Thursday, December 30, 2004
Bring it the fuck on. 2005 is going to be the best year ever. Or, at least, it will be the Best Year Ever once our richest-nation-in-the-world government realizes that donating 35 million (aka the price of 4.7 STINKING HOURS OF THE WAR IRAQ -- apparently, it costs 7.4million dollars per sixty minutes of war) to tsunami relief is basically insulting. Hey, call off the war for a fucking DAY, and donate the 177million dollars to Asia. But, Asia doesn't have any natural resources for us to plunder, so apparently the people there just don't matter.
I've already done the Nick Hornsby-esque year-end list thing, but here's one more:
FAVORITE WORDS OR PHRASES INTRODUCED IN 2004
3. Ping on Ting on Ping Pong Pong Ting Tong Pong
1. that's what i'm rockin' about
Happy Thursday, everyone. And it is happy, isn't it? Now THAT's what i'm rockin' about.
JOSH: awesome. AWESOME.
JOSH: a baby panda, if trussed up properly, would make an awesome pillow
JOSH: soon i will be riding a panda 2-wheeler without training seals
JOSH: get it? training seals?
BEX: BWA HA HA
JOSH: wait... holyshit, my joke doesn't even work at all
BEX: training seals?
JOSH: because pandas DON'T LIVE IN THE ARCTIC
JOSH: way to go, JOSH
BEX: polar bears do
JOSH: GOD I'M SO STUPID
BEX: pandas live in china
BEX: where they can eat bamboo
BEX: not seals
BEX: You done got bamboozled
JOSH: i've got polar bears on the brain
BEX: better than having polar bears on your ass
JOSH: because i got an awesome new coat
BEX: made out of baby harp seals?
JOSH: no, unfortunately
JOSH: it's a big white parka
JOSH: with fur
BEX: polar bear fur
JOSH: and it's totally kick-awesome
JOSH: no, probably not polar bear fur
BEX: “kick-awesome” is awesome
JOSH: or even real fur
BEX: you're safe from paint-throwers
JOSH: but you see: the parka is white
JOSH: so i was thinking "this parka would be awesome @ the south pole... but no! it is white, and i would never be rescued, because it blends in with the tundra!"
JOSH: but then i thought: "what if i'm not lost in the tundra? what if i'm being a polar bear and eating seals? then, this parka allows me to hunt my prey without detection!"
JOSH: so really, it's a great coat
BEX: if you are lost in the arctic and BEING a polar bear, you're set
BEX: does this happen often?
JOSH: if i decide to move to the arctic and live off of seals, penguins, and hapless explorers, it will
JOSH: they had baby polar bears at the zoo one time, and one of them ate a bee
BEX: Did he freak out?
BEX: I ate a bee
JOSH: he didn't freak out
JOSH: did you freak out?
BEX: I did
BEX: and my tongue got swollen
BEX: it hurt
BEX: i wish i could see a polar bear eat a bee and then do the i-have-a-bee-inside-me-dance
JOSH: my white fur helps me blend in with my surroundings
BEX: hi, baby polar bear!
JOSH: and my broad, flat paws distribute my weight, allowing me to walk across thin layers of ice
JOSH: i chewed my way through a plastic tub at the zoo, and wore it as a helmet!
JOSH: i totally beat Robert Scott to the south pole, but i let him take the credit
JOSH: because i'm so cute!
BEX: Once in sixth grade we watched a documentary about these adventurers who went to the North Pole and they all got lead poisoning and left camp carrying only curtain rods and an old duck
JOSH: was the duck cooked? or alive and just elderly?
JOSH: and if he was alive, who brings a live duck to the south pole?
JOSH: assuming they weren't lead-poisoned when choosing their provisions
JOSH: i couldn't find any mention of curtain rods
JOSH: but this website) says:
JOSH: Lead is indeed a toxin, but in this case it shouldn't have cause the crew to wear skirts at other times than their Christmas festivities!
JOSH: although i don't know if he means skirts
JOSH: or kilts
BEX: i hope it means petticoats
JOSH: i gotta say, "curtain rods and an old duck" has a ring of fairy tale to it
BEX: i'm just looking for the curtain rod element
BEX: the old duck may be lodged in my head incorrectly
JOSH: it's got a little nursery rhyme to it.
BEX: but definitely the curtain rod bit
JOSH: and now, apparently, women's underwear
JOSH: which no arctic expedition with hopes of success should be without
BEX: where is the skirt bit on the sirjohn page?
BEX: ah. right-scroll.
JOSH: for that matter, no jungle expedition, college road trip, visit to the veterinarian, beer run, or casual sunday stroll should be w/out women's underfrillies
BEX: Mention of curtain rods!
BEX: let's do a new issue of Grail
BEX: entitled Crossing the South Pole with a curtain rod and an old duck
JOSH: to be fair, there are many possible uses for curtain rods in the arctic
BEX: like a ski pole?
JOSH: or a tent post
BEX: a curtain rod, though, instead of tools and blankets?
JOSH: can blankets fend off a hungry polar bear?
BEX: if one blinded the polar bear
BEX: with the blanket
JOSH: not as effectively as a well-placed curtain rod
BEX: over its heads
BEX: why not use a rifle?
BEX: oh wait, you have no rifle. you have a curtain rod.
JOSH: "In the end, the searchers found only scattered skeletons, artifacts, a few cryptic notes and mystery."
JOSH: i'd like to know what the cryptic notes said
BEX: 'i am in love with my curtain rod'
JOSH: "bear so hurty"
BEX: Muglug loves me no longer. i now hurl myself into the narwhal pit
JOSH: "Tell Shackleton he can BITE IT"
BEX: "I miss my feet"
JOSH: South of the cairn, M'Clintock found skeletons of two more crewmen in a lifeboat that was mounted on sledges and crammed with button polish, silk handkerchiefs, curtain rods, a writing desk and other items useless to survival in the Arctic.
BEX: that was part of the documentary
JOSH: The searchers also found the remains of a camp, including tent sites, storehouse, and garbage mound enclosing more than 700 tin cans.
BEX: i am trying to remember where 'old duck' comes from
BEX: their food was stored in lead tins and it made 'em mad
JOSH: mmm, button polish
JOSH: although the page i linked earlier disagrees
JOSH: saying, "Button polish is horrid,"
BEX: Button polish is an aquired taste
JOSH: well, the brits drink it warm, which doesn't help
BEX: It makes it smoother, though. when it cools, it congeals
JOSH: "In the mid 1850's, an expedition led by Sir John Franklin attempted to sail through the cold waters north of Canada trying to reach the pacific. The expedition was a failure and no one survived. When their ships became locked in the ice, they made a futile attempt to reach civilization. The strange thing is what they took with them. Things such as curtain rods and a writing desk. Hard to transport and totally useless in the artic wilderness. Years later researchers found evidence that the cans of food that expedition used were sealed with lead and there was evidence of high amounts of lead in bodies that had been buried. Therefore, it is thought that the crew suffered from lead poisoning, which can make people paranoid and impair their judgment. I mention this story because the first time I heard it I felt sympathy for these people. Imagine trekking though the frozen wilderness not even realizing that you were poisoned by your own food. Talk about bad luck! What chance did these people have when they could not even make rational decisions? I also think this story is an analogy for depression."
JOSH: he means metaphor
BEX: curtains rods : depression :: lead : ?
JOSH: a)the dutch
JOSH: b) weather patterns
JOSH: c) frank lloyd wright, jr.
JOSH: d) reggae
JOSH: correct. please use a #2 pencil and darken the circle completely.
BEX: i wrote a poem about that, whilst taking the CAT test
BEX: Make your mark heavy and dark
BEX: And stay within the lines
BEX: Just do your best
BEX: Upon this test
BEX: And you will come out fine
JOSH: scans well
BEX: scantrons well, too
JOSH: man, we're on fire!
JOSH: oh, so jed's new galpal, (name withheld) of wesleyan '01, totally remembered us once i told her we did GRAIL
JOSH: said she still has the 9 wesleyan archetypes up on her wall
BEX: get out!
BEX: i think about that guy who got so mad
JOSH: yeah, rich kid hippie... i miss him.
BEX: he was SO IRATE
JOSH: we should have dedicated the next issue to him
JOSH: & then had him eaten by a polar bear
BEX: at westco
JOSH: during zonker harris day
BEX: in front of the prefrosh
JOSH: while singing a capella
BEX: and getting people to sign a petition
BEX: and drinking a 40
JOSH: and endlessly intellectualizing our various repressions and neuroses, rather than recognizing or confronting them
BEX: no. we NEVER did that.
BEX: how DOES one go about recognizing and/or confronting them?
