hikaliber bookcart: Marques, Jong & Ellis

In dual lawnchairs without even an umbrella as protection against the against the scorching NY summer sun she and her partner are peddling books. He could easily be her husband or her brother as they are equally toothless, sunbaked and bedraggled. Her shock of frizzed white hair sits atop her head in lopsided ponytail. Her skin looks like a distressed leather jacket. She’s stretching out her poor tanktop with tits like sad beagle ears. This woman was the highlight of my day. Not only was she the nicest salesperson I met all day (I admit that not a hard accomplishment in Manhattan) but she sold me these three gems:

Hooray Books!

Hooray Books!

Gotta’ read the (modern) classics!

At $12 total thats a steal even for street vendor prices.

I don’t admit regret much. But one thing wish I did was take school more seriously when I was forced to labor thru’ it. I’m no slouch in the reading department but I totally do myself a disservice plowing thru two old Jackie Collins novels a week just to fill my reading fix. (Only the old ones, tho’. Her recent stuff is crap. More on that probably later.) So I guess this is me making amends with my brain by feeding it only babyfood.

And for addictively watching Daisy of Love.

(Call me, Flex! ill b ur gurl)

(sidenote: i tried to read One Hundred Years of Solitude  once in college… in Spanish. Needless to say I overshot myself there. I’m good. But not that good. Less Than Zero was a timely find as I just watched American Psycho  for the first time last week. The Jong… well, I want to see what the hubub was about. The back cover says theres a “… wild sexually exravagant bolt across Europe” which souds alot like classic Collins. Technically I’m cheating.)


THIS plus THIS: me as a kid

Thinking about The Cosby Show and Lisa Bonet  and Denise, Vanessa and Rudy made me think about what I was like as a kid. Kind of like the game I like to play “Who Would Play You in a Movie of Your Life?”  which led to the other game I like called THIS plus THIS.

Me as a tween equaled THIS plus THIS:



Yep. Pretty much.


Take one pair of Doc Maartens added to a base of  Catholic school uniform. Douse liberally with a mixture made before hand of equal parts sarcasm and precociousness. Stir.  Season with secret readings of Jackie Collins novels to taste. Add high perscription glasses as garnish.

i want lisa bonet to be my life coach

lisa bonet

professor bonet/moon

I want to take a self-improvement course with Lisa Bonet as life coach.  Anybody who has been wedded to or life-partnered by both Lenny Kravitz AND Jason Momoa needs to teach a  class.

Anybody who has been wedded to or life-partnered by both Lenny AND Jason and can have them both whipped   hypnotized   blasted on peyote or some other natural yet eclectic hallucinogenic  on good terms off the strength of her abilty to make any scenario in which she is involved infintely cooler needs to teach a class, write two books  with diagrams and quizzes and  have a motivational speaking tour.

She makes things like this happen.

She makes things like this happen.

She’s bohemian, creative, mysterious, independent and gorgeous — all the top things that I had on my ‘when i grow up list’. Controversally (at the time) nude in a film as opposed to the more popular and timely naked on the internets via cameraphone, she’s famous for the body of work that she’s done and not for getting out of limos with no panties on unlike  so many other actresses who grew up on camera. Not that I am assuming that shes never participated in ‘crazy hollywood’ behavior. She’s just better at keeping it underwraps. Managing how to do that could be a class on its own.

lisa bonet yoge

obviously she is skillful at amazing feats of balance

When she randomly pops up in some big buget movie or prime time TV show its like a blip. Its like peripherally seeing a ghost. You say- “hey wasn’t that-?” but then she’s gone before you can finish the sentence.

She was  everyone’s favorite Huxtable  kid. And A Different World lost more than a little when she left. Whitley Gilbert was not an acceptable stand in, IMO.

Nice Try.

(sidenote: You can just tell Whitley Gilbert was like a third generation Jack &Jill kid. Does that make me jealous? A little bit.)

(sidenote: I’m wearing the  skirt she has on right now.)

Anyway, this How To Win At Life class would probably be taught somewhere kind of like the  Learning Annex,  keeping it accessable because Professor Bonet/Moon (in my head) seems like the kind of person that would want to empower the masses.  There would be field trips to visit practicing shamans and to planetariums  and to local artisans who would give a lesson on how to make our own hand tooled (vegan) leather knapsacks and jewellry.

Vanessa Paredis would be a guest lecturer. Angelina Jolie would  come too, but she’s in a helicopter working on the syllabus for her own class next semester.

