Monday, January 30, 2006


A few weeks back, all-time jukebox hero and decidedly un-shabby blogger Pete Townshend offered a stern warning to iPod users to turn down the volume, or risk damaging their hearing. While I believe this to be an astute and endearingly conscientious observation on Pete's part, I must note that he failed to mention a couple of other pressingly important reasons for maintaining a low decibel level on any portable music device.

The Spillover Factor
This occurs when one replaces the detestable Apple earbuds with a cheap but decent-sounding set of external earphones. These cheapies may work well enough, but if you turn up the volume, everyone around you is unwillingly subjected to whatever you're listening to with annoying clarity. Take this morning, for example: I bopped into my office building, grinning happily over my Red Hot Chili Peppers, when I noticed that the nice gay man with whom I shared the elevator looked as if he were about to either A) cry, or B) slap me like the bitch that I am. I was confused and dismayed at first; if anyone loves me, it's the gays. What could possibly be amiss? And then it dawned on me...the problem here was The Spillover Factor. I guess the repetitive chorus of "I wanna party on your pussy" just wasn't quite what the nice gay man wanted to hear first thing in the morning. Oops. Sorry 'bout that.

The Ass Factor
Let's be honest, people...we all fart in public sometimes. We all know it. Don't bother lying. And the trick to public flatulence is, of course, not getting caught. So we exercise the highest possible degree of sphincter control, in order to ensure that the release is as quiet as possible. Fine. But sometimes, you inadvertently release what I call a sneaker. You do everything you're supposed to, you think it's gonna be silent, and it comes out sounding like you sat on a giant bullhorn-wielding duck. The key then becomes blame deflection. You immediately turn to the nearest person with a look of horrified disgust. If need be, you can even get up and move away from the scene of the crime, casting annoyed glances back over your shoulder, thereby causing witnesses to assume that it was that poor bastard rather than you who just smoked out the subway car/elevator/Armani store/what have you.

But Helen, how does this relate to me, and the volume of my iPod? Good question. Think about it: If your volume's turned up too loud, you're gonna be the only one who doesn't know you blew a sneaker. Thus, no chance of employing necessary blame-deflection techniques. are so, SO busted.
Don't let this happen to you, people.

This public service announcement brought to you by The Who, Giorgio Armani, and the gay guy who works on the 22nd floor.

Photo shamelessly lifted from here.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I got a head with wings

Hard as it may be to believe, I've had a lot on my mind of late. Recent events have slapped me with a reminder that life ain't all fart jokes and gleeful scotch benders.

Over the last few days, I got to thinking about this amazing list my friend Sarah compiled some years back, when she was going through some serious personal turmoil. She sat down one night and wrote down, in painfully honest detail, everything she had learned from the shitty situation she was in. It was brilliant. I still have it.

It occurred to me that putting such things down in words makes them much more retainable. I dunno about you, but I've killed enough of my own gray matter over the years that I need all the help I can get with retention. So, in response to my current state of discombobulation, I made a list of my own.

Buckle up, kids, here we go:

  • Getting wasted is a lot like dating someone you're crazy about, who doesn't quite feel the same way about you. At first it's tremendous fun, you feel great, and you never want it to stop. Midway through, you realize you're on the verge of fucking yourself all up, but you forge ahead anyway. Even though you know you shouldn't, you just want more and more and more, and will do what you can to get it. Then things get blurry, and often messy. When the party's over, you feel like twice-baked shit and wonder what the hell you were thinking. And then, not long after you recover from the agony of your own do it all over again. Oy.

  • Self-pity is not natural. It's a learned response. If animals sat around feeling sorry for themselves after something shitty happened to them, they'd get eaten. People should maybe learn something from that.

  • Fear, on the other hand...fear is a natural response. But in nature, fear applies almost exclusively to situations in which one is in physical danger of some sort. Thus, in most contexts that we humans use the term, "fear" is a total bullshit catchall excuse for our actions, or lack thereof. "I cheated on you because...I got scared!" Bullshit. You cheated because you're a pathetic douchebag with poor impulse control. "I didn't try out for that band because...I was afraid!" Bullshit. Were your fellow musicians going to cut your head off if you if you sucked? Of course not. You didn't try out because you lack self-confidence. Quit crying. There's a difference between real, true, physiological fear, and plain cowardice. Call it what it is.

  • Lying to yourself is still lying. And lying is for cowards.

  • Being a good person, by your own definition of the term, takes work. Becoming a better person than you already are takes even more work. I'm pretty sure, but not positive yet, that both are worth it. I'll get back to you on that.

  • Narcotic painkillers work just as well on emotional pain as they do on physical pain. Wonderful, and, of course, dangerous.

  • When using/abusing said narcotic painkillers, keep a fair quantity of high-fiber cereal on hand. You're gonna need it. Trust me.

