Archive for the ‘thoughts’ Category

My LES foodie dream

March 10, 2006

Eater had a contest to describe how you would spend $250 on food and a drink on a Thursday night in the Lower East Side. The prize, dinner at 71 Clinton that’s closing.

 I’m difficult though. I would prefer to spend my money on a Saturday or Lazy Sunday in the LES, rather than Thursday night. Oh, and another little caveat, I can’t drink. and I don’t drink.

So, I wrote up a little diddy but never sent it. For my own records, this is how I would spend a dream Saturday or Sunday in the LES with $250 for food (provided by someone else).

I like bang for my buck, so $250 is like a goldmine.  First, you have to start with brunch since getting an early start to the day is out of the question if your quest, as in mine, would be gluttony.

Essex of course fits the bill. $12 for the matzo brei concoction ( I go the vegetarian route on this one though I think there is a meatier one as well) and then of course a side of  home fries for another $3 and then of course all the mimosa’s you can drink. Technically I think it’s three and I don’t drink but since I plan on only paying for my own meal, since I’m stingy and technically the money would be mine, I’ll pass out those drinks to the brunch party as compensation. Finally of course, leave a $5 tip for service and having to deal with my then drunk friends.So that leaves $230.

Yonah Schimmel’s is next on the list to load up on knishes. Why not? Scary work lady who took me to see Kinsey with her and her 70 year old husband introduced them to me. The only good thing she introduced me to that night. At what I remember is like $2 a pop, you can get a lot from savory to sweet. I would bulk up on the potato and then the sweet potato variety- 10 each to appease the masses totaling only $40.

That leaves $190.

Having resided in the dear old jolly land of England, I miss the chocolates immensely. Therefore best head to Economy Candy to load up on them. My faves are the Aeros, Flakes, and Kit Kat Chunky’s. The each run about $1.40 so figure 10 each, since I really should watch my figure is $42. While I’m there might as well get some bulk candy as well, I’m a sucker for dark chocolate nonpareils. I think those run about $12/lb so get two-who really needs to watch their figure anyway, bringing the total up to $66.

That leaves $133.

Enough of being thrifty. Time to splurge WD-50 – never been and am quite curious. So best get the veggie tasting menu at $95, then of course the dessert tasting at $35 Which is $130.

Finish up the night after opening both the button and zipper of my pants and walking like I just rode a horse with a grilled veggie dog at the pushcart for $2, and tip the guy $1 because he was always nice to me.


High on….work

March 5, 2006

Sometimes, although something may not go your way, you have to choose the moments of humor to weigh more on the scales of experience than the moments of misery and pain.

Work is pain. Work is misery. Yet moments at work are pure gold.

For instance, today I was marked to demo Magic Plastic, liquid plastic you put on a straw and blow bubbles that’s now “non-toxic.” Or so they say. After stepping on a tube, ruining the carpet, having it all over my hands, I started blowing actual bubbles. Wooh. But somewhere down the line, either the amount of air I was expending or the “non-toxic” smell of the plastic made me high. Really high. The phrase “higher than the kite” didn’t even apply, high.

This led me to try and convince customers unconvincingly that this toy was appropriate for their 5 year old child. This led me to pop a few bubbles, mid-blow and shout “I suck at blowing.” – leading customers to stare at me. (NB: That is so becoming a pin for something) It led me to shout out that “It’s hard for Ruben to get it up” when he couldn’t get his remote controlled motorcycle going. It led me to walk by a whole bunch of celebs on my way home who were filming Reign O’er Me (entitled on IMDB as Empty City) at Baruch (transformed to the Manhattan Criminal Court) singing Bob Marley at the top of my lungs while PA’s tried to tackle me.

Sometimes, you have to cherish these moments of absurdity to be able to survive the misery of retail. Note to remember for the rest of my life.

Truth Tables

March 1, 2006

Truth tables are a type of mathematical table used in logic to determine whether an expression is true or valid. However, wouldn’t life be much simpler if this was truly applicable to real life, not hypothetical conjecturing?

