25 August 2009

What this receptionist reads online inbetween greeting clients and screening calls...

Weird: The kilogram is in danger
No, this doesn't mean we are converting back to the imperial system. It means that original metal cylinder that was used to determine an exact kilogram has changed weight:
...the official kilogram is kept locked inside a secured vault at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures near Paris. Scientists are so paranoid that they've only taken it out on three occasions: in 1889, 1946 and 1989. Each time, they've compared it to a set of copies. In 1889, the copies and the kilogram weighed the same, but by 1989, they had drifted apart. Based on the data, the kilogram appears to weigh slightly less than the copies.
What this means is the kilogram must be "redefined". How weird?

Wrong: Murder victim is identified by the serial number in her breast implants

Reality teevee slime, Ryan Jenkins, murdered his bikini model wife, Jasmine Fiore (I'm not even going to bother with the 'allegedly' here). Jenkins then escaped to Canada via a black SUV and a speedboat called 'Night Ride Her'. Royal Canadian Mounted Police tracked him to the 'Thunder Bird Motel' in a town called 'Hope' where they found his dead body hanging from a clothing rack on Sunday.

Pretty sensational stuff. However, the really disturbing part is:
Authorities say Jenkins killed Fiore, 28, and removed her fingers and teeth, evidently to conceal her identity. Police allege that he then stuffed the swimsuit model's body in a suitcase and dumped it in a Buena Park trash bin. It was found by a man combing the trash for recyclables.

Authorities were able to identify Fiore, who sometimes used the last name Kinkade, based only on a serial number found on a breast implant, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.
Murder and mutilation. It seems fair to say Fiore's body is what attracted Jenkin's to her (they got married after knowing each other for two days). Jenkin's then took Fiore's body and destroyed it.

At the end of her life, this poor woman's identity is located in her breast implant. So sad and dehumanizing.

19 August 2009

Mission to Mars - Part One

In an attempt to occupy some of my time, and try to make myself feel a bit better after Bust Up 2009 - i did the most predictable thing ever and started doing what can only be described as exercise.

Previously unchartered territory for little Mars... i never really knew what this exercise thing actually entailed, but was accutely aware that i didnt like it one little bit. Initially i started going for really long walks to try and clear my head... mostly at night. I'm not sure why, but surprisingly, i started to enjoy it. Maybe it was a sense of recklessness, wandering around the dodgey area i live in, late at night and on my own... maybe it was the fresh air or maybe it was the fact that i'd managed to haul myself out of bed that day and considered it Achievement 101. I dont know - but after a couple of weeks, i cant say i started to look or feel like Jane Fonda, but i did start to feel slightly fitter (i think - cant be sure as i'd never know 'fit' before).

With this new found confidence and highly unexpected motivation, i decided to take this latest 5-minutes-on-the-brain crack pot idea (yes, fitness) to the next level... though rather than join a gym like a normal person, start walking to and from work or go swimming once a week in the local pool - i decided to join British Military Fitness.

I know, i am a moron...
List of things I hope to achieve by next year*

Get job
Get job I like
Get job I like that lasts more than six months
To be honest, lose five kilos off bum and hips
Write more about art
Write novel about a vampire
Get something published about anything
Be more confrontational with people who are horrible (racist, sexist, etc)
Go swimming regularly
Get haircut
Buy a computer (and give Blane back his ruined one!)
Buy an Ipod (and start listening to music again!)
Buy decent camera (and document this cool period of life... I live in New York!)
Read more brain books (and less trash!)
Communicate more with Dad and Brother (The women in my family are easy! The men not so much...)
Take drawing classes
Visit the Kluge Ruhe museum
Go camping
See more opera
See Shakespeare in the Park
Travel with Mars somewhere in the world...


* Dear Mars, maybe you should make a 'what I'd like list' and forget the 'what I ain't got list'?

15 August 2009

List of things i wish i'd done by now

had baby
lost 25kg
had v romantic and torrid love affair first marriage
been to africa
seen more of my grandparents
never fallen out with my brother for 18 months
finished uni
forged a career
come up with a plan and stuck to it
found the love of my life

I wrote that list on 15th October 2008.

Good to see some things never change...

13 August 2009

Potty Talk


On the weekend my neighbour, Enin, got himself drunk and locked out of his apartment. This has happened before. I came home around 10pm and found Enin lurking in the corridor. He asked sheepishly/slurrishly if he could climb through my kitchen window (and into his courtyard and into his backdoor). I said fine.

Enin got through the window reasonable gracefully considering he had to climb over a stove having drunk two thirds of a bottle of French potato vodka.

From his backyard he yelled "Thank-you!" to me. He then added, "Come over for a drink! I've got French potato vodka and will invite the girls from upstairs!"

How could I refuse?

I went next door to meet Melissa and Rorie, 'the girls from upstairs'. Apparently they had helped Enin by buzzing him into the building. We were all a little excited to be having an impromptu party and instantly got to gossiping about the building and neighourhood. Enin made us vodka and coconut water cocktails, which helped us getting to know each other even more.

