Friday, January 30, 2009

Me and Larry Flynt Down in the Subway

New York is so weird. Sometimes I love living here, and sometimes it feels as though the city is a nasty schoolyard bully that steals my lunch money and then repeatedly punches me in the face until blood is running into my mouth and I am spluttering knocked-out teeth like chiclets.

Friday was one of those days. I just felt defeated and tired. A rat on a wheel, if you will. Sometimes it happens.
Even to me.
I know, hard to believe.

At the end of the day, I peeled through the crowd on the N train and actually scored my ass a vacant seat. Then suddenly I sniffed and sniffed. Something smelled like an old sneakers rotting in a vat of spoiled milk in rat-infested deli somewhere. Warm waves of stale, burned coffee rose up to my nostrils like cat pee on a shag carpet. What the fuck?

I grabbed my purse and realized that the smell was me. Awwwwwesome. I had purchased a brand new oversized travel mug (Ha HA! what a clever devil I was, buying a cup three times the size of a grande latte, so as to transport more caffeine than humanly possible on my morning commute, and not have to stop once for a refill! Yes! Brilliant! Snaps to me!!!) and it had dumped inside my bag, and a stream of cold, end-of-the-day coffee was peeing quietly onto my leg.

Nice. Thanks, Baby Jesus. Why, man? Why?

Anyway, regardless of the fact that I smelled like the dumpster behind the Starbucks, I was not getting up. New Yorkers fight hard for their subway seats; we have an obnoxious sense of entitlement to a hard-won ass-planting if we can score it on a rush-hour train. This is ironic of course since most of us spend our days sitting on our duffers in climate-controlled cubicles, but still. I learned how hardcore New York subway seat jockeys can be in my ninth month of pregnancy. I was still commuting to work and sometimes I could stand for an entire 25 minute ride, my jutting belly literally poking some white collar fuckwad in the Wall Street Journal that he had splayed open to better enable his hiding and pretending not to notice me.

But that night I almost did give up the seat. Because a giant boulder of a man came and stood over me.

He was terribly unfortunate-looking. He had a huge, protrusive stomach and the jowly, frog-like face of Larry Flynt, with a neck that sagged lazily over the collar of his buttoned-up shirt. Wait a second, I thought. Larry Flynt can't be on the NYC subway. He's in Washington, petitioning Obama for a porn industry bailout. Besides, he's in a wheelchair. He can't hold a wide-legged stance in my personal space on the N train. That man's legs don't even work.

Gross. This dude was most deliberately standing inside the invisible box where there's only room for me. Even on a crowded train there's still your dance space and mine. You don't need to say it, it's just what we all know. And so, like a freaky secret between just us, he stood there. And stood there. And I couldn't do anything.

Then he started clenching and unclenching a fat, purplish fist. Then he put his hand in his pocket, removed it, and poked his tummy. Then he reached down and readjusted the front of his pants. He systematically repeated these actions while I sat there, all of this happening disurbingly close to my face.

Goddamn it. Not moving, I thought. Don't care how uncomfortable you try and make me. You can't win. I win. Today is for me.

It became a dance...I watched as he took on a rhythm: clench, unclench hideous fist, place hand in pocket, take hand back out, poke belly, shift balls.

Still I would not move.

Then, inexplicably, he got tired of trying to engage me and moved on to someone else.

The train stopped at Queensboro and a flood of people migrated to the 7 train and he shifted his stance to tower over the Asian model in the stilettos and faux-Cheetah coat, which wasnt even being worn ironically. I guess he thought she was more worth the puppet show than me.

And I rode the remaining stops home, wondering...did that really just happen?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More things said in bed

We can't seem to stay off the topic of conception these days. My kid has a knack for asking the really difficult questions right as we are both drifting off to sleep.

Last night she wanted to know where she was before she was in my belly.


I told her that her spirit was waiting for me to be ready for her. (???)

At hearing this, she got a little freaked out, asking, "So, I was a GHOST?!"

I explained that, no, your spirit is like your soul, your essence, who you are before you have a body (Jesus Christ, are five year olds supposed to ask such philosphical questions?)

Then she thought about this, and said, "Ok. So, how did my soul get inside your belly then?"

How would you have answered that question?

I'm in a crappy mood today, by the way. It's been cold as a bitch in the city and it keeps on snowing. It makes me feel itchy all over and long to run away to a beach somewhere warm.

But hey, at least I don't have cello scrotum.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Comings and goings

What a difference there is between coming and going.

On the way there, you notice the beauty of flying at night. Out the window the floor is strewn with tiny Christmas lights, endless, with an inky streak of black above. Even higher, you watch as stars breathe into the open sky, so close you could almost swallow them down.

