Saturday, December 30, 2006

WOT 2006 Favorite: P-Unit Tea Partay


Friday, December 29, 2006

For Her Slothness and The Tasty Absinthe

Lloyd Cole, in his delicious prime. A guy at my high school was a dead ringer for old Lloyd and used it to his advantage with underclass wood-beez with asymmetrical haircuts and low self-esteem. Good for you, Robert!

The Warlock Pinchers had a song called "Morrissey Rides a Cockhorse". It's great, but not recommended if you still *heart* Morrissey. My stalker-ex is a dead ringer for the vegan-atheist-asexual-moper himself. In fact, looking at this photo is creeping me out, big time. Trouble Trivia! I wrote the Warlock Pinchers very first review (for my college paper, Metropolitan), after their concert at the Golden Community Center.

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New Year's Eve Checklist

Sparkly outfit assembled: check.
Nails done: check.
Party music downloaded: check.
Karaoke songlist updated and fresh slips printed: check.
Air mattress and sleeping bags packed and ready: check.
Liquor store run: check.
Giant vat of "Jolly Trouble" (recipe follows) prepared: check.
Trash removed from apartment and dishes put away: check.
Cats have plenty of food, water and clean litter: check.
Electronics unplugged, lest they spontaneoulsy burst into flames and burn the building down, killing all the neighbors: check.
Sketchy appliance with bare wiring plugged back in: kidding.
Wait — no eye-rolling — at the elevator with the carts and boxes while Superfly boyfriend makes millionth "What Are We Forgetting?" survey of apartment: check.
Dare the Belt Parkway to LIE to friend's house for New Year's Eve: check.

Hope you all have a great time on the ultimate Amateur Night. Be safe, and be prepared for New Year's Day with bagels, lox, and Absolut Peppar Bloody Marys.


Recipe for "Jolly Trouble"

Equal parts:

DiSaronno Amaretto
Cranberry Juice

Serving suggestions:

Mixed and served as a chilled shot or jello shot
Shaken and strained into a martini glass with a maraschino garnish
Poured into a Super Big Gulp cup and topped off with Veuve Cliquot champagne

So named because it tastes like Jolly Rancher candy (unlike the college bar shot called Jolly Rancher, this one uses premium booze) and because I am Trouble and I like booze.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

WOT Favorites: the The

The first time I heard the devastatingly sexy voice of Matt Johnson purring from the speakers of my college-radio-blaring boombox I chucked aside my Lloyd Cole and my Morrissey (though held fast to my Stranglers) and soaked up the dark, the political, the lonely genius of one-man-band Matt Johnson. This was also the same time I was a big-mouth poli-sci atheist with an intellectual elitism chip on my wee shoulder. In other words, it was a perfect match.

Somehow I know either the Three Toed Sloth or A Tiny Sip of Absinthe — or both hot chicks — can relate.

I knew if he only met me he'd find the woman he yearned for in his songs. All 15 years old and brace-faced geek girl, but still. If only.

Mr. Johnson is still producing quality music, thank you very much. His site will fill you in on what, where and how much. If you are somehow unfamiliar with Matt Johnson and the The, I recommend — nay, insist you start with "Dusk".


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Wednesday, December 27, 2006


No, not James Brown. I don't particularly mourn for former President Gerald Ford, either. Today my grief and sorrow marks the passing of the Lodge.

No buyer came forward to purchase the Three Crowns Restaurant and Lounge at the Travelodge in Lancaster, PA — despite the staggeringly low price and the high quality of regular customers — so New Year's Eve will be the last hurrah for both the quirky German-American restaurant and the charmingly seedy bar.

Woe is me. While I cry in my beer, have a look at this old post about the Lodge and join me in fond remembrance:

Sunday, March 19, 2006

the Lodge

"Where are you going to caterwaul tonight?"

My dad asks me the same question every time I'm in my hometown for a visit. He knows the answer and cannot resist throwing down the punnery.

"To the Lodge, of course," I reply in a faux-snob accent "they'll be expecting me, i shan't disappoint."

This time I am rewarded with a salaam and the wish I break a leg in the karaoke process. Zoom off in the trusty Daewoo to the Three Crowns Lounge at the Travelodge for some Saturday night whoop-dee-doo.

