Ze ladies, they love the bow tie.
(But not the eye patch.)
The [My employer] Christmas party was last night, held from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM in the lobby of our building. Now, I’m glad that [My employer] is not spending 1999 dotcom-boom-style dollars on a holiday party. However, I anticipated that the party was going to be kind of lame, so I decided to liven it up for myself by wearing a tuxedo and an eyepatch. (Plus, I’ll take any excuse to wear an eyepatch; like Seanbaby, my junior-high-school idea of the coolest guy in the world was someone who probably wore an eyepatch and, before doing anything, yelled “Rock and roll!”)
My other reason is that office parties seem kind of like high school parties. Except with money and power substituting for popularity. There’s still cliques, there’s still the shy kids hovering in the margins by the buffet table, there’s still the low-level anxiousness. So I selected the John Hughes party-anxiousness-coping strategy, wore a dinner jacket to work, and glued some holly leaves to my formal satin eyepatch.
So, here’s the result of my social engineering experiment:
- Tuxedo and eyepatch: Laughter, enthusiastic thumbs up. Pretty girls smile, say hi, and wave — but rapidly find something to do at the other end of the room.
- Tuxedo only, no eyepatch: Pretty girls talk to me (example above.)
Okay, that seems like a pretty clear lesson.
I went to see the first showing of the Lord of the Rings last night at midnight. My friend Stew Katz showed up at 9:30 to get a place in line; I showed up at 10:30 to find him in a group of, maybe 20 people waiting to get in. There were only two costumes in the line — a generic princess and a generic velvet-doubleted SCA guy. I guess Tolkien geeks are mellower than Star Wars geeks.
The movie itself, though, was friggin’ fantastic, if you like big adventure epics. Which I do, so I loved it. Like Harry Potter, its faithfulness to the book (all three hours of it) is both its greatest success and its greatest weakness. I hope it does really well in the theater, so New Line will spend lots of money for post production on the next two movies.
Welcome, Francesco Vitelli, and all other members of the Genevieve Futrelle Background-of-the-Webcam Fan Club!
Other featured guests, from my server log:
Thanks for stopping by, you all, and remember to let me know
if my head is blocking your view.
New Prada store: Ass! Ass!
The NY Celebrity Sightings Channel on upoc.com alerted my phone on Saturday night that the Prada store on Prince and Broadway was finally hosting a star-studded opening. I was excited to see it, because the space is huge, in the Soho Guggenheim building, and had a lot of buzz: a new experience in shopping! Prada does so much, so well, that I couldn’t wait to see what they did.
Unfortunately, what they did was recreate a lame-ass 1997 shopping environment. The flow is completely wretched. A big, echo-y ampitheater space is surrounded by claustrophobic oubliettes filled with clothes, all accessed by four-foot wide catwalks. If this were your college dining hall, there would be spontaneous, frustration-induced burrito fights breaking out in the lunch line. There are mini-LCD screens buried in the walls all over the place (whoop-de-friggin’-do!), and dressing rooms with clear doors that — get this! — turn opaque at the push of a button! Like Bar 89‘s bathrooms did, two years ago!
The architect is Rem Koolhass, winner of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture and co-author of the Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping. “The ultimate luxury is not shopping”, burbles this fecking idiot in a recent gushy blurb. Yeah, I got your not shopping right here, Koolh-ass!
I like silly excess as much as any New Yorker, but it has to be fabulous, timely, beautifully executed silly excess. Two years ago, Prada sold firewood — a bundle of twigs in a leather band, with an enamel emblem, for eight hundred dollars. That was stylish silly excess. This just looked like ass.
My Mom’s new puppy
The dog on the left is Sophie, my mom’s new puppy. Sophie is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Unlike Pembrokes (which is the kind of dog the Queen of England has), Cardigans have long tails and bigger ears. They’re cowherding dogs — they’d nip the cows in the heels, then duck under the kick. (I think they tend to have thick skulls for the same reason.)
Okay, so I’m posting pet pictures on my homepage. You want to make something of it, tough guy? Huh?
Hey, I’m gonna collaborate on a giant New Mexican spitting rat! C-o-o-o-o-o-l!!!
I went to Boston yesterday, for a day visit to the Bridgespan group, where I’m working now. When we took off and rolled into a turn, the air nozzles starting blowing out a concentrated stench. The smell was a combination of burned scrambled eggs and wet dog. What the hell was that about?
NoLiTa True Crime, Continued: Gina protects my apartment.
On leaving my apartment yesterday morning, the lock got stuck; the door was bolted, but I couldn’t lock it all the way or open it again. So I called Gina, the super of my building and one of the last bastions of the Little Italy Old Guard. I came home that night to find that the problem was fixed.
This morning, Gina told me how she did it: “Oh, I just told the maintenance guy to crawl in through the fire escape, and come out your front door. But you know where he went? He came out of your neighbor’s apartment!” Gina laughs heartily. “He says to me, ‘Gina, you’re gonna get me arrested, here!” But he got in your apartment okay. You got anything else you need me to do?”
Note to self: extra-big Christmas tip for Gina this year. You know, you gotta pay your respects.
Never Underestimate the Power of Standing Around
There was a fight, or at least almost a fight, on the corner below my window last night. I heard some yelling, and looked down to see seven or eight young hispanic guys, some in aprons, squared off against three young black guys. The hispanic guys had the numeric superiority, but the aprons made me think they were local, so I was rooting for them during the shouting phase. But then thinks got scarier. One kid was swinging a chain, a la “West Side Story” and “The Cross and the Switchblade”, another picked up and threw the metal trash can on the corner, and when one of the black kids popped their trunk and started rooting around in there, I was starting to get worried about stray gunshots.
Then, five cop cars pulled up suddenly, and the cops immediately got out and separated everyone into groups. The cops were also young — maybe late twenties, maybe early thirties — and they were mostly from the Chinatown precinct around the corner. I was impressed by the cops’ method for handling the situation. Once the groups were separated, everyone stood around for a really long time, not doing much of anything. Which cooled tempers admirably. The neighborhood kids that had been gathering on the periphery wandered off, the shouting stopped, and the whole danger level plummeted. The cops made a perfunctory look in the trunk of the car, but I think their main goal was to achieve total standing-around quietude. Which they did. Only after everyone was good and bored did they handcuff the black kids, put them in cruisers, and drive away. After they left, everyone wandered away slowly.
Incidentally, that’s the second time in a week that someone has picked up and thrown the trash can on the corner as an expository device. Last time, it was a drunk woman from Spring Lounge. I blame Hollywood.