The flight home, though, is different. The sky is flat and gray, heavy with humidity. Takeoff is a dull pull, your body literally tugged between ground and sky. Sky wins, and every second becomes a reminder of being taken further and further away.

You rise into haze, remembering the feel of his body, so present, so solid, the electric hum of a cat purring by your head. You remember things he said into your hair as he touched you. You remember never wanting to move from that place.

Hard to believe that only hours could put such distance between you. It's painful to think about; it's mean.

You still have bits of it with you...a camera filled with pictures, the smell of his home tucked into the clothes in your suitcase, the feel of his sheets on your skin.
But it isn't enough.

You curse the patchwork of ground below you, brown and ordinary, a tangible reminder of the space between you.

You'll get home, it will be freezing. You'll turn on the heat and talk to him on the computer until your eyes are glazed. You'll be grateful that it's 2009 and that you can communicate that way, but still, it isn't the same. It isn't his fingers slipped inside the top of your jeans, it isn't you stepping into his embrace, his arms closing around you like safety, like home. You can't smell his freshly scrubbed skin or his mouth. You can't feel his fingers wrapped tightly around yours.

So you comfort yourself with hope. With thoughts of a future. Of a time when a morning alarm simply means getting up for work, parting for the day instead of for weeks at a time.

You ease back into your days without him. And it starts to feel less like an open sore. You tell yourself that this is temporary.
It's just a matter of time.

That some day soon you'll be able to stop having to say goodbye.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nighttime Questions

Lily and I were snuggled under her princess blanket last night and I had just finished singing three Joni Mitchell songs to try and get her to fall asleep. I thought she was out, but then she popped up her head and said, "Mama, Do you have to get married before you have a baby, or after?"

I sighed. "Well, some people do it before. A lot of people, I guess. And some do it after, too. And also, some people never get married, and they still have babies".

She nodded slowly, staring past me.

"Oh. Ok. So...were you married when you, you know, did the...the thing..."

She giggled self-consciously. Now. Here was a golden opportunity for hip mama, sexually open, you-can-ask-me-anything mama to swoop down with her pink PVC cape and strap-on and save the day.

But Hip Mama totally failed me. I start to giggle too.

"The...thing? What, um, thing, sweetie?" (I know what's coming, and I want soooo much to be cool about it, so why the fuck am I reverting to 4th grade, braces-clad, braided-hair Kristin who just learned what a tampon is in health class?!!)

Lily looked stricken. "NO! You're gonna laugh. It's hard for me to ask."

I straightened up. Ahem. "Honey. You can ask me anything. Anything."

"Well," She paused. "I'm talking about the... the thing in the...butt".

Then I totally lost it. I busted out laughing. Shit, there goes my chance for a sexually healthy kid. I'm screwed.

No, my kid isn't a little perv who is confusing sodomy with intercourse. Trust me. She just can't tell her butt from her little ladyparts. She never could. No matter how many times she sits naked on the couch with her legs swung over her shoulders, pointing at her hiney, asking, "Mama, this is where the pee comes out, right? And the baby too?", and no matter how many times I gently correct her, the kid still doesn't understand what's going on down there.

So I said, "Sweetie, do you mean the penis in the vagina?"

"Yes! yes that! That!" (Big relief spread across her face).

"That's sex. Intercourse. And no, you don't have to be married to do that. But it is something people who are in love, um, do."

Hip Mama gets a big, fat F.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The more things change...

The more they don't, really.

My mother tells stories about how I was her teeny shadow when I was a little'un.
I'd follow her all over the house, dragging my baby dolls and my Fisher Price Farm wherever she went, plopping myself down quietly to play, just to be close to her. I especially liked to follow her into the bathroom.

Between my sister and me, I don't think the woman had a private bowel movement in upwards of six years.

I found it hard to imagine how any child could be so obsessed with her mother that she'd even follow her into the crapper.

Then I had Lily.


(Note the Polly Pockets have replaced the Fisher Price Farm).


Friday, January 16, 2009

I Love New York.

Holy Furquing Spit!!!

Think you had a shit day yesterday?
Well, at least you didn't plunge into the Hudson River on a plane headed for sunny North Carolina, motherfuckers.

So yesterday I popped into Newsbar to grab a soy latte before going to see my therapist and talk about myself for an hour. Because I was trying to have a Me-Day.

Newsbar has these three flatscreen tvs that hover over the chalkboard that lists the variety of pricey (but oh so yummy) coffee drinks. The TVs run continuous feeds from various news channels, and usually I find it really distracting.

