Sunday, December 31, 2006

With Surgical Focus.

Hey all, I am in CA this fine evening. BUT, if you are in New York and looking for a really awesome event to attend, you should head here. It's a fantastic bar in my neighborhood, and some people I really adore will be there. Plus, what GBV fan wants to miss this? Happy New Year, and don't say I never did nothin' for you.

From my pal, Dickie Luxury:

my new band
The Winter Drinks
will be playing at Sample tonight
and our special guest will be
Doug Gillard (Guided by Voices/Cobra Verde/Richard Buckner)
There is no cover but there is endless Prosecco for $25 from 10:00 to midnight.
See you there.

The Winter Drinks
152 Smith St.
btwn Wyckoff & Bergen
Bergen St. F/G station
Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

Friday, December 29, 2006

Fur is for animals- NOT YOU, GRANDMA.

Hi. I hate fucking people who wear fur. You're not native american, you don't need it for warmth or survival of any kind, and you're an asshole. End of story. What can you do if you have some fur that you feel (rightfully) guilty about hoarding? Even if you're a sad, silly old bitch who needs to show off status, you can redeem yourself by doing this. Or dying and leaving your money to an orphanage. Either, or.

Coats for Cubs Doubles the Return to the Animals

©2005 Lynne Slater
Donated fur from The HSUS kept this baby bobcat alive.
By Andrea Cimino

If you strayed into the back office of our Fur-Free Campaign, you might think you were in a fur warehouse, rather than in the headquarters of an international animal protection organization.

Our staff spends hours each week packing and labeling boxes of fur for shipping—not to fur shops, but to wildlife rehabilitators who use it as bedding for orphaned and injured wildlife such as raccoons, rabbits, foxes, squirrels, and even bobcats. Wildlife rehabilitators say the fur reduces stress in their animal patients, perhaps reminding them of the comfort of snuggling up to their mothers.

With articles on Coats for Cubs appearing in magazines like Real Simple, Organic Style, First Magazine, and dozens of local newspapers across the country, December 2005 turned into a record-breaking month for the decade-old program. More than 400 individuals donated furs. Over the course of the year, the campaign took in just over 1,500 donations, more than doubling the number collected in 2004. These numbers translate into 1,500 fewer people wearing and promoting real fur this year, and countless orphaned and injured wildlife comforted during their rehabilitation.

Everyday Heroes Donate Fur

Presidents of PR firms, fashion editors, and Long Island homemakers are just a few of the people who made the compassionate decision to become fur-free and donate their fur to The HSUS in 2005. From Hawaii to Maine, from England to Slovenia, former fur wearers (and people who have inherited furs from relatives or friends) are proud—and often relieved—to donate their furs to The HSUS.

Each fur donator has their own story to tell. Many people who inherit fur have been long-time supporters of animal protection and would never dream of wearing fur. Yet they don't want to toss out the fur that a relative gave them, nor do they want to resell the fur, and have it be worn by somebody else. For them, donating the coat to help wildlife presents the perfect solution:

Sentimental and Squeamish: A donor from Costa Mesa, California, who sent us a mink stole told us, "I'm not comfortable wearing fur, and because it has sentimental value, I didn't want to just throw it away. Thank you for providing a great use for this fur."

Scared by a Stole: Another donor in Cary, North Carolina, parted with her grandmother's fur with a sense of humor. "Here is a scary-looking fur stole I found among my grandmother's belongings," she told us. "Hopefully the orphaned animals won't find it as disconcerting as I did."

Garish Gift: We also receive many donations from people who received fur as a gift, showing that fur is never a wise choice for a present, since so many people are upset about the animal cruelty inherent in fur garments. Not comfortable refusing the fur, and even more uncomfortable with the thought of wearing it, these people turn to the Coats for Cubs program.

Other donors tell us they purchased a fur item before they realized the extent of the cruelty behind each fur coat, trimmed garment, or accessory. Through their HSUS membership, information from a friend, or an article or video on the fur industry, these fur donators say they realize that the animals need their fur more than we do. The images of animals pacing in tiny wire cages on fur farms or caught in cruel devices such as the steel-jaw leghold trap drive home the idea that fur is cruel and unnecessary. Giving fur back to animals can be an ideal way to provide a happy ending for an item with such a sad beginning.

Fleece Is Warmer than Fox: One donor told us that she bought a pair of fox fur-lined gloves upon moving to Alaska. Shortly afterward, she saw her first arctic fox, who was walking through her backyard. It dawned on her that the fur looked better on the fox than in her gloves, and she decided to donate them to Coats for Cubs. She even sent us a picture of herself wearing fleece garments in the great Alaskan outdoors, telling us how much warmer fleece is than fur.

