(this is annie)

piscine me off

This year's obsession is one that comes a few years too late to be cool. But when it comes to odd food compulsions, who cares? I first tried bubble tea in the insecure days after September 11. Kevin and I had gone to Chinatown for the day, and we took the risk of ordering the stuff despite suspicions that the mysterious edible balls were giant fish eggs. Sometimes, when I think of fish, I think of them swimming around human bellies. So logically, I thought of fish eggs hatching in my stomach, spawning tiny fishies that would soon die in the heat of my body, leaving a bunch of dead baby fish to float down my intestines before making their final exit into another kind of watery pool. I managed to swallow some of the bubble tea balls, but because the menu was mostly in Chinese with words like "beef ball" and "fish ball," I gave up after a few sips.

Last fall, after Phil and I had been dating for about a month, we ate dinner in Chinatown. I was happy because we'd just been to a haunted house, and it was the kind of autumn evening that crackled a little bit with energy. We ordered dinner and one bubble smoothie. Phil assured me that the bubbles were vegetarian and made of tapioca. So I sipped from his mango lychee smoothie happily. Since then, it's been all downhill. I cannot get enough. While I now know that the tapioca is fish-free, I am suspicious that there's something more nefarious to this addictive fruity treat. Because, you know, I cannot stop enjoying them. And I have to get all of my friends involved. And now that Jonny Mess and I go in on occasional Chinatown deliveries to the office—which, by the way, are not really cheap—I feel like I'm becoming a pusher.

the pope

My dad has taken to calling the new pope Adolf. "The man just looks evil," he insists emphatically. "Evil!"

I don't know whether he's trying to drive the point home or if it's the low-grade Alzheimer's speaking, but his love of dissecting the allegedly demonic appearance of Pope Benedict is seemingly limitless. His keen interest in the Holy See puzzles me for a few reasons. First, we're not Catholic. Secondly, although the family never uses the word, my dad's an agnostic. Because my father watches a hefty share of television, I suspect that his popemania parallels that of mass media. When the television cameras move to the next story, so shall his interest. Still, sometimes I wonder if I'm going to pick up the phone one day to hear my father ranting about the cut of the pope's robe. "It's all wrong for his figure," he'll say. "Doesn't he know that you've got to keep ankles like that covered up?"


who loves ya, baby?

The scene: It's early evening at the shoe department of Neiman Marcus, which has been transformed into a runway show and soiree for young designer ZAC POSEN, who is actually pulling off a white tuxedo with black trim. Our heroine, ANNIE, is by herself in a sea of thousand-dollar handbags and designer shoes; most of her own outfit was bought on eBay. A fashion show has just concluded, and ANNIE has immensely enjoyed both the frocks and the satisfaction of seeing models up-close (they, too, have pimples). HIRED WAITSTAFF mills about with homemade confections, which makes ANNIE feel class guilt.

ANNIE, spotting POSEN: Oh hello! I am Annie. Thank you for doing the interview with me.

ZAC: Oh, hello! Very nice to meet you. It was a pleasure.

ANNIE: Everything looked beautiful tonight [this should be said genuinely].

ZAC: Thank you.

ANNIE: What do you think of Chicago so far?

ZAC: I really love it [again, should be said genuinely]. The architecture is amazing, all of this area downtown. I'm hoping to go to the museum tomorrow.

ANNIE: Oh yes, you should go if you have time. There's a great exhibit about international tourism and travel right now. [cue ominous music, dim lights]

ZAC: That sounds interesting.

ANNIE: [a beat, then holds up blue lollipop] I FEEL LIKE TELLY SAVALAS! HUH HUH HUH.

ZAC: [looks politely perplexed, is ushered away as ANNIE once again feels like she can't take herself anywhere]


say hello

    it's anniet at gmail.


© 2009 avt

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