Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Blogging starts to pay off

Don’t forget to enter this month’s contest!

Though real money has yet to accrue from this site other than a certain reader’s occasional donations, the blogging/editing-for-free bit in general is starting to yield benefits. While I’m getting neither free drinks, sex or CDs, I am starting to get in on that other kind of action, the promo-copy book circuit. The webzine I assist with has so far resulted in three advance copies of books (one dud, one winner, one yet-to-arrive). And then this morning I got directly emailed by an author (whoa, baby!), offering book love on the apocalypse.

Which reminded me of a certain undergraduate incident I’ve failed to let you in on. You see, when I blogged about stripping before, that was sorta holding out on you. In that a) the stripping involved was rather nominal (though strenuous), and b) there was a more-colorful incident of actual, more-public stripping which I somehow failed to mention.

And it involved the apocalypse.

Rewinding a bit to college, as the nerd that I am I majored in religious studies (along with economics, which I mostly took for the math classes). Hey, if they’d had a program in something like sexology, I probably woulda switched. But alas, no such thing. In any case, one of the classes required for us REL-geeks was a majors-only seminar on an evolving list of topics. The semester I took it, we studied the dubiously described theme, “Millennialism and Apocalypticism in World Religions” ... roughly translated, “How kooks around the globe expect the planet to blow up.” Or something like that. Not that expecting the world to end equates to being an actual Crazy. But I digress.

So this class, despite its focus on the crazier of the Crazies who expect the world to end, was surprisingly dull. Academics, you see, have this tendency to take even the most interesting topic and turn it into something really, really boring. It’s like they view their careers as saving the world from sleeplessness, one lecture at a time. For instance, the sentence “Before she gave her name to high-end chocolate, Lady Godiva became famous for riding around on a horse while nekkid” would be translated thusly by a professor:
In advance of the 20th century noteriety that has accrued to the name “Godiva,” on account of the widespread manufacture and distribution of certain luxury sweets, there was in yesteryear a markedly different set of cultural associations with said name. This oft-forgotten history centers around a sort of legend or artifact of lore, if you will, whereby a denizen of a certain English community acquired fame for allegedly parading about the community without the advantages of pious attire - indeed, without the protections of socially condoned raiment at all. She would have it, of course, that the length and coverage of her hair provided sufficient coverage of the maidenly regions of her torso, however the residents of that town found her to be, in fact, undressed.
How that relates to the apocalypse, I’m not sure, except that both Lady Godiva and I have stripped ... to some degree. Mine, however, was done as part of a class assignment. Oh yes.

Toward the end of that pre-Y2k semester (during which my friends and I had become so bored that one worked on guitar-chord tablature all period, and another coined what he thought were funny neologisms, such as “apocalypso”), the professor gave us an assignment. A group assignment. The class was divided up by sixes and sevens and instructed to construct our own “millennial groups” (read: cults), which we had to present and explain to the class in an oral presentation. The group had to have an origin story, a sacred text, a story of how the world would end, a ritual and so forth. One group, predictably, centered their cult around sex, another football. Sadly I missed both those venerable presentations.

Our group, however, had a little more moxy - balls, if you will. We decided to base our cult on the professor (cue punch-line cymbals). You see, like all good hippy-fied professors, he work a weekly uniform of tevas, jeans and a sweatshirt. A blue sweatshirt. And he cut his hair twice a year. We didn’t quite understand the rhythm to his toiletries, we just knew that one day when he showed up with shorter hair, it was quite a surprise - that is to say, a break from precedence. And it is very appropriate I state it that way, for “that is to say” is one of those Prof-isms he liked to use a lot. I know, because we kept tally.

It turned out all this covert sociological research during the times when we should have been taking notes provided rich material for constructing our cult. We decided the whole thing had to revolve around hair, hence history would be measured in follicles. Each significant period in history, then, would be associated with a person of famous hair (or lack thereof). And when the professor cut his hair - an event our entire class had witnessed - this constituted a sign of the world’s coming end. There were many other aspects to the cult I’ve since forgotten, but in order to do this brash thing well, we knew we had to do it all the way.

