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Sunday, October 31, 2004

finally

I have finally received my acceptance to grad school! It's nice to be part of an institution again; I feel ... institutionalized.

Tonight I saw Primer, a little indie flick about some dot-com entrepreneurs who make a time machine, at the Angelika Theater. The movie was initially mesmerizing for its cinematography (spare, yellow-toned, deliberately overexposed), but overall the movie just made no sense. How does a screenplay like that get out of Dodge?

Friday, October 29, 2004

my first e-commerce-enabled espresso

I just got my first espresso via the "buy Jen an espresso" button! I am giddy already.

Today has been a very coffeesophical day.

This morning, I posted about my coffee-club scheming via my series of Gevalia memberships.

This evening, I stopped by a Starbucks to buy coffee, because I like fresh-ground coffee for my Gevalia coffeemaker at home, and I like Starbucks' Breakfast Blend. While I was there, I thought to ask the girl behind the counter why the coffee tasted fine when I made it at home, but tastes like cardboard when actually brewed by Starbucks.

The girl suggested that, since I like Breakfast Blend and they usually serve darker varieties in the store, perhaps the coffee is too strong for me. I doubted this, as I am an espresso drinker. She also theorized that somehow brewing larger amounts produces a different taste.

Incidentally, if you buy a pound of coffee at Starbucks, you apparently get a cup of coffee for free, so I took it, even though it was nighttime; it was Gold Coast, and tasted better than usual.

Then, I decided to walk from Soho up to Astor Place to get on the train. Astor Place is home to the world's second-busiest Starbucks (the busiest is in Japan). Around the back of this Starbucks, at Astor and Broadway, is a new coffee place called Beard Papa's.

I haven't tried the coffee yet (I was still holding my Starbucks coffee when I spotted the place), but the place apparently serves cream puffs and cheese sticks. I really can't think of anything more perfect. I am going to have to go and have a mocha and cheese sticks and cream puffs all at once and then shiver with delight.

Also today, I added a "Buy Me an Espresso!" icon to my front page. The icon goes to a Paypal page where you can donate $2.06 (the price of a double plus tax) to the cause. The cause, of course, being caffeinating me so much that I stay up and do things like add more lingerie pictures to the site.

I also arranged it so that, if you buy me an espresso, you get taken to a thank-you page with a sexy new photo on it. Meow!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

See also previous post re: "Three Japanese Girls for President"

I recently found myself packed into an elevator with probably ten other people, among them several young Japanese women.

It was a very long elevator ride from the upper floors of a high-rise building, and about halfway down, one of the women said something in Japanese and all the others laughed, in this bizarre, shrill, little-girly giggle, and I said, oh my, that is clearly a learned, culturally-conditioned behavior.

I am now interested in how people from different cultures laugh. Sometimes, laughing is a fairly incontrollable response, but oftentimes there's an element of conscious choice and, perhaps, conscious modulation.

I mean, when we hurt ourselves very badly, we tend to make horrible, agonized noises that are probably fairly similar cross-culturally. But as for the slings and arrows of daily life, well, obviously the word "ouch" isn't some primal exclamation built into our genetic code; it's an Anglo-Saxon word we've all learned to say when prompted by pain.

Similarly, even "um" and "uh" -- words we almost never say deliberately -- are culturally learned. The French, in contrast, often fill gaps in their speech with this little gesture wherein they purse their lips and blow out an audible puff of air. I suppose this is slightly more articulate than saying "um."

In any case, Japanese women laugh like three-year-old fairy princesses.

The next spelling bee is Monday, Nov. 1, at Pete's Candy Store



As usual, I'll be emceeing the event along with singer Bobby Blue. I use my finely-honed skills of pronunciation to read the words aloud to the contestants.

Click to print this invite

Or visit the Pete's Candy Store website.

soon my bedroom will be "mint truffle"

I just painted a wall in my kitchen/living room a vivid shade of "tropical mango." This is the first wall I've ever painted in my life.

I am happy to report, in a victory for girly-girls everywhere, that nail polish remover does, in fact, remove excess paint from walls.

This reminds me of all those action movies wherein the hero saves the day by unlocking something with the heroine's bobby pin, thus giving her an excuse to run through the rest of the movie with her hair sexily undone, blowing in the breeze on the back of a motorcycle that then jumps off a bridge as a prelude to a happily-ever-after life of adventure.

