Tuesday, April 25, 2006

For Your Consideration

Dear Aspiring Plagiarist,

In light of recent news that Harvard sophomore Kaavya Viswanathan's book, How Opal Mehta Stole Lines, Plot Points and a Movie Deal, was but a rehash of author Megan McCafferty's books Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings, I present for your consideration SHAKING HER ASSETS.

Published almost precisely one year ago, SHAKING, a book largely ignored by dumbass motherfucking critics (ed. note: not bitter!), is the story of another young striver who gets knocked around by life, her job and her boyf, but through hard work and a cheeky personality, she manages to builds herself a new business and become a better human being. Or something like that. Anyway, it's a touching tale with dialogue that "crackles, spackles and raises hackles," to quote myself. In short, it's the perfect book for you to copy!

And you're in luck, my dearest little cheater who is so assured of his or her own precocity that coming up with one's own lines feels somewhat unbecoming-bordering-on-declasse, because SHAKING is now practically being given away for the fire sale price of $5.20 on! That's right, you can order thousands of copies of our horrendously underpublicized little book and it won't even put a dent in your gargantuan and gargantuanly undeserved advance.

So go for it with our blessing! Copy away. Credit us later. Credit us never. What have you. It just seems an awful waste that such excellent fodder for someone else's success should be ignored by you, too.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Perils of Technology

C'mon, admit it, when you saw this picture on the front page of the New York Times this morning, didn't you think to yourself "Cooool, that just looks like the most fun amusement park ride EVER!" And then when you read the story and learned that it was, in fact, not a ride operated by carneys but rather by the NYTransit Authority (a fine distinction, I realize) and that it was the Tramway bound for Roosevelt Island that got stuck midair, you still didn't chuckle just a bit? Okay, I admit it, this might have been my precise reaction, too. Well, I also thought to myself: Roosevelt Island? People seriously go there? Weird.

I'm sure were it me and not Kelsey Lazio, the 12-year-old daughter of NY Senate also-ran Rick, who got stuck up there that I probably wouldn't have mused, "Hey, didn't I see this precise scene in the last Spiderman flick?" or "Wasn't the publicity campaign for Mission Impossible III being put on hold in honor of TomKat's kitten?" or "Feh, that doesn't look so dangerous, you should have been in the cab with me last weekend as we bumper-carred through midtown."

But it was when I learned the cause of the midair suspension, that my cold cold heart started melting for them just a bit. Turns out the tram didn't stop running because of the evil Dr. Octavius. Nor was it the result of a Thetan invasion. And most surprisingly, MTA Union President Roger Touissant had nothing to do with the tram stoppage. It was a simple power outage that froze that tram. And power outages are a bitch! I hate them not only because they kill perfectly good containers of Heath Bar Crunch ice cream, not only because during the August 14, 2003 city-wide outage did they ruin Renee's birthday party, but because they remind us precisely how dependent we are on technology.

You see in a rather interesting twist of fate, my remote connection to the big techie server at my company went down this morning and rendered me an even more ineffective worker than usual. My dependence on all things technical made me aware of just how useless I am without it. Made me think I might as well just call it a day right now. Might as well just go outside and bask in the beautiful weather or something. Frolic in the loveliness that is springtime in New York. What a horrible fate... Damn you, technology, for forcing me into the sunlight. So if you see me tomorrow with a golden suntan, don't think it's because I decided to take a day off to celebrate this outrageously good weather, just blame it on technology.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

If Only They Had GPS

Tonight is officially the beginning of Passover, a holiday commemorating the triumphant exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt and the beginning of our 40 year ramble through 2 miles of desert. For forty years my ancestors' ancestors were in that desert searching for a proper homeland... And after 40 years, they settled in Israel. Israel, the ONE country in the Middle East not floating on a huge oil reserve. Israel, a country of the size and charm of New Jersey. Israel, a place wedged between extremist states that seek its complete annihilation.

Now as someone who diligently looked for a one bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village for the better part of a year, I know how difficult it is to score good real estate. This place has a five flight walk-up. That one smells like cat pee. And I know my peeps have the reputation of being finicky... But 40 years in the desert to wind up in Israel? Seriously, my tribesmen, what up? I mean yeah, hindsight is 20-20, but one would think that if you'd searched for a new home for forty years, by the end you'd at least have found someplace with nicer neighbors. You chose the functional equivalent of living next to Webster Hall, that horrific club near NYU. I mean why didn't you just set up shop across from the Sunshine Men's Hotel on the Bowery while you were at it?

But okay, okay, neighborhoods change and one could argue that a lot was accomplished in those forty years of Survivor Samaria. We got the 10 Commandments and lay the groundwork for the career of Charlton Heston. We learned about the hazards of worshipping golden idols. (Hmm, maybe "learned the lesson" is being a little generous considering our love affair with bling still rages on.) We coined the phrase, "Are we there yet?" And, truth be told, it was then that we came up with a game plan to control the media and international banking systems.

So tonight and tomorrow the good Jews of the world will be sitting around the holiday table, reading the Hagaddah, drinking the required seven glasses of wine (but since most Jews I know are teetotalers, it's more like seven sips), and gnawing on that particle board we call "matzoh." It's very festive. But mostly it's a reminder that we freed ourselves from the Pharoah's oppression, and that was a good thing. Now if we could just free ourselves of the constipation that inevitably follows the week long matzoh-fest, I think as a people, we will have come a very long way.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

No Way

With all the important news that's going on today--DeLay resigns, Skilling takes the stand, Couric jumps ship, all I really want to discuss is the fact that it's snowing here in NYC right now. Snowing! That's not a typo, people. I'm talking big, wet dollops of snow. Chocolate chip cookie-sized flakes. On April 5th. WTF?!?

Just the other day I'd broken out the capri pants and espadrilles. I was ready for spring. I was looking forward to packing away my ungainly brown winter coat, a coat so fuzzy and large, dogs walking on the street assumed I was a bear. They growled at me in a pathetically weak attempt to show that they were still members of the animal kingdom. I suppose they wanted to make it seem like they weren't as domestic as they appeared. (Of course they only summoned the low growl after tucking their tails under in fear, clearly hoping that if it came to a fight, their owners would jump into the fray to protect them. Like right, Fluffy, I'm sure someone who has dressed you in a rhinestone collar and a rugby from Scoop is going to know how to wrestle a bear. Get real, dog!)

And speaking of getting a real dog, that's one of the things I have on my list to do for spring. Yes, I know, I've said this manymanymanymanymany times before and it has always amounted to idle jabberwokky (can I get a spell check on jabberwokky, please?). But this time, the little girl crying wolf dog just might actually do it. Of course it'll have to stop snowing first... cause I mean who wants to walk a dog in the snow? That would be a bear.

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