22 December 2008


I saw Adrian Grenier (star of HBO's "Entourage") Saturday night at a small hole-in-the-wall bar on the Lower East Side. Can I write: HOT? No, actually not. Adrian, I recognized at first, as a Wereman. Yes, he was so hairy I thought he was a guy in werewolf costume. More "fur" than a Monchichi doll. All I could see were the apples of his cheeks and a bit of forehead. I was literally terrified when I glanced over and caught him looking at me, smiling beautifully (that's right, he and I made eye contact. And he had a gorgeous grin. And there was no one behind me except a mirror...so who else could he be looking at? Uh, ok, yeah, maybe he was admiring his hair.).

In any case, as soon as our eyes met, I looked away, unnerved by his facial hair. In fact, it didn't click who he was until I thought about it. Adrian Grenier. He reminded me more of that optical illusion of Jesus that you stare at, then when you shut your eyes, you see the inverse burned into your retinas. Frightening, right?**

I will never look at Adrian the same way again. I can't possibly see him as anything else. My retinas, my mind's eye, have been branded and scarred with how he appeared to me that midnight hour last Saturday: a mutant, hairy, Monchichi WereJesus, in the name of Adrian Grenier.

*Turns out, my reaction was in the minority. The entire population of the bar seemed to shift to his end after he appeared. Even my group's Birthday Girl and her friend bravely chatted him up. And he was nice. Bought them drinks, too! Very sweet. Adorable. Kind, mutant, hairy, Monchichi WereJesus.

08 December 2008


I recently sent a text message to a friend after learning his grandfather had passed away. It read: "Sorry to hear about your grandad. My amenkamads to you and the family."

That's the last time I use T9 to quick-write a text. My "condolences", aka "amenkamads" (thank you, LG), were definitely not delivered as intended...but I have a feeling my friend, who is Methodist or Lutheran or Quaker, may regard "amenkamads" as a mysterious Catholic saying conveying comfort. So all is good.

Oh wait, sorry, the true point of this post is that when presented with a life issue so significant, I should actually pick up the phone and speak voice to voice/mail...or proofread.

12 October 2008


Santos Party House
100 Lafayette St

New York City

I thought that I would tease readers and never post anything about music or music-making machines such as jukeboxes. But I’ve decided it’s no longer fun to tease. I am not a tease, as of now. Last night I went to a show at Santos Party House (Andrew WK’s venue). It’s small—two floors— but clean, unpretentious (read: you can wear sneakers, a sombrero, whatever), inexpensive (‘cept for that night’s cover of $20), and doesn’t smell. In fact, it smelled like lemon-fresh Pledge for most of the night. Very refreshing!

I was there to watch a friend’s favorite DJ spin. I wasn’t sure what to expect…was it a concert where the audience would stand and stare at the stage? Or would the audience dance and ignore the DJ? And I found it’s a mix of both. At about midnight, my friends and I headed upstairs to see the main event, DJ Z-Trip, but he wasn’t on yet. People were standing in a circle, bopping their heads to another DJ. At first it felt like an eighth grade dance when no one wants to start the dancing and everyone just stands there waiting. But then in succession, young men dressed as hipsters or in hoodies hopped into the middle of the dance floor and threw down some moves. Some raved, some skanked, some did a bit of breaking. I think in their minds they were rockin’ it like America’s Best Dance Crew, but...they weren't quite that good. I totally give them props for the courage to get out there solo and try. At one point, I even had the urge to break into the circle and do The Running Man or Roger Rabbit, but I realized it may come off as poking fun of them, when I really meant to make fun of myself (all right, all right, and them, too). (Side note: I’ve decided I'm going to practice my pop-n-lock skillz for the future should I get the chance to partake in a dance off).