  • It's a really good idea to let other people's problems remain their problems, rather than taking them on as your problems. I realize that on paper, this sounds like a job for Captain Obvious. In reality, however, it's not always so clear and/or easy.

  • There are some seriously rotten, fucked up people running around out there. Some of them are rotten because they're fucked up, and some of them are fucked up because they're rotten. It's best not to bother trying to differentiate between the two. Just run like hell, and don't feel the least bit guilty about it.

  • When someone fucks with you...and I mean really, really fucks with's cool to be bitter, and it's cool to be furious, and it's cool to let them know it. In fact, you should do all three. Then, when you're ready, you should consider letting it go and moving on. The opposite of love, after all, is indifference, not hate. Hating someone takes energy that they're usually not worth expending. (There are some people who qualify as notable exceptions to this rule.)

  • No matter how crazy you think you are, take heart; there's always someone crazier.

  • Whatever fucked up things you're going through or have been through in the past, it could always, always be much, much worse. Keep that in mind the next time you open your mouth to whine about something inconsequential.

  • People who use expressions like, "Okey dokey artichokey!" should be immediately...chokied. Jesus christ on crack cocaine. Shut the fuck up.

  • The words "I need" need to be removed from my vocabulary, and replaced with the more accurate "I want." Everything I need, I already have. As for the things I want...I should be out getting them, not running my mouth about it.

  • If women stuck together instead of treating one another like competition for dick all the time, we would undoubtedly rule the world. We really need to stop being such cunts to each other. And yes, I said cunts. Cope.

  • You're not at fault or responsible in any way for anything terrible anyone did to you when you were a little kid. You are, however, completely responsible for yourself and your own shit as an adult. If you decide not to make the effort to work through that stuff, quit using it to explain and/or excuse your behavior. Otherwise, you're really just an asshole.

Thank you, Sarah, for this, and countless other things.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Retard of the Week

I know it's only Monday, and thus may seem premature to bestow a week-long honor such as this upon some worthy party. But there's very little chance that anything anyone will do in the coming week (or year) will put them on equally retarded footing with the mastermind who posted this on craigslist Missed Connections today, so I'm gonna go ahead and crown this guy the big winner:

(finders fee for help) Looking Help from the Cosa Nostra or similar
Reply to: (redacted by me)
Date: 2006-01-23, 12:50PM EST

Ok, help me out here. A finder's fee awarded to successful contact.

I am just an ordinary Joe in desperate need for any contact with the Cosa Nostra et. al..

No -- I am not some law enforcement officer or F B I person pretending as a means of entrapping them

No -- I'm not some married loser who wants to hire some one to "knock-off" his wife

No -- I'm not some naive reporter or NPR type special assignment essayists hoping to find a story for NPR or "This American Life"

No -- I'm not asking for anything il-legal

I'm an ordinary Joe who lives, works, and goes to school, but in desperate need of help and I think the Cosa Nostra people are the right type to offer it.

And, please, no "you dont find them - they find you" bullsh*t.

If I could, I would leave my telephone number, but as it is I can only leave myself available via email.

Serious replies only.
A finder's fee will be given out to successful contact.

I'm not even gonna comment. Too easy...ducks in a bucket.
I'm just gonna, uh, congratulate the Retard of the Week. Yeah. Nice work, big guy.

And then, of course, I'm gonna make a phone call to my Uncle Vito.
(What can I say? I need the money.)

Friday, January 20, 2006

Shill it like you own it

I'm officially boring. The fact that I'm fine with that maybe oughta bother me, but somehow does not. It might bug you, though, were I to talk about things like the sweater and the cheese sandwich I bought today. So instead, here's some interesting stuff some other fuckers are doing. I encourage you to check it out, so you don't become boring too.

Beat the Devil and The Big Sleep play at Pianos, along with The Lot Six and The Jealous Girlfriends. Good odds that Mishka will puke on you, hit on your girlfriend, crack you one, or all three. Still worth it. BTD is like nothing you've ever heard in New York's murky, inbred music scene.

Tomorrow Night:
Drag Citizen, downtown's audacious and increasingly auspicious glam trio, finally get a crack at the Knitting Factory's main stage. Should be ridiculous, in the best possible sense of the word. The last few shows these guys have done have been fucking spectacular. This is about the only event that might motivate me to actually shower and leave my house this weekend. And sisters...Nick's been working out. Woof.

Hey, didja see my boy Poop on Gothamist today? Dammit, I knew I shoulda got him drunk and spanked him when I had the chance...sigh. That kid, he's gonna be somebody. Poop and his hetero lifemate Brian will be appearing at next week's WYSIWYG Film Festival. You shouldn't oughta miss it.