(This photo and the one a couple posts down are new images by Stephen Strutt).

I have all those red envelopes magnetted to my fridge

Netflix just emailed all their customers to announce that the monthly fee is going down from $21.99 per month to 17.99.

When does that ever happen, that recurring fees just randomly go down? (About as often as your mom goes down.... Yes, anyway...).

This makes me even more satisfied with Netflix as a company, which is strange, as I've had three Netflix movies for well over a month without watching any of them, making my per-movie cost extremely high. But: they keep track of my queue! They have indie films! They let me keep their movies indefinitely!

Consumer behavior is based on so many more variables than mere rational self-interest.

Before MP3s, we had Columbia House. Now I get ridiculous free offers from Gevalia.

Remember how Columbia House used to send everybody those offers where you get 12 CDs for a penny, and then you have to buy six at regular price over the next year or something?

I knew people who would repeatedly sign up for the introductory membership, get boxes of free CDs, and just write "return to sender" on any further shipments. A guy in the house I lived in in college did this under obviously assumed names, like "Jean Valjean."

Now it's less effort to just download music, but I have a similar situation going on with Gevalia. It's a coffee club, where you pay $15 to join, for which you receive two 1/2 pound boxes of coffee, two lovely mugs, and a rather high-end coffeemaker. Then, you receive a monthly shipment of good but overpriced coffee. You can cancel this at any time. During my last membership, I wrote "return to sender" on the box of an unexpected coffee delivery and received a refund to my credit card, no questions asked.

I just logged into my Gevalia account and discovered that it would be cheaper to just pay $15 and get coffee, a new coffeemaker, mugs, and (new!) a silver coffee-serving spoon, than to order more coffee under my existing membership. So I signed up online for a new membership. No problems at all.

I think this will be my fifth or so Gevalia membership, and probably my third coffeemaker. (I've also received a carafe, and my Dad has gotten a nifty canister for referring me).

And now, hot pink jeans with studs down the side, and rhinestone-studded acrylic nails

Everyone loves my $10 sweater from the Bronx.

One day I was teaching a class in the Bronx, and by the time I left work around 7:30pm, it was freezing, and I was wearing this strapless sari-type thing. I had to head straight from work to a party, and knew I'd be doing a lot of walking, so I headed up the strip (on Jerome Ave, at the very end of the 4 line, where fashionistas dare not tread) to the $10 Discount Store.

I figured I'd buy something warm and awful, and even if I only wore it one night, well, you pay $10 for a martini, and I'd get at least as much value out of being warm for several hours.

As it turns out, this store must have had twenty different styles of $10 sweaters, each in about five colors. It was a plethora of sweaters. I found the only small I could, a burgundy sweater with an asymmetrical series of buttons up near the neck, and now I get compliments every time I wear it.

Maybe I could start a personal shopping service wherein I cart great bargains home from the Bronx and resell them to Upper East Side women.

the president of my alma mater is a swearing, Frost-reading Sox fan

From the Boston Globe, Victory transforms a region's identity:
James O. Freedman of Cambridge was near despair just 11 days ago, after the Yankees had pushed the Red Sox to the brink of elimination in the American League Championship Series. Freedman, president emeritus of Dartmouth College, consulted Robert Frost that Sunday, and wondered why the ''arbitrary God" of which Frost wrote held no benevolence for his favorite team.

''My thought when they lost those three against the Yankees was, dammit, there's no more baseball," Freedman said. ''But now, it's as if it was gray and raining and the sun is suddenly shining."
This is apropos to a thought I had right in betweeen the ALCS games and the World Series. During game 4 or 5 of the ALCS, when the Sox were playing the Yankees, I was way downtown on the Lower East Side, having a nice evening out, and occasionally popping my head into a bar for the score. It became quickly apparent that the LES was rooting for the Sox. Oh, sure, every once in awhile someone would chime in their support of the Yankees, but it was usually someone with an accent that says "I have lived in Queens my entire life."

