About Me

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thought i was a donut, ya tried to glaze me

6.28.2007

celebrity endorsements gone terribly wrong



I'm starting to like Dunkin Donuts less and less with each Rachael Ray commercial I see. Did she really just say fantabulous? Why is her dress so tight? Those commercials feature the kind of corniness that'll make me stop buying iced coffees. I can usually avoid her EVOO & cheap-ass tipping on $40 a day by changing the channel. But now she sneaks up on me while I'm watching other shows, usually in an effort to avoid her. Great.

OH NO!

"So it goes for the next two hours. Sting repeatedly hits the brakes, fussing with the groove or Summers' guitar tone. At one point, Sting and Summers debate a three-note lick in "Walking In your Footsteps" for half an hour. Sting has Summers play it over and over, in different ways. Summers obliges with the poise of one who's been there before."

David Fricke, in the June 28th issue of Rolling Stone

Am I worried that The Police will break before I get to see them play at the Garden? No. I'm just really upset because this means I'll have to sit through "Walking In Your Footsteps"--gross! A stupid song about dinosaurs! I wish they'd put "does everyone stare" on the set list!

6.26.2007

what was I thinking when I said it didn't hurt ?

I'm 21 now, which, depending on who you ask, is either young or old. I'd be stupid to think I was the latter--old people are wise, right? And they have jobs? But I have had a few years of livin' under my belt which means I have digested tons of advice. Some has been unsolicited, like when the lady giving me a pedicure suggests I also "get eyebrow wax!" or that time I got into a car accident on Ocean Parkway and hoards of people filed out of Coney Island Hospital to offer suggestions on what to do ("don't call insurance! not worth it!"). Then some advice I ask for, like tips for the perfect blow out, or if I look better in brown or black.

A year into my 20s, I've found that some advice matters more now than ever. Like that blow-out advice. Or one very important piece of advice from one of my favorite professors, Barry Sherman. Advice I don't remember verbatim but will try my best to fill in the blanks.

.........
It was one of the last classes of Visual Aesthetics, Spring 2006. Sherman asked who was graduating, and a few students reluctantly raised their hands. He smiled.

"I'm going to give you a piece of advice now. I'm going to let you know that your time after college will be some of the most miserable of your life."

We all groaned. Was he seriously telling us this?


"It's not always going to be easy. If you go to Grad School the people won't care about you and the professors are even busier than they are now and they don't give a shit about you! And if you get a job, well, that's even worse. You won't have a lot of money. You'll feel abandoned, alone..."

I spoke up.

"Sherman," I said, "that's the most depressing piece of advice I've ever heard."

He smiled again.

"I'm just telling you the truth. But listen to me. There are three things you need to remember. Three things to get you by. Don't do drugs. Don't gamble. And most of all, don't kill yourself. If you find yourself at a low point, think of me over your shoulder, behind your reflection in the bathroom mirror, like Yoda. Think of old Sherman telling you this--it gets better. Believe me, trust me, it does. I don't remember how old I was when I realized it but I remember this; I was walking from my apartment to meet some friends for dinner. I had an apartment, I had a steady job that was paying me money in something I liked doing. And I walked by a restaurant that was advertising a three course steak dinner--I don't remember how much--but I said to myself, 'if I wanted to, I could go there right now and pay for dinner'. And that's when I realized I was out of it. It was over, it got better. I was free. "

Most people aren't honest when they tell you how it really is. Most poeple gloss over the truth, and forget about how it was for them now that they're out of it. But I'll be forever grateful for hearing it before I even though I'd need it; for hearing this:

"Believe me when I say--it's not going to be easy. But it won't always be so hard."

6.24.2007

totally 80s video post







somebody spit on Sting while he was performing & he got pissed!

6.20.2007

pimpage

dear loyal readers (hi kerri fortune!),

This following has been published in the 2007 edition of the Sequoya, the literary and arts publication at St. John's. Pick up a copy at the Writing Center to see it in the flesh. Trust me, it's not all fluff like this; they just put mine in because I paid them to.



Psychics



When I was a senior in high school my friend Candace and I went to visit my sister Roseanne at college. Candace had just applied to SUNY New Paltz and wanted a weekend to check things out, and I wanted a weekend away from my parents, so it was the perfect situation. We arrived Saturday morning, too early for my sister, but she let us into Bevier Hall and her dorm room anyway. Our plan for the day was to spend some time on campus and walk around town, do a little shopping, get some lunch.


