Thursday, November 30, 2006

CP plays Bach Vol. 1 - Glenn Gould he ain't

Bach's Prelude No. 4 in D Major
Welcome to the first in a series of house concerts at the home of CP and Poor George. Guest performers are welcome.

One of my few idyllic childhood family memories is of participating in house concerts put on by my father and his musician friends. Various musicians would gather at one of their homes and play for each other. Charming and civilized way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and so much more productive than inter-sibling fistfights or random emotional outbursts.

My piano, which I love for its action, sounds rather brassy in our new apartment space, and so we need to figure out a way to muffle it a bit. My brother-in-law did the handy camera work on this first round, and we will continue to strive for ways to improve the sound quality for your listening "pleasure."

Bach has always been my first love, musically. I recently learned this little ditty at Poor George's request. It's deceptively complicated, but I am charmed by the repeated question and answer between the right and left hands.

I haven't been playing much for the past few years, and have fallen back into some bad habits which this video reminds me to correct.

Remember, Glenn Gould he ain't, but we can always dream.

Thanks to Pink Fluffy Slippers over at Cello Et Cetera for inspiring me to post videos of my music.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Hooray for Hollywood

Katie Schwartz (who has a shit-ass funny blog), by way of Dale, tagged us all to answer some questions about movies. I wasn't smart enough to answer a few of them so I had to make some changes. Feel free to do the same, although on a recent survey I discovered that CPW readers have a median IQ of 168.

I also didn't answer the Jesus question because Katie pretty much already spoke my mind.

1. Popcorn or candy?
Definitely popcorn, because candy you can sneak in, unless you're in a superior theater that sells things you don't normally see in the stores like Black Crows.

Many of the theaters in Manhattan, especially the indies, pop their own corn fresh and serve it to you nice & hot. Some of them will even sell you a small bag that is not large enough to feed a Mormon family and three generations of their descendants.

2. Name a movie you've been meaning to see forever.
I've rented Eat Drink Man Woman about ten times and have never seen the whole thing from start to finish, because I always manage to fall asleep. I'd really like to get through the whole thing one day.

3. You are given the power to recall one Oscar: Who loses theirs and to whom?
I don't necessarily hold a grudge against Gwynneth Paltrow for winning on Shakespeare in Love, but I really think Cate Blanchett deserved it for Elizabeth. Therefore, if I ran across Gwynneth at a party or something, I would follow her home, break into her living room and snatch that statue for Cate faster than a whore would start to sweat in church.

4. Steal one costume from a movie for your wardrobe.
Anything from Caligula.

5. Your favorite film sex scene is....
The three-way in Y Tu Mama Tambien.

6. Invite five movie people over for dinner. Who are they? Why'd you invite them? What do you feed them?
Parker Posey. Christopher Guest. Fred Willard. Catherine O'Hara. Robert Downey Jr.

The first four have written and/or made some of my favorite films ever, and I just know the conversation would turn to the outrageous at some point. Then Parker and I would go off to the side and become better friends than everyone else in the room, and we would exchange secrets and criticize outfits. If we got bored, we could just watch Robert get drunk. I'd also install a hidden camera in the bathroom so that later we could see tapes of him doing lines off the toilet seat.

For dinner I would serve everyone their own falafel sandwich with extra hot sauce, a side of babaganoush and a seltzer. In Parker's honor.

7. What is the appropriate punishment for people who answer cell phones in the movie theater?
Dry fisting.

8. Choose a female bodyguard:
Bea Arthur.

9. What's the scariest thing you've ever seen in a movie?
Children worshipping a cardboard cutout of George Bush in Jesus Camp. That fucking freaked me out. Also, since I am borderline retarded, I didn't know The Blair Witch Project was fake when I first saw it, so I just about shit my pants at the end.

10. Your favorite genre (excluding "comedy" and "drama") is....
Cringe movies. Movies where the people on the screen embarrass themselves to the point where you need to leave the room. Dawn Wiener's speech in front of the school assembly comes to mind, as well as the pharmacist who teared up because he didn't get to audition for Red White and Blaine.

