Thursday, November 26, 2009


No, that title doesn't refer to my relationship with my blog for the past three weeks or so. I mean, we did sort of have that fight, and I still maintain that the blog was the one who promised to return the lard and chain saw to the hardware store after the electricity project failed, but that's behind us now, we've agreed to disagree. The real reason I was away for so long was that I was moving apartments, going from the 2000 square foot three bedroom in Bedstuy to the one main room plus bed alcove in the Columbia Street Waterfront district, or Cobble Hill, depending on who I want to impress. I lived in that Bedstuy apartment for a year, and in many ways it was tits: close to subway, laundromat, and grocery store, across the street from an awesome neighborhood bar, LOTS of space (my bedroom was the size of my whole apartment here), and two--count em, two--cats. You've heard of them before.

But there were also two--count em, two--roommates. Roommates who smoked with the windows closed and didn't ever clean the kitty litter box. So I packed up my dowry and boogied on down to the waterfront, where I am crammed nicely into a Rachel-sized apartment, rent-stabilized, pre-war, crazies included. Mom says that it reminds me of the Fort Street Mall crazies in Honolulu and that's why I feel comfortable here.

Oh, avoidance--that's right, I had a theme going. Today is Thanksgiving and I'm avoiding the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. There comes a point for every New Yorker when the thought of famous events--New York City Marathon, Thanksgiving Day Parade, Village Halloween Parade, New Years Eve, St. Patrick's Day--fills one with dread. The sight of metal barricades lining a street becomes a portent of doom and I go into bunny survival mode and look for the nearest wooded thicket in which to dive. The crowds, the police on horseback, the screeching PAs--and no one is even allowed to throw candy from the floats, though strangely I think throwing candy at marathon runner is still okay.

So today, I'm in avoidance mode. I'm staying in my apartment and watching Mom bathe her cat in the sink over the video chat feature on Gmail. For these small things, we are grateful.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween 2009

What a difference a year can make. In 2008, I was wedged into a massive crowd of zombies, superheroes, and sluts on 6th Avenue and Canal Street, waiting for over an hour with the rest of the peasant hoards for my chance to walk in the parade. Duffman had exhausted his supply of belt beer next to me before I actually moving fast enough to confirm that yes, this IS the actual parade and not just a huge crush of people milling about for the hell of it.

And now, in 2009, I not only get to skip the general public line, I get to ride high up on a float, grinning triumphantly as I toss plastic beads to the walkers below. Take heart, peasants, for I was once like you.

I have the Village Voice to thank for this--again. How awesome are they? (How awesome are them?) This awesome. As you can see, our theme is vampires. And Dave's theme is janitor vampires, which is cool. Hell, somebody's gotta clean up all that blood from the carpet after the party. And didn't I tell everyone on Facebook that I would be the vampire with the red velvet jacket and the pearls?

Here is our mighty steed, crafted by the mad parade-float-scientist of Jersey, who sits in a huge warehouse full of half-desintegrated floats, chain-smoking and scribbling pictures of more floats (according to Christina, my boss, pictured above going in for the kill). He also gave us a truck to pull it, though I was really hoping we'd get a couple of hunchbacks with ropes. I spent most of my time on the back level, underneath the bleeding Voice logo, except for a stint between 2nd and 13th Streets, where I walked on the ground between the float and the truck pulling us to make sure nobody wandered over and got crushed beneath the Vampire Lair, only to be ignored until the end of the parade because everyone thought the mangled corpse was one of the Halloween props. You really have to watch out for stuff like that in a crowd of half a million.

There probably would have been more people, but it was the fifth game of the World Series that night, and, ya know. Go Yankees!

As media sponsor of the parade, the Voice gets to be the first float--or at least that's what everyone kept saying. "The Voice is gonna have the first float, we're gonna be on the first float, we're gonna be first." It sounds cool, but sorta implies that as soon as the parade starts, we'll be rolling up 6th Ave in all our vampire glory. No one said that we may be the first FLOAT, but that we'd be behind the entirety of "Peter Pan" as enacted by 14-foot-tall puppets, the African stilt dancers, and the SmartCars and MiniCoopers. And that all of those lovely folks couldn't go until the first couple thousand walkers got going. So I actually waited around for as long as I did last year, but this was still waaaay better. We got a private performance by the stilt dancers and had time to take lots of pretty pictures of ourselves while our makeup and costumes were still pristine and dry.

Yes, it did rain, just like it rained for the Mermaid Parade and the condom giveaway. What gives, Voice events? Rain clouds seem to follow the Street Team around like paparrazzi. And I know we're fabulous, but come on! Just once I'd like to ride the subway home with dry underpants after a Voice assignment.

That's a little dirty. We had a few other sponsors on the float with us. Metro PCS, a cell phone company, sent over a gaggle of purple-shirted vamps; Bud Light sent a neon sign but unfortunately none of their product; and, a social networking site, sent over one Anne Rice vampire (can I get a hell-yes for my middle school obsession?), one Alice in Wonderland vampire, one punk vampire, and Max from "Where the Wild Things Are." "I thought the vampire theme was ironic!" he wailed. "I thought the Voice was making fun of us because we're Vampire Freaks, I didn't think it was actually the theme."

So we had a float full of vampires, Max, and of course, some of the gang from Scooby Doo, because where there's monsters, there's a man dressed like Velma.

Happy Halloween!