Archive for June, 2005

200 Words For Boring


If you thought Jon Pareles’ Coldplay dis was harsh, my Ryan Adams review is up. People, hear me loud and clear. Embracing The Beard will do no one any favors. On the count of three, let’s all shave.

June 9, 2005 at 9:12 pm 6 comments

Radio On!


My fantasy husband is playing the Khyber on Tuesday. I can’t believe I have boner for a 53-year-old man. Here’s a video of Jonathan Richman dancing in a beauty shop with some ladies.

June 9, 2005 at 1:49 am 1 comment

Nancy Boys, Mooks, and Karma Chameleons


A priceless interaction with one of my customers asking for Culture Club, who actually looked more like the older end of the Ying Yang Twins demographic. Apparently there are some people on this Earth who still think that Boy George is a woman instead of a gay man. Dude was like, “I didn’t know he was a faggot! Look how he wore his hair! But then I saw who he messed around with..” Truth be told, there were just as many biological women rocking that bowler hat new wave boho look as drag queens. Then the Most Naive Culture Club Fan on Earth went on to say that he doesn’t listen to rap, too much cussin and nastiness, so he only listens to 80s.

A friend suggested that perhaps the man knew about Boy George’s true identity and sexual preference but it wasn’t something he felt comfortable discussing with his friends (finding another man attractive, does this mean I’m gay too, etc.) so it was better to discuss it with a stranger in a record store, preferably a redhead with ghetto booty.

I humored him and said, “Yes, Boy George was stunning, yes, gorgeous voice. Yes, this ten-song CD is really all you need. These are all the songs you want.”

By the way, I ended up taking the job that I didn’t want after intense negotiating, which says that I never have to come in on a Saturday before 11. They sort of railroaded me into it, telling me that if I stayed at my current Info Bitch/Ticket Bastard position I’d have to start working Saturday onsales. And if I’m gonna be hung over and/or tired on a Saturday morning, I’d rather be hiding behind a ten box lots of Coldplay than selling tickets to Destiny’s Child. Lose your breath indeed.

And speaking of Coldplay, I’m philosophically glad to see the radio and mainstream culture favoring some nancy boys over mooks, but if I need a soundtrack to swoon to, who needs Coldplay when you have Dusty Springfield?

June 8, 2005 at 6:51 pm 3 comments

God Bless You Please Mrs Robinson


The recent passing of Ann Bancroft reminds me of the fact that her character was basically my age in The Graduate, and every time I watch it, I identify more with her and less with Dustin Hoffman’s character. Although my circumstances are vastly different from hers and I have opportunities she’ll never have, I identify with that trapped, restless sort of feeling. At the same time, though, I pretty much want nothing to do with 21-22 year old males, even if they do look like a young Dustin Hoffman, sigh. There’s something about the babysitting aspect of that relationship that would be a major buzzkill.

Today I also felt badly for a mother who called Stupid & Crazy after being told that her son was caught stealing. Instead of feeling the kid’s humiliation (combined with the usual, duh), the mother just sounded so freaked out. I was trying to imagine what sort of job she did for a living and what it was like to get that call at work and feeling enraged and embarrassed for her at the same time. Reason 754 I’m never having kids.

June 8, 2005 at 6:23 pm Leave a comment

Generation Debt


Maria and I spent about two hours sprucing up my resume on Friday. She is really good at making mundane things sound genius. I’ve applied to a both a “cool job” that I’m actually qualified to do and a job at a finance company and have heard nada. I’ve considered writing “Would you like a blowjob” or “How far do you need me to bend over” since having actual real world experience seems to count for nothing these days.

When I was younger everyone mistrusted Gen X and now no one gives a shit about Gen X, and Gen Y and Z is hotshit because they’re more than happy to be unconscious consumers or to make themselves products to consume other products. It strikes me at how many blogs I read that look to be mini-Rolling Stones and People Magazines instead of a unique individual statement with interesting writing and/or ideas. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with covering pop culture, it’s the lack of critical eye that bugs me. And if you’re not looking for bandwidth money from advertisers, what do you owe Britney or Paris Hilton or Jack White and his emaciated model wife?

But I digress. If anyone reading this thing wants to see my resume and knows someone who needs a babysitter, concierge, social worker, publicist, receptionist, gadfly, drop me a line at saraATplainparadeDOTorg.

I’m actually making a concerted effort to get out of Stupid and Crazy, since they are fucking with my hours. The company HQ used to require a 30 hour minimum for health insurance, and I was at 32, four days a week. Now they’ve upped it to 35, and I’ve been doing nine-hour shifts in four days. Now they inform me that S&C HQ forbids employees working more than 8 hours a day on a regular basis, so I have to add a fifth day. And, they are trying to entangle me in the web of Stupid and Crazy as a career and if I submit to retail management, I am officially dead and I have no life outside of work. They are offering me another gig in another department that I’d actually like, except it involves Saturday mornings and no initial raise, since I make as much as or more money than most of my co-workers, and the job starts at less than what I make. The job itself is lots of busy work that I like, making sure Rilo Kiley is in “R,” Van Halen is in “V,” Jethro Tull is in “J,” and Van Morrison is in “M.” It’s also more physical, like cleaning chewing gum and sunflower seeds out of the rap section, setting up sales, and moving shit around and around when we get visits from S&C higher ups, who have no idea what they’re doing. Their higher-ups just tell them to tell us to move shit around.

So yeah, I’m not gonna take the gig. At least one reader of this blog is gonna be sad. But the more entrenched I get over there, the harder it’s gonna be for me to leave, and I only intended to stay through Xmas 2001, and what year are we in?

