Thursday, July 31, 2008

goodbye, blog 365

So, if it isn't obvious, I've completely fallen off the Blog 365 wagon.

Well, that's not exactly true. It's more like I jumped off the Blog 365 wagon. I first conceived of the notion a few weeks ago, while looking through some recent blog posts in search of some bit of wisdom I'd spewed out into the ether at everyone (or no one) out there in blogland. As I scrolled through entry after entry, with titles like Cookin' with Coolio and Hancock I realized: hardly any of the posts I've written as of late have anything to do with the topic of this blog.

I started this project as a way of exploring the boundaries of identity. And I will say this: when the project began, I was deep in the throes of an identity crisis. I was on the cusp of a break-up with my then fiance, my mother was undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and I was underemployed in a job that I hated. I was seeing a therapist and taking anti-depressants, and my life was pretty much as shitty as it had gotten to that point. I really didn't want to be me anymore. So I decided to become a different person, a new, blonde person, hoping that maybe then, my life would be different.

So, that all happened. And thankfully, life did change. But it occurred to me as I scrolled through those meaningless posts about coolio and hancock that a) I've left a good portion of that growth, reflection, and change out of this blog, for various valid reasons, but still, I'm wondering if I've kept whatever readers I do have from getting a chance to read the good stuff, and b) if I can't think of anything else to say besides "Coolio can get a book deal, why the hell can't I", should I really be saying anything at all? And then there is the fact that people seem to respond to this thing most when I write about waitressing -- does that mean I should be calling myself the undercover waitress? In a way, I've been having another mini-identity crisis as it relates to this blog.

So sorry Blog 365, you had to go. I determined that the pressure to write every day regardless of what I said or how I said it, in my opinion, has watered down my content. It's also led to some good fun material, so let's hope I can strike up a nice balance going forward. You just might not get it every day, okay?

Sometimes a blonde's gotta rest, too.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

sticks and stones

In middle school I was fat. I got teased a lot and it was terrible. But ultimately, being a fat kid made me a stronger, more empathetic person.

Or did it? I mean, the empathetic part is true: I remember very vividly how it felt to be called mean names and treated like I didn't matter, and now go out of my way to say positive things to people and make them feel important and at ease (perhaps this is the key to my success as a publicist?)

But I don't know if being fat as a kid has made me much stronger. For example, if mean Jimmy pushed me into a row of lockers and said, "Move it you fat cow," while walking past me in a crowded hallway, I'd pretty much just want to shrivel up and die. My faculties of reason and wit would completely desert me, and I'd just stand there, jaw open, ready to cry, like a STUPID, WIMPY fat cow.

between agreeing with mean Jimmy ("I am a fat cow and everybody knows it") and blaming myself ("why can't I just be thinner? tomorrow I'm going to try that new anorexia thing I've been hearing so much about") and imagining all of the amazing things I could have and should have said that would have put mean Jimmy in his place ("at least my mom's not my sister", "nice rat-tail, Then, I'd spend the remainder of the day obsessing over Jimmy's comment. I'd vascillatedouchebag", all manner of shameless, flagrant vulgarity.) Sometimes I'd practice saying those things in my head, imagining elaborate scenarios that ended with mean Jimmy in tears and a crowded hallway full of people applauding for me, doing their best to hoist my fat ass up in the air to parade me around the school on their shoulders as their hero.

I never mastered the art of the quick, snappy comeback, and no such thing happened.

Not to dwell on yesterday's news, but it occurred to me after I wrote of the Mystery Man that I felt the exactly same way after he called me a bad waitress as I did when getting picked on so many years ago. (And when the post got excerpted on Universal Hub and an "anonymous" commenter said means things about me, I felt the same way again. And so on...)

And I realized that I really use this blog as a way to get back at those people. It's a venue for all of the wonderful, unspoken rebuttals I have for the massive pricks out who keep on pushing me into lockers. Sure, I may stare at you blankly like a stupid fat cow in the moment, but my wrath will eventually be heard.

After all, isn't that what the Internet is for? To help those who were geeks and losers in high school to inherit the earth?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

the worst waitress ever, starring Kitty

SETTING: A dark, busy dining room in a nameless metropolis. The handsome-yet-haggard mystery man slips into his trench-coat, picks up his umbrella, and makes his way towards the door. He's had enough of this gin-joint for one night. He is brooding, some thought or revelation weighing upon his mind. Outside the air is humid, the streets wet, and the skies heavy...not unlike the man's soul. He turns his back towards the camera and walks away as if to exit, then changes his mind, turning suddenly back around.

MYSTERY MAN: (to the vapid blonde waitress) Excuse me...K-uhr-sten?

