Monday, July 28, 2003

Reasons Why This Summer Sucks
by Jessica Delfino

hamptons house cramped in walk-up
ice cold a/c ice cold shower followed by "two-fan" cooling system
pedicures, manicures cured meats
beach-bumming change-bumming
SUV loaded with options subway loaded with Mexicans
fancy dinners chance-y diners
jogging in the park blogging in the dark
an all around better summer better luck next summer

"I wanna be cool, tall, vulnerable and luscious - I would have it all if I only had this much..."
-Liz Phair

BOOK REVIEW of Mr. Show - What Happened?
By Jessica Delfino

It's good. Get it.

Are you guys ready to folk rock?
Give a listen, I'm a fucking outlaw's daughter.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Mob #5 - J.D. Wuz There
by Jessica Delfino

Flash Mob # 5 came and went yesterday, and I still don't really get it. We had to meet uptown on the Upper West Side, my least favorite part of Manhattan. We were given instructions that said we should walk to Central Park, and enter between 80th and 81st sts. The instructions were a bit more detailed than they've been in the past, and I was wondering if I can start to expect Flash Mob to start getting hard or something. Then it will be aloof and a pain in the ass - a great combination for success, seriously. Who doesn't love an asshole guy who will never love you back or a hot bitchy chick?

These were the directions to the site: Enter between 80th and 81st st, across from the museum. Make your first hard left, merge with another path, then turn left again. Walk to the right in front of the ridge and face CPW.

If there hadn't been a mob of people leading the way, I wouldn't have known where to go. Luckily for me, there was a mob of people leading the way.

If I had to give Flash Mob #5 a theme, I would say the theme was "hard[er than previous mobs before this one] work relating to nature or something." At 7:18, we were to stare straight forward and make very little noise, except for an occasional realistic bird call. At 7:21, we were allowed to make any bird call, realistic or otherwise. At 7:23, we could also mumble the phrase, "bird noise" and by 7:25, we could call out, "Nature Here! Come get some nature!" Then, finally, at 7:26, we were asked to chant, "Na-ture!" for twenty seconds, cheer, and then beat it.

Also, there were instructions asking us to please not take photographs at the mob site until 7:23, and to please not interview anyone until 7:26. I went with my friend David (see his account of Mob #5 at ) and he brought his video camera so that I could tape the mob if I wanted. When he read the instructions, he wouldn't let me video tape, even though there were so many other people there taking photos, taping, etc., including Channel 4, NY1, and some random ham radio operators or whatever.

We ended up getting into a little bitch match when I said, "Dude, just let me use your camera," and he was like, "No, it says not to on the slip." And I was like, "Fuck the slip, I wanna tape this shit." And he was like, "No, I'm not going to contribute to what the slip says not to do." And I was like, "Stop being a pussy," and he was like, "No, and don't ask me again."

It really pisses me off when people say things like, "No, and don't ask me again," or "End of discussion," or "Case closed," or other annoying cliches referring to them winning the argument whether they've actually won it or not. It's such a power trip move and it makes me feel like punching people and things. But later on in the park, we made up after I said, "We should smoke a joint," and he said, "No thanks," and I said, "I wasn't talking to you, I was talking to Ludmilla (his friend who was with us) and those other people over there," as I pointed to two random gents. We all laughed and laughed, and ran home to write all about Mob 5 on our respective blogs.

Interestingly, as we walked the "na-ture" trail, we saw not one but two big fat rats snacking on berries or tortilla crumbs or whatever. Thanks for bringing me together with nature, Mob #5.

Later today, David and I discussed the specific "No means no" comment and David said that he was recording the sounds of the blog (with the audio off) on his camera and hadn't wanted our argument to be recorded. I thought that would have been funny.
To hear the audio version of Mob #5, see . I wish you could make out the argument we were having. It was meaningful to neither of us.

He wears slacks, I wear blue jeans, you know? He wears glasses because he's partially blind in one or both eyes, I'm not blind and I am more creative and in general a better person. We're just very different people.

