|THE BLACK LIST: WE'RE NEVER GOING BACK TO WORK AGAIN.|
|By The Black Table|
Oh, man, we were totally not ready to go back to work yesterday. Were you? (And please don't tell us you had to work throughout the whole holidays. We feel bad enough already.) The whole day was just a matter of figuring out what it was like to have responsibilities that didn't require loafing around watching old Sopranos reruns and eating whatever lay in front of us.
Honestly, it took us until about 4 p.m. to realize that we were back in our regular lives, with jobs and deadlines and interaction with human beings who were not our blood relatives.
So, when's the next round of holidays again?
We've got 10 reviews this week. As always. You use the form on the right to play. As always. Let's rip it up
GETTING PUNK'D BY A FAMOUS AUTHOR: Upon returning home for Christmas, I discovered that my great aunt, and her husband, the author William Styron, had sent my mom, and the rest of her nieces and nephews, a box clearly marked "Live Lobsters" on all sides. Mouths watering, mother and son excitedly got out the giant lobster pot and started boiling water. However, when we opened the Styrofoam box inside the box marked, "Live Lobsters," we did not receive the expected scuttling, pinching, onslaught. Rather, far more docile containers of lobster bisque, smoked bluefish pate and barbequed beans. Phone calls to warn my mom's brother and sister were for naught, as they'd already been "gotten." I'm not familiar enough with his style to hazard a guess at the Styronic equivalent of Ashton Kutcher's monosyllabic braying, but the mental picture of the old dog wearing a sideways trucker hat at least merits a B -- Tristan
MY UN-FUNBRELLA: I hate my umbrella. It's maroon, a color that suggests dignity and confidence, but it flaps at the mere whisper of wind and folds inside-out on a whim. Its insides are mildewing, and two of its metal arms are broken, so when folded it looks like an decrepid bat. I've come to the realization that using this thing is actually more depressing and challenging than going umbrella-less. I'm going to embrace the scarf-headwrap thing for the rest of the day and maybe, the rest of my life. D -- Shawna
RESTAURANT SNOBS: Listen, friend. If you are going to tell me that I should pick the restaurant where we are to meet up for lunch, and I pick one, don't then
pause for a few seconds and reject it for some nonsensical, snobbish reason (like, "We live in New York, the best food city in the world, and THAT's what you pick?" or "Isn't that part of a [gasp] CHAIN!?!") Look, I like simple things. A basket of bread. A warm pizza on my plate. Clean silverware. If you are interested in eating a $60 entree each evening in order to justify your high Manhattan rent, that is your business, but don't drag me into your gaping maw of overpriced overrated indigestion. Instead of worrying that someone might see you in Penang, stick your fork in the coconut rice and enjoy it. And if you don't like my restaurant suggestions, make your own. If you've given me the option, then -- barring allergies or "Conditional" approval from the health department -- that's where we're going. D -- Caren L
HOWARD STERN'S NEW LOGO: Howard Stern has a new show debuting on satellite radio in a few days. He's programming something like 48 hours a day of his legendarily Hi-larious fart and lesbian-voyeur humor. To go with this new empire he's created, he's got a brand new logo. Guess what it is? A black fist! Get it? Cuz he's been held down for so long and now, he's breaking free of the slavery imposed on him by network radio! Free at last, our Howard is, Free at last! Lordy, no more oppression for him, nope. He's been emanci-mapated, yessir! Whatta asshole. F -- kowgurl
DIAMONDS AND THEIR CRAPPY COMMERCIALS: Why in God's name has a
diamond become the default gift to give a woman I'm romantically interested
in for Christmas? Furthermore, why is it pounded into my head at every
television commercial break (especially during football games)? What are
you going to do with that hunk of carbon? Unless you're running an industrial
cutting operation, you have no real use for a diamond. Oh, it's an expression
of love? No. A down payment on a house for us to live in is an expression
of love. Saving for college for our unborn child is an expression of love.