Rethinking Rabbit: Another donor from Castleton, New York, thanked us for "making me aware of a good use for this rabbit fur coat. I certainly wasn't thinking of the unfortunate rabbits when I purchased it for my daughter about 15 years ago. We are both much more aware now, and are very pleased to know that it may help other animals recover."

New School of Thought: A donor from Middlebury, Vermont, wrote us, "I haven't known what to do with these fur coats for the past 25 years, ever since I became aware of the fur issue. I wish I had been made aware of it in school, before I ever had a chance to buy these two coats. Thanks for coordinating this effort."

Many of the furs donated to us are in near-perfect condition, and might have earned these everyday heroes a lot of money if they resold the items. But for many people, the chance to right the wrong done to the animals killed for their fur is more important than any financial gain.

The Cubs They Saved

The payoff of Coats for Cubs is helping injured and orphaned wildlife with the donated furs. Coats for Cubs has sent donated furs to wildlife centers such as The Fund for Animals' Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Ramona, California, Larimer Humane Society in Fort Collins, Colorado, the Ohio Wildlife Center in Columbus, Ohio, the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, British Columbia, Helping Arkansas Wild "Kritters" (HAWK) in Russellville, Arkansas, and to independent wildlife rehabilitators licensed by their state wildlife agencies.

While we send furs to wildlife rehabilitators all over North America, we've given extra to the Gulf area in recent months. Suzy Heck of Heckhaven Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana, thanked us for sending the furs, explaining that because the center lost everything "due to Hurricane Rita and the flood after, these furs will be much appreciated. We are getting animals in, many still storm related, and soon, the orphans will be appearing."

Anna Harvey, a rehabilitator in Osceola, Iowa, took in a litter of orphaned opossums from a woman who climbed into a dumpster to rescue them. Their mother had been hit by a car, and someone had thoughtlessly thrown the litter into the dumpster. Harvey used our donated fur to comfort the orphans, and reported that they responded well to the fur. "The woman who rescued the opossums from the dumpster is a big hero, as are the people who sent the furs to you. Opossums love the long fur. They are doing well and eating a bit on their own," she wrote to us.

Tracy Beasley, a rehabilitator in Davis, Oklahoma, told us, "my favorite thing to do with the furs is to sew them into pouches of different sizes with draw string tops. They are excellent for orphaned opossums and raccoons. It makes them feel secure and keeps them warm."

In one case, the fur from Coats for Cubs made the difference between life and death. Lynne Slater, a rehabilitator in Arkansas, received a week-old bobcat whose mother had been killed by a car. Slater tried removing the bobcat kitten from the bed at feeding time several times, but the kitten simply would not suckle a baby bottle. Then inspiration struck, and she cut a hole in a Coats for Cubs fur, stuck the baby bottle nipple through the hole, and voila, the kitten drank hungrily. This technique worked until weaning time. Slater said, "Without the Coats for Cubs program, we wouldn't have been able to help this bobcat kitten survive. Thanks so much."

What Kind of Furs do People Donate?

The boxes of fur we ship out to wildlife rehabilitators contain common types of fur like mink, fox, rabbit, and raccoon. Occasionally we receive rarer types of fur, such as lynx and seal fur. The strangest coat of all was a vintage monkey fur coat, now fortunately illegal under CITES.

The donations range from full length fur coats to accessories such as stoles, capes, hats, and handbags, and fur trimmed items such as gloves and jackets.

How Do I Donate?

To claim a tax deduction for your gift, please mail your fur(s) directly to The HSUS. Simply pack up the fur in a sturdy box and send it to:

The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L. St. NW
Washington, DC 20037
attn: Coats for Cubs

Please make sure to include your full name and address so The HSUS can mail you a letter suitable for claiming a tax deduction. For more information on the program and claiming a tax deduction, see

Copyright © 2006 The Humane Society of the United States. All rights reserved.

I Know Nothing Stays The Same, But If You're Willing To Play The Game.

I've had two seprate "requests" for this gem of a tribute to the beloved Carly Simon. The backstory is that Sara needed a song to sing to complete a bit where she pretends to get onstage and sing a song to her cheating, creepy ex. Let's call him "Geri", shall we? Sara tries to be nice to "Geri" but, it ends violently. We couldn't decide if she should use a sappy ballad from Boyz II Men, Whitney Houston or maybe even Mariah Carey. I suggested "You're So Vain", which, while amazing as a tool to sing drunkenly at oh, I don't know, a Valentine's Day down-with-love karoke party or something, was almost TOO trite for what Sara was planning. And that's how Sara warbling her own special version of "Coming Around Again" came to be. Compare and contrast- and do enjoy! Photo proof of the end result here (with "Geri" volunteer Matt Sears).

