94: baby, please

“A couple of days ago on Chicago’s Q101 a younger kid called in to comment on MTV’s censorship of “Hash Pipe”. He was curious to know why McDonald’s can say “hash brown”, but Weezer can’t say “Hash Pipe”. Now after they play the single the dj usually makes a comment to the effect of “Yes, we just said ‘hash’.”


I went to Toys R Us to buy Gracie’s birthday present. I didn’t want to get her something super-girly and evil, like a Barbie doll intoning encouragement like “Math is hard!” and “I want to be a trophy wife when I grow up!” But at the same time, I want her to enjoy the girlier things in life, like red lipstick and cutting school to get a manicure. I got a pink feather boa. It’s so glam — bright pink feathers shot through with strands of silver tinsel. I was going to get her a tiara and some heels, but I didn’t want to get all Jon-Benet on her ass.

My greatest fear is that one day in the future, we’ll be having tea in my fabulous pied-a-terre on Sutton Place when she’ll look at me, tears in her eyes, and scream “It’s all your fault! You should never have gotten me that feather boa when I was three!” I’ll exhale Nat Sherman cigaretello smokeinto her face, look pensively at the huge, emerald-cut aquamarine cocktail ring on my hand, and rasp (in my best imitation of Lauren Bacall): “But darling, I was just trying to be IRONIC.” It would never occur to me to wonder exactly what I was to blame for — I guess I’ll know then. Let’s just cross that bridge when we get there.

Rozi and I hit Bobak’s for dinner on Friday night. It had been so long since I’d eaten at my favorite Polish buffet, but I promised myself that I wouldn’t go crazy like the last time when I left entirely too much food behind on my plate. This time, I made multiple trips to the steam trays, bringing back small portions of food each time. I developed a real affinity for their version of egg rolls (pork and what might have been sauerkraut in dough), apple pancakes, blintzes, and mashed potatoes. Though I kept my consumption down, I still couldn’t manage the dessert selection. We bought bread at the Bobak’s market next door, and drove down Garfield to Hyde Park for the U of C nostalgia tour. One sloe gin fizz at Jimmy’s (I still can’t deal with the non-skanky bathroom — it’s so bright!) and I was done for the evening. In case you were wondering, I tied the cherry stem into a knot in my mouth, but did not save it for posterity.

Gracie’s birthday party on Saturday afternoon proved to be a success, as the moonbounce was a perfect venue for the children to work out their sugar-induced giddiness (a result of cupcakes and ice cream sandwiches). I spent most of the party in a lawn chair, cooling my feet in the inflatable wading pool. I had a vat of Pepperidge goldfish crackers semi-permanently stuck to my hand. I removed it only to light a cigarette, eat a cupcake, or run my hand over Gracie’s head (she *finally* has some hair). Possibly the only low point of the festivities was when Bruce told me that the woman who’d also given Gracie a feather boa for her birthday was sitting right in front of me right when I started making fun of her boa, comparing it to mine (which was infinitely superior). I was completely mortified, and of course Bruce just laughed at me. Thanks a lot, man. Apart from that, it was a bang-up day.

I felt like some sort of spy, a childless undercover agent sent to learn the secrets of those people known as “parents”. I worked the video camera when Gracie blew out her candle, and when she opened her presents. I tried to get as much crowd reaction as I could, which was hard — the parents were entirely consumed by the act of feeding their children at all times, and didn’t take seem to take a lot of personal delight in the festivities. It was clear when Joan brought out the ice cream — every single adult descended upon some small child, armed with napkins and wipes, should the child in question drop their cone or dribble lemon-flavored popsicle on their bathing suit. The giggles of the children were soon drowned out by the directions and inquiries of their parents — “Do you want a popsicle?” “Be careful, or you’ll drop your ice cream sandwich in the dirt?” “Don’t hit your brother with the drumstick!” “Aw!”

