maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. -arthur miller



Spent the day today at Coney Island with Nanno, CB, and Raj. Coney Island is hard to describe if you haven't been there-- it's completely unlike anywhere else in the world. You take the D train to the very last stop and all of a sudden you're on Mars or something. It's partly just a beachside carnival and boardwalk, but mostly it's this giant convergence of weird. It's creepy, funny, crowded, ubelievably old fashioned, decrepit and brand-new. Sometimes all at once.

For example: one of the carnival rides is called "Arctic Freeze" and is decorated with murals of polar bears. But between the polar bears are the giant heads of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. They're just hanging out in the background of this ride, with the polar bears.

And then there's the Cyclone, a septuagenarian of a roller coaster whose matchstick support system threatens to splinter any moment. It is a terrifying ride not because it is a particularly fierce roller coaster, as those things go, but because you can actually hear it creak. It is visually and audibly terrifying.

Coney Island is a place filled with New York history, which makes me love it that much more. The same place where the young working class at the turn of the last century first went to dance halls and wore swimsuits in the company of the opposite sex is where the average New Yorker hangs out now, crowding the beach until it's packed as solidly as my sock drawer. It's comforting, really.

In addition to the regular craziness of Coney Island, today was the Mermaid Parade. Now this is something they weren't doing in 1903, when co-ed dancing was risque. It's a huge celebration of, well, the wacky. People dress up as mermaids, fish, sailors---whatever, really. They dress up their dogs, their children, and their friends until the boardwalk is a sea of sequins.

It's insane.

Now I'm home, wasting Saturday night because I have to go in to work tomorrow morning. I'm wearing the loosest tank top I could find because the line right above the shirt I wore today is sunburned (twenty and I still can't put on sunscreen properly). I've got about fifty new freckles and a pound of cherries and a Harry Potter book to reread tonight. Summer, as Martha might say, is a good thing.



Went to a party tonight at a friend of Steve's house. I didn't stay long since I have to be at work at 9 tomorrow, but it was fun. Good to meet some new people. I had two beers (mmmm, Brooklyn India Pale Ale) and kinda got buzzed. I'm officially a complete lightweight...I guess that's what happens when you barely drink for a month and a half. Though it is a good thing to let my liver regenerate for the summer, before I beat it into submission when I get back to school .


Devonric + Carmindy 4eva

Here's a conversation I had online with my cousin a few nights ago. I was watching TLC's What Not to Wear, and it turned out she (in Chicago) was watching the same thing. In like twenty minutes of conversation we managed to cover all the stuff excerpted below.

The lesson in all of this? My family has a collective attention span of 17 frickin' seconds.

bex: my mom's new favorite show is mtv's true life
cousin em: hahaha nice
cousin em: mine is Kept
cousin em: i LOVE kept
bex: i lvoe kept too!!
bex: all my favorites get sent home though
cousin em: do you love Austen like i love Austen?
bex: i loved frank a little
bex: austen is growing on me a lot
cousin em: austen really is my soulmate i think.
bex: i didnt like him the first episode
cousin em: he's been my fav. since the first minute
bex: but now i do
cousin em: i think if he gets cut, i'll chase him down and nurse his egoo back to health
bex: good plan
cousin em: isn't he HOT?
bex: his mouth is kinda giant
bex: but it makes him distinctive i guess
cousin em: i likes it
cousin em: i like everything.
cousin em: also, i hate hate hate Ricardo and Slavco
bex: of course
bex: i cant stop making fun of devonric's name
bex: because it's silly
cousin em: hahahaha
cousin em: HAHA
cousin em: i agree
bex: but he is very very good looking
cousin em: he is
cousin em: it's true
: right now we're all watching what not to wear
cousin em: me too!
cousin em: haha
cousin em: that lady hates her hair
cousin em: i love carmindy, she and devonric should get married
bex: yes
cousin em: hahahaha
bex: aaah that's my new away message
cousin em: its all yours
bex: awesome
bex: i have no idea why people dont just follow the damn rules on this show
cousin em: i know
cousin em: they're assholes
bex: please don't be as ho-y as erin
cousin em: i'm not even a little hoy
cousin em: ho=y
cousin em: ho-y
cousin em: hoie
cousin em: hoey
bex: no good way to spell that
cousin em: slutty.
bex: right
cousin em: i gotta jet
cousin em: bye boo
cousin em: love you
bex: byye
bex: you too