Make a quick stop at the Jukebox (the Bar Time Forgot--more on that later)to holla at my girl Tiffany, who is bartending in this House of the Living Dead. Unfortunately, I am recognized by several especially loathsome specimens and forced to endure skin-crawling hugs. Must flee!

Three Crowns Lounge is in the dungeon of the Travelodge, so you hear the singer as you're marching down the stairs. On Friday and Saturday nights you're greeted at the end of the stairs by a "bouncer" who has the same haircut as the monks in "The Name of the Rose" and wants your ID and his $2. I want my $2!

Slow night, there was just too much partying for St. Patrick' Day on Friday night. Only 20 or so people clustered about the room, mostly regulars, smoking and watching the show. "Trouble!" I hear the shout outs, but can't see who is yelling through the smoke and dim lights. Slowly (I am likewise suffering a brutal hangover; I drank enough Guinness to turn myself into a leprechaun on Friday night) I make my way to the bar and ask the fetching waitress/bartender for coffee. She tsk-tsks me, but brings the coffee in a china cup, on a saucer and everything.

Considering many here would drink whiskey from a doffed work boot, that's VIP treatment. Indeed, there is much love for Trouble here at the Lodge, which is why I keep coming back to a place that only recently fixed a plumbing problem that resulted in occasional gusts of a scent I like to call Open Grave. The regulars all smile and hug me, shower me with compliments.

There's Barry, in his '60s and rocking an awesome snow-white mullet. Barry does not sing, but he is apt to bust out some creaky moves on the dancefloor. Earl's only in his '50s, but he is giving Barry a run for his money on who will win the Lodge's most enthusiastically charming old barfly. Earl, resplendent in the hippie Baja mexican hoodie he never takes off, tells me he loves me all the time and then runs away, giggling. The other regulars say, "Hi" and ask where Superfly is. I explain he's home, handcuffed to the bed then I find a chair to fall into.

A tall, skinny-everywhere-but-her-belly woman who looks to be in her late '40s and goes by the handle Wild Thing is called to the stage, and I marvel at her impressively teased bangs, patterned hosiery, and sky-high heels. She warbles a version of Melissa Etheridge's song "I'm the Only One" that would make Simon Cowell rip out his hair and stuff it into his bleeding ears. When she finishes, she smiles contentedly and returns to her table, where she sits alone.

Like me. My hangover is deeply crimping my karaoke style, I'm truly suffering. I choose low-key selections and nearly pass out onstage under what feel like klieg lights. I suck tonight, but receive polite applause. Meh. Trouble and Wild Thing--we could take our act on the road.

Three dressed-up Latin couples troop down the stairs, laughing and chatting in Spanish. The older guy goes up to Star, the KJ, and whispers something, passing him some cash. I roll my eyes, this can only mean one thing: dance music. Why you would want to go to a karaoke bar to dance is beyond me. Star dutifully plays exactly three salsa songs, they happily dance, we return to karaoke.

Wild Thing assassinates a Heart song this time, so I just put my million-pound head on the table and try to think peaceful thoughts. One last screech and she's done, smiling all the way back to her little table. I'm distracted, talking to Krista while she refills my coffee.

Suddenly, I look up at the little stage and see a vaguely familiar face, hear a vaguely familiar voice expertly singing some Outkast, and some stout-soaked brain cells work themselves into a cohesive thought: Kevin! It's been three years of hard living since I saw him last, but here he is!

We worked together at Ruby Tuesday and at Eat N Park, years ago. We were karaoke buddies back then, singing our brains out at our beloved Carmel's show at the Tally Ho (simply, "The Ho"), this town's notorious gay bar. We partied together and with Lisa, every Tuesday night. Good times. I absolutely adore him!

We are elated. We ditch the Lodge (after I make my rounds of goodbyes) and go to Eat N Park, where some old timers are stunned to see us again. We talk well past 3am, catching up on old times and new loves. We try to call Lisa, but she's in Chicago now, out at a bar where she can't hear us. We exchange email addresses, phone numbers, and lots of hugs. Ah, memories.