JOSH: "i am [junior] and i am going to write a wespeak about how [no one i know gets laid/everyone does drugs/no one cares about their academic performance]"
BEX: no way. not at MY college, no way
BEX: there was NO self righteousness, none
JOSH: i am a baby polar bear!
JOSH: my hollow fur is efficient at trapping heat
JOSH: i wanted to go to Brown
BEX: I am a baby panda! I am both too passive-agressive and too confused about overt sexuality in a post-feminist universe to make a move, so i will bitch and moan about how the couples on campus take up the whole quota of sex so that no one else has any, but secretly, i am relieved
JOSH: can i write that on a napkin to give to women in bars?
BEX: if i get a little c-in-a-circle
BEX: want to be in a band called The Fuck Truck with me?
JOSH: i also think the Fuck Truck is an analogy for depression.
BEX: that's our first album:
BEX: The Fuck Truck is An Analogy for Depression
BEX: (much like frampton comes alive)
BEX: maybe ian will play guitar for us
JOSH: & eat cheese sandwiches like a bird
BEX: i think it's a lot about the cowbell
BEX: and the album cover
JOSH: & the sandwiches
BEX: and the pabst blue ribbon box that you wear on your head
JOSH: jed found PBR in the bottle upstate
JOSH: and bought 4 cases of it
BEX: are you saving it in the curio cabinet?
JOSH: i'm saving it in my liver
JOSH: for future use
BEX: all four cases?
BEX: you can pee back into the empties
JOSH: it's right next to my button polish & that writing desk
BEX: no peeing on my curtain rod
JOSH: no cannibalizing my scurvied crew of gentlemen
BEX: i will eat your dogs
JOSH: who ate my dogs out?
BEX: you have no dogs, you only have mr. tail
BEX: so you have to ask, who ate my pussy out?
BEX: HA HA HA
JOSH: oh, damn!
BEX: if we ever go exploring, let's not even bring curtain rods or button polish. so we're not tempted.
JOSH: but what of the old duck?
BEX: he can come
JOSH: we did promise him
BEX: okay. but he must leave the writing desk (and the raven) at home
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Oh, Jerry Orbach. You cornered the market on compassion and cynicism.
I'd like to think that Jerry Orbach and Susan Sontag are drinking tea together somewhere in that great big Starbucks in the sky.
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Impending new shows coming soon to your cathode rays:
(all shows on VH1, like, duh.)
12/30 -- 9pm -- 40 Most Awesomely Bad #1 Songs ... Ever (Hour 1)
10pm: 40 Most Awesomely Bad #1 Songs ... Ever (Hour 2)
1/4 -- 10pm --The Greatest: 25 Most Cheesetastic TV Stars
1/5 -- 11pm -- Fab Life of Celebrity Kids (ick. don't watch this one. crass materialism and wealth obsession. yuck. bleeech. icky).
Missed a show? Fret not! It's the vee, yo! They'll repeat 'em early and often.
Monday, December 27, 2004
"Oh, the thumb goes out
And the food goes in!
The food goes in!
The food goes in!
The thumb goes out and the food goes in --
Into Becky's tummy."
It worked, I guess, because I grew up and shit, so I must've removed the thumb at key intervals. Yes, I was a thumb-sucker. A fierce oral fixation, even then.
My dad wrote lots of little songs that he used to sing to us. I was 15 before I learned that George Gershwin did not write these words to Rhapsody in Blue:
"Your nose it sits right up there on your face, face, face"
Anyhoo, back to the tidal waves. So I ate lots of tidal-wave altered oatmeal, and I kind of became mildly obsessed with tidal waves. And now, after this real one, I'm just sad.
Sunday, December 26, 2004
All the stuff I rescued from the rents' house before they moved (my childhood in a box! much like a wig in a box!) is in a corner of their newbasement. Today, I dug through the rubble and brought back lots and lots of old photos. Til now, I've had my most special-special cherished camp albums and high school prom albums, but today i brought back all the loose pictures. And scanning through 'em kind of just blew my mind
-- oh, here's the summer when I was freeing Tibet with all my heart! Here's a march! Here's a rally! Here's the boys of Soul Coughing signing autographs at HORDE
-- and here's the frosh year photos that didn't make it into the album -- we were all so young! and cubby!
-- and here's leftover pix from my first year as a camp counselor. I have yards and yards and yards of hippie hair
-- and here's me and matty doing our FIRST EVER performance art piece; Matt was in a suit and a ski mask, and I was wearing a mechanic's jumpsuit and grease monkey hat, and we stood in front of the campus center and passed out rad balloons on which we'd painted "FUCK ME," to mark the onset of Valentine's Day
-- and here's my eleventh birthday party when my mom's hairdresser came over to do our hair and makeup and we all looked like Married-to-the-Mob tartlet Adrianna's-in-training. And i'm wearing my favorite tee-shirt, which came from my dad's company and was totally flourescent yellow-like-a-highlighter. hizzot.
GUESS WHO IS THE LUCKIEST GIRL EVER. My roomie just got home an announced that his wonderful mother is making all of my wildest dreams come true. Yes. It's true and my hands tremor with the joy and the wonder. She's taking us to see the Radio City Christmas Show! So fill you heart with Christmas! Take someone that you know (that you love) and see the RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SHOW.
I am so happy I could do a little skippy dance. In fact, I'm now doing my happy skippy dance, which resembles the celebratory doody dance except it's a lot more joyous and more airy (as opposed to earthy). I am so excited that I am blowing off the drinks I was supposed to have with a third party, set up a 2nd party (a 2nd party I haven't spoken to in 4 years), SO BRING ON THE FUCKING ROCKETTES!
Friday, December 24, 2004
I'm also rather sad that I didn't get to attack anyone under any Mistletoe this year .. not YET, anyway.
So we're on our way into Chinatown for our annual stoned soul Christmas of deep-fried vegetarian food, and then I think we may wander around Chinatown and buy toys so that our Robots will have presents to unwrap in the morning.
Happy holidays, tigers. All i want is a hug.
Thursday, December 23, 2004
Picture yourself lost in the galaxy...UFO sightings and Alien Abductions are on the rise...Will you return to tell the story?
In case of alien abduction these dog tags may save your life. The crucial data an alien will need to get you back to Earth is die stamped into these dog tags.
The design is based on NASA research for the Pioneer 10 Space Mission that used a gold plaque attached to the craft to inform any Extraterrestrials of it's Earthly origin.
Buying oneself a present for a holiday one doesn't even celebrate is SO exciting. I heart this dogtag concept very, very much. Because I am a sci-fi riot nrrrrrd.
And, besides, I'll have the most stylin' keychain this side of the asteroid belt. Hooray, hooray!
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
But not right now, because I have an insanely bad headache and a fuckload of scripts to write.
In other, non-Heeb news, I saw the Roundabout's new production of 12 Angry Men on Tuesday night and it is just super-dee-duper. Stellar acting without any postmodern multimedia to distract you. I highly recommend it. I like timeless period pieces, if you catch my drift.
And then we went to Joe Allen, where I think I actually may have dined a long, long time ago. I seem to remember being 8 and going to see a Saturday matinee of Cats (now 'n' 4evuh) and my brother got really carsick on the way into the city and then he booted on Ed Asner in the restaurant. And my mom said, "Oh, I am so sorry, Mr. Grant."
Anyhoodles -- no booting on anyone this time around. Oddly enough, it turned out that I know the maitre d' (He's a friend-of-a-friend -- a FOFA!) and he very nicely got us a table right quick and then we ('we' meaning my friend and i, not the maitre d' and I, niceguy though he is) talked all night about stuff like the curse-of-the-clever and petted each other's hands. Nothin' better, yo.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Jeepers, Creepers! Check this shit out!
Check it on out, tigers! We're a Voice Choice! And they call me VH1's second-sexiest token Jewish girl/quip provider. WOO WOO WOO!
Oh, sweet jesus on the best hot cross bun ever, i am SO in the Village Voice. And now I am uber uber uber happy.
Golly gee whiz, Mr. Wilson, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. In fact, I'm sitting here in front of a potted pointsettia. I once knew a lady who tried to kill herself by eating a Pointsettia; little did she know, they're only poisonous to cats. Similarly, I once knew a mogwai who ate a Pointsettia after midnight and turned into a Gremlin; little did he know that it was the after-midnight aspect of his snack and not the Pointsettia that led to his downfall. And in a third, completely un-related situation, I once knew a boy who had two guinea pigs named Simon and Garfunkel. Simon killed Garfunkel with a bite to the neck and then ate him -- just like in real life. Little did Simon know that guinea pigs are not poisonous to each other; alas, perhaps Simon assumed he was on a suicide mission, and then when he didn't die, poor Simon felt such remorse for the acts he comitted so he threw himself into the dishwasher, where the kitten used to sleep. Unbeknownst to Simon and to the kitten, the boy's grandmother decided it was time to do the dishes and she dishwashed both the poor kitty and also Simon, the murderous cannibalistic guinea pig.