But, I mean, the LES is where our city's Nader voters are hanging out; they just want to be contrarian. I suspect that, more than a sincere love of the Sox, they just wanted to root for the underdog, the "wrong" side, the team wearing Soviet crimson. Once the Sox actually won and went on to the World Series, I imagine that they lost interest. Just a guess.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

I was, however, looking forward to carrying my magic wand on the subway

I just put on an entire fairy costume, including wings, fishnets, and glitter makeup, then realized how much I dislike parties, especially "models' networking parties." Oh dear god, I can think of almost nothing worse. Please, give me a casting call during normal working hours and I'll show up, all fresh and prompt and with a book and a resume. I loathe events that muddle "professional networking" with "letting skeezy guys skeeze all over you."

I'm going to put on my jeans, max out my work capacity for the day, have a stiff drink, and congratulate myself for just saying no to insipid social events.

This is what makes people jump onto the subway tracks

You know what I think would be really funny? Well, I know there's such a thing as a batch graphics converter -- a program that just opens up a bunch of graphics files and converts them to a new format, or resizes them or something, without "looking" at them. I'm sure there is such a thing as a batch audio converter, and that a mischievous programmer could bring my vision to reality.

So, imagine a batch audio converter that would take a batch of MP3 files, superimpose a new audio track over them, and save them with the same filenames, rewriting over the originals.

Now imagine that the extra audio track were something like a slow, creepy voice whispering "This is the call of the devil, Joe Q. Smith. This is your obsessive compulsive disorder talking, your neuroses, your Oedpial complex, your malfunctioning conscience. You crazy fuck."

Now imagine you could grab someone's iPod for an hour or so, synch it to a computer running my program, and put little devil tracks in all their songs. In most songs, you'd have to keep it subtle -- just "Joe Q., I see you!" or something, mid-Bjork.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

faces of jen! jen for change! um, buy this calendar

Last month I did the shoot for the Faces of Change 2005 calendar, wherein 50 models and five designers unite to raise money for charity.

The calendar is now for sale (actually, there are two versions, so you can buy one or both) on the Faces of Change website.

This is a photo of me and model Jane Teng that was shot for the calendar.

better living through shameless self-promotion

This morning I spoke at St. John's University on Staten Island on the topic "How to Be Your Own Brand."

I basically told the story of my various acts of hubris and personal PR, starting with when I called up the Virginian Pilot in 1992 and told them they didn't have enough articles by teenagers and that they should hire me. And then, of course, I covered the entrepreneurial years (both the brilliant and the poorly managed), and then finally how I use my business skills in my modeling career. Top that off with a couple of case studies (Faith Popcorn, etc.) and a how-to guide for recent college graduates, and you've got yourself a speech.

I enjoy being able to discuss blatant acts of self-aggrandizement with such transparency; I gave everyone a handout and instructed them that you always look more important when you show up to an event with anything you've bothered to put on paper.

As it turns out, I have absolutely no trouble whatsoever talking for an hour and fifteen minutes with no breaks and no notes (at least when the topic is so close to my heart). Seventy-five minutes just speeds by in a fast-talking, espresso-fueled blur.


On a totally unrelated note, here is a new and neon-enhanced version of a previously posted photo. Both photo and special effects are by Daniel Garcia.

promotional tagline: "She's like Spaulding Gray, but not dead!"

This evening I did a monologue performance at Paco Doubledown's Amateur Variety Hour.

For those of you who thought you were my friends but, as it turns out, don't know me at all (at all! harumph!), I'm developing a one-woman show, which I'm trying out five minutes or so at a time at variety shows.

Tonight I was pleased to be booked alongside Shaeffer the Dark Lord, New York's only, um, comic metal rap act. All I can say is, fuck yes.

Also check out Von Von Von, the sexed-up lounge singer who emceed tonight's show.

Thanks to Christopherini for my background jazz track, and to my friend/photographer Daniel and my fiction instructor Karen for attending.

For those of you who were watching the Sox instead, I'm working on recording MP3s of my monologue performances. One day soon, I could be alternately ranting and whispering into your ear via your iPod.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I hear the Chinatown bus is a decent way to get to Boston

For the length of time I spent on public transportation today, I might as well have gone to see the game at Fenway.

I was contemplating leaving Williamsburg roundabout 11:40pm when a friend told me the L was shutting down at midnight. I hurried to the L stop, arriving at 11:56, to discover the station closed; an attendant said there was a shuttle bus to the J. So I get on the nearest bus; the driver affirms that she's going to the J, but in the end she didn't go a little hop south to Marcy Avenue; instead, she was headed all the way to the Brooklyn end of the J.