11. You are given the power to greenlight movies at the studio of your choice for one year. How do you wield this power?
I would institute a secret rating system where proposed films get points added and subtracted on the following bases. The scripts with the highest scores would get made until the budget is used up. Everyone else would have to wait.

a. Is a musical +18

b. Could conceivably appear on Lifetime Television for Women +10

c. Involves at least one really good revenge moment +7

d. Kung fu or martial arts are involved -25

e. Gratuitous nudity: Female +5, Male +8, Michael Douglas -4

f. Stars Parker Posey +57

g. Is an indie film starring Tori Spelling or some other vacuous actor trying to be cutting edge and cool by not working with a major studio -58

h. Depicts a character played by Tori Spelling getting murdered by a character played by Kellie Martin +15

i. Depicts Tori Spelling actually getting murdered by Kellie Martin +97

j. Has multiple cringe moments +28

k. Thirteen year old geek boys are lined up to see this on opening day -11

l. Dialogue includes the lines "Everybody wants me for a friend or a fuck!" and "Let's have another look at yesterday's lunch, Heather!" +17

m. Plot involves "boy meets girl, girl hates boy, boy wins over girl" -37

n. Plot involves "boy meets boy, boy is shy about introducing him to his family, boy becomes an annoying, pathetic loser" -32

o. Plot involves "girl meets girl, girl starts in on her passive-aggressive deep lesbian process with girl, girl responds by knocking the living shit out of girl" +43

p. Would be George's first choice for a film -3

q. George would refuse to watch this while we're eating +9

r. Is basically a retelling of Not Without My Daughter +6

s. Is a full-length film based on a premise that originated in a 5-minute Saturday Night Live sketch -8

t. Is a live snuff film starring Karl Rove and George W. Bush as the victims +1,382

12. Samantha or Jeannie?

13. Is Gene Kelly annoying because it's obvious he was so full of himself and he was about 4'8"?

14. Who am I tagging to answer this survey?
Everyone is tagged, but I'd especially like to hear from Echo on this one. When he's done beating his wife, that is. (At least that's what it looked like through his kitchen window...)

I'm still a Quaker, just not a very good one

A while back I started writing a post about my religious upbringing and how I chucked it all and became a Quaker about 12 years ago. Admittedly, except for the part about vowing not to kill people, I'm not a very good Quaker. I stopped my work at the homeless shelter a few years ago and haven't bothered to start up again yet. I drink and swear a lot. I'm sarcastic, and take pleasure in mocking other peoples' religions, like Catholicism and Mormonism. I only sporadically attend my local Meeting, and even then I have never officially joined it because I'm afraid to commit. And anyway, if I did join, they'd probably throw me out.

I have struggled a lot with my spirituality, but I'll admit I'm comfortable being an incompetent Quaker. I was planning to tell you the whole sordid tale of my Lutheran upbringing and how I ended up rejecting it and searching for a better fit.

But it all started getting too long, so I figured I'd just let Betty Butterfield share some of her own story. Like me, Betty spent many years searching for the faith community that was right for her. Below, she recounts a visit to the Scientologists when she had decided to try them on for size.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mindy's new-age lover

Note: this post is a special Happy Thanksgiving! shout-out to our beloved Mindy June, who is stranded in Milton Keynes, UK, with no Thanksgiving to celebrate.

When Mindy June recently made a reference to past-life lovers, I just knew I had to blog this story for you.

Mindy and I have been friends for twenty-two years, which has given us plenty of time to develop an arsenal of amusing tales. The two of us have a penchant for getting ourselves into weird-ass situations. It's like some sort of Age-of-Aquarius thing that happens whenever we're together - Jupiter aligns with Mars and all that crap. I don't know what it is exactly - we're either cursed or blessed, depending on your point of view.

We spent a lot of time together when we both lived on the West coast, she in Seattle and I in Los Angeles. One time we had a particularly bizarre evening when she was down visiting me.

