Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Call me a model UN

It's a double edged sword when my friends come into town. On one hand it's great having them up here sharing my bed while we bring each other into the drunken abyss. But on the flip side, I usually end up red-in-the-face embarrassed because I learn about all the stupid things I did back in college. A few weekends ago, when my friends were in town they decided to bring up the time when I got so drunk and robbed bagged meals from fasting students as they slept.

I am terrible with dates. I think it is a symptom of my ADD. I have no idea the timing of major milestones. Fuck remembering birthdays, I can't even remember religious holidays, even with all of the marketing from Hallmark.

It was a warm day in the fall semester. And like all major holidays and special days, Lu, me and the gang decide to welcome the unseasonably warm day with an alcohol session on the green. We drank all day in the warm sun. Normally this behavior is frowned upon. We only added to our stigma of "those girls" because we decide to have our "picnic" in the middle of the campus green during Ramadan, the holy time of fasting for Muslims. In my inebriation, I probablyley even waved to some Muslim students, as I was shoving food into my mouth while concealinging the open container.

We drink all day on the green and continue well into the night, pre-gaming for the big campus party. Once we get there, I am gone. Drunk, hazy memory of the evenings events. Luckily my friends pieced it together for me, so I will always remember the moment when I practiced cultural diversity.

I am so fucked up at the party from the hours of excessive drinking that I need to call it quits early in the evening. I drunkenly go up to Lu, "Dude, I am sooo fucking gone. Want to go back to my room, watch The Weather Channel, and get some food?!"

But, remember, I went to college in the middle of the woods. After midnight, there is no place to get food on campus. If I want to eat, I have to forage.

We do a quick once around at the party, seeing if anyone left any chips or food laying out. And of course, they didn't. I am jonesing. Starches, grease, something sweet. Anything at this point to relieve me of my post-drinking munchies.

We enter the dorm, and there in front of me, are rows of paper bags filled with food. And juice boxes too! I run over to the table and literally rip open a bag and begin to throw food into my mouth. Double fisting a sandwich and chips while chugging a juice box in between bites.


Lu tries to stop me, but I don't listen. She doesn't know what to do at this point because I continue to eat, shoving more of the sandwich into my mouth.

"Shannon! It's Ramadan. Those meals are for the kids fasting! The dining halls aren't open when they can eat."

I stop and look up and see signs all over the living room that read, "DO NOT EAT THE MEALS IF YOU DID NOT SIGN UP. WE HAVE LIMITED QUANTITIES"

Oh fuck. Some Ramadan faster is going to have to go hungry because I ate her food in my drunken stupor! What do these kids get for being good Muslims and fasting? A drunkie stealing their breakfast and eating their left over dinner.

I feel guilty for one moment. And then shove the remaining food into my mouth. I mean, I did fucking open it already. I don't know what would be worse, having your entire Ramadan break fast meal eaten or finding a half eaten sandwich when you opened the bag?

Let's be real

I started back with the internet dating, putting up an ad on a site and all. Whether or not I pay, is kinda up to you all.

These sites have gotten a lot more savvy with the cheapskates such as myself. Back in the glory days, as a free member of,, etc., I was able to respond to emails that I received. It was great. Saving money and playing by The Rules online. He makes the first move and pays for the correspondence, score! However, realizing how much money they were losing to asses like myself, these internet dating companies, who by the way capitalize on my datelessness in this fair city, changed the rules around. Now I have to be a paid member in order to read and respond to emails that people send. Which sucks because internet dating is an expensive fucking hobby.

Well, I posted my ad and I got three emails. And of course, curiosity is killing me so I think I may end up breaking down and buying a three month subscription. Even though after doing an inventory of the men who subscribe, 90% of them are below 5’10 and the remaining are a little on the tubby side.

But then I was thinking…I mean, I have a whopping five readers and I am sure that they know at least a few cute guys or possibly even gals (I told you I was open minded) who would be a great fit for me.

So readers, when called upon, you gave me advice (that I am not taking) about my life. You read about my rantings and my confusion with my life and, to be honest, you guys know me just as well as my best friends. So, I am giving you the opportunity to play matchmaker. Granted the last few guys who I have met as a result of my blog were absolute psychos. But, maybe one of you guys may have the anti-nutjob.

My requirements:
If you have been reading this blog you know I do not take anything too seriously. Not my health, my career, or even myself. So with that in mind:

Personality: The guy must be smart, funny, not convicted of any felonies, heterosexual preferred. I mean, I could be ok with a bi guy, but he has to be genuinely bi and comfortable with his sexuality. I do not want to run into a situation where I find out the guy who I had been in love with/recently had sex with also fucked around with men. Especially after he vehemently denied it prior to our romp, it kinda screams closet case. Creatives are a plus. So is Bipolar or anyone who can empathize with my sharp mood swings that run from illusions of grandeur to wanting to hide in bed, all within a 15 min span.

Physical: Please be taller than 5’6 and weigh more than 130 pounds for OBVIOUS reasons. Seriously, I like my boys broad because like all women, I am incredibly insecure about my body and like to feel as tiny as possible next to a guy. This does not mean, however, that I am ok with cellulite on an ass. Mine is free of cottage cheese skin, his should be too. Dark hair is hot. Especially when I can tug on it.

