Monday, November 10, 2014

Fucking Monday (Short Story)

Fucking Monday  
On another typical Monday morning, Elaine found herself drinking her third cup of coffee before ten o’clock. She was trying to make time out of thin air. Time. Something that seemed so plentiful last Friday afternoon and had now become a priceless entity. She couldn’t afford to lose even a second as she worked beyond diligently to finish her article, “Why Women Want War.” The CEO would be in today and would personally read it himself! (This was a tad intimidating since she had never actually met or seen that man before). It was going to be her breaking, just-like-the-movies article that everyone read and shared around the world; people would laugh, cry, and reflect on their lives. It was going to make her famous and allow her to not only keep her job, but also branch out and work for herself, her life dream.
Elaine had written dozens of articles for the New York Times and about fifty freelance articles to magazines around the City, but nothing had made her a name yet. This was the article that would do it. She just needed to find her voice. That’s what the weekend was for.
She went out Friday night. It was pretty tame and usual for her: she went to a bar, met some friends, had a drink or two, and went home, the end.  It was Friday night/Saturday morning while lying in her bed that Elaine decided she needed an adventure and Saturday and Sunday would be that adventure.
First thing Saturday morning, Elaine packed her bags for a night and headed toward the mountains. It was “find an adventure” time! As she headed up the hiking trail with a blue tag (moderate level), she looked on her Tinder to see if any potential mates were available. She came across 5 guys in the area worth hooking up with. WOW! A hook up in the woods. What an adventure!
The first man she came across on the hiking trail was downright hot. He had a beard, muscles, chiseled jaw. No wedding ring, no one else around; Elaine could make this work.  She asked him a few questions to try and start a conversation, but he just was not interested. She tried to act like she had no idea where she was on the trail, but that only seemed to annoy the man. He even muttered under his breath, “Who gets lost in the first half mile of the trail??” Smooth, Elaine.
Elaine decided to move on, and now she had more determination to find an adventure. Who needs that guy anyway! He wasn’t “ALL THAT!” But the quick, though slight, rejection still played in her mind. Over and over again. She soon began to question her appearance, body odor, was it her breath? Then she thought maybe this was her adventure! Or at least her article that she had been waiting to write. “Why Men are Pigs!” no not that’s good. He wasn’t a pig, but what was he? Arrogant? Maybe, but what was the psychology behind it all. It was like a cat and dog fight, like, a war or rivalry!!
The rest of the weekend Elaine thought and drafted about her story. She had Subject A (herself) meets Subject B (man in the woods) which should have resulted in Adventure C (sexcapades) but instead ended with Rejection D (WAR!!!) But what did it mean!?
Monday was flying by. Lunch had flown by because there was no time for it! The CEO would be reading stories and articles at 4! It was almost 3 now, and Elaine only had an article of jibber jabber. Then she realized her story was right. The title was wrong! Women don’t want war. Women want Adventure C!!! He was being a prudent pussy, not her!  So Elaine proudly changed her title, added a few comments here and there about men being bigger pussies, and printed a draft to be read.

Elaine was still feeling the high of finishing her great story as she entered the conference room. She walked straight to her boss who was conversing near the head of the conference table. “Elaine! I’d like to introduce you to Dan Cormack, our CEO.” A bearded, muscular man with a chiseled jaw turned toward Elaine. “Fuck,” she muttered.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Captain and Tennille: A Purrrrfect Christmas

