Some Day Comes

Why yes, that IS Mexican corn from Dos Caminos in the background

For review, please see Sunday’s post.

Greetings from “some day!”

After learning that place-holders would not be allowed at the book signing — i.e., no paying unemployed friends to stand in line so you could sleep late and then roll in at 11 — Rachana realized it didn’t make sense for her to come in from NJ.  Between this, the crack-of-dawn rising, the four+ hours of line-waiting with strangers, and the possibility of crushing disappointment, I really wasn’t sure I could do this anymore. But I kept hearing my dad’s words … Some day … on the street in New York … and I knew I had to try.

Armed with an Olive & Bette tote bag containing non-perishable rations and my finest Duran Duran memorabilia, some with original scotch tape and mauve wallpaper fibers, I headed across town. On 54th Street, nothing looked out of the ordinary — I had been expecting a squatter’s village and tents. That was a good sign. Inside, there was no line to buy the book – “In the Pleasure Groove” (favorably reviewed by the HuffPo, I might add)  – either. Upstairs, a kindly older woman escorted me to the end of the line and told me I was roughly number 40. SCORE! If I could deal with four hours of mind-numbing boredom, I would almost certainly make it to the front of the line.

Very weirdly, the time passed quickly and pleasantly. I made myself comfortable in the aisle where they’d stuck me (Personal Growth). I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee and mediocre bagel, I became BFFs with ladies in front and in back of me, and Barnes & Noble had curated a special Duran Duran soundtrack for the occasion. The camaraderie was incredible! We spelled each other for bathroom breaks. We shared iPhone chargers and Tide pens and hand sanitizer. I killed a stink bug that had waddled out from under “IBS for Dummies,” accidentally spraying one of the other “Duranies.” We passed around our BOP and Tiger Beat and 16 posters. We told stories about the 80s and assessed the various girlfriends of Simon Le Bon and John. We talked about why we loved them and why we still loved them. We talked about our favorite albums and videos and the stupid things we used to think.  We talked about the different times we’d seen them live, what it was like being 12 and how, in some places that shall remain nameless Scotch Plains, a girl was a traitor to Bon Jovi and could get thrown in locker for loving Duran Duran. My modern-day friends cheered me on via Facebook and text message.

You can do eeeet! You can do eeeet!

Exactly at 12:30 we heard the front of the line start screaming and I knew that “some day” had come. Up until that point I had been a mix of excited and sad (about lost youth and how much time had passed since the first time I heard “Rio” on the way to school in 5th grade). As the line moved along, I realized there was a pretty good chance I would puke, pass out, or lose the power of speech. My hands were shaking too hard to take pictures and I tried desperately to think up something hilarious to say to him.

Then I could see him and then I was in front of him! He was gorgeous and smiling and felt like an old friend I hadn’t seen in eons. This is how the conversation I’d dreamed about for 30 years went down:

OMFG OMFG OMFG OMFG

JT: Hi Traci, how are you?

Me: The only thing I can think to say to you right now is ‘Holy Fucking Shit.’

JT laughs

Me talking very fast and trying to squeeze a lifetime of chit-chat into 10 seconds: I have two books for you to sign but I also brought some potentially horrifying stuff from my personal collection I know it’s a little creepy this has been in my family for 30 years it actually hung on my bedroom wall you can see the tape.

JT views the ancient pictures of himself. He actually puts his hand on the faded posters that Rachana and I bought in 1984 at Baron’s in Westfield.

JT: Wow this stuff is like heirlooms!

Me: I apologize for any New Jersey molecules that might have contaminated you.

JT laughs or at least I remember it that way. Then he signs both books, shakes my hand and says it was nice to meet me. I tell him it was SUCH an honor to meet him.

Downstairs, my new friends and I realized we were starving and bordering on hysterical in a totally mature way, so we headed to Dos Caminos for sangria and guacamole. Then, we parted ways and I returned to the “Ordinary World,” running errands on the rest of my day off and wondering what Keith would want for dinner. Nothing had changed, except that it kind of had.

And now I’m thinking about a conversation between me and my 12-year-old self. I know what she would say and ask. She would want to know if she gets married to someone nice and cute (she does); if she ever gets her braces off (she does, but could use another round); if she will always be friends with Rachana (she will); if she moves to New York (she does); and if she’ll barf at her bat mitzvah (she won’t). She will be impressed that she eats sushi and drinks sangria! She will love finding out that a Gear bag is in her near future. And now of course, I can tell her when she asks that some day, on the street in New York, her dream will come true.

