Oct 13, 2014

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Halloween costumes. day 1.

Just when I think the human race has truly evolved, I remember there are Halloween costumes.

As I tried to figure my costume out tonight, I took a little gander at what’s out in the market place. I found some interesting things. I will try to post at least one a day. There’s just too much.  Let’s begin:



This is not an actual costume, right? As in, sailors don’t wear body-hugging cocktail dresses with high heels, correct? I didn’t miss that memo on dress code?
From the knees down, she looks like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, and from there up, she looks like a referee for the Marine Stripper Olympics. I don’t know what the Marine Stripper Olympics are, but if they existed, this would be what the referees wore.

Also, worth closing up. A few observations:


1. Why is her left breast a perfect sphere? Is that the work of photoshop or a water balloon? Regardless, breasts don’t look like that, unless you’re a cartoon, or inflatable. 

2. Why are there so many red bows? Is it Christmas? Or are red bows just synonymous with places you’re supposed to put your penis underneath this costume? Again, not sure why that’s part of the costume.

3. Lest it go undetected, there are also garters incorporated into the costume. When did Halloween costumes, you know, that you put on to go trick-or-treating and fill an old pillow case with candy, also come to serve also as bedroom lingerie? I mean, it’s fine, and frankly, I hope the buyer sees it as a value play, but I’m just confused, since as far back as I can remember, female sailors didn’t wear garters on their uniforms. 

How bout a little more of this:


That skirt is a little long- she could use an alteration- but you get the idea. And white heels are very classy in the summer months. And nothing says ‘I know how to handle a man’ like a pair of pristine white gloves. Now, that, my friends, is a lady.

Oct 12, 2014

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Mom’s Halloween decorations: Part II

As a continuation of last post making fun of my mother’s Halloween decorations, I had to do a part II. I couldn’t get to all of them at once.  So much material. So, here we are. 

7. Bizarre spider

This is not a Halloween decoration. It’s a napkin holder. Or an upsetting broach. But since my mother left no room in the house untouched by Halloween, she saved only the fanciest decorations for the dining room. This one just happened to have once lived as a pair of earring at Macy’s.

8. Gay Halloween village 

Such a cute Halloween village, replete with placemat and kooky Haunted House, located in direct proximity to the washer and dryer in the laundry room. Why? Why do you need to make the laundry room scary? I think she’d be better off leaving one of my dad’s jock straps on the counter.  That would keep me out of there.

And there we go again with the glitter.  The whole town. It’s like haunted gothic Barbie village. Or Halloween on the gay strip. There should be two male vampires leaning up against the front door, but topless with harnesses on.

9. Strange pillow thing.

As far as Halloween decorations go, I don’t know what to do with this. First off, it looks like a coffee bag. Second of all, it appears to depict a love tale between two cats.  I’m not scared or frightened, and frankly, it looks a final scene from a Disney movie. 

Also, I don’t know from what she hung that pillow (or whatever noun that decoration claims to be), but that is the more frightening piece of furniture.  It’s like I’m in a child’s bedroom or something.

10. The bar sign

Evidently we’re in a saloon. What is this? Clearly, the sign came blank and someone just detailed the ‘wicked’ on there, as if it were the side of a car. And then my mom bought it and hung it off of a door hinge.  I don’t understand.  I also love how the edges are supposed to look old and peeling, which just makes the sign look like crushed velvet sofa upholstery.  I had to touch it to make sure. 

11. Party skeleton

We got a little Studio 54 at our dinner table this year with this (again glitter-covered) party skeleton. I actually kind of like this one. It’s fun, ready to party. But then my mom lit the tea lights at lunch today and spilled wax all over it (I heard her shout “shit!” really loudly from the kitchen), so I’m sure someone in Good Will will enjoy it even more. 