My friend Cindy had invited me to a party at her friend's place out on Venice Beach, so Mindy and I jumped in the car and headed over. For those of you not familiar with Venice Beach, it can be, oh shall we say, trippy. A lot of bizarre characters. My friend Cindy is herself a bizarre character, bless her heart, but so are we - so it all worked out very nicely.

The party was held in a charming little bungalow on the beach, inhabited by Cindy's friend, Bodhi. (For some reason I doubt "Bodhi" was his given name, but I never asked.) We were greeted at the door by a lovely woman whose name I forget, and she invited us into the party, which was fairly rocking by the time we arrived. Standing a ways into the foyer was a tall, striking gentleman dressed in full African regalia. Upon seeing us enter he ended his conversation and sauntered gracefully up to Mindy and me.

"Dears, dears, it is SO wonderful to see you both!" he said, embracing us at the same time, after which he pulled back and shook my hand. After he let go, he took Mindy's right hand in both of his, brought it up to his lips and said "Darling, I'm glad you could make it. I've been waiting for you."

"Excuse me?" Mindy said, looking slightly perplexed.

"Yes, darling. I've been waiting. Don't you remember me?"

"Um, I don't think so.... I don't live here. I'm just visiting my friend Tom - I'm afraid you may have confused me with somebody else."

"No darling, it's you I've been waiting for. It seems that maybe you do not remember. Never fear, it will all come back to you. You just have to let go and let it happen."

"Ok..." Mindy stammered, looking at me for assistance. Not knowing what to do, I shrugged my shoulders and went to pour myself a drink. It looked like I was going to need one.

When I returned and handed Mindy a beer, Bodhi was busy explaining that he and Mindy had been lovers in a former life, and that they had made plans to meet there that night to be reunited.

Mindy and I exchanged looks, and then decided to let him go on to see where this would proceed. I don't remember every detail clearly, but I think there may have been mention of a shaman or some cult-sounding figure who would have been able to help Mindy obtain "clearness" on this point.

After a bit Bodhi took us both by the arm, saying "come, come, darlings, I must show you my sanctuary." He led us into a small room, about the size of a walk-in closet.

"In this room," he said, "is everything I lost as a child. It is here where I am able to reclaim my youth." The entire room was adorned with toys, some of them on shelves, some hanging on the walls. I distinctly remember a fully-boxed Spiderman action figure affixed directly to the wall next to the door. I wondered if he ever took Spidey out of the box to play with him, or if he just left it there as decoration.

Meanwhile, Bodhi was beginning to take more liberties with his hands, running them freely about Mindy's torso. She was giggling, but nervously. I decided I needed another beer, and went to see my friend Cindy.

I checked in on them every now and again just to make sure Mindy wasn't getting herself into trouble, and each time I approached I heard Bodhi cooing softly to her, Mindy responding with statements along the line of "yes, but I don't know you and I don't even live here. I really think this isn't the best time for this." He seemed so sweet though, and not at all dangerous (aside from being a complete whack-job) so I didn't really want to interrupt their little tête-à-tête.

Finally, about an hour later, Mindy freed herself, came up to me and said "OK, we're going now." We said our farewells to Cindy and our other hosts, and both enjoyed a long, slow embrace with Bodhi at the front door. "Goodbye, darlings, and just remember, Melinda, I am here and always will be. No matter where 'here' is."

Mindy was silent on the way to the car, but as soon as we were inside with the windows rolled up and the doors locked, she let out a scream like I've never heard from her before.

"Get me the FUCK away from here! What a fucking freak!!!" she screamed, or something to that effect. She wasn't exactly angry, or afraid - just a little weirded out. The whole thing had been very, very strange. When she started sharing the details of some of the stuff he had been saying to her, I could see why.

Whack-job. But a nice whack-job.

Then we went to an all-night diner for a bite to eat and to decompress, and this drugged out guy almost attacked me. But we talked him down before it went too far

Just another typical L.A. weekend with Tom & Mindy. Stay tuned for further installments.

Childhood Crush Tag - Vol. 1

Wonderturtle began a frightening game of tag about childhood crushes, and I was specifically named as someone who is required to answer. At first I was freaked out by the thought of this, but upon further reflection decided it could be an interesting walk down memory lane. And I suppose for me this will be a bit of a gender-bending exercise as well.