So I got off a little earlier when I saw an M stop -- by this time I'd already gone all the way to Myrtle-Wyckoff. So, I get on the Manhattan-bound M and start reading a magazine ... when I look up an article or two later, expecting to be near Manhattan, we're at Seneca Avenue, which is (or is almost) in Queens! Turns out the M doesn't go into Manhattan late at night, but rather simply shuttles back and forth on the last eight stops. That is truly the first time I've ever been on a train that has changed direction mid-track.

So I get off at Seneca, eventually get on another "Manhattan-bound" M, transfer to the J at Myrtle, take the J to Canal Street, trek through the labrynthine Canal St station (apparently designed by someone whose previous architecture experience was in setting up lab mazes for rats) to the 6. And then, of course, the uptown 6 is running express past my stop, so I have to stop at 125th St and wait again for the downtown 6.

That's a walk to the L, a bus, and five trains. I want someone to sit me in their comfy armchair and make me a cup of tea to ameliorate the spiritual wear and tear.

Monday, October 18, 2004

More triple word scores over which to fight!

I now have in my possession ... Super Scrabble! It has 200 letter tiles, instead of just 100, and 441 spaces instead of 225! The additional letters mean you can now spell BUZZ, JAZZY, MAMMOTH, BABBLE, KNACK, and DAZZLE -- all words that were previously impossible without the blank tiles!

I want to get hamsters, or mythical dwarves, and name them BUZZ, JAZZY, MAMMOTH, BABBLE, KNACK, and DAZZLE.

Oh, to have been a bit more sentient in the seventies

When I was about five, I owned a cassette of "America's Greatest Hits." It contained songs including "Horse with No Name," "Sandman," and, of course, "Muskrat Love."

I've been walking around my house muttering "I understand you've been running from the man that goes by the name of the Sandman/He flies the sky like an eagle in the eye of a hurricane that's abandoned."

I now find the grammar of these lyrics somewhat grating (you can't say "the man that" any more than you can say "the silverware who"); also, a "hurricane that's abandoned"? That is both grammatically appalling and nonsensical. But catchy!

Incidentally, it took until I was about ten to catch on to the fact that "America" was a band and that I did not, in fact, have in my possession the greatest all-time hits of our entire country.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

MLB, call me!

This evening I checked into MLB.com a couple of times to catch the score of game 3, and then discovered somewhere in the eighth inning that I could actually watch the game for free online via the "Fox Diamond Cam."

I'm not sure why a paid feature suddenly became free, but it was kind of cool. Most of my friends are Sox fans (many Dartmouth grads settle in Boston, the nearest major city to the college), and there's something melancholy about knowing that everyone you know is bummed this evening (as no team has ever emerged from a 3-0 deficit in the postseason).

I commented earlier on this blog that the Yankees playing the Red Sox at the same time as the Presidential debates is almost too much excitement for our entire society. This has prompted me to note that, in the current election, young single women have been touted as the hot new voting demographic, perhaps even where savvy political organizers might find those elusive, near-mythical swing voters.

I suppose it's nice to be courted by politicos, but, I mean, I was going to vote anyway. No one, however, has recognized young single women as a hot baseball-watching demographic. I could use some fan service. I feel that MLB.com is not catering to my needs.

I think MLB.com should hire me to market the site to trendy young women. I think I'd do a great job segmenting the potential market -- for instance, women in business school: very interested in statistics, already comfortable in competitive, male-dominated environments, able to afford box seats. I would form relationships with local chapters of the National Association of Women Business Owners and get them special reserved seating areas in which handsome young vendors would sell Godiva ice cream by the half-pint.

Certainly, I'd have my detractors, but honestly, is selling Luna bars at the concessions stand really going to kill anyone?

Saturday, October 16, 2004

hot liberal-on-liberal action

I have never owned a television as an adult, or lived with easy access to one. I'm not bragging; I spend enough time reading about television that I can hardly claim some sort of moral superiority to the entire medium.

For instance, I first developed an interest in Survivor during Season 2, when Salon started publishing ruminatory reviews of each episode; I first heard about The Swan when Salon heralded it as the end of civilization. I regularly read reviews of the Presidential debates, sometimes even transcripts.

