January 31, 2004

Look Better Naked

We joined the new David Barton Gym this week. It's scheduled to open on May 1st. That gives us 3 months to get into shape and look good at the fancy new club.

And only 5 weeks to tone up for a week of SCUBA diving in Belize. Thank heavens those black wetsuits are so slimming.

Speaking of diving ... we had dinner at Sette the other night, and the special was Parrot Fish. I love Parrot Fish ... to look at while I'm diving. I couldn't imagine eating one. So I had the scallops.

January 30, 2004

The Raven Was Called Sin

A long time ago, when I lived in Chicago with my roomate Parker, we had a very entertaining Poseidon Adventure party. We watched the film, and when the boat turned over, we turned all the furniture upside down. I had bought little medallions on chains at Uncle Futz, and when Shelly went for her final swim, we handed them out to everyone. There were other trinkets as well, but it was a dozen years ago and I've had drinks since then, so I really don't recall.

"So what?" you may be asking.

Well I'll tell you what. I think that we may have found the perfect setting for a new movie-themed evening of entertainment. By the time MAK and K get settled into their new place and are ready for a housewarming party, it'll be just about prom season. What better time to have an interactive viewing of Carrie? When we drop the bucket of blood on her head, we won't have to worry about the clean up.

Who's in?

January 29, 2004

Don't Tell PETA

Here's an annoying amusing little pastime.

Click once to jump, once to hit.

Connie's goal is 600, I haven't hit 500 yet.

How'd you do?

I Want A Doll!

Now that the holiday rush is over, we can revisit the dolls. Or maybe not.

A friend of mine just took her daughter to a birthday party there. The soiree consists of a tea party with your closest friends and their mothers. You bring your own American Girl to the tea.

What!?! You don't have one?

No worries, they'll gladly provide you with a loaner for the day. Genius marketing technique ... "Mommy, I've had little Josefina all day now, and I love her so much. I can't give her up. I. Just. Can't."

So then after tea, you get to go to a show. A live show. Young girls dressed up, acting out the stories of the various American Girls.

"It's really pretty well done," my friend reluctantly admitted. "You should go see it. Of course, you might get some odd looks, being the only grown man there by himself."

"Can I borrow your daughter?"

"Sure, she'd love it."

So here's the beauty of it ... $20 head for the tea/lunch and $30 for the show. 20 kids, 20 parents ... yeah, that's $2 grand, not including shopping. For a six-year old's birthday party. Who says the economy's in trouble?

If you're interested, book early. Apparently weekend lunches are fully booked until Memorial Day.

What is this place ... Balthazar?

My New Boyfriend

Katie and Matt were boring me this morning, so I popped in a DVD for distraction and watched him get plowed while lying in a sink.

So romantic.

I think I love him.

January 28, 2004

Child's Pay

I probably wouldn't have noticed anyway, cause odds are I'm not watching the Super Bowl, but that's not the point is it?

Remember those Bush in 30 Seconds commercials? Seems that the winning one, Child's Pay, isn't going to be aired and our friends at MoveOn.org have started a little campaign for that silly old right of free speech.

If you really want to go get your politic on, let me know and I'll forward you their email with all kinds of nice paths to action, inlcuding Les Moonves phone number.

And if you get hold of him, ask him to hurry up and put Amazing Race back on soon.

January 27, 2004

Um, Sigourney Looked Nice

I watched the Oscar nominations this morning. I watched the Globes Sunday night. I used to get so excited over all this, but I really don't seem to care this year.

Don't get me wrong, I'll attend your Oscar party, be witty and charming, and bring a thematically correct covered dish. But right now it's a big yawn.

I guess the more telling thing is that I've only seen one of the nominated films, even though I love going to the movies. I saw Seabiscuit on a plane a couple weeks ago and, as much as I wanted to watch In America (yup, it's on the in-flight menu already) on Sunday, I was just too knackered.

Is it me? Is the the selection of what's out there? I was more excited last year, but we had Far From Heaven and The Hours then. *sigh*

What about y'all? You excited about this or has the Academy blown its wad?

January 26, 2004

How Many Wrongs Make a Right?

Back home after my big fat Brittish branding business trip. It was a skosh stressful, but very successful and productive on the work front. The non-work side of things was, albeit limited, a blast.

Saturday's theme turned out to be hell, as I got to see the disturbingly fascinating new exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery and Jerry Springer the Opera, which was wrong on so many levels that it turns out to be 2.5 hours of right.

Both were over the top. Way over.

Details later, have a bunch of work to do since I had the unmitigated gaul to take a weekend off. No rest for the weary.

