Thursday, January 29, 2009

Vindication at Last!

Self-esteem remains intact.

Today in Texting With Jessica

On location at a nearby tarmac...

Jessica: I am on the oldest, most ghetto plane I've ever been on. It's like it's taking its final flight. Even Spirit is more cleaned up than this.

Me: Oh noooooo! That's bad. On my way to the airport once, my cabbie asked what airline I was flying and when I told him Spirit, he started laughing.

Jessica: That cabbie should burn in hell. Nobody laughs at you when you get on a plane. Nobody.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Sistah

(Note: I did not look anything like this when I was 14. Around that time, I misjudged the thickness of my hair and cut it up to my shoulders, where it elected to become a blonde afro. And there was an eyebrow situation. There was ugliness there, is what I am saying)

How concerned should I be that my 14-year-old sister ignored my Facebook friend request? Or that I am placing my entire sense of self-worth in the hands of an eighth grader?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Secret Of My Relationship Success

Nick: What are our plans for the Super Bowl? Do we have any?

Me: When is it?

Nick: Sunday.

Me: If you offered me a million dollars, I couldn't even tell you who's playing.

Nick: Me neither. We are a pair.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Getting Lasik: Part II

I hadn’t brought anyone with me to the doctor's office because I felt bad asking a friend to leave work on a weekday afternoon. Besides, everyone assured me it was painless and the receptionist said that as long as I wasn’t driving, I’d be okay getting home alone in a taxi. But since I could barely open my eyes after the surgery, a receptionist had to walk me down to the lobby and help me hail a cab. He slipped me a Vicodin on the way out.

“You realize I just had a Vicodin a half hour ago, right?” I said. “And two Xanax before that?”

“Yes, the doctor said it’s fine.”

Once inside the cab, I called my boyfriend and sobbed, “Oh god, it burns! It burns! They don’t tell you how much it burns!” Then I called Jessica and sounded like such a raving lunatic that she put me on speaker phone so that our friend Chris, who was sitting next to her, could fully experience my hysteria.

As soon as I walked into my apartment I cut the lights and lay down on my bed. I wasn’t supposed to open my eyes for two hours so I turned on my Tivo’d episodes of West Wing and just listened. The entire show takes place in the White House, so all I needed was the dialogue to follow what was going on.

For three hours it felt like my eyes were being irrigated with Tabasco sauce. Then the pain stopped abruptly, as if someone had flipped a switch. I was fine and already able to read the clock on my cable box across the room. Floating in my pharmaceutical haze, it occurred to me that I’d never be as sedated as I was at that very moment. If I was ever going to get the second eye done, this was the time. I called the doctor’s office and asked if they could do my other eye that night. It was already 6 p.m. but they agreed.

When I arrived at the Lasik center, they handed me another Vicodin. For those of you keeping score at home, this means that in the course of five hours, I’d taken two Xanax and three Vicodin. But they insisted and I was hardly in a state to argue. I was hardly in a state to do anything, frankly. As you can imagine, the second surgery was much less traumatic, what with me being practically unconscious. I didn’t even need the services of Damien.

When I woke up the next morning, I could see 20/20. My vision was even better than it had ever been with glasses or contacts. Colors were brighter, lines were sharper. The world was crisp, as if I were seeing in HD. It’s been over eight weeks and the only side effect I’ve experienced is mild sensitivity to light, which should go away in a few months.

A few weeks ago I returned to the office for a checkup appointment. Everything was normal. On the way out, I stopped in the bathroom to pee. There were two other women in there -- one of whom was there for a checkup like me, and a girl who was just about to go into surgery.

“So you can see perfectly now?” the pre-Lasik girl squeaked excitedly. We nodded in unison and she scampered out.

As she was drying off her hands, the other woman gave me a knowing look and said, “I’m glad she didn’t ask me if it was painful. I wouldn’t have had it in me to lie to the girl.”

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Think It’s Time I Wrote About Getting Lasik: Part I

They say that you don’t truly recover from a traumatic experience until you can think about it without reliving it. That’s why it’s taken me until now to write about getting Lasik. I needed time to gather myself and stop having 'Nam-like flashbacks. I’d like to begin by saying that no one else I know had a bad experience getting Lasik. It's possible I'm just a wussy because every one of my Lasiked friends swears their surgery was painless. The worst part was a bit of pressure on their eyeball. As for me…

I booked my surgery on a Friday so I’d have the weekend to recover. When I arrived the doctor’s assistant handed me half of a Xanax.