            Once upon a time in a large flat off of St Charles Street in New Orleans, LA lived two brothers named Captain and Tennille. They were the coolest cats of the South; known throughout the states as the Davis Brothers. Also they were bandits. Gangsters. Thieves. But they were more loved than hated or feared.
            The Godmother was none other than Kathlebury Daviscio, daytime educator, all the time Mob Mom. The Mob Mom ran a strict, no funny business business. She got a lot, but she expected a lot. And this Christmas Kathelbury was going for gold. Literally.
            The Davis Brothers had their assignment: Hit up the national banks in alphabetical order every other day starting on Monday and ending on Friday, and change up the times by exactly two hours each time.  Then the weekend would bring the grand finale: Jewelry stores.  Get all of the gold, save the diamonds and tacky shit. The black market wasn’t looking to be TOO flashy.  
Kathelbury supplied not only the underworld of New Orleans, but also the North Pole. That’s right: Santa Claus. Sometimes Santa’s elves got a little lazy, and sometimes his elves got a little cheesy. When those times came around, Santa had a hard time getting them to produce nice gifts, and thus left with the only option to outsource. The Mob Mom was all too happy to help.
            The banks were a piece of cake. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the banks basically just handed over the money to Captain and Tennille. Not even so much as a scream. Then again it was the Davis Brothers. They had their charm and their irresistible stare. Who wouldn’t want to help them??  But when the weekend came, an unexpected turn in the plans occurred. Maybe it was because Captain and Tennille split up instead of sticking together? Maybe Kathelbury had been too relaxed and thought too little of Kay Jewelers’ security? Either way Captain and Tennille both found themselves in a pickle! They were both intersected immediately after breaking in by small, infant-sized beings. First thought was the cops, but Kathelbury had them paid off, and they couldn’t have known ahead of time about the jewelry heist. Both Captain and Tennille were kidnapped! Somehow word must have gotten out about the jewelry stores, and that could only be if there had been a snitch!
            Who could have snitched? It’s not like Kathelbury shared her plans with anyone other than Captain and Tennille, except on the rare occasion she had to turn in a LESSON PLAN!!! FUCK! Santa wanted a fool-proof gig, an outline of how it would play out. Fucking Santa. He would double-cross her, and now he had Captain and Tennille which meant things were now personal.
            Kathelbury boarded her jet. She wasn’t worried about the gold, but she needed to send a message that she wasn’t one to be double-crossed by some fat, old FAIRY TALE! And so she set off to the North Pole.
            As Captain and Tennille sat in their kennels; they laughed. What was this? Amateur hour? You can’t expect cats to be kept in a kennel! Especially not these two. As soon as the Elves were relaxed enough with their guard, the cats were out! BAM! Elves were flying left and right with cat fever! The Davis Brothers signaled Kathelbury about their escape. Kathelbury was sure they would find a way out, but she wanted to personally deliver a message to Old St Nick! 
            Santa was having a gay ole time, sure that he had pulled the best heist in history when all of a sudden the doors to his workshop flew open and a hundred elves went screaming for their lives! “What on Earth?” Santa thought right before Captain and Tennille came flying in kicking ass and slaying elves with hammers and saws they accumulated from the workshop. Now usually captain and Tennille weren’t killers, but these were elves, not much different from a squirrel, right?  
            As the Davis Brothers took out every elf in their way, Kathelbury landed her jet taking out half the workshop. Kathelbury jumped out of the jet with her machine gun and took out every elf she saw; pest control was here. When there were no elves left, Santa was cornered. Captain and Tennille tied him up as Kathelbury approached. She knew she couldn’t take him out completely. Santa was needed even if he had double-crossed her. She took out her pocket blade and right on his fat cheek, she wrote a nice, elaborate “Kay’s!!!” Blood poured down his face and beard as Santa screamed, but he was sure to never forget. The gang left in the jet leaving Santa all alone in a mess of destruction that was once his workshop. They also took not only the gold but all the cat toys too. This was indeed the best Christmas for them yet! All the presents in the world for their pleasure!
            Santa had had a rough day, but he was glad to still be alive. As he went to bed, leaving his worries for another day, he found a Letter to Santa from none other than Kathelbury. It read:

Dear Santa,
            I hope you learned a lesson. Don’t fuck with me or mine.

                                                                                   Merry Christmas!