The dirty, stinky, often intolerably smalltown bar we call the Lodge is where it's at in this town. People here say All Roads Lead to the Jukebox, but I disagree. It's down the stairs of the Three Crown Lounge that all must pass, there all gossip disseminated, there all beefs carried out, there old friends and new gather to bask in booze and karaoke magic.

See you next time I'm in town, friends!

posted by Trouble @ 9:24 PM 2 comments

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Warm Tidings


Friday, December 22, 2006

Screed: Overalls

Never a "do"

Who should wear overalls:

* Children under 10
* Grownups who work in messy occupations, such as farming
and hog butchering
* Psychotics, especially those in horror movies
* Pregnant ladies

Who should not wear overalls:

* You


I know why you want to wear them and why you already know you're wrong:

1. "I'm a little overweight and don't want to buy the next size up."

Overalls add at least two sizes to your body and emphasize all the wrong areas.

2. "They're so-o-o-o cute/ironic/retro. Remember 'Come On Eileen'?"

No, they aren't. They are so-o-o-o atrocious. Everyone (even that person that tells you how cute you look) is laughing at you behind your back. Sometimes they get together and mock you so mercilessly, a drink gets snorked up someone's nose.

3. "I'm doing something crafty, or working outside (raking, mowing, gardening, painting)."

People that do those things professionally don't wear overalls. Usually they wear jeans, Dickies, or some sort of heavy-duty zip suit. You'll be more comfortable in sweats and a t-shirt, honey. And then you won't look like an overgrown toddler.

If the guy pictured above didn't automatically convince you overalls are wrong, I hope my little screed did the trick.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

And You Thought I Was Crazy...

If you like your Zionism with a side of crazy, check this out.

He had me for two whole bullet points!


My Bodacious (Though Leaky) Ta-Tas

Update: Due to an emergency surgery my surgeon had to reschedule my doomsday appointment.

Which means I hang on to the jugs awhile longer and you get a better chance for free feelskis. Act now!



Monday, December 18, 2006

Denver, Days 2-4

Wow. I can't believe we're home already!

On Friday we drove up to Ft. Collins to have lunch with Superfly's photography mentor at the same Vietnamese restaurant we lunched at with him a year ago. Still good, and I know both guys thoroughly enjoyed catching up and sharing photos.

On the drive back to Denver, Superfly espied a red Corvette zooming down the highway and said, "Wouldn't it be funny if that was your mom?" It was. Weird.

Picking up the troublets after not seeing them for a year was emotion on a level that defies comprehension, let alone description. We cruised to the hotel to check out the suite and light the first candle of Chanukah. After opening some gifts and enjoying pizza delivery, we hit the indoor pool and had an absolute blast. Who knew Superfly could accomplish such spectacular cannonballs? Or that he sucks at Marco Polo?

Saturday was a well-orchestrated shopping day, believe it or not. Even though we hit Park Meadows mall and Toys 'R Us with three wily kids a week before Christmas on an unseasonably warm and sunny day; we stayed within budget, no one got lost in the crowds, and everyone left happy. So exhausted were we that we barely made it through pizza part deux and more swimming before absolutely dropping of exhaustion.

The last day was the longest, the coldest, and the best: we checked out of the awesomest hotel ever and cruised over to see my dear friends, Mr. and Mrs. F and their two baby boys. Their house is, lemme think: 5,000 square feet of Pottery Barn goodness? Yeah, we were awestruck. From the F Castle we joined my mother and her boyfriend (my mom's on JDate -- saints preserve us!)at the Museum of Natural History for a scavenger hunt based on the upcoming movie "A Night in the Museum". It was one of my kid's idea. Yes, they inherited my geek gene. Right next door to the Museum is the Denver Zoo; the whole crew braved the increasingly ridiculous cold to see the Zoo Lights, which was fantastic. Ok, I don't hate everything about Xmas: the lights can be very pretty.

We wearily ate dinner and took the long drive back to the kids' home, laden with presents. A long, bittersweet goodbye with the kids, and no conflict with the ex and his wife. Perfect. Also, and as I predicted, the kids loved the Uglydolls I sent them.

We took the red-eye back to NYC (Woot! JetBlue rules!), power-napped, shopped, cleaned, enjoyed a long-overdue home-cooked meal, and now we sleep. More travel ahoy: I go to PA for my surgical consult tomorrow. GULP!