As the crowd was getting pumped for DJ Z-Trip, the circle soon filled with everyone dancing and jumping and gyrating and just partying like it's a house party. Then an older gentleman, with gray hair, a gray beard, and 70’s polyester T-shirt started trippin’ to the tunes, right in front of me. It was odd at first, and a bit creepy. I couldn’t look him in the eye for fear he would dance with me (weirdoes tend to gravitate towards me—see July '08 posting: “The Triumph Room”). I just couldn’t risk or tolerate it tonight. In fact, he was near me and my friends for so long, a guy leaned over and asked if we had brought our grandfather. I joked that the elderly man must think this is the original Studio 54…but he was having a great time and it was kind of awe-inspiring. One day I’d like to be 70 and partying like it was 2008, just like this guy (well, for him it was 1968).

At 1am, DJ Z-Trip finally took the stage. I have never seen a DJ scratch, spin, and mix like this before. He’s not your average club DJ. He’s an artist, an architect, a genius at blending opposites. He juxtaposes dialogue, tells a story, and takes us on a journey during his non-stop three and a half hour set. DJ Z-Trip doesn’t just spin records for us; he spins and journeys with us.

DJ Z-Trip dropped beats that had us booty-shakin' to “Walk the Line,” jumping to “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” dancing to “Jump! Jump!” He transported us back only a couple days, then 1992 and even further, when allegedly, our “parents were f*ing to this song.” (I’ve never heard the song before, but according to the roar of cheers and applause, many of the people there were conceived during that piece of music. I’ve never thought about my conception, and never want to).

We stayed until about 3:30am, when he finished his set with the subtly manipulated “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It seemed heartfelt and genuine, a thank you from DJ Z-Trip, but I’m not a fan of Queen so I was hoping for something more gripping, powerful, fun, or just unique. Maybe some hardcore Memphis rap mixed with Connie Francis? All in all, an incredible show that 21+ (and +++++) could dance their asses off to. And you know I’m notorious for avoiding obscene cover charges, but the $20 I shelled out was worth every penny. If DJ Z-Trip is playing at a venue near you, definitely go, and you may just catch me doing the Robo Cop in the middle of a dance circle.


15 September 2008


Pandora, at The Box
189 Chrystie Street
New York City

Pandora is a burlesque show straight from the bowels hell. It’s not “hot” in the “sexy” sense. It’s raunchy. Naughty. It attempts to be artistic. But it’s more like live amateur porn bordering on comedy.

I’ve described the truly bizarre events to friends and received a myriad of reactions, the most stunning being, “Next time you go, let me know. ___ and I want to see it.” This reaction came (separately) from two married women, which gave me an unwanted glimpse into their private bedroom lives. What also bewildered me was the “Next time,” phrase. After everything I told them, in a tone of disbelief and disdain, they thought I would go again???

From the spectators to the performers, Pandora’s a self-contained freak-show hidden on a less-traveled street of New York City. The club-goers are the wealthiest young people in the city, dropping $1500+drinks to sit in the sweatfest of a balcony. They are rich, they are wild, they have no boundaries, and they won’t think twice about disrobing in public.*

As for the people putting on the show, the talent’s the level of a high school Gifted and Talented Showcase. Maybe they’re a little more limber…and willing (or allowed) to show their naughty bits. That’s not to say there aren’t memorable performances. The image of a drag queen revealing his wing-wang and then her boobies is burned in my mind’s eye forever. Oh, yeah, and then him/her reaching between his/her legs to pull a brown-stained lower arm, presumably out of his/her poop-covered ass. That I won’t soon forget.

Then there’re the two leather-pant acrobats who did some Cirque du Soleil type spins and flips over the audience, then humped each other off stage like frogs. Felt tacked on.

Another acrobat flipped vertically in the air and ended upside down dangling by his feet. As if his act wasn’t exciting enough he pushed his pants to his knees and his peepee flung out.

