Monday, July 31, 2006
Macaroni has a very funny “how we met” story.
I don’t remember all of it, but it goes something like this:
“Hi I’m Macaroni!”
Sullen, half-asleep, one eighth as enthusiastic girl looks up and nods.
“What’s your name? What section are you in? Isn’t New York just ever soooo crazy??”
“Uh…Dawn. Ginsburg and no, I’m from here.”
“You’re from New York???!! That’s so cool. I’m from Las Vegas. This is my first time here, could you show me around?”
And here, I like to picture myself pulling the rim of my hat just across my eyes and exhaling my last cigarette drag.
She promises to leave her contact info in my folder at school.
And she does.
I, however, do not contact her, do not show her around, in fact, and never speak to her again for six months.
And that meeting goes something like:
“Hey, I’m Dawn.”
“Yeah, I know. We met during the first week in school…I left you my contact info and never heard from you again.”
“Oh…that was you? Uh…sorry…I was sick/forgot/was kidnapped by aliens?”
Macaroni turns out, much nicer than me, forgave me my transgressions and we became bestest of friends for the next two years.
Then there was the ugliness over New Year’s aboard the Jamaican fishing boat where someone may have threatened to throw the other one overboard and we didn’t speak for some time.
It was that tense Winter that I got to know pearatty and through her, Rick Blaine and then managed to weasel myself into Kaz’s Buffy watching circle and there met F-train.
It’s funny to think that I didn’t hang out with my favorite people from law school until my last semester; that had I been less violent, I might never have gotten to know them at all.
But, we did meet; and as I grabbed a Hefeweizen from the tin tub filled with ice, they all gathered in pearatty’s backyard to sing me happy birthday in the glow of the ice cream cake covered in 27 flaming candles. Oh, my…thirty will be a veritable two alarmer.
It was seriously a mini law school reunion: Pearatty, Mr. Pearatty, Curious and his fiancée, Rick Blaine and Ilsa, F-train (who vacillated between insisting that since this was my third party, I must be 30 by now and begging for the resurrection after “three such horrible days.” Beat.Him.With.My.Shoe.), Macaroni (while we weren't as close as before, we did recover from the 'boat incident') and her fiance!
Then, well after sundown, I got my first real surprise of my surprise party: KAZ and Tito!
At my second birthday party, she told me that she wasn’t going to be able to go out to California for my West Coast shin dig.
I gave her the patented Dawn Summers protruding lip pout.
And then I upped the offensive.
I sent her an hypnotic instant message on Wednesday: “You are getting sleepy…sleepy…you have an overwhelming desire to go to LA this weekend…You must go to LA this weekend…LA…this weekend…when I count to five you will not remember this IM…but you will want to go to LA this weekend. One…two…three…four…five.”
She IM’d back:
“Man I have this crazy desire to go to LA.”
“Huh…really? That’s strange; I guess you should go then!”
But she wasn’t going.
Saturday morning, as I sat still for my sisyphusian nail polishing, pearatty got a phone call.
“She’s getting a manicure,” was all I heard before she got up and left the parlor.
When I thought my stupid nails had finished drying, I followed her outside.
“Who was that? Mr. pearatty?”
“Yes, yup…that was Mr. Pearatty.”
“No it wasn’t!...was that Kaz? Is Kaz in LA?”
“Kaz? No. Is she coming? I thought you said she wasn’t coming…”
“Yeah…she said she couldn’t come. Even though I checked the dates with her before picking it!”
We’re back to pouting and have forgotten the suspicious call about me.
Then when F-train arrives at the party –delicious Krispy Kremes in tow—he promptly asks if Kaz is there yet.
“What? Kaz is in LA?!” I say.
“Shut up,” he answers, flipping me the bird.
“What? Why are you flipping me off?? Is she here?”
“She replied on evite that she was coming didn’t she,” he says surlyly. (Is that a word? No…cause it should be…a word to aptly describe all things F-train.)
“No..she said she couldn’t come…”
He gives me the finger. Again. Surlyly.
I shrug my shoulders and make my way over to Rick, Curious and Shelly.
I tell them about idiotically reporting my car stolen and we swap tales of finding “lost” cars.
I am not alone…although no one else managed to involve police…Sigh.
I show them my smudged manicure and tell them how pearatty tried to get me to lick my thumb to smooth out the polish!
This is my now famous “pearatty eats nail polish” story.
When Kaz and Tito finally arrive, and I give pearatty my finger pointing “LIAR!” accusation, F-train says “oh, this was supposed to be a surprise?”
“I told you I was surprising her!”
“No, you didn’t,” he replies before going into his sad roommate left all along tale of woe. “In fact, I pretty much had to come to LA to see you!”
Then he told her that the cat hates her and wishes her ill.
“The cat would never wish me ill,” Kaz says, taking the opportunity to give F-train her own version of the finger pointing “Liar!”
Those crazy kids and their face eating homicidal feline.
I was about to say that the Kaz/F-train cat was the most vicious evil cat in the world, when visions of the Rick/Ilsa flying bat cat came flying back to memory.
“I take it back! I would take their cat everyday and twice on Sundays over the flying demon cat!”
“Hey, it’s not “our” cat. It’s my cat,” F-train corrects.
And that’s why Kaz is putting the cat out on the street when I kill him.
Ilsa and Rick also flew into LA that Saturday to come to the party (Ok…I gotta say, every time I type the word party I feel like Meryl Streep in The Hours…)
“We looked everywhere for a Scrabble dictionary, but couldn’t find one anywhere.”
Oh My God, they fly here from San Francisco, show up first to my party and now are apologizing for not getting me a gift?
“But don’t worry, we ordered it for you online…so you’ll get it, we just don’t have it with us.”
They flew here from San Francisco, show up first to my party, got me a gift, but are apologizing for not being able to give it to me right now?
Seriously. Love. Them. (But not their cat. Cat’s evil as all get out.)
(And they got me a swiveling Scrabble board! Now…I just have to find someone to play with me since Kaz has vowed that she won’t play with me or F-train anymore.)
Turns out Ilsa has bartending training, so when I told her about my “adult drink” search…she jiggered up a vodka gimlet.
Mmm…tasty. We like. We like.
Mr. pearatty tried to get in on the game too with a strange concoction of strawberry daiquiri mix and something roses and vodka. It was not good.
Why, why would he try to kill me?
Sure I have co-opted his backyard for my own surprise party and got him in trouble for not hanging the Japanese tea lights and would force him to wake up early and take me to the airport…ok…the motive is clearer now…
By the time everyone had arrived, the night air had cooled to a manageable 89 degrees. F-train and Kaz told them about my party in Brooklyn.
“Fisch is actually a good looking guy,” he said.
The next day when Macaroni asked if F-train was gay and if the guy he came with was his boyfriend, I resisted the impulse to say “no, but I might have to set him up with Karol’s poker hero when I get back to NY.”
Ok. I didn’t resist.
Macaroni’s fiancé Dan assured us that he will not have anything to do with Macaroni’s baby shower and we laughed at the fact that he and Macaroni’s monogrammed towels will say “VD.”
Curious and I, who worked together on the law school newspaper decided that we should collaborate on a script and become Hollywood power brokers!
Oh, how I wish.
Ah, the whole night was like a scene from a movie. Backyards are awesome. Although we could do without the crickets and threat of bears.
Those are less awesome.
I became grill master…although Macaroni was in charge of the corn grilling.
When she took them off the grill in under ten minutes, I decided to get a guinea pig to do the taste test.
Rick took the challenge.
“What?” he said between swallows, “It’s fine.”
I didn’t trust his tone.
“Here, have a corn,” I said to the guy F-train came with, “I don’t trust, Blaine.”
“Like he’s going to lie to you, just so you will eat raw corn…yeah, actually he would,” F-train says.
“I totally would,” Rick confirms.
Later when Macaroni poses her question of the “too hairy bridesmaid” (about which Karol cannot believe that she is the only one who would kick the girl out of her wedding.) Rick mentions that since his younger brother is a really good looking guy, he had to break the kid’s nose before letting him be the best man at his wedding.
Cause he’s kidding.
And so there you have it…one girl and her birthday season.
Her too short birthday season.
“Are you sure two pasta dishes are enough?”
“Yes,” Pi replied for the nineteenth time, “we’ll also have salad and garlic bread and cheese.”
I wasn’t convinced. Nevermind that Pi throws dinner parties every week and has done so for like the last fifteen years.
“Can we also make chicken parm?”
“Fine, you have to buy chicken breasts.”
“I can do that.”
And I could too...but my mom wanted to come with.
“Mom wanted to come with,” that will heretofore be my standard answer to why I bought 19 pounds of chicken breasts for twenty people, even though there are already two pasta dishes, garlic bread AND cheese.
Of course, Pi was totally right. There wasn’t even room on the table for the chick parm and if memory serves, we only ended up making eight pieces or so –leaving 18 pounds three ounces of unused chicken in my refrigerator.
But the party was awesome.
