This picture was taken in the summer of '92 when my friend Gayle & I went to New Orleans. We had a total blast. We drank everclear (aka death) and ate in some wonderful restaurants, went to Tippitinas and visited my friend Tom who lived on a boat on Lake Ponchatrain. Of course it was mega-hot, like 90 degrees at night but that didn't stop us from having an amazing time. Having such great memories of this beautiful city, and the lovely people we met, it's with true horror and sadness to watch what is going on down there right now and to think of what is to come. My heart is breaking for this grand old city and it's people.
I have a bruise the size of Ohio on my arm from where I got injected with toxic waste yesterday. But my pee did not glow in the dark so that's a good thing. My back is still killing me, dragging home 40 lbs. of cat litter probably wasn't my smartest move of the day.
Great come from behind win for the Yanks yesterday, and another win today. Giambi with 7 RBI's! Way to break out of a slump. Oh, and another name to add to the Mets/Yankees list - Matt Lawton is now a Yankee.
One of my favorite all time shows, Once & Again is now available on DVD. Well, they re-released season 1 and have released season 2. So I've spent a good part of my day watching that. Plus, season 4 of Six Feet Under. Have I mentioned how much I love netflix?
Back to work tomorrow, the next 6 weeks is going to be hell. I like to think that I'm graceful under pressure -- but I'd just be kidding myself. I tend to snap at myu co-workers and definitely bitch way more than usual (which is alot). I do enjoy the adrenaline rush, and the fact that the days fly by.
Thanks Some Girl for the heads up on blocking BLAM. I share your shame.
Today was a hellacious day. This a.m. I had to have a tesst my para-thryoid (don't even ask). I woke up an hour before I needed to with a wicked back ache. Then I had to get injected with radioactive dye and lay still on a metal table for 3 hours. I hadn't eaten anything all day, by the time I got out of there I was starving. Trying to get home was a fucking nightmare, thank you MTA. But that's not what I wanted to talk about today internet. What I want to talk about today is my mom. Being in the hospital, and seeing the cancer people getting their chemo brought back some pretty intense memories. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in the summer of 2000. She chose to do the chemo thing, even though her prognosis was not good. Man, the chemo made her sick. I mean REALLY SICK. My mom never handled illness well but this shit was crazy out of control. I didn't agree with her decision to do it, but it was her life. Literally. Anyway, between the chemo and other complications, my mom was not doing well. I was spending every weekend at her house. On this particular Saturday I awoke with such a bad back ache I am still amazed that I made it to her house. That morning my sister had taken my mom to the doctor. When they came home and she saw me sitting on the porch, in obvious physical agony, it was like she was filled with adrenaline, Mom adrenaline. She took care of me that weekend. The woman's body was filled with toxic chemicals and cancer up the wazoo but all that mattered to her was her little girl was in pain. And later on that night, when her body betrayed her yet again, I took care of her. Crippled and cancer ridden, we were quite the pair. I don't know who was more worried about who. The next day I went home and that was the last time I saw my mom. And I miss her. Every day. But I will always remember how when she saw me hurting she put all her problems aside and for one last time, turned into Super Mom.
If my love life right now were a tv show (definitely a drama) it would be called
NO SEX IN THE CITY or
FREAKS & GEEKS
At least I can laugh about it.
Feel like I haven't really blogged lately. It's not that I don't have anything to say, anyone who knows me know THAT'S not a problem, it's just that I can't seem to get my act together and concentrate. Maybe it's just that I'm so busy at work, I'm using all my concentration quota there.
Blue Jays up 2-0 against the Yanks.
Hey, I got spammed on my blog -- is that called BLAM? How did that happen and how can I make sure it doesn't happen again?
Luxury Branded Toilet Paper Makes Its Mark
John Brock points us to a Radar piece on luxury toilet paper, how it's taking off in Europe and how may or may not in America. Granted the so-called luxury market - those folks who pay obscene amounts of money for luxury branded stuff when normal stuff would do just fine - is growing rapidly and Toilet Paper World President Kenn Fischburg says the notion is "not dissimilar from enjoying different kinds of wine, a chardonnay versus a cabernet," we're not buying it. No one wants to wipe their ass with a Gucci handbag.