What did Crime Scene Investigators working on the Donner party case have to research?
HA HA HA HA HA, oh, HA HA HA HA.
I love how the tail end of a laughing jag sounds orgasmic -- the laugher loses control completely, makes weird squealy sounds, tries to catch his breath, and finally sighs contentedly and then goes off to make a sandwich.
Monday, December 20, 2004
It's 7:17pm (almost 12 hours pre-solstice!) and I am still at work. Why? Because I am making George-Bush-the-1st vomit. Actually, in my footage, you can see him vomit but we embellished the Presidential booting by turning it lime green, and now I'm in audio faking the sound of George Bush the 1st vomitting into the lap of the Japanese prime minister (or whoever it was). Isn't my job awesome? I've always wanted to say, "I spent the night making George Bush vomit," and now that's actually true.
In other news, keep your peeled to the Vee for some new holiday IDs. Perhaps you'll recognize the voices of the Holidayriffic cheerleaders - hint, hint, hint.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Mammoth: "It's cold."
Dinosaur: "It's cold."
And that's how we know the Ice Age has set in over suburban New Jersey. And the first time it snows every winter, all I can do is think about the poor, downtrodden little prehistoric pets. I heart them and my heart goes out to them the same way I feel about the poor little epsilon elevator operator in Brave New World whose only joy comes from taking the elevator up to the roof. "Roof! … Oh, roof!" he cries, thinking he'll finally get to see the sunlight once more.
Between the cold mammoth and dino and the roof-longing epsilon, it almost makes me weep for the human condition.
HEEB STORYTELLING HOSTED BY SNL WRITERS SLOVIN AND ALLEN
Wednesday December 22
Tickets available at The Public Theater box office or through Telecharge: www.telecharge.com or 212.239.6200.
Heeb Magazine (The New Jew Review) presents Heeb Storytelling: part cabaret, part Catskills, this popular series pushes the very notion of a Jewish story to the brink. Guaranteed to be a fearlessly funny evening of 7-minute stories hosted by Saturday Night Live-writing duo Slovin & Allen and performed by the ever hilarious Jill Sobule, One Ring Zero, Peter Hyman (author of The Reluctant Metrosexual), Michael Portnoy (aka Soybombwho rushed Bob Dylan during the 1998 Grammys), Daily Show writer Eric Drysdale, VH1 Talking Head Bex Schwartz, eclectic musician Dana Kletter, and the spitfire creator of girlcomic.com Becky Donohue.
Anyhoo. I was trying to go to sleep last night and something kept making this funny noise and as I lay in bed, trying not to obsess about the funny noise, I started thinking like "Oh no, what if it's a bad person climbing up the fire escape?" In Schroedinger's Cat, Robert Anton Wilson writes about this character who's consumed by fear of the "Grinning Sadist:"
He could not bear to be alone at night anymore.And so, of course, I was imagining a Grinning Sadist climbing my fire escape. And then I started thinking about how I'm not the kind of person who would keep in a gun in the bedside table or a knife under my pillow. Which made me think -- maybe I should get a spear? I could just prop it against the wall next to my bed, and that way, if a Grinning Sadist ever managed to crawl through my window (and somehow not tip over the 30 pounds of makeup and beauty paraphernalia on the window sill) and loom menacingly over my bed, I could prod at him with the spear until he crawled back out of the window in dismay.
The Grinning Sadist began to haunt him.
This horrifying image had been imprinted upon his neurons by various movies and TV melodramas of the 60s and 70s. The Grinning Sadist invaded your home, sometimes alone and sometimes with a horde of equally moronic and vicious cohorts. You were particularly susceptible if you were blind or a woman or alone at night ... His business was never simply burglary, although that was part of it; his real interest was in humiliation, terror, degradation, torture of the body and spirit. And he always grinned.
So then I was thinking about how I would make the spear. I think a steel spear would look too hardcore, so I guess I'd want a long, sturdy stick of bamboo. Then I guess I'd have to carve a spearhead, unless I can buy one at a museum gift shop (along with some tasty astronaut ice cream!). And then I'd have to bind the spearhead to the bamboo using some sort of sinew, but I'd want a pleather sinew because I don't use animal skins. And then I'd probably want to pluck some feathers from my collection of boas so the spear could have aerodynamic details (and some fabulosity, of course). Velocity + fabulosity = velocifabulosity. A velocifabulous velociraptor (did you know that velociraptor means "Speeding thief?") would be a velocifabulosoraptor. Awesome.
If the spear thing doesn't work, I suppose I could always slice off a breast and take up the bow-and-arrow, like the Amazons. And then, I bet I'd look better in one of those skating outfits.
Thanks for your support.
And: so long, and thanks for all the fish. (that's what the dolphins will say).
Saturday, December 18, 2004
(Wow, that's damning with faint praise. That's like trying to set someone up with a person you'd describe as "having a great personality.")
So I decided today that it was time for yet another bikini wax. Not in preparation of a hot date or anything, just because. And, MAN, am I embarassed. It's all gone. I am a bear-without-any-hair. A bare, hairless bear. All I knew was that the waxing hurt a bit more than usual and I looked down and to see a sight I haven't seen since I was about eleven. Yikes.
I'm totally mortified. This is not a choice I would choose to make. Luckily, there ain't no one getting into my pants these days, but if there were, how would I explain that? Like, let's say we're fooling around for the first time and the unbuttoning-of-the-pants moment starts to happen and I'll have to stop and say, "WAIT. I must warn you. I am not the type of girl who goes for pornstar-riffic genital hairstyling, and I didn't instruct the waxer to do this, but I have no hair-down-there and it might freak you out a bit. Heavens to Betsy, I know it freaks me out."
That's a lot of splaining to do. Not as much splaining as I'd imagine one has to do if one has the herpes or something, but still and all -- I have to put a disclaimer on disrobing.
The term Hair-down-there reminds me of a story I once read in Cricket magazine about a girl who lived at the edge of a forest somewhere in Germany, and she knew there was a boar who lived in the woods and she would stand at her backdoor, thinking "Boar out there."
For some reason, that phrase has stuck with me and I often find myself thinking "boar out there" whenever I'm facing the very great unknown.
Boar out there. Bare down there. Boar out bare. Bear down, boar!
Anyhoodles. Last night was our department xmas party and it was fun. Lots of drunken dancing, which is always my very most favorites. More drunken dancing, please! More rich, chocolatey Ovaltine, please!
Note: today is the first day in two months that I have not (as yet)consumed soup. However! I am going out for dinner and I hope there will be soup in my near future; oh, how I love soup. Soup soup soup.
Friday, December 17, 2004
Thus far, we have spent an inordinate amount of time analysing this tattoo. Didn't that hurt when it was healing? How did he stay erect that long? Did he numb his scrotum first? And why does the 'full flight' photo look like a strap-on attached to his butt?
Enquiring minds want to know.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
A few things:
Firstly, thanks very muchly to all my new readers who are writing in with such lovely and joyous comments. You done made a girl feel all happy and shiznit. And a superhuge enormous thank you with ice cream and whipped cream on top to Randy at Something Positive for sending so many people in my direction. You rock so hard.
Secondly, I've been thinking many thinks about how "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" is the most fantabulous metaphor-based antiwar protest song ever.It's just so wonderfully simple. Every time I try to write a song about current politics, it ends up being about sex. Because every song I write ends up being about sex, or sex and politics, or sexual politics. But anyway. Ya'll know the story about the song, right? CBS yoinked Pete Seeger's performance of this song off of the Smothers Brothers' show because it was too controversial and disrespectful of President Johnson and his policies in Vietnam. It's just so wonderfully simple. I've uploaded it here for you to savor. I lurf the Smothers Brothers tv show -- they got to show all sorts of awesome artists doing their thang. I wish it were still on, but I feel like I'm the only person who wants to see folk-singing brothers banter and do social satire.
In fact, in my deepest of dreams, I'm producing a socially-savvy variety show and it's like the new incarnation of the Ed Sullivan show -- every person with a TV simply has to watch it on Sunday night because they have to get the scoop and then be able to talk about it on Monday morning or else they're tools. The Ed Sullivan show kind of blows my mind -- he got to break new musical acts, showcase hot comedians, AND show traditional cultural performances (opera! ballet!) AND vaudeville acts (plate-spinning!) and exotic multi-culti art. Clearly, we've all been exposed to stuff like Butoh and the Gamelan these days, but it's so exciting to think about sharing all sorts of neat art with the people in, like, South Dakota who don't get to see stuff like that -- stuff like Pina Bausch and The Improbable Theater Company. I mean, holy shit, that stuff blew my mind and put it back together in a new way.