When I was just a lower case k, we used to play the Lets Pretend to be Characters from that Popular TV Show game.  When we played Brady Bunch I had to be Jan. If we were playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I had to be  Irma.  And that tells you everything you need to know about me as a kid.  I understood my role in society and in the afterschool game hierarchy.I accepted it. But if it was The Cosby Show day it was game ON. I didn’t care who I was in life currently I was practicing for who I was going to be.

And technically, I was more a ‘Rudy’ (precocious, borderline annoying, youngest sibling that the older kids alternately ingored, treated like a pet, or tried to force feed non-food objects)  than a ‘Denise’ (bohemian helion whose parents knew  was smoking weed upstairs but were too tired from life to ask about it). And as  I grew, I became more of a ‘Vanessa’ type teen (awkwardly trying to emmulate what they saw the older kids doing before they all took off for places unknown like ‘college’ or ‘overseas’ or ‘band roadie’ but was about seven-to-ten years too late. Like a Deadhead anytime after… well, ever.)

Happily, I’ve gotten my life more evened out now. I think I’ve come into my own a little bit more from thinking asymmetrical haircuts were cool, (technically seven years too early).  I’m doing my own thing. But I truly think my life would  benefit- the world would benefit from a signed copy of the take home manual and audio lecture  on CD.

my retirement from fabulous

I used to be Fabulous.
velvet rope
(capital F- fabulous, thanks.)
I used to be THAT Chick.
THAT Chick With Those TALL CHICKS over there on the other side of the rope.
Maybe that’s only considered Fabulous By Association but it worked.
I was THAT Chick with those TALL CHICKS so do let us in
Mr. Earpiece-Wearing-Scary-Bouncer-Man-Who-Holds-the-Key-to-the-Outcome-of-So-Many-Peoples-Evenings-in-Your-Meaty-Sweaty-Palm.
As a matter of fact when I was THAT Chick Here With Those TALL CHICKS (TChwtTC)
I didn’t wait on line for shit.
And on the rare occasions it did happen my companions would stand right up in Mr.Bouncer and Miss Guestlist’s face. They would be looking so surly, so put-upon so… tall the (probably not very long in the first place) waiting time was drastically reduced.
velvet rope opening

“you too, shorty.”

And the fabulousness didn’t stop once inside.
Asides from the free entry business- being Fabulous garnered you prime real estate seating in the VIP. That means the lighting is flattering and everybody can see you but you can’t really see everybody else.
That means there are free drinks by the champagne bucketload – provided by somebody’s boyfriend in finance.
On some (rare) occasions the girls in finance would finance a bottle for themselves but that was probably just to prove a point.
(This was before the ‘ECONOMIC CRISIS IN ALLCAPS’, of course).
That means it’s a private party hosted by an agency or magazine or some photog’ or music industry type.
That means someone next to you has been in a commercial.
That means someone owns a Bentley.
That means someone’s been to a party with Diddy. With an invite.
And beside the table service bottles there’s the:
‘New Guy Trying Too Hard to Get in Good with the In Crowd’ drink
‘Not-Even-Close to Being VIP Dude You Met In Line for the Bathroom Who Saw You Walk Out of the VIP and Thinks You Can Get HIM In (or at least thinks he can score coke from you)’ drink
and then theres always
‘Trisexual Model Trying to Seduce You With Alcohol’ drink.
I loved being Fabulous in the club.
big shades big hair
I loved the VIP. I love the drinking. I love the extra space on the dancefloor.
But as much as I loved it I have to be honest– I was bad at it.
For starters, I’m only 5’5.
So sometimes –despite looking the part of THAT CHICK at all times– in order to get in I’d still have to have a TALL CHICK nearby to vouch for me.
Next, my ‘Bored’ look usually just looks ‘Mean’. Mean looks don’t get you free drinks in the club.
(sidebar: I don’t condone typical freeloading, golddigging bitchery—but in my first foray into Fabness I was fresh out of college and flat broke and interning for free. I’m not gonna look a giftdrink in the mouth.) Anyway, a mean face won’t help get your thirst quenched. Unless Mr. Drinksponsor is also a masochist and ever looking for excuse to use the classic openers:
‘Smile. It can’t be that bad honey’
or ‘Why you looking so mean?’
To which I would typically respond with “because I am mean.”
Yeah. No drinks there.
Leading to the third reason I sucked at the fab-life:
I suck at small talk.
Mean face aside, anything past ‘Hey, hows it going?’ and I’m toast. DOA DNR (Dead On Arrival. Do Not Resuscitate.) I’m rendered completely at a loss for words and left staring down at my Fabulous shoes on the Fabulous “IT” club linoleum. And you won’t be sitting at the cheerleader’s table in the VIP for long unless you can prove your worth. Those TC’s are ever wary of fresh female meat.
If you can’t rope new (rich) guys into the circle you’re just one more mouth trying to drink from the free bottle. And that’s not gonna help you keep your seat.
Another reason I’m not fabulous like that anymore is because I ‘m label conscious enough.
(sidenote:that was only an issue when I was Uptown Fab or WestSide Fab. And don’t get me STARTED on being properly sartorially Downtown, Eastisde or Hipster Fab. That’s a different rant for a different day.)
I’ll never forget the time a TC dug in my purse for the label because she was convinced it wasn’t a real Chloe bag. She was shocked/appalled/disgusted/amused that I had taken its lock off and called another TC over to inspect:

TC1:Can you believe she took the padlock off of her Chloebag? TC2:Whats the point of having a Chloe bag with no padlock?

Me: Because the zipper was actually working rather nicely on its own?

This girl knows the score.

This girl knows the score.

They ultimately decided my “IT”bag was the real deal. I ultimately decided I’m not cool enough for that shit. I’m not as broke as I was as an intern (i.e. not completely). But a far cry from the point where my spending money would even merit giving a fuck about “IT” bags. My mom gave both me and my sister a REAL Louis Vuitton as a ‘Welcome to Womanhood’ present. (not to be confused with the ‘Welcome to Menstruation’ present which consisted of a giant box of pads and a ‘don’t come home preggers’ lecture. Was that TMI?) Meantime I hardly use the (gorgeous classic and fabulous) bag because its so de rigueur for a FabTC that it doesn’t even feel fab to me. When I carry it I feel like I’m trying to claim membership to a group I’m not involved with and particularly dislike.

(And who honestly wouldn’t claim me anyway.)

Sigh. I’ve not even really mentioned the GUYS in the Fab scene…



I saw enough vertical stripes in ’05 to last a lifetime. All dumb muscle wrapped in fence post. This weekend I ran into one of the TCs that I used to hang out in the vicinity of.

We were both primping in the mirror of this “IT” bar bathroom
(I should have known better than to venture higher than 42nd!)
After my gut reaction of deer-in-headlights ‘to greet or not to greet’ deliberation I took the highroad and said hello. We air kiss (seriously). Shared some small talk that was (surprisingly) not-completely awkward. She did say that the scarf on my head was ‘supercute’ but she wasn’t ‘artsy’ enough to rock it.
(Was that a dig? Awkwardly worded compliment?)
Sigh.I happened upon fabulosity by accident; but entered into normalcy (artsy-ness? sideeye.) on purpose. I don’t miss trying to decode things that people say. My feet don’t miss always having to wear 6inch heels (now I do it bc I like it). I don’t miss always being on my toes literally and figuratively. Flipside: my wallet does miss free drinks and my ego misses not crossing my fingers at the velvet rope.
All in all, I’m (mostly) glad I retired from Fab.
Or I rather, glad I quit my internship at Fab because the openings for fulltime with tenure were too few and far between. As I’m running around in my new post-Fab life I can’t help but… what? Stare wistfully? Gape and drool? Die inside slowly remembering what could have been? Uhm, I can’t help but glance over as I pass the new “IT” places. The lines are wrapping around the block, the bass is thumping through the concrete and glittery girls are tottering on too-tall shoes ingnoring the velvet rope protocol. I think to myself

Damn! What is going on in THERE?” And have to laugh at myself when I remember that I, in fact, know whats going on in there.

I used to be what was going on in there.

I have to shake it off and keep it moving downtown– where I’ve enough moxie to get in solo.

All 5’5 of me.

ich liebe dich, doggie

I was a weird kid growing up.

Weird in the things I liked and weird in the very specific things I wanted to accomplish as an adult. Like dogs, for example.

Ok, sure. Most kids want dogs.
And true, most kids have fantastic ideas of their far-off impending adulthood.
Stick with me here—

First (ignoring for a moment the fact that I am a city person), I was going to move to Long Island.
Still here?
Then I would be able to get two Doberman pinscher dogs and they would have a big yard to run around in.
Not weird yet, right?

Having the large country house was a double necessity.
Dobermans are larger dogs.
Large dogs make large poop.
With a great big yard I imagined I could teach them to just bury the poop on the property (somewhere that the lawn wasn’t as aggressively manicured) so that way I could have the dogs and not the unsightly, squishy, smelly mess.

Pssst. Im about to drop a load of biscuits behind the hydrangeas.