No way possible you had as good a weekend as I did, but I hope everyone is well, happy, and enjoying time with their loved ones.

Ciao for now

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Denver, Day 1

The Fabuloso El Vez

JetBlue rules. I barely remember taking Air France as a teenager and thinking that was the ultimate in consumer aviation, but hot damn! Believe the hype, people.

Arrived earl-lay in the mornin' yesterday and kept going until we absolutely dropped. Before even checking into our lovely hotel suite we made the all-important Chipotle stop, followed by an even more important nap. Met up with the extremely adorable, outgoing, and single Max, who is a pilot-in-training. He's lonely, girls. You probably wouldn't miss anything about NYC (or wherever you live)if you were this mensch's hot yiddishe momma, you know.

Superfly, Max, and I had got some delish eats (World's Greatest breadsticks, Fat Tire beer, and walnut pesto ravioli with olive oil and shaved fresh parmesan) at Pasquini's and then headed over to the Bluebird Theatre to catch El Vez's Merry Mex-Mas show.

Oh, sure it's a campy show, and the socio-political stuff is at times grating. But for pure showmanship and cheeky fun you'd be VERY hard-pressed to out-do El Vez.

The crowd in Denver was an interesting mix of punks, aging hipsters, yuppies and friends and family members of the band. It wasn't overly crowded, no one acted like a jackass (well, there were those El Vez groupies shrieking up front...), we got a seat with a table on the balcony, the smoking ban passed (finally!) in Denver, and the line for the bar was non-extistant.The show was awesome,I highly recommend you check out the tour schedule to see when they're gracing your hometown's independent music venue. I looked and looked, but didn't see anyone I knew, although I thought I saw old dirty Colin.

As exhausted as we were, a trip to Club 404 was a must: I hadn't seen my best friend, who I will call LuLu in an effort to protect her privacy. Unfortunately, she had shitty news to share with me and I'm now very worried about her. She and I have been through so much together and are so close that we can go years with little contact and still pick right up where we left off, as if we'd just been to the nail salon together that afternoon. I know she'll be all right but I worry anyway. It's my goddamn right.

As we left the bar, who should I see but Colin, the skinny, Irish, bad-tempered Waldo. He looked at me, blinked, said, "Howreyou, honey?" and went back to being dirty old Colin, the bar fly in training. He's 30, maybe. Oy.

I don't know how we made it back to our hotel without driving off the road and sleeping peacefully in a ditch, but we managed. Today is another whirlwind day in Denver and I'll likely post more later.

No apologies if this bores you, sucka.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ciao, babies!

The Supe and I are off to the land of purple mountain majesty for Chanukah, to see my Troublets and other family and friends. Supposed to be in the '50s all weekend! I'm pretty sure the kids need a Chanukah refresher, and I'm excited to teach them to play high-stakes dreidel.

Coming on the heels of that lovely vacation is the dreaded surgery consult. Not sure I'll have the $20 I vowed to offer the good doctor to just strip mine the pale pink mountain majesty that is my chest! Oy gevalt!

A very merry Chanukah to all my heebs, happy Xmas for the goyim, and happy Festivus for the rest of yinz.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Office Party

Tonight is the night our little office of car nuts, new media mavens and code monkeys gather together to exchange gifts (the Veep is a HUGE The Office fan, and we're recreating something they did on the show — a Yankee Gift Swap. Um ... ok.) We weren't allowed to be cheap or buy a gag gift, nor were we to go nuts.

I bought an awesome chopstick bowl set and silk-covered chinese takeout box, filled it with packets of green tea and fortune cookies, and decorated the box with origami made from chinese takeout menus. That last part was Superfly's inspired idea, and who knew he could fashion a gigantic, flapping crane out of the Xing Wong menu? Take that, chia pet gifters!

Thanking all that is holy, our holiday party will be relatively Xmas-free. Budget constraints mean we're meeting at our favorite restaurant (where we hold departmental meetings) and drinking however many tequila shots our boss tells us to drink. We're working all day on deadline beforehand, so fancy cocktail wear and couture makeup is out of the question.

