Oh Spare Me, Nicholas Sparks

I haven’t read an entire book in months. Generally a voracious reader, my energies have been focused on journaling, writing, painting, and creating. My attention span for absorbing new material has been limited to five minute clips on YouTube and four-hundred word count blogs of friends. This weekend I set on a mission to start reading one of the many books I bought from a library book sale (notice I bought from the library instead of borrowing, knowing that my procrastination would exceed the renewal allotment). So, I started with something simple… “The Rescue” by Nicholas Sparks. Now, I read “A Walk to Remember” and “The Notebook,” following a viewing of the cinematic adaptations. I can’t say I ever enjoyed his writer’s voice, particularly when the South offers a bevy of incredible writers like Pat Conroy, Styron, Flannery O’Conner and Harper Lee. Sparks is more along the lines of mediocrity that just got lucky. I wonder if only the word count and good choice in a literary agent distinguish his books from trashy Harlequin romances.

Now, “The Notebook” I could digest and appreciate, perhaps because of the generational span of the characters and how unrelatable it felt while reading it (which contributed to a significant dip in cyncism). My problem with “The Rescue,” aside from the title (applied to the woman protagonist and her son who are “rescued” from this heroic, emotionally wounded man), is that Sparks turns anything realistic into sappy bullshit.  His female protagonist is a poverty-stricken woman who relocates to a small town to support her linguistically-challenged kid because the investment-banking sperm donor refuses to help out and is too busy dealing with his FIANCE in New York. Wow, now what single female in Manhattan doesn’t have experience with an unfaithful bloke on Wall St.? Next, she and her kid are rescued by this local fireman, who eventually falls in love and is the guy of her dreams and just when things are going well… guess what happens? Don’t think too hard. He becomes emotionally unavailable! Yes, he pushes her away, heads straight into a sea of denial, and realizes that at the age of  36 he has NO idea who he is. Wow. That’s original. Even better yet- the reason for all of his emotional problems? Oh it traces back to his daddy and being a little boy. Once again, how breath-takingly fresh. This man tries to be the hero to simply masquerade all the hidden pain and suppressed anxiety from thirty years ago.

Now the heroine chick, I can admire her because she dumps him and is strong enough to realize that he is not right for her or her challenged kid. But all it takes is one big crying fest about his past, and him pleading how much he loves her before she takes him back (wow, once again… HOW many times has this happened to me or to one of my smart, savvy, emotionally-deep female friends). Unlike the real world, however, the final ten pages of “The Rescue” tie everything up in a beautiful little package. See, they get married and appreciate the SIMPLE life, and her lifelong dream of being a wife and mother are realized (what year does this book take place? Nope, it’s not 1960. It’s 2000!). Of course, she gives birth to his son (because that just perpetuates all this psychological, macho bullshit), and her sons can grow up and be wounded heros who cannot save themselve just like their daddies and granddaddies. I personally wish that after dumping his ass, she moved back to Atlanta (or better yet, found a new start in Savannah, a much prettier town), threatened the investment banking sperm donor for hordes of money, and then founded a shelter for single mothers who have been run through the gates of hell by emotionally-unstable, spiritually-unconscious men.

I’ve learned a few lessons from this : 1. I’d rather re-read something by Pat Conroy, who knows how to delve into TRUE dysfunction and doesn’t turn his female protagonists into matrons at the ripe old age of 28. 2. Reading these books, no matter how much I resist, brings out some kind of “readying the nest” syndrome, as I have a pot of homemade chili stewing on the stove right now. 3. Thanks to writers like this fool, women like me and pre-teens who digest literary (is this literature? strike that)…. girls who read books that are on the bestseller’s list, fall into the trap of this happy-ending, a woman-can-really-save-a-man-who-can’t-save-himself-nonsense if she’s strong and compassionate and gives him a second chance when he’s “ready”. Whatever.