The funny thing is, what I am writing right now is a hella more real than the profile that I just wrote online. “I like reading and running. I like to try to find other ways to spend my time besides drinking. The Metropolitan Museum is amazing!!” Who the fuck? I mean, but let’s be real. I wrote a humorous tongue in cheek post in my myspace profile and I have 21 year old men with babies and babies’ mommas messaging me. Moreover, who the fuck wants to date honesty? But this is my blog and you readers already know what kind of small-time, huge sense of entitlement, spoiled brat, whatever-words-you-want-to-use-describing-me. You have a much better idea of who is my ideal guy than I probably do.

Pass on the info and photos! I promise I am cute.

By the way, I know women in self-defense so no funny business.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Women are nuts

I can’t tell you how many times guys tell me, “Shit! You are like the coolest girl I have ever met.” Or have even said, “I feel like I am talking to my best (male) friend. You’re one of the guys.” And, when you first meet me, I fucking am. I put men at ease with discussions on Hemingway, Bukowski, football and the merits of a good beer. I poke fun of my nutty fellow women who call too much, who can’t relax when they date guys, who expect too much from one night of sex.

“I don’t understand women, what the fuck is the point? If he’s not returning your phone call, get a fucking life and quit bothering, you know? I would never throw myself out there like that.”

It’s part of my charm. I can make anyone feel comfortable in any situation. Men start to open up to me because I give off such warm vibes, from my smile to my gentle touch, to repeating back the important lines of our conversations as I ask gently probing questions. I am so laid back and chill, that I act like a defy the stereotypes that plague women.

Or so is the façade I put forth.

Truth is, no matter how much I deny it or pretend otherwise, I am a woman. Biology programmed me to be obsessive compulsive about the men who sleep with me in my bed. It’s my instinct to find the most burly man to provide for me and my brood and to make him stick around and rear our children. Make him stop playing Johnny Appleseed, sharing himself with the rest of the species.

Rewind to my Friday night.

Tired from a hectic work week, I didn’t feel like seeing anyone that night. Instead I spent the evening having fun with one of my greatest skills: internet stalking aka “Googling someone’s ass”

I sat in front of my computer inputting the name of every single boyfriend/fling/dick suck beginning with middle school from 6pm until 9:30pm. I only stopped when one of my friends, upon hearing what I had been up to, ordered me out of my apartment to have a drink with her.

I found pictures of their recent marriages (damn did you gain weight tubby!), information about their father’s business, saw that someone’s sister got a nose job and reveled in the fact that some are still living on Long Island with the parents.

This wouldn’t be that weird if I internet stalked friends who I lost contact with, or a recent ex-boyfriend. But it just didn’t stop there. I googled people from my past YEARS (aka from Middle School) ago, their families, their friends, even their fucking cats. There is no reason to involve their families. But in my sick obsessive mind, there is.

Take a step back for a moment and let it sink in… I googled someone’s father because I couldn’t get enough information on him. I mean, let’s face it. That is fucking sick!

The scary thing is, that this level of obsessive compulsiveness is not just me sharing with my readers how I am secretly a nut job. All women, to a certain degree are like this. We talk about men incessantly and constantly over analyze the most mundane detail:

“When he said he would call me later, he didn’t until the next day! What do you think that means?”

“How did he sound? Was it flippant? Frustrated? Preoccupied?”

“His voice dipped an octave at the end of –bye…what do you think?”

Women are psychos. And watching two younger brothers deal with the female species only confirms my self-prejudice. I watch if when my brothers don’t cater to their girlfriend’s every whim that “you don’t love me enough!”

And I know where these women are coming from because I pull the same crap on the guys I date. I’ve ended things because of bad restaurant I totally relate.

Post continued tomorrow about the socialization of the male vs. female… and how that's fucked us all up.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The way life works

Why is it the weeks that I am Gawkered, I am too busy to post?

Super busy this week...

If you want to read something funny may I suggest this post. Scroll down to the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. An oldie, yet goodie. And sadly so fucking true...

And you readers wonder why I joke about Bulimia.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Le Petit Man

So my blog hasn’t had the usual excitement that keeps you entertained. No stories featuring me vomiting on a guy’s genitalia. I haven’t met freaks off of craigslist since December. And my drinking for the last four months has involved: me, the couch, and maybe an older married man but only if my friends were in town. Hell, I didn’t even write about my foray into the underbelly of professional BDSM. Evidently boobs and narrow hips are a hit with guys who like their junk tied up and slapped. Who knew?

Anyway, so I know you guys come here to read about my drunken navigation of the quarter-life crisis. To witness “someone who has it all” fall from grace multiple times but somehow land on her feet unscathed by reality. I know this because my only honest friend Corn told me, “Shan, to be perfectly honest, I don’t bother reading the not funny ones” when I asked her about yesterday’s introspective post.

So, in an effort to keep you entertained because I cannot deal with dwindling site meter numbers, this week’s theme: what I have learned about dating in the last 24 years. Considering that I have never had a serious relationship built upon common interests and mutual respect, surprisingly my observations are fucking dead-on.