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Some Day Comes

1984

To the untrained eye, the photo above depicts five humans of indeterminate gender. But, ladies and gentlemen, the faces you are looking at actually belong to the first men I ever loved: Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor and Nick Rhodes, b.k.a. Duran Duran. (Please note, their official web site is ALSO powered by WordPress!) And tonight, I spent two divine hours with them in Central Park.

Thanks to Kiki, who called in a favor and secured tickets for us, she and my sister and I had the privilege of attending the first of two Duran Duran concerts in the park. Since I first fell in love with the band nearly a quarter of a century ago, I’ve seen them or some combination of them perform at least six times, but I’ve never been physically closer to or better able to see them than tonight. And I have to say that – despite their freakish appearance in this 1981 photo – Simon (turning 50 in October) and John (turning 48 on June 20) are still absolutely the hottest men I have ever encountered.

Furthermore, they happen to sound as amazing as they did in their heyday . I know. I know what you’re thinking. They’re talentless (vicious lie). Their lyrics are non-sensical and/or idiotic (not as vicious a lie). They’re just pretty boys (I don’t know what to tell ya. They’re pretty. Sue ‘em.). They’re like a spoof of a cheezola 80s band. That’s valid. The stage was adorned with two Ds covered in light bulbs. They themselves were adorned with black leather pants, black blazers, black button-downs and black skinny ties. With black and white bandanas around their arms for some reason. And make-up.

But honestly, I think they know what they are.  I don’t think they were trying to pose as serious musicians, and I don’t think they were trying to be young whippersnappers. I really got the sense that they were having fun making their overgrown teenybopper fans happy. That they liked giving the audience what we wanted – an escape, an hour or two of 1984. Not at all to my dismay, I had a perfect view of John for the bulk of the concert. And I use as evidence the natural, playful way he interacted with the lucky bastards (all whores) in the first few rows.  Of course, it’s also  possible he was high, but let’s assume the best.  

The concert included several highlights, including moving renditions of “Ordinary World” and “Save a Prayer,” during which Simon asked that we open and hold up our cell phones instead of the traditional cigarette lighters, even though it would annoy Al Gore. Much responsibility for singing was placed on us, and it is with great pride that I say our versions of “Girls on Film” and “Hungry Like the Wolf” should win Grammy Awards.

But the evening’s real joy was in its real joy. It will come as no surprise to you that nary a soul would use the words “sunny disposition” to describe me. Kiki and my sister both told me they couldn’t recall another time I’d gone so long without complaining, expressing a hypochondriacal concern, making a snide comment or experiencing some sign of panic. I just screamed and sang and danced like the tone-deaf, palsied dork that I am. I’m not sure exactly why I was able to behave in such a carefree, unbecoming manner. But for a little while, with Duran Duran in front of me, all was truly good in the world. Perhaps the intensity of my 12-year-old passion for these silly rock stars was so strong it still allows me to be transported back in time. Before cell phones and laptops and iPods and the internet. Before flat-irons and Brazilian bikini waxes and $150-jeans.  Before marriage and divorce and global warming and September 11th. Before complete and utter failure. Perhaps, in that fleeting state of mind, I am able to forget that it isn’t 1984 and that my whole life isn’t ahead of me.  

When the loves of my life left the stage at the end of the show, a group of Brazilians behind us began to chant, “DRIO! DRIO! DRIO!” A few minutes later,  the band reappeared, singing about a famous woman who dances on the sand. Rather poetically, John was now sporting a Barack Obama t-shirt that read “PROGRESS” at the bottom.   

1984

The Pink, The Brown, The White and The Ugly

Behold, another quick tale that links thematically to Monday’s poetically titled “It Stinks” post.  But first, some background.

For most of my life, I have shied away from Neapolitan ice cream.  While I did find its delicate pink, white and brown color scheme quite pretty,  I associated the flavor with Homer Simpson, trailer park denizens and assorted ne’er-do-wells.  I have no idea why, but I did.  Sorry.

But then last week, I partook of the evening meal chez my friend Elissa and for dessert, she served Neapolitan Edy’s Slow Churned Light Ice Cream.  Enhanced with Reddi-Whip and chocolate syrup, the triumvirate was surprisingly tasty — and reasonably low-fat.  Why not recreate the experience in my own home?

