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December 27, 2006

Celebrate this

So I was busy having an ‘Express’ morning – the subway came right away, lights were in my favor, the revolving doors at work revolved at just the right moment, my security pass worked (for once!) and the elevator opened right away. I walked into it and NO ONE was in there. Joy! I quickly pressed the ‘close door’ button a thousand times but it was to no avail because as the doors were about, ohhhh, an inch and a half from shutting, one small, very annoying knuckle appeared and then the tool it belonged to got into the elevator, followed by two more lackeys. To add insult to injury, they pressed floors 4, 5 and 6. I could almost see my illuminated 7 looking down at the other numbers sadly – as miserable as I was that our express run had been cancelled in the worst possible way. I glared at the inconsiderate man for 3 floors. Of course, if he was rude enough to get into the elevator in the first place, there is a 99.9% chance he had no clue that he was an ass. But maybe I’m being too harsh? No, I don’t think so. DO NOT stick your hand in an elevator door that is closing unless said elevator is the LAST ELEVATOR on the planet and you absolutely CANNOT wait another 40 seconds because you are profusely bleeding or you are late for something very, very important. OKAY? Do it for me.

But anyway… I haven’t written for almost 2 WEEKS again, so I must catch you all (and myself) up to speed. When last we spoke, it was the eve of La Victoria’s birthday. I am happy to report that, as usual, we had a great time.
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The ridiculously varied group of eccentrics got along quite swimmingly and Vicky had, in total, 3 ex-boyfriends in attendance – 2 of whom posed with BFF for the picture you see below.
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We went to Molly’s, of course, on 3rd, where we dined on Shepherd’s pie and downed Guinnesses by the dozen. Vicky’s ex-boyfriend, Scott, showed up with his current girlfriend and her friend, who proceeded to buy Vicky humongous shots of a very strong mystery drink.
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Despite the mysterious shots and the multiple Guinesses, we were all standing at the end of the night – a very good thing for me, as my body doesn’t take kindly to hangovers anymore.
So that’s the story…another year, another great Kuhne birthday party!

What else? Well, last week, Ellen, Melissa and I went out for our “Holiday Dinner” (Ellen gave it a formal name) at Freeman’s on the lower East side. It was a long wait, but well worth it. Great service, excellent food and reasonable prices – and you are surrounded by lots of pretty people to look at. Afterwards, we went to Noah the hairstylist’s 'bad Christmas sweater' party in the East Village. (None of us won the contest for worst sweater, as we had nothing ugly to wear. Tragic.) I have pictures, but I haven’t downloaded them yet. I’ll have to include them in my New Year’s Entry. (Sorry Ellen, I know how you log on every day to see if they are up yet! Hehe.)

Also to come are pictures of dinner out with Anna, Donna and Anna’s brother. We went to this Moroccan place in the E. Village where Anna’s bro was accosted by a belly dancer and I partook in two puffs of some sort of bizarre tobacco contraption. (GROSS!)

Friday I spent hours and hours in seclusion doing recaps for the Whatever website and then Saturday morning I did last minute shopping and then met my cousin, Nicole, at Kleinfeld’s, where she picked out a GORGEOUS wedding dress (it ended up being the first one she tried on!). Strapless, lace bodice, champagne-colored, a-line, with an asymmetric sash pinned with a broach (how am I doing with the description, Elzer? It's Alvina Valenta). Anyway, it was very pretty – and for me to say that is a big deal because I HATE wedding dresses (don’t tell my friends at Brides mag).

So that was the week leading up to Christmas… So how were the holidays for all of you? Christmas at the Leo house was most excellent. Click on any of the pics on this page for the full KodakGallery album (same above for Vic's party pics). (Note: if you are wondering why my mother has a bruised and cut nose in the pics, my father said I was supposed to write that she “fell down some stairs.” No, actually she had a fall that involved a vaccuum cleaner and a Santa Claus figurine – I won’t get into it here and, really, it’s just as shady as the falling-down-the-stairs excuse.) So – Christmas Eve was all about good food and very fun company…
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Aunt Faye brought her iPod and her dancing shoes and she got everyone up dancing before the appetizers were even served. (It doesn’t take much to get our crew dancing, FYI.)
Nicole and Brian misbehaved, as usual, but this year they didn’t down a magnum of red wine, so there was only one food fight during dinner.