Today’s specimen: Le Petit Man

Standing at a strapping 5’3-5’6 with a wallet that weighs more than him, typically Jewish or Italian you find him working at a hedge fund or an investment banking company such as Lehman Brothers wearing his expertly tailored clothes. It’s a common misconception that he does it because his six figure salary allows for those indulgences. This is not the case--his clothes wouldn’t fit his petite frame otherwise.

His Napoleon complex fuels his professional success and to the gold digging NYC woman, his job gives an additional foot of metaphorical height. She’ll tower over him in the Manolos he bought. I know this because I’ve contemplated dating a Le Petit Man.

And I have no problem with Le Petit Man, contrary to my playful poke at him. Growing up on the North Shore of Long Island, many Le Petit Man are my friends and have even dated some Asian friends of mine. Hell, if I wasn’t so insecure with my own self, maybe I could allow myself to fall in love with someone whose imperfection is so blatant.

What I do have a problem with, however, is when Le Petit Man applies the same professional ambition to finding a girlfriend. And we all know that the business world is filled with some unscrupulous characters. I mean, it’s how we get ahead, capitalizing on our competition’s weakness.

Dating off of the internet is always a gamble. Especially Craigslist. Now I know it’s one of the sketchiest sites out there but, being a creative type who believes how people write and present themselves is a window into their very fiber, I enjoy the unmediated posts in the M4W section. I mean, I even sound fucking normal on! So how could I take that site seriously. There is no personal judgment screening process. On if you are too much of a freak, you could always check the box to describe your ideal date, and save that revelation for the in person meeting. And from personal experience, that is what happens quite often.

I answered an ad on Craigslist posted by a guy who claimed that he was 5’10, Jewish, PhD candidate. He was smart, funny…too much of a total package. I’ve learned with dating in this city, much like a business proposition if it is too good to be true, it motherfuckingly is. I wrote about how I met him and he came up to my chest in my heels that make me 5’10. I also said how he was thinner than me, how he almost gave me an eating disorder because I cannot date a man who has a smaller waist line than me. His was 24 inches. Laying next to him was like sleeping next to a dying, emaciated kitten that escaped from Auschwitz and found its way into my bed.

It got even weirder when we were hooking up. If a guy is on top of me trying to be all sexy and pin me down as he ravishes me with kisses and bites, it is so much more fun when there is an allusion of helplessness. Not if I can throw him off with one hand, as I did with this one because I wanted to see if I could. I felt like I was hooking up with a girl, honestly. Actually, I think he is thinner than my friends too...he couldn't be more than 130 pounds.

But that is Le Petit Man, treating dating like a business deal. Wooing you with the high interest (like the pun?!), and then you finally see the small print and call off the deal. What got me was how he alluded to trying to fuck as many women as possible, after I made it abundantly clear that, “eh” he just didn’t do it for me. Trying to entice me with false competition is sad. Trying to make me feel like I was a number of his wannabe harem made him pathetic.

He uses the internet to his advantage, trying to make you fall for "his inner beauty". Hoping you could look past your own "superficialness" and see him for the man he is.

It’s something I just don’t get with internet dating. There is the concept of “the other shoe dropping” but sometimes the first date isn’t appropriate for me to realize that I am not getting what I bargained for. I mean, I at least want to get dinner out my troubles of the hair dyeing, the brazillians, and the manicures—move past the requisite drinks date at some point. There is something soul satisfying about having a harmless crush, checking your voicemail to see if he called. The crush acting like a distraction from reality.

Which is why I have sworn off internet dating for the time being. Going back to old fashioned methods of meeting people. Getting blinded drunk, dancing on a bar, and having an intoxicated make-out in a dark corner of the bar.

Too bad I have sworn off alcohol in the meantime. You know, trying to drop the 15 pounds of seasonal depression weight I put on before I head out over to London in the next few weeks.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Reflections of a...

Sunday was my grown up day; I cleaned the kitchen that needed cleaning, shopped for food to fill the bare pantry, and took time out for myself, going on a rollerblade along the Hudson despite the chilly winds coming off of the adjacent river. When I came home I saw that my refrigerator didn’t complement my grown up day—shelves filled with booze and liquefying vegetables. Off I went to the grocery store, filling my basket with fresh produce, yogurt, and soy products. I am ready to indulge upon this kick for as long as it will last. Especially since my future sister in law mentioned dress fittings in the next few months.

Standing on line to check out, a cute guy and I made conversation with our eyes and body language. Gesturing I asked him to watch my spot as I grabbed some whole grain crackers. I came back and he asked me for the same favor, except he forgot his salad dressing. We both shared a chuckle at our mutual forgetfulness. As the cashier rang up my order, and still seeing that he was within ear shot packing his own grocery bags, I asked her to also add a NYT to my order. The newspaper of the NYC intelligentsia. I thought his last impression of our semi-flirtatious encounter should involve the clichéd connotations of the NYT. Maybe sometime soon I would share that situation with a guy who I knew more intimately than just safeguarding each other’s spots on line. Instead we would help each other carry groceries home, both hurriedly walking back to the apartment to devour the breakfast in the plastic bags and then the Times on my couch.

The man on line finished paying for his groceries as the cashier began to ring mine up. We parted ways.

