Archive for July, 2006

Barnes and Ignoble

Since my life has no direction, my autobiography doesn’t have a cohesive plot. I have a lot, I mean LOT of interests and I can’t pick which one is really the one I am destined to master and become really rich, famous and then infamous for. So that’s why the title of my autobiography changes daily, based on that day’s current fascination or adventure I imagine I may undertake. Hence, all the titles that you may see in the bargain bin at Waldenbooks in 20 years.

The story that chronicles my fascination with New York Times Crossword puzzles, starting with my childhood appreciation for languages and culminating in a restraining order taken out against me by Will Shortz:
Smart on Monday, Dumb on Saturday

The story that chronicles my fascination with my Scottish heritage, starting with a childhood appreciation for geneology and an exchange student program on a remote Scottish island where I work as a housekeeper on a sprawling estate, only to find out I am not in fact Scottish. Culminates in deportation and banishment from all archipelago’s off the British coast.
Always Hebrides’ Maid, Never Hebrides

The story that chronicles a lifetime of gastrointestinal distress, starting with a childhood of stomach sensitivity that led to awkward social situations, culminating with the ability to silently but violently disperse gas on command at college parties, becoming a campus hero.
My Fart is Deceitful Above All Things

The story that chronicles a lifetime of food aversions starting with a childhood hatred of raw tomatoes, onions, and Andes’ Candies, culminating in a look at prison from the inside due to incarceration after shooting a boyfriend who wanted me to try meatloaf.
I Would Chew Anything for Love, But I Won’t Chew That

The story that chronicles my Innerspace-like adventures after I get shrunken down to the size of half a Skittle, am accidentally injected into the auditory canal of a Mexican farm worker who, while on the job, sneezes, launching me into the body of Margarita, a feisty heifer, culminating in an adventure that I know I’ll never forget.
In Juan’s Ear and Out the Udder

Liz Black is an author whose (mis)adventures have taken her across the globe. She lives in New York City with her cats, Angela Bower and Tony Micelli, but never fails to let them know she’s the boss.

Pop really does matter. Part II.

For a full review of the band I like to call “the best thing ever to happen to Kate Bush”, The Futureheads, click, like the Adam Sandler movie says.

Photo courtesy of Robotpolisher

Rooney Eats It

I have been a negligent blogger for a while. While I try to come up with relevant things to say, I will make it up to you today with this totally irrelevant open letter I wrote after the last time I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Dear Mia Sara,

It would not be hard to believe that Ferris Bueller had an exotic, foreign girlfriend, if that is in fact what you were going for. Is that what you were going for? John Hughes certainly knows how to write parts for exotic foreigners (see: Long Duck Dong) but aside from your vague accent and Euro fashion sensibility that allowed you to wear suede boots and fringey jackets with shorts, I am mystified by your ethnic makeup. The name Sloane has thrown me off the trail for ages, but I was willing to overlook that since I also don’t know anyone named Ferris either. But Broderick never tried any accents the way you did. Since your father was Sergeant Peterson of the Chicago Police, one would even assume you’d talk with that midwestern drawl that peppers conversations about Da Bears and Kielbassy sassage. But no. You say things like “Cahmeron, blink if you understahnd me” after your friend goes into shock and you try to revive him on the scenic shores of Lake Michigan.
Maybe it was inexperience that led you down this half-accented path, or maybe not, since sometimes even the most experienced Prince of Thieves needs a dialogue coach, maybe it was just your character choice. Maybe your Sloane had spent a semester abroad and picked up an accent that was slowly fading. Dunno. Either way, congratulations on being part of one of the best movies of all time. Also, where are you now? I hope you went to college and are not a fry cook on Venus.


