Saturday, May 14, 2011

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why I'm a Miranda

Writing about Sex and the City in the year 2011.

Brought to you by the Department of Irrelevancy.

But that is what it do here at, in between poppin' bottles, poppin' cherries, and poppin' weasels!

TBS shows reruns of The Ladies (Okay, I might "demand" it every so often. Read: often) so while I'm hunched over a bowl of Puffins, sloshing spoonfuls of milky slop over my magazines, I get to take a little walk down memory lane. THE NINETIES! Things were so optimistic. Smoking indoors! Cosmos! Making bold statements with fanny packs and wristlets, ironically?

But more than anything, it makes me nostalgic for the conversations I used to have (in earnest) with my friends.

Who's the Samantha? That always went to the biggest slut in the group obviously, making it difficult to divine whether that consensus should be taken as a compliment or an insult. "You're such a Samantha!" So either you were too horny to function or you spoke only in suggestive innuendo on all subject matter. Both are unsustainable.

Perhaps you yearned to be Charlotte. That meant you were just a drag, a moralizing ninny who probably referred to herself as "the mom" of the group. Sure, you might have coveted her Michael Kors off the rack fashions, but you also had cankles and were most likely a virgin in college.

Carrie! Everyone wanted to be fun, feisty Carrie. She dressed like a streetwalker and straddled big city glitterati scenes, and straddled Chris Noth and even John Slattery for one episode until he asked her to pee on him and she wouldn't. Who wouldn't pee on Roger Sterling? That demonstrated a clear lack street cred and initiative, and 65% of her speech is in the language of pun.

Carries wears the least well (clothes and character) over time. And I done been a freelancer. You wear Vans, or house slippers, should you ever venture outdoors.

And then there was Miranda. No one, but NO ONE wanted to be the Miranda. Being the Miranda back in the day meant you were a fire crotch man hating lesbian spoil sport in Armani shoulder pads with an early incarnation of the Justin Bieber haircut. Sad sad you if you were the Miranda.

Maybe, even once, when you were lamenting the point of going out at all when you could just stay home and watch East Enders and eat Chinese takeout in your comfy pants because that's more fun anyway, someone might have muttered through the phone "Don't be such a Miranda!" Oh, you stripped down, hosed off, and put on some tragic Steve Madden stilettos right away, didn't you? DIDN'T YOU?!

But now, from my perch of retrospection that only time and the daily beatdown of one's hopes and dreams can bring, I can only hope to be the Miranda. Despite her dolphin teeth, her appearance got steadily better over the course of six seasons unlike the other characters who looked progressively more insane. And she got *Steve* a doofus with a heart of gold, while Carries ended up with Big (who has the personality of a surfboard), Charlotte is stuck with Harry Rosenblatt (who looks like a thumb) and Samantha is left rubbing her loins on living room furniture.

Miranda is a lawyer, so she gets paid, and she has a house servant and spawned a little ranga baby. Cute!

She also gets the best lines in the show, and they don't rely on puns. Many of them also deal with the timely topic of flatulence, or farts (philistine). Like when she's pregnant she says, "I'm so bloated and gassy I'm like a floatation device!" or when she's in a shoe store trying to pull of a ring and accidentally farts and says "I just pulled my own finger!" Now that is good.

Over a glass of wine the other night (this is now enough for me to get hammered. Finally, I'm a cheap date!), I gave Brooke D a drunken exegesis on the relative merits of Sex and the City. Some bullshit like "We hear those lines as so cliché now, but in fact it's because the writing was so good that it got co -opted into the vernacular." And Brooke was like, "Girl you drunk. You are being such a Miranda right now." And I was like "Thank you."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Let's Go To The Couch!

No, not the therapist's couch. The good kind of couch. The TV couch.

A quagmire is something you can't get out of, right? Then I find myself in a couchmire. Mired in couch. And for the first time in my life, I don't want to watch TV anymore. I've watched so much TV in the past week that I'm saturated. This is truly depressing because I love TV more than anything. Once, in this illustrious online forum, I said that I'd like to marry going to the movies. Well, I cheated on the movies with watching TV and and married watching TV
and now we're getting divorced. Don't worry girl, you know I didn't sign a pre- nup. I'm getting HALF of everything that TV earned aka what's rightfully mine aka MY DUE! See what I mean? It's time for an intervention.

Oh, it started out dignified, the way courtships do. I began with the serious HBO dramas: Season 4 of Big Love, a few Boardwalk Empires (sucks, wicked boring), then re- watched AMC favorites Breaking Bad and Mad Men,
then before I could say "Mazel" I'd gone through two season marathons of TWO Real Housewives casts! That's the thing about year- end programming, what with all the marathons and the back to back episodes resulting in bed sores and muscle atrophy from a vegetable torpor of my own creation. Disgusting.