Eventually the gossip turned personal with Enin proposing the question to the group, "What do you want out of life? What does it all boil down to? What is most meaningful to you?"

Melissa answered with drunken poetry, "To love and be loved."

Rorie agreed and added, "To laugh as much as possible."

I agreed.

Enin was not happy with our answers, "No, I mean what experience is most meaningful. Not something general. Something specific, something that sums up your purpose in life..."

"Well, what is your answer then?" I asked. It was obvious he wanted to tell us.

"All I want," He said, "The one thing I want... is to cum really hard."


Enin mistook our silence for not understanding. So he repeated, "Cum. Really. Hard. That is all I want from life. I mean, isn't it the greatest? When I'm fucking a girl my mind is so focused-"

"Gotta go!" Melissa suddenly remembered she had to get up early the next day. Rorie and I suddenly remember this too. We thanked Enin for the drinks, wished him goodnight and hurried back to our apartments.


Today, just as I was leaving the office, Brad from upstairs buzzed reception asking me if I'd seen Bradina.

I said, "I'll take a quick look around the office on my way out."

I found Bradina easily, sitting at a table in the kitchen chatting to two other staff members. I said to Bradina, "Sorry to interrupt, but Brad is looking for you upstairs."

Before Bradina could reply, the staff member sitting at the table with his back to me turned around. It was Mr. Poobar!

Mr. Poobar said, "Tell Brad to suck cock. Bradina will call him when I'm finished with her."

Everyone sitting at the table laughed. I laughed also, but it was a nervous laugh.

I went back to reception and called Brad, "Bradina is talking to Mr. Poobar. Mr. Poobar said something I won't repeat. Bradina will call you when they're finished."


Neither Enin or Mr. Poobar's comments were massively offensive. However, the context was so completely wrong that I felt confronted by them.

It is not appropriate to talk about 'cumming really hard' with three girls you've met for the first time in your house.
It is not appropriate to talk about 'sucking cock' with junior member of your staff you are meeting for the first time. And, BONUS, it is demeaning to them to ask them to repeat your comments.

I'm not the appropriate police. Actually, I am the appropriate police. That's exactly what I am. And I am on patrol. These are not comments that fail because I don't have a sense of humour. They are comments that are simply offensive... and their perpetrators need to be brought to justice!

I have more to discuss on this topic (Is it sexual harassment? Why do I often feel like I'm being shamed for refusing to use porn type language, 'cum' 'cock' 'fuck' etc.? Isn't there something wrong with an Apatowian 'so wrong it's right' sense of humour that is legitizmising crude sexual language?). However, I'll stop now because I already feel like I'm going to be labeled as some prude spinster who is too fragile for this harsh world...

And golly gosh, maybe I am.

10 August 2009

An blanket apology to all the good-looking people of the world...

New temp assignment is working the reception desk at Kitten Advertising. It's a very slick company that does heaps of fashion and luxury product (chocolates, jewelery, hotels, etc.) ads. I sit in a large white room behind a little gray desk that has a massive orchid perched on top of it. My job is the usual answering phones, ordering messengers ('couriers' in Australian talk), and greeting clients. What is unique to this job is the amount of baby-sitting 'high-profile' clients I do.

Obviously the ad industry is all about appearances. Clients are always 'high-profile'. They always need ice water, coffee, cupcakes, cheek-kisses, and spotless conference rooms. High-profile clients are also babies that aren't allowed to think for themselves, and when they are made to they go, 'WAHHHHHH!'

Yesterday Mr. High Profile client came to reception for a meeting with Mr. Poobar upstairs. Mr. Poobar was on the phone at the time so I asked Mr. High Profile to wait a minute. Mr. High Profile didn't want to wait, he wanted Mr. Poobar now! I was in the middle of trying to calm Mr. High Profile down ("Coffee? Water? We have yummy cupcakes in the kitchen if you'd like one!") when the reception phone rang. I then got tangled up in some issue with another high-profile client on the phone and while I was distracted Mr. High Profile sneaked out of reception and got himself into the stairwell. He thought he'd find Mr. Poobar for himself!

I instantly messaged upstairs to warn them Mr. High Profile was on his way up. This sent the upstairs staff into a complete panic, "Why did you make him take the stairs!?!"
"I didn't make him, he snuck away when I wasn't watching!"
"Well, where is he!!!"
"I don't know, going up the stairs I suppose..."
"Oh my god!"

Two interns were quickly dispatched into the stair well to search for Mr. High Profile. One went up, the other went down. Both came back two minutes later to report they couldn't find Mr. High Profile. They were dispatched again with the directive, "Find him!"

Five minutes later it was noticed Mr. High Profile was already in Mr. Poobar's office, chatting happily with him.

The funny thing is, high-profile clients are just regular people. They are the man on the street with pants that are too short and the woman on the train who has a run in her stockings. They come into reception sweaty and red, making obvious comments about the humidity outside. Superficially, they are not impressive people.