Yesterday my sister Kay, my brother Mike and his fiancé Nancy came to my apartment. Our interaction resembling a cross between a happy-family sitcom and my six year old girl fantasies of what being a grown up must be like. My sister talking about the breakfast she made them when they came over, complete with describing how she laid the food out on a glass plate. Mike and his fiancé filling my sister and me on wedding details. Half jokingly, Nancy and Kay make a pact, “let’s try to get pregnant around the same time, you know, so our kids’ll have cousins to grow up with.”

I stood in my living room feeling incredibly out of place. Simultaneously realizing my own mortality and fertility while coming to an understanding how I have a reputation in the family is being the eccentric one. With my outlandish behavior, will my siblings and their spouses restrict visitations with my future nieces and nephews?! Especially, being realistic, my younger siblings will surely have children before I do. Only my actions and drunken rants on this blog giving them insight into my character whether I would make a good babysitter, as opposed to actual experience with my own children.

Standing next to Kay, Mike and his future wife, I was hit with their maturity. No longer are my siblings the same kids who used to play with worms outside our house on Cedar Street. My sister graduates college and embarks upon her career in the next few months. My brother graduates the police academy and becomes a police officer, responsible for other people’s lives. And his high school girl friend becomes his wife and member of our family next June.

I compare their paths to my own. Working in advertising, living with a gay roommate whose relationship with me is more child-mother than friend. Never having a serious relationship in my twenty-four years of life for reasons I have yet to explore in therapy. A desire to make it big somehow in some way that I haven’t decided upon yet.

And I enter into the clutches of this fear. Compounded by the article I read in the NY Times today of single women who decide to use any means to have children—including artificial insemination using the sperm of anonymous donors. I begin to reflect upon my life again. There is a very good chance as my siblings enter this stage of their lives, embracing their responsibility as I run from mine that we may be left with even less things in common.

Our relationship further shifting. My role as the older sister holding less importance as they embark upon the lives they’re forging for themselves.

That’s the problem with having younger siblings so close in age. I knew the day would come when they would reach life’s landmarks first, knocking me off of my perch as the know-it-all. I just didn’t imagine it was going to happen so soon.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

St. Patty's recap

So maybe it wasn't the best idea, but it made for some really cool pictures.

As if drinking green beer and trapseing along the tourist hotbed of St. Marks wasn't enough, no, the kids-who-I-grew-up-with group of friends decide to get pierced. Great idea when you are drunk, not as good of an idea as you sober up. Maybe it wasn't the best place to get it done, especially when they didn't give you care instructions afterwards. Leaving it up to our own devices and adolescent memories to guide our decision how to prevent infections.

After seeing it done, taking pictures and all, it kind of made me happy that my mom and friends talked me out of that lip ring that I wanted through the ages of 13-16. Especially since I keloid scar. I would have a permanant herp-looking thing on my lip.

Not for the faint of heart, but if you've wanted to see what the piercing process looks like. You know, help you get over the adolescent fantasies that your therapist hasn't been able to crack:

And no, I didnt get anything done. The tattoo on my lower back is enough "freaky" shit for me.
Belly Button:

Friday, March 17, 2006

Just Call me a UNICEF Recipient

Pre-St. Patty's day lesson:

Do not drink Tequila then eat a massive meal with wine. You will throw up and you will be severely hungover.

I woke up this morning with the shakes of alcohol withdrawal which usually isn't a problem for me, nothing that five glasses of water couldn't cure. I go to my sink and see the dishes from last weekend haven't been done and there are no cups available. I see a bowl on my drying rack.

There I am, standing at my sink filling my bowl with water and drinking it. I was waiting for Sally Struthers to walk by and point me out to the camera crew.

Fuck, I haven't vomited that hard in a really long time. Too bad I rented an expensive meal. Although, am I on to something in the calorie control department?!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

At least she didn't call him Jackie Chan

Reason # 34932498 why hanging out with a group of out of towners is a bad bad idea:

As a NYer living in a cool area, when the weather gets warm I see countless celebs. On Friday Claire Danes’ dog moseyed on up to my table outside my neighborhood sushi place as my friends and I kicked back Sapporo #2. In classic dazed, aka drunk Shannon fashion, I didn’t notice her until Corn mentioned, “wow, Claire Danes has a huge ass!” I paused. Momentarily felt better about my self. And then proceeded to pour another beer.

I’ve trained myself. Only tourists and the senile walk up and introduce themselves to celebs. Wannabes like me pretend that we understand their frustrations with fame and so we leave them alone. You know, like my job working 9-6 and then sitting in my apt all night watching E! and VH1 allows me to understand the doubled edged sword that is celebrity.

You want to know the truth why I don’t rush Larry David at the lodge in Sun Valley or run after Claire Danes and tell her how her role in ‘My So Called Life’ changed my life? Embarrassment. Establishing social mores since the dawn of civilization. I would die if a celeb acted like s/he didn’t give a shit. Denying what countless celeb gossip magazines says is true… they really aren’t like Us.

On Saturday night I take the out of towners to my favorite pub on the LES. I wanted them to see the bar that is my second home. The place where I end up dancing on the bar at 3am, where I get hammered with my bad influence Victor, and where I take my faux dates off of the internet.

We find a table in one of their nooks and the 10 of us sit down and order a round of beers. It’s early, so the Saturday night crowd hasn’t come in yet. I am staring off into space, wishing for my beer and my friend S grabs my arm and points towards the bar.

