Thursday, November 8, 2007

Hipster Babies

Just because you’re a hipster doesn’t mean you’re a cooler parent. If anything, you and your retarded, new age hippy parenting skills are way worse than any Midwestern, diaper bag toting, overweight, sweat-suit clad nightmare who has their kid on a leash. At least they see their child for what it is to everyone else; a pest. A pest named Billy who they keep on a leash and smack around when he acts like an asshole. I love that.

But in Brooklyn’s hipster parent world, a little shit named Chloe in a tiny Marc Jacobs ensemble wanders aimlessly around the coffee shop with her other designer clad gang of baby hipster friends named Rufus, Rex, Telulah and Blaize. They chew on mommy’s old Nano and climb onto the couch I’m sitting on and size up my clearly un-designer ensemble and loudly proclaim to their friends, “Target” in an ironic baby voice.

Meanwhile, their mothers are all gathered around in a circle drinking yerba matte, wearing slouchy boots over leggings and talking about how challenging pilates was today, oblivious to the gang warfare being waged over on my side of the shop. Clearly annoyed, but to no avail I have to suffer through this until their mothers entice them back over with a baggie full of Veggie Pirate’s Booty. Even better than that bargaining chip, these vacuous, baby holes promise their little trolls a “baby cappuccino” if they continue to be “good”. I watch the barista’s eyes rolls back in their head at the mention of a baby cappuccino and silently whisper to one another, “Not it.”

There is nothing more sickening than watching a baby hold a little porcelain, espresso sized demitasse of foamed milk. Sure, it’s funny to see babies drink other adult beverages like a beer or wine cooler that Uncle Jim slips to them, but a “baby cappuccino” is morally reprehensible.

Friday, July 13, 2007

HIP CUP : how to play

There is a new drinking game here in Brooklyn! Yes, it was unleashed on the masses Wednesday, July 10th 2007 at approximately 11:47pm after close to 7 hours of drinking at Trout Bar & Grill; my place of employment. It's HIP CUP, everybody!

Here's how you play and feel free to improvise around the rules and add your own touches and flourishes.

First, spend 8 days in Chicago re-living your old, glorious life in one of the world's prettiest, cleanest cities. Enjoy what's called "The Victory Lap"where you feel like a minor celebrity because people tend not to remember all of your bullshit and are actually tricked into thinking it's "nice" to see you back in town.

Next, stay with old friends in their typically HUMONGOUS, gorgeous and totally affordable Chicago apartment. Have a spare bedroom all to yourself that is bigger than your entire unit in Brooklyn to solidify your envy and unconcealable jealousy. Then, make sure they leave for 4 days on vacation so you have the WHOLE damn place to yourself with Wi-Fi, On Demand, Giant overstuffed couches, AC and a sprawling park across the street. Catch up on the last 3 seasons of "Six Feet Under".

For added intrigue, on your first night back, secure a week long lay. Make sure this person has been your friend over the years and that your shared mutual attraction and admiration makes things escalate quickly just to drive home the fact that you can throw a rock into the middle of Times Square on New Years Eve and NEVER come close to hitting someone fun and cool like this person. Or so it seems at that moment. Just enjoy the present and don't fret about the future. That's what we have learned through a year full of hard lessons, growing up, and self-improvement. Be a rebel, don't let emotions take over, love 'em and leave 'em, Van Poppelen.

But, do get slightly weirded out when on your last night in town there is zero attempt to say goodbye to you from this person who, if you are not mistaken, has been pretty forward about how they feel about you.

The next morning, wake up with a hangover and hop onto the beach cruiser your friend has lent you and pedal out to Lake Michigan. Sit on the shore and stare out over the immense blue of the water as wind whips through your hair. Become morose over the fact that Chicago is easy and beautiful and clean and you miss it like crazy. Become teary over the fact that so much of your life and existence actually matters to some people in this city and begin to dread boarding a plane. Still no call from the boy, who 2 days ago said he was going to escort you to the airport.

Have an uneventful trip back to NYC and straight away commute to your job feeling very glum about everything you left behind in Chicago. Be so tunnel visioned that you can't for the life of you think of one good thing you have going for you in NYC.

But, arrive at your job and be surprised to find out that your co-workers have missed you!

Get called off work due to rain, close the bar to the public and proceed to drink heavily with all of your co-workers. This will surely get your mind off the colossal ditching episode you experienced not 24 hours ago.