Our presentation thus became an act of high drama. We turned off all the lights in the classroom and marched in with flashlights, smacking our heads, chanting the spelling of the prof’s name, then “... is his name-o.” And so on. Our sacred text was called Book, had been discovered at the ASU bookstore, and consisted of several haiku we’d found on an internet website. But the real genius was the ritual component (if I do say myself), described and demonstrated by yours truly. We had gone totally into character for this presentation and sought to involve our classmates in the ongoing unfolding of this religious event. After all, they had already witnessed that portentious sign of the world’s imminent end, the professor’s haircut.

A later stage in the apocalypse, we had decided, involved all the students in our cult - that is to say, group - being transformed more fully into the likeness of Prof. Which is to say, taking on his wardrobe. Enter the ritual.

For this symbolic transformation, we had come upon the perfect ritual soundtrack. Despite my friend’s fond hopes that he had actually coined the word “apocalypso” (which we envisioned as the dance of the end times), it proved a Jimmy Buffett song had beat him to the punch. And a friend of ours had the CD. Keeping in mind our original use of the word, I constructed - or should I say, choreographed - a ritual dance performed to Buffett, in which I changed clothes from my normal student attire into an ensemble patterned on the professor’s tevas, jeans and sweatshirt. This did, of course, amount to the locker-room clothes-change but it was nonetheless an act of stripping. Which I performed in accompaniment to Buffett and the illumination only of a strobe light we’d set up to provide the room’s lighting during this moment of high drama.

We got an A, as I recall. For ASU, where anything goes in the classroom when you’re studying apocalyptics.

By the Buy returns!
Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity
Real Sex

The Naked Truth about Chastity
Pocket Guide to the Apocalypse
The Official Field Manual for the End of the World


Jimmy Buffett’s “Apocalypso”
Everyday Apocalypse: The Sacred Revealed in Radiohead, the Simpsons, and Other Pop Culture Icons
Everyday Apocalypse

The Sacred Revealed in Radiohead, the Simpsons, and Other Pop Culture Icons

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Talk about a sexless marriage ...

A little Oddly Enough news for your morning coffee break. Trying to gather my wits for today’s post. Don’t forget to enter the contest (details on sidebar at right)! One entrant we have so far, people. One. Don’t let the odds deter you!!

Friday, March 25, 2005

A pregnant pause

Good Friday for me, dahlings. I know many of you have been left sorta scratching your heads and screwing up your faces in confusion over the last few entries posted here ... but I promise to continue explaining the blog’s new direction after Easter. Meanwhile I’m taking a break for contemplation, fasting and baking the cinnamon rolls* for my Easter brunch ... you know, the sorta things we wacky Christians do. ;) If you’re curious about more than just our eccentric rituals, keep an eye on my other blog, where I may be soon posting some musings on why I care about “resurrection” at all.

Otherwise, read the archives, enter the contest, email me with your love-life woes or conundrums, and wait until Monday for the next post ... Monday afternoon or evening, that is. Too little sleep, too little coffee, and so on.

*Which, strangely enough, will be nearly dairy-free this time as well. Of all things, the organic milk I picked up Wednesday night was lactose free. Hmmmmmmm. Could this auger some sort of imminent allergy problem I wonder?!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Stages of Broadway, pt. 6

A few of you, already, have left Stages of Broadway, pt. 5 scratching your heads in dismay and consternation: “No dating?!!” “Are you ending this?” Frasier endorses the wearing of braids, submits that previous dating fasts were mostly a fraud ... and so on.

But the thing is, I’m sick of dates. If that’s all I wanted, I’d just get a palm tree or something. I want marriage. But I don’t need it like a person needs water. What would marriage give me, after all, that I don’t already have? Basically, as near as I can tell, three things: babies, sex, attention (though probably not in that order). But let’s consider the urgency of these “needs”:

  • Attention I get walking down the street. Even when well bundled up for winter, it turns out. Either glasses are inherently hot or I must have good lip gloss. In any case, superficial admiration isn’t hard to get. For more than that, I’ve got plenty safe men in my life: brothers, guy friends, uncles, a father, and readers. ;) (Well … most of them are safe.)
  • And as for sex … after nearly 27 years I’m getting used to being single. Really. Sure it’s restless sometimes, but restlessness is worst when you think your happiness depends on precisely the things you don’t have. If I can’t — and haven’t — made my peace with solitary singleness, something’s wrong! There are worse things than a sex-itch you can’t scratch. And like an itch, the more you choose not to scratch it, the less it drives you crazy. For real.
  • So that leaves babies. Which, truthfully, while great, are rather costly. I mean, you better be some kinda man for me to give up booze and coffee to have your kids. Plus, there’s the labor thing! And stretch marks … and lotsa other stuff too depressing and banter-killing for me to mention here. I think the reason most of us want kids is not, in itself, the process of bringing them into life or even the sacrifice of raising them. It’s more about the love of which they are fruit, the lives they become, into which you pour yourself. Girls probably get most baby-mad depending on the guy involved: “I wanna have his babies, raise a girl with his eyes.” Etc.
Now if all these non-essential things are what I’d get from finding a husband, I’m actually doing all right without. Which is not to say I wanna set off on some silly, self-sufficient “I don’t need a man” kick, but what I don’t need is more life as an emotional yo-yo, or ambiguous friendships and hang-outs.

Ambiguous friendships and hang-outs. What the hell do I mean by that? Well, it’s like this. A couple months ago, I met a nice Christian young man. Despite a figure-concealing sweater, naked face and frequent threats to go vomit in the nearby ladies’ (I had that nauseous kind of headache, you see), he seemed a little interested. Maybe. He mentioned wanting to hang out sometime when he was less weary from the week — “And I less inclined to be sick,” I chimed in. “Yes, I could see doing that.”

But then a bit later it dawned on me I wasn’t sure what to expect of this ambiguous hang-out. Luckily I’d inadvertently prattled on, later in the chat, about a boy then well ensconced in my affections … but still the problem — as a general situation — remained. And the thing is — as confirmed by conversation with a single Christian guy who brings about his own DTRsone-on-one hang-outs lead to trouble. Almost as much as backrubs. Most of the guys I know are mere acquaintances I sometimes see in group settings. Otherwise they have their own relationships so one-on-one times, when they happen, are clearly defined and almost sibling-like. Besides: if a guy needs solitude to get to know me, why does he really want to know me that well? What is he really after?

It may be something close to what I’m after, or it might not. If my heart’s gonna get excited, there better be a definite chance of marriage. Which, I think, may call for an entirely different approach to romantic relationships.

‘I got you, babe’ ... right?
But seeing as how that may not make for very, well, spicy blogging, I think a change in format may be called for. I know many of you have come to this blog for a 10-minute laugh, mid-morning, but somehow between your readership and a combination of other events in my life, major changes have occurred. Changes that don’t permit me to blog in the way I used to.

Just because I’ve changed doesn’t mean this here blog must go bye-bye (besides, there might be a shot at turning it into a book!). But it, too, must change. For starters, I’d like to get back to engaging my readers more often. And more publicly. Start thinking of this as an advice column in addition to laugh-generator. Feel free to pass material my way that you think I’d want to share with fellow readers.

Bottom line, you’ve made this blog what it is. If it’s been worth reading so far, and you’d like to continue to do so, help me forge in a new direction. Don’t forget to enter this month’s contest! And if you missed the story on what brought me to this point, catch up here: Stages of Broadway, pts. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Otherwise fast forward to the conclusion ... so far ... in Stages of Broadway, pt. 7!

Wednesday web round-up

Wow, I’m now getting hits for sexless wife, wild vaginas, flirty pants ... and starbucks logo, austin powers, photo. I think that would be movie #2, yes?

And for other morning laughs, check out these hilarious reworked romance novel covers, link courtesy of Instapundit.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Oh, baby!

Man, am I getting the weekend Google love or what? I mean, just for today, searches that have been kind to me include: land rover theme song, stripper chaps, and yoga for celibates. And not to be forgotten: stocking skirt office flash. Yeah, baby, yeah!

(Sorry, all this time at the big-60s Ad Co. must be bringing out my inner Austin Powers. Then again, I am a kind of swinger* ....)