“Oh honey,” I laughed, “let’s be serious. That’s not going to get it done.” She gave the rest of the Xanax.

I sat in the waiting room for about a half hour before they called my name and led me into the operating room. As I walked in they gave me a stuffed monkey named Damien to hold onto during the surgery. I lay down in a reclining chair and they placed some numbing drops into my eyes. (Okay, nevermind. I’m totally reliving this right now. My eyes are watering just writing this.) The doctor came in and placed a monocle-esque device over my left eyeball, which prevented my eyelids from closing. He instructed me to stare up at the round red laser beam over my head and told me to keep my eyeball perfectly still. This was the moment I began to regret how heavily I’d researched this surgery. Because I’d read so much about it before coming in, I knew exactly what he was doing every step of the way. I knew that this device (known as a microkeratome) had an oscillating metal blade and that when the red laser beam overhead began to blur, this meant that the top layer of my cornea was being sliced open, Un Chien Andalou-style. After he finished cutting open the left eye, he methodically moved on to the right.

The doctor sensed that I was uncomfortable (perhaps it was the whimpering?) and asked if I needed to take a break before the laser portion of the surgery. I did. He left the room and an assistant asked if I needed another Xanax.

“Please,” I whispered.

She placed it under my tongue. I hoped that if I waited awhile the pain would regress, but it only worsened. I thought about a story my brother told me when I was a kid. In ancient times, he swore, they punished people in the desert by burying them in the sand up to their necks and cutting off their eyelids. The person couldn’t shield their eyes from the desert sun with their hands, nor could they blink when the sweat and sand particles trickled in.

By the time the doctor resumed the surgery, I was in agony. He pried open one eyelid. I couldn’t stop squinting because of the bright spotlight shining in my face. (My eyes were starring in their own snuff film.) He peeled back my cornea flap and the red laser beam went blurry again. The machine made a loud clacking sound, the laser crackled and the room filled with the smell of burning flesh.

“Noelle, it is imperative that you open your eye as much as possible!” the doctor said. “I’ve reduced the light as much as I can to make you comfortable but I can’t see what I’m doing. I’m operating on instinct now.”

Of all the things I don’t want to hear from someone who’s performing surgery on me, “I can’t see what I’m doing” ranks pretty high. I would’ve told him to stop, but I’d been instructed not to talk because even the tiniest movement could be dangerous. Finally the crackling ceased. The doctor unfurled my cornea flap. He spent several minutes smoothing it into place, running a tiny paintbrush over my eyeball while I fantasized about being able to blink. When he finally took the device off my eye and let me close it, I knew I couldn't go through that again any time soon. Even if my right cornea was already filleted open and ready to rumble.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “but I can’t do the other eye today. I just can't. I’m going to have to come back on Monday or something.” The assistant asked if I wanted a Vicodin.

“Why not?” I said, although I'd have preferred something a little stronger, like death.

I sat in a dark recovery room with several other patients for a half hour. Each of us had a pair of goggles taped to the sides of our heads, the white eye pieces perforated with tiny holes so that we could see. Altogether we resembled a refugee camp for albino flies.

One guy whispered to another, “Hey dude, did you hold on to Damien?”

“Yeah, man. You?”


To be continued...

In Which Tracy Morgan Tells Me About The Tattoo On His Peen

I have an interview with Tracy Morgan in the February issue of Maxim. A sneak peek at my hard-nosed journalism skills at work:

“I have a tattoo on the side of my penis that says stove top,” Morgan tells me proudly, referring to the instant stuffing mix. “I’m pretty well-endowed. A girl told me to get that because I stuffed her up like a turkey. She said, ‘You should call that Stove Top!’”