I was lucky enough to spend my summers during college interning with with the amazing Mark Russell at PS 122. I got to see the hottest performances, all sorts of new ideas and techniques, and it changed my life. I once wanted to be Wendy Wasserstein, and all of a sudden I just wanted to be Eric Bogosian (insert Under Siege 2 joke here: ______, but I saw "Pounding Nails Into the Floor With My Forehead" and it shook me up so hardcore that my brain bounced around a lot and settled back in and I was never to be the same.
So! To do a variety show where the greatest and most exciting people could perform and show their stuff and affect the world -- man, I lust after that so badly.
At least indie music is the new folk music. Hip, hip, hooray!
Ah, music affecting the world... Last night, Steve and I were discussing the value of popular music. We were talking about how a perfect song makes you feel something ("After all, they call it rock and ROLL," said Steve, "Because it makes you move."). We were talking about U2 and their current unique place in the history of rock -- they have a HUGE single, they're co-branded with hottest piece of must-have gadgetry, AND they're about to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Granted, I acknowledge that Aerosmith was inducted a few short years ago and there are some who might argue that Aerosmith is also still at the top of its game. For the record, I'd like to say that their game suuuuuuuuuuuux). I mean, whoa. They're relevant and they're historical, all at the same time. And people LOVE them.
We were talking about how Rock and Roll was firstly about FUCK YOU TO THE MAN, and then it went introspective, and then U2 brought it back to "we, the people." Like, angry rock and roll was all middle-finger FUCK YOU and then it was all about crossing its arms and shutting out the audience and then U2 was like: here are my arms, let me hold you. And it just works. They're still totally at the top. They even beat REM.
Back in the day, REM and U2 were neck-and-neck for BIGGEST BAND in the world and then REM blew the roof off the joint with "Out of Time" and its smash single "Losing My Religion" and then U2 countered with "Achtung Baby" and then REM again smashed 'em with "Automatic For the People." It was like the whole Revolver - Pet Sounds - Sgt. Pepper progression. And then U2 got a little iffy for a bit, with that whole "Lemon" song and then REM put out "Monster" but then Bill Berry left the band and they stopped making perfect pop songs and moved into more esoteric realms and then U2 stepped in just blew them out of the water. REM is my all-time faverave band and I will defend them to the death, but I will readily admit that "Leaving New York" off of "Around the Sun" is NOWHERE as accessible as "Vertigo" is. When I saw REM recently, MSG wasn't even full. And U2 gets people to leave work and trek to Dumbo to catch a free outdoor concert in the middle of the day. Whoa. It takes a lot for me to say that, as I am not necessarily the hugest U2 fan (although I am particularly fond of "All I want Is You" and that "wild horses" song off Achtung Baby), but I will admit that they write the fuck out of pop songs. Solid verse, good bridge, catchy hook. And Bono, up front, singing as the people for the people. And apparently he's got the faith, but I'll overlook that for the moment.
Speaking of the faith, I was thinking that all those Jesus-lovers who sing about how much they love Jesus aren't that different from me singing about the boy on whom I have a crush. I reckon the gospel folks don't want to do naughty things to Jesus, but the sentiment is the same. Like take a secular song about love and affection like Nelson's song "Love and Affection" and compare it to some Xtian rock song about loving Jesus, and it's the same thing except for the subject of the song. Golly Gee, Mr. Wilson, maybe we're not all so different after all!
Speaking of Nelson, can we throw some hearts their way? Like in the Back to the Future game for Nintendo when Lorraine throws pixelated kisses at you over the soda fountain? I was rocking out to Nelson today whilst working on I Love the 90s Part Deux and I was like -- hot damn; they're so fucking cute. And that song kinda made me a little melty. I dunno, maybe it's because Matthew and Gunnar and I share the same birthday (September 20) --we're kindred spirits.
Anyhoo. So we were talking about perfect pop songs and about how they have this incredible power to move you. To rock&roll you, so to speak. The best pop songs are the ones that make you feel, whether its happy or sad or angry or lustful or full of regret. The best pop songs break through your emotional shield make you feel something -- how incredible is that?
We spend so much time behind these elaborate shields we construct (mentally or pharmaceutically) to protect us from feeling things. Like tonight, I got home from work really late and was enjoying some soup in front of a tivo'ed CSI and suddenly there was this horrible screaming outside. We looked out the window -- a man had a woman down over the hood of a car and the woman with her was, almost literally, screaming bloody murder. It was horrific. People leapt out of their doors to break up the fight and I called 911. The good people on the street broke up the fight and then the cops arrived. I didn't see what happened after that because we were talking about the whole thing and I was thinking about Kitty Genovese, but MAN, hearing screams like that was just terrifying. And then I was like: hey! I was rattled! I'm a super tough grrrrl New Yorker and I was RATTLED! Wow, I do have the capacity to be affected by my environment! Who knew?
Back to pop songs. I've written extensively about my desire to have sex with musicians who make music that I love because I love the songs so very deeply and they make me feel such a very specific type of emotion that I simply want to transfer that feeling into fucking. As in: I love your song so much that I must sleep with you immediately if not sooner. But I realize it's more than just starfucking, or semistarfucking (it's so not about the fame, though, so I guess it's really just musicianfucking) because it's actually about the fact that these particular songs have made me feel a certain way, a certain filled-with-joy or filled-with-passion type of feeling, and my brain somehow transfers that feeling into a sort of lust or desire for proximity to the creator of that sort of effect. You take a perfect pop song that fits so incredibly well that it makes your heart hurt, with the aching and the wanting and the loving, and it's just so wonderful. I live for that.
In theory, of course, I could someday fall in love with an actual real person as opposed to an idea, and theoretically that's what being in love feels like. Alas, I wouldn't know. But I'm pretty sure I know what the song sounds like.
(note: this is NOT a perfect song, but several of you wrote to say that the link to "little green apples" wasn't working. I fixed it.)
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
So we came back the 'Point and had some drinks and a very long discussion about ideal pop songs and the merits of U2 and why William Wegman's weimaraners are so sad: "Oh, look, I'm wearing a dress. Alas. Siiiiiigh."
And I came back home to write a long entry but I couldn't get on to the internet and so I went to sleep and a really long and involved dream that has left me so very shook up that I can't write anything right now because I have to put my brain back together, so hang in there and I'll be back tonight with your normal broadcast.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Like the other night, we were standing outside Pete's Candy Store watching a pickup truck hydroplane down Lorimer Ave and we noticed it had a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker on its rear end. And at first we were confused, wondering what that Red State truck was doing in the tragically hip WB, until someone pointed out that it might be ironic, and then we were all impressed at the lengths that person had gone to in order to assert his ironic worldview --
And then again, it might not. But, hi.
Thus far, I can safely conclude the Morphine Nation is shockin' awesome, yo diggety, no doubt.
* I've read as many books pertaining to quantum physics and hyperspace and string theory as my brain can absorb. Which we can discuss. Or I can keep writing about poo or about how it currently feels like there's a squirrel in my uterus, eagerly digging up all the acorns he buried. Either way is fine by me (remember that song, by Randy? From the early days of MTV? Or, at least, from the early days of AL TV, that my brother and I watched repeatedly during our childhoods?)
Wait, I don't feel like answering any more questions. I'd like to pause for a moment to reflect on some other things from my childhood. FOR INSTANCE: being the good Jews that we are, we were always hoarding things instead of throwing them out. Things like the yucky candies that ended up at the bottom of the Halloween bowl (like those little yellow hard candies? Yuck. I am always on the look-out for hard candies because the act of sucking on things makes my TMJ feel better, and I tried to always have jawbreakers around. Oddly enough, jawbreakers work best when one's jaw hurts. And I was always asking people if they had anything I could suck on, but I never ate those little yellow-wrapped-in-gold-cellophane pieces of butterscotch poo. But they were always in the house, little ghosts of Halloweens past, in the back of the pantry stuck to the 12-year-old packets of onion soup that were probably purchased to be made into dip, but we never made dip) and things like weird chocolates in the shapes of bunnies and ducks that my dad's boss's wife would give us for Easter (zug?) and would live in the fridge for ever. Until they moved, my mother kept a chocolate cow from my Bat Mitzvah in the back of the vegetable crisper.
