Sunday, March 9, 2008

consider the lobster

yes i went to that party last night and yes there were lobster and steak and a cheese platter. there were also many large bottles of spirits and a yummy ceviche filled bottomless bread bowl and lamb, oh my. i ate much more than i thought i would considering how sick i was yesterday morning. so sick in fact that i slept right up until 11 a.m. even though i was supposed to be at a Jing Fong in chinatown for a dim sum in my honor at 12:30. luckily, i had some dayquil and a shower to help me out of the house and on to the JMZ (which it seems no one in the corporate world knows exists).

i'm talking about thirty things at once right now. how shall i sort this all out? from the beginning i suppose. up until the very end. you'll have to forgive me. i've been cooped up indoors all day watching a my so called life marathon of the last four episodes of the one and only season because it's been raining really torrentially all day and i've been feeling the need to recover from the last couple of weeks of over stimulation at work, anyway.

so i woke up yesterday feeling snotty but i powered through and arrived at fing jong after everyone else was seated and halfway through their dumplings and tofu concoctions. the restaurant is on elizabeth between canal and bayard, and you have to take an escalator up to the second floor. it's like this huge banquet hall with enormous chandeliers built into dome niches in the ceiling. there was some kind of community center performance happening when i walked in where people were wearing a dragon costume the way two people would wear a horse costume. and the dragon was dancing and winking and i really thought i was in the wrong place, but then jane saw me dazedly spinning around and retrieved me to her table. the edit group was split up between three round tables and i sat in the one empty seat reserved for me at the important people table. all the top editors were there but we couldn't really carry on much of a conversation because the noise was insane. i got up at another point to peek around the partition and there was a large group of chinese people on the stage in orange sweatshirts doing that slow martial arts meditation thing together set to music that sounded like karaoke. i was next to dan who's been a vegetarian for thirty years and he kept saying 'what do you think is in that spring roll" or "what do you think is in that steam bun?' and i just felt so sorry for him. but not as sorry as i felt for rachel who was sitting at the other table looking just horrified because she is orthodox and can only eat kosher so stays on the safe anorexic side.

after we had our fill, jill, gill, we headed over to the chinatown icecream factory. i had the taro flavor which was listed under "regular" as was red bean and black sesame and wasabi. i thought it was funny that mint chocolate was listed under exotic.

we came back to the office where a bunch of stuff you don't care about happened. i stayed until 8:30 because i hadn't come in that morning and went directly to the aforementioned catered party. the two caterer guys were cooking when i came in and i will leave out some of the stuff that was also amusing about these caterer guys being at this particular party because i suspect my aunt and young cousin read this blog. but i will say that i met a bunch of new people which is always fun. i also ran into some people i knew a long time ago. for example, this girl was introduced to me named kate and she said i think i've cut your hair and i totally freaked out because she did cut my hair once last year! and i hated it! and i totally came back in and made her cut it again! so i was really embarrassed that she recognized me. at least i tipped her well even if i never went back to her. she is also way too pretty to be my hair lady. i can't stare in the mirror at my face for an hour while her face is right next to it. not good for my self esteem. what was good for it, though, was that at one point in the evening this dude entered the party who i immediately noticed and internally exclamation pointed at and then by the end of the party he had asked me for my math (which is the most unique way gimme your number has ever been worded to me). he's already called me this afternoon to invite me out tonight, but like i said before, there's too much rain for me to socially interact today. also, i am too busy being weirded out by how much of a difference being on or off birth control makes on my love life. like, literally the second i decide to go off, i am serenaded and wooed. as soon as i go back on, it's like operation desert storm.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

meet to heat

so in my new position (that i've been blogging about all week) we have tons and tons of meetings. every day there is a 9:45 "huddle" that's supposed to last for 15 minutes, but half the time lasts over an hour. and then today, we had to meet all three of the final candidates for the last open position on the team. and let me tell you, we were not nice to them after they left the room. events staff can be pretty pretty bitchy.

i was whining to my former editorial coworkers about how many meetings i have to go to nowadays (when, ahem, i used to fucking love me the shit out of some meetings back when i didn't have any actual work to do) when this editor lady told me about an idea she had for a company a long time ago called the meet to heat. basically, the longer the meeting went on, the hotter the seats got until finally people just couldn't sit anymore.

