Monthly Archives: April 2010

You heard it here first

Unless you heard this somewhere else, such as inside a stall in the women’s restroom of Penn Station.

This is probably the most informative piece of bathroom stall graffiti I’ve ever encountered. And possibly the only piece of bathroom stall graffiti I’ve seen that makes no mention of cock.

There was also graffiti on the stall door that said organized crime’s influence had infiltrated New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Rail Road, too! I didn’t know how to take any of this news…so I posted it here.

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Life is still hard.

The other night I had to go back to work after a week and a half hiatus. I was so distraught that I called my mom from outside the office before I went inside. I whined. And mostly she didn’t listen. She was in a good mood about napkin rings or something and wasn’t indulging my compaints at all. At one point I started to say, “I feel like my soul is dying,” but she cut me off.

At the end of the conversation she said, “Go to work. You have to do it.” And hearing those words reminded me of all the times she’d told me similar things–when I didn’t want to go to school, or softball practice, or Abby’s ninth birthday party at the roller rink. I’m not sure there was anything I did want to do as a child. Many times I’d sit beside one of our cats on the floor and feel the strongest envy towards its lifestyle. All you have to do all day is sleep. You have it so good, Smokey. So hearing my mom say, “You have to do it,” triggered that same old whiney response from growing up. “I know. You don’t have to tell me.”

As soon as those words came out, though, I realized I needed to pull myself together. It was disgusting. It was like I’d forgotten to take my dignity with me when I’d left the house that day.

Anyway. Work was fine. I survived. Just as I survived school, and softball practice, and Abby’s ninth birthday party.

Funny story–one time at softball practice I was playing catch with one of my teammates to warm up. We’d separated from the group a little bit and gone by the fence at the edge of the field. My dad came over and was watching us from the other side of the fence. My teammate saw him and didn’t realize it was my dad. She thought it was a stranger and a threatening one, too. She told me to follow her to another part of the field, away from the fence.

I didn’t tell her it was my dad or that he was nothing to worry about. Which I would feel guilty about, except…I didn’t want to be at practice to begin with.

Thursday Free Write

I’m eating a terribly bruised banana.  It’s way too easy to abuse bananas.  I swear.  You leave them alone for five minutes and they’re barely edible.  Just like children.

It’s a beautiful, mild day in New York City, but I’ve spend the majority of it in this dang’ed cubicle.  And wouldn’t you know it, during my 15 minute break, I go outside to catch the last of the day’s sunlight, and a guy soliciting my nonexistent money for a perfectly deserving organization sits down beside me.  Don’t you know, “Matthias” from “Greenpeace”, that I just gave a dollar to that drug addict on the subway the other night?  And he said, “Wow, a real American dollar bill!  I haven’t seen one of these in ages!”  And you expect me to also help do something to protect the environment and promote peace? … I guess that’s reasonable enough.

I went grocery shopping for the first time in weeks the other day and I saw this baffling thing on the shelf:

Who at Pepperidge Farm decided the word “pumpernickel” needed to be shortened to “pump”? And who backed that idea up enough for it to end up on that poor loaf of bread? It’s nothing short of tragic, especially in light of the word’s fascinating and bizarre origins I just found on Dictionary.com: Pumpernickel orig., an opprobrious name for anyone considered disagreeable, equiv. to pumper(n) to break wind + Nickel hypocoristic from of Nikolaus Nicholas (cf. nickel); presumably applied to the bread from its effect on the digestive system .

There’s something pornographic about that phrase, “Dark Pump,” right? I know it’s not just me.