“And maybe we can even go to one of the psychics in town!”


My sister knew how much I loved psychics. I always wanted to visit one, even after all those nuns in school told me they were against my religion and they didn’t know what they were talking about. But what did the Sisters know, anyway? They obviously hadn’t seen Sylvia Brown on Montel—she seemed like Light and the Way, at least to me. I assumed all psychics were as great as she was, and I built up my first psychic reading to be life altering and amazing. What would I learn? Who from the great beyond would contact me? I waited a long time for the moment to happen, and sitting in a dorm room at SUNY New Paltz, I was assured my moment was about to come.


By noon we were walking up Main Street. We passed stores like The Groovy Blueberry, which only sold tie-dyed clothes, and some store that only sold incense. We ate burgers at McGillicudy’s and then continued down the street, and I knew with each step I was getting closer to my life-changing psychic experience. When we finally arrived at The Awareness Shop, built in an old white house with a wooden sign pegged into the front lawn, I was almost too anxious to go in. Who knew what was waiting for me through those big double-doors? I walked through the hallway and tried hard to take it all in—the tapestries on the wall, the crystals hanging from the doorframes, the faint smell of peyote. This, I thought, was exactly what I dreamed about. The people here were about to tell me what the rest of my tomorrows were going to be like, and trust me, I was ready.


My sister walked up to the front register and got some information. The woman sitting there told her the three psychics were all in the middle of readings, and would be out in a couple of minutes. She encouraged us to take that time to look around the shop.


“We have a sale on healing stones, three for $10,” the woman told us, motioning towards the section of the store marked… “Healing Stones.” I was tired of shopping for things I didn’t really have a use for, so instead I took a seat on one of the couches in the corner. There, I mentally prepared a list of things I wanted to ask my psychic. Things like--where would I go to college next year? What was I going to do for the rest of my life? Will there ever be peace on earth? Would I ever find true love? Who was I taking to senior prom?

When the first psychic emerged from her office, she was smiling and laughing with her client. I didn’t want to be the first to go, so I made Candace go with her. Introductions were made, and the two of them went behind a curtain, where I assumed predictions of a bright future were waiting. The next two psychics came out at the same time, 10 minutes later. One was an elderly woman with purple glasses, and she, like the first psychic, walked out smiling and laughing with the other women who walked through the beaded curtain. They even shared a hug and a kiss on the cheek. The other psychic was a guy, and he walked silently out of his cubicle with another woman, but they didn’t look very happy. Something about it didn’t seem right, and then I heard him say something to the women that didn’t help: “I’m sorry, it’s just what’s in your stars.” And I could’ve been wrong, but I think the lady might have actually been...crying.


I wondered what that was all about. But then I thought, maybe she just has a really shitty future and doesn’t know how to deal with it. I’m sure this guy was just being honest with her, and if I had my reading with him, things would be different, obviously. And sure enough, my sister ended up with the smiling woman and I walked slowly over to the guy, who was talking to the woman at the register.


He didn’t notice me at first so I waited and listened for a break in conversation so I could jump in. Except...there was no break in conversation. It was a nonstop gab-fest, like they hadn’t seen each other in years. What was worse, they weren’t even talking about stuff I expected psychics to talk about. No mention of tarot cards or sharing of next week’s lottery numbers-- they were talking about how much oil had gone up and how it made the utilities on this dude’s apartment higher.


Didn’t he see me standing there? Didn’t he at least FEEL my presence?


I finally had to wave my hand in front of them to get their attention.


“Oh, I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t see you there.”


He turned to the woman at the register, and let out a heavy, disgruntled sigh. As if I wasn’t standing right there.


“This is my next session?”


She nodded her head and he held out his hand.


“I’m Ron, let’s go inside.”


I followed Psychic Ron into his corner of the shop, to the left of the bathroom. There was no beaded curtain or moon tapestry to walk through, and his space was blocked off by a wall, making it just as private but not as cool as walking through beads. He invited me to take a seat on his wicker bench, which was a lot more uncomfortable than I expected it to be. Psychic Ron sat across from me, next to a desk with a laptop on it. His Psychic Certification certificate was hanging on the wall, not in a frame but instead pinned with a thumbtack. There was a photo of a kitten on his desk.