The last act features the Porcelain Twins, who I don’t believe are actually related. The girls do look very much alike but they partake in things that family don’t do unless there’s some sick shit going on. The only way to describe this act is like this: first, the “Twins” undress each other and blow cigarette smoke on each other's naked bodies. There appears to be some (simulated?) oral sex. Then one girl spits on the other girl’s coochie. A dildo is pulled out of the girl who was spit on (I assume it was inserted at the point I turned away in astonishment). Then the spitter spits on her own self and puts the previously used dildo inside of her own cooch. Then she reaches over and picks up something that looks like a light bulb. She puts it in her mouth, then the other girl rolls over…and at that point, I figured I knew where the “light bulb” was going, so I called it a night. If the above description is a bit hard to follow, just know a lot of spitting and sticking objects into orifices happened.

So, am I really alone with my “never again” attitude? Are you as enticed to see Pandora as those two married ladies? I’m telling you, my descriptions are as “erotic” as the performances...I’ve painted the pictures accurately…it's like you've been there now...which, come to think of it, technically means you owe me $1500…plus drinks.

*"No boundaries" case in point: My “entourage” included a friend’s cousin's young, rich client (follow?). The client brought his girlfriend who appeared to be about 15 years old and she literally skipped down the block in a tennis skirt and flip flips, jumping up to touch the Walk signs on every corner. The client drank very much. He danced. Ignored his girlfriend. Rubbed my friend’s butt. Told me I had “tremendous breasts.” I told him to take off his shirt and wave it over the balcony. He did. I told him to take off his belt and taunt the crowd below with it. He obliged. I told him to take off his pants…and his jeans hit the floor.

25 August 2008


It's been noted that my subtitle, "For every 15,000 Adult Male Performers, there are 30,000 Child Laborers standing behind them" (in reference to Beijing's Olympic Opening), is not entirely accurate.

The enforcement of the strict one-child per couple law in China, therefore, would theoretically mean that 15,000 males would produce 15,000 children. But I was counting the females, too, you know, the children that don't count.


After I read in Anne’s notebook that she took samples of the Cafeteria’s salad dressing, I couldn’t believe it. She has facilities for this sort of thing? How does she know where to send samples? Is she really a corporate spy sent by a temp agency? She knows enough spy words...her notebook is peppered with them. So I started some spying of my own.

Yesterday, when Anne was out at the photocopy machine (she can spend hours there…not sure why), I snooped in her briefcase. And I found something. I found…a document…and it—shoot! Squeaky Aerosoles. Anne just got in. I should never blog at work! I’ll have to write continue this later.


15 August 2008


For every 15,000 Adult Male Performers, there are 30,000 Child Laborers standing behind them.

No one can deny that the Summer Olympics’ opening ceremony was stupendous. The artistry, faultless symmetry, and harmonized movement was a sensational journey through history and tradition. I was moved. I welled up. I was in the moment with them. Until, that is, the commentator noted that the Creative Director (or choreographer) watched a rehearsal in which the performers wore black unitards studded with tiny lights. He immediately said black would not work, change it to neon green. Within days they had a new unitard designed. Within a week, they had over 1,000 of them sewn and covered in lights. I marveled along with the rest of the world at this feat. And then it occurred to me: China has sweatshops. It’s summer vacation. And kids loooove to stay up late. Of course the Chinese could churn out over 1,000 costumes in only 7 days. Scores of teeny children were available (ready and willing?) for finger-bleeding work. So it may have seemed to the commentators--and the world--that those sparkling green unitards magically appeared, but my belief is that there’s more behind it. A lot more…like legions more...of 3 foot tall, 36 pound prepubescent government-limited laborers.*

*The above commentary mere speculation. NBC has not broadcast any sweatshops during their coverage of the Olympics. It is doubtful any sweatshops will be exposed, as inevitably a whistleblower’s tongue be gouged and hands cut off.**

** I exaggerate. Surely the People’s Republic of China wouldn't purposely hurt those critical of their alleged practices.

03 August 2008


It is my first Wednesday here at Best Practice. Turns out, the Café serves free food on this day each week. Broken Spirit says it’s to give people something to look forward to; help them get through the rest of the week. She would say that.

