Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Saturday night Jess and I went out. As usual, we stayed too long in her apartment drinking and taking silly pictures of ourselves (and looking at MY blog). At midnight, we were shocked to be rejected from Bar Martignetti, where Jess hoped to find yet another one of those gorgeous preppy boys they keep on the shelves there.
The one bouncer Jess was friends with said he would get us in but then this another owner-looking fellow came out. Another couple had just approached, and he looked up and down at the guy before saying, "nuh-uh. not in those jeans." The guy was wearing medium-wash jeans. I thought that was kind of hilarious so 'private parties' be damned.
Made the rounds to Gatsby's, Sweet and Vicious (always too crowded), the place across the street from Sweet and Vicious (that I really like and we got to go in when other people were being rejected).
We went to Shark Lounge, where some random guy started talking to Jess. I was kind of bored, so I made her not reject him :) . Turns out they worked in sales/account team for some internet companies (I think Microsoft for one). Since I work with Sales Reps all the time I got really excited and made them answer all these questions about commission structure. We had just made a budget cut at work and some people got really grumpy with us and others not at all, so I was wondering about their commissions.
Turns out often 60% of salary is guaranteed, 40% is if you meet your quota, then you can go above that. Other times, you work with base salary + straight commission (7%). These are two examples.
Meanwhile, we went to Firefly Lounge, which Jess had previously refused to go since they are right below their apartment and frequently play loud music. They bought us more drinks and the guy was effing BALLROOM dancing with me, doing dips (which I had never done before but according to Mr. Twinkle Toes I was quite the dipper). It was so bizarre. Someone must have had a party there with glow stick necklaces, so we put them on our head hipster-style. We finished off the night by finally ditching those guys and going over to Gatsby's for last call.
I hopped on the 6, caught it IMMEDIATELY! (a miracle at 4am). The L was not going to happen (I checked) so I walked home from Union Square. It snowed lightly.
At home I did a little Raid Parade to kill all those nocturnal bugs that crawl out of our kitchen drain (I was kind of giggly and drunk and felt like I was playing a video game)
Sunday? Did I do anything? I think I went grocery shopping and went to PinkBerry. I bought a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, among other half baked ideas. I am a terrible grocery shopper, I buy everything that's on sale.
Friday, January 25, 2008
It astonishes me how easy some cases are to solve--so many people confess, and all the murderers have criminal records. Interestingly, evidence does not link people to their crimes. Instead, cases are solved by people revealing their friends' confessions, eyewitnesses, and identifications. Because of this, I have watched several episodes that hit dead ends incredibly quickly because no one would talk. You can tell which communities have well-entrenched histories of crime in looking at how they approach the police.
So much of police work involves rote follow up, often on a massive scale (black sedans, anyone?) Some of the police officers' demeanor hints at laziness or defeatism. They all have incredible personalities. One of my favorites is Caroline Mason, of the Memphis police department. She is exactly like Carla from Reno 911 (the black woman on the left). Before she goes on her murder investigations, she applies hairspray. She has huge fake nails and walks in heels on gravel roads. Here are some comparative photos/clips, the best I could find:
Monday, January 21, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
I went Marquee on Wednesday for a business event, and that was probably the worst of these situations. Word on the street is that Marquee is "sooo over" and "eurotrashy" but I wanted to check it out anyway, since I remember it from my compulsive USWeekly Days where Marquee was always the site of epic celebrity binges. (Sidenote: The bathroom has a little framed plaque that reads, "We do not support drug use, blah blah blah, we will throw you out, etc.)
For some reason whoever organized the event reservations screwed up, and we had to wait outside, then wait around while they found OUR tables (god forbid you sit at the wrong effing table since they're all reserved) Some Eurotrashy guy informed us we were sitting at the wrong table. The security guards were being assholes because some people weren't using coat check and piled their coats on the banquettes.
Finally everything was sorted out, and we got our set of tables and bottle service. The bottle of grey goose at my table was literally emptied out in less than ten drinks and two minutes. People were THIRSTY. I had a couple grey goose cocktails and a couple glasses of Moet, but didn't want to drink too much because I was still so pissed at how Marquee was so unaccomodating. I talked to some guy who worked in branded content, which got me really excited. He was like one above a PA, an Entertainment Associate, and got to produce pieces with $10 million budgets. That would be so cool to do, and a great way to merge advertising and film. My friend Max said this guy was hitting on me. I thought he was gay but Max didn't and he has a better read on that. I later saw him texting "Miss you honey text you later" to a girl so I think that explained the friendly but line-drawing vibe I was getting.