Tell yourself that you are FINE and you have been FINE for the past year just doing your own thing, making your way in this unknown land. And after another drink, realize that you are not hurt, but actually indignant that someone would be such a weak, inconsiderate child by not saying goodbye to you and worst of all, take a dump on your friendship. Do not grovel for approval, or dig to find out what went wrong. It's over and done. He loses. Bury it and make your peace with the situation.

For now.

Celebrate your little personal triumph and have another drink. It's party time now and you need to storm up the street to karaoke like a wild pack of vikings, pillaging all of the song books and raping the microphone with your outsized ego covering "Old Time Rock and Roll" .

Ravage the free NYC subway line condoms laid out on the bar and of course cover all of the leftover happy hour hot dogs with the condoms, prepping them for a night of safe sex and then throw them at people. Imbibe several more drinks and storm back down the street to your place of employment which is now unexpectedly open again for business. Straight arm some strangers on the way.

Incur the wrath of your boss who is serving the meager gathering of people outside at your place of employment and have him give you all a "don't fuck with me, these are my only real, paying customers for the night" look even though he is the one who helped create this hot mess.

Continue drinking tequila and start wildly flirting with everyone in an attempt to puff up your ego and then without warning go to a drunk place in your head where you become like an unpredictable animal and without provocation decide to stew some more about being ditched by the boy despite the earlier, triumphant dismissal of it. At this point in the night begin simmering about it because you are fueled by 100 or so drinks. Feel the pure rage coursing through your veins.

Notice some painfully hip locals hanging out behind you sporting moustaches, neckerchiefs, and Deck Shoes ala Tom Selleck Magnum PI era. Immediately take a dislike to them and begin to mock their uber Williamsburg faggotry not so quietly.

Mistakenly think your co-worker mentions how funny it would be to throw a drink at one of the hipster douche bags and then have your innate impulse to please and awe people with your "comedic naughtiness" take over. Grab your almost finished drink in a plastic Dixie cup and serve it like a volleyball backwards over your head toward them without hesitation.

Hear the sound of a soft "thunk" and the ice cubes scatter on the floor and then a very startled male voice yell out, "what the fuck!"

Congratulations, you've nailed the lead hipster square in the chest and now you must turn to face him as he's yelling, "did someone throw a drink at me?" To which your meathead, part time firefighter bar co-worker replies "Yeah--you got a problem with that?"

Watch in terror as a fight erupts and have to throw yourself in between the 2 guys yelling, "It was me----I'm so sorry! I wasn't aiming---I jokingly threw it over my shoulder and I didn't mean to hit you. i totally did it. I don't know why I did it but I wasn't aiming at you personally." and oddly enough have the guy accept your apology.

Think you're in the clear only to get cursed out by your boss who is loudly wondering what the hell is wrong with you because now he has to buy all those guys a round of drinks and apologize for having drunk employees who throw drinks at customers.

Become pouty because no one knew the backstory ---or knew there was a voice in your head that said, 'You're angry about something that happened 24 hours ago. Take it out on someone else for some laughs. Nothing wrong with a little displaced revenge, right Brooke? Do it. People will think you're cool." But nobody really cares about your line of reasoning when they've just had a drink thrown at them.

Sadly admit to yourself that this is not the first time you've thrown something at someone, nor will it be the last, but in the past they've at least usually had it coming to them. Know that there had always been a very clear cause and effect but this was your first incident of a deviant, psychological act-out fueled by too much booze and rejection.

Anyway, as you can see Hip Cup is not really about competition so much as it is about being slighted, ingesting a gallon of tequila, and lacking normal coping mechanisms. Anyone can play as long as you have endured a whilrwind of emotions and decide to deal with it all through alcohol!

I was subsequently fired from the bar 2months later for even worse behavior, believe it or not.

As for the dude who was an unwilling participant in my inaugural game of Hip Cup,well, we didn't see him come back around to the bar that summer. I am guessing that's my fault.

And as for the boy who ditched me, well just 8 months later I got a myspace message. From his girlfriend. It read, "Hi. You fucked my boyfriend...." Oof. That explains the sudden disappearing act from that turd. I had no clue he was in a long distance relationship. She went on to say a few nasty things about me and I thought about writing back to her to make peace, but thought better of it and just deleted her email realizing that I was not the one at fault,but merely on the receiving end of her wildly tossed Dixie Cup and I took it square to the chest.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Common Day at the Cafe

I’ve seen way to much old person genitalia lately. These clowns won’t lock a bathroom door behind them and EVERY time I swing it open forcefully, they are in there standing with half of their clothes off or hiked up over their head or god knows what and then they stammer at you in their weak, barely audible, ancient voices to “knock next time!”

