Monday, June 30, 2008

There Have Been No Posts

Painting myself into a corner.

And for that I apologize. For I have made the unfortunate mistake of painting my apartment. If you’ve ever painted your apartment you understand because you know how painting sucks up all of your time and energy and savings account. You know how paint can be so expensive you’d swear it was culled from white truffles and the bone marrow of bald eagles. I’ve also got my windows thrown open because I’m paranoid that my parakeets -- tiny as they are -- will suffocate from all the paint fumes. This means that it is very very hot in my apartment. The drop cloths do nothing except guarantee that at some point I’ll step in a huge glob of paint, later forget myself and step off the cloth, tracking it all over my wooden floor or the bathroom tile. Then there's the fact that every time I walk past the paint trays I accidentally kick up some of Jesus and Stu’s feathers, which then float into the paint. So now I am literally nesting, pasting feathers directly onto my walls. I've gone to Home Depot four or five times, suffering a psychotic break trying to choose between absurdly titled hues like Soft Jazz and In Your Eyes (both real colors). I am saying things I never thought I’d say, like, “I know I said I wanted blue, but the blue is TOO BLUE. Too blue, I say!” Would it be so wrong to ask my super, Stefan, to finish the job and offer to let him rifle around in my underwear drawer for awhile as payment? Because that's where I'm at.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sister, Sister

That's her on the left. She's also more photogenic.

I've finally come to terms with the fact that my 13-year-old sister is superior to me in every possible way. She has more friends. She got the lead in the school musical. She has shinier, more manageable hair. She's tanner. Right now she is at a swim meet in Arizona probably setting all sorts of records. (Right now I'm on our couch.) She's amazing. Her report card looks like the average temperature report for Houston in the month of June: 98, 100, 99, 99...See those medals on the wall behind us? Her other walls look exactly the same only with more trophies. She has so many trophies that my parents have to buy extra furniture just to have something to put the trophies on. I worry that when I fly back to NYC this week they're going to turn my room into her trophy room. Of course, I brought home some trophies in my day. The difference is that all of my trophies say "Most Improved" and all of hers say "Most Valuable." I'm Donald Swayze to her Patrick Swayze. Charlie Murphy to her Eddie Murphy. Hunter Johansson to her Scarlett Johansson. I could keep going but I can't think of any more. I wish Jordan were here. I know she could think of some better ones.

High School Reunion Just Like High School But With Less Guns and a Full Bar

My 10-year high school reunion was last weekend. At dinner beforehand, I asked my friend Jill, "How many people do you think are going to show up?" She replied, "Well, first you have to factor in how many people are in jail or have been killed in drive-bys." That was my high school experience in a nutshell. As for reunion, it was "the bomb" (as we used to say back then), and that's even including the kerfluffle I got into with the DJ who insisted on only playing tunes from Ace of Base and The Cranberries.

"How old are you?" I demanded.

"Sixteen," he answered.

"Really?" I said.

"Yeah, really," he replied. "You're old."

Speaking of bombs, have I ever told y'all about the bomb threats my high school used to get every few weeks?* If we were lucky, this happened during the middle of a major test so we at least got to compare answers while we were being evacuated to the parking lot. Good times.

*My friend Gabe just reminded me of the time a couple of our fellow students robbed a liquor store nearby while we were waiting for the bomb threat to be over. That was pure gold. Anyway, a night in pictures!

It started out innocently enough.

Damn, why does my skin always look so waxy? If I ever become famous, I'm going to go to Madame Tussaud's wax museum and pose as a statue of myself and all the kids will be like, "The other ones are so lifelike but this one is so clearly wax."

Old friends were greeted. And pregnant! Like my beautiful friend Erin. Whaddup, Erin! Whaddup, fetus!

White chicks and gang signs. Identities have been concealed in order to protect their gangster.

The wheels fell off at the after-party...

...where they started setting things on fire.

Then I looked around and noticed that I was the only one still drinking.

Then for whatever reason they kicked us out. Possibly because we were sitting on the floor.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Phoning it In

This morning -- the morning after my 10-year high school reunion -- I woke up with a splitting headache. Without getting out of bed I reached over to the bedside table, pulled my cell phone under the covers with me and called my mother's cell phone. She was puttering around downstairs and answered immediately. "Mom," I said, "I am reporting to you from underneath my comforter. And I am calling to say I am way too hungover to go to church today." Mom and Jesus understood.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Meanwhile, in Sugar Land, TX...