“So, hi. I’m...Ron. I didn’t’ catch your name.”


“Uh, Katie.”


“Katie? Alright, Katie, what the next thirty minutes will be about is you using my abilities to find the answers to all the unanswered questions in you life. Now, what I use is a program on my computer to get your star chart—“


A computer program?


“—and from there, we can find the map of your life that has been predetermined by the alignment of the moon and stars the moment you were born and—“


Seriously, a computer program?


“—hopefully give you some answers. Sounds good?”


What the--?


“What kind of computer program do you use?”


“Oh, just something I got off the internet. It’s...it’s really just a starting point—“


He got it off the fucking internet?


“—that I use in predicting things. Alright, so, uh, what is your date of birth?”


I gave him the information—my date of birth, the time I was born, what part of the Earth I was born on. He typed it all into the computer and waited—

“Sometimes it takes a while…this computer’s a piece of crap. I’m thinking about making the switch to a Mac.”


--and waited. Finally he looked down at the screen and shifted in his chair.


“Ah, alright, ok. Sagittarius—you are optimistic and freedom-loving, jovial and good-humored, honest and straight-forward, intellectual and philosophical...”


All true, of course, but I could have gotten that in the back of Cosmo. I wanted him to get to the good stuff—my future.


“With your star chart here....uh huuuh....alright.....ok. Now, if there anything specific you want to know?”


Here’s where my mental list came in handy. My voice cracked as I asked him--


“Uh, yea, well....so I’m a senior in high school? And I applied to a whole bunch of colleges? I was just wondering how that’ll all turn out?”


Psychic Ron rubbed his chin, his eyes still fixed on the screen.


“What kind of colleges?”


“The 4 year kind?”


Ron nodded his head.


“Now, judging by your chart here? I don’t think a regular 4-year university would be ideal for you.”


I knew I should have applied to the Ivies!


“See....I feel a school with a career at the end of it will be the best decision for you. Maybe a trade school….basically, something that doesn’t take as long but guarantees you a job when you graduate.”


Oh.


“Oh. Uh, alright. But like, what if I just try at one of these colleges that I applied to?”


“You’ll probably fail miserably. Now, did you want to study anything in particular at these schools?”


At 17 my main goal in life was to one day write for All My Children....and maybe it still is. Don’t judge me.


“Uh, something in television?”


“Yea, well....it’s not here. I don’t see you working in that field.”


He waited a few seconds for a reaction.


“Sounds good?”


Sounds good? It sounded terrible! Now what was I supposed to do for the rest of my life—air conditioner repair?


“So what else would you like to know?”


Psychic Ron, the dream killer, didn’t seem to notice the look on my face because he kept moving on. At that point the only thing I still wanted to know about was my future love life.


“I was wondering. about…my love life? True love… and stuff? Is there anything on that chart about that?’


He banged a few keys and then his computer starting making a weird noise and Ron looked up at me.


“Ok, so, your love life. Alright, well, you’re going to find love early. I foresee a young marriage.”


Young marriage --that’s adorable! Maybe I’d marry the person I took to prom!!! Just imagine all the great photos!


“But you see--”


Uh oh.


“The only reason you will marry the guy is because you’ll be pregnant.”


Oh my God.


“And like, the guy…he’s an alright guy, but you don’t really love him. You just marry him because he can provide for you and the baby.”


Oh my God. Oh my God. In twenty minutes my life went from working in soap operas, to being one.


Psychic Ron glanced at his watch and said—“I think we’re almost done here. Anything last minute questions you want to ask me?”


Maybe who the hell let you be a psychic?


“No, I’m all set.”


But I wasn’t. My head was spinning and my face felt hot and I couldn’t hide my disappointment any longer. I bet if I met with Sylvia Brown my future would look better. I bet if I was in the audience of Montel she’d tell me what I wanted to hear.


Ron walked me out and looked at me; I guess he saw in my face just how upset I was. And then he said the words I heard thirty minutes before, back when I didn’t think they applied to me.


“Hey, you know, I’m sorry…it’s just what’s in your stars.”


I felt like crying.


But instead I nodded at him, and thought about how great it would feel to punch him in his face. I wish I knew when I walked into that stupid, smelly shop that it was full of dirty liars. I wish I never went in to that big white house—I should have stayed back in my sister’s dorm, and played Playstation or something. Anything was better than this.