This blog entry has turned more into a story about David and my friendship and less about Mob 5. Tune in to my next account of the next mob, where I start to talk about mob and end up telling you another sad story about one time how I was mistreated. By the way, it didn't say anything on the slip about where or when the next mob would be, like last time, so you'll just have to count on friends or enemies to tell you. I guess they want to try to keep it on the down under because it's getting too much attention and publicity and that is not what mob is about - It's about a bunch of people being in the same place at the same time for like, 8 minutes. And also nature - this time.

7Q's - NY

Were you at Mob # 5? If you were there, or even if you weren't but you're good at pretending, answer any 7 of the following mob-related questions and send your answers back to me. (Pretend you're still at Mob #5 while you're answering them.) Please send your replies to Also, include your first name (real or pretend) and your age (pretend only, please.)

Do your parents know you're here?
What's it like being Italian?
Do you ever fear for your life?
Do you love to watch the Sopranos?
Who's your favorite character on Sopranos?
Have you ever been to jail for a crime you "didn't" commit?
If the mob started trampeding, do you think you'd be one of the survivors?
Have you ever been to a running of the bulls?
Is this an attempt to quell your fear of crowds?
Would you say you tend to stand out in crowds?
Do you like that line in Kid Rock's song where he talks about crowds?
Have you ever seen Married To The Mob?
Do you like being told what to do?
Have you ever asked someone to stop telling you what to do?
What group or movement were you representing at mob?
Do you feel like the world owes you something?

Friday, July 18, 2003

One Of Those New York Mobs
By Jessica Delfino

Flashmob 4 was on Wednesday, July 16. I went with my friend David.

Q. What is Flashmob?

Good Question. It's hard to explain, because I don't really get it. I guess it's a like party in a public place that only lasts for about half an hour from beginning to end, and there are instructions you are supposed to follow.

Q. Can you give me a more specific explanation where you aren't jerking yourself off while explaining?

Hm. It all started with an e-mail. David forwarded me an invitation to Flashmobs 1 and 2, which at the time I think were just referred to as the Mob. It was the third or fourth e-mail I had seen regarding it, and all the people who had e-mailed me about it were huge dorks, so I figured it couldn't possibly be that good or they wouldn't be involved. It's totally fine for me to say that, I know all about dorks. I have been a nerdy boy trapped in a pretty girl's body my whole life. I guess I should have bit on this right away, being a nerd myself, but just because I'm a nerd doesn't mean I should have to want to hang out with other nerds. Also, I'm so full of nerdy awkwardness, I'm probably even a step behind the nerds when it comes to being cool. I deleted the e-mails and didn't even think about it again, until one day I was at David's and he said he was going to Flashmob, and asked me if I wanted to go. I said no. He said, you should really go, it's a lot of fun. Again, I said no. I'm afraid of mobs, The mob, the word mob creeps me out, ever since I had a bad LSD trip at a Phish show in Worcester I don't like crowds, and it just all around didn't sound like my kind of get together. But I went anyway, because David kept saying things about it that made it seem kind of interesting, like it was going to be a New York adventure. What really won me over was when he said that it was the kind of thing he moved to New York for, thinking there'd be more things like it, and maybe there used to be more things like it, but there isn't really any more. I'm ad libbing.

We went to Radio Shack and he bought a digital camera, because his friend in San Francisco wanted him to take photos and send them to him. I don't know his friend, I think his name is Sean. Anyway, David gives him credit for coining the term "Flashmob." Steve has some kind of interest in it. I believe he has stories and links about it as well. So, David and I went to FM3 and took a bunch of pictures. We took a taxi to Grand Central, where we had to look for a person reading a copy of the New York Review of Books or something like that. When we found him, we had to flash a dollar bill at him with the word MOB written on it. Then, he gave us a slip that said to leave Grand Central and go to the Marriott Hotel across the street, or maybe it was the Hyatt, I can't remember. It gave very specific directions about what time to get there. Once there, we had to go up and stand around the second floor railing and applause for 15 seconds. We then had to immediately disperse.

I did it, but I don't know how good I felt about it. I couldn't help but feel like someone was playing a joke on me. I left and didn't think much about it until David and three or four other nerds sent me another e-mail. I read it and again deleted it, saying to myself, "I'm not going," and then rewarding myself for taking a stand against the "cool dorks" with some cake.

