2/14/03: Went to the new Dominick’s on Halsted and Madison to get supplies for V-Day dinner with Kev, Kathy, and Michael. Because the store had just opened, the aisles were full of shoppers and ever-so-helpful store employees. There was a blues guitarist in the floral section playing “Let’s Get It On”. The checkout stand where I completed my purchase had a bridal arch hoisted above it. At Kevin’s, we discuss the “Foolani”, Carol Moseley-Braun’s presidential bid, [redacted on 4/20/2010 by Jasmine – sorry], stay for the bone!”), and my new charity/humanist movement, “Fuck It Forward”.
2/15/03: The woman in 17F has a faint mustache and spends the flight to New York with her head buried in a cheap romance novel. The only time she spoke to me was to comment on the pilot coming out into the main cabin to say hello to everyone. She was a bit skeptical, but I thought it was a nice touch. I watched the in-plane programming (hosted by the cast of NBC’s “American Dreams!” blech) and thought of ordering Jacinda’s next birthday present from the Sky Mall catalogue – perhaps a tablet inscribed with her name and date of birth, or a letter opener in the shape of the Green Destiny sword from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”?. When I got off the plane, I checked my voicemail and there was a message from the Patron Saint of Brooklyn himself, Andrew:
Hey Jasmine. It’s Andrew. I don’t know if I read the last flip front correctly, but I believe you’re in New York. If you are, then that’s really funny because Rozi and I are in the city, too. Call me and maybe we can get together this weekend, Okay? Bye.
It was a mild day in Queens and, though it is he I want to see the most, my brother Patrick was in Connecticut visiting his girlfriend at school. Sucker. The twins were at home with my parents, so we hung out, watched some telly and visited for a bit before I escaped the confines of my parents overcrowded apartment for the city.
Nadine met me at Dean & Deluca, and from there we moseyed down Broadway, buying boring though vital clothing items at Old Navy. I underpacked, bringing only one pair of shoes, one pair of pants, and two pairs of socks. Actually, Nadine’s pants were not boring, and neither were the super-cute shoes I picked up at Steve Madden for $25. Who cares if they’re so pointy they’re what you might refer to as “roach stompers”? We also stopped at my favorite Chinese department store, as it had moved to a swank new location on Broadway and I needed to buy snacks for Sean and Michelle’s party that night.
Dinner with Nick and Nadine at Dojo. Coffee and dessert at the Barnes and Noble on Broadway and 8th Street. They don’t have “Country of My Skull”, which I need to read for March book club but they do have Noodle, the magazine for queer Asian men. Andrew and Rozi joined us, then we headed towards Brooklyn for Sean and Michelle’s bash. The trains were not cooperating, so we jumped out at Bowling Green and took a cab. Nadine, being the person with the worst sense of direction in the taxi, gave directions to the driver. Somehow, we made it to the party by using the intersection of Atlantic and Fourth Avenue as our center and look for the KFC from there. At the party, I ate too much KFC and allow Ben’s friend Michael (went to U of C, sort of British-ish accent) to lick Junior’s Cheesecake from my cleavage.
I felt, in my own small way, like Lil’ Kim.
2/16/03: Having spent the night at Nadine’s, I got up feeling somewhat out of sorts but ready to conquer Century 21. Which I didn’t, really. Though Olivia scored some brown loafers, and Charles got a coat, none of the Sigerson Morrison strappy sandals or Versace silk heels fit my chubby little feet. I tried on some overpriced though totally cute tops, but there were all too tight. Meanwhile, the girl next to me in the ladies’ dressing room was modeling bikinis. Before I passed out from misery, I dragged everybody down to accessories where the handbags failed to move me. Fortunately, all was not lost, as I scored a Louis Vuitton Papillon bag on Canal Street for $45. Okay, it wasn’t the real thing but I don’t have a sugar daddy to buy this shit for me and I don’t know that, even if I had the money, if I’d ever buy the thing myself. I didn’t buy a custom belt buckle with my name on it. I’ll leave that for my next trip. I did buy a $4 bootleg of Mariah Carey’s “Charmbracelet”.
It was getting colder as we headed towards Sweet n’ Tart for yet another delicious meal. I ordered the turnip cakes, and showed my new purse to anyone who cared to look at it when they weren’t eating or trying to stay warm in Sweet n’ Tart’s drafty basement dining room. Afterwards, we managed a quick visit to Pearl River before the snow began in earnest and we got stuck in Pearl River. Which wouldn’t have been so bad, as I would have spent my time drinking tea, eating prawn crackers, and trying on the lavishly embroidered dresses and shawls.
I ate dinner and watched “The Simpsons” at Nick and Nadine’s, then actually made it back to Queens as the storm hit New York full on. I was foolish, taking the M60 bus to La Guardia through the hilly, uneven streets of Morningside heights and over the slushy streets of Astoria. I made it home in two hours, taking a cab from Flushing to my parents’ apartment in College Point. I felt kind of bad because I left a guy at the bus stop and I probably could have just given him a ride. But I was being selfish so I had the cab (complete with curt, paranoid driver) all to myself.
