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
Nigeria.

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!