That’s when I fly off the handle and tell them to “lock the goddamn door!” then slam it on them. Seriously, if your regular trip to the bathroom involves becoming undressed because you’re wearing knickers or short-alls or a diaper, LOCK THE DOOR!

So better yet, this happens to me on a weekly basis at the vegan restaurant I work at on NYC’s Upper East Side. Some very fine, fancy, special people come into my restaurant and on an especially lucky day, they will all come in at once to ensure that circus-like antics abound.

Now some of you know, my restaurant (and the UES in general) caters to people with food allergies, eating disorders, vegans, vegetarians, kosher individuals, celebrities, and hypochondriac control freaks with OCD.

The other day, a mother son duo came in and I immediately knew they were going to be trouble. The mother was wearing what could only be described as loose sacks, with a trench coat piled on top and she had her weird tuft of long, white hair knotted on top of her head like a swirl of vanilla soft serve. Everything was “too hot” “too cold” “too bright” and “too expensive”. She drove these points home with an audible, continuous whimpering throughout the entirety of the meal. Her son was completely disengaged from her and listlessly sat at the table reading a crime novel. He clearly had learned a long time ago that disconnecting from mother was his only defense.

Suddenly out of nowhere, small tupperware dishes, viles, pills and liquids started appearing on their table from god knows where and I watched as the mother strenuously concocted a weird potion and then suckled it from a little plastic bottle like a baby lamb. Apparently, this mad scientist had an apothecary tucked away in the recesses of her cavernous trench coat and I had to stop what I was doing to properly take it all in and cast a withering look at her. Her son, of course, was oblivious.

When her soup arrived, she started adding her own seasonings and special ingredients from her collection of spices brought from home. I decided then, that I hated her. When the main dish arrived “Soft Serve” flew into what can only be described as a feeding frenzy. More empty Tupperware kept appearing on the table as she simultaneously shoveled food into her mouth and into the plastic dishes at a furious pace. She couldn’t get it into her puckered, withered pie hole fast enough and abandoned her fork all together and started eating her sauteed greens and rice with her fingers. One fistful for the pie hole, one fistful for the tupperware. One fistful for the pie hole, one fistful for the tupperware. Her son just stared down at his plate, again ignoring the wildly inappropriate dining habits of the gargoyle sitting next to him.

I was full of rage by now but it instantly dissipated as I went back up to the front of the restaurant and who should enter right at that moment? Common. Holy god, what a glorious piece of manhood if I ever saw one. I felt my knees go weak. He was perfect in every way, taller than I imagined, more thin and toned than I dreamed, dressed so perfectly casual without betraying a shred of the utter urban cool he possessed. And then he spoke—“Hey, how’s your day? Yeah, what’s your best protein shake?” I couldn’t see straight. Common! Talking to me about my day! The voice that speaks my favorite hip hop rhymes and rhythms asking my opinion about which kind of protein shake he should have. He’s married to Erykah Badu, for goddsakes! Too much!

I was elated and excused myself to go to the bathroom to splash water on my face, swung open the door and there of course was the goddamn soft serve, mad scientist standing in the bathroom, lights blazing down on her half-naked body doing god knows what but it certainly was not peeing.

She yelped out “Excuuuuuse me!” in a shrill, panicked voice and I shot back, “Lock the door!” Shocked and disgusted I went to the bathroom next to it, luckily vacated. A moment passed when from inside I heard the door swing open in the other bathroom again and her stupid shrill voice yell out, “Excuuuuuse me!”

I finished my business and washed my hands as the sign demanded me to do and exited. Of course the person waiting in line for the restroom was Common, who looked like he’d just seen a ghost, or worse yet, ancient, creepy old lady vagina. He scurried into my bathroom and I went back out onto the floor to help my tables.

When Common returned to the front to pick up his Chocolate Supreme Protein shake, he no longer expressed any interest in conversing with me. He looked distant and confused as he distractedly handed over his $7 and got the hell out of dodge. I couldn’t even tell him how wonderful I thought he was because clearly he had just been scarred for life from seeing the crypt keeper’s nether regions.

