Liz Becomes a Heroin Addict

After years of (adjective) dreams and (adjective) hopes, Liz started to lose faith in the world.  She decided to move to (city) and get a fresh start in life.  She applied for jobs at (company/store) and (company/store), but both replied back that they didn’t have any openings for (adjective) people like Liz, and that if she ever wanted to be hired in this town, she’d need a lot more (noun). 

Liz felt (adjective), but she continued to hunt (adverb) for the perfect job.  Finally one day she realized she was down to her last (number) dollars.  She figured, why not spend it on heroin.  So she soon became a common street junkie, giving (adjective) men (body part) massages for ten dollars.  All she wanted was more of that sweet sweet lady H.  That is, until she met her good pal Laura, who soon got her on the path to a more (adjective) life.  Yeah, that’s right, Liz “stopped doing heroin.”  Heh heh.

Restaurant Review: Sahara East

Perhaps it wasn’t in the stars that we would have anything resembling a good time on the fateful evening we ventured to Sahara East.  We chose this East Village hookah bar as our very own Chris’ birthday celebration location, and on paper this place seemed to offer quite the time. What better place to ring in yet another of our rapidly aging pal’s years than a place that offers food, alcohol, and an amazingly large selection of sheesha flavors? We would soon learn. We arrived, crew in tow, at Sahara East and were led through their small dining area through to the back where the place opens into a giant, tent-like covered back space. Harmless tobacco smoke hung lightly in the air, the man behind the hookah counter whistled merrily as he prepared the other patron’s tasty smokables, and the menu practically overflowed with flavor choices. All was well…but for how long?

The first negative moment of the evening came with the boring and overpriced beer selection. Sure, tobacco and not alcohol is their item of specialty, but for God’s sake, you could easily select better beers for your menu than the run of the mill fraternity muck that I usually liken to bottled urine. Now I’m not saying that they were all undrinkable, ‘cause darn tootin’ I intended to get drunk this evening, but to be sure the choices were lackluster. On a positive note, the appetizer sampler that arrived partway through these mediocre beers was a delicious combination of falafel and a bunch of creamy things. The hookah arrived and all was lookin’ good, but we were shocked to find that it was extremely difficult to hit, even for our mighty and oft-used lungs.

Just as this inconvenience was occurring, in through the door swarmed a gaggle of underage hooligans who looked like they’d just entered their first semester at Daddy’s Money University. Their high-pitched chattering and enthusiasm for shotgunning their hookah hits soon led me to believe that, despite their age, they had somehow managed to pregame. This unruly group, whose noise and constant expansion was cutting most rudely into our sophisticated conversation, also stole away the attention of our waiter. We soon found ourselves eager for more food and beer and with a hookah that would barely function. In deciding to give up and move elsewhere, we still had to somehow find a server to bring us our check so we could get the hell outta there. To be fair, the poor service, broken smoking device, and annoying clientele certainly could be blamed on circumstance rather than taken as exemplary of their establishment. Unfortunately for those dudes though, there are so many restaurants in this town that if one leaves ya sour, it seems smarter to just choose another next time.

Food Rant


I’m most definitely someone who enjoys delicious cuisine and the wonders that it provides both to the palate and the belly. Nothing is more sad a sight to my eyes than a table full of stick-thin models pondering whether or not to partake in that last bite of dressingless lettuce. I prefer to eat both often and unhealthily, girlish figure be damned. But I must remind you I’m no expert in the art of food preparation, in fact, quite the contrary. Laura and I have been known to simply split a can of beans for dinner, which is just fine in my book. It’s not so much the quality of the food product that I worry about— it’s more the quantity, and whether or not it’s been deep-fried. That said, there are a few food do’s and don’t’s in my opinion that I think any sane person should abide by. Many have disagreed with my standards, but that’s just fine, as these jerks will find their invitations to my dinner party immediately revoked. Except for Laura— I’ll need someone to do the dishes.