                                                                                  -The Mob Mom

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wrinkly Pants: a Short Story

Once upon a time there was a pair of wrinkly pants worn by the most fabulous boy ever in the world. Unfortunately the most fabulous boy died in a tragic heat wave from dehydration in the middle of NYC. The wrinkly pants were very sad. Not only had the pants lost their status as being worn by the most fabulous boy, but now they were given to the Salvation Army. The fabulousness would be lost. Used clothes? Never.
One fine day a middle-aged, tacky hoodlum popped into the Salvation Army looking for some U.S. Army garb to wear to work. His occupation was “Homeless Veteran In Need of a Cup of Coffee or work” or so reads his piece of card board. Lewis was his name, and he had no game. Lewis was having no luck finding an entire US Army uniform, but he did find a nice pair of wrinkled pants. They looked so fresh!  And they were just wrinkled enough for his job. He didn't have $5, but he did have a certain set of bargaining skills. He got them for $2. PRAISE JESUS.
The wrinkly pants were NOT having it! What was this? Had they done something wrong? Had he somehow not paid his karma? And then it hit the wrinkly pants: this was the pair’s time to shine, to take a literal bum and make him something of worth! Challenge accepted.
On his first day of “work” with his new wrinkly pants, Lewis was not making ANY money. No one truly believed he needed a cup of coffee. And honestly Lewis was feeling a little more professional and a little less needy. He was even starting to feel strong and able- like he could be of use. It was at this very moment Lewis threw away his sign and went job hunting.
The wrinkled pants were feeling great! Here they were changing someone’s life for the first time and the pants were loving it. Lewis was now a sales associate at Urban Outfitters making his own money. He fit in so well, and was even promoted to sales lead for the holiday! But honestly the pants were getting bored. They hadn’t been washed in weeks, they were losing shape, and even worse they were wearing out around the ankles. Charity season was over! Lewis had to go. BUH BYE, Lewis.
Lewis was working diligently and folding tee-shirts like most days. Today, however, was not like most days; for one the district manager Jillian was popping in for a visit, and Lewis was up for a promotion if all went well. He was nervous, excited, and very hopeful for a decent future. He even came in two hours early to make sure every item of clothing and retail was in place. He felt like a soccer mom going on a family vacation.
Unfortunately for Lewis, he was too busy worrying about his meeting with his Jillian to pay much attention to his pants. The wrinkly pants were plotting to destroy Lewis. It was time for him to get a new pair of pants to abuse. As Lewis did a walk-through with Jillian, the pants started to slacken, and he was beginning to feel exposed but didn’t want to look down and draw attention to what he feared to be the problem. But sure enough he eventually got to point where he could no longer walk right. The wrinkled pants were now wrinkled below his knees. Without breaking eye-contact with Jillian (who was pretending none of this was happening out of second-hand embarrassment), Lewis quickly pulled up his pants. He realized he couldn't let go of them without them falling, and the wrinkled pants had a broken zipper.  At this point Jillian no longer had the patience to pretend there wasn’t a wardrobe malfunction. She suggested he try a pair of Urban’s pants. Lewis was now a wreck. He shucked the old wrinkly pair of pants and bought a pair of Urban Outfitter’s pants; the new pants did nothing for him. The fit was too tight in his old legs, and too loose around the waist. He didn't like these pants at all. And worst of all he did NOT feel professional. He had had enough! This wasn't the life he wanted! To be folding clothes all day, telling kids what to do, dealing with people who sucked at life? DONE! Lewis came out of the dressing room and walked straight passed Jillian with not so much as a goodbye! He threw the wrinkly pants away, poured some old liquor on top and lit those pants on fire! Lewis wasn’t going to wear some stupid pants from Urban Outfitters! And he wasn’t wearing old, broken-zipper wrinkly pants either! NO MORE PANTS! They screwed with his emotions and made him think he was something he’s not!

As the wrinkly pants burned in that old wire trash can, the pair of pants thought maybe he should have just stopped being pants when the most fabulous boy died. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

NYC Gems

     There are many great things about the city, great public transportation, several parks, fair amounts of art, food, a variety of cultures, etc. One of my favorite things about the city are the hidden surprises around every corner, the little treasures I find when I'm not looking. I call these surprises that fall into my lap,"gems." 

   On a recent venture to Queens, Keith and I found gems in the sense of food. Two restaurants with decent food at a great price. The first place we found is a pizza and burger joint called Chubby Burgers.