Okay, I'm off to clean my fingernails and abuse prescription medication. In that order. Could be dangerous, if I took meds first and then...oh jesus, I'm boring.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Stumpin' ain't easy

Actually, in this case, it really is.

My faraway friend GayProf has been nominated for a Best of Blogs award this year. Pretty awesome, considering that he joined the tardosphere less than six months ago. So vote for him, and stuff! And not just 'cos I told you to, either. The Prof is hilarious, insightful, and knows more about Wonder Woman than anyone else in the universe. He also gets humility points in my book for letting his writing speak for itself, rather than stumping for votes on his blog., yeah. You GO, GayProf!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Helen Damnation, Internet Lesbian

Big news, sports fans! Ready?

I'm gay!

Believe me, I'm as surprised as you are. I mean, I knew I was bisexual, given my keen interest in shagging hot people of both genders. Finding out today that I am, in fact, a lesbian...well, it threw me for a bit of a loop, I tell you whut! There I was, innocently perusing the (sadly short) list of sites that include the Ninth Circle on their blogrolls, when I came upon this new, unfamiliar link. And whaddaya know...there's my site, listed under a heading that reads "Be sure to check out these other great blogs written by lesbians!" It took me a minute. I thought this through very carefully. "Hmmm...Blog is for lesbians...Blogs here are written BY blog is here...I must be a lesbian! Well, I'll be damned!"

I just wish they'd told me sooner. The money I'd have saved on things like birth control and pregnancy tests is Staggering. Whew. Of course, had I known, I'd probably have spent twice as much on tampons and Ani DiFranco tickets, so I guess it balances out.

Boy, this is gonna make for a reaaaaaaal interesting conversation with my fantastically stable (snort) family...

Helen: Family o'mine...I have news. I'm a lesbian.

Family: (Gasp) No! Really? How long have you known?

H: I found out on January 16th.

F: Uh...erm...okay. How do you know for sure that you're, know...THE GAY?

H: I read it on the internet. Therefore it must be true.

F: Oh dear. You're right! It must.

H: Yes indeedy. I'm of Lebanese descent.

F: Well, alright. Please god, just don't bring that O'Donnell broad home for supper.

H: No danger of that, believe you me.

So there you have it. Evidently, I'm here and I'm queer, and we're all gonna have to deal with it. No more postings about Adrien Brody. Or Dave Grohl. Or George Clooney, even. Nosiree. From here on out, it's all vagina, all the time!

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Rich fuckers

Check out this series of interviews, "Sex Advice from Socialites," by my ridiculously talented and wicked hot friend Alexis Tirado.

I just want it on the record that I've never peed the bed before, during, or after sex. I did, however, sleep with a Socialite one time. was a Socialist, not a Socialite. Nevermind. Just read the damn article, okay?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Open Letter to a Douchebag

Dear James Frey,

Hooooooo wee! Having a tough week here, huh kid? Damn those pesky investigative types! Who the hell do they think they are, trying to debunk a genius like you? The nerve!

I just wanted you to know that you have my full support throughout this ordeal. I'm serious. I mean, how could I, a fellow writer, NOT be behind one of my brethren in his hour of need? Honestly, you've done so much for American writers, we'd be remiss not to fall at your feet in undying gratitude. Remiss, I tell you!

Now, before I go on, I need to qualify this by saying that I haven't actually read your "memoir." Well...wait. That's not exactly true. I read about ten pages of it last week, before this so-called scandal hit, while I was in Barnes & Noble waiting for my roommate so we could go to the movies. Ten pages was about all it took for me to get somewhat put off by your...ummm..."creative" grammar, capitalization, and your blow-by-blow (pun fully intended!) descriptions of mundane events. But that's just me. I wouldn't know brilliance if it humped my leg at the laundromat. And besides...your writing style is not the issue here. Clearly.

Anyway, back to the need for writers to venerate your nearly holy name...especially me...See, for the last year or so, I've been working on a memoir of my own. Yeah! won't believe's about my own struggle with addiction! Are we like, soulmates, or what? But boy oh boy, did I go about this all wrong! This whole time, I've been doing all this bullshit know, documenting and corroborating the dates and other details of events, getting the necessary permissions from people I write about, censoring my overly-fantastic or exaggerated accounts, crap like that. So tedious! Such a raging timesuck! But've proven all that writers' integrity stuff to be archaic, unnecessary, obsolete! I mean, my god, think of all the work you're saving future writers. It's staggering! All anyone really has to do to become a bestselling megawriter in America now is slap together some crazy drug-related fish stories, swear up and down that every word is true, and try to appear as genuine and sensitive as possible on the talk show circuit. Easy as falling off a barstool! Who.fucking.knew. (Besides you, of course, you clever, clever man!)