January 21, 2004

Living It Up

I probably should have just gone to bed last night, but ended up wandering around town ... walking down Oxford Street, window shopping at Asprey, taking in the energy of Picadilly Circus.

I was feeling, as Ricki Lee once said, "a little lonely, a little sad, a little mean."

Amazing what a couple pints of Stella and several campy Brit pop songs in a Soho boy bar will do for one's mood. Turned out to be quite the entertaining night.

Thanks to all y'all for putting up with my incessant Blackberrying. You're never alone when you have gadgets.

January 20, 2004

Dang, I Left My Pixie Dust at Home

As the plane was heading towards Heathrow early this morning, I looked out the window and all the twinkling lights reminded me of the Peter Pan ride we used to go on at Disneyland. It was one of my favorites — floating above a Lilliputian London in a miniatue pirate ship, hearing "You can fly, You can fly" soundtrack piped in.

What a sweet contrast to the porn journal entry I was writing during the first hour of the flight.

January 18, 2004

What Good is Sitting Alone in Your Room

The view outside my office has gone from a slushy drizzle to a beautiful ticker tape parade of fluffy white confetti in the past half hour. There are no overhead lights on (as is typical on a weekend here), so I've got desk lamp on and a candle burning. It's almost peaceful. If only I had a fireplace ... plenty of fuel with all these piles of paper.

Come on over and keep me company ... if you're ambitious you could do organizing or type up some meeting notes. Or perhaps curl up in a comfy chair and (proof)read a fascinating pubication on investment strategy. "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Tracking Error, But Were Afraid to Ask" promises to be a hit in the industry once it's published next week. And think, you'll have seen it first.

Yup, I'm living on the edge, kids.

Addendum: 4:10 pm and the lights just woke me up came on. I was so getting so used to subtle ambience. Radio weatherman just said "watch out for the hard freeze tonight." That's comforting. I hope the merman doesn't catch cold. See ya at 11pm?

January 17, 2004

God, That Moon is Bright

Had a barrage of beverages last night after work with some of the bewitching blog boys. Totally entertaining ... even got Larry up from a mid-winter's nap to join us for a couple. Crash was sweet enough to invite a busload of high school kids along, and I got to chatt up MAK's mom on the phone. Fun for the whole family. Hope to do it all again soon. Maybe tomorrow night at the Coral Room ... anybody else want to go look at the mermen?

One puzzling thing ... this is the second time I've been out with Crash and have yet to see him actually have a drink. I'm beginning to wonder if all these cocktail tales I've been reading are just so much fiction. God Bless that foreign concept called willpower. It's a beautiful thing. Vodka distillers despair not ... MAK and I made up for him.

Now I'm back in the office with too much work to do, gettting ready for next week's meetings in London.

Poor me. Poor me. Pour me a double.

January 15, 2004

Winter W(h)ine

I had to work late tonight, which caused me to postpone my whine wine date with Jodilicious. I guess tonight we would have pressed to drink ice wine.

So I'm walking across 45th street towards Times Square and it's bitter ... bitter like Ms. LuPone after not getting cast in Gypsy ... bitter cold. No Naked Cowboy tonight, to be sure. It actually made my face hurt (I know, it's killing you too) so badly I had to pop into the Marriot Marquis just to warm up. Apparently one of the women in the lobby had been outside a little too long and her eardrums were frozen shut.

"Inside voices," I gently reminded her, wating for the feeling in my cheeks to come back.

Mildy recovered, I headed back out ... resisting the urge to go up to The View, sip a cognac and watch the masses freeze to death below. Of course, there were no cabs because I had the pleaure of working until the theaters let out. Yeah, I worked that late.

The audiences on 45th looked none too happy as I shivered past. Wouldn't it suck watch Anna in the Tropics, get all steamy over Jimmy Smits and then come out into Arctic weather?

Made it home without much frostbite (I never did like my nose) to a quiet (it's past some people's bedtime), but freshly stocked apartment. Seems Larry thought my date with the high-heeled snow shoer was here, becasue he'd had a case of grape juice delivered, including several bottles of this, which is quickly becoming this season's house red. And [insert deity here] love him, he even opened his own account at the wine store instead of using mine.

I used to live by the axiom that it's easier to warm up in the cold than cool off in the heat. Maybe it wasn't so bad out after all and I'm just being dramatic, I thought, and and turned on the TV to check Channel 72 ... 17 below with the wind chill. And it's getting colder.

Um, brrrrr. Pass the Zinfandel.

Thanks Santa, Part 2

How cool is my newest desk gadget?

January 14, 2004

Name that Movie

Here's a nasty fun little timewaster movie quiz. (FYI, you'll have to download a harmless Excel file with some nifty images.) Type the name of the film into the blue box below the picture. Spelling counts. No fair hacking the spreadsheet.