As I needed to replenish my supply of Diet Dr. Pepper anyway, I made a 9 p.m. trip to the supermarket a block up from my apartment.  Unfortunately, Food Emporium stocked only the full-fat version of Edy’s Neapolitan, so I was forced to go with Breyers’ take on the product.  I wasn’t really disappointed, because I’ve never been a big fan of polysorbate 80 and everyone knows that Breyers is devoid of this substance. (Please refer to the 1980s Breyers commercial featuring a cloying little boy who struggled to read the chemical ingredients of a rival ice cream brand, but could easily pronounce Breyers’ wholesome components like “vanilla,” “milk” and “sugar.” )

With quart in tow, I headed to the slow-as-molasses check-out line and waited my turn.  I didn’t want to pick up the latest copy of US while the manager was within eye range, as I feared he would chide me for RWP (Reading Without Purchasing).  The only diversion, therefore, was to take note of what my fellow shoppers had in their carts. 

A peek in the basket of the lawyerly young woman in front of me revealed nothing remarkable: a few sad apples, plain yogurt, two (2) Lean Cuisines, generic paper towel, Vitamin Water, frozen spinach, and a copy of Anorexic Monthly.

Disappointed, I turned subtly to see who was behind me.  It was a well-groomed man in his late 40s who bore a slight resemblance to Andrea Bocelli.  JACKPOT! Perhaps there is something wrong with me, but once I saw what he was about to buy, I couldn’t WAIT to get out of the store and share it with someone.

In one arm, Andrea had FOUR (4) BOXES of Kellogg’s All-Bran cereal.  In the other, he had A 12-PACK of Charmin Ultra Soft “bathroom tissue.”  

The Pink, The Brown, The White and The Ugly

Have You Seen This Man?

cooper2.jpg

 

 Note — Frick on a stick.  This template is REALLY limiting in terms of image placement options! I can’t even illustrate my punchline properly! But I digress.  

When HBO first came to Central New Jersey — back in the early 80s — I became permanently obsessed with a program called Missing Persons: Dead or Alive? It relayed the eerie stories of infamous disappearances, from Amelia Earhart and Jimmy Hoffa to Judge Crater and THIS MAN — D. B. Cooper.  For the last 20+ years, I have thought of good old D.B. often, wondering if ever we’d learn his fate. What happened to him on that November night back in 1971, when he hijacked and then jumped out of a commercial airplane somewhere between Seattle and Portland?

I Googled him every now and then, but failed to realize the awful truth until today, when the media announced that his parachute may or may not have been found near Amboy, WA.  What happened to D.B. Cooper? It’s so obvious! He underwent plastic surgery and became ROSS PEROT.

Have You Seen This Man?

A Nostalgic Moment

trapperkeeper.jpg

I’d like to take this opportunity to honor a product that has a very special place in my heart: the vintage TrapperKeeper by Mead.  Pictured above is an image of said product in its 1980s heyday.  Just a few minutes ago, Mead’s Marketing Director rang me at work to discuss a possible partnership with my company.  She spent a few minutes sharing the details of her plans, explaining the mutual benefits, telling me how wonderful our content is, and providing me with her schedule for the next few weeks so that we could set up a meeting. She was professional, courteous and pleasant. But what she was saying went in one ear and out the other.  From the moment she identified herself and her place of employment, I was lost in reverie, transported back to 1984.  I smelled the stiff plastic that served as the TrapperKeeper’s DNA. I felt the crisp, empty pages of the lined pad that waited inside, and the plastic zipper-type device that sealed the frosted baggie/pencil holder. I remembered the sensation of writing — usually about Simon LeBon and John Taylor — in pen on the vinyl of the inside cover. And then of pulling the plastic rings open and snapping them closed. 

Really, the TrapperKeeper was the Blackberry of its day — a portable, all-in-one office with velcro closure.  I decided to find out what the product looked like today, if it even existed.  And it does! But it’s much slicker and less appealing than the classic model you see here.  It’s shiny and Jetson-esque.  It probably talks.  Your TrapperKeeper is ajar.  Are you SURE you want to rip that page off the pad?  Approaching locker; please slow down.  Your folders are about to expire.  Would you like to choose some new folders? It was nice to see, though, that Mead has included, on the product web site, side by side photos of today’s TrapperKeeper and the one of yore, which they refer to as the “Old School” model.   You can visit www.trapperkeeper.com to see for yourself.

Immediately after hanging up with the Mead chick, I passed along her contact information to our “Biz Dev” team, explaining that even if this was the worst proposal in the history of mankind, we simply HAD to team up with Mead soley because we’d all get free TrapperKeepers.  Mmmm, TrapperKeepers.

A Nostalgic Moment