The Playlist in Hell

February 13, 2020

I was working at a Joe & the Juice in Manhattan a few months ago, and they were playing the following songs on an interminable loop, and while I like a few of these songs on their own, by the end of a few hours I was seriously ready to die.  I think I missed a few titles but it honestly couldn’t have been more than 25 songs total.  I started to write them down for posterity’s sake, but then zoned out every so often as a means of self-preservation.

 

 
Genesis “Invisible Touch”
Chaka Khan “Ain’t Nobody Love Me Better”
Dolly Parton “9 to 5”
A horrible updated 80s version of “In the Jungle”
Fleetwood Mac “Everywhere”
Luther Vandross “Never Too Much”
The Proclaimers “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”
Hall and Oates “You Make My Dreams”
A-ha “Take on Me”
Kim Carnes “Bette Davis Eyes”
Eric Carmen “Hungry Eyes”
The Pointer Sisters “I’m So Excited”
Wham! “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”
Michael Jackson “Beat It”
Rick Astley “Never Gonna Give You Up”

Overheard on 57th Street

February 6, 2020

Walking down 57th Street, passing some of the fanciest stores in New York City, I see an old married couple.  The wife is peering in the windows at David Yurman.

Wife: I think it would be fun, don’t you?

Husband: I don’t have a choice.  Whatever you like, I like.

Wife: WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU DON’T––

Husband: WHATEVER YOU LIKE, I LIKE.

Oh Please

January 6, 2020

I know that Vogue.com is not necessarily where one should be going to see reality reflected, but cmon: how could a wedding where the bride wore five outfits ever be considered “effortless”?

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Well, He’s Not Wrong About Portnoy

January 5, 2020

Those who enjoyed Nabokov’s high-literary trolling the first time around can rest assured that the fresh opinions expressed herein are just as strong. In the line of fire are William Faulkner, Albert Camus, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko (all “second-rate”), Samuel Richardson (“third-rate”), Fyodor Dostoevsky (“a journalist”), Maxim Gorky (“a bad writer”), Andre Gide (“boring”), Thomas Wolfe (“mediocrity”), Ernest Hemingway (“a writer for boys”), Thomas Mann (“a small writer who did big stories badly”), Rousseau (“mediocre”), Cervantes (“mediocre and tedious”), Stendhal (also “mediocre and tedious”), Friedrich Schiller (“nothing”), Joseph Conrad (“swarms with clichés”), Herbert Marcuse (“intolerably trivial”), Andre Malraux (“execrable”), Samuel Beckett’s poems (“banal and false”), Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago (“a mediocre melodrama with Trotskyist tendencies”), Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint (“a ridiculous book”), and, of course, Freud (“charlatan”).

From a review of Nabokov’s essays in The Telegraph

The Best Metaphor for Motherhood

December 18, 2019

Is this sentence about mama elephants trying to avoid breathing exhaust fumes from Babar.

 

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My Introvert Paradise

December 18, 2019

When I read the 2011 obituary of 104-year-old Huguette Clark, the reclusive heiress who had spent nearly two decades in luxury hospital suites by choice before she died, naturally my first thought was, “This bitch is my hero.”  Okay, so maybe I have no interest in collecting dolls, as the eccentric Clark did well into adulthood, and maybe I didn’t grow up in a 121-room mansion, but dreamers gotta dream!

When Clark died, she left behind three enormous properties, estates in Santa Barbara and New Canaan, Connecticut, and a palatial apartment on 5th Avenue, that she hadn’t set foot in since her hospital admission.  She kept people on staff at all three houses to ensure they would be in perfect shape lest she decide (?) to pay a visit.  (Side note: have considered writing a short story about the house manager at the Santa Barbara estate, a real Remains-of-the-Day type, who squashes a new hire’s mission to find out more about their mysterious employer.  Or something like that.)

Anyway, her properties were put up for sale after her death, including her apartment at 907 5th Avenue, which was originally two apartments combined so she could live with her mother.  Naturally I want to live there.  When the realtor put a floor plan up on the listing site back in the day, I printed a copy and marked what the layout would be if justice were real and I got to live in a mansion.  Herewith, my introvert paradise!

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From top left around in a clockwise circle moving closer to the compass:

Kitchen
Informal breakfast nook: no idea why I put breakfast in quotation marks but I’ve grown a lot in the last eight years
Dining room
Bathroom with clawfoot tub: basically all I want in life, other than a $22.5 million apartment, is a clawfoot tub
Bedroom: mine
Closet: not sure where I’ll be getting the money to buy clothes in this scenario but it’s my fantasy
Nonfiction library: where I store my collection of nonfiction books
Bathroom
Cozy TV/movie watching room: big couches, plush blankets, etc.
Closet
Nap closet: for when you’re on the other side of the house and you’re too lazy to walk back to your own bed to nap
Hisbodedut room: when you want to daven Breslov style
Craft room: a room for doing projects, a la Amy Sedaris
Billiards room: not sure why I chose this, because I don’t play pool, but maybe I was just running out of ideas?
Sculptor-in-residence’s room: this is where the sculptor-residence will live and, well, sculpt
SIR’s bathroom
Office: this is the only room in the apartment with WiFi
Fiction library: where I store my novels
Group therapy room: where I get together with a bunch of people and do some guerrilla group therapy
Soundproof destruction room: when you’re really angry you can come in here and break things
Pantry
Empty room with waxed floor for skateboarding, toy car riding and sliding around on your butt: self-explanatory
Phone booth #2: phone booth #1 is on the other side
Psychopath room: a padded room for when you want to lose your shit a little
Room I forgot to name: thoughts, anyone?
Ping pong and game room: foosball as well
Is this a room or a hallway?: I genuinely cannot tell
Knick knack closet: this is where I keep my knick-knacks
Crying closet: this is a room with a couch and lots of tissues in case you feel like crying in private
Art gallery: this is where I keep my pictures and display the SIR’s work
Phone booth
Supply closet: for paper towels and such

So!  That’s the goal, folks.  Let’s make it happen.  Coming up soon, the link to my GoFundMe––aiming for a cool $25 mill here, people, so don’t be shy!  Oh and I’m auctioning off the original of the above.  Just reach out to Siobhan: she’s lazy, but she knows how to cash a check.

Want To Read All These

December 12, 2019

Bernd Brunner (born May 27, 1964) is a writer of non-fiction and essays. His best known works are peripatetic explorations of the relationship between people and deceptively simple subjects, such as bears, the moon, and lying down.

SAD!

December 4, 2019

Not gonna lie, pretty bummed these ceramic peanuts are sold out.  (PS: having a bit of a consumerist moment over here!  Send help!). (PPS: I love fake food you can scatter around your house a laAmy Sedaris!)

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FUNNY OR NO: PART TWO

November 26, 2019

Ok obviously death isn’t ever funny except…

***

EP: [redacted] belongs to one of those megachurch chains
apparently someone died in a pyrotechnics accident during a christmas pageant
and the pastor was like “she died doing what she loved”

Funny? Please Vote

November 25, 2019

I’m thinking of starting a funny Twitter dedicated solely to calling myself out for my (occasionally!) terrible taste in music.  So sample tweets would be like, “Just a thirty-something white woman walking around streaming Lil Peep, nothing to see here, folks!” or “Wearing my baby in a Bjorn and listening to ‘Timber’ by Pitbull (featuring Ke$ha).”  Thoughts?