Monday, July 31, 2006

Saturday night I was not working and, surprisingly, I had both the motivation to go out and a willing accomplice. HB and I hit a couple of divey places in Alphabet City and I drank lots of good beer. When we finally headed home, HB crossed the street into her building and I stumbled off toward the subway. Where I promptly fell asleep (important note: not 'passed out') on the wooden bench and almost missed the D train. Not to fret, I made it safely onto the train and managed to stay awake almost all the way home. Almost. I apparently nodded off about two stops before the stop I now call home... and I woke up about two stops after my stop. How terribly convenient I thought as I woke up and lurched for the door.

In this area of Brooklyn, the subway is elevated and, logically, all I had to do was follow the elevated subway line and/or the major road that followed right below it. It should have been about a 12 block walk. However, I managed to wander aimlessly around the not happening (read: nearly abandoned) parts of the BK for nearly an hour before happily coming across the laundromat on my corner and then trotting home with a purpose.

FYI: While this is the first time I have missed my stop, it is not the first time I have fallen asleep on the train. In fact, I fall asleep on the train pretty regularly, as do many people. But I am not one of those composed, experienced subway-sleepers who sits straight up with their eyes closed lightly and then pop up, with seemingly no warning, and jumps off right at their stop. I generally sleep with my mouth agape and my head either hanging forward or flung backward, apparently weaving side to side in my sleep. And I generally wake up at every stop and look around crankily. So yeah, I'm that guy. The guy that everyone has a good, communal laugh at on the train while he unconsciously makes an ass of himself. But, (brightside!) at least I'm not making an ass of myself, while conscious. I save that for work, where I am fast establishing myself as the socially awkward new guy.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

I feel that, with another heat wave coming, it is time for me to share my failsafe for a good night's sleep during the summer in an apartment with no a/c in the city. It's really pretty simple:

- an empty apartment (other people instantly make it feel hotter and more humid)
- cookie dough or ice cream (for that lethargic, "I just ate too much" feeling that you get after a large brunch or dinner that requires napping)
- several ice-cold beers (to numb the pain - other people have complicated methods that involve their freezers, spray bottles and trips outside, but nothing works as well as solo-inebriation. And... I'm trying to save on my electric bill)
- a large water bottle (to slack the drymouth)

And, for all of my fans that live in the hasidic neighborhoods, despite not being hasidic - which, to be honest, is probably my widest fan-base - the kosher butter? Yes. It does taste a little funny. Even when disguised by brown sugar and chocolate.

More not-too-interesting tales to follow: I have started work, the women are attractive, my hips and feet are killing me, I'm still not going to be able to make rent and the backwaiters already laugh at me. Awesome.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Cut to eight weeks later when monologuer updates again...

The reason I have been m.i.a. is because, well, I haven't been doing anything. I imagine that you aren't on the edge of your seat waiting to hear how entertaining it is to appply for jobs online. Nor is it terribly exciting to hear that I left my apartment a couple of days ago.

However, I finally have news. Thanks to KSquad, I now have a job. I'll be working as a "host" (though, really, all I will be doing is seating people, I'm not in charge of anything so daunting as telling people how long their wait is going to be) at a, shall we say, "hip", italian restaurant. I would tell you all where specifically, but my boss diplomatically said that they didn't really need all of my fans flocking to the restaurant and crowding the entrance. The business would be nice she said, but they can't just have people standing in the front gawking at me and asking for my autograph. But, judging by the troupe of Manhattan cretins (read: children) that came in yesterday, and the fact that I'll be leaving the apartment and interacting with other people on a regular basis, you should start expecting some more entertaining - and more regular - posting from monologuer. Who apparently just started referring to himself in the third person.

Obvs, the pics have nothing to do with the job. They're from Bulgaria and Greece. Well-travelled, tan and employed: triple threat.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I'm no regular reader of NYT's Weddings and Celebrations section, but over many years of getting my news from the headlines on NYT's homepage, I have seen more than my fair share of attractive, happy, white couples wearing white with confetti and flowers in the background. I have always wondered if there were any non-white or poor (read: middle class) people getting married - cause according to NYT, there are only weddings for hyphenated-WASPs. But today, breaking news: black people get married too! But, natch, they're Baptist ministers from Harlem. 'Cause where else would they be from?

In more mildly (read: severely) offensive news: Mom and I had a cabbie who was old, had a comb-over, glasses from the eighties and a nearly indecipherable accent/speech impediment. That did not, however, stop him from lecturing us on why we should have gone to Geno's instead of Pat's for philly cheesesteaks: despite Pat's being the original, and he admitted, better, philly cheesesteaks, apparently Geno's has a sign up that says that you can only order in English. Also, I believe he said that Geno's was pro-America, only hired legal immigrants and Americans and refused to provide benefits such as health insurance to illegal immigrants (though, why would that be an issue if they don't hire illegal immigrants?).