Those of you into costume and/or set design should do especially well.

Let me know how it works out for you.

January 13, 2004

Fab Five to Fix a Fag

It seems that Queer Eye is looking for a gay guy to work their 'mo magic on. I got a casting notice today from an agent pal of mine.

It's going to be their very special "Gay Pride" episode. "We're Here, We're Queer, We're Gonna Look Fierce at the Pier."

On the one hand, it'd be nice to have Thom come over and fix up our apartment, but I'm too afraid I'd have to bitch slap Carson and put Kyan in a ball gag and leather thong. If she says "bro" or "how does that make you feel" one more time .... but I digress.

Anyway, if you're interested, give a holler and I'll forward you the application. The rules are you have to live within 35 miles of Manhattan, be able to take 3 days in a row off from work and be able to describe the "crown jewel" of your wardrobe.

Must Be the Weather

7:00am Wake up with nasty sinus headache

7:15am Two big glasses of water and a decongestant

10:00am Two Alleve

12:00pm Two Sinutab

who can I call for an epidural?

You Wanna Burn One?

Many moons ago, I used to have a bong named Gandalf. I just made a playlist off of iTunes that makes me wish the old boy was still around.

Pretty In Pink, The Psychedelic Furs
Never Say Never, Romeo Void
Just Like Heaven, The Cure
Genius of Love, Tom Tom Club
Goody Two Shoes, Adam Ant
I Want Candy, Bow Wow Wow
It Must Be Love, Madness
Love My Way, The Psychedelic Furs
Oh Yeah, Yello
One Step Ahead, Split Enz
Relax, Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Close to Me, The Cure
Take On Me, a-ha
Talk Talk, Talk Talk
The Metro, Berlin
Whip It, Devo
I Know What Boys Like, The Waitresses
Boys Don't Cry, The Cure
The Ghost in You, The Psychedelic Furs

This should be played extra loud. The headphones are certainly coming in handy ... although I probably look like an idiot dancing around the apartment. Without so much as a one hit.

Way back when, long before I knew what a bong was, I used to give my folks crap (well, as much crap as an 10-year old could give ... which come to think of it was quite a bit) about listening to their old fogey music.

We'd be driving home from the beach in the big old Bonneville and I'd whine, "Come on Mom, it's the 70s. How can you still like that old junk from when you were in high school?"

I guess the difference is this isn't high school stuff (for me) ... it's college and a little beyond.

God help me when I start downloading the Kansas and Journey.

January 12, 2004

A to Zed

The current favorite bands/artists, with a nod to Max

A. Aqua
B. Barenaked Ladies
C. Carpenters
D. Devo
E. Elvis Costello
F. Fountains of Wayne
G. Gay Dad
H. Hairspray
I. Indigo Girls
J. Joe Jackson
K. Kina
L. Liz Phair
M. Matchbox 20
N. No Doubt
O. Outkast
P. Pretenders
Q. Queen
R. Rickie Lee Jones
S. Sarah McLachlan
T. Talking Heads
U. Utopia
V. Various Artists (love those mix CDs)
W. Waitresses
Y. Yaz
Z. Frank Zappa

The Silicon Chip Inside Her Head

Tell me why.

January 11, 2004

Goetta Life

My mom made goetta (pronounced get-uh) for me while I was home and sent a loaf back to NY with us. I took it out of the freezer yesterday and it's still not quite thawed, so a quarter of it just went into the microwave on defrost.

Goetta is an alleged breakfast (I'd eat it anytime) food of German origin and is fairly popular in Cincinnati. It's a vegetarian's nightmare and is supposed to be made with pinhead oatmeal (which is hard to find outside of Cincinnati), equal parts of ground pork and beef, and some spices. Then you put it into bread pans, let it set, slice it and fry it up nice and crisp. Mom fries it in a little bacon grease, which she always had a jar of in the fridge. Yes, heart disease runs in the family. Odd that.

As I'm fresh out of congealed pork fat, I'm hoping that a little Pam will do the trick. Hey, there's an idea ... why don't the Pam people come out with a "bacon flavored" variety? Tell me that wouldn’t be a hit in the Midwest.

I've never had store-bought variety and don't recall seeing it in too many restaurants ... Pete Rose used to have it in his eatery on the west side. I *bet* that's long gone. To me, it's one of those comfort foods that only Mom can make, using leftover roasts and grinding her own meat (not a euphemism). Although a quick Google provides a couple recipes that look awfully familiar.

Yum, it's frying up now. Smells like home. Larry's keeps walking by the kitchen and making horrible faces. Me, I can't wait.

Now, if there was only some Skyline for lunch, I'd be in Buckeye heaven.

