|THE BLACK LIST: SPRING IS HERE, ALMOST, MAYBE.|
|By The Black Table|
The Black Table senses spring. We are, on the whole, solid supporters of springtime; we will always stand behind seasons that encourage pretty people to wear fewer clothes. We know it's not here yet, because the bulky coats are still hanging around, though we're noticing that attractive women are upgrading from big furry numbers to the sleeker, leathery, September-type jackets.
But you really know springtime is here when the tanktops come out. The Black Table would like to find the person who invented tanktops and give them a rather thorough hug. That day is not yet here, but it is coming. We can sense it. You can sense it. We're just about there, people; hang in there.
The Black List has 10 almost-springtime reviews this week. By this time next week, we'll have even more, if you will be a member of our gang. Just use the form to the right, and we'll roll, baby, roll on.
DAILY NEWS WEDDING SECTION: The New York Times Weddings section exists to intimidate non-natives into fleeing the city. All those lawyers and lawyerettes who went to liberal arts schools you never even heard of in the great wide Midwest -- Vasser, what the hell is a Vasser?. Even if you did manage to make it out here, your Daddy's not a diplomat; he's a salesman in Cincinnati. But before packing up your bags and hopping a train back to the land of strip malls, chain restaurants and Plaza-free receptions, give the New York Daily News weddings pages a try. The Daily News doesn't care where you earned your degree; heck, it doesn't care if you went to school at all. It just wants to know what kind of cheesy centerpieces you let your guests take home. In this week's issue, one ad sales bride and her Brooklyn cop groom gave out Lucite boxes full of purple M&Ms. In addition to their cake, they served Twinkees and Devil Dogs. If that doesn't make you feel more at home, consider the dancer and her "shipping and receiving" husband who wanted a tropical-themed wedding. "I wanted it to look classy and sophisticated, so no blow-up trees," the bride said. "I had faux palm trees, but they look so real." And finally, we have the two trainers from Equinox gym who tied the knot on the first day of spring. Said the bride: "It sounds cheesy, getting married on the equinox, because we work there." Purple M&Ms, "Equinox" weddings and, of course, no blow-up trees (because they're not classy); the Daily News wedding section makes non-natives feel right at home. A -- Shari Goldhagen
ILLINOIS 90, ARIZONA 89, 26 MARCH 2005: I live a long way
from home; according to the indispensable Google Maps, my apartment in Brooklyn is exactly 867 miles from my childhood home (and my parents' current home) of Mattoon, Illinois. That is a long way. I feel like I miss a lot, being so far away; I try to stay close, as often as I can. Since I was a kid, and WCIA showed all the Illini games, Illinois basketball has served as the one thing my father and I can count on, whether I was nervous about starting junior high, pinning on corsages in high school or sneaking joints in college. We have always watched every game together, and even from New York, I call him at halftime of every Illini game that's televised nationally. As anyone who has followed college basketball this season can tell you, it has been a special year for Illini fans. But with four minutes remaining last Saturday, and Illinois losing to Arizona by 15, the whole season appeared -- no, was -- over a waste. I called my father at the commercial break. I was despondent; I was doing my best not to curse, since this is my father, after all. He answered the phone and said two things: 1. "They're playing like horseshit." 2. "Just get us to overtime. They'll get us to overtime." I chuckled at his naïveté, sighed and promised I'd call him when the loss was official. And then Illinois took off, going on a 20-5 run to end the game and force overtime, securing perhaps the greatest comeback in NCAA history. I called Dad back screaming. His response was succinct: "You weren't worried, were you? They've come too far." He was right. My dad is always right. And now the Illini are in the Final Four and I'm the luckiest guy in the world to have at least one more chance to call Dad at halftime again. Go. Illini. A -- Will Leitch
GETTING REJECTED FROM STANFORD: At 23, I should be past applying to colleges, and the inevitable pain of rejection that that process brings. But since I haven't found a real job since I graduated, I decided it was high time that I apply for a long-shot fellowship at Stanford. Experience told me what was in the envelope before I opened it; still, it always stings to be told you're not good enough, especially when they admitted someone named Rusty, who I sincerely hope is a poetry-writing dog. But after the initial pain and some self-indulgent crying, I remember that most people never get rejected from Stanford -- because they never apply. So hats off to me for believing there ever was a chance. A -- J Ritterbusch
TIME ZONES: I don't often speak on the phone to people in other time zones, but when I do, the first thing I say is, "What time is it where you are?" and they say "It's 6," or "It's midnight," or whatever. Then I say, "Gosh that is SO weird!" It's like when people get upset about rain. Rain and time zones have both been around for a while now, yet most people don't even own a rain coat and then they want sympathy when they come inside all wet. Hell, people buy "Jazz/Kenny G/Rachmoninov for a Rainy Afternoon" CDs just to help themselves pull through it. Wasting valuable long-distance minutes on an analog telephone by asking what time it is and then being dumbfounded when the question is answered: D -- Abby Gross