My mom and I are driving back from the mall when her breasts start to ring. I look over, uncomprehending, until she pulls her cell phone out of her cleavage. I cannot decide if this is awesome or disgusting, so instead I say, "Are you seriously doing that now?" She shrugs as if to say, What can you do?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Overheard in Sugar Land, Texas

"He has a photogenic memory. That's how come he's so successful at his business." -- Woman talking to a friend outside the local TGI Fridays

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

It's Raining, Yo. Like, Seriously Raining.

It started pouring today while I was at the gym and of course I hadn't brought an umbrella. I considered stealing one from the communal bin next to the door where everyone leaves their wet umbrellas upon arrival but decided that was too cold. Instead I walked home wearing a shower cap. It was the best I could do under the circumstances. Along the way I started texting people so I wouldn't have to look up and see everyone's reaction to the crazy girl walking down the street wearing flip flops, shorts, a t-shirt and shower cap.

Me: "It is fucking gangster outside."

Jessica: "I love it. I'm sitting in my underwear in front of the a/c, drinking and watching Wayne's World 2. Don't tell me about gangster."

Friday, June 13, 2008

New Documentary Finds Women Turned On by Pretty Much Anything (Except Dudes)

A post I wrote yesterday for's Daily Intel, where I'm filling in while Rovzar is on gaycation in San Francisco.

It’s not really news that the male body is kind of hideous. Guys, why do you think we’re always asking you to turn the lights off during sex? Hint: It actually has nothing to do with our being embarrassed about our love handles. But now there’s a study to back up this anecdotal evidence. Dr. Meredith Chivers, a research fellow at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health at the University of Toronto, explores the fact that women aren’t turned on by the naked male form in her new documentary, Bi the Way (kind of cute, but I would’ve gone with Bi Hard or Live and Let Bi).

“For heterosexual women, looking at a naked man walking on the beach is about as exciting as looking at landscapes,” she says in today’s New York Times. The article continues:
Heterosexual women, Dr. Chivers and her colleagues found, were no more excited by athletic naked men doing yoga or tossing stones into the ocean than they were by the control footage: long pans of the snowcapped Himalayas.
Which explains why you rarely hear about women climbing on top of Everest. What was surprising, however, was that women were aroused by almost everything else, particularly naked women.
When straight women viewed a video of a naked woman doing calisthenics, on the other hand, their blood flow increased significantly.
They were also turned on by videos of masturbation, graphic videos of couples making love, and footage of bonobo chimps mating. (Um. WTF, women?) So, fellas, the next time your woman is closing her eyes while you’re getting busy in bed, know that it’s entirely possible she’s fantasizing about chimp sex in order to bring it home. How’re they hanging now?

What Women Want (Maybe) [NYT] Commenters Keep It Classy

A screengrab of the New York Post's story on Tim Russert's death earlier today. I can't believe I have to share the same air space as people like this. And learn to spell, idiot.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Just Asking

Ladies, is there anything more embarrassing than when you go in for a wax and the woman takes out an electric razor and buzzes you down a bit first? It's like she might as well be saying, "How could you let things get this out of control?"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's Hot, Yo. It's Real Hot.

My neighbor across the way. Ineffectual open window in the hizzouse.

P.S. I love you.

If you don't live in New York, I'm here to tell you that it is completely beastly outside. It's 95 degrees. It's "Africa hot." It's so hot that I can no longer put Jesus and Stu outside on the fire escape to flirt with other members of the avian community -- their favorite activity. Do you know how hot and humid it has to be to be too hot and humid to put your parakeets outside? I mean, they're tropical birds for godssake! It's so hot that my friend Jessica just texted me, "It's so hot I might slit my wrists just so I can splash some cool blood on my face." (She's a cold-blooded individual, apparently.)

Granted, I'm from Houston, which gets so hot in the summer that I always thought the city was secretly trying to kill its residents. But in Houston you spend your day traveling from one air conditioned place to another equally air-conditioned place or to a swimming pool. In New York you have to walk around in the heat, you have to carry things in the heat.

I see these people in NYC who don't have air conditioning. I don't understand these people. Where are their priorities?? Is it a money thing? Because I would give up food before I'd give up air conditioning. I'd be one hungry bitch but at the end of the day I'd be the hungry bitch with tolerable body odor and manageable hair. Take the woman who lives in the top floor apartment across the courtyard from me. Four windows and no window units! Who is this non-air-conditioning-having barbarian? She even leaves one of them open during the day and I can't help but think, "The only way that's going to help is if you jump out of it." This is how much I hate the heat. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to making sex to my air conditioner.