So, of course, I read recently about Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire, and blogged about it the other day. I was very pleased with Jon's performance and his existence in the universe. After years of not watching television, I almost felt like actually seeing it would be too much stimulation. I mean, I listen to baseball games on my clock radio. I'm like a blind person who reads about painting but has never seen one: Vermeer in Braille, Van Gogh by the dots.

However, I have finally seen the Jon Stewart clip on iFilm, and now you can too, at this link.

Incidentally, on Crossfire, they run headlines across the bottom of the screen. At the very end of the clip, you can catch a tag about the first boy to ever win the Easy Bake Oven Bakeoff competition.

This is from a blue-haired woman with neon eyeshadow

My roommate Samantha complained that she ought to be featured more prominently in my blog. Today I was making breakfast and she commented "You remind me of my mom."

I turned and gave her a quizzical look; Samantha's mom is a (presumably ex-) Marine in Texas. Samantha followed this up with the explanation that this is "because you cook."

In which case, great, then Emeril Lagasse reminds me of my mom. (No, not really, sorry mom!) Or, wasn't there some serial killer who liked to cook strips of human flesh before ingesting them? Yes, that brings back the nostalgia and savory aromas of home.

The other Samantha gem of late was when she returned from a trip to Texas and commented that she had such great food on her American Airlines flight because "they must be trying to make up for crashing into the World Trade Center."

Friday, October 15, 2004

Do you enjoy limericks, Rimbaud, and topless women?

I have now seen my roommate Duncan Pflaster's play, "Eternity: Time Without End" and can highly recommend it. There's one more show left -- Tuesday, October 19 at 8:30pm, at the Greenwich Street Theater. Here's the link.

I also highly recommend this deleted scene.

Mac: I’m bored. Hey... Why don't cannibals like to eat clowns?

Siete: Er... Because they're greasy?

Mac: What?

Siete: Greasy... You know, greasepaint. The makeup they wear must taste awful.

Tara: It may be they would wash them off first. Like vegetables. I always wash carrots and broccoli. Apples.

Hawke: No, that can’t be, because if you wash off the makeup, it ceases to be a clown. Then you just have a wet person. Of course, there's always the costume, but you'd have to lose that as well, if you were going to eat them.

Tara: Yeah, if one left everything on, I know I'd have trouble swallowing the wigs. And some clowns have abnormally large shoes.

I hear the fjords are lovely this time of year

My computer is back! I will now resume blogging.

In other news, Jon Stewart is a god among men. I also like Al Franken a great deal, but Jon Stewart is not only the acerbic answer to the conservative punditry pervading network television, but also really cute. I will now begin writing Jon Stewart erotic fiction.

A gentleman friend asserted today that rooting for the Yankees is "like voting Republican." He went on to point out that the Sox are, in many cases, long-haired, bearded fellows ... and, of course, from Massachusetts. The Yankees, in contrast, wear pinstripe.

I have about 1,600 emails to sort through now that I am back online. Notable highlights thus far include a "big fan" from Norway who is requesting a signed photograph, and my brother, who wrote "I have joined your yahoo group and spent a while looking over the website. It has certainly changed a lot recently. I browse with much caution to avoid seeing my sister naked.... eewwwwwww."

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Please speak into the tin can at the other end of the string

Have you been trying to reach me? My computer's display has died and I had to ship the computer back to the Apple repair center in Texas, so I haven't been able to access my email (I've got it worked out now).

Concurrent to the death of my iBook display, my cell phone's display has also died. The phone still rings, but I can't see who's calling, and I can't call out or access anyone's phone number. So, if I should've called you and haven't, that's why.

Incidentally, Apple claims they will repair my iBook and send it back to me in just two days, whereas Best Buy's cell phone replacement plan involves getting a gift card in 14 to 28 days.

My current Bronze Age level of technology is somewhat trying for a modern urban human. Oh, and on top of that, this morning, the Con Ed people came over and turned off my power. I live in a cave. Coming soon -- photo gallery of me tending a fire, in cougar-skins.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Dear Mom, do you still have my roller skates?