The Europeans and the Japanese are already all over it. Could toilet paper actually be the next frontier in affordable luxury?
by Dale Hrabi
Luxury toilet paper. At first it sounds like an insultingly obvious joke. Who would want such a thing? But then visions of those notorious $900 Gucci dog bowls flit through your mind, and you’re haunted by the possibility that your cynicism isn’t polished enough to second- guess the world’s hunger for tiny, absurd self-indulgences. You’d be right. Consider Renova Negro: This all-black toilet paper from Spain is brand new, real, and mercilessly chic. Very Pedro Almodóvar. And, as it turns out, 10 times more costly than the average Euro-wipe. Renova Negro is the brainchild of an established, successful company already famous for an ad campaign in which barely clad models dry-hump near a commode while rolls of toilet paper look on, unmoved, as though they’ve seen it all. In Japan, meanwhile, luxury toilet paper is de rigueur. Japanese rolls are routinely scented, extra-thick, aloe-moistened, strictly “virgin” (unrecycled), patterned, or — the latest trick — infused with pineapple enzymes to counteract odor. And in Germany the American brand Charmin Ultra is known as Charmin Deluxe; it comes in urbane black-and-charcoal-gray packaging“designed with the consumer in mind,” according to Procter and Gamble’s European division, “with a Gucci look and feel.”
Suddenly the question becomes not who would want luxury toilet paper but why don’t we already have it here? We’re Americans, damn it! No one tells us we’re not good enough to be manipulated by upscale design or writhing nude models! But even our most premium brand is marketed not with quasi-Gucci symbols but with a pudgy cartoon bear whose sole purpose is to ensure that we don’t freak out at the very thought of bathroom-related activities. “The bear is not intimidating,” says Celeste Kuta, a spokeswoman for American Charmin.“His facial expressions, and just the way he walks, convey his pleasure with the toilet paper. He lets us communicate the product’s benefits without having to talk about them.”
Is squeamishness alone depriving us of lavish toilet paper? We’re certainly not too cheap to fall for the scam. The U.S. luxury market is bloating by 15 percent a year, thanks partly to the rage for “trading up” from routine products to affordable luxuries (esoterically sumptuous jeans, those $48 key chains from Coach). According to a 2002 survey by American Demographics, 61 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds want a “lifestyle of luxury” and care less about quality than the ineffable “feeling” of entry-level lavishness.
Toilet Paper World’s president alternates between Charmin Ultra and Charmin. “It’s not dissimilar from enjoying a chardonnay versus a cabernet.”
“It’s certainly odd,” says James B. Twitchell, author of Living It Up: America’s Love Affair with Luxury. “Typically, the more common the product, the more susceptible it is to luxury commodification.” Take water, or toothbrushes. According to Kenn Fischburg, president of Toilet Paper World, one of the nation’s largest wholesale distributors, “A lot of people in the industry are asking, ‘Why can’t we follow the Starbucks model?’” People pay an extra $400 a year for “better” coffee, he notes, yet only $7 more for the best Charmin versus a poor-grade off- brand. (At home Fischburg alternates between two-ply Charmin Ultra and “less bulky” regular Charmin: “It’s not dissimilar from enjoying different kinds of wine, a chardonnay versus a cabernet.”) The stumbling block, he says, is that the product still lacks the prestige to justify the markup. “Americans aren’t ready to say, ‘I want to tell you about my wonderful experience in the toilet.’” Fischburg believes, however, that toilet paper is poised for an image-advertising makeover.
Michael Souter, a luxury branding and packaging consultant who has worked with Cartier and Estée Lauder and who heads up his own agency, Territory, embraces the conceptual potential of elite toilet paper:“I’d do it with Helmut Lang or Comme des Garçons. They’re both stark, intellectual brands with a certain provocative wit. With Comme des Garçons I’d go for a seasonal gift item: all-white wrapping with deadpan graphics listing the ingredients. Or Paul Smith would have the guts to do it. Take a good solid color, emboss their signature irregular stripe pattern on the tissue, add a subtle proprietary scent, maybe package it together with a turn-of-the-century-style ‘newspaper’ to read on the toilet. This would be about the store experience of buying that toilet paper. Or maybe you subtly display it in your bathroom on an open stainless steel shelf.” Souter pauses. “People would be appalled, but they were appalled by Evian, too.”
