Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blurb's The Word.

Stephen Colbert's interview with writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak was absolutely brilliant and I particularly loved the blurbs he offered for Colbert's first children's book, I Am a Pole (And So Can You!)

"The sad thing is, I like it."- Maurice Sendak
"Terrible quality of ordinariness."- Maurice Sendak
"Supremely ordinary."- Maurice Sendak

This got me thinking. I don't actually have a written record of blurbs for my book. I think it'd be cool for promotional purposes, but mostly, I have really funny friends and I think you guys could come up with blurbs as awesome as Sendak's. (BQ, I'm looking at you.)

So I'm reaching out for your help. If you've read the book, could you leave a blurb either here on the blog, or on my fb page, or in the Customer Review section on the bookstore's website?
I'll love you forever (that's a long time) and all the blurbs will be put to a vote and the winner will receive a copy of the book plus a short story written about them. You love to read about you!

"But Jess," you say, "I've already read your book and don't want another copy."
To which I reply, "You don't have friends? Give it to one of them."

Up top internet high-five of thanks in advance.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Don't Refuse To Accept That This Is Not Butter.

You know when you're searching for a book in a library and you have to say the alphabet aloud over and over as you walk through the rows? I obviously know that f comes before g, but I'll be damned if I can remember it without whispering the song quickly to myself.

Well, multiply that speedy whisper by a thousand and you have an idea of the schizophrenic mess I looked like in college while taking exams in my logic classes. The idea was to prove if a statement was true, but all you really need to know about these tests is that they consisted of A LOT of double negatives. Not not A LOT. There were so many negations in these exams that I had no choice but to read everything out loud so that my head didn't explode.

It went something like this:
"If not A is true then A is not true, false, so not true, then not not A is not not not...." [Boom.]

It was during this time that I seriously tried to get the double negative "NOT!" craze going.
"You look good! Not! (pause) Not!"
"You look nice."

But to this day whenever I hear someone use a double negative I get a really distant look and go off into my head stringing together groups of nots. Not knots, but nots.
[Boom. ]

So since the first time I heard Meredith repeat the bit about I Can't Believe It's Not Butter from The Vicar of Dibley, I've been unable to shake it. Sure, I forget about it from time to time, but one mention of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and I can't not start saying it.

I was watching this clip again the other day and I wondered if any other food could get away with a similar name. Would anyone buy something called, "What Do You Mean This Isn't Meat?!" or "But It Feels Like Cheese!"?
I doubt it.

The Wikipedia page for I Can't believe It's Not Butter has a great list of the imitation knock-offs:
  • "Butter It's Not!"
  • "Isn't It Butter?"
  • "What, Not Butter!"
  • "Could it be Butter?"
  • "You'd Butter Believe It"
  • "You'd Think It's Butter!"
  • "Unbelieveable[9] [sic] This is not butter"
  • "Not Butter But Better"
  • "Tastes Like Butter"
  • "Is it Butter?"
  • "Utterly Butterly"
  • "Better By Far"
  • "This is not Butter. It's Butterific!"

This is probably my new favorite list as far as lists go. But also, I think these names could be used for almost any product and still be not false.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Who's Jim Jebow?

I know an athlete has made their presence known outside of the sports world when my mother mentions them. I wish I had a picture of what my face looked like when she asked me a few years ago, "What do you think of Ochocinco?"

I was at a complete loss. I remember feeling my brow actually cramp up in confusion.

"His receiving game?"
"His dancing!"

And you could have knocked me over with a feather when she told me Lamar Odom got traded to the Mavericks.

"Mom, how do you know that?"
"E! News. It's actually pretty sad for Khloe. What's she going to do in Dallas?"

As far as my mother is concerned, sports only exist in relation to Dancing With The Stars or the Kardashians.

But Tim Tebow she knows. Everyone knows Tim Tebow. Call it what you want, but he's got a great story it's entertaining as hell heck. The fact that my mother watched last week's Broncos game says everything you need to know about the hype. People are on board.

So because Tebow is completely unavoidable, I've been conducting a social experiment to see how people react when I gently ask, "Who's Jim Jebow?"

The short answer: They are not amused.

If you want to hear Tim Tebow's name pronounced slowly and with condescension, ask about Jim Jebow. Even my mother, who is pretty much the most patient woman in the world, snapped back, "T-T-T-Tebow."

If you conduct the experiment yourself, let me know the results. I'm interested.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Giving New Meaning To Steamed Dumplings.

