Friday, April 28, 2006

The Wagons Strike Again! and a Smile

First off, I'm still plagued by that Donnar Party documentary that aired on PBS Monday evening. I don't understand why the members of the Donnar Party didn't kill themselves. Was it because kool-ade hadn't been invented? I mean, people with jobs and food kill themselves everyday. Why not these itinerants? It takes so much more effort to eat someone than to sit in your makeshift cabin and wait for death. Let me put it this way Elliot Smith had a music career, tons of booze, and of course food-not made from humans- and he chose to stab himself in the heart. The wagon train people had so much less. Couldn't they tell god wanted them to die. I don't know. All I know is that I couldn't sleep again.

Moving on. I lack a certain social grace while on the phone, but get me in person and I'm a social dynamo. As long as you're not a comedian. Then for some reason I wind up accidently causing drama. Non-comedians, however find me delightful. Frequently, men will tell me how it's so easy to talk to me, and how they've, "Never told anyone this before, but..." Or " I can't believe I'm telling you all this...yadda yadda yadda." Of course it's true and not just some line.

Here's the thing, though. Despite my free-wheeling conversational style that puts so many a man at ease, there are only a few boys I have had that spark with. And though I can talk for hours with lots of different people from strangers to the periphery only Jack makes me happy when there's complete silence. Only after talking to Jack about absolutely nothing of consequence do I walk away with a huge grin on my face. And I don't even realize I'm smiling.
I'm really pretty lucky I guess. Here's hoping my boyfriend and I never end up on a doomed wagon train.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I'm All Growns UP

Yesterday, I decided to save some money by riding my bike instead of taking the subway. A saving of $4 round trip. I didn't take into account my allergies. Inhaling great amounts of pollen as I rode through the city streets did not do my body good. When I arrived at the Slipper Room my eyes overflowed with saline and snot dripped to the floor. I was quite the sight. Oopsy. I quickly left the bar and headed to Duane Reade where I spent $5.49 for four ounces of children's Benadryl and another $2 on packets of tissues--plus tax of course. So I wound up spending more money than I would have if I took the subway.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

PBS-- Public Menace Broadcasting System

Today I call you to arms. We must storm the offices of PBS and destroy them! I had plans to wake up early today and get my to do list done. Item one: Eat breakfast. It is now 11:45am by the time my pancakes heat up it'll be noon and that's not breakfast! Shattering the very idea of a to do list. If I can't even get breakfast I might as well give up now. God Damn you PBS. How do they expect me to sleep when they produce such horrifying programs? Monday night as I flipped through the seven broadcast channels we have I ran across a documentary on the Donnar Party. What lesson can possibly be learned from their tale of woe? Can't we just let it lie? We have cell phone nows. Not to mention cars. I'll tell ya, I don't need to know Mrs. Garvey had her husband die in her arms and then later that evening saw his heart roasting over an open flame! What were those people doing? I'm all wigged out. I can't even begin to start on item four on my list--Shower. Isn't a clean body a more delicious body? And that's just my luck the day I shower is the day I get trapped in a subway car for four months.

I beg of you avenge me! Burn PBS' offices now before you are the next victims of their obscene programming. Who knows they could rerun their documentary on Harry Truman. You don't want to see it. I've seen it and look what it's done to me. Do you think you'll be able to sleep knowing a regular old Mid-westerner who was a failure until the age of 50 could grow up to nuke people? How unsettling. I sleep much better knowing only the rich and powerful grow up to nuke people. They're rich and powerful they know when a nuclear holocoast is called for. If they weren't wise and all knowing how could they amass such wealth and power. But Truman! Just thinking about it messes with my psyche. How can I be expected to accomplish item 2 -- straighten up my room -- when some child in Dekalb is currently studying really hard so he can get a scholarship, become president and then start a nuclear war?