NO GOOD DEED GOING UNPUNISHED: I work late two days a week, and since the Metra schedule doesn't bend to my whims, I often end up waiting nearly two hours to catch the train home. A coworker offered to give me a ride to another station with an earlier train, and I gladly accepted. En route, we pull through a McDonald's, so she can pick up a treat for her sick child. I foot the bill, figuring it's the least I can do. We get to the platform, and in the resultant juggling of foodstuffs, I leave my wallet behind in the car. Neither of us realizes this as she speeds off, and five minutes later I'm hoping I've got $3.30 worth of change in my bag, wondering why I thought having a Shamrock Shake in 30-degree weather seemed like a such a good idea. For my own carelessness: D- -- Toby
GIVING YOUR SOCKS TO THE HOMELESS: Late one cold night on an uptown A train, a homeless man sat quietly eating his dinner from a aluminum carry-out plate. A woman sitting across from him saw that he had no socks and was so moved by his plight that she took the socks off of her own feet and gave them to him. Some would argue that this woman performed a heart-warming act of charity that embodies the best of human nature: Subway riders know better. Making the subway a place of alms giving only encourages more homeless to climb aboard our dilapidated trains. We must insure that the subways are not a place of generous bounty, but a serious system of transit where working men and women can travel unencumbered by junk-filled shopping carts or the odors of people too crackers to wipe their own asses. The next time one of the New York's undomiciled denizens robs you of a subway seat with their grotesque luggage or sends you running to another subway car with their patented homeless scent, thank the naïveté of people like the sock woman. D- -- Matthew Sheahan
OVERLY CHATTY OUT-OF-TOUCH BOSSES: I was excited at the prospect of moving to new department with better salary and a larger budget. My old job was beginning to reek of monotony, so enter new job opening, new department and new boss. Cause for celebration, right? Not for long. Hey, new boss/old white woman, I'm not your friend; me twentysomething black male, I don't think we frequent the same circles. I don't care that you spent $13,000 (price of my used car) on a hardwood floor for your new waterfront retirement property. No, I don't care that your lingerie is the wrong size and you're expecting a replacement delivery (at the office no less). Sorry, didn't want to know about your daily routine of not getting dressed until your husband leaves for the golf course. Excuse me if I'm not sorry your convertible Mercedes needs a new brakes and you were forced to drive the "old Lexus." Sheesh! D- -- Al Rodgers
THE INHERENT CONTRADICTION OF CATHOLICISM: So, um, if, when you die, you're with God and Jesus and the saints and Mary, and heaven is really sweet, and finally all your trials are at an end and your body is restored to you as it was in your heyday, how come the impending deaths of Terri Schiavo and the Pope flip out Catholics so much? Shouldn't everybody be holding "Good luck on the other side!" parties for them? Every minute that Ms. Schiavo spends in the hospice is a minute she could be spending with the good Lord, right? So why hold her back from her happy destiny? Me no understand. F -- Meredith K. Tips-McLaine
FINDING LORI LOUGHLIN STRANGELY ATTRACTIVE: Usually, the presence of Lori Loughlin in a movie or on a television show makes me break out in hives because I am reminded of the years' worth of torture I endured at the hands of Full House. But the other night, I watched the 1985 teen flick Secret Admirer and found myself really hoping that C. Thomas Howell would wind up with her instead of Kelly Preston. I honestly can't explain it -- I was transfixed by her big brown eyes, barely there body, mid-1980s "hot tomboy" wardrobe, and I-look-like-I'm-30-even-though-I'm-20 hairstyle. Even a few seconds' worth of Preston's bare breasts couldn't shake that, and I think that's cause for alarm. I mean, at least it wasn't C. Thomas Howell, but something tells me that I really need to get some help. Or at least stop watching teen movies. B- -- Tom Panarese
AN EVITE TO HONDURAS: There in my inbox was the now familiar "[Fill in ironic penname here] has sent you an Evite." Interested in a bored-at-work sort of way to see how my social cirle had extended, I opened the Evite and found a note from one my oldest friends inviting me to enjoy the fruits of a recently awarded research grant and summer on an undiscovered lagoon in Honduras. Faced with this massive escalation of Evitation, and the tug of good-times nostalgia, I realized only a big asshole wouldn't go. This is visionary, so it's off to Honduras to answer the call of the best Evite ever. A -- Nate
THE WAITRESS AT CONTINENTAL: This has to be one of the worst jobs
on the planet: bringing a tray full of drinks through a crowd of moshing,
stampeding teens and twentysomethings who are screaming their drink orders
into your ear over bad screamo bands. Whose idea was this? The last thing
you want to have in your hand in a crowd of elbow-swinging, faux-kickboxing
idiots is a trayful of GLASS AND ALCOHOL. Yeah, that's not going to sting
too much when you collapse into a pile of it after some hoodie-wearing
halfwit spinkicks during Suburbanite Depression Band No. 3's eardrum-shattering
version of "Boys Don't Cry." And do you think people who spend
45 minutes seriously debating whether they should pay $2 for a demo are
liberal tippers? Yet here this woman is, bussing the side rails as bodies
fly around her and wiping other people's sweat off her as she balances
a tray stacked with SoCo shots. Keep your head up, sister. A+ for
our headstrong drinkwoman, F for the "punk rock" genius
behind this ploy. -- Jason
Each and every week, Black Table readers like you write the Black List and get absolutely nothing in return. Ain't that some shit.