Friday, December 23, 2011

Step Away from This Number

My phone’s been blowing up – with incoming calls from overseas tech-scam artists who are trying to remotely gain access to my computer and get my credit card number; and from the same person who’s been wrong-number-dialing me for at least a year.

It’s been a big week for the struggle. It looks like I’ve finally scared the tech thugs away. And after this text-message exchange (that didn’t last nearly as long as I would have liked it to), I doubt I’ll be hearing from the Maryland-based wrong number ever again:

Maryland: Aye bro how much u want for that spider ski pants

Me: $480

Maryland: U said u want 480 for tha pants only dam bro u should let me hold these down for that winter and I got 100 for u

Me: U gotta point. How much total $$ u thinkin?

Maryland: 100 nigga

Me: For pants like this? How bout a cool $160? Sale of the century

[At this point, I feverishly changed my voicemail greeting so, if he called to discuss the transaction/bargain he was getting, he wouldn’t hear my name or voice.]

Maryland: OK

Me: When u need em by?

I never got my answer.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stairway to Havoc

I was doing some shopping and errand running in central Chelsea (one of the only below-72nd Street Manhattan neighborhoods that’s not oppressively swarming with tourists this time of year) the other night. When I first moved to New York I lived with a relative in this area for nearly 3 months, while I got my bearings and looked for a porta potty-sized apartment of my own. Now, I usually only travel down there once every 6 months or so to visit the Himalayan art museum or meet up with others at one of the district’s all-you-can-drink-mimosas-and-screwdrivers brunch bistros. It’s a very hip, chic part of town, which helps to explain why I no longer gravitate to it.

Toward the end of the night, as I rode up the escalator in one particular retail complex and glanced around at the “scenery,” I (for the first time) realized just how many rare memories have been made on it over the course of the past decade. Outside of my living quarters, I don’t believe I’ve ever had any other single, specific spot that’s served as the go-to location for across-the-board personal chaos. I’ve thrown up on this escalator; I’ve fallen down on it; it’s been the site of more than one monumental conversation and more than one epiphany. I remember exactly how blank my mind was when I rode it up to the top to return a sweater a few minutes after getting a phone call that I knew would permanently change my outlook and identity. When shit has happened, it has often happened either here or on the way here.

As I rode back down before walking out and onto the street, I expected something momentous to get underway – and was almost disappointed when it didn’t.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Courage by Cutrone

Most adults in this world are cowards.

On the flip side, there are people like straight-shooting, hard-working fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone. I just finished her latest book, Normal Gets You Nowhere – a follow-up to her 2010 bestseller, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside. Those with even a passing interest in living it up and leaving a mark should at least think about the principles she represents, particularly any young and ambitious woman who is going through an episode of frustration or fatigue. It takes years and years of extensively diversified, and painful, real-life experiences to reach her vein of wisdom.

I’ve decided that I’m wise enough to curate some of her greatest quotes:

*In order to have a balanced life, you have to do something every week for other people or your community.

*People don’t like people who rock the boat or even row the boat, let alone park it in their driveway or on the lawn. They like people who sit quietly in the boat – who have paid in advance for their ticket and don’t say fuck.

*A lot of people say they want to be special, but they don’t want to do the work [or occasionally] eat crow.

*If you want to find success outside the norm, you really have to fine-tune your skills and become incredibly good at what you do.

*I have never seen “bitch” as a bad word. Instead, I see the word for what it is: a reflection of people’s lack of creativity and inability to acknowledge and embrace a powerful woman.

*It’s the Village Girl who will change the world.

*Most of us are too quick to call people friends, too quick to say “I love you,” and too quick to write people off forever.

*Try to stay as conscious as possible - to limit the amount of apology time you have to set aside in your life.

*We are inclined to repetition, not progression.

*When you’re the most happening person at the party, it’s time to leave.

*Dear President Obama,
I’m writing you this letter because I think it’s absolutely deplorable that Eleanor Roosevelt is not on our money. In fact, why aren’t there any women on our money? I mean, with the exception of Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea – and nobody even uses silver dollars anyway. This seems like a mercy-fuck offering to the women’s movement at best. I suggest we bump off one of those troublemaker presidents like Thomas Jefferson, who impregnated his slaves, and get Eleanor on instead . . . If women make over 70 percent of the buying choices in the average home, why aren’t we on the money, even from a purely capitalistic standpoint? . . . Grover Cleveland is on the thousand-dollar bill! Who the fuck is he?

*Worldly success and divine transcendence are not mutually exclusive.