maybe the problem with these meetings is that they are not catered. i broke up my meetings with my new group with a lunch meeting with my former group, and that one was boring as all get out BUT THERE WERE SANDWICHES. bo talked about ebitda, cash flow, gross margin, and all that snoozerific shit, but i could have sat there forever if you just kept passing me the cookie plate or the fruit bowl.

i ate way more lunch today than the last two days combined. could it have anything to do with the fact that i didn't have to pay for it? mmmmmmaybe. if i were a betting man, my money would be on me gorging myself at the farewell dim sum my former group is treating me to on friday.

oh, and also on friday, hahha i forgot to tell anyone but anna drug dealer* called me a couple of days ago to invite me to this big catered party he plans to throw on friday. he was like, there will be lobster and steak and a cheese platter. i was like, what's the occasion? and he said, oh no reason. just for the hell of it. well, a friend of mine just got out of the state pen, so it's kind of a welcome back party, too.

*(i don't do drugs by the way. revise this to 'A drug dealer')

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

miss late for dinner

my former boss sent me an email thanking me for something and then called me darling. then asked if she could still call me darling now that she's not my boss. i replied, 'just don't call me late for dinner!' to which she did not reply. sometimes i wonder if people realize that i actually am that corny and that it's not an act.

i woke up this morning with a sore throat like maybe i might be getting some kind of stress related cold which totally sucks now that it's getting warmer out. there's nothing i hate worse than being sick on a nice day. okay, actually, there's lots of shit i hate worse (like when your roommates leave food in the sink drain every single day even after you have a conniption about it). so all day today i drank gallons of tea but nothing was really soothing my throat (insert blow job joke here). i also didn't have much of an appetite again. i made some oatmeal this morning with a banana and i even packed a sundried tomato chicken sausage for lunch today, but all i ended up having was a pear and some carrots.

this may or may not be related to the new job. i totally fucked up my flight booking like i did when i went to seattle. they say that making mistakes is the best way to learn things but all i ever learn is that i make dumb mistakes. also, please comment if you have suggestions on fun places to go in l.a. at the end of march or if you are going to be there and want to chilLAX with me. (get it?)

that reminds me of a card that my first boyfriend gave me. on the front it said roses are red and roses are thorny, when i think of you i get really...

and then on the inside it said ...corny.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

number one in muffiness

this is what david harper said someone (his mom? someone else's mom?) said to (him? his friend?) when (the unremembered person) accomplished some kind of marathon: You are number one in fitness!

the retelling of that story is less effective when you have a memory like an etch a sketch like me.

i do, however, remember what happened when i went to my equifit appointment tonight at my gym equinox. you get a session with a personal trainer to assess your fitness and then another session with the pt where they put together a routine for you (free with membership). i had one equifit way back last fall when i joined the gym (this was actually kind of funny because i let the sales guy show me all around the gym then i said that i needed to check out their main competitor new york sports club and he got really huffy and was like 'we're the best! why do you have to go there?!'). but then a bunch of misfortune befell me so i never had the follow up appointment with the personal trainer.

maybe i blogged about it back then. they basically use these pincers to see what percentage of you is doughnuts and what percentage is beer belly. then they put you on a treadmill to see how fast they can make your heart explode. and then they make you do pushups. i couldn't even do one.

but this time i did like 14. and, it took way longer before my heart almost exploded on the treadmill. i attribute these advances in my physical fitness to the fact that i haven't smoked for over two months now. other than those two cigs on saturday night at buddy/oren's birthday party.

the other part of the assessment is where you tell the pt what your goals are and i basically said that i don't want to alter my diet in any way. i love eating way too much. he asked me what i eat and i told him about the chili's chicken crispers from yesterday's post and then i listed what i ate today and it totally made me sound like some kind of eating disorder. granola, grapefruit, banana, trailmix, fig newtons, goldfish. that's it. the thing is that the only reason i was eating those last three things instead of a proper lunch is because we got new snacks today at work! for the last year, we've had free nature valley granola bars and pretzels which was totally awesome when we first moved in but after a few months of eating these two snack foods on a practically daily basis, you'd almost rather starve yourself. but now we have three new snacks!

how sad is it that this was like a hugely exciting thing at the office today. i had a pretty weird day all around. it was my first day in my new position so i was in this new desk in this new section of the floor surrounded by new people. people from the edit department kept parading over to my new desk to check out the digs and people i don't even talk to that often at the company came over to ask me if i was settling in all right. i felt like a sad version of the bride.

which brings us full circle. one of my goals is to not look like a sack of lard in all of keaton's wedding pictures. or, as she put it so eloquently and hilariously this weekend, a big muffin.

