This is only a test.

I'm OK now. But they just tested the Emergency Broadcast System and I'm still a little shaky.

It's not as bad as when I was a kid when I would actually run into the other room, with my hands over my ears when that high-pitched squeal came on. But I still get hyper-alert, just in case. And I still get edgy, until it's over. Just so I know that it's only a test.

Balloons, too. Balloons freak me out. Because when they pop, I inevitably hit the ceiling; so, seeing loose balloons around makes me skittish. At a party the other day, full of noise and laughter, some balloons popped and it wasn't so bad. Maybe I'm getting over it.

One thing I'm not afraid of, oddly, is water. I may forget to pay a bill or two, but I faithfully remember my swimming lessons at the Bethpage Community Pool - home of the annual lice outbreak (somehow mercifully missed by me), Arts and Crafts at the skating rink (lanyards and ashtrays), and the best frozen Milkshake bars ever. I remember learning the strokes, the breathing (although I'm only good at it on the left side, for some reason). I can execute the front crawl, back crawl, breast stroke, side stroke, and weird froglike elementary backstroke. It's the one athletic thing that I am better than my brother at (forgive my bad grammar). I can tread water for a very long time, seriously, long enough to meet the lifeguard-test criteria. (I did it fully clothed at my brief summer-day camp stint, but forgot what kept me from the rest of the Advanced Swimmer test. It may have something to do with the diving board.)

Oh yeah. Diving freaks me out. Not the board so much - I can jump off - but the actual act of diving. Don't ask me to explain, cause I can't.

I was a weird kid. I guess I still am.


Is this true?

(click on it for a better view)


Truly, Madly....Waspy?

I don't know when it hit me.

Was it gazing on Kyle Secor's slightly upturned nose while obsessively watching "Homicide," making me forget that Belzer exists? Was it taking a work break, flipping on the TV where the final scene of "She's Having a Baby" turned up and a small slow tear dripped down Kevin Bacon's finely chiseled yet pale cheek? Perhaps it was a late night viewing of "sex lies and videotape" where a tousled, crazy and so cleanly yet dirtily white James Spader steals the show from a suspendered-yet-dauntingly attractive Peter Gallagher and his terribly ethnic eyebrows. Which came on after "Reservoir Dogs." Did you know that Tim Roth is NOT a Jew? As English (Smith) as they come. Perhaps it was when I paced around my living room the other night, tensely flipping a cell phone around in my hand, knocking off my shelf a copy of "Secretary," another kinky-Spader vehicle, while angrily scrolling through my recent calls; I was on the brink of facing down a litany of well-spoken yet powerful New England-white-boy frustration and rage, going head to head with my equally eloquent, well-honed New-York-ethnic-scorned-woman fury. Was it the curtly dismissive email I sent this morning, to someone who has frequently charmed the socks off me, yet literally couldn't pick a synagogue out of a line-up of buildings on a city block?

When? When did this simple mixed-ethnic generic-slavic-hebraic girl become such an Aryan acolyte? When did my Mayflower flower bloom? Isn't Anglophilia a recessive trait?

Whither the gloriously ethnic heroes, crushes, loves of my youth? My Lee Mazzillis and Ron Darlings? My fun ethnic comics? Why did the buffet of extras on my Aristocrats DVD lead me away from Jon Stewart and towards Jake Johanson? Stop looking at me, Bill Paxton, bigamy is wrong! I'm a Sopranos girl, not a Big Love-r! Save me, Steve Buscemi! Be my Reservoir Dog and chase these fair-haired boys out of my yard!


Maybe I need a scholarship to J-Date. STAT.

And a call from the Belz couldn't hurt.

POSTSCRIPT: The correct acronym for Daughters of the American Revolution is, in fact, DAR. And I'm nowhere near close, natch. Can I be adopted?



How I'd like to Be Proposed To Someday, Seriously

"Would you like to go waste some of your life with me?"

