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In ALL, PHOTOGRAPHY by Stephanie KleinLeave a Comment

It would have been nice to receive an invite to the Hermes Fall/Winter 2004 Collection Preview Luncheon yesterday, but I didn’t. Indeed, I never received a formal invite to the party I crashed last night either. Call it a trend. I had to beg, and the squeaky wheel bit worked. Click here to view more photos from the Hot night >> Last night I hit The Hotel Gansevoort, where Conde Nast Traveler promoted its Annual Hot List issue. Once I heard India Arie would be performing, it was the event I simply had to find a way into. So my Outlook calendar had to be revised. Move over Lansky Lounge Spring Fling, hello Jeffrey Chodorow (of China Grill, Asia de Cuba, Red Square, Tuscan Steak, Blue Door, and New York’s MIX). You all want to know who was there. India Arie, Elisabeth Rohm, Famke Janssen, Kim Cattrall, Molly Shannon, Patricia Velasquez, Danny Aiello, Keri Russell, Jules Asner, Richard Roxburgh, David Lauren. It was everything I expected: A lot of celebrities I should know the names of but don’t, beautiful people, passing as celebrities, dripping their pink martinis (POMs: Pomegranate juice, Stoli Raspberry, and 7up, orange wedge), amazing weather on the roof, dancing over a pool (thinking the pool scene in It’s a Wonderful Life), skewers of spicy shrimp and tender salmon garnished with an edible orchid, and of course, lots of gay men. India Arie and the company of my friends made my night. I certainly had too much to drink… again… yes at one point I was trying to convince someone I really was Puerto Rican by spanglishing out with the wait staff, who by the by, loved my effort. To show their appreciation of my seexy Spanish acthent… they continued to seek me out, even on the dance floor, to replenish my half-finished drinks. Si, claro que si. Click here to view more photos from the Hot night >> My own personal “Hot List” to come shortly… I know baited breath…

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my tragic flaw

In ALL, INTROSPECTION by Stephanie Klein8 Comments

Destiny isn’t a matter of chance it’s a matter of choice. It’s not a thing to be waited for; it’s a thing to be achieved. I received an email about Greek Tragedy from sleeptodream posing the following question: “There is this theory that the protagonist of the story possesses some sort of tragic flaw which contributes to his/her downfall. The theory explains that the character must not be entirely all good or all evil, but must be someone the audience could identify with. So I wonder, what could be your tragic flaw? “ The quote above isn’t mine; it’s William Jennings Brian’s, and it appeared in a serif font, beneath my senior year high school yearbook photo. Growing up I fed on a diet of achievement, feasted on honors, devoured papers down to their narrow margins, basted myself on progressive ideas, stuffed in theorems until I needed to lie down and do some unbuttoning. I will get whatever I want if I work at it hard enough. Hard enough doesn’t work. It turns out just to be hard. I’m that girl, the one who worked on the assignment the day it was given, even if it wasn’t due for another month. The one who as an infant cried in my crib, drenched with sweat, until my parents caved and put me on a mattress. Determined to get my way, I had a plan; and it’s in a warehouse box today. In the warehouse, in a box, in my old high school diary, you’ll find a one page forecast of my life. A good college. Graduate school. Get married by 26. Wait two years to have a baby by 28. Dear reader, I’m 28, and I never went to grad school. The list might have ended there: baby by 28. Cause in high school that’s all I wanted for myself: to be in love and to have a family. I didn’t bother to scribble down a career that day. Though in an interview with my teenage self, I would learn that she wanted to go to law school to become a trial lawyer specializing in defending abused children. And if she had an interview with her grammar school girl counterpart, she would have learned she wanted to be a writer… um, or Annie. Ambition knocked me on my ass. My peripheral vision was for shite, too many blind spots. All I really knew was that I wanted to be married. I wanted to have a family. And I didn’t care if he didn’t… let me repeat, I didn’t care if he didn’t. I don’t know if it gets more fcuked up than that. It was my plan, see, long before he ever came along, and I was working hard on it. I was patient, not flippant. We were together for three years before marrying. So we’re getting married now, and if you don’t want to, I’ll find someone else to marry, you idiot. And so, we got married. And after two years of paying marriage dues of sunny yellow weekends alone, abandoned dinners due to his pager, and weekly promises of I’ll-make-it-up-to-you’s, I was finished compromising. And we made a baby. And then the glass ceiling broke on my head. I know it sounds like that play-it-safe whimpass spin when a potential boss asks you to tell him what your weakness is, and you chirp some song about being a perfectionist. Blah blah. But my being ambitious (to a fault) is my “tragic flaw.” The days of beating myself up over it, though, are behind this female protagonist. See, I’ve learned from that mistake, and it will always be my inner ear, but I’ve learned to keep the voices in check. Cause when you don’t—well, that’s called crazy.