It’s about 10 minutes into our interview on a day off from shooting, and Morgan wants to talk tattoos. He starts ticking them off: a peace sign, a happy and sad face, a cross bearing the names of his ex-wife and three sons, the name of a friend he played football with in high school who was murdered. He lifts up his shirt, revealing his doughy torso as he displays the words ME, MYSELF, & I on his back. And then there’s STOVE TOP.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

CNN Article That Should Have Been An 'Onion' Article

(CNN) -- The moment I saw that guinea pig's corpse, I made up my mind. I would not tell my son Checkers was dead ... at least not that night. Drew had five tests within the next two days. I wasn't going to let grief jeopardize his grades.

[via Balk and TopherChris]

When I first read this I thought the kid's name was Checkers, which elevated the story to an entirely different level. But I'm still blogging it since my mother totally did this after she accidentally backed over my cat, Man, during finals my freshman year of high school. Meanwhile, here’s an Onion headline from this week that should be a real article:

'Happiness Riding On Strength Of Wireless Connection'


Friday, January 16, 2009

Celebrity Sightings: Flight 1549 Edition

Lorena: My boyfriend Max just saw The Plane from outside. I'm jealous!

Me: Haha. The US Airways plane is the new "it" celebrity in NYC.

Lorena: I heard it gives quite the ride. Even better than Kate Hudson.

Me: Hey-o!

After only 24 hours in the spotlight, The Plane has already reveled in the much vaunted Hero Phase and played to the public's sympathies in the Martyr Phase. Now begins the Accusations of Sluttiness Phase braved by so many celebrities before it. Expect sightings of the plane stumbling shit-faced out of 1Oak this weekend, one wing flung around the shoulder of Ed Westwick. Brace yourself for next week's Us Weekly cover ("Flight 1549's Downward Spiral") and an accompanying article about an airbus that was simply brought along too soon.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fergies I Have Loved

Us Weekly reports:

After their traditional Catholic ceremony, the party really got started. The bride's first words to her crowd? "She said, 'I'm married, bitches!'"

[Via I Heart You]

Up in the Sky! It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's...Oh, Wait.

Friend: This bird plane shit is insane.

Me: Um HELLO. I JUST emailed Nick, saying, "See, THIS is why I'm afraid to fly. A BIRD brought down a fucking plane?"

Friend: UGHH. I've always hated birds.

Me: Noooo, I love my babies! I keep thinking about the poor bird that landed in the engine. Yikes.

Friend: Pet birds are different. I used to really want a blue jay as a pet.

Me: Blue jays are assholes. Really mean, supposedly.

Friend: Yeah, figures. I always love the assholes.

Somewhere Alfred Hitchcock is Laughing

Reports the New York Post:

A US Airways plane that had just departed from La Guardia Airport with 156 people aboard made an astonishing controlled crash landing into the freezing Hudson River after hitting a flock of geese that disabled two of the aircraft's engines, authorities said.

I'm guessing going down those fun-looking crash landing slides is slightly less fun when you're sliding into a river and it's 20 Degrees outside.

Only in New York, Kids: Part II

The scene: Chris and I have just been let into the Soho bar, which is so trendy it doesn't actually have a name

Me (looking around the room): "You know, I've been here before. But that was two bars ago. Back when it was called Table 50."

Chris: "Yeah, I once had a man rub butter on me when I was here. But that was back when it was a gay bar called Mr. Black."

Only in New York, Kids

The Scene: Chris and I walk into a bar in Soho and are immediately stopped by a bouncer

Bouncer: "Excuse me? Do you have the password?"

Me: "Seriously?"

Bouncer: "Yes."

Chris: "Tacos."

Bouncer: "Thank you. You can go in."

Me (looking at Chris): "Tacos? Seriously?"

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Be Afraid

I know I always am when I do TV. I'll be on Fox News' Red Eye tonight/tomorrow/whatever at 3 a.m.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I'm a Published Author!

Sort of! My six-word memoir was selected for the book Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak: By Writers Famous and Obscure, which goes on sale this week. (I'm assuming I fall on the "obscure" end of this spectrum.) The description reads:

From the heart's high moments ("She kissed me and said yes") to its lowest ("Never should have bought that ring"); with both piercing big-picture insights ("Found true love; married someone else") and peculiar daily realities ("Married Russian. Brush teeth with vodka.") you've proven a lot can be said about love in just a half-dozen well-chosen words.