I'm meeting in Times Square at 1pm, when I should be crossing off item 7 -- take a nap-- to take on PBS. WHO's WITH ME!!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Thank God One Day the Sun Will Eat the Earth

Here's what I don't need. Another forwarded email about boycotting gasoline for a day. You're better off shutting off your computer for the day rather then sending me that stupid email. You'll save more energy. If you want to stick it to the oil companies you have to get more than a third of the country to discontinue purchasing oil for a minimum of a week. And you can't stop there. Everyone has to strike, no matter what industry they work in. The US needs to call into work broke. "I can't come in today I can't afford the commute." When the US economy shuts down for a week, perhaps the government will step in and protect us from the Oil Cartels. That or the government will shoot us, the citizenry. Are you willing to take that risk?

Calling in broke is just the beginning. You know those people in your neighborhood who live paycheck to paycheck. Well, they can't afford to call in broke. They're too broke. You are going to have to invite them over for dinner. You have to be willing to be a little bit of commie hippie pinko traitor. But please I beg of you, please continue to shower.

What I'm writing is you can't protest like you diet-- for a day. There is no change the world amphetimine pill you can take.

If you don't want to boycott and strike then write your congressperson to bomb the oil companies. Ask them to send the national guard to liberate the oil from the evil, abusive businessmen who currently have a totalitarian rule over the oil. Oil was once dinasours, and don't dinasours deserve free choice? Don't the dinasours belong to all of us?

And if you're not willing to fight the good long fight then shut up, stop sending ridiculous boycot forwards, and smile as you continuely get analy raped. That's what I do.

**note if you don't drive or really use cars oil prices still affect you. The majority of you produce and other purchasable items are delivered on trucks. These trucks don't run on love.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

New Blogs

I left for Chicago Thursday to visit longtime friends. We've decided in order to strengthen the bonds of friendship we would create some new blogs that we each could contribute to regularly.

Shivorshovel.blogspot.com: This blog takes an in depth look at the irritating people in our lives. We discuss how we came to the decission to either shiv them or take a shovel to their face.

Ihatetheperiphery.blogspot.com: Here we would explore our feelings of anger and resentmet for the people who make up our periphery. The periphery consists of people who are not friends. Instead they are people we find ourselves socially interacting with because of our job, hobby, or our best friend's boyfriend has a brother. These people don't matter and yet their they are--frequently causing drama. I imagine they in turn would start a rebuttle blog wearetheperiphery.blogspot.com.

And lastly, richandsuicidal.blogspot.com: Follow me and my friends on our fully funded suicidal adventures. For example, we might head butt airport security personel.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Randomness

I placed my bed next to my window. I leave my window open. This way I can pretend I'm camping. Take that New York City!
---
Who else wishes orange juice was a significant source of dietary fiber? Yeah! Then we wouldn't have to eat so much brocoli -- yeah I misspelled the vegetable. I wouldn't have to even mention the green item if orange juice provided large amounts of dietary fiber.
---
Hey who else loses respect for something or someone who is enjoyed by someone you have no respect for? For instance your 8 years old and find out the girl who picks her nose and eats likes the radio station z100. Now you can't. Or you discover a talentless, brainless, barely attractive social climber enjoys breathing, if her dumb ass likes inhaling oxygen and other atmospheric gases I can't respect the atmosphere any longer. In fact I don't want to eat vegetables now knowing that her carbon dioxide aided in their photosynthesis. What's crazy is I doubt she knows what photosynthesis means."
---
I'm a foot shooter. I shoot myself in the foot alot. And so I warn. "DON'T FALL IN LOVE WITH ME."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

SA: Stalkers Anonymous--not so Anonymous

Funny thing. Yesterday I got a bunch of hits from people googling "sexy." They then came across the picture of me in Anna's bike gear. I felt a little guilty. Poor guys looking for sexy and they got dorky.
----

A comedy acquaintance of mine bitched about having stalkers. I asked, "What are you complaining about? That's a friggin compliment. I'd love if someone cared that much." She responded, "Yeah, but I just don't have the time." "Oh," I said, "see, I give the people I stalk their space. They hardly know that I'm stalking them."