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In ALL, BREAKUPS & BREAKTHROUGHS by Stephanie Klein4 Comments

I saw you this morning. I was fueling up with espresso on my corner, but my hair was clipped up, so maybe you couldn’t tell it was me, staring at you. See, my sunglasses were on, too, and my face was tilted—and with the way angles can distort, I was any other Upper Breast Side woman with a nice rack. But nothing about the moment was ordinary. I was digging through my pony skin Anya Hindmarch bag, the one I left on the train but finally got back thanks to the kindness of strangers and destiny. While I burrowed for two quarters, I suddenly had to look up, and that’s when it happened. I froze in Starbucks, where they make hot coffee to ward off the cold. A navy blur of you, outside the glass windows, I’m sure of it. You’re in running clothes, and you’re irresistible in them. You think I’ve got more issues now, think I’m mildly crazy even, for liking a guy in sweats, or a t-shirt hanging musty with your sweat. But it’s seexy, and I’m not the girl who cares if you suggest I’m crazy because normal is dull. Normal is coffee from a street vendor. Normal sucks in bed. It’s too late for you to be standing here. It’s completely illogical, but I wanted the guy outside Starbucks who I was certain was you… to be you… for what it’s worth. Call me crazy.

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beautiful girls

In ALL, DRUNKEN BLOGGING by Stephanie Klein9 Comments

I started my first tab tonight—ever. As a woman, you don’t have many opportunities to “start a tab” at a bar. Usually you’re with a boy, or a crowd where someone takes care of it. I’m the kind of woman who will go to a bar alone and not think twice about it. I’ll eat alone, see movies alone (even on a Saturday night), and even drink alone; all the things that make many women squeamish. Okay, I’m not at all shy, and I’ve never been one to care all that much what people think… and that makes me beautiful. But this post isn’t really about me. Okay, this part is: after work, I returned an evening dress to SAKS because $600+ is too much to spend for a dress no one will even notice. I’ll be attending the so-called “Party of the Year”—the METs Costume Institute Benefit on April 26 (next Monday night). Imagine Renee Zellweger to Jude Law, society folk who actually have family crests, with a sprinkling of bling bling, and smattering of Cristal. Then enter me. Me who? Zactly. Return the dress. And so I did. One bag lighter, I was on my way home, walking and struggling in heels. Enter Morrell Wine Bar, 1 Rockefeller Center, and me, corner spot of the bar, Middleseex in hand. I paid for my first Friuli-Venezia Giulia region white, then well, “Hell with it, Barkeep, go ahead, start me a tab.” Did I just say that? Then I ordered another; yes but this time I stuck with a favorite grape—Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand—okay, give me the cheese plate. I’m going to hell with myself tonight. Now back to my book… I’m drunk, and it’s still light out, 7:32 pm. It feels like blackout 2003—everyone is smiling; I overhear strangers introducing themselves as I dehydrate in a corner—listening. And then I ate blue cheese! Talk about firsts… And get this, along with the cheese, the usual wedges of granny smith, bunches of red grapes, chunks of walnut, slivers of bread, were red raisins still connected on their grapevine. How bizarre. Worth a google certainly. A man with a fashionably thin phone makes eyes at me as I eye the bartender for water (nowadays you’ve got to ask). Thin Phone Man wears fashionable glasses, the perfect checked shirt, orange Charvet tie and very thoughtful cufflinks. He must be gay… or waiting on a fabulous woman. Enter the latter, dressed casually in loose white clothing and flats. She has a perfect jaw line, great highlights, and sun kissed skin. She looks manicured and freshly bathed, and if I were close enough to smell her, I’d bet on lemon soap. How do these women do it? Ms. Casual Chic might have just spent the past 2 hours getting her hair blown out to look like she just awoke. Ya know, we do shite like that. I bet Ms. Casual Chic is smart too because I’ve learned not to short sight beautiful women. See, my friends are gorgeous—seriously centerfold material. So it’s easy for a smart girl like me to assume they’re deplete of soul, passion, or wit cause would God really do this to me? I mean would he really make women this perfect just to spite me? The thing is, women like this best me, and they’re my friends. I’ve gotten over it. See when you live in Manhattan, you learn to accept exorbitant rents for closet apartments, that people won’t move into subway cars despite all the pushing through the open doors, and that anywhere you turn you’re likely to find someone wealthier, smarter, and much more beautiful than you will ever be. And then you get over it and embrace, as my friend Kim would say, “the fabeaux which surrounds you.” My phenomenal friends clutch attaché cases, fancy diplomas, and are in a word, fabulous. And I’m extraordinarily lucky to have them to rely on, share stories with, and to call friends, not acquaintances. That’s right bona fide, “I don’t care what time it is” friends, and this epiphany was unveiled to me while sitting at the corner spot of a bar, on my own.