But yesterday I just stared, agape, as three televisions streamed video of the crash of US Air Flight 1549, which had plunged into the frigid Hudson just minutes before, only blocks from where I was.

Holy Crap!!!

Talk about quickly snapping things into perspective.

The sight was breathtaking and horrible, as I imagined the poor, terrified, freezing passengers and what their final thoughts must have been before crashing into the river to meet their icy doom.

But everyone on board survived.

Amazing, just amazing.

The captain, it was said, was a total superhero; he glided the plane to a
gentle(ish) landing, literally floating atop the river, allowing everyone to get out.

Commuter ferries and police boats from NY and NJ descended upon the wreckage and heroically got everyone to safety.

Today I'm really proud of my city.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just in time for Christmas. Er...or, Valentine's Day...

Hey lovers...
Just a quick note; I had to turn comment modification on because apparently there are some crackpots out there who like to spam blogs with their weird creepiness. Anyway, if you comment and it doesn't appear right away, don't panic!!! It will! Promise. Hopefully I can turn the modification off soon and we will all may comment freely once again, and all will be right with the world.

Love, Krissyface

Now, on with the show...

So, I'm bored at work again. And you know what that means.
No, I'm not watching internet porn. That's what you guys do.

No, no, no sillies!!!I'm scouring the youtube for some of the strangest videos I can find, so that I may creep you all out with them!

Today we take have a peek at some of the most wack-ass toys ever. Remember Kenner?
Have a look!

This is freaking kick ass.
Is this the most bizarre doll ever? I am now going to go on an ebay manhunt for this horror show so that I can scare future generations of little Krissyface girls with it...

How about this one? I know I always wanted to practice milking on a toy...cow.

I don't think he's circumcised.

This looks fun. But not at all. You can tell the ad agency reallllly burned the midnight oil trying to figure out a way to market this one and make it seem...not lame.

She's really into...trolls?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's the meaning of this?

My co-worker just emailed me:

"Retail Penetration. Is that what I think it is?"


Monday, January 12, 2009

Maybe I need to get my child out of New York City before it's too late.

I grew up in on suburban Long Island. We didn't have much in the way of crime.

With the exception of a few local eyebrow-raisers, life in my neighborhood was happy and uneventful. There was the family with domestic violence issues a few blocks over, the the mom regularly showing up to school functions with black eyes, causing much whispering; and of course there was the 'guy in the van' who was, I think, requisite to every 1980s suburban neighborhood, trolling around the perimeter of the elementary school with his blacked-out windows, offering kids rides and candy and opportunities to 'come see my new puppy', causing major white-people hysteria and a newfound need to lock front doors.

But other than that, my neighborhood was insular and cozy.

Occasionally as a kid I'd sneak out of my room and steal downstairs while my parents watched Hill Street Blues. I'd crouch behind my mom's chair and pull my knees up to my chest, covering my mouth to muffle my clever giggles, while I stealthily watched what I assumed to be complete fabrication of crime in some distant, big, bad city. Shit like that didn't really happen, right?

Perhaps you'd call me sheltered.

But Lily? she's a city kid, through and through.

She's been riding the subways since she was old enough to get stuffed in the baby sling and toted everywhere; she digs the grittiness of New York, you can just tell. She adores street musicians, public parks, the Nuts For Nuts guys.
When she first started to talk her favorite people to chat up were the grocery-cart homeless on Steinway Street, who absolutely loved her. "Look at those eyes!" they'd warble and lisp, "I love you, honey. I love you."

When we went to a festival in my hometown last summer, she tugged on my sleeve and asked me 'where all the brown people were'. She's just never known anything other than the diverse, urban landscape she's been reared in. And in some ways, I love that.

But I'm also starting to worry that city life might be having a hardening effect on my little'un.

For example. Last night, after a lovely dinner with my mom and dad, we pulled up to my building, and saw an ambulance and police car parked out front.

"Oh, I hope it's not Mr. So and So", I said, shaking my head.
My elderly neighbor has been suffering from dementia and as of late has been prone to wandering the lobby in his underpants and forgetting to turn off the stove.

But Lily had a different idea.

My five year old offered,
"Probably it's a homeless person, trapped under a car."

"Oh?" my mother said, raising her eyebrows.

Then, as if that weren't enough, Lil added,

"And probably, he's DEAD."

Yeah. That could also very well be it, Lil.

Maybe it's time to move?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pre-weekend antics

Hi, Friday Darlings!

I'm blogging over here today.