A casual updo, red velvet Earl Jeans, a yummy black turtleneck sweater, and high heel boots. A sparkle necklace. When I do my telephone interviews this afternoon and when I eat my sad lunch at my desk, I will look so fabulous, so amazing. By party time I should be quite feral and ready for those tequila shots. Which, by the way, our boss does not himself imbibe &mdash he's a teetotaler! Which, by the way, means the tequila he chooses is the cheapest, most Windex-tasting stuff in existence. He means well, right?

You know what's weird? I really like everyone I work with. They are awesome. I hope they have the best holiday, whatever variety they may celebrate, and I hope the person who gets my gift likes it a whole bunch.

Any funny work holiday party story you want to share?

UPDATE: The party was a blast, several long-tme interns/probationary employees were brought on full-time and our hard-working Assistant Ed. was promoted. The gift swap? There were a lot of copies of The Office on DVD. I happily got a bottle of my favorite bub, Veuve Cliquot, and the recipient of my chinese takeout package genuinely loved it. Shots of tequila: four Dinner: delish (and paid for!) Tipsy, stumblin', fumblin', mumblin' subway ride with a giant champagne bottle? Priceless.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Katie Couric, Say it Ain't So?

Workday mornings are all about routine:

1. The alarm goes off and I get up and out of bed (I despise the snooze button).
2. Arrange the pillows and blankets in a pile and cover the bed in gigantic plastic sheet, so the kitten does not pee on the actual bed (for the millionth time).
3. Turn on the Today show and listen/watch distractedly while getting ready for work.
4. Post-shower, sit on the plastic-mummified bed for a minute and watch Today.
5. Finish getting ready, check the cats have nourishment, grab the Ipod and Metrocard and flee.

Only this morning, around No. 4 on that list, something different happened. Ann Curry, Matt Lauer, Meredith Viera, and Al Roker discussing re-gifting. Ann and Meredith disavow the practice. Matt is not against it and actually looks smugger than usual. Al says he's been a recipient of re-gifting. Matt chortles and says, "Yeah, from someone who used to work here." Al looks stricken. Ann and Meredith both have that smiling-while-shitting-bricks look.

Really? Katie? Maybe not, maybe it's someone off-camera that no longer works there.
In any case, I'm thinking a re-gift from Her Anchorness would not be a Chia pet.

To Hell with all that, really, because Neil Diamond is on TV now and I am busily melting into a pile of goo.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

No, really, how do I look?


WTF Jimmy Carter?

I withdraw all respect for you earned by your humanitarian deeds such as Habitat for Humanity and peace efforts in various countries.

Why? Carter's new book Palestine, Peace not Apartheid (no, I won't link to it) makes the egregious and ludicrous claim that Israel occupies "Palestine" and mistreats the poor little "Palestinians".

Great idea, asshat: stir up controversy in an already volcanic situation, to sell books — and maybe even get Nobel consideration, right?

Well fuck you, peanut man. Fuck you and fuck anyone who calls themselves a "Palestinian" and weeps over the corpse of their terrorist relative.

Want to live as a free-wheeling Muslim? GO LIVE IN A MUSLIM COUNTRY

Don't like civilians getting blown up? DON'T ALLOW SHITBAG TERRORISTS TO USE YOU AS A HUMAN SHIELD

Don't like how Israel runs itself as a country? LEAVE If the surrounding Islamic countries won't allow you in past refugee camps, what does that say about Israel? Nothing. You're the complainer, Israel is just going out the business of being a Jewish state surrounded by hostile neighbors.

There is no such thing as a "Palestinian" homeland. That idea was invented by enemies of Israel who LOST WARS WITH ISRAEL and are bitter in their humiliation.

If you live in Israel and are Muslim, you are Israeli and Muslim. Don't like it? GO SOMEWHERE ELSE

I don't know what your solution to Middle East strife might be, Mr. Carter, but I have a feeling it has something to do with Israel giving land concessions. How stupid can you possibly be? No amount of land concessions will satisfy the people actually running the pity party behind the "Palestinians". Only when Israel is destroyed will Syria, Iran and militant Islam lay off the occupation schtick. But even if their fondest dream is ever realized there will never be peace in the Middle East. Never has been, never will.

