270: some velvet morning

1. marc by marc jacobs (a story for you fashionistas)

When the blackout hit the east coast two weeks ago, my sister was in the middle of getting a haircut downtown. Joseline and her friend Lisa went back to Lisa’s, where they decided they were going to loot the Marc Jacobs store. As they walked towards the shop, they happened to pass the Mercer Hotel. And who should be walking out of the hotel but Marc Jacobs himself. At the sight of Mr. Jacobs, the two girls burst into a fit of giggles. Mr. Jacobs asked them whatever was the matter, and they remarked at the humor of bumping into him as they were on their merry way to loot his store. He then apologized, saying that he didn’t have the keys to the shop on him but if he did he would have been happy to let them in. But in the case of another blackout, he’d be happy to assist them further.

Well, it sounded much funnier when my sister recounted the story over the phone. Hmph. And this would never happen in Chicago. You know, I’ve lived here for almost ten years and I’ve never once seen a Cusack. Not even David Schwimmer, and I don’t even like him. Chicago has not been good for my celebrity-worshipping ways.

2. pillow talk

Saw “Pillow Talk” last week in Grant Park. Supas in attendance: Thom, Adrienne, and Michael. We sat pretty far away from the screen, but this time there were no dirty hippies sticking their feet dangerously near our food. I’ve seen “Pillow Talk” a bunch of times, and even own it on DVD, but it was better than usual. Was it the fabulous outfits? Rock Hudson’s aerodynamic hair? Doris Day’s virginal sass? The nacho cheese I ate during the picture? I like watching movies outdoors, though it would have been nice if the people sitting around us had kindly shut the fuck up during the picture. Or at the very least have something funny to say.

3. the great apartment hunter

Saw three apartments last week. The first, which I visited on Wednesday, made me feel claustrophobic, like if I ever moved into the slightly subterranean garden apartment, I would never leave its carpeted confines. Jacinda came with me, and wasn’t a big fan of the fact that they wanted $715 for it. I found it rather depressing, so we went to CB2 and Byron’s afterwards. The cheese fries at Byron’s were excellent, as always, though I felt the guy behind the counter spent too much time looking at me moodily and ogling Jacinda and not enough time on getting me hot cheese for my fries.

Next night: humid as fuck. I go to Joy’s for dinner with Joe and Jacinda. Afterwards, they drove me to two more apartments. The garden apartment at Hoyne and Roscoe was cheap, but it was carpeted (which, given that the alternative was probably concrete or linoleum, was no so bad) and all the windows faced onto an alley. On the plus side, it was around the corner from Glam 2 Go and 20 yards from Victory Banner, my favorite breakfast spot in town. The second and last apartment I saw that night was a bit better. Second floor of an old three story. First floor is a business called “Modern Art”, though its owner seemed to be doing nothing more than puttering around in the dark with old bits of wood. He showed me the apartment – no laundry in the building, no tub in the bathroom. High ceilings, though, which would probably explain why, according to him, the average monthly winter gas bill would be about $150. Granted, it would probably be about $20 in summer, but still. I thanked him for his time, and slunk home.

4. set list from Liz Phair show at the Metro, 8/22/03

6’1″

Polyester Bride

Rock Me

Never Said

Glory

Help Me, Mary

Divorce Song

Favorite

Red Light Fever

Uncle Alvarez

Perfect World

Why Can’t I?

Stratford-on-Guy

Johnny Feelgood

Extraordinary

Supernova

Encore:

Little Digger

Flower

Fuck & Run

Like the good geek that I am, I wrote down every title in my little Sanrio notepad decorated with a very mod-looking fawn. Sean jumped around and Jacinda and I bumped arses as Liz went through a very tight, very short set at the Metro. I was glad to see her perform early songs, and to see that life as a blonde seemed to be agreeing with her. However, I was not glad to be surrounded by so many Trixies. Especially those Trixies who were pushy and did not say “Excuse me” as they pushed their way to the front past me or Sean. All those Trixies hopping around, flashing devil horns at Liz (who responded in kind, but did look a bit confused), and screaming “Wooooooooo! That was AWESOME!” prompted Sean to turn to me and say “This flip front is just writing itself.”

It must be kinda nice for Liz, though, to have a fairly weak voice in performance because her audience was always there to sing along. Including me, as I could not hold back during songs like “Divorce Song” and “Fuck and Run” that were essential to me in college. Just ask Seema – she’ll tell you about the two month period during fourth year when I’d drag my CD player into the bathroom so I could listen to “Exile in Guyville” while I got ready for school in the morning. And I still listen to Exile pretty much everyday. Being single will do that to you.

After the show, over dinner at the Golden Nugget, Jacinda and I got to talking about opening our own rip-off of The Cracker Barrel restaurant chain. We’d call it The Honky Box.

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha.