- Det. Tim Bayliss (Kyle Secor), "Homicide"



Seriously, who doesn't like cheese! Even the lactose-intolerant can handle a bit of its pre-digested glory. Come on, chew a Lactaid, dive in!

One of the sickest and finest cheese-related dishes I've had the privilege of tasting is the PortWine Cheddar Cheeseburger from Big Nick's, the cramped, encyclopedically-menu'd uber-diner on 75th and Broadway. It's awesome, in so many ways that other coffee shops are not, in that it transcends the rule that only certain food 'groups' - ie, burgers, salads - are actually good on a huge-menu'd coffee shop/diner menu. The burgers are good, the pizza is good, the hummus is good, the weird sandwiches, big salads, the potatos...I could go on. The place itself is a sticky deathtrap of sorts (look out for the open-flame burners jammed near the doors, where the delivery guys and the registers are), with aging B-list headshots on the walls. But it somehow never feels crowded, and they don't rush you out. I think it's always open.

Anyway, the port wine cheeseburger is a burger (decently sized, get it charcoally), with a thick layer of orange-winey cheese slathered on top. It kind of melts from the heat, in a sharp semisolid mass. It's impressive. My dining companion got it, and all I could handle was two bites before retreating back into my portobello-veggie-mozzarella-focaccia (a bread I usually hate, but here it's really baked pizza dough, and amazing) sandwich and egg cream. Why my dining companion (a quirky dude of the highest order) was sullying this glorious burger with ketchup, I'll never know.

Outstanding. I guess this is more a Big Nick's lovefest than an ode to dairy, but there you have it.



If you make yourself a perfectly healthy shrimp pasta dish, and put it in the fridge and ordered bean burritos...you might be depressed.

If you got dressed to go to the gym (thus saving the need to work out and shower) and are sitting around in a wrinkled tshirt slugging diet coke and writing in a blog instead...you might be depressed.

If you sleep through your meds that are supposed to relieve depression...you might be depressed.

If crying, throwing up and removing contact lenses are activities that all seem viable yet require hours worth of thought...you might be depressed.

If you had nightmare about your involvement in an Extreme Sport that involved ski-jumping down a rickety, home-made nearly vertical ramp, and feel compelled to blog about it...you might just be a loser.


I am not a crazy romantic....SHUT UP.

She don't like her eggs all runny
She thinks crossin' her legs is funny
She looks down her nose at money
She gets it on like the Easter Bunny
She's my baby I'm her honey
I'm never gonna let her go

He ain't got laid in a month of Sundays
I caught him once and he was sniffin' my undies
He ain't too sharp but he gets things done
Drinks his beer like it's oxygen
He's my baby
And I'm his honey
Never gonna let him go

In spite of ourselves
We'll end up a'sittin' on a rainbow
Against all odds
Honey, we're the big door prize
We're gonna spite our noses
Right off of our faces
There won't be nothin' but big old hearts
Dancin' in our eyes.

She thinks all my jokes are corny
Convict movies make her horny
She likes ketchup on her scrambled eggs
Swears like a sailor when shaves her legs
She takes a lickin'
And keeps on tickin'
I'm never gonna let her go.

He's got more balls than a big brass monkey
He's a wacked out werido and a lovebug junkie
Sly as a fox and crazy as a loon
Payday comes and he's howlin' at the moon
He's my baby I don't mean maybe
Never gonna let him go

In spite of ourselves
We'll end up a'sittin' on a rainbow
Against all odds
Honey, we're the big door prize
We're gonna spite our noses
Right off of our faces
There won't be nothin' but big old hearts
Dancin' in our eyes.
There won't be nothin' but big old hearts
Dancin' in our eyes.

in spite of ourselves

- "In Spite of Ourselves," John Prine/Iris Dement


I'm eating oatmeal at Tiffany's

You know what's wrong with you, Miss Whoever-you-are? You're chicken, you've got no guts. You're afraid to stick out your chin and say, "Okay, life's a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness." You call yourself a free spirit, a "wild thing," and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.

