Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Modern Love

Last night, Slim mentioned an article he'd just seen in the WSJ about couples who stayed in love long after marriage.

"I think the trick is to get married quickly," he said.

"What's your point?"

"Wanna get married?"


"That was easy."

"Well, I have one condition."

"Wait, I'll get a pen."

"No, you'll be able to remember. It's this: both the engagement and the marriage have to be secret."

"Wait, for how long?"

"Indefinitely. Possibly as long as forever."


"Well, then forget it! I have one simple condition and you can't even compromise that much! You're obviously not ready for marriage."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Modern Love

The other night, after a very delicious daube and some homemade pudding at my friend Lily's house, I came home to find the apartment occupied by Slim and his high school friend Jim. They were blasting Anthony Braxton and drinking whiskey out of coffee mugs. They'd also watched TV with Bonecrusher for a while. When I asked Jim what was new in his life, he replied that he was madly in love and that it was life-changing, in the best possible way. They met at his sister's wedding under the most romantic possible circumstances.

In other news: Warren just turned 25, so some of the gang dined at a venerable local restaurant whose suave Italian owner was just busted for mob racketeering. Shared by me, Maeve and Maxine: a stuffed artichoke.

I put to the table that age-old question: how do contemporary dwarves feel about their role in mythology? I think if I were a living link to Aphrodite's girdle, I'd be pretty pleased with myself. But then, I have always claimed Silkie blood on the most tenuous of grounds, and I'm not even a great swimmer.

Home of the Bean and the Cod

Speaking of Boston, GK4, former fiance, was there too (although not at the same time.) He called me last night.

"Boston." he said heavily. "It's okay, but they have some nerve calling themselves the Hub of the Universe. It's really laughable."

What else?

Well, I went up to New England to visit my married friends Rose and Ed. Rose and I went to Boston and took a tour of this Victorian house which was only noteworthy for being a well-preserved Victorian house that this eccentric insisted on preserving. In fact, when the city of Boston refused to accept it as a historic site, sometime in the thirties, he just roped the rooms off and gave tours himself, which prompted me to jokingly ask the extremely sinister, pallid guide, 'James' (lit student at BC)if he in fact lived upstairs and was just giving the tours for fun.

"I live in a basement apartment in South Boston," he replied unsmilingly. (We were, obviously, the only people on the tour.)

Then we had to listen to some recordings of the eccentric's extremely mediocre poetry, "Ode to a Worm" and "Ode to a Toad." Am seriously considering offering tours of my Greenpoint apartment: eight dollars, five for students and seniors.

"We know the hours 19th Century servants worked; we know what a bell-pull is; we know how long laundry took on Mondays!" groused Rose after we left. "*I wish they wouldn't assume we were idiots!"

She further added that forelocks like the one that fell across the guide's pale brow make here extremely uncomfortable. "Widows' peaks, too, but less so."
The reason I've been so quiet lately is a series of technical difficulties that resulted in a trip to the Mac Store's Genius Bar (SoHo branch.) The iBook is still vacationing there. It's nothing serious I don't think; seems like when the old charger broke off, the 'pin' thing got stuck inside. In fact, had to restrain myself from just going at it with slim tweezers and now sort of regret that I didn't as I had to endure 'Katie's' incredulity when she saw how grubby and crayon-encrusted my computer was and kind of had to imply I was a pre-school teacher to justify it.

When I was waiting to be called (at the Genius Bar) a very chatty middle-aged woman engaged me in conversation. Seems she is the webmaster for "the actor Woody Harrelson's official web site." (It is highly political and has an entire section devoted to the raw food lifestyle.) I didn't ask how many hits it gets.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

One More Thing

I think I may have scored a point with the furious woman at the laundry - the one who wears the Hello Kitty purse.

If you're wondering how I did it: I baked her a batch of cookies. May have temporarily disarmed her, even though they were kind of vile and from this suspect recipe from The New York Cookbook - which is to say, was just the recipe of some woman from Queens, which doesn't mean it's good or anything. Kind of the problem with The New York Cookbook. Have always resented how the bio note calls Molly O'Neill the "Damon Runyon of the New York food world" when obviously that's Ed Levine or someone.