The first time I remember being really, really into someone was when I was four years old. I had a lot of little friends in our neighborhood, but for some reason I really dug this other little boy who lived out of town and visited our next-door neighbors sometimes. I don't remember his name, but whenever he was over visiting, he and I were completely inseparable. If either one of us had to go somewhere in the car we would insist that the other got to go along, and then we would sit together in the back seat. We may even have held hands, but I'm not sure.

The next person I was really, really close to was a girl named Julie from the neighborhood - we were also about four years old. She and I played together all the time, and she LOVED a special game we played called "Pull Down Pants." She always wanted me to chase her, tackle her to the ground and then pull down her pants. My brothers made a lot of fun of me for playing this game with her. It sounds kinky, I know, but it was completely innocent.

(Ok, I didn't have a crush on Julie, but I thought you'd like to hear that story anyway.)

I didn't have any more crushes until I was in second grade, when I was really drawn to this girl, Cindy, who was in my class. Cindy and I TOTALLY dug each other, and everyone else in the class knew it and made fun of us. In class we used to do these exercises where you would go write the answer to some question on the chalkboard, and then if you got the question right you were allowed to call on the next person. Any time Cindy or I were up at the board the entire class would say "Oh, Cindy's going to choose Tom" or vice-versa. And we always did, despite the teasing. Cuz we were in luuuuuv.

I don't remember dropping Cindy for the new girl, Diane, but I did at some point. Diane was totally groovy. She had shoulder length blonde hair and this sultry low-pitched voice. She was also sweet as pie. I was absolutely smitten with Diane. One time I bought her heart-shaped earrings at a garage sale and gave them to her right in class. She loved them.

Looking back on this, I am surprised at how little shame or peer pressure I felt then. Boy, how things changed in later years.

In third grade I had a head-over-heels crush on this girl named Holly. She had the same kind of soft voice and manner as Diane, which I guess is why I liked her. This was another situation where the entire class knew we liked each other, but we didn't seem to care. One time Holly was standing looking at a bulletin board in the back of the classroom. I went up behind her, put my hands on her waist and just stood there holding her for about five minutes. She didn't wince or try to move away, so I guess she liked it. I heard someone say "God, what are Tom and Holly doing over there?" but I didn't care. I was really excited about touching her like that.

Putting my four-year-old boy crush aside, the first time I noticed that I was drawn to a boy was in seventh grade. This seemed to hit me out of nowhere. There was another boy named Tom who wasn't in my class and whom I didn't even know, but I saw him in the hallway and was just bowled over by him. I did some detective work to figure out who he was, and then would casually ask questions of people, trying to get more information. I even wrote about him in a journal I had at the time - it seemed really important that I figure out a way to get to know him and to become friends with him. Never happened.

This was also around the age that kids started getting really mean about anything remotely gay, so when the hormones really started to kick in I denied myself any further attractions to boys for a long time - although it must have been always bubbling under the surface.

The next really serious crush I had was on Lorrie Hansen in ninth grade. Lorrie was a year ahead of me, and was quite popular. She was a cheerleader, but was also really nice and not at all snobby like most of the girls in that set. I got to know her when she and I were paired as dancing partners in "Hello Dolly," and it was with her that I first learned to polka.

I developed a terrible crush on Lorrie, but by that age had been so beaten down by my peers that I didn't think anyone would like me in "that" way. But I was pretty open with others about how much I liked her, and I know at least one person told her about it. She said "well why doesn't he ask me out, then?" DUH! She probably would have gone on a date if I would have dared mention it.

I did send her a flower on Valentine's Day, and simply wrote "Hi, Lorrie" on the card. She gave me a hug to thank me, and that's about as far as it went because I was too much of a wuss to take it a step further. Lorrie was such a sweet, sweet girl. Sometimes I wonder what became of her. She ended up going to one of the all-female seven sisters colleges and I think may have experimented with lesbianism, though I don't know that for sure.