“I think that’s James Iha of the Smashing Pumpkins!!”

I look around. A Japanese dude with a bleached blond faux mullet is not that common.

“Dude, you’re right! Hey everyone look James Iha of the Smashing Pumpkins is here!”

All ten of us do a double take.

You get excited when you are in the same place as a celeb. Not because you are happy to be near your idol or some other lame adolescent crap. But it legitimizes a place. It’s that same ironic acceptance that makes drinking PBR cool when you have an MBA.

“I should go up and say hi!” Said S.

“No you shouldn’t! He is busy. Dude, celebs just want to be left alone” I say, with my NYC authority.

“Yea, you're right he's with a girl. I wouldn’t want to cock block him.”

As we are discussing the celeb in our midst, B, who doesn’t like beer comes back with a cocktail.

“So I spoke to him.” Said B.

“No you did not! What did you say?!” We say with a little disdain and mostly envy.

“Yea, I asked him if he was the guitarist from Blind Melon. And he was like ‘yea’!”

“Dude,” I say, “that couldn’t be the guitarist from Blind Melon. He’s died back in the late '90s and that dude is very much alive. He's the guitarist from the Smashing pumpkins. James Iha?"

If you are going to bother a celeb as he is macking it, the least you could do is not confuse a living Japanese American with a dead white guy.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The end is almost near

A few points to bring you up to speed:

1. Oxford app is in!!! I rocked the app with the exception of my second written sample. It was a last minute botch job however, I think I am going to arrange an interview with the school and convince them that I am soo cool. Much love to D for acting as my editor-in-chief. And her for acting as my deputy editor. C, you rock too for being my sound board and convincing me that I am smart enough to apply, despite what some person may have told me on Saturday night. 1 down, 2 more to go.

2. This leaves me motherfuckingly exhausted hence, no funny post tonight. Tomorrow I write about embarassing celeb run in #2 in the last two months, stay tuned and refer it to gawker. I promise it will be worthy, and I'll share the name this time.

3. Thanks readers for the overwhelming support, emails and comments. I decided not to post them because it is a senstive subject. She knows she fucked up. I don't think it is apropos for her to read that complete strangers also agree. But they were definately appreciated. Also, thanks friends for acting as a soundboard, there is a lot of shit to process and I needed someone to listen.

4. Tomorrow I go back to writing about my crazy fucked up some what intoxicated life. The posting begins again. Thanks for hanging in there and still reading when I was just whining about grad apps, although Sunday's drama hopefully made up for it. I mean, how often does that happen.

Ok, off for a much deserved nap, after 3 days without sleep just call me Rip Van Winkle.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


It's just like I am back in college: the fucked up sleep habits, the chain smoking, the fear of food--overeating my stress but fucking up my stomach by living off of tea and diet coke.

Except today, as a woman in her mid-twenties, I can't sleep until noon or drink my problems away. I have a job, I have responsibilities. And 13 people arriving in NYC.

By the end of next week, I am going on a weekend drug and alcohol bender that would make Courtney Love blush. I promise to resume regular postings about my inappropriate drunk behavior. Until then, read the archives--Dec-Jan were some funny months--and be satisfied with these little nuggets.

Last year around this time I fell in love. 3 months after, both Columbia and he rejected me. I would be lying if I said it doesn't cross my mind each time I study break outside for a cigarette.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A lesson that applies to everything

After spending about 10 hours trying to edit down a research paper of mine from my undergrad days, I realized that if I have to put in that much effort, there was a reason why the prof gave me a B on the paper. Despite the great thinking and the use of the words hegemony, patriarchal institutions, and monolithic capitalist regime, it wasn't a very well written paper. Much like this blog since I have been spending all of my free moments fretting over my impending grad apps that are due next week. Not postmarked, but in their greedy little hands.

But life lesson:

If something requires too much effort, you're forcing it. Let it go and get something else because hands down, when its the right fit, the ease and comfort of the process will let you know.

The same lesson can be applied to relationships, job searches and even sex.

I should write a book titled, "Everything I needed to know, I learned in the bedroom." Or "The Armchair Sociologist: Lessons That You Were Too Bored To Learn In Class"

This long weekend couldn't come soon enough.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A trip to the museum--as a bipolar sufferer

After going to the tenement museum on Saturday with my sis, I came to the sick realization that my old apt really was a glorified tenement building. Actually, the apartments that we saw on the tour were in better shape than the seventh floor walk-up fire trap I lived in my first year as a bonnafide NYer.

My sister needed to go for her school project, and she wanted me to go with her because, “Shannon, you’ll just make fun of everyone and everything so it’s bound to be interesting.” Being cooped up in my apartment all night Fri and Saturday morning due to my impending applications that for some reason are not magically completing themselves, I was in one of my signature manic moods. Life is fabulous. I love everyone. And I love poking fun of hypocrisy and fucking polite society and being a jerk back to assholes.

From the moment I met up with my sister, I was on a roll.

As part of her assignment, my sister needs to tour the tenement museum and write about her experiences. However, like her big sister, she fails to pay attention to the little details, such as the address of the place. It’s 2:30 by the time we meet up and head over to the vicinity of the museum, still unsure of the exact address. Keep in mind she needs to be at a party on the Upper East side by 5pm, leaving us with about an hour and half to walk around the area and find the place and take the tour.

