i keep on talking trash but i never say anything

About Me

My photo
thought i was a donut, ya tried to glaze me

1.11.2010

Why I Love The Jersey Shore

Maybe I'm a little late on the blogging about the Jersey Shore phenomenon, but sometimes it takes me a while to let things really sink in. I loved the JS from the first episode--the perfect mix of drama and flashy MTV edits, all with accents I recognize.

It took a few episodes for me to realize that the girls on the show--who at first I declared as corny--were all so familiar to me. I know, and knew, girls just like Snooki, Sammie, and JWoww, something I rarely find on reality shows. They all remind me of my friends from my all-girls high school, strong yet vulnerable. Certain kinds of girls are bred at all-girls schools, and beyond all the stereotypes, I'd like to think we're a bunch of tough cookies in a world where there aren't enough tough females. When JWoww punched that dude in the bar for calling Snooki fat, I thought, "I know some friends who would do that." Her simple explanation as to why--"you don't talk to my friend like that"--made me smile. I've had friends break bottles over people's faces for being "grimey." And while I don't advocate violence, shit, sometimes people really deserve it.

I'm sure I romanticize my teenage years more than I need to and know that I wasn't nearly as bad or as cool as I wanted to be. But I can say, with certainty, that at 15 and 16 I had some of the baddest friends around. Girls who would have taken a punch in a bar on a Saturday night and still made it to school Monday morning to talk about it over breakfast. When I watch the Jersey Shore--though raised on a different shore, miles away yet not so apart--I feel a special kinship to them that I never thought I would.

12.22.2009

Mapping

For Christmas my dad asked for a photograph of our house. Not just any photograph, of course, but one taken during the 1940s by the tax department of New York City, which documented every structure in the five boroughs. He read that the municipal archives were offering up copies of these photos--8 X 10s off of microfilm--and thought it would be cool.

There was an option to order the photo online or via mail, but I didn't trust sending it off and decided to go in person. I didn't mind. I like having an excuse to spend time inside the buildings down by City Hall.

I get inside 31 Chambers into the room off to the side that houses the records. inside are old guys hunched over microfilm machines, taking notes off of old marriage and birth records. I told the woman at the desk why I was there and they had a guy come in from a back room to translate my address into what it was back when they identified places by wards.

I had a hard time reading the microfilm and at first pulled the wrong photo roll out. It took me a while to realize it wasn't my neighborhood--judging by the houses I'd say it was Forest Hills or Rego Park, small frame houses. I went back to the microfilm index.

My house was listed on Ward Five, Block 709, Lot 24. It was on roll A-124 After working my way through the microfilm--which identified the area as Queens, with Rockaway put in parenthesis--I found the roll my house was on and went to the filing cabinet. I spent a few minutes reading and re-reading the boxes before noticing a little note.

"Rolls A1-A199 Do Not Exist."

I went up to the lady behind the counter.

"What does it mean?" I asked.

"It means just that," she said. "There's your answer."

Meaning, the rolls of film that contain the photographs of my entire peninsula no longer exist.


Rockaway doesn't exist.

(Tell me something I didn't know).

10.19.2009

re-blog

Yo!

You!

find me HERE, too.

10.09.2009

9.23.2009

Genetics





Although I'm half-Italian, it's rare that any true guido tendencies come out. I have never thrown a table at somebody. I'm not really attracted much to tape-ups. I don't iron my hair much anymore. And although I do own a nameplate, it's white gold, single-plated, which I think is about as un-Guido as it can be.

Like I said, they're rare. But it happens.


My dad came home two Christmas Eve's ago after a trip to Ragtime, Howard Beach's finest gourmet grocery and deli. He had bought some things for our Christmas Eve feast--seafood salad, antipasta, and, my favorite, some delicious, imported prosciutto. I helped him unload the bag and then opened up the carefully wrapped bag of prosciutto, hoping to eat some. What I found made my blood boil like a pot of sauce on the stove.

"Dad," I said.

"Dad."

He turned to me and said, "What?"

"Did you look at this before you bought it?"

"What do you mean?"

"LOOK."

I grabbed a piece. It was the thickest piece prosciutto I'd ever seen. As a former deli work and slicer extraordinaire, this offended me. As a half-Italian foodie, this made me want to stab someone.

"DO YOU SEE HOW THICK THIS IS?"

"Now, Katie, I...I couldn't open the package in the store..."

I knew this, and I knew it wasn't his fault. But I was angry, and he unfortunately was there. The messenger of bad Italian deli meats.

"It looks like...like Canadian Bacon. God, who was back there? Who the fuck was slicing this?!"

"Katie, I wish you wouldn't curse..."

"It's supposed to be.....PAPER THIN," I screamed. "PAPER THIN! It's INEDIBLE. COMPLETELY INEDIBLE."

Breathless now, I added--

"YOU CAN'T SERVE THIS ON CHRISTMAS EVE!"

