City Pulse

By Gillian Weeks

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, we enter the holiday season at full tilt. Usually, BeautyNews NYC would gladly ring in December with a typical dose of saccharine glee. This year, things are different. We’re sick of department store Santas and marketing ploys, tired of the bodies choking the sidewalks outside Rockefeller Center, and just about fed up with the annual slew of Christmas albums (shove it, Christina). We’ve got a maxed out credit card and a bad attitude. Watch yourself.

And so, it’s our disgruntled pleasure to present the Grinch Issue. A word of caution: Don’t read any further if you’re squeamish about colourful language used in lieu of punctuation or if you are lacking a sense of dry, caustic humor. However, if a little Rock n’ Roll Christmas Humbug is just what you need…you’re at the right place. Download some tunes, get some gift hints, and make a list of what matters in life. Or don’t. We don’t give a sh*t.

Ho F*kcin Ho!

Does Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” give you acid reflux? Is even Adam Sandler’s “The Hanukkah Song” starting to sound too Pollyanna? Does the phrase “Don We Now Our Gay Apparel” make you wanna pound a whole boys choir? You’ve come to the right place, my friends. Prepare yourselves for a Holiday mix that’s one part angst and two parts…well, let’s face it, grain alcohol.

Click Here to listen to and purchase these songs from the iTunes Music Store.

- Merry F#%$in’ Christmas Denis Leary
- Back Door Santa B.B. King
- Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) The New Bomb Turks
- Christmas In Hollis Run DMC
- Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) The Darkness
- Father Christmas The Kinks
- Get Behind Me, Santa! Sufjan Stevens
- Bittersweet Eve Belasana
- Christmas Wrapping The Waitresses
- Merry Christmas(I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight) The Ramones
- Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/Auld Lang Syne Jimi Hendrix

Any playlist that includes a song called “Back Door Santa” is bound to be more than a little edgy. And edgy it is. Rock out to perennial favorite “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” played by 90s punk band New Bomb Turks. It beats Bon Jovi’s version. Trust me. I have both.

You don’t hear a lot of Christmas hiphop (except, of course, in the latest Gap commercial), and there’s a reason. There’s something about the holiday that’s not very street. It’s no wonder, then, that Run DMC’s contribution isn’t so much about roasting chestnuts as stealing Santa’s wallet. Welcome to Christmas in Hollis, Queens.

The Darkness’ “Christmas Time,” The Kinks’ “Father Christmas,” and The Ramones’ “Merry Christmas” celebrate the emotional trials of the season, as expressed through hot guitar licks. Sufjan Stevens’ “Get Behind Me, Santa!” (a play on the title of the last White Stripes album) dishes out a sleigh full of acoustic sass. “I don’t care what you say, Santa Claus/ You’re a bad brother breakin into people’s garage.” Preach it, Sufjan.

The Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping” is my all-time favorite Christmas song, not only because of the sick bass line, but also because I respect any band that can recover from pitfalls like “I Know What Boys Like.” This is the perfect song for wrapping any gift purchased at American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, or your local overpriced vintage shop.

Finally, you’ve heard what Hendrix can do with the national anthem; just imagine how he shreds Little Drummer Boy. Turn it up loud if you’re looking for some good old holiday face-melting.

No one said you have to wallow on the holidays. But if you’d rather pout than be of good cheer, these are some tunes to get down with your bad self.

A Gift Guide For the Least Deserving: Being Passive-Aggressive Was Never So Much Fun!
By Gillian Weeks

Can’t find that perfect gift for that special someone? What about the utterly unremarkable prezzie for that average, uninspiring, or downright disagreeable someone? All of the hundreds of Holiday Gift Guides you see these days are missing one crucial component: what to buy for the person who really deserves a fruitcake.

There are always those people in our lives we’re compelled to celebrate – our in-laws, our bosses, our teachers – not because they’ve earned it, but rather out of social obligation. The thought of spending your bonus on pervy Uncle Marty is enough to make you want to ditch the whole tradition and join TomKat at the Scientology Temple.

And yet, my friends, there is a way to extract some Christmas cheer out of this charade. Here’s a gift guide for those presents that take a martyr’s will to bestow. In this case, it is most definitely better to give than to receive.

Offender: The 7-year old Nephew
Crime: brattiness, being spoiled, hair pulling
Punishment: Charity

So all children are a blessing and unique and special blah blah blah. Let’s be real, folks. Some kids are a-holes. If you have the misfortune of being related to one such spoiled, whiny cherub, here’s a gift suggestion that might help him see the light.

Forget the X-box and the tinker toys (lord only knows what he’d do with that). Try teaching him a lesson in charity, if only out of spite. Give him a gift certificate for the purchase of one farm animal for poor African villagers. For $50 you can feed a family and put a cork in the kid. It’s good to be saintly, isn’t it?