2/17/03 & 2/18/03: The two days I spent at home were occupied by looking at the snow, checking my e-mail, playing Tetris, eating, and watching BBC America with my dad. He and my mom liked “Monarch of The Glen” while I hagged out on “So Graham Norton”. Everybody liked “So Graham Norton”. Who couldn’t? And my parents made us all watch the episode of “Joe Millionaire” where we saw Evan pick Zora over Sarah, much to my surprise. And Zora didn’t turn him down, and now both she and Evan are 500000-aires. My parents were rooting for Zora all along, but she seemed to like the horses a lot better than Evan. I’m just saying.
2/19/03: My flight was canceled, so I didn’t make it back to Chicago Tuesday night. I wouldn’t be able to leave New York until Thursday morning, so I went to the New York office on Wednesday to have lunch with J-Mo. We made plans to go out for drinks with the other folks in the office, and I took off to shop. I stopped at the Agent Provocateur boutique at Henri Bendel, admiring the beribboned underthings and holding them up to my own swollen ass for a sobering reality check. I then skipped down the street to H & M to buy things that actually fit, including a cute party top, which Maria pronounced “awesome” when she came over to hang out Saturday. But I’m getting ahead of myself now.
I had a drink with J-Mo and the New York employees at a rather swank hotel bar on 51st and Madison. The office manager Patricia was, and often is from what I hear, in high spirits. She exclaimed over everything – the drinks, the dim lighting, the banquettes, the cheese plate. She pronounced me adorable and worked on getting everyone to go out salsa dancing the next weekend at the Copa. She was fun, but I had to get out, to get some air and to go meet my sister for dinner after her math test.
Joseline had just broke up with her boyfriend, and had just moved in with our grandmother’s cousin in Washington Heights when I saw her last week. She doesn’t have her own set of keys, making it necessary to call Tita Benilda when she gets home at night. Fortunately, Joseline doesn’t have to explain her whereabouts but my dad does get snide phone calls from Benilda when Joseline’s a bit late coming in (if she gets in at all). We had an unremarkable dinner at Tom’s Restaurant, smoked a few cigarettes together, then I went home to get a few hours of sleep before I had to fly back to Chicago.
2/20/03: I promised myself that, as soon as I got home from work (because you know I went straight to work from the airport) I would go straight to bed. But Jacinda wouldn’t let me because she seemed to miss me, sweet girl. Also, Joe had a show that night and she didn’t want to go alone. So I went with her, if only because I like watching Joe’s band because they remind of the junkyard gang from “Fat Albert”, in spirit if not in appearance.
Jacinda hair was blown out, and she had straight hair for the first time ever. It looked nice, but I kept staring because she didn’t look like herself. She looked like a Trixie and I thought she was going to start yammering on about her boyfriend Tad and their plans to buy a Bucktown loft with hardwood floors and an aesthetically pleasing Weimeraner to match. But then she started swearing so I breathed a deep sigh of relief.
2/21/03: MCA. Members’ preview. I went with my boss Khloé and her husband Jeff. The show was fine. I looked like a slob, but my “Louis Vuitton” purse got a lot of looks. Maybe because I was wearing wrinkled khaki pants and sneakers with it. Dinner at Tsunami afterwards was better than the cheese and pasta salad at the museum – we split a boat of sushi, and the sumo roll (unagi in tempura flakes and cream cheese with rice, of course, and the roll was doused in spicy mayonnaise and unagi barbecue sauce – it was sick, it was so good).
2/22/03: Jacinda and I got manicures. She’d never had one before, so it was a surprise when she stuck her head out of the shower Saturday afternoon and asked me to call up Nail Bar. I brought a sheer girly pink for my fingers I’m still attending to the funky big toenail on my right foot, so no pedicure this time) while Jacinda picked a sparkly gold polish. My manicurist, Bryan, could not get out of the salon fast enough to start his weekend. My manicure did look good, though he did seem to be in a bit of a rush. Afterwards, Jacinda and I went to Chipotle where we examined the Nail Bar waxing menu and pondered getting our asses waxed in time for spring.
Later, Maria came over. We ate Chinese food, watched Christopher Walken on SNL (“Naughty fox! Bad cougar!”), and stayed up late. Maria fell asleep on the couch, which is where Jacinda had been sleeping since her bed broke. Me, being the bad roommate that I am, forgot this so Jacinda checked into the Best Western up the street when she got home at 3 in the morning. I apologized the next day, but Jacinda said it was okay, saying that she’d gotten the best night of sleep she’s gotten in a really long time. I’m going to believe her, but only to assuage my own feelings of guilt and remorse.
2/23/03: Maria bought a futon. Seema called me, though I missed her call and she had to leave a message. Still, it’s nice to know she is alive and had not eloped with her boyfriend. Like I was supposed to know that, but it’s nice to know she knew that I knew even though I probably wasn’t supposed to anyway.