Saturday, December 30, 2006

Holiday Decorations Gone Wrong (and Right!) #6-9

So Christmas has been over for almost a week but I still have a couple of horrifying photos to share.

The first isn't technically a holiday decoration, but the woman on line behind us at the bus station on the 23rd wore this sweatshirt and I'm sure she thought it was festive:

It's a fuzzy picture because I was taking it surreptitiously while pretending to text message, but - WHAT THE HELL?? She has the face of a small animal on her chest!! I mean, it's not real (I hope) and in the photo it looks like it might be a pin, but in the flesh it seemed to be embroidered on to the shirt. It doesn't look happy, does it? And just... why?? I'd find it distracting to wear. Imagine hugging grandma hello and meeting that?

And speaking of creepy, what's up with all the super-creepy department store window displays this year? First there was the ferocious, penguin-eating lion at Macy's, and yesterday I walked by these tykes at Bloomingdales:

"Help us! We're trapped and Santa's coming to kill us!" All the faces at Bloomingdale's are like this, Santa's included. I only took this one photo, but most of the windows feature very large, imposing figures and it's hard to tell if they're smiling or grimacing. It's truly the Most Horrifying Christmas Ever.

But in the spirit of the season, and a brighter New Year (not less judgmental, just brighter), I thought I should also show a couple photos of decorations gone right. The management company of my co-op tends to go overboard on the lobby decorations (I really don't want my maintenance fees paying for the autumnal hay bales and scarecrows), but I thought they did a lovely job with this year's tree:

I could do without the white garland, but it's pretty and tasteful and bright and makes me - yes, even me - feel all Christmasy.

This is on 58th Street between Lexington and 3rd:

I like everything about this unique building and its plaza, and not just because the Container Store is there. Cool architecture and a lovely tree.

Finally, my mother-in-law did a splendid job at home - and who cares what the tree looks like, look at all those presents!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

How Radish Stole Christmas










Happy Holidays, everyone!

Friday, December 22, 2006

In Defense of Scrooge

A fun article from Slate.

Redundante Navidad

So I'm doing office work today, and I have the "radio" playing via Jack FM's website, and "Feliz Navidad" came on. Since it's not a real radio, I'm sort of trapped. I mean, I could turn it off, but changing the station would mean finding another website that streams on this not-always-web-media-savvy PC, or y'know, paying attention. I'm not sure I even realized it was playing until a minute or so in.

Anyway, here's the point: How have I never noticed, amid my past rants about bad Christmas music, that "Feliz Navidad" is the most repetitive and annoying song ever written? Seriously, it's worse than "Wonderful Christmas Time." It's more relentless than "I Got My Mind Set On You." (So sorry to single out two former Beatles there.) Even "99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall" has clear and definite end point.

"Feliz Navidad" consists solely of "Feliz Navidad [3x] prospero año y felicidad," and "I wanna wish you a merry Christmas [3x] from the bottom of my heart," over and over and over again. Two lines. There's no discernable verse or chorus, no bridge, no key change or build in vocals or change in the singer's delivery. It's just those two lines, repeated... well, I lost count of how many times as my brain went completely numb. Every time there was a bit of a swell on "heeeaaaaaaarrrrt," I thought it was over, but nope, it just looped around to the beginning again like the world's worst ringtone.

Surely Latino Americans deserve a better Christmas anthem than this?

(I know I've been light on the substantive posts lately. I have a couple of ideas on the back burner, including an update on how I've been keeping myself busy for the three of you who care about such things, so check back next week!)

Friday, December 15, 2006


In case anyone was wondering, working out with a personal trainer fucking HURTS.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Holiday Decorations Gone Wrong #5

Santa Claus is rescued from certain doom by the NYFD. This is what happens when you arrive 15 days early, fat man!


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Holiday Decorations Gone Wrong #4

We're watching you....


Monday, December 11, 2006

Holiday Decorations Gone Wrong #3

The teddy bears' holiday picnic ended in tragedy and carnage.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Holiday Decorations Gone Wrong #2


Heil Santa!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

My Job is (still) Weird

One of the tricky things about working in the entertainment business is the way your work can affect your ability to actually be entertained. For example, the composer of my current show is a moderately successful pop singer-songwriter (and if that's not a giveaway, I don't know what is... um, don't look at the sidebar). The other day his major hit came on the radio, and I just started to giggle. I was never a fan, but I've always liked the song, only now I can't reconcile the guy I work with every day with the guy singing on my radio.

And I'm low on the totem pole at this job – I don't know Singer Songwriter well at all. Imagine how much weirder it is when an actual friend is singing on my iPod, or shows up on Law and Order making out with some girl. (Especially when the friend is gay-g-g-gay-gay-gay.) Of course it's not just friends. I think I'm supposed to think that guy didn't kill his wife, and be sad when he goes to jail. But if you knew him like I do, you'd know he totally did it.

It works both ways. Nothing like meeting a coworker for the first time and thinking, "I've seen you naked." Or worse, "You were in Patch Adams." I guess this happens in "normal" jobs too; there's a new hire who you've heard stories about from friends, maybe even something drunken and embarrassing from college. But probably not in Us Weekly. (God help me if I ever work with Britney Spears.)

When things are good (and I've been lucky that they generally have for me) you stop thinking of stars as stars and they just become coworkers, or better, friends. Or, better still, your friends become stars. But it can still be an unpleasant surprise to see your friend's ass on TV.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Jury Doodie

So I got a jury duty summons that begins, conveniently, the day after my current job ends. Since I think jury duty is important, and I usually have a legitimate reason to try to get out of it, this seemed like a good thing.

Okay, problem number one: It's federal court in Brooklyn. I live in Queens, and although these two boroughs are on the same land mass, the "fastest" and "easiest" way to get where I'm going, short of buying a car, is to ride a train across the East River, into Manhattan, and back across the East River to Brooklyn. This means I'll be riding past the Queens and Manhattan courthouses along the way, at which points I may cry.

But there's good news! I'm only an alternate, and technology has advanced since the last time I had jury duty so that I only have to show up if they decide they need me. I just phone in after 5:00 on the business day before I'm called, and the lovely robot voice tells me if I'm needed. I'm off the hook for Monday.

But here's the thing: Because this is federal jury duty, I'm on call for two weeks. Two frakkin' weeks! How is someone supposed to plan a life, or, you know, a job? Unless I end up on a trial, I will never know what I'm doing the next business day until after 5 pm. This means I can't call a temp agency to try to get a gig. It means I can't make any plans at all. For two weeks! How do people do this? Even if I had a job job this seems unreasonable. "Hey boss, I might be in tomorrow, might not! Sorry, blame the feds!"

I'm all for doing my civic duty, but how many people really have jobs that pay them when they go on jury duty? There has to be a better system so that freelancers and hourly employees can do the right thing without getting screwed.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Holiday Decorations Gone Wrong #1

What are the people at Macy's smoking?

The caption on this window has something to do with peace, and I get that the lion is supposed to lie down with the lamb (there's a lamb downstage-right of the lion, but my shitty cameraphone didn't pick it up well against the white background), but that penguin is totally gonna get eaten, right before the freakish little elf boy gets trampled by the elephant (also hard to see in my 1 MP photo).

There are little touch-sensitive panels on the window that make the animatronics do things. That's a good idea — lure small children as close to the glass as possible, then make the lion open its mouth to the size of their heads and roar at them. Merry Christmas!