This of course reminded me of the story my best friend Anna told me. She too is a stalker. It's funny she and I are very similar. Except I have a boyfriend and she is continually single, and of course I perform comedy while she performs folk music. That and, she was raised by her aunt and uncle and I was raised by my parents. But we do share many commonalities, so many sometimes people get the two of us confused. I think she's a little crazier than me. Don't tell her I said that.

Anyway, last night at her performance she tells me, "Oh God, Rachael. I remember stopping by this show last year to stalk that boy I had broken up with. I didn't want to go stalk alone so I called you. Unfortunately you couldn't make it. You were packing for your trip to Japan. I didn't tell you at the time but I kind of was... extremely pissed at you. I'm glad I stuffed it and didn't curse you out."

"Yeah you did. You called a fucking whore traitor. Untrustworthy. And something about how I didn't deserve love."

"Oh yeah. Well, it turned out for the best. So you're forgiven. Don't feel the need to beat yourself up about it anymore."

"That's a relief."

"See, after I hung up with you a light bulb of brilliance appeared above my head: I realized I should call my buddy Aaron. He and I could pretend we're dating. That would surely drive the ex into a jealous aneurysm."

"Wait, Anna. Why would you need to pretend you're dating someone if you broke up with the ex?"

"Rachael, just because I broke up with someone doesn't mean I didn't still like him. Hello."

"Right, of course you'd break up with someone you dig. That makes perfect sense. I dont' know what I was thinking. It's late my brain's a bit foggy."

"Listen, I don't need your comedian sarcasm right now. I'm telling a funny anecdote."

"Alright."

"Anyway, I invite Aaron to come down to the show with me. He's perfect for the job of faux boyfriend. First off, he's a boy. Secondly, he lives the neighborhood. Thirdly, he's a boy who lives in the neighborhood. Only problem I don't want to tell him I need him to pretend to be my boyfriend because then I'd have to admit I dated one of the muscians on the show. I never told him I dated one of the muscians on the show--I was kind of ashamed."

"But you liked this fella you broke up with?"

"Rachael, please. Yes, you can have shame and like someone. So, I meet Aaron at the show and afterwards we're talking to the other people who had performed including the ex. I need to sell this 'Aaron and I are dating' scenario, so I try to hold Aaron's hand. However, I've got to do it so Aaron doesn't notice I'm taking his hand in mine. I point to something across the room and then grab Aaron's hand. Brilliant, right? He never suspected. As the evening progresses I feel I really need to send the message that I'm head over heals in love with Aaron. I realize I'm going to have to make-out with Aaron in front of everyone, but Aaron can't notice because he doesn't know we're pretending to date. Genius strikes. I casually grind the heal of my foot into Aaron's instep causing excrutiating pain. It hurts so much he doesn't feel me kissing him and rubbing my fingers through his hair. When I feel everyone has taken in the little show I say to Aaron, 'hey maybe we should go home now.' We say good-bye to everyone, but I don't say good-bye to the ex. I loved the ex too much to say good-bye again. It would be like reliving the break-up."

"Wow, that's an amazing story."

"Thank you."

My best friend Anna everyone.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sexy new Lingerie

I met up with my best friend, Anna, last night at a show in Brooklyn. When we met she told me she had a revelation: She was single because she chose to be. The world doesn't reject her but she rejects the world. She had pedaled her bike to the show she was performing on last night. I tried taking a picture of her on her bike with all her bike accoutrements, but she wouldn't stay still. So when we got back to my apartment for eats I put on her bike gear.