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the dirty eight

In ALL, LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein3 Comments

Familiarize yourself with The Dirty Seven. And don’t blame me if you don’t agree with it, cause it’s not mine. However, blame me all you want for the eighth man out… that definition is all mine, but believe me, I don’t want one anywhere near me. And don’t get all huffy about Sidney Poitier or Spencer Tracey, ’cause I’m not calling them names… just calling upon their names as reference… well, go on, see for yourself once you hit my conclusion. In soccer, upon penalty kicks, three girls form a wall to defend their goal. Their arms cross in xxx’s as they stand tight and locked, like the teeth of a zipper. Xs across our chests prevent accidental handballs and protect our mammary glands. I do it now, in a seat beside you. My subconscious coils tightly inward, ready to deflect the pain when it comes. Everything puckers. You know, I’ve heard this saying, seen it flipped into the air on street corners… something about “you can’t live with a wall up, cause sometimes it’s too thick and tall to hurdle.” Oh please, it’s called caution; they make signs for it on roads. Body language cautions me often, like big orange ground-traffic-control beams. Blazing orange: The Anti-PDA Man. PDA meaning Public Display of Affection, not a palm pilot (though that’s a sign in itself… it’s called Separation Anxiety. Leave that shite at home. That’s right. Put it down. Walk away my friend; walk away). Let’s set the context so we’re in sync: we’re not talking straddles, tongues, and breast or ball fondling here. Insert handholding, an arm over a shoulder, a peck on the cheek, go on, throw in a knee squeeze beneath a table for good measure, all in public. Now we’re, what you call, cooking with gas. See, if a guy is not affectionate, I’ll never date him. Period. However, if he’s affectionate in private, but once we’re with his family or with his buddies he’s more aloof and hands-to-himself, bingo, we’ve got a winna! Anti-PDA Man just walked through the door, and he wasn’t holding your hand. Why does it even matter? Because it does. Because acting and speaking one way in private, then behaving and changing stories in public is called two-faced. Tricia Caggiano called me two-faced once in grammar school; though she meant my double chin. The thing with two-faced people is, it can be very subtle, a dim orange haze, fuzzy as a cotton ball. And it matters because it’s a sign that someone cares entirely too much about what others think. A man who modifies his behavior just because others are around is a man who will see bricks and mortar when he sees me: all wall. I know about tact and not making people feel uncomfortable. That’s not what I’m talking about, and you know it, so put that argument back down and leave it beside your Palm Pilot. Women swoon at movies when the guy gets on the bench and declares his love to the park, the birds, the passersby, and the picnics of families. When John Wade Prentice (Sidney Poitier) addresses Joey Drayton’s parents in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, he declares his love for their daughter with grace and class. It’s not about drama; it’s about communication and guts. That’s what we all want… Someone with the courage to tell you things you don’t want to hear, and who will behave honorably and consistently. In everyday English, he’ll ask you to dance even if the ballroom floor is empty and the music is for dining not dancing, and he’ll continue dancing with you even if the music stops because he’s stuck in a moment with you, one he wants to hold on to. It’s not about tongue; it’s about sweet gestures that defy expectations and the courage to perform them.

