Thursday, February 28, 2008
Jessica Simpson was bravely baring herself to John Stossel with her voice vibrating but never failing. She addressed the camera and confessed her fear of public rejection, and then the camera zoomed in on a pantyhose advertisement she had modeled for. In the advertisement she lay against a projection of Van Gogh's "Starry Night" and showed off her smooth, slender legs, which were in fact not encumbered by pantyhose, and which were evocative of the gentle bends of summer streams, the floating curves of airborne ribbons, and the blue silhouette of a monumental range on the far-distant horizon. The camera lingered at her ankles.
"I was hit by a car," Jessica Simpson said in voice-over for a reenactment of the tragic night. "I just didn't see it coming." As she spoke, a blonde stepped in slow-motion into the path of a black GMC pickup and was spun like a sparkling spinner against the black night. She came crashing down at full speed and again the camera lingered, this time on a thin seepage of blood coming from underneath a blond mass of hair.
"I knew I was hurt really badly, but I just didn't know how bad it could be," Jessica Simpson said to John Stossel. "Can we see it, Jessica Simpson? said John. "Can the people of America see what's happened to our princess?"
Jessica Simpson hesistated, then slowly removed her left boot and raised the hem of her bootcut jeans. John Stossel gasped, for there was simply nothing - nothing at all to mark her tragedy except the clean absence of her foot. Her left calf ended in a straight, stiff cut, as if run under a circular saw, as if her foot
had been detached by its sculptor and purposely left in the grill of a GMC pickup speeding westward on Wilshire Boulevard.
Jessica Simpson tearily resolved to leg model again. John Stossel spread the brush of his moustache with a grim but hopeful smile and said, "All of America is behind you, Jessica Simpson." The scene faded slowly to black, as if to suggest the passage of time.
Then Jessica Simpson was preening and posing against a projection of Van Gogh's "Starry Night." "How do you feel about this opportunity, Jessica Simpson?" exclaimed John Stossel. "I want to thank all of America!" Jessica Simpson returned. ABC News had paid for Jessica Simpson to reshoot her famous "Starry Night" pantyhose advertisement; it would be blown up to gargantuan proportions and plastered against fourteen stories of an apartment building on the corner of Houston and Broadway in Manhattan and would bear the discreet logo of a non-profit dedicated to the restoration of severed limbs. The photographer's index finger fluttered over his shutter release, and the flash reflected unflatteringly on the veiny skein of a recent, overzealous collagen infusion. But luckily for Jessica Simpson, the photographer focused on her legs, and snapped photograph after photograph of the cylindrical ending of her abbreviated left leg.
The television camera froze on one close-up, and then unfroze and zoomed out to reveal the foot traffic on Houston Street beneath a blown-up version of the snapshot. Jessica Simpson stood on the sidewalk, smiling up at her advertisement as pedestrians coursed around her. "It was like she knew she was right where she belonged," said the voiceover of John Stossel, "Right at her feet."
[This is not the first time I have had a vivid dream about a leg being cleanly severed from something. See, e.g., this.]
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Dr. Altaica says, "Good, your still a virgin." Sara says, "Hay! I am not livestok!" then she throws him across the room. The two lions pounces Sara.
Monday, February 25, 2008
If this blog were to be honest about what white people liked, they would put things up like #74: NASCAR, which is pure idiocy; #75: calling the police, which is something that white people LOVE to do; #76: having the police on their side, apropos of #75; #77: masturbating at home to 30 second clips of Internet porn, which is something that people of all races, including white people, love to do.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Then when I got back home, my dad put me on speakerphone and played on the piano the eight measures of the Richard Clayderman song that he has learned ("With both hands!"). He kept messing up and saying, "Oh! No, wait, that's not right!" He confessed he had spent the day practicing piano. Then I confessed I had spent the day practicing guitar and then put him on speakerphone and played the solo from "Killer Queen" for him and kept messing up and saying, "Wait! Wrong note!" My dad said, "I am very close to your mom but sometimes we need to have separate things - piano is my separate thing." And I wanted to scream, "YES! Guitar is my separate thing from Stephanie!!!" which is true, because this week she has been dissertating like crazy and all I can do is retreat to my jolly corner and very slowly play the solo from "Sweet Child o' Mine" over and over again.