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Sometimes, I miss Wanya from Boyz II Men.

It's Ok To Make Friends, After All.

"Pretzels smell like another man's breath!"

This song reminds me so much of being in 3rd grade, sleeping in my Aunt's waterbed. It may have been playing on her digital display clock radio. I was half-asleep, thinking I was so super cool. NEWSFLASH: I was not. It's a relic of a time when I felt like all was right with the world.

It makes me so glad for all the love I have in my life, because I have to say- I am stunned by it sometimes. I have never been so surrounded by people who care for me, who would take a bullet for me, and who refuse to let me be treated poorly by anoyone who would dare to attempt it. I am fascinated by this. And beyond grateful.

He is the man, who will fight, for my honor.

Nigel is in good spirits, according to impromptu petsitter Ben. This does not make me feel any better for abandoning him. I am not good at apologizing, but when I do, I mean it. Sorry, Nigel. Sorry.

Wrapping It All Up.

My favorite parts of the Christmas season, one last time before they get put away for the New Year. My love to all of the people who make my life so amazing. I owe it all to you, just like "Dirty Dancing".

Photos courtesey of Maryanne Ventrice, Anya Garrett, Brian Van Niewehoven.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Addictions, Delicacies and Capes.

Another amazing day in Southern California with the folks. There was a trip to Del Taco for some fast food gorging, and my brother and I went on a bonding shopping trip. I managed to clean up and snatch a pair of Vivienne Westwood open-toed gladiator pumps for over 75% off their original price, an AMAZING vintage styled cape (yes, a cape) and a pair of to-the-elbow leather gloves. My Mom asked why I have to dress so S&M. Yuck. I also bought another copy of The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, which I plan to re-read on the plane home and openly weep. I found 2 amazing silicone cupcake trays for nearly zilch (I left my cupcake pan at the apartment of an old paramour last year and only just realized the discrepancy) and, of course, had to get some more hooded sweatshirts because I don't have enough as it is.

It was, all in all, a blissful day. And then I came home to watch what shall be my new crack. It is a little show that goes by the name of The Bad Girls' Club, and it is so gross that I cannot look askance from it the minute it comes on the screen. I blame Giulia Rozzi for getting me hooked. Seriously. Do yourself the favor and TiVo it on the Oxygen Network, because it is unlike any other reality-show-basic-cable crap you are sure to encounter on a daily basis. Too delightfully trashy to be true. I thought I was dramtic, demanding and full of mischief. After watching this, I think I may be an amateur. I've got a lot to learn, so thanks, Oxygen, for creating this classy show to teach me how to get grossly drunk by doing shots of patron at 8 am, cheat on my long-term, totally nice boyfriend, and start heinous skanky bar fights replete with the "f" word. Rad.


Brandy Barber, originally uploaded by anya-garrett.


Monday, December 25, 2006

A Very Post Secret Xmas.

Someone got too riled up last year on a trip to Key West, Florida. Someone named me. I have placed a self-imposed ban on any return visits. I'm sure the Board of Tourism is pleased.

This made me laugh. I am mean.

This I found to be compelling. That's the worst feeling I can think of, hoping someone realizes that they used to love you. I hope this person's wish comes true, wherever they are.

Thanks to

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Blow Me Where The Pampers Is.

Another lovely day in Carlsbad, on the couch and swaddled in pajamas. I was looking up holiday photos from 2004 and am horrfied to say, I had on much the same outfit. It's not what one would call "becoming" but it is comfortable. So very comfortable.

So far the family Xmas Eve has consisted of my father tromping off to the supermarket (which gives me panic attacks to enter as it is the size of my office builing in New York) and making no less than four (4) phone calls to my Mom to discuss various shopping foibles. These have included questions regarding the location of a glue stick (he can't just ask the supermarket staff, I mean, REALLY), the correct size of a bag of shredded cheddar, and an insistence that he buy cold tablets because my Mom may have a cold in the next few days because I sneezed by her. Once. On Tuesday.

Although it's only 1 pm here, I am starting to wonder if it's OK to go hide in the garage and do shots of Patron Silver with my brother. You know. Just to get thru the day.

I was informed by my Dad yesterday that tonight I was going to be making my Mac & Cheese and we would be having honey-baked ham along with it (hopefully e-coli free). There was no debate. It was less a request, more a marching order. So I suppose might should stay sober in order to cook properly. Or not. It's a fun game- drunken baking!