Ah, yes, the vegetable crisper ((train of thought, DERAILED! and now back on track). So every time we brought in Chinese food we would save the little packets of duck sauce and put them in the vegetable crisper. I'm not sure why -- maybe someday we were going to fill the bathtub with duck sauce and splash around, maybe we were collecting them because some kid with cancer sent us a letter asking us to hoard duck sauce, maybe we thought that if the Nazis ever came we could grab the duck sauce to sustain us while we hid in the crawl space. I guess duck sauce and the you've-been-dehydrated solution they give you intravenously can't be that different -- they're both full of sugar, right? Anyhoo. So we had a vegetable crisper full of duck sauce packets. When we redid the kitchen in the late 80s, I believe we actually transferred the duck sauce from one fridge to the next. And so, until my parents abandoned the split-level in Glen Rock for swankier digs in Watchung (here come ol' flat-top), we had over 20 years worth of duck sauce.
In fact, I saved an IM exchange with my brother about this very phenomenon:
Adam: and im sorry to tell you... the duck sauce - gone!
Bex: oh dear, i am tired.
Bex: no way
Bex: they threw it out?
Bex: i was there on saturday. i could have saved it.
Adam: when they moved, cleaned the fridge out
Adam: the new fridge, no duck sauce
Bex: that's as old as you are.
Bex: I weep for the lost duck sauce.
I'm not sure if the rents' have ordered Chinese take-out at the new pad yet, but at least Christmas Eve rapidly approaching, and they're good Jews who'll do their part.
The worst part about all this is that I was cleaning out our fridge just this weekend and found, to my dismay, several packets of duck sauce in the vegetable crisper. I don't remember putting them there, but perhaps its instinctual subconscious behavior. Or maybe I do it in my sleep, digging through the garbage to retrieve unused duck sauce and stashing them away, just as that squirrel stored his acorns deep within my uterine lining. And, lo, I am ready for when the marauders come to Brooklyn, because we have ready-made handipackets of sustenance that will taste great on eggrolls. And you know what they say -- with six, you get eggroll.
Monday, December 13, 2004
So, HELLO, READERS OF SOMETHING POSITIVE!
Firstly, let us all celebrate this year's inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:
* The Pretenders
* Buddy Guy
* The O'Jays
* Percy Sledge
Hooray. Team VH1 is very excited for this year's induction ceremony. Woo woo!
Anyhoo. In response to all of Randal's voracious and vociferous readers who wish that VH1 played more videos and don't care for our talking-head-driven countdown and commentary shows, I'd like to say:
If you'd care to contribute some ad-revenue to the channel, we could play more videos. But here's how it breaks down, and I hope I'm not giving away trade secrets but:
WHEN WE PLAY VIDEOS, NO ONE WATCHES. AND THEN OUR RATINGS PLUMMET. WHICH ADVERSELY AFFECTS OUR REVENUE.
Viewers tend to watch only the videos they like and then flip away, so the shows don't rate. That's why channels moved from away from all-video programming and towards more content-based, host and commentator-driven programming. That type of programming keeps viewers' attention longer. All those "coming up, the one thing you really want to see" teases before commercial breaks are there to keep your attention through the break (to watch the commercials, of course, but also to watch our AWESOME promos) and then keep your t-vision locked on our channel. If you'll notice, we play videos during the morning, during shows like Cardiovideo and Top 20 Countdown, because the morning is work-out time and we have captive eyeballs on stairmasters and treadmills and ellipticals and such. And, I kid you not, when we've shown only-video programming during the day, our ratings have dropped. No shit. Pardon the pun.
If you'd like to watch music videos, I strongly suggest turning to the channels in the digital suites -- MTV2, VH1 Classic, VH1 megahits, etc. And it's rumored that Fuse shows videos, but you didn't hear that from me.
In other news, I saw "What The Bleep Do We Know" yesterday and it thrilled me to the core of my quantum-physics loving core. I had forgotten the neurophysical implications of thought and it was brilliant to be reminded of why one needs to remain cognizant of the "cosmic internet" (as my Tantra professor used to say) (Tantra meaning the more esoteric mental practices of the yogis, not just the sexual practices favored by Sting, silly geese). The film veers into new age-y territories at times, but those moments also made me realize that underneath my cynical core beats the heart of a love-filled hippie.
DeGeneres, 46, and de Rossi, 31, first met nine months ago on a photo shoot, we're told. They fell "instantly in love," de Rossi gushed to pals at the time. But DeGeneres remained loyal to Hedison, whom she often credited with "saving her life" at a time of crisis. However, when DeGeneres and de Rossi met up again at VH1's "Big in '04" awards gala in L.A. on Dec. 1, events took their natural course.
Their respective girlfriends were absent, and this time there was no stopping the lusty ladies. They managed to find a private spot and "things got so hot and heavy between them that they raced to a limo and fooled around for hours," our source reports.
First of all, I can't believe I didn't see them getting hot and heavy. Second of all, Portia Di Rossi is one of those dreaded Orange People (the ones who invaded Hollywood a few years ago). I was standing next to her and I thought she was Drea de Matteo, THAT's how orange she was. Like Ooompa Loompa orange. Third of all, did any of you read that profile on Ellen and Alexandra a few months ago in the times or something like that? They were sooooo in love. I'm shocked. SHOCKED. Shocked that Ellen left her lover for an Orange Person, even if that Orange Person has really great hair and is on Arrested Development.
Anyway. This story is blog-worthy only because I saw both parties in the bathroom at the Shrine, even if I didn't see them making out. Damn.
Sunday, December 12, 2004
5 Fave Albums Released in 04:
5. American Idiot - Green Day
4. Together We're Heavy - Polyphonic Spree
3. Seven Swans - Sufjan Stevens
2. Soft Commands - Ken Stringfellow
1. Skittish/Rockity Roll (re-release) - Mike Doughty
5 Fave Older Songs With Which I Fell in Love in 04
5. Wig in a Box - Hedwig and the Angry Inch
4. The Only Answer - Mike Doughty
3. The Shining - Badly Drawn Boy
2. Glycerine - Bush
1. Little Red Corvette - Prince
3 Fave Top 40 Songs of 2004 I Unabashedly Like
3. Don't Stop - Janet Jackson
2. Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson
1. Everytime - Britney Spears
5 Fave Moments of Superfun Awesomeness of 04
5. Polyphonic Spree show with Josh at Angel Orensanz
4. The "Peach Pit" I Love the 90s promo shoot
3. Matt and Kristin's wedding
2. Giving out anti-Bush pins with Josh on the Upper West Side
1. Driving across the Golden Gate Bridge blasting "We Built This City"
5 Fave Movies I Actually Watched in 04
5. The Manchurian Candidate (the real one, not the remake)
4. Team America World Police / Triplets of Belleville (tie)
3. Dirty Dancing (again)
2. 13 Going on 30 (for reals, would you all please just see this movie? and shut up with that "i liked this movie when it was about boys and it was called 'big,'" okay?)
1. Garden State / Eternal Sunshine (tie)
3 Fave In-flight Movies I Actually Watched in 04
3. Mean Girls - San Francisco to JFK
2. Love, Actually - Long Beach to JFK
1. The Sound of Music - San Diego to JFK
5 Fave Boys on Whom I Had Mega-Crushes, Identified Only by the 2nd to Last Letter of Their Last Names to Protect the Innocent (in 04)
5 Fave Purchases of 04
5. Luxurious new bedding
4. Switching to Verizon / Camera phone
3. professional flatiron (shout out -- it's the sapphire ceramic iron and it kicks ass)
2. swanky flat-screen computer monitor
5 Food Trends that Stuck Around Awhile at Chez Bex and Noah
5. Tofu pups
4. Soy ham
3. Famous Amos' coconut oatmeal cookies
2. Hot apple cider with whisky
1. Lowfat microwave kettle corn
5 Fave Possibly-regrettable-but-at-the-time-it-was-super-rad Moments of 05
5. Actually considering going to Spain
4. Skinnydipping at Soho House
3. Smoking that joint outside the MTVN Xmas party
2. That extra glass of champagne at the REM concert
1. Sending that rose to that boy in San Francisco
5 Most-Commonly-Thought Thoughts of 2004
5. I wanna move to LA
4. If I lost 10 pounds, people would think I was pretty
3. Am I a G-list celeb, or am I maybe F minus?
2. My feet hurt
1. How the fuck did George Bush win that election?
5 Things That I Didn't Get to Do in 04
5. Sleep with any of the afore-mentioned crushes
4. Learn how to ice skate
3. Go apple-picking
2. See the Northern Lights
1. Drink a blue margarita on a beach in Mexico
5 Things I Did in 04 That I Didn't Think I Could Do
5. Abstaining from making out with an inappropriate person
3. Admitting that I have issues
2. Throwing out all my childhood belongings
1. Ending evenings before utter inebriation sets in
... and just think! The year ain't even over yet! WOOHOO!