A lot of models also come into Kitten Advertising for castings. It interests me how badly, compared to the high-profiles, they are treated. These beautiful perfect people are kept waiting in reception for ages. Then eventually the art buyer's assistant's assistant will come out and say in a rush, "Let me see your book! What's your jean size? How tall are you? Is your hair naturally straight? Okay, take these jeans into the bathroom and put them on. Then meet me in the conference room and I'll take your photo."

The new face of something
(the model is too young to have her identity revealed in such a low-brow forum as this blog)

As I type this two other-worldly models are sitting in front of me. They are 17 year old twins with red hair. They are from that place in Eastern Europe where 5 foot 10 inches tall with size 26 jeans is normal. They've been waiting 15 minutes for their casting.

If I saw these models on the street I'd think, 'Wow, you look amazing!' But when I see these models trot off to the toilet to try on jeans that twenty girls before them have tried on, then the word 'amazing' does not come to mind.

Models are an easy target. I've made plenty of dumb-model comments that were born from a mix of jealously and the fact models really are immature kids. However, sitting at reception all week I've really began to understand the reality of how unglamorous modeling is. These people are treated so badly. They have no (little) control over their success/failure. They just bounce around the city from one cold judgment to the next.

To witness the behind-the-scenes life of modeling makes me really sympathize for the real babies of the ad industry.

And I just want to offer these poor good-looking freaks a cupcake.

05 August 2009

Trudging all over the city this weekend = two minor celebrity sightings!

On Saturday, Blane and I took a turn about the Financial District with a charming realty broker called Jesse.

Our apartment lease ends in four weeks so, under much pressure to find a new home, we were testing out down downtown for some down deals on studios with WATERFRONT VIEWS!!!!!!!!!!!! (That’s the way realty brokers talk.) Apparently the mammoth residential buildings in the Financial District are currently having trouble finding residents to fill their super-slick apartments (after all the super-slick finance dudes were fired late last year). Prices on apartments are PRICE TO MOVED, which just about brings a tiny little closet-size (COSY!) studio into our price range.

While wandering down Wall Street we had one of the most boring celebrity sightings possible, walking past this man:

I had no idea who he was. Blane, however, was mildly mildly interested to recognize James Altucher, the television talking-head who specializes in bringing the technical strategies used by hedge fund managers to the general public…. sdjhfouwiedivfu

Sorry, I fell asleep and my giant breasts just hit the keyboard.

Anyway, after Jesse showed us about twelve different apartments (which, after seeing only one, all started to look the same) we decided the Financial District was not for us. It’s too impersonal, too concrete, too suits. Basically, it’s too James Altucher.

On Sunday, Blane and I adjusted our apartment hunt to focus on the East Village. After the exhausting Financial District marathon of LUXERY STUDIO!!!!! after LUXERY STUDIO!!!!!, we decided we needed to more selective.

After looking at every single listing on Craigslist we found one apartment that actually seemed like a good deal. There was an Open House for it at 2pm, so we headed over to 10th Street and First Avenue to meet Cory the Sleazy Broker; blonde tips in his hair, sunglasses indoors (and at night obviously). We arrived at 2.15pm to find one girl already waiting out the front of the building. Cory arrived five minutes later and took us all up to the fifth floor.

The apartment was lovely! I spent about one minute looking at it before whispering to Blane, “We need to apply for this one before that girl does!” After getting a brief nod of affirmation from Blane, I walked over to Cory the Sleazy Broker.

“What do you think?” Cory asked me.
“Uh, actually we’d like to apply for it.” I said.
“Great! Let’s go downstairs to talk.”
I turned to the girl and cajoled, “You didn’t want to apply for it did you?”
“Well, I only started looking today,” She replied.
“Yeah, you can’t choose the first one you see.”

The girl nodded, and I felt a bit low for taking advantage of her ignorance. The apartment seems like a steal: one bedroom, top floor, facing the street, beautiful old building, two big windows, two (now ornamental) fireplaces.

After a quick conversation with Cory, Blane and I walked back through the East Village to meet Cory at his office and put a deposit on the apartment. On our way we passed a group of girls sitting on their front stoop looking extra trendy and BAM! Second celebrity sighting. Sort of.

I see a lot of girls in New York who make me think, “You must be a model.” But this is the first instance where I’ve recognized one. Agyness Deyn. Ms. Uncompromising Hair.

A recent New York Times article describes her as, “genuinely sweet, sunny and slightly dim, her punkette look the thinnest candy coating over an interior filled primarily with airy, whipped pink goo and nuvo-hippie, gestalt-y wow-ness.”

This also describes how I think of the East Village. It’s stylish but in a candy-coated obvious way. I think once Blane and I move in we’ll learn to recognize the difference between the hipster icing and the old East Village; the one that was depicted in the flashy Broadway musical, ‘Rent’.

Okay, obviously I don’t know anything about the East Village.

But, Ms. Deyn,
I am moving in.