We are in the vicinity of the museum and my sister spots a group of people, huddled in a doorway.

“Hey Shannon,” she says as she pulls my arm, “I think that’s it. Where all of those people are standing.”

“Are you sure? They look homeless, huddled in the doorway.”

She grabs my hand and walks with me over to the group. We walk along the block and stop in front of the tour guide, listening to his speech about early immigration and its impact on the area. My master plan was to stand next to the group, and when the guide took a breath, I was going to budge someone and ask them where we could buy tickets. You know, be polite because that is how my parents raised me.

We are standing for under a minute, when this nasty bitter tourist sneers at both my sister and me and says, “you need to buy tickets. We bought tickets. Go over there,” pointing to the end of the block, “to buy your tickets.” Over annunciating her words, driving home a point implying that we were trying to scam and get into the tour for free.

First of all, what kind of degenerate am I that I get kicks out of spending my Saturday stowawaying on tours of the LES’ tenements buildings. Secondly, do not fucking treat me like I am some child. Especially when you are a poorly dressed tourist from some hell-hole other than NYC. Taken aback, my sister and I begin to walk away however, my mania kicks in and I stop. I look over my shoulder directly at the woman and deliberately tell her, “You know, it doesn’t change the fact that you are ugly!”

And then skip to the ticket office.

Calling a woman ugly is worse than calling her fat. You call a girl fat and its easy to rationalize, employing the “hey, I have a nice face!” mentality. Or some other saving grace; mine being my boobs when my fat storage lasts longer than winter hibernation. Calling a woman ugly is a death sentence as there is nothing to combat being busted. No Jenny Craig, no gym memberships, no better clothes, nothing except an upper east side plastic surgeon. And not only did I destroy that bitch’s trip, but I also ruined her husband’s trip since he is going to have to listen to her whine.

Now, I could write here and say that I meant her personality being ugly or position it in some way for me not to be that bitch. Tilt the situation in my favor. But, I meant her looks. And the funny thing was, besides a craggly face and a 1980’s haircut, she wasn’t that busted. But I destroyed her trip. Serves her right though for trying to destroy my day.

So we find the storefront to buy tickets, and evidently there are 3 tours that you can choose from. We had no idea, and stood at the front of the long line pondering which tour would give us the best bang for our $10.

“Which one is about the Jews!?!” I ask all eager, with my eyes popping out of my head.

“All of them!”

We decide on a tour where the highlight is a reenactment of tenement life staring a 14 yr old girl. This is going to be awesome!

Of course we are late to the tour, and trying to blend in with my people, you know those of us that want to spend our Saturdays not observing the Sabbath but instead learn about Jews, my sis and I walk to the back of the tour, greeting everyone in our path with, “Shabbat Shalom!” You know, trying to earn those asshole points.

90% of the tour are people from the Midwest who have no idea about Jewish people. How do I know this for a fact and am not being stereotypical, you may ask? The fucking questions that made me question whether they taught about Eastern European immigration outside NYC. The tour guide asks where we are all from, and everyone is going around the room, stating the towns where they grew up.

“Kiev, Ukraine,” I respond in perfect American English.

My sister nudges me, “What the hell?! We aren’t from the Ukraine!!”

“Today we are.”

As everyone goes around the room saying where they are from, small town Minnesota included, we get to the couple who I gave a hearty, “Shabbat Shalom!” greeting.


They are from Israel. And knew I was an asshole before I sat down. Score!

But what I love about museums is it’s a place for me to share my useless knowledge that only a $120K education combined with limited friends growing up and an internet addiction could teach you. Of course, I am the asshole whose hands shoot up to clarify the lecturer’s explanation. And of course she was excited that an expert on investigative journalism and the tenements was in her midst…

But is got me thinking. What would prevent me from spouting wrong information? From making it a habit to go on tours and with an air of authority, tell people lies. Perpetuate bad information?

And then I thought about my barely completed app for Oxford and stop thinking.

Much like the way I end this post tonight.

One more week to go until apps are in…if anyone has an in at Oxford…because let’s be real, why the fuck am I doing this to myself? We know I am not getting in this round.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A new career option

With my friends coming in from out of town, I wanted to get a stripper for a proper welcome. I mean nothing says, “hope you enjoyed the trip up” than a woman gyrating her tits in your face.

Back in college, Lu and I used to throw stripper parties in the dorms. For $150 a stripper would show up and give us a show in our dorm room. It’s what the bored and horny do. And being a women’s college of course we got girls. We got a guy once, and to be perfectly honest, having a man jiggle his junk in your face…NOT HOT!

Knowing that NYC was going to be a tad more expensive than Massachusetts in the price of an in-call stripper, I was prepared to spend a little more. I mean, I am such a great hostess, I thought nothing can come between the happiness of my guests. Well, $350 did.

Granted it included a toy-show and xxx-games, but $350 NOT INCLUDING TIP!?! For an hour?!?! Dude, for $350, without tip, I’ll strip down for my friends and use my variety of dildos for that motherfucking price. I didn’t even make that much dominating for an hour. And I tied men up! And electrocuted them!!