Saturday, December 11, 2004
If you grok this pop culture reference, please hang out with me:
Nay nay chickabee!
Nell for Congress!
So, Josh and I are not mean by nature. But together, we have nuclear-level powers of snark and 'tude. Here's the worst, meanest burn ever:
Let's say a boy is hitting on a girl and she's uncomfortable with it. The overwhelming flirtation ensues.
Girl says: Hey, you wanna get out of here?
Girl: You wanna get out of here?
Boy: Great. Where should we go?
Girl: No, I mean you should really get out of here.
Girl: You. Should. Get. Out of here.
Girl: Without me. Not the collective 'we,' just you. You wanna get out of here?
Girl: Go then.
An observation: nobody doesn't heart the Shins. Especially "New Slang," regardless of whether one has or has not seen "Garden State" (note: the Zach Braff/Natty Portman courtship??? BRING IT THE FUCK ON, MOFES!)
I would like to point out that I spent the evening carrying around my Duck umbrella. He quacks (in my head). I bought Duckie because Dr. Snuggles used to have one. Awesome. Parr was quite un-nerved by my Duck.
An observation: When "God Only Knows" comes on in a bar, everyone gets hard. Like boing boing, chkaa (nipple nipple, clitoris). A promo: "God Only Knows" comes on in a bar and everyone pauses, mid-sip. Then, en masse, all the boys get up, covering their visible erections with schoolbooks, and they all walk to the bathroom in sync.
And emerge looking visibly relieved.
An observation: How to fuck with someone who's trying to pick you up at a bar. At the end of the night, that person says, "So... what are you doing?"
And you go, "I have a great job, I'm working on a screenplay and I was thinking seriously about taking you home and handcuffing you to my bed and having my way with you." And they go, "Zug?" And then you go, "So, you wanna get out of here?"
On a similar note, we think this exchange would be fun:
Girl: So, what you doing tomorrow night?
Boy: I'm not sure yet.
Girl: I hope it's me.
So, two people with whom I went to high school (who still know me as "Becky") were at the bar with me. And they were SO COOL in high school. I so wanted to run up to them and say, "I know cool doesn't matter anymore and we're all in the same bar, BUT LOOK! I AM COOL NOW!" I think it would make a great short. Extrapolate based on my two-sentence pitch. Awesome, right?
Another observation: the most fun thing in the world EVER is to sing the Alphabet song to any pop song. So many internal rhymes! Whoever wrote that Alphabet song is a genius. We had complex background call-and-response sections going on. Hot cha cha.
Y'okay, missuh chickabee?
Friday, December 10, 2004
And then honk if you heart Heebs.
HEEB STORYTELLING PLAYS TO ITS OWN BEAT
-- Musical Version of Acclaimed Series Returns to Joe's Pub --
Heeb Magazineπs storytelling series returns to Joe's Pub for a night of off-the-wall entertainment on Wednesday, Dec. 22 at 7 pm. Part cabaret, part Catskills, the series pushes the very notion of a "Jewish story" to the brink. The evening will be hosted by Saturday Night Live writing duo Slovin & Allen, and feature musical stories by singer/songwriter Jill Sobule ("I Kissed a Girl") and literary-rock band One Ring Zero; plus spoken stories by Peter Hyman (author of The Reluctant Metrosexual), Michael Portnoy (aka "Soybomb" who rushed Bob Dylan during the 1998 Grammys), Daily Show writer Eric Drysdale, VH1's talking head Bex Schwartz, eclectic musician/writer Dana Kletter, and hilarious creator of Girlcomic.com, Becky Donohue.
When: Wednesday, December 22, 7-9 p.m. Doors at 6 p.m.
Where: Joe's Pub, next to the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street
Cover: $15 (reservations required for table seating)
Reservations: Call the theater: (212) 539-8778 or buy tickets at Telecharge: (212)239-6200; or go to Joe's Pub.
But my warnings didn't even make an impact! I'm still getting stooopid-ass nasty messages from idiots on MySpace. MySpace + Bex are not long for each other. I mean, here's the deal -- I know I'm not a 'hot girl' but I do think that I can be interesting and that I'm a fun person around with whom to hang. I can talk all night and I'm a pretty good dancer, albeit a somewhat limited one without any SUPERflashy moves; I only have semiflashy moves. And I give a mean backrub and I like to sing with heart and I'm good for the witty bon mot on occasion. But I know I'm not the 'hot girl' -- other people get to be the hot girl, and I get to be the kinda-funny-looking girl with the heart of gold and the star tattoos who talks backwards. No problemo. Tooootally fine with that. But apparently the imbeciles on MySpace think i'm some sort of 'hottttie." I get these incoherent messages raging about my appearance. They're not even printable in a fambly newspaper, so let's pretend that this is a fambly newspaper for the moment, shall we?
Why on earth would anyone write to a perfect stranger who professes an interest in quantum physics with a message like, "yo sexy wanna lik yr booty and suck your tits." As if that's the way to my heart? Who thinks that way? It's like Friendster was where I met some interesting people who had valid things to discuss and nice things to say, and MySpace is for icky gross people? MySpace = Skevester.
Anyhoo. Enough ranting. I just read through a whole bunch of messages and I feel physically dirty, and not in a fun-I-just-went-mudsliding type of way. Onwards, to the gym, and then to Pete's to see Tim Howard, who now performs as Soltero. Like Tim Howard is to Soltero as John Darnielle is to The Mountain Goats.
Tim Howard:Soltero :: John Darnielle:The Mountain Goats
Q: Hey, guess what's coming to VH1 in January?
A: I Love the 90s Part Deux
Q: When can I see Bex on VH1 soon?
A: Currently airing: Awesomely Bad Songs of 04. Coming December 19th: Britney Spears' Shocking Moments. Coming January 5th: Fab Life of Celebrity Babies. Coming this winter: Awesomely Bad Career Moves, Wacky Celeb Families, Awesomely Bad #1 Songs Ever, Celeb Showdown #2.
But, it was for NOVA! SCIENCE on tv! The coolest thing ever. I hope to do more with the Nova fambly because I heart science oh-so-much.
At the party, I met some rad editors who work on the shows I'm on, and they quoted me to me. There's nothing better than being quoted. Awesome. I wore a trampy dress and was all cleavage-y and it was fun. But I'm too tired and too old for these things. Meh. I'm so fucking boring it's unbelievable.
Tomorrow night -- Tim Howard at Pete's Candy Store! Be there or be someone who didn't go to Wesleyan.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Today I'm giving props to my friends the Neon Thrills. Their debut album, "Sweet Cactus," came out last summer and it's fun. Powerpop style, and you can dance to it. I'd like to point out that this is the first ever album cover on which my bosom appears. The first of many, I hope. Rockstars? Let me be your Tawny Kitaen. Please.
However, today's post is only marginally about the Neon Thrills. It's mostly about the Neon Thrills' album release party, which took place this past July on a floating behemoth of fear (aka a "boat"). On the subway this morning, I read this article about all these new treatments for phobias, and apparently the best way to conquer one's fears is to face said fears. And reading this article made me remember my attempt to conquer my boatphobia by going to the afore-mentioned Booze Cruise record release party on the floating behemoth of fear. (SPOILER ALERT: i'm still scared of boats).
Since my best friend Mandy has been going out with Mark, the Neon Thrills' singer/bassist for a gazillion years (and because my breasts are on the album cover), I figured I had to go to the party. And, of course, I wanted to support the band and see some other friends who have less boat-issues than I do. So after work that day, I hoofed it across town to the East River piers. I was wearing super high spiky shoes and I gingerly inched out across the dock. I don't like ANYTHING that floats, even when it's connected to the Earth -- you never know when a tidal wave is going to hit -- and I was already unhappy just by standing on the dock.
So I finally made it to where the Booze Cruise boat was moored and I stood there staring at it. First of all, there were already people on the boat. A LOT of people. And the boat was rocking from side to side. And the people standing on the upper deck were whooping it up and drinking and smoking and they all looked like disgusting fratastic boys, the type of boys who were mean to me in high school because I was a goody two-shoes hippie.
There was a boat-staffer (a crew member?) standing on the dock taking tickets and I started asking him questions: what happens if you're on the river and a storm comes up? Have any booze cruises ever sunk? Has anyone ever drowned on a booze cruise? What if the boat gets struck by lightning? How many life preservers were on board? How many lifeboats? How much time would one have to escape after the boat sunk, before the undertow vortex sucked one under?