*Shameless inside joke for those who know a few things about my usernames.

Friday, March 18, 2005


The Mac tech doesn’t have blond hair! Normally he wears this little baseball cap that emphasizes the Tintinesque shape of his face and glasses, so I’ve never actually seen the hair till today.

I have received many other intimacies, however. Or should I say, endearments. If memory does not fail me, I am “a woman after his heart” and have been called “honey,” “sweetheart” (this by more than just him, I should note), and as of yesterday, “doll.” The last one is my favorite, maybe because Guy Friend #1 calls me that, it has this nicely 40s ring to it … and that’s how Les Paul signed my autograph book.

If nothing else, all this interoffice friendliness must surely hark back to The Ad Co’s big 60s business days. I mean, they still have the freakin’ ash trays in the bathroom! For numerous male employees to still freely converse with us women (or at least me) by use of such monikers just maintains the otherwise-defunct business protocol of the company’s swingin’ heyday … right?

But seriously, if working here was like an episode of Blind Date, there’d be a dinging-bell and counter for every time I got called “doll” or “sweetheart.” I’d really like to see the count by now.

Then again, I was wearing my hair in braids by day’s end yesterday. Judging by last night’s response from Hippie the Groper, this is a good look for me indeed. So inspiring, in fact, that Hippie proclaims himself now on the mission of setting me up with a friend. Who is a good, solid Christian — not to mention a Christian he actually respects … is a “really talented” playah in some band — I mean, a musician — and currently in med school. Apparently that school is out of the country somewhere … but hell, with qualifications like that, who cares where he lives, right?

Wow, a former date as matchmaker. An interesting twist, I must say. Maybe good things really do come from letting my love life be fully God’s responsibility. Oh, I didn’t tell you about that yet? Well … hang on for Stages of Broadway, pt. 5. Coming very soon.

Worth a read

I hadn’t heard of the film Unscrewed until now, but this review has certainly sparked my interest. Strangely reminds me a bit of Dogma, from the sound of it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

On tap ...

Fresh blogging! Must first finish some work-related stuff. In the meantime, check out a newly discovered, well, sister blog to this site, Celibate in the City — the sexual and romantic travails of a celibate Mormon woman. To my knowledge, Blogfather had nothing to do with siring this site (which actually precedes mine), so I guess the unnamed blogger and I must be stepsisters.

When my schedule clears a little, reportage on the Monday night Guinness event, plus further encounters with that Mac tech and even an upcoming dinner with Hippie the Groper!

Updated (again!)
(Gulp) Well, it’s gonna be after lunch. Sorry, ya’ll, but just found out my (married) brother will probably be reactivated and sent to the Middle East this fall, probably going within a month or two of my sister. Something we’ve known was likely to happen ... but a lot to absorb now it seems more likely. Probable dates just change the picture somehow ... and the timeframe on my next light-hearted post. Meanwhile, a new-and-more-serious essay on my other blog (for those who don’t mind the non-funny stuff).

Friday, March 11, 2005

Techie love, take 2

Yes, it’s true ... I tried to avoid it, but I guess some things are simply meant to be. I’m goin’ back. Back to the big ole ad agency where all Coke habits are forbidden, and back to the employer of that swoon-inducing Mac tech I tolja ’bout (though, truthfully, it’s not so much him, per se, but his job that makes him so hot. Is that a bad thing?). And not just to the employer, folks, not just to the very same floor he works on ... but to the very department in which he works!!!!

Anna gets cold-called
It started out last Thursday, when I was still ailing away at home, half comatose from all the pressure in my sinuses and what was undoubtedly the early stages of an addiction to the stuff that’s in Sudafed. (They do use it to make some drug like crack, right? So clearly it must be habit-forming.) The phone rings, which is surprising since almost no one tries to reach me, much less at home.

I pick up, and it’s the temp agency that placed me at the office where I met the Bearded One and the Mac tech, and filled my pockets with chocolate. Am I interested in a long-term temp assignment? This would be at the same company where I had those exciting meetings and tres-edible fringe benefits. It would be working in the I.T. department.

