Bitter Cynical Rants from One as Snarky as Waldorf and As Sexy as Statler.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Interviewer Number Two comes to us from out in AOLIM land. JMonatlik, not a blogger, is an avid reader of VTB. She is a bi-costal critic of mediocre dining and film. She most recently has been in production with two features set to hit the video stands early next year. She is thrilled to hold this interview with Ms. Wolinetz to uncover and discover the world through the eyes of a girl dropped on her head as a child (I don't know that for a fact.)

Jmonatlik: Let's talk politics for a second....which candidate do you think is most ideal for the democratic ticket (John Kerry excluded because he sucks)?

Andrea: way to start off slow... ok, i have to admit if this were an ideal world - i'd take Clark/Edwards - i really like John Edwards, but he's a bit inexperienced and i think Wes Clark is pretty sharp and just a little bit nuts, together they might make a killer combo... but you can't count out John Kerry - he's got the best hair of the bunch. I think his hair and Peter Gallagher's eyebrows should run together

Jmonatlik: I like cereal for breakfast, what do you like for breakfast? (I've so far had two bowls of cereal)

Andrea: coffee. I don't usually eat until I've been up for a few hours. Although if I were eating breakfast foods later in the day (and I was still eating bread) - Egg-in-the-hole, I loved those things when I was a kid

Jmonatlik: Hole-in-one answer... Some people have an expression they say again and again, like, 'holy bu-jesus' or 'not with my dollar.' What's yours? or 'he got beaten with the ugly stick' That's what I was looking for...proceed

Andrea: hmmm... I'd have to think about that. Most of my good expressions I've stolen from others along the way - but i use 'how does one person get to be so funny?' a lot. Also, "tough times", "sad state of affairs," and "friends don't let friends dress like that"

Jmonatlik: all choice expressions. So, you've lived in Brooklyn for a couple of months or less. Is there really a huge difference between your hometown and Brooklyn? Aren't there assholes wherever you go? And are there any good deals in Brooklyn?

Andrea: There are assholes wherever you go. The ones in Brooklyn just have thicker accents. The big difference is my brother is less likely to come to Brooklyn. Also instead of Cow jokes all of the time I get jokes about needing a passport. People are very clever.

Jmonatlik: Very.

Andrea: As for deals. Brooklyn is the ancient Inuit word for deals

Jmonatlik: I don't know what "Inuit" means. Please explain.

Andrea: Inuit are indigenous people from the Arctic/Alaskan Region. Most people call them "Eskimos"

Jmonatlik: Do you "tick"? And if so, what makes you do so?

Andrea: I have a tic. If thats what you mean, but thanks for pointing it out, I feel much better about myself now

Jmonatlik: I'm laughing, but I feel wrong for it. I'm sorry about your tic. (That was uncomfortable...) Moving on: What's your favorite gift you've ever gotten? And "why"?

Andrea: When I was four, I got a bookbag with my name painted on it. I threw a temper-tantrum, I wanted a backpack, not a bookbag. Bastards didn't understand the difference. I cried and cried and kicked and generally made my friends Christopher and Steven (they're brothers) feel overall shitty for giving me the wrong thing. Oh, favorite gift? hmmm... that would have to be my grandmother's high school ring.

Jmonatlik: I like films about cowboys and racecar drivers. What's your favorite genre of film?

Andrea: Easy, Teensploitation. Especially if its a modern day remake of a Shakespeare Play that takes place in High School. Also, I like porn.

Jmonatlik: I like porn, too. Generally speaking, do you think this country is ok with mixed marriages? Is there still a stigma with "jungle fever," or is it just "jungle slight-temperature"?

Andrea: I think it's just jungle slight-temperature, unless you're in the deep south. I also think this country is so wrapped up in all issues Homosexual that noone has time to care about race. So, if "Jungle Fever" were made today, i think it would star, Wesley Snipes and Carson from Queer Eye. Talk about a fever pitch.

Jmonatlik: Ok, on a serious note: What balloon would you have at the Macy's Day parade to exemplify your purpose on this earth? Thanksgiving Day parade, excuse me...

Andrea: Good Question. Can they make baloons of the Olsen Twins? No, wait, strike that - the baloon would be a goat with a monocle.
Jmonatlik: The goat would be awesome, but the olsen twins would probably touch so many more lives...And finally, Do you like to dance?
AndreaWolinetz: Oooh what a feeling, we were dancing on the ceiling!