Went to a couple lunches this week--Orso and Serafina, which are both Italian places. I also went to Churrascaria Plataforma, which is this all-you-can-eat Brazilian meat place. They come around with these big skewers of meat and slice you off pieces. And everything is wrapped in bacon. They give you these coasters that you turn over to green or red depending on if you want more meat. It's pretty intense. I actually ended up not overeating, because I was eating really slowly and pacing myself, and everyone else ate fast and stopped eating, so I felt like such a pig still eating, so I ended up picking at half a plate of uneaten meat and staring at it in lust. NEVER again! I do hate being the last one eating though...and I always thought I was such a fast eater. What gives?
This weekend I have to run lots of errand and return random crap I've bought and buy more bedroom accessories. My duvet cover came this week and it's awesome and soft and perfect and SO Anthropologie-y.
Update: So this afternoon we ran to a lunch at 1:15 at Toloache (GREAT Mexican). We thought it was cancelled but turned out they had been waiting for 45 minutes. We had fried grasshopper tacos, and this really great guacamole that had pomegranate seeds in it and made it light and fresh. I had an amazing jumbo shrimp platter and some mexican cafe de ollo (olla?). I adore Mexican coffee because I am a huge cinnamon fan. Then a vendor came and brought us bottles of wine as a gift. So this afternoon kind of made up for all those cancellations I put up with.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Julia and Booth and Booth's friend came over, and we drank and did that whole "we have to leave now. no really, now!" thing for awhile, and everyone peed twice for good measure before we left.
The first bar had some lame $5 cover (why $5? make it $0 or $20, I think...) so we just peed and left. All those pit stops made me grumpy, so I initiated a loud conversatioon in the street about how some people need to start doing more Kegels and ditching their Magic Wands, which I am convinced vibrate away your pelvic floor muscles. I love raunchy conversations in the street while drunk. We also established that I am a Google, M.D., since I extensively research my sicknesses and can always chime in with some gross true medical cure that my friend needs to try.
We decided to check out Beauty Bar, since we had walked past it last week and seen some shaggy-haired wunderboys outside that were smoking(x2). It's a 1950's hair salon turned into a bar, providing a backdrop for hipsters' ironic engagement with their surroundings. I was thisclose to leaving since I felt OLD there, and everyone seemed very wannabe (I can be very judgmental when drinking too). However, this crazy hipster couple caught my eye because they were OWNING the dance floor. They were sick dancers, and must have noticed me admiring them, because they pulled me in and we all started dancing. It rocked, and really got me into the mood.
Anyone who's ever been to a dance party with me recently knows my new favorite thing is Awkward Dance Party, which involves doing things like the bees knees and the hand jive to have fun when the dance floor feels either too raunchy or too lame. Since they were playing 1950s music for most of the night, Awkward Dancing worked perfectly. We took a couple breaks to do shots (Chocolate Layer Cakes!) but danced all night. The highlight was probably "Teenage Wedding" (Chuck Berry song from Pulp Fiction) and I danced JUST like Uma. STG.
Later on the bar shifted to mainly guys (go figure) and we also had to avoid them coming up behind and grabbing you, or even dealing with one guy who literally herded us into his friends, like a predator gathering around a herd of animals. Ridiculous. We had some late night egg sandwiches and omelettes, and I briefly went down to the subway to try to catch the L before saying fuck it and deciding to walk home, whereupon I caught the bus one block into my walk. I passed out directly after, 5:30am, feeling like such a cool kid.
Went shopping briefly in the 30s before getting ready for the next night. Anna came over drinking and we went over to Vicki's in Tribeca. Here apartment was graciously appointed, and the pastry spread was amazing. I made it my goal to try everything there, and I far exceeded myself. I believe I had seconds and thirds of the hazelnut smores tart thing. It was incredible. Vicki went all out and also made pitchers of Melon Mojitos and Sangria. I was so full from all that sugar.
We left to go to Gatsby's with this girl from Great Neck named Erin. She used to go to Tulane but had to leave because all the restaurants were too far away and they would run out of food. She lost twenty pounds, decided New Orleans was like Mexico, and transferred to a place in NYC. She greatly entertained Anna and I with her talking points about IBS and her drug dealer. Typical cocktail chatter. We took one of those "Town Car Cabs" to Nolita. Erin ran into these random people on the street she knew, and informed us they were the owners of the Miami Heat and Dolphins. K. We drank some vodka red bulls and engaged in some other shenanigans censored in this blog, beacuse Gatsby's is one of those many NYC bars we claim as our Vegas. We walked around to a few other bars and called it a night. It's rather a depressing thing to be in the lounge area of a gradually emptying bar close to closing time. You find yourself kind of zoned out and staring at the girl who is straddling the guy in the chair, making out with him. You're tempted to call her a skank because her foreplay is a little more graphic than the couple on the left and right but you know what Jesus said about the man without sin casting the first stone so you hold your tongue.