Here are some pics of me making my Mac & Cheese last Xmas. Because we are, after all, Southern*, I put on makeup to do so. Also it appears my brother was my prom date. Yuck.
If you look closely you can see my Dad ruining the photo. Classy, as always. That's us.

*even though my parents no longer have discernable accents
Carlsbad Sunset photo by WineVines

Saturday, December 23, 2006

All Kinds Of Time.

Now that I'm faced with endless free time and not crazed to the point of a breakdown daily due to workload/shows/need to imbibe cases of alcohol to chase away fears of dying broke with but a cat to call my lifetime companion, I don't quite know what to do with myself.

We've discussed my amusing myself via eating everything that's not tied down. Ben, ex-boyfriend and pal extrodiannaire, suggests I marry Nigel (our Valentine's Day 2003 cat) and has offered to conduct the ceremony himself. How very considerate.

Thank god there's YouTube in order to entertain myself with Fountains of Wayne. What a great goddamned band.

Anyway...remember when I used to pnly post like once a month? Remember that?


Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying

from The New York Times, Dec. 17th, 2006

Relationship experts report that too many couples fail to ask each other critical questions before marrying. Here are a few key ones that couples should consider asking:

1) Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver?

2) Do we have a clear idea of each other’s financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh?

3) Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores?

4) Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental?

5) Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect?

6) Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears?

7) Will there be a television in the bedroom?

8) Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another’s ideas and complaints?

9) Have we reached a clear understanding of each other’s spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education?

10) Do we like and respect each other’s friends?

11) Do we value and respect each other’s parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship?

12) What does my family do that annoys you?

13) Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage?

14) If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other’s family, are we prepared to move?

15) Does each of us feel fully confident in the other’s commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face?

This was a delight. I liked that Gawker had some questions as well, and found thiers a bit more to my taste.

1) If we get pregnant, is it because one of us didn't wear a rubber or because you forgot to take the pill?

2) How much does your trust fund pay out quarterly?

3) Did you get the Heineken and Pop Tarts like I said, bitch?

4) Do you have herpes or paranoid schizophrenia or something?

5) Why don't you go down on me?

6) Are you absolutely sure you're not gay?

7) Where should I put my porn in the bedroom?

8) Do you ever shut up?

9) When I'm bored of sex (with you), you're not going to make me go to therapy or AA or anything, are you?

10) Are your friends hot?

11) How much cash would your parents give us if we had kids?

12) Is your mom crazy or a drunk?

13) Are you just a cokewhore?

14) If I go to Thailand for a month, will you just not ask me any questions?

15) Is that prenup still valid?

Matt Sears is The Best.

My dear pal Mister Matt Sears has been telling me he made a new video recently. He sent me a link and I have been an awful pal and have not gotten a chance to watch it. Until I sat down with my Dad the other day to catch up and screened it for him. I suggest you do the same, as Christmas is, after all, a time of sharing.

(After viewing, please note that he claims it was inspired by myself and Sara. I don't quite think I like the sound of that. Literally.)

Knock It Off.

I am definitely going to gain at least 10 pounds on this trip home. I put on so much wieght last year when I was home for Christmas, due to the joint factors of me scarfing down so much California-only so much fast food (Jack In The Box, Rubio's, In N Out Burger)and because my parents are both amazing cooks. Add in all the holiday snacks lying around, a box of See's Candy, booze, and the fact that I was having (what I thought was) a long-distance relationship, and by the time I got back home to New York I looked like a fashionably-dressed walrus.

That happy weight- that you put on in relationships- that's the best and the worst. Best because you're content and comfortable. Worst when it inevitably ends, and you have to try and be at your prime for mate replacement purposes. Although, if it's a truly heartbreaking, life-ruining ending romantically, the pounds just seem to melt away. Take a look at me around March 2006 and check out my new svelte, miserable, hollow-eyed, soul-crushed look! Sassy!

Anyway, I am a wee bit concerned about this holiday weight. Not enough to cut it out and stop drinking so much soda and eating beef sticks and petit fours every 10 minutes, mind you. I mean, jesus, my Uncle sent us a giant beef brisket from the Salt Lick in Texas, and Terry, my Dad and hero, is grilling it up, so do you fools think I'm going to pass that shit up?! Hell, no. Especially not the chance to scarf down the leftover meat on some cushy white bread...which reminds me. I need to go and dig through my parents' refridgerator right about now.