When I found myself crying during Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy's televised wedding ceremony on the eponymous episode of Bethenny Getting Married? yesterday morning, I knew I had to call it quits with TV, at least for a few days.
I even turned off TaxiTV, which I do enjoy, in the back of a cab last night. Art reflects life, as I'm really into abusive relationships. My M.O is to be like, "Ha! I'll show you what life is like without Paloma Zenaida!" and then I call in a few days when he hasn't called me and I just slink back and pretend the whole unsavory affair never took place.

My relationship with TV also mirrors my real- life relationships (wait, I thought TV was my real life relationship. This is getting too meta) in that it's masochistic. I don't have cable, just a big boxy set with a DVD drive that rarely gets used because I'd rather watch free episodes on Hulu cuddled up with my laptop in bed. After exhausting the choice free shows on Hulu, like my beloved Housewives and the sole episode of The Fashion Show with dueling drag queens Iman and Isaac Mizrahi, I scan through the shabbier options and sometimes stumble upon a gem. Like SoapNET's Real Southern Belles of Lousiville. It's like a really really boring episode of the Hills with older, less gamine, stouter protagonists. Their molasses- like
accents and uptake lull me into a hypnotic trance that leaves me wanting to shop at Kohl's and set my hair in rollers and eat foods made with Crisco. But that could be said for a number of things.
As it stands now, I get basically nothing worthwhile done. I've taken procrastination via napping and cleaning to a kind of performance art. Sometimes when I'm supposed to be "writing" I just lay down on the cold hardwood floor and stare up at the ceiling and replay sassy maxims from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in my head.

"Some may think I have it all, but I want more." -Taylor
If TimeWarner were to bestow upon me the ultimate gift of friendship (because the people on TV are my friends, and I'm not just talking about Rachel and Ross and Chandler), then I would really get nothing done. And besides, not having a TV actually enhances my social life. I invite myself over to my more upwardly mobile friends' apartments and demand to be taught how to operate their remote control, and then languish for a few hours catching up on Jersey Shore and Millionaire Matchmaker. This dependency has actually preserved, maybe even fomented, many friendships because my friends don't have to talk to me. They just step over me like a bag
of old clothes they've been meaning to take to Beacon's Closet. And if I've deemed this friend worthy enough to grace them with a return visit of moi I'll even reset their DVR to my programs. That's right, I have my programs.

One program I simply adore is AMC's Rubicon. It's a really spooky show about all the things I like: spying, subterfuge, terrorism (oh come on, I don't mean like it like it) and conspiracy. And the even weirder thing about it is the leading man of the show looks just like that closet case teacher on Glee and both their character's names are Will. They should do some synergistic cross marketing for the two shows and have Rubicon Will sing a show tune about oil wars in

If Columbia offered an MFA in TV, I'd be teaching it. Except I don't love talking about TV, I love watching it. I'd teach all my classes from a bean bag chair wearing a Snuggie and bring snacks to every class and all the students would love me. Maybe they could be my new TV friends. Literally. Figuratively. Who am I kidding? It would be an online course.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Financial Crisis

This holiday season I find myself in a Dickensian orphanage of my own making. I'm broke! Don't get me wrong, I still employ a staff of Bosnian refugees to tend to my needs(pillows FLUFFIER please!) and receive my regular caviar delivery. But now it's the Christmas and the Hannukah and everyone cries for their PRESENTS, waiting in line for their handout and to reap the bounty of Mommy Warbucks Zenaida... they're nostalgic for the opulent gifts of the go- go '90s I used to bestow upon friends and loved ones: Mediterranean cruises, gadgets from the Sky Mall catalog, jewels. But like Celine Dion says, those days are gone. So I've been brainstorming how to hush the incessant chatter of gimmegimmegimme from my staff and so- called "friends."
Here's what I've come up with:

1. Get a divorce.

Conventional wisdom/ Real Housewives decrees that marrying some tragic geriatric with one foot in the grave and a fat life insurance policy is the way to go. Not so. Then you have to live with him and wear the tacky showgirl ensembles he buys
for you to show you off to his business associates and you're totally embarrassed and like "How much longer til he dies?" This is too unseemly.

The other day I was having lunch with a writer friend of mine, and I was like "Girl, I know how much money you made on that teen novel you wrote, how are you living and dining out with me, your rich friend?" And she was like, "Girl I gotta divorce! I got paid! Go and get you one!" And I was like, "Oh, damn girl! Let me go get it!" Getting a divorce is so much better than being married, because you get paid and you're not married and embarrassing yourself and answering questions like "Do you change that guy's diapers?" No, thankyouverymuch, I have morals and dignity. Pop out a few kids and you're golden.