Monday, March 3, 2008

funday bloody funday

tonight, i went to a spurs/nets game at the new izod arena in the meadowlands, nj. lessons learned included: 1) one team only has 25 seconds to shoot the ball while they are on the defendants side of the court. 2) when the ref makes that gesture with his arms like tina turner rolling down the river it means someone was traveling. 3) one bud in a plastic bottle cost $7.25!

mandrew rented a zipcar and drove like he meant business and gay threatened to puke. mike foss hadn't showered so was wearing lots of musk from his new job at estee lauder. the fat guy across the aisle from me was hugging his pepsi to his chest while he ate his carvels ice cream cup and his shirt was tucked in to his pants that were held up by a belt with a batman belt buckle. oh, and his cell phone was attached to a lanyard around his neck. we were sitting high up in section 216 and by the time people got to our row while climbing up the steps, they were heaving. one of the heavers was this kid who was about 8 who kept saying to his mom that he couldn't make hit. he was wearing sweatpants. way too early.

then we went to chili's (duh) purely by memory. i had the crispy honey chipotle chicken crispers with loaded mashed potatoes and the saltiest soggiest corn cob possible. and 1/4 of an awesome blossom. 16 oz of bud was $3.50. the couple at the table catty corner to us had the whole experience including tequila sunrise in a gigantic bowl glass, southwestern eggroll appetizers, fajitas, and a brownie sunday. someone's going to get laid! and obese!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

this story ends

i read this thing i wrote at a 'salon' last night in clinton hill. it was well received. the greek themed snacks probably helped (a+ on the bak lava, but the fruity powdery gelatonous squares were not so awesome). the audience was very attentive and laughed at all the right parts. they even laughed at one part that i didn't mean to be funny, but after they laughed i realized that it was funny. this was a kick to my almost lifeless writing horse. i totally feel confident again. so thank you penn for hosting and including me in the totally talented lineup, thank you anna heather nikki and laura for coming. here it is for all of the internets to see.

this story ends

for some reason, whenever i go to the grocery store i buy an onion. a red onion, a white onion, a spanish onion, doesn't matter. i put it in my cart without really giving it much thought. three out of four times i come home to discover that i already have an onion either in the fridge cut in half from the last meal i cooked (which could have been a week ago considering how often i have the opportunity) or a whole untouched onion sitting on the dry goods rack or in the cupboard on my designated shelf.

my roommate brent has this habit with bananas, so he totally understands. my other roommate jason does it with avocadoes. i'm guessing each of you has an item that you get at the store that you can never remember that you already have at home. Mine used to be potatoes. there are also things i always forget, like rosemary. i've been wanting to pick up rosemary for months and just can't seem to make it stick in my head when i'm shopping.

anyway, a couple weekends ago i found an onion sprouting a new stalk on said dry goods rack. it looks like a gigantic scallion. and although you'd assume it is nasty when food starts to show signs of life, this particular sprouting onion is actually quite nice. it's a pretty green, and it looks very healthy. i put it in the living room on top of the television cabinet. both of the guys i live with think it's pretty cool. it's gotten to be somewhat tall--i'd say about a foot.

serendipity has happened to me. i like how it looks. i like the direction it's going. i have put it on display. but i don't have plans for this onion. i don't plan to plant the bulb in the ground so that i can nurture the onion or invest the time and resources that it would take to research what this onion needs to flourish.

i will most probably let the onion continue to sit there, abandoned but still in my awareness, until it eventually softens into a mushy decay and i am forced to take the one easy action of tossing it into the trash, mostly forgetting about it other than having a vague abstract anecdote to retell at a future cocktail party (or as inspiration for a last minute piece to read at a literary salon).

i have onions sprouting all over the goddamn place. but i will let them rot because i am lazy, because i am paralyzed by indecision, and because i often feel that if God intended for the onion to survive then it would do so with or without my intervention.