Go on, now. Get your ass over there before we all get caught up in that giant snowstorm that's hitting New York tomorrow and our internet connections get knocked out.

Don't flip your toboggan, now!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Big Pimpin'

I need a new job.

I'm spending a lot of time on Craig's List lately, applying for every single opening in my field, and I'm sick of coming up with fresh, snappy cover letters specific to each position.

"I'm an out-of-the-box thinker!"

"I'm so organized, people think I have OCD!"

"Please visit my web site to view my varied and dynamic portfolio!"

Please. Fuck this. I am so bad at selling myself. This is why my freelance business is currently stagnating. I can't pimp myself out for shit.

Here are some excerpts from today's exciting job postings:

"CATALOG designer to work ON-SITE for a company that produces TEDDY BEARS and STUFFED animals...
The client is requesting a designer who can show work that is whimsical and magical and teddy bear driven - you know, cute stuff. Think Hello Kitty catalogs for grizzly bears..."
(Hello Kitty for GRIZZLY BEARS? Really?)

"Photography company needs assistance on wedding album designs...we are looking for a multi-tasker with a great sense of humor!" (Why? Because wedding photos are so goddamned cheesy and pathetic all you do is laugh at the ridiculousness of them? Count me in!)

Recently I answered an ad for a freelance designer to lay out a calendar for a "gay guy who wants to surprise my boyfriend with a playful present for the new year".
Hey, I thought, this sounds like a fun project. And I love the gays.

Then I called the guy. And he called me back 5 minutes later. This is never a good sign: too eager.

Him: "Hey! So, I don't really need a designer, per se...what I really need is a photographer."

Me: "Well, I'm not a photographer though; I'm a graphic designer".

Him: "That's OK! I have a digital camera. You can come to my apartment and we can do the photo shoot here...what's your hourly rate?"

Me: "Um...well, I dunno...$75?"

Him: "Cool. That's fine. So....yeah, would you feel comfortable taking nude photos of me?"

Me: "Nudes? well, I suppose that would be alright."

Him: "How about ... well, photos of me, you know, ejaculating?"

At that point I politely wished him good luck and suggested he might want to just contact a cheap escort service in the east village if all he wants is to jerk off in front of someone.

See? This is what I deal with.

It's goddamned rough out there.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Well, sweetie, they cut off their beaks so they don't peck each other to death

Warning: This installment is lousy with graphic animal-rights propaganda and shameless run-on sentences.

Happy 2009, bloggers!!!

Let's all take a deep, meditative breath. Now let it out. Gooooood.

My yoga teacher tells us that we have to exhale completely in order to empty out and get rid of toxic shit and make room for newness and fresh possibility.

And that is precisely my plan for the coming year.

In yoga class, though, it would be nice if I could focus better during shivasana (meditation). I'd be so much happier if I could just lay there and control my wildly restless legs and stop the theme from "Happy Days" from threading throughout my brain on an endless loop while I'm trying to find inner peace.

(Sit on it).

It's hard though. A work in progress, anyway. Speaking of which, over the holiday break, Lily became a vegetarian.

Well, she said that she was becoming one. Because her friend Jack went veg a few months ago for reals, and she thought it sounded like a cool move.

What's funny though, is that Lily pretty much already is a vegetarian. I don't cook meat at home, and she spends 90% of her time with me. However, while visiting with Babydaddy's family over the break, my child could not resist the temptation of greasy fried bacon strips and ground pig butts in sausage casings being dangled at her lips at every turn, and thus kept pledging to 'um...become a vegetarian starting tomorrow'.

She seems sort of serious now, though, after a little help from PETA's Vegetarian Starter Kit (which we luckily happened upon in the city at a newsstand on Saturday!)

When I first went vegetarian, I joined PETA (by 'joined', I mean I think I sent them maybe a ten dollar check and then became the lucky recipient of an endless barrage of gruesome literature depicting bloody, starved dogs mistreated in Korean kennels and crazed, neurotic monkeys suffering from mange and disfigurement in labs across the world).

In any event, Mama used this as yet another opportunity to teach young'un about the ways of the world (or the world the way I see it, rather). Together we pored over high-gloss photos of beakless chickens in battery cages and broken-legged pigs stuffed in crowded stalls. Lily was apalled.


I Nodded. "Yep."

"But why?"

"Well, it's easier to cut off their heads, I guess."

I didn't go into grim detail about how how it's easier if they're upside-down because the blood flows straight into drains that way, and how the slaughterhouse guys have to wear rain boots and slickers to protect themselves from spatter. Wheeee!

Oh, there is really so much to impart.

Maybe tomorrow we'll go over that.