Offender: The Boss
Crime: The hairy eyeball, handsiness
Punishment: a history lesson

Is your superior treading a thin line between camaraderie and litigation? Do you find yourself buttoning way up whenever you enter his office? Does he always insist on “hugging it out”? Instead of introducing your knee to his groin, let him have a chance to reflect on history. Give him the classic On the Trail of the Women Warriors: The Amazons in Myth and History by Lyn Webster Wilde. It might give him a whole new perspective on the “weaker sex”.

You could also try dropping some provocative hints about your hobbies. Express a fondness for archery and arm wrestling, adding that you’re a little sore after last night’s bar brawl. My guess is he won’t want to tangle with a warrior princess.

Offender: The Great Aunt
Crime: Weight monitoring, self-esteem deflation, hypocrisy
Punishment: Cashmere

Do you have an older relative, typically that aunt of the “greatest generation,” who monitors your figure with the precision of a boxer trying to make his weight class? She’ll serve you smaller portions at family meals, suggest you’ve really “filled out,” and give you backhanded complements, as in “Oh, you look so wonderful! Have you lost some weight?” You’d really like to get her a frozen dinner from Jenny Craig for Christmas, but your mother warned you not to make a scene on the holiday. What’s a girl to do?

Your only option: psychological warfare. Give your aunt a taste of her own medicine with some subtle mind tricks. Step One: make sure you know what size she is, don’t eyeball it. Two, buy her a cardigan exactly two sizes too small. I find that miss-sized cropped sweaters can be the most unflattering, what with the strain on the buttonholes. Three, find a sweater in her proper size, either from a thrift store or your own closet. Finally, cut the tag off the thrift store item then switch it with tag on the too-small cardigan. When she tries it on, she’ll be convinced she ballooned over night. You might want to sooth her worries by saying she looks “plump and healthy.”

Hating for the Holidays
By Gillian Weeks

I don’t know about you guys, but here in New York, sometimes I’m so overwhelmed by all my positive thoughts, I could scream.  There’s only so much joy a person can be asked to endure.  A welcome release comes in the form of a website: ifuckinghatethatshit.com.  Behold a list of things, people, places, and events that totally suck, brought to you by some L.A. haters.  These hateful things range in significance from big (“Hitler”) to small (“Chicks who have allergic reactions on their skin/face”).  Give it a read and you’ll find that you’ve got some hate in ya as well.
 
In honor of our Grinch Issue, I felt it was appropriate for New York to have its own screed.  See below for my personal list of hateable offenses.  I hope you find it as therapeutic as I did.
 
Wanna get something off your chest?  Send your hate to hate@ifuckinghatethatshit.com, or if you don’t trust those frontin’ west coast suckers, you can write to me at gillian@beautynewsnyc.com.

