the worst eateries in new york city, presented alphabetically and with considerable bias:

cipriani 42nd st. at $350/plate, probably the most expensive meal i'll ever eat. fortunately, the evening was a work event and i wasn't left on the hook for so-so risotto, indifferently roasted veggies, and wine that never arrived. gorgeous location, but that only got my hopes up for the food.

fetch. joyless t.g.i. friday's-type american food served in a room decorated entirely with photos of dogs. when i agreed to have green peas folded into my macaroni and cheese, i assumed they had a good reason for the suggestion. they didn't.

nobu next door. resident sushi snob joe called the miso soup remarkable and the fish run-of-the-mill. i had bland tempura and a warm mushroom salad that tasted like a gin & tonic and caused me to vomit with great gusto an hour later. not what one would expect from the restaurant that brought us iron chef japanese.

2nd ave. deli. if you like pastrami, this is your mecca. if you're a vegetarian, you're fucked: they're kosher, and you'll be gnawing on half-dill pickles and bland spaghetti while your meat-eating tablemates roll twitch in near-religious ecstasy.

yet another sign of the apocalypse: the magnetic fields on Page Six.

AS the Magnetic Fields' vocalist/pianist Claudia Gonson was about to play a sad song at Town Hall on Thursday, she lay her hands on the piano and said, "R.I.P. Tony Randall. R.I.P. Tony Bennett," which made the audience members collectively gasp in horror because Bennett, of course, is still with us, reports The Post's Mary Huhn. An embarrassed Gonson called up to her friend "Fiona" in the balcony to ask, "Did you mean Tony Randall?" Even the usually poker-faced singer/ukelele player Stephin Merritt had to hold back his laughter due to the silly mistake, and the band had to recompose itself before launching its next tune.

found a poem from npr at rosebaby's site. it made me cry too.
The Two-Headed Calf by Laura Gilpin

Tomorrow when the farm boys find this
freak of nature, they will wrap his body
in newspaper and carry him to the museum.

But tonight he is alive and in the north
field with his mother. It is a perfect
summer evening: the moon rising over
the orchard, the wind in the grass. And
as he stares into the sky, there are
twice as many stars as usual.


a) i joined a gym. no, really. operation infinite pulchritude has begun again in earnest, and i have the spandex pants with CHAMPS written across the ass to prove it.

b) the magnetic fields show was not as outstanding as i'd hoped it would be. the material from the new album is alright, but i was more excited about the stuff from 69 love songs and the pieces of april soundtrack. the opening act, on the other hand, was ridiculous - andrew bird, this crazy violin-playing kid who whistles more effectively than most people speak. his voice is very jeff buckley, and he's got the infinite pulchritude (trust me, click on his artist entry) thing down. go see him.

c) at phil and lesley's insistence, got my first and hopefully only lap dance last night. i was unable to look at the young lady attempting to amuse me, but we did have a nice conversation about her $1000/month two-bedroom in park slope. emboldened perhaps by this gym nonsense, i also gave my first lap dance (to joe) (hi mom). it should be noted that i'm possibly the worst dancer on earth, so i paid homage to cameron diaz in charlie's angels - for a clothed, non-enhanced girl doing the sprinkler dance in a room full of strippers, i was pretty proud of the $1 i got from some random guy.


a birthday boy on the executive floor gets the first edition of a Frighteningly Notable American Novel at his luncheon this afternoon. i was allowed to touch and get misty over said novel; my boss took it away when i started smelling the binding. i can handle watching ugly $10K handbags change hands, but $10K books are another story.


Q tell me about your spiritual beliefs (if any) and what you look to for enlightenment in that area (ie. a particular book).

i'm an atheist or a pantheist, depending on how one chooses to define either of those. i don't believe in god, heaven, or hell; i believe that humans are no more or less significant than cats, blue whales, japanese beetles, etc. i think texts can be inspirational, but i don't believe in objective truth.

Q if you could change one thing about yourself : physical appearances or a particular ability, etc. what would it be?

it would be nice to require less sleep, and i've always wanted connected earlobes.

A if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be & why?

iceland: friendly locals, quaint national holidays, ludicrous natural beauty (an odd draw for me, as The Great Outdoors and i are not close). a friend of a friend used to have pictures of her visit to icelandic hot springs on her personal site - i think my obsession began with those.


Q What is the worst book you've actually read to completion? Why did you do it? Please exclude all assigned readings (no Henry James fallback plan).

