417: emotional rescue

Oh my god.

I didn’t mean to go so long without writing a flip front. I would make something up — I got stuck under a tree branch which had fallen on me one evening, or I went on a top secret mission for the United Fag Hags of the Upper Midwest (a group which, if it doesn’t exist, it really ought to) — but I think you are all aware of what a fantastically bad liar I am. So the truth is: I got lazy, then I got intimidated. Where to begin? I find making lists to be soothing, so here is a long list of random lists that I hope will satisfy that flip front itch you all have been wanting to scratch.

1. a word from readers

“Kylie [Minogue]and Cee-Lo should remake Rick James and Teena Marie’s ‘Fire & Desire’ too. I’d buy 2 copies.” (Damien)

“In other news, if you haven’t seen the Holiday, go see it. It is dippy but cute… Celi and I saw it together and spent the whole time squealing and clutching each others’ arms like 14 year olds.” (Amanda)

“Is it wrong that I have a crush on Mindy Kaling, the Indian girl on the office who also writes for the show? If it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.” (Anonymous Pal 1)

“Why are the Japanese people so weird? First of all, a mythology about a cutely drunken dog who is sweet but will never pay you I kind of get. It’s like Wimpy in Popeye. But to add that little detail — oh, and he has HUGE testicles! That’s weird. And even weirder still is to portray those testicles in little statues all over the land — especially in front of RESTAURANTS. Because I know when I’m hungry nothing helps my appetite like seeing a dog with giant testicles right before I eat.” (Anonymous Pal 2)

2. try to remember… december

Friday, December 8: An awesome day. Not so much because of the company holiday party, but because of the mandatory seminar on sexual harassment. I know that sexual harassment is not a laughing matter, but there is nothing like listening to real life anecdotes of former colleagues to make you think that sex makes people stupid. Which probably explains why I’m so fucking smart.

Saturday, December 9: On the way to Hollis & Dana’s holiday day party, I’m freezing my arse on the corner of Foster and Western with Lisa and Molly. Molly shows us a routine from her Jazzercise class, which cracks us up to no end. We look over at the car idling next to us, and it’s being driven by the guy who used to work as the engineer for our building. He and his look-a-like brother grin, wave, and then drive off. We girls end up taking a cab to the party, which is fun. There is a dog, snacks, and good company. I’m feeling kinda not social, so I spend most of the time talking to Lisa and Molly. I’m feeling kinda beat, so Lisa and I leave Molly behind so we can get to our respective homes. Oh, and there was an Argentinian lady who spent most of the party in the coat room, speaking to someone on her cell phone. She was, to use my new favorite phrase, kinda hard in the face — she looked unpleasant and somewhat unttractive, but I’m sure if she actually smiled she’d look like a nice person.

Sunday, December 10: There is absolutely no reason why I should be up so early on a Sunday, but I am. I am doing a 5k walk, the Rudolph Ramble for Children’s Memorial Hospital. It kinda took me forever, which doesn’t have me feeling so hot about the Shamrock Shuffle in March, but I’ve got time to work on my stride and my pacing, apparently. And yes, there is a picture somewhere on the internets of me wearing red foam antlers.

Saturday, December 16: Day one of my vacation, and my notes show me nothing about how I spent the day. Did I see a movie? Get my nails done? Take a nap? That evening I went to Paige’s “Deck The Neck” party. Paige is one of those people I wish I saw more often, as she is hilarious and cool. I almost didn’t go because I’m kind of a pussy about going to parties but myself. But I did not regret going, as I met some nice people (including another writer who I have yet to e-mail!). Maybe I smoked a few cigarettes on the front porch, maybe I didn’t. What’s for sure is that at some point Paige and her roommate treated their guests to some clogging (Paige is from Kentucky), and one of the guys at the party was a contestant on “Beauty and the Geek”. I don’t remember which season, but he didn’t give me a chance to ask him questions about what Ashton Kutcher is like. Dammit.