I observed the activity in the Café closely. The Consultants acted like vultures, swarming the buffet and piling their plates high, as though they cannot afford a $12 lunch on a $106,000+ salary. This free meal, no doubt, is a means to win Best Practice’s employees—and this operative—over with paninis and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. So I’ve taken samples of the salad dressing and soup, assuming a mind-control ingredient has been added to the recipes.

I will eat Subway from now on.

27 July 2008


Girl Props
153 Prince St.
New York City

Choose Your Poison

I was reluctant to enter the zebra-print storefront with the sign “Girl Props” towering over it, for obvious reasons. What exactly was in this shop? And why did it blare the double entendre for all on Prince Street to see? The black-white-and-hot pink sign drew so much attention, especially being on a corner, of course pedestrians would be compelled to watch who enter and exit the shop.

Once inside, though, I realized my anticipated embarrassment was unfounded. Girl Props is a treasure trove of girly crap accessories: foofy, elastic, plastic, and plated pieces of jewelry, belts, and head gear, all at ultra low prices (Xie xie, China!).

The store offers jewelry for every occasion: raves, Eighth Grade Dance, proms, Quintoceras...so you can’t go wrong stepping into this cache of cheap riches. But stepping out with that potentially lead-based charm bracelet may not be the safest or most fashionable purchase…unless you’re going to the New Kids on the Block Reunion concert on October 27th at Madison Square Garden. Then it’s totally acceptable and encouraged to rock poisonous nostalgia pieces for the three most anticipated hours of 2008. The green will fade, but not the memories (well, unless you are actually poisoned, then you'll quickly lose braincells and die). But you've lived long enough to see New Kids on the Block reunite and Girl Props was there to deck you out.

21 July 2008


This is Normal, Right?

Last week I was surfing a social networking site when a photo caught my eye. I clicked on it and realized that I was in the photo, my back to the camera, and I was talking to this cute baby-faced guy. Who the hell was he? It suddenly dawned on me: I dated this guy back in 2002. It was a quick and torrid affair. Well, not really…that just sounded like the right thing to say. But our dating history was brief—lasted 6 months, and it was a bit complicated.

Seeing his face launched me into a (certifiable?) two hour, cyber-“investigation”. (I hesitate to use the word “stalking.” But drop me a note and let me know if the following actions qualify as an “obsessive pursuit.”).

First I Googled him. I wasn’t sure about the spelling of his last name, mainly because his country of origin has like 42 letters of the alphabet, most with squiggly marks on them.

I then tried MySpace which requires less knowledge of correct spelling and relies more on location and age. Nothing.

But wait—My Guy had a Best Friend…tall, bald, googly-eyed. I knew his first name and approximate age. I MySpaced him. Sure enough, third person down…The Best Friend. I clicked on his photo—yep, it was My Guy’s Best Friend for sure. Still living in New York City.

I proceeded to search The Best Friend’s friends. My Guy wasn’t among them – not even in his Top Twenty! So much for best buds. I scoured The Best Friend’s photos – and a third of the way through, I found the picture I was looking for. (I really wasn’t looking for any specific photo, just evidence that My Guy’s still alive). It was posted in November 2007. My Guy looks older, scruffier—not the fresh-faced Glenn Quinn* look-alike from 6 years ago. He looks almost sick. Like he has some disease or potentially grave illness. But it’s working for him. He’s still hot and now looks like Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas.

My sleuthing didn’t end there. Once I figured out The Best Friend’s last name, I Facebooked him. Luckily he has a public profile so I could search fairly easily. The Best Friend has over 300 friends so after a few pages of profiles, I had to draw the line. I delved into his photo gallery and came across the same photo I saw on MySpace. But The Best Friend did something different with this photo – he tagged My Guy. I had a last name.