A bunch of people waiting to get on the boat shied away nervously. I let them go past me while I waited, pondering the boat. Every time another boat would go by, the wake would make the Booze Cruise boat list and lurch. The Boat Staffer kept urging me to get on the boat. I said I was going to look at it for a while and try to summon up the courage to get on the fucker. My friend Jay leaned out the door and beckoned for me to come on board. I yelled back that I wasn't quite sure I would be able to do so. Mandy and Mark (Mark and Mandy - nanoo, nanoo) waved from the Fratastic deck, and I waved back, staring at the other icky people who were probably really huge Dave Matthews fans, just like the people who were mean to me in high school.
Finally, the Booze Cruise blew its horn (much like the Angel Gabriel -- blow, Gabriel, blow!) and I still wasn't on the boat. My friend Zach came running down the gangplank to get me and I was like, "Uh, Zach, I don't think I can do this." And then I said a lot of mean and nasty things about how I didn't want to listen to the band's fucking set ever again and how I didn't like boats and I especially didn't like boats where there were people who were probably going to be mean to me again, just like in high school. And Zach sighed and then asked so nicely if i would please-get-on-the-fucking-boat and my other friends stood in the doorway, making nice-nice gestures and promising to soothe my worries with xanax and tequila. Zach grabbed my hand and led me down the gangplank, where I promptly collapsed into the fetal position and started crying hysterically.
I don't remember the next few minutes because I think I retreated into my inner happy place, thinking of happy things like when little kids call turtles "turkles" and the pleasure of eating a sharp piece of cheddar, and suddenly I was on the boat and Jay was pressing a drink into my hand and everyone was staring at me because I was crying hysterically as two grown men supported me into an upright position. And then I got tispy and eventually managed to walk around without holding onto the railing with a white-knuckled grip, and I was even able to dance with Mandy when the Neon Thrills ended their set with "Surrender," my fave arena-rock song.
I don't really remember being boat-phobic as a little kid; the first time this phobia ever surfaced was when my family went to Cape Cod one summer and we decided to take a Whale Watch on a floating behemoth of fear called "Portuguese Princess." The Whale Watch set sail from Provincetown, where my brother and I were really confused by the men with pocketbooks, and where my cousin kept singing the Titanic Song:
They built the ship Titanic, to sail the ocean blue.
They said it was a ship that water wouldn't go through.
But on its maiden voyage, an iceberg hit the ship.
It was sad when the great ship went down.
Oh it was sad.
It was sad.
It was sad when the great ship went down to the bottom of the sea....
It was sad when the great ship went down.
Perhaps you've never been on the hellaciously terrifying journey known as the Whale Watch. They take you out into the ocean to go look at humpbacked whales (which my brother and I kept calling "hunchbacked whales") and then they go: "LOOK! WHALE! 3o'clock!" And then the millions of people on the boat run over to 3 o'clock to look for the whale. And the boat nearly tips over. And then they go, "WHALE! 6 o'clock!" and everyone runs to the back of the boat and the boat goes ass-end into the water and if you're clinging tenaciously to the front of the boat because you're convinced that the Portuguese Princess is going down to the bottom of the sea, you end up nearly-vertical over the ocean. And then I was pretty much convinced that either an iceberg or a whale was going to sing the boat and we were all going to die and I started crying hysterically and my mother tried to pretend that I didn't belong to her and my whole family was mortified and to this very day, they bring up the infamous whale watch just to make me uncomfortable.
So, yeah. I'm a superhero and my tragic flaw is a horrible fear of boats and I still haven't conquered the phobia. But, if someone wanted me to model for their album cover on a boat, I would totally do it.
My desire to be the next Bebe Buell outweighs even the boatphobia.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Hot cha cha! Pick up your nearest copy of the NY Post! Turn past the gossip and past the right-leaning articles about Bush and ROCK PAGE 56, MOTHERFUCKERS! It's a piece called "Let There Be Latkes" and it's all about things to do for Hanukah (which starts tonight -- hag sameach to my jew peeps). And there's a ginormous picture of me!!!! The incredibly rad Josh Neuman hipped me yesterday; he said, "Check out the post for a little Hanukah present." So I picked up the paper on the way to the subway and then flipped out when I got to the article.
Happy Hanukah, indeed!
Hooray, hooray! I don't think I'll be lighting any candles tonight because I'm hanging out with my old pal Todd, who's brand new cd comes out TODAY! Todd is brilliantly funny, and his new record is called "Falling Off the Bone" and I guarantee it's super-rad, so buy it post-haste.
Monday, December 06, 2004
So this morning, I shot Awesomely Bad Career Moves and spent half the day discussing dubious professional trajectories. It was one of the most fun interviews I've ever shot, possibly because I used the word 'mofe,' discussed DJ'ing (wiki-wiki) as a release of sexual tension, deconstructed advertising for erectile dysfunction pills, and faked an orgasm, J.Lo-stylez. (I'm ... i'm ... i'm SO GLAD!) (first time I've ever faked the Big O, but I fully intend to rock 'em like J.Lo from here on in. I'm still Becky from the block, after all).
Bex Schwartz, ladies and gentlemen, keeping the FCC on their toeses. Moses supposes his toeses are roses but Moses supposes erroneously.
We're waiting to see how the Nielsen gods feel about last night's premiere of Big in 04. For the record, people, I had everything to do with the promos and NOTHING to do with the actual content. So I don't want to hear about it; believe me, I know. You try cutting a thirty-second spot out of that and then you're allowed to complain.
So, anyhoo. Tonight, our beloved Matt (audio engineer extraordinaire and constant presence in as many promos as possible) is taking us for a celebratory postmortem dinner. We're going to a fancy schmancy place called "Aureole." But they don't serve nipples. Damn. But first, I'll be kickin' it at the gym -- there is nothing more shockin' awesome than working out wearing full tv makeup. People look at you like you're a ho. I mean, I'm used to being viewed as a ho, but post-shoot workouts are special because I have so much makeup on and I'm still wearing my grimy gym clothes. Which are not ho-riffic. In fact, I have Ghostbusters bow-biters on my sneaks to keep 'em tied, and I'm pretty sure that most street walkers don't use bow-biters. But they ought to do so; bow-biters rock, especially if you're like me and you still tie your sneakers using the Romper Room method. It's true, I never learned how to tie my shoes for real. The whole rabbit running around the tree is beyond me; I just make two loops and then tie them in a knot.
Onwards, to the gym! Yesterday was a hoot and a holler -- not only did they play my fave Cher video, but I also logged more milage on the elliptical than I thought I could handle. Apparently, taking Sudafed Sinus right before the gym is not the best idea in the world -- lots of energy but also the impending fear of a possible heart attack. It was like working out on the edge. An added frisson of danger.
I just saw a commercial for Vicks vaporub which reminded me of when I was 17 and I had this horrible flu "with asthmatic components" and my mom bought me Vicks's Cherry Chest Rub, which all of her co-workers thought was hi-larious. It's true, looking back, the combination of Cherry + Chest Rub + 17-year-old-grrrl is pretty rich. But this commercial made it look like so much stimulating fun to rub Vick's on oneself. I'd like some right now. And then I could walk around with my tub of Vick's, asking people to rub my chest. Oooh la la. Why didn't I think of this before (interrobang).
Tomorrow is Tuesday, just in case you forgot. And you know what that means, don't you?
Tuesday is Prince Spaghetti Day.
Sunday, December 05, 2004
Q: How was the show last night?
A: Shockin' awesome!
Q: Hey, you wanna go have some mulled cider with me?
A: Shockin' awesome! Let's go!
I just think it's time to reclaim, that's all. I was at a party last night to commemorate Pearl Harbor Day, and the hosts thoughtfully hung up WWII propaganda posters and provided a cooler full of Kamikazes for us to drink. And there was a model of a Mitsubishi Zero attached to the cooler and Ian informed us that, in actuality, Kamikaze attacks didn't start until after Pearl Harbor, but that Mitsubishi Zeros did indeed fly on that mission. I thought a Mitsubishi Zero was a car, because Billy Bragg sings: "I look like Robert De Niro, I drive a Mitsubishi Zero" in his song "Sexuality." So we were all like, well, it's a car NOW, they had to reclaim. Which led us to a in-very-bad-taste conversation about other reclamations, like the volkswagen and the gas chamber. I'm KIDDING about the gas chamber, people. It was a short lived German export that they pulled off the market once they learned that 'gas chamber' in English means 'gas chamber.' Like how they had to pull the Chevy Nova out of South America because 'no va' means 'doesn't go' in Spanish. (Apocryphal anecdote alert!) Anyway.