I saw Chris Robinson (Black Crowes singer, former husband and impregnator of Kate Hudson) walking down my street with some brunette model-type last week. It took me a couple of seconds to recognize him and when I did I was massively disappointed. I thought I'd finally seen Jesus.

Am I Missing Something?

This is what I saw when I went to the Google homepage last night. Kind of like the first time you saw Alex Trebek without his moustache, no?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Using World War II Similes To Explain The Shortcomings Of My Bathroom To My Super

My apartment super: "So what seems to be the problem?"

Me: "Well, whenever I run the water, it makes this weird noise."

Apartment Super: "What does it sound like?"

Me: "It's like a high-piercing siren. Basically whenever I bathe, it sounds like the Nazis are invading my shower."

Sunday, June 08, 2008

You Have To Admire The Forthrightness

Spotted this sign at a street vendor's table on Artist Row between West Broadway and Broome this weekend

Why Is It?...

Why is it that I feel perfectly safe walking around New York City at 3 in the morning, but if I go jogging in my parents' suburban neighborhood after 8 p.m., I always feel like someone's about to pull up behind me in their car, shove a chloroform-soaked rag over my mouth and throw me in their trunk?

Don't get me wrong, my parents' nabe is ridiculously safe (and ridiculously named Sugar Land). But I think Commenter John is right -- it's the whole trend of horror movies usually being set in the suburbs. Have you seen the preview for The Strangers, by the way? I pretty much have a massive coronary every time it comes on. Those masks!

I think another part of it is that the media jumps all over the story whenever a white girl disappears while jogging in an upper middle class neighborhood. I can already envision my promo running during commercial breaks for Grey's Anatomy or something: "How the daughter of two local parents ran into trouble when she made the serious mistake of going for a run after nightfall. Tune it at 11..."

Thursday, June 05, 2008

So True.

This one is pretty great, too. When someone orders fajitas at Chilis, it's like a celebrity just walked into the room. Everyone turns their heads and issues a collective, "Oooh." Fajitas are the Julia Roberts of moderately-priced food.

I Also Recommend The Intravenous Food Drip

How sad is it that when I saw this Onion headline "New Wearable Feedbags Let Americans Eat More, Move Less," my first thought was, "I gotta get me one of those." My favorite parts:

“Sometimes I don’t feel like moving my arms. This way you can just have it on your face close to your mouth so you don’t have to pick anything up,” says a feedbag diner. “For an additional 50 cents they’ll just throw the soda right in there. You don’t have to keep sucking it through the straw.”

“The innovative design of the feedbag meals does away with the hassles of chewing and stopping to breathe while eating.”

Beginning next month, restaurants will add a version of the feedbag meals for dine-in customers -- the family-style feed trough -- as well as a drive-thru version in which so-called feed hoses will gush food directly into customers’ open mouths as they drive past the restaurant in their cars.”

What The Hell Is Happening To The American Presidency?

Chest bumping? Fist pounding? Is McCain going to do some Jaager bombs now?

Death by Farting? A MythBusters Investigation

Whenever my boyfriend and I go on vacation, we spend one night in our hotel room vegging out and eating pizza. When we’re sitting in the travel agent’s office, this is how we justify spending $2,000 on a trip. “Well, we’ll only allow ourselves one really nice dinner out and one of the nights we’ll stay in and order pizza so it won’t be that expensive.” The logic is flawed but it’s ours.

This is how we ended up eating Pizza Hut and watching American TV in our hotel room in Aruba a few months back. I was flipping through the channels when I happened upon the Discovery Channel's MythBusters where – and you know I wouldn’t lie to you – a pasty man named Adam was sitting in a bathtub farting. They were busting the following myth: You can die from the fumes of your own flatulence. Really? This is seriously something that people worry about – whether or not you can fart yourself to death?

“Jesus Christ, are you seeing this?!” I cried.

“Am I seeing what?” Nick called from the balcony. I didn’t answer because I’d actually been addressing Jesus Christ, who I fully expected to hurl down a humanity-destroying thunderbolt at the news that watching a man passing gas underwater now passes as entertainment. I'm imagining a scenario in which Shakespeare is begging God to reincarnate him so that he can come back to earth and create more magnificent works only to have Him reply, "Sorry Shakespeare, but bathtub farting is the theater of the new millennium."

By now I was totally put off my pizza, as you can imagine. But back to Adam who’s been busy farting in a cold bathtub. He now has a tube attached to his ass, which is capturing his gaseous emissions in a Flatulence Containment Unit, but he’s not making things happen.

"I wasted a really good one at six o' clock this morning,” Adam laments. Vom!