Through the fog that has inhabited my brain, it occurs to me to be grateful the woman I’m speaking with cannot see the smirk on my face. Then I think to ask for time to consider. Not only did I for some reason feel a little shy about suddenly being the admin assistant for the department in which the newly tattooed hot techie works (he did give me both his number and his email address, after all!), but I had another possible job on tap. Which is to say I had applied for it.

That job would be a long-term contract position, paying far more than the temp job (unless the tech can hook me up with free RAM; but I’d feel a little sheepish about even hinting for that). And it would enable me to work from home, make much greater use of my skills and work history, and even add nicely to my resume. So, possible Mac-tech love or no, the job for which I had applied seemed like a better bet — assuming there was any chance they were interested.

Stalling pays off
After considerable phone tag, I finally tracked down an HR person at that company, who helped connect me with the hiring manager. They were interested! Next step was to have me take their editing test. So the next morning I called up the temp agency, and told them that I would pass up the job.

But then this mid-morning yesterday, I check my cell phone and see I have new voice mail. Turns out it’s the temp agency, trying to get in touch with me. When I call them up, I learn the ad agency has another opening, this one for three-or-so weeks. And waddya know? It’s in the I.T. department. Guess when I said no, they couldn’t find anyone else, or that person must’ve fallen through. Now they’re trying to find a permanent hire for that position, but seeking a temp until the hiring process is complete.

It sounds like I’ll be there about three weeks; more adventures sure to transpire.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The end of shock-n-awe?

It happened last night, toward the end of an unusually small Tuesday-night Bible study. Turns out temperature of 20 degrees, and wind-chill factors of 5 degrees tend to correlate with low attendance. And maybe it gave me cold feet or something. There I was, in the middle of a low-grade, passing-anecdote story (as opposed to the mid-grade, beginning-middle-end kind, or the high-grade, many-dramatic-turns type). And suddenly ... I couldn’t drop the punch-line.

Not that my feet were cold literally, of course. In fact it was the stylishness of the socks with which they were very warmly clothed that got the whole thing started.

The socks were admired, then one friend asked if I made them. “No, but I made my sweater.” At this one guy remembered that another member of our group had played The Knitting Factory the night before. No one had gone to the show, but someone had a story about friends who thought TKF was literally a knitting factory, not the multi-level live-music venue that it is.

Then the Bible study leaders described their one experience at The Knitting Factory, in which “preppy” clothes evidently proved less-than-fitting attire amidst the “kids” running around (the leaders are a late-20s couple whose work attire is forcibly quite conservative, given their jobs). I opined that the place was more of a Williamsburg scene. Which somehow made me think of Urban Outfitters. And the shirt I’d recently seen there ...

But as I began describing the shirt which I had such lust for, something happened. I looked around the mostly male group. “Well ... the one next to it said, ‘Trust me, I’m a doctor,’” I said lamely. Not quite the follow-up they were expecting to my gushing about what a great, “uber-ironic” statement it would be for me to wear the prized shirt. “So what did this one say?” they demanded. “C’mon, you can tell us.”

Readers, I know you may find this shocking — and Frasier will surely be the most horrified — but Anna may have well and truly lost her balls. Which is probably not such a bad thing, really ... Women’s pants generally do seem to fit me better. ;) ... But I couldn’t tell them. I sat there mouth half-open, on the verge of a blush, then shook my head. “Naw ... sorry.” One guy vowed to go by Urban Outfitters himself and scope the window display for answers.

Who needs mood rings?
I prefer to scope music for answers. And really, don’t we all tend to do that? After all, music, as — er — a “friend” of mine has written, can be the way of figuring out your insides. Can’t determine your mood? Flip through the radio or your CDs until you find the song that feels right. And if nothing fits the mood, you’re just a head case or it’s time to get new tunes.

Yes, long-time readers may have already guessed it. It’s the return of Spooning Fork! And in honor of the recent return to playing music through my iTunes player (long, boring story unless tech woes leave you breathless), this week I turn to my one of my very first iTunes music store purchases, Norah Jones and Peter Malick’s cover of the Dylan standard “Heart of Mine.”