Solid v. Liquid

I never enjoy drinking a meal or eating a drink. This is why those Campbell’s soup “On the Go” lunches, or whatever the hell they’re calling them over at the ‘ol crazy factory, can suck it if you ask me. Who wants to gulp down an unsatisfying, lightly flavored swill of broth when they could be chewing the delicious morsels of an actual, solid meal? Sipping down one’s lunch may be an excellent option for the busy folk in today’s working world, but it is certainly not satiating to the noontime monster we all must bow down to— Hunger. I place within this category yogurt as well. Sure it’s tasty, but guess what folks, for the belly it does nothing. If I wanted to enjoy a gloppy fruit-flavored explosion, I’d get a freakin’ smoothie. But please don’t get me wrong here— soups that approach the sold form are just dandy. You’ve got your chowders, your bisques, and they’re all amazing. Please don’t forget with these last two that in reality what you’re consuming is almost solid cream.

Similarly, eating a drink is one of the most disturbing experiences I’ve ever lived through. I like to take my liquid provender in gulps, gulps long and fulfilling. Nothing impedes this more than there being present tiny or large bits of crap in your drink. Pulpy juice is simply disgusting. The particles of fruit crowd your mouth and destroy the swig’s function and ease. If I wanted to eat an orange, I’d eat one. The same goes for this “Bubble Tea” the kids are raving about. I like the shake part of these creations, but those disgusting “bubbles” that come up through those admittedly awesome giant straws are more disturbing than tasty. They are however good for spitting at your friends, especially when said spitting is fueled by the rage that unavoidably comes with there being crap in my drink.

Milkshakes however, do not apply to the above disapproval. They’re somewhat solid, completely delicious, and one hundred percent acceptable, for dinner or otherwise.

Cake v. Bread

I hate to break this to the chefs and food artists out there, but cake is just bread with a bit of sugar tossed in for good measure. Foodies, for literally centuries, have been trying to pass off boring old bread as a dessert product when in reality it’s nothing more than dry waste. The truth of the matter is that cake and its lesser cousins are all simply excuses to consume massive quantities of frosting. Cake without frosting? Boring. Doughnut without frosting? Round bread. And don’t even get me started about Churros. Do they really think that by sprinkling a bit of sugar onto those wacky long pieces of bread that I’ll be tricked into believing I’m consuming dessert?

That said, it’s clear that what I enjoy above all else is the consumption of items made almost entirely out of sugar. This sort of indulgence makes for the experience that I believe in my heart a dessert should render. Sure, there’s something to be said for pastry chefery and fabulously intricate dessert creations, but in most cases I believe that what the world (me) wants is not to be bogged down with conventions of the gourmet, but rather to sit back, relax, and happily ride the wave of sweet sugar. My love for things sweet and their prevalence in my lifestyle was exemplified perfectly when as a young schoolchild my class was instructed to draw the typical “What I want to be when I grow up” picture. What did I draw?, you may ask. I drew a picture of myself grinning happily behind the counter of a fine Dunkin’ Doughnuts establishment, rows and rows of shiny doughnuts lined up freshly behind me. And under this vision of Heaven I wrote “When I grow up, I want to work at Dunkin’ Doughnuts so that I can eat all the doughnuts.” True story. Unfortunately, realize this dream I did not, as instead I was victim to the shackles of society and forced to go to “college” and get a “real job.” Yeah, I like sweets.

But I must also add this: Jelly doughnuts are the work of the devil. Jelly is for spreading lightly on toast or combining brilliantly and to grand effect with its delightful counterpart peanut butter. No one wants to get a mouthful of the stuff. If I saw you dump a jar of jelly onto your toast, I could legitimately call you crazy and no one would protest. But if you add the same to a piece of bread with some powdered sugar on it, it’s a tasty treat? Oh no honey, oh no.


These grease-soaked curly little wonders are one of my most favorite foods. Salty and chemical laden, they provide much needed sustenance to poor college students and the like all over this far-reaching globe. They can be purchased at any local grocery store or deli, and at ten cents a package, there’s even room to consume two at once for those occasions when your stomach is grumblin’ like a lumberjack’s. In fact, for one summer during the good ‘ol college days I successfully subsisted almost entirely on the stuff, easily reaching my end goal of having enough money left over to purchase the insane amounts of booze I require. This was a time when life was good, life was simpler. I like Ramen.

My gripe however, arises when folks try to spice up the dish by adding this or that from their kitchen in an attempt to avoid monotony. Have you forgotten, my friends, that Ramen comes in a large variety of colors and flavors? The second you add anything at all to these noodles, they are no longer serving their intended function. I’ve seen people add everything from butter to Korean soybean paste to the stuff in order to create a more tantalizing meal, but to this I say “Stop, you fool.” For when these additions occur, one is no longer consuming a ten cent college meal. If you have the time, and cooking and flavor knowledge to create such a thing, then for the love of God go to the store and purchase real pasta and real ingredients. Fancying up Ramen takes away the point of this cheap and easy dish in the first place, and lends decadence to a place where it’s certainly not needed.