12. Again, confused.

I’m unclear as to what this set up is supposed to be. Is there a relationship between the two decorations pictured here, or does it stretch insofar as in they are both black items that have been placed next to each other? In the many minutes of analysis I’ve pored over this- is that glitter skeleton head supposed to be a compass or something? A windsock? Ostensibly for the raven? If so, why is it located indoors on my bedroom window seat, which receives no airflow? And better question- why is there a bird in the house? 

Some things just not thought through here. But I love my mom all the same. If it made sense, it just wouldn’t be as much fun.

Happy Halloween.

Oct 11, 2014

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Halloween at mom’s: Part I.

There are fewer things I enjoy more in this world than making fun of my mom’s Halloween decorations.  Looking around the house this morning, I see she’s purchased some new items, re-situated some oldies. I thought I’d do the world a favor and document some of my favorites.

1. [Edward] Glitter hands.image

When I first saw this last night, I actually picked it up, without comment, and showed it to her, so as to silently convey a tone of, “Seriously, what the fuck is this?” Flipping through the channels of the TV, she responded, “What?! It’s cute-" And "Put it down."

First of all, just for the record, that’s the wrong candle- you don’t put a tea light in that that kind of holder. Second, I am in a constant state of turmoil regarding her decorative Halloween identity. Everything she buys is sort of creepy, which would lend itself to a ‘traditional scary’ theme, but then it’s covered in glitter, like a children’s toy, or a Broadway show prop. So it’s mixed signals.

2. Lazy skeletonimage

Halloween wouldn’t be complete if my mother didn’t have a whole set of outdoor decorations as well, like this lazy skeleton she threw on the window ledge. It looks like it should have a smoking blunt in one of its bony hands. If it were on one of those talking motion sensor things as people passed, it would say, “You? You look like you got things to do. Me? I got nothin’ but time.” In a low gravely Clint Eastwood voice. And then it would take a drag.

3. Inappopriately-placed gravestonesimage

If we’re going for authenticity, something doesn’t seem flush with this gravestone, placed lightly atop our front-yard rock bed, against a freshly-watered bush. Maybe it’s the brick of the suburban home built in 2008 that doesn’t quite work with the worn gothic craftsmanship of the headstone, which I believe is plastic.

Promptly after this, I tried to the front door to get back inside the house to find it had locked behind me, and I was stuck outside, barefoot, in red fleece pajama pants with no shirt on, for 45 minutes, while my parents exercised at the gym. I frantically texted all of my siblings for the garage code. No one responded. I was cold and alone.

4. I’m not sure


First of all, the head used for this witch doll looks like Mrs. Brown, my third grade teacher, which strangely could also double as an Americana doll with a grey bun on its head, a pilgrim dress, and a loaf of bread in one hand.

This is one witch in the series of drag queen witches my mother has stationed throughout the house. I see they went with a Madonna-length tutu skirt on this model. And someone thought that a Cher wig would be appropriate, finished off with that flirty polka dot cape, which says it all. I feel like I’ve stumbled onto Mrs. Brown’s evening webcam show.

Finally, what is that broom? It looks more like a bee net. Now I know where the bottom three inches of the skirt went. Someone just gave up. 

5. Halloween and Jesusimage

First of all, there’s nothing I love more than that little skeleton that looks like it was retrieved from the inside of a cereal box. But more importantly, let’s play a game of ‘One of These Things is Not Like the Other’:
A. toy skeleton
B. chilling bones ‘Happy Halloween’ sign
C. festive country pumpkin
D. plastic figurine of the Virgin mother.

Maybe I just don’t get it. Maybe my mother is making an important statement about the human race through her Halloween decorations that I just don’t understand. I’m not ruling it out. I’m low IQ.

6. Boo. The underwhelming.image

Clearly she ran out of spaces to decorate at some point and decided to simply perch this one up on the ledge in one of the bedrooms and be done with it. Not to mention those look like the block letters they use in the signs at a movie theatre, and it looks like one of the ‘O’s is going to fall off. It exudes about as much enthusiasm.

But that’s fine. She got one in there. She can check off the second bedroom.

