Thursday, June 22, 2006


Proudly presented by Half-Assed Productions, LLP

Step One
To be completed from 9pm the night before the exam until approximately 14 seconds before the exam itself.

Learn everything there is to know about Hellenistic history. Pay
particular attention to themes the professor has labeled his "own
argument." Write these things down on 3 X 5 notecards. Use different
colored pens. Do not review the notecards except to remark to yourself
that you are good at arts n' crafts.

Step Two
To be completed at the predetermined time as scheduled by your college, university or cosmetology academy.

Take exam. Employ well-honed ability to bullshit. Make mention of those things which are the professor's "own argument," (they love that shit). On essay, repeat self, uh, repeatedly. Sigh. A lot. Hand exam in and tell professor that you really, thoroughly, more than anything else you've ever paid to learn, enjoyed his class. Smile as sincerely as possible.

Step Three
To be completed immediately following termination of exam.

Forget everything there is to know about Hellenistic history...I mean, Helenwho?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

what I've been doing for the past three hours

One of my favorite blogs out here on the interweb is FourFour. It encompasses two of my favorite things: Irrational, obsessive love of one's cat(s) and the irrational, obsessive celebration of pop culture. I particularly adore FourFour's recaps of America's Next Top Model and Project Runway.

Today, FourFour gave me another gift: A link to a bunch of uploads on YouTube of some local talent show from the 70's and 80's, Stairway to Stardom. I swear, you guys, this shit is GOLD. It's basically Star Search on public access, and that's just as phenomenal as you'd think it would be.

I was going to link to a bunch of my favorites, but the list was getting really long. So, I decided just to link to two, because I think they really embody the desperate fame-seeking mediocrity, (well, mediocrity is being kind), of the people on this show, not to mention really tapping into the zeitgeist of 1980's America. Okay, that last part was bullshit -- they're just really funny:

  • Ms. Precious Taft giving a reading of...something. (Make sure you watch until the very end.)
  • Ms. Lucille Cataldo performing her original composition, "Hairdresser, Hairdresser."

You're welcome.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Well, whatever

I took a little drive down I-95 to get mani-pedis in the 'burbs with mom today, (trust me, this life of leisure takes maintenance, bitches), and was treated not only to professionally applied nail enamel but some serious entertainment on the part of my fellow white ladies.

First, I was sitting in the "spa chair" getting my toesies beautified, seated next to an older woman who, rather than read a magazine like a sane person, decided that the best way to pass the time was to stare at me. During a brief pause in her critical inventory of Yours Truly, she announced to the lady doing her nails, "I've never shaved my legs. Never! I just don't have any hair, I guess. And when I was younger, my hair was so blonde that it didn't show up. My friends were always shaving, shaving, shaving, because, you know, once you start you can never stop."

I really wish someone had told me that last bit was I was 12, because now I'm fucked.

Anyway, a little while later, while I sat across the room getting my fingernails done, I was again seated next to an older gal, although this one, thankfully, wasn't all that interested in me. In fact, she was pretty silent until she decided to pay the (Asian) nail technician a "compliment":

Customer: You know, it's a known fact that you people are better at doing nails than Americans.
Nail Tech: Mmm.
Eva Braun: No, I mean it. My daughter told me that. She said, "Mom, go to the Chinese people. They do it better." And you do.
Nail Tech: Mmm.
Barbara Bush: Is that what you are? Are you Chinese?
Nail Tech: No.
Ann Coulter: What are you, then?
Nail Tech: I'm Vietnamese.
Phyllis Schlafly: Well, whatever you are, you do good nails.

Ah, multiculturalism. I'm absolutely convinced that when the nail techs speak to each other in their native languages, they're not so much saying "I need more cotton balls at station 4" so much as "this fat white lady just said some more stupid shit. And her feet smell."

Anyway, I'm back in the city now, where the racism is overt and the trains don't run on time.

Have a good weekend, whatever you are!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I'm too ashamed to think of a title

You're right, it's unacceptable.

The fact that there has not been a post in over a month is simply ludicrous, and I do apologize. I'm a bad blogger, and I know it. That you are even here, checking this blog and reading this post, bespeaks of your remarkable faith in me. That, or you maxed out your credit card on porn and have no other sites to look at, but I'll take it.

So, here's where things stand:
I'm in Philly again. Yep. I've got to say, as moving goes, this one was relatively pain-free. The hardest thing has been downsizing to a one-bedroom apartment with a serious lack of storage space from a two-bedroom house with so much room that I filled an entire closet with clothes that haven't fit me since Monica Lewinsky had a job. Those items are now at the Chadds Ford Goodwill, and if you hurry, you too can stock up on floral-print babydoll dresses and clunky shoes before they're gone.

