Friday, March 30, 2012

Hey You Loud Fucking Hipsters: I'm Telling On You

Sometimes, as I'm getting ready to go to bed around 1:30 or 2 am, I hear the loud squealing of a posse of women, or a group of goonish Jersey-ites hollering in the street. It can last anywhere from 10 seconds to long enough for me to actually get out of bed and look out the window, thinking, "Maybe someone's being attacked...". But no one is ever being attacked, unless you count the alcohol attacking their dumb brains.

This is life on an almost nightly basis for me. "Don't you people have jobs?" I think to myself, as they teeter down the street in clonky fancy shoes, yelling, "Taxiiiiiii!!!!!!" out into a completely empty street or group chant-singing a horrid rendition of a traditional song like "You Are My Sunshine", an alcohol fueled baritone choir of idiots.

I've thought of several ways to exact revenge on these careless dweebs, who seem to have absolutely no consideration for the sleeping children, the Chinese people who worked 15 hour days who will get 4 hours of sleep before having to get up and do it again the next day, even the frickin' dead people at the funeral home across the street who are surely woken by the awful racket. They certainly don't feel for the hipsters and artists who have slowly creeped their way into the neighborhood and are trying to make an honest living as creative weirdos, who need a damn solid 8 hours of beauty rest.

I've thought of egging them. That'd get their goat, I thought to myself, picturing myself launching eggs from my 8 story window which would not even get anywhere near them. In a Woody Allen-esque turn out, however, I imagine them spotting me and then finding their way to my apartment to kick my ass. I try to outsmart them in this scenario, by tossing the eggs off the roof. But somehow, this drunken pack of idiots have perfect night vision, and they still know where to find me. Even in my own fantasies I get my ass kicked. Other times I think of sticking my head out the window and yelling, "Shut the fuuuuccckkkkuuuppppp!!!" But not only does that not make me any better than them, that scenario turns into an imaginary screaming match where they are all calling me names and ends with me still getting my ass kicked.

Recently, I had the bright idea that I could go out into the night dressed as a character I do named Carol, and mess around with them, (wo)man on the street style, with a camera in tow. I'd trick them into thinking that they were being filmed by a popular video blog, and insist they sign a release form. Using the information on the form, I'd locate their parents whereabouts. Then, I'd take the footage of them behaving like complete imbeciles, and I'd show the videos to their mothers, recording their parents' responses to their children screaming like drunken banshees in the night, finally posting that on YouTube and their Facebook pages.

Check and mate! kinda like the thing that I do now, which is turn up my noise machine, read my New Yorker Magazines and Netflix / PopWords app myself to sleep. Like a proper lady.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Kind Of Shit I'd Do On A Regular Basis
...if only I had more vagina balls

I go to therapy once a week, because I need it and I like it and I want to fix my broken parts, don't judge me. But I don't just go to any old therapist. I go to therapy at the NYC county courthouse. Why? Maybe I'll tell you the whole sordid story sometime. My therapy there won't last much longer, though, because my therapist is pregnant and about to take that baby and run. If I had $1 for every time that my therapist has gotten pregnant and quit being my therapist, I'd have $2. There's nothing quite like poring over abandonment issues with someone who is about to abandon you. But that, too, is a story for another day.

This session, I arrived on time, early even, the eager damaged beaver I am, to find a line of people longer than the o's in Goooooogle waiting to get their belongings x-rayed so they could gain access to the court house, probably see their therapists too, I bet! I'm usually the only white person in line, which says as much or more about me than it does about everyone else.

As I waited and looked around, I started doing some Tom Green style math and surmised that I could limbo the rope, shimmy between an unused metal detector machine and the wall, slide across the table, run up the stairs two at a time and be in my therapist's office before anyone even noticed what was happening, circumventing the America's Got Talent length line of people. To gauge the task, I turned to the friendly gentlemen behind me and jovially outlined my plan. He laughed but then gave me serious advice: "Don't do it, they will be on top of you in a second and you'll be in chains." The fellow behind him added, "They train for this stuff. They're ready for you."

It was somewhat encouraging to me that these guys were intimidated by the fat security guard who read a newspaper and the younger guy who was doing some yoga bends. Those guards didn't scare me one bit, and I realized it's because I'm a woman. I knew they probably wouldn't hurt me. Maybe they'd cuff me and toss me around a bit, but I wouldn't get punched in the face or baton-ed in the tit-sicle, and certainly not treated the way a man of any color would be dealt with if they pulled that kind of shenanigan.

"That almost sounds like a dare," I said to the guys. They roared with concerned laughter, which ended abruptly as they repeated their warning solemnly. "Don't do it."

I considered making an iPhone style video to see what would happen if I tried my little challenge. I considered the outcome: I get arrested and everyone I know fires me as a friend. It was barely enough to discourage me. The thing that ended up changing my mind was that I really know how badly jail sucks, having visited an old former friend there several times who used to get arrested a lot.

So instead, I waited in line like a sucker, and missed out on what I'm sure would have been a really exciting and maybe even life altering adventure.