A setting aside the five jillion questionable fantasy paperbacks i tore through in early puberty, i'm afraid i'd have to say great jones street, don delillo. somewhat liking libra gave me false confidence, and i thought DD was essential for the aspiring hipster. actually it was sluggish, wanky, and utterly unenjoyable. but i'd paid good money for it, damn it.


grown-up party favors rock my pants - it's very hard to remember that i want to get out of The Business when i get paid five hours overtime to eat foo-foo food and bring home goodies for the apartment and joe. satan, your leaded crystal is very nice.

non work-related celebrity sightings of the day ('starf*cker safari'):
kevin kline and steve martin

website of the day:

reading and enjoying, oddly enough, hillary clinton's living history. between the ten jillion shout-outs for everyone who has whipped up a guest bedroom, vacuumed the office, or testified before a grand jury for her, there are some entertaining stories.


an asking meme, this time from douglas (adapted for the 'champ):
If you're reading [kidchamp] today or tomorrow, I'd like you to ask me something. Up to three questions, and anything goes--literally anything you want my answers to. I promise not to take offense at any questions, and to answer every one (either [onsite] or by private mail) as well and honestly as I can.
ask, ask! address queries and abuse for me to cuttlefish[at]gmail[dot]com: questions and answers will appear below.

Q What is your favorite meal? (If you nibble things here and there and don't really have time for a proper sit-down, so state.)

A breakfast - i only get to have it on weekends or vacation. nostalgia tells me that i favor stinky english breakfasts from oxford and london: do we trust nostalgia?

Q What the best show you've seen in the past year? (Define "show" as you will: music at a club, theatrical performance, etc.)

A rasputina (goth girls with trembly voices and heavily distorted cellos) at the knitting factory. haven't seen any theater (apologies, accomplished drama friends), and very few bands - i expect either baby dayliner this weekend or the magnetic fields next thursday to cannonball into first place. more on that when the time comes.

Q Pick one problem in the world--profound, mundane, or somewhere in between. You have one month to put the wheels in motion. What would you do, and what would you need in order to solve the problem?

A san francisco motorists suck ass. i would heckle city hall to institute an incident-based nomination system, on a daily or weekly basis, to single out shitty drivers; he or she who generated the most complaints in a given period would be unceremoniously stripped of their license and/or residential parking permits. an audit committee would evaluate questionable "convictions" in the event of peevish voting blocs or the like.

Q i 'll turn to that ever reliable drunk game... marry, fuck, kill.
- brian boitano
- britney spears
- andre leon talley

A new to me: our variation was cyborg, vampire, alien.
marry: andre leon talley (for money and couture cast-offs - and the opportunity to rub out anna wintour and her vogue cronies)
fuck: britney (clearly the richest of the three, but there's that pesky gay marriage thing; if the sex, in turn, happened during one of her benders, i could convince her it never happened)
kill: poor brian boitano (merciful oblivion - his only semblance of life at this point is south park mentions)

Q did lord of the rings: return of the king deserve to sweep the oscars last year? if no, what movie would you have chosen as all-around most deserving of recognition?

A not sure i'd agree that it did - no acting awards, and cinematography went to master and commander. in retrospect, i think it deserved just about everything it received - maybe cinematography on top of that, come to think of it - because it was such a painstaking adaptation of some really difficult works. for an all-around film, now? i enjoyed lost in translation the most, but that's neither here nor there. the only glaring injustice i saw was renee zellweger's win for cold mountain. lame.

Q i'm in desperate need of a decent foreign movie featuring good writing, acting, directing, or cinematography, or all of the above...what's your recommendation? (ps. amelie doesn't count!)

A la fille sur le pont (1999), starring vanessa paradis (aka johnny depp's babymama): a romance featuring a suicidal girl and a circus performer. instead of sex scenes (when was the last time a french movie excluded those?), there are tender knife-throwing sequences set to a marianne faithfull song. even joe was enchanted by this, and he usually won't go near subtitles.
la grande vadrouille (1966): a slapstick comedy about airmen downed in nazi territory during WWII. not the brainiest thing out there, but it's one of the most popular frenchie flicks of all time - and damn funny.

Q how many cats is too many?

A really acute space considerations notwithstanding, i'd say two is the magic number. the ones i grew up with always bonded in pairs, and with any more one starts to run into multiple litterbox / attention / bed overcrowding issues.

Q most of us have dreams which overlook our limitations in life: physical/financial/etc. tell us about one of your ambitions which you are least likely to achieve & what is the reason that is holding you back from it? (feel free to edit that question so that it makes more sense....)

A it'd be rather awesome to volunteer for deserving nonprofits all the time instead of holding down a job. i'd like to say money is the only inhibition there, but i also have the attention span of a mayfly.

Q Did you participate in spelling bees or contests as a kid, and if so, what were they like for you?

one spelling bee, in fourth grade: i made it to the county level and flamed out on, as i recall, bureaucracy. the shame led to a grudge against bees (and, interestingly, bureaucracies) that endures to this day. academic pentathlon in sixth grade was much better, but by seventh grade i realized that showing up to school an hour early was like asking to be beaten up.