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In ALL, JUDY BLUME MOMENTS by Stephanie Klein2 Comments

I never thought it was possible to hate a town. I mean I’ve heard moans about Long Island for the South Shore clientele, Greenwich for the sloppy drunk wasps, and Indiana for the rednecks and spitting. That’s disdain for the inhabitants. Even Seattle and the rain, that’s not the town; it’s the climate. I’m talking about an actual town, barren of people and unseasonable weather. I harbor bitterness and revulsion as fugitives stealing time and refuge in the streets of Nyack, NY. Click here to view more Nyack photos >> It seems wrong to hate a town’s hills. The lampposts are ordinary, but strike me near dead. I hate the harmless smells, the ancient trees and musty yellow laced antique stores, even the way the sun burns its buildings, spitting through tree branches. Nyack’s wrap-around porches and curved wooden benches cradle my contempt in their seats. I actually get a little ill in Nyack, like smelling the cologne of a reckless lover mid-step. I’ve only visited Nyack twice. My most recent trip there was this weekend where my hatred was confirmed to me. I’ll get to my first introduction to the town in a paragraph or five. Okay, relax; I’m getting to the WHY? Hang with me for a sec as I rewind to eleventh grade health class to help illustrate my point. Health class at The Wheatley School, a 2 credit half-year elective course, was a mix of freshman to seniors. One afternoon we discussed pregnancy and fertility. “A woman’s likelihood to conceive is increased with her orgasm.” Mr. Levine said eyeing an illustration of fallopian tubes, cervix, and ovaries, which quite frankly resembles a bull’s head. In the next breath, we’re discussing safe seex: from the sponge, creams, and gels to pull & pray, coke douches, and stop-drop-and-roll. I remember asking Mr. Levine, “Can we please back up here? Um, how’s a woman expected to climax during intercourse if her clitoris is on the outside?” That’s the Stephanie we all know. Mr. Levine turned fuchsia as he paced. Glancing at his feet he complimented, “What an excellent question” and then never answered it. Offering only, “Ya see, this is why this class should not be taught to such a mixed age group.” Then he scurried to his green notepad and jotted something down, probably reminding himself to take it up again with some board members. That or it was a reminder to ask his wife later that night. Okay, that was the flavor of health class. I’m going somewhere… I did learn something in the class, despite its elementary nature, that has stuck with me through the years; it’s that small hovering white cartoon balloon with the fat floating ellipse every time I encounter something or someone I dislike. When our class covered phobias, Mr. Levine assured us there was a reason, in all of our pasts, explaining all of our dislikes or fears. We thumbed through textbook images of fear-stricken faces, arachnids, and pythons. Then the same woman with a boa constrictor wrapped over her shoulders, like a musty fur coat. First they showed her a photo of a snake, then put a caged snake in a room with her… well, they warm you up to it. It’s just like dating again. “Okay, if you’re sitting at a table and introduced to someone new who is wearing, let us say, a purple shirt, and then for some reason, you might instantly hate this person, get up from the table and pick a new seat. Well there’s a reason that’s subconscious to you. You don’t understand the feeling; you just can’t ignore it. Well, you might have been abused by someone who was wearing a similar purple shirt during abusive outbursts.” Okay, maybe you’re getting my point now…but here it is spelled O-U-T. After health class, I inquired with the rents about my hatred of eggs. Shoulders were shrugged, heads turned. Mr. Levine was proved wrong, and I felt dumb for even asking. Then three days pass, and Mom chimes in with, “Ya know, come to think of it…” She’s shaking her head affirmative now, “I was in a rush one morning, so I whisked up a raw egg and slid it into your bottle. Yeah, you were sick and never touched eggs again.” My mouth hung open, and from that day on, eggs entered it. Phobia fixed. So Nyack, what’s up with my hatred for the campy fun streets, lovely art, and well thought out wine stores? I was first accompanied to Nyack by my father, who said I couldn’t sit home and cry all day. Dad searched in mothball antique stores for a new dining room table. I searched for answers in antique armoires, tried to feel the meaning of life as I fingered handmade afghans,…

