Wednesday, August 30, 2006

nourishing our world

So I'm just going to cut straight to the chase: I totally saw a grown man pick his nose and eat it in Jersey City last week.

A grown man.

In a suit.

Driving the latest model of nice car.

He picked his nose. And he ate it.

Friends, the bar was raised last week; that is, the bar of grossness. I mean, a grown man picking his nose is disgusting enough, but I'm willing to give a man the benefit of the doubt realizing that every now and again that nose just needs to be picked. Sometimes it just begs for it. But eating the harvest? That's for kids. Really anyone beyond the age of 3 or 4 (Ill even stretch it to 5) has no business browsing the booger buffet.

I was doing some work for former candidate in Jersey City last week and as I made my way from my car to the office, a car pulled out a little ahead of me from an underground parking garage and stopped midway across the sidewalk to wait for oncoming traffic to clear before pulling out onto the road. I didn't pay much attention until I looked up and realized that the man was picking his nose. I looked away quickly, chuckling to myself but then did a double-take to clarify whether it was an actual pick or just a little scratch.

We all see people picking their noses in their cars, right? I feel like it's an activity that many individuals take part in under the strange assumption that, despite being completely surrounded by glass, no one can see them. It's gross, but it's also kind of funny to pull up beside a Mercedes Benz at a traffic light and to look over and catch the driver sort of digging away, wrist deep in his cranium and completely oblivious to the fact that I, along with roughly six other people, have seen him in all his glory behaving like my two year old nephew, Cheech. Regardless, I always double-check just to be sure: pick or scratch? Was it an actual picking of the nose? Was the person really digging for gold, or was it just a good, well-needed scratch? There is a difference, and I realize this as I myself have been in need of a good scratching every now and again. Heck, sometimes other people feel the need to scratch my nose for me (for whatever reason), and yes sometimes this scratching goes on while Im driving in my car, surrounded by windows and passing through traffic and thousands of would-be bloggers who will eventually write about seeing me pick my nose on the New Jersey Turnpike...

I digress.

So I did a double-take to be sure. Was this a pick or a scratch?

I took a moment to decide and just as a huge grin stretched across my face in realization of having a full-fledged picker on my hands his hand reached right down from his nostril to his mouth.

Nostril to mouth and that mouth was wrapped solidly around that finger; around that little mucus-y monster.

I immediately looked away from both embarrassment and disbelief. I think my mouth was actually, as they say, completely agape. I nearly lost my balance and teetered for a moment as I tried to regain it.

And then I laughed. I laughed and I thought about how I was going to blog about this later.

By the way, it's really, really important to me to share the most critical events in my life with all of you. I hope you know that.

And further highlighting my day is me forgetting to pull up the zipper on my jeans twice that afternoon after visiting the restroom. Yep, that's right: twice in a row I left my zipper all the way down. And I realize that this is something that happens to everyone every now and again, but twice in one day seems a bit much. This is one of the most embarrassing things that can happen to someone because while it is so obvious to everyone else, the victim remains completely aloof and unaware, going about his daily ritual and looking like a complete fool.

Here I am: making copies, sending a fax, talking to the auditor and discussing financial statements with him all with a gaping hole in and about my crotch area. I might as well have had "I pick my nose and eat it" tattooed on my forehead heralding to the entire planet my supreme idiocy.

But I will now stop talking about humiliating experiences such as nose picking or unzipped zippers. Instead, I will say that Friday night's fundraiser went swimmingly. And I will also say how grateful I am to everyone who came out and made it a successful evening.

Together, we were able to raise a smidge under $2000 (which may not sound like a lot, but for a bunch of poor and underappreciated, young individuals to come together in a small space such as Maxwell's... well, it's a lot) and give out cool prizes like a 30,000 GB iPod (in the immortal words of John Bonaventura) and free passes to Great Adventure (that's Six Flags, for all you non-Jersey Neanderthals).

Thank you. You're all amazing people.

And now, I leave you with a little moment of zen from the evening:

Pilar * Becky * Moe

Pilar * Becky * Moe

Currently listening :
A Certain Trigger
By Maxïmo Park
Release date: By 31 May, 2005

Saturday, August 12, 2006

lather, rinse, repeat

And the truth really will set you free. Would you look at that?