I wanted to tell him that I had seen it too, that we should maybe meet up later in the park and talk about the trauma we had both just suffered, that somehow through this tragedy, a strong bond could form between us. Somewhere down the line, he would come see me crushing at The Apollo telling jokes about old white lady poontang and his next album, “I’ve Seen the Devil’s Pussy” would be dedicated to me. I would be invited over to dinner with him and Erykah and we would eat vegan soul food and they could make fun of how square I was. I wouldn’t care. Just to be in their presence would somehow elevate me to a higher, more cosmic plane of existence that although did not equal theirs, would inspire my friends to whisper and gossip that I had been enlightened.

But instead, I would spend the next 30 minutes being glared at by Soft Serve who was visibly weeping and clutching her vacant son’s hand across the table as though she had just been the victim of some unspeakable crime and I of course was implicated in it. As you can imagine, there was a big goose egg where the tip should have been and the mad scientist and her son ferreted out of the café with viles, bottles and tupperware stashed on their person.

Such are my days at the Candle Café. It never gets less frustrating, embarrassing or blood boiling. I repeat my mantra in my head all day long, “kill them with kindness” unfortunately with the emphasis on “kill them” but I do try and establish a positive, casual repertoire with my tables. In my mind, the sunnier and more upbeat I act, the more they look like petty, needy assholes who live under a rock. And it is my mission to make them look that way because, well, they are.

So in the meantime, I hang out and wait for the celebrity drop-ins so I can at least see someone who represents what I want to do with my life-- Sandra Bernhard, George Carlin, Paul Giamatti, to name a few. I try desperately to have a burning, artsy intensity in my eyes that will set me apart from my co-workers and customers so that celebrities will feel they can talk to me, because I understand what they’re going through, also being a performer. But I never get to casually speak to them because some Upper East Side bag of botox is shrieking at me for more dressing.

It makes me wonder how much longer this will all go on. When does the shift happen? When do I make enough money off of comedy to scrape by in NYC? When do I get to sit down with my peers and order tofu from a young, hopeful waitress? Will I be 30, 40, 70???? I know in my heart that it will happen for me and there will be a lot of reminiscing about the old, hard days when I was struggling to make it. I believe I will remain humble and appreciative and maintain an air of grace even well into old age. But most importantly, when I go to the bathroom, I will lock the goddamn door.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mass Transit! Huzzah!

Sobering subway rides home are a great time to question who you are and what in god’s name you are doing with your life. Nothing brings you back to earth quicker than waiting in a dank, subway station at 1:30am, no train in site, bums sleeping all around you while MTA employees are hosing down the platform. Those are depressing moments, or should I say hours, in which you contemplate why you are doing this to yourself. You just dropped 30 or 40 on drinks and food. It’s Monday. You shouldn’t have gone out but talked yourself into it, you had a terrible time and now you’re stranded and considering spending even more cash to climb into a cab. Now we’re looking at $60 for a miserable night. You don’t have $60 for this nonsense. To really drive it home, there is a subway performer behind you cranking out smooth jazz on a Casio keyboard providing the perfect soundtrack to your ridiculous life. You’re watching rats scurry around on the tracks and you start to come up with names and back stories for them all just to stay entertained. You just start laughing as trains pass by, empty, that don’t even belong on that track. What is going on? You rub your eyes, certain that the EL from Chicago just passed by, then the Polar express and then one of those old-timey carts with the 2 guys propelling it as they crank the handles up and down. This place is ridiculous.

Then there’s the prospect of climbing into a cab that picks you up only to boot you out when he finds out you live in Brooklyn. I’ve found that there is a general disdain for going out into the wilds of New York. Even better is the cab driver’s refusal to call dispatch when I am not 100% sure of every highway interchange. I just blurt out “BQE! That’s all I know!” We sit on a highway in a stubborn stand-off. “Believe me, I am NOT withholding information, Mr. cab driver. I don’t have any more information as to the whereabouts of my home. If I did, I would love to tell you so I could get the hell out of your stank cab. You, on the other hand have a radio dispatch that connects to someone at headquarters who can tell you directions, you numb nut. I know you’re just trying to run up the fare, asshole. Also, isn’t it your JOB to know how to drive around NYC because that’s ALL you do ALL night long? Guess what, I spend all of my time traveling in magical underground tunnels to reach my destinations, or if I had a car I am pretty sure I would be in that right now driving myself home. Is it really that crazy that I need you to be the expert right now?” Somehow you get home via some strange route, while the cab driver is cursing you out on his cell phone in Swahili to one of his friends from the homeland. The cab ride just cost $30. The world has gone mad but thank god I imbibed $40 worth of shitty drinks to keep reality at bay until sometime tomorrow.

