Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Free beating with every spa service!

Because I am lucky enough to still be cashing in on the whole birthday thing, my friend Sydney offered to take me for a pedicure today. Pedicure! Doesn't the very word just conjure up images of bubblebaths, martinis, and kitten-heeled slippers with those pink marabou feather fluffs on them?

It should, right? It should...

We were heading over to Diva Something Something Nails to have our tootsies pampered. I mean...Diva! Yes! We had to be on the right beauty math tells me that Pedicure + Diva = Something Utterly Fanfuckingtastic!

We fell into a pedi-trance upon entering the salon, most likely a beauty coma induced by the sheer amount of shimmery pink the place was bathed in. Pink + Diva + Pedicure = Beauty Bliss! Exactly!

"We're here for pedicures," I told the petite brunette behind the counter. "One for each of us," added Sydney. Counter girl gave us each a quick glance, made a lazy flip through her appointment book and rolled her eyes back at the full salon. "Bachelorette party," she said, before eyeing us a little more thoroughly. "There's no room for you." Ohmygod....the faint sound of hearts dropping. We would never be bachelorettes and there would be no shimmery pink and there would be no divas and we would never get pedicures. End. Of. World.

We stepped back outside into the hot, harsh New York sun. "Wait," I said, remembering a tiny nail spot I saw a few blocks up. "It isn't 'Diva,' but a pedicure is a pedicure, right?"

Wrong. So. Very. Wrong.

We walked up the block and were immediately seated in the pedi-chairs. My pedi-lady turned on the foot spa thing, and motioned for me to dip my feet in. With gusto, I did so...and OH JESUS, BURNING HOT FLAMING WATER!!! I yelped and whipped my feet out, much to pedi-lady's apparent amusement. "Oh! Oh! I make cold!" she snickered as I studied my red feet.

As she started working on my cuticles, I remembered one thing:

I do not like it when people touch my toes.

I especially do not like it when people start bending my toes, reminding me of one of the main reasons why I do not like it when people touch my toes - they feel double-jointy, like the little foot phalanges weren't connected correctly in the womb. And pedi-lady seems to be enjoying my freaky toe flexibility, bending them all willy-nilly in her quest to remove excess polish, my cuticles, and an approximately 3" layer of epidermis from my toes.

I squirm. I make little uncomfortable noises. I even jerk my feet away in a protective manner. Pedi-lady just continues on with her unique brand of torture, smiling and saying mean things about me and my feet in Chinese to the lady next to her.

It is when she begins to systematically lift each toenail with some medieval torture device and sloooowwwwly, agonizingly scrape New York City from my nailbed - lifting each nail far enough that it makes me believe she might accidentally rip an entire nail off - that I consider kicking her in the head.

But I'm civilized. I let the woman slick on the polish. I gladly walk over to the foot dryer in my regulation-issue paper sandals. I begin talking to Sydney as if I haven't just been traumatized for 15 minutes.

Sydney's pedi-lady then walks over and places two gentle hands on her upper back, giving her a soothing massage. I believe that things will get better from here, that my pedi-lady will come over and rub away all of her indiscretions. I am saved.

Oh! Um. Ow! Errrrrr.... (pedi-lady is kneading my back like I am Rocky preparing for the fight and she is a burly trainer from a seedy part of Philadelphia who has a lot of money riding on this fight)

Oh! Um, don't have to.... (pedi-lady is now pushing my back flesh up and down through my shirt in a manner that makes my entire upper body bob up and down with the back flesh, alarming Sydney, who is near-catatonic with bliss next to me)

uhhhhhhhhh....grmpppppp....schnfffffffff.....owowowowowowowowowowow (pedi-lady is actively punching me in the back. Punching. Me. In. The back. Pummeling me. Taking out a lifetime worth of aggression from working with people's disgusting, calloused, stinky, nasty feet on my back like she is Nanuck of the North and I am the baby seal that she is clubbing slowly to death)

Perhaps there is a reason why massage therapists are licensed to do what they do. And perhaps there is a reason why I will never again in my natural life get a pedicure.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Can I get some eucalyptus with that?

I will say this, friends...I am beginning to hate public transporation. It is beginning to give me hives. It is beginning to make me wish that I lived on a small island in the Pacific and spent my days feasting on mangoes, lounging in rattan chairs, and enjoying the cool breeze provided by the palm leaf fanning over me, courtesy of some oiled-up poolboy named Jacques.

Ok, that has nothing to do with public transportation. I just wanted an excuse to sear into your minds the image of an "oiled-up poolboy named Jacques." My apologies.

Nevertheless, back to my contempt for public transport. Being the kind individual I am, and because I probably would have suffered some severe glares at work on Monday morning had I not done the following, I ventured into Brooklyn on a Saturday night to cover a front desk shift at work. The L train was not running, so I walked to Union Square, took the Q to Canal Street, took the J to Marcy Ave, took the B60 bus to Morgan Ave, and walked the rest of the way.

This took me an hour and I really, truthfully hated 58 of those minutes.

The 2 minutes that I enjoyed, however, were the 2 minutes in which a man lumbered up to the B60 bus stop with his buddy. He was a big tall fellow, probably in his mid-30's, Marine-type haircut, brand new kicks on his feet, saggy man-pris straddling his waist. His biceps could probably crush heads and other large objects and were overrun with tattoos of the faux-tribal, pointy, sharp, barbed-wire-y variety.