The point of the picture is to illustrate my doubt about her revelation. I don't know that it's a choice that's she's single. I've been off the dating market for years now, so maybe I don't know what the 20-30something lads are into. Perhaps a man sees a lady with her jeans tucked into her socks, and he is overcome with passion. Nothing says safe sex like a helmet. And in all fairness the bike jacket looks better on Anna. Glow in the dark doesn't really go with my eyes like it does with her eyes.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Post Easter Reccomendation for Christians

My new goal, as of yesterday, is to talk less and listen more. It has not gone well. I repeat the phrase over and over like a mantra, which has me talking more--granted to myself-- and listening not at all.

For several minutes last night I ate an apple distracting me from repeating my new mantra. In turn I wound up actually listening to a comedian perform jokes. I guess my stratetgy to listen more and talk less should be to constantly stuff my face. The comedian discussed the wacked out Christians who show up at gay weddings and protest. I started to think how there are more horrible sins out there than gay marriage. I thought why don't Christians start protesting murder. And not just fetal murder, but regular good old murder. It came to my attention this Easter that Camden, NJ is the murder capital of the U.S. (on a per capita basis) so why don't eccentric Christians go on down to Camden with their poster board and bullhorns, stand outside gang members' housing and picket? They could carry pictures of decomposing shot-up corpses. If they find no one home they can chase the sounds of gunshots and verbally berate those responsible for the discharged weapon.

Nothing sends you to hell faster than murder. If you're shot in the back you can't ask for last rights. Our youth are dying with sin on their soul and it must be stopped.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Show to Check Out

My buddy is producing a comedy show to benefit the James F. Keppel Foundation.

April 25, 2006
Slipper Room (Stanton and Orchard streets)
8pm
$10

All proceeds to benefit James F. Keppel Foundation

Featuring:

Jess Delfino
Seth Herzog
Roger Hailes
Elephant Larry--sketch group

link to show for more details

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Happy Passover

Passover is great because parking rules are suspended for an entire week. Take that Easter! Oh wait I celebrate that holiday too.

Anyway, let's raise a class of Manechevitz to Moses. For if Moses didn't free the Jews from bondage (sounds sexy) I would have had to move my car today. Go Moses!

That's the thing about New York. Supposedly you have to move your car so they can clean the streets, but the streets are still filthy. Meanwhile, in Portland, OR they had no street cleaning parking rules and the streets were nearly spotless. Hmm?
----

Last night I had a feeling of unease all evening. I couldn't put my finger on what it was. Then I realized it was passover and I had no lamb's blood on me to signal the ghost of death to pass on by--because I'm the first born. I'm the only born. Someone told me not to fret it's the first born son. That didn't help, I'm a tom boy and maybe Yaweh has embraced feminism-- you know equal pay for equal work and equal death for equal birth order.

My mother invited me to a seder. I told her to shove it. Instead I choose to perform at a soul sucking late night open mic. That's how much I hate Jews.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Spring and The Ozone

The other day I went for a walk in Prospect Park. It was a lovely day. I couldn't get enough of the sun. It was awesome to absorb all those rays. And that's when it hit me. I think the collective subconscious of human kind has been destructively at work these 10,000 + years. Basically, we love the sun so much, we can't get enough of it, so we create things like hairspray and combustible engines to destroy the ozone layer of our atmosphere. We desperately want to get more sun and our collective subconscious knows it.

It's kind of like the ozone layer is cock blocking us. But intead of being some wussy guy who just accepts the bullshit, we say, "Hell, no!" And we create the behive hairdo. "Take that you ozone layer."

It all makes sense to me now.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Party Girl and boy

Saturday evening my boyfriend Jack and I attended a party in a Manhattan apartment. Parties sometimes are hard work, especially when you don’t know anyone. The engaging of strangers in small talk over loud music in crowded quarters is exhausting. Sometimes I think people take a life partner just so they have someone to talk to at parties and weddings. Jack and I are not such a couple.

The party Saturday night comprised mostly of highly educated 20-30something professionals. 90 percent of the people were there to find a mate. Not just to have some drunken sexual encounter. Both men and women were there to find the person who would eventually be their first divorce. Jack and I decided to split up and pretend we were single just for kicks.