Billy the hobbit joined us for dinner as well. John took to calling him Smigel (sp?), after the creature in the Lord of the Rings. It was quite a fitting name for Billy. After all, Smigel is obsessed with the ring in much the same way that Billy is obsessed with his gold medallion. Billy added much to the evening, shouting out gems like, “Take your top off! All the girls should just get naked.” Ahhh Billy… thanks for putting the K in classy, as usual.

Before dinner, my father made a very long toast (it rivaled his ‘reconstruction’ of the events that led to my mother’s ‘fall’ in length), in which he noted that every single person sitting at the table had a different career or job. I think that when he got to me, he said that I just “did anything” – he said it with pride, though.
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My mother was much calmer this year about the preparation. Most likely it was so that I wouldn’t JOKE about it in this year’s Christmas entry. (She still brings up last year’s entry every so often – MOM, ARE YOU READING THIS? How is your nose?)
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I knew it was going to be a good year when mom decided NOT to put up the ceramic Christmas village under the tree. The ceramic peoples and houses of varying sizes and horrifically disproportionate scales may rear their heads next year, but this year it was just Jesus and co. and the manger under the tree. Not really the best place for Jesus and the crew, as “Fat” (what I call my mother’s big-ass cat) knocks the giant camel onto Mary and Joseph’s head at least 4 times a day with his Godzilla handpaws.

Anyway, that was that. Brian and I got some nice presents and some very interesting tchotchkes, including vibrating pink slippers, a talking Yankee keychain and a mini ping pong table (the last will prove very useful at our New Year’s party, I’m sure).

So that’s it – Christmas is over. I think Billy might still be in my parents’ kitchen, though. My father came upstairs on Sunday night and said, “Billy’s still down there. He’s passed out at the table.” I said, “You’re leaving him down there? Well, I hope he doesn’t kill me in the night.” My father wasn’t too concerned at the time and we all survived, so – I guess Smigel really is quite harmless after all.

Hope your holidays were nice and have a happy new year... yes all of that. Remember, if you are not doing anything on New Year’s – stop on by our apartment party for some white trash punch, Sal’s famous focaccia and some mini ping pong. You won’t be disappointed.

December 15, 2006


I'm tired. Just so tired. Everyone is bugging me about the dumbest things. Yesterday I cleaned the hell out of my room and closet (see pic below - I've managed to fit every last one of my damn belongings in this closet...obviously).

closet.jpg Anyway, I was cleaning until about 4:30am, because it's all or nothing with my stupid ass. Finally got to sleep around 5am, only to be woken up at 8am by the incoherent ramblings of my brother, who apparently just arrived home from a night out. My mother gave him a verbal beat down before she headed off to work and he called to complain about how unfair she was. His excuse had something to do with his friend Chris being unable to get his car because of some sort of police investigation that didn't even involve him and blah blah blah. I'm not going to go into specifics because it didn't make sense to me this morning and it doesn't make sense to me now. I told Brian it wouldn't hurt to employ logic and common sense once in a while. I couldn't go back to sleep after that, so, I took my aching bones and burning eyes out of bed and attempted to begin the day, only to be irritated by a barrage of unsavory emails.