Roseanne and Candace were outside on the couch, smiling and waiting for me. They both looked so excited, and they shared with me their own psychic predictions. Roseanne’s psychic told her she’d find a career she loved after graduation, and meet her “true love” just in time for Spring Weekend. Candace’s psychic told her she’d really “come into her own” in college, and meet a boy who would play guitar, and blah blah blah.


Really, who cares? Hooray for them, and their bright futures. I’d be lying if I said I was happy for them, because I wasn’t. And I still had to pay $30, which sucked, because I could have spent that money on one of those hemp pullovers I saw at a shop on Main Street. At least then I’d have something to show for my trip.


Once we left the shop I let Roseanne and Candace know what my psychic told me, and they just laughed and laughed. They didn’t think it was really true, and I guess I didn’t either, but I still didn’t find it very funny. I now I had a story to tell at parties, but something about it still hurt. None of these things came true—I’ve made it through college, and I haven’t gotten knocked up (yet). But the worst part about this was I lost my faith in all of the outer worldly things I once believed in. I no longer read my horoscope. I threw out the Tarot Cards my sister gave me for my birthday. If Sylvia Brown is on a talk show, I immediately switch to Judge Joe Brown because the initial pain and deceit of this former demy-God is too much for me to take.


…But you know what? I always switch back. I guess I’m still waiting for my moment with the woman who, for me, started it all, so I can finally hear exactly what I want to hear.

can i get arrested for this?

To leave the world a little better,
Whether by a healthy child,
A garden patch,
redeemed social condition
or bar graffiti...

ralph waldo emerson



Last fall I was talking to my friend Teeny about one of our favorite local spots, Connolly's. I was mulling around the idea of having my graduation party there, before it opened for the summer.

"Oh, Connolly's?" she said, reluctantly. This surprised me, since she loves that bar more than anything.

"Yea, why? Don't think it'll be good? Don't think they'll let me have it there?"

She went quiet. I got nervous.

"Well....," she started, "there was this time, last summer. I was sitting outside at the table in the backyard with Jeff and Kerry..."

sidenote: Jeff and Kerry own the bar. Everyone I know is jealous of their life. But anyway.

"And we were sitting there...and they're talking about how upset they were that people were disrespecting the place and then they motioned towards the bench they were sitting on and said 'Look, look at what somebody did' and I looked and saw it."

"What was it?"

She sighed.

"It was HONAN carved into the bench."

My face went red; my heart beat faster.

"Maybe it was another Honan? Maybe it was somebody else?"

I told her maybe, maybe it was somebody else (my sister perhaps? my mom?) but only because I was too embarassed. I don't remember doing it but I knew it had to have been me. I know this because that it what I do--I drink, I get drunk, I carve my name into surfaces. I hadn't seen the scrawled mess until last week, when I was sitting out there late-night as my friends smoked. I lit it with the screen of my cell phone and was assured even more that I was responsible for what looked like this, albeit on a brown wooden bench :



How can I book a party with my scratchiti in the bar?

And if that's the case, I should be banned from every watering hole in the 1169-zip code. Hell, every bar I've ever been to, I've tried to leave some mark, some poor, drunken effort to let them know who's been there--me. The Irish Circle spent millions of dollars on renovations and the first thing I did, while peeing in a stall, was use my house key to carve my initials and year in the bathroom door. Every stall, too. You go into any stall of the Irish Circle--yes, even after they painted over the other wack graffiti, done in pen, by foolish girls who didn't realize sharpies can get painted over but carving is forever--and you will see this :



I've done it in Last Call, in Traditions, maybe even the Sly Fox. I've done it in McFaddens and Metro 53 and Town Crier and the Saloon and Waterloo, and now, as I'm older, I've finally felt ashamed. Why my obsession with leaving a mark? With telling the world I've bar crawled on the Upper East Side?



I read an editorial in The Torch once about artists; the writer said writers and painters work so hard and so passionately on what they do to show the world they're alive. "It's the equivalent of someone carving their name on a bathroom wall" the author wrote, and that line has stuck with me. I consider myself a "writer" (trust me, the quotes are warranted) and the reason I do it, besides the fact that since I've been able to I've felt the intense need to, is to let the world know I'm here. To leave a mark somewhere, for others to find it even years later. I know I'm reaching here to find a correlation between the actual art of writing and my own juvenile need to put key to wooden door. I know it's destructive and dumb, and sometimes I don't even remember doing it. People probably don't even notice it, and they go about their business without ever paying the faint scratch any mind.

