Z. Madison

For when you're relaxing at home or killing company time - Z. Madison's here for you.


A Reminder To Help Keep You Cool

Thanks, gowanus lounge for keeping it in perspective this week. Dear readers, the above was taken on February 12th in good ol' Brooklyn.

We bitch it's too hot. We bitch it's too cold. Hell, we're NYers; we just like to bitch.

Cigar Aficionados, The Cubans Are Coming Soon

Fidel's knocking on heaven's door. He actually relinquished control of Cuba today to his brother before undergoing surgery. This comes about a week after CNN quoted him as saying no worries America, I'm not going to last until 100.

I've been dying to get into Cuba for a vaca, and loved the havanas on a recent jaunt to Canada. This countdown's been coming for some time. Well, it finally looks like a not-too-far-off possibility. So while you sweat out the next few days, realize that you might well be ringing in the new year whilst puffing on the best cigar ever.

Spoiler Alert

For the fans of Hell's Kitchen, here's who's going to win.

Z's got her sources. (and hey, the locals don't call it Mouthampton for nothing)

I Have A Stalker

He's been leaving me messages on a nearly daily basis for the past two weeks. Today alone he left me two. One was all puppy dog and baby kissing. The other was dark and sinister touting his fighting ability. Any day now I expect to see him lurking at the entrance to my subway stop.

No, he's not an exlover. Nor is he an enamored and misguided guy ready to fisticuff with The Boyfriend. In fact, he could care less about The Boyfriend because BF lives across the river in Manhattan. My stalker's geographically specific in seeking out his victims. They must reside in Brooklyn and they must be a registered Dem.

He's this guy:

OK, OK I get it! David Yassky's running for Congress and needs my support in the primary on 9/12. Babies and postal employees beware - if this barrage of bulk mail in late July is any indication, this is going to turn into one nasty election season.

To be honest, David seems like a stand up guy. According to his copy, Yassky's trying to tame the beast that is the waterfront development plan in Brooklyn, won't be bullied by the NRA, sued Exxon for that oh so nasty spill in Greenpoint and best yet - He's worked for Chuckie Schumer. Not too shabby, Yassky. But I'm loving his caption on the sinister mail piece:

"The Republican Congress is bad. The President is worse. We can't take much more."

You tell 'em, Yass!


Adventures In Bridal Shower Shopping

I was sucked into the 8th level of Dante's Inferno, otherwise known as Macy's Bridal Registry floor today. Miracle on 34th Street, you aren't Macy's.

Let's back up, shall we, dear readers? Bride-to-be, is a dear friend of mine. Such esteem and love do I feel for her that I will forgo my usual dread of such estrogen-fueled events and happily went in search of a gift for the function I will gladly be attending next weekend. Enter: The Registry.

In hindsight, I should have just swung up to Columbus Circle or headed to 17th/Broadway for the two William Sonomas in the city. I LOVE these stores and am like a suburban dad wandering through Home Depot when in them; gawking at all the endless fun-filled domestic opportunities.

But, no. I decided to make my life and day easier and head to the Macy's flagship store located on the corner of Hell and Hell in Manhattan. The Boyfriend had to go into work for a special project today and having had On The C, by TIWWDN blogger extrodinaire's text messaged recco hand deliver me a helluva headache this fine morning, opted to commute with The BF on the F line to Herald Square.

Ice coffee working it's magic, I exit the station and saunter on up to Macy's with a smile as I spot Victoria's Secret right across the street. Perfection, I think as I ponder the list of domestic goods for her and figure I'll throw in a little something Hubby-to-be will enjoy. (Z's an equal opportunity kind of girl, dear readers)

My whole plan was to get there early, purchase said gift, and get the hell out. The side trip to Vickie's Secret was an addendum. I still had to head back to Brooklyn and do all my weekend errands (ie: a mountain of laundry, food shopping - forgot to order freshdirect yesterday, et al).

I notice it's a little emptier than I would have thought as I approach the main revolving door. Lights are off. SHIT. It doesn't open on Sundays until 11am. Going home and coming back into The City is not an option I will fulfill. I decide to wait it out. I have The Times on me, and can kill at least an hour and a half with that. And............wait I did. Having gotten through the entire Sunday Times, cutting off a beggar at 'hello sugar', providing three sets of tourists directions to the Empire State Building (I was seated on 34/6th - ESB's on 34th 5th, and what, about 80something stories tall and casting a huge shadow on the area?), I look over to Macy's entrance.

There's an actual line formed.

Well, I figure, I'd best head over to Vickie's Secret to select 'something blue' for Bride-to-be. It's 10:56 and also doesn't open until 11. So, I wait with about 20 other tourists for it
to grandiosely swing open its doors five minutes late.

Ignoring eye contact with any sales 'help' I head straight upstairs to the Angels section and happily find that there's a buy one get on free sale going on. Two for me, one baby blue for her later, I exit sans gift box. No worries - Macy's will hook me up.

I trot across the street where the doors are swinging open in the scorching sunshine. After consulting the INFO booth, I take the express elevators to the 8th floor. It's now 11:15. I find a
helpful touch screen registry print out portal and, again, consult the list. Kate Spade home goods. Perfect. I head right over.