I held the pieces in my shaking hands and went through each one. They got thicker as I went through, angering me even more. My dad now was thoroughly frightened and also probably as disappointed as I was that we couldn't sneak some appetizer snacks before dinner.

"This is from the butt-end of the meat," I said, observing the noted thickness at certain parts and the exposed skin on a few pieces. "Those fuckers gave you the complete end of it."

" You're not supposed to do that," I said. "You're supposed to save that to cube up in a pasta salad or in the house vodka sauce. Who doesn't know that? Who would even put this on a slicer? You're not supposed to have to use the fucking guard to cut prosciutto."

I started walking around the kitchen as I continued to talk, having too much anger to stand still.

"You know why they did this to you, Dad."

He looked at me.

"It's because...it's because you're not Italian. They can tell in there. They probably gave their regulars the good stuff. All those lazy old-Howard moms who buy their fucking MEATBALLS at a DELI."

"Well, I wouldn't say that..."

"Well I just did! And it's true! Look at you! Look at you! Look at your fat Irish head and your blue eyes. You were a target! A walking target for bad meat! Let me see the provolone. Let me see it--I want to see how they cut it."

"Katie, relax."

"It's Christmas Eve!" I cried again. "And we don't have edible prosciutto. Now what are we supposed to do? Buy a pack of Danieli from fucking WALDBAUMS?"

"We could pick some up before your mother gets home."

"That's an EVERY DAY prosciutto, Dad. An EVERY DAY kind. This is a holiday. This is ridiculous. You're going to have to bring it back."

"Bring it back?"

"Yes," I said. "Bring it back. To the store. I want you to show this package to the manager, the register girl, the fucking stock boy and tell them what their precious deli workers gave you. You don't need Giada FUCKING deLaurentis to tell you this is bad."

"I think that's a little uncalled for..."

"Uncalled for? Look at how much you paid for this! This imported pack of GARBAGE. Of foam-core-thick prosciutto. Imported fucking HAMBURGER PATTIES of DRY PROSCIUTTO. And you just paid $23 dollars for it."

"It's not a big deal."

"IT IS A BIG DEAL."

He looked at me, and I looked at him.

"You know what," I said. "I'll just go."

He stopped me before I could make it to my car with a solution--he stops back inside Ragtime on his way back from picking up my mom. They could see it was bad. They would probably give him some fresh meat. And I could have my Italian Christmas eve feast. I agreed and handed him my car keys and soon felt the inner Guido inside shrink quietly back down inside of me, where it was all along.

9.22.2009

What Mike Bloomberg Wants You To Think About Him With His Internet Ads



Look! I'm Mike Bloomberg. Sure, I'm a billionaire with a house in Bermuda. Sure, I'm too good to live in Gracie Mansion. Sure, I'm going to spend ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS on my re-election. I'm even too good for a salary--but you're better for it!

Yes, it's true that I'm all of these things. Plus, I'm condescending and arrogant. BUT, did you notice what I was and wasn't wearing here? A blue-collared shirt! Look! I'm just like you working schlubs on the subways--with your little ID tags hanging off your pants and listening to your iPods and reading your free little newspapers--going off to your cubicle jobs wearing khakis and oxfords. I'm just like you! It's not just a PHRASE--my COLLAR IS ACTUALLY BLUE! And I'm not wearing a tie! A regular or bow tie (or ascot, although please, I haven't worn one since the late-80s.)

Did you notice what else I did in this ad? I rolled my sleeves up! You know why? It's because I'm just like you. With my rolled up sleeves you can see my watch; I made sure my people purchased a fairly cheap one so I can be down with you guys. And I roll up my sleeves because I work so hard. I work 60 hours a week so I can pretend to barely afford the new, higher property taxes on that semi-attached house in Glendale or Marine Park or Whitestone. It's these rolled up sleeves that would have been paying tolls on the East River bridges just so I can just get to work to use these exposed forearms (ever try to take public transportation from these middle-class neighborhoods? It's a nightmare!) It's these rolled up sleeves that represent schools that aren't really better, but still get As. It's these sleeves that can say to my hypothetical children, "When I was your age, I got a real education!" and actually mean it! Mike Bloomberg is just like you!!

I'm also sitting in an empty coffee shop drinking regular coffee. Just look at that cup. It looks like it came from a Greek diner or a bodega or off of a cart. I'd never spend more than 90 cents on a cup a' joe--I mean, not for nothing but that Starbucks stuff don't even taste good. Am I right? Huh? Five bucks for a cup of coffee just ain't right! I was never one for those fancy drinks neither. Never spend more than a buck on coffee. This stuff is it. The good stuff. Keeps me up. Right?



My collar isn't white. God, I'm an Independent--didn't you see? I'm not like all those other politicians--I'm like you! Now can't my poll numbers go up?


Can't you see this blue fucking shirt?

9.19.2009

I wonder if my writing has even improved?