My mom used to say that Charlie and I would be just like the O'Neill siblings: a successful food writer and an all-star baseball player! Didn't really pan out. But at least Charlie smokes a lot of cigarettes. And the woman at the laundromat may not despise me as much as she did three days ago. Which, after all, is really the same thing when all is said and done.

Reading best book ever. Florence Broadhurst: Her Secret and Extraordinary Lives. We're talking secret husbands, grisly murders, constant 'reinvention.' To say nothing of avant-garde textile design.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I should be reading The Ginger Man.

(I hate The Ginger Man. I do I do I do!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Fed Up

Slim's pickiness really cramps my style, kitchen-wise. He won't touch beef, bananas, most fruits, or almonds. He has told me, helpfully, that he'll happily eat bison meat, plantains, and kiwis. So that's all right then.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Donut Queen

Like everybody else in the world, I adore Peter Pan Donuts on Manhattan Avenue, with its circa-48 classic double-u counter configuration, adorably retro teal uniforms, colorful regulars and excellent sour cream glazed.

I persist in going there with some regularity - today and yesterday, if you must know - even in the face of tremendous hostility. Because, you see, several of the young Polish waitresses are in love with Slim.

They always blushed and giggled when he came in, but the real infatuation began when, after a near-disastrous fight this past summer (the one where one of us thought we were in an open relationship and the other didn't; see if you can guess who thought what) he arranged for me to get free donuts for life from the Peter Pan.

Well, after that, they all thought he was the bees' knees, and I had to listen to the owner tell me that she "hoped I appreciated him" because he "really loves me."

The waitresses, none of whom is more than nineteen, all clearly wonder what he's doing with a bespectacled old bag like me. They all jockey to serve him and his coffee cup never goes empty. I, on the other hand, am ignored - unless someone is sneering at me.

Initially, I was extra-delightful. I routinely tipped 300% and attempted compliments on their visors. When I was stonewalled, I became bitter and my behavior became somewhat unbecoming in one going on 27 - putting on full makeup for a 7 am coffee run, occasionally forcing Slim to make out with me in front of the bakery's display window.

There is one girl in particular who is obviously obsessed with him. She is small and silent and intense, and never talks to anyone. But when Matt comes in she turns beet red, then pale, and a joyful smile spreads across her face. Usually the other girls giggle and push her forward to wait on him.

It's fairly clear that she'll kill me one of these days. I wonder if she will poison a donut and make sure I get it. I keep thinking of the green cake Captain Hook prepares in order to poison the Lost Boys because there's "no one to tell them not to eat/so rich and damp a cake!"


Hitler was NOT a vegetarian!

At any rate, so argues "Vegetarian Historian Rynn Berry" in Hitler: Neither Vegetarian Nor Animal-Lover.

Apparently, Hitler chowed down roast squab, liver dumplings and other carnivorous fare constantly. His vegetarianism is "one of the great myths of history."

(Berry is also the author of Famous Vegetarians and Food for the Gods: Vegetarianism and the World's Religions.)

Happy Belated Valentines etc.

If you read the New York Post's 'Book of Love,' you might have noticed (just above the personal signed 'your Super Sleepy Scrumples') the following:

'Slim: you are my golden boy. I gild you with love. PS. All that glitters is not gold.'

Nice ranunculas from Slim even though he got into a fight with our waitress over romantic dinner in Billyburg ('And don't think we didn't notice that we were the only table who didn't get any heart candy!')

GK4 called to say that his piece of erotica won first prize at the party, but that this did not result in luck with the ladies.

In other romantic news, had lunch with Roger, who just gotback from Rio and various Carnival romps with underage whores.

Monday, February 11, 2008


From Slim

"Just got informed that my ex from 10th grade added me as a friend on facebook.

Frankly, i was a little shocked she was still alive as she has "issues" and we didn't last more than a month enyway, she was heavily medicated and all. actually it was quite a pathetic little relationship as neither of us had any good ideas about what to do after school. and as she was a senior, it was kindof a let down.

