Archive for November, 2012

Me, Wishing I Were the Times Magazine’s “Diagnosis” Column

November 20, 2012

A Strange Nap

The 26-year-old student, at the beginning of the nap, awoke to a very strange sensation.  She described it as “a very loud, sharp, very short buzzing noise that sounded like it was coming from inside my head, followed by a surge through my body, like of adrenaline or electricity.”  She could recall this happening to her once before, though after the first time, she hadn’t made much notice of it.

A Confused Awakening

When the student got out of bed, she decided that in lieu of asking for a real medical opinion, she would instead Google her symptoms and see if she could find something.  After some clever Internet maneuvering, she found the Wikipedia page for the hilariously-dubbed “Exploding Head Syndrome.”  Exploding Head Syndrome is “a form of hypnagogic auditory hallucination in which the sufferer sometimes experiences a sudden loud noise coming from within their own head. The noise is brief and is usually likened to an explosion, roar, gunshot, door slamming, loud voices or screams, a ringing noise, or the sound of electrical arcing (buzzing).”  The student was intrigued.

A Reaching Out

Now knowing there was no known treatment for Exploding Head Syndrome, nor any real side effects, the student decided to reach out to her morbid roommate because she was a wee bit excited about her rare condition and her roommate “seemed like the most appropriate person [with whom to share.]”

An Interrogation

The roommate did take this as a compliment, and decided to do some follow up, including asking the student the following, based on what she, the roommate, had learned from Wikipedia:

Do you recall dreaming at the time?  (Sometimes, but not always, there is a correlation)

Did you feel “a sense of fear and anxiety” after the attack? (Another possible symptom)

Have you had any attacks since?  (They can occur in clusters)

Up until the point of the attack, had you been experiencing “stress or extreme fatigue”? (A possible cause)

Were you undergoing a rapid withdrawal from any prescription drugs at the time? (Another possible cause)

The Answers

The student, perhaps less than enthusiastic with her morbid roommate’s pointless inquiries, nevertheless answered as follows:


Do you recall dreaming at the time?

no, i was in the state where i was just slipping into sleep. you know when you feel “suspended”?


Did you feel “a sense of fear and anxiety” after the attack?

i felt a surge of adrenaline in my body which made my heart race. I suppose it could be described as fear/anxiety. it certainly made me cease and desist from my nap attempt.


Have you had any attacks since?  



Up until the point of the attack, had you been experiencing “stress or extreme fatigue”?

fatigue. not extreme fatigue. somewhat stressed, i wouldnt say “extremely ” so


Were you undergoing a rapid withdrawal from any prescription drugs at the time?



And with that, the two young women decided that no further investigation into the matter was required, and that they had cracked the case as well as they could have, without the help of anyone, including the Times Magazine and its commenting trolls.

A Very Depressing Story

November 19, 2012

I’m writing a piece about the work of John Gregory Dunne (aka Mrs. Didion) and while reading a book of his, came across this very sad story he wrote about a C-list Vegas comedian:

“There had been a parting of the ways between Jackie and his friends and representatives; the giant height had never been reached, the necks were no longer stuck out.  The night before, Jackie had gone to Bill Cosby’s opening in the big room at the International.  Cosby had seen Jackie in the lobby and told him to come to the opening, he would introduce him from the stage, Ladies and gentlemen, a true star, my very good personal friend, Jackie Kasey.  Jackie had not wanted to go to Cosby’s opening, his cold was not good, but Cosby was a superstar, Leslie Uggams warmed up for him and Leslie Uggams was a headliner at the Riviera in her own right, and the true superstars brought out all the big agents and Strip bookers to their opening nights, so it was best to attend, especially if Bill Cosby had promised to introduce his very close personal friend from the stage.  It was the kind of introduction that might help a semi-name become a name and that was something to consider.  Jackie dressed carefully for Cosby’s opening dinner show, a brown double-knit suit with flared pants and matching tie, shirt and handkerchief.  The effect was a little like an optical illusion, but at least when Cosby introduced him from the stage nobody in the audience could say he had missed him, he’s the little guy in the optical-illusion brown in the banquette down front and center.  Everything was set, the management comped the check, Jackie toyed with his roast prime rib of beef au jus garni, Cosby came out, did fifty minutes on Fat Albert and Weird Harold and forgot to introduce his close personal friend, Jackie Kasey.  Jackie just sat on the banquette watching the cherries jubilee melt, occasionally stirring them around in the dish with his spoon, like a child playing with toy boats in a bathtub.”

~John Gregory Dunne, Vegas

Meeting of the HPAS

November 16, 2012

Last night the Harold Pinter Appreciation Society attended the aptly-titled A Celebration of Harold Pinter.  This one-man show focused on the poetic works of Pinter and was warmly and engagingly performed by classically-trained British thespian Julian Sands.  While it’s certainly a less thrilling theatrical experience than actually watching a Pinter play, there were some gems of verse that Sands read, including the below:



Jill. Fred phoned. He can’t make tonight.

He said he’d call again, as soon as poss.

I said (on your behalf) OK, no sweat.

He said to tell you he was fine,

Only the crap, he said, you know, it sticks,

The crap you have to fight.