Oddly enough, around that same time I became friends and had a crush on an older kid, Dave, who was alternately flirty and really mean to me. I had always noticed him and thought "wow!" But I would never dare try to talk to someone who was so cool and two years older than me to boot. He and I both sang in the chorus of "Hello Dolly," and one day as a group of us were leaving the rehearsal room, he just started talking to me and joking around. Made me nervous and weak-kneed.

Dave and Lorrie also liked each other, and one night he took her out on a date. I begged him to tell me all about it, and I remember not being clear whom I envied more. But after his confessions about the date, I decided he was an asshole. As he recalled to me, when they were done with the movie or whatever it was they had done on their date, they were making out in his car. According to Dave, Lorrie became pretty excited and started exuding a quite strong female aroma, which grossed him out and prompted him to make her leave his car. He never talked to her again after that. What a dick.

Nonetheless, I still pretty much adored Dave like a stupid puppy dog. One time, toward the end of his senior year, he did something really weird. We had just completed the last curtain call on "Oklahoma," at which point people in the cast all gave each other hugs before exiting the stage doors to greet the adoring public. As I was walking out the doors to go find my friends and family, Dave pulled me back in and said "Tom, wait a minute. Come here."

I followed him through a door back onto the backstage, which at that point was empty and almost completely dark. He just stood there. I said "well, what do you want?" He took my right hand in both of his, and raised it to his lips. For a second I was just stunned, and then I quickly grabbed it away from him, saying "what is your problem? God, you're such an asshole!" before storming out of the theater. I figured he was trying to set me up and had people hiding in the wings to see if I would take the bait.

Or maybe he really wanted to kiss me. Guess I'll never know, but I'd love to hear your opinions.

I think that's enough for tonight. One day I will write a sequel which will bring us to the college years, and I will let Lulu relive the horror of our many late-night phone conversations. (Confidential to Lulu: "It's going to be ok.... It's gong to be ok....")


ps: I in turn choose to inflict this exercise upon three of my favorite B's: Bella, Beth and Bubs.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Can I brag for a minute?

Old Lady and I recently began a comment-based Celebrity Throwdown where we keep trying to one-up the other on the number of celebrity contacts we have each had. Since the worlds of renown and notoriety seem to be drawn to both of us inextricably, I imagine our little game may last quite some time.

While my brushes with fame have never gone much further than the occasional Hollywood party, our beloved Poor George has actually worked and interacted with the rich and famous in professional settings.

For those of you not intimately acquainted with our Poor George, he is a professional clarinetist by trade, in addition to being a leisurely gourmet. (As talented as he is at maintaining my BMI at just a few numbers above optimum level, he has never chosen to make money off his food skills.)

Poor George has had the pleasure of playing gigs with the likes of:

Dizzy Gillespie

John Faddis

Quincy Jones

And as of last night, we get to add Phillip Glass to the mix.

George recently began playing with the Greenwich Village Orchestra, so I went to one of their concerts last night. Among other things, the orchestra performed Glass's Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra, a strange sounding piece, as is true with much of Glass's work - but I love twentieth century music, so it was right up my alley.

Before they began, the conductor casually mentioned that Mr. Glass was in the audience and asked him to come up on stage to say a few words. Apparently he lives just a few blocks away from the auditorium, so it was easy for him to drop by and listen to George and his friends perform his work.

How cool is that?

I hope that Poor George will still remember to talk to us, the little people.

God damned Blogger

Dear Gentle Readers,

Over the past few days, I typed up two of the unbelievably profound and/or hilarious essays that you have come to expect, if not outright demand, from CPW. Each time, when I was almost ready to publish, God damned Blogger wouldn't let me save, and I lost my work.

Don't tell me to type it up in Word first. Every time I do that, God damned Blogger inserts some weird ass code into the text and everything is fucked up.

I haven't had the heart to attempt to recreate my unbelievably profound and/or hilarious work yet. So stay tuned.


ps: From now on, let's all call it "God damned Blogger," please. So what if it's free? It can still be a piece of shit.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fun with Gross Tag

Although I have already graced the Internets with my list of 100 things, I've been tagged by our friend Megan with a request to post five more things you don't know about me. I think for fun I will make this a game of Gross Tag, where I have to post the five grossest memories I can come up with.