Q As an aficionado of good bad movies, how did you feel about "Deep Blue Sea" starring Saffron Burrows, Sam Jackson, Thomas Jane, LL Cool J, Michael Rappaport, and Stellan Skarsgard?

i didn't expect to enjoy it, but i absolutely loved the scene where the shark chases ll cool j into (and through?) an oven. four out of four viewers found the whole film hugely entertaining. on good bad movies, our local delivery guy brought us a free copy of weekend at bernie's with our pizza and bread sticks last night. that guy deserves an award.

Q After the period: one space or two?

these days, one - i believe i learned it as two, but that just looks silly to me. on a related note, i've been getting shit at work for putting a space between, say, 5 and pm. is that a common thing, or am i the asshole?


in lieu of tuning in for the friends finale, i bought myself a blue ring pop and sat without shame in an empty theater for 13 going on 30. no, i lie (that was this afternoon) - actually sara and i lounged in front of a gas fire pit with teeny tiny pillows from the art-o-mat (like a cigarette machine, but filled with sculptures and diminutive japanese dishes). damn it's good to see her again.


had a ridiculously involved dream last night about baby dayliner, a crooner / rapper / karaoke god / exceedingly hot lanky fellow introduced to me via an album from jake. i quite enjoy his stuff, especially raid!, but the degree to which my sleeping brain enjoys him was a surprise. my goodness, those lanky fellows.

from the howling fantods, an energetic entry in their david foster wallace parody contest:
The[1] car[2] pulled[3] up[4] into[5] the[6] driveway.[7] Daniel[8] locked[9] up,[10] and[11] went[12] inside.[13]


[1] Since the reader hasn't yet been acquainted with this particular car, perhaps she would prefer the indefinite article be used instead.[a]
[a] Even though it's obvious the car is definite-article-worthy, otherwise she (i.e. the reader) wouldn't be reading about it.

[2] A blue 2002 Acura RSX. Though Daniel[a] often wished he bought what he had always heard called a 'Weego'[b] a/k/a 'driver's ed car' with two sets of controls (i.e. pedals, steering columns, &c.). Not because he was teaching driving or was even a bad driver, but because he always thought they looked wicked.[c]
[a] The driver-slash-owner.

[b] (or perhaps 'We-Go')

[c] The only other fantasy Daniel has w/r/t cars: the DeLorean, mainly for the stupid jokes he can make about going back in time when he hits 85[i] m.p.h.

[i] [sic]

[3] Or rather glided. Daniel takes very good care of his car despite not being a 'car person.'

[4] 'Up' has always struck him as an odd term to use in this sense. Daniel's driveway isn't on a slight incline as most are, but flat with not even a curb to go over.

[5] Daniel also regards 'into' as he does 'up', considering that there is nothing to make an 'in' to go 'to'.

[6] See note 1 supra.

[7] It's not even really a driveway but more like a very short private road.

[8] Daniel J. Hobart (1975-2036?) has always liked his name, but never diminutive forms like 'Danny', not even as a child when such names are commonplace.

[9] He had a remote-control lock that made things easier. Or so he'd tell himself since turning around, putting a key in a lock and turning it until you hear the 'snick' could hardly be called 'difficult'.

[10] Strangely, this use of the word 'up' didn't bother him at all.

[11] He didn't actually go immediately inside his house, but rather kicked a stone and dawdled a bit before walking to the door and letting himself in.

[12] Daniel never liked the way the word 'went' sounded, but it was still one of his most used words, next to 'also' and 'um'.[i]
[i] Which is hardly even a word, really.

[13] (i.e. his house)

ah, the sinful convenience of finding strangers' sites to illustrate one's wanderings. in laguna beach this is less than coincidence, as most everything is within a five-minute walk of everything else. behold main beach, where many a college friend refused to follow me past the (very, very tame) waves (jake excepted - a good man, as i've noted). behold magnificent and beloved taco loco, cherished in restaurant reviews and my youth hostel in amsterdam. behold the park bench where joe and i finally conceded that one can vacation where i grew up.


top ten kidchamp visitor search terms, apr 04:

locksmith insomnia
short peon alliteration
cockroach poems
syphilis self-explanatory
nice quotation for a deodorant
guys need desperately to pee
lion sleeps tonight ocarina
jem and the holograms transcripts
heather used to strip now she is a flight attendant
pretty summer parasols for buggies


no time for essays! still taking in as much mexican food and coastline as my body can stand.

joe and i ran into james and kacie, the lovebirds from extreme makeover, at the jamba juice in laguna beach. they look pretty decent in person, though james has grown questionable facial hair.