Lopez’s Landing

Last night, J. Lo (or Jennifer Lopez, to the less cool among us) made her return to the stage after having (shudder) twins. It was the American Music Awards, the third most lowly of music awards, and things were going well, until she fell right on the sweet, Bronx tuchus. Let’s review the sequence of events.

First, J. Lo emerges from the audience dressed as a sexy boxer (which I imagine was just a leftover Halloween costume). She’s acting real tough, all Jenny from the Block, and she throws a few wild punches upon her arrival to the stage. There is an announcer, and the crowd is cheering, and for just a second I wondered, “Is J. Lo about to engage in an actual boxing match? Should I be concerned?” That’s how authentic this nonsense was.

Behind Jennifer were about 8 fit young men clad in short enough boxing shorts and nothing else (shoes maybe? boxing gloves?). Now I was paying attention. The group of them made a glorious V-formation on the stage and executed some stellar pseudo-hip hop dance moves. “Get ’em, girl,” I thought, as Jenny brought it back to her Fly Girl days, supporting my opinion that she is a much better dancer than Beyonce, and perhaps, just maybe even a bigger diva. I said it. Calm down.

What really got me going was the chorus to her latest single. “Puttin’ on my Louboutins,” she sang with vigor. The song was about her “man” or someting giving her the cold shoulder, or just being a general loser. So what does J. Lo do? The same thing we all do. Am I right, ladies? How many times have you felt jilted, only to say, “You know what, girlfriend? Forget him! I’m gonna put on my $1,000 heels and dance! Or maybe just stand, because it seems rather impossible to dance in 6 inch heels made entirely of diamonds.”? I bet you’ve said it a lot. I know I have.

So anyway, J. Lo and her herem of shirtless men give this loser the proverbial finger, and dance their sorrows away in shoes that could feed an entire Sudanese village for months. Things are looking good until the men form a mountain of sorts. J. Lo takes to the mountain like a skilled outdoorsman and reaches the top victorious. Phew, right! Wrong. How is she going to get down? Well, she’s going to jump.

As J. Lo flings her 40 year old body into the air, something goes wrong. Maybe the stars were not aligned, maybe J. Lo had divaed someone horribly earlier in the day. I don’t know. In any case, she hits the ground, undoubtedly causing a stunning bruise on that infamous donk. But before anyone knew what had happened, she was in the middle of a dance breakdown. A true professional.

The rest of the performance was stellar. I think Ms. Lopez knew she had to really work it after that major wipe out, and oh, did she ever. She kicked it harder than any 18 year old dance team member I’ve ever seen, and at some point she was wearing a completely different outfit. Oh, she never left the stage. The herem boxers did it…but when?

This performance taught me a few lessons:

1. Never have twins.

2. Don’t climb a mountain of men in Louboutin heels. Christian Louboutins are fashionably useless footwear for sitting and light standing. Change into Uggs first. Then climb the men.

3. Avoid major leaps while on network television.

Thank you, J. Lo, for showing that women can “bounce back” from anything, no matter how utterly and completely embarassing. Thank you for proving that 40 is the new 38. Thank you for repping the Bronx so hard core*.

*Lomo has no affiliation with the Bronx. Her thoughts in no way reflect those of the Bronx.

Also, thank you, Mom, for calling me this morning to ask if I’d witnessed this fiasco and ordering me to Youtube it. Always keepin it real.

Watch it here:



Frugal Fitness

I have always been a firm believer that a gym is a gym. I don’t need a steam room, juice bar or attractive people in order to work out. If it will save me hundreds of dollars, I’ll take a rusty machines, run by pulley system any day of the week.  This is why I have historically found myself in fitness centers that are less than state-of-the-art.

The first gym I joined was Hazelwood Civic Center–North (the bad one), the summer after my freshman year of college. I figured I could afford the $30 per year membership, yes, that’s YEAR, and I was also intrigued by their limited hours. It was always a pleasure to drive there, only to see a sign that said they were closed. I would return home, and reward my honest effort a tasty snack.