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laws of attraction

In ALL, LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein6 Comments

No, not the Pierce Brosnan & Julianne Moore movie. You’ve heard it before in period pieces, “Around the mysteries of the female psyche lies a veil which is best left undisturbed.” Man, have I seen Little Women one time too many. Well lean in, I’m going to let you in on a secret, way better than even Victoria’s. I’m whispering so pay attention as the veil lifts. Pheromones are bullshite. Upon learning about them, I was first in line at the cosmetic counter. You can buy perfume laced with pheromones; natural chemical scents the body produces to attract the opposite seex. I was ready and eager to attract a man, panting like Linus when he sees his leash. Thanks to Linus, really, the marketing spin on pheromones has been exposed to me. See, Linus is a disaster bean of a dog. I love him to death, but he’s quite, ahem, boisterous. So, upon a landlord threat of vacating my “too loud” dog and me out of our upper west side apartment, I did what any mother would do. I ran to the pet store and pleaded with the saleswoman, “Please, give me anything to calm him down and make him stop barking.” Drugs, shocks, sprays… just don’t make me give up my apartment (for which I’ve spent too long picking out the perfect shades of paint). She handed me a box mid-sentence. In it contained a plug-in air freshener. “No, see, you’ve got it quite wrong. He doesn’t smell. He’s too LOUD.” I say raising my voice. I need to calm down now too. She shakes her head, and points to the words on the box “Calming Pheromones.” I assume you know by now; the plug-in was superfluous. What a hoax. It didn’t calm him down, not even for a second. But it did get me to thinking, is there anything at all to this pheromone business? I mean, dogs smell one another’s asses, get right up in there and inhale a mass of pheromones. There’s a lesson in there for attracting a mate… it’s too gross to not have a lesson it. Sure, the padded bra, garters, and drum-tight pants help. But you might as well go for it. Dab some vagina behind your ears. Spread it around on any of your pressure points. Forget the vanilla and pumpkin pie scent. Who wants to smell of licorice? You want seex, smell like it. Just don’t do it around your dog.

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dinner in the dark

In ALL, FOOD LOVE by Stephanie KleinLeave a Comment

You’ve got to wear black; I can do that. You’ve got to show up on time; okay, now you’re asking a lot. Though I can always get ready in that I-want-a-girl-that-doesn’t-take-forever-to-get-ready kinda way. Well, sorta. “Dinner in the Dark” at Suba on a Tuesday night enticed me like peacokc feathers. For $90, I got a 5-course meal, unlimited wine, and a glass of champagne with my dessert…and I couldn’t see any of it. In a well-lit lounge, I sat pecking away at my Sauvignon Blanc with my friend Chris until a voice sliced through the mingling with instructions. I was led to the windowless room downstairs (just after pleading with the host not to sit me beside the man who was hitting on me at the bar). Your eyes do not adjust. A phantom hand guides you to your seat, helping you feel where your water and wine glasses are. The wait staff wears night vision goggles. Oh yes, they really do. You can’t see anything. How wonderfully mysterious and delicious. I loved it. Since I was a food critic for 4 years, I knew everything I was eating right down to the thyme. Roasted peppers, crepes, truffled potatoes, puff pastry, all scooped into my mouth with my hands. Doesn’t everything taste better in the dark, with your hands? I should eat this way more often. See what Chris had to say about the night >>