Alceste was first to arrive. Ah, death threats – nothing beats ‘em. Pi – who had “volunteered” to cook (ok, those pictures from college are officially destroyed! –ed.) wasn’t quite done, so we put Alceste to work setting up the cheese platter.
Of course, he became entranced with the “Bra” cheese Pi had picked out.
Seriously, how come men are in all the positions of authority?
Except for Alceste the first couple of hours were chock full of the old college gang – and their wives and unborn children (man, am I a slacker in the game of life...but for owning my apartment and a car, I would seriously, be in remedial living right about now.)
There wasn’t that much talking because the food was sooo awesome --- but I did manage to put my plate down long enough to take swigs of the Sangria –also handmade by Pi.
“Did I ever tell you about the Sangria we made for happy hour at the News,” Chris asked his wife.
She said no.
Years ago, when we were in college and working on the student newspaper, TPTB decided that to keep us happily slaving away without wages on a daily paper, they would provide us with free Dominoes pizza and unlimited Poland Spring water from a cooler.
(To this day I will not, cannot, must not eat nor drink either of those things.)
And every Friday one pair of editors or reporters would sponsor a happy hour.
For his happy hour, Chris and my Scrabble guru friend Lola, had a Sangria themed happy hour.
They made like three gallons of the stuff and replaced the Poland Spring water with SANGRIA!!!
Oh what a glorious night...unfortunately for months afterward all the Poland Spring water had the faintest taste of wine to it.
“That must have been great,” Chris’ wife said at the story’s end.
“You’d think so,” I sighed, “but no...it was more like vaguely remembering a time when you were happy as you grind your way through the darkest days of your life.”
I did my standard pitch to Chris and his wife to have the baby –should she be a girl—to be named after me.
(Later that night Lee Stevens would provide me with graphics and charts demonstrating that while Dawn was a easy to pronounce and spell popular name, it was not sooo popular that should you lose little Dawn at the mall...calling out her name would be usueless. Unfortunately, this picth has not yet produced a bona fide namesake.)
The Arc Builder – our overlord and master on the daily paper – also came by with his wife.
Some of my favorite memories of college involved chatting away with Arc Builder and Chris about politics and affirmative action, fictitious cousin Vito and vengeance. Arc Builder is still the only person in all the world that is better than I at vengeance planning.
I would say more, but if I did, I just know that one day I’d use my credit card at the gas pump and be taken into custody by Homeland Security. And as I languish away the rest of my days at Guantanamo, I may not figure out how he did it, I’d just know that he did.
Somehow Arc Builder and I got to talking about the tax deduction on my mortgage.
“Nah, I don’t think I’ll be able to deduct anything because of the AMT.”
“No, don’t worry. I’ve been paying the AMT for years and you still get to deduct the interest...it’s one of the exceptions.”
“Wow...really...good. I hate the AMT and everything it stands for.”
After a bit more discussion about the tax code and how it crushes the barely rich, I laughed.
“hmmm...who knew that one day we’d be talking about paying too much taxes...we’re practically Republicans!”
Unfortunately, with my duties as host, I didn’t get much time to talk to his wife, but I heard that Karol gracefully made apologies for my absence and managed make her feel very welcome with the delicately phrased:
“Oh, you work for so and so? Dawn hates him!”
My law school friends made their way over to the NC by like nine o’ clock.
F-train greeting me with ye old “I cannot believe I have to celebrate your birthday again.”
Kaz, taking a page from the Karol playbook, presented me with a CD of songs that will not make the baby Jesus cry.
By now I had consumed about half a pitches of sangria, ¾ of a mint julep, and two beers and was making my way through the Lemondrop...protestations of “I have never been drunk in my life,” has increased to about four per hour.
“I love when she says that as she’s slurring her words,” Karol adds.
“I’ve nevvvveeerrr beeeenn duuuunnnk....assskkkk meeee annyythiiinnn.”
“I don’t know who that’s supposed to be, but shut it.”
Around ten, we cut open the “Housewarming/birthday cake.”
Turns out I left the candles on my desk at work, so it went unlit and Dawn was a sad panda.
However, in keeping with my birthday of unconventional happy birthday songs, we got in a few choruses of ‘happy birthday to you (and housewarming) happy birthday to you (and housewarming’ which made me giggle like the schoolgirl that I am.
I collected quite the bounty of looterific birthday gifts – rfom fancy coffee makers to cartoon DVDs and scented candles.
When Fisch came it was looking like a poker game might happen. As I made my rounds, I stealthily scoped out any poker players in the group...Chris and Rdan were the only ones who even said “sorta, kinda, maybe.” So twas not to be.
“Hey, Dawn...you have a blog, so you might know the answer to this.”
“I do have a blog...”
“Ok...say you are dating a girl with a blog and you check it out...however, she doesn’t know that you know that she has a blog, can she tell that you read it?”
“Why don’t you want her to know that you read her blog? I always want people reading my blog.”
“Yeah, but your blog is different. You don’t write about your personal life.”
“That’s true,” says Kaz who suddenly materialized from nowhere, “she just writes about her friend’s personal lives.”
On the exact opposite end of the blogs and dating spectrum, moments later I was cornered by a giddy Smurfette saying
“Don’t tell him, Dawn!”
“Come on...tell me.”
Apparently, Smurfette’s boyfriend, the very lovely and able to find forks in a pinch, Jon, found out that she used to have a blog and wanted to know the name of it.
“Ahh...well, Jon...what’s it worth to you?”
“Umm...I’ll do all the dishes...”
“Ok..good start...but I have a dishwasher...”
“Ok..I’ll clean up and do all the dishes!”
“No we’re talking...ok smurfette..I have an offer to clean up and do dishes...what are you offering?”
Of course, as the bidding proceeded, it dawned on me that I could not for the life of me remember what Smurfette’s blog address was...in fact, I didn’t remember until this very moment while typing the incident.
Caveat Emptor, as they say.
At night’s end, I said goodbye to people I see every week, once a month, once a year and haven’t seen in what seems like a lifetime. Karol aka satan tried to drag me down to Atlantic City, but I was too full of cake and sangria to be moved.
We played a Russian card game that her friend pheeelepopok made up and she cheated her way to a quick victory.
I still had pounds of lasagna and baked ziti, not to mention frozen chicken and half a sheet of birthday/housewarming cake.
It had been a good night and I promised to be less of a recluse in my 27th year.
Make new friends, indeed, but definitely keep the old...they’re pretty much gold too.
I can’t believe July is over already.
I wait forever and ever for birthday season and just when I am settling in and becoming accustomed to being showered with gifts and affection, it’s August!
Next year, we’ll have to do two months!
I promised some longer posting about my two main birthday parties.
I promise a lot of things.
I don’t know, I’ve got writer’s block or something like it. Lazyitis. Crushedatworkamania.
Take your pick.
But I can usually write my way out it, so I am trying.
In the meantime, I saw a great movie this weekend: "In America" by the guy who directed the Fifty cent movie.
Very touching, I laughed and laughed at this line:
"You don't ask for help in America. You demand it. Trick-or-treat- you don't ask, you threaten."
Ah, tis true.
Also the girl I went to high school with has a great post over on her site.
Be afraid, be very afraid.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
To the person that crushed a cigarette out on my balcony, and left it there, may you die the death of one million syphilitic red ants.
Friday, July 28, 2006
132 dead from California heat.
Mel Gibson arrested for DUI.
GIWTHSW: You need a manicure.
Me: I just got a manicure four days ago.
GIWTHSW: Mmm. Been doing a lot of digging have we?
Why is "Republican Party" the first choice listed on the voter registration card? We almost had one of those "I was young and stupid" moments to explain during my 2024 presidential campaign.
She was 5 feet 2 inches, weighed 105 pounds, and was wearing a white miniskirt with a black halter top.
Her body was found at 4:30 a.m. yesterday inside the trash bin in a parking lot in the shadow of two 24-story buildings at Park Avenue and West Broadway in West New York. From there, the trail led two blocks away to the Park Avenue Motel, at 60 48th Street in Weehawken, where witnesses said Ms. Moore was seen at 5:20 a.m. Tuesday, and where investigators believe she was beaten and strangled.
About three hours earlier, Ms. Moore and her friend, Tara Keenan, 18, left the nightclub, the Guest House on West 27th Street in Chelsea in Manhattan, and found that Ms. Keenan’s red Dodge sedan had been towed from a “no standing” zone nearby, officials said. The women tracked it more than 10 blocks to the Police Department’s impound lot, at 38th Street and 12th Avenue on the Far West Side.
But tow lot attendants refused to give Ms. Keenan the car because she appeared to be intoxicated, the police said. Ms. Keenan then passed out, collapsing, and the attendants called for an ambulance. The lot workers also called officers to the scene because another apparently inebriated woman, who was not with Ms. Moore and Ms. Keenan, was there trying to retrieve her car and was becoming ill, the authorities said.
Ms. Moore went to use the tow lot’s bathroom. About 3 a.m., just before the ambulance arrived and with officers there attending to the two ill women, Ms. Moore apparently left the bathroom, slipped by all the authorities and simply walked off unnoticed, the police said.
