Friday, July 21, 2006


Well, my imaginary, adoring public, I'm off on vacation for the next week to exotic Delaware. Until I get back, you'll just have to entertain yourself with these Steve Guttenberg photos.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Better Than Sex. Most sex. Some sex. ok I haven't had sex in a really long time.

Yesterday I met a man who could do things to my body I didn’t even realize were possible. His name is Joe, and he is my new massage therapist.

Last week I snagged a doctor’s note to go get a massage that would be covered by my insurance, so yesterday I got naked from the waist up and let Joe, who looks kind of like Tony Danza, work his magic hands all over my back. He’s amazing, and was saddened to hear that I am cruelly forced to sit behind a desk all day. “Sorry I’m being so aggressive with you, but you have a lot going on back here,” he said, and he kneaded my shoulder while placing his other hand firmly on the small of my back. “You might be sore for a couple of days so I hope you don’t hold it against me.”

Since my time with Joe, I’ve been trying hard to sit up straight. I moved my chair down so I can more directly look at my computer—Joe could tell I looked down all the time just by the curvature of my spine, and said if I keep it up (that and carrying around a heavy bag on my shoulder), I’m going to have all sorts of problems when I hit my 40s.

So I have a lot to work on. I haven’t felt this challenged to change my ways since my dental hygienist gave me a $150 toothbrush and told me “you and I are in this together.” Joe, I think this may be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.


I'm sure gawker will comment on this before the day is over, but today the NY Times has a really long article about how contractors have become sexualized. Granted I've always been a huge fan of the toolbelt (and once even made a guy describe the contents of his own toolbelt over the phone to me, being all "how long is your tape measure?"), but the article itself is pretty dumb and THIS is the photo they used to go along with it!!

Hot. Next up: an article about how women think lifeguards are attractive. Wiry, teenaged lifeguards with acne.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bush vetos medical research in favor of ugly babies

Our buddy GWB just slammed the door on millions of people hoping for a cure to their debilitating illnesses, because he believes in the culutre of life. Of course he flew in a bunch of ugly Red Staters who had "adopted" embryos that matured into ugly babies for the historic veto. If given the choice between researching cystic fibrosis, Parkinson's Disease, diabetes, and tons of other diseases, versus making ugly babies, I'd have to choose the former. Thanks again, GWB, luv ya!

So many NJ strip malls, so little time

I've always wondered who had the time to write reviews of hundreds of books on amazon, but this really blows my mind. I stumbled across this while looking for a Target on the way to Delaware. This is what the internet is all about: giving people a forum to display their photos and reviews of liquor shops and chain stores.

b1bob's NJ Shopping Tips

Apparently Denis Leary is a huge a-hole

Denis Leary was a big hero at my college--even more so than Henry Winkler. Both were alums, and although Winkler gave much more money, Leary was the "cool guy" that all of Emerson's hipsters aspired to be.

Now I know being a misogynist jerk is his schtick and all, but reading an interview with him in TV Guide today really turns the it, they ask him about a scene he wrote, directed, and acted in in his series Rescue Me, where he rapes his wife, and then after telling him "no, no, no" she starts to enjoy it. He says:
The knee-jerk reaction is "Oh, my God, he raped his wife, and he's condoning spousal rape." I'm sorry, I've got female friends who have been through it and don't think it's an unhealthy situation. And anybody that says different has either not been through it or is just politically correct and should probably be switching the channel.

I don't even know what to say to that.