I'm so glad for the emotion of fear, because this world -- and my life -- would be absolute utter chaos without it. But at the same time, I bet just a little more fearlessness on my part would have made this Monday a really fun day.

Friday, March 23, 2012

+ Myself and special guests perform

Pretty exciting stuff you guys -- I've just been hired to teach FREE ukulele classes at New York Public Library in two locations: Tompkins Square Park and St. George. In addition to learning how to tune your ukulele, hold, strum and play the dern thing, you'll meet a bunch of bookish and hopelessly adorably nerdy people who also call the ukulele their friend, but hopefully not their only friend. In addition to learning the uke, you'll also see some special guest performers show off their skills.

More information to come, but here are the dates:

St George Location:
Saturday, June 30th @ 12 Noon

Tompkins Square Location:
Every Monday in July, including

Monday, July 2 @ 5 PM
Monday, July 9 @ 5 PM
Monday, July 16 @ 5 PM
Monday, July 23 @ 5 PM
Monday, July 30 @ 5 PM

I think all you have to do is show up mostly sober and bring your ukulele. It's gonna be fun and interesting. If you want to get yourself up to speed, check out my ukulele how to series on, buy yourself a starter ukulele here and dance on over to one of the above locations when it's time to be there. Cool? Cool.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Name Branding: The Best Thing You Can Do With Your Name?

At the doctor's office the other day, I was standing behind a cherubic man wearing an ugly black back pack across his shoulder. I saw the non-descript name on a tag on the backpack, the bag's maker, stamped into a small piece of metal. It was something so bland I can't even recall it now - Joe Johnson or Frank Corlett or something like that.

And it struck me. So many of us are trying to get our names "out there" for some ungodly reason. And the ways that people choose to do it are increasingly bizarre. All these fashion designers have their names emblazoned across the chests and asses of people they wouldn't even have a conversation with unless they were being forced to at gunpoint. And if you think about the historical significance of these people's names, it's kind of astounding. Many of our ancestors came here on a boat, sleeping in their own shit, starving and acquiring scurvy, suffering for months at a time. When they finally got here, if they made it alive, pretty much all they had was their name. And really, that's the best thing you could think to do with your name, Jack Johnson? Put it onto an ugly black canvas backpack that chubby dudes tote their nerd magazines and viagra in?

Well, okie dokie then.

It kinda makes me think of my own name and what I'm doing with it, what my ancestors had to do for me to be able to fling it around and attach it to so many sexy body part related songs.

I hope I'm doing right by them. If I haven't yet, I plan to make it up with my next piece of merch: a series of butt plugs with my name written in cursive across them. Because the Delfino name is synonymous with an exacting, hey, let's call it "anal" level of quality.

That's just the lineage of fine people I come from.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Did You Know? Giant Nerd Glasses Increase Rent
- aka -
I'm Feeling Kinda Racist Against White People

Damn, there are lots more white people in my neighborhood than there were before, and they are fucking shit up for everyone who was here before them.

When I moved to Chinatown 7 years ago, there were not really many white people here. Only the pioneers, hidden away in ratty loft apartments that they'd been squirreled up in for the last 20 years among a hoarding of antiques, since back when the neighborhood was an A+ crack den.

I wrote a song about how Chinese it was here. I had to sneak into renting in the neighborhood, using my Chinese friend as my pretend boyfriend to even get to look at an apartment. They wouldn't let me rent it because I was white, giving me my first taste of racism ever. The real estate agent, a Chinese woman, said, "I know a place" and got me an apartment in a building that was mostly Chinese. The hallways smell weird. People burn paper all the time in the stairwells. Laundry decorates the patios. My landlord doesn't even speak English. I pay him every month in cash. Once he took a giant shit in my bathroom when he came to pick up the rent, and acted like it was a totally normal thing for him to do.

Let's just say, there's a bit of a culture divide.

Last summer, I went to look at a large loft apartment a few blocks away with a friend. I noticed that everyone going to look at it was American. That was the first thing that set off an alarm. Not to mention, the place was a dive, and it was very expensive, and furnished with a state of the art washing machine.

More and more, I've been noticing giant glasses paired with suspenders, new bars popping up, and the local dive bar 169 Bar is so jam packed on the weekends with filmmaking hipsters that I can't even go there anymore on a Saturday night. White people are walking through the neighborhoods screaming and singing at all hours of the night. The price of dumplings has gone up at all the dumpling holes, and my rent has gone up as well. Around the corner from me, that crappy faux self-important mixology bar Apotheke is making people stand in line to pay $15 for a drink, while making themselves look like giant anuses and plain old ruining the neighborhood.

Now, every night when I go out of my building, I see white people walking around. Not just any white people, men with pink vests over ironic tee shirts and long hair, and women with short dresses over swiss dotted Givenchy panty hose atop Manolo Blahniks and their hair in a messy side bun. This wasn't the case even 6 months ago. All these beautiful people are dressed overly hipster-y, like they're on their way to a model convention. I bet they don't even appreciate or frequent our local dollar store, the "99 cent BJ". They're hiking up everyone's rent higher than their witty knee socks.