FIND YOURSELF IN A HOLE? KEEP DIGGING
I called a car to pick me up from Whiteyville to take me to my new home in North Kenwindsorton Court (hereafter the NC).
The company calls to say the car is downstairs and I go down.
I see the driver stealing a drag.
“Safeway?” I ask him.
He doesn’t answer.
“Hi…hello there! SAFEWAY?” I ask a little louder.
He shakes his head in the negative and exhales a plume of smoke.
Well, where the heck is this car then, I say walking to a maroon sedan parked in the driveway.
I peer in and there is no driver. I look at the passenger side door and see the huge Safeway emblem emblazoned in black lettering on the side.
I storm back over to Smoky McIdiot.
“Hey! You driving that car…the car that says SAFEWAY?”
“Yes…where you going to ma’am?”
“Oh, oh…” he quickly stamps out the cigarette and walks over to the car. He holds the door open for me and shuts it.
I am glaring.
As he buckles himself in, he looks up at me in the rearview.
“Sorry, sorry about that. There’s a girl I usually pick up here that goes to her parents in Manhattan Beach. You weren’t her…”
“Nope. I’m black.”
“No, no…she’s a tiny little thing.”
“Oh…I mean…no offense…it’s just real small…” he trails off.
I put my ipod phones in and crack the 50 cent.
Minutes later I see him looking back at me.
“Is that an ipod?”
“When we get to your house can I listen to it for a second…I just never heard one.”
“It’s the same as a walkman or a Discman.”
“Oh, I never had those either.”
As he makes the right onto my block he tells me that there used to be a horse stable nearby, but they were evicted.
“Yeah, they are building new condos over there,” I reply.
“Man…pretty soon an apartment in New York is going to cost like half a million dollars.”
“What really? So you must be rich to be able to buy around here.”
“No, not really.”
He pulls up to my building, I let him listen to some Sinatra on Poddy. He is impressed.
“So how much does something like that cost…is it expensive?”
“No, it’s like 200-300 dollars.”
“THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS!!! That’s A LOT of money!”
Uh oh…my not rich cred fading.
I lose it altogether when I am forced to pay the fare with a fifty dollar bill.
“Gosh! You are rich…what do you do?
mmm…I could say I blog…but if he’s never had a walkman…
I smile, tip and walk toward my building...where the doorman is holding the door open for me.
I don’t even so much as glance back at the cab driver.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Dialing 911 is not the way to get a date.
By The Associated ptress
CANDOR, N.Y. -- Tyler Engelhard is in jail for what he said was a joke.
Calling 911 because he "wanted to see a hot chick" wasn't funny to the police who charged the 21-year-old Binghamton-area man with falsely reporting an incident.
Police said Engelhard called Tuesday and told a dispatcher his parents "should be in jail" and that police would "find out why" when they arrived at his home.
A sheriff's patrol rushed to the home and found Engelhard, who said he called as a joke and told the deputy _ a woman _ he just wanted to see a "hot chick."
Lt. Richard Travis said Engelhard didn't explain why he thought a 911 call was the way to meet a woman.
He landed instead in the Tioga County jail on $1,000 bail.
No...really...go on, caption it.
or vice versa...Wonkette named as Time editor.
Body count rises in California heat.
In one of the hardest-hit areas, coroners in Fresno County on Wednesday began stacking bodies two to a gurney because there were so many.
Among the 81 deaths believed to be caused by the heat statewide since July 16, 20 are in Fresno County. Coroner Loralee Cervantes said her staff was doing autopsies nonstop and decomposition of some bodies made the causes of death difficult to determine.
My favorite part of this story is that the reporter writing the story is in San Francisco - where it is 52 degrees tops!
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Nowadays it seems like young parents don't want to accept the fact that they can't squeeze in any fun time of their own, so they choose to bring their responsibilities out into the the unmarried and single crowd hang outs.
PN on parents bringing baby to bar days.
By the way, I don't see their prettiness, but we've added Pretty Numbers to the blogroll.
Andrea Yates Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity
Although, I think the prosecutors only trid her for the deaths of a couple of the kids, so they may take another shot.
Today, her former husband, Rusty Yates, who has sat through most of the retrial, said he was glad the jury accepted the insanity plea instead of sending Ms. Yates to prison. He talked about how the prosecution showed pictures of the couple’s five children before their deaths to the jury, hoping to convince them prison was the best resolution for Ms. Yate’s actions.
“Did they think our children want Andrea to be in prison?’’ he asked reporters outside the courtroom. “Did they think that we, her family on either side, want Andrea to be in prison? Is it of any public benefit for Andrea to be in prison? Is she a danger to anyone? It’s amazing to me. I’m so proud of the jury for seeing past that.’’
Lance Bass is gay and writing a sitcom.
Although Chris Kirkpatrick was always my favorite one.
Good and ashamed.
Not that I like Republicans, mind you.
[Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele,] spoke of his party affiliation as though it were a congenital defect rather than a choice. "It's an impediment. It's a hurdle I have to overcome," he said. "I've got an 'R' here, a scarlet letter."
That left the candidate in a difficult spot. "For me to pretend I'm not a Republican would be a lie," he reasoned. But to run as a proud Republican? "That's going to be tough, it's going to be tough to do," he said. "If this race is about Republicans and Democrats, I lose."
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Spending Too Much Time With Republicans: Three Conversations
Me: My friend Pi wants interest rates to go up.
Pearatty: Me too! Then when all those people with their O% down adjustable mortages go into foreclosure I can buy their houses.
Me: Yeah...remember when dispossessing people was a bad thing?
Pearatty: Well, these irresponsible people are the reason prices are so high.
Me: That is true. Hmmm...and I guess I could pick up a rental property...
Me: If Israeli troops have occupied Lebanon, I don’t see how this isn’t a war.
Pearatty: Well, it’s the part of Lebanon that used to be part of Israel.
Me: What? Israel gave land back to Lebanon? WTF? This is why these countries keep attacking them, they are just too reasonable.
Pearatty: Yeah, I saw an interview with this guy who was complaining that the bombing campaign was unfair because ‘the last time we kidnapped the Israeli soldiers, they negotiated with us for their return.”
Me: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA...Now, they’re all “what's up with our streets blowing up? What happened to the negotiations?!!!
Pearatty: Well, after Katrina, I seriously thought about getting a gun.
Me: To shoot the flood waters?
Sunday, July 23, 2006
THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED...
I so thought those two crazy kids would make it.
By the way, Justin:
Timberlake's second solo album, "FutureSex/LoveSounds," will be released September12. His first single from the CD, "SexyBack," began playing on U.S. radio outlets earlier this month.
"I didn't want to be that 'guy from the boy band,' " says Timberlake, formerly of 'N Sync.
Go to hell. And see you on the 'Nync reunion tour in three years.
I really shouldn't say anything about the blackout in Queens.
Really, really, cause it'll just mean a blackout in Brooklyn next week.
I once wrote:
Indeed, Queens is not Jersey. No, Sir. Queens is Oklahoma. Or Kansas. Or…Poland.
The streets are lined with white picket-fenced houses, with little old ladies sitting out front. American flags jut out from every second floor. I cannot tell you the depths of creepiness reached when one gets onto a NYC subway car and gets off in Kansas.
Which might explain why the lights went out in Queens and nobody in the rest of the city noticed.
I must have fallen asleep.
I know this because the playlist is 34 songs long.
I quietly hummed my way through the Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat songs, and vaguely remember hearing the echoes of the "Once more with feeling" soundtrack play in my head.
But there is no memory of the Rocky Horror Picture Show songs, before I vividly start to hear my Avenue Q favorites.
A tell-tale four song gap.
I blinked in the darkness through the Beatles portion and now, awash in my country music selections, I am wide awake and ready for the day.
Unfortunately, it is 3:15 a.m. and "day" is a long way off.
Thus, once again we'll commence with some "since I'm up" blogging.
Tonight was my West Coast party.
Every year...usually as I hover 30,000 feet over the middle of the country in a tin can, surrounded by strangers, with my face pressed against a plastic windowpane and my body shaking with sleep deprivation --- I wonder at the sanity of my bi-coastal birthday affairs.
I'm definitely not doing this next year, I vow --- squinting down at the landscape below and plotting how I will survive the certain plunge to the earth.
Well, and then I have a night like tonight.
A wonderfully hilarious sweet backyard BBQ illuminated with a string of Japenese lanterns replete with surprises --even though I planned every detail and handcrafted the guest list.
I'll eventually get around to writing up my crazy wacky birthday season '06, from Pi volunteering and making a freaking five course meal for me and my closest twenty friends, to pearatty agreeing to bake a cake in 112 degree heat in a kitchen with no AC-- "cooling plan" notwithstanding--- and of course, F-train winning the Tour de Summers yellow jersey by making all of my birthday parties this year -- a feat not accomplished since 2000 and made ever more impressive by its three state span.
But that will come later.