2. Crack sale
This is one my boyfriend (He is not imaginary! He is real!) has been pushing lately. He wanders around my apartment picking up Hermés scarves being like "How much is this worth? How much can you get for it on eBay?" I will be face down in the gutter before I ever hawk my scarves. They are literally the only thing of value I own, save that six- year- old Bosnian living in my closet. She's been growing and really getting in the way of my shoe rack. I won't part with the scarves, but I do have a sweet VCR in mint condition. Ten dollars? Ok three? I have a ginuwine polyblend futon cover with a few mysterious stains. Five dollars?
Ok, a nickel.

3. Cash my royalty check.

4. Get philanthropic.
According to Luc Sante's Low Life (I cannot recommend this book enough. Learn about the real gangs of New York including the Patsy Conroys, the Plug Uglies, and the Hookers) enterprising Bowery bums would start non- profit organizations for a cause near to their hearts: themselves. For example, in the late 1890s ne'er do well Chuck Connors founded the Chuck Connors Association for the sole purpose of hosting a ball and selling tickets "whose profits were transmitted directly to Chuck's pocket." The Paloma Zenaida Association accepts cash donations, as well as canned goods and in- kind donations of proseco and well, anything else. To cut back on costs, the Paloma Zenaida Association will be holding its annual winter gala at Scores where her mother and sister are employed. Please make checks payable to Paloma Zenaida.

5. Modeling

At a recent promotional event at Bergdorf Goodman, I offered my services as a model. As a professional, I arrived early while fashion minions and PR girls were still setting up overpriced accessories and racks of clothes. The elevator doors opened, and I sashayed into the showroom and announced "The model is here. Where you need me? Who wants to see me walk? Do any of y'all wanna know how to model? Work! Work! Work!" I showed them a few runway pointers, like my signature move of clapping my hands twice and dropping my derriere to the ground when I reach the end of the runway. Tyra Banks has extended an invitation to guest judge America's Next Top Model Cycle #44 to teach the young ingenues. As I was in the middle of pushing display tables and store employees out of the way, some six foot tall woman with the body of an Asian boy blinked her glassy, vacant eyes and said meekly, "I'm the model. Do you know where I should go?" Home, bitch! This is MY show! Double- booked! I never!

6. Open the Paloma Zenaida Modeling Agency

This is a plan that's been marinating for a few years now, and considering my financial crisis and the relatively low overhead needed to open the business (human capital) I think the time is right. So many pretty young ladies in Manhattan, so few modeling agencies to manage and sculpt their talent. With moi as their matron, I will open a hybrid modeling agency/ orphanage in my apartment, where I can oversee my young charges, make sure they keep trim (my household tasks should provide a strenuous fitness regimen), and manage their finances (self- explanatory). I think a 90% cut for such expert advice and cultivation is only fair. The other 10% will cover rent in my orphanage.
Well, I feel better now that my stock is back up. Maybe Christmas won't be cancelled after all. God bless us, everyone!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Prague: It Was Kafkaesque

My little sister was abducted into an Eastern European sex trafficking ring where they don't let you cut your bangs. So me and my mom flew over to rescue her. Her captors were pugnacious and determined, and forced us to fulfill a series of challenges. We had to:

Take off our shoes.
Pet a puppy.
March with the soldiers. They're kind of hotties, in a ghoulish Slavic way.
Overcome our fear of marionettes.
Play the washboard.
Use a toilet on the precipice of an abyss.
Send in the clowns.
Eat dinner.
And then we got her back.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Time in the Clink

Sorry I've been away for so long. I've been serving my debt to society in the clink. I was picked up on a disorderly charge at Coyote Ugly when I jumped up on the bar and performed the choreography of the fabled "Devil Dance," in which a sassy barmaid writhes and thrashes to "the Devil Went Down to Georgia" to the delight of the rotund and sallow patrons. I had been rehearsing privately for some time now. Apparently I left broken glass and a few scraped John Goodman lookalikes in my wake. As I was hauled off the bar mid- line dance, I apparently threatened violence against the unappreciative audience. I don't quite remember, I made a special cocktail of Klonopin and St. Germain to ease my nerves before my big debut.

Since my legal counsel Brooke D is still earning her JD online through Phoenix University, my incarceration was longer than expected. Pup finally sprung me with a special cake on visiting day, with a file baked in the middle. Those are my brass knuckles that knocked some bitches out. And here are some of my friends from jail:

This is Mary Wiley aka "Wiley Lady." Were are just friends. She was picked up on a shoplifting charge. She used her hat to smuggle large quantities of beads and silk flowers out of arts and crafts stores to gussy up her other hats. I don't know why she got to keep her hat and I didn't get to keep my knuckles. Our justice system is so flawed.