For example, as shown in the wikipedia definition:

Logical conjuction is when two propositional variables, A and B, and the logical operator “and” (∧), signifying the conjunction “A and B” or AB. In common English, if both A and B are true, then the conjunction “AB” is true; under all other possible assignments of truth values to AB, the conjunction is false. This relationship is defined as follows: by thomas james


The logical disjunction or “OR” (∨) relationship is defined as follows:


It’s nice. It’s neat. It’s logic. But life doesn’t work that way. Sometimes to false statements make a truth and two true statements make a false one.

Logically that doesn’t make sense, but neither does life.

Where am I going with this? I took a good old truth table test to my life and things didn’t add up. I guess it started when people keep asking me what I want to do with my life. I say I don’t know, I haven’t found myself, but I know. Deep down in my heart, I want to write. However, I know I’m not good enough to ever do that for a living.

That kills.

“No I’m not pregnant.” “Yes I am single.” “No I’m not in a relationship, I don’t believe in love or relationships.” “No I’m not just saying that.” – Things I said to my radiologist today before I was irradiated, blown up, x-rayed, and fried. He said I was lying. It didn’t make sense that I wasn’t ever in a relationship or not pregnant at my age. But that was true.

That kills.

“Someone so young shouldn’t be so sick” he said after awhile.

That kills even more.

I wish life was like logic sometimes, black and white. Logical and predictable. But it isn’t. And that kills most of all.

Love Not Love

February 26, 2006

I don’t believe in love. That’s the first thing you have to know about me. I just don’t. I think love is a social construct created to explain our need to be physically intimate with people and not appear as socially defunct by being alone. I mean come on, do the math. Do you really believe there is one person for everyone else in the entire world? Given the statistical diversity and population spread, why does everyone’s soulmate seem to live in the same town as they do? Who’s to say that these people couldn’t live 3,000 miles away, never meant to cross our path and even perhaps be of a different generation. I don’t get love. I don’t get the preternatural fascination we have with it and why we choose to define our lives around searching for it.

It makes me sad sometimes to realize that I’m the type of person who will always be alone. I accept it, but at the same time when a mysterious copy of Modern Bride makes its way into my post box, I do feel a tinge of sadness. I look at the dresses and wish one day I could feel like a princess, like the people in that magazine, just for one day-then I remember love is just a convenience not an actuality.

Sometimes though…

When I got off the subway the other evening after work, when it was springtime in the winter and the temperature soared above to twice what it should be, I saw something. This something might be called the l-word, and in some ways although I know it won’t happen to me, it gave me a little bit of hope, a sign that love may actually exist in this world. This man, probably over 50 not in the best shape was walking around midtown east with who I assumed was his wife. Suddenly he stopped, put his hands on her shoulders then cupping her face. He then did the most shocking things I’ve seen in NYC, he took off his shoes and gave them to his wife-her feet in obvious pain even from my standpoint from wearing 5? stillettos in a mistaken attempt to merge fashion with functionality. Any man that would dredge around on a nyc sidewalk in barefeet just so his wife could be comfortable must love her immensely. I mean, the spirilla, the streptoccacca, the man-eating flesh virus left from human urination exposed to his poor feet, just so his wife could be comfortable. If that’s not sacrifice and selflessness than I don’t know what is.

Is that love? Exposing one self to pain, discomfort, and future loss of toe just so another can be happy, or is it a pre-emptive strike of self preservation to keep one’s sanity when obvious fashion conflicted wife begins nagging and moaning in two seconds from the obvious blisters that will form from her “Camping heels?? I don’t know. Maybe it is love and that makes me all the more sad. Alone and tough I know I’ll always be, but sometimes I want to be weak, just so someone can be tough for me.

Calling in my points

February 26, 2006

Glenn (name changed to protect the innocent) from my main 9-5 is in a community play version of This Life. Martin’s in a community play version of anything every freaking month. He stresses, he freaks, he makes everyone at the office go and cheer on these horrible productions by guilt and manipulation. He’s a gay jewish single 47 year old, he’s good at it.