Commence rabid and rapid Googling. The results: My Guy helped, in some capacity, a band back in 2006 (which means he was still in the states a few years after I dumped him). And he has a Facebook account (with a gorgeous photo of him playing guitar on stage)—but it’s set to private. However, my eagle-eyes noticed that the public can view his friends. Obviously he wants people to see who he’s linked to…and to speculate as to why and how they are linked, right? Of course, I clicked on it.

My Guy has one page of friends, which strikes me as a little odd. His (formerly) soft-spoken and shy Best Friend has blossomed and knows over 300 people. My Guy was/is a doppelganger for a Hugo Boss model and should have hundreds of friends, music fans, and smitten girls connected to him on Facebook and MySpace. But he doesn’t.

I’ve toiled over this for a few days now (yes, I originally said I spent two hours investigating. That is true. But the fallout from this sudden bit of information has taken longer to digest). I’ve come to the conclusion (through inconclusive evidence) that…My Guy is married (obviously not to me, but he wanted to be…and that’s a story for another post). Why else would he: drop The Best Friend, not have a MySpace page, or a public Facebook account? The answer: a jealous warden… I mean, wife.

So that’s that. I feel that I got what I wanted, though I’m not entirely sure what exactly I was looking for. Was I hoping he’d be single? That he let himself go? Did I want to know that he was ok and life carried on without me? I think it’s a mixture of all three, but more that life moved forward for him and I didn’t totally destroy his hopes and dreams (again, a story for a later post).

Oh, and I’ve concluded a few things about myself as well: I’m relentless and driven when I am passionate about something; that I have mad cyber-investigative skills; and that my need to know everything about My Guy from the moment I said goodbye through present day…is completely normal. And not an obsessive pursuit. Right?

*Glenn Quinn was an actor on the hit tv show "Roseanne" who tragically died of an overdose in 2002. He was hot and that’s why it’s so tragic.

15 July 2008


Joy Burger
1567 Lexington Ave.

A Reason to Cross the Invisible Line or They Don’t Sell Crackers But They Sure Have A Lot of Them

There’s a line most white New Yorkers won’t cross and it runs along 96th Street on the East Side. “Whoa, that’s way up there,” some say. “Once you walk above 96th, the neighborhood changes quickly.” That I can’t deny. Once you pass the ritzy doorman complex known as Carnegie Hill between 96th & 97th Sts., you hit the Lexington Houses, bodegas, chicken restaurants, and find yourself in East Harlem.

It’s sort of rare to see Caucasians in this area—so rare that I’ve been called “Nicole Kidman” a few times…and I don’t look much like her. All white women look like porcelain-skinned movie stars to black people and Hispanics, I guess. It’s a delusion I must live with.

That said, there are two newish restaurants* above East 96th Street worth crossing the line for. And lately, white people have been. In fact, the first time I walked into Joy Burger, I was astounded. Where did all these hipster whities come from? Seriously. There were tables of cracker college kids, young cracker professionals, and nuclear cracker families, all chowing down on inexpensive burgers, onion rings, and sipping mint-flavored sweet tea.

I’ve been to Joy Burger a few times since – the food is really good and very reasonably priced. The service is great. The owners and workers are friendly and eager to please. But each time I step inside the joint I marvel how I never see these white people on the street…only inside the restaurant. Were they smuggled in? Grown on the premises? So white they are transparent, rendering them invisible, in the sunlight?

No matter how they’ve gotten there, though, these people have discovered a fantastic new burger hangout that’s transforming East Harlem from the inside out. Joy Burger is a reason to cross the 96th St. line…and may be the only reason.

*review for restaurant #2 coming soon.

13 July 2008


On her second day as temp, my colleague Anne had thought she stumbled on a clue during her initial training session. After a long discussion (interrogation?) with the Learning Leader, turns out, it was just the flagging feature in Lotus Notes. Anne did get something out of her meeting though:

Day 3
I am no longer allowed within 150 feet of the Learning Leader’s office unless an HR representative is present.