And it’s indicative of my life in general, how utterly unhappy I’ve been and how I need to stop blaming myself and start making some tough decisions about what’s staying and going and where I want to end up. All I know is, this is not where I want to be right now.

All this is making it harder for me to think about what People Paper readers should see this weekend or what bands we’ve booked or what chain record store readers in strange cities should think of the upcoming Tracy Bonham record.

June 7, 2005 at 8:31 pm 3 comments

Post Script


My Mom came down today to look at places with me. She’s agreed to co-sign if a landlord does not accept my crummy credit AND is helping me raise money for the first/last/security deposit, the two key reasons I haven’t moved sooner. It sort of hurts my pride to go to my Mom for money, but things are dire, and she recognizes that. Today I awoke to the sounds of my housemate’s girlfriend’s insane dog barking. (It growled at Keith Harris. There is no reason for any living thing to growl at Keith Harris).

We went back to the Hotistan rented house at Broad and Porter. The landlord was just not that hot. I don’t know what I was thinking. It must have been the Febreze fumes. Mom thought the place was creepy and too far away. If it were closer, I’d ignore the creepy factor and take it based on the awesome amount of space and price. Back to 2nd and Reed. Location, location, location. She liked that place better and I do too, but not much in terms of closets, so we’re gonna have to invest in some Ikea time. I’m not very handy with building things, so one of my handier readers who volunteers will get a six pack of beer.

It seems that I now get migraines, or at least that’s just what these crazy headaches are that I’ve been getting for the past couple of years. It’s a dull thudding pain in the eyeball and nausea that I frequently confuse with being hungover. It hit today when I was in a restaurant with my Mom and I couldn’t finish my meal and Coldplay was suddenly too loud. I came home and fell asleep for hours and now I’m all out of whack.

Last night I saw Electrelane and they were amazing, just like the last time I saw them at Making Time. Bryan from the awe-inspiring Stink Cheat was jumping up and down saying that now he knows how old men with no teeth feel when they talk about seeing Soft Machine. It made me happy to see Bryan (who expertly compared MIA to Neneh Cherry) that happy because the few times I’ve met him he seems like a quiet thoughtful guy, maybe a bit pensive or shy, and it made me like Electrelane even more. I turned to Maria during the show to try to tell her that she could totally start a band like that, and she was so wrapped up she didn’t want to talk. I don’t know how to describe their sound other than like a more rocking Stereolab, but that hardly does them justice. Plus, I eagerly await Stink Cheat’s assesment, which will make me look like a USA Today reporter in comparison.

By the way, I’m still working on getting my links back up. I did a few tonight, and if yours is not here, it’s coming.

June 5, 2005 at 11:49 pm 5 comments

Landlords from Hotistan and Italian Grandma Museums


The housing search is on. After some offers to live with awesome folks like Miss Motherfucking Clash (West Philly) and South Philly Abby (mother of cutest daughter ever), I decided after four years of being off the radar that it was time to have my name on a lease again. And in the bigger picture, I really need to have a space that’s mine, or at least half-mine. I’m a lady and I need a lady-sized space instead of cramming my stuff into someone’s guest bedroom. My current street fightin’ librarian housemate has been generous and kind, but his news couldn’t have come at a better time, as lately I just feel like I’m living with my parents again.

So I’ve decided to shack up (non-romantically, pervs) with Anthony “Shitstorm” Miccio, who’s making the big move down here from State College, and hey, friends don’t let friends stay in State College any longer than they have to. Together we can put pool our funds and rent out the rock-nerdiest partiest house we can find. Hopefully, he will fill my dearth of sardonic six foot male friends and will reach some shit for me so I don’t have to scale the walls like Spiderman. I look forward to seeing my old dirty crazy city through new, younger eyes and finally having someone to yell this to: “Ant, yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew, Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyynt.”

Our options so far are a spacious 3BR at Broad and Porter for about a grand. The location is further than I wanted to go but it the place is noice. The block is safe and South Philly family, where everyone has a kid and/or a dog. Every room smelled like flowers. I wonder if the hotistan* landlord sprayed Fabreze everywhere before I showed up. The living room has a wall of mirrrors for that Scarface vibe I guess. Option 2 is some friends of friends at 2nd and Reed, not so far from Mr. Blackmail, a married couple who are moving to another house in the neighborhood. Slightly less space than Broad and Porter, but better location and a huge backyard, which will be nice in the summertime. I really really liked the wife of the couple and would be honored to be her tenant.

Earlier today, I looked at this furnished Italian grandma house at 9th and Morris. As a Jew with Italian envy, it was like an Italian grandma museum (antique furniture and couches covered in plastic) and I was in awe, but I don’t think my records are gonna fit in the IG museum with all the furniture (which would be my responsibility to care for). The bedrooms are side by side, not optimal for privacy. The place was just filled with the body of Christ. It was in the air. I felt that taking a birth control pill or having premarital sex in that house would be sacrilege. Plus the landlord (the tiniest cutest woman I have ever seen) lives with her family across the street (with an Enter the Door of Jesus 200 sticker on her door) and her neighbor, in old Italian grandma style entered into a Sicilian staring contest with me, until I was like, “I”m waiting for her to come out. I called her. She knows I’m here.” Plus, I think Anthony probably doesn’t need to see any more Italian grandma museums.

*Hotistan – Coined by me, sometime this year. Country of origin for ethnically ambiguous attractive people. I suppose you could use it for an ethnically unambiguous person too. S/he is so hot, s/he is from Hotistan. Is that offensive? I hope not. I do mean well when I use it to celebrate someone’s unique beauty or all-around stee.

June 4, 2005 at 8:26 pm 6 comments


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