Swinging back and forth, higher and higher, I toss my head back as far as I can and for the very first time I feel relieved for my now shorter hair. My eyes look upwards and fixate on a single star that I spy resting between the silhouettes of two tree branches. I slowly begin to play connect-the-dots with neighboring constellations, and above and beyond the whooshing wind in my ears, I listen closely to the words that are being spoken to me.

These words are words of truth that I want and need to hear. And although I want to hear them, every few minutes I find myself choking back tears with moderate effort - oh! these tears are desperately searching for release, but I'm not about to give. No, not this time.

It's a little like growing up and choosing not to cry when you scrape your knee or when someone pulls a band-aid from a freshly healed wound: it tears at you a bit and damnit if it isn't quite painful, but when you grow-up, you just stop crying over scraped knees (or spilled milk).

And yes this hurts.
Perhaps a little more than a scraped knee.
But right now I'm taking the John Mellencamp approach to all of this in hopes that, in the end, it will just hurt so good.

The truth is, friends, that rational people make mistakes and even sometimes behave irrationally.
The truth is that strength has tiny little cracks in it called weakness.
The truth is that big girls do cry, and that the people who have everything going for them sometimes fall; they sometimes look down and see their life broken into a million tiny pieces and resting in the palms of their hands.

But the other truth is that those pieces (at least most of them) can be glued back together - as long as you take a deep breath and work really hard at it. Like a puzzle, you have to want to finish it.

Finish what I've started... yeah.
For the first time in a really long time, I want to.
I really, really want to.

As I swing my legs forward and then backward, pushing myself higher into the air, I get kind of scared. It's been awhile since I've been on a swing. It's pitch dark out and the higher I go, the more concerned I become about how I'm going to stop. I could just jump off, but I'd probably end up hurting myself more than I'd intended to.

And then... well, the higher I go, the more that it doesn't seem all that bad. If it's all up from here on out then I think I can handle that.

I'm not going to lie; this life can really really suck.
But really: fuck it.
It's so damn beautiful that at times, I can hardly stand it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Apparently, our bodies' chemistry changes every 7 years. I haven't done all the research, but this is what "they" tell me (whoever "they" are). Regardless, I think this may be what's happened to me.

Me: the girl who was constantly warm regardless of the frigid temperatures.

Me: who had no problem running outside into the snowy tundra to check the mail or start my car wearing nothing but a tank top and boxer shorts (shoeless). I used to watch in wonder as every girl within sight was bundling up beneath the comfort of their boyfriends' sweatshirt while the thermometer soared to record highs. Perplexed, I'd gently pat the sweat from my brow and wonder if A: I was experiencing early on-set menopause or B: I was really a dude who looked like a lady. Or perhaps I'm just wired a bit differently than most girls, which would actually explain quite a lot.

Kids, things have changed. I've become obsessed with hot pockets. No, not the frozen sub-meals that come with strange cooking directions (the ones that I've never actually eaten - although I'm sure that they're aboslutely delish) - no, not those. I'm talking about actual pockets of heat.

While this has been (mostly) a recent development, it actually planted its roots about 3 or 4 years ago, while I was still working in Washington, DC. Mostly I'd be fine, but moments would pop-up during the day when I'd notice strange occurances: raised hair on the arms, slight shivers up the spine, bluish fingernails... holy crow! I'm freezing!!

I sneak a glance over at Alejandra who is completely aloof, powdering her fore-head and re-applying lipgloss. She doesn't look cold, she looks really comfortable.

I shiver and warp my arms around my waist as Alejandra, still completely unaffected by the sudden and drastic drop in temperature, browses casually through the copy of Vogue that is forever present on her desk (and yes, I will continue to paint this image of Alejandra as a crappy underling, but I will also let everyone know that I was a really crappy boss, and we now love one another like fat boys love cake).

At the time, I didn't own anything to the equivalent of the ugly sweater. No cardigans or zip-up hoodies... I didn't own any of these things because I never got cold. Coats were really only an accessory... at the time.