Liz and Laura: Revolutionaries

I realized today that I haven’t written one word about the war in Iraq, not counting emails and such, since it began. The reason I have abstained, I suppose, is that SO many other people have been talking about it already the whole time, so why should I? But I want to say at least something about what will probably turn out to be an important period in history, not to mention purge some of the thoughts that have been lodged in my brain for, what, five years now? Of course, the war has changed over time — now it’s more of a civil war with us making things worse every day just by being there. But we all knew it was bad news from the beginning, or at least some of us did.

It’s been making me and many others sick to our stomachs, this war, for so long. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the horrible things my taxes are paying for, and I want to move, to stop participating, but I don’t because I love New York and I believe this country can turn back into a good thing. But Iraq is fucked, and it’s that bastardly administration’s fault. The house and senate just voted to withdraw, a bunch of people are moving for impeachment of either just Bush or Bush and Cheney (I’d prefer the latter, as Nancy Pelosi would take over — score!), and Bush’s approval rating hovers near 30%. Still he keeps going. Why aren’t people, New Yorkers for instance, getting more pissed off? We’re known for not taking any bullshit from anyone, but here we are, taking every spoonful they’re dishing out! People are so complacent these days. They don’t participate in rebellion anymore, especially the young people, my generation and younger. Everyone seems so pussy-ish about taking a stand. I suppose they’re conditioned to self-interest, as Op Ivy would say. Part of that, of course, has to be due to the way the media, especially the newspapers and TV news, make the whole thing seem like it’s not a big deal at all. Noam Chomsky really knew what he was talking about in Manufacturing Consent.

I just keep thinking that Bush can’t do this, but he keeps doing it. He’s become little more than a tyrant at this point, and it’s terrifying. Civil liberties are being stripped away one by one, the middle class is evaporating, it’s damn near impossible to be an artist anymore, and again, people sit back and take it, watching their world turn into shit, self-centered until the end.

So what will happen? Personally, I’m hoping for a revolution, another hippie movement to shake things up, get people dropping out of college and quitting their jobs and engaging in good old-fashioned civil disobedience. The problem is, we need another Che, a leader to mobilize the people, make them see what an emergency this is. Perhaps two leaders…

Liz-and-Laura-Che taller

Liz Goes to Prison

One day, Liz was walking the streets trying to earn a little money for her (noun) habit, when suddenly, a very (adjective) police officer cuffed her and read her her rights. 

“You’re under arrest for (verb ending in –ing) and two counts of (verb ending in –ing) without a license,” he said. 

He drove her to the (place) Prison, where she met her bunkmate, (female’s name), who soon made Liz her bitch.  After a couple of months, Liz figured out she could trade (plural noun) for favors, and soon she had all the (plural noun) and (plural noun) she needed.  She was so (adjective) she never wanted to leave. 

Restaurant Review: Café Sutra

One of my favorite new places to get coffee is Café Sutra, and not just because it’s close to home. Okay, it’s mostly because of that. But it’s still a pretty sweet place. The decorations and drink names revolve around Hinduism, and though the place is freakishly narrow, the decorations make the most out of the space and create a relaxing, inviting atmosphere. The coffee and tea drinks range from basic to decadent (I never thought I’d consider a tea drink to be decadent, but they figured out a way). Baked goods and prepackaged sandwiches round out the selection, and the pastries look mighty tasty, though I haven’t tried any yet. Everything I’ve had there has been top notch, and the service is always friendly without the snobbery some Park Slope baristas are known for. One thing I really liked was that they have a very nice selection of celebrity magazines, in addition to the usual newspapers and board games. Finally somebody realized that nothing goes better with a fine cappuccino than an in-depth examination of Britney Spears’ floppy bologna curtains. The patio was closed the times I’ve patronized the café, but I look forward to its opening eagerly, as patios rule. Café Sutra also hosts a trivia night on Thursdays, for those with a knack for regurgitating useless information. I am one of those people, so I may or may not be attending this trivia night sometime soon. However, I am also lazy. Anyway, the coffee is tasty, and you should go there.