- Paul Varjak (George Peppard) to Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), Breakfast at Tiffany's

an aside...what was life like before IMDb?


Fun Fact! Human Sexuality Edition: "Jiggling boobs is the porno hello"

I heart Katie Morgan (Don't click here if you are at work.) Katie Morgan is a porn star, although her web site is almost restrained, pop-up free with a tasteful nude picture, an email link, a link to her favorite poker site and sex shop. That's all. All the more reason to heart Katie Morgan.

I just got finished watching "Katie Morgan: A Porn Star Revealed" interview on HBO (after being crushed by the new lack of On-Demand immediacy. Missed the f-ing Sopranos, and idly doing some copyright research.), in which she's interviewed, nude on a stool, while clips of her films are woven in and out (so to speak).

She's got a high-girly voice, but not quite squeaky, which saves her, at least in my book. She's so natural and matter-of-fact, hard to convey here with my out of context quoting, and lack of false titting (hers are large and widely set, just like her eyes.) Katie's prettier without her movie makeup, and gives a great interview.

Here's some quotes and fun facts (FUN FACTS!) that now reside on the back of a case file (Sorry, HARSH!)

- According to those online IQ tests, her IQ is around 165. "I'm a porn star with a genius IQ, what are you gonna do?" (Perhaps, correct some of the typos on your web site. Just a couple Katie!)

- On her own orgasms, business versus pleasure: "(That's usually when) someone yells Cut....I don't always get my yayas."

- On anal action: "Just for someone special." As far as film goes, it's an exit only.

- On why people never have sex on a bed in porno films: "Everybody has sex on beds, why should we?"

- On character: "It's all the same character, just different outfits."

- On dialogue: "You get sick of ooh and aaahh eventually." She goes on to explain how to improvise; by describing what you are doing, what you want to do next, etc. And always, with enthusiam! Commit, Katie, commit to that bit!

- Do the scripts make sense, usually? "No." She pulls off some hilarious dialogue, even taken out of context; I think she does a decent job of what she's given. ("Everyone fast-forwards through the dialogue; I fast-forward through the sex")

- Her favorite scenes? Two guys, because she likes to be the center of attention, and there's no shortage of things to do to keep busy.

- Remember, "A smile on your face means a happy happy porn star!"

Her poker handle is "snackmixgirl" on Hollywoodpoker.com. I'm up for some Texas Hold 'Em! Or maybe I'll drop her a line "Just to Say hi!"

Thanks Katie Morgan! You make porno fun!


From the outside looking in.

I've spent the day writing, working and ducking my inner monologue via baseball, blogs and NPR. And then I come across this (through the multipurpose time sucker, MySpace)


It's true of this person, a funny talented friend, something of a mentor to me. It's true of the friend I sent it to, almost startlingly so. It's true, to a large extent, of me (subbing in men, not without the occasional girl crush...you get the point).

Does it speak to its universality, or the types of people to whom I am drawn?

That's a hypothetical question.

Fully attributed above, herefore and to wit, I reprint it below to test said hypothesis, to enlighten...whatever. It's just pretty good.:

Junkyard Dog

I think I fall in love with every woman I care about. And I mean that literally. But before you break out the restraining orders relax. It's like that but it's not.

I'm probably the last person in the world you'd think of as a romantic. And surrendering to real intimacy has always been a foible. Or maybe trust is the word I'm looking for. It's always a gamble to trust somebody with you.

But I'm not talking about sex here. Sex is far to easy to find and therefore is equally as easily rendered meaningless. I'm talking about romance. That melting feeling. And let's be honest. It's not hard to cultivate. Take two even margainally compatible, funny, intelligent people who aren't physical ogres and put them in a room together and eventually some chemistry is bound to develope. It's not rocket science. If it were match.com would be a subdivision of NASA.