The Cubicle Revolution

If you've ever felt like an office revolt, check this out (click on the panels on the left-hand side):
Business Reply Mail

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

T(uesday) is for Therapy

Back in college, Tuesday was Taco Night in the dining hall. But now, Tex Mex Tuesday really only means one thing to me: therapy. Yes, I am one of those people who tells my “analyst” more than I tell my friends and has been known to think things (sometimes out loud) like “wait until I tell my therapist about this!” and “I don’t know if I can talk to [fill in name] until I talk to my therapist first.” It’s a little weird and scary, but at the same time it makes me more self-aware than the majority of you non-therapy-goers, and ensures I don’t go crazy.
Anyway, Tuesdays, the day of my standing weekly appointment, can be a little nerve-wracking, because I know after work I’m going to have to go spill my guts, which is much harder than going home and watching So You Think You Can Dance (um, just kidding, I would never watch that show...unless it was during the open auditions period when all the bad dancers come on). Not only that, but I feel an immense pressure to be interesting. I go in there and gripe about my job, all the while picturing my therapist’s next patient has been a victim of incest or something else that lets her really stretch her psychiatric skills.
So every Tuesday, unless something noteworthy has happened in the last week, I grabble with coming up with something interesting to talk about. Sometimes during the week I even think, well, if I do this I can at least talk about it therapy. Especially if it involves a guy, because the only person who gets more excited than me about a new love interest is my therapist, who’s like a girlfriend being all like, “tell me alllllll the details!” And I always do.

Monday, July 17, 2006

My most brilliant writing yet

I'm not usually one to toot my own horn, but this intro to the "Home & Garden" section of this new book I'm editing might be one of the most brilliant things I have ever composed:

If you feel more like a bungling rookie than a smart cookie when it comes to household chores, read up on these pointers to become a pro in no time. With these bits of advice, you'll learn how to solve irksome problems like wax spatters on a tablecloth and a slow-running lawnmower, and make those weekend chores—like hanging pictures and winterizing a car battery—a snap!

Sometimes my life is a little too glamourous, know what I mean?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Pandas everywhere!

Did you know that 16 pandas were born in China this year? I wish my office looked like this. "Hey you, Panda #5! Quit chewing those page proofs!" "Aww...Panda #12 fell asleep on my foot!" "Umm, Panda #9 peed under your desk while you were at lunch." Yes, clearly everything would rock with 16 pandas around.

(thanks to LH for passing along....)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Cat vs. AC

Above: Zooey sits in the cool breeze as he contemplates how lame the interior our apartment is.

A pall has been cast over my household. The trouble really started yesterday morning, when my furry companion, Zooey, dislodged one of the window shade seals on the side of my new air conditioning. You can see it just behind his head in the picture above; the one he managed to get through is behind the gate (that refuses to budge from the window) on the left. These things are supposed to have screws in them, but because of the way my window is designed they wouldn’t fit and I had to tape them in place. This tape, and Frigidaire’s cheap plastic that can easily get pushed out of its frame, was no match for this cat.

After noticing he wasn’t in the bathroom for his usual tap drinking in the morning, I saw him on the roof outside my window (running from pigeons, I think) and yelled, “Zooey! Get in here!” He was so excited from his jaunt in the out-of-doors that he momentarily lost his little mind and ran right up and jumped onto the windowsill and was all like, “Mom! I've been outside all morning!!”
At which point I shut the window, patched up the hole, and left for work.

When I came home, the poor little guy was inconsolable (see despairing photo, below). He spent the entire night by the window, angrily meowing at the former site of his escape and bemoaning his cruel, cruel fate in general (well, he did take a brief nap—meowing takes a lot of energy). I guess he thought he had found the portal to a new, exciting world, where the wind weaved its way into his nostrils and he heat of the sun warmed his fur. The ironic thing is, I had just spent the evening complaining to my therapist about life not being exciting enough, and now here I am denying the most exhilarating thing ever for him.

And now that he’s realized he could get to this other world he thought impossible, nothing’s quite the same. He doesn’t enjoy the little things, like playing in the bath tub, getting his tummy scritched, licking his stripes, and especially gazing out the window from the vantage point of his box.

Poor guy. I’ll just have to rely on his short-term memory to get us out of this one.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Today's realization: I will never be Max Perkins

I'm currently reading the bookMax Perkins: Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg, about the guy who edited Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Wolfe, and a bunch of others. This morning on the way to work, I was reading about when Max received the long-awaited manuscript for The Great Gatsby. Berg writes, "Perkins tore into the novel and read it in one sitting. Immediatley he cabled, THINK NOVEL IS SPLENDID. He meant much more than that and wrote Fitzgerald the next day." It then goes on to detail what changes Perkins suggested, and how Fitzgerald took them all, making Gatsby the wonderfully good book it was.