I stood in the kitchen scarfing down pretzel sticks (you know the skinny ones that you used to pretend were cigarettes when you were a kid, not the longer fatter ones you used to pretend were cigars, or for you more edgy kids pretend they were blunts.). As men passed by I would try to guess whether they were a banker or a consultant by their garb. My theory is that business consultants don’t always tuck their starched button down shirts into their khakis, while bankers always do. I’d ask small talk questions like, “So if we're to get married do you think you’d still want to live in the city or would you want to move to West Chester?” "What do you think of the name Comicus for our first born child?"

Meanwhile Jack was on the other side of the room telling the ladies he ran a small mom and pop defense-contracting shop--without the mom and pop. He had been thinking about giving it up to go back to school, study divinity and become a minister. “But is God really worth giving up his classic 6 apartment on the upper west side?” he’d ask.

During my talks with the men I’d interrupt our conversation to ask if I could buy them a drink, then look in my wallet, and say, “Oh man I don’t have any money can you float me a few bucks, I’ll get you back next time.” The cheap bankers would say the, “drinks are free.” I’d retort, “But what about the bartender I have to tip the bartender.” “What bartender?” “Well, do you think the drinks are going to make themselves? Don’t you think I deserve some compensation for my time? I don’t know if I can move to West Chester with you if this is the way you’re going to be. Hey where are you going?”

Around 2 am Jack and I met up in the living room. I said very loudly for everyone to hear. “Hi. MY NAME IS RACHAEL.” “HI RACHAEL, MY NAME IS JACK!” Then we slovenly made-out in the middle of the party for a minute. Next thing you know Jack gets on his knees and asks, “REBECCA, WILL YOU MARRY ME.” “IT’S RACHAEL. AND YES I WILL JEFFERSON.” “JACK.” “CAN I CALL YOU JEFFERSON ANYWAY?” “SURE DARLING.” I heard some woman say, “I guess he’s not going to call” as Jack and I headed out.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Labor Market

I purchased a new pair of jeans Saturday. I got them on sale. I think it's ridiculous that the retail price for jeans starts at $60. If clothing manufacturers are going to chain some 4 year kid to a sewing machine in an Indonesian sweat shop and pay him four cents a day, then these companies should pass the saving on to us. If they're going to skimp on labor then I don't want to pay more than five dollars for a pair pants. Otherwise what's the point of expliotation?

Friday, April 07, 2006

You know sometimes I'm pissy and I don't care to tell jokes

Today I road in a car with my acquaintance Jack. (Not my boyfriend Jack but my buddy Jack Kukoda, who is a pretty good writer.) He told me I should put the following sentiment in my act. I didn't have time to explain I don't have an act. I just have jokes I tell in random order. But here's our conversation:

That King of Queens guy is a fat fuck and he's married to this hot chick on the show. No one finds that weird. But if it were reversed and she were hideous and he were gorgeous no one would buy it. No one would believe for a second that this hot guy would date this ugly woman.

Jack responded, "Yeah it's true you see women dating men not as attractive--"

Yeah and they don't even have to be successful they just have to be.

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Here's something I shouldn't post:

I admitted to a comedic acquaintance (note I have no friends but my boyfriend Jack and my best friend Anna) Tuesday night that my daydreams consist of people accusing me of things. My days are filled with visions of me on trial, me being accosted, me being falsely accused of social misdeeds, and me being accurately accused of social trespasses. I spend most of my hours in my own mind defending myself against imagined attacks.

I also spend time in reality with all of you refuting your claims that I am insane. But maybe I am if my imaginary life is out to get me.

Before performing on Tuesday I convinced myself that I would be heckled visciously and then I'd have to take my fist and put it through someone's skull. I also planned on fibbing to my heckler and telling them I would kill them. I'd prove the seriousness of my threat by telling them the reason I left Portland was because I had beaten someone until they were unconsious. After spending a few months in county lock-up I left town because the incident left me ostrocized from the comedic community. And when the heckling bitch in my head still didn't stop harassing me I was forced to come off stage and beat her and I was the one who was crying, but I beat her and beat her good.