Um, where are the actual goods? I think to myself while scouring the section like I'm on an Easter egg hunt. After 15 minutes (for those keeping time), an unhelpful sales person strolls by, clearly intoxicated on Happy Meds. After five long minutes of banter with her, I reason that she has no idea where the actual goods for purchase are housed. She assures me that someone who actually works in the section will be by soon, as she's 'on the floor'.

Ten minutes later, a harried looking women rushes past. I lurch. She does not know how to go about finding such an item as the beautiful crystal vase I've helpfully upturned the UPC code towards her at, but assures me that someone will be by soon.

Ten more minutes of my life I'll never get back pass. A mousy and clearly overwhelmed petite matron fusses about. She had no idea about the kate spade good I wish to purchase and has to rush to as yet unknown depths of the dishes/crystal floor.

Seeing no boxes hidden in the display, I head over to Calvin Klein. There's a crystal item that I'm admiring that would be perfect. Mouse rushes by. Like a linebacker, I tackle her for any and all information. It was a simple request. Provide me with a box containing specific article held in hand for purchase.

In an anagram, WTF.

First, she went back and had no idea where to find the item. Then, she came out with an item that, while looking a helluvalot like what I was asking for, in fact was NOT the said item. She
remained perplexed as to how the UPC codes were, in fact DIFFERENT, for seven minutes. To her credit, the item on display was not the one on the registry. In fact, the one Mouse brought out, was the item I wished to purchase. Smiles all around. She went back to see if there was an actual CK box for said item.

Ten minutes later, (I shit you not dear readers, I've now been trying to purchase one item for an hour now) she comes out and is apologetic that she does not have a box. No worries, I assure her, I'll be ok. She rushes back, with the item in hand, to the Netherlands beyond customer reach. When she finally reappears, it is to profusely apologize that she does not have a box for the item on display (which we've already agreed upon that I don't want to purchase as I want to buy what the bride and groom actually registered for).

I want to go postal on Mouse. I want to rip the glasses off her face and skullfuck her with the nearest Mikasa champagne flute. However, I summon up my integrity, shoot her my best condenast/hearst/reptile learned faux smile and purr, "No, don't worry about it. X is fine. X is good. X is what I want." while grabbing at the non-CK box in question. She's happy to tell me that she can ring me up.

Realizing that I do not have a box to wrap from Vickie's Secret, I hand her my pink tissue wrapped surprise and ask her to place it in the item to be secured within said non-CK box. She informs me now that she is 'only a weekend worker' and today is INSANE. I look around at the two other couples roaming the goods with registry guns in hand and assure her that, yes indeed, I can sympathize.

Just ring me up and give me the fucking box.

Mouse helpfully informs me that gift wrapping can provide me with a MACY's box and wouldn't that just be so much more precious than the bare bones one I have. I actually agree with Mouse for the first time today and after fakely thanking her, head to gift wrap, otherwise known as Dante's final ring.

After contemplating which crappy design to pick for seven whole minutes without any attention from the Neanderthal behind the counter, I say SCREW IT, pick up my box and head to the elevators. I ride express to the main floor and approach the nearest handbag checkout to simply get a bag.

The troll behind the desk is not making eye contact. Politely I say hello. She abruptly snarls that "I'm not on yet." But, I just need a bag! I helpfully say. She snarls back "I'm NOT on yet."

"Fine," I say as I reach over the counter "I'll help myself to a BAG. This whole experience has been SO LOVELY so far, it's only fitting that I should inconvenience you for A BAG."

I will never look at the Thanksgiving Parade the same way again.


You're Hired!

NBC has quietly been bringing back The Sitcom. One of the gems they took a chance on was a remake of the British phenomenon The Office. It's become must see TV for me, the boyfriend and anyone else who's suffered through pompous-do-nothing-but-muck-it-up bosses, coworkers you swear must come from another planet, work crushes and outright boredom from 9 to 5 that you've just got to find a way to shake it up.

The season finale left it all up in the air. Will Jim transfer to the NY headquarters? Will Pam come to her senses and realize she's in love with the wrong guy? Will Dwight and the tightass baby poster loving accounting chic get it on? Dear readers, you'll have to wait for the season premiere on September 21st. Until then, a little gossip for you...

I read in the trades today that "NBC's "The Office" will have two new employees when it starts up again on Sept. 21. Ed Helms, from "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," and Chip Esten from "Whose Line Is It Anyway" will both be playing new workers at the Dundler Mifflin paper company."

To get your Office fix, click here for webisodes.


Project Runway Quote Of The Night

Once again, our winner is Robert with this gem:

"My girl is a Park Ave princess who's just checked into rehab and needs someone to look after her little dog for the weekend."

But, you know I just loved Uli because she not only outfitted, but was obsessed with, The Pug. And, dear readers, you know I just love me some pugs! Sidenote - I'm boycotting Vera Wang for saying that "that dog is usually more butch."

Lance Bass: I'm Gay!

Yeah, and?...

Lance, darling, this comes as a surprise to no one. That said, good for you for finally feeling free enough to come out. Looking forward to the sitcom you and Fatone are developing and seeing you hit the red carpet with your hottie honey (Amazing Race winner Reichen Lehmkuhl) soon.