You’re sometimes nothing but a walking shithouse.

I was well acquainted with the pong myself,

I told him, and I counseled calm.

Don’t let the fuckers get you down,

Take the lid off the kettle a couple of minutes,

Go on the town, burn someone to death,

Find another tart, giver her some hammer,

Live while you’re young, until it palls,

Kick the first blind man you meet in the balls.

Anyway he’ll call again.

I’ll be back in time for tea.

Your loving mother.


November 15, 2012

I know that my most recent post was basically an excerpt from an invite, but here’s another from the weekly email reminder about Chulent, a Thursday night gathering for those on the Chasidic spectrum.  It starts out normally.  Just keep reading.


This Thursday night November 15th we will get together as unusual for some Chulent and Schmoozing.

Much more hot food than usual, please spread the word to those that might be in need especially in light of the storms.

Time: 10:15 PM

Lecturer : Chaim Chernikov

Topic : How Language Affects Our Lives & How to Escape Thinking Altogether (An Introduction to Modern Linguistics)

The lecture will have two parts. In the first part “How language affects our lives” we will discuss the Roman Jakobson communication scheme, Sapir-Whorf Theory & will end with Wittgenstein and some final remarks. (You can Google the references). This section will be very dense and irrelevant, but people will be impressed with my verbosity and scope. The important takeout after this part will be “wow, he’s so smart!” nothing more nothing less, as always at Chulent.

In the second part of the lecture  “How to escape thinking altogether” we will present a workshop on a very safe and innovative method of cooking meth.

You will be able to take meth samples home with you after the class. Bring your own apron, or we will provide aprons, which you can rent for this class at $2.

I’m about 68% sure they’re kidding.

Happy Birthday Gonk!

November 15, 2012

From the Dorothy Parker Society email newsletter:

Hotel Salute

This month the Algonquin Hotel is turning 110 years old. When guests checked in on a cold November day in 1902, a room and bath could be had for $2 or $3 dollars a night, and there was a horse stable next door to the hotel. Well those stables are now the famous Blue Bar, and that’s where we are going to have a toast to 110 years of being the best literary landmark in New York. Join us at the bar on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 6:30 PM for cocktails. The Blue Bar was renovated this spring, and if you haven’t visited, the place is gorgeous. Have a cocktail as we salute the Algonquin Round Table, the hotel, and the many historical events that have taken place. Address is 59 West 44th Street, between 5th and 6th avenues.

I will be there, will YOU?



A True Testament to Romantic Love

November 13, 2012

Fucking delicious.  In case you can’t read, “halfsies” are half curly fries, half regular fries.

ML: i wish i were a pothead

me: omg HALFSIES

that’s the most amazing thing i’ve ever heard of in my life

ML: what just the halfsies

or the whole thing

i can’t believe it’s only $6

me: no the halfsies are amazing!

i’ve never heard of such a thing!

ML: hahah

me: wait

where the fuck is this meal available?

ML: jack in the box!

me: we. must. go.

i’m getting brunch burger

ML: oh plum

sometimes i feel like you and i are just meant to be

me: we ARE

ML: the nearest is in ohio

me: you know what else is meant to be?

ML: what?

me: me and HALFSIES

Kafka Tuesday

November 13, 2012

A wee Kafka story that can almost (ALMOST) be read as Tao-ish self help.

The Trees

For we are as tree-trunks in the snow.  Apparently they are merely resting on the surface of the snow, and a little push would be enough to knock them over.  No, that’s not the case, for they are firmly attached to the ground.  But see, even that is only seemingly the case.


November 12, 2012

So I will post one thing each day on this blog that I would like YOU to buy for me!  (Kidding –– unless I am really hard-pressed for material between now and December 25th.)

Doll head planters!? H/T Miss Moss.


November 11, 2012

Perhaps it’s noticeable that I’m into poetry these days, but in case it isn’t, just let it be known that I am.  Also, I’ve been watching episodes of the British Office, which I forgot is beyond hilarious, and so when David Brent read a poem of his own, I realized I had to take the opportunity to post it here for all to enjoy:


I froze your tears and made a dagger

and stabbed it in my cock forever

It stays there like Excalibur

Are you my Arthur?  Say you are.

Take this cold, dark, steely blade

Steel it, sheath it in your lake

I drown with you to be together

Must you breathe?

Cause I need heaven.

How To Make Friends and Alienate Artists

November 9, 2012

IS: Guess who I’m hanging with Saturday?  Hint: mother of an infamous baby, and infamous baby daddy (now dead)

ID: Michelle Williams?

IS: Close, and good guess.

ID: No idea.

IS: Agathe Snow!

ID: Who’s the infamous baby?

IS: Mother of Secret Snow, child of Dash Snow


ID: Nope, not Secret’s mom –– her name is Jade Berreau

IS: Really?!

Oh I’m so wrong

Dash and Agathe are former hubbies

ID: Yup

IS: Good thing I texted you this, otherwise I would’ve been like, “Where’s secret?”
Well I’m glad that all mythology has been emptied out of the situation then.

ID: Holy fuck that would have been SUPER awkward!!!


Secret, with real mom

Postscript: Do you think Jade Berreau would let me babysit?