But sitting in a bathroom stall a few weeks ago in the Irish Circle--Bud Light bottle barely balancing on the toiler paper holder, tons of loud girls talking and waiting on line--my eyes caught it. I noticed it. Carved into the door, crooked in the middle, now covered by a few more coats of paint, was KH with the year underneath--05.

I was 19 or 20 when I carved that, most likely at a Wacky Wednesday. I probably had my big red solo cup resting on the toiler paper holder. I don't know what I was feeling or thinking but I'm sure I felt pretty badass doing it. So in 2007 I smiled.

There I was, I thought. And here I am. And there I'll go, or be, because everywhere you go there you are. This is true. Where will I be in another two years--peeing in the Irish Circle? I hope not. I hope I'll be busy with my eternal quest to leave a mark. And if that fails I'll know I left it, way back when, in the easiest and most immature way. Maybe I'll even get a smile out of thinking about people sitting on my name in the backyard of my favorite bar. I'm sure at the very least I'll get some satisfaction from remembering where I've been.

6.17.2007

People Make Plans--God Laughs

I never know what to make of that quote. Part of me recognizes that it makes sense--assuming you have some sort of belief in some sort of God, that is.

But the other part of me gets really angry at the thought of God laughing at us. Like he's up there busting a gut every time I write a To-Do list for the week or book a trip.

"HA HA, My child! You just used expedia.com to plan a trip to Aruba. How will you get down there in this HURRICANE I plan on making! Ha! Plans! Hardy har HAR!"


Then there are the people who say, "It's all in God's plan." They usually say this when something tragic happens (and again, I get it, faith gets you through the tough times, and there's nothing cynical or funny I can say about that). But there are also the people who use that phrase, that idea, as a write-off for all their stupid decisions.

"Look, Dad, I know I crashed the car. I know it might have been because I was drunk. But hey! It's all in God's plan, right? He's the architect, the master planner, the man with the blueprints. Right?"

Same goes for those "everything happens for a reason" people. Like--

"I just got fired for pilfering money from my office's bank account. But hey, everything happens for a reason!"


Oh, really? God wanted you to steal from your boss? He wrote it in His big ol' Book of Human Plans that you'd do that really dumb thing? Didn't he also give us free will, reason, opposable thumbs? Who's driving your life--yourself, or a God you only mention to explain your life away?

I think the reason these sayings bother me so much is because they are used as crutches. I'm not about to get all philosophical on your asses but I will say this: there's nothing wrong with a little self-responsibility. The universe may be guiding your life, but you can still be a backseat driver.




i saw this on a stairwell at the kings highway subway station, just came upon it after taking what was the worst B train ride in my life. funny enough, it was the worst train ride of my life because of how much i loved being drunk the night before. i was Stage Two-ing it for sure; not a good idea. i was loud & rambling & having a grand old time. friday was not as fun.

somewhere between 34th & west 4th i realized i was That Person on the train--the one who smelled bad. no one would sit next to me, not even homeless people. and that just made my feeling like a train hit me that just worse; being shunned by other smelly drunks, by other people who smelled like beer. what's to love about that?

6.10.2007

S-O-C-I-A-L-L-Y A-W-K-W-A-R-D

dear mom & dad,

thank you for not homeschooling me.

love,
katie


6.09.2007

look what i found!

well, look what i was shown. can't believe I, the internet stalker, missed this one.

this almost beats their performance of "superstar" at the tap & grill in rockaway (with guest vocals by ME!). i got that tape somewhere in my house.

6.05.2007

foiled terror plot suspect look-alike of the day






Is it disrespectful that I'm bringing the late Ed Bradley into this? Maybe. But the resemblance is uncanny. I walked by the amNew York stand today and nearly fell over when I saw this photo.

6.03.2007

snakes

I give up.


NYC Department of Motor Vehicles, with your stealth "red-light" cameras -- you've caught me again. Take all my money, take all my pride. Take those embarrasing photos of my car, in the crosswalk, breaking the law, the back of my head (attached to a body that was most likely late to work/school), and mail them to my house.

Cross Bay Boulevard, I hate you.

I wonder if my writing has even improved?