For Liz and I, coming from a place like Tucson where there were really only three or four bars that everyone went to, New York seemed like a whiskey-soaked dream when we first arrived on the scene.  Granted, I had been at NYU for years by the time Liz showed up, but clearly I was under the legal age for alcohol consumption at the time, so why would I have attended any bars or pubs?  Silly reader.

Anyway, Liz and I have been drinking our way through the city ever since, bar by bar, cheap beer by cheap beer.  And we are making some progress, though our lack of exorbitant wealth slows us down considerably.  One of our favorite places to get sloshed these days is Park Slope, the haven for hipsters/yuppies who’ve reached the age of spawning, hence the neighborhood’s alternate title, the Stroller Derby.  Yes, these parents are obnoxious, but at least they have cute dogs, and they spend money at the trendy restaurants, which ensures that they stay open.  Plus, the yuppies go to bed early, leaving the bars relatively uncrowded even on the weekends.  There are lots of nice bars in the neighborhood, but one that we seem to keep coming back to is Commonwealth. It’s a nice place to go have a nice glass of wine or a fancy cocktail, which is especially nice after a few too many nights out in Williamsburg leave you burnt out on PBR.  Plus, there’s a patio outside and a pleasant, chic vibe inside.  A board of “Brutally Honest Personal Ads” makes for good reading material and offers bar patrons a chance to express their longings for love, sex, or weird mindgames.  It isn’t clear whether anyone actually meets through the board, but it’s interesting enough as an artistic exercise.  Another pro is the jukebox, which is loaded with mix-CD’s featuring all the pretentious/sensitive music you’d expect, but with crowd-pleasing favorites liberally sprinkled throughout.  In fact, aside from the bathrooms, which are littered with smart-allecky graffiti, this bar stays away from most of the pretentious hipster shit that bars like to indulge in.  The bartenders are nice and approachable, and even the clientele is older and a little more interesting.  You’re likely to get into an unexpected conversation while you’re here, and that’s always a pleasant surprise.   Oh, I almost forgot.  There’s a patio, and it has an enormous umbrella shading it.  I mean, it’s simply huge.  Now that I don’t smoke, patios aren’t as awesome as they used to be, but they are always a sure bet for a nice summer evening.

In conclusion, I predict we will be getting properly tight there quite a bit from now on, and I encourage you to do the same.  Cheers!

An Inconvenient Truth

As I sit at my computer on this fine April 20th (cough, cough), preparing to review Al Gore’s fine documentary/Power Point presentation (docupoint?) An Inconvenient Truth, it strikes me that most people have already either seen the film or they’ve been so inundated with hype they wouldn’t add it to their Netflix queue if you paid them. That’s why I’m not going to tell you why it’s your responsibility as a good Americal liberal to go out and rent it (you actually already agreed to go see it when you registered as a Democrat – it’s kind of like Jury Duty). Instead, I’ll simply point out the questions and concerns I was left with after watching the film, so that those of you who have already seen the film will have something to read too.

Laura’s Observations Regarding An Inconvenient Truth:

-Man, he’s really, really bitter about losing to George W. Bush! He uses the exact same level of solemnity when they show the aftermaths of September 11th and Hurricane Katrina as when he loses to GW. Appropriate? Biased?

-What’s with the forklift? Why’s he getting up on the forklift? Doesn’t he know he looks like a complete tool?

-When he talks about becoming disenchanted with school and traveling around the world (he doesn’t specifically mention Amsterdam, but come on), all I heard was “I did lots of acid.” In fact, there are times in this movie where I think he’s still on acid.

-I’m sorry, but the Melissa Etheridge song has to go. It’s a shitty song. I don’t care how inspiring she is or how much she made fun of her own song at the Oscars, and I don’t even care that she won an Oscar. Ugh.

-We tried to watch the additional material (an update, rather), and it was really really long. Fascinating, yes. But long.

-Where’s Tipper in all this? Are she and Al having problems? That would be too bad.


Poor nerdy Al Gore. It’s like he’s a rock star, but a really lame one. He travels around the country giving his sad little slide show, and there are all these shots of him leaning his head against the window in like tour buses and airplanes, and it’s like they’re trying to be like Almost Famous, like he’s about to break out into “Tiny Dancer” any minute. There’s totally some Spinal Tap in there too, like when he’s wandering around confused backstage, and finally emerges triumphantly. But then instead of rocking, he just talks a lot. And he does a good job, I’m not saying I was bored, but he could liven it up just a tad more. Hire an intern off Craigslist and get them to make an animated film. You could have Shrek 4 in one semester if you get a few NYU seniors! Ah, bless the college internship: it’s like slavery and child labor all wrapped into one.