So I had a dilemma and I needed to fix it. I managed to find little "hot pockets" around the CRNC where I could hang-out for a few minutes and wait for my fingers to flush pink again.The office of pleasant, resident Mormon, Ryan Call worked pretty well because it wasn't really an office. It was our "back room", a storage closet really in which there were no air conditioning vents. While the rest of the office had condensation running from the windows and walls, Ryan's office suffered a musty haze that hung mid-air, and was a full 16 degrees warmer than anywhere else! This situation was great because I could swing back there and talk to Ryan about anything. You see, Ryan was an up-talker and could make you feel good regardless of what the conversation was about. This situation, however, did not last very long because I eventually began to feel really bad about the crappy straw that Ryan had been dealt and couldn't stand to look at him anymore. He would be there at his desk, shoved in a corner behind book shelves and mile-high stacks of membership kits that looked as though they might avalance at any moment. Two refrigerators hummed directly across from him making the room that much warmer. But Ryan would smile, and laugh, and never say a word about the heat as sweat dripped from under his chin and soaked through the back of his shirt. He's the type of person that would never acknowledge how uncomfortable the dripping sweat makes him, not because of pride, but because it might make you feel uncomfortable for him. So... I stopped visiting Ryan Call, for his sake and for mine.

Plan B: Pennsylvania Avenue, sidewalk in front of the CRNC building. DC weather during the summer is always hot and MUGGY. Everything around you not only looks sticky but also feels and smells sticky. So I found it a quick fix to run downstairs and vedge in the 102* heat for five minutes.

This plan was completely de-railed when I realized that creepy Marc (who was a guy with a small office right across the hall from us and whom we called "Rainman") began to schedule his cigarette breaks so that they were synchronized with my warm-up sessions. No further dilineation necessary... although, I could tell you a really creepy story involving Marc, a 30-second long hug, and an invitation to go back to Marc's place and let him cook me dinner. At the time it was really humiliating; now it's just funny and a little gross. Marc (and his office) has since been evicted from the building, apparently.

Oh well. Outside on the street was a little too smarmy anyway.

Plan C: Damnit! This should have been my Plan A!! Why didn't I notice earlier that the women's restroom on the 2nd floor was like a huge toaster oven?! So here became my permanent hot pocket.

The ladies' room had it's downfalls, just like all the other hot pockets - for instance it was always a pain when I got the biting chill at the bottom of the hour and then really had to pee at the top of the hour - but the restroom definitely had the most staying power.

Alejandra used to hassle me about it and of course, at the time, there was still far too much testosterone pumping through my veins to admit my sudden girly coldness, so I just continued to take frequent trips to the bathroom and allowed everyone to believe that I had an incredibly small bladder.

There is a particularly bad chill that I can recall when I found myself curled up atop the toilet seat in my corner stall, rubbing my toes and praying for the circulation to return. I completely lost track of time in my little envelope of cozy heat. By the time I stepped back into the office (which must have been nearly 20 minutes later), Alejandra just stared at me (with Vogue close at hand): "Were you pooping, Moe?"

I winced. It was definitely time to share my secret with her. It was also time to invest in a sweater.

I'm much more brazen about my chilliness these days. You'll almost never hear me comment on being cold, but I always come prepared and my wardrobe now boasts a broad selection of cardigans, zip hoodies, light-weight jackets and ugly sweaters. I also have a collection of blazers that borders the absurd.

So now, here I sit, in the old and musty "Dirty Dancing" resort hotel lobby - just a few feet to my left is the front door and about 15 feet to my right is the outdoor patio entrance. I am eternally grateful every time the doors open, ushering in a brief but warm breeze to parenthesize the 52* atmosphere in between. And, of course, I've come fully prepared with a cardigan (I reserve the ugly sweater for special occasions only).

I'll probably duck into the 2nd floor business center - another hot pocket around here - a little later to type this up and to defrost my poor, frozen self.

Being cold is not anywhere near as bad as I thought - but neither is being a girl.

Monday, August 07, 2006

atlantic pity

Spirits are high this week (both alcoholic and melancholic), I'm happy to report. It's amazing what a little sun can do. Keeping really really busy also helps quite a bit.