A diamond is a way for you to get a head start on hoarding our shared
wealth in anticipation of the impending divorce in two years (and a bad
way at that, since diamonds aren't actually worth anything). I hope you
and Roderigo have some other way to pay for your nice trip to Mexico,
because my "expression of love" is certainly not going to fund
it. Shallow women that need a diamond to feel loved and to show to their
nag of a mother and shallow friends who bad mouth her behind her back:
F. Crappy commercials to
XMAS IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE: Nothing quite brings home the essential paganness of most Christian holidays ("hey guys, what do you say we cut down this tree and bring it into our house to celebrate the birth of our savior?") like celebrating them where the seasons are all topsy-turvy. Xmas is just not a big deal in Argentina (in Buenos Aires, it's about 85 degrees right now). Decorations in the streets and in people's homes are minimal (and go up around 23 December), holiday music is practically nonexistent and wishing bus drivers and store clerks "Feliz Navidad," will net you a blank stare and a bemused "Igualmente." The Argentine tradition for Xmas Eve (day): meeting up with your high school friends and hanging out at the beach. Xmas Eve (night): a light dinner (by which I mean sandwiches) at around eleven-thirty. At midnight, a chorus of "Feliz Navidad" (the only time you say it) followed by a round of strawberry champagne and the sounds of people in the neighborhood setting off fireworks. Then everyone goes out and parties until the wee hours. If any of this sounds familiar, they do the exact same thing on New Year's Eve. Not being beaten over the head with "Little Drummer Boy" for weeks on end: A. Sandwiches instead of the usual stream of oranges, nuts, chocolate, candy, fancy cheese, lasagna, pecan pie and liquor: C- -- elise n
HOLIDAY PITY FOR NON-CHRISTIANS: I don't celebrate Christmas. Never have. It was never celebrated in my parents' house; I've never had a tree, never exchanged presents with relatives, and our house was never festooned with blinking lights. Know why? I'm Jewish! I'm not a Christian! It's not a hard concept to grasp; I was never brought up to believe that Jesus was the second coming of God, and thus don't feel the need to celebrate his birthday. So then why, when I tell people that I'll be doing nothing on Christmas, do I get more and more pitiful stares and "awww, that's a shame"s every year? How hard is this to explain to people? Listen, folks, once and for all: I never had it, I don't feel a loss because I don't celebrate it, and generally the only crappy thing about the day is that my only choices for food are Chinese or Dunkin' Donuts. So just leave me alone next December 25 so I can do my laundry without any pity-induced pangs of guilt. F -- Joel Keller
MENTAL HEALTH IN THE DIRTY SOUTH: I just moved to North Carolina from Southern California. I know, it sounds crazy, but I grew up here, so it made sense at the time. When I first got to California, everything was wonderful-beautiful weather, beautiful beaches and beautiful people. After a year of living there, I realized that I had a lot in common with my fellow Southern Californians. And since TV teaches us that everyone in Southern California is really effed up and in need of some serious therapy, I figured I must need therapy, too. So I found myself a shrink and started seeing her every single week. Then I moved back to North Carolina, where I realized that Southern women are ridiculously neurotic. Our mothers must bake the biscuits with battiness and mix the grits with guilt, because, man, I can't even explain how normal I feel around these people. They seem to think that the world is about to end any minute. I lived in a place with rolling blackouts, mudslides, fires, and earthquakes, and I never really worried about it. Here, if there's even a whiff of possible snow or ice on the local weather, we must all go to the grocery store and fight each other for the last loaf of bread. If there's a hurricane hitting Florida, we must glue ourselves to the Weather Channel for hours because we may get residual rain. If someone doesn't speak to us in the hall at work, she is planning our utter destruction. Seriously, people? Get a grip! Being surprised by the knowledge that I am a fabulously well-adjusted human being: A. Realizing how many designer handbags and student loan payments I could have paid for with my therapy money: F -- Nikki Laird
TRYING TO CALL A FRIEND WHO HAS BOTH A CELLPHONE AND A LANDLINE: You can't just call them at home because if they're not there, they might be out a while. And, after you've left a message on their home answering machine, you're bound to wait until they find the time to call you back. No one wants to be the guy talking on his phone too loud at Arby's. But living here in future times -- it's nice to stay connected. Yes; after you call someone at home, is it too pushy to then call their cellphone? I'm inclined to think it is because sometimes you really gotta move on those Killers tickets, Spin Magazine's most sexiest-sexy band of the not-very-sexy year. Having two phone numbers makes you some kinda fancy pants. Perhaps you've decoded this triple-play thing they talk about in commercials. Some of us are still reeling from the fact that NPR figured out podcasting before we could even afford one. Dick Cheney and Chris Rock both own iPods. The future is now, people. These twentieth century shackles still remain and it scares me whenever my cellphone rings. C+ -- Frank
MY FIRST PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE/MARRIED MAN: "This can't
be okay," I said, holding up his hand with the wedding ring on it.
"Oh, no, this is definitely not okay," he said, almost laughing.
On the first night of the conference we went out drinking and told each
other jokes; on the second night we pressed against each other in the
back of the auditorium during the regional showcase, walked on the beach
and made out in his hotel room. Then we fell asleep. Since then: daily
e-mails, tender and funny, and I have exhausted the internet's information
on both him and his wife (of just one year). Cliché value of making
out with a married man nearly fifteen years my senior whom I met while
attending a professional conference: A. Falling unexpectedly hard
for someone who is married and lives in a city hundreds of miles away:
F -- homewrecker
Each and every week, Black Table readers like you write the Black List and get absolutely nothing in return. Ain't that some shit.