So am i obliged to add all of these people as friends that add me as a friend?

This is out of control and all i did was friend the rogue trader, and poke his hot french girlfriend.


Have Gone Mad

Am doing a major purge of closet, fridge etc. Was forced to part with numerous sets of past-their-prime underthings and, in turn, pay a visit to my lingerie purveyor - a trek, but the only place in New York that stocks a comprehensive selection of Princesse Tam-Tam intimates, the brand I officially endorse.

Mary, the owner, refers to all bras exclusively as "brassieres." As in, "can I lift up your shirt and see what brassiere you're wearing?" and "This brassiere is exquisite."

Later that day I decided to compose an email to my nemesis.

"Dear Claire," I wrote,

"I love you.


ps guess who got three brassieres hint it wasnt you."

Maeve tells me that my brother Charlie was in a foul mood the other evening.

"Well, you know, he'd gotten up at ten to meet you - which is way too early for him - so he was really cranky. He made me make him a hot chocolate, which I did. Then he said,

"Nobody likes you. You're horrible. Everybody loves me. I'm beautiful."

He had gotten up 'early' in order to go vintage suit shopping with me. Then was piqued that we failed to find a mod, 34S suit for under $100.

Got a call from GK4, former fiance.

"I got your valentine in the mail today," he said.

"Oh, good. That was fast."

"Nice choice."

"Well, I just bought a bunch of them, and then I decided who got what, at random."

"Really. So you would have sent, say, Liz or Eloise or Maeve a card with a picture of a Victorian cupid standing next to a flaming heart, with the words 'all's well that ends well'?"

There was a silence.

GK4 informed me that he'd been invited to a Valentine's Day party to which each guest had been asked to contribute a piece of original erotic fiction, to be read anonymously.

"I think I'll write one about driving my cab." he said.

"Don't do that."

"Why not?"

"Because all you do is talk about driving your cab, and you'll have told, like, twenty people about it, and then they'll read this 'anonymous' piece of erotic fiction about a cab driver, and it'll obviously be you."

He called back twenty minutes later.

"I know what I'm going to do." he said. "I'm writing an erotic piece about Joan Didion picking me up in a bar. She'll be really sexually aggressive and make me come home with her. I think it'll go over really well."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Oh, and in case you're wondering, now in the guise of Sexy Librarian - or, at any rate, Librarian.
Got a call from GK4, former fiance, asking that I review his law school apps.

"I can't, I've already left the internet cafe," I said. "Two of the employees were having a sack race down the middle of the restaurant."

"Good God!" said he.

I hope he's happy; I'm now in a vegan restaurant, choking down a soy latte.
For some reason, I felt like dressing like a 50s lesbian today, so that is what I did. I am wearing little pegged trousers, loafers, and a boy's button-down.

Need to:

Clean apartment

Buy Polaroid film

Take walk
From Slim, who's meeting with a team of Scientists in Cambridge (MA):

"i am in an intellectual crisis and i don't know what to do. as you know i made a highly emotional bet on gold. because i didn't have access to my charting programs or live quotes at the time, it appears i could not have had worse timing. so i don't know what to do. i'm convinced i'm correct but i could lose all of my money before i am correct. i could get out now but i am nursing conservatively a (sum) loss.

i keep having this fantasy of being able to jump out of my body and have a constructive conversation with myself, in hopes of discovering the truth or, at best, a solution. but i'm probably lucky that this is not possible, as i would likely kick my own ass.

everything will be okay. it's only money after all. i'm just disappointed that i have more to learn. i'm gonna go have a beer."

Poor Slim. I miss him.

Hating The Ginger Man very much.

Rented Waitress tonight and found it silly and amoral, even though most of the baking seemed plausible enough. When I went to the video store, they claimed I had an $80 fine for 3 discs of Lost and some movie called Pocket Change. GK4, only other name on the account, says it wasn’t him and seemed indignant at the suggestion that he would rent Lost. (Clerk was surly and only knocked off $20. Well, I wasn’t looking so great; haven’t slept well since that stuff happened on Saturday.) Since the offender would need to know my number by heart and be highly irresponsible, I’ve narrowed down the suspects. Charlie Stein, j’accuse.