So here I sit in the business center of an old, musty hotel which for some reason reminds me of watching Dirty Dancing - except I'm sitting in it. I'm sitting in Dirty Dancing. This resort has the same sort of nostalgic, 1950s adirondack family get-away with hunky-yet-not-so-cute dance leader who would like to whisk me away and expose me to all sorts of other-worldly (or just worldly) experiences that I'm far too naive to understand but will think that I do understand, feeling that for the first time ever my life is significant. My nickname is not "Baby" though - instead, it's "Bubby" and I'm a little on the hefty side. And we're not in the Adirondacks, but instead in an old, musty hotel off the Garden State Parkway with yellow-ish walls and a limited room service menu, just shy of the Atlantic City limits. And the only dirty dancing I do is the shuffle from my bed to the shower in the morning.

I've had enough of this joke.

I have sort of been on vacation the last several days though, hopping from San Diego to Atlantic City with less than 24 hours in between. I'll go ahead and confess that San Diego, while far more tiring and stressful was a lot more fun. This Atlantic City business (so far) is cake. Literally - I just had some down at the lobby restaurant. It was so-so. I'm not really a cake person. But regardless, this gig has been a little on the light side so far, and promises to remain so the rest of this week as I prepare for International Corp. to sweep in and be bored to tears with sales meetings all week while I sort-of entertain them. Probably a lot of older men looking for a good time while away on a business trip. Don't worry, I won't show them a good time... but they might think that they've gotten one. I'm the queen of illusion. I work in New Jersey politics - I've got to be, right?

And I'll have to take another trip to San Diego sometime because I didn't get to see all that much of it (really only my hotel and the Coors Amphitheater). I was tempted to take the rental car down to Mexico, but my father was very worried, letting me know that Tijuana is only full of "booze and hookers". I wasn't allowed to take the rental out of the country anyhow. Next time...

The concert in San Diego passed like a dream. Flashing lights, loud sounds, a satellite patch-through and a very happy Hank Williams, Jr. The show was a success and I'm still glowing from my run-in with Charlie Daniels (Hank's road manager and I got buddy-buddy and went on a secret mission to get my photograph taken with Charlie... very sneaky, but very fun).

Kids, I need to go on the road for a long time. I'm beginning to like this hotel stuff. I'm becoming a bit high-maintenance, and maybe that's not all bad.

Damn, it feels good to be a hamster.

Friday, August 04, 2006

just a thin colored wall

Most of you know I'm walking in the LiveStrong Challenge (to benefit cancer research and education) next month with several friends and we're working hard in the meantime to raise money for this incredible cause.I've booked a bill at Maxwell's in Hoboken for the 25th of this month and we have a terrific bunch of artists particpating that night in what is sure to be an awesome show of support for the cause and also for my dear friend, Pilar, who was recently diagnosed with cancer and is walking with us in September.

So what do I need? I need my friends to come out and buy a ticket that night (for a mere $8, you too can have the time of your life).
I need my friends to come out and bring their friends along with them.
I need my friends to help me promote the heck out of this event.
I need my friends to become a part of this cause.

So if you're in the New York/New Jersey area (or further and you really like long drives), please come out on August 25th and bring some friends with you. And if you're in a capacity to promote the heck out of this event, please please please do so! Email me and I will send you the link for poster images that can be posted wherever you can think to post them. Or, if you'd like actual printed posters/flyers to put up around town or in your places of business, I can fix you up with that as well.

For all the info, go to:

Much love (and expecting the world of my friends - because I think the world of them),

Friday, August 25th 2006
Maxwell's in Hoboken

8PM David Pearsall
9PM Allie Moss (with Ingrid Michaelson)
10PM Ian McGlynn
11PM Swiss Auto Club
'til 2AM DJ Mike Stefan

$8/ticket, 21 to enter

A limousine service has kindly donated a vehicle and a driver for anyone who would like to take advantage of it. We need to know if you'd like to ride to Hoboken in style for the mere cost of gasoline (split between everyone), then please let me know immediately so that I can reserve you a spot. We're still working on a meeting place, but it most likely will be in the Somerset/Middlesex county area.