Next batch to come soon. There are that many.

Sep 10, 2014

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Just another day

Today is one of those days that I don’t want to work- I mean, nothing out of the ordinary from any other day of the week- but it’s one of those days I pick up the phone already exasperated before the person on the other end can say ”hello”, if I don’t just hit the ‘ignore’ button. It’s one of those days I type personal messages in Outlook, like dummy work emails, and feel a sense of vindication whenever a co-worker passes unaware. It’s one of those days that my resume is minimized at the bottom of my screen next to the website on which I am casually sifting for other jobs, and the excitement I feel from my clandestine operation is the greatest rush I’ll feel until I leave for the day, or until I get into a text fight with my boyfriend. It’s one of those days I’ve gone through the holiday calendar and already picked out which days I plan to call in sick to offset the trauma of discovering we have no days off in October. It’s one of those days I have to sneak out of the building at 2pm to eat a cookie, just so the sugar spike can remind me that I’m not actually asleep, as I simultaneously contemplate why there are so many people aimlessly wandering around in the street at 2pm on a Wednesday.

It’s one of those days when people talk to me I nod, but really I’m perusing in an article on my computer screen, hoping that my blatant sense of disinterest will deter the person from continuing to talk. It’s one of those days I will periodically perform searches on apartments outside of my price range, just to imagine how much laundry I would do if I just had an in-unit washer and dryer or how much more I would internet shop if I had a doorman to receive my packages.

It’s one of those days I go to the bathroom just for fun. One of those days I wonder if the muscles in my legs had actually begun to atrophy before I got up out of my chair, which feels like I just got out of an airplane seat after a Trans-Atlantic flight.

It’s one of those days I wish people would be more active on social networks, so I could funnel my time into Buzzfeed articles or some ALS bucket challenges, and if IT were to quantify the number of times I’ve visited www.facebook.com, I would return from the bathroom to a large empty cardboard box on my desk.

It’s one of those days. A two cup of coffee kind of day. A let-me-put-my-headphones-in kind of day. One of those days that I’m well-aware I’m at the office, which somehow has an adverse impact upon my work ethic.

One of those days.

I wonder why we have to work 9 hours a day. Whose idea was that anyway? Isn’t that something we can re-discuss, like a presidential term or something? You know, how they re-interpret the bible? Why can’t we re-interpret the work day? Things have changed. For example, I don’t have to use a fax machine anymore- that’s 10 minutes right there I should get back because I email and scan these days. I type a lot faster than they did before computers; that should cut down on at least an hour. And I don’t waste time drinking whiskey in the office with my feet on my desk (I drink it very quickly and discreetly out of my file cabinet). Assuming output is the same, I think I do the same amount of work in half the time.

I’d be so much more pleasant if we worked even 6 hours a day. I would dress a lot better for work, first of all. I would blowdry my hair and not comb it over wet, like a character from Grease. I would carefully choose an interesting and thoughtful outfit, and not the same one I wear twice a week because it’s still hanging on the arm of the couch from earlier in the week / I have 15 minutes to get out of the house after the gym. And I would be nicer. To people in general. I would pick up the phone and say “Good morning, this is Justin” in a very cordial and well-rested manner, as opposed to talking into the receiver like I’m holding a shield and sword on the other end. I would be philanthropic. I would volunteer group in the evenings to hang out with some old people at a home, or pet some cats or something. I’d join a kickball league. But right now, I take a nap instead because the dark circles under my eyes look like they are swallowing the rest of my face like solar black holes. And I’d eat better, instead of getting cheap take-out from the grocery store because I can’t be bothered to cook and my quality of life seems to be embodied in a TV dinner.

But it’s Wednesday. And soon it will be Thursday, and the sweet nectar of the weekend will begin to spring. And then Friday, we will run unbridled through the wildflower-dotted prairie of freedom called the weekend and drink freely from her sweet Ambrosia-filled river.