Dear Jen,
You told me to get rid of those skates years ago, but I just moved them to the hall coat closet. You noticed them and told me you were never going to need them, donate them. You said they had four PINK wheels and were not inline skates. We bought a house and moved them to the new coat closet. It's a good thing I don't listen to you. I knew you would want to use them again and now they're vintage and pink is fun again.
Love Mom

This is just as good as the one about tossed salad

My AM/FM alarm clock is more or less stuck on ESPN talk radio. So, every morning, I wake up to two guys talking about the Yankees, or, today, the Giants, or, one time, parents who are too competitive about Little League.

I have no special interest in these topics, and most of this information serves the purpose of simply being noisy and waking me up. However, it seems to take awhile for my brain to register ESPN talk radio as a wake-up signal, so I think I probably listen to it for several minutes before getting up to hit the snooze button.

Thus, I suspect that a great deal of ESPN talk radio is being poured directly into my subconscious. This morning I learned that two Mariano Rivera's wife's relatives were electrocuted at Rivera's home in Panama while cleaning the pool. This is tragic, but it also makes me wonder why Rivera couldn't hire someone to clean the pool. He is, of course, very wealthy (and more so in Panama, given the exchange rate). What, does he tell his wife "Okay, honey, I'm the famous baseball player, so you'd better get this pool cleaned right now. Do you have any more relatives? Get them to make me a margarita."

Inappropriate electrocution humor aside, a few days ago (re: Yankees vs. Twins), I woke up to one of the ESPN announcers saying:

Momentum is only as good as the next day's starting pitcher!

This is going to be my new all-purpose phrase. I'm going to say it at every possible opportunity. Every time someone thinks they're doing a nice job at something... momentum is only as good as the next day's starting pitcher!

Friday, October 8, 2004

yo soy latte

The Soy Luck Club is selling t-shirts that say "yo soy latte," which I find both funny and apropos. I would've bought one, except they only came in bright orange and a kind of appalling shade of golden-latte.

Thursday, October 7, 2004

salad tossers of Latin America, unite!

I get a Spanish word of the day in my email, and today's word was "cosa," or "thing." I found the example sentence rather humorous, however:
Spanish: Vale, estamos de acuerdo en una cosa... la ensalada.

English: OK, we agree on one thing-- tossed salad.
Sure, this would make perfect sense if two people were planning a dinner party, but I like to imagine just throwing it out in any argument:
"Only under communism will the working class truly be free!"

"OK, we agree on one thing-- tossed salad."
Unfortunately, "la ensalada" isn't inherently funny, whereas the phrase "tossed salad" somehow is.

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

in the splendid auto da fe, the wicked heretics were burnt

Yesterday, a friend of mine commented, via Instant Messenger: "I am a sick man. I think my liver is diseased."

"Was that a Dostoevsky reference?!" I asked, knowing my friend would be very unlikely to have read Notes from Underground, thus making the near-direct quote from one of my favorite novels a mere sort of creepy coincidence.

"Huh?" he replied.

So, I brought my copy of Notes, which also contains "The Grand Inquisitor", to lend to my friend. However, on the train ride there, I started reading "The Grand Inquisitor", which has been called "the greatest short story ever written," and which I'd never quite gotten around to reading.

"Inquisitor" is, of course, not properly a short story at all, but rather an excerpt from The Brothers Karamazov, in which Ivan tells Alyosha of a "poem" he had composed in his head many years ago, and which, it turns out, tortures him still.


In this "poem," Christ returns to earth during the Spanish Inquisition, is immediately recognized by the people -- and immediately taken into custody by the Inquisitor. As it turns out, the Inquisitor thinks Christ made a tremendous mistake by giving man free will and expecting to receive man's love freely; because of man's base nature, such an expectation is reasonable only of the elect, so what of everyone else: those weak, vile, helpless children that make up the bulk of our species?

According to the Inquisitor, such men need their freedom taken from them in order to be happy; so, under the guise of religion, the Inquisitor himself rules men under a sort of paternalistic utilitarianism. And, because he is the only one to know the truth, ironically, the Inquisitor becomes the one to take man's suffering on himself.

And so the Inquisitor continues; Christ never answers, except with a kiss. Probably the choicest passage for me occurs before the Inquisitor goes on to talk about how mystery and miracles are needed to properly rule man, an assertion which I think is perhaps more peculiarly Russian than universal. This passage is:
Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience, but at the same time nothing is a greater torture. And yet, instead of providing a firm foundation for setting the conscience of man at rest forever, You chose all that is exceptional, vague, and enigmatic; You chose what is utterly beyond the strength of men, acting as though You did not love them at all...."
Also, I didn't finish "The Grand Inquisitor" until today, which means I didn't end up lending it to my friend. I just failed to mention it entirely; after all, one can hardly stop reading a story right in the middle of Christ getting harshed on by the head of the Spanish Inquisition.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

hot septuagenarian erotica -- plus half-fare metrocards!

