Archive for May, 2009

“I myself am often surprised at life’s little quirks”

Things I have learned this week:

  • I can drink a truly amazing amount of horrible white wine
  • I am a very inconsiderate host, particularly after said white wine.
  • It is possible to get bitten on the fucking cheek by a mosquito. The cheek. Twice.
  • Not all trains to New Jersey stop in Hoboken.
  • Jerkboy (aka the yank, aka my dreadful ex-boyfriend) is getting married in a few months.
  • My roommate the Cuban is even more awesome than I had previously noticed.
  • My roommate the Cuban is also batshit crazy. But claiming not to have noticed this previously may be slightly stretching it.
  • Barbecues are fantastic, and happen approximately every 15 minutes in this country.
  • The walk from Chelsea to Park Slopes is motherfucking long.
  • Never take a taxi from Jersey to Manhattan.
  • I am going to a pagan handfasting, in CT, as the date of a female friend. Time to dig out the tux and top hat.

In My Secret Life

“I saw you this morning, you were moving so fast…
can’t seem to loosen my grip on the past

and i miss you so much, there’s no one in sight
and we’re still making love…

…in my secret life

I smile when I’m angry… I cheat and I lie.
I do what I have to do to get by

but I know what is wrong, and I know what is right
and I’d die for the truth…

…in my secret life

I bite my lip, I buy when I’m told
From the latest hit to the wisdom of old.

But I’m always alone, and my heart is like ice,
and its crowded and cold…

…in my secret life”

Leonard Cohen

First, we take Manhattan…

On Sunday night I went to see Leonard Cohen in Radio City Music Hall. There are two very awesome aspects to this, one of which is Leonard Cohen, and the other of which is Radio City Music Hall itself, which is pretty goddamn impressive. I have mentioned my tendency to judge establishments on the calibre of their toilet facilities. Well, RCMH doesn’t just have a bathroom, it has a ladies lounge, complete with couches, mirrors and a lot of open space to just hang out in before you even get to the actual toilet stalls. In fact to find the toilets I had to walk through three rather large rooms, and was starting to wonder if I was supposed to piss on a suede-upholstered sofa.

However, RCMH milk their awesomeness to the absolute max, at a stunning cost of $250 to get a ticket in the stalls. Now it was a great seat, and an amazing venue, but in the normal course of things I would never ever pay this amount of money for anything short of a concert headlined by Led Zeppelin and opened by the Beatles, complete with all original band members (including those who would need to rise from the grave for the occasion) which took place on the fucking moon.

The obvious contradiction here is that I did have a ticket and did go. I can explain this with the following short tangent: my parents are awesome. Really. Obviously I did not think this as a 15 year old psycho held together by un-directed rage and death metal, but since reaching an age where I enjoyed discernable lyrics and obtained a modicum of self-control I realized I quite possibly have the best parents ever. In a complete surprise move then, when my father noticed that Leonard Cohen was playing Radio City, he decided to buy me a ticket as a belated 26th birthday present (even though my father believes any birthday after you are legally allowed to drive and buy beer is not an event).

Naturally I gratefully accepted said ticket, particularly since Leonard Cohen is certainly getting on in years, and chances to see him might have been running out. Now, I have never been a massive fan, though I’ve always liked his music. But the man is fucking amazing. He is 75, and he dances onto the stage. He has a voice like honey drizzling over dark chocolate, it somehow sounds even better live than it does recorded, despite the fact that today we could make a screaming child sound like Tina Turner with the vast powers of studio sound manipulation. Though I suppose that particular example is not all that much of a stretch. I guess just because you can make shit smell kind of like roses it doesn’t mean you can improve what roses themselves smell like.

In any case, it was an exceptional show. The talent of just the female back-up vocalists would have put professional choirs to shame. Leonard himself is an incredible performer, and better than that he clearly enjoys every minute of the performance. He is one of those artists that puts everything into what they are doing, watching him sing live he makes you feel as if he’s singing better for your show than for any other one he’s played, like what he’s doing just that night is special to him. The fact that he has sung these songs a thousand times does not make him one iota less expressive or emotional.  It was a beautiful experience to be lost in that.

Resolution: go to more concerts. Even if they are not held on the moon.

“Things are rarely just crazy enough to work, but they are frequently just crazy enough to fail hilariously”

This month I have mostly been learning to cook food. This sounds ludicrous, mainly because cooking food is extremely easy, but rest assured I started from a position of total and complete ignorance, and with good reason. Allow me to detail my previous culinary experience.

When I was 9 I was home from school sick, and decided I wanted a boiled egg. I took two eggs from the fridge, filled a saucepan full of water, put the eggs in, turned on the heat, and then went and read a book. For an hour. I realized my error when the pages of the book become a little hard to see and I realized that the room I was in was full of smoke. The smoke alarm went off, a saucepan was completely ruined, the eggs were blackened husks of death, and in a slight panic I pulled the saucepan off the cooker and plonked it down on the countertop, which it proceeded to brand with a large black circle.

My mother was naturally not delighted by this episode, and extracted from me a promise that I would never try to bloody well cook anything ever again because I was a scatterbrained idiot who would end up setting the house on fire. I really cannot fault her logic on any point. Since it cost me very little to remain faithful to this particular guarantee it never gave me any trouble, and since my mother was a sucker for making people food and then I discovered Chinese and pizza, I remained disinclined to cook anything for pretty much the rest of time, that is until a month ago.

For reasons I will not go into I decided that I would finally have to learn to make a meal that did not consist mainly of either pasta or toast (my two most prevalent staples). This has been a marvelous, delicious, and expensive adventure. Not everything has gone brilliantly, but I can truthfully say that I have not made anything that I could not subsequently eat. Though I suppose after the occasional experiment with penne and mayonnaise one could say I am not fussy.

Things I have learned:

  • Sautee just means fry in butter
  • Steaming does not require a steamer. Americans are wrong.
  • Basic cookery can be summarised by “sure fuck it all into a frying pan and see how it goes”
  • The above seems to work approximately 85% of the time
  • Though rib-eye and filet mignon look very similar raw, blue filet mignon barely requires chewing, and blue rib-eye requires a fucking hacksaw.
  • If you look up how long it takes to hard boil an egg on the internet, you will find pages of detailed instructions on the perfect boiled-egg preparation techniques, all of which will be entirely unnecessary.
  • Chicken tastes a lot better than I remember.
  • The hard part is always the bloody sauce
  • 17 years later, I am still capable of forgetting about the goddamn eggs

City of a hundred thousand souls… though several million actual people

This evening a man claiming the rather dubious moniker of “Neon Sandwich” stopped me on the street in soho in order to take a photograph of my shoes. Now, my shoes are pretty amazing, but such an event is nonetheless, fairly rare. In fact I think I might go far as to call it entirely unique.

He claimed to be doing a photographic study of topography, though exactly what relevance this had to my shoes is as yet unclear. He did however offer a chinese palm reading for my trouble, which I declined on the grounds that it sounded like utter wank.

I am generally a tad skeptical about things I believe to be the art world’s equivalent of chronic masturbation, but I always enjoy a bizarre diversion in an otherwise statistically unremarkable evening.

You gotta love New York, if only for the weird-ass shit.