My theory is that Anne has some sort of mental illness background and it’s illegal for Best Practice to let her go on the grounds of her being crazy, so they have to keep her. How else could she get away with creating a hostile work environment?

Today Muffin’s assistant, Tara (codename: Mini-Muffin or Donut Hole…I can’t decide just yet) trained me Database Administration. My tasks include moving the mouse, clicking buttons, selecting options from drop down menus and clicking again. It takes much skill and intellect to manage the functions. I was told to “play around” with the database to “get a feel” for it. I sense Mini-Muffin’s suggestion was a tip-off. Unlike Lotus Notes, the information contained in this database MUST hold clues as to my mission.

I’m afraid to look at the database. I have a feeling Anne’s fucked it up while playing “spy” lady. Actually, I can guarantee she’s fucked it up, based on what happened later that day.

Received a Fatal Error message from the Database. Fatal means “dead”, so with paperclips and a letter opener, I took apart the computer up and removed bits of the inside in hopes to revive it. Broken Spirit noted that computer issues are dealt with by Worldwide Help Portal in Zaire. Best Practice does not have computer technicians on premises and I am not supposed to move my computer, let alone take it apart, without Worldwide Help on the line. After inputting my Number and speaking to Justin in Zaire, I realized the outsourcing works in my favor. I shall continue to break things so I may investigate Best Practice on a global level.

06 July 2008


The Triumph Room
311 W 57th St
New York City

If you enjoy roid-ravaged Deep-V clad bodies, oiled hair, and BO, The Triumph Room is your Bridge and Tunnel connection. There’s no other place in NYC where you will find a mix of clubbers hailing from Turkey, Senegal, Babylon, and Secaucus (okay, maybe you can find their doppelgangers at Webster Hall).

There’s no point to shelling out money for Triumph. Go before 10pm to avoid the $15 cover charge. Sure, you’ll be standing in an empty venue for about an hour and half, which technically, if you considered the hours of your life priceless, then you’ve paid far more than $15, but don’t part with your Lincolns and Washingtons. Save it for the overpriced drinks from the aloof bartenders.

In the basement, you’ll find the techno/house music. This is where you’ll experience the BO. The dance floor fills up for a sweaty half hour, then quickly disperses…but the stench lingers. It’s like being trapped in an elevator in France/Germany/(insert EU country here) and then the doors finally burst open you escape gasping.

Head upstairs around midnight for hip-hop and Top 40. I discovered the main floor at 2am, well after I lost my sense of smell. I couldn’t get close to the middle of the dance floor, so I partook in fringe dancing. It’s fun dancing on the outskirts for a few minutes, but you end up gyrating against spectators ogling and the comedy in that can only last so long.

Important Note: if a Guido from LI walks through your dancing trio, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, smack his ass. Because that Guido will multiply like a wet gremlin and you’ll find yourself being molested by a mob of Gotti-kid look-alikes who bump and grind you like you don’t want to be. So as hard as it may be— refrain from smacking ass!

02 July 2008


Rosemary's Greenpoint Tavern*
188 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY

Rosemary’s was my first introduction to hipsters- people who pay good money to look poor. People who slit their shirts “Like A Virgin”-style and wear fedoras tipped over one eye. People who “play” themselves in this movie called life. If you are a hipster, want to be one, or better yet, mock them, than Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern is the premiere venue to ogle these enigmatic creatures in their dive bar element.

Make your way to the back where the jukebox contains a mix of favorites and obscurities. My recommendation, tried and true, is to choose the most offensive song offered- in Rosemary’s case, Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”- drop in your quarters, make your selection, and quietly head to the bar where you can down cheap beer in a 32 ounce Styrofoam cup. Watch as a wave of utter astonishment washes over the crowd and giggle as someone tries to hijack the jukebox and select The Pixies.

Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern is not just about the people, the jukebox, or the beer. It’s all those things combined, to create the perfect backdrop for life's mockumentary.