Thanks to Sparks I have enough chili to get through the next two weeks, and quell the fears of everyone that I don’t eat enough and I’m too thin. And thanks to him I’m back into the mood to read some more… and not pussyfoot around with paperback, best-selling sob stories. But what do I know? According to the Barnes and Noble site, where I stole the image for this blog, the book got 4-and-a-half stars. Guess I’m not in touch with the heartbeat of America, but if anyone wants this lousy book, pay for shipping and it’s yours.
 

Sexy Misfits

 It’s no secret that I’ve had a major crush on David Letterman for well over a decade (this places me back to pre-adolescence). I recall staying up hours past my bedtime to watch him shine as host of the Oscars. I know his stint was considered a flop (but that Uma-Oprah thing had me in guffaws). Maybe awkwardness and comedic vulnerability has possessed a magnetic force on my soul for years. Letterman is approaching a quarter of a century on Late Night television this February 1st, which means this stud has been on the air longer than I’ve been alive. The age difference was never an issue for me, as I declared my objectives in life in my high school yearbook : “Move to NYC, marry David Letterman, and become the most powerful woman in the entertainment industry.” I never had celebrity crushes (but for a mild desire to make out with Nick Nolte circa 1992), and being attracted to anyone conventionally appealing to my peers. I like the misfits.

A few years ago I actually had a plan to wait outside the Ed Sullivan Theatre with a friend to snag a photo, and when Letterman was unsuspecting I would plant my lips on his. This wasn’t just a fantasy… we had a schedule set. Then Letterman announced he had a child on the way, and there was not a chance I was going to enter that mix. Call me old-fashioned and surprisingly conservative, but that was the stamp of disapproval. Letterman was to remain hands off. Any physical contact will have to be initiated by him, on the day that I will appear on his show. It’s not too far away.

                             letterman_d==========>>john_mayer

But getting over a decade-long crush isn’t an easy thing to do. However, with the help of a similarly witty and smart and talented bloke by the name of John Mayer, I found myself a new fixation. The probability was more in my favour, since 1. Mayer is five (not thirty-five) years older than me and 2. He’s no baby’s daddy. Then the rumours began to circulate that he was dating Jessica Simpson. The fact her name is even appearing in my blog is causing a squeamish feeling to reside in my stomach. All those warnings I’ve heard echo through my past are true. Men like to be with dumb girls. And even if Mayer’s new interest isn’t “dumb” and is simply playing it up for the cameras, then she’s even more reprehensible. 

I’m done with crushes on sexy-dork misfit chaps in the limelight and strictly reserving any crushes to sapphic fantasies of singers in the 70’s.

 

 

From Rags to Riches

 Sometimes the temptation to photograph my little cat, Scarlett, is hard to resist. I never want to resort to being a cat lady, or one of those people who incessantly talks about his or her cat with reckless abandon and a lack of awareness that most people could care less.(* allow me to take a brief tangent-twist and say, “could” is such a strange spelling… maybe it’s the font. I’m suddenly fixated on that word and thinking I’m illiterate for thinking it’s not spelled correctly). But, back to my cat. She provided the fiscal visionary for the upward incline of my own personal fortune for the week. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. The “fortune” already has a new “home” in the hands of bill collectors and my student loan payment. But here’s a snapshot of my little furball last Monday, before she became a rich girl.

scarpan

Sometimes Scarlett and I play wax the floor, when Scar sprawls out on the wood floor and I push her across the room to shine the wood surface. My cat, always the genius, came up with a better idea for cleaning up the pad… she decided to start sleeping in the dustpan. If she could just stay there ALL the time, I’d be spared the daily effort of sweeping up her furballs that find their way into ever nook and cranny of this tiny apartment. Unfortunately Scar didn’t like the a life of poverty in a yellow dustpan. As I went from job to job, working about 25 hours this past weekend at a podiatry show and a poker night (details to come later), Scar stayed home and did what she does best… sleep. Aside from the sense of productivity, I was paid in cash… an ever fleeting commodity. Before depositing some of my earnings yesterday, I left the cash on the floor and it wasn’t long before Scarbucks (one of her many aliases) decided to claim the Big Bens.

                 scarbucksscarbutt

As you can see, money brings out Scarbucks’s wanton personality, Scarbutt. All those bills sure made her horny. I think she masterminded the quickest rags to riches story I’ve ever heard of… well except for “Pretty Woman,” but Scar didn’t resort to putting out.