Then we were both on speakerphone and I tried to play the melody of "Ave Maria" on guitar over the Richard Clayderman chords that my dad was playing in California, which didn't work. But then my mom sung the words to Teresa Teng's "The Moon Represents My Heart" while I played the chords on guitar, which did work and was pretty cool.
I think I tore my ACL. Can someone diagnose this throbbing pain on the backside of my left knee?
Friday, February 22, 2008
by Angry Neighbor
(a beat) How old are you?
I am 19.
FAT CHINESE MAN
I have 911 on speed dial.
Thanks for calling, sir. We always strive to ensure that the drug laws of this state are enforced uniformly. No NYU cokejobs go free on our shift!
FAT CHINESE MAN
I'm a woman.
Oh, sorry. Ma'am. Heh, heh.
(to nobody) I got exactly what I deserved.
In his hands, we see a faded purple hat. The camera lingers on the wretched condition of his ingrown fingernails.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
- When was the last time you thought about the Mariana Trench?
- Would you rather have a friend who would kill for you or die for you?
- What happened to lesbian feminism?
- Do you sometimes privilege your left side - e.g., by putting a sock on your left foot first - specifically to counterbalance the dominance of your right side? (Reverse left and right if you are left-handed.)
- Rank in order of smell preference: a girl falling off her bicycle, felt, a loud report, bellybutton leavings.
- Do you prefer sibilant to plosive sounds?
- Have you pickled?
- If you love it so much, why don't you just marry it? Because I am _________. (Fill in the blank.)
- Who said, "I, Claudius"?
Results will be processed to gauge the testtaker's general compatability. Thank you, and happy Valentine's Day.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Nine barnyard animals - eight ungulates, and one lonely old dog - gathered for their monthly meeting yesterday around their dinner trough, a fancy Italian place on LaGuardia Place. Six of the barnyard animals were younger than the other three, but all enjoyed special stature in the barnyard because they received extra feed for doing nothing more than gathering once a month to dine and discuss themselves. One of the elders was an unusually long ewe of advanced age, who spoke in a high, confused tone about her curiosity about other animals species - particularly dogs, since she had seen so many different breeds, including shi-tzus, shiba inus, poi dogs, Tibetan mastiffs, and it didn't seem to her (from her experience with the uniformity of sheep) that all of these breeds could get along! Another elder was a fine, intelligent nanny goat who chewed her cud very delicately, concentrated on suppressing her displeasure at the unseemly curiosity of the long ewe, and was drawn to systems of orderly management - of the dinners, of the barnyards, of the practice of federal civil law and of the federal courts. The last elder was a prize bull who had retired from his tumultuous, passionate career into a subsidized dotage during which his pugilistic instincts hardened into a general boorishness and drew the admiration of the cowed, the fear of the rest of the barnyard, and the exasperation of the silly mutt, who didn't understand why the bull should be permitted to spout nonsense in his old age simply because he had done so well for himself in his youth.
It came time to choose the night's courses. A human in a tidy outfit poured water into the sweaty goblets that had been set aside for the evening's guests. The lugubrious mutt's vocal chords were only accustomed to barking and whining, coarse noises unable to accommodate the flamboyant coloraturas of the ungulates' language and the language on the menu, so she ordered only what she could pronounce: "Lasagne, please." Later, when the food arrived, all the ungulates turned to the mutt with bemused concern and one said, "Why, Mutt, you did not order an appetizer!" The mutt hung her snout in shame, for she had only just noticed that she was the only animal from the barnyard who did not have before her a bucatini all’Amatriciana or an agnello alla sarda, the latter of which had been sacrificed from the long ewe's brood just for the meal. The mutt dared not look up. She pulled her lips down so that her teeth, which had turned a navy hue from the tangy water pressed from cabernet grapes that all the animals quaffed, glass upon glass, might not show.