Deathwatch 2006

It's official, the days of boy bands and pop starlets has come to a close. Thankfully, the powers that be in the publishing world, who for years, were mistaken in their impression that teenage girls still thought of themselves as kids, are starting to see the light. The most recent example? Teen People has folded, as announced by AdAge today. OK, ok...sure it's 'going digital', it just won't be on a newsstand near you or have even a slice of the revenue pie it once basked in.

Shocking? Hardly. Ask anyone in media for a reaction this afternoon and the response was likely a shug of their sholders and quip that it's not terribly surprising.

Teens these days are little adults. They have credit cards, have to program their parents' tech toys and most certainly don't want to be thought of as, well...kids. So, it should come as no surprise that The Millenials (the name given to the generation following Gen Ys who followed Gen X who follow the Baby Busts who follow the...) don't want to be seen with nor read a Jr Edition of the mags they already can get their hands on.

Who's next? Ellegirl just folded, er "went digital", Teen collapsed not too long back and YM's long ago forgotten. The only little girls left in the ever evolving category are: Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Cosmogirl. And you know what they're reading? The dot coms: Pinkisthenewblog, Dlisted, tmz, et all. The mags: US Weekly, People, Cosmo.


How To Be A Gold Digger, by Forbes.com

I saw on the news last night that Forbes had announced it's annual rundown of millionaires. To add insult to injury of my broke ass, I went on-line to compare my meager agency earnings to the likes of Stern, Gates and Oprah.

Imagine my surprise to actually see the following headline on the homepage:

"How To Land A Rich Man" by Lacey Rose.

Serious Forbes, WTF? I'd expect such lowbrow crap from slutcentric Cosmo or a copycat 'zine, but from you?

Well, of COURSE, I had to click into the article (Disclaimer for The Boyfriend - Simple curiosity, I swear! xoxo - Z.)

Woven into the not so sarcastic piece are a few mind-blowing tips that just set the female race back about 30 years:

*"Upgrade Your Whereabouts": Divine direction to "get your regular cup of joe down in the financial district" Wall Street types have money and hang out in the area? OMG, Who knew?!?

*Stalk the penguin-suited at a charity event. If the letches don't pounce, you can always load up on the free booze and rubber chicken.

*"Matchmaker, matchmaker Make Me A Match!": Pay for some hag to hook you up with a guy who's already in the market for a gold digging wench.

*"So if it's a thick wallet you're after, consider life as a luxury real estate broker, a concierge at a five-star hotel or even a flight attendant--on a private jet, of course." Hey, it's worked on Trump...

*"Like sports? Who cares. Sporting events at the country club--like golf opens or tennis tournaments--are a must for singles seeking wealthy mates." What, the Bleacher Creatures with their $5 seats and snuck-in brewskis aren't good enough?

*"Never approach him; let him approach you. "Wealthy men in particular like to earn what they're getting," she explains. "They like to fight for it, rather than have it drop into their lap." Take that, Diana Bianchi!

*Monica knew best: "Get Political! Join both parties if you must," suggests Sayles. "We're not talking about morality, we're talking about opportunity."


Deathwatch 2006

The AP reports that Sharon is knocking on Heaven's door. It shouldn't come as any surprise considering that he's been in a coma since suffering a massive stroke back in January. One can't help but to wonder if things would be a bit calmer between Israel and The Hezzies if Sharon was still up and about.

Let's hope the big man finds peace soon, something the area can't seem to do.


Happy Birthday, Monica!

Our favorite intern turns 33 today. That reminds me, I've got to pick up my dry cleaning...

Save The Place!

The Place, on West 4th Street, is one of those cozy little romantic spots you can only find in the Village. It's been a 'date night' destination for many couples since opened eight years ago by Alexander Achilleos. One of the reasons people feel good when they wrap up an incredible meal is that Achilleos donates 10% of each bill to local charities, many of which are for kids. Delicious food, great ambiance and a feel good vibe = perfect dining choice.

Enjoy it while you can. Once again a small business owner is getting pushed around and pushed out. The New York Times reported yesterday that The Place's lease isn't going to be renewed. Even after Achilleos spent $70,000 to appease the building's owner, Ms Edith Rappy, in good faith that she would extend his stay at 310 West 4th Street.

Fired up Achilleos isn't going down without a fight. If it comes to it, he's planning on chaining himself to the restaurant's railing. More than 7,000 supporters have also signed a petition on The Place's behalf. It's all up to the courts now.

Let's hope either Ms Rappy changes her fickle mind or the courts side with Achilleos. Worst comes to worst, you can always make a reservation at spin-off The Place On West 10th Street.


Movies In The Hook

Bryant Park can keep their outdoor showing of Rocky, because the place to be is Red Hook this summer. Beginning next weekend, Brooklynites (and friends thereof) can jaunt on down south of the BQE for The Hook's own version of a drive-in movie theater.

I'm already thinking of packing a picnic and my easy fold camping chair to view E.T. under the stars at Coffey Park on August 26th and sauntering over to Valentino Pier for a waterfront showing of Pirates Of The Caribbean on September 23rd.

And the best part? Before each feature, Hook Productions will present short films produced by neighborhood teens who're vying to become the next Spike Lee or Scorsese.

Say It Ain't So, Tina!