Tough Guy (that's what we're calling him here) looked at his buddy and said, "Dude, I'm gonna get laid tonight." He was confident, assured. His big tree trunk thighs would be wrapped around some ladyparts later on. There was an actual exchange of high-fives.

What is missing from the above description (which is pretty mundane, in and of itself) is the fact that Tough Guy was wearing a too-tight (bicep-enhancing, perhaps) grey T-shirt bearing a large cartoon picture of two cute, doe-eyed panda bears munching on eucalyptus leaves on the front, and the sentence "I saw the World Famous Pandas!" on the back. Cartoon. Pandas.

Probably to show off his "sensitive side," is my guess. Good luck, Tough Guy. Good luck.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Goin' Down In Chinatown

Last night I made a valiant attempt to attend a friend-of-a-friend's birthday party. I really did.

I wrote down directions and kept watch over the clock. I showered myself nice 'n clean, applied deoderant with precision, and strapped on the big girl heels. I left the house on time (sometimes a magical feat in and of itself), exactly one half hour before said event was to take place. My route was mapped out, my MetroCard at the ready. It was almost party time.

I descended to the F train platform on 6th Avenue, purse full of dollars, face full of makeup. I waited. I watched a guy warble something remotely countrified at uninterested passengers-to-be. I waited. I saw a girl dip precariously near the yellow edge of the platform, her jokey frat-boyfriend threatening to tip her over. I waited. I slid away from a guy who was surely the Valedictorian of the Samuel L. Jackson Finishing School for Badasses, as he mumbled some crazy shit in a nice, deep (and fitting) baritone. I waited.

Suddenly -
F Train Announcer Lady: "<Static.....the F train .... static .... Queens .... static ....minutes.... static ....please...static...patience."

Valedictorian of SLJFSFB: "crazy mumble...heh heh heh...crazy mumble....i'ts HOOOOOT out there!...crazy mumble....heh heh heh....."

The train eventually came, after I was coated with a slick layer of grimy sweat, and I had about 2 minutes to spare before I was due at the restaurant. No biggie, I thought. There's really a 15-minute cushion built into all party arrivals. 25, if you come bearing gifts. Oh, wait....I didn't have a gift. Shit.

Ten minutes later, I exited in the middle of Chinatown. I know my Chinatown. I know my Chinatown.....I know, shit. I don't read Chinese. It's nighttime. It smells. I don't know my Chinatown. I am somehow now 20 minutes late. No gift.

I will call a cab! Yes! are there no cabs in Chinatown? Why are there so many dark alleys in Chinatown? Why are there so many suspicious-looking men hanging out on the dark corners near the dark alleys in Chinatown? WHY ARE THERE NO CABS IN CHINATOWN!?!? I am somehow now 30 minutes late. And I am developing a blister on the heel of my well-shod right foot.

Walk, walk,! Cab pulls over! Cab lets me in! To the corner of Orchard and Canal, I say! YES!

(8 minutes later)-

Cabbie: "Fuck, miss. I do not think Canal and Orchard join."
Miss: "Yes, they do. My friend's text message tells me so. Please take me there."
Cabbie: "Oh, wait, I am going the wrong way. You take one dollar off! One dollar!!!"
Miss: "Oh....ohhhhkayyyyy...."

(another 8 minutes later, after 2 loops through the edge of Little Italy) -

Cabbie: "Fuck, miss. Fuck. Construction! Fucking construction! I can't do my fucking job...insane cabbie mumble...fucking construction!"
Miss: "Uh, you can let me off here."
Cabbie: "Fuck. No, I get you there. Five dollar! You only give me five!"

(another 5 minutes later, after swerving OVER a curb to avoid hitting an old man on a bicycle)

Cabbie: "Fuck! Look out! Fuck, miss. I can't take you. Five dollars."
Miss: (Realizing that "purse full of dollars" meant "purse full with 8 dollar bills") "grumble....Where IS Orchard and Canal?"
Cabbie: "3 blocks THAT way..." (meaning: 7 that way, 2 that way, and 1 diagonal....oh and, oh, the restaurant is unmarked and ridiculously hidden....)

Lesson 1: Subway platforms are hellish; even more so after 20 minutes of no air
Lesson 2: Count your dollars before you leave the house
Lesson 3: It's best to get out of the cab before the cabbie utters his tenth "fuck"
Lesson 4: "Going down to Chinatown" is not as cutesy as it sounds

Total time spent traveling to party: 80 minutes

Total time spent at party: 30 minutes

Monday, July 17, 2006

fucking summer in NYC - haiku

"Black Kleenex"
Oh, New York City
Full of much dirt, sludge, and grime
I blow black boogers.

"Turning into Auto Mechanic"
Dirt in fingernails
No matter how hard I scrub
Hand me the noose, please

"Public Transpor-suck-tion"
Filthy subway cars
Homicidal feelings start
Thank god it's my stop

"Ode to Freon"
Air conditioner
Sweet manna, golden savior
I need you now, bitch

"Sominex, Please"
City of no sleep
The heat index keeps me up
Sweat in my ass crack