     First I would like to point out that pizza and burgers is a great idea. Both are easy to make, but they also cover a lot of ground when it comes to what the masses like to eat. I feel like MOST people like both of those options, but usually if someone doesn't like hamburgers, they at least like pizza and vise-versa. Secondly, the price was great! For a delicious Chubby burger, salad, coke, and water it came out to about 13 dollars.Not bad at all!

Our second food gem was also in Queens. It's a Greek cafe called Cafe Boulis. They have these delicious doughnut-like creations called LOUKOUMADES (lu-ku-ma-days) that they make fresh to order. YOU HAVE TO TRY THESE. They are like a petite doughnut and you can order a variety of toppings, but it's suggested to try the classic toppings first. The classic loukoumades comes topped with honey, cinnamon, and powdered sugar. There is also great coffee, and other pastries such as baklava that are really good and worth trying. For under 10 bucks you can get enough loukoumades for two, an ice coffee, and a juice. A GEM INDEED!

Saturday morning Keith and I checked out the FREE KAYAKING provided on a volunteer-basis by the Downtown Boathouse. It's really cool; fast, and friendly people volunteering their weekend mornings and afternoons to allow anyone who wants to come and kayak for free in the Hudson River.  the objective is to provide recreational opportunities to a space-constrained world. Donations are welcomed, so perhaps bring a dollar or two; it's still a great deal! 

        The walk back to the apartment led us through all kinds of markets that were like community garage sales. We weren't looking to buy anything, but we were stopped by a gentleman offering us deals from his table because he was ready to get the stuff sold and call it a day. He was really friendly, told us about the Broadway Flea-market that was Sunday, and sold us a movie and a book for five bucks. Here's where we found a gem. STARRBOOTY dvd starring RuPaul the one-and-only in an unopened case. Um..that' worth about 40 bucks on Amazon right now. Forget the monetary value, it's a freakin' gem because it stars RuPaul! Bonus points because Lady Bunny is also in the movie.

    Sunday we decided to check out the Broadway Flea-market which is a giant fundraiser for Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDs. It's the 28th annual fundraiser, and larger than ever. There are 60 tables set up selling anything from playbills and magnets, to original works of art and costumes. Last year the organization raise over $630,000, and since the beginning it has raised over 10.3 million dollars.
         I realized that I don't know half  of the Broadway musicals nor have I seen more than a handful. My desire for trinkets was very low, but I did find two cute magnets and a key-chain. The key chain is from a musical (?) maybe? It reads, " Suite in 2 keys." I have no idea; it was worth a dollar. The magnet that reads, "BAD JEWS" I thought was funny but is from a musical that I know nothing of except the title, "Bad Jews." Magnets are my favorite item to collect. Why? They are small and make great decorations for the fridge.

       My most recent gem came from Central Park today. Completely unexpected like all gems. I was just walking through Central Park during the March for Climate Change, and out of nowhere I found Big Bird just sitting on a rock playing music, holding a box, with two other puppets dancing around in said box. There weren't any cameras around that I could see, but it looked like a legit Big Bird from Sesame Street. A bit bizarre, maybe even creepy, but at the same time it was like seeing a unicorn. 

     They are the unexpected, the hidden treasure, the diamond in the rough; Gems.  Of course gems can be found anywhere you go; I happen to find many of them throughout NYC. You only have to go to find them. What treasures have you found lately?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Love in the City

    I have found true love in the city! Two loves at that! Coffee and Cookies. Separate they are delicious; together they're even better! It may not seem like deep, profound love, but that's because these are not just any old coffee and cookies. These are Schmackary's cookies and coffee and Pushcart Coffee coffee and cookies. Both of these places hold the secret of rich, deep love. 

                                               Coffee from here, there, and that place.