1. When I was a kid, my dog Amos used to take enormous dumps. My friend Jenny and I would walk him together and watch him take his dumps because at the end, this little drop of white substance would come out of his butt. We were fascinated by what we called "the little white thing." One time we were eating vanilla ice cream out of bowls and Jenny said "what if this was a bowlful of those little white things?"

2. One time my college roommate and I decided to egg our other roommate while he was taking a shower. He got mad, but it was funny. Unfortunately, the eggs we used were rotten, which caused the smell to be extra nasty. After my roommate got out of the shower, I felt guilty and decided to clean up the mess for him. So I got down on my hands & knees to wipe up the rotten eggs, which by that time were mixed with all sorts of soap scum and body hair. It was so gross that it made me throw up in the shower. Then I had to clean that up, too.

3. My mom got a blood clot just under the surface of the skin of her leg. We didn't know what it was, since it just looked like a big red blotch. But she was in tremendous pain, so we took her to the emergency room. While we were in the waiting room, she said "I think it's starting to weep." "Weep?" I thought. "What the hell does that mean?" When we finally got her into an examining room, the doctor removed her pants and saw that the red blotch had burst open to ooze all sorts of blood and puss. Every single medical professional who entered the room winced when they first saw it. You know it's bad when the doctors are wincing.

4. When my cat Betty was just a kitten, I discovered she loved the taste of ear wax - I had been itching my ear with my finger, and when I was done she started licking my finger voraciously. You had to be careful not to leave your ears exposed around her or she'd go after you like a bear to honey. Several times I woke up to find her tongue halfway down my ear canal.

5. One time on the way to work my eye started itching really badly. It felt like something was trapped in it, but no amount of blinking or rubbing seemed to help. Finally, when I got to work, I went into the bathroom to examine myself in the mirror. I pulled open my lower eyelid and discovered a live bug, about the size of a flea, crawling around inside my eyelid. Lovely.

That's about it for tonight. I now tag all of you to post your grossest memories.

Thanks for playing!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I stand corrected

Due to the brilliance of my friend Sparky, we have discovered that I was correct the first time. The New Standards, Chan Poling's new band, are indeed playing Joe's Pub in New York on Saturday, January 19, 2007.

So, let me know who's in.

This is also the birthday of our Poor Suffering George, so we will make it a party for him at the same time.

Former Suburbs and Trip Shakespeare fans, get ready to party.


Jin + Mama Gin, Sittin' in a Tree....

During my online drunk love fest, I decided I could not stand to look at one more of Jin's pictures without tasting some of her work. So much of what she displays online is so beautiful that I had a hard time believing it could taste as good as it looks. So I decided to do what some of her other blog fans have done and order a sweet box.

Jin of course replied with a hearty LOL and packed up a carton of delicacies of her own choosing for Poor George and me, and had them delivered to me in about a week's time. (I hate making decisions like what to order, so I told her to go to town for us.)

Imagine my delight when I got home late Wednesday evening and found her sweet box intact and unhidden by George, who is notorious for squirreling away sugared treats and then forgetting about them until they are stale and inedible.

Here is what we received:

3 Chocolate Chunk Cookies
4 Frosted Molasses Cookies
5 Mint Brownies
12 of her infamous Petit Fours
4 Awesome Muffins of zucchini, quinoa, dates, applesauce, pecan, carrot and spices
5 Raspberry Lemon Dream Bars - shortbread topped with lemon custard and raspberries
3 Pretty Babies - red velvet cake squares filled with cream cheese frosting and coated in chocolate glaze

Night one: It was late, so I made us a cuppa Mango Indica Whittard of Chelsea tea (courtesy of the lovely & talented Mindy June) and set us up a plate of three Petit Fours each.


George, the resident food critic, examined every layer and proclaimed "this is by FAR the best petit four I've ever had." When he starts picking apart flavors, layers and hypothesizing about techniques used to create something, you know he's impressed.