Monday, November 24, 2003

Today is the first in a series of interviews with Andrea as promised. Our first guest interviewer hails from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Amy Levine gives her life meaning depending upon who you are and where you're standing at a particular moment. This way, she can define herself in relation to you. Enjoy and don't forget to check out where Amy normally lays her hat and hand

If you were a contestant on Jeopardy!, what would be your five dream
categories? (Yes, the question's from a Douglas Coupland book. So what?)
Hmmm...Tough one, but if I answer without shame they'd probably be -Pop Music Since 1995, the Real World (seasons 1- 10), Life after Getting a Masters in Philosophy, New York City Restaurants, and Teensploitation Films and TV Shows. What a sad state of affairs.

If life were a hockey game, would you be on the scoring line or the checking
I'd like to think I'd be on the scoring line, but with my height and build I'm much better at checking - Also slamming someone into the boards seems downright fun. Who am I kidding, I'm a goalie, always have been. Always will be.

Why do you keep a blog?
Finally a simple question. Because I'm totally self-absorbed.

Of the following people with icon status, who do you like best and why? John
Lennon, Elvis Presley, Brian Wilson.
Brian Wilson. The Elvis obsession thing always frightened me a little bit and the whole fat Elvis in a polyester jump suit is not deserving of much. Lennon was nothing without McCartney. On the other hand Brian Wilson was a big old mess and still wrote Pet Sounds. Top that, I dare you.

How do you prepare your favorite sandwich?
Ahh I miss the day when I ate bread. But if I were to prepare my favorite sandwich for you this is how I'd do it. Take a Sub roll, slice in half, put mayo on and cole slaw one side, Russian dressing on the other. Take a healthy mound of the rarest roast beef you can find and pile it onto the cole slaw side. Add a few slices of swiss cheese, tomato and sprouts. Place Russian dressing side of the roll on top, cut in half. Garnish with some Cape Cod Salt and Vinegar potato chips and serve with a tall glass of Iced Tea. Ok, excuse me I have to go get some breakfast.

Bruce Springsteen: Rock and roll genius or overrated loser with a guitar?
Aren't most Rock and Roll stars overrated losers? I mean C'mon, normal people don't have to write lyrics to a melody to communicate with the world around them. Put Springsteen or any other songwriter in therapy, I promise you, no more albums from any of them. But to answer: The Boss, genius before Tunnel of Love, after that, well overrated loser.

What's the greatest place in the whole world? (And I swear, if you say
Disney World, I will beat you with a skillet. Not literally, of course, but
in my mind, your head will be ringing!)
There's this small little town named Eze on the top of a mountain about 30 miles from Nice. To get to the town, one must traverse a winding path up the side of a mountain that takes about an hour and a half (or you could be lazy and take the bus). The path is said to have been Nietzsche's inspiration for "Thus Spoke Zarathustra." While the path itself is wonderful, upon reaching this little town of Eze, one discovers that the town itself is actually a medieval village perched like an eagle's nest on a narrow rocky peak overlooking the Mediterranean sea. The ancient fortified village is still crowned with the ruins of its 12th-century fortified castle. There are these beautiful gardens that I surreptitiously stole a view from (who pays to look at a garden?). But charging for a garden aside this little provincial town has my vote for favorite place in the world. Oh and Donuts on the corner of Route 45 and Eckerson Road in Spring Valley. We used to get Hobos there when we were cutting school for a buck - homefries, eggs, cheese and sausage on a roll... heaven really.

Friday, November 21, 2003

In honor of our exponential growth over the past few months (we've gone from 2 readers to about 10) next week every day Voices from the Balcony will have a guest interviewer from various other blogs around the internet. This will give you a chance to get to know the Balcony's founder, editor in chief, head writer and overall brains behind the operation - Andrea. Its everything you ever wanted and now have the chance to ask! So be sure to check back in to see who's asking what questions!

the contest is still a rockin...send your titles our way

So the math is in. 9 days until the end of NaNo. I have barely 12k written. If I write 4222.2 words for the next nine days, I can do it. Its looking bleak people, especially since next weekend I will be rolled up on a sofa in a turkey induced coma.

Last night I had a starbucks gingerbread latte. Unbeknownst to me the holiday season now officially begins before thanksgiving. I guess that means that I can go look at the windows this weekend and beat the rush. I absolutely love the gingerbread latte - its Christmas in a cup. Anyone tried the peppermint mocha? Also sounds fabulous, but every time I go to order it the words "venti skim gingerbread latte" come out instead. ahh well...