The ewe and the mutt had recently had an uncomfortable exchange, and the mutt sensed that the ewe was trying to be sensitive and inclusive during the dinnertime conversation. Yet the mutt bristled at the effort because, generous though she was in spirit, the ewe continued to offend the mutt by looking at her meaningfully only when the ewe said words like "Rainbow Coalition" and "transgender," as if the mutt's ears could only perk at sounds associated with freaks. Later, when discussing the recent elections that had captured the attention of the entire farm, the ewe asked the mutt, "Now, have you ever voted?" The mutt wanted to tell the ewe that even though her parents were not born on the farm they still belonged in it now - and everyone in the mutt's family had passports to prove it! But instead, she demurred, and focused on her lasagne (which, unimpressively, tasted just like her same old dog food).
The evening bore on. The mutt was seated far from the goat, whom she felt was a kindred spirit, or at least as kindred as their wealth and cultural differentials would allow. The mutt was relieved that the bull had thus far spared her from his attention. In her singsong soprano, the ewe commented on a iPhone that one of the younger lambs (a transfer from a different barnyard in the same town) had laid on the table. "Well, as long as you have one of those on the table, you'll always know what to call a group of ostriches," she said. "What do you call them?" an animal asked. "You call it an ostentation of ostriches!" cried the delight-stricken ewe. Around the trough, wineglasses were clutched with clumsy hooves and milk-based desserts were licked off of plates.
The bull spoke on and on, but the mutt had successfully trained her sensitive ears in a different direction for most of the meal. Finally, the bull spoke so that he could be heard by everybody, on the topic of a ram (the son of Othello and Desdemona, raised by the latter in a midfield flat on the farm) that was competing in the elections. The ram had already been president - not of the farm, but of the Harvard Law Review - which, to the bull's mind, was even more impressive. The bull said, "Well, when I heard that, I called a few friends of mine at Harvard." Why? asked a curious animal. "I wanted to know whether he had deserved the spot or if it was an affirmative action thing." The mutt gasped, and hid underneath the table. "And you know, everyone I spoke to said it was based on merit!" From under the table, the mutt groped for her wineglass and tipped all of its contents into her mouth. "And then I thought, 'That's really something!'" The bull finished his thought with a snort and firm stamp on the table.
Around the table, heads bobbed in solemn approval and nothing could be heard but the occasional squeak of hoof against ceramic. Although the mutt really wanted to shout "My lip gloss be poppin'! My lip gloss be poppin'! Whatchu know 'bout me? Whatchu whatchu know 'bout me?" and flip the table over in anger, she had neither the median glossoepiglottic fold nor the hands nor the heart to do anything at all. A half hour later, all the animals gathered their umbrellas for the trudge to their separate stables and the ewe laid down a piece of plastic to pay for their $534 dinner. The mutt waited by herself on the L train platform at Sixth Avenue, banishing intemperate thoughts from her head by filling it, through the ears, with Freddie Mercury's heroic tenor, and resolved to write a parable for a tiny audience of friends and the Internet at large, so that she could communicate her grievances without losing the hefty purse attached to her monthly dinners.
A dream. Stephanie and I are attending a demonstration with lots of other students. There are police there, and everyone, including the students, is wearing riot gear. The protestors are patiently standing in neat arrays as the police lob egg-sized rocks at us. The rocks bounce off our helmets and shields. One protestor foolishly tries to headbutt one and reels from the pain. We wonder, "How long can this continue?" knowing that soon someone's patience will lapse and violence will erupt. From our vantage at the back of the demonstration, we see a speckled piece of granite as big as a breadbox hurtle through the air and strike an unseen target. There is a shriek and then shouts of anger ripple through the gathering. We know instinctively that someone has been hurt badly and the protestors will retaliate against the cops, so we run. As we flee we see people getting stomped in the head - it's not clear whether they are cops or protestors. We run until we come to some unlit, shaded enclosure where we gather with others by cool still pools and try to piece together from what each of us have seen what actually happened.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
whom I hate, because he looks like a ghoul.