WAITRESS: Yes sir?

MYSTERY MAN: I just wanted to tell you...(dramatic pause)

WAITRESS: Yes? Sir, what is it?

MYSTERY MAN: You're the worst waitress I've ever had.

He turns, makes his way towards the door, and slips out into the evening, leaving the befuddled, but strangely intrigued waitress in his wake.

Perhaps that's how the man at Table 48 imagined the scenario tonight. I'm fairly confident that he was unhappy from the moment his party sat down. They were seated at a fairly small three-top -- in reality the table was fine, it's just that his sense of entitlement was too big. They looked awkward and uncomfortable from the moment I offered them drinks. Then later, when they waved me down to tell me they were ready to order, they seemed oblivious the the fact that I was holding six dirty glasses and a plate and would have no means with which to write down their stupid order -- hence my decision to say, "I'll be right with you folks." Presumably all of these things conspired against me to cast me in the role of "worst waitress ever."

Since the entitled man called me by name, it seemed only fair that I write down his and google him when I got home tonight. He's kept his image a secret so I can't be sure, but I'm fairly certain he spends his days ah-nalyzing fil-uhm as a professor (currently working towards his doctorate) from high up in one of Boston's ivory towers. Good for him, as his pink shirt, weird man sandals, and utter lack of charisma make him decidedly un-film-worthy. And as we all know, those who cannot do teach.

I supposed the Mystery Man/Film Professor thought he was being the big man when he ceremoniously told me as he was leaving that I was "the worst waitress he'd ever had." But the line fell flat, his felt exit rapid and forced. He literally ran for the door before I could engage him in conversation about his comment, making the cutting and honest line sound whiny.

The supporting actresses in the scene weren't doing the Mystery Man/Film Professor any favors, either. They were moderately icy, forgettable brunettes who exuded about as much personality and intrigue as two pieces of cardboard.

Overall, I'd say the Mystery Man should stick to the role of film professor -- and leave dramatic scenes filled with witty dialogue to the pros. Like my gay friends.

Rating: Two Thumbs DOWN

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


As I was walking to the post office today, a man told me I had nice ankles. It made me laugh, it was so strange. Then he said, "Peace, peace, peace."

Then the guy in the car going by said I had a nice smile, which made me laugh even more, because here I was getting picked apart on the street by a bunch of strangers.

Everyone has an opinion, I guess.

Monday, July 21, 2008

blonde in NOLA

I am back after a brief hiatus while in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail. Miraculously, my liver is intact. Boston showed up strong for the event and fun was had in spades.

I'll admit, it's been difficult to switch my focus from cocktail-obsessed to blonde-obsessed since I returned. I'll make best efforts, though, and share with you a story that relates to both.

While out after dinner on our very first night in New Orleans, a crew of ten New Englanders and I, including six LUPEC members, a few sig others, and our friend Jeff from New Hampshire, were enjoying PBR on the back patio of the Maple Leaf Bar. There was a seat open next to me, and it wasn't long before an absolutely hammered Orleanian sat down beside us and started blabbering. At first he seemed nice-drunk. He made an incomprehensible comment about something and when one of my compatriots, K, commented back with a light chuckle, he started going on and on about Hurricane Katrina.

"You think it's funny," he said hotly, "to have a hurricane come and destroy your entire city? Well, I don't know what's wrong with YOU because I don't find that funny. We'll see how you like it..." and on and on, agitated, drunk, and angry with us. I'm not quite sure why he started talking about Katrina in the first place.

In any event, the situation was getting very, VERY uncomfortable, when suddenly, Pink Gin of LUPEC jumped in and put a stop to it:

"Hey, you sat down with us," she said.

"Whaaa....?" he asked.

"I'm just pointing out," she explained rationally, "That YOU sat down and started talking to US. And now you're yelling at us. It's kinda rude."

"Oh...I'm sorry," he said. "Hey, it's cool, I'm not trying to be rude..." he blathered, apologetic now instead of drunk. And within minutes, Pink Gin's comments ushered him away, problem solved.

As we applauded Pink Gin's tact, a member of our group wondered exactly what it was about K's comment that made him so upset. "Well, it's Kitty's fault he came and sat down with
us in the first place," K said. "She's the blonde!"

I fail to see how being blonde has anything to do with our newfound friend, and speculate that K may have been looking to make another guest appearance here with such a comment? In any event, it was Pink Gin, also a blonde who saved the day, something that I found so impressive.

Blonde or not, all of my life I've been total crazy-person bait. My therapist used to say it was because I'm "too nice", too open, and an easy target. I wonder if I'll ever master the art of the polite dismiss as it was so perfectly modeled for all to see by Pink Gin?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

wondering about the silence?