Sunday is tea, shower, oatmeal, museum, Starbucks, and walking past a film shoot (The International with Clive Owen and Naomi Watts, which I think I also walked by earlier this summer). I'm so happy I'm not a PA doing crowd control.
Work tomorrow! Have some good meetings, lunches, and dinners lined up so I'm excited. Still haven't bought more work clothes, crap I need to get on that.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Yesterday I went to yoga class (after our company meeting and a sick amount of fried and buttered hors d'oeuvres at Cipriani). Even though I haven't formally done a yoga class for maybe four months, I still had a decent amount of strength and was able to pull off the warrior and plank poses without much strain in the thighs. Yay for subway steps!
We only went into child pose once during the class, which is so unlike the yoga classes I used to take at the Y, which is a family gym with perma-beginner classes. I tried to do a headstand and failed (something never even offered in the classes I used to take), but I think I could definitely do one in the future! I could also do a shoulderstand. I totally thought I was going to pull my back, but I was able to walk this morning, thank God.
Back to the company meeting. I adore Cipriani (only ever been to the one at 42nd st). We had our company holiday party there. It has the most amazing service and food, and the venue is unparalleled, an old bank with high Corinthian columns and the original teller stations still intact in the middle of this gigantic bank. When you walk in a fleet of white-suited people come at you with a hanger and take your coat. No standing in line for coat check!
Their food is amazing--last night I had these great mini-burgers, which were my favorite, and I hate burgers. They were stacked with a quarter-sized bun, a ball of top-quality beef, a tiny bit of cheese, and a dollop of ketchup. The omission of the second piece of bread was a clever choice, I think, appealing both to the low-carb people (perhaps? are there any of those left?) and making the familiar burger slightly unrecognizable. Mini burgers/tacos/grilled cheeses/reubens seeem to be all the rage when it comes to cocktail parties, so I thought making the sandwich open-faced a nice tweak on that trend.
The cone of calamari: hot, lemony, decadent taste of oil. NOT chewy. Since calamari is so awful for you, I only like to eat it if it's prepared perfectly, otherwise it just feels like a waste of fried goodness. Liked that they gave me a whole cone, which I gobbled before it cooled.
Tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on a stick with thin matchsticks of basil sprinkled on top. I had three since it was a "veggie"
I steered away from the chicken croquettes at first because they looked like little brown fried balls. I finally tried one and was pleasantly surprised it didn't taste too greasy. The chicken filling, while not dry, relied on the fried coating for its richness, which made it a nice complement.
They also had mini ham and cheese sandwiches that many people spit out. The cheese was swiss, but I could tell that they used a flour roux (that they might have screwed up since I could taste the flour...) to change the consistency of the cheese. Seems like a needless way to embellish a ham and cheese that backfired, but I still really admire the kitchen there.
...I'd also like to point out that right after that I went to my yoga classes. Doing all those forward bends was a little hard, as I was afraid the meal was going to come right up. Oh hors d'oeuvres for dinner, I think it's hilarious that this underpaid media girl lives on free cocktail party food, all at places like Cipriani...
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
I was reading this article in New York Magazine. They LOVE writing about rich people in NY Mag, it's all about fetishizing wealth, putting it on a pedestal where they admire it and despise it simultaneously. I sympathize with that reaction; I have it frequently and it's called "approach-avoidant" by psychologists. You admire something and covet it even as you resent the means by which it had to be attained. I feel this way when surrounded by ostentatious wealth and ostentatious beauty (of the tan/boob job/designer clothes/highlights variety).
Just like New York Magazine, I feel like money is on my mind a little too much. I'm not so much into fantasizing about what I could buy if I had unlimited wealth, or even focused on attaining wealth. I think I'm fascinated by the transformative power of wealth (and its inverse, poverty). I'm interested to what happens when people get rich or poor, and how people act when they are encumbered with the burden of millions and the burden of no money.
Living in New York, I'm experiencing wealth in a way I have never seen before. The majority of the wealthiest people in the United States live here, and you can tell. Amidst the hot dog stands and dirty homeless people, town cars whisk people around to dinners where the check easily equals my monthly rent. For work, I sometimes go to dinners like these, the 'expense account' dinners with clients. I can't help but think, this dinner is X amount of my paycheck. I could buy Y with the price of this steak, and the dinner left on my plate that I couldn't finish because of all the appetizers and wine, well that is Z dollars. In the garbage. It sickens and fascinates me.