Today I'm editing my long-awaited manuscript for my reflexology book. And although I love the authors of it, they've never taken me on drunken Prohibition-era binges that end in plunging their car into a lilly pond. I spent about a half an hour editing their text as follows.

Cold sores or canker sores
Whether it’s a cold sore (a blister caused by the herpes virus) or a canker sore (an ulceration of the mouth or lips), reflexology can help get rid of these nuisances more quickly. Work the face reflex area by using the single-finger grip technique on the side of your fingers and toes.

Constipation is a difficulty with bowel movements or unusually dry stool. It is most common in children and seniors, and is often caused by stress, not enough fiber or water intake, disruption of your regular diet, or pregnancy. If you’re suffering from constipation, work the digestive system reflex area by using the reflex ball on the heel of your hand and the foot roller on the heel of your foot.

God I'm disillusioned. I've just gotten to the part where Berg mentions Perkins' "Yankee editor's romance" and I'm afraid to go on.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Dear everyone who writes a nonfiction book,

I know you’ve spent much of your time since high school developing the skills to make you an expert on acupressure/jump roping/home organization/sign language/television/facerise/bigfoot/the history of twine, but while you were doing that, I was busy developing my writing skills beyond the tenth grade level. Here is what I have learned:
1. Read what you wrote after you write it. No, seriously. Does that paragraph make sense in any way? If no, then rewrite it. Now read it again. Repeat.
2. If you’re making headings for things (like chapters), those headings should be a descriptive word or phrase that tells the reader what that section is about. They should NOT be what the first sentence is about. Remember: further information is often presented in the second, or even third, paragraph!
3. Writing doesn’t sound good if you use the same word or phrase over and over. If tempted to use something over and over, use a thesaurus. Using a thesaurus over and over well help you to not use the same word or phrase over and over. And over.
4. This is not a jr. high science fair. That is, you can’t just stretch your data to make it sound how you want it to sound.
5. I use google. A lot. So if you pull anything off the internet, I will find it. More quickly than you did.
6. If I corrected something, I did it because it was wrong. Or bad! You see, I know more about grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, word usage, paragraph flow, and publishing than you do.
7. Along with that, there are actually rules for that things that you have never even heard of! When are numbers spelled out? Should you use a serial comma? (What is a serial comma?) When are things italicized, capitalized, or put in quotation marks? There are answers to all of these questions, and I didn’t just make them up. So yes, we’re doing it “my” way.
8. Just because you wrote a book does not make you in any way important or impressive to me. In fact, it makes you a pain in my ass. I’m not here to bring your genius to the masses, I am here to make money for my heartless corporation. We paid less for your words than the paper they are printed on. Remember that.

And call me when you’re in town! I’d love to take you out for lunch!

Your Bitter Editor

Friday, July 07, 2006

Slipping, Sliding

A friend was just telling me about a show at McCarren Park this weekend that will feature a slip 'n' slide, and it totally got me thinking about why they haven't been deemed unsafe for children yet. My sister and I had one of the original yellow slip 'n' slides, which doubled as a river when we'd have make believe backyard adventures. And slamming your body down on that thing was rough! The best kind was the 2nd generation (blue) slip 'n slides, like my neighbor Aimee DeHainut had. they had a bump at the end followed by a kiddie pool. If you got enough velocity, you were supposed to careen off the bump and into the pool. And I still remember the song for the commercial: "You Run...You Slide...You hit the bump, and take a Diiiivvve!" I did some internet research and found the newest breakthroughs in Slip 'n Slide technology