This time he’s playing the main character. He’s an invalid in bed. The whole play is him not moving in a bed. Kill me now.

I can’t go. I would honestly kill myself or gauge something out. I rather have four endoscopies in a row rather than see this production. He’s a nice guy but I already have to sit for an hour week and listen to him stress about his three non-relationship relationships EACH WEEK. Every week it’s the same. It’s like being forced to watch the same episode of the Brady Bunch where Greg keeps wearing the Tiki and bad stuff happens to him in Hawaii and he doesn’t catch on. He’s not sure if this guy is his boyfriend or just a guy he is dating, He’s not sure if the guy he’s sleeping with is the one because he splatters water when washing out his toothbrush. I hear it all, every detail, every same story, every freaking week.

I think this therefore exempts me from going to see him in a bed just talking. I see that at work. I pay attention to him at work. This should be a time to let others experience his voice. However, unfortunately life doesn’t seem to work this way. My inability to appear mean and disinterested means an obligation to go and be interested, more so than anyone else. That’s what the laws of etiquette and courtesy state.

I however am bucking the trend. I’m not going. Antisocial me is calling in all the points I get for being his sounding board on his love life. That buys me a free pass. I’m breaking convention. I’m staying home.

Old Man at the Diner

February 23, 2006

Scrambled Eggs, toast, bacon and juice. That’s what he gets everyday, the old man who sits at the third table in the window at the diner on the corner of my block. I see him every morning in his sweater vest, hair neatly combed, shoes polished and news paper folded next to him on the table. Every day he sits there alone and eats the same breakfast. His Usual. That’s how he probably orders it.

He’s a comfort, something that I check on every morning. Make sure that the Old Man is there. I don’t know why he intrigues me so, but his regular patronage of the same table and the same meal is a comfort for me.

The diner often times makes me sad. All the people sitting at the tables in the window, all with someone, friends, family, smiling and laughing, makes me feel quite alone. He however is my steadying force.

I make up stories about this old man. His life. What he’s thinking. What he plans to do with his day. Sometimes he is this widowed old sod who after years of his wife cooking him the same breakfast before he went to work, now has to resort to going to the diner for his breakfast before he returns home alone to continue reading his paper and listening to the radio. Other times, he just someone who has lived alone all his life, too busy in his work to seek anyone out, and this is the only way he feels he can connect with others, by observing them at their tables. Oddly enough, most of the tales I spin about him have this morose romantic quality to them. He just seems like someone who has lived some sort of tragic life. Maybe that’s because he eats alone every day and orders the same thing, maybe it’s just because I’m alone and that’s how I feel sometimes.

I got worried once. He went missing from his normal spot for almost a week. Did something happen? Was he ill? Did he die? Did he suddenly decide forget this, I’m moving to Florida and leaving chilly New York far behind? I worried. I stressed. He wasn’t there at the third table in the window at the diner on the corner of my block anymore. I became all out of sorts. Then miraculously he returned: scrambled eggs, toast, bacon and juice. All was right with the world.

He must have had a cold I thought. Perhaps, his daughter had a kid and he went to visit her for a bit.

I don’t know. I don’t know even why I’m so taken with him. All I know is that it made me feel safe when I saw him at his table with his usual this morning, and that’s the only reason I feel like I can make it through one more day, tough times and all.

Regretting Regrets

February 18, 2006

Regrets. Everyone tells you not to live your life amassing regrets but I seem to have a collection that rivals my father’s stamp collection. I looked at my parents growing up, and they weren’t happy. Money problems. Marriage problems. Their life just wasn’t what they wanted. My mother, wanted to be a journalist, ended up as a nurse and gave that up to be a fulltime mother. My father, in the navy, wanted to be the big time sales guy, ended up filing for bankruptcy after being duped by his business partner.