Tuesday, December 19: C and I went Christmas shopping in Oakbrook. I thought we were going to hit the mall, but instead hit a number of stores including Toys “R” Us, Pier One, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart. I don’t remember ever vowing never to shop at the W, but everything was so cheap that I fell under its spell. An electric screwdriver with all sorts of fancy attachments for $24. Wrapping paper for $1.00/tube. And this was all after TJ Maxx, where I saw bottles of Kiehl’s musk marked down to $37 from $55. I didn’t get myself any, though, so my sister ended up getting it for me for Christmas. Yay older sisters! I came home at the end of the day exhausted and smug over how much money I didn’t spend. But I still feel like I could have done better picking out presents. It’s February now — is it too early to start shopping for Christmas 2007?

Saturday, December 23: I kinda ambushed Molly with a holiday party, which I feel bad about as she has to get up early on Christmas Eve to work. But it was so fun — Stef came! I haven’t seen her in forever. Also, Kathy, and Joe and Jacinda. There was a lot of lumpia and red wine. Lots of red wine. Stef made me a cool mix CD, which reminded me that I owe her a mix of my own.

Sunday, Decmeber 24: I have Christmas dinner at Joe and Jacinda’s. Various other Baumans (sister Jalissa and her boyfriend Thomas, mom Cynthia aka “JaMamma”) and dogs are in attendance. Food followed by “Only Angels Have Wings” made for a lovely time, though I have question about wardrobe: did ladies’ bathrobes really come with shoulder pads in the ’30s, or was Jean Arthur’s linebacker look just something dreamed up for the big screen?

Monday, December 25: Brunch at Jalissa & Thomas’s apartment. Opening presents. “Sleeping Beauty” on DVD. Then I think we ate more food. Then I went home and almost fell asleep before I realized I hadn’t packed for my trip home to New York. D’oh!

Tuesday, December 26: I missed my 9:00 am flight. I make the 10:27 to LGA. I take the extra time to eat a hot dog, drink some water, and read magazines. For some reason, I don’t get to my parents’ until 4:00 in the afternoon. I’ve been travelling all day and feel as though I’ve accomplished very little. The apartment is overheated and crowded with old clothes, plastic lawn chairs, porcelain figurines, and pictures of me and my siblings as small children. There is a fine layer of dust over most of it. The cat’s litter box is by the front door, so the air is thick with the smell of ammonia. My dad drags in around 5:30 with sandwiches from 7-11 for dinner. As per usual, we all stand around in the kitchen, stuff our faces, and catch up. Somehow, I manage to convince my dad to drive me to Kevin and Gabe’s, where I almost sleep over after a late night watching the Kennedy Center Honors. Instead, Dad picks me up some time after midnight so I can sleep on one of the double beds in my parents room — me and Mom in one bed, Dad and Justin in the other. An oscillating fan is on as I crawl in to bed but it’s still too hot.

Wednesday, December 27: I got up to find that my mom is out, doing the laundry. Patrick’s at work, so it’s just me and twins to play with the Wii, eat lunch, and hang out. They don’t do much, the twins — mainly Justin sits on one of the computers in the living room to surf or e-mail. Jackie talks on the phone for hours in her room. I watch Gabe’s “Mrs. Brown” DVD on my laptop and watch daytime television. I eat a sandwich, drink some diet Pepsi, and wonder when I should head out to Michelle’s to look after her cat. I try to put it off long enough to get some time to hang with dad, but before Michelle’s cat Freddie dies of malnutrition. As it is, when I walk in he’s a little whiny (he would have been worse, but Michelle’s upstairs neighbor had just arrived back from vacation and was able to get in earlier to feed Freddie) but looks alright. I put my stuff down in the living room, and make plans with Maria for the following day.