My contribution, naturally, was the somewhat less moving "Don't trust a man who waxes." Because "Don't trust a man who shaves his balls" was too long. It's in the promotional video -- 40 seconds in -- after Erica Jong's (!!!). I have no idea who the girl is in the picture that accompanies my memoir, but she does a solid frowny face.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Openly Discriminating Against Friends Who Live Above 20th Street On Account Of My Own Laziness

Manish (who lives in Murray Hill): Want to check out my new apartment?

Me: Not unless it can suddenly materialize downtown.

This is why I have approximately four friends.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Give Dick a Rest

Mark: What did you wind up doing on New Year's Eve? Did Nick make it back in time so you could watch Strokey Dick Clark slur his way through the final seconds of 08 together?

Me: Yes. He sounded like a ventriloquist doll sitting on the knee of Mongo from the Heathcliff cartoons. In fact, I'm pretty sure I saw him just outside of the frame.


I hate change in general, so it was always comforting having an ageless Dick Clark usher me into the new year. But enough's enough, ABC. Let's not force the 79-year-old stroke victim stay up past midnight to converse with Ryan Seacrest, m'kay?

Beware This Squadron Of Geeks

I hit a new low today. I threatened someone with my blog. I know, I know. Totally shameful. But I was at a loss for what to do. It all started when some ghastly FakeAlert virus took possession of my laptop (who I have named Murray). Knowing that the worst thing you can do is let a virus percolate, I immediately rushed Murray to the Best Buy Geek Squad, which charged me $300 to remove the virus. I picked up the computer a few days later, took it home and the virus was still there! I called them up and explained that they hadn’t solved the problem, and they told me to bring it back the next day. But when I woke up the following morning, I discovered that Murray had slipped away during the night. The black screen of death. Wouldn’t start at all. The computer had crashed and taken with it my 100-page book proposal, which was due to my agent that very day.

I hurried back to Best Buy. Without even looking Murray over, the head Geek said that the only option was reformatting my hard drive, returning my computer to the state in which it was bought. But, of course, in order to do that, they had to retrieve all of my files first. Most importantly, the book proposal I’d been working on 14 hours a day for the last few weeks. This, they informed me, would cost another $100.

Since the proposal was due in a matter of hours, I didn’t have time to go to someone else or comparison shop. They had me by the balls. As I handed over my credit card, I argued that it wasn’t fair of them to charge me a second time, and they gave me the number to their complaint line where I could dispute the $100 charge.

I called today and went at it with a beleaguered Indian guy who had the misfortune of answering the phone.

“But, but,” I sputtered, “if you’d fixed the problem in the first place, the computer wouldn’t have crashed.”

“It does not matter. We still performed a service and our employees must be compensated.”

“But you wouldn’t have had to perform the service if you’d done the job correctly the first time.” This went on for more than 45 minutes.

So basically I paid to help train their employees so that they could better learn how to do their job. And according to a Geek Squad defector, this is standard operating procedure.

“You’re seriously quibbling with me over this?” I said. “Is it really worth that $100 to lose my business forever?”

“That is your decision.”

“Well. Maybe I should just write about this experience on my blog and the couple of hundred people who read it each day will know to go somewhere else the next time their computer craps out.”

“I do not read the blogs or the internets,” he retorted.

“I’ll bet a lot of your customers do.”

So yeah, I threatened someone with my blog. The same blog on which I post videos of dog-on-duck sexual assault, and write at length about the Billy Ocean song “Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Car.” We hung up a few minutes later, both of us convinced the other person was a shyster trying to make a quick buck.

Of course, he has his opinion and I have mine. But my advice to you is this: Don’t be taken in by this squadron of Geeks. They’re the sketchy car mechanics of the computer repair industry.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Today in Texting With Jessica: New Year's Eve Edition

Jessica: There's something peaceful about doing makeup after u started drinking. You know? It's, like, when real art happens.

Me: Haha. This will be blogged.

Jessica: That's fine, bc me and my eyeshadow making magic right now, and nothing else matters.


I'm just glad one of us made it out on New Year's Eve. I spent the evening (and all of today) watching The Twilight Zone marathon on the Sci-Fi Channel, undermining my resolution to be less of a tool in 2009.