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Things My Nana Levenstein Taught Me about Love by Jami Attenberg

If I Had a Million Dolalrs by Will Leitch

Courtney Love Has Come Undone

Slippery Pete’s Port o’ Call

Teenage Jesus by Josh Abraham

Sem Ordnilap Ytir Belec: Celebrity Palindromes

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March 30, 2004

Things My Nana Levenstein Taught Me about Love

When you meet a man remember: Always smile. It takes more work to frown than it does to smile. You have to use more facial muscles. It’s true. I read it in a magazine at Doctor Klein’s office. And you look so pretty when you smile. You really should smile more. Make them think you’re friendly, even a little trampy, but not too trampy, you know?

It’s just as easy to marry a Jew as it is to marry a goyim. In fact, easier. A multifaith wedding could take hours, the back and the forth with the priest and the rabbi. Nobody wants to sit through that. And forget about figuring out the catering. They don’t know how to eat right. Have you seen how skinny they are? It’s not normal.

If you’re on a date with a man and he asks you if your back door is open he isn’t talking about the rear of your house, he is talking about your pooper.

It’s just as easy to marry a rich man as it is to marry a poor man. If you would just put on some makeup, that is. Would a little lipstick kill you? Red lipstick. Like a dirty whore. Here, hold on a second. I think I have some in my purse.

It’s just as easy to stay married as it is to get a divorce. Could you imagine splitting a home down the middle? And then you’ll have to hire movers, and they break everything. When we moved to Sycamore Street I lost half of my crystal wine glasses. I never felt comfortable in that house, never.

It’s just as easy to take it from behind as it is to do it missionary style. Sure you have to flip over, but then you don’t have to look like you’re paying attention. It’s a fair trade-off.

It’s just as easy to sleep on the right side of the bed as it is to sleep on the left. Don’t look at me like I’m a fucking lunatic. You know exactly what that means.

Don’t ever go to bed angry. Sit calmly in the kitchen and talk it over. If you must have a drink while doing so, insist on the good scotch in the back of the liquor cabinet, and not that crap he puts out for the guests, the cheap bastard. If you must raise your voice, do so without cursing. If you must curse, don’t say anything you’ll regret. If he says something he’ll regret, make him pay for it, in little ways, for the rest of his life. Forget to give him messages from his buddies or let him oversleep and miss his tee time even though you’ve been up for hours. Spit in his cocktails when he’s not looking. If you prefer a more direct route of revenge, throw something at him. If you choose this course of action, aim low, not high, and throw china, not the good china that you use for the guests, but the bad china you use every day. And if you’re going to cry, do it softly. Keep your face away from him so he can’t see a thing, but make sure it’s loud enough so that he knows: he made you cry.

March 29, 2004

If I Had a Million Dolalrs

People always ask me what I would do if I had a million dollars. I don’t know why people always ask me this. Probably because I owe them around that much, I’d guess.

This is not a simple question to answer for most people. Many fall back on a default, like paying off student loans, buying a new home, or going to see The Passion of the Christ 100,000 times. A friend said he’d spend it all on laserdiscs, Salon.com stock and the presidential candidacy of Dennis Kucinich, which is a totally cool idea and one that couldn’t possibly go wrong. But those aren’t altruistic enough for me. If one were handed that much money, shouldn’t it be spent on the greater good? Shouldn’t one think about what the world needs? I know I would.

What would you do with a million dollars? To me, it’s simple.

With that one million dollars, I would join one-hundred million of those record clubs where you can get 12 pop hits for a penny. The CDs will arrive at my workplace, where the goofy Puerto Rican boy—the one who brings the packages by everybody’s desk, and who always tells me I have nice hair—he will ask me to sign for them, which I will do with a flirtatious smile and maybe a little butt wiggle.

I will then sell those 1.2 billion CDs at a local pawn shop at a discounted rate, say, five bucks a pop. I will bring an extra couple of bucks with me in case I want to buy some old Nintendo games, like Excitebike or Metroid. They also sell cassettes for 50 cents there, so I plan on buying something by 50 Cent. Whose birthday is it, shorty? It’s MY birthday!

I will net $6 billion from that sale, but I will not become a complacent fat cat. With the new capital, I will reinvest into the marketplace. I will take my cash, and I will use it to join six hundred billion of those record clubs where you can get 12 pop hits for a penny. When they arrive, my exhausted yet charmed Puerto Rican mail boy will come by my cubicle, which is now encrusted with diamond pushpins and an emerald-covered bottle of white out. I will smile, and he will smile, and I will sign again for the packages. I might even wink.

I will then take those CDs to the pawn shop and sell them at an even further discounted rate of four dollars a disc, to show my magnanimous nature.

I will then use $1 trillion of that $4.8 trillion to join 100 trillion of those record clubs where you can get 12 pop hits for a penny. I will keep those CDs. The other $3.8 trillion, however, I will use to buy the continent of Africa, where I will cure the AIDS crisis, plow down the rain forests to build a massive Pier 1 Imports, and, having put in a full day, subsequently listen to my CDs in peace. With my Puerto Rican mail boy. His name is Herbert, but if I cut him a check, I’m hoping he’ll let me call him Juan

March 23, 2004

Courtney Love Has Come Undone

Miss Courtney Love is having a wild week! Help put this downwardly spiralling demimondaine back together!

Make this Hole lady whole!

[This feature requires Java. If you see a Courtney Love-less gray box above, then your computer is likely not Java-enabled, and if your computer is not Java-enabled, then it is likely 1994. Greetings from the future!]

March 22, 2004

Slippery Pete’s Port o’ Call

Slippery Pete’s Port o’ Call The Leader in DOCKYARD & PORTAGE entertainment since 1974!

We’ve got over 500 piping-hot videos of DOCKERS, DOCKSMEN, DOCKHANDS, DOCK-WALLOPERS, and DOCKMASTERS! We’ve got big, burly JACKS loading and unloading WET VESSELS in coastal PORTS OF ENTRY up and down the shoreline!

See husky, hefty LONGSHOREMEN and STEVEDORES lugging cargo onto dry land! See beefy, brawny LOADERS and LUMPERS hoisting freight ashore and aground! Watch hale and hearty ROUSTABOUTS giving the ol’ HEAVE-HO!

Port o’ Call Home Video has hundreds of hours of BITTS and BOLLARDS! Watch waterlogged SEA DOGS and washed-up LANDLUBBERS exchange merchandise on WHARVES, PIERS, and QUAYS of all kinds!

PAYLOAD? We got your PAYLOAD right here! We’ve got BEACONS and BULWARKS, and miles and miles of hot PONTOONS! There’s more MOORING action here than any other manual-labor entertainment operation in the world! We’ve got WHARFAGE and WHARFINGERS aplenty!

Port o’ Call: the most Dockyard-Cargo Loading & Unloading bang for your buck!

But that’s not all! Order any Dockyard video now and you’ll get ABLE-BODIED SEAMEN for free! Featuring the greatest SEAFARING JACK-TARS on solid ground! Sweaty OLD SALTS spewing MOUTHFULS of naughty NAUTICAL JARGON!

That’s right, over 3 hours of the best HELMSMEN, BARGEMEN, LIGHTERMEN, & STEERMEN this side of Davy Jones’s locker! See STEERERS and BARGEES working mano-a-mano with BOATSWAINS and GOBS! It’s all hands on deck with seafaring SWABBIES swapping whale’s tales and singing sea chanteys! Plus, rare footage of DECKHANDS pumping bilgewater! Boats PITCHING and TOSSING at bay!

Act now or you’ll miss this exciting maritime offer of SEAFARING CREWMEN along with any Docking or Cargo video!

Slippery Pete’s Port o’ Call: The best Dockyard & Portage home entertainment money can buy!

March 19, 2004

Teenage Jesus

Yes! Look at me, everybody, I did it again! Here, give me another glass of water. Ka-pow! Presto! Behold: one glass of Fresca. I’m awesome!

March 15, 2004

Sem Ordnilap Ytir Belec: Celebrity Palindromes

“Lisa Bonet ate no basil.”
Lenny Kravitz, summing up their last lunch date.

““Men, I'm Eminem!”
The rapper, upon entering prison.

“Yes, sir—Romeo foe: Morrissey.”
The singer reaffirms his asexuality.

“Damn! I, Agassi, miss again! Mad!”
The tennis player, after being exposed to gamma rays.

“To Idi Amin: I'm a idiot!”

“Oprah deified Harpo.”

“No, Mel Gibson is a casino's big lemon.”
— The pope, clairifying what he meant by “It is as it was.”

“Vanna, wanna 'V'?”
Pat Sajak, getting randy after six rounds of Maker's Mark.

“Is Don Adams mad? (A nod.) Si!”
Director of Mexico's Nick a Noche.

“Age, irony, Noriega.”
G.H.W.B., recalling good times.

“To Jay Leno: Lonely? A jot.”
E-mail subject line from Johnny.

“O.J. nabs banjo. “
Headline in Brentwood local paper.

“Not sin; Aniston.”
Brad Pitt, explaining the black eye.

“Draw? Oh no, Ron Howard. “
Henry Winkler flunking art class.

“Nobel? No, miss, Simon Le Bon.”
The Duraner mistaking the prestigious ceremony for the MTV Europe Awards.

“Flog sad loser Al Gore. Zero glares, old as golf.”
Bill O'Reilly, reporting the 2000 election.

“So, G. Rivera's tots are Virgos.”
Madame Lydia, astrologer to the 'stars.'

“Depardieu, go razz a rogue I draped.”
Ridley Scott, directing the actor on set of 1492.

“Alan Alda stops racecar, spots ad: “Lana—L.A.”
NBC executive pitching a midseason replacement series.

“Set at serif, as Safire states.”
From The New York Times Manual of Style & Usage

“Sis, ask Costner to not rent socks “as is.”

“Tarzan raised Desi Arnaz' rat.”
Lucille Ball, explaining why her cat's tail is a bloody stump.

“E. Borgnine drags Dad's gardening robe.”
Chapter 3 of the unauthorized biography, Ernest: The Man, the Myth.

“Toni Tennille fell in net. I, not!”
The Captain, drunk again.

“T. Eliot nixes sex in toilet.”
The poet approving the musical adaptation of Cats.

“Gustav Klimt milk vats—ug! “
The worst part of art-history class.

“O, Geronimo; no minor ego.”
Chief Crazy Horse on hubris.

“Plan no damn Madonna LP! “
Guy Ritchie advising the D.J.

“Yawn. Madonna fan? No damn way!”
Sean Penn's acceptance speech.

“Wonder if Sununu's fired now.”
Kissinger, finally replying to old messages.

“So… Mariah Carey, a LP, a player… a chair, Amos!”
Andy, setting up a game of musical chairs.

“Drat Sadat, a dastard!”
Old Yiddish proverb.

“Drat Saddam, a mad dastard!”
Old Yiddish proverb.

“Oh, no! Don Ho!”
The state of Hawaii

“Sir, a plan, a canal; Paris.”
Rick Salomon's director's commentary

“Tupac caput! “
How the news was broken to Biggie.

Palindromes were compiled from various sources throughout the universe; only Morrissey, Eminem, Aniston, Howard, Paris, Tupac were original Y.P.R. creations; further Google searches revealed that Eminem and Howard are already out there.

March 01, 2004

Dear Outback Steakhouse

Dear Outback Steakhouse,

I believe you owe me something in the neighborhood of 85 bucks for the three days in August of 1997 that I served as a waiter-in-training in one of your fine establishments. A scuffle regarding the unapproved consumption of a Blooming Onion resulted in my quick dismissal, and because I had another Blooming Onion in my pants pocket at the time, I skipped out of there wicked fast. I’ve yet to return.

I wrote off the three afternoons’ pay I was owed because, at the time, my pride was worth 100 bucks minimum. Well, not any more. Let’s just say there are some “bodies buried” in the “Pennsylvania brush” and I’ve now got to fake my own death and begin a new life in Bolivia as “Fernando Venezuela,” mild-mannered duck farmer. So, before I seal all records here, I figure I should cash out all debts owed, especially because the 85 (or so) American dollars is probably worth my pride and a whole more anywhere south of the Rio Grande.

So, Outback, if you’d please check with your accounting department I’m sure you’ll find an (approximate) 85-buck overage someplace. It should be something around 85, but I could be far off: whatever minimum wage was back then x 5-6 hours x 3 days = you do the math. Anyway, I trust you’ll do the right thing. I mean, what’s 85(-ish) dollars going to do for Outback? Not a whole lot. Maybe a new stupid boomerang nailed to the wall or something. But for me, it’s probably, like, 10,000 bolivars, and I bet I could drink champagne and sleep with Bolivia’s finest hookers every night for a month on such a sum. My new Bolivian life is so going to rock. Sayonara, American suckers!

Oh—it occurs to me I probably shouldn’t have revealed to you my fake Bolivian name, or within which state’s wilds my corpses are buried. Crap. Now I’ve got to use that (circa) 85 bucks for a shovel and bus fare.

Well, Outback, I trust you’ll what’s right and mail me my 85esque dollars and not repeat any of this to the authorities, because ~85 bucks wouldn’t buy you anything more than a plastic wallaby and an international manhunt wouldn’t really be making good use of the Justice Department’s very valuable time, and almost 90 bucks and no federales on my ass would be really sweet for me. Thanks, Outback!

Josh Abraham