Thursday, August 30, 2007


::Actual email transcript::

Liz: Was it you that was going on and on about Spiegeltent? I'm going to see 'la vie' on weds. Do I need to wear my JudgmentPants?

Adam: Perhaps only your Judgment 3/4-length shorts. The space itself is wicked cool. Don't drink their homemade beer though. It's nasty, tastes like seawater!

::end transcript::

If you live in New York, you have a pulse, and want to see something a bit out of the ordinary, you, too, should don your Capris of Judgment and get over to Pier 17 to check out this show, or the other one, 'Absinthe.'

It's a little Cirque du Soleil in concept, but kicks the crap out of what Cirque du Soleil has become (too slick, tidy, and glossy for my taste). 'La Vie' is raunchy, raw, and exquisitely beautiful. But yeah, the Belgian beer does taste a teeny bit like seawater.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007


“I’d like the mini-pizza with pepperoni and onions, please.”

What? So I’m a little hungry today. And, I did order the mini pizza. I was really in the mood for pizza for lunch, and though I’ve just discovered there’s a Two Boots in Grand Central, the thought of actually dealing with Grand Central during the lunch rush was unspeakably off-putting. Hence I took a stroll down the block to do some take-out menu collecting and sample the wares of the pizza place I pass every time I give up and just go to the Amish Market.

For some reason, in my head, mini-pizza equals the garbage we used to get in the high school cafeteria that I think was made by Pizza Hut, had a seriously greasy case of Nasty Crust, and was probably 7” in diameter. Each slice was like three bites, and, while eating it was tantamount to cutting a deal with the devil of arterial sclerosis, it was cheap and filled you up.

Cut to this afternoon, when I order my mini-pizza, go to the cooler to grab a can of soda, and turn back to the counter to see the pizza dude stretching out the dough, adding the toppings, and sliding the thing into the oven. I grab a seat, thinking ‘this is going to take a while,’ and spend 10 pleasant minutes people-watching while my pizza cooks.

I’m not really paying attention as it comes out of the oven and is boxed, but the pizza dude starts making the ‘it’s ready’ face, so I sidle over to the counter to pick up my food.

“Thanks,” I say, turning towards the door.

“Oh, wait!” pizza dude yells. “Here.”

He places 4 paper plates and 20 napkins on top of the box, and off I go.

I get back to my desk, open the pizza box, and discover this thing is the size of a tractor wheel. So I eat it. All of it. Even picked the onions off the waxed paper. Because I will never be a size 2, have never cared to be, and love to freakin’ eat.

What I resent is pizza dude’s assumption that I was going to share. Why else would he have given me enough plates and napkins for a small platoon of eaters? Granted, I had grossly underestimated what the word mini means to some people, but in my book mini = personal = all mine.

Because I am a shameless glutton, this happens all the time. When I order sushi, there’s 3 or 4 pairs of chopsticks crammed in the bag. Implication: I’ve ordered enough raw fish to feed 3 or 4 normal people. Indian food? You know there’s an extra naan in there. Ditto for tortillas and Mexican. Crumbled peanuts and Thai. I am an enthusiast of all the cuisines of the world available to me in New York, and all the delivery people seem to think I'm ordering meals for 4.

Is this a subtle commentary from America’s take out industry that I eat too much? I know children somewhere are starving and that makes me sad on the inside. But I can’t talk about it, because my mouth is too full.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Los Banditos

Remember Prell?

I didn’t, until it hit me in the face in the elevator last month.

I’ve long thought, why get to know people, delve into their psyches, and really understand the cast of thousands who make up this ever rotating kaleidoscope of humanity we call New York City, when, instead, you can eye the dude who’s down the subway platform most mornings at 8:22, note his consistently shorter than average trousers, and then, for the next 2 years of mornings, think of him in your head as ‘Captain Short Pants’?

My insight is like a scythe slicing through the wheat of irony.

The really skinny, pretty crazy homeless guy with the cane who is usually on Lexington across the street from Grand Central who it’s hard to tell if he’s panhandling or just holding a cup of coffee, so you probably shouldn’t drop money into his cup? He always wears the same pair of jeans, which are normal denim colored at the top, but are faded acid washed denim from his shins downward, making it look like he’s kind of standing on stilts. He’s Mr. Stilts.