Summer Reading

I've spent the last few weeks in recovery from the academic intensity of finals. I've barely read the newspaper, let alone a real book. I made plans this week to go to an upcoming fundraiser for 826NYC, so to get psyched up for that I decided to get reading again. (Side note: 826 is a totally awesome cause. Donate money, or go to the superhero/pirate/lumberjack supply store near you and volunteer your time. Also, I love Dave Eggers.) The fundraiser is a reading featuring David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell, Joyce Carol Oates, and other awesome writers.

To get in the mood, I reread Sedaris' Naked this week, and bought Sarah Vowell's Partly Cloudy Patriot, which I am completely loving right now. She is so, so, SO awesome.

I've updated my "Currently Reading" section to include all the stuff I'm working on right now. A little bit of New York history, American history, and a book one of my profs assigned that I never quite got around to but looked good.

I think I'd forgotten what it was like to actually choose what I read. Feels good.


What a long, strange...commute?

Most days my commute is boring and predictable. Like tens of thousands of other New Yorkers, I walk from home to the subway, take the subway a few stops, then walk from the subway stop to the hospital where I work. I get my amNewYork, squeeze on to the 4, and get an iced coffee outside the station on 14th street. Every day.

Today wasn't really different, per se, but I had a few unexpected moments.

First one came when I was across the street from the 86th street subway station. The filing deadline for NYC City Council is coming up soon, so lots of candidates have people on the streets collecting signatures to qualify to get on the ballot. I got cornered this morning not by a volunteer working for a canidate, but the candidate himself. So I sign his thing, and by then the light has turned red, which gives Mr. Dan Quart, candidate for City Council, the chance to try and bond with me for a few moments. We talk about where I went to high school and then I mention that I go to college in Massachusetts. I say goodbye as the light changes, and as I cross the street Candidate Quart calls after me "Do you want me to send you an absentee ballot??"

Now that is a thoughtful man. Quart for City Council!

Thing number two that happened on the way to work: my coffee guy remembered my order for the first time this summer. I'm officially a regular! I get an iced coffee with skim milk (no sugar) from the little breakfast cart outside the train station at 14th street, and today when I walked toward the cart he poured my coffee. I love being a regular. I've been a regular at a few different places for my morning coffee since about 10th grade, and it never ceases to put a little smile on my face to be recognized and remembered by my caffeine supplier. Love it.

Third thing: I found five bucks.


Finger-Lickin' Good

I am always extolling the virtues of my fair city, but I'm man enough to admit that New York's got a few shortcomings too. One signifant problem is this city's lack of good barbecue.

This weekend I had my first experience with the Big Apple BBQ, and I am thrilled that over 50,000 New Yorkers agree with me, and at least a few of them are doing something about it.

So Saturday I headed down to Madison Square with Nanno and Steve to check this whole thing out. We spent a while perusing the guide to which barbecuer what making what, including a healthy debate over the merits of eating something called "Pig Snoot". In the plus column, "snoot" is really fun to to say. In the minus column, Steve and I were afraid it would look like the nose of the fetal pig we dissected together in AP Bio a few years back. In the end, we all agreed that we could say "snoooooooooot!" at inappropriate volumes without ever actually eating it, so we went for more traditional pig parts.

And then there was the strawberry rhubarb cobbler. Ohhhhh, the cobbler.

Of course, the company was as good as the food. At one point we were trying to figure out what night we might go to Steve's favorite gay club this week.
nanno: we should go Thursday-- isn't that student night? Half-price cover.
bex: sounds good.
Steve: But Tuesday is showtune night!
bex: That's really....gay.
Steve: I love showtunes. And once you two get some cocktails in you, you will too.
Well argued, Steve.

there's a great entry on the same event over at This Fish. Check it out and be jealous you weren't there too.


What's up, Bro?

I've been watching a lot of 90210 reruns lately, and something has been bothering me. Brandon always calls Brenda "sis". As in "Can you pass me the orange juice, sis?" or, "Hey sis, is David on crystal meth?" (Yes. Yes he was. For four harrowing episodes.) I'm completely bugged by the whole "sis" phenomenon. It's very Berenstain Bears-esque-- the Berenstains don't even have names other than Brother, Sister, Mother, and Father.