Thanks, Santa

One of the best parts of my recent trip was getting to put one of my Christmas gifts to the test.

These rock.

January 10, 2004

Bloody Cold, Bloody Awful

We live on the ninth floor of our building, facing south. Most of the buildings we see for several blocks are brownstones or 5-6 story buildings, so we're just above the rooflines. I call it "Mary Poppins meets Rear Window."

What's amazing about the view this morning is that, because it's only 2° (yes, just the two), almost every building I can see is exhaling a stream of steam/exhaust. It looks like dozens and dozens of, too borrow an image from Mr. Chabon, mini cloud factories.

Cool. Well, no, cold. Ice cold.

Here's an aviation update: There are some new rules when flying during Code Orange (which we apparently came off of yesterday during my trip home).

The pilot comes on the PA and tells us that you're only allowed to use the lav in the cabin you're assigned to. Passengers in coach can't pee in business class. Which is important, because those business class lavs are the epitome of comfort and style ... and we wouldn't want those bums in steerage to get a glimpse of the luxury an upgrade could afford them.

I did learn that just because the lav is in first class doesn't mean the passenger (or perhaps flight attendant?) has any class. Case in point ... my visit to the facilities right after we left JFK last Monday night. Whoever had gotten there just before me didn't double check to make sure what she left behind had been properly flushed. Yes boys and girls, I now know what a used tampon looks like. I could've lived another 40 years without seeing that.

Other than that, it was a bloody good trip.

January 8, 2004

Gee Francine, You're the Drinkingest Girl I Know

I'm told there are about 966 Belgian beers to taste. I checked several off the list last night. So far Duval Duvel (thanks, Sam) is the winner.

Last night -- lots of fun.

This morning -- notsomuch.

Tonight -- repeat the process.

Flying home tomorrow. Yay.

January 7, 2004

Home Sweet Homekeys

Remember typing class and the good old QWERTY keyboard? You never know how much you miss it till you start working in a foreign office.

Frankfurt was fast, furious and fun. I'd forgotten that a Canadian colleague of mine had transferred there from the Brussels office (yup, we're an international lot).

She took me out to one of her favorite "local watering holes" for a quick beer after work, where she said a lot of the office folk often go for lunch. Very cute, very red, very loungy. Lots of boys. And was the cute blonde waiter flirting? Hmmm.

So on the plane over to Brussels last night, I pulled out my Spartacus (to the quiet dismay of the elderly woman sitting next to me) and looked up Frankfurt. Pulse is not only listed, but it one of several dots on the mqp, all clustered right around our office. Seems I was working all day right in the thick of German Gaytown and didn't even know it, although I did have an odd sense of being "at home." I thought it was my German heritage.

I think I'll have to go back. And take a long lunch.

January 4, 2004

What's So New About It?

Happy New Year. I hope all y'alls hangovers are but the fainstest of memories.

I was going to write while up in Ptown over the long weekend, but I couldn't be bothered to figure out a dial-up connection from the condo. Working remotely on my work laptop sucks anyway.

I know, I missed you too.

Instead, I caught up on some work, did a fair bit of celebrating with lots of good friends, took my inaugural dip in my neighbors' new hot tub (and got to know a couple new friends better in the process), tried to rejuvenate a bit, shared some vodka and laughs with Miss Mary Callanan and her husband, fantasized about a certain Swede, enjoyed a couple nice chats with Sean at the A-House and had Madrone (we love him) at Blu Day rub me to Zen and back. Somewhere in there we rang in the New Year at a very fun, relatively low key house party.

How very ... adult.

Made near record time home in zero traffic, which is hopefully a harbinger of good fortune for the next 12 months. Did a good deed by dragging our leggy pal Edie back to the city with us. She was a perfect lady and didn't kick once. Go see her at Therapy tomorrow night (and bring her a present).

So I'm back in the city for less than 24 hours and then off on a work trip to Frankfurt (for a day) and Brussels (2 days, 3 nights). 2004 just may be the year I rack up as many miles as Sissy if I'm not careful.

All hail Ambien.

Any resolutions? Still too busy to think about them. It's a new year with a new job, but I'm not starting it with a bogus agenda for the betterment of me.
Something in the back of my head keeps nagging me I to be feel more organized and less overwhelmed, but all I'm focusing on right now is getting through the next few days' worth of work and travel.

Maybe on the way home I'll make a list of goals to work on for myself. In the meantime, I've got to create a business plan for the new role. Good times.

I think the New Year for me is going to start mid-January. Or maybe I'll get all eastern on your asses and wait till Chinese New Year. It'll be the Year of the Monkey; or, better yet, the year of the monkey sex.

Now there's something to work up a resolution about.