Every day is like a haiku in my brain.

I’ve named these two gentlemen with visual references in mind, but an olfactory reference point introduced me to a brand new dramatis personae: The Prell Bandit.

I feel like I used Prell in junior high, when my awkwardness was spiraling towards its spectacular peak (nadir?) circa the 1991-1992 school year. I had a horsey overbite, wore men’s extra-large waffle-knit henley shirts from Eddie Bauer (I had three in constant rotation), and apparently washed my hair with Prell.

I had forgotten completely about Prell until I had one of those Proust’s madeleine moments in the elevator, when I got on, and the whole damn car was stinking of shampoo. My brain wheeled, whirled, and gave me a single, glistening word, trembling like a drop of moisture on a turtle’s dewlap.


Basically, no shampoo reeks as much as Prell, and even though the elevator was completely empty, it smelled like my shower the year I started plucking my eyebrows into something resembling two separate entities.

Who was this Prell Bandit? Did they know they were using a shampoo that might make them vulnerable to bear attacks? Is it legal to use a shampoo that lingers around like Elijah on a slow seder night?

Because of my searing intellect, I forget 98% of everything almost immediately, and I forgot about the Prell Bandit promptly. Until I got on the elevator a week later, and it was like the elevator had been doused in blood like in that scene from “The Shining” only the blood was invisible Prell odor.

I wish I could give you an accurate description of Prell’s cloying, highly perfumed chemical bouquet, but I lack the verbal ability. It’s got Lysol top notes with a base of alcohol and pairs well with Ivory soap.

Someone, somewhere, is using too much Prell. Do I leave a note? Do I walk from floor to floor sniffing, like a bipedal bloodhound? Or do I sit, endure, and wait for the elevator to start smelling like Timotei?

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Friday, August 10, 2007


I'm going on a little camping trip this weekend with Reba and Anne and Ruth and Johnny. It's absolutely pissing down rain right now, and even though we're camping in Pennsylvania, I fear the ground might be soggy and muddy at best.

I haven't been camping in years, and my idea of roughing it is staying at a KOA, the Kampgrounds [sic] of America, where you get a kampsite, and not from the site, there's hot showers and clean bathrooms and maybe even a pool. You get the rustic perks of sleeping in a tent, and the hygienic perks of cleaning camp grit off of your body in the morning. Added plus - not having to pee behind a tree. (It's hard when you're a girl!) My high opinion of KOA comes from a trip I took years ago with my mom, called Dino Trek. It was arranged by the Lawrence Hall of Science, one of my favorite places in the world when I was a little girl.

On Dino Trek, 13 people went out in a 16 passenger van to see all the important dinosaur fossil sites in California, Arizona, Utah, Montana, and Nevada, over the course of two weeks. We spoke with paleontologists, and looked at loads of fossils. A plaster cast I made of a stegosaurus' tail spike still resides in the Lawrence Hall of Science, if I'm not mistaken.

Whilst on Dino Trek, we stayed exclusively in KOAs, hence my long and abiding love affair with camping that's not really camping, but you still get that good rustic feeling of sleeping on the ground and waking up to find your sleeping bag wet with dew.

Anne came over last night after she picked up the tent we're borrowing to sleep in for the weekend. I was asking her about the campground we're staying in, trying to gauge how close it would be to my precious KOAs. My subtext here was 'sure, but does it have showers?'

By the miracle of modern science and the birth control pill, I will have my period this weekend. So, apparently, will Anne. And so will Ruth. Not sure about Reba, but well all know that when a bunch of menstruating women get together . . .

So I was asking Anne about the showers because, well, when Aunt Flo comes to visit, you basically want to make sure a shower is in your daily schedule, for obvious reasons.

"They have showers? Hot showers?" I asked Anne. "Because I'll totally be riding the red pony."

"Sure," she said.

"That's good, because . . ."

"Why, are you worried about . . . ." she waved her hand, trying to figure out a way to complete the sentence delicately.

"Attracting bears?"

Yes. Yes I am afraid of attracting bears. Because then, this will happen:

Big ups to Stacey and Brandon, who composed and performed the music in this lovely video.

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