Heart of Mine ‘Heart of Mine’ from New York City
Compared to Dylan’s own live version on the Biograph 3 CD, Norah’s take is much more intimate and introspective. Dylan sounds like a calloused, aging man at a bar, catching sight of that waitress he’s always had a weakness for. Like he’s trying to muster the resolve to be curt and rude to her when she comes over. But Norah sings like she’s lecturing the ever-treacherous heart that always drags her into one-sided, doomed affections. Gee, I wouldn’t know anything about that ...

In many ways, Norah sounds like a friend of mine, who’s recently been complaining that in his relationships with women he just needs to be on the prowl for sex — not engage them in any way that could possibly jeopardize the safety of his heart. Unsurprisingly, he’s bummed over a recent crush-gone-wrong that’s left him way more messed up than he’d like. A little matter of too many unreturned phone calls to the girl involved ... yeah.

It’s often such a damned liability, the way our hearts get attached to things. Of course, if we couldn’t care at all, we’d never have meaningful relationships, but then because our hearts have such accursedly bad judgment we always go and get ourselves every time hurt we fall. Which for some of us is quite often. Good thing I’ve got heartguard now, good thing. Otherwise, Lord knows how I’d be doing ...

Lots of crying in the shower, blogging out my frustration with passivity (pulls stock I-could-do-no-wrong face). But I’d never do a thing like that. No way. Just musicians. You know — because they can make a quick buck that way, singing ’bout that CRAZY behavior (dramatic “jazz hands”) of people whose get outta control. Which mine never does any more ... right, Heart? Heart?

Heart ... now what’re you up to this time?!! ... I thought I told you. Not him!


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Tech note and other news

Dahlings ... Not that this applies to many of you, but for those of you inclined to send the occasional email, please note that Anna’s domain has changed from “” to “”; same username still applies. And if that’s just too confusing, see the address information revised on my profile and wherever it may appear on this site (for the most part; certain old entries I’m not sure about). Yeah for high-speed internet! And so on. See also a new March contest, coming soon to the side-column at right.

Since February was no contest at all (just one ever-faithful entrant), I’m printing Frasier’s entry as today’s item. What can I say? I’ve been sicker than a dog lately. A girl just don’t meet guys that way. And the way my brain’s been lately ... not sure I dare dive into the “archives” for more his-tory, Michael Jackson-style or otherwise.
Accountant — Good figures attract his interest but get your story straight: He hates anything that doesn’t add up

Boss — Be wary if he calls you into his office to take something down for him

Caddy — Someone with balls who can advise on “fore!” play

Deputy manager — Rarely satisfied with present position; wants a head job

Engine driver – Knows how to press all the right buttons and pull all the right levers to get things steamy

Fisherman — A master baiter who would love to get his hooks into you

Hard hat — Unlikely to be the only thing that’s hard

Journalist — At first, will want you exclusively but will quickly lose interest when you become yesterday’s news

Lawyer — Briefs can be sexy and always game for anything legal.

Policeman/woman – Masochistic? Will belt you, cuff you, jail you – and wear a uniform while doing it!

PR person — Will soon have you in a spin but prone to believe own publicity

Roy Orbison Impersonator – will ensure you enjoy the Big O

Shoe shine boy — You may be revealing more than you think to him. (See Anna’s red shoe blog.)

Unemployed — Always ready to try a new position

Wrecker — Good at pulling things down. Be careful it’s not your panties
Is that a blush I feel coming on?!! Not quite the “What relationship is your job like?” entries I anticipated ... but funny stuff nonetheless. Wish me health and good luck with an editing test for a long-term contracting job that may pay quite well! Finishing it off today, to mail back to California (they would let me telecommute). Then back with more first-person blogging as you expect — maybe even a Spooning Fork!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Beer drinkers in a-chord

Saturday night I ran out to purchase oat bran so I could make granola, after a mostly failed return of that spoiled milk. Man, I miss the no-questions-asked response of grocery chains like Safeway! Here in Brooklyn, try to take back milk that spoiled two days before the sell-by date, and the owner spends five minutes chewing you out for buying a whole gallon, not drinking it within three days of opening, etc.! Apparently I was the first customer with the balls to return milk of this sort.