All of this is a bit sketchy because, perfectly enough, I couldn't understand him and his bigotted rantings because his English was terrible. But I just wanted to share a few more pearls of wisdom from, let's call him Izmir Juan-Carlos al-Fayez.

A Muslim man walks across the street with his young (5yo) son: "Future Terrorist of America right there... the little one. They teach them to hate us from birth." (As opposed to his brand of hatred which is picked up later in life, and is therefore better.)

On the recent violence between Israel and Hezbollah (with all of Lebanon collectively serving as target for Israel's revenge on Hezbollah): "They just think the Jews are gonna roll over and die, sonamabitches. The Jews have nuclear weapons, let's see who rolls over and dies afterall. Sonamabitches!" (Funny, I think that is exactly what my professor said when we were discussing conflict resolution in the Middle East.)

Mom didn't understand a word he said - she thought he was talking about the difference between Geno's and Pat's philly cheesesteaks the whole time. Precious.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I went and sat in Prospect Park and half-listened to the New York Philharmonic play something slow and made fun of Park Slope's cretins - I mean children. I had a burrito from Clemen's that was perfect. And a beer from home, wrapped in a napkin - when I think NY Philharmonic, I think CLAAAASS.

The interesting part of this is not that I was more than a bit bored, couldn't hear the music most of the time (especially not during the solo) and downed my burrito and beer - all confirming the sneaking suspicion I've had that I am not a cultured man of class. If there were an interesting part, its conception would be that I was flying solo through all of this. Generally, not too interesting - I have always appreciated the anonymity of New York because you can do basically anything solo and no one gawks. But tonight was different. Tonight, New York let me down.

I was sitting, trying to look vaguely pleasant (as opposed to my more natural, angry and bitter), when two legs stopped next to me and said hello. For a moment, panic seized me: "god, I've run into someone I know, and here I am by myself looking like a loser!" But then rationality set in: "I called everyone I know and they're all occupied or out of town, that is why you are here alone in the first place" (or whatever excuse helps me sleep at night - without crying). The two legs belonged to a pleasant girl who knelt down next to me and said "hi, do you like champagne?" and offered me a plastic thimble of champagne. Thinking it was some kind of promotion or something - those orchestra promoters are a classy bunch, champagne instead of shots, beer or redbull - I said yes. She smiled and said "because we saw you sitting over here by yourself," while she motioned vaguely behind her to what must have been her group of friends. I was too shocked to turn around and acknowledge the champagne more appropriately than to mutter thanks.

For all I knew the entire hill was looking at me as "the poor kid who is sitting by himself" and everyone was nudging each other to go talk to him. Much like in middle school when the cool 8th grader girl would go dance with one of the loser 6th or 7th graders standing by the wall in their nice jeans and their polo shirt buttoned all the way to the top and the whole time her friends were tittering about how cute it all was.

It was sweet of them to offer me a bit of their (very good!) champagne, but nonetheless, it was a serious violation of the social contract: people who go out alone go out alone on the assumption that they are not an object of notice/ridicule. To point out to the person (who, I would imagine, and based on my extensive experience, already knows) that he is sitting alone is not only like talking about the pink elephant in the room, it's pointing out to that person that, indeed, he is the pink elephant.

Though, having sat through the entire evening by myself, and arrived safely at home without a socially-induced panic attack, I feel like yelling (ala Jim Carey in Liar, Liar) "It was ME!" That way all the attractive women who sat through the entire concert wondering "who is that attractive man who is confident enough to sit through this social event all by himself?" would know where they can contact me. On my blog. Like all Casanovas.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The drama club (read: Italy) won. France lost. Zidane stupidly embarassed himself in his last game. I'm more than a bit disappointed. It was nonetheless, the best game of the tournament.

In other devastating news: FreshPepper is "on hiatus" - meaning he's going to pursue writing "for real." Though, if making me laugh on a daily basis isn't "real" enough for him, I don't know what will be. The truly sad thing is that (except for his being employed, having a law degree and a girlfriend and being able to cook) he almost made me feel better about myself. Thanks Fresh.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

My phone just rang for the first time in 4 days.

I was pretty pumped.

It was a voice recording. Normally I could have gotten into that because I would have hoped that it was an intro to a phone survey or something and I would have someone to talk to, but... it was in spanish.

Friday, July 07, 2006

I Am Dispensing With Titles

I just finished Curtis Sittenfeld's addictive novel, Prep.

I am perturbed by how closely I related to the inner-workings of a highschool girl... to the point that I wonder if I have suddenly sprouted a vadge and should invest in a training bra.

Sadly, I fear I don't yet have the narrator's more mature sense of perspective with which the book concludes.

Thanks for for the empathy Curtis, my neuroses suddenly seem less original.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Thank God For White Castle On The Corner.