Splash and Play. This is the normal old slip 'n' slide, but it has an inflated thing at the end so you don't flying off the end and into your fence or a pile of dog shit.
Side by Side. This one has two different lanes so you can race. In my day, we raced the old way, by crashing into each other halfway down and then yelling at each other.
Wham 'O Wave/Wave Rider. This is the kind with the pool at the end, and the Wave Rider also promises the "NEW Splash Factor Extra Wave of Water at the End!"
Your Favorite Licensed Product Slip 'n' Slide. Get your favorite brand or character emblazened on the SnS, like spiderman, spongebob, the little mermaid, or Roseanne Barr
Heat Wave. OK, this thing is pretty intense, and 22 feet long. Right before you hit the pool, there's the "Drench O Matic" overhead soaking system.
CRAZY SLIP 'N SLIDE SUPER SPLASH TUNNEL WATER SLIDE. The picture says it all. Look at this thing!! It's insane!! If this thing didn't cost $500 I'd buy one right now, set it up in front of my apartment building, and charge admission. It's blowing my mind. Kids these days, huh?

Do ants introduce themselves?

This morning I awoke from my Manhattan-bound slumber to find that a coworker of mine was sitting directly across from me on the subway. I use the term “coworker” loosely...this particular person doesn’t even work on my floor and I’ve never actually worked with him, but I’ve noticed him because he’s under 30. He’s also a casual dresser like myself, and looks nice enough. And I think might be the gay temp who periodically auditions for TV shows.

Although we were three feet away from each other I didn’t say a word, then got off the subway and took a different route than him (there are two routes to my office from the F train, either up 16th Street or up 17th Street. I’ve noticed people tend to religiously stick to one path or the other; I myself choose 16th because there are two really good dark windows I can check my hair in on the way). Then, of course, we met in the lobby of our building, waiting for the elevator. I felt like I should say something, like, “oh, you take the F train too,” or “how long were you watching me sleep?” or “I see you are a casually dressed 20-something like myself.”

But what’s worse? That fake familiarity where we have to spend however long making chit-chat just because we don’t want to admit to ourselves that we live in close proximity to people we don’t know (or care about), or just not mentioning the obvious at all? Personally, I treasure each moment I don’t have to talk to anyone in the morning, and prefer to not speak until I’m at my desk, promptly at 10:05.

We both got on the elevator. I hit my floor, then mumbled, “you’re 7, right?” and hit his button, too. “Thanks,” he said, quite nicely, and I think that’s really all the connection we needed to make.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Do yourself a favor and watch Grey's Anatomy already!

OK, people. ABC is going to start airing the entire first season of Grey's Anatomy on Thursday nights, two episodes from 9 (eastern) till 11.
At first I was embarrassed to get so hooked on this show, because it is clearly cheesy and everyone who comes into the hospital has some sort of ridiculous problem like male pregnancy or body parts spontaneously catching on fire. However, what won me over was the same thing that won me over in the early years of ER: Everyone is sleeping together. Also, they all hate each other (and themselves), which is refreshing. If that wasn't enough reasons, you occasionally get to see Patrick Dempsey (who plays a loveable asshole) in various stages on undress, and I'll give you a tip: you can see his bee-hind in one of the very first seconds of the first episodes, PLAYING TONIGHT!
And if you still think I'm a big loser, let me remind you: I read TV Guide every week so you don't have to.