Then because they said I’d drunk “too much” of the milk, they were only willing to give me a half-gallon in exchange — never mind that I don’t want their crummy milk anyway. Sometimes fighting these little “injustices” ain’t worth the energy, I guess.

Stoned into nostalgia
Fuming some after the show-down at Met Food (I did at least leave them to cope with the milk in question), I worked my way through the quiet residential streets back to my old ’hood a half-mile away, where I knew the oat bran would be cheaper. Brooklyn’s warmed up a bit lately, so the night chill was fairly comfortable — even cheering (it helps to clear the sniffles, you see). My disgruntlement eased further as the cheery strains of “19th Nervous Breakdown” wafted out of someone’s window. I’ve been stuck in a musical rut lately: lots of female empowerment, Motown-style, and Nina Simone’s broody jazz. Hearing the Stones took me back to that happy final year of grad school.

In those days I spent a shocking number of nights each week at Irish Pub, slugging decaf coffee, pitchers of water and occasionally a Guinness as I graded papers and worked on the master’s thesis (the pub was open later than Starbucks, you see, and sold their coffee cheaper; hell, sometimes they gave it to me free!).

I can’t remember which was my real hook to the bar: hitting it off with the O-zone King around my birthday, or hearing 40-something Cover Artist play on a Friday night. I haven’t blogged about him yet, I know, but hearing the Stones’ “Brown Sugar” yesterday took me back to all those times I used to hear him play.

You might say I was a regular groupie, but he was plenty fond of me too. In fact, 40-something Cover Artist is possibly the only man in my past who has shown any real longevity-of-interest where I’m concerned. There was one night we sorta hung out a little, but basically both of us seemed to realize the fun, flirty rapport we maintained for nearly a year would never lead to anything more. And it was fine that way.

I was probably his most loyal fan, coming even on the weeknight gigs or when the bar was slow. And as he liked to feature guest singers, I frequently joined him on stage to sing a little back-up harmony here and there. Our real standby, though, came to be “Stray Cat Strut” — for which I tried to pull out my best Gwen Stefani growl (my voice ain’t made for lead vocals unless it’s, well, Broadway stuff). And then there was that Madonna song he always liked to cover with a kind of private wink to me in the joke that only friends who knew why I was also sexless in Phoenix would actually get.

Ah, 40-something.

Good wit or good rhythm?
You see, though it might not be apparent from all the New Yorkers in my sidebar, I’ve long been a sucker for guitarists — which is bad news, I know. Who’s more apt to be a player (of more than just his instrument)?! Who’s more likely to be chased by hoards of women? And 40-something certainly drew his crowds and flirted madly.

He had the looks and voice to do it, too — very raspy and husky when he spoke, but a nice baritone when he sang. And when he played ... man. I mean, even though I hated the guitar when I had to learn it (something ’bout those damn uneven fingernails all classical guitarists have to have), I sure do like to hear it. Probably has something to do with falling asleep as a child to the sounds of Dad getting in a little practice.

Dad focused on the classical stuff, plus 70s/80s praise songs and occasional bits of world music (in his CD collection). But as I’ve come into grown-up guitar music taste, I tend toward the classic-rock and blues-guitar end of the spectrum, with little bits of folk thrown in. 40-something didn’t do much folk (though we would sometimes sing some Simon & Garfunkel), but boy could he do the Stones and other classic-rock acts. Sometimes it was almost better hearing his covers. He could do all the solos the way they did, but he was live. And sometimes he’d use a half-empty Guinness glass as a slide.

Whoops, is that my inner pessimist sneaking in?!! But really, I don’t think “half-empty” qualifies as a pessimistic assessment in the case of beer consumption. After all, it implies the other half of the beer is in your belly — which is really a very happy event. To call the beer glass “half-full” however implies the drinker is reluctant, even disinclined to respect a good Guinness.

And that, folks — though far from a “non-negotiable” item on my Who a man should be list — has never been a favorable reflection on any gentleman who might hope to ask me out.