*Sadly, Rosemary’s has gotten rid of the awesome jukebox selections. But the Styrofoam cups remain.

30 June 2008


Rice to Riches
37 Spring Street
New York City

Every Fourth of July my aunt has a barbeque and without fail, rice pudding is served- not as “a” dessert, but as “the” dessert as part of our freedom celebration. “I remember how much you like rice pudding so I made it for you,” she gushes. What my Aunt doesn’t know is that each year I take an obligatory bite, smile and say how much I love her rice pudding. Then I wretch behind the shed.

As I grow older, it’s been more and more difficult to hide, let alone stomach, the truth: I hate rice pudding. With all the Independence Day barbeques, friends waxing nostalgic, now Rice to Riches, the trendiest “specialty” shop in SoHo…I can’t escape rice pudding.

Recently my friends forced me into the softly-lit, futuristic eatery on Spring Street. My stomach turned as I reluctantly scanned the vats of rice pudding. I silently wondered how there could be so many varieties of rice mixed with cold goo? “Peanut Butter Pick-a-Peck”? “The Edge of Rum Raisin”?

Succumbing to intense peer pressure, I chose the one option that I felt wouldn’t make me gag. There were no sheds here. “Sex Drugs and Rocky Road” was my choice. Can’t go wrong with chocolate. “Rocky road” prepared me for the texture. “Sex” and “drugs,” too? Everybody’s doing it, so why not?

Once I had the serving in hand, I took a tentative bite using the shoe-horn-like spoon they provide me. With that one bite, I felt —- no, I knew —- that I had it all wrong. I don’t hate rice pudding. I don’t hate rice pudding at all! I hate MY AUNT’S rice pudding. I loved this rice pudding with its soft and smooth texture, the rice playing over my tongue again and again. Oh, I loved, loved, loved rice pudding.

I’m still going to make annual trips behind my aunt’s shed, but I intend to make more frequent visits to Rice to Riches and maybe even pick up some edible rice pudding for my Aunt to sample.

28 June 2008


The next set of entries is from Day 2 of Anne's "spy" notebook.

Last night I memorized the dress code list provided by Best Practice. We are expected to wear well-kept, well-pressed garments. No halters, bare midriffs, something called Reefs, or Birkenstocks (as mentioned before). No problem. My Jones New York suits and Aerosole pumps fit the bill.

To blend in further, I dusted off my briefcase and packed it with my typical supplies (pen, notebook, night-vision goggles, and ortho-chlorobenzalmalanonitrile).

I googled this ortho-chloro stuff. Turns out, it’s tear gas. I seriously doubt Anne could acquire tear gas…right? I realize people buy babies, bomb-making equipment and guns off the net…but tear gas? I’m going to check her briefcase tomorrow.

I have poured over the “deck” that Broken Spirit provided me. The language has struck me as quite foreign, so I have been taking notes on their local jargon. I have quickly found the value-add of clarity by bucketing my surveillance into three major workstreams: targets, storyline, analysis. I will gain key transparent takeaways that can later be synthesized into one silo.

With the exception of the misuse of “silo”, (siloization, of course!), Anne is tracking. In fact, her rapid leveraging of office buzzwords is one of her spikes. Kudos!

I just returned from several training sessions. I will download later as it is now 5pm and avoid raising suspicion, I must leave. But to summarize: I believe I have stumbled on a clue regarding my mission.

I'm going to start skipping some of Anne's entries as this is getting tedious. I'll pull the most interesting from now on.

22 June 2008


I work with a Temp named Anne at a top-ranked consulting firm here in New York City. The lady’s a little loopy: she thinks she’s a spy sent by the Temp Agency to gather information. I’m not sure what information or why…and it seems she’s not sure either—probably because…SHE’S NOT A SPY! She’s a Katharine Gibbs data entry admin who has three cats, rocks Aerosoles, and wears fluorescent yellow reading glasses 24/7.