There’s also the fun phenomenon of actually knowing someone who has a car. Suddenly it’s high school again and 10 of us are packed into a Honda Civic, ass to elbow, trying to look inconspicuous so as not to attract police attention. What seems like a brilliant idea soon wanes as you realize no one in this car knows how to get around Brooklyn either. There’s definitely no dispatch and you’re all drunk and losing sensation in your limbs. Two hours later, after accidentally ending up in Staten Island, having to fork over money to gas up the car due to an unexpected 150 mile road trip from Manhattan to Brooklyn, it’s 4 in the morning, you’re famished, exhausted and could have been home 90 minutes ago by just taking the train.

Nights when you actually make it home in under an hour feel like a major victory. Somehow, you don’t feel so bad about going out on a Monday when you are out of the city and snuggled into bed in Brooklyn all within 45 minutes. But don’t be fooled. If you moved to Brooklyn, it’s best to realize right away that your best bet is to sever all social ties with friends in Manhattan. Get really used to walking to the local watering hole in your sparse, scary neighborhood. On the upside drinks will be cheaper and there’s a chance you might be the hottest thing to rock “Farrel’s Pub” since 1983. Advances from drunk welders aren’t all that bad and you may just get a free shot of Mohawk Vodka for being such a baller.

NO matter how you slice it, there is something insanely wrong with the transit situation here in this city. I know, I know, it would be madness if everyone had a car, but really-- could we just warm up already outside so I can start riding my bike and transform into an aggressive, pseudo-punk rock vintage bike peddler? If I am going to combat insanity and incompetence every day I would prefer to do it on a rusty Schwinn; cutting through parks, jumping curbs and imagining there was an intricate system of alleys for me to navigate while breezing by suckers streaming down into subway stations and huddling in bus terminals.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

So it begins...

OKay kids. Here we go. After close to one year of being in NYC, "The Greatest City on Earth" I have decided to start my blog. Me vs. NYC. Mano a Mano. Bare knuckles. Toe to Toe. Welcome to the soon to be mainstay of your day, NEW YORK IS RETARDED blog.

After a year of being completely underwhelmed, annoyed and disgusted by this place, I thought to myself, "Hey Brooke, what better way to vent your constant pissiness, bewilderment and awe at unbridled retardation every day than with a blog?"

For those of you who truly know me, you know that I have moments of pleasure and ease from time to time here on this godforsaken island. Central Park can be nice on some days when you want to be alone and cry in the middle of a rolling lawn. Be sure it's not at night so you don't get mugged by a mime. Beautiful I tell you. The East Village is artsy and urban; brimming with nightlife, counterculture and dog droppings. Cool! Punks don't clean up after their French Bulldogs! Rad! Have you ever been to Park Slope in Brooklyn? Wow, it's just like a down to earth neighborhood in Chicago; gentrified and full of useless boutiques for stay at home moms to buy tiny little Ugg boots for their adopted babies. How gritty!

I decided to move to NYC for my "stand-up comedy career" where the prospects are bigger and brighter. While I would have to contest my logic behind moving here and thinking that was the truth, I can thoroughly thank this city for inspiring so much rage, doubt and anxiety that I am writing like it's 1999! My little penny pencils are down to the nubs.

In my upcoming posts, I would like get some answers to some tough questions like:

"Could New York be any grosser?"
"Why won't these dumb bitches eat anything?"
"Do guys also have to wear fur coats?"
"How did I get tricked into going to a club in the Meat Packing District?"
"Why did I just pay $13 for a whiskey and soda? (see above question)"
"Is every day going to start out with me waiting on Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson?"
"Did that homeless guy seriously just take a piss on the F Train?"and so on....

As this blog grows, I would like to hear from you about your retarded NYC experiences and post photos of NYC behaving badly. I think the response will be overwhelming and I am excited to hear what you all have to say. In the meantime, I will be forging on; head down, earphones on trying to make sense of why ANYONE, let alone myself, lives this way and actually, sort of loves it enough to stay for awhile.