And on second thought, reviewing this blog… I am a cat lady. But, fuck it. We all have our weaknesses.

My Overdue Gratitude

 This past Christmas Eve was truly one of the most rewarding, spiritual, uplifting, and slap-happy holidays I have enjoyed in both my adult and childhood Christmases past. I’ve been meaning to write this blog, to thank the woman who was the launching pad into a great holiday. I drove upstate with my best friend, Jessica, and arrived at my parents house to find a large box mailed to me by Ms. Tina. I’ve never met this kind-hearted woman in person, but she was insistent on sending me something for the holidays… and I could have never imagined how thoughtful this gift would be. Having read my blog “Looking Glass” and the parallels in my life between wine glasses and singlehood, she handpainted these stunning glasses for me!

     starcupfanglass

Unfortunately I was enjoying the plum wine and first-time use of the wine glasses so much that I forgot to snap a photo of me with my glass. However, considering my proclivity for wine consumption while I write at the piano I’m sure there will be a trail of images with me drinking wine from the “Star Glass”. And thanks to Ross, for being the #1 Fan for the evening and for providing the vino. You rock!

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Upon receiving these glasses, I was skipping around the Christmas tree in pure bliss, from the wine glasses, but Ms. Tina wasn’t done with her considerate gift quest. Also in the box was a fairy card (which is hanging in my kitchen to match the fairy theme of my apartment), a handmade green bracelet, some blueberry scented soap (which currently my apartment entrance smells like as the bathroom is the first thing one sees upon entering), and this beautiful pen. The image below shows me in my usual spot, writing over a Fleetwood Mac Rumours album for goodluck. I’m currently working on the final song to be put on the next album, “Anger Grows.”

pen

Tina makes and sells a lot of these items, so if you want to contact her… go to her page on myspace at http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=74442557. Thanks so much, Ms. Tina!

 

 

My Seventeen Hour Day

 Yesterday I should’ve dropped from exhaustion, but I somehow managed to shake a tail feather until the wee small hours of the morning. I’m wondering if lack of sleep and overindulgence of crab cakes allows for the body to have an acquired immunity from alcohol. I’ll have to check in with one of my many alcoholic exes for some more scientific evidence on the matter. It was a beverage friendly day, from mimosas to happy hour, to then trying the new liquour “Jekyll and Hyde.” I’ll let you decide which personality of mine dominated yesterday.

eyelevelmktg 

After an early morning interview for a “spokesmodel gig” that supports the military (I definitely opted out) I was at the Javits and working for the kindest people in the world. Soloman, on the far right, is in the inventor of interchangeable panels on uniform attire, and we spent the day ripping off each other’s panels.

mejess

Here’s my partner in crime, Jess, who was the perfect sarcastic co-pilot on such a mission. She was a natural at  ripping off those ads with ferocity. On a side note, Jess and I have a shared history of portraying the role of the Dunkin’ Donuts life-sized coffee cup in the ‘burbs. Not many people can tout that credential. Haha.

jekyllhyde

Next up, I made it to Crobar for the launch of Jekyll and Hyde, two liquours, one sweet… one spicy, blended together. I had the great pleasure of pouring alcohol down an ice sculpture to the nasty mouths of drunken strangers. The spout was rather fallic (but of course) and watching the ice scupture ejaculate was quite amusing, as the dudes dodged the fluid to go back for more. I see a trend as only a few months ago I was hired to spray scotch out of perfume bottles into the mouths of strangers (and a dude I was crazy about for years who randomly showed up)… I suppose I’m learning the art of libation-spreading precision. In addition to my pouring responsibilities, I got to dance around to some vintage remixes on the bar. And below, are some fun photos in the booth… after all that consumption of… water? Haha. I really love my life.