At first, I didn’t have regrets. Freshman year at school, I was voted the most outgoing freshman not just in my dorm, but in the band, the Stanford Band. The same band that got suspended for mocking the potato famine and the pope on the field during the football game against Notre Dame. The same band that made me drop trou and moon a stadium full of people. I was the craziest freshman. No regrets. Living life 110 mph.

Then I finally got diagnosed. Everything changed. My life came to a sudden halt. I didn’t go out anymore. I became depressed. I stopped living. Invites went unanswered. Regrets began to litter my doorstep.

I thought things would get better after college. I got a job in the government working on classified stuff. That was cool Alias cool. I began an experimental trial for treatment of my illness. I thought this would fix me. This would put an end to all my regrets. If I got through the next 18 months, I would never live life all bundled up in a cocoon again. I lied. Not just to myself but to life.

I met this terrific guy backstage at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. I was running sound and acting as a camera assistant for the official DVD and festival film. He was in a band. A pretty well known band. I was eating lunch with guys I had seen on MTV and they dug me. I flirted, laughed, and go to see Trey Anastasio backstage in the VIP area. I liked him, he liked me. It was too good to be true. I was off of treatment and it had been successful so there was no reason for me not to go for it. But then it came knocking another regret at my door.

He had to go on tour but emailed and called me religiously, making plans to hang out when he returned to New York. But then he came and I was no where to be found. I ran away because I was scared. I didn’t know how to live anymore and that regret that came knocking got added to my collection. I never talked to him again, ignoring every communication from him. I see him on tv from time to time and I want to explain what happened, but I can’t. Another regret has already laid down to rest at my feet.

I use to live life for life and now I live life just to live and pass time. I didn’t become my parents like I feared I would, I became even worse. Regrets are stacked higher than the Empire State Building, but I can’t seem to stop adding to the construction of my tower, locking me in, locking others out.

To the left of normal

February 17, 2006

I have a friend whose dad is a Catholic priest. No really. And she’s not adopted, illegitimate, or been? mishandled? inappropriately either. Her dad and mother got their marriage annulled due to his calling to the higher order, and now she’s the daughter of a priest.

Apparently there’s a whole bunch of offspring of priests. Some of them probably are along the veins of the Pope John XII, who like slept with his father’s mistress and his niece (and also castrated a deacon) and had enough illegitimate children to repopulate China, but then there are probably the whole annulled kids, we really exist and are legitimate population too. Her mother is a hippie who “remarried? in the forest. Really her step-dad and mom did some ‘shrooms in the forest, he passed her an old key chain ring and there you go marriage made in bliss. I don’t quite get how any of this works, but she is surprisingly normal. Well I mean she’s not a mentalist and is as normal as can be if your dad is a catholic priest and you mom is a hippie who got high in the forest on’ shrooms and declared herself married by power of the key chain ring. She’s got a proper job and everything. Her boyfriend is a bit dodgy. She met him on the internet and for some reason, he has this q-ball bald head but a fumanchu facial growth thing going on. Seems perfectly nice, but again, bald head, fumanchu facial hair. Makes me wonder if he just woke up one day and decided that not only was he going to shave his head but he was going to grow some ridiculous facial hair in order to make himself a candidate for that i-banking job.

All this drama in her life and yet she is probably the most rational, sane, grounded person out there. Sure, she loves Bill Nye and recently went into morning upon his announcement of marriage, but aside from a few quirks, no Bridget Jones type drama. I however, who probably had a more normal childhood, however am completely living in a David E. Kelly Dramedy replete with a chorus line who performs random choreographed numbers for me on the weekends (Seriously, try working part-time with out of work actors and you can see any broadway show condensed down into five minutes for free on call). On one hand my life seems fairly normal and the people in it surprisingly sane, but I on the other hand run just outside of that lane of normalcy. I don’t middle, I just either have drama, comedy, or both.

It makes me wonder what goes into the cosmic cards to make someone have a balanced life, despite their background, and others who should have become the dullest of the dull have so much randomness and chaos? Did I somehow squish some cosmic cockroach and this is the gods of karma way of getting back at me?