Nobody's got to act on this sexual tension by the way. More often than not it manifests itself in harmless flirtation or a friendship where the emotional boundries are a little murky. Maybe you have that "if she wasn't seeing someone" thought but that's about it. Course it gets inappropriate if that thought gets on a loop. Funny how that DJ in you head likes to fu-- with you huh? Might as well just go with the flow because he knows your play list better than you do. He knows who you imagine you're dancing with when you hear "Time After Time" or making love to when you listen to "Beside You" or remembering who's life you blew up any time he plays the Ramones. And the son of bitch can be merciless with that Top10 when he chooses to be.

But I do look at women who grab my attention very closely. (Maybe too closely?) I want to know the why and how of who they are. Probably because I want somebody to look that closely at me for the why and how of who I am. That's got to be it.

But the collateral damage of getting that close is a driveby celestial arrow right in the bloody heart.

What can I say? I guess I just prefer the thrill of intelligent, funny, sensuous women. Even if it is from the outside looking in.

Fun Fact! Sports edition


A BALK is an illegal act by the pitcher with a runner or runners on base, entitling all runners to advance one base.

The actual rule (8.00) makes reading law look like flipping through a book of Marmaduke cartoons!

There are funny articles, serious articles, books and even videos about the balk!

This makes the infield fly rule look like a snap!

I loves me the balk rule. So subtle, so arcane, so fun to wave around. What ump doesn't feel smug calling a balk, what pitcher confused? I bet you piss off an ump one time too many...ooooh, BALK

Balk. Just one generator of obscure baseball arcana, statistics, and FUN FACTS!


Fun Fact!

The MS Word SpellCheck correction for "hottie" is "hogtie."



Dream Sequences

In the first part of the dream, I was spending some time with a guy I really liked. And it was really, really nice. We watched TV, looked at photos, funny photos that made us laugh, of us 'together', talked about work, were playful and fun together. That part of the dream, man, it should've gone on forever.

In the second part of the dream, however briefly, I reconnected with an old friend. She seemed happy, and was applying (Strangely, already having an advanced degree she was already quite invested in) to law school. I wished her the unqualified best. I was happy that I didn't let go, but I knew things were settled, finally, and OK.

In the third, brief part of the dream, I was surrounded by one side of the family, all wearing maroon jackets and/or cardigans, all buttoned up. I asked them to relax, unbutton themselves. Awkwardly, they did, a little. I don't know why they were there. It was evening, I think.

In the final part of the dream, it was pouring rain, I was in a wonderful antique store, old, dusty. I came across a stash of old, old checks, and a gentleman walked up behind me, closely. He was a large man, like Penn of Penn and Teller, nearly embracing me. I asked him where his girlfriend was, and he said, "She wasn't my girlfriend, just some crazy woman." We browsed together, bodies wrapped together, his arms around my shoulders, talking like we'd known each other forever. My aunt and grandmother came in, and they had to speak to me, but one spoke to him as the other spoke to me, and they wanted to go to a nearby park to see a ballgame; then they left. I walked them out; he went out to make a phone call. I ran back inside from the rain; he was in a large, comfortable old bed in the middle of the shop. I tried to crawl next to him; there was another, movie-star-looking couple in the middle of the bed, who I had to awkwardly slide past. I was next to him briefly, magically, but somehow I ended up in a cab, driving away, but then I panicked, and asked the driver to drive back. The driver ended up turning the wrong way, and I cursed and yelled at him. He pulled into a gas station and stopped. I threatened to steal the car. He said "You're not going anywhere, Michelle." (I don't know how he knew my name). I spluttered. He said, "If he wanted to know, he'd have asked for your phone number." I spluttered, thought...and woke up.


beat-en poetry copyright 1955


Mix Tapes

That last entry depressed the fuck out of me. Let's talk about Mix tapes. they've been coming up in conversation lately.

First of all, remember when they were really mix TAPES and not CDs, even though people still often call them that?

In 1985, a now-theater critic for a local rag sheet and public-television station made me a Broadway show tunes mix tape, which I still have; this fact greatly amused a friend of mine. That year, my then-fiancee made me a mix tape, mostly Simon & Garfunkel's Central Park concert but on the end were all these 'meaningful' songs, which got all romantical and shit. Some Genesis (old not new), some Clapton, maybe a Beatles tune. Real sweet, to fill out those 45 minute sides.