Until Sunday. When the flowers and the river dries up again come nightfall. And then Monday. When it’s just another day.

Sep 4, 2014

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Rivers of Thoughts.

Don’t get me wrong, I am going to be annoyed by everyone posting about Joan Rivers’ death. In fact, I’m sure I’ll be hiding Facebook stories for days to come. I don’t want to read trite articles captioned “goodbye to a legend”, like people were friends with her. Let’s be honest, Joan Rivers wouldn’t want to fuck with half of my friends on Facebook. She’d scroll through my feed and be like, “This person actually believes in knee defenders?” “That baby’s face looks like runny egg.” And I imagine she’d quietly de-friend the bible verse posters, with a drawn-up, one-sided smirk on her face. 

I don’t know what it was about Joan Rivers that makes us miss her so dearly. She wasn’t beautiful. She wasn’t glamorous or refined. And frankly, she wasn’t terribly confident, either. Her face looked exactly like the plastic masks they made of her face in Halloween stores. 

But maybe it was because she was always trying to make us laugh. Watching her on television made us think that she ‘got it’, she understood. She saw some streak of ironic humor in this world rife with perplexing human behavior, to which we could also relate, which made her one of ‘us’. She could hang in the group. 

But what’s more is Joan Rivers was relentless. Persistent. Maybe to a degree of what seemed desperation, but she never took ‘no’ for an answer. Never backed down. Despite rejection. Criticism. Prejudice. She carried on and fought to stay relevant in the public eye, all the way to age 81.

But why? Not simply because she wanted to forge a career. Or for fame. To make a splash as a comedienne in a male-dominated industry. After all, if you’ve seen “A Piece of Work”, she was constantly disappointed by her own perception of her inability to succeed.

But, to me, what is most bittersweet, through the window into Joan Rivers’ life from which I look at such a distance, is that, she, like many of us, simply yearned for acceptance. Relentlessly. Desperately. She just wanted the public to love her. And despite her historic career, from the Johnny Carson show to her stand-up act, to her epic stint on The Apprentice, she simply longed to be accepted. She devoted her life to an audience, to humor, in hopes of approval, to distract from the reflection of a vulnerable, unsure person underneath. And isn’t that what drives most of us to achieve? Feeling needed? Belonging? The yearning for approval? Maybe we do share that in common. 

In the end, I don’t know what I’m trying to say. I guess that I’ll miss Joan Rivers, just like everyone else. And through it all, she even took her gift of humor to her death:


If only Joan had known the outpouring of love, admiration, and respect that would occur after her death, she’d probably be the one laughing. If only she knew how strongly people felt while she was alive.

A streak of ironic humor, I suppose, in this world rife with perplexing human behavior. 

Aug 27, 2014

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And this is why I never walk through Times Square.

And this is why I never walk through Times Square.

Aug 18, 2014

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Living in a concrete jungle #manhattan  (at 31St Street, Midtown, Manhattan)

Living in a concrete jungle #manhattan (at 31St Street, Midtown, Manhattan)

Aug 17, 2014

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Rainy Sunday morning. A cab beeped at me for stopping in the cross walk to take this. So I finished crossing before flicking him off. (at Greenwich Avenue, NYC)

Rainy Sunday morning. A cab beeped at me for stopping in the cross walk to take this. So I finished crossing before flicking him off. (at Greenwich Avenue, NYC)

Aug 13, 2014

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Concert in Vienna. Unfortunately what this photo does not capture is the woman in front of us wearing white Newbalance sneakers. (at Hofberg Palace, Vienna)

Concert in Vienna. Unfortunately what this photo does not capture is the woman in front of us wearing white Newbalance sneakers. (at Hofberg Palace, Vienna)

Aug 8, 2014

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Just hit the flight attendant button instead of the flush button in the lavatory. It wouldn’t turn off so I ran back to my seat without washing my hands. It’s time to get this trip started. Family vacation. Off to Berlin.

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