No sleep till Breukelen

My dear History Buff Companion and I really know how to party. He has a copy of the Encyclopedia of New York City , a comprehensive list of everything from A tree that grows in Brooklyn to Liza with a Z and we decided that there was no better time to read the entire thing than 11pm on Friday. We did get a wee bit sleepy at 2am, but not before we learned all about how Aaron Burr married a hooker (and they impeached Bill Clinton??), Midtown used to be known as The Tenderloin (hee!), and Marble Hill is a neighborhood in the Bronx that has a 212 area code. Not to out-do the book or get off-topic, but my cell phone also has a 212 area code, making me a constant source of amazement for new contacts, and a constant source of confusion for delivery people. Just in case there is ever an entry for Black, Liz, you know the pertinent info.

The most giggle-inducing part of the book was a map of Ye Olde Timey Breukelen that had the original names for my borough’s neighborhoods. This really would have come in handy back when that ObserverBrooklyn Civil War article came out – North Brooklyn Hipsters vs. their Southern counterparts, because both Williamsburg and Cobble Hill’s original names are worthy ammo for the opposition.
Cobble Hill was formerly known as Punkiesberg, and Williamsburg did business as…wait for it…Cripplebush. Dutch people are amazing, first of all, and second of all, damn the real estate agents who insisted on changing these names to make the neighborhoods more appealing! Spacious, light-filled 2BR, 1 Out House with monthly horse parking spot and roof access included. In, where? Oh, Cripplebush? I don’t think so, I’m a bit more literate than that, thanks but no thanks, Citi van der Habitats.

Look out Neighborhoodies, I am armed with hilarity and history and I’m visiting soon.


Pop really does matter. Part 1.

Today is the start of a relationship with Pop Matters which hopefully will not end in tears, self-loathing and an interest in dance therapy the way so many of my other relationships have. For my review of The Streets (and my new favorite rapping teenager Lady Sovereign), click away.


Miss Independence

I changed jobs (one of these days I’ll have a career) a year ago this week. I decided to quit assisting people at an investment firm (thus also quitting a daily wardrobe of black pants and pointy shoes, yearly bonuses and amazing stories about stupid rich people) so I could start assisting people who worked in advertising (thus starting a lower salary, but getting an education in how to effectively market eye drops and gum). Truly, the two biggest factors in my taking the job were not the potential to advance my career or be more financially secure (see the part about the lower salary above), they were the fact that I got to wear jeans, allowing me to be a slob every day and not just on the weekends, and the crazy vacation time we get. (I tend to do a lot of things for the wrong reasons. Savor the anticipation of a future post about how badly I want to get married, but only so I will receive things from Williams-Sonoma without having to spend my own money, and also because I already picked the music I’m walking down the aisle to. Oh yeah, and I can’t wait to love the same person forever and share a life together. With stuff from Williams-Sonoma.)

For all holidays that aren’t Christmas, we get a 4.5 day weekend at this job. For holidays that are Christmas, we get at least a week. So, while everyone else I know has to make Sophie’s choice about whether or not to take personal days or use flex time or to just suck it up and work, I am dreaming about how bad I feel for them as I sleep in until noon. This weekend was no exception. The holiday started Friday at 1pm (although Boss took Thursday and Friday off and while the cat’s away, this mouse will click every link on Gawker and do nothing for as long as possible, so really, even though I was at work, the holiday started at 5pm Wednesday). But for real, who else starts celebrating the July 4th holiday at 1pm on Friday, June 3oth? No one. So I did the only logical thing to do, I went to the movies with co-worker (and person responsible for getting me this glorious job) Maggie.

There is no better way to say “America, you’re beautiful!” than to watch The Break-Up at a $7 matinee in Brooklyn. From it’s overt celebration of property laws and home-ownership, to the representation of strong, successful women due in no small part to the suffrage movement, to the proud celebration of capitalism and nationalism during the opening scene which is set at a Cubs game, the film was the quintissential choice for a (New England) Patriot such as myself.

The Break-Up
New Yorkers would have
stayed together for the sake
of the apartment.

I also saw Wordplay and The Devil Wears Prada during the weekend because the heat could only be beaten by immersing myself in air conditioning that is powered by American-invented electricity.

Three down: two word name
for seventeen syllable
synopsis of film.


The Devil Wears Prada
Meryl looks chic as
a silver fox while she eats
Anne Hathaway’s soul.