"Pssst. I'm about to drop a load of biscuits behind the hydrangeas."

In this imaginary mini manse out on Long Island, (next to Gatsby?)
I’d have one girl dog and one boy dog. And name them Van and Tai respectively.

(sidenote: I know currently the more popular ‘purse dog’ is on trend and that makes sense to me, too. If you really love your dog you want to take it everywhere with you to annoy people. I had that base covered then also. Eventually I would add a third dog to this growing menagerie– a mini pinscher. No name as of yet )

Anyway, the dogs are obviously a homage to Vanity and Taimak – the stars of the 80’s cult classic The Last Dragon.

They look adorable in rhinestone collars.

They look adorable in rhinestone collars.

So my relatively small self wanted to grow up and have these two stereotypically big snarly mean ass dogs. And train them to attack on command. In German.

As a kid I really wanted to learn to speak German.
Hopefully fluently but specifically and originally just to talk to my dogs.I wasn’t a Bavarian fanatic (altho’ I still have a prediliction towards German engineerd cars) But on the subject of my future canines in my mind it only made sense.

If you are training someone it would just seem easier to relate to them in their language of origin. It’s the same reason all your instruction manuals are written in a thousand languages regardless of the country you bought them in.
Obviously the Dobermann was first developed in Germany, and out of respect for the rich history of the breed (not so much the scaier history of the people) I wanted to communicate with my dogs in the language that they would inherently understand.
And teach them to attack people on command.
(sidenote: I watched musicals alot as a kid. I think the German/dogs thing may have originated with constant rewatching of the Sound of Music.)
I also wanted to be a pirate, a ballernia, a lounge singer or a Thundercat.
The dog business would have worked out in all cases. Except fot the Thundercats. Alpha-Dogs and Alpha-Cartoon-Cats probably wouldn’t get along.

im not cool enough to be a twit

So I signed up for Twitter but I don’t ever use it.
I think I borderline refuse. For starters I’d say it is because I’m pretty sure that I’m not cool enough to be a twit. Jump online to talk about what I’m doing every second of the day? Who wants to throw a party they know no one will attend? I’m not famous or screwing anybody famous or marginally famous because I’m on a reality TV show. I have a hard time believing that folks on the internets would want to know what I’m having for breakfast.

(Toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas, fyi.)

Or, alternately– I’d like to say I am too cool and am anti band-wagoneering (but am totally promaking up my own words), and wont join any group that will have me. A friend of a friend is now addicted to Twitter but wants to keep it a secret because she’s embarrassed for liking it. I hate the hipster-y manifesto that if things that are too popular (i.e. not underground) they become automatically un-cool. But I love the way I get to shrug Twitter off blaming that same rule.

[Tangent: Does that mean that records are still cool or un-cool now? All of the uber-cool, ironically dressed ‘dudes’ I went to college with loved records and talking about record collections and sound quality or somesuch shit. But if kids that are that much younger than me, and can’t even remember records (and my own recollection is foggy), will laud them due to that other Hipster Tenet of ‘retro obsessions’—does that mean talking about records is in fact ­not cool anymore?]

I do hate the ad agency way of using Twitter trying to capitalize on what the correct demographic is doing. It feels disingenuous. Like R&B music video styled fast food commercials.

People fear what they don’t understand and I don’t know how to use it and I don’t think learning will make me cooler or younger. (For the record I felt the same way when I first heard about mini-CD’s. One outta two ain’t bad.) Breakfast posts and gratuitous pizza/bathroom shots aside; I find it kind of pointless and also kind of creepy. A voluntary live-feed for Big Brother. If you will excuse my geekery for a moment but I can see it morphing into a RL RPG*. It’s the herald of a new era of actual virtual reality… if  a tree falls in the forest and no one twits about it did it happen? (No.) Granted you have to do actual things in your real life in order to twit about it

But I’ll defend it from my outsider standpoint to friends of mine who are even more technologically geriatric (and whose insides are filled with more haterade, vitriol, spite and dirty looks tossed at the cheerleaders’ lunch table than even I can employ). But that’s only because I like to be the coolest of the uncool kids. I’ll fwd them the cool/funny/relevant Twitter related links like a Black Eyed Pea induced black eye or that indie musician who made an obscene amount of cash simultaneously liveTwitting and indieEbay-ing (yeah more made up words). It’s selfish because I am just halfway hoping maybe if they bandwagon (pulling their cart along by foot like the Flintstones), I‘ll get dragged along too and get hoisted up in the cab by proximity. But to no avail. They’ll just grumble something about slow dial-up and ask how to set the clock on the VCR.