SNL has had it's share of ups and downs over the years. A good cast is cyclical on this comedic mainstay. In 1997, a young Tina Fey joined the show and within two years, became it's head writer. Her talent was immediately apparent and the show was back on an upswing with Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrel, et al showcasing her scripts with their comedic talents. But, you most likely recognize Fey in the anchor chair of Weekend Update. Well, enjoy her while you still can because she just quit.

Fey told Jay Leno on last night's show that "I wanted to stop doing 'Saturday Night Live' so I could spend more time with Star Jones."

Ah, how I'll miss your sassy self on Saturday Nights, Tina.

30 Rock is a new show on the NBC Fall line-up. Tina's the writing force behind the buzzed-about sitcom about, ironically, a fictional SNL-esque show starring Alec Baldwin. Fey plays a real stretch of a character - the show's head writer. She'll be leaving SNL due to the enormous amount of time and energy 30 Rock is bound to be.

Tina will be dearly missed at SNL, but with her sass and Alec's sauciness, 30 Rock is bound to be one of my Appointment TV picks this Fall.


Favorite Our Fearless Leader Moments

One of my bedtime routines is Dave Letterman's George W. Bush Moment Of The Day. The video clips are a hilarious lullaby to send me off to lala-land. Recently, Dave compiled a Top Ten of these impromptu W mishaps. I'm not sure how I missed this gem when it first aired, but youtube has saved the day.

I've hit play a few times for #5 "Confused Stare" alone. Enjoy!

Get Your Read On

Working in advertising, I've encountered countless niche pubs. The above tops 'em all. I nearly snorted my hang-over induced gatorade all over my monitor reading the taglines on this beaut.

Postmortem semen extraction be damned, I've got to get me one of those Poor Will's sheep! Almanacs!

thx gawker!

Funny Pic Of The Day

For the out-of-towners, yes, that little orange thing is a ticket. The Man done got caught being double parked a half block from his own station.

Lesson: Do not fuck with the ticket-happy NYPD.

thx curbed

And The Streets Are A Bit Safer...

...because they've, once again, locked up Naomi Campbell. The AP reports that Ms Thang pulled a fatal attraction when arriving outside an ex-boyfriend's house in the wee hours on July 10th. She claimed he had some of her belongings and went apeshit awaiting their return.

Unfortunately, Naomi was only locked up for a few hours, but assistants and maids everywhere breathed a sigh of relief in those magical moments I'm sure.

In further Naomi news, you heard about her smackdown with the chef on the yacht, right?

It's A Sad, Sad Day Dear Readers

The originator of that most perfect food choice, the Cheesesteak, has passed. I've been known to travel to Philly just for a "whiz with" on occasion. And, when in Philly, there's only one place to go: Pat's.

Pat Livieri and his brother Harry literally cooked up my ass' demise. Pat passed back in the 70s. Harry passed yesterday. He was 90.

Now just how was the cheesesteak invented you ask? Well, Harry and his brother, Pat, owned a hot dog stand and were sick of eating the little guys.

According to 1010wins, the brainchild went something like this: "Pat suggested that Harry go to a store and buy some beef. Harry brought it back, sliced it up and grilled it with some onions.The brothers piled the meat on rolls and were about to dig in when a cab driver arrived for lunch, smelled the meat and onions, and demanded one of the sandwiches.Harry sold the cabbie his in a transaction they counted as the birth of Pat's King of Steaks, named after Pat because he was the oldest."

Rest in peace, Harry. Thank God you got sick of the dogs...


Project Runway Quote Of The Night

Robert: "She's a beauty queen, not a disco ball."

Cabs Gone Wild

Love 'em or hate 'em, our taxis are about to get much more colorful. Bloomie & Co. have schemed up a plan to allow New York City students to design and help construct flower patterns on peel on/peel off panels to decorate 13,000 of our city's cabs. It's an art project called "Garden in Transit" Bloomie believes will rival "The Gates" that artful(?) home decor exhibition of Central Park two winters ago.

The flower patterns will be affixed to hoods and roofs of lucky yellow beasts from September through December of next year to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the city's first metered cab.

100 years??? Who knew? Apparently the MTA's competition saw the hoopla the subway system did last year and wanted to go one better. Kudos, cabbies!

Metro reports: "A preview of the installation will be held at the New York International Auto Show in April 2007 as part of TAXI 07, a celebration of the centennial anniversary of metered taxis in the city. A prototypical cab of the future will also be unveiled at the Auto Show."

The cab of the future? Now THAT's something I'd like to see. Hopefully, it will come complete with separate air circulation between front and back cause there's nothing like the smell of a deodorant-phobe hack to get you going in the morning, "Oh Shit" handles in the back to get you through a cracked-out hacks' real life grand turismo way of getting through midtown traffic, cell phone silencers to stop the hacks' incessant and most often illegal chatter, and a mapquest/1010wins hybrid to better aid your arguments about what's the better path to your final destination.

Ah, a girl can dream...

Prepare For A Shitty Commute Home

This just in from www.1010wins.com

Low Voltage Problem Delays NYC Trains

NEW YORK -- Low voltage is causing signal problems on New York City subway lines today, which means there are train delays and service changes. Transit spokesman Charles Seaton says fewer trains are running on the E and F lines, R service is stopping at fifty-seventh street and seventh avenue in Manhattan, and G-trains are only running to Courthouse Square. V-train service is suspended.