They finally collect enough gas and then, in a sequence so disgusting that I can’t even get into it, a lab determines which foods contributed to the smell of Adam’s fart. I have to change the channel and watch Family Guy for a few minutes. It's that bad. By the time I switch back they have set up their resident crash test dummy, Buster, in a small poorly ventilated room and are slowly filling his quarters with gases like carbon dioxide, based on the levels in which they manifested in Adam's "flatus." All the while they are monitoring Buster’s “vitals" and eventually determine that no one can produce enough flatulence to kill themselves.

“What the hell does that prove?” I thought. “They realize that Buster isn’t actually real, right?” Again, flawed logic. Now if they’d locked Adam in the room and let us watch as they filled the air with his fart to see if it killed him, that would’ve been quality programming. Someone give me a network.

More Gratuitous Pictures Of My Parakeets

At least someone in this family is sleeping.

Dad: "How are the parakeets?"

Me: "Honestly, maybe it's because I'm working from home now but I fall more and more in love with them each day. I finally understand how the universe convinces mothers to stay at home with their squalling infants."

Working from home when you own birds can be awkward, though. I was on the phone with an editor the other day when he interrupted me to ask, "Excuse me, are you calling me from a jungle? What is that chirping in the background?"

Please pour out some birdseed for Jesus the Parakeet who is going through a "severe molt" right now, according to the vet, and is genuinely unhappy with life.

A Hearse Driver With A Sense Of Humor

Spotted on 2nd Street between Avenue A and 1st Ave: A hearse with a ghoulish toy head dangling from the rearview mirror. Death is funny! Well, until it's you.

I'm Just Going To Say It

I hate it when Latino dudes call me "Mami" or "Ma." It makes me feel old. Rights to apply that nickname to me are hereby expressively reserved for people who have spent a considerable amount of time living in my uterus.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Life Is A Highway And I Want To Embarrass Myself On It All Night Long

I was watching TV last night when a commercial for gasoline came on featuring the accompanying theme song “Life is a Highway.” Oh, memories! When I was in middle school, my gym teacher got it in his head that our class should split up into groups and choreograph a dance to the song of our choice. It was the end of the year so the teachers were running on fumes and trying to get out of teaching as much as possible. My friend Jill and I performed the electric slide to the Tom Cochrane song “Life is a Highway." If there was any moment in my life that I would least like to have captured on film, that would be at the top of my list next to the first time I tried to put in a tampon.

Also up there? The day that I performed an elaborate tap dance to Glenn Miller's "In the Mood" in the 6th grade talent show with utter disregard for the fact that I had never taken any lessons. Is it any surprise we were so awkward in junior high with the teachers constantly shoving our unqualified asses out onto stages? Though I guess forced humiliation is a life lesson best learned early. I'm trying to imagine what I would do if there were a modern day talent show and I'm picturing myself blogging on the overheard projector: "And now, Class, it's time to hyperlink! So who's ready for a little html fun?!"

I should point out that I went to middle school with the original members of Destiny's Child, who would come in at the end of every talent show and completely destroy us.

Confessions Of An Insomniac

My lodgings

My electrodes

More of my electrodes

I haven’t slept since college, by which I mean I haven’t slept well since college. I developed insomnia in school because I was staying up late studying and writing papers and basically trained my body not to recognize tiredness. When it finally came time to go to sleep, I had difficulty shutting down my mind. It would take me an hour to doze off and when you’re only getting five hours of sleep, there’s no time for that nonsense. It’s been six years since graduation and it’s still an issue. I've tried visualization exercises, yoga, CDs projecting the sounds of the jungle or whale songs, nothing worked.

Eventually I went to a sleep disorder clinic and a doctor prescribed me sleeping pills which were a godsend until my body started building up a tolerance. Suddenly one pill was no longer taking care of business. I could’ve popped an Ambien and put in a full day’s work. In addition to having trouble falling asleep, I also started having problems staying asleep. Even after taking a sleeping pill I’d wake up as many as 10 times a night. They kept increasing my dosage and now it takes two-and-a-half sleeping pills every night for me to get a full night’s rest. It’s approximately the same amount used to tranquilize those bears that occasionally burst out of the forest to terrorize suburban neighborhoods.

Though my sleep specialist says that two-and-a-half sleeping pills isn’t really harmful (you’d have to take 40 times the regular dosage to OD on Ambien), they had me stay overnight at the sleep disorder center last Friday so they could study me try to figure out what the problem is. Appropriately, the sleep center is located inside Bellevue hospital, home to New York’s premiere insane asylum. Courtney Love was carted off to Bellevue a few years ago during one of her breakdowns. John Lennon assassin Mark David Chapman spent some time there. Yep, just me and the crazies chillin on a Friday night.