He smelled like Christmas, like fresh pine, ginger, fire in the hearth.

"I don't understand you," he said, while I quietly cried. We were on the brink of spring, the air still heavy with last night's rain, and my favorite heels were ruined. They were a creamy taupe once, when I bought them. But now, they were stained along the sides with grayish brown dishwater blossoms.

When I met him, I wore only one pair of shoes, bronze sandals that carried me around summertime Seattle and along the dirt trails of Mount Rainier. He had driven me there, so I could stare out sideways and every few minutes say, "look at that!" We pulled over at one point because the view demanded it, and while I gawked at the sky and the trees, he knelt to pick a daisy for me.

He encircled me then, like a picture frame, and made me feel like a treasured captured moment. Later, I learned I was the glass, smudged and scratched and one fall away from breaking. But then, in those precious days climbing grassy peaks to see the sea, he was a gift to me.

Sometimes, your best friends deceive you. Sometimes, they only know to do what is right for them, what brings them happiness. The way to be a friend to them is to let them, you know, go.

But, sometimes, you love them so much you want to trap them in a tiny, clear box and watch them make a nest. And sometimes you forget to poke holes.

The onion stalk has sprouted new shoots, and the tip has begun to blossom. Jason put it into a tall cylindrical vase by the window. I'd say it's grown to about mid-thigh height when I'm standing next to it, so it's doubled in length from when I first found it a month ago. The buds at the tip smell like onion, surprisingly. Or maybe i am more surprised that I am surprised that not all flowers smell sweet.

I once learned about a flower that emits an aroma of decomposing flesh, although I don't remember where I learned it. It's called Amorphophallus titanum. I do remember thinking how sinister the fact sounded, and how sexy. I thought there should be a story about a serial killer whose signature bouquet of stinking corpse flowers signaled eminent death for his victim. Terrifying, right? But then I Googled it and discovered the plant exceeds six feet in height and so obviously too unwieldy of a calling card.

The onion still looks like an onion, meaning the outer skin is like yellow tissue paper and without bruises. The stalk has grown in thickness as it grows in length, and I wonder if it will expand to a breaking point. I imagine its thickness to shatter the onion in the same way that the Incredible Hulk's angry muscles ripped his plaid shirt to pieces. It will happen when I'm admiring the onion's progress one day, and suddenly I'll hear a pop. The root of the stalk will be revealed to be a throbbing, neglected heart.

In the autumn, he came here to New York, and I saw him in the context of my real life. In New York, I am bound to the clock, to my peers and colleagues and total strangers on the streets. I wear different shoes everyday. I always carry an umbrella. I don't need a man to drive me to the mountains, give me flowers, and hold me to the morning.

Before, I carelessly fell in love with him within the confines of a vacation. We rendezvoused in Austin and shared marinated meats. We navigated the night streets strewn with drunk Greeks. We boiled ourselves on the mid-summer banks of fresh water springs and slept coiled into puddles of each other's sweat. He loved me, too, but it's easy to love someone so free.
"I don't understand you," he said, while I cried with my back to him. We woke together in the morning, a scowl imprinted on my cheek, a streak of sleep drying on his. My eyes were swollen from the previous night's tears, and I wanted him to vanish. But he, as a visitor in this city, did not know he should get up, get dressed, and get out. He said he was hungry, and he looked at me to respond in kind.

I hated him, then, hated him for needing me to provide for him, for making me look like the villain when he was so clearly in the wrong. I felt tricked by his Cheshire grin, his sharp blue eyes, the way he kissed me, and his stupid hilarious stories.

He had told me about a former girlfriend who gave him a blowjob while he drove. Roadhead, he called it. Pantomiming his hands at the wheel and drowsy, happy eyes gloating to other drivers, he said he warned her, "Baby, I'm going to come." And when she felt him coming, she aimed his own ejaculate at his face. "She smiled," he said, laughing. "She planned it all along."

I thought of her this morning and how I wished I were as cunning as she.

It's finally happened. I'm not sure when it started. I just noticed it today. Half of the onion has deflated into a soggy black desperation. The leaves on the stalk have wilted, and the tips of the leaves now look like the original tissue paper skin. I can't just leave it there, so I throw the whole thing in the garbage. I've brought three new onions home, anyway.