A connection between high fashion and toilet paper isn’t as strange as you might think. In trendsetting Canada a premium three-ply brand recently (and ingeniously) rechristened “Cashmere” staged a fashion show this past July for which designers crafted garments from white Cashmere. In its advertising the brand uses talking women, not silent bears, and gives away $10,000 diamond rings and $20,000 custom bathroom makeovers to link the name Cashmere to luxury. This toilet paper is currently the nation’s number one brand.
Will Americans be getting their hands on posh wipe anytime soon? Well, not from one allegedly gutsy company, at any rate.“Paul Smith is not interested in doing anything like this now or in the future,” said a spokesperson, softening the blow with a cheery, “Good luck!”
A few years ago I met this guy, B. through work. A really nice guy, with really nice blue eyes and a really great smile, B. and I hit it off right away, finding out we share a love of alot of things. B. is very easy to talk with and I immediately had a crush brewing. Knowing that B. had just come out of an important relationship, I tried not get too caught up in the crush, just enjoying our time together. Some time had passed and then B. asked me to go out one Sat. night, to see this band we both liked. A Date! Well, what seemed to be A Date! At the end of that evening B. put me in a cab. Without a good night kiss. I mean, a real good night kiss. So was this a date I wondered on the way home? Several months have now gone by, but time had not moved this relationship forward. We went out, on what felt like Dates! to me but still no smooching or ..........
By that time, me being no dummy, figured B. was just not that into me. But I was never quite sure -- there were a lot of mixed signals being sent my way. So I tried to move on, not have much contact with him but thoughts of him persisted. You have to understand, B. is such a nice guy. A guy where you might have a good, steady, normal relationship. After much obssessing, and another really good Date! I finally confessed my feelings to him. He was very kind about it but his response was pretty much as a I figured. He liked me but didnt LIKE ME IN THAT WAY! He hoped we could still be friends but I told him it was better for me if we didn't maintain contact. Pride and all that. I really wished he were an asshole so I could hate him but .......
That brings us up to last summer. I hadn't seen him or spoken to him in months. Then I ran into him at a show, and it was great to see him. So since then we've hung out a few times. I try not to get my expectations up, but the hope that he has changed his mind is still there. He never does -- because we are Just Friends!
I haven't seen B. since early spring, so we had lunch today. A beautiful summer day in midtown. And knowing B. doesn't Like Me in That Way! still doesn't make me any less nervous knowing I'm going to see him.
But something funny happened today at lunch. I didn't care (that much) that we are Just Friends! I enjoyed our hour together w/o torturing myself over B.'s lack of feelings for me. I AM OFFICIALLY DONE WITH THE CRUSH! So we will be Just Friends! and that will be just fine with me.
Went to see the Aristocrats. Very funny stuff. This movied also marked a milestone for me -- this is the 3rd movies I saw this year. And we still have 4 months to go! Several years, when the price hit $10 in Manhattan, I stopped going to the movies. Between the outrageous prices, bad movies and rude people I was fed up with the whole moving experience. Hello Netflix! Anyway, this year I saw The Woodsman with Kevin Bacon, and Crash. All winners.
Today, my BF (that's Best Friend, not Boy Friend) came over with her family and we hung out by my pool. What a relaxing day. And then induldged in some Chinese food. In my neighborhood, there are like 10 Chinese restaurants in a 2 block radius.
We always go to same one though, it's kinda a throw back chinese restaurant (lots of MSG). And I go so busted. Well I'm not really sure. Time will tell. My neighbor, who is a very nice person, is also an incredible needy person. EXTREMELY NEEDY. AND LIFE SUCKING AT TIMES. I feel that my apt. is my sanctuary, and she has just been invading my space way too much. I am too nice, and feel bad for her, but lately it's gotten out of control. Like whenever I leave or enter my house, she hears my door and comes over. It's gotten to the point where I am being rude but I dont care I NEED MY SPACE. Today, when we came back after the pool Boom! here she comes. She sees I have company so she backs off. A little while later, walking to go eat dinner, I'm talking to my BF about this and really just venting when I happen to look behind us -- and the NN (needy neighbor) is right behind us. So I'm not sure she overheard us but I don't see how she couldnt. I'm thinking that maybe this is a good thing if she did, maybe now she'll back off a bit. If she didn't that sucks 'cause then I still have to address this problem.
Yanks won today, that's 3 of 4 (so far) from Texas. After being shut down by the White Sox earlier in the week it's nice to see the hitting come back. A bit late, but a shout out to El Duque. What a clutch player he was for the Yankees. A true NY favorite. But glad we beat him.
