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

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Town and the City

I have a love/ hate relationship with Boston.

This New England girl came home to roost last weekend when I made the glacial journey in a bus full of enthusiastic Asian college students to visit my life partner Brooke D. She recently moved to enroll in a prestigious law school in the City on a Hill. Isn't it inspiring, democratic even, that Phoneix University now offers law degrees? I tried to explain to her that she didn't need to relocate for an online degree, but there was just no convincing her. She was really just looking for an excuse to file for undergraduate housing.

The things I love about Boston are limited to a few base pleasures. Like the fact that you can go to a club in pajamas and face scrubbed clean of any make- up and still command the attention of the room. If you deign to dress above and beyond the standard issue uniform of North Face fleece, Red Sox baseball hat, and Mom jeans to accentuate your FUPA, then you are a veritable fashion icon.
Whenever I'm inside the city limits of Boston, I will without fail be called "Paris Hilton" at least half a dozen times. Apparently no one in Boston has seen a statuesque blond before. The only other time I get this comparison is from the urban youth I teach, and they have an excuse. I am the only real- life Caucasian they have ever met. But there is one difference between me and Ms. Hilton: I would never mistake cocaine for a pack of gum.

Boston is not short on ignorami philistine white trash, or what we politely refer to as "lace curtain Irish," and it is long on heterosexual males. Allegedly, some of these fabled creatures reside in New York City, but they are as rare as a wizard unicorn. A charmless, unemployed leper can score a super hot girlfriend in NYC. But in Boston they make up for in quantity (they are everywhere) what they lack in quality (they might beat you up or wear Timberlands unironically). They are everywhere! But everywhere! They go out in packs in their traditional costume of chin strap facial hair, St. Christopher medal necklace, Celtics jersey, cargo shorts, and white sneakers. Think Pauly D crossed with a leprechaun.
Testosterone pours into the ether like Drakkar Noir cologne at a junior high dance. As a result, I saw three dudes leave a bar in handcuffs on Saturday night. That's right, I was thinking the same thing: major turn- on.

If I were to list the things I hate about Boston, I would have to start a satellite blog.

A smattering:

- Bad imitations of Boston accents: There are actually no parking spaces in Harvard Yard, it is purely a pedestrian zone. In both senses of the "pedestrian."

- Lack of civility: In Boston you can wear sweatpants to a funeral. Your best muumuu to your child's open school night. On Saturday evening in Boston's alleged "nightlife" district I saw a herd of young women charging down the street in cocktail dresses and bare feet, their Steve Madden stilettos in hand. Perhaps Mike's Hahd Lemonade was giving away free samples.
- Racism. Don't let any Yankee tell you that northerners are enlightened when it comes to multicultralism. Boston is the most racist city in North America. It makes Birmingham, Alabama look like the Hague. I had a Mexican friend on a post doc at
Harvard, and he said he had never been treated so poorly in his life, and he is but a shade darker than a Werther's hard candy.

- Inflated self- confidence. Boston is like the stand- up comedian at a local open mic night who ruins dates and forces his audience to consider breaking their beer bottles and slashing off their ears. After a slow- clap of applause he runs backstage and cries, "I KILLED!" Boston has little sense of self.

- Provincialism. Boston thinks it is amazing because Boston has never been anywhere. Boston has never taken a vacation. Boston has never even visited FLAH- rida because Boston can't figure out how to book airplane tickets. If each city could be reduced to a single adjective, New York would be ANGER, San Francisco : LAZY, London : EMBARRASSED, and Boston : AFRAID. And it's sad.because deep down Boston really wants to escape the frigid tundra of its seasons and culture to Flah- rida, but worries that its credit card number might get hijacked if it purchased tickets on the internet, that terrorists might hijack the plane, or security might confiscate Boston's tweezers.

This is why Boston's supposed "rivalry" with New York is so tragic. Thousands of thin- lipped, alcoholics decry "the fahkin faggots down they-ah," all rooted in their pagan hero worship game of baseball. But Boston doesn't even cross New York's mind. It is a total non- entity. It's like every crush I had on every hotmaster in high school- he doesn't even know I'm alive.

But you see here's the most provincial thing about it. I am allowed to criticize this piss poor excuse for a city because I grew up 39 miles west Worcester, Massachusetts. Worcester is the punchline to many area jokes. Here's an example:
Q: What did the girl from Worcester say after sex?
A: Get off me dad, you're crushing my Marlboros!