Again, I'm at David's and once again, he asks if I'd like to go to Flashmob 4. Again, I say no. This time, I sort of can't because I have someplace else to be and I don't want to go hang out with a bunch of nerds or whatever. Then David says he's going to buy a video camera. Well. I got very excited about that because I'd been trying to get him to buy a video camera for awhile, for selfish reasons. David had to buy a new camera anyway because in a matter of days, he'd lost the oh-so-sleek and elegant little 400 or so dollar still camera that he'd bought for Flashmob 3. We went over to B&H and David bought a nice digital video camera, and took a taxi downtown to FM4. We had to meet at a bar off Houston and go to the back to get instructions. The whole place was full of people, and I noticed a girl with a New York Post steno pad. I had a feeling this was going to be a bit insane.

The directions we were given told us to go to Otto Tootsie Plohound, the shoe store on LaFayette. We had to go in and look at the shoes as if they were from outer space. Then, we had to call a friend and say, "Guess where I am?" Then, we could say, "In a Soho shoe store!" or "At one of those New York mobs."

We walked over and the streets were already crowded with people, lining the streets, waiting until 7:16 or whenever, to go traipsing into this poor guy's livelihood and trample all over it. I couldn't help but feel a little bit bad, but my curiosity propelled me in. One minute early, the swarm of people littering the streets started flowing into the store. I fell into the mix, and got inside somewhere towards the end of the crowd. The guy who owned the store started shitting his pants, just as I'd expected. He closed the doors and was said, "No more people!" just as David was walking towards the store with his camera. The media was all over it. Outside the doors, photographers flashes were a flashing, journalists were a journaling, and reporters were a reporting. It was a little bit surreal, because I don't even know exactly what they were going to say about it, much like I didn't know what I was going to say about FM when I sat down to write this.

I guess it does deserve attention. I go to comedy and music shows every week where there are four people in the audience, and the people who produce those shows bust their asses to get those four people in there. These spontaneous freak shows, dork parades, what have you, seem to double in size with each gathering. How do they get so many people to go and do nothing? Maybe nothing is the key element to success, as we've seen in Seinfeld's tv show and George Bush's brain.

I don't know what I'm doing at FM or even why or how I get there usually, but at the end, I feel like I am the butt of a huge joke. The best part of this joke though, if it is in fact, a joke, is that all the coolest people I know are starting to show up at flashmob. I feel like I'm learning all over again what I already learned in high school. At some point, all cliques merge, and when they do, sometimes there are shoes involved.

See the video we made of Flashmob 4 at my friend David's website:

The video has been getting a lot of attention, but I don't know why.

While you're at it, peruse my friend David's website and read his blog at

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

This is a short segment from a ten-minute play I've written. The characters in the
play are Janet, Jim and Stewart, though Stewart isn't in this scene.

JANET: Janet is in her late twenties. She's a overall a nice girl, but manipulative
and insecure. She can't understand why Jim and her have been friends for so
long and Jim hasn't yet tried to have sex with her.

JIM: Jim is a nice guy. He has been friends with Janet for so long, he has come
to know her as a buddy, and just overlooked her as an option for sex. However,
after she mentions it, he starts to think about it more closely.

STUART: Stuart is another male friend of Janet's whom she has also never bedded.

Well, there's got to be something wrong with me.
or you would have tried to at least get a hand job.
a weiner lick, something.

JIM're my friend.

What? Your what?

Your friend.

If you were my real friend, you would've gone down
on me by now.

You're the only girl I know who I can talk to. That
means something to me.

Jesus! Listen to yourself!

Jim sits silently, looks absolutely dumbfounded.

If you're my friend, prove it right now.


You know how.

I can't do that.

If you won't do it willingly, I'm going to have to
force you.

Are you going to rape me?

You are making me do this. I didn't want it to come
to this.

(sighs, chuckling a bit)
I'll have sex with you, but I can't promise it won't hurt
our friendship.

Do you think this is a joke? Do you think that this is
some kind of fucking joke? Because it's not. It's not a
fucking joke to me, Jim. This is fucking bullshit. I am a
sexy woman, god dammit! I am smart, and funny....and,
voluptuous, and mother of christ, what the hell is wrong
with me that you don't want to fuck me?