Seaton says the trains have electricity and air conditioning, but are moving slowly.


The F Train Follies

Z Madison is proud to give you, once again, the ever competent MTA:

"Subway lines were out for about an hour on the city's west side[on Monday]. Transit spokesman Charles Seaton said he wasn't sure if the outage was weather related, "but it's sure causing headaches.''

It should be noted that service on the 1, 2 and 3 trains in Manhattan was fucked for more than an hour Tuesday morning. Again, the MTA had no idea why.

thx 1010wins

This Slut Went To High School With My Little Brother

And she's giving my hometown a bad name. In case you've not heard, Long Island has a new Amy Fisher, but this 19 year old wasn't sleeping around with a tubby mechanic. She was having her way with Christie Brinkley's pediphilec hubby. Gawker's got the full scoop. I've a call in to the Lil' Z to see what Diana Bianchi was really like in high school.

UPDATE: Lil' Z informed me that Ms Thang was quite the little gold digger on the SHS dating scene. Apparently, she'd also carved a few notches on her headboard, various dashboards, whatevs. He also remembers her showing off the Nissan in question in the school's student lot. Lil' Z reports that frankly, no one's too surprised by the unraveling of events.

Lil' Z's girlfriend had this to add: "She has actually been trying to get into the music biz but she isn't exactly amazing or anything. She is a completely niave kind of girl overall. Always the flirty-acts-stupid-to-look-cute girl. You know - easy . Being that Southampton is so small, her little adventures with Peter Cook have almost advertised her and I think, if anything, she will benefit from it all. Lawsuits (multimillions) which I think is BS because her actions in my mind are classified as prostitution: sex for money, cars, gifts! Lets face it, Peter Cook is a pimp!"

Get Your Shop On Ladies

It's Friends and Family Time at Kate Spade:

to find answers to your questions or contact us, visit our customer care section or write us at:


attn: web customer service

48 w 25th st.new york, ny 10010


Happy Birthday Hoff!

The Hoff is 54 today. Go party like the German rockstar you are, David!

thx dlisted for the pic

Our Fearless Leader

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) -- U.S. President George W. Bush expressed his frustration over the situation in the Middle East by using an expletive in comments to British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the G8 summit in St. Petersburg Monday.

Not realizing his remarks were being picked up by a microphone at the summit of world leaders, Bush bluntly expressed his frustration with the actions of Hezbollah.

"See, the irony is what they really need to do is to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this (expletive)," Bush told Blair in a discussion before the Group of Eight leaders began their lunch."

The swearing doesn't bother me. The fact that that's the best he can come with as a solution is what rubs me the wrong (expletive) way.

UPDATE: This is why I love those crazy Brits. They're having a feild day with this (and can swear on-air during the evening news)


Enter Sandman

The first few bars of the Metallica tune always provides me with an intense sense of calm because I know what's about to run out from the bullpen. Mariano Rivera earned his 400th save today. As Jeter said post game, "He's arguably the best closer ever."

So congratulations, Mariano, you've had a helluva week. Congrats on saving the AL's win in the All Star Game on Wednesday. Congrats on opening your restaurant Thursday. And congrats on the incredible record met today.

PS - Due to the Yanks sweeping the White Sox (who play in the fiercest division in baseball) and Bosox blowing their series in typical style, the Bombers are now only a half game back. I'm already anticipating a dramatic Subway World Series.

God Damn It's Hot Out

As you sweat your way to and fro the next two days in the 100 degree heat, note that there's a few unexpected places that are more comfortable than New York right now. Most of the US is as bad as we are, so with the exception of Miami, you may need to get your passport ready:

1. Miami, Florida
2. Cancun, Mexico
3. Kabul, Afghanistan
4. Cairo, Egypt
5. Bombay, India


Once Again, The Cover Of The Post Is Subtle

I'd Buy One...

...for my Grandmother.

The telly tubby looking products above are a prototype of an eye-shaped communication robot MuuSocia developed in Tokyo. It was created for the elderly, because it recognizes human faces and voices and talks back to users.

MuuSocias are expected to hit the market in 2007.

I'm loving these odd little guys because their eyes seem to follow you wherever you go. Try it. Freaky, right?


Well, Hiddy HO!

I've had the pleasure [talent?] to work at a few of the the top 10 ad agencies. The people I've worked with have, for the most part, been smart, savvy, creative, detail oriented and diligent in their work. We deal with millions of dollars a day and are making and breaking deals left and right. You've got to be on top of stuff.

So I've found it perplexing that in the last few places I've been, there's a sign in the ladies room stalls that reads something like this:

"Please remember to flush when you are finished."

One of my agencies actually had an official memo laminated and posted on the inside of the stall doors.

I'd look at these and wonder, Come on, is this really necessary?

Well, dear readers, sadly it is. Apparently, there are those who didn't quite learn this concept back in the toddler years...

I just popped into the ladies room and entered my usual stall. While reaching for the disposable seat cover, my eyes fell on a NASTY surprise. Not sure if it was any relation to Hank, the Christmas Poo

but it was nethertheless, an uncanny resemblance.