 

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This Week In Review

It started out, an open slate of days and became a glitter-infused week of adventure. First up, was a shoot for YRB magazine on Tuesday. It was an 8-page editorial spread, so hopefully yours truly will end up in a few cool shots. Per usual, I spent THREE hours in hair and makeup, three hours sitting around and doing nothing, and maybe a half hour actualy in front of the camera! I was compared to Shirley Manson throughout the day… hope she doesn’t spend that long every day in front of the mirror with a team of people. It took another hour at home to actually get my hair back to normal (semi-normal)… and two days before all the glitter was gone. The ride home on the subway was fine, and always, once above 28th St. or so, it becomes more difficult to remain inconspicuous.

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Saturday brought another interesting adventure, that I had actually declined. However, when some casting person/agent really wants you (or they’re desperate because the job is so bad, no one wants to do it), they someone manage to turn the word “no” into, “Of course, I’d LOVE to fucking traipse to Long Island on a Saturday night and prance around in gold stilettos in a Jewish temple.” Actually, I was not informed of the actual assignment until I arrived, and was just told to expect a gold wingspan and body-hugging show girl dress and crown. Luckily, the train ride wasn’t horrible and my partner in crime for the evening was a gem. However, the 140-adolescents at this dual bar-mitzvah were quite enervating (not nearly as bad as a casino-themed bar mitzvah at which I  was also a showgirl and offered 20 bucks in monopoly money to spend the night with a 4’8″ 12-year-old who thought he was the shit. I told he should finish growing in more areas than one before that event would ever take place).

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Now… I remember my church confirmation. There was no gold lame, no casino night, and certainly no showgirls and midgets (yep, this party was also Star Wars themed and a midget was hired to play Yoda). Our dressing room for the evening was a classroom layered with Hebrew mobiles and posters that claimed “We love being Jewish.” Well… I cannot even imagine a classroom in any school in America being used to house two naked showgirls getting ready to parade around a temple with a thirteen-year-old boy who insisted we stand behind him, as his mother inquired, “What is THIS? A third world country?”

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Note the “Love Being Jewish” Sign Above My Wanton-WASP Head.

After two hours of parading around the casino and dance floor, having my feathers plucked by rambunctuous twelve-year-old boys, and posing for photos with the grandpas and papas, it was time to get out of the painful head-dress and body-hugging lame, and head back to civilization… err Manhattan. The pink glitter will probably last on my lids for a few more days. I’m wondering if I should just consider keeping it a permanent fixture on my face. At least the dent in my forehead from the head-gear disappeared by this morning. Can’t wait to discover what this week will unveil.

 

Heaven On Earth

As with every year’s end, I compose my list of achievements, highlights, and struggles for the year. Let’s say 2007 topped out with a majority of struggles… severe heartache and lots of health problems for me and everyone around me. But you know what? The points that were high were truly soaring… above those clouds. All the highlights involved seeing my favourite icons perform- Stevie, Babs, and Bette. All within a month’s timespan. My proclivity for male performers may be limited, but I profess my true love for Tom Petty. He may be looking more like Joni Mitchell every year, but the rocker is hot! Imagine my great chance to see Stevie and Tom perform at the Garden, on a steamy night in June… just a few rows back, dancing around like a hippy as a gaggle of divorced, middle-aged men tried to tear my attention in their direction. Something’s very liberating about maniacally dancing at a concert you attend solo, surrounded by Long Islanders in leather chaps, divorced dudes trying to bond, and people with rockstar hair like it’s 1989 all over again. I’m so glad to have come across this clip, of the same show I attended at the Garden. Stevie is a pure blend of grace, sassyiness, and sex appeal. Each viewing of this song just opens my veins to firehose capacity, as the endorphins run rampant through my bloodstream.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPapJNTFrdQ