Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Boo-Yah: Happy Halloween!









The thing about Halloween in New York City is it can often be difficult to tell if people are actually in costume or not. This is a town where I once sat next to a man on the subway dressed full-on as Merlin the Magician – in March.

As I strode around the city on Saturday night, I found myself wondering, “Is that guy in the cowboy boots, tiny athletic shorts and a baby-tee on his way to a Halloween party or is he just an East Village hipster tool?” and “Is that drag queen doing some trick or treating or is (s)he just turning tricks?” And of course, the eternal question: "Are those chicks dressed like naughty schoolgirls or are they really just sluts?" I don’t need to dress like a slut on Halloween because when I dress like a slut I do it on my own terms. With that in mind, this year I decided to go as a douchebag. I wore my douché t-shirt, a striped button down with a popped collar, indoor sunglasses, two bottles of Summer’s Eve strapped to my hips and impromptu finger guns.* Basically, I'm That Guy at the college frat party.

This idea would prove to be better in theory than in execution.

“But where’s the bag?” A male friend asked eyeing the douche bottles.

“There are no bags. It’s just bottles nowadays. No one’s used bags in years.”

“Oh,” says friend. [Looks confused]

What’s sad is that I showed up at a bar in Soho and almost every guy there was wearing the exact same thing (minus the douche bottles) and this time they really weren't in costume.

*As you can tell from the progression of photos, as the night wore on, many elements of the costume were drunkenly lost in various bars in NYC. And, really, what's douchier than that? Liquor treat!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rejected Usmagazine.com Ledes


The scene: Noelle Hancock desperately attempts to come up with a lede for a story about The Hills’ Jason Wahler being sentenced to thirty days in jail for assault.

Me: "How about 'Jason Wahler? More like Jail-son Wahler!'"

Much Wiser Editor: “Um, I don't really think that works...”

R.I.P(ee) Steve Madden

Last night I went out for drinks with a friend of mine and made the mistake of not stopping in the restroom on the way out of the bar. So on the way home I had to pee. Pants-pissingly so. It was one of those situations so dire you actually find yourself thinking, “I mean, would it really be SO bad if I pissed myself on the subway? It’s not like I KNOW any of these people. Homeless people do it all the time.”

Finally, the train crept into the 2nd Avenue subway station and I hobbled up the stairs and on towards my apartment. I was about to cross at the corner of Houston and 1st when suddenly the little red hand on the crosswalk sign stopped flashing. Oh hells no. There was no way I could wait through another round of traffic with two glasses of water and four rum and Cokes threatening to come pouring over my beaver dam. My PC muscles were already at their limit. (I won’t have to do Kegels for at least a year.)

So I sprinted across the street except, halfway there, my shoe fell off. There was no time. I had 6 lanes of traffic bearing down upon me. I didn’t even have time to lean down and pick up the footwear. So instead I shrieked, left it in the middle of the street and dashed to the sidewalk where a small crowd was watching with some amusement. For three minutes we observed as cabs, SUVs and the offhand Chinese delivery man ran over my poor brown suede ballet flat. When it was all over, I slinked back into the street and retrieved the embattled Steve Madden. Back at my apartment, I gazed at the shoe while I peed, wondering how life would have been different if I’d just wet myself on the F train or had made the mistake of leaning down to pick up the shoe.

“It was instantaneous – she probably didn’t feel any pain,” the coroner would have told my parents. “Her blood alcohol level was .10, testing positive for embarrassing college-era drinks that no one should be consuming after the age of 22. Also, did she have any bladder control issues that you’re aware of?”

Life’s short, y’all. Pee often.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tracking the Status of the BruiseStache: Day 2


We're now on day number 2 of stache-watch. My upper lip still looks like something Perez Hilton has drawn on. If it continues to get darker, by tomorrow the right side of my face should be able to moonlight as a professional mariachi.

So I Went To The Dentist Yesterday...



...which I thought might be a good thing to do before I switch jobs and am between dental insurance plans. And while injecting my upper gums with copious shots of Novocaine, my dentist must have hit something he wasn't supposed to because I developed a bruise. I spent all last night rubbing it with Arnica to no avail, for today I awoke with a gigantic BRUISE STACHE on half my face and I now look like a DUDE. In fact, when I pull my hair back, from the side I resemble David Spade. See photos above to witness this hideousness first hand. On the bright side, if this carries over into next week, I can go as Half Hitler for Halloween.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Questioning the Intentions of the Narrator in the Wilson Phillips song “Hold On”



During a recent late-night karaoke session, in between “Living on a Prayer” and “Don’t Stop Believin’,” a couple of chicks got up to warble the Wilson Phillips classic “Hold On.” That was a great song to have around during the turbulent adolescent years, wasn’t it? One you could put on repeat on your stereo and really sob into your Laura Ashley pillow. It had the cryability of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” but appealed to a wider, less suicidal audience.

But here’s the thing: The “Hold On” narrator is a dick.

The song starts out wholly empathetic. “I know this pain. Why do lock yourself up in these chains?” the narrator asks. “No one can change your life except for you. Don't ever let anyone step all over you.”

She (and I know the narrator is a woman for reasons explained later) adds helpfully: “Just open your heart and your mind. Is it really fair to feel this way inside?” No, it is not fair and thank you for noticing, Gentle Narrator, who offers the following spiritually edifying chorus:

Don't you know things can change
Things'll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
Can you hold on for one more day
Things'll go your way
Hold on for one more day


Then we get to the third verse, and boy oh boy, now it’s time for a little one-two punch of tough love. "You could sustain. Or are you comfortable with the pain?” the narrator taunts before adding: “You've got no one to blame for your unhappiness. You got yourself into your own mess.”

Yikes, where did that come from? Suddenly she's become that girl in high school who lured you into the friendship with compliments on your hair but secretly hated you and would say things like, “Ohmigod, I can’t believe that jerk cheated on you? Do you think it’s because of all that weight you gained during Thanksgiving and Christmas?”

The narrator then spends the rest of the song trying to make it up to you with a few more platitudinal chorii of “hold on for one more day and you break free, break from the chains.” But the damage is already done. Just as you’ll never fully trust that friend again with your problems, you spend the rest of the song waiting for her to throw in another blame-the-victim zinger. At least provide some sort of workable solution that we can apply towards the problem, because “hold on” isn’t really helpful unless one happens to be hanging from a tree branch.

PS: Wow, I totally just realized that James Frey ripped the phrase “hold on” from Carnie, Wendy and Chynna. Is there no end to that guy’s unoriginality?

PPS: You really need to watch this video. There is a xylophone. Also, please let me know if you can decipher the sartorial logic behind the beach scenes. Why is Chynna wearing a spandex lycra shorts unitard while Wendy is in a cocktail dress and Carnie is decked out in business casual? I'm just asking for a little consistency here.

Anyone Up For Some Krumping?



If Laura Bush ever decided to hit the clubs in the
United Arab Emirates
, I like to imagine that it would look something like this.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Living Vicariously Through One's Pets is the Only Way To Go Through Life


After installing a disco ball in Jesus and Stuart's cage, I'm forced recognize that my parakeets are cooler than I am. I may have to hire Mark Ronson to come spin in there on the weekends.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Seriously.



Does anyone actually eat the Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Spotted On The Streets Of NYC: Fauxberry Culottes


In 1964, while attempting to define the concept of obscenity, the honorable Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said, “I know it when I see it.”

It’s nice to know that his summation is still relevant in 2007.

Taking Pictures With Celebrities: A Cautionary Tale




(Granted, this is a damn unflattering photo. Of Eva, I mean. It's too bad she's so unphotogenic or she could have been huge in Hollywood.)

Actresses are different from you and me. They have better bone structure and non-reflective skin and Ken Paves on speed dial. This is why one shouldn't pose for pictures while standing next to them. They will always cause you to look less attractive than you really are. When Eva Mendes came to lunch at Us Weekly today, I learned this lesson the hard way. Don't make the same mistakes that I did.





I'm putting up these two photos of me with my adorable 12-year-old sister and my father to illustrate how one's appearance returns to normal in photos with non-celebrities. Perhaps celebrities emit some sort of uglifying pheromones that make those around them look less attractive, thereby making themselves look even more beautiful in comparison. The way women rappers sometimes hire thick back-up dancers to make themselves look thinner.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Prince Harry Demonstrates Talents Passed On From The Queen Mother


I actually tried a similar technique for the costume I wore to Yale's infamous Exotic Erotic dance in college (the motto was "The less you wear, the less you pay") using two red keg party cups. I figured that the suction would make the cups adhere to my rack on their own (it didn't). So I ended up just wearing a black tube top and a pair of panties that had the word DAMN written across them in rhinestones.

Well-played, Prince Harry. You are my favorite for the throne now even if you literally are the redheaded bastard stepchild of the royal family. Like your areola, I think you deserve a shot.

How To Read The New Yorker

Read Talk of the Town, read Anthony Lane. If there happens to be a David Sedaris piece in the issue, read David Sedaris. Check out winner of caption contest.

Read first three pages of article about a man who has discovered his life’s purpose splicing Dahlia stamen together in his small but charming hut in a remote village outside of Minsk to create a new breed of Dahlias, the likes of which the world has never seen. See how many pages are left in the article. Note that there are 7 pages left. Mutter to self, “Jesus, there certainly are a lot of words aren’t there.”

Put down The New Yorker. Guiltily eye the discarded New Yorker from time to time for the rest of the week. On Monday, extract new New Yorker from mailbox, toss old New Yorker in recycling bin, and with fist raised, say, “I’ll get you this week, New Yorker. Just you wait. I will read the shit out of you.” Repeat.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Emile Hirsch Discusses Going Full-Frontal, Stunt Bears



I wrote a small profile on the fabulous -- and sure to be Oscar-nominated -- actor Emile Hirsch in the new issue of Rolling Stone. He does a stunning job in the latest Sean Penn-directed film, Into the Wild, particularly during the part where he floats naked down a stream in 35-degree temperatures. ("That was my only regret, that there wasn't more nudity," he joked over lunch at The Palms.) I kept asking how he managed to lose over 40 pounds for the role but he just shrugged, saying, "Everyone knows how you lose weight." Um, the entire readership of Cosmo, O, and Prevention magazines would disagree, honey.

Enjoy!


How happening is Emile Hirsch? His bio on IMDb says he’s “often seen singing karaoke alongside Lindsay Lohan, Bo Barrett, Michelle Rodriguez and Nicole Richie at Beverly Hills hot spot Guys.” But the actor insists he’s not part of that crew. “It was one time!” Hirsch says.

He needn’t worry. Hirsch may have played a horndog teen in love with a porn star in The Girl Next Door, but after his career-making turn as Christopher McCandleless in Sean Penn’s recent Into the Wild, no one is going to mistake this twenty-two-year-old actor for a celebutante.

With his fresh-faced good looks and unorthodox range (“I definitely like mixing it up,” says Hirsch), he’s our best chance at bringing Shia LeBeouf’s boy-wonder era to a much-needed end.

Hirsch goes beyond Method acting for a De Niro-esque total immersion in his roles. “To replicate the real-life experiences of McCandless, a tormented dreamer who wound up living off the land in the Alaskan wilderness, he dropped 41 of his already slight 156 pounds and gamely performed almost all of his stunts, including rock climbing and kayaking through white-water rapids. He also drifted down a river in frosty weather for a startling full-frontal shot.

No sweat for Hirsch, who endured three months of boot camp to prepare for a role as a gang leader in Alpha Dog and aggravated a painful childhood back injury to play a skateboarder in Lords of Dogtown.

Next up: Hirsch goes green screen as the lead in the Wachowski brothers’ 2008 blockbuster Speed Racer, opposite Christina Ricci.

After Into the Wild, he’s happy to shoot some scenes indoors, especially when he recalls working with a nine-foot-tall bear named Bart Jr. The beast brushed up against him on the Wild set, contemplating whether or not Hirsch was worthy of consumption.

“I was pretty uncomfortable the day we worked with the grizzly,” Hirsch says. “After ten takes you think, ‘OK, this bear is just going to get bored and improv. Improv my head off!”

Conversation Icebreakers For Conversing With Someone Whose Sister May, In Fact, Be Certifiably Insane



A friend of mine recently met Jamie Lynn Spears at a party.

Me: “What in the world did you talk about? Jesus, talk about an elephant in the room.”

Friend: “Did you ever see the Simpsons episode where Ralph has a crush on Lisa and asks, ‘Um, so...do you like...things?’”

Monday, October 01, 2007

It's Like All The President's Men All Over Again!

This recent email from a dear friend of mine who's a newspaper reporter pretty much encapsulates what it's like to be a single female journalist in New York City in modern times.

"I have to do a story where I have sex on a washing machine. Where the hell am I going to find a washing machine? Much less one I can have sex on."

(This woman is not a sex columist.)