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foreskin tips

In ALL, LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein29 Comments

“How are ya dare?” He asks thick as he raises his beer. “I’m good, and you?” Up until now it’s polite. “Fine. Fine.” He shakes his head. He has a thick scar beneath his lips. “You’re Irish, huh?” I ask while trying to get the bartender’s attention. “Das right.” “So you’ve got foreskin then, huh?” “Goodness gracious, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Where’d a gerl like you get a mouth like dat?” He has put his beer down and now sucks foam off his cleanly shaven lip, as if he’s savoring food from a moustache. “Oh so I’m right den huh pops?” I do my best to mimic his accent. “Who da hell you callin’ pops. And I’ll ave you know, you don’t sound like an Irish. Stick to that redhead chicky voice of yers.” “So, you’re uncircumsized then huh?” “I’m natural. Das what I am, dearie.” He shakes his head affirmative, as if he’s convincing himself of something. “Yeah, girls don’t really know what to do with all that excess. It gets in the way ya know.” “Jesus, gerl, you know I could show ya. ” Now he’s looking at me. “I’m not a daft cow ya know. I’m just tellin’ ya.” I’m back to mimicking; accents are too contagious. “I mean, if we’re jerkin’ ya off, do we push it all down or bring it along fer the ride? Nevermind when we go down on ya. That’s just bloody hell.” My accent has turned from Irish to British. “Some mouth on you. I’ve got the mind to take a bar of soap on ya.” “You know, you’re right. I think I do smell.” I hurry off to the ladies room to smell my pits. I know he wasn’t insinuating that I smelled. (Whenever someone mentions washing a mouth out with soap, I think The Christmas Story and poor Ralphy sitting with Ivory soap as a tongue.) My pits were powder fresh. But something was wrong; it was my shoulder. Someone smelly must have leaned against me and spilled their onion drippings. I was not a roast. Thankfully, I’m always armed with an atomizer of Creed’s Fleur de The Rose Bulgarie (my signature scent). Though, maybe my nose was playing tricks. I needed backup. Upon returning from the bathroom, I ask the Irishman to smell me. “What kinda crazy gotten inta ya gerl.” “Oh come on smell my shoulder; I’m fcuking jumpy aren’t I?” “Jumpy?” “Yeah, jumpy. That’s right.” He cautiously leans in for a sniff. “Yeah, gerl you’re somethin’ ripe.” “Fuck, I knew it.” I spray the perfume on my shoulder. “For fcuk’s sake gerl, you’re gettin’ it in me pint.” His hand flutters then rests atop his Guinness glass. “Well some friend you are, not telling me I stink.” “Doesn’t bother me ya know. I’ve got thick skin, remember?” Touché.

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bitter endings

In ALL, LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie KleinLeave a Comment

I’ve already had chicken soup for breakfast. Now I need an iced grande skim caramel macchiato to get me through the rest of the day. Of course, I’m not allowed to have either on my nazi diet, but it’s a weekday, so it doesn’t really count. It might be gray outside; but I haven’t left, or showered, or done anything besides heat the soup. My neck hurts from writing all day. Last night I went to The Bitter End because I could. It’s one of the reasons you move to Manhattan: to go to Bitchy Bingo night at Lips or the oldschool kind at Tortilla Flats, Trivia Nights at The Slipper Room, Board Game Night at Sugar, Movieoke at The Den, and the Poetry Slam at The Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Freshman year of college was the last time I ventured to Bleeker Street, where they didn’t care about your I.D. And now, ten years later, I’m back on Bleeker, at The Bitter End fighting for a table with a view. Common Rotation hopped on stage, nerdy and buzzing with the energy of yeast. They did a lot of head bopping. I soon learned their fan base originated from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I don’t think I need to say much more about the bopping. Jim Bianco began to sing next; he was Robert De Niro in a hat. I didn’t recognize him. I was actually checking out his clothes, thinking would I ever date a guy who wore striped brown pants with two shirts and a hat, and then I heard his name. Wait; I know him. Jimmy Bianco sang Run Around Sue at our middle school variety show; all the girls of Willets Road School swooned. Brother to Dana Bianco, friend of Hillary Cohen (one of my best friends since fourth grade), Jimmy recognized me. “Hey you went to my high school” He says smiling into the microphone. I shake my head affirmative. “Did we ever..?” I shake my head no, laughing. And that got me thinking about Zack Cohen, Hillary’s brother, who was on the original “Average Joe.” And no, I didn’t have seex with him either. Zack and Jimmy were buddies, and as I watched Jim Bianco up there, I was having a hard time finding a difference between him and Zack. In my mind, those two were best friends who finish one another’s sentences, and I forget which memory belongs to whom. When I went to Hillary’s to “play” which involved calling boys, I remember Zack trying to wrestle us. Wrestling is still foreplay. Unless of course you’re thinking WWF. It’s nice running into people who knew you when, even though you were coming into your own, you were probably more YOU than you are now. Overall, Nostalgia Lane has some nice divots, despite the few bitter endings.