For now, I'll leave you with the one thought that keeps playing my head (other than dear Lord in heaven, why, WHY is Dawn awake).
Pearatty went for a haircut this morning. While her hair was coiffed, primped, washed, cut and dried right back to exactly where it started from, I decided to get a manicure and pedicure. (People now check for the infamous "cokenail." Which is, you know, awesome.)
I sat perfectly still under the nail drying thing for two cycles. TWO.
I opened the door with the palm of my hands and even had the nail lady velcro up my shoe for me.
I barely opened the car door with my pinky and had pearatty fasten my seatbelt.
So, imagine my surprise and horror when I splayed out my fingers for a final inspection and discovered a perfect fingerprint imprinted on my left thumbnail. The polish around it smudged and slipped in a permanent mockery of my patience and care.
"Yeah, that's why I don't get manicures," pearatty said shrugging her shoulders at my now-pouting face.
But the nail is not important. I just thought you should know. And I keep staring at it as I type.
The actual story is this:
My friend Macaroni is getting married.
To look at her tonight, wearing an simple elegant black dress, with perfectly french manicured nails (no fingerprint smudges anywhere!) and flawess makeup, you could scarely tell that she was in the midst of such a dizzyingly gigantic undertaking as coordinating the arrival and care of a hundred relatives (old and new) in a strange city and the start of a marriage and ostensibly new life with her fiancee.
Mention the wedding and she will animatedly tell you the following story:
She and her maid of honor went out dress shopping. When the girl, a childhood friend, tried on the strapless gown, her apparently six years of underarm hair growth protruded confidently from beneath.
And here Macaroni's face takes on markedly distressed crinkling of the forehead as she says that before she could get a handle on the...umm...hairy situation...her maid of honor preemptively stated that she wouldn't shave it. The hair was who she was and she wasn't changing for anybody.
Well, after some back and forth, Macaroni resolved that the hair and the dress would not do.
And well, it was her wedding, so the dress was staying.
She approached her friend again with the diplomatic: "you've got to do something with it or we'll have to find a new role for you in the wedding."
Her friend agreed to a trim of sorts.
At the story's end, Macaroni was out of breath and obviously still stressed about the whole matter.
"Can you believe that? Am I just being a crazy bridezilla or was that ridiculous?"
We all nodded sympathetically.
"Well, I know the thing to do is say I agree with you," Ilsa said, "but you need to let it go. Underarm hair is not going to ruin your wedding."
The discussion continued into the night, but the simple truth of Ilsa's statement stuck with me.
A "don't sweat the small stuff (and it's all small stuff)" for the new millenia.
That I somehow managed to fingerprint myself in my newly manicured nails or go on an impromptu midnight gift bag hunt (or have blogger eat my first draft of this post) was annoying, but did not mar my totally fun night of beer tasting and finding ever creative ways to flip the bird.
(However, if Rick Blaine is found beaten about the head and shoulders and stuffed into the passenger seat of a locked light blue Porsche, it wasn't me. I was home all night watching TV. Or in Atlantic City.)
So, as my birthday season comes to a close, and as I face at least another six hours of inexplicable awakeness, my wish for all of you (besides a backyard full of people willing to perform preliminary taste tests on your behalf and fabricate positive results, (including fake sounds of deliciousness and tummy rubbing) so that you will suffer as they suffered) is that you remember that underarm hair is not going to ruin your wedding.
Or something like that.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
My super ex girlfriend was super fantastic! Uma is great. Owen is a hilarious straightman. I finally laughed at something that sidekick dude from the Office says...just great.
Sigh...if only I could throw sharks at people...I would be unstoppable.
pearatty: I admit, I haven't taken any math classes since the 80s.
Me: That's ok. I haven't understood any of my math classes since the 80s.
It is way past my bed time even by California time standards...however, I woke up this morning in Brooklyn. Then traveled forward back through time.
Yet, here I am.
Pearatty is off to bed. Beating me at Scrabble is tiring, what with all the crying and temper tantrum throwing which follows.
I think I'll kill her in her sleep. Hmm...but she has to bake the cake tomorrow...ok, will kill her in her sleep the following day.
Well, since I'm up...
As per tradition, I flew West for my annual surprise birthday party. (Shh...don't tell Dawn).
But of course, since poker is legal in the great state of California, I headed straight to the casino from the airport.
I have been obsessing about an internet poker "show" called Live at the Bike. They basically show people playing poker at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens.
And I wanted in!
Last year, I took the bus to The Commerce poker room, don't believe the hype, people. You will not find love in Keanu's arms taking the bus in L.A.
So, I decided to take a shared van this time around.
"I'm going out to the Bike."
Dispatcher continues to stare blankly.
"Uhmm...the Bicycle...Casino...here...it's in Bell Gardens."
Sheesh, if I had a poker casino in my state, I would know all about it!
(For directions to Turning Stone Ask Me!)
He finally gets all the info down and twenty minutes later I piled into a shuttle van with nine children and two sets of parents and one grandmother.
Apparently, Bell Gardens is on the way to Anaheim.
When the shuttle pulls off the freeway and makes the turn into the Casino driveway, one of the tykes -- no older than six -- stands up and looks around.
"Is this Disneyland, mum?"
"No, we will go to Disneyland after the lady gets off at the Casino."
The word hangs in the air. Accusingly.
I now have eighteen pairs of eyes staring at the me.
The roadblock to Mickey Mouse.
I grab my bags, avoid all eye contact and stuff the money into the driver's hands.
Jeez...did they have to put the word Casino in such gigantic electrified letters?
Was that a lightning bolt I just saw?
I skulk off into the lobby and call pearatty to let her know I had arrived.
The girl I went to high school with and I have a casino poker playing motto of sorts.
It goes "at the tables by..."
As in...as the last of my birthday party guests called cabs and headed for the subway at around midnight..."hey...so, if we leave by 1, we could be at the tables by three...a.m."
Or when the phone rings and I groggily answer on a Sunday morning, the voice on the other end says: "So, if we leave right now, we could be at the tables by noon."
I so need to remember to hire Ron Lad to answer these calls.
Anyway, as I planned my day today, I figured that since my flight arrived at about noon...I would be at the tables by one.
Sigh...it was now almost three o'clock.
Not only did my Delta plane arrive late (ironically, it was the same late ass redeye that I flew two weeks ago), but there was a 30 plane-long line on the runway to fly out of JFK.
After we took off, the pilot apologized and added "we got a break because the Jetblue airbus in front of us had to turnback to refuel. Be grateful that you're flying a 747."
So, when pearatty asked what time I wanted her to come get me, I told her not to rush. We settled on six.
I told her to call me when she reached.
At six, my phone still hadn't rung.
And of course, I was going to get as many hands in as possible.
At 6:10, I decided I would go outside to check.
At 6:15 I decided I was definitely going to go outside to check.
At 6:19 my cellphone alerted me that I had missed three calls and had voicemail.
Indeed, pearatty had called when she was a mile away, then when she got there, then when she was waiting, then when she had to drive around to the back parking lot...
Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap...
I picked up my stuff, cashed out as quickly as is humanly possible (still really slowly, by the way) and went outside to look for her.
This is going to be "arrested outside the Commerce Casino" allll over again.
"Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry" (Sorry -ed.)
"Just don't listen to those last voice messages I left."
"How many languages did you curse me out in? Polish, English...French? Did you get some French in there?"
When did she learn Japanese????
Then a bunch of stuff happened.
Of course, I decided to check my voicemessages.
Well...remember all that stuff that happened? Well, it pretty much happened all over again.
Seems that pearatty left her cellphone on the whole time after I entered the car up until I decided to retrieve my messages.
So, we got to relive the whole sorted mess again.
Including my adept changing of the subject from my being totally late to why will it be 112 freaking degrees in L.A. this weekend.
"Really? That doesn't sound right. I expect to remain a balmy 98.6 degrees all weekend long."
To my explaining that I've started wearing the glasses that the optometrist prescribed for me a few years ago.
"Yeah, I've been leaning in closer to the computer and I have to drive closer and closer to street signs to read what they say, but what really did it, was that I couldn't see the suits on my cards. You think you have a flush but really don't, just one time and it's hellloooo glasses! How you doin'!"
Too bad Jan didn't play poker.
Ok...well, the night/day/night is finally catching up to me...
P.S. How is remap not a word? How are you supposed to express that you have mapped an area again?
"Racism is funny."
"That ride was really jolty.*" -pearatty
*54 points on a triple and "aren't you going to mention that not only did I get 54 points, but then you challenged and lost your turn?" Me: No.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
NOT SO RANDOM THOUGHT
I've got like four moods: confused, bitter, angry and whimsical.
Usually in that order.
"Bart: Can I be a boozehound?
Homer: Not till you're fif...teeeeeen."
“Pssst, F-train…which one is Milwaukee’s Best?”
“What do you mean?”
“Is it Bud Light? Or Coors? Or Miller’s?”
“Uh…it’s Milwaukee’s Best, dude.”
“Wait…that’s the name? I thought that was like the slogan – you know, like Burger King: Have it your way.”