    So first let's talk about Schmackary's.  SCHMACKARY'S! Yes, the name is SCHMACKARY'S. And it's at the corner of 45th and 9th ave. Everything about the place is cute, adorable, lovely, fantastic, insatiable..I could go on! (I could also live there, but that's beside the point). It's this delicious cookie cafe just two avenues away, and these cookies are seriously so. Damn. Good. I have tried about 7 different kinds so far, and every day they have something new. They even have delicious pastries that are not cookies. I'm talking cupcakes and brownies that look so good you would risk you teeth for them if it didn't hinder your eating ability (I have yet to try these other pastries because I haven't tried all 20+ different kinds of cookie; priorities, people!)
     The cookies I highly recommend for a first timer: Bacon & Maple Syrup, Cookies & Creme, Chocolate Duet, and Red Velvet. All of those are amazing. Bacon & Maple were all I would accept the first 3 times I went (I've been about 10 times; stop judging!..), so maybe try that plus another ;) And if you're with a group, or have the munchies you can get a box of six for $14. The coffee is also good, but please don't be that guy who gets the "extra dry cappuccino." Keep that bull at Starbucks.

      Now onto my second part of love: Pushcart Coffee. As the name implies it's a coffee shop, and the coffee is great at a fair price. Here's what's not implied: they have awesome pastries, specifically cookies. Try the salted pecan cookie, and you'll never feel lonely again.
This place is amazing, and not just for their coffee; it also sells beer and wine. It's a tough call; do I want coffee and a cookie? or a glass of wine? BOTH, please!  That's so ingenious, it's just about insane!

 Pushcart Coffee is located at the corner of 25th and 9th ave. The atmosphere is really relaxed, and there's plenty of seating. Schmackary's tends to be chaotic because it's almost a hole-in-the-wall that's packed 80% of the time. If you ever pass by and there's not a line, run in ASAP! Consider yourself blessed, child!
      It may be time to pick up some extra cardio routines and/or join a gym. But who cares about vanity when you know the true meaning of love?! Ok, I'll bike more..

Friday, September 12, 2014

Walking 500 miles to the Art of NYC

Andy Warhol-silkscreen on acrylic- "Ethel Scull 36 Times" can be found at 945 Madison Ave at the Whitney Museum of American Art

     One might think that moving to NYC, or any giant city where a car isn't needed, would be a great way to lose weight/get in shape from walking everywhere (false!). You walk SO MUCH ( especially if you're one of the many who hates the subways). Today alone I know I walked 100+ blocks, but all of my favorite museums are at the upper part of Central Park. My first pair of shoes are already starting to wear away at the soles, but that's to be expected at the right price of a $15 pair of H&M bargain shoes.
 This cat meme actually brings me to my next conundrum. How do women walk so much in heels? And there are always hidden cobblestone paths popping up out of nowhere!..

                   (This meme reminds me of something I saw at the Koons exhibit yesterday..

..and for size reference).
..But I digress!! I wore cowboy boots one night during fashion week to be ironic/funny/stupid? (Really I just wanted to see if the faux-photographers would approach me. NO LUCK! In my defense I think I played it too safe). My point is I wore cowboy boots and my feet were killing me an hour later. It got to the point where any uneven pavement felt like knives in the side of my feet! (Hi! I'm dramatic!) I can't imagine what it would be like to wear heels.
PopWare! Fashion

Today's long hall started with a trip to the Guggenheim. I thought I knew which train to take but I was wrong. I ended up saving myself about 12 blocks of walking..sounds great but not really. The walks are nice, and lately the weather has been really nice and accommodating for outdoor activity so I did not mind the 40 block-walk at all. Not to mention the east side of Central Park is lined with beautiful architecture.

One of the fun things about walking throughout a city versus driving is that you can "pull over" and have a random photo shoot at any moment, anywhere! Here's one of Keith and his close-friend Beyonce. Beyonce was in one of her moods. Probably 'hangry.'

  Though you do walk much more than you would have originally thought/planned, you would sooner die than lose weight in the city. When money is tight or when you don't feel like spending, oh I don't know, $20? $30? for a basic lunch you have the option of $1 pizza, $2 bagel, $3 pretzel/hot-dog. Notice anything missing from those food groups? WHERE ARE THE FREAKIN' DOLLAR SALADS? There also happens to be a lovely thing called Happy Hour at almost every single bar/restaurant. Five-dollar sangria? HELLO!