I've just decided my folks' house is like Fat Camp. Except in reverse.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Crescent Savory Snack Category.

I love to dig around in my parent's closets when I get back home to visit, which is rare these days. Today my closet find was a 1976 Pillsbury Bake Off Cookbook which reeked of mold and about sent me into a fit with all the awesome, trashy n' tasty appetizers within. I only wish I'd had this for my cocktail party- because pigs in a blanket would have been varied with a recipe I found for- brace yourself and think of England- "Fish & Crescent Roll Ups". Yup. Fish sticks. Crescent rolls. Magic.

By the way, here's one of the winners of said bake off, circa 1976. 1976- what an awesome year. I'm jealous of friends born in that year. I've always wished I was around for the bicentennial, mostly because I have fantasies of living like one of the kids in Dazed on Confused, a perennial favorite film. The sad part is, I kind of do now, which is pathetic considering they're all 17. Yuck.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

So Save Your Breath For Someone Else, And Credit Me With Something More.

This song is so good. Like Jaques Torres chocolates and Veuve Cliquot. Like being wrapped in a cashmere robe and eating In N Out Burger. Like Vernor's Ginger Ale, and Esposito Brothers' New Jersey Pork Store handmade soprasetta and a riveting book and a down comforter that you've had since you were in high school. It's bolstering, and rich, and comforting. It's a song that, since the 1990's, has managed to make me grind through some pretty heinous shennanigans. And it's a secret handshake amongst those ladies in the know. Which is, I realize more and more lately, with a mix of disappointment and, dare I say, resignation, all of us gals.

If you've never heard it, have fun. Enjoy, Lush's 1996 gem Ladykillers.

Thanks to Matt McC for this image!

Photo by the lovely Ms. Maryanne Ventrice.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

New Anthem Alert!

Oh, that's right. I like to sum myself up with indignant R&B songs from teenagers. WHAT OF IT, FUCKFACE?!?

In the awkward silence that follows that outburst, enjoy Got A Long Way 2 Go, by the lovely Cassie.

Drink At Work Show, 12.18.06

Here's Melissa B. and Melissa S. being escorted from the Drink At Work Holiday Show after getting a bit too crazy for comedy.

Big ups to Carol, Ces, Sean, Craig and Maryanne for putting on one hell of a show, and congrats on your new day & venue!

You should go to Drink At Work and see what all the justified fuss is all about. No wonder they have two drunk comedy groupies there every week!

Photos by the lovely Maryanne Ventrice. Here are some more!

Francie K. Nolan got it right.

She had been excited about going to work in New York. Since such a tiny thing as a flower in a brown bowl in the library had thrilled her so, she expected that the great city of New York would thrill her a hundred times more. But it was not so.

The Bridge has been the first disappointment. Looking at it from the roof of her house, she had thought that crossing it would make her feel like a gossamer-winged fairy flying through the air. But the actual ride over the Bridge was no different that the ride above the Brooklyn streets. The Bridge was paved in sidewalks and traffic roads like the streets of Broadway and the tracks were the same tracks. There was no different feeling about the train as it went over the bridge. New York was disappointing. The buildings were higher and the crowds thicker; otherwise it was little different from Brooklyn.
-- A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Betty Smith, 1943.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I'm not the only one who holds you, I never ever should've told you you're my only girl.

All day long, thru a savage hangover, I've been singing Toto's Georgy Porgy to myself. There are two reasons for this.

Reason the first: It is a great fucking song. That is the main reason.

The other reason? Because it makes me smile due to the simplicity with which it sums up those jackass kind of dudes who think they're slick lady killers. You know the type. The kind of guy who gets the details of you and the various other girls he sleeps with mixed up and asks how your Mom is and you say " Mom's dead." The kind of swell fella who calls you "sweetie" a lot, not because he harbors any genuine emotion for you, but because he's trying to make sure not to call you the wrong name. He forgets the basic details of a conversation you had 24 hours prior because he's so busy trying to cover up the hickey he got from some other broad an hour before you got over to his place. You have to give it to these clowns- they're good for a laugh. They think they've got you fooled, but the whole nice guy routine can only go so far when you come over for dinner and espy another lady's (most often tacky) accessories half-assedly stashed just out of view. The good thing is, once you've dealt with one of these gents, you learn all the tricks they try to utilize. So, when some buffoon tries to pull them on you again- and trust me, they will- you get the pleasure of watching with detached bemusement as they put on a royal show. And I have to tell you all this- I do so love to watch the show.

So now you all get to look at Toto's delightful song, and maybe you, too, will sing it all day. And smirk.