Ok, I don’t know my beers. The only beer I ever really drank was Rolling Rock and that’s basically because the summer I turned 21, I was in D.C., living among interns who could only afford Rolling Rock.
(However, for the record, I do love a good chilled Rock.)
So this year, I have taken it upon myself to find a few decent non-twelve year old, poor student drinks to order when out when bosses, candidates and clients and the like.
No more awkward “no daquiris, huh?” moments for Dawn.
In Vegas I tried a few different drinks –some milky thing with Godiva chocolate, which although tasty, wasn’t really the sophisticated business-like cocktail I was looking for.
I liked the Bass Ale, but given that some people mock it with monikers that rhyme with the human rear end, I figure I might as well stick with Rolling Rock.
I did not like the Guiness.
I then took the project to my friends, and asked them each to make me their favorite alcoholic drink.
My Southern friends made a fresh mint julip. A fresh, strong, minty julip.
That’ll put hair on your chest.
I was very excited for the Mint Julip. It’s so very Steele Magnolia.
This girl I went to high school with, made me a lemondrop.
Mmm…sugar, lemondade, vodka? Can’t go wrong. Very tasty.
However, “can I have a lemondrop,” just doesn’t say “corporate professional.”
And while alcohol doesn’t affect me, I fear tangling with the mintiness of the julip in public.
So, my search continues. Next stop L.A.
It will be my own fault when Clareified tries to smother I Had Outs in his crib.
I promise to have many, many posts tomorrow. Many many. But realize, that will bring with it the expectation of many many comments.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
You read that right.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
The new and improved Charlez "Chugarte" Star.
You better recognize.
I seriously laughed for a good twenty minutes yesterday...I can't imagine how much harder I would laugh if the picture could talk and strut about the stage, so I encourage you all the check out Charles' "Shows and Cornrows" tonight.
The United States sent military helicopters Tuesday to airlift 60 of the neediest people from its embassy in Beirut.
Six CH-53 Chinook helicopters are being reserved for urgent needs, such as ferrying medical emergencies from Lebanon to the nearby Mediterranean island of Cyprus, the U.S. Embassy said.
Before being evacuated on U.S.-chartered ships, Americans are being asked to sign promissory notes to repay the U.S. government for the journey.
That demand outraged House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who said the United States has an obligation to get citizens out of harm's way without "quibbling over payment."
"A nation that can provide more than $300 billion for a war in Iraq can provide the money to get its people out of Lebanon," the California Democrat said in a statement. "I call upon the president to remove one worry from the minds of stranded American citizens in Lebanon and their families back home by declaring immediately that their country will bear the costs of bringing them to safety."
First off, the fact that we are bearing the costs of a $300 billion war suggests that we cannot afford to ferry these people across the Mediterrean for free.
Second, her suggestion pretty much amounts to a subsidy for people wealthy enough to travel around or for corporations that have relocated their employees to the area.
Would she also have the government pay for their food and lodging in the new place?
Hmmm...maybe Pelosi would also have the government bear the costs of evacuating and relocating Americans out of dangerous places here in the United States...in which case...never mind, cause I totally have a mom in the ghetto that I would like see rescued to Greenwich.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Pearatty: "So, when you said you would figure out something to do in L.A. while I was at work, you weren't fishing for me to take the day off at all. You actually would prefer to spend the day at the casino!"
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Hint: The same girl that just left herself a sticky note saying "Car is in Manhattan: 7/16/06"
The last of the guests for my birthday party just left. I am full of cake and sangria, as well as gratitude for all the great people I have had the good fortune to meet along my 27-year-long life journey.
Oh...anybody know a good klabber tutor?
Friday, July 14, 2006
BE NOT AFRAID
My wacky Vegas adventures in three parts.
Isn't it weird that while "deer today, fawn tomorrow," rhymes with a popular cliche, it doesn't actually make logical sense?
BROUGHT TO YOU BY PRESIDENT DEAN AND SPEAKER PELOSI
Republicans in danger of losing control of House.
HA. Fool me once or twice, shame on you.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
The ending of "Life is beautiful" is just plain messed up.
I want to say the Majestic is the worst movie ever, but having just finished Dick and Jane, it's not even the worst Jim Carrey movie I've seen this month.
You all know how I feel (felt? Is the damn thing over yet?) about the World Cup. But T-Bone writes such a great post, I am compelled to link it and suggested you all to read it.
Plus, maybe the traffic and comments will inspire him to post more than once a year...although it has been worth the wait.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
"What do you mean you can't find it?"
I was calm. I had overslept. Again. And as usual, planned to drive to work to make up some lost time. This supervisor dude was so not helping.
I am sorry ma'am...we only have two Hondas here...are you sure that one is not yours? It's green.
"Yes. I am failry certain that I know what my car looks like."
"Well, could your husband have taken it?"
"No, dude. Where's my car???"
Calm was draining from my body.
Rage taking it's place with every idiotic question that does not result in my car appearing.
He walked inside the office and said "I don't see the keys for it."
"I don't CARE! I LEFT MY CAR HERE AND NOW I WANT MY CAR."
"OK, ok...sorry ma'am. Hold on. Let me call Roger."
"Do you have a the ticket for your car?"
"No. I am a monthly we don't get tickets."
"Oh... if you'd had the ticket, we could verify that you brought it in."
"Oh, I brought it in!"
"Well, we'll send someone upstairs to review the tapes of the garage."
I sat down.
Counted to twenty.
I made it to three before I was on my feet and pacing again.
I do have Lojack...what's my Lojack number? How do I activate it...they better freaking find my car...I am soo late for work...i'm going to get shit from the insurance...
I go back to the office and the supervisor guy is gone.
WHAT THE BLEEEP!!
I corner a valet.
"Hey, where'd the supervisor guy go?"
OH NO HE DIDN'T.
I push my way into the office and call 911.
My first ever emergency call.
"911. What's your emergency?"
"My car has been stolen."
"Where is your location."
Hmm...she sounds awfully calm about this...I said STOLEN!!!
I give her my address and tell her to have the cops come around the back to the garage.
"Wait, so you don't want them to come to this address?"
"Well, it's the same address, but they need to come to the back of the building...where the garage is..."
"So, what address do you want them to come to ma'am."
Geez Louise. What if I had a gunshot wound lady???
I would bleed to death before you completed your little form.
I give the address for the back of the building.
She asks me more questions and tells me to wait for the recording.
The recording advises me that the police are very busy and umm...basically tells me that I'll have to wait.
So, I do.
I stand outside waiting for the siren blares and the squad cars to come screaming onto the block.
And I wait.
I lean on the wall and wait.
I sit on the stoop of the house next door and wait.
I start rifling through my wallet and come across a little yellow parking garage ticket.
Huh. I turn to go back to the garage and give the ticket to the man...but the address is for my garage in Manhattan.
That's weird...they usually take this back when they give you the car...
But it's been thirty-five minutes, so I figure I'll just go to Manhattan, check and if it's not there, I'll deal with this tonight.
"911. What's your emergency?"
"Umm...I just called and reported my car stolen."
"So? Why are you calling back?"
"Well, I want to cancel that...I want to go look for it first."
"We don't cancel calls."
"Oh...ok...then I'll wait."
Ten minutes later, a single squad car slowly makes it way to where I am. Not a single siren blare or flashing light. My first 911 call. What a gyp.
I call my mom and give her the update.
"Police are here, but I found this ticket for my Manhattan garage...maybe the car is there."
"Don't tell them that. Just file the report, so they can start the investigation."
I flag the cop car down and two officers get out. A polish dude and a latina woman.
"I parked my car here and now they are saying it's not here."
They walk with me back to the office.
The supervisor, newly back from lunch, immediately deflects all responsibility.
"We don't know who she left the car with or where she put it."
He was denying me like I was Jesus and he was Peter.
"I left it with one of YOUR employees and if you weren't too busy getting lunch, you might be asking them where they put it!"
The cop takes over the questioning.
I resume pacing.
Finally, they ask me some questions and I fill out a report.
They do not look optimistic about my chances.
I call a cab and as I am crossing the Brooklyn bridge into Manhattan, Officer Jimenez gives me a call.
"Did you find it?"
"No...but I thought you might want to know that yours is the third car taken from that garage in the past week. Apparently, they fired one of their staff and he was...disgruntled."
"Sorry, but I thought you might want to know. You should call the management company."
My heart is racing...my car is gone...taken by a disgruntled maniac...no...calm down...maybe it's in Manhattan and you are just a moron.
Cross my fingers and pray for moron!
I have the cab drop me off at the Manhattan garage and take the elevator up to the second floor.
"Hi...I left something in my car...can I just run in and get it?"
"What kind of car?"
"Left here since yesterday?"
"Uh, probably last week..."
"Hold on...yeah...it's in the back, behind the black lexus."
I sprint in the direction of his pointed finger.
PROFESSOR PAULA FRANCESE!!!!
I kiss the hood of the car. Then wipe the dust off my face.
MY CAR, MY BEAUTIFUL CAR.