Day two: We each enjoyed an Awesome Muffin for breakfast along with some fruit. The muffins were moist, and very, very tasty. George's comment: "This is delicious. This is a superb muffin. My only criticism is that it's TOO SMALL."

Night two: for dessert George and I each enjoyed one Raspberry Lemon Dream Bar and one Pretty Baby. Now we REALLY got drooling. I am absolutely gaga over the Dream Bars. They are deliciously moist, and so delicate in both the raspberry and lemon flavors. These are my favorite so far, but unfortunately I haven't even tried everything yet. Regarding the Dream Bar, George said "I wish I has as deep an understanding of crumb as she does."

George is also particularly gaga over the Pretty Babies. Red velvet cake is one of his favorite treats, and again he said this is the best he's ever had. And he doesn't make statements like that lightly.

(Shhh, don't tell George but I snuck one more Dream Bar before bed. I'll let him have the last Pretty Baby as penance if he figures it out.)

Day three: one more muffin each for breakfast. Again, George whined about the size. I should have let him have mine and dove for more dream bars.

Night three: George and I gorged ourselves during dinner at Todai in Koreatown, so we decided not to have any Jin treats that night.

Day four (which is today): This is the best part yet. Mama Gin got up early and trudged down our stairs to satisfy her OCD and make sure all our doors were locked. I decided it was time Mama Gin enjoy a little Jin love, on accounta their names are so similar and all.

I placed a petit four on a lovely little Chinese plate and went out into the hallway where Mama Gin was testing the door handle for the thirtieth time that hour.

"Mama Gin, here, you eat." I held out the plate to her with two hands, as is the proper Asian technique for offering something to a person.

Mama Gin looked startled, but when she saw how pretty the petit four was her face lit up and she actually reached out to take it.

"For me???" she asked, holding the plate up close to her face.

"Yes, you eat," I replied. Mama Gin giggled like a school girl. I swear, the lady giggled and held it up to her face again.

"Oh, cookie!" she exclaimed. She was downright giddy.

Jin, I think it's official. Your food has magical powers. You have melted the heart of Mama Gin. Now if you can just produce a baby for Poor George, Mama Gin will probably give you everything she owns.

Anyway blog fans, I strongly encourage you to order from Jin if you ever get an inkling. It will be well worth your time and money, damage to your waistlines notwithstanding.

Bon appetit!

ps: can't post actual pictures of the treats as our digi camera is on the fritz.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tonight on the Subway

It had been a long day, and my eyes were bothering me so much due to the glaring light inside the subway car that I had to stop reading and just sit with my eyes closed. I was relieved when the D train pulled into 36th Street so that I could transfer to a local to get to my final stop.

The wait at 36th Street for a local, at least before 8:00 pm, is usually two minutes or less. Tonight I waited over ten minutes. I could feel my mood darkening.

Into the station pulled an N train, which is another express to take me ALMOST all the way home. I boarded. This particular train was overheated and smelly, so imagine my relief when it finally pulled into the 59th Street station, where I would wait for my R train to take me one more stop to my final destination - HOME.

As I approached the car door to exit, I was suddenly blocked by an onslaught of people ENTERING the train, shoving their way in before anyone could disembark. It did not help that an ill mannered girl of about fifteen just stood in the doorway, effectively blocking anyone from passing her. Another girl that she knew had been standing on the platform, and was one of the rude people to shove herself into the car before we could exit.

"LET US OFF THE TRAIN, PLEASE," I said rather loudly. I was actually nervous that the doors were going to slam shut, leaving us stuck in the train.

"FUCK YOU, Mister! Say 'excuse me' NICELY, why don't you?" the girl replied, smirking, her friend laughing along with her.

I heard only a muffled gasp as my hand clenched round her throat, and the other passengers moved away as I shoved her body into a remote corner of the train.

"Now you listen to me, Missy. Don't you dare talk to me, or any other adult, like that again. It's about time someone taught you some manners." My left hand remained firmly clenched around her neck as my right rained blows across her smug face, alternating palm with the back of my hand.

