Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I will become an advertising executive

Overheard today on North 7th & Havemeyer, as I walk the long walk to the police station:

Teenage girl: What I'm concerned about is pollution. When that stuff gets on your skin...

Adolescent boy: What stuff?

TG: Butane. It's like lighter fluid. It will mess you up.

AB: Cool! I'd set stuff on fire!

TG: (Very upset that she is walking next to a pyro-in-training) No, Cal! Then you'd get burned. Do you want that? Your face will be horribly disfigured.

AB/Cal: (considering what it would really mean for his face to become horribly disfigured) Wow! Then I'd look just like Michael Jackson!!

This conversation prompted me to consider a turn on the ol' career path. Why, you ask? Well, consider this:

a) Smokey the Bear is kind of played out.
b) Fire is still bad, whether or not Smokey is passé.
c) Michael Jackson is frightening to adolescent boys.
d) Adolescent boys are the prime fire-starting cohort.

a + b + c + d = Award-winning print & television public service announcement that makes the connection between setting fires (not just forest fires, mind you, but any kind of hot, burny fires), getting horribly disfigured from the flames, and subsequently morphing into Michael Jackson. (Um...but not cool morphing, like in that "Black or White" video.)

Now, where's my Obie? Is that the award advertising executives receive?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

sleep tight

I think that there is a homicidal maniac living in my apartment building.

I swear, the above statement is totally founded; it's not just the paranoia of city living OR the fact that I watched Natural Born Killers and Mulholland Dr back to back last night getting to me. No, no, no. Homicidal maniac, I swear.

And, if I'm counting correctly, last night was Night 3 of his rampage of death and destruction.

Yes, I'm sure.
No, I haven't called the police.

After my uplifting movie marathon, I returned home at some late hour, made a phone call, and buried myself in my bed. At 4:00am, I heard the following, in a homicidal maniac man's voice:


I bolt upright in my bed, as I have the last 3 nights. Some really loud, crazed yelling, some other, unidentified loud noises, then a repeat of the inhuman noise above.

As I have the past 3 nights, I get sort of paralyzed with fear - I want to press my ear against my window to listen more closely, but I am afraid that if I do, the homicidal maniac man will see my ear against the window and head in my direction, propelling his rage towards me. This, I do not want to happen.

Then, the questions start:

-Why does he do this every morning around 4:00am?
-Who is he yelling at?
-Why does he sound like a live buffalo being gutted every time he yells?
-What is he saying when he is not yelling like that?
-What apartment does he live in, because I sure fucking hope it's not any of the ones near me?
-Why does an eerie silence always follow the crazy, buffalo-death-yelling?
-Should I call the police?

Before I could answer any of the above questions, I fell asleep. The next time I woke up, it was approximately 6:30am, and I was waking from a dream in which Naomi Watts was trying to make out with me as Woody Harrelson danced around me with a sawed-off shotgun.

I think I need a vacation. And a new pair of ear plugs.


I left the apartment about a half hour ago to get a slice of pizza. On the corner, a man and woman were speaking in hushed tones.

Bald Man: I heard it too!
Pale Woman: It was like someone was being killed.
BM: I heard him say, 'I can't love you if I DON'T LOVE MYSELF!!!!'
PW: Oh, my gaaaawd. If this continues, I'm calling the fuckin' cops next time.

I paused. They were talking about homicidal maniac man!!! I deliberately missed the light to cross the street so I could listen in a bit more. It's like Wisteria Lane around here. Thank god, confirmation that I am not nutso and/or hearing voices.

(Sidenote: I almost joined the conversation, but stopped when I realied that BM was, in fact, the crazy dude who accosted a friend and I in the corner bodega one evening and warned us to never, ever do ecstasy like he did back in the Studio 54 heyday, when his brother was a big-name DJ.)

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I try to avoid being a guilt-ridden person by avoiding doing the type of things that will instill a sense of latent guilt...like cheating on my hairdresser.

I didn't mean for it to happen, I swear. I mean, it actually hasn't happened yet...I mean, I only made an appointment; it's not really cheating until you go all the way and let them plunge their scissors into your wild mane.

I know it's wrong. There's a reason why I have stuck with the same hairdresser(s) for the past year...a) they are my friends and b) they do a damn good job. My hair is like a bipolar teenager - it needs discipline, love, structure. It needs a caring set of hands. And, truth be told, I already have those in Steph and Lowry.

But, alas, temptation has struck. I stepped into the Origins store the other day and the salesgirl rushed over to try some new treatment on my hands. I let her, because I had time to kill and a free hand massage never hurt anyone. It was good, it was fine...but her hair....it was magical, full of perfect ringlets falling gently against her cheekbones. I didn't want the gooey crap she was slathering on my paws...I wanted her hair.

Me: So....thanks. My hands, uh, feel good...


Me: Uh, sure. So, anyway....what products do you use on your hair?

PS: Oh! (looks to her left and then to her right and adopts a hushed tone) Well...I actually use products from the salon I go to....a salon for women with curly hair...

Me: (HOLY SHIT! Did she just say "a salon for women with curly hair"? I AM A WOMAN WITH CURLY HAIR!!!) Um...WOW. I want to go there. Right now.

PS: (still speaking in a barely audible voice; visibly nervous) Ummmm....ooooookay. I'll write down the information....tell them I sent you. It's like a cult over there...they don't let anybody in....

A curly-haired cult? Finally, a place I belong!!!

I rushed over to the address she provided. The door was marked with only a swirl of paint - a curl. The secret symbol.

I asked the doorman how I should enter the sacred chamber of curly locks, and he showed me to a side hallway...which lead to a frosted door....which led to another curved hallway...which led down two flights of steps...and then....the antechamber. Filled with women with curly hair.

Oh my god. It was a like a Sci-Fi flick; like Amazon Women Of Curlvania or something. Redheads. Brunettes. Blondes. Some with highlights. Some with short curls. Some with long curls. And all curls in between. I was saved. I ran up to the counter.

Me: I have curly hair. I was sent here. (Yes, I said that. Exactly that. Do you think I make this shit up?)

Desk Lady With Undiscernable Accent But Perfect Curls: Yessssss...

Me: I want an appointment! PLEASE!!!

DLWUABPC: (eyeing me with suspicion)You were sent here? Hmmm....by who? Oh, okay......zen we will get you an appointment in ze calendar....

She handed me my little grey appointment card and I headed back into the sunshine, suddenly a much happier person. I had found my people, the ones who understood my genetic disposition for frizz. I was saved.

It was when I got home that I started feeling guilty. I am cheating on Steph. She will never speak to me again when she finds out that I made an appointment with another stylist. She loves my hair curly. She cut it curly. She knows curls, too. Uhhhh....shit.

I considered cancelling the appointment. I considered 'fessing up to Steph when I saw her at brunch today. But I did neither. Instead, I kept that goddamned hair appointment and the curl masters are going to do brilliant things to my hair and it's gonna look really nice and shiny and stuff and you can't stop me.

(This is okay with you, right Steph? Pretty please?)