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In ALL, LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie KleinLeave a Comment

My first year of college, I took a course titled, “The Fantastic in Literature” not realizing what fantastic contextually meant. I thought great; fantastic reads, thinking John Irving, David Sedaris, Mona Simpson. Sounds brilliant. Smart. Giddyup. The course, of course, was not fantasticterrific, but comprised of stories with ghosts, spirits, and a host of make believe. Pixie dust. Okay, I’ll concede to science fiction, and you all know by now, I’m not a science fiction girl. I mean, I might like strategy games, but I’m definitely not into deadly moon fungus from lunar ice caves. The class focused on fantastic representations of the body, from the ornate and corpulent to the laconic and anorexic. When I wrote a paper titled Trenchcoat Weather, I focused on fact rather than the fantastic found in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. When you’ve nothing nice to say (even about a book), you restrict your remarks to the weather. And so I did. Most of us think of Frankenstein and think green pallor and bolts, stiff arms of a sleepwalker, a spooky wedding of sorts. Maybe for a second, Gene Wilder. So when I read the book, and learned Frankenstein was a doctor, well, you might as well tell me Dracula isn’t a vampire. In my essay, I contend Dr. Frankenstein’s perception of the natural elements in the novel, is at its essence a creative one, for he manages to steer these conceptions around himself; Frankenstein believes that the elements are there to reflect his emotions. This noble war in the sky elevated my spirits; I clasped my hands and exclaimed aloud, “William, dear angel! This is thy funeral, this thy dirge!” As I said these words, I perceived in the gloom a figure which stole from behind a clump of trees near me; I stood fixed, gazing intently; I could not be mistaken (Mary Shelley). Dr. Frankenstein assumes the natural elements react to the particulars of his every day life. He even goes as far as to declare aloud, while looking up to the heavens, that his brother’s funeral is taking place through the natural elements’ participation in a “noble war.” Well you know what? I’m right there with the guy. Maybe it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, but some days, I believe the weather is what is to commiserate with me. I don’t follow the weather, watch it on the ones, or even open my window when choosing my wardrobe, so I’m usually inappropriately dressed. Toting a camera in the rain, heels in the snow, a ski jacket on an unusually warm one. Best is when it’s freezing out, but the apartment heat is unbearable. Enter the miniskirt in sleet scenario. The sun wrinkles me; the clouds take a piss on my head. But like my feelings, thankfully, the weather is temperamental.

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from bliss to baggots

In ALL, LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein4 Comments

From Bliss to The Baggot Inn. It sounds like a seexual position, but really it was my Thursday night. Began the evening at Bliss so I could hang with Brian, Mike, Matt and my long lost Gary. Gary and I no longer work together, but we’ll always work together. I love that guy. Then, I headed down to The Baggot in a big way. Everything about The Baggot Inn was a downer. Even to think about it now, I get a pit in my stomach. I went to hear Tony strum his pain with his finger. I wasn’t anticipating getting the finger. But I think we made up. Geez, why do men get offended when women say all men are assholes. I mean, duh. (Please, no comments about how you’re not all assholes. I’m not in the mood.) God, I love the acoustic guitar. Once I pay my taxes, and finish all my photographs, and publish the novel, and get around to the blank canvases lining my apartment, I’m going to take up acoustic guitar. Because girls can rock out too; I just don’t like the idea of calluses. I don’t know if I ever felt as alone as I did last night. I didn’t get what I wanted. At least I got to sleep with Linus, even if he did have gas.