The boys and girls upstairs are cheering for something so I assume the football game is back on. Also, Rihanna
"It's only taken two weeks of living in Palo Alto with my parents and brother to make me feel like I'm fifteen years old again, freaking out about how I'm spending my life in a place that cannot contain my ambition. Except this time I am 27 and I have no more ambition. So now it's three a.m., which is the time for me to revisit all the emails I saved when I lost my college email account, and to learn all about how the gods have blessed me with their mercy and allowed me to evolve away from my craptastic youthful predeliction for gigantism and turn into the mellow, ruminant ungulate that I am today.
I turn, naturally, to the emails from the first hot throbbing love of my life, a green-eyed, bottom-weighted Pisces from Loma Verde Drive who was apparently terrible at spelling but decent at stringing together a pretty turn of phrase, which was all my nineteen year-old heart needed to be wrung like a dishrag. At that point in my life, I wanted to put my heart in the Popemobile and drive it through a crowd screaming to be looked at because I was certain that no one in the history of humankind had anguished and ached as I did. Our imaginations of ourselves don't change, but we learn to be more discreet in selling them so that we don't look like fools."
Too bad you'll never learn what happened to this teenage heartthrob and how this tale of tragic romance ends with two people in grad school serendipitously meeting on a garbage barge tethered to the west side of Manhattan six years later, with no desire at all to have lesbian sex with one another. (A true story!)
On to the present: the ai of wo de life is having a sleepover in frigid Saratoga Springs, New York, which is currently encrusted in the remains of last night's ice storm, with three homos and a redheaded "straight" Orientalist who have slept with each other in three different sexual pairings. Tonight they watched the "Pursuit of Happyness" and retired at an early, chaste hour, which tells you just how old all of us are getting.
Meanwhile, I spent the day with the best, cleverest, most amusing people I can think of, and felt for the first time this year that I was making good on my New Year's resolution to exploit New York for the last three months I have with it. Raj suggested we take buses around Brooklyn until we got bored, which was a fine idea, but I got distracted by the Internet (did you know you can watch free porn online???) and showed up at his place just before dark, and riding buses for the sake of tourism in the dark is pointless, so we walked from Clinton Hill to DUMBO instead, which worked just as well as riding the bus as a low-impact activity requiring no manual movement, which was a criteria for the day's activities because Raj, who had been degloved-by-windowpane earlier this week, could not use his right hand. We walked down Lafayette to Flatbush and then past the Watchtower complex to the waterfront, where we were almost immediately ejected from the park under the Brooklyn Bridge by a ranger with a paste-on mustache, which forced us to wander around the strange residential wasteland north of DUMBO while eating sixteen ounces of freezing yogurt with our freezing degloved hands. We discovered the estate of a mid-century vinegar baron, overlooking a vast vinegar distillery and guarded by curved-over steel fences and two kinds of barbed wire, and got scared of the desolation so fled by foot over the Manhattan Bridge to find Amy, whom we met at a safe space (Dojo's) and united with over our shared loves for not spending money and gluten-free, indeterminately Asian cuisine. The first two sips of my third of our $18 carafe of box wine left me stupefied, so I was only able to participate in the dinnertime conversation by being silently dizzy or irritatingly contrarian. Raj and Amy, forgive it for it knows not what it does. It puts the lotion in the basket.
Raj has a new job and apartment and Amy is ABD with a dissertation topic. The future looks good! So we celebrated in a nearby diner with wheatless rice pudding and chocolate ice cream, became sedated by the central heating, and then boarded three trains on our merry way home. I am at home now. I started and discarded two novels before settling on a third (Ha Jin's Waiting), taking the last with me into the bath and then accidentally submerging it in soapy water. I am a fucking idiot. I am going to ice my rotting left pinky and go to bed.