballot
- Almost finished assembling Halloween costume
- Sent my husband a birthday cake with the lyrics to David Bowie’s “Fame” written on it in icing
- Sent my brother copy of Drive By Truckers album
- Sent my friend Laura awesome birthday card with amorous tigers on it
- Edited my 17 year old cousin Becca’s English paper on Pride and Prejudice. I have never read Pride and Prejudice.
- Got caught cleaning up my spilled hot chocolate in the kitchen at work by our CEO who said, “Wow, no one ever cleans up!” and in my head we high fived and said, “Right on, Coltrane!”
Things my friend Laura did this past week for which I am proud:
- Passed her PhD candidate comprehensive exams
- Bought plane ticket to New York for Thanksgiving
Things I did this past week for which I am not proud:
- While my mother was reading my CDs to me over the phone so I could tell her which ones to pack and send and which to discard, had her read all the song titles on every single Man or Astro-man? CD I own because I thought it would be funny. It was.
- Laughed when she said “The Flamenco Lips” and “The Ass Ponys”
Things I did this past week for which I am sorry:
- Forced Liz to watch scary movies with me against her will
- As a result of scary movies, devised ghost-alarm code involving knocks on our shared wall
- Pinky-swore to never abuse ghost-alarm code in name of a joke
- Had to knock on her door later that night when she was half-asleep and was wrongfully accused of abusing code and dishonoring pinky swear
- Not buying those red cowboy boots
Things I did this past week for which I am not sorry:
- RSVPing to the company Christmas party at Tavern on the Green and giving my date’s name as Skeet Ulrich
- Having no intention of telling my date that I gave his name as Skeet Ulrich
- Disregarding the suggested serving size on that bottle of pills
- Buying those red knee socks
- Biting your thumb so hard it left a mark
Things you did this past week for which you should be sorry:
Spotlight ON!: Erin and Sarah Got Bored at Work
My numba one wife ELB has posted the beginnings of a joint Spotlight ON! venture that, had I gotten my ass in gear last night, I would already have posted as well. Check back here later, but in the meantime, head over there to see a picture of me dressed as a nun or a bride or something—whichever it is, I guarantee it’s the last time it’ll ever be captured on film.
Tony Soprano, Level 3 Mage
I just walked past James Gandolfini on the street, and I smiled one of those little I know who you are but I’m not going to say anything smiles, and he smiled back one of those little thanks I appreciate it smiles, and then he made my life by walking into a gaming store with pewter wizards and dragons and something called BEASTS OF CHAOS in the window.
I am becoming my father
On Wednesday night as we were all in the living room watching the game, Dan asked, “Are there any Canadian teams in Major League Baseball?” and I said, “The Blue Jays,” and then Joel asked, “But isn’t there another one?” and I said, “The A’s,” and everyone laughed, only I laughed the hardest and longest. Then I fell asleep on the floor less than two minutes later and Liz had to kick me awake because I was snoring.
Received text messages saved in my cell phone
Wound up on the bathroom floor this morning.
I miss you and am crying like a fucking baby
Oh my god your laugh!
Man, I’m so fond of you.
I love jesus’s style
Chin up, bright penny
it’s a easy business lovin’ you, sweet thing.
Ur name looks good in print
I have ABSOLUTELY NO RESPECT for 20something men on golf courses wearing visors who tell me to go change into a nicer shirt.
Wanna come to montreal w us?
I mean it
I wanna fuck you
S, wherever we go, however far away, I love you forever
You are so fucking great
There's no riot police in baseball
I've come to the conclusion that I'm the Yankees' bad luck charm, because every game I attend, they lose.
Did you see that shit? Fucking anarchy!