After my fury was spent, I let go and watched her slide to the floor and huddle, terrified, in the corner of the train, her body convulsing in sobs. I exited the car to the thundering applause of my fellow passengers.


"FUCK YOU, Mister! Say 'excuse me' NICELY, why don't you?" the girl replied, smirking.

As I exited the train, I turned and said "someone needs to teach you some manners, Miss."

"Yeah? Well FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" she cackled. I turned and stared into her face until the doors slammed closed and the train whisked her away. I heard her voice, faintly, until the train was well out of the station.

You pick.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Happy 31st, Jake. We miss you.

Jacob Palmatier 11/7/75 - 2/24/05

Thanks, Lu!

Just days after I told Lu that Chan Poling (formerly of The Suburbs) was no longer playing, she discovered, grace of our friend Trendy Wendy, that he is indeed in a new band.

I am officially shamed as a cyberstalker for not knowing this. I was fairly sure I had recently cyberstalked Mr. Poling and came up empty handed, although now that I think of it I may have just been checking to see if he had ever released anything on iTunes. Whatevs.

1980s Minneapolitans everywhere will be thrilled to see that elements of The Suburbs and Trip Shakespeare have now combined to form a new band, The New Standards. And they are playing NYC in January. Let me know who's in.


Hello, Dalai well hello, Dalai.....

Thanks to a tip from Bubs, I just mapped out my Political Compass. I ended up near the extreme of Left Libertarianism. It was all the sex questions that saved me.

Just me, Gandhi and the Dalai Lama. Rock on.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

CPW Confessional: CP-hating Catholics

I've decided that whenever someone doesn't like me, it's because they are a Catholic. Not all Catholics hate me, but almost everyone who hates me is a Catholic. It's like a special subsect within Catholicism: you got your normal Saturday night Catholics; you got your Marians; and then you got your CP-haters.

The thing I've been wondering about is, what is it about their Papism that makes the CP-hating Catholics hate me?

It may be because I have some sort of subconscious disdain toward Catholicism. Although I'm not aware of ever having said anything particularly mean about Catholics, at least one person has accused me of this. I have an ex-boyfriend, who shall remain nameless for the moment, who secretly converted to Catholicism while we were dating and kept it hidden from me for fear I wouldn't like him any more. It was one of the funniest things ever to happen to me. I remember how I found out about this when I asked him if he wanted to do something with me on Easter Sunday.

"Uh. . . I'm busy that day," he replied.

"Oh. Well, what are you doing?"

"Just something. You wouldn't be interested."

Hmm. A statement like that would pique anyone's interest.

"What is it?"

"It's something at church."

"What church?"

"M's church." M was his closest friend.

"Isn't he Catholic?"


"Well, what are you doing at his church on Easter? Are you playing?" Sometimes he made extra money as a church musician.

"No, I'm not playing. If you must know, I'm getting confirmed."

"You're getting confirmed."


"As a Catholic."


"How long have you been planning this?"

"About three months."

Three months. My boyfriend, whom I saw at least four times a week, often for overnight, had been preparing to convert to Catholicism for three months and I had no idea.

"Why on earth didn't you tell me this?"

"Because you don't like Catholics, and if you knew I was becoming one I thought you wouldn't like me any more."

I questioned him extensively on this last bit, because I was thoroughly confused. Apparently, I had once uttered the words "I have no use for Catholics" to him and he took me literally. I didn't even remember saying it.

I was raised Lutheran after all, the religion that launched the Reformation. It's in our culture to denounce the Pope; it's central to our purpose as a religion. So I suppose it's only natural that the occasional trace of anti-Catholic vitriol should escape our lips. It's like a reflex. Completely involuntary.

But I certainly never wanted to offend or scare away any of the Catholics that I know.

From that day forward, I took a solemn vow to be nicer to my Papist friends and never again make fun of them for purchasing indulgences or any of that other crap they do.

Maybe I didn't try hard enough.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Three drinks???

I don't know what I'm more embarassed about - last night's drunk love fest, or the fact that three drinks will do that to me. What a friggin lightweight.

At least I'm a cheap date.

And now we return to the regularly scheduled Crabby Tom show.