It seemed that a visit to my local Rite Aid was all I needed to put me out of my misery, though. First, I brought my cholesterol prescription to be filled with my NEW insurance card and the pharmacist told me that the co-pay was only $30, as opposed to the $40 it was with Blue Cross. I was pleasantly surprised, as things like this rarely happen to me. I was ready for her to say that my co-pay was $60 or something like that. Wow, that was a BORING story. Anyway - THEN, as I was in aisle 2 trying to figure out how to get the Venus razors off the hook thingy (don't ask...I can't even begin to explain why they were impossible to get off the hook, but they were...It was like trying to figure out a childproof medicine bottle), I heard these beautiful words over the loudspeaker: "Um...Jamal...(long pause)...can you find out if we have any chia pet herb gardens left?" I burst out laughing and my miserable mood almost disappeared. But then I remembered that I had been REJECTED for the ABC/Disney screenwriting fellowship. I've added that letter to my screenplay rejection file and I plan to tape all the rejections together and line the stage with them when I accept my Academy Award in 2037, FYI.

So I settled down to my bagel and coffee and opened the NY Post, only to find that one of my favorite bars, Siberia, was closing AGAIN. This dive bar is/was THE BEST. In its first incarnation, it was located downstairs in the 1-9 subway station on 50th street. Vicky, Ethan and I once spent an entire day in the bowels of that subway station bar playing punk tunes and drinking $3 beers in the dark while bullshitting with the cool owner, Tracy. Anyway, supposedly he is being kicked out again by another stupid landlord. If you like the bar as much as Vic and I do, there's a temp website/mailing list thingy set up here (or click on the pic below).


According to the article in the Post, Jimmy Fallon is a huge fan of the bar. Did I tell you guys that Jimmy Fallon was in MY fave restaurant, Penelope, last week when I was having lunch? So, basically, Jimmy Fallon is stalking me. Next thing you know, he'll be trying to play me in beer pong at Whiskey River. WTF, Jimmy? Get your own hangouts...unless you are going to bring Tina Fey along - then you can hang out with me and my friends whereva...wheneva. And comb your hair already...and tell your friends to wear socks with their Converse sneaks. It's all just so outrageous.

Anyway, tomorrow is Vicky's birthday. It will be a truly unique crowd, as usual, and I have no doubt that we will have a most excellent time. Long live La Victoria!!!

Oh and Jason, if you are reading... LOTS OF LOVE AND FEEL BETTER SOON!!!

December 11, 2006

Kick off your Sunday shoes

Ew, it's Monday. It's Monday at 1:57am for me, actually, so I'll try not to confuse you too much with weird verb tenses as I pretend that it's really Monday proper. Not that I should have to pretend that it's Monday day because it's my blog and I can do whatever I want, but it already seems dated if you are reading it in the A.M. and I wrote it 8 hours before, no? I don't know. What I do know is that if I don't post on this thing, my readers drop like flies. It's a catch-22, if you will. You don't log on, I don't feel an urgency to write...I don't write, you don't feel the need to log on. 10 days between blog posts and I'm looking at a 50% drop off rate. Dang...so there are only three of you now? Give a girl a holla.

Since last we spoke, I traveled to Pelham for a visit with the fabulous Payne family, where I was fed beef stroganoff by the plateful and got an education on a very popular children's toy/marketing scam called webkinz.It is entirely fascinating to see what genius sales ideas people are able to come up with.

Next, Melissa, Ellen and I had our holiday dinner with Jeff, Brad and Schwabe. The boys cooked, Schwabe surprised us with his homemade fireplace and then Schwabe and Jeff schooled us on Guitar Hero. (Now I want a Play Station, FYI - somebody stop me.) Oh and for all my air guitar and wannabe acoustic playing - I SUCKED at Guitar Hero. I'm determined to get better, though... just gotta get me a console. (I SAID - stop me.) Anyway, pictured here is Schwabe and Jeff showing us how it's done:
Caught up with the softball girls in Brooklyn recently. We went to this cute new Australian restaurant on 4th Avenue called Sheep Station.The food was reasonably priced and the meat pie was awesome, if you like that sort of thing. My vodka sour was crap, though, which was a problem because I switched to beer and I don't care that they say 'liquor before beer, in the clear' - I need some excuse for why I was doing running knee slides across the floor of the next bar we went to. It wasn't my fault, really. The DJ played Footloose. What choice did I have?