I don't know why Brandon's penchant for calling Brenda "Sis" gets me so bad...I mean, this is a guy who spent most of the 90's calling Steve Sanders "Bro", for god's sake.


False Advertising

Every morning on the way to my summer job I turn to go down the stairs to the 86th street subway station and grab a free copy of amNewYork to read on the train downtown. Today, in addition to the woman who always hand me my paper there was a man handing out what looked like free samples of something.

Now, I've lived in New York a long time, and while it doesn't happen totally regularly, it's not all that rare for someone to be giving away freebies by the subway station. Most times it's a company trying to promote a new cereal or shampoo or something. Once (on election day a few years back) it was a local candidate handing out cups of hot coffee. Everyone loves free stuff, right?

So when I someone shoved a granola bar stapled to a card in my hand this morning, I shoved it in my bag and went down to catch my train.

Twenty minutes later, I'm walking out of the station downtown and I figure, hey, there's no time like the present for a free granola bar! So I pull it out and look at it, and in my head I'm all "Thanks, Quaker Chewy Granola Bar Man, for this nice snack!"

As I munch and walk, I checked out the card it was stapled to. Not a coupon or promo for the granola bar as I'd expected-- the ad encouraged me to attend Sunday services at the Manhattan Church of Christ.

Thanks, but I like my granola bars without evangelism. (Also? Girl over here is Jewish. But thanks for trying.)

While I won't be heading to church anytime soon, I did stop buy a box of Quaker Chewy Granola Bars after work.


An Open Letter to My Favorite Neighborhood Crazy Guy

Dear Guy I Like to Call "Dee Snider's Uglier Brother",

First off, let me say that I applaud you for managing to be crazier looking than the one of the craziest looking people ever, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister.

You managed to up the crazy quotient significantly, particularly with your use of the Daisy Duke/thong hybrid that I think you invented yourself. It shows off your very old (but surprisingly perky) backside very well-- especially since you wear those lovely ripped-up black stockings underneath the thong contraption.

Your tight black tank top highlights your giant, unruly (and decidedly Snider-esque) salt-and-pepper mane. In short, I love you.

I'd especially like to thank you for the service you provide for your fellow New Yorkers. When you were crossing Second Avenue tonight, I was standing about two feet away waiting for the light to cross 84th street. I spent a moment admiring your whole getup, then the woman just to my left and I shared a laugh and an eye-roll. I had a nice little bonding moment with this stranger, all on your account.

So thanks for everything, you certifiable nutball. Keep it up.



No pictures for a while. My digital camera was working perfectly Friday night, and then Saturday it wouldn't turn on. I figured it was the batteries, but as it turns out, it just hates me.

So there goes all my birthday money!

Any recommendations for an affordable, VERY portable 3-4 megapixel camera?

This sucks.


I'm on Google!

I try not to be too obsessive about it, but like any self-respecting egomaniac, I check my referral logs fairly regularly. For the first few months that I was writing here, my referrals were mostly BlogExplosion, then once I had a few people (with spectacularly good taste, of course) linking to me I started getting traffic from those. I also get some "unknown" referrals, which I guess means you people are finding your way to me on your own. God bless you, and get your asses back here as soon as possible.

Suddenly this week I started getting hits from Google searches. TOTALLY weirding me out, folks. I'm a result on Google! Small step for man? Sure. But a giant leap for...uhh...me.

I thought I'd share some of the ways people are ending up here:

-The following searches all ended up at this post, which I wrote one night when I couldn't sleep and apparently is of interest to many people: "true life i'm a twin mtv", "tia and tamara mowry", "twin boys on full house", and my personal favorite: "Full House: Nicky and Alex disturbing".
-to my post about the Numa Numa Guy: "numa numa guy", "funny numa numa guy", etc.
- the post where I admit to coveting Kim Jong Il's sunglasses: "photo of Kim jong-il with sunglasses"

I'm a result for "I'm in a shitty mood", "pope jokes" and "coming fall 2005" also. Though I don't think the "coming fall 2005" searcher was looking for my post about Britney Spears' baby.