I go downstairs to the cashier and explain to them what happened.
They explain to me that I will have to pay $30 for every day my car has been there.
Oh well. At least it's not stolen.
"Hello. Officer Jimenez? This is Dawn...remember how I reported my car stolen..."
Of course, it'll take them another 24 hours to take the flash off my car, so I still can't take it out the garage yet, which means another $30 + tax.
However, as Pi said when she heard the story, we're going to just call that the Idiot Tax.
I hope they make it something that is easier to pronounce...like death chamberland.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
There are those rare instances -- snippits of time -- within periods of my life, where the world comes into focus. Where my place in the world makes sense. These are fleeting moments that come infrequently and without warning. They never last long. But those few seconds of clarity are marked upon my soul. And the effects make me a better person.
A particularly brilliant morning after days of rain. Soaring sounds at a U2 concert. A road trip with my best friend in the world to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Driving from a deposition in Colorado and seeing the sun set behind mountains larger than any I have ever seen. Waking up next to my wife, while she is still asleep, in the silence of our bedroom with the sun rising outside our window, and realizing there is nowhere else in the world I would rather be. These are the moments that have shocked me from the crush of everyday life and made me stop, clear my mind, and take stock.
I need more humility. I don't have to be the center of attention. It's ok to fail, as long as I give it my all. These moments focused my attention on personality traits I did not like. And I worked hard to change them.
I cannot save everyone. Just because she is family does not mean being around her is healthy. Sometimes you have to walk away. These moments have helped me deal with my fair share of personal issues.
The fun is in the pursuit. I am happy with the person I am. I cannot wait to see what the future holds. Life isn't perfect, but I am thankful for mine, and I am happy with my very small place in the world.
I may not like what tomorrow holds. But I will save that for tomorrow. For now, right now, this very instant, I would not want to be anywhere else.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Tiesha Sargeant was supposed to be the living embodiment of class mobility. At Brearley, she’s still talked about as a legend—lovely and brilliant, charming and determined, the beloved overachiever from Brooklyn. At Wesleyan, her friends and professors thought of her as an intellectual powerhouse, part of the next wave of black leadership. At Credit Suisse, and later Condé Nast, it appeared she was becoming just that. At 26, she was emerging not only as a formidable individual but also as the walking affirmation of a cherished New York story—the idea that a talented child of immigrants can, given the chance, become anything she wants to be.
Somewhere along the way the experiment went wrong. To all outward appearances, Tiesha had made it. But privately, she struggled with who she was. Airlifted from one world into another, she wasn’t really at home in either place. There were moments when she seemed to feel the need to reaffirm her connection to the old world, and Keve Huggins was a move in that direction—one that ended in the worst imaginable way. Now Tiesha’s friends and family are left wondering how someone so promising and self-assured ended up with a two-bit party promoter who, according to police, had a sideline in drug dealing. How did the girl who could have gone anywhere with her life end up shot dead nine blocks from home?
Woke up from a nap just in time to see Italy kick a couple of penalty shots to win the World Cup.
There was much excitement and dancing around. You'd think they'd won a real sporting event like a Super Bowl or the Tennessee/Alabama game, not some silly soccer match.
I love birthdays. I really, really, really do. But especially my birthday. Love, love, love my birthday.
Lots and lots. I could never be a Seventh Day Adventist. A whole day...two days, three months, all about you...can't beat it.
So, as I sat at the poker table in the MGM Grand casino, I kept on eye on the cards and the other on my cellphone clock. 11:47...49.
"Yes, what would you like?"
"Well, it will be my birthday in..." oh...right, Vegas is three hours behind and I am going to sound like a loon..."it's my birthday. Give me a birthday champagne!"
I almost specified "No Cristal," but it was free casino booze and I didn't think I needed to.
"Ok, no prob."
F-train, who I think was the only one around that also knew it was my birthday, was of the mind that it wasn't my birthday until midnight Vegas time, so he was all nonplussed by the impeding 9 p.m.
The waitress handed me the bubbly at 12:01 a.m. EST.
"Happy Birthday," she said placing the glass and a napkin on the felt.
I put on "In Da Club" on my ipod.
Oh, yeah. Who doesn't have to care that it's not their birthday, cause it is?? Who? Me!
I also decided to play whatever two cards I was dealt.
That was a twelve dollar mistake.
But I bobbed my head along to Fiddy's infectious ode to the day of my birth and just as I was missing my mom's traditional midnight "happy birthday," I got a text from this girl I went to high school with..an hour and a half late, but still!
I checked my phone:
"Byk is in Las Vegas."
I scrolled to see if there was more.
Hmm...could "Byk" be Russian for Happy Birthday?
"Happy Birthday is in Las Vegas"?
Well, I checked the blog for the traditional happy birthday posts.
"Oohh..anniversary? Well, that's a weird way to put it...but ok."
Yah. No. Still not about me.
Maybe, it's on the poker blog...like this!
But luckily I had prepared for this very eventuality and spent the next half hour pouring over my many millions of comments!
Thank you, all! (So in the hierarchy of comment production, we've got: abortion, the suckiness of the Upper East Side and Birthdays! Awesome.)
I played a bit more, until the Train came by around 11:20 Vegas time to tell me to stop wasting away at the poker table and come meet some people.
"Ok...I'll come over in [check watch] 38 minutes."
He gives me a quizzical look and walks away.
Ok...this is my first opportunity to celebrate my midnight on July 8th twice!
Can't waste it.
I order up another champagne, play another round of Fiddy, waste another two bucks playing "whatever two cards I am dealt," and walk to the backroom to meet the poker bloggers.
It is 12:01 a.m.
"Well, you finally pried yourself away from the cards," F-train says to me.
Hmm...wait... is "pried yourself away from the cards" some kind of poker terminology for "Happy Birthday"?
Let's try it in a sentence.
"Well, you finally happy birthday"?
He introduced me to his friend Iggy, who then introduced to Kat and some other poker bloggers.
After a bit F-train disappeared into the night.
"Oh my gosh! It's after midnight, it's officially my birthday!"
Yes. That'll do nicely.
Iggy bought me a round and we all discussed how it was also Facty's birthday on Sunday.
I was happy. But I had also literally been drinking nonstop from the minute I hit the hotel, so you know...make of that what you will.
I decided to head out to play cards with F-train's friend Falstaff.
As we headed to the exit, we ran into F-train again.
We told him our destination, but he declined the invite to come with.
"Nah, I'm hanging with this crew," he said waving a hand to the fine gentlemen around him.
I did another quick scan of the sentence for any happy birthday euphemisms that I might be missing.
Finding none I headed out into the Vegas night.
The hot as hell Vegas night.
Falstaff tried to hail a cab...however, when the driver, sitting on the hood of his car smoking a cig, informed us that he would be on break for another fifteen minutes, we said nuts to that and decided to walk.
In the hot as hell Vegas night.
Falstaff was staying at the Imperial Palace --where I had stayed with my college roommates in April--I knew they had the softest poker game in the history of the world.
Indeed, I quickly doubled, then tripled, then quadrupled my money.
Falstaff didn't have the same luck --he chose to play the higher level $200 max buy-in game, as opposed to the sweet, sweet $40 min-$100 max buy-in game.
He said goodnight to me at around 2:30 and I played for another hour.
I finally left IP at quarter to four.
I expected to have the room all to myself, as my "guide to all things Vegas and tawdry" informed me months ago that if I was spent more than four hours in the hotel room in two days in Vegas I was doing it wrong.
So imagine my surprise to find F-train snuggled in bed with dreams of sugar plums dancing in his head!
ASLEEP! Before sunrise.
I'm not one to judge, but seems somebody's "I'm a badass" membership card needs revoking.
The next morning, I was up bright up and early.
I left Sleeping Beauty a note, telling him to ring me when he got up.
I went downstairs to get some cardplaying in before the ...umm...the poker tournament.
Yeah, I know. That sentence reads a little deranged.
"1/2 NL please."
"Sorry, we don't have any games going."
"Umm...you can play in our tournament that starts in ten minutes."
Uh...no, dude. What kind of lunatic do you think I am? I ain't playing in a poker tournament before my poker tournament, you...you...FOOL!
I looked around at the aisles of empty tables...no game?
Man...this sucks. What is this? A casino or a church?!?!*
I decided to go blog myself some birthday posts since, very obviously, I would be taking things in my own hands this year.
I talked to my mom and then decided to go to another casino to play. On my way out the door, I saw that I had missed F-train's call.
"Hey, dude...where are you, I am thinking of getting some breakfast."
I met up with him in the lobby and we went to Krispy Kreme for breakfast.
Mmmm....hot and tasty sugary buttery death in a circle with a hole in the middle.
As we finished up, we were joined by Change100, Pauly, Derek, the Rooster and another guy.
At that breakfast, I became privy to the seedy underbelly of the pokerbloogging universe.
"What hot blond was Pauly seen canoodling with in the back of Sherwood Forrest."
"What anonymous blogger was seen doing body shots off a certain Mexican blogger behind the Excalibur wheel."