The party ended two hours after it started, plenty of time to clean up for the grown-up party. Bruce, Joan, Adam, Tom, and I sat at a picnic table, exhausted and drinking Diet Coke. We deflated the moonbounce, put away extra lawn chairs, and waited for Jacinda to arrive. It took her and Joe about three hours to get from Lakeview to Hyde Park. They had been at the Lincoln Park lagoon, cheering on Andrea and her crew team in their afternoon races. They had to drop off Jacinda’s dog before heading down to the party and they got caught in the aftermath of the Cubs-Sox game at Wrigley field. Can you imagine sitting with your boyfriend in a non-air conditioned car on Addison and Sheffield for two hours? I hope they had an ample supply of good music and cigarettes to keep them occupied. They, and we at the party, were relieved when they finally arrived.

Much later that night, after Gracie settled down with her dinner and Bruce and Joan looked a little less exhausted, we went to the Empty Bottle for the New Order/Depeche Mode tribute. I put on some black rubber bracelets, put on some lipstick — I almost lined the inside of my eyes but decided that I didn’t want an infection. I didn’t have enough hairspray to construct my hair into a poufy tribute to Flock of Seagulls (and the 80s in general), so I pulled it back. The Bottle was crowded, full of Trixies, TrixHe’s, and a mere smattering of hipsters. Huge guys wearing UIC and Ohio State t-shirts screamed “Dude!” across the bar at each other. It was scary, but I was too hot to care.

And when I say hot, I don’t mean in the “damn, she’s fine” sense. Not to be totally self-degradating — I mean, it could have been true in that sense. But I was thinking more of my dehydration and why wasn’t I standing close to the water cooler instead of right in front of the stage. The best part of the night was when Mia and Janet of Kim took the stage with The Baldwin Brothers — they launched into a great cover of DM’s “Master and Servant”. It got even better when Mia introduced their next song as “the Asian national anthem”. At which point, me and the, like, four other Asian people in the bar, started screaming and singing along to New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle”. It was so excellent. I’ve always thought of “BLT” as the Korean national anthem, really. For the Philippines, it’s totally “Oh L’Amour” by Erasure. Jacinda and I rocked out some more, and I finally crawled into bed at 2:00 am.

Sunday was quiet by comparison. I woke up at one in the afternoon, watched some cable, then went to the grocery store for the good (seltzer with lime), the bad (RC Cola) and the ugly (Chef Boyardee). It was at the store that I realized that I hadn’t eaten a single vegetable the entire weekend, but at that point I just gave up and committed myself to a can of Chef Boyardee for dinner. I felt slightly redeemed later when Kathy came over for “Sex and The City” with vegetarian corn dogs. Yeah, I know they’re corn dogs but they’re vegetarian. “Kind to animals,” as Edina Monsoon mght say. That, of course, flew out the window when Chris walked in with a dozen doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.

After we’d had our fill of doughnuts, we struck television gold when we found the Style network. Randolph Duke’s fall 2001 collection was straight out of “Dynasty”, and the man himself came out at the end of his show wearing a long scarf around his neck and a jumpsuit. Hmm — Isadora Duncan meets Sweat Hog. It could have been cute had he not ended up looking like he had raided Bea Arthur’s closet. The icing on the cake was the following program, a profile of the clothing design team Badgley Mischka. Laughing at Mark Badgley in his riding outfit, wondering who was the top and who was the bottom in their relationship then looking in horror at the asses of James Mischka’s little yippy dogs, the sight of which the camera operator could not get enough of. If this is how the better half lives, then sign me up right this very minute.

Putting the ass in class,


“I doused our friendly venture with a hard-faced three-word gesture”


Basement Jaxx – Broken Dreams (my favorite song from the new album); Kenny Loggins – This Is It; Bobby Darin – Don’t Get Around Much Anymore; Shelby Lynne – Don’t Get Around Much Anymore; Ella Fitzgerald – Don’t Get Around Much Anymore; Kim – Under The Sun









~ by Jasmine on July 17, 2001.

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