Book Review: Holidays on Ice

In case you hadn’t noticed, one thing Liz and Laura are not is timely. We don’t usually get around to reading, viewing or eating something until it’s somewhat old news. But we like to argue that our readers are just as lazy as, if not lazier than, Liz and Laura themselves, and probably haven’t gotten around to reading that bestseller either. So for those slackers among you, I present my long-overdue review of Holidays on Ice.

David Sedaris is one of those writers whose work I always intended to get around to reading, but somehow it never came to be. That is, until I found a box of books discarded in my neighborhood one day. I brought it home, much to Liz’s concern (for some reason she doesn’t like it when I drag in garbage off the street, even though that’s where the free stuff is!). Most of the books sucked ass. Among the ones I threw back in the sea (the sea of trash, that is) were The Notebook, some other books by the guy who wrote The Notebook, and some books about Jesus.

But lo and behold! Holidays on Ice was tucked between volumes of the diaries of Virginia Woolf, just waiting to be rescued. I read the book, which is a collection of short stories, in a couple of afternoons, and found it to be wonderful. That David Sedaris is just a delight! The story about the Christmas Whore I found particularly compelling. The gap-toothed whore reminded me of Liz, which made me laugh! Silly, cracked out old Liz.

I also liked David’s hilarious anecdotes about the various jobs he’s worked. I relate, as I too have worked quite a lot of jobs, most of them menial at best. Plus, having been a fan of Amy Sedaris from her work on Strangers with Candy, it’s always funny when he mentions her, which he does often. All in all I wish nothing but the best for David, who seems like a pretty cool guy, and who will probably end up being known as one of the century’s great writers. Now I must continue to read his work, although I don’t know about The Book of Liz. Anything but that.

Book Review: Pattern Recognition

Pattern Recognition, by geek favorite William Gibson, is an airplane read, the type of book you can finish on a weekend.  It’s light stuff, the literary equivalent of a pop song, but like pop songs, the book has an infuriating tendency to get stuck in the brain.  Like Stephen King, a fellow author famed for working in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, Gibson litters his writing with brand names and other cultural specifics in order to create a more convincing universe.  Although Pattern Recognition takes place in modern times, albeit in a variety of world cities due to the jet-setting adventures of our heroine, Cayce Pollard, the story is a far cry from the fantastical adventures portrayed in much of Gibson’s previous work.  Here the mystery comes from real people and places, although much of it takes place in cyberspace, which some would argue is the newest and most exotic frontier.

The story revolves around mysterious video segments which, in the world of the book, have become an underground cultural phenomenon due to the anonymity of their source.  The cryptic clips seem to be part of something larger, and Cayce Pollard seeks to discover the truth to the videos as part of an internet forum dedicated to this cause.  Cayce is plagued by an unusual sensitivity to brand logos and other strong symbols with cultural or corporate connotations.  This affliction comes in handy, as she’s paid handsomely by marketing companies as a consultant for her truly unique ability to spot effective advertising.

When she receives an assignment to track down the makers of the mysterious video footage, Cayce becomes half detective, half James Bond as she adventures around the world, solving the mystery.  It’s a fun ride, although not terribly deep, although the metaphor of film director as God is milked pretty heavily.  What really sticks with me, though, is Gibson’s details, especially the ones he lays on thick in the beginning for character development.  The descriptions of Cayce’s systematic de-branding of her plain clothing, for example, lend a Fight Club-type humor that is unfortunately lacking in some of the later chapters.  There is quite a bit of discussion about clothing, in fact, and interestingly enough, the jacket which Cayce wears throughout the novel and which becomes something of  a plot point, a black Rickson’s bomber, didn’t exist before the publication of the novel, but the clothiers were so flattered by Mr. Gibson’s reference that they created a limited edition line just for him.  I hardly think this is fair.  I write about stuff I want all the time, and I haven’t gotten jack.

All in all, I would recommend this novel, not for a life-changing experience, but for a pleasant read that’ll make you feel somehow cooler and more modern, and which will mysteriously compel you to purchase more and more plain black clothing…