OK, I'm white too, I know. But I'm not going out of my way to be a trendy fuck wad who's raising everyone's rent with my mere pants.

Basically, the easiest thing we can do to help the city not change any more than it already has is to start wearing mom and dad outfits. It's that simple. Baggy pleated jeans with ugly belts, sweaters with puffy sleeves and Balloons sneakers, and not in an ironic way. Wear them geniunely. And in general, be more genuine. So, yeah. If you want to keep New York City affordable, wear regular clothes.

Either that, or get ready to move to Jersey City when the 4 story walk up you were already paying an outlandish $2500 / month for gets jacked up a grand overnight.

Other Countries Do Things Better (Sometimes)

You learn the neatest things from drunken strangers at a bar. I guess this is a perk to being a bar tender. It's certainly a perk to being a bar drinker.

Last night at Lolita bar, a shiny faced college grad type gal got to chatting with me for some reason, not quite sure how that happened, but before I knew it, I was knee deep in her life history, which turned out to be pretty interesting. She told me that she'd taught English in Korea for the better part of a year which I thought sounded kinda awesome. The only thing I can think of that I've done for a year straight is live in New York City, saddened that my rent is too high and wondering what the hell I'm still doing here.

Of course, when someone tells you that they know another language, what's the first thing you ask? Well, maybe the first thing YOU ask is, "How do you say, 'I love you'" or something like that. But myself and all my friends, what we want to know is, "How do you say, 'go fuck yourself?'" Luckily, she knew just how.

"Chigrlro", she said, rolling the odd word perfectly off of her tongue. "Hm," I said, trying to keep the bar chatter moving along, clearly with aplomb. "No kidding." Then she told me what it translated to, exactly, and I got very excited.

Turns out, "Chigrlro" (which kind of sounds like a combination of "chigro" and "chigaro" depending on where you put the tongue roll) means, "Do you want to die?" and apparently, it's serious fightin' words in Korea. Like, yeah, no shit. If you ask someone if they want to die, you should be prepared to have a Fight Club style duel in the street or watch a person run away for their lives.

But how totally bad ass. I love that in Korea, apparently, they are very to the point like that. So, you're out with your buddies, having a nice time. All of a sudden, some dick for neck starts messing with you. How many times has this happened? Don't you only wish you had the perfect words? Now, usually, you and your friends will be like, "This guy's a dick, check please" or you'll tell the guy to get lost. But have you ever asked a trouble maker, "Excuse me sir, DO YOU WANT TO DIE?"

I'm going to start using "chiglrlo" in every day vernacular. I plan to develop it into the newest hipster slang and make my own tee shirt.

If Korean isn't your speed, try telling someone "Go fuck your mother" in Russian, which sounds something like "Yup toy much", also extreme fightin' words, but only to Russians, probably only in Russia. If you say it to a Russian here, they'd probably misunderstand your awful accent, think that you were filming a Borat style movie or partially mentally re-handi-cap-tarded and just leave you alone.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I'm Not Sorry

At least once a day, a woman will apologize to me for something that she didn't do wrong. "Whoops! Sorry," she'll say, as she drops a piece of paper on the floor, or asks me my name. "I'm sorry, what was your name?" Wait, let me get this straight. You're sorry because I have a name?

Ladies! It's not necessary for you to apologize to me -- or to any human -- for arbitrary non-issues. Where did women pick up this behavior? I'm guessing from their own mothers. I'm guilty of it, myself. When a homeless guy asks me for money and I don't have any, what do I say? "I'm sorry," and keep walking. When someone says something to me and I didn't hear them, I say, "Sorry?" Wait, I'm sorry because you mumble? What the shit is wrong with me?

More things that do not deserve apologies:

- Passing by someone (that gets an "excuse me" and doesn't need to be followed up with a "sorry")
- A precursor to a benign question, as in, "I'm sorry, do you know what time it is?"
- In the place where a "No" answer will do, as in, "No, we don't have any soy cheese tacos"
- If you make a mistake that really primarily only affects you (drop your own cellphone)

OK, so, women aren't the only ones guilty of this behavior. Willowy men and surely transvestites or hermaphrodites also engage in apologizing over nothing. I think it's a sign of low self esteem, and I think that low self esteem sucks so hard. It's one of the biggest societal problems of our planet, and it goes relatively unschooled, unfixed and unmentioned, causing serious problems, including war, genocide and good ol' fashioned run of the mill violence - ya know, beheadings by spouses and what not.

What do I want? Stronger humans. When do I want them? Centuries ago! What am I gonna do about it? Well --

Just as I've started to make a mental note to recognize every time I say "like" in an effort to STOP saying LIKE all the time, I've started to pay attention to how often I say "I'm sorry" for things that no one deserves an apology for. I've gotten better about saving my apologies for when I really owe them, like, for when I break an antique vase, or when I drop a door on an old lady's hand or when I ride my bicycle into a person because I was staring up at the sky instead of forward. Now I just have to work on not being so clumsy and silly-hearted.


Oh, wait -- I mean, no I'm not.