Anyway, the apartment is good. It's a few blocks away from Rittenhouse Square, which is where I lived when I was in the city before, and I really like that this place is quieter and more low-key. The tradeoff is that it's a little further away from the grocery store and the bank and stuff like that, but so far, so good. It's within walking distance of both school and Abbie & Jorge's place, which, as far as I'm concerned, are the only two attractions this city really has to offer. Someone once said something about an art museum and some other cultural shit, but I've got HBO so it doesn't really matter.

School is okay, as well. I'm starting off with one class for the first summer session, (two is considered full-time), as the reading load is very heavy and it's about all I can handle while I acclimate to my new environment. The class is a Classical Studies survey of Alexander the Great, and, unfortunately, I'm not allowed to write my term paper on the movie, as it was apparently not especially accurate or, you know, good. At any rate, I'm really enjoying the class. The professor is a very enthusiastic Aussie who peppers the lectures with hilarious Australian euphemisms, like referring to the crotch region on a Greek statue as the guy's "tackle," which is the word I will be using from now on. No particularly funny students in the class, though, I'm sad to report, although there are two Senior Associates, which is the coolest thing about summer classes at Penn. They have this Senior Associate program whereby older, (and I mean older), Penn alumni attend classes. Seriously, they're adorable. One of them in my class wears, alternately, a sportcoat and Dockers or a purple nylon warmup suit. I've got my fingers crossed that one of these days he shows up with the sportcoat on top and the warmup pants on the bottom. Not because he's confused, you understand, but because he's awesome.

I'm looking forward to telling you all the crazy city stories as they happen to me, too, although I don't really have one right now. There was a little incident with the building maintenance man, which I have related to many of you already, but for those I haven't told, here's the nutshell version: The maintenance man was in and out of my apartment one day doing stuff while I attempting to read. He eventually asked me what I was reading, to which I replied that it was a book about Alexander the Great, which was apparently just the springboard he was looking for in order to tell me the following tidbits of information:
  • Alexander's mother was in a lesbian snake cult.
  • God is a "god of position," and it's okay that some things are above other things, and that's what these radical feminists just don't understand.
  • We are living in the last days prophesied in the Bible

Needless to say, I was horrified, and got on the computer in an attempt to look busy so that he'd stop talking to me, (it didn't work). Luckily, Abbie was online, and I reached out to her as perhaps the last person I'd speak to before I became the maintenance man's fourth wife and we moved to the compound. Here is an excerpt from our actual conversation:

me: oh my god abbie there's a maintenance man in my apartment and he's a Christian nut and he's trying to convince me, based on my Alexander book, that we're in the end times

Abbie: stay strong Nina!

me: i am seriously halfway between terrified and laughing my ass off, and I don't even know if you're there, but if you never hear from me again, blame it on the maintenance man

Abbie: If i never hear from you again, I will assume that you have been saved and that my soul is doomed for hell.

me: oh no, not you too!
honestly, he asked me what I was reading and i told him alexander stuff, and he said, 'do you have a bible?'
and of course, because i am a naive moron, i was like, 'yeah, sure, lots of interesting folklore in there" and he was like 'not folklore in here, missy!"
and then he asked me if i was jewish
i mean, really, he's very nice, but he's also very scary
now he's singing

Abbie: Do you want me to call you on the phone for an important meeting you need to attend so you can get out of there?

me: abbie he's going to sacrifice me to jesus
no, i actually need to leave for class in a few minutes, and i kind of want to 'see him out'
but thank you, if only i had thought to IM you an hour ago when this all began

Abbie: oh, well hopefully his work is handy and you won't ever need his assistance again.

me: why am i so damn nice to people? now he thinks i'm his buddy and he can talk to me some more about how radical feminism is ruining the world
no! he has to come back to fix the air conditioner and the garbage disposal!
son of a bitch!

Abbie: you mean, Jesus Christ!

So that's my most interesting city story so far, and it happened inside my very apartment. Although, given what a hotbed of kooky, crazy adventure this place is, I'm not surprised. I am completely and utterly petrified by the maintenance man, now, and have resolved that even if my toilet is overflowing with cockroach legs and rusty nails, I will put on some boots and deal with it myself. It'll be fine, I'm very handy. I even have a hammer.

Okay, folks, I guess that's all I have to report for now. Like I always say, I will try and post more often. Thanks for checking the site and being so patient. You guys are more awesome than a Senior Associate in a track suit.