A cheap but charming NYC lesbian mom muses about muses about consumerism and wanting the good life, without having to pay top dollar for it. (Oh, and with some random ramblings about her own extended family, parenting toddlers, the NYC school system, fashion, Lindsay Lohan, and other fun stuff.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

High-End Freegan Hits the Corporate World Again

Just started yesterday at the MotherShip, aka my old stomping grounds in Times Square, on a summer editing job. Yesterday someone brought in gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, which I was less than enthused about, but beggars can't be choosers. Today, though, the owners of the building set up Ben & Jerry's ice cream bar carts in the lobby for "tenant appreciation day." Why didn't any of my previous landlords appreciate me as a tenant? Got a fudgy brownie and chocolate chip cookie dough bar for each of the kids cuz, y'know, they'll fight if I don't bring two. Tea is 85 cents in the cafeteria. Hooray for subsidized eating once again!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My new bitter private school post

Want to hear me whine about not having enough money to afford private school?

I'm published on HuffPo!

See my new post on HuffPo about why I don't want to gay marry!

Congrats Cynthia Nixon and Christine Marinoni

The pair have finally married. Mazel! The bride wore Carolina Herrera.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"If I wanted the government in my womb, I'd fuck a senator"

Just read this on Feministing about a woman kicked off American Airlines flight because of a T-shirt she wore (see message in title). Seems horrifying. Since when can an airline boot you for a dress code issue? Is there any other way to see this than a civil rights infringement? Shit! I need to go dig out my READ MY LIPS: KISSING DOESN'T KILL tees from the early '90s. You can now buy them at Opening Ceremony (how chic).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Babs at the Atlantic Yards new Brooklyn Nets stadium

Ingrid read that Barbra Streisand will be one of first performers at new Brooklyn Nets stadium (rem when it was spectacularly controversial like four years ago?), in October. Agreed that we must get tix. Have never seen her, in all the years I've been a tremendous fan. Shouldn't we support a living legend AND our neighborhood (Nets stadium is six blocks from our home)? Then I heard from another friend and rabid fan that she got tix through a Babs website presale and that they cost bank. What was I thinking? Then got a call from dear friend who may get us an in on corporate tix, for slightly better deal. Feeling like all my dreams may come true in this week alone. In that spirit, click here for a 1975 performance from the beautiful young one, with her perfect nose.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Nibbles from the Test Kitchen

In a training meeting I had today for one of my upcoming jobs this summer, I met someone who had been for several decades a recipe developer at a major food magazine. Won't mention her name here since I'll have to work with her later this summer and I want to become BFFs with her before namechecking her on my blog, but she was fabulous. Had a sort of pale, thin-skinned, New England WASPish Joan Didion look about her, and told me about testing the same coconut lemon cream cake three times because she is so painstakingly devoted to her craft. Love her--and can't wait to taste the things she tests this summer when we work together. (Meanwhile, let me take this moment to plug my friend Ian Knauer's new cookbook, The Farm, which is absolutely gorgeous and inspiring. Ian, you sexy mo-fo, thanks for all those wonderful nibbles from the test kitchen when I was working a floor above you, pregnant, and constantly hungry.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Vietnamese husbands

It's long been a joke in my Vietnamese immigrant family that none of my mother's sisters, all divorced now, would ever want to date or marry a Vietnamese man again. I never really understood why. My mother recently shared an anecdote about a high school friend of hers, a Vietnamese man who lives in Belgium now, that sheds a little light. Lamenting his lack of a wife, this man, now in his 60s, told my mother, who lives in California, “Vietnamese women in California are harsh!” 

“What do you mean,” my mother inquired. “They all want to know if I have a house, if I have a steady job, if I have savings,” he explained. “Well, what are you looking for in a wife,” my mother wanted to know. “Oh, not much,” the man replied. “Just someone to prepare me three meals a day, do my laundry, keep the house clean, and do some errands here and there.” “You expect services from a potential wife,” my mother surmised, “so I’m not surprised that these women you’re approaching want to see if you can provide for them. They’re expected to perform services, so they want to make sure they are compensated by being taken care of financially.” Meanwhile, my mother wanted to know, what did Belgian women expect of the man? “Oh, I doubt any Belgian woman would go out with me,” he said. At least with the Californians he might be able to negotiate, I guess?

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Free Coffee at [Corporate Office Name Withheld] No More!

So, this is like my third blog post this year! (Ingrid says I don't even qualify as having a blog, since I only post semi-annually.) Watch out, people, an anthology will be coming in about a decade!

I went into my so-called office-job earlier this week and went into the kitchen to make myself a Keurig cup of office coffee. To my horror, I was greeted by a computer-printed sign: "As of Wednesday (tomorrow), we will begin charging $1.00 for coffee." Later that day (not the next day), the company installed a vending machine filled with Keurig cups, and a slot to insert a dollar, like the soda machines at rest stops on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Seriously now? Someone is seriously charging MONEY for a Keurig cup in an office? This is midtown east, near Grand Central, where an actually fresh-brewed, delicious cup of coffee (dozens of options for such, in fact) are mere footsteps away. There's Joltin Joe's (not the actual name), on 45th between 2nd and 3rd, this tiny place where they brew all the coffee French-Press style, and are supersuperlowkey. Joe's the Art of Coffee in Grand Central Terminal. Financier Bakery in GCT, where they make a very respectable brewed decaf, and gorgeous madeleines. Oren's in GCT, if you want beans. I could go on, but I don't even want to mention the white-and-green cups from the obvious ubiquitous purveyor, but STILL. I just feel like it should be an understood principle that for office coffee (a substandard substitute for a fresh-brewed cup of coffee), you don't exchange money. It's a benefit of working in a corporate office. (And I know, cutbacks, recession, magazine industry in the crapper, I get it. My old employer had McKinsey come in and take stock and the next thing you know, our $10 lunch stipend was taken away. Not exactly in that order, but you get the idea.) I often drink the Keurig coffee, just because it's there, not because it's good or I really want it. Just because it's an office perk, like using the copy machine for free, or occasionally putting a letter in the mailroom without a stamp. My thought is, if the company can't afford the Keurig cups, get rid of the machine. It's insulting to have to put a dollar in to a machine that spits out a cup that you then use in the Keurig brewer.

Then, there's my coworker's brilliant idea: She goes to Costco, buys in bulk a box of 500 Keurig cups (at the bulk rate of 53 cents a cup), keeps them in her desk and sells them on the black market at 75 cents, thereby making a profit of 22 cents a cup and giving employees a 25-cent discount (and the F-you to the company is just an added bonus).

Or, I could just spring for Starbucks for the department, because they continue to keep my sorry ass employed. But then what would I have to write about?

P.S. The milk is still free!