Some subsequent collegiate year, my friend Mike made me an obsessive-quest tape (We were brilliant at obsessive-quest activities - this being one of many. Obsessive film festivals, obsessive drink mixing, the list goes on). This one held "the most versions of a single song that he owned." The song is an old pop-jazz standard, "All the Things you Are." The count, I believe, was seven, including his high-school jazz band (which had to be transferred tape-to-tape rather than vinyl-to-tape). There was vocal, non-vocal, and a Mingus version called "all the things you could be if sigmund freud's mother was your mother." It also had, among other things, some They Might be Giants tracks on it (oh you hipsters...i saw them first!)

I still have those draggy yet precious tapes. And stereos today are so tape-disregarding, the last boxy-shelf stereo I bought failed to have an auto-rewind (I didn't even check, and now I pay the price of flipping. FLIPPING! What a fucking hassle.)

A few days ago, I went to iTunes and downloaded about fifteen versions of "All the Things...." including a weird-ass Mingus cover ("All the Things you C#"). So easy. Too easy. Not quite the same. And it won't have the Fairport Jazz Ensemble on it.

I'm making mixes for people. I've got an overdue one for a friend, who wanted something 'upbeat.' I've got some 'chick mixes' I've made for friends, and playlists named for people. I've got a 'highly specific mix' that isn't, and 'songs I like right now.' I need to do another comedy mix for someone, in exchange for my deficient hip-hop collection. I gave my mom a mix CD for mother's day last year. My music collection's not that extensive, but it's fun and pretty eclectic. And it's a hell of a lot easier than knitting a damn sweater.

Maybe I'll create an 'obsessive mix,' just for amusement. To package up with "All the Things you Are."

No, really, gifts optional.

Today's my wedding anniversary.

I'm not officially divorced yet. It's all over but the paperwork.

Aaaawwwwkkkkkward. Right?

Last year I went out for some karaoke. This year....

Got any brilliant ideas, people? PEOPLE?

Keep those cards and letters coming. I like the ones from the dusty old stationery stores, with the scratchy-fuzzy glitter surface and ill-fitting envelopes. Beware the poison glue.

"I now pronounce you Blog and dipshit. You may now post and hide."


In other news...

I think I need an Attitude Adjustment.

Any inner chiropractors out there?

Creative Shit: Finishing Things

I reactiviated my old spec script. It's time to put those editing skills to work, for real.

I am going to pull together my show stories, no matter how daunting the pile is.

I am going to do these things before I deal with that short-film script I generated, and those songs I started.

I have a little sketch I'd like to put together. It's Dirty!

I think, I think, I really do have an ending for that old children's book I'd long since thought I'd finished. It's a Real ending. It changes the book, a lot.

And it's time to stop being joke-lazy.


TV Hotties: From the Shallow/Obscure Files: Non-Reality Division (updated)

Kyle Secor
Kyle MacLachlan (from "Twin Peaks" not "Sex in the City")
Dean Winters
That Michael Steadman guy from "thirtysomething" until he opened his mouth
Goran Visnjic
Michael Imperioli
Christopher Meloni
Tom Fontana's upper arm
Paul Lynde

and of course, the Belz.


And we're back

Thanks for all who were concerned over the last burst of sadness. That's what happens when you Cry like a Girl.

I actually had a smashing weekend. Of course, I'm back to my baseline level of anxiety again. But I had a great time.

Just a summary. Got to figure out the next move. Usually, that implies 'getting something that I think will help me do shit' rather than 'doing shit.'

Maybe it's time to change my approach. Or play with the new palm pilot.

Today I burned two fingers on coffee-steam. But I'm OK.

There are people in this world that I love.
There are people in this world that love me.
All in all, that's pretty damn good.

Now, back to work.

Back to life.