When I arrived to Otto's Shrunken Head on Tuesday, I performed for small, polite audience. The comics in attendence were all civil to me. I don't know if I'm crazy but I know I'm definitely not psychic.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Happy Birthday Aunt Sue

My father has a story he likes to tell about his eldest younger sister. His sister got married at 18 was married for a few years, she and her husband divorced the divorce didn’t work out so they got remarried after a few months they got re-divorced. That time it worked out.

My aunt tells the story of her remarriage this way. She remarried her man and a few months later she looks over at him, throws her palm to her forehead and thinks, “Oh god! I should have had a V8. What was I thinking?”

Last night my aunt informed me that Emminem has joined her V8 club. After 3 months of remarriage he is divorcing his wife a second time. Now the club includes Elizabeth Taylor, Natalie Wood, and my Aunt’s cousin Bobbie. My Aunt is looking for other members of this exclusive club. So for her birthday if you can think of any people who’ve made this kind of choice let me know and I’ll pass the information onto my aunt.

My best friend Anna thought she qualified. I had to explain dating someone a couple of weeks breaking up for a few months and re-dating for a couple more weeks is not the same thing. When you share a life with someone and decide to end it and then revisit that life together, we’ll put you in the club. You know what, Anna date him again this time for years maybe move-in together then break up and we’ll consider giving you honorary membership.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Steal this Blog

Last night I performed at the story telling show, Brutal Honesty. This month’s topic was shoplifting and stealing. I admit, despite my father’s repeated advice to “never ever ever ever admit to anything; immediately ask for a lawyer; make them prove it; and, never ever ever write anything down,” that I have in the past stolen. However, I have ethics. Even in my youth at the pinnacle of my shoplifting career I only stole from big corporate stores, never from ‘mom and pop’ shops and never from individuals. Unless you count my roommate’s Oreo cookies I’ve been eating all week. But he doesn’t clean anything, so it’s not so much theft as it is non-taxable payment I re-appropriate from the fridge. Yeah, he puts his cookies in the fridge. I guess that’s better than in the bathroom so I shouldn’t complain.

The following is a story about me stealing subway rides.


I went to college in Boston. Boston has a subway system much like New York City except that New York uses subway cars sometimes referred to as trains and Boston uses two car trolleys from the 1920s that travel underground. In other words you could crawl on your ass backwards and get there faster. In the 1990s, when I attended Emerson, the T cost 85 cents a ride. I refused to pay this. Why? Because I pay friggin’ taxes and the taxes go to the transportation department for roads and public transit—not to mention that ridiculous “Big Dig” project- (as of this blog post is still not complete.) So if I’m already paying why must I pay again? And, I’m a cheap, soulless creature who enjoys a little thrill now and again.

I studied acting in College and learned my useful and economically viable skills, Skills I put to use to defraud the Massachusetts Transit Authority. Every time I road the T I’d put on a little show. I’d go into my pocket pretend to pull out a token and then slip the imaginary token into the slot while my other hand pulled back the turnstile. This action would create a gap that my heftier college frame could squeeze through. Later in life I’d learn this technique is called the “flip back.”**

So I spent 3 and half years not paying for the T and life was grand. The summer before my senior year I met a boy who lived in NJ—Bill. I dated this Bill. We have since broken up and people tell me to move on. But I’m not ready to move-on. We only broke up seven years ago. I need to time to mourn. You tell me where I’m going to find another 39 year old, balding, unemployed dude who lives with his grandmother? Where? He’s male perfection, except for his hands. His hands were disproportionately small. He had these awful tiny hands on a normal size body. But not like stumps with fingers, normal looking hands just really really small. To watch him eat a sandwich or drive a car was nauseating. The sandwich looked humongus in those tiny hands of his. When he’d get down to the crust his small hands up near his face made his head look big. It was like he was 5ft 9inch dwarf. Freak. How could a doctor let his parents take him home with those hands, put him back in he’s not done developing. And I loved him. Then he left me for a girl with yellow teeth.