So, in keeping with the theme, Josh and I amused ourselves by standing at the door and yelling "SURPRISE" any time anyone walked into the party. We were like, "is this going to get old?" No fucking way. Hours of amusement. So we were all discussing the amount of time that can elapse before you can make jokes about a national tragedy. It's been a good long time since Pearl Harbor, and they already made a dreadful movie about it, so we figured it was fine to crack jokes about interning any Japanese party-attendees.
But throwing a 9/11 party and yelling SURPRISE at people would probably be in bad taste -- at least until 2050 or so, when the hipsters of the mid-21st century throw a party and put pro-Bush posters on the wall as a joke and serve Afghan hors d'oeuvres. (that's pronounced "Whore derves" and not "horses ovaries." My mom always called 'em "horses ovaries," which is probably how I ended up as a hardcore vegetarian).
But I was lying in bed last night thinking about the whole reclamation thing -- how the queer community reappropriated 'queer' and hipjews have reclaimed 'heeb' and those rappers (and Paris Hilton) rock the n-word and I decided that we need to reclaim the worst parts of the past four years -- for a long time after 9/11 when our then so-called-Prez was using the whole "Let's roll" thing, my answer was NO, YOU FUCKER, LET'S ROCK. As in, I don't want to roll with your whole invading Afghanistan and eradicating civil liberties and justifying racial profiling -- I want to rock out hard to show you I'm not afraid of your scare tactics and I don't agree with your policies. Let's roll? No. Let's ROCK. Let's be pro-active, let's activate, let's fuck shit up (I heart King Missile).
MAN. We tried to activate and we tried to fuck shit up and somehow Bush got re-elected. Michael Moore won an award for "biggest boat rocker" at Big in 04 and he made this rad speech about how you don't give up when the ball's at the 3 yard line (i think that's a football reference, but i'm not sure) and how we still need to fight the good fight and stay involved. And people booed him, which was a mindfuck, but I still felt a little frisson of like, "YEAH! LET'S STAY FUCKING ANGRY AND KEEP ON MAKING ANGRY ART!" And thus, in the midst of my desire to create angry art, I'd like to start by proposing the reclamation of "shock and awe." I'd like to reappropriate it with a little twist, tweaking it away from its near-Biblical-connotations into the more comfortable level of almost-expletive interjection.
"Shock and awe" + "Fuckin' awesome" = SHOCKIN' AWESOME.
Use it with impunity and glee, friends. Impunity and glee.
Because the events of recent history have already added lots of expressions to our vernacular:
One can now use 'red state' and 'blue state' as adjectives, eg: I went to a party last night and it was shockin' awesome, it was a total blue state crowd. ... The Board of Directors is so red state, they're never going to allow domestic partners to receive health benefits
One can refer to members of the last Cabinet as verbs, eg: My mom Ashcrofted me last night when I got home and demanded to know who I was with and what we were doing. ... I can't believe they planned that whole thing without telling me, I felt totally Powel'ed. ... My office building has been totally Ridge'd, they don't let anyone in without three forms of ID.
Saturday, December 04, 2004
sexual techniques from Cosmo (my guilty airplane pleasure) and fell asleep listening to The Long Winters. Speaking of which, Gary Benchley namedrops The Long Winters in his latest column. My boys done made it bigtime.
So we got the bunnyraping Highlight spot on air, but barely. We had a feed scheduled for 10:30pm (Cali time) and we had a massive snafu involving sponsor logos (I was willing to draw the GM logo by hand) and the minutes were slipping away and we were freaking out. Because a satellite feed is all sorts of spency and intense -- someone in space beams a satellite down to the satellite from which you are feeding and there's only this brief period of time in which the satellites are aligned and we were going to miss it. Chaos ensued. Kelly (Johnson, not Osbourne) was using my phone, I was using her email account and Tom was wearing our underwear. Metaphorically. Then, saving the day from back in NY, Louis hipped us to the fact that it was digital fiber feed -- no space satellites involved. Sad that outer space was now out of the picture, but more rad that everything was going to be okay. So we got giddy. There is nothing as intoxicating as relief.
So sometime after midnight I set out to find the feeding facility and get the fucker on air. I had directions but they didn't specify cross streets and I got really really really lost. Like, driving around a deserted downtown LA in circles and circles and circles lost. After many failed attempts, I finally found the place and was waiting in this dark parking lot for someone to let me in and I was totally convinced that some scary Los Angeles person was going to jump out and mug me. On SVU, there's always bad shit happening in dark parking lots. But all was well! The spot's airing. Schwoo.
Anyway. This LA jaunt was a sorta bummer -- we worked really hard and were really tired all the time. For whatever reasons (jet lag? no smot to poke?) I always have really vivid dreams when I'm there. (It might also involve my cat-free hotel rooms, so I sleep a full night). The night before the show, I had this long involved dream wherein I befriend this ponytailed guy who was Peter-Buck-but-not and ended up hanging out with that person during the show, which was more of a Tibetan Freedom Concert style rock festival, and there were lots and lots of band playing and there was a massive crisis at one moment because this band that looked like the Goo Goo Dolls was singing that "Closing Time" song by Semisonic, and they were leading the whole million-person crowd in a massive singalong (there is nothing better than an all-crowd singalong) and then the circuits blew and all the lights went out and everyone was flipping out and then suddenly, a voise rose above the clamor and it was someone standing on the side of the arena, playing a guitar and singing a folk song. I was like -- THAT is the type of person I want to hang around with. With whom around which I'd like to hang. It was awesome.
At the real show, I spent the entire time watching and logging the livefeed on a monitor beneath the stage. No palling around with rock stars, although Kelly and I made friends with these sound techs who were watching with us. No one blew their sound systems, although Josh Duhamel (pronounced du-MEL and don't you forget it) (just like Jim Caviezel rhymes with weasel! things you must learn when you work at vh1) had a dead mic at first.
I had another dream about watching a scary Puritan Preacher beat and torture his young son, trying to prove to his congregation that they ought to purge their sins by torturing their children, just like God did to Jesus.
I dunno. I was stressed. Just watch the fucking show, already, people. It's tomorrow (sunday) night at 9/8c (7pm mountain time if you're receiving the Eastern feed. I don't know how it works for you people up there).
and my work therein is done. TIME TO PARTY HEARTY! Josh and da boyz are throwing a "Pearl Harbor"-themed party (wesleyan alums heart theme parties) and this event will mark the end of the self-imposed social exile that was working-on-big-in-04.
watch me tonight! 20 Awesomely Bad Songs of 2004 premieres on vh1 at 10pm. I haven't seen it yet, but that was the interview I did when they called me in a desperate panic because they needed to use a funny chick and I rambled off the top of my head for two hours with no preparation. See if you can tell when I'm bluffing.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Camphone! Hotel bathroom! Exhausted!
So Schwohnson is kickin' it in LA attempting to cut a highlight spot for Big in 04, which taped last night. We saw a lot of famous and semi-famous people and had some very super special moments of our own:
* I said hi to Ellen Degeneres in the bathroom
* And then Sharon Stone walked in and I said, "You look gorgeous" and she said, "No, you look gorgeous!" and I said, "Not as gorgeous as you." She is hizzot.
* We said hi to Green Day
* I told Art Alexakis that I like his song "Volvo Driving Soccer Moms" and he said he liked my necklace
* We saw Paris Hilton fix her makeup
* Flav walked by and I said, "Flavor Flav!" and he said, "Baby Babe!" Awesome.
* This guy walked up to us and said, "any mishaps yet?" And Kelly said, "No, but Anna Nicole hasn't been on yet" and then the guy said, "Uh, I'm with Anna Nicole."
* Then Anna Nicole (who walks with the Thorazine shuffle) came by, supported by two enormous men who were holding her up, and she stood behind us watching our monitor. It was scary and disturbing and sad.
* We told Rupert from Survivor that his new look is smokin'
* Tommy Lee is very tall and it appears that he is sharing a lady with another rock type of guy because every time they walked by, they were both touching her.
* The blonde guy from GnR (Izzy? Duff?) dates a really tall skinny model who is straight out of central casting
Those were our highlight personal moments. The show was long. Green Day rocked.
I took this camphone photo when we got home to record the moment. i look as exhausted as i was feeling. today I spent 45 minutes stuck in traffic. I am re-thinking this desire to move here. But it's sunny. And we went to the California science center and looked at dead bodies that had been sliced open to show muscles and nerves and blood vessels and such. the penis is all blood vessels! and we ate astronaut ice cream. if i could live in a science museum, i would happily do so.