But Worcester knows what it is: a rust belt city where your best prospect for life is
marrying a firefighter and working at the local sandpaper plant. A fitting metaphor for the abrasive character of its inhabitants, but it's all true. I am not nearly that skilled a rhetorician- Norton Abrasives was for a long time the city's biggest employer.
That's befoah they moved to fahkin' Mexico or some homo country down they-ah. I'm happy to stay in Wuhstah. Boston's too friggin' fancy anyway.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Let's Go to the Movies!: Eat, Pray, Love

The day finally arrived. After going to Sex and the City 2 for the fortieth time ("Lawrence of My Labia!") and even settling for some artsy fartsy I Am Love bullshit (NOT a romantic comedy! Do not be fooled by the title), my visualization prayers have been answered. Eat, Pray, Love hit theaters. Ladies, we have lift off.

As devoted readers know, I frequent movie theaters solo at least once a week. I feel at home in the darkness of the theater, eating popcorn and M and Ms for dinner with a man masturbating under his jacket a few seats away. It makes me nostalgic for childhood, really. Now I don't go to the movies alone because I crave the solitude. I go because no one will go with me. It's the opposite of Eat, Pray, Love's heroine and author Elizabeth Gilbert taking a vow of celibacy before she embarks on her year- long journey around the world. Some of us don't choose celibacy. Rather, it chooses us.
If ever there were a movie to view alone, Eat, Pray, Love is it. The haute bourgeois- Caucasian- middle- age- foodie- porno implores women to do things like abandon responsibility and guilt and treat yourself to the decadence of a matinee. Because girlfriend, you are worth it! So of course I went with Brooke D. We went equipped with all the requisite Eat, Pray, Love gear: vision boards, crystals, journals, yoga mats, and my color prescription from my chromotherapist. Burnt sienna brings good tidings.
Needless to say, there were so many women in the audience that our cycles synced up by the end of the film. I'm surprised we didn't all go Sapphic. Save, of course, the two eunuch boyfriends dragged along by their girlfriends. I have such a problem with this sort of thing for a few reasons.

1. Why do you want your boyfriend there? There's always the one weird girl in the group who insists on dragging her boyfriend along to all the birthday dinners where he's the only guy at a table of gays and girls and you're like, "Really? Must we force this guy to endure a three- hours discussion on whether it is ok to get a Brazilian while you have your period?" Seeing how your friends actually are will not make him like you more, it will make him like you less. Leave him at home for an evening. More cake for me!
2. Doing girl things with straight guys is a major turn- off. You may as well hand a guy his balls on a silver platter if you want to go shopping or see chick flicks together. Not hot. That's what gays are for. And they will tell you that yes, you do look fat in the dress.

3. What kind of horrible life/ relationship talk will you have to have after the themes of the movie that include but are not limited to: divorce, self- discovery, getting fat, marriage, and God? Gross.

But apparently like most things in love, I am wrong. I guess one woman's self- obsessed indulgence is another woman's aphrodisiac, because one couple sucked some serious face before the lights dimmed, throwing Brooke D into a blitzkrieg of unadulterated rage and jealousy. She threw popcorn and yelled "Stop! Stop!" until they came up for air. She then proceeded to chew a cup of ice through the entirety of the movie, forcing myself and those surrounding to change seats.

There's so much to say about what's wrong with Eat, Pray, Love: the white person- ness of the whole endeavor, like the fact that Julia Roberts and James Franco are the most unbelievable couple of all time. She look like his mama.Or the floppy straw hat our heroine wears in Italy, which is not a small tragedy. But that's like totally redundant and you can read that in any other review. There are a lot of good things about this movie too. Like how Julia spends a good portion of screen time sitting on a eating gelato by herself like a big time creep. I can relate with that. Or the part when she says, "I'm having a relationship with my pizza." Isn't that sweet to resurrect the punchline of every Cathy comic strip ever, just in time for the cartoon's final run after 34 years? Or finding Signor Right in the jungle where he cooks for you and says stuff like "You don't need a man, you need a champion"? I don't really know what that means, but I think it's about empowerment. Because shouldn't everything be about personal empowerment? I think I'll do some journaling around that quote after I have a good cry. I love being a girl.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I Was Told There Would Be Lions

The concept of propriety, in its most essential Emily Post definition, seems arcane in today's slovenly society. Dressing for dinner and sending a thank- you note have been rendered obsolete by the texting and the sexting and the gamy immediacy of it all.