Last night I bought some Goya brand passion fruit puree, don’t know why, so I defrosted a little of that and mixed it with some yogurt for dessert. When it turned out to be incredibly sour, I added a little dark brown sugar and some sliced banana. It was kind of tropical and not awful.

I should add that last week I bought a rock-hard avocado. I’d read somewhere that for some reason putting an avocado in a bag of flour ripens it, so I did, but then I forgot about it and when I retrieved it, I’d waited so long that the avocado would have been overripe anyway, so it’s very hard to know. What I need to do of course is buy two equally hard, stick one in the flour, and see which ripens first, but the thing is I don’t really care; I just want it soft enough to eat. Is the flour even necessary? What about just a plain brown bag, such as is used to ripen stone fruits? Obviously I need to expand the experiment to a third avocado – getting very expensive.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

That whole wretched incident Saturday has me at sixes and sevens, food-and-sleep-wise. I don't know why I'm so troubled.

Monday's Child

I went to the Upper East Side last night to have dinner with my grandparents. My grandmother said something like,
'you're so beautiful, you don't need to do anything else with your life!'

They also said I was too thin and tried to give me money.

I love Jews.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Ginger Man

It was The Ginger Man , number 99, that first stymied my reading quest over the summer. This is my second stab and the going's not much easier. I'm becoming convinced that these allegedly riotous sexcapades of the postwar era are not made for the woman reader. They're all (and I'm thinking too of Roth, Lucky Jim) contemporary enough for the misogyny to date very poorly, and the hilarity is escaping me completely; I have yet to crack a smile. Granted, I'm only on page 35.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Gold Fever

I got a call from my former fiancé, Guyon (GK4) this morning.

“I’m worried about Matthew,” he said. (Matthew is Slim.)

When GK4 says that, it’s cause for concern.

It seems (I had not yet checked my email) that Slim had sent everyone on his email list (including, apparently, all my friends and exes) a series of charts plotting the gold market, accompanied by a long, rambling, apocalyptic text. (It began, “It is 4 am on Wednesday, January 30th, 2008.”)

As I mentioned a few days ago, Slim has been, as he put it “bitten by the gold bug – and it’s given me brain fever!”

I knew of course that for the past week, he’d been doing nothing but studying charts and watching the stock market; not going to work; not eating or sleeping; and wearing suits and ties all the time. I’d been receiving increasingly erratic and grandiose calls and texts at all hours.

Last night I went to see Buckingham play Cross-Pollination at Pianos along with Mirah and Lily. We had a swell time but when I checked my phone afterwards I found I’d missed 8 texts and 4 calls from Slim, all of them exhorting me urgently to call him.

“You have to meet me in Chinatown immediately,” he said.

I did, as I was nearby – well, I ate a bowl of pasta at Le French Diner first. He was at a loft space on Franklin Street where some friends of his were hard at work editing a music video. Slim needed to use their computers, he explained, and also get their expertise on how to get a media campaign in motion. They seemed wary and vaguely irritated, but allowed him to stay for the next three hours. I tried to leave, but he panicked.

“Matt,” I said sternly, “madness in a vacuum is merely madness. Madness imposed upon others is tyranny.”

Then he started talking in a very paranoid fashion about being followed and bugged as a result of his findings, as well as getting a Ph.D from University of Chicago – I don’t know which I found more alarming.

By the time we left, at 2 am – I alternately slept and read a book of Slim’s called The Lure of Gold -- I was getting scared. When we paid the cab driver, Slim said,

“Give me five back. No, make it seven – it’s not worth anything anyway.”

He then went somewhere in Greenpoint and laid down some guitar parts on some track, and didn’t show up until eight a.m. He says his music has never been better.

I wish I knew what to do. Besides confiscating all his amphetamines, I mean.