It's because I'm in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail. I won't be posting much more than pictures here. Check here & here for more updates...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

size queen

In an effort to try a new look with my latest hairdo, I pinned it back a little bit today, hoping to emulate a more casual version of Betty Draper's 'do on Mad Men.

Halfway thru the night, I felt insecure about how it looked, so asked T, our host, for his opinion.

ME: Does my hair look cute like this? Or just kinda stupid?

T: I don't like it like that.

ME: You like it better big and poufy, don't you.

T: Yup. I'm a size queen, I like it big.

ME: I'm from Jersey. Me too.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

badass blonde

January Jones is my new favorite modern blonde. She is simply amazing as Betty Draper, a picture perfect pretty, vain, fragile, f***ed up housewife this close to losing it, on AMC's Mad Men. Do yourself a favor and check the show out, especially Episode 9, from which this pic was borrowed.

Friday, July 11, 2008

madonna blonde

"Being blonde is definitely a different state of mind. I can't really put my finger on it, but the artifice of being blonde has some incredible sort of sexual connotation. Men really respond to it. I love blonde hair but it really does something different to you. I feel more grounded when I have dark hair, and I feel more ethereal when I have light hair. It's unexplainable. I also feel more Italian when my hair is dark."

- Madonna

Thursday, July 10, 2008

summer reading

Yes, just a little light beach reading.

Our girl appears to be reading Ulysses.

***Special thanks to PH for sending this pic my way!***

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

cookin' with coolio

From Publisher's Lunch...


Rap legend and soon-to-be reality show star Coolio's COOKIN' WITH COOLIO, offering 75 recipes built around comfort foods with a healthy twist, to Amy Tannenbaum at Atria, in a very nice deal*, at auction, by Marc Gerald of The Agency Group (World).

I loved Fantastic Voyage, too, but...Really?

This industry really is in crisis.

* "very nice deal" means they paid $50,000 - $99,000

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

high maintenance

As I've gone deeper and deeper into the empirical study of hair color that beget this blog, my hair has become increasingly high maintenance. So much so, in fact, that it bears no resemblance to the hair that sprouts naturally from my head, which is light brown and naturally curly.

Repeated bleaching weakened the individual hair follicles. Dying it dark brown then bleaching it back to blonde made it porous as a yellow sponge. All of that processing left my hair completely devoid of elasticity, meaning it requires straightening to look normal, and re-curling with rollers or a curling iron if I want it to look interesting.

Or so I thought. I washed it tonight after yoga and since I had no plans to leave the house until tomorrow morning, left it to air dry with plans to re-wet, style, and set it tomorrow morning. The Mathematician and I made dinner and watched an episode of Mad Men, and when I walked passed a mirror several hours later I realized my hair was dry...and curly!

Could it be, I thought. Really? Is it actually exhibiting signs of the old natural curl? And it appears to be true. When we cut it short a few weeks ago we cut of the majority of the hair that had been to styling hell and back. What's left is 60% natural stuff with highlights. It's not the same curly mop as I had back when I was a color virgin, but still, my hair is exhibiting signs of a natural, organic life of it's own.

It looks different, a little wild, but kinda nice, like heirloom tomatoes from the Farmer's Market as opposed to hydroponic hybrids from the grocery store.

I was so convinced that I'd damaged my hair beyond repair, I didn't expect to see it looking so bouncy all on its own ever again. But I guess that's the thing about hair: it always grows back.

Monday, July 07, 2008


We employ a large number of Colombians in all positions at Toro: servers, bar backs, back waiters, line cooks, dishwashers. Most of them happen to be from the same town in Colombia and share the same last name (Gomez.) All of these employees are awesome and I'd say that employing a large percentage of the Gomez family at Toro works in our favor.

Until the family has a big party, like a Quinceanera. Not a single Gomez could be found at Toro this Sunday. We were left with only one back waiter, T, who is awesome but usually works as a host and has never before worked in a restaurant. We thus spent the better part of the evening this close to going down in flames.

I invite those on the other side of the immigration debate to come to Toro on such a evening. When their food takes forever, they can't get a drink to save their lives, their water glasses have been empty for hours, and they can't find their waitress to ask her for some salt because she is elbow deep in a dirty-dish filled bus bucket in the kitchen, I would then like them to weigh in with their thoughts on immigration.

I'm just saying. One night sans la familia Gomez and we were screwed.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


A $300 cake with a fountain in the center. A Cinderella dress in hot pink. Mass quantities of Aquardiente (for the grown ups, of course) and comida de Colombia.

I totally loved the Quinceneara. Pictures will follow...