My parents thought he was a drug dealer cause he never worked but had money. I was like please he could never be in sales. You know you’re socially awkward when you can’t sell a product that sells itself.

Anyway Bill came up to visit me one weekend while I was in School. He was 31 at the time and had to stay over in my dorm. That embarrassing debacle is yet another story. Just a word to the wise, if you’re anywhere near your thirties don’t date a person living in a dormitory.

I decided to take my tiny-handed, gentleman caller out on the Boston town. We headed down into the subway station. I begin my show of paying for the transit workers. Bill does not go and buy a token he follows me to the turnstile. The man was 31 years old, I figured he’d know how to buy a token to ride a subway at this point in his life. Next thing I know he’s awkwardly, stepping over the turnstile. Tripping and falling, making a complete spectacle. The token seller guy comes out of the booth and points at us, “Hey you.” We look at each other then we look at the guy then back at each other. I’m like, “Let’s go” we bolt down the steps to the trolley that just arrived. Next thing you know the token guy is chasing the trolley--through the tunnel! He starts banging on the door. “Hey you! You must pay the fare!” The dude runs through the tunnel to the next stop where he boards the train and demands his 85 cents for the ride. Trust fund Bill gives him $1 and says keep the change.

**a couple of years after graduation I went up to Boston to visit cronies. I still refused to pay for the T. Having been away from the city for awhile I was off my game because I got caught not paying by a lady working the token booth. She came out of her booth and yelled, “You didn’t pay.” “Yes, I did.” (Never admit to anything.) “No you didn’t you did a ‘flip back.’” There’s a name for my maneuver. No way. Wow. “No, I paid the fare,” I protested. A line of customers began to form at her booth. She didn’t know what to do—deal with me or do her job. She groaned, sighed, and let me go in order to sell tokens.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Just Like Lewis and Clark

I sojourned down the mighty Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn with some acquaintances this past Saturday. For those of you who do not live in NYC I apologize for not having photographs of our adventure, but I didn't bring a camera; I feared that it might get wet. Little did I know water would be the least of my concerns. Let's put this way, the Gowanus Canal has yet to be gentrified. Let me put it this way if 40 is the new 30 and Brooklyn is the new Manhattan then the Gowanus Canal is the new whatever body of water runs through Chernobyl.

As we paddled our canoes south toward the New York Bay we passed the historic sites of many a burnt-out, abandoned factory. We saw the underside of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. It was all very romantic. I know I'm not the only one to think so as I saw a number of used condoms floating alongside me. I could just imagine a young gentleman escorting his amore down to the banks of the Gowanus, so they could make love under the headlights of the non-stop, outerborough traffic. I think my boyfriend Jack is waiting for our tenth anniversary before he takes me there on a date. The Gowanus should be saved for a special occasion.

I've rafted a number of rivers in the United States: The Deshutes, the Delaware, The Black River, the Colorado River, and a couple of others, but only the Gowanus has its own recognizable smell. The others uniformly smell like rivers. The Gowanus has its own special scent that I'm sure I'd be able to identify blindfolded. However, I don't know that you'd be able to find a container durable enough to hold the water for our scent test.

The Gowanus lacks rapids but not excitement. A little bit of water splashed from a paddle and headed straight toward my eye. I only had seconds to bob out of the way before I was forever blinded. My avoidance technique had to be precise to ensure my bobbing and weaving did not tip the boat sending me and my canoe companion overboard.  If we had landed in the water---Instant Cancer!

Yes, it was a crazy trip Saturday. It was fun in some ways and yet utterly disgusting. At least I found it was interesting enough to write about. Now, I can write the trip off my taxes.