One of my all time favorite songs that I completely forgot about til it popped up on my not-an-ipod this morning:
We busted out of class had to get away from those fools
We learned more from a three-minute record than we ever learned in school
Tonight I heart the neighborhood drummer sound
I can feel my heart begin to pound
You say you’re tired and you just want to close your eyes and follow your dreams down
We made a promise we swore we’d always remember
No retreat, believe me, no surrender
Like soldiers in the winter’s night with a vow to defend
No retreat, believe me, no surrender
Now young faces grow sad and old and hearts of fire grow cold
We swore blood brothers against the wind
I’m ready to grow young again
And hear your sister’s voice calling us home across the open yards
Believin’ we could cut someplace of our own
With these drums and these guitars
We made a promise we swore we’d always remember
No retreat, believe me, no surrender
Blood brothers in the stormy night with a vow to defend
No retreat, believe me, no surrender
Now on the street tonight the lights grow dim
The walls of my room are closing in
But it’s good to see your smiling face and to hear your voice again
We could sleep in the twilight by the river side
With a wide open country in our hearts
And these romanics dreams in our heads
We made a promise...
This is too freaking hysterical. And true. You must read this.
"I thought about you alot while I was away" he says. "Really?" I respond. "Yeah, you kept popping up in my head, like when I saw a beautiful sunset, I thought, wow Lisa would love how pink the sky is right now. Or when I heard "Footloose" on the radio and I thought of you and your inappropriate love for Kevin Bacon." "I'm really flattered" I reply, dumbfounded. He continues "It was weird, 'cause it wasn't like I was purposely thinking of you, you just keep showing up. It really made me do some soul searching and I want to be with you. You're right, how can two people who get along as well as we do, have so many things in common, enjoy so many of the same activites, not make a great couple? I really like you and want to be with you. So what do you think, you wanna give this a shot?"
1. You're married. DOH!
2. You don't have a job. I don't care what it is, you just need to have one.
3. You live with your mother.
4. Or you think I'll be your mother.
5. You want to be my father.
6. You don't understand the concept of personal space.
7. You're too old.
8. You're too young.
9. You have six children with six different women. That makes you a HO not a father.
10. I don't like you.
I am SO fucking sick of some people -- specifically those that are so self-centered and caught up in me-me-me and are oblivious to ... well, me-me-me.
It's ok, don't ask how I'm doing, just continue talking as if I'm not even here. Don't let me get in the way of your conversation.
And why do I continue to put up with this? Because my mother raised me to be polite. Well FUCK THAT! No more Ms. Nice Guy. The scary thing, this person doesn't even notice that I'm being rude. That how self-involved she is.
P.S. I DONT CARE THAT YOU WON BON JOVI TICKETS. ITS 2005, NOT 1987!
My dad died a few years ago, it was, as you can imagine, a very sad time in my life. To complicate matters, my mom, who at the time my dad died, was terminally ill with ovarian cancer. She died three months after my dad. The grief was overhwhelming; the depth of my sorrow profound. Even now just writing this brings tears to my eyes. My niece, with my dad above, who was 16 when he died, wrote the following essay. If this doesn't make you sob, YOU ARE A COLD HEARTED BASTARD.
He is with me at home, and he followed me all over the globe. I went from my home to the airport, and I noticed him behind me. On the plane, I could hear his whispers in the wind. Once I stepped my foot onto Greek soil, I could almost see him next to me. Standing and looking at the sights around me, I turned expecting to seem him there, but I didn’t. Yet I knew I wasn’t wrong. He was there with me.
The he is my grandfather; and what makes his trek with me special, is that he died two days before Thanksgiving. I was picked out of my favorite class and called for dismissal. I knew something was wrong and didn’t want to believe it. I found my parents waiting at the foot of the hallway, and they told me. I was expecting my grandmother, she was sick, not my grandfather. But here they told me. I left them to get my bags, crying. Hoping that a friend would appear to help me, but none came. So I disappeared from my normal afternoon spot, and left my friends wondering what happened.
The mood at the house was not one that would make you uncomfortable, or bring you sadness. Children were running around and there was plenty of pizza and drinks. That was the atmosphere that surrounded him, so that was how he was remembered, not mourned. I remember talking to one of my best friends that night, Jackie. And she cried for me, because she knew how much he meant to me.