Fucking Aye…although, I was tempted to get this for my friends. A stripping midget dressed up as an oompa loompa.

So no stripper in my apt, unless if you are reading this and you want to make $150 plus tip. Otherwise, if we want to see tits, we’ll just go to the strip club when we are good and drunk.

Spent the entire weekend inside, looking at my apps and doing nothing about it. I also told one of my co-workers about the blog. He now officially knows that I am a degenerate. Hi!!!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Momma's right...there ain't no such thing as a free lunch

I’ve learned in my almost three years in the work world, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Delusional when I was back in college I thought that the real world was just like “Friends” and paper back novels about NYC. Eating at funky restaurants, one of my beautiful friends would whip out her Louis Vuitton wallet and put down her platinum AMEX card and gracefully utter the words, “It’s on the company.” And actually my first encounters with the expense card culture were not unlike my delusional thoughts. Being young, cute, single, and perpetually drunk in NYC, I honestly thought that the business lunch/dinner were comprised of a bunch of old men expensing champagne, dining with me at swank restaurants while having sexy conversations about religion, politics, Art and of course sex. I mean, that is what my mentors exposed me to whenever we went out on to dinner.

One of the main reasons why I took my present job was because of the opportunities to go to lunch on other people’s dimes. And doesn’t it sound like a great idea? Get paid to eat, drink and chat to strangers! Order food without looking on the right side of the menu, get drunk as someone else paid, all the while chatting about interesting thought provoking topics.

Then I had my first vendor lunch. And then I had my second. And then the third.

I’ve become a pro at these lunches and learned that I had to also believe in Santa Clause when I thought someone was going to pay for me to eat awesome food and get drunk as I didn’t have to worry about social acceptability with my leftist opinions. This is the ad world in the US, every opportunity is seen as a network, everyone gossips and working in such an incestuous industry you learn that if you fuck up people will take notice and you will have a reputation. Such as some people who have graced my presence are known in industry circles as drunks, partiers, and sleeping with xyz.

Sitting through enough of these lunches and being a rogue sociologist without a grad program that will accept me, I’ve noticed patterns in behavior. If the group is all women, the conversation will drift towards shopping, if its men, sports reign supreme. It’s always a mundane topic, boring, and leaving me looking into my soup for some type of inspiration to join the conversation.

However, wanting people to learn from the mistakes lessons I never remember, I’ve enclosed the five point cheat sheet for all of you ambitious kids out there. Brush up on these five points, and you would make Emily Post beam with pride. Well, from the grave…and you know that has to mean something especially because we know how hard it is to find sun six feet under.

Pointless “safe” conversation topics that always come up in dinner:

1. TV/Movies: Sounds like a safe bet doesn’t it? And whenever the conversation turns towards this topic, being the TV/Film buff that I am should make it enjoyable and engaging. NOT! (Forgive the Wayne’s World reference.) Forget everything that you know about foreign and Indy movies. I bet nobody at the table saw [Insert obscure German film here]. Mention it, and it looks like you are trying too hard and are borderline pretentious. You cross into pretentious if you say that you saw it without subtitles at the Berlinale when you were taking time off from your stressful college life. Stick to the basics, preferably prime time, major network television. 24, Lost, any reality tv show. My new found interest in tv is rooted in my desire to fit in with my colleagues. I’ve actually begun to treat tv watching as my homework, just like reading Ad Age before bed.

2. Significant Others aka boyfriend/girlfriend: I am the only single person on my brand team. It’s not even like any of them are recently tied to a significant other either. They are all in long term monogamous relationships. The topic comes up every lunch/dinner. “How is _____?” Or the ever infuriating, “Shannon, who are you dating? Anyone special?”

How am I supposed to respond? Oh there was guy #1 who I made out with in the bar on Friday in the bathroom. Not to be confused with guy #2 on Friday who I made out with after I danced on the table. I was slightly classier with him where I brought him home. I mean, a girl can only have so much PDA in one night!

The girls gush about the cute quirks of their boyfriends and then talk about their hopes when and how he pops the big question. I sit there and feign interest while trying to figure out if guy #2 from Friday could be counted as a date since I did bring him home and he paid for my drinks.

You want to succeed in the corporate world? Get a boyfriend/girlfriend. You want the girls to be envious of you in the corporate world? Get a big fucking ring, because after we meet someone with a big rock, we talk about her and the ring for days.

3. Hobbies: And no drinking doesn’t count. Even if you are an alcohol connoisseur like me. Talk about the subtleties of a nice scotch, and you like an old man or a drunk…with very expensive tastes. Stick to safe things that everyone enjoys and denotes good breeding: tennis, squash, sailing, reading Oprah’s book club books (but you have to hate Frey). Again, its slim pickings when I can find someone who has read Bordeiu and can discuss the difference in theses when compared to Weber.

4. Shopping: Eating with women? Better know where the Pucci sample sales are. I recommend Daily Candy.

5. Travel: We all have been to some pretty nifty places. Well, unless you are those angry asses who accused me of being a classist bitch in my “Humble Moment” post. I bet you guys have never even traveled outside the country. Anyway, stick to destinations that would be in Newsday as opposed to Travel and Leisure. Cruises to the Caribbean are fine. So are trips to Europe, but not hostelling. Allude to staying at three star hotels. If you are executive management, you could get away with four stars. But again, if you mention staying at the Manderin Oriental you come off as pompous and arrogant.