Saturday, July 05, 2008


Don't be afraid to check it out, despite the mediocre critical reviews. The Mathematician and I did today and we both enjoyed it a lot. Then again, I love most things that the former Fresh Prince does.

We watched it right before I had to go to work at Toro this evening. All night long I kept wishing for Hancock to come help me:

"Hancock, I can't get this screw-top bottle of wine open because I'm a weekling, help!" or "Hancock, I can't push these two communal tables together because they're really heavy. Help!" or
"Hancock, a grown man at my table is pouting and about to throw a tantrum because we ran out of several items tonight since there were no orders yesterday because of the stupid holiday. Help!"

I wished for the good Hancock who says "good job" a lot, not the drunk, messy one.

I see enough of those people in my line of work as it is.

Friday, July 04, 2008


The lavish setting: a 500 square foot private roof deck overlooking the Charles River. Below us, Storrow Drive. Beyond that, the Esplanade flooded with people. Beyond that, the enormous fireworks barge, the City of Cambridge, and the vast, open sky.

It is a gourmet affair. The food is exquisite, the company (I am told) "important", and the wine delicious.

When the fireworks finally start popping overhead they are so close, the ones with trickling glittery tendrils seem to spill all the way over to where we stand, ready to rain bits of fire on our heads. The "Grande Finale" is so grand, it completely obscures the sky with smoke. It's just noise and black clouds, really, with a hint of pink or green poking through between the edges.

A gorgeous, glorious event, but there's something missing: the smell of grass. Growing up we watched fireworks from a blanket in a park in New Jersey, or the middle of Keye's Field in Milford, or some indeterminate pasture in Southern Vermont. I'd dig my hands into the grass beside the blanket, pull up tiny strands and twist them into knots.

I'm not exactly sure how I got here tonight, to this urbane place. It's exquisite and I feel lucky to visit. I also feel nostalgic for grass.

Photo from, Globe Staff Photo/Yoon S. Byun

Thursday, July 03, 2008

he thinks you're someone else...

I am on the way to work, walking down Clarendon towards Tremont Street. There is the cutest little dog up about half a blog ahead of me, some terrier-looking little guy of indeterminate breed. Aw...I think.

He is pulling on his leash, trying to get his owner to go one way, while she tries to get him to go another. Then, suddenly he stops. He's looking at me intently as I approach, and soon starts scampering my way, pulling on his leash in my direction.

"Hey little guy," I say as I pass by. He is looking up at me with such hopeful, happy eyes I stop to say hello.

"He thinks you're somebody else," his owner says. "I mean, you're you, of course," she says quickly, apologetically, embarrassed that what she's just said sounded rude, "He just thinks you're somebody he knows, that's all."

I laugh and tell her he's awfully cute, then set off on my way back to work.

I wonder who he mistook me for? Some other tallish blonde lady with light eyes and short hair? Can dogs even recognize features like that? I thought they went by smell?

It was a case of mistaken identity.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

wine and mccarthyism

Three guys & one girl are sitting at Table 60, and two of them are drinking wine. I offer them another glass.

GUY: Sure, I'll take another glass of this "dry white".

ME: Okay, it's albarino, by the way. (To the girl) Would you like another glass of red?

GIRL: Yes, please.

GUY: Oh, didn't you say you wanted to switch to the "dry white"?

GIRL: No, I'll have more of this -- it's "fruity and red."

GUY: You know, there was a time when you may have gotten kicked out of this country for possessing those qualities.

ME: Yes, there was. Sadly, it was in the not so distant past.

Cheers to the clever guy at Table 60.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

to "anonymous" who keeps accusing me of being a narcissist

1. I find it interesting that you angrily accused ME of reducing my relationship with Dan to mundane & petty experience (hair-washing) when the event held in his memory at T647 included a live male auction and mass quantities of binge drinking. And you took issue with MY posts in his memoriam because you found them diminutive? Really?

2. I will never publish your comments, so stop coming by here and ruining my night by leaving them. I suspect the same person keeps doing this. I also suspect you are white, male, and affluent. Only a person coming from a place of extreme privilege could reduce my blogland quest to make sense of my experience as a modern woman tangled in the complex web of sexism, beauty myths, and all manner of intersections of race, class, and gender to simple "narcissism." You are the kind of trawly creep who makes the Internet bad. I wish only that you would sack up enough to leave a trackback website so I could publicly skewer you on it, as you so deserve. For now, I will settle for casting a hex on you.

3. Shame on you for taking a big, verbal shit right on my head as I mourn the death of a friend who was brutally murdered. Shame. Shame. Shame.

Apologies to my loyal readers, but that had to be said. Scheduled programming will now resume.