The place where I drop my laundry off (yes, I'm too lazy to spend 4 hours doing it myself and for 50 cents a pound I don't see this as a real problem) lost three of my turtlenecks! THREE of them. How sad for me, how much smaller my wardrobe is now. Its a sad sad day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003


well actually it's two contests. We here at VTB are suffering under the great strain of the contest we're entered in and have thus created these contests as a way to blow of steam and procrastinate on novels that will never be done.

1. We're having a contest to name Andrea's novel. Yes, it is unfinished as of now. And yes, you probably have no idea where it's going. But throw something at us. Whaddya got? So far it's called Shakespeare's Goat. Think you can do better? Let us know!

2. We're holding a contest to decide what the person who wins the other contest gets as a prize. The winner of this contest will get pure satisfaction of a job well done. And a stick of your favorite chewing gum. (Not a whole pack mind you, we here at voices from the balcony are a start-up organization and don't have that kind of overhead).

Email us or just comment. The winners will be announced on November 24th. All entries must be recieved by midnight of November 23rd. Contestants must be between the ages of birth and death to be eligible. All entries will be subject to verification. No more than 25 entries per household, please.


I was at my desk for a total of 25 minutes yesterday. I can't write 3500 words a day about the goat when I'm not in front of a computer for more than a half an hour. I am on the precipice of failing my attempts at my first NaNoWriMo contest, but not for a lack of plot or story arc. I will not make it to 33,000 words by friday, It will be all but impossible for me to make it to 50k by the 30th. This is a terrible moment in time. Please take a second to reflect.

michael jackson- just your average joe?

One of Mike's PR people was on Court TV yesterday, slinging barbs with one of their anchors. In reference to the 70 investigators on the Neverland Ranch property, the PR guy made some comment about how Michael's just another normal guy and this is not how we treat normal people. How many "normal" people do you know that own their own ranches complete with exotic pets, an amusement park and macaulay culkin as an overnight guest? It "normally" doesn't take 70 people to search through my apartment. I'm not even sure 70 people could fit in my apartment.

rebuilding a championship squad?:

does a team that made it all the way to the world series need to be "rebuilt into a championship team?" Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that Cashman and Steinbrenner are actively always trying to better the squad. (Although if we really get rid of Nick Johnson for Curt Schilling I may cry). But seriously people, are the Bombers a team that needs to be tweaked or a team that needs to be rebuilt? Gutting a team that won the pennant seems just plain silly to me.

Can't King George buy the Knicks and spend his time in the baseball off-season gutting the truly pathetic basketball players they are and rebuild them into a championship team? It's ugly over at the Garden. Truly ugly.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

they say in heaven love comes first

I'm rocking out this morning to this killer '80s mix. Yes, go ahead, laugh. I am unabashedly a huge fan of the decades music, from the Thompson Twins and Quarterflash to Prince and the Culture Club, right on through Whitesnake and Motley Crue. Its all fabulous, it was my childhood. Call it a guilty pleasure if you will. I just call it a pleasure.

I can swallow the ocean in one gulp (and I'm not Paris Hilton)

so I guess listening to all of this music from my youth has made me nostalgic and I was thinking about the book the Five Chinese Brothers. The five identical brothers who each had those crazy abilities. The first could swallow the ocean, the second had an iron neck, the third could stretch his legs, the fourth couldn't be burned and the fifth could hold his breath indefinitely. I LOVED this book when I was younger, I have vivid memories of making paper mache masks of the brothers in kindergarten.

if I remember the story correctly, the first brother kills a kid, right? And then in sequence all of the brothers use their powers to save the previous brother from execution. The book is like a roll call of different ways of capital punishment. I believe in this post pc world, it would also probably be considered racist now too, huh?

I still have tremendously fond memories of this book, but was just thinking about how little of it I understood as a child.

same thing with Rikki Tikki Tembo (bonus points for anyone who can say the kid's whole name). Loved the book, but the big overriding moral is don't give your kids really long names because they'll die. strange, no?

any thoughts?

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

low culture manifesto = funny

so, we've done it. the people behind voices from the balcony have hopped on the bandwagon. we broke down and read sex, drugs and cocoa puffs. we think its brilliant. we suggest not reading it on the subway as people look at you funny when you laugh out loud and are not involved in a conversation with anyone else. we urge you to pick up a copy of the book and dare you to try and put it down. we give it our highest recommendation.

supposedly today is a national holiday, at least that's what we've been told. It would explain the emptiness of the subway this morning, but does nothing to help us comprehend why we're at work, toiling away as usual. apparently hospitals care not for veterans.

capital letters have the day off.

onward and upward.