I wish I could believe this as I write it, but alas, I don't. I am a sucker for propriety: addressing friends' parents by Mr. and Mrs. (or in my case Mr. and Mr.), bestowing generous gifts upon my host or hostess (usually a single rose in cellophane from the bodega), and always dressing appropriately for the occasion.
So imagine how I felt upon my arrival to the 10th annual Young Lions Fiction Awards Ceremony when, as walking up the marble stairs to the New York Public Library, I felt a cool breeze on my behind and the unmistakable weight of scorn upon my brow. It would all be revealed (ahem) that I was revealing myself in a too- short cocktail dress from H and M Spring 2009 that was resurrected from my closet hour earlier. My invitation to this glittering event must have been lost in the mail, but I fortuitously received a press invite just in time. Would I be able to attend on short notice and take the place of the free subway magazine A.M. at the press table? I cleared my calendar that was actually booked solidly with my usual evening activities, dusting and masturbation (that was not intended to be redundant, thankyouverymuch), and gleefully accepted!
The short notice of this event and my double digit bank balance left little possibility of coming up with an elegant ensemble befitting such an illustrious event, I consulted my closet. I dug up a sweet little number capturing my signature style- slutty kindergartner. I vaguely remember wearing this dress a few times over the past months, once when I threw up on myself outside of Doc Holliday's on Avenue A and another time when I threw up on myself at my mother's book release party. However, the unforgiving northeastern weather always necessitated tights. I always felt the three- inch slit up the derriere as a kind of ventilation system on an already minimal hem threw on some Forever 21 heels, and I was off to the races!

Riding the D train uptown, my gazelle- like limbs encased in the poly- blend fabric earned the affections of a few homeless fellows, child break dancers, and commuters who mistook me for a tranny. That's what they call your "core demographic" in the modeling business. I begin to worry when I'm not propositioned for a half- and- half on my way to work. But as I approached the marble staircase on 42nd street, the precarious proportion of hem length/ slit height became all too clear. As I met my plus- one Brooke, I did my customary bend- and- snap to accentuate my rotund curves and to incite envy at God's generous hand in creating my butt. I wish my friends were jealous of me for anything, and they've told me time and again that it isn't writing. But instead of the typical sex riot that ensues after dropping it like it's hot, her jaw dropped in horror. Did I get dressed in the dark? Did I look in the mirror before leaving the house? Did I try to smear my family name? Did I aim to bring shame and ill- repute to the venerable institution of the New York Public Library?
So for the rest of the night I attempted to obscure my buttocks by walking crotch- first like a cowpoke . This was no easy feat as I spent the cocktail hour maneuvering through blond blowouts and navy blazers balancing several free full champagne flutes on a free stack of novels by the nominees, a few of which I will not be selling on eBay. When the house lights dimmed to begin the readings, I sauntered over to the press table, spoils in hand, my public bone leading the way. I took my rightful place centerstage, just behind the evening's champion, Wells Towers. But this advantaged seating arrangement wedged me between Wellsypoo, my hero and my love, and the Young Lions committee table. A woman actually shushed me for whooping too loudly when they called his potent, libidinous name. And that was just to announce that he was in attendance. When NYPL director Paul LeClerc announced him as the winner, I ran around the room with a table cloth tied around my neck as an ersatz cape, high- fiving a stunned and silent audience.
But fear not! Not even exposing myself to New York literary society and a school marmish shaming could dampen my soaring spirits on that enchanted evening. For one, a bowl of jelly beans adorned the table, but not for long, because I ate it. For two, Ethan Hawke hosted the event! Oh, Ethan Hawke of slacker love, you are more than a hotmaster but an aging emissary of a more innocent time- a time when cigarettes cost less than a down payment on a motor boat, a time when indie bands held some kind of cultural capital, a time before texting and sexting and the world wide web.
I'm so glad I remembered to pull my recording device out of my Strawberry handbag and press play, because he has a sexy- ass voice and I plan on utilizing that track for non- journalistic purposes later. He has cheek bones that could make a girl cried, and he apparently knows how to read, and he married the nanny. And that gives me hope.

Hawke brought along a cadre of celebrity friends, including Mark Ruffalo, who I would ride like a buffalo, Emily Mortimer, whose droopy English features only enhances her appeal, Josh Hamilton, who seemed surprised to be there, and Alessandro Nivola, who makes up in enthusiastic clapping
for what he lacks in comprehensible English. All the actors read excerpts from the nominees' books. Enduring a fiction reading in a methadone drone, out of context from a book you have never read before and have no investment in whatsoever, is sometimes akin to water boarding. But this was water boarding with the stars! I tried to get a pool going at the press table, but nobody seemed amused. Everyone knew the award would go to Wells Tower anyway because that is a name that intersects with destiny. After the applause and pomp and circumstance, my crotch led our way to the exit, burdened with all the bounty of the evening- the empty jellybean bowl, the books to sell, the business cards, the tear- stained cocktail napkins. I go through all the emotions when I drink champagne. As we lingered by the door hoping to catch a whiff of Hawke's long locks, a bewildered Mark Ruffalo stepped out into the night, as if he were creeping from of a dark dark cave of book learning. He approached me and said, "Hey don't I know you? Didn't you play one of the dead tranny hookers on that Law and Order episode a few months back?" Finally, the recognition I deserve!