"Who's feuding with whom...Poker Dome 2006 -- two bloggers enter, only one will survive." Think: Nicole Richie vs. Paris Hilton.
I was entralled...
"Man, to think me and my co-blogger just feud with each other."
Then, there was something or another about an F-train strip tease.
As we walked out into the street to hail cabs to the blogger tournament, someone yelled "Happy Birthday, Facty." To the soon-to-be birthday girl, who was standing behind me.
"Oh crap! Happy Birthday," F-train says to me "I remembered this morning, but then you were already gone and I forgot again."
"What? Really? I hadn't noticed that fourteen people had wished me a happy birthday before you did. And thirteen of them were strangers. Who just met me."
Man, is he lucky that I am not Ari -- who does not forget these transgressions no matter how many posts you write about how awesome she is.
The Caesar's poker room is humongo. And the tournament section is a separate room in the back!
There was a looooong line--where I met DoubleAs and his new poker book--but since I already had a Rewards card, I didn't have to stand on line.
Thanks, Rafiq! (I won't be in AC this weekend, though...sorry.)
And then I saw him.
Phil freaking Gordon!
He was wearing his fell tilt jersey and talking to some woman in the back.
OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD
Stay coool Dawn.
Stay very cool.
And I totally did.
I stayed cool as I followed him into the poker room.
I stayed cool as I shadowed him from conversation to conversation.
And stayed extra extra cool as I sat at the table right next to his.
Gotta get all my stalking in before the court order kicks in, you know.
Not gonna make the Oprah mistake again.
I kid. I kid. Oprah doesn't have a restraining order out on me. Anymore.
The morning kicked off with speeches by Michael Craig -- whose book the Professor, the bank and the Suicide King is my favorite poker book--as it is chock full of poker celebrities and poker!
Then Jay Greenspan, author of the upcoming "Fish hunting," a poker book about looking for the worst poker players in the world, read a post from his blog -- an awesome recounting of playing with a guy who is running bad and on tilt and basically just licking his chops to get his own piece of bad lucked friend.
Poker players are such assholes! Wonderful, funny assholes.
Phil Gordon was there to host his traditional charity "rock paper scissors" tournament to benefit cancer research, so we were all encouraged to participate in the event and donate.
"Anything less than $20 and you're a pussy."
Sigh...Phil is just sooo eloquent and well-spoken.
As she introduced him to speak, April --the amazingly organized, impressively calm and collected uber poker blogger who organized the event actually said "Oh, and it's Dawn's birthday today, Phil and she loves you."
It's like she read my MIND!
AND THEN she arranged for me to have my picture taken with him!!!!
AND I'm getting an advanced copy of his next book!
AND HE TOTALLY WISHED ME HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND HAD A CONVERSATION WITH ME...
When it came time to "shuffle up and deal" I was put at Jay's table.
"Oh no...your superior fish hunting abilities have landed you at my table..."
I distinctly heard the Jaws theme in the distance.
He took a big pot off me in one of the finest "played me like a fiddle" moments I have ever had at the poker table.
Losing chips suck, but when you've just been completely outplayed, you almost have to respect the guy who beat you.
I doubled up at some key moments and survived till my table broke and I was reassigned to table 47.
I did my "please not F-train's table, please not F-train's table, please not F-train's" chant right up until I stopped at table 47 and looked up to see the man and his mountain of chips sitting at the head of the table.
My very first hand at the table I got pocket aces.
I made a big raise and got no action.
Whatever, better to win a small pot than lose all my chips.
I'll save the pokerness of this all for the poker blog, but on a single hand I lost 99.9% of my chips when I thought a guy was making a move on me and pushed in with 77, he called with KK.
Umm...I don't want to get into the technical pokerese or explain the mathematics of such a match up for you non-initiated, so I will just say the best way to explain it is:
I got up from the table to leave, when I was informed I still had seven chips left.
I actually made a nice comeback and managed to cash in the event, finishing 25th out of 115 players before I busted out.
You know who didn't bust out?
Who managed to outwit, outlast and outplay all the other 114 players?
He is indeed the best poker blogger in all the world.
See, kids, what can happen when you get eight hours of sleep?
He won like a million dollars...no, wait.
He won $2140 after tipping the dealers, which after expenses and his $100 loss in donkey poker the night before, but with his winnings from roshambo and minus his -EV games losses, leaves him up $1800 as he would tell me again and again and again and again and again for the rest of the trip.
After his big win, we went out to dinner with his friend SoxLover, a very agreeable chap with a slight obsession with the cornhole.
At the restaurant we were joined by some other players from the tournament Colombo, his wife, Zim, Byron and Static Cling.
Sim bought the first round of drinks and both F-train and Sox pointed out that I finished my Bass in a record three minutes.
"You know, I call that ass ale," F-train offered.
We were seated for dinner and then chatted for two and half hours before the food came.
"Hey what'd you get?" F-train asked Colombo.
"Fish and chips...while the poker champions get lobster, losers get french fries and battered sole."
The poker champ merely nodded as he continued to pry apart the lobster shell with his fingers until every ounce of lobster meat was gone.
Static Cling dodged all my efforts to get him to reveal his secret B&B formula.
The dinner was what all great birthday dinners should be, a lot of drinking, a lot of laughing and the mocking of drunk tourists walking into lampposts.
Sox, you can come out of the corner.
At the end F-train pretty much paid half the bill and the others pretty much paid the other half. Although his generosity did not prevent me from scaring him with a fifty dollar bill.
"Who's the poker champ now, bitch" I said as he squealed like a little girl at the prospect of having to put General Grant inside his wad of cash.
"You're lucky it's your birthday."
That's right. Who is safe from harm inside the Birthday force shield!
The restaurant gave me a delicious, delicious bread pudding with a candle and the poker bloggers sang happy birthday complete with the "happy birthday dear girl who confuses everyone by saying her name is Dawn when it isn't" chorus.
When the dinner was over, we reconvened at the Excalibur aka "the worst poker room on the strip."
As the clock wound it's way down to midnight and I got yet one more of F-train's "I am going to be sooo mean to you at midnight," I decided to make my quick getaway and head off to IP to try to recoup some of my sad panda losses.
I hailed a cab and for the third time that day I eyed the cellphone as it approached midnight.
At 11:59, I decided to play whatever two cards I was dealt.
This time I hit a set of tens.
3 tens, how fitting.
*Credit to F-train for finishing my mad lib rant at breakfast.
Before scheduling two flights in one month on a particular airline, one should be sure to fly the airline at least once. Because the fact is, when your redeye flight is almost two hours late and they still try to nickel and dime you for headsets and movies, and then the personal TV crashes every fifteen minutes, after you ahve taken a commanding lead in the quiz competitions against your fellow passengers and then you have to walk eighteen miles through their shoddy "under construction" terminal, it rings a bit hollow when you shake your fist and vow "never to fly Delta again...after next week."
Saturday, July 08, 2006
My favorite message so far?
"Happy Birthday, Dawn. I guess you are having such a good birthday that you are still asleep. Well...call me when you wake up. LONG PAUSE. Oh, it's your mother."
Friday, July 07, 2006
I'm always depressingly retrospect on the eve of my birthday and still being at work is not helping.
This year, like most of my even years, sucked pretty hard.
I lost two really good friends and not in the "good lost" way that involves a burial and reflecting on the happy times. Oh No.
We're talking lost in the "fuck them and may they be crushed horribly from above somehow, I can't believe I ever cared about them in the first place" kind of way.
I had yet another craptacular employment experience and I've wallowed in a pretty unhealthy lifestyle.
But more than anything (despite a few notable exceptions like moving out of my childhood bedroom and buying my own) I've felt "stuck in a moment" as Bono says.
I've let many interesting opportunities slip by, haven't made any progress on my dream of selling a screenplay or finishing a novel.
I haven't saved nearly as much money as I should have after cracking my nest egg to buy the nest and renovate the kitchen.
All in all, I have lazed away another year through overindulgence and sloth.
So bring on "27"!
I am getting on a plane to Vegas in a few hours, where I will spend the next few dayd with F-train in the company of poker bloggers.
Of course, I didn't quite think through the stranger in a strange land issues when I booked my flight, so please leave lots and lots of happy birthday comments, so I'm not all depressed when I log on.
Those of you with my cellphone number...I know I won't answer, but leave long and funny birthday-related messages!
I will be checking my voicemail compulsively so that all my new poker blogger friends will think I am important and popular. (New year, new me!)
And no, I'm not just doing my annual "who really reads my blog" test.
(However, candace, Esther, Ginger and sabaka, it has been a loooong time since I've seen comments from y'all.)
Hmmm...speaking of which...what's the judges' ruling...is my birthday at midnight Vegas time or midnight New York time? (Or specifically 11:15 pm EST ... but then that would mean my birthday wouldn't be until July 9th Vegas time. Heeeey, I think we may have stumbled on a new Clareified motto: "It's always my birthday somewhere!")
Anyway, my flight leaves in T-4 hours, so I better finish up this project.