Friday, November 07, 2003

I am terribly behind on my word count because my job keeps interfering.

don't know what I'm talking about? look here

I've decided also to post the words I have typed here. Any questions comments, ramblings or tomato throwings are welcomed. Check back frequently and see if I make it to 50k.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

The Ups and (Mostly) Downs of Being a NY Sports Fan

I have this mildly funny joke that I use quite frequently. It goes something like this:

Q: What's the difference between a dollar and the Knicks?
A: A dollar has four quarters

Once again, the Knicks came out last night looking great. Once again they can't frigging win one. Since Don Cheney has taken over the helm of this underachieving squadron of overpaid men they are yet to go .500. Understanding that the Knicks are still paying Van Gundy and are way over the salary cap, I still wonder why the hell is this fucking moron still the coach? Hire Whoopi Goldberg, these clowns in a Knickerbockers uniform are almost as terrible as that god awful movie Eddie, or better yet, hire me, I'd take the job for a paltry sum in comparison to what your paying Cheney. If Steinbrenner owned the Knicks, Cheney wouldn't have lasted four games, and if Billy Martin were still alive, he'd probably be coaching basketball right now.

Speaking of Steinbrenner anyone read this today? Now, I love Donny Baseball as much as the next guy. He was the man when I was growing up a Yankee fan. When people talk #23, its Mattingly I think of, not Jordan. But Araton's got a good point. No one ever talks about Willie Randolph, an upstanding player, an upstanding guy, and someone who knows the ins and outs of being BOTH a Yankee player and part of their managing team. Why isn't anyone talking about him succeeding Joe? A little food for thought.

as for the other men who play at the Garden, I had the great pleasure of watching Mess score his 1850 and 1851st points on Tuesday night surpassing Gordie Howe and becoming #2 on the all time points list. Way to go Mess! And we shut out Dallas. Good times at the Garden have been few and far between in the past couple of years, it was nice to go see a game there and not leave in utter disgust. Let's Go Rangers.....

It's been a while...

Since I've complained about something totally aggravating about my morning commute. This morning I had the pleasure of riding in the same car as two full grown men (both at least 40) arguing as to who pushed whom to get optimal standing area on a crowded subway. Using all the normal explicatives, these two men literally called each other names for a good two stops. At which point some woman interjected and basically asked them to calm down and stop. To which one replied, "He fucking elbowed me." The other then piped in, "He elbowed me first." I kid you not. They were still bickering like pre-schoolers when I exited the train. I wonder if anyone gave them a time out. Don't we have better things to do with our time people?

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

We here at Voices from the Balcony hereby apologize for the sporadic postings that will take place during the month of November. NaNoWriMo is siphoning all the creativity we have. There's time for you to join us. But no time for us to use our words here. 3k a day takes all of our free time away. Must go bail water out of a sinking ship. Wish us luck or send us denouement ideas.

ps. we think using the "royal we" fits nicely into our plan to someday rule the world

Monday, November 03, 2003


Some Awards:

Best Halloween Costume I saw: Gallagher. (Although Liz as Ally Sheedy from the Breakfast Club kicked ass as did the obviously male hooters girl)
Most Overused Halloween Costume: Any combination of Roy and The Tiger.
Costume in the Worst Taste: Post-Suicide Elliott Smith. (that's just not funny)
Strangest Costume: The Siamese twins babies (I alternated between feeling totally appalled and amused)

And then there was the girl who screwed up the Catholic School Girl costume. Which I have to say is pretty hard to do. I thought she was supposed to be Kelly Osbourne, Kate had her money on her being an Assistant District Attorney. We were both wrong, and that says more about this chick's ability to wear the appropriate clothing for her costume than it does about the rest of us.

Also, being Meryl Streep's character from the Hours is just plain weird. Why is that a costume? I wonder sometimes how people decide who they want to dress up as. Was Meryl Streep's character particularly memorable and/or specifically costumed?

Run Diddy Run.

Watched the marathon yesterday. As they ran two blocks away from my house I was able to walk over and cheer people on. Sadly, I knew noone personally because my friends don't run 26 feet at a time, let alone 26 miles, but still you have to cheer on anyone who's got the motivation to train and run the marathon. I love that Puffy had a security guard on a bicycle and that there were tons of people who had shirts that said "I beat Diddy" or other such variations. Make fun of the man, especially with the mohawk he was sporting yesterday, but his ass ran, mine just watched, and he ran for a really great cause. kudos diddy.