Perhaps it was fate as I've been reading all these blogger posts about bathroom etiquette lately. Or maybe it was just dumb luck. Regardless, Ladies Please!

PS - For the record, the poorly printed sign reminding us to flush was taped above THE HANDLE on the wall in back of the toilet.

Leo's Decended Upon Carroll Gardens

First it was Spidymania to hit the hood, now CG's lionized about Leo. On Wednesday, Leo was spotted at Ferdinando's Focacceria, an "oft-overlooked, cramped, century-old Sicilian restaurant." Leo was there shooting scenes for Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" yet another Scorsese mob flick but with an Irish twist this time.

Er, I guess the Irish were throwing their weight around my hood back in the day (I did read Angela's Ashes and 'Tis afterall), but CG and nearby Red Hook had [have?] very strong ties and history with the Italian mafia.

Whatevs...We'll take Leo however we can.

Thx for the heads up, newyorkology!

UPDATE: from today's Page 6 in the Post 7/15/06:
MARTIN Scorsese took over Ferdinando's Focacceria on Union Street in Carroll Gardens the other day. The director chose the tiny, century-old Brooklyn eatery as the backdrop for scenes in his new mob film, "The Departed," set for an October release and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Restaurant owner Frankie Buffa described Scorsese as "a true gentleman," saying he had "never seen so much charisma." Much to Buffa's delight, Scorsese and DiCaprio both posed with him after shooting was finished.

It's That Time Of The Year Again

How could I forget, dear readers? Ole! The annual Running With The Bulls began last week in Pamplona, Spain. Already the injuries are adding up, including a bond trader from the Carolinas with a collapsed lung. Ah, but those crazy testosterone laden lads are having the time of their lives. Not much of one for this kind of violent sport, I'll pass. But, here's hoping everyone makes a speedy recovery and leaves the festival in one piece. Except for the poor bulls, that is...

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Just after Beruit repaired and reopened it's airport, Israel went and bombed it again. This is getting serious, dear readers and besides the Israeli and Hezbollah soldiers who've died (5 Israelis and 2 Hezzies), 55 Lebanese civilians and 2 Israelis have paid the price. Now the Prime Minister of Lebanon is asking the US for help in calming the situation. Let's hope that some kind of a peace accord can be worked out. Work some magic, Condi!


Once Again, The Sopranos Is Fucking Us

"PASADENA, California (AP) -- Fans of "The Sopranos" will have to wait a bit longer for the mob drama's final chapter. Because of "unexpected" knee surgery for series star James Gandolfini, the concluding episodes that were expected to begin in January will be delayed about two months, HBO Chairman Chris Albrecht said.

The surgery alone would have pushed the season start back just a few weeks, but that would have put "The Sopranos" up against the football playoffs and the Super Bowl, Albrecht told a television critics' gathering Wednesday. A specific air date for the Sunday-night series has yet to be determined but it's likely to be in early March 2007, he said."


I knew it. Not that James' knee would be the cause, but this show has been teasing us between seasons for years. The wait better be worth it, Chase...

Toto, We're Not In NYC Anymore...

As I was holed up at work until 10pm last night, I was safe from the carnage that mother nature unleashed yesterday during the commute home.

At about 4pm, I saw the windows shake from the thunder and knew we were in for a massive soaker. 1010wins warned of tornado warnings, but come on - tornados? In NY? Please...

Lo and behold, a few twisters DID touch down in our area (slightly north in the 'burbs of Westchester). True, they caused a lot of damage, especially to that California Closets warehouse, but can you imagine what one of those big funnels they get in the bread basket would do? Imagine it tearing down 5th Avenue like any other pissed off pedestrian...

Flipping through the channels, CNN had crazy wildfires on, the local news was all about tornados and then there was Israel and Lebanon frightfully close to war and bombing the shit out of one another. All we need is a good Category 5 hurricane to come sweeping through and an earthquake out west to know the apocalypse is truly forthcoming.

As for me? I'll just keep an eye on the sky for the impending raincloud of frogs, ala Magnolia.


It's Finally Here!

Move over Santino, Daniel V and AhhhhnDRE!, because there's a whole new cast of designer wannabes making their, undoubtedly dramatic, debut tonight on Bravo. That's right, dear readers, it's once again Project Runway time! So, in the words of Tim, "Make it work people!"

The new kids on the block just waiting to hear their Auf Wiedersehen:

UPDATE: from today's Daily News -

"Season three of "Project Runway" premiered on Bravo last night, but a tragic accident marred the finale of the Heidi Klum show.

Designers compete for $100,000, a car and other prizes, while their model wins a spread in Elle magazine.

Hungarian model Jia Santos (whose real name is Eliza Jakubek), 18, became one of the three finalists. But near the end of taping, she was struck by a bus while riding her bike to the show's location in the city.

"She was dragged underneath the bus," her agent, Avenue Models' Javier Hernandez, told us yesterday. "She fractured her skull and her eye socket and was in critical condition for three days. Now she has been in intensive care for a month."

Her first words upon waking up, Hernandez tells us, were: "Am I still on 'Project Runway'?"
Santos still appears in the show, and her accident is explained during the finale. Hernandez said she was modeling to support her parents in their Hungarian village.