Admittedly, I'm no Emeril. But many people have said to me over the years "cooking is easy, just follow the directions." So I made an effort to "cook" this evening. By which I mean I cut slices of pre-made "sun-dried tomato polenta," tried to cook it in a "conventional oven" with a bit of butter and then top with cheese and my "favorite sauce." I realize (in hindsight, alas) that, perhaps, this polenta may not be intended to be the main course - though, considering there is only one course in my meals (dessert is generally considered its own meal) "main course" seems a bit grand, don't you think?. However, 2 slices of hot (though, contrary to the directions, not "crispy") polenta with garlic salsa and 2 slices with black bean dip does not a satisfying meal make. And the truly shocking thing is, in making this "meal" (read: light snack) I managed to dirty up my entire kitchen, a pan, cutting board, plate, knife, fork and spoon. W.T.F.

I may actually starve this year. And not in a purposeful fashionable "starlett doing exercise and healthy diet" way, more in a "famine in a war-torn East African country" starve: I'll be trying to feed myself, but I just won't be able to manage it.

Bright side: France won (though Portugal made a very good game of it, especially at the end, and I almost wanted them to tie it up, and it's always a shame when a team wins only on a pk - though it was definitely the right call). See you sunday.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Laundry, Projectile Vomit, Hitler and Leg Lifts. I Can Smell Your Excitement From Here.

I am sitting in my apartment. By myself. Several of my friends are out of the country and therefore unavailable for harassing phonecalls from me. Other of my friends have, well, other friends. I tried to do laundry this morning (as with last night) but the door to the laundry room in my building is inexplicably locked - and, while I considered busting through the probably flimsy lock... well, I don't think I could - so, I can't do laundry. (Note: not completely true. I could walk to the corner and do it at the ginormo laundromat there. But I don't want to. Cue M making fun of me for claiming that I would start using that one because it saves me a quarter or two - which I still like to think that I will do, I'm just not up for it right now because it would involve me leaving my apartment and I'm just not prepared for human interaction yet.) Which is a shame because, after being gone for a month, laundry definitely needs to get done.

Funny, this isn't terribly entertaining. Is it? So I'll write out a few of the blurbs that had me doubled over, cackling and slapping my thigh like an obnoxious American in a foreign country. Most of them are probably "guess you had to be there moments" but... I was there. And this is my blog. So stop your bitching.

Me, on seeing a happy tourist couple holding hands in an adorable restaurant perched on a cliff (aka the caldera) staring lovingly into each others eyes while simultaneously enjoying a beautiful sunset: "I wish I could projectile vomit all over them and their table."

While playing the name game on the boardwalk in Thessoloniki...
M: "Reese Witherspoon"
Me:... (time lapse)... "Wilson Wooodrow!"
M: appalled look

Bulgarian man in Sandanski who spoke little English (though, his English is lightyears ahead of my Bulgarian): "Bush... Hitler" and he put one of his fingers over his top lip like a mustache and raised his other hand in the Heil Hitler

At a beach (which proved to be all around sketchy) where most people were in bathing suits, though many women were topless - obvs, we were in Europe - there were a few beached whales who chose to go sans bathing suits. One of these men spent his first half hour of nude beach-going doing crunches and... leg lifts. In public. Nude. Leg lifts.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Nothing Really. More Later. Hopefully.

My poor chicklets. You guys haven't been graced with the comforting glow of my sunny disposition, entertaining escapades and witticisms in, what, over a month? And, let's be honest with ourselves here (just this once), that last post may not have been my absolute best work. I'll try to be better in the foreseeable future, though, seeing as I have nothing to do with myself, I'm not going to promise the same high quality of entertainment you are normally spoiled with around here.

I flew into JFK last night from Athens via Paris (Charles de Gaullle... "more like 'de Bus'"). And let me just tell you - despite their very nice, multilingual staff - do not fly AirFrance. Because flying AirFrance almost inevitably means a connection in Charles de Gaulle (hereinafter: CDG) which is, I believe undergoing a facelift. As a result you have to take a bus (or 8) to switch terminals. Which you will inevitably have to do, you will never depart the same terminal to which you arrived. And, oddly enough, I had to go through passport control, despite having spent less than 40minutes on french soil. It was a very long day of travel. I was up at 5am, Athens time and didn't arrive home (after nearly 2 hours on the subway and 4 transfers) until 9:30pm New York time.

I am pumped for the end of the World Cup - you have been watching, haven't you? But I don't have cable, so I need to find a place to watch in NYC or the BK. Any suggestions? (As though someone is going to read this in the next 12 hours...)

I wish I could post lots of pictures and tell you all about my travels, which were amazing. But I can't. Because my friend has my camera for her continuing travels in Turkey. And I really need to go take a shower. I can smell myself just sitting here.