Thursday, December 28: Maria and I check out Williamsburg, stopping for breakfast at some nice French-ish place before heading uptown to try to sneak a peek at James Brown’s funeral. We manage to catch the end of the procession, his glass coffin just a glint in the early afternoon sun. Giving up, we head to midtown so we can check out the windows at Barney’s and Bergdorf’s. Saks is insane, so Maria peels off to meet with Clancy, and Kim and I have coffee at (where else?) a Starbucks on 50th & Lexington. It was good to see Kim, though bittersweet — I would have liked some time to spend, but she was headed to Chicago the next day to visit a friend for New Year’s. Of course — the first year in a long-ass time that I’m not in Chicago for New Year’s Eve, and Kim flies to Chicago. Argh, timing. I’m going to take this opportunity to swear that I will annoy Kim by visiting her in Ithaca, where she is in vet school. As to whether or not I’m going to do it remains to be seen. What does one do in Ithaca besides attend Cornell? Note: this is the cue for you all to consult Wikipedia for points of interest. I go back to Michelle’s to check up on kitty, talk to Kim’s dad and stepmom on the phone. Sean becomes available, so we go for dinner at 200 Fifth in Park Slope, have a single drink at a bar down the road, then go back to Michelle’s to watch the DVD’s of “The Office” that I haven’t been able to send back to Netflix (they’re just that funny).

Friday, December 29: I don’t remember what I did today. I think I just hung the fuck out during the day — floating around midtown, sticking my head in various shops, eating some greasy Chinese food in the food court at Grand Central Station. I head out to Jackson Heights to meet Maria and her crew at Jackson Diner for some of the best Indian food I’ve had recently. Joseline and Phillip are there, as is Sean, who is modelling the beautiful cashmere sweater he just bought for a song at Bloomingdale’s. After dinner, Joseline and Phillip head home while the rest of us play video games and drink beers at Barcade. I suck at just about everything, but I feel empowered by the handful of quarters in my jeans pocket. It’s no surprise that I love the one driving game they have, though I seem to suck at it. I feel that if I am halfway decent at this game, I may just learn to drive a real car yet. Bwahahahahaha. I leave a bit early, catching the G to the F train. While I am on the G, I am seated across from a group of young people (listen to me, what am I, 70?) who are underdressed for the weather (30s at night, in the upper 40s during the day) — the girls are wearing cotton skirts or jeans with no jackets. One of chubby girls is wearing too much foundation, flip flops, and a thin white skirt. They have one boy with them, and even I have to admire how exquisitely arched his eyebrows are.

Saturday, December 30: Andrew’s parents were kind enough to invite me to a party they were having for baby Nathan, so I turn up at The Place on West 10th. I nearly injure myself with my cell phone while saying hi to Andrew’s uncle, but manage to stay out of trouble long enough to catch up with Andrew’s friends and family, many of whom I’ve not seen since Andrew and Rozi got married back in 2004. The restaurant is open just for us, so I take a small amount of pleasure in watching strangers get turned away at the door. Bwahahahahahaha. I sit with a lovely couple whose names I have just forgotten (argh! damn memory loss!) and we talk about travel, New York, children, and how well Nathan seems to be handling the crowds of well-wishers who take his picture with shiny, flashing cameras. Babies are celebrities, that much is clear, and this kid could be the pope. He lies in his stroller at the back of the restaurant, which is decorated in such a way that it looks as though he were in a manger. A sparkly, shiny manger. The party isn’t just for Nathan, though — Andrew and Rozi turned 30 last year, and Grandma Charlotte turns 90 (!) in January. So there was a tasty cake for Charlotte, which went awfully well with the Champagne I drank with my lunch. I got to catch up with Dawn, a law school friend of Andrew and Rozi’s with whom I developed a casual friendship a few years ago. She’s hilarious, that much we all now, but she’s just not available. Though I managed to get her to come to New Year’s Day dim sum at Jing Fong a few days later — I consider this a truimph. After a long afternoon of lovely cake and family, I meet Sean to shop. We wander from Washington Square to SoHo, where I am powerless to resist the magic of UNIQLO. It’s like H&M, but Japanese and not cheap-looking. The store is huge and well-lit, so much so that my enlarged pores cringe, but we care not — there are cheap adorable socks to be had. Miles and miles of brightly colored cashmere sweaters. Hip employees who graciously and efficiently help customers, switching between English and Japanese without missing a beat. I seem to think I am too beat that evening to do anything, but then Sean and I ended up going for dinner at beet, a cute little Thai place on 7th Avenue in Park Slope (between 9th and 10th — get off the F train at 7th Avenue) which serves good beef pad seeuw. And then I think I just went to sleep because I am often in need of sleep.