Today I attended the first meeting of my fiction writing class. I am excited to see how my work will play among the over-55 crowd. Last time I took a daytime class, it seemed to be full of actors and waiters; this time it's retired people.

This is by no means a complaint, as I enjoy interacting with people who remember decades of perhaps more import than the last few. But it's also entirely possible that somebody will just be kind of miffed or offended.

Maybe I'll just continue writing my usual perversion-and-lurid-interest stories and simply make all the characters septuagenarians.
"I'm not a lesbian," said Mabel, swallowing. She had always been shy. "But maybe for you I could make an exception."

Slowly, Hattie scanned up and down Mabel's floral-clad figure. And in one swift movie, Hattie had Mabel's wrists behind her back and was staring into her eyes with the intensity of stark-white cross stitch on black linen.

"You'll be whatever I tell you to," said Hattie. "I've been watching you since the very first night you came to bingo."

Hattie's hands were strong despite her arthritis, and her will was even stronger. Her grip on Mabel tightened, and Hattie's face belied the slightest sly smirk.

I've been shrinking over the years, thought Mabel. I've gotten shorter. She looked up at Hattie, Hattie who was nearly five-foot-six in her Dr. Scholl's pumps, whose hair was perfectly marcelled, whose silver cane was always polished to a pure, bright shine.

Mabel was scared. She trembled like a schoolgirl back when coyness was still a virtue; she shook like the three-layer gelatin ambrosia she always brought to her grandchildren's birthdays.

I've always wanted to know what it was like, thought Mabel. She imagined the sapphic pleasures that lay ahead of her, the thoughts that had overtaken her mind ever since the first widows' group meeting. She imagined everyone playing "strip support group," wherein each lady had to remove an item of clothing for each time she shared about overcoming her loss. Of course you miss Walter, they would say. Now take off your girdle.

"We're going to my room," said Hattie.

"I'll tell the nurse we'll be playing Chinese checkers," she continued, "and that we don't want to be disturbed."

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Did you know that a "menehune" is a mythical Polynesian dwarf?

Delightfully, I've been invited to serve as a guest speaker for a marketing class at St Johns University. I'll be speaking to business students on "how to become your own brand name."

The spelling bee last night was a blast. I tormented contestants with words like "quincunx" and "faineant." I tried flirting with the second place contestant, but I'm not sure he noticed.

Incidentally, I got a new nose stud last night. The people at Addiction on St. Marx place are a lot nicer than the people at Andromeda who did my belly piercing a year ago.

Monday, October 4, 2004

Sam took three hours with the makeup, but at least I got to watch Aqua Teen

Last night I did a Nu Wave style photoshoot, featuring this excellent "rad" t-shirt, with styling by Samantha M. (who, incidentally, is also my roommate).

Samantha did this great neon blue and green makeup, but she didn't realize she was going to have to do hair as well. We had plenty of products on us, but no bobby pins or clips. Somehow, she managed anyway, and the hair looked great. So great I figured I'd sleep with it the way it was, and maybe it would last another day.

I woke up this morning, felt the back of my head, and realized just how Samantha managed to put my hair up: with bent, twisted paper clips. There were pieces of metal wire sticking out of my hair at dangerous angles. It looked like I'd been trying to give my hairdo an abortion.

Oh yeah, I totally did say that.

Saturday, October 2, 2004

Pluvious! Naivete! Perspicacious!

This Monday Oct. 4 at 7:30pm, come to Pete's Candy Store for round two of the Williamsburg Spelling Bee.

Since I am already qualified for the finals, I have been invited back as a guest emcee or, more specifically, as The Girl Who Reads the Words. I'll be sure to wear something saucy.

Visit the Pete's Candy Store website for details and directions.

Friday, October 1, 2004

My phone is dead, long live my phone

Today's update -- my phone is dead and it will take over a week to get a new one. If you've been trying to call me, well, email me instead.

New photos by Daniel Garcia are up in Modeling.

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