My sister recently moved out of Queens and into Manhattan. For all the reasons that my entire family will miss Astoria, one was less obvious until staying with her over the holidays: Take-out.

Over the years she lived in Astoria, Brina created an incredibly detailed binder of take-out menus from her neighborhood. Whenever anyone suggested take-out and vino, Sabrina simply handed them the binder and let them have at it. Numerous apps have now made something like this seem unnecessary, but trust me. With a group of people and different tastes, it's nice to have actual menus.

So when a bunch of us wanted to order Thai one night we played pass the iphone for awhile as we tried to find something close, something cheap, something good, and something with dumplings. (Note: Something With Dumplings is a good idea for a food truck. Don't steal it.) After about 40 minutes of this, Brina remembered that there was a pretty decent Thai place down the street. She called to place the order and I agreed to go pick it up.

Before leaving the apartment, she warned me that finding the place can be difficult.
This was our exact conversation:

Bri: You won't really be able to tell from the street that it's a restaurant. There are stairs on the outside and you have to go down the stairs before you come to it.

Me: OK, but this is the street address, right? That's the number?

Bri: Yes, but it's confusing. You won't actually see the restaurant.

Me: OK, I'm a big girl. I can figure it out.

Heading down the street toward the Thai place I paid close attention to the numbers. Seeing a large sign with the address on it I shook my head. Sabrina had made it sound like the restaurant was buried underground and I would never be able to find it without explicit directions. There was a GIANT sign with the street number on it visible from the sidewalk. I thought to myself, she must think I'm a complete idiot.

I walked down the outside stairs (as instructed) and into the building. I was immediately struck by how warm it was in there. They must have a big kitchen, I thought to myself. Then, rounding the corner to go down another flight of stairs, I passed a girl in a bikini. I should admit here that I had been drinking a little that night, so perhaps I wasn't as shocked by this as I should have been. I remember saying excuse me and thinking to myself that it was a little odd, but at no point were any red flags raised. Brina had made it very clear that I would not recognize it as a restaurant.

Heading down another flight of stairs I passed a counter with a group of people standing around but it didn't look like a pick-up counter so I kept going down another flight. With each step I took I heard a, "Hello? Hello?! Hello!" grow louder. Ignoring that and walking into the hottest part of the restaurant, I waved my hand in front of my face to clear away the heavy cloud of steam while looking for a host or server. Instead, I saw two older naked men.

Three things occurred to me at this moment:
1) This was not a Thai restaurant.
2) If it was, I would not be paying for our spicy broad noodles.
3) The angry "hellos" were for me.

Turning around to head back up the stairs, the man at the counter yelled, "Can I help you?!"
Thinking that the Thai place was obviously still somewhere in this building I said, "I'm looking for Thai pick up."

He shut his eyes and shook his head in utter disbelief and yelled back at me, "It's on the corner. Down the street."

When I made my way down the street (to a business with the SAME EXACT EFFING ADDRESS, I might add) I literally tiptoed down the stairs and into the restaurant.

When I returned with everyone's food I calmly explained that the neighborhood Bath-House and Thai restaurant have the same address but are located in completely different buildings.

This is where something like a binder full of take-out information helps the process.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Word Is Spreading Like A Warrior II Pose.

On our way to a fabulous New Year's Eve party, Nessa took advantage the overwhelming friendliness alive in NYC that night. Even people who would never dare say hello to a stranger, lit up and smiled when she shouted, "Happy New Year!" in passing. Every person she talked to responded. This was particularly amazing to me because as a server I struggled to elicit people's drink orders while talking to them at their table. "Hello?...." [Tumbleweed.]

Anyway, reaching so many people on the street with such a positive energy, she realized it might be a good time to get the word out about SIN Workouts. So after wishing people Happy New Year and getting a smile, she would say, "Check out SIN Workouts in the new year!" It was a pretty clever on the spot guerilla marketing campaign, despite the fact that everyone she was talking to was drunk. Regardless, we all started playing along and it was a nice way to pass the time walking to our destination.

Right before entering the house for the party, Mer stopped a girl headed to the midnight run in Central Park and asked, "Do you like to workout? Check out SIN Workouts." To which she replied, "Yeah! I've heard of that! Who invented that again?" To which all of us screamed, "SHE DID!" Turns out she had heard about it through a friend of Nessa's. But seriously? What were the chances?

If you're in NYC, I suggest you start your SINning now.