Have a great weekend.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
A judge signed an order Thursday freeing a man from prison where he had spent 22 years after being wrongfully convicted of the brutal rape of a 25-year-old woman.
Judge John Byrne signed the order in Bronx Criminal Court while Alan Newton stood quietly with his attorney. His family whooped loudly in the crowded courtroom when he first appeared, dressed in a beige suit with a bright blue shirt.
We wouldn't be spending taxpayer dollars to exonerate him twenty years later.
Bring me a boy this big.
It's a big orange mess, says Michael.
I tend to agree that Lauren Graham and Hugh Laurie were robbed!
Iocaste to hang up her keyboard for the second and final time.
I'm sure she's already fielding many offers, but you are always welcome to guest blog here.
"People came up and I began talking to them, among them this little boy. He seemed to me very independent, sure of himself and at the same time defenseless so to speak, an innocent boy and a very nice little boy," Putin told the Web cast.
"I tell you honestly, I just wanted to touch him like a kitten and that desire of mine ended in that act."
Ummm...can the Russian speakers in the audience please tell me that "touch a boy like a kitten" is some euphemism in Russian that is lost in the translation.
Or should we be checking the NAMBLA rolls for "V. Putin"?
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Yesterday, I commented to Gib that Lay's death negates his convictions. Sure enough, in today's NYT:
In yet another bizarre twist to the Enron saga, the sudden death of Kenneth L. Lay on Wednesday may have spared his survivors financial ruin. Mr. Lay's death effectively voids the guilty verdict against him, temporarily thwarting the federal government's efforts to seize his remaining real estate and financial assets, legal experts say.
Who knows her law? Who? Me!
I love traditions.
Either it’s a byproduct of being an alum of schools that have all been around for hundreds of years or it’s why I enjoyed those schools so much.
But me likey the traditions.
One such tradition that has really gained traction has been my Fourth of July trips with Pi.
Every year the guest stars are different, and this year the destination was different, but there's always the two of us. And eating.
Oh, the eating.
This year we went to Atlantic City. And I am sure my recent obsession had a little something to do with that, but she taught me how to play and took me to AC for the first time a few years ago, so it's all her fault.
Her boyfriend Pay was this year's featured guest star.
We had lunch at a crab shack place at the Tropicana. Considering we usually eat crabs at a little bayside restaurant just outside Annapolis...umm...this place sucked.
We watched a little World Cup on the telly and caught the last innings of a softball match between the Taipei Taipanese and the Chicago Bandits...or something like that.
"I didn't know Chinese women could play softball."
"How do you know they are Chinese? There could be another Taipei...like there's a Brooklyn in Ohio."
"There's no other Taipei, Dawn."
"You don't know."
"Oh, I know. Just like there are no other men named Pay."
"Well, when I get to a computer I am googling it." (Just googled it, Pay is right.)
I bet there are other Pays though…
After watching England/and or the other team they were playing win and/or lose.
We went our separate ways.
Some of us to shop and enjoy, the beach others of us to play poker.
I don’t really remember who did what.
We left AC the next afternoon to head down (up? East? West?) to a friend’s house on the Jersey Shore.
It was a beautiful day for a barbecue, so we stopped off at the grocery store and bought a million dollars worth of meats and foodstuffs.
Of course, when we reached the house, the people there were just waking up and still firmly in breakfast mode.
“You guys are on different schedules!” C’s mom said as she greeted us.
I sat out on the patio with C’s friends, Parker and Mary-Ann. We chatted about my upcoming trip to Las Vegas until I was blind with hunger and sunstroke.
Pi decided to grill up some burgers and sausages.
“It’s so gratifying to watch people eating even when they are full,” said Pi watching the people we had just seen scarfing down pancakes, down their hamburger chasers.
I brought Scrabble with me and we decided to go inside to play.
Parker and Mary-Ann were a team, Pi and Pay were a team and it was decided that I “was good enough to play alone.”
I did indeed jump out to an early one point lead, but lost a turn when “Le” and “ab” were challenged.
“Well, they are good in the Scrabble dictionary,” I protested. (Turns out, Le, actually isn’t.)
They didn’t care. If it wasn’t on dictionary.com, they wanted no part of it.
Man, I need a portable Scrabble dictionary and QUICK!
However, when Parker’s team put down, “rated” for a triple, I quickly added “vib” in front to score a triple of my own with vibrated and I was right back in it.
Then I caused yet more controversy when I made “ef” and “fox” for a 42 point play.
“Ef” was immediately challenged, but this time the online dictionary backed me up! “n. letter F”
I handily won the game when I placed the word “ends” on a double word score.
I played later with Pi and played the word “xu,” which wasn’t on dictionary.com, but is good in the Scrabble dictionary.
“That’s no fair. You should have to play by the dictionary we all use.”
“Dude. We are playing Scrabble. You should learn Scrabble words.”
It was starting to look like The Simpsons’ basement during that tornado where the family tries to solve a Rubix cube puzzle together. Let us put away the Scrabble game.
Plus, when C’s mom asked why we were sitting inside on a beautiful summer day playing Scrabble when there was a beach mere feet away, having to hang our heads and admit that we were losers, was not a good feeling.
But what were a half a dozen losers to do now that we have proven that we can’t Scrabble?
Why golf, of course! Mini-Golf that is.
It was my first time “swinging the pole at the holes on the golf course.” I was on the team with Pi and Pay—who was playing .50 a stroke with C.
Pi went first, and when she nearly wailed her ball into oncoming traffic, I started to feel a little better about my chances.
It took two strokes to sink my first two puts, and I was early team leader. We had a little trouble with a grassy incline and gigantic water trap and suddenly we were in second again.
And in second I would stay, while Pay improved – sinking a couple of holes in one, I stayed at a middling two or three strokes on every hole, while Pi maxed out her five strokes practically every time.
“Well, looks like I won’t be quitting my day job anytime soon,” she said picking up her ball for the fourth time in disgust.
“Umm…quitting for mini golf? Yeah, I should hope not,” Pay said to his very handsomely paid corporate associate girlfriend.
When we all cleared the 18th hole, lighting crackled in the sky.
“I don’t want to die here!” I said practically dropping the put to the ground.
“Uh…no Dawn…I don’t think you have to worry about being struck by lighting on the mini golf course.”
Shut it, it could happen.
Pay ended up owing C like ten bucks, but ended up winning five free games on the final “wheel of chance” and C paid him two bucks for the coupons.
Except for Dawn.
“So..what was par again?”
“And what did I get?”
“Huh…so that’s like ten over par?”
We went back to the house and Pi and Pay cooked up a fantabulous dinner for us, while the men and the lazy girl (read: moi) watched the Mets/Yankees debacle on TV.
If anyone sees Soler, tell him to avoid dark alleys cause there is an angry black chick looking for him.
Afraid to throw strikes, so you pitch a fricking grand slam to A-ROD???? I beat him with a bat.
(Not intended as an actual threat to beat Soler with a bat. Dawn was home watching TV officer.)
After dinner, Pi retired to the solarium and the rest of us stayed up to play cards till like three in the morning, so it was no surprise that she was the first one up the next morning.
Up and talking in uncalled for elevated tones of doom.
“JUST CHECKING TO SEE IF YOU’RE UP!!!!!!!”
“Mmmmm…up. Yes. Up. And. Deaf now.”
We had breakfast on the shore and milled about. I was sad that I wouldn’t be watching the fireworks from my traditional place on JCN’s balcony, but the next day as I watched the Macy’s display explode above the treetops from my own balcony, I realized that as much as I love tradition, sometimes things change.
And hey, isn’t that how new traditions are born?
My evidence professor to become a federal judge!
President Bush also announced Wednesday that he has nominated Columbia University Law School Professor Debra Ann Livingston to fill the vacancy on the court that will be created when Judge Walker assumes senior status.
Jay-Z's boycott against Cristal is working.
"You normally see Cristal around these festive events, and it was noticeably absent this year," said Marvet Britto, the head of a New York public relations and brand strategy company specializing in the African-American market. "If you saw Champagne on a table, it was Dom Pérignon and Veuve Clicquot." Ms. Britto said this was in stark contrast to last year's MTV Music Awards in Miami, where "you saw people walking the red carpet with Cristal like a badge of honor."
Asked by an interviewer if the association with rap's bling-bling set could hurt the brand, Mr. Rouzaud was quoted as saying: "That's a good question, but what can we do? We can't forbid people from buying it." (Mr. Rouzaud later issued a statement saying that the company had "the utmost regard for, and interest in, all forms of art and culture.")
In a phone interview last week, Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, said he didn't appreciate the tone of Mr. Rouzaud's initial remarks. "Surely he meant to say, 'Thank you,' right?" Mr. Carter said, referring to the free publicity his and other rappers' music and videos have given the brand over the years. "Anything but a 'Thank you' is racist."
Enron founder Ken Lay Dies.
Monday, July 03, 2006
Is it the birthday season already?
Because when you have a great idea and others copy you, some give you credit, but some don't.