One of the benefits of living with two people who work for record labels is all the CMJ shows you get into. Last week was exhausting but awesome, and I didn’t even see a fourth of the shows my roommates did, but I did get to see a lot of great bands, including The Hold Steady, who always fucking rock, as well as my favorite new band, The Arcade Fire, who are sort of like gorgeous sepia-toned undertaker rock, or maybe Neutral Milk Hotel if they rocked harder and had a cute girl and Napoleon Dynamite in the band. I cannot impart to you enough how quickly you need to get this album, even though you probably can’t, because even though it just came out last month, they’ve already sold out, and Merge has to press new albums. Seriously! Record of the year! It’s all I’ve listened to since September and I still can’t stop. Find it, somehow, and then go see them live, because it’s somehow a thousand times better than the album, which shouldn’t even be possible in a universe governed by God or mathematics or whatever.
While at show, I was standing by the bar talking to my roommate Caroline, and then a totally surreal thing happened: this guy talking to her said, “I’m sorry, but are you Sarah Brown?” and then he shook my hand because he recognized me from my website. This is so insane to me. It’s only happened once before, when I was shopping at Target, and this guy (hi Dominic!) stopped me and said, “You look so familiar! Do I know you?” I was immediately wary, because even though he looked normal, complete strangers who approach you with questions typically want to turn you on to Jesus or hit on you or ask for money, but then he said, “I know where I know you from! I know you from the internet!” and I just stood there with my arms outstretched like a robot, laden with plastic hangers, because my roommate was a few aisles over with the cart, and said something awesome like, “Oh, hey! I’m just… buying… hangers.”
Anyway, I’m relieved to say that the only times this has happened, the people I’ve encountered have been nothing but cool, inviting me to parties and buying me beers. The guy I met Saturday, Jared (hi Jared!), was a total sweetheart and we talked for a good 30 or 40 minutes about architecture and baseball and beards. And then, in another twist of what the fuck, his girlfriend came over to us, and she was Christina from Merge, and she said “Sarah Brown? Why do I know that name?” and it turned out she knew Joey, my college boyfriend. AND EVEN WEIRDER, when I was at this same CMJ party last year, I met ANOTHER GUY who knew Joey! I swear to God, the longer I live here, the tinier the world gets, but as long as it keeps buying me beers, it’s okay by me.
Having roommates can mean a lot of compromises in your daily routine. When you live with people, you might have to be a little quieter during the throes of passion, or a little more on top of cleaning the shower, but if you manage not to live with crazy people, it’s definitely worth it for the camaraderie, not to mention the tripled CD, book and DVD collections.
Everyone knows that the best part of living alone is that you can walk around naked after getting out of the shower for as long as you like, which is especially nice in the summer. I had lived alone ever since college, and I was pretty comfortable with my post-shower routine, so I was a little apprehensive about moving to New York and having roommates again. I really lucked out, as I’ve somehow happened upon the nicest people, people who will get you on the list for your favorite band’s show, people who will hang up birthday balloons while you sleep, people who will call you on the phone at work and when you say hello, they say, “What’s your favorite kind of cookie?” and then when you walk in the door a few hours later, there’s a whole batch of them fresh from the oven. I live with people who will let you taste test each recipe they’re submitting to the Pillsbury Bake-Off, people who have the good sense enough to select boyfriends who will bring home the Freaks & Geeks box set, people who will devise a way to spike the 100 juice boxes you bought for your party, and people who will drink said spiked juice boxes until they have to puke, puke, and never miss a beat in the conversation. I live with people who will come out to the show with you, enjoy the free Rheingold until it’s gone, hail a cab at 4 am, tuck you into your bed with a glass of water after helping you undress, and then compliment you on your underwear the next morning.
This weekend we’re losing one of those people to another city, and I’m so sad to see her go. Here’s to you, Laura Reese. A lovelier girl who can hold her liquor like a champion and yet never ever swears has never lived. Look alive, Chicago. You’re getting a real keeper.
Thanks to you, I'm much obliged for such a pleasant stay
We skipped town for the long weekend and drove up to Newport, RI, for a few days of hanging out in shipyards and drinking with townies and watching the game and Led Zeppelin singalongs and debunking Norse myths and having a catch and, for some people, spontaneously stripping down to their underwear and tennis shoes and jumping off 40 ft. cliffs into the very cold Atlantic. Late this afternoon, as we headed back, with the sun pouring in and the trees changing colors and The Band playing on the radio, I thought, “Man, is there any place else in the world I’d rather be right now?” and that answer was no. And then tonight, as we hit the Triborough Bridge with me behind the wheel and my friends laughing and singing and the whole skyline unfurled on our right, I thought it again, and the answer was still the same.