My Least Favorite New York Bank Ads

Obviously there are a lot of annoying bank ads out there, most of which prompt me to want to go back to the barter system. But until copyediting and snarky comments become gold, I guess I’m stuck getting charged 50 cents every time I want to write a check. (It’s called a checking account! I don’t get it!) Here are, in my opinion, the worst bank ads out there.
5. HSBC: the diversity bank. HSBC has these ads up in the subway showing, for instance, a hipster and an Orthodox Jew. And then they’re all like, “no matter who you are we’ll take your money!” I guess they’re trying to make the point that New York has all types of people in it. (Waaa???) The worst ad says “New York is...” and then lists a bunch of different attributes over people of various color’s faces. And as someone who often writes copy for a living, let me say that the adjectives they picked are truly horrible. Of course there are ones like “inspiring” and “alluring,” but there are also more bad ones than good ones, like “gross,” “overrated,” “cruel,” and “rotten.” So apparently they assume most people who live here don’t like it here. (Have they ever met a New Yorker?) And then there are the ones that no one would ever use to describe New York, like “dull,” and my favorite, “quiet.” (But there’s no “loud.”) What gets me here is, at some point someone (probably an intern), had to come up with a list of words, and then someone else had to approve that list. So how did they come up with words like “hairy”? As an editor, let me let you in on a little trick of the trade, people: a thesaurus. In fact, one comes with your computer! Shift F7, motherfuckers!
4. Regis and Kelly love Commerce. Wow, all Regis and Kelly have to do all day is run around dumping their change into the sorter at Commerce Bank and telling others about how convenient it is. I’m sorry, but just from walking past that bank I’ve never seen a line of less than ten people. Still, those chipper fuckers almost have me convinced.
3. Citibank—“Live Richly.” OK, why don’t I start by not paying you $9.50 just for breathing every month. Stop treating me like some kind of whore who you tell you’re banging because she’s interesting to talk to, Citibank.
2. Roxy’s first paycheck. This commercial, by Chase, is so bad that I actually purchased a remote just so that when I start hearing the Mary Tyler Moore Show Theme Song cover I can change the channel. It stars a blonde girl (her name is “Roxy,” or something equally annoying), who, at the beginning of the commercial, is just totally superpsyched to get her first paycheck!!! While the music plays, she deposits her check at Chase, then goes out for sushi with her friends (paying via debit card), gets an cell-phone alert about having money while kissing a dude by a fountain, and even goes to see a romantic movie with him. Isn’t being a young woman in New York with a Chase account grand?!
1. Wachovia—Now we’re just fucking with you. I saw this ad last night, by Wachovia. It’s the heartwarming story by an actual customer who’s son is going on vacation the next day. But oh no, he’s forgotten his passport in the safe deposit box, and it’s Christmas! What to do? Clearly, the answer is to call your friendly Wachovia representative at home to have them come to the bank the next morning and open it. While this ad is the most annoying, it actually makes me want to switch to Wachovia, just so I can ask the banker for his or her home phone number, “you know, in case I need to call you on Christmas! And can I have your cell, too?”

(photo via citynoise)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Will I ever reach Document44?

Well, today is my first day back from a 4.5-day weekend. It was a pretty great weekend, complete with a trip to the beach, a concert (where I proudly picked up a guy in the 25-minute long beer line, only to be informed by my friend that "I think he likes boys"), a trip to FAO Schwartz, a game of croquet, lots of drinking, and THE PURCHASE OF MY NEW AIR CONDITIONER! That's right, I am now the proud owner of a 10,000 BTU beauty. And I love it more than I ever thought possible.
Anyhoo, I come into the office today to find that my email and internet are not working. And apparently, most of the people who use Macs in my office had the same problem. I'm just getting over my sense of outrage. First of all that no one has been able to send me emails since Saturday, and seconly because I had to restart my computer, thereby ending my longest ever run of "Document numbers" on Microsoft Word [you know, like when you open a new document, it's called Document1, then your second is called Document2, etc.]. I was up to Document43!
Now, some may argue that I am totally spoiled. I work in an air conditioned office and not only recieve free coffee and cool (or hot!) filtered water, I also get free tampons and a small discount on my Verizon Wireless bill. So what if my email's down, my company blocks the use of myspace and youtube, and no one bothers to send out a memo when the head of our department changes? But I think I do a lot for this company, including:
1. Work phrases like "touch base" into my vernacular
2. Read 2,000 crossword puzzles in two months
3. Wash my hair before I come into the office
4. Miss Oprah, Judge Joe Brown, and Judge Judy (not to mention Judge Hatchett), AND I don't even make enough to afford a Tivo
5. Hold meetings to discuss things like the merits of the "Mr. Wonderful" talking doll

I'm sure there's more. When I think of them I will post them. Meanwhile I have to go place my bets in the office baby pool. Don't ask.