I arrived at 8:30 p.m. dressed in a t-shirt and boxers. A medical technician immediately went to work attaching approximately 30 electrodes to my head and face. Sensors were also strapped to my stomach and chest to monitor my breathing throughout the night. The technician placed one strap above my breasts and one strap below. “It’s like a boob tourniquet,” I observed. He laughed politely. By the time he got through with me, I resembled Sandra Bullock at the end of Speed when Dennis Hopper straps a bomb to her chest and then makes her get on the subway. (I've always wondered, does anyone even ride the subway system in L.A.? Isn’t that kind of dangerous with all those potential earthquakes? These are some of the things that keep me up at night.)

I lay down in the sleep center’s research bed, which was surprisingly comfortable. The technician was in the back room monitoring my heart rate and brain waves and watching me on video. He wished me good night over the loudspeaker. About five minutes later I said out loud, “Um, hello? Sir? Can I please have a glass of water?” He rushed into the room with a paper cup and held back the wires so I could imbibe without electrocuting my face. Then a few minutes later, “Okay, I’m sorry to bother you again but is there any way I can get another blanket?” I felt like a kid again. Remember when you were little and just shouted out your requests to your parents? “I want to get up now!” you’d scream. “Getupgetupgetupgetup!!!!” until someone would come running into the room and lift you out of your crib.

Like any classic overachiever, as I was trying to drift off I started worrying that I wasn't going to deliver the goods. What if I, like, failed the test by sleeping soundly through the night??? Luckily, I had a horrible, fitful sleep. I tossed and turned all night. Several times I accidentally yanked out one of the wires and the technician came in and woke me up so he could reconnect me. I had bizarre dreams that kittens had become a new food delicacy and not just any kittens but mini-kittens. People were frying them up and eating them like shrimp except they were somehow still alive. “Look how cute!” we’d say before popping them, still wriggling, into our mouths. In my dream I saved one of these mini-kittens from certain death and took it home to adopt it but my boyfriend freaked out because he’s allergic. “You know what dander does to me!” said Dream Boyfriend.

At 5:45 a.m. on Saturday my minder woke me up by announcing over the loud speaker, “You can leave, Ms.Hancock. We have all the data we need.” As they peeled off the electrodes, I wondered if that’s what death will be like – a voice from above booming out, “You can go, Ms. Hancock. We have everything we need from you.” I stumbled out of the hospital a few minutes later in my boxers, t-shirt and flip-flips. My hair was sticking out wildly from all the gel used to make the electrodes adhere to my head. At home I donned a shower cap to keep the gel from getting all over my pillows, put on a sleep mask and passed out again looking rather insane.

This Is The Only Thing I'm Going To Say About The 'Sex And The City' Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

This isn't even the half of it. You should see my thighs.

On Saturday afternoon I premixed some cocktails and smuggled them in to the Sex and the City movie. Afterward, my girlfriends and my gays and I all went to an outdoor bar and talked about it, at which point my legs were apparently eaten alive by a band of famished mosquitoes.


I was actually surprised by how much I liked the movie. Based on the trailer, I thought it was going to be lame but it was genuinely funny and I was entertained the whole time. However, I will say one thing (and this is the part where I girl out and pretend that the characters are real people in addition to being my friends)…

Character development was never the series’ strong suit, most notably the fact that Charlotte started out living in the hip West Village while Carrie was living on the stuffy Upper East Side (it should have been reversed). But the big SATC movie gaffe belongs to Pat Field. Carrie would never have worn a suit jacket to her wedding. The girl is all about designer clothing, so to have her wear some thrift shop label-free outfit to her wedding (and did I mention the suit jacket?) was wildly out of character.

Michael Patrick King did Carrie wrong, too. At the end she gives up her dream wedding so she and Big can get married at the court house – exactly like he wanted. She explains away her decision with some b.s. about “rewriting her own rules.” Bitch please. Carrie was a dramatic go-big-or-go-home personality, not a justice of the peace kind of gal. She just did one of those classic girl moves where she convinced herself that she wants what he wants, which is clearly not the case. Besides, marriage is about compromise but aren’t weddings supposed to be about the bride? (and honeymoons about the man finally feeling like he can ask for anal without feeling guilty?)

Okay, I'm done.

Words I Never Thought I Would Say

"Jesus, stop eating your disco ball!"

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Black Lung Is The New Black

Seen in the window at the La Cocina deli on Houston and Mott