I know you've got a god-shaped hole
Last night I saw Wilco at Radio City Music Hall. I keep trying to write about it, but I either start talking about how great the acoustics were or all the funny things Jeff Tweedy said and sound like I’m writing a review for my school paper, or I try to explain how amazing it was, and how at one point I noticed while I was yelling and singing that my face was wet because apparently I’d cried earlier, and then I realize how dramatic and lame that sounds, so I just keep deleting. I can’t convey just how good I felt finally seeing them live. Wilco has been the background music for so many of the events of my life over the past eight years, and I know it’s cliche to say that Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was a very important or personal album to me, but if I were the sort of person who claimed that an album ever came close to saving my life, I’d name that one. However, there is no way to say you had some sort of visceral or spiritual experience when they encored the second time with “Misunderstood” without sounding like a douche, so I’m not even going to try. Anyway, the ladies’ rooms at Radio City Music Hall are really swank.
In other news, I just have to tell you about the faux-core romance novel my co-worker is reading. She just spent 30 minutes giving me the plot outline, and although it’s set in the 1800s and she usually prefers stuff set in Viking times, she’s really enjoying this one. Apparently there’s this ranch hand named Steve who has blue eyes and black hair, and he’s accidentally kidnapped this rich girl named Jenny with flaming red hair and green eyes, and they HATE each other. I mean, really, will these two ever get together or what!
Even if you threw like Vida Blue
My favorite person today is my boss, who gave me four behind-the-dugout seats to tonight’s playoff game, even though I told him there was no way I could in good conscience root for the Yankees.
My favorite person tonight is Johan Santana. (Shh, Brad Radke. It's really you.)
- I just finished reading The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs, and I strongly suggest you do the same. I fully admit to smartypants syndrome, which means you usually hate it when other people exhibit the same signs, since everyone knows the pursuit of knowledge is clearly an Easter egg hunt, but I had to root for any man who dared pursue the elusive hat trick of Mensa, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. It’s like the call was coming from inside the house. Plus, the index is really funny.
- Last night I went to Ryan’s housewarming party in Williamsburg, where I was introduced to a very nice guy from Boston named Andrew Bujalski, and the following conversation occurred. Please imagine the escalating levels of excitement in our voices:
Ryan: Andrew’s a filmmaker, and Sarah’s a writer.
Sarah (this always feels like a big fat embarrassing lie so I try to start talking first): What kind of films?
Andrew: Have you ever heard of Funny Ha Ha?
Sarah: Yes. Although I’m not sure how.
Andrew: It’s this movie I made with—
Sarah: Wait! With Christian Rudder from Bishop Allen!
Andrew: Yes! Have you seen it?
Sarah: Yes! I mean, no! I read about it online and recommended it to the Living Arts Council in Tulsa when I was on the committee, and they showed it, but I was out of town when they did!
Andrew: Tulsa! That’s the first place it ever showed!
I have to admit, this made me feel really fucking cool, at least until I sneezed all over my slice of pizza on the way home.
- Last week I blackmailed/persuaded my father (who is a registered Democrat and usually votes Libertarian, as opposed to my mother, who is a registered Republican and usually votes Democrat) to vote for the presidential candidate I support on the grounds that I would not feel comfortable bringing a child into the world in the next four years under the opposing administration. Granted, I wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing a child into the world even if Abraham Lincoln was somehow named king of the planet tomorrow, but that’s mostly because I enjoy my life how it is right now, with all the staying out late and rock and roll and other recent unfit-for-website developments, but does this mean I have to make a baby if my guy wins? I mean, my dad agreed to this ruse, which I didn’t really think would happen. Apparently he wants grandkids pretty badly. Maybe I can talk my brother into finding some nice girl and settling down. I hear 20-year olds are way into that.