Sunday, December 31: Finally I have lunch at Krystal’s. Sean and Dan are there, and we lay waste to a lot of menudo and pork adobo and lumpia. It’s not pretty. I foolishly believe that I have room left for a fruit tart from Veniero’s around the corner, but Sean and Dan drag me off for a walk around the East Village. We end up back at Dan’s talking. About girls. Burning Man. Weddings. Chicago. It gets dark before I have a chance to go home and change before night falls, so I guess that I will, in fact, be going to a New Year’s party with an adobo sauce stain on my t-shirt. Fantastic. Sean and I meet Michelle at Warehouse Wine & Spirits, which is jumping with people buying last-minute bottles of Champagne, 6-packs of beer. All the girls are wearing high heels and glitter on their shoulders while the guys smell of good cologne and shoe leather. Did I mention I’m wearing a cheap t-shirt with pork adobo sauce staining the front? It’s still too early to go to a party being thrown by Michelle’s co-worker, so we get some dinner at the Around the Clock. The waitress seems to like us giggling and being silly (okay, that was more Sean), which I take as a sign that I will, in fact, have a good evening. And I do. After I get ketchup on my t-shirt, I give up and just focus on enjoying myself. Which is good. The co-worker party is great. As soon as I walk in, an Asian girl in a blue turtleneck peers at me and says “Are you Filipino?” and then we just go from there. We talk about boys (she just broke up with her ex) and just the random funkiness of being Filipino. Also how the place occasionally smells like “funny cigarettes” even though we don’t see any people “indulging”. There is lots of dancing and drinking and eating. Midnight strikes and am I kissing a cute boy? Well, not anybody I’m not already friends with — I exchange kisses on the cheek with Sean, then get to some dancing. Michelle and I make it home at 2:00 am or so. It’s raining and we try to hail a cab. But between the weather and the Lower East Side being all hip and shit, there are not cabs to be had anywhere. Hipsters and yuppies and scenesters and underaged kids and wannabes are trying to hail cabs to Williamsburg or Park Slope or the Village or the Upper East Side or SoHo or Jersey. We hop on the F, where the party is continuing on the platforms, in the train itself, and all the way back to Michelle’s.

Monday, January 1: I make it to dim sum, and I am not disappointed by the turnout of friends or the food. And let’s talk about the venue — Jing Fong is humonguous. Dozens of round tables covered in pink tablecloths underneath chandeliers and mirrors. Waiters and other staff running around in tuxes. The ladies pushing carts full of food. There is also a huge buffet, included in the price of dim sum, where you can get vegeatables and other non dim-sum treats. There’s a lot of yelling and laughter and eating and taking of pictures. All that fun and we were only charged $13/person — and that’s including tip. We part ways afterwards, and I’m sad to go, but it’s not like I won’t be back in New York again. I go back to Brooklyn with Michelle, where we manage to have dinner with Michael (on his way back to New Haven) at an Indian restaurant around the corner. Michelle’s roommate Lina arrives, and we bond briefly when the toilet chose that very moment to stop working. Then my very nice father drives up from Queens to take me home for my last night in New York.

Okay, let’s take a break. Now, January is going to be way shorter, because I’ve been working on this dispatch for a few hours (intermittently, though, as I do have to eat lunch and stuff) and I’m tired.

Joni Mitchell – You Turn Me On, I’m A Radio; Rick James & Teena Marie – Fire & Desire; Spoon – The Fitted Shirt



~ by Jasmine on February 5, 2007.

One Response to “417: emotional rescue”

  1. […] from the flip front 417: emotional […]

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