Walking is great, for now at least. Maybe in the coming months I'll hate it, but for now I'll continue to walk to Central Park and the surrounding museums to enjoy what's offered. I'm loving all of the aesthetics of the city. It's just too bad I can't substitute walking for exercise. '_'

Thursday, September 11, 2014

"..suddenly the Koons is Me."

                         *Fair warning I've become slightly obsessed with Jeff Koons.*

      I had a very exciting 9-11 running around Central Park and museum hopping. -Shouldn't there be fireworks or something for today? #Neverforget!
       The first museum I flew through was the American Museum of Natural History. It's intimidatingly large, but the staff is friendly and helpful. I still couldn't see anyone in HR because you can only be seen by appointment (as I'm starting to find out, that's how these museums work). Next on the list was the Whitney Museum of American Art which I have been wanting to check out for months. Fortunately the "Jeff Koons: A Retrospective" exhibit was still on display. Anyone, artist, non-artist, art-enthusiast, and art-hater, would love it.
       His most recent works were the Gazing Ball and Celebration, but much of his work since the late 80s was displayed throughout four of the five stories of the museum. Koons has some "really good shit" as a random man described to no one in particular before I entered the museum. The exhibit runs until October 19th, and if you haven't seen it these photos don't do it justice; go see it!

                                                      Gazing Ball (Farnese Hercules)


  Metallic Venus


      I took a few photos for each room I really enjoyed. The first being "Gazing Ball" where Koons took familiar famous works of art, recreated the work out of plaster, then added a gazing ball. The gazing ball symbolizes a "sharing" element. Koons applies this from his childhood growing up in suburban Pittsburgh where most neighborhood lawns had a gazing ball "inviting" others to their yard.  I think I'm remembering that correctly..
     The other room that was like the name EasyFun was just that. It was right after Koons' divorce (fun fact!!! His ex-wife was Ilona Staller  who by the way was a porn-star whom Koons hired for his series of paintings titled "Made in Heaven," not my favorite room but interesting/amazing nonetheless. So Koons hires her to make a movie,-porno!- but falls in love with her and decides to just makes paintings of his idea and scrap the film). Staller ended up taking their kid to Italy and it caused a huge  international custody battle. Koons real life became very heavy so his art became really light. The room is mostly animal-head shaped mirrors with fun colors.
       I feel I should mention more about "Made in Heaven." It was early on in Koons career as an artist so you have to forgive him for the narcissism and tackiness that goes on in the room. He tries to BS his way through the use of pornography by posting a dog sculpture and flowers in the room saying they symbolize fidelity, but it's just about what every amateur artist does. Not to mention there are ZERO symbols of fidelity in the actual paintings. And these are ginormous paintings so it's not like there wasn't room.
                                                                     Shame Face

     The room with "Metallic Venus" is actually called Antiquity and is basically dedicated to the Greek Goddess Aphrodite. There are multiple paintings and sculptures of the goddess in different interpretations (for example there is a Balloon Venus). One interpretation of the Venus I enjoyed was a painting of a model dressed to look like Betty Page riding a blow-up dolphin. The painting is humorous, but also has a large variety of textures painted throughout the painting which I appreciate as a painter. I also enjoy the message that celebrities are like the Gods and Goddesses of our time. Very Pop Art.
    The best was saved for last and that's the room "Celebration." It's almost breathtaking. In the middle of the room is a HUGE sculpture of children's Play-Doh, and then to the left is "Yellow Balloon Dog" which is also quite large and startlingly impressive. I truly believe everyone would love this room and be in complete awe of it all.
      I finished the afternoon adventure with a stop at the Guggenheim WHICH WAS CLOSED!!!!! The gift shop was open, and the staff was mostly present. You know who wasn't present? HUMAN RESOURCES. Not that it would have mattered because come to find out they too will not see anyone without an appointment. Persistence is KEY! I need to make some friends. FAST.
   We'll see what happens!