What he meant to me can’t really be described in words, it’s a feeling you get when you truly love someone, and they make a difference to you. I saw things differently with my grandfather. He brought me places other children don’t get to go. Through him I saw what my hair looked like, right down to the detail of the shaft, and I saw how a stick of glass could become a beautiful frozen swan. He showed me grown-up things in a way that children would understand, and that thinking back on them, made me think he was still a child that he could show me so well.
And it’s true. Every time I saw him, he told me I was beautiful. I never had to ask twice, and I never had to explain myself. He took me for what I was, and accepted that, and loved me. He encouraged me more than anyone I knew. And once he was gone he still did. When my grades weren’t doing the greatest in physics class, I tried, saying to myself as I did, “It would make grandpa proud.” My grandfather pushes me to succeed because he made it through his life with circumstances harder than I’ll ever face, and he did with grace and dignity. He was loved by everyone he met, and loved them all back. Everything I want to be he was.
He was known as the mayor because in his travels of life, he has known so many people and still does. His humor and wit attracted people that ranged from art teachers, to congressmen. He was sophisticated in any situation you would think to put him in. Up until the day he died, he was constantly learning new things. He was a teacher and a student, and never stopped to think there was another way to be.
All these things created my grandfather. I loved him, respected him, and emulated him, and continue to do so even after his death. He set an example not only for my mother and my aunts, but for his brother, and his family, and most importantly for my brother and I. He taught that love is more important than money, and that if you have the money, to spend it on love. He taught that laughter is the best medicine, and that if you’re sad, but could be happy, to be happy instead. But over all else, he taught that there is always someone that loves you, and will support you, and he showed me that everyday.
I am FREE! Free of the daily grind! Free of dealing with other people and their stupid bullshit! Free to be me! Free to lay on the couch, eat Blueberry Poptarts and watch the 2nd season DVD of Mary Tyler Moore if that's what I want to do! Free free free!!! No committments, no obligations, NOTHING!!! ZILCH! NADA!
i think this is one of the best articles regarding Raffy and the 'roids. i'm still shaking my head over his "i didn't intentionally take steroids". from everything i read, the drug he tested positive for, stanzo something, there's no way it came from a supplement. i'm surprised he didn't claim he got the steroids mixed up with the viagra. why raffy why? out of all the idiots that testified before congress in march, he came off as the most believable.... well that just goes to show you how people (ME!) can be fooled.
and you think bonds sitting out this season is a coincidence? imagine if he broke aaron's record while under the strong suspicion of steroids. bonds was shitting in his pants that's why he's not playing.
This past weekend I went to visit with an old friend, his wife and new baby in the land of Mary. I decided to save some $$ by taking the bus down, giving credence to the old adage you get what you pay for. Next post I'll talk about how NOT ONCE the entire time did they offer me any food. I mean NONE. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
Greyhound Bus Lines
P.O. Box 660689, MS 490
Dallas, TX 75266-0689
To Whom It May Concern:
On Friday, July 29 I took the 12:30 p.m. Greyhound bus from the Port Authority in New York City. This bus was going to Silver Spring, MD with a stop in Wilmington, DE.
The driver got off the highway in Wilmington, and then asked if any of the passengers knew where the bus station was. Luckily, it’s a small city with well posted signs for the bus station so he found it with little incident and resumed the trip. I was a little alarmed that a professional bus driver did not know where he was going. I was further alarmed when this same bus driver decided to get off the highway in Baltimore. Where we were not supposed to be. And again, he asked if any of the passengers knew the way to the bus station. When we told the driver that Baltimore was not a stop on this route, he responded in an unprofessional manner, yelling at the passengers to shut up. I was quite concerned at this point, as he did not seem to be stable. Luckily one of the passengers was able to direct him. In Baltimore he disappeared without a word for over 20 minutes. When we finally left Baltimore it was 4:50, the time we were supposed to arrive in Silver Springs. The passenger had to direct him back to the highway and direct him once again when we reached Silver Springs, over an hour late.
When I purchase a ticket on Greyhound, I expect a professional driver who knows where they are going behind the wheel. This was certainly not the case last Friday. Not only did the driver NOT KNOW WHERE HE WAS GOING, he also decided to make his own stops. WHERE NO ONE WAS GETTING ON OR OFF. I’ve been riding Greyhound for over 25 years and never, ever had such a bad experience. I will never ride Greyhound again.