5. white flight

I helped Michael move out of his apartment and into a truck and trailer this weekend. The truck and trailer were temporary accommodations until Monday, when he would properly move into his New Haven apartment and begin life as a graduate student at Yale. I helped carry furniture and books down to his father’s pickup truck. I packed up his coats, folding them into plastic bags. I cleaned his refrigerator, swept the floors, disguised the bent blinds simply by leaving them up. I bought bottled water and packing tape, ate a couple of doughnuts, and tried to think of something witty to say as I kissed Michael goodbye. Nothing came to me then, and nothing comes to me now. Probably because I’ve never been good at saying it myself (personally, I prefer just leaving). But it’s more likely because Michael has moved to Connecticut, not to the bottom of the ocean or the top of Mt. Everest (speaking of which, Doug how are the Himalayas? Send pictures!), and Connecticut is not so far. It’s only one time zone away.

And I’ll probably see him in the fall when I go home to see the family, where we take part in such Davila family traditions such as: gossiping about my parents’ bitchy friends, eating at cheap Chinese dives in Flushing, and reeling in horror at the sight and sound of my dad rocking out to Peter Frampton in the kitchen. Maybe I can invite all of my friends who live in or arond New York to my great-aunt’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. Sure, that will mean less turkey than usual but I’m sure my great-uncle Gerhard would appreciate not being the only White man in the room for once.

6. oh no

Jenny’s gone, too. I said goodbye to her at Simon’s, where she and the other girls I am now friends with because of Stef Deluca (something for which I don’t think I’ve ever properly thanked her, so I’ll do it now – Stef, thank you so much for introducing me to this group of smart, hysterically funny women who seem to like me pretty well) gathered for one last drink before Jenny’s return to Europe. You know, that place where the history comes from.

I wore my brand new nameplate belt buckle, “JASMINE” in 3-inch high chrome letters on a black leather belt. I allowed Jenny and Sarah to take pictures of it as I took my seat. It felt just like any other Saturday night at Simon’s. I took a picture of the stained glass window featuring two dancing smelt wearing viking helmets, but it didn’t come out very well. I drank several cokes. I talked to Erin about how she’s going to stop dating for a bit, then cracked up when she was introduced to Jan’s cute neighbor. Listened to Jenny tell stories about her father’s return to education after almost forty years in the workforce. I talked to Sarah about her boy in San Diego, and to Jean about her sister in Alabama. It was a cozy night, and we had snagged the couches by the fireplace, so it was a shame to leave everybody and go home to fall into bed. Even if Jacinda came with and we stayed up and ate White Castle and watched “Joy Ride” on HBO. Eventually, Joe came and picked up Jacinda and I went to sleep.

7. “children are the most important people in the world” and other things i learned at ikea

I accompanied Maria up to O’Hare, where she picked up her rented Ford Escape and drove up to visit the Ikea in Schaumburg. On the way, we got lost a few times. Somewhere between buying spray paint in Elk Grove Village (because you can’t buy it in Chicago) and lunch at Mitsuwa (I had barbecued eel over rice – dee-fucking-licious). Mitsuwa was full of adorable hapa babies and their exhausted-looking parents. Maria and I bought fizzy beverages in funny bottles then we made our way to Ikea where any hopes I had had for a quiet, relatively peaceful shopping experience were completely misguided.

Ikea on a Sunday afternoon is, I feel, a particular circle of hell. If hell were a video game, then Ikea would be the secret Swedish circle you access through a combination of keystrokes and taps. The point of getting through this circle? To escape with everything on your list (and maybe a bonus plate of meatballs) in less than three hours, and without your cart getting stuck on the special cart escalator. Not that I would know anything about that. Oh no. Not me. And so I’ve always been bad at video games, so you can imagine what Sunday was like. I was sick and exhausted from helping Michael move and saying goodbye, Maria was hopped up on her sugary beverage, so we shopped for curtains and curtain rods and I lay down in every bed we passed. I kept trying to nap, but Maria was having none of it.

Screaming toddlers bumped into my knees as they ran amok trailing paper measuring tapes behind them and dripping juice from their chins. Tweenage girls wearing dirty white platform flip flops petted the furry lampshades and complained about the poor cellphone reception. I couldn’t turn without running into a Trixie pawing the sheets with a French manicured hat, or a dour Goth kid spinning on a rubber office chair. How did the young married couples manage to shop and fight and keep watch over broods of young children? I was traumatized. Eventually it was time, frozen yogurt in hand, to return to the city and civilization. I was confused. Where were the sections of the store reserved for snarky hipsters who wished to shop for Ikea pieces that didn’t scream their provenance? They were at CB2, which is where Maria and I went on the way home. There, and the Trader Joe’s where I sampled some mahon cheese and wandered the quiet aisles in peace.

Smooches,

Jasmine

“This ain’t White Castle but I’m what you crave”

(Fannypack, “Smack It Up”)

*playlist*

James Brown – I Can’t Stand Myself (When You Touch Me); The Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps; Louis Prima – Jump, Jive, and Wail; Liz Phair – Firewalker; Fannypack – Cameltoe; The Stooges – T.V. Eye; The Police – Walking On The Moon; The Cure – Lullaby

*links*

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/15/arts/15QUEE.html?ex=1062043200&en=6f448dcff90ddba1&ei=5070

http://www.friendster.com/user.jsp?id=1805256 (you have to be a member

to see this link)

*lipstick*

8/20/03 – Fresh Lip Shine gloss in Cranberry Shine

8/21/03 – Nars lipstick in Jungle Red

8/22/03 – Lorac lip gloss in Cherry

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~ by Jasmine on August 27, 2003.

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