Maybe there's nothing wrong with you. Maybe it's me.
Did you think of that?

Don't give me that bullshit line, Jim. That's a line.

It's not a line.

Take off your pants. We're fucking. Right now.

Janet, can't you see how ridiculous this is?

Don't patronize me.

It's just stupid, this whole thing.

I'm sorry. It's gone too far to turn back now.

My clothes aren't even off yet!

I'm sorry. Too far.

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Neighborhood Thrift-Store Adventures
by Jessica Delfino

On the upper east side, where I share a tiny non-air conditioned apartment in sin with a man, a thrift store lives in the basement of a giant church, just a block away from me. In this thrift store, there is super shit for cheap because it is owned and operated by the church, and just in case you're wondering, the church doesn't need your money. It's independently wealthy. God owns it, and God's rich. The store is supplied by the good people (also rich, but not as rich as God) who attend the church. They drop off their old Gap, Members Only, Levi, Bandolino, Sassoon, Banana Republic (with that old red label) and Anne Klein skorts, denim blouses, pleather belts, kimonos, one piece bathing suits and cooking aprons in plastic bags, outside the door late at night, tied tightly so the homeless people can't break into them. Sometimes, they'll even slip a secret treasure in there - a pair of vintage Showoffs heels, Gucci sunglasses, an Adrien Vittadini skirt, navy and white striped, for some nice girl who they hope will change their ways to fancy and cleanly when they find God through their gently used hand-me-downs.

Though it sounds like heaven under church on Earth, it has a gripping similarity to hell, based on more than location alone.

I hate to nitpick, actually I don't, but the thrift shop sign lies. The sign says they open at 12, but they have not once been open at 12. The sign says they close at 6, at 4:45 they're ushering you out the door, like this: "OK, we're closing! Everyone has to get out now!" Even though the sales clerk did let me slide a quarter on my $4 purchase when I told him I only had $3.75, he didn't do it happily. I guess even God gets pissed when the till is short.

A lot of the clothes are not washed when they are handed in. They are stained with God knows what, not buyer knows what. Though you can get a good deal in the dingy, air conditioned, musty-odored thrift store, you don't just stumble upon it. You have to dig. With a shovel. You have to cram yourself in between old ladies and fight for a glimpse at a blouse that you wouldn't even want to look at if they weren't making such a big deal over it. You have to smile and wait while an enormous lady takes her time poring over skirts her size 15 years ago. You either have to go in with an idea in mind of what you are looking for, or absolutely no idea at all. You can't go with an in-between! It's hopeless that way.

One time, an asian lady and myself were racing through the shoes to find the best pairs, then shuffling maybe's away into our coats to protect them from eachother. To the other, we were vultures who eyed eachother's merchandise and waited for the other to drop one shoe. It only took me 45 minutes of intensive archaeological digging to unearth THE PAIR from piles of the ancient ruins of second hand clothing that'd been there so long they were practically small mountains of dust. The shoes I found were so Godly, so lady like, if God were a woman, he would wear these shoes. They were as fine as the church, if not, finer. I held them up to the light. I bit the heel to check if it was real. I sniffed the leather, I don't know why. I was sure. These shoes were going to change my life. I was glad I'd saved them from some other foot, rescuing them from the shoe pound where they would surely have gotten old and died alone. As I got to the counter, I decided I didn't even want them, anyway.

That's the thing with shopping a lot of times. I only want what other people want more.

As I left the thrift store, I felt really good about not purchasing the shoes. I thought about all the other things I could buy with that $4 - a cool glass of iced tea to chill my tongue and teeth on that stuffy summer day; a Time Out NY magazine, brimming with fun activities and events all over the city; a fine cuppette of Tasty-D, swirled even, if I so decided; but in the end, I walked to this other thrift store that isn't below a church and splurged every penny of the $4 on a pair of fire engine red heels, circa 1986.

Sometimes money is meant to be wasted.
Why This Summer Sucks To Me
by Jessica Delfino

I don't have an air conditioner.

The End