If Carter believes these people — ethnically from a variety of Arab and Persian cultures — are besieged indigenous people, perhaps he thinks they ought to be on reservations. I bet Israel hasn't thought of smallpox blankets and moonshine as control methods for the unruly pests...

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Spoke too Soon

My doctor says it can't wait: I'll go in for a surgical consult on December 21. So, I guess the illness-of-the-month for December 2006 will be breast cancer.

Have no fear, I will not be turning this into a sad old breast cancer blog. Nearly two years after starting I haven't turned into a boo-hoo bipolar blog, now have I?

I am not afraid of it, per se, because the available treatments are quite advanced and the survival rates tremendous. Nor do I mind losing all, or some, breast tissue. Heck, I'll warm up the scalpel for 'em! My only fear is that something will prevent me having more children, which is something I really, really, really, really, really, really want to do.

So if I have to have it, getting rid of it better not require chemotherapy. That's all I'm saying.

P.S. I may have a "Cop-a-Feelski-before-they-gone" fundraiser!


Monday, December 04, 2006

Why it’s Easy for a Bipolar Person to Blend in NYC

• Everyone on the street hears voices. It’s called Bluetooth.
• Hallucinations, Part I: Bugs. Unfortunately, there very well can be (bed)bugs crawling all over you.
• Hallucinations, Part II: There’s a good chance whatever lunacy you’re seeing is real.
• Find me someone who doesn’t go on thoughtless and damaging spending sprees.
• Colossal lapses in judgment? Whassamattah, you don’t read the Post?
• Volatile mood swings are expected and accepted as perfectly normal
• Paranoia is a positive trait and the smart choice.
• So you’re unreliable. Everyone’s too jaded and cynical to care.
• Eccentricity is the norm. Topeka calls it “crazy”, we call it “inspired”.
• The average hipster can give you a run for your money on having a short attention span and little short-term memory.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

America's Top Walking Coatracks

Anyone watching Season 7 of Tyra's model farming show? Me either. Mad Love for Tyra, don't get me wrong — small doses, small doses. Anyhoo. Gawker did a quick spoiler on the apparent winner, another pretty giraffe with a stupid name; this time Miss Cover Girl Ad Extra is named after a shopping avenue in L.A.: Melrose. The episode airs December 6, if you want to check it out.

Bored on a Sunday evening, I clicked around and found some REALLY ANGRY and MEAN Melrose Bickerstaff fans here who have a caps lock addiction and strong ideas on just who "owned" whom on American Top Model, Season 7. Makes for good schadenfreunde (I know the commenters spelling is atrocious, try sounding it out).

*Wave* to anyone checking out my blog from my comments on Gawker. Thanks for stopping by! I'm actually no one of consequence and my blog is choc-a-bloc with useless information and boring stories, but I'm thrilled you had a passing interest.

In other news: I broke a personal record in online Mah Jong Solitaire (Taipei).

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Friday, December 01, 2006


Attention Whoville: You Suck!

For me, there isn't much to like about the month of December. I hate the cold, despise the snow, and loathe everything about Xmas.

I remember December mainly for illness:

December 2000, I underwent a biopsy to determine if what was left of my diseased thyroid was cancerous.

December 2001, I had strep throat so many times that they decided to remove my abscess-ridden tonsils.

December 2002 I was hospitalized for anxiety.

December 2003 was a major flu month (I'm allergic to flu shots!)

December 2004 found me back in the mental ward, for severe depression.

Last December, I spent way too much time in my beleaguered doctor's office for IBS, knee pain, back pain, insomnia, and allergies.

Things are looking good for this December. The breast cancer stuff happens in January, and I had the flu in November. All the things that bothered me in past Decembers have been resolved through medication, surgery and physical therapy.

I'm fine. I have a great job that I really enjoy, I have Superfly, I am heading out in two weeks to Colorado to visit my kids, I am relatively healthy, I am not broke, I am not currently warring with anyone and I can finally sleep without being drugged.

It's enough to make me want to celebrate the month of December.

If only there wasn't Xmas to ruin everything. Even the damn accordion player in the subway station is playing those stupid fucking carols!

Bah humbug!

There, that's more like it. :)

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