I’m Anna Broadway, and I like ending these bits like a TV show sometimes. If this one seemed to have no conclusion, that’s because neither does my cold, which seems to need an awful lot of brain cells to survive ... Ta for Monday!


Thursday, March 03, 2005

9-and-a-half days

That’s how many cold doses you see at left. You see, dahlings, while I’m sooooooo sorry about the terrible state of my blogging lately, this cold is really kicking my ass. In fact, as of today it’s been confirmed that I have:
  • a “treatable ear infection”
  • completely lost my sense of smell, if not a great deal of taste as well
How did I learn all this? Well, this afternoon I finally saw a real doctor although, this being a friend of mine willing to squeeze me in after her patients, the MD in question is actually a pediatrician. But she had a stethoscope and prescription-writing powers; that was all I cared.

As it turns out, the latter qualification proved unnecessary. Cost of that cold cure for the impatient, the wonderful Z-pac, runs $55-$65 without insurance! In that I’ve only temped one day this week, not exactly in the budget. So, newly-sainted-friend-who-is-a-doc hooked me up with samples of an antibiotic containing the all-important amoxycillin I need to kick the cold, the ear infection and my constantly-on-the-verge-of-exploding stuffed head. (Seriously. I feel like I could be a live taxidermy exhibit.) Of course, because the samples are formulated to kids, it took 15 boxes to give me enough for the 10-day dose. Morning and evening, I’m to mix up and drink a bottle and half of the stuff (each box has two bottles). Craziness.

At least it tastes better than my milk. But I didn’t initially know it was the milk, of course. This morning, feeling slightly better than I have in a while, I decided to celebrate with that morning-standby latte I like to make. So I made one, rejoicing to see the bottom of the can of what has to be some of the worst coffee I’ve ever drunk. But it was cheap ... and I bought it ... so of course I’m using it up.

Because throwing in some cloves the other day seemed to improve the taste of the latte, overcoming the can-coffee’s repulsive bitterness (way worse than usual, for you coffee-haters), I decided to add some nutmeg.

When I sit down to drink the latte, I notice it tastes a little odd. But the coffee’s always made crap lattes anyway, so I chalk it up to some strangely unanticipated consequence of combining the bad coffee with too much nutmeg. Could be a weird chemical reaction, right?

Well, I actually drink almost half the latte, but finally lose interest in it. Much later in the day, I sit down to a pseudo dinner: trying a bowl of the oat bran flakes I mistakenly ordered in this afternoon’s Fresh Direct delivery (I really wanted plain oat bran so I could make my own granola). I get out the same gallon of milk from the fridge, noting that the sell-by date is Mar. 5, Mar. 4 for NYC. And I still have so much to use up! I think to myself. Pour the milk over the flakes.

But when I finally sit down to eat ’em a few minutes later, I notice a weird taste. And there is clearly no side effect of either cold, kiddie meds or feels-like-overstuffed-pinata head that can explain this. Although the cold does explain how my poor, pathetic, and much-abused nose could miss the sour smell of the milk.

And that should be good milk, people. Two days before the sell-by date, and it’s bad! I am so taking it back to the grocer tomorrow: “I want my three dollars!”

Because, you know, that’s a paper-cup latte to replace the one I was robbed of, right there.

Anyway, that’s today’s blog. Clearly it has nothing to do with sex. But really, not even Monica got laid when she was sick, did she? I think she almost persuaded Chandler ... but then something happened. I’m sure of it.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Contest deadline extended!

March has indeed arrived snarling here, for those of you outside New York, so everthang’s a little slowed-down. On account of that and other factors, I am extending the deadline of this month’s contest. So get your entries in!!!

Expect fresh blogging here later this afternoon. Today I get to wait for the cable guy to come install my high-speed internet (woohoo!!!!!) ... so during his four-hour appointment window I’m sposed to stay off the phone ... which means staying off line as well.

Oh well. Time enough to test out my new version of Office 2004 for Macs which the techie kindly installed for me yesterday. :D Man, is it hot when a man can fix your computer ... (sighs wistfully) More on that coming later. ;)

Compare your job to a love-life, while you wait on me! Further directions at right.