"Everyone from the show has been really supportive and offered their help to get her parents a visa to visit her in the hospital and work on a benefit for her," he said. "



And You Wonder Why We Still Haven't Landed On Mars

Shuttle Quick Fix May be Duct Tape

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (1010 WINS) -- Even in space, a little duct tape may work wonders.

Astronaut Piers Sellers suggested using some multipurpose sticky material to fix a safety-jet backpack used during spacewalks after it almost came loose from him while he repaired the international space station.

``Right now, is there some kind of tape fix that you guys could think about that would be helpful?'' Sellers asked Mission Control Tuesday morning, a day after the propulsive backpack started to come loose during his spacewalk with astronaut Mike Fossum."

Who Feels Like An Idiot Today?

I do, dear readers!

While I am very happy to be working in SoHo, I've yet to figure out the best way commute from Brooklyn. Both the Spring Street and West 4th Stations plop me virtually the same distance from Hudson and Houston. I've been taking the C from Jay St. because it is one stop shorter than the F to West 4th. Today, there was 'police activity at Canal St.' so I stayed on the F.

I'm also a 'pre-walker' so I hung to the South portion of the platform, exited at West 3rd and headed west on Bleeker. Here's where it gets dicey and I lose all inner-compass credibility: I made the dastardly mistake of turning on Barrow from Bleeker and entering into the Bermuda Triangle of the West Village.

I should have known better. I STILL have to take a cab from West 4th/6th Avenue to get to Chumley's on Bedford and Barrow, even after nearly eight years. The streets just make no sense south/west of the grid. Wherever the damn horse went and the farm plot ended, they threw down some cobblestones and called it a road. But, I digress...

So now I'm on Barrow and (wrongly) thought I was going southwest. I could tell something was amiss and made another left at Chumley's. It wasn't for another few blocks when I spotted the rainbow flags of Christopher Street that I knew I'd screwed up. Ah, but Christopher dumped into Hudson! I was saved!

Or I would have been had I taken a left instead of a right. I couldn't tell which was east and which was west (I know, I know - well now I know, that Hudson runs north/south it's why I couldn't find the sun - my compass when exiting foreign subway stops uptown). In my defense, the West Village is not where I've spent a lot of time. I'm much more an East Village kind of girl. So here I am, in a section of town that I just feel is not right when I spot West 10th Street then Charles and then "motherfucker!" I give up.

I turn to the nearest pedestrian who happens to be a girl my age walking a dog and shamefully ask which way is Houston. She's in black. I'm in black. I'm embarrassed and she can tell I'm embarrassed. She, and I swear her little dog, smirk at me and point in the opposite direction. I smirk back nodding my head 'of course it is' and toss her a 'thanks'.

Why didn't I just walk down 6th Ave to Houston? I had to go trying to save time by zigzagging, and ended up zagging myself 6 blocks north of my original route. Silly me. Well, you've gotta get your tourist on sometimes, right?

I'm taking the C tomorrow.


Can You Guess Which TV Star This Is?

It's L'Oreal spokeswoman Eva Longoria! The Desperate Housewife stepped out in LA this weekend sans product.

Um...nice necklace? Kidding, she's still cute, but, WOW what a difference a little mascara and blush can do.

Thx, www.tmz.com


Ciao France!

The Boyfriend and I had plans to catch the game at my local neighborhood bar conveniently located downstairs and a door over from my apartment, but walking by and seeing it so packed that people were literally pressed against the glass and swarmed 20 deep around the outside TV, we walked on in search of a more comfortable spot to cheer on Italy. After six vain attempts at over crowded spaces, we by chance, ran across a tiny tapas place that was showing the game via a projector against a blank wall. The clientele was mixed in their French/Italian loyalties, but hipster by definition. The bloody marys were strong, the olives sour and the seats comfortable.

I have three conference calls tomorrow and no voice to now speak of. I cheered myself hoarse in this nail biter and bitterly lambasted the French star, Zidane, when he viciously head butted an Italian player and earned a red card. While the yells of joy and outrage were even in the crowd on a play by play basis, all of us screamed approval when in the middle of the action, the camera cut away to a boisterous William Jefferson Clinton hobnobbing in the VIP box.

Stepping out into the blazing sunshine ia euphoric state when the final winning penalty goal was made, I was immediately reminded of why I love my neighborhood. While sauntering down Smith Street, the pubs and dive bars spilled forth buzzed and buzzing soccer fans. We all congratulated one another and as we walked, I admired all the Italian flags draped from the windows of the apartments above. When we got to Robin de Bois, I felt sad for the sulking smokers set against a proudly displayed French flag. That is until I heard the ruckus coming up the street.

There were three SUVs and one convertible. All looking like an Italian Flag blew up on them. Rowdy, likely drunk, men in their 30s were hanging out the windows and surfing the roof of their vehicles, screaming like the Brooklyn Dodgers were coming back to town and St. Torre had signed on to coach. As they weaved up the street, all the sidewalks' habitants threw up their arms and cheered them on. The convoy abruptly stopped in front of Robin de Bois and upon seeing the offending flag, rolled up a spare blue jersey and threw a touchdown pass smack at the middle. To add insult to injury, the crowd roared approval. More cars came streaming up Smith all bedecked in orange, white and green, horns honking, balloons and flags blazing.