Did you notice that I didn't mention business? Don't be the loser who has nothing to talk about except for work. Just because you live at your office doesn't mean that everyone has to know. The beauty of NYC: none of us have lives outside the office, we cultivate interests so we appear more interesting.

The above reasons are why I am usually silent at dinner and never talk about my personal life…nobody believes that the shit happens to me. Hell, I wouldn’t even believe that half the shit happens to me! Learn from me. Oh yea, and it should go without saying, never have more than 2.5 drinks at dinner because even if you can handle your liquor you’ll still look like the office drunk.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bliss' last laugh

Going to the spa/waxer/ is always a double edged sword for me. On one hand I am forking over a shit load of money to be made beautiful and look like a twelve year old girl “down there”. And on the other, I usually feel like shit during and right after the treatment until I leave the spa’s door because the Eastern European esthetician doesn’t understand my blasé attitude with beauty. If its not a Friday night and I don’t have free drinks acting as an incentive, I don’t put on make-up and pluck the stray eyebrow. I’d rather sleep in the morning.

My mom and the rest of the family understand this. I went to a women’s college; they know that there are some things that I do that can be construed as femin-nazi/ borderline dyke and after 20 years of bothering me, they let it go. I don’t care if my potential soul mate passes me on the subway because I looked like a ratty NYU student. If it’s meant to be, I’ll find him that weekend in my favorite bar and he’ll buy me a glass of champagne and we’ll fall madly in love when we are both drunk.

My $120K women’s college education fuels my stance on beauty. I can confidently quote my feminist sisters how “beauty” is really a socially constructed patriarchal tool used to oppress women. And I half convince myself that my morning laziness is really a feminist power struggle.

Until I enter the private room where I get my beauty treatments done.

If I go more than four weeks without upkeep on the brazillian, my waxer will tsk at me in her Russian accent. “You don’t have need now, no?” while looking down at my pubic region and implying a dry spell. I can handle the one or two underhanded comments about my lack of sex life or dull skin. But what I can’t handle is when they make me feel like crap by keeping the comments coming. Rapid fire hits at my already delicate self-esteem.

No matter how beautiful you are, the Eastern European esthetician knows where you are most vulnerable about your looks and has no qualms bringing it to your attention. “So many pimples” as her head shakes in disgust and disbelief. Even if you feel like a super model that day, being naked underneath a blanket with a woman standing over you peering into your face and reading in every pore the sins you've committed shakes the confidence of even the most brave.

Last time it happened, I cracked. After my treatment I walked up to the manager of the spa and told her how horrible the esthetician made me feel. My pores were too big so she tried to upsell me $120 face cream to combat them. My arms looked too hairy to her and she suggested an arm wax. Every few minutes she brought up another flaw and had an expensive remedy to treat it. I told the manager how hurt and disgusted I felt.

Obviously, the manager apologized and then she gave me a trial pack of samples to take home. She gave me a fucking $25 trial pack after my $110 facial was ruined. Tears should equal a free facial! Not a fucking $25 bliss soap sampler as an apology for this woman making me cry! Pissed I call the corporate office and lodge complaints throughout the levels. Someone was going to hear my voice!

The spa's general manager calls to apologize and offers me 10% off my next facial. Still no free facial. Pissed that she was treating me like some idiot I reply, “I really don’t care for your 10% off. Actually, let me tell you now that I will never step foot into another bliss spa again. And all of my friends will know what happened and I bet none of them will come here either!"

Guess who got the last laugh? Once the redness faded two days after, that facial was the best I ever had. To make matters even worse, I’ve never been able to find a better place. I'm sure I’ve blacklisted myself from there. And if they didn't, I bet at the very least they input into the computer that I am difficult.

So in desperate need for a great facial, and realizing that the mention of my name will probabley land me a beauty school drop out or a perpetually booked spa, I’ve found a way around my big mouth. I’m making like the serial killers on America’s Most Wanted and adopting an alias. And paying for the treatment in cash. They’ll never know I came back.

Why I love my friends

They know the real reason why I want to get in to Oxford:

"You will meet rich, hot men no matter what college you go to. All you do is join the Oxford Union (the debating society) - that's where all the incredibly posh and rich Eton boys hang out. Making the right choice in regard to colleges will make a HUGE difference with regard to whether you get in - you can sort out the rest once you're in."

Telling me where to scope out the posh rich boys...

Lame--and I dont even have a book deal

Since I’ve gained weight this past winter and my identity is rooted in being hot, my friend D and I signed up for strip-ilates. I told the vendors and my co-workers at dinner. I also alluded that I was a slut…bad bad bad idea.

You know you are a yuppie when , I find myself paying $440 to feel “empowered” to take off my clothes off in front of other women.

Drank too much at dinner with the colleagues. Drunk I walked 40 blocks to sober up for drinks at the St. Regis with Corinne.

We both agreed that I needed to get laid by a male. Bonus points if you are Jewish. More points if you are taller than me nor bald.

And Oxford agreed to let me submit third recc a few weeks late since sexual harasser prof isn’t going to write my letter of reference for me. He wants to play hard ball, well bring it on.

Please let me get into school…