Of course all the people around me, all my friends, all have different amounts of wealth and experience and talk about their privilege in different ways. I don't care to go into that here. Not yet.
The New York Magazine article talked about wealth as creating its own pathologies, just as poverty creates its own pathologies. I've always wondered whether it would be better to be relatively wealthy or absolutely wealthy. If you live in Hicksville and your mother/father is a doctor, you're golden. You can afford nicer things than your friends, you're probably secure (or a snobby bitch) about your standing in the community. If you're in New York City and your parent is a middling doctor, let's say, who can afford to send kids to 40k private schools with billionaires in them--well you're going to feel the same way the trailer park kids feel in Oklahoma. I could imagine people in those kinds of situations feeling guilty for having so much but still being envious...but really, especially if you've been raised Christian, it's all about thanking God for giving you every single gift and taking nothing for granted (tangent...) So anyway: relative vs. absolute wealth. I guess this subject holds my curiousity since as a child my family moved a few times, and also experienced a big career transition, so I've experienced changes in relative and absolute wealth. It matters.
Again, the pathologies of the trust fund. I haven't been around enough trust funders to really draw conclusions based on these behaviors, and I'm skeptical having money still means you can have every behavior under the sun--it just means you might be more likely to have some traits than others. I do have some relatives who inherited money and chose not to work because of their inheritence. Reading the New York Magazine article, some of the things pointed out (being cheap because your money becomes less and less, odd behavior coming out of feelings of uselessness, the disdain of those around you because you don't work, the trust funder resenting everyone around them thinking they want them for their money) I can check off that list. I do think using a trust fund in that way, as your sole means of support, can imprison you more so than corrupt you. But really, it's what you make of it, and having a strong character I think is the most important. Growing up, I always had these romantic notions of some of my eccentric relatives (whose wealth really was modest and has dissipated in just a couple generations). I loved that I had a homey, stuffing-from-a-box side of the family and a crazy eccentric you-read-memoirs-about family. It mixed things up. However, as the years have worn on, I've learned about skeletons in the closet, and unexpected normalcies, and I think I've deromanticized everything.
Still, my favorite story:
My great-Uncle Aubrey ended up living in an old house filled with clutter from his dead parents, that he would wrap and give as Christmas gifts to relatives every year. He would go to three course prix fixe meals and come back a week later for the dessert. He graduated from the University of Chicago.
He only worked a day in his life: He joined his father's company, and convinced all the workers to go on strike.
We ate outside, even though it was January. (Woo hoo Global Warming!) At the restaurant, and at the movie, we ran into other Wesleyan students, which was surprising since I claim that never happens to me. Because of said heat wave, the movie was a SAUNA. Not just hot, but also terribly humid. Keep in mind that There Will Be Blood progresses at a very slow pace, with lots of long silences--oh and also is over two and a half hours long. The heat started to really distract me, that and the girl next to me who was IMing on her iPhone. I HATE it when people do that. I never say anything, not even/especially when it's my friends who do it (i.e. Shawn addicted to her Sidekick). I exact my revenge by just never going to movies with them again...or only going with large groups of friends and refusing to sit next to them. Be warned!!! Joanna insisted we get a refund, so now I have one more readmission ticket from Regal Cinemas to go to the most crowded and stressful theater ever. Oh Union Square.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Last night I had all these dreams about boys--one involved me going over to see a boy I've hooked up with a few times since I've moved to New York. We were thisclose to hooking up, when he said, "Oh by the way, here's my ex-girlfriend." Who was sitting in the closet. In the dream I felt awkward and embarrassed, since it was supposed to be my fault I didn't know she was in the closet. But then later I realized it was stupid that this boy let me in anyway, because isn't it easier to make an excuse at the door than let things progress to the bedrooom and then cut things short? Anyway I've taken it as a sign that I need to stop seeing said boy.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
I've wanted to have a blog or livejournal for some time now, but always hesitated because each of my friends is privy to a different section of my life (or so I like to think) and I was afraid of being an open book.
I also wasn't really sure what direction to take it--I like so many things--cooking (101cookbooks.com), talking about dating/sex (onedatatime.com) gossipy news (jezebel.com and gawker.com). Thus, the name of this blog--One Uncontrollable Urge--named after a Seinfeld episode, of course. I plan on covering all the important things then, just like George. I plan to turn food, sex, and television into ONE UNCONTROLLABLE URGE.