Man, I feel great about this, as all writers should. That pesky pressure to be truthful in purportedly factual works was really a bitch. You've opened some big, big doors here, my friend. I mean, can you even IMAGINE what Dubya's biography will be like, now that he is that much freer to lie his balls off? AWESOME!

All in all, I'd like to congratulate you on becoming the Jayson Blair of American biographical literature. Not an easy feat, my friend. I mean, ol' Jayson had the New York Times behind him when he was bullshitting America. Not you! No sir! You were just some Alcoholic/Addict/Criminal dude from bumfuck nowhere who wrote a crazy little (fictional) book about his crazy little life. So kudos to you, Jimbo! Way to git er done! I'd tell you to pat yourself on the back, but based on interviews I've seen on TV, I'm sure you've done that already. Repeatedly, even.

I tell you what, though, buddy...I'm a bit concerned for your well-being. The thing is, you messed with Oprah Winfrey. I know she's defending you now, but you made her look foolish, and that there was a hellacious mistake. As a third-generation Italian Brooklynite, I can tell you that you'd have been better off fucking with the Cosa Nostra than with Oprah Winfrey. The mob'd just kill you. Two to the skull, lights out, party's over. No problem. Oprah, on the other hand...well, she controls the universe. Oprah's gonna make you wish you were never born.

Good luck with that.

A Million Little Warm Regards,

Monday, January 09, 2006

What's wrong with this picture?

I'll tell you what's wrong with it. It's effing WINTER, that's what. In NEW YORK. It should be ridiculously, joint-achingly, bundle-up-and-pray cold right about now. Instead, I felt ridiculous for wearing a scarf this morning.

Global warming has officially joined Mr. Hankey and Michael Jackson's Guilt on the list of things I believe in.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Attention Poop fans...

No, not poop. Or even Mr. Hankey. I mean Poop. Yeah, that one. There you go.

Tomorrow is a) Poop's birthday, and b) the DVD release party for the deeply disturbing and ever-amusing Post Show. Details here. You NYC kids should really come.

Personally, I'm attending because this fine young stallion is taking an all-important step toward my dateable age bracket. And...he'll most certainly be drunk. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

King Wrong

Inappropriate or otherwise effed up thoughts I had last night during King Kong (which Cool Roomie Jenn took me to see for my birthday, thankyouverymuch):

During the first 3o minutes of the film: "These nachos are pretty good, but 7-Eleven's are so, SO much better. Mmmmm, nachos. NACHOS!"

During the first bout of Kong action: "How come we can't see his big giant gorilla junk? Wouldn't it just kinda be, you know, bouncing around and stuff? This certainly isn't very realistic..."

During the dinosaur stampede: "No one shit their pants. Come on, SOMEONE would have shit his pants! So much for character development!"

During the girl-and-beast fall-lin-love sequence: "Awwww...This is gonna be real sweet, right up until the twenty-five-foot gorilla wants to mate."

During the scary man-eating worm part: "Holy crap! I'm never going near an uncircumcised wiener again!"

During the ice-sliding scene: "Boy, I bet those big giant gorilla balls are frozen solid. Poor monkey."

During all of Adrien Brody's scenes: "Mr. and Mrs. Adrien Brody. Mrs. Helen Brody. Adrien Brody-Damnation. Adrien and Helen Brody...Wait a minute. Our kids would end up with either my nose, or his. Lose-lose situation. Never mind. Sigh..."

During the part where Naomi Watts climbs the spire of the Empire State Building in a diaphanous white dress: "Boy, bet the shot from beneath her was a doozy."

Throughout the entire three hours: "Hmmmm...Lord of the Rings was rife with ambiguous homosexuality. King Kong, even more so. Peter gay gay gay gay. But not Adrien Brody. Please god, not Adrien Brody. Just let me HAVE HIM, GOD. I hate you. Sigh."

If you can look past my depravity enough to take my advice...see it in the theater. After that, I defy you to tell me I'm wrong about any of this.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Me talk pretty probably not ever

On Sunday, I tried to explain my feelings pertaining to the NYE shindig we threw at Charles and JFine's joint to a friend who is visiting from out of town. Due to the previous night's excessive champagne intake, which was followed by a few restless hours of sleep on a hardwood floor, I said something along the lines of " know,! uh...yep! see?"

She responded, understandably, with the kind of confused, patient half-smile usually reserved for sloppy drunks and overly chatty homeless people.

What I was trying to say was really more like, "Getting an actual life and finding the right people with whom to spend it is an intensely difficult undertaking in New York City. Last night's gathering affirmed that I've been lucky enough to do just that, and I feel pretty wonderful about it. There were a million parties and things happening all over the city, but I never gave a single thought to being anywhere else. After three-and-a-half years, I finally have the sense that my feet are solidly planted exactly where they should be, and things can only continue to get better from here."

I somehow managed to not fall down in those fucking shoes, even. Sweet.
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