Once I realized Anne was taking “spy notes” on our day-to-day work activities, I started swiping her journal and transcribing its contents (below). I wish Anne spent as much time working as she does “spying.” Maybe she’d actually finish that excel spreadsheet she started her first day. Anyway, read on for her daily spy reports. I’ve added my notes (in italics) for clarity.

Field Asset: Anne _______
Mission: Unknown (TBD)
Recruiter: Temps Timed Right
Location: _________ Consulting

I’ve just met with my morbidly-obese Human Resources contact, Bonnie (codename: Big Mac Attack). We’ve gone over Confidentiality (ha!), hours, dress code (Birkenstocks – no, sensible pumps – yes), and general office procedures. I believe I will assimilate easily into the culture here at _____ Consulting—which from this moment forward will be known as, “Best Practice”.

I’ve removed the name of our firm as they’d probably prefer to remain anonymous in this context. Plus, after reading a year of Anne’s entries, I’d hate for her to lose her job. She obviously likes her “work” here…and her kookiness makes the days pass faster.

I will report back to the Recruiting Agency about my orientation with Big Mac Attack. They will be delighted to know that I have passed the random drug test.

I honestly don’t think “random drug testing” exists here at the firm. They probably tested her because she seems so whacked-out. Supposedly highly recommended (120 wpm), but whacked-out.

I have been assigned a “number” at Best Practice. The thirteen digit code (XXXXXXXXX8475) applies to every move I make. If I need help with my computer, access to voicemail, to order supplies, buy food from Senseless Web…I cannot shit without divulging my thirteen digit number to a third party. How will I conduct surveillance when I am attached to this numerical identification code? I will consider changing the digits up to throw them off.

Lol. Anne wrote “shit.” And no, Anne, as you’ve probably realized, changing your number doesn’t work. It’s your corporate DNA. You are now owned by Best Practice.

After meeting with Big Mac Attack, I was transferred to my new department: Knowledge Services. Score! Minimal surveillance necessary: knowledge is at my fingertips.

I just liased with my buttoned-up, Ivy-educated immediate manager, Cheryl, (Codename: Muffin) to whom I will directly report. Muffin is Manager of Knowledge Services. I will surely gain pertinent information from her, but in due time. During this first meeting she showed me photos of her horse and donkey farm upstate. Maybe her title should be “Manager of Ass” instead. (Ha. Ha. Ha. I will try to keep my witticisms to a minimum, but couldn’t pass that one up). I will continue to feign interest in her equestrian pursuits to gain information that will satisfy the Agency. If I can’t crack Muffin, the mission will be lost.

Personally, I pretend to care about Cheryl’s horses and donkeys to get a raise, not to “crack Muffin”.

My cubicle is adjacent to a mousy twenty-something intellectual, Sarah (codename: Broken Spirit). I put on my glasses to appear vulnerable and sympathetic, an ally to this sallow, withdrawn creature. I plan to win her trust.

So that’s me. And the reason why she wears her reading glasses all day long.

Broken Spirit has provided me with printout of Best Practice’s overall firm statistics and practices. Score! She has already come across as more knowledgeable than Muffin.

Damn straight!

Best Practice has over 400 Consultants and 200 Executive Assistants in the New York City office alone. Worldwide: over 9,000 members. They continue to hire Consultants as in years past: over 160 new Consultants from top Ivy schools will be hired on premises this year. Yet Team Assistants are now outsourced to Mozambique and Peoria. Will look into this practice more in-depth as surveillance continues.

Yes, Best Practice has leveraged the 50% of Mozambicans (and 23% of Peorians) who are literate and know how to turn on the supplied IBM ThinkPads, to coordinate all things related to team consulting.

I’m going to stop here for now. All of the above pertained to “Day 1” only. Anne has notes recorded for almost every hour of each day so you can imagine the task of transcribing the minutiae. I’ll post again after the sensation returns to my fingertips.