Had brunch with Barrie, Bill and little Will today. Barrie was trying to help me figure out my life plan. The latest is that I am going to start a business teaching tennis with my brother Brian (I have to figure out the details, of course, as Brian is too busy with his darts and beer drinking). Also, I'm going to purchase the house in the Scottish highlands that my great grandparents built (it's currently owned by some dude who lives in New Jersey, WTF?) and camp out there for 2 months of every year writing memorable, award-winning novels. Actually, I added the last part about the novels, I have to check with Barrie and make sure that is what is going to happen. So how does that sound? Of course I haven't forgotten about the teaching and the screenplay selling. Oh dear...if only I could focus.

Have a pleasant today.

December 01, 2006


Hey guys! Did you miss me? It's been almost a MONTH since I've blogged. You all know I've been busy. Bloomingdale's is KICKING MY ASS. I won't bore you with the details - it's really the same old, same old. I think I've gained some insight re: the violent impulses that some people have that cause them to do irrational things. I mean, I wanted so badly to put my fist through a wall a few times these past few weeks, but I refrained from doing so. (I suppose that is the difference between my brother and I. Poor Brian and his swollen knuckles...all because of a game of darts.) I guess the testosterone pushes the boys among us over the edge.

This past month Vic and I spent every Monday babysitting Maceo Crump at The Living Room while Jenny played her gigs there. Good times. Maceo is getting cooler and cuter by the second. He is only 14-months-old and he sings, dances, opens and closes CD cases and knows his French vowels. He tends to be intensely warm-blooded, though, and Vicky and I did get many disapproving stares when we sat with the shirtless boy during one show. You could just hear what they were thinking. A naked baby...in a bar! Tsk. Tsk. Whatever. Maceo has already been on stage with Bruce Springsteen and has traveled all over the country, so they can shut it.

Had a girls weekend up in Pennsylvania at Dana's house. Got to catch up with Ms. Bryden, in from Chicago, Dana, Seth, Jodi, Kate, Marty and all the kiddies. It's gonna be fun when all the babies start talking. Little Annie will teach them a lot, I'm sure. She's smarter than I am already - but that's not saying too much. Here are some pics from that weekend of Cecelia, the girls and Quinn teaching Cece a thing or two about the letter S. Oh, and P.S., I won't say a word about the fact that Seth is planning on buying a MINI-VAN. Yep, lips are sealed.

So, what else? OH - Thanksgiving! How could I forget? Well, actually, there's not much to tell. It was pretty good. Only two comments from mom about her granchildless state. I assured her that I did want to have kids at some point, but that they just don't fit into the game plan right now. She seemed "happy" with that. I was at home for four days, ate lots of turkey (which I don't find particularly appetizing, I don't know what all the fuss is about) and got to catch up with my cousin Nicole, WHO GOT ENGAGED! I'm her maid of honor, so we've got quite a bit to do...the date is set for Sept. 22nd.

Also went to a wedding of a good family friend, Dana, in the Bronx over the Thanksgiving weekend with Tommy Rutter and my bro, Brian. It was quite the event. The cocktail/hors d'eouvres (sp?) hour was most excellent, but I suppose that this, along with the prevalence of indoor fountains, is to be expected, as the place is allegedly run by the mafia. More eventful was the ride home we received from Brian's pothead friend (and Sal's Pizza delivery guy), Timmy. We barely escaped with our lives and almost ended up in Connecticut. Jesus H! It was also troubling that the minute we got into the souped up sedan, my brother turned into Eminem, spouting things like, "Yo Timmy, bust a right and shit..." Afterwards, I asked Brian why he had to speak like an idiot when he was around Timmy and he replied, "If I don't talk like that, Timmy won't understand me." Just to clarify, I said, "So Timmy would NOT understand if you said something like, "Turn right, Tim." Brian confirmed that Timmy would not understand a directive crafted in this manner. Sigh. There may be little hope for young Brian if he remains in Queens for much longer.

On that note, I'm going to call it a blog entry and go find something to eat. I hope you are all fabulous. Enjoy the apocalyptic weather we're having.