As we made our way back to the original bar destination, these impromptu processions became more constant. Happily back at Hanley's, we squeezed our way past the sea of blue jerseys and "Italians Do It Better" T-shirts to a seat in the back yard overlooking the action on the corner and at the "social club" across the street where the Sicilian Grandpas were BBQing. After inhaling an amazing burger and salivating over the ribs that had been cooking on Hanley's grill all day, we knew it was time to wrap up the festivities when an ambulance, sirens blasting, came roaring down Court St. waving an enormous Italian flag. How can you top that?

So congratulations, my Italian friends. Thank you, and France, for an amazing game and wonderful afternoon.

PS - Anyone know if the Yanks won today?

You Know You Live In An Italian Neighborhood When...

Some guy is cruising up and down the block with the rallying call by way of a horn that plays the Godfather theme.

Time for the World Cup Finals. Go Italy. Get those Frenchies!


Hilarious SPAM of the day

While searching for a legitimate email I forwarded myself from work today, I found this gem in my gmail spambox and just had to share:

From: Damion

Subject: Hot and new Rock hard manhood, multiple explosions and several times more semen volume

"Dear member,
Boost your manhood to astonishing levels Everything a real man would ever need.Rock hard manhood, multiple explosions and several times more semen volume


The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones Marry in haste, and repent at leisure He who flies high is a short step from a big fall When yuh dead yuh nah sabee, and when yuh sabee yuh dead. When yuh dead yuh nah sabee, and when yuh sabee yuh dead."

Love of god, dear readers.

BTW - What the hell does sabee mean?

Shoes, Glorious Shoes!

Hello, my name is Z. and I'm a shoe addict.

What woman isn't you ask whilst rolling your eyes. Granted, living in NYC, the women here fall into two general categories: Shoe Girls and Bag Girls. I covet the latest trendy Vuitton or Chloe like the rest of the fashionista set, but I'd hand my rent in late for a to die for pair of Choos. I rented my apartment solely for the reason that there are custom made cubbies in the main closet to house my boxed friends: Dolce, Kate, Vera, Prada, Marc, Jimmy and yes...The Manolos. If it weren't for my addiction, my student loans would likely be a thing of the past.

And yet, for even I - self professed shoe whore - to startle at seeing what happened in a Turkish shoe store today, you know it's gotta be over the top.

"The incident occurred in Karabuk, after masses of people swarmed and overloaded a two-story retailer that was selling pairs of shoes for as little as $6, the state-owned Anatolia news agency reported.

When customers rebelled against orders to close the store because of overcrowding and started to fight with one another and with salespeople, a store employee shot his gun into the air."

Holy shit! Imagine if they did that in the end of the season sale at Century 21 or at the bi-annual Kate Spade Sample Sale...

Apparently, "shooting guns into the air is a not-uncommon method for dealing with emotional situations in Turkey, including weddings, soccer games, demonstrations and deals on shoes that are almost too good to be true. But the bullet struck a customer's right foot, Anatolia said, and the injured person was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment while the shooter was taken into police custody."

Not to worry, dear readers. There's still time to book your flight...

Fahrettin Arabaci, a store official, said that the sale would be going on until the end of the month.

Cause ain't nothing going to get between a woman and her shoes.


Kate Continues Her Comeback

The above are two of the new Louis Vuitton spreads for the Fall 06 campaign. Ms Moss looks hot, no? Glad to hear that Marc and Calvin (back where it all started, Kate will also star in Klein's new fall layouts) had the cajones to let you do your job. Beautifully, I might add.

PS - Pharell Williams is looking quite dapper, as well...

Definitely Not To Be Found Between Chubby Hubby And Cherry Garcia In Your Grocer's Freezer

Sunni Sky's, a little ice cream shop in North Carolina, has debuted a new flavor called Cold Sweat. Before you can sample the goods, dear readers, you must sign a waiver because this is no ordinary creamy cold treat.

Cold Sweat is made with a blend of Dave's Insanity Hot Sauce and Blair's Megadeath Hot Sauce, along with a secret ingredient. Chile peppers, habaneros and Thai chiles are then stirred in. It's so spicy that just touching it makes your fingers feel hot.

Yep, you read that right. Nasty right? But you just know that a few testosterone laden lads will line up to egg each other on to try the stuff.

Among the first daredevils to taste the delight was 22 year old Justin Smith. The AP wire reported that he vomited after one spoonful.


It's Going To Be Like WW II All Over Again


I have a secret: I've been watching the World Cup.

Maybe it was the dwindling lame duck days at the old job with all the long lunches, but I found I watched more once America had bit it in the first round. It could have been the trip to Montreal. Or, perhaps it's due to living in a decidedly Italian neighborhood and hearing the roars coming from the bar downstairs after the two late game winning goals yesterday.

Regardless, I've been keeping tabs on the footbol tourney's stats. And I'm psyched for the match up on Sunday night when the Frenchies take on the Eyetalians. But which team to root for?

I greatly respect both countries. They tie in culinary skills. Both nation's men are reputable lovers. The wine is a draw as well. Each offered up a taste of brutal dictatorship. I wouldn't be able to decide which designer duds to covet more. Dolce & Gabbana or Dior? Paris or Rome? Pan de Chocolat or Tirmasu? Decisions, decisions...