The Civic Center had 3 treadmills, two steppers, a machine for old or disabled people, a basketball court and an indoor track. Had they charged $35 a year, they may have been able to invest in an elliptical, but beggars can’t be choosers. I was, of course, the youngest patron at the gym by about 50 years. One of my favorite regulars was Rose, a woman of about 112 who wore her hair in curlers underneath a scarf. She sported a blouse, slacks and tan orthopedic shoes, and she listened to some ancient form of music player (perhaps a portable record player), which I like to think blasted Tupac, but more likely hummed ragtime tunes. Her face was permantently snarled, although she was a very nice lady. She would use the old people machine (on which the user sits, leaning back, moving arms and legs back and forth) for about 10 minutes at bottom speed, then walk over to the weight machines. This was when I became nervous, for there was no anything could come of this feeble woman approaching such daunting metal structures. She’d sit on the seat cushion and grab the necessary handle. Naturally, the machine would be on the lowest setting, and she would move about a half inch for each rep, completing, at most, 5 repititions. You go girl, I would think.

Today was my first day the Hoboken YMCA. As a staff member at the ultra-swanky Clinton Social restaurant, I have free membership to this hole, and you better believe I’ll be there at least once a week. This gym, unlike the Civic Center, has ellipticals. Many, many ellipticals. I was ecstatic at this revelation and hopped right on. As I was rocking out to some Mariah Carey circa ’95, two elderly gents stepped into the room. I watched as the snailed across the room to the treadmills. The first man, in his high-waisted belted trousers, stepped onto one, and the screen set the clock to 40:00. Sweet Jesus, I thought. The man could barely walk from the doorway to the machine. He’d be dead by the time the clock was down to 15:00. He quickly realized his error, and set the machine to “Manual.” His pace was slow enough that he may have done better to stand on the machine for the 37 seconds he lasted. It probably would have been less damagine to his health. At his half-minute finish, he stepped off of the machine. He and his friend exited the room, and I’m fairly certain they left the facility all together, never to return. I imagine they are sitting in their house now (I truly hope they are roommates), sipping Ensures, trying to figure alternative ways to burn off those calories. I just hope they don’t develop eating disorders for their lack of physical possiblities.

At the end of my visit, I walked down to the locker room in the basement, a certifiable dungeon. Upon entering, I was startled to find a woman of about 90, completely nude, save for a towel wrapped around her head. My first reaction was to scream and run, but I thought she might take this the wrong way, so I played cool and walked through the locker room to the restroom. I won’t describe to you what I saw. I would never do something so cruel. But I will call it an unpleasant experience, most notably when she bent over to get something out of her bag, as I was leaving. However, I must applaud this old slut. When I walked past, she did not flinch, could have cared less. I, on the other hand, would have lost it had someone walked in on me hangin’ out naked style in the Y locker room (something that will never, ever happen). First, I would have screamed, then I would lose my balance, slipping on my pool-wet feet, letting out a cartoonish “Wha, wha, whoooaaaaaa!!!!!” before falling onto my back, creating a devastating scene for all involved. Luckily, Granny was much cooler than I am, and simply continued to bask in the glory of her ancient nudity.

It might be nice to go to a gym at which people wear proper workout attire and are under 70. A health center with towel service and nutrition consultation would be top notch. But until I make enough money that I never have to eat food from a can, I’ll stick to my Y.

Accessories of Pets Past

petsJapan has been the origin of many fantastic trends that have come to the U.S., such as sushi and Gwen Stefani, but I hope with every fiber of my being that this one doesn’t make its way here.

In yesterday’s Metro New York there was an article entitled “Japan trend spotter: Wear your dead pet.” Oh, I didn’t want to read it, but I felt rather obligated. Had the Japanese taken to wearing trendy shrugs made out of their beloved poodles? Were cat ears dangling from their ears? They lead the pack in terms of technology. Would the Japanese also take the front seat in dead animal trends? I had to know.

Although still bizarre by American standards, the truth was somewhat less nauseating. Apparently, there is a company in Japan that will mix the cremated remains of your dead pet (because who doesn’t cremate their canary?) with clay, or whatever substance necessary, to make jewelry, picture frames and lamps. How considerate! This is a prime example of efficiency and resourcefulness. Wasteful Americans throw away valuables on a daily basis, but a select community of Japanese are crafty enough to make their valuables into new valuables. Sure, they have a period of mourning, but they suck it up, and the next thing you know, the old woman next door is sporting some very familiar looking ice. This way, the people of Japan can remain fly while keeping their pets close to their hearts. Literally.

A few concerns, though. Do the pets have to sign a will or form of consent? I mean, what if Fido’s entire family was buried in a cemetery near Kyoto, and now here you are wearing him around your neck? He won’t be with his loved ones for all of eternity, meanwhile you are flossy as ever, reveling in the compliments. This is similar to organ donation. The animal should have a say. One bark/meow/chirp/hiss for “yes, I’m cool with being burnt to ash and made into a picture frame that will house, you guessed it, a photo of me,” and two barks/meows/chirps/hisses for “are you f*%@ing kidding me?”

Also, what about people with allergies that one might encounter while wearing Fluffy out in public? There you are, talking to your co-worker about last night’s episode of “Top Chef,” when suddenly, you can’t stop sneezing.

“Oh,” she says, gently touching her bracelet. “Are you allergic to cats?”

There is also the tragic possibility of breakage. A woman might be standing in a subway station, when her necklace breaks, beads bouncing all about the platform.

“Noooooooo!!!!!!!!” she shouts, bursting into tears. Onlookers simply think she is extraordinarily vain, when in reality she is simply a loving mother. Meanwhile, strangers scramble around, picking up bits of Dr. Woofsworth, many of them sneezing uncontrollably for no apparent reason. It’s a fiasco.

If I had a pet, I imagine I would love it nearly as much as the average person, but I’m not so sure I’d subject myself to constant exposure to its remains or the incessant questions and comments that would accompany that decision. Do with your deceased cat what you will, just know that I am allergic, and I don’t need an asthma attack because of your endless love.

The Man in the Station

03pathThere is a man, let’s call him Leroy, who sits in the PATH station at 14th and 6th. This gentleman, an older black fellow with a close cut beard, is presumably homeless and delivers the train “schedule” from his wheelchair on the set of steps around the corner from the platform.

“No need to rush,” he’ll calmly announce as anxious business folk rush past. “The Hoboken train has not yet arrived.”

Leroy is the wizard of the station, for he has the ability to completely ruin or make your day. Once my friend Cassie and I were walking to catch the train, when he announced that the Hoboken train was now arriving. We picked up the pace, making our ways through the turnstile just in time. Whew. Thanks be to Leroy.

Still, though, a few questions about Leroy remain unanswered:

  • How does he get into the station? He seems to be wheelchair bound, and to my knowledge, there is no elevator in this particular station. My guess is that he a) counts to three, crosses his fingers and lets that baby roll to the bottom of the deadly concrete steps, b)lives in a secret PATH station castle hidden behind a trap door in the wall behind him or c) is lowered each day into the station by a magical spirit force.
  • How does Leroy know what train is coming? This is simple. He sits and waits to hear someone ask, “What train was that,” and when the kind stranger answers, “Journal Square,” Leroy is set for the day. It’s just a back and forth game after that. He knows the 6 minute between each train rule, and I imagine that he counts each second in order to assure accuracy and customer satisfaction.
  • Does Leroy work for PATH? Obviously, no. Why would you even ask that?
  • Why doesn’t Leroy ask for money? Listen, Leroy is a proud black man who has no problem assisting you with your Port Authority Trans-Hudson journeys, but he will never, EVER, beg. Will he hold a cup filled with coins? Yes. But will he shake that cup? No. Will he accept leftover pizza you happen to have in your tote bag from a trip to Crocodile Lounge where they give tickets for a personal pizza with each drink, and you and Heather happened to find extra tickets on the floor, so you got extra pizzas, but promised to give them to homeless people if you saw them on your way home? Yes. Will he ask you for leftover pizza? Certainly not.
  • Was Leroy ever married? Probably so. I find myself intrigued by this mysterious station attendant, despite the fact he is three times my age and would clearly never take me anywhere nice.

Regardless of all this, Leroy has a heart made of gold, and I hope that he one day gets out of that station to see the real world. I doubt this will ever happen, since it is likely quite difficult to get up steps in a wheelchair, but Leroy has a special force on his side, and I believe that one day he will make it up to the street where he can deliver all sorts of semi-useful information to the people of New York.