And here's good old Charles Iburg, aka Pervert Charlie. He got nabbed "corrupting the morals of minors." I'm not sure exactly how he corrupted the morals of minors, and I didn't press him on it. He did mention something about not being able to live within 1,000 feet of a school upon his release... Maybe he was teaching the kids roughhousing?

And here's the style icon of the Bowerey, Jimmy the Gent. He got his nickname for his dapper dressing and gentlemanly manners. Jim's favorite expression was "Why, if what I say isn't true, then I'll eat my hat!" In an improbable romantic twist, he and Wiley bonded over their passion for millinery, and now sell specialty headware to barkeeps and old- timey bands in Williamsburg. But don't fuck with them. Wiley and Jimmy will shank you.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Here are a few poems in the style of World War I poet Wilfred Owen on the subject of urban warfare, in two familiar theaters: commuting and online dating.


Our brains ache, in the salmonella corridors that confines us

Wearied we wait because the train isn’t coming…

An incident, the robot voice booms, vague and mysterious…

Exasperated by waiting, people groan, encumbered, frustrated,

But nothing happens.

Watching, we look for the dim light from far away,

Like reaching for the summer sun in January.

Across the platform, incessantly, uptown trains arrive and depart

Far away, like a lottery ticket one number off.

What are we doing here?

The quiet torment is broken…

We only know the light means train, train goes, and people go home.

The light of the train blurs past her melancholy army without stopping

Cars crowded full with limbs and faces pressed against the glass,

But nothing happens.

Sudden bursts of tinny noise break the grumbling din

More oppressive than the man playing xylophone, with whose hammers I want to hit him,

Mr. Brighton Beach is testing out his ringtones;

We listen as he scrolls through his choices: Camptown Races,

Phantom of the Opera, Greensleeves,

But nothing happens.

Phantom water smelling of wet asbestos drips from the ceiling—

We wince as we jump over a wet crack, as it gathers to a puddle of sludge,

Deep in the trench among soda cans and rats. Where does that water come from,

It hasn’t rained in weeks. Someone should call 311.

Is it that we are dying?

Slowly the train pushes forward, glimpsing the sunk faces,


With streaks of mascara; tears gather;

For seconds the doors stay closed, the train is theirs;

Windows and doors, all closed: even once in the station the doors stay closed,-

We turn our back to our dying.

Since we believe not otherwise in the goodness of man;

Nor in the industry of youth, or teen, or child.

When the boy peddles his snacks not for a basketball team, but for himself;

You think “I should do that, and I’ll probably make more money if I don’t claim taxes,”

For love of God seems dying.

To- night, or some night, the R will open its doors to me

Ferrying passengers, reinforcing misanthropy anew

The hungry ghosts, briefcases and thermoses in their hands,

Stampede over unknown faces. All their eyes hungry.

But nothing happens.

Ego Mos Intereo Unus

Hunched over, fingers scroll the categories,

Dark- shamed, yet hopeful still, I fill out the survey,

“We have the perfect match for you,” the commercial told the stories,

E-Harmony promised to unite our souls, but how could I convey,

The riddle of me to blithe mentions of NPR and ethnic cuisine,

“Would you consider yourself independent, content to be alone?”

My stature tall and Rubenesque, but no box I can check to preen,

Three hours to finish, and not a match in the tri- state zone.

Try! Try! Quick, girls! Love is a science to conspire,

At least check J- Date, find a doctor or a broker,

Even if you’re not Jewish, you could be his shiksa for hire,

When the dinner check arrives, his generosity is less than mediocre…

Ennui, it cloaks you in its thin sheet before you’ve shook hands,

Him in pleated pants and boring, you feel your insides crying,

Call with a sudden emergency, to your friend you do demand

So I can feign alarm and hail a cab, running, fleeing, crying.

But one fellow from the World Wide Web, we met through a site called Match

Brown hair and eyes with gainful employ, a mimic of heterosexual sanity,

We went to his apartment one night, he undid the latch,

But he locked and unlocked, O! The humanity!

What a security system, and for only Fort Greene,

And when he tapped his table and paced the halls,

I realized he suffers from obsessive- compulsivity,

To a car service at once! Yet another desperate call-

Homegirl, disregard your gay friends’ Grinder and Manhunt success,

Or the veracity of your friend’s friends’ story,

To the old Lie: I met my husband on the Internet

Ego mos intereo unus mori