Archive for April, 2006

The Laughter of a Child

The awesome thing about being a fabulous and single New Yorker who doesn’t possess the ability to say no is that you get roped in to things like participating in Take Your Kids to Work Day as a volunteer. This is where you wrangle the children of your co-workers, thus gaining insight into what kind of people you’re really working with based on the Wonka Scale of Brattiness. More often than not the kids at the office were Charlie Buckets, a relief to know there are a few good eggs being brought up in the world. But occasionally there were a few Veruca Salts in there who wanted to cut the face-painting line and you had to wonder how Todd from IT let his kid get that way.


The other awesome thing is that children of co-workers leave with the idea that Mommy and Daddy and their fabulous and single co-workers sit around having pizza parties, making puffy-painted picture frames and getting balloon animals made all the livelong day. Not a bad way to get paid, in the eyes of a child. Or in the eyes of a fabulous and single adult, for that matter. But there is no mention of Excel spreadsheets or writing briefs or Myspacing-your-ex-boyfriend’s-new-girlfriend or any other kind of real work that might be done in the office. It’s a weird, deceit-filled day, but we totally get free pizza and a sundae bar so let the kids believe what they want!

I was the official face painter yesterday. Never having face-painted before, I printed out 4 designs for the kids to choose from that I figured I might be able to draw. A butterfly, a nautical star, Nemo or the Bat-signal. As a volunteer, I figured I’d just do the best I could, and if it sucked, well, it was nothing some warm, soapy water couldn’t take care of. I was not not-getting-paid to be good at this or give the kids options. I was not-getting-paid because I can’t say no. But I do like children. And some of them, like Ty, the 4-year-old who plopped in front of the TV even though it had no audio and just sat there watching a soundless Tom and Jerry with such intensity that I bet he’d make a really great contributor to Television Without Pity someday, all the while adorably resting his face in his hands so that his bottom eyelids were pulled down and undoubtedly drying his entire ocular cavity from such concentration, I downright admire. I was doing this for the kids. If I made just one child in this world happier, I could sleep well. On the night of April 27th. And there were some polite, sweet, silent kids that I could have eaten up. But some kids I just don’t get. I mean, clearly I can’t draw Hello Kitty, or else she’d be on my design list. Clearly I can’t do Spongebob, so why even ask? CLEARLY. But the thickheaded children of co-workers just didn’t get it. I fear for the future if these clowns can’t even pick one of four images from my designated list. Alas, I am digressing, and it’s an unattractive digression at that.

So good was I at painting Nemo and technicolor-pore-clogging- butterflies, that one parent even asked for my (face painting) business card or if do birthday parties and was disappointed when I said “Um..I work here“. At least this fabulous New Yorker has another career if this one goes bust. But I wasn’t doing it for the money. Since…there was…no money to do it for. I was doing this for the children. (The children who chose one of the four designs, anyway.)

Who needs to get paid when you are making kids happy? Honestly. Because in my opinion, there is nothing more wonderful in the world than the laughter of your co-worker- who-doesn’t-know-we-are-co-workers’ child.

A brand new start of it in old New York

This past January marked my New York City Five-Year-iversary and honestly, this place is nothing like I thought it would be. It’s special in a unique-to-me kind of way, a place where I gripe about how guacamole that’s made right at your table is delicious but overpriced, a place where I have become adept at garment profiling (the skill of knowing what Brooklyn neighborhood someone lives in based on how they dress) and it’s the only place in the world where cupcakes are a food group with no fewer than 90 articles written about them daily. But aside from one night when I was in Rockefeller Center and it was starry and dark no one else was really out walking and I passed a guy playing a saxophone and I just wished I had the time-stopping powers of Evie from Out of This World , I have not had many moments that the movies promised me. I think of New York as a magical place where lovers sit under massive bridges at night and watch sunsets and people get their cars out of parking garages to go pick up their friends from the airport and people in offices have brainstorming meetings where they all eat Chinese food out of white cartons with chopsticks. None of these things exist in my New York. What helps is knowing someone who lives near the Brooklyn Heights Promenade because the bridge thing is slightly more possible, but what is impossible is to turn the world black and white, so I will still find a way to be unhappy with the situation.

Also throwing my unattained-New-York-life-mentality for a loop is my love for peeping. Not like, trespassing on someone’s property peeping, just looking into well lit apartments with open curtains to see what furniture they afforded, listening to summery conversations and clinking dinner dishes that breeze out of open windows, catching a fellow F-train passenger’s weekend plans. These lives seem richer, somehow, than mine. Like they are living out something that I feel like I should be living instead. Whether they own the brownstone I’m standing outside of in a totally non-creepy way, have a big diamond ring from a Charlie-Sheen-in-Wall-Street fiance or have a Channel 13 tote bag that proves they are nicer than I am and support public television, I feel like their New York is the stuff that the myth is made of…my New York is the one that’s just glad it has digital cable but then it’s like “But you live in me, why are you watching TV so much?”. Yeah, my New York actually talks back to me.

I guess my problem is that I don’t know how to sell myself so that my own potential peeper-stalkers would be sustained by what they hear/see/privately investigate about me. People might think the stuff I’m up to is interesting but to me, since I’m not going to a Knicks game or jogging in Central Park or playing doubles tennis at an indoor court somewhere, it’s hardly worth talking about. Unless the outtakes of Annie Hall showed Diane Keaton heating up Lean Cuisine alone at 10pm or being on a subway train that the conductor has taken out of service because a homeless man pooped in the car next to yours, I somehow think my New York will never meet celluloid New York. But I will stay here at least 5 more years because my life is destined to Gothamize, I’m just sure of it. I was born to slap a man in Brooklyn and tell him to snap out of it, no matter if it’s the result of a passionate tryst or he’s a delivery man on a bicycle with no regard for my pedestrian rights. I will live out my life the way I always imagined it because if I want to become A #1, top of the heap, it’s up to me, New York.

Brokeback Haiku

By request I will now share my thoughts on Brokeback Mountain, which I can’t believe I haven’t already done. Time has done us all a service though, because if I had written this haiku 3 months ago there probably would have been a line about wishing I could quit you or, knowing me, something about these gay shepherds not being able to quit ewe.

Brokeback Mountain

What do you wanna
Bet Chelsea’s new gay club will
Be called Heath Bar?

if it aint brokeback...

Haiku Reviews: Scaaaaaary Edition!

My Trivia Companion and I are headed back to Our Local Bar tonight to yet again test out our prizewinning wasted brain space. In preparation for a potential category entitled “Scary Movies We Thought Might be Good But Proved To Be Neither Good Nor Scary”, we’ve been doing a little research. Why is it so hard to find something legitimately scary? I rented Suspiria this week, so I’ll let you know if the Italians get it right. In the meantime, I present thee with Haiku Reviews of all the “scary” movies we have watched in the past month because we were on a “scary” movie kick that I really wish had been “scarier”.

Dumb Canadian
Cult classic – on the plus side
A guy gets, well, cubed.

Evil Dead 2
So bad it’s good, in
A severed-hand zombie filled
Cabin kinda way.

Cabin Fever
Kids are stupid when
Their flesh falls off. Listerine
On open sores? W(OW).

If you see Saw, you’ll
Notice the plot teeter tot-
ters from bad to worse.

White Noise
Neglectful dad opts
to watch static of dead folks
instead of his son.

Wait Until Dark
Audrey Hepburn is
Blind! The script mentions that ov-
er eight THOUSAND times!