I hate this sh*t…
 

  1. Model/waitresses.  Just bring me my food already and stop adjusting your edgy headscarf.  No one’s taking your picture. 
  2. Waiting for your whole party to arrive before you can start waiting for your table. 
  3. People who smoke in front of my first floor apartment at eight in the morning.  Also, the same people who live upstairs and are clearly on meth.  Stop doing drugs.  You’re losing your teeth. 
  4. PR girls with high-pitched voices.  That does not make you cuter.  
  5. Sneezing in public.  Sorry, everybody. 
  6. When you drop your eye shadow and it breaks into one hundred million pieces and it gets all over your clothes and it cost $20 to begin with. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!! 
  7. Skinny jeans.  Yes, I wear them but I don’t like it.  When will designers accept that bootcut is the universally flattering shape? Skinny-ass bee-otches… 
  8. Making conversation with your bikini waxer. 
  9. Mystery fluids on the subway.  Gross. 
  10. Americans who call soccer football.  Puh-lease. 
  11. People who confirm stereotypes.  Like the entire cast of Flavor of Love.  Which, however, is kind of awesome. 
  12. Ryan Seacrest.  Like, seriously?  This guy?  
  13. How scratched the screen of my ipod nano is. Gyp! 
  14. People who don’t stay abreast of current events.  It’s your responsibility as a global citizen. 
  15. That SNL isn’t funny anymore. 
  16. People who comment on your height.  Oh I’m tall, am I?  Well you’re freakin’ short, Willow. 
  17. Runway models with bad walks.  Come on.  You have one thing to do. 
  18. Poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation.  Unless it’s on purpose.  then its kewl. 
  19. Nicole Kidman.  Too bad you botoxed your gorgeous face into an expressionless mask. 
  20. Unsalted butter. 
  21. Overalls, in any incarnation.  They are not cute, have never been cute, and will never be cute.  Stop being ridiculous.     
  22. Global warming.  Seriously, you guys.  Fuuuuuuuuuuck
  23. The writing in women’s print magazines (except Jane).  Why are Esquire and GQ so much better?  **whaaaaaa** (this is the sound of my feminist rage).  
  24. When guys I’m dating try to tell me what to do.  Oh helllll no, son. 
  25. Homophobes. 
  26. Hipsters who hate on other hipsters.  Suckah, please.  Don’t get all superior just because you refuse to shop at Urban Outfitters.  I see you in your skinny jeans. 
  27. The pay in the writing business.  It’s f*ckin’ criminal.  
  28. People who spit on the ground, especially in the company of ladies.  How dare you. 
  29. DJs who won’t play “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston.  Everybody hates you. 
  30. People who don’t vote and aren’t ashamed of it. 
  31. Beauty industry people who think they are really, really important.  It’s lip liner, not world peace.  Get real.  
  32. People who do the double cheek kiss as a greeting.  This is America, not France, commie. 
  33. REM.  I’m sorry.  I just do.  
  34. New Yorkers who don’t respect the Oregon.  Fool, you don’t know.  You don’t even know. 
  35. Sundays at Cipriani, Mondays at Butter.  Over it. 
  36. Showing up backstage at fashion week with a lame point-and-shoot camera and battling for shots with freakin Italian Vogue and Bazaar.  Soooo embarrassing.  
  37. Men who wear running shoes when not running.  Beat it, nerd. 
  38. People who are rude to their mothers. 
  39. Clubs that make you pay for water.  Isn’t that illegal? 
  40. People who stop liking bands when they start getting radio play.  Has it occurred to you that the reason they’re on the radio is that they’re good?  So why are you hating? 
  41. Girls who are prettier than me.  No, just kidding.  But kind of not really. 
  42. When my mother leaves really, really long voice messages. 
  43. People who say “____ is so hot right now.”  . 
  44. The state of our social security system. 
  45. Girls with flat ironed hair.  Unless they really work it. 
  46. Bad pop singers who have to use pitch control on their tracks.  Why do you have a record contract?   
  47. When you swipe your metrocard incorrectly and you bang your hips into the turnstile. Yeah, there’s no way to make that look cool.  
  48. Going out to dinner with light eaters.  They make me feel like such a glutton. 
  49. Being single. 
  50. Not being single. 
  51. Getting ill-grilled by chicks at industry events.  Take it reeeal easy, k? 
  52. Paying to check your coat.  What, is that wire hanger made from, platinum ore? 
  53. Chuck Klosterman.  What’s with the ‘tude, dude?  
  54. Yoga. Bor-ing. 
  55. Bands that don’t smile on stage.  Whatever, I know you’re loving it. 
  56. Ordering Chinese and then forgetting the soy sauce.  I mean, what’s the point
  57. Arrogant SOBs.  Stop trying to tell me how sicknasty you are at everything.  I don’t believe you.  
  58. Drama. 
  59. People who don’t apologize for being late. 
  60. Cash-only cafes. 
  61. Walking down Broadway in Soho on Saturdays and Sundays and any time during the month of December.  This isn’t the mall, people. It’s a sidewalk.  Stop shopping at Old Navy.  
  62. 27th St between 10th and 11th
  63. Phone envy. 
  64. Guys in “going out” shirts.  If I see one more striped button-down over Seven jeans I’m going to pour a green apple martini all over it. 
  65. Getting into a cab and then remembering that you don’t have any cash. 
  66. The a-hole who puts ten crappy songs on the jukebox and then makes you wait through them all to listen to yours. 
  67. Overcooked edamame. 
  68. MySpace.  No I don’t, I love it.  No, I hate it.  
  69. Shorts that ride up when you run. 
  70. Disappointment 
  71. People who don’t know about music pre-1980. 
  72. Greasy bangs.  On myself or others. 
  73. Going to all the trouble to shave your legs and then not getting any.  
  74. When your hair gets sucked into the back of the hair dryer and you have to rip it out. That sh*t ain’t right. 
  75. http://www.lastnightsparty.com/  
  76. Dorian’s on the Upper East Side 
  77. People who have cars in New York.  Like, why? 
  78. Guys who don’t dance.  
  79. Snooty cafés that don’t serve brewed coffee, only americanos.  
  80. Murray Hill. 
  81. Cab drivers who won’t take you to Brooklyn.  And cab drivers who don’t know where they’re going once they get to Brooklyn. 
  82. Men who are perfect in every way but shorter than me. 
  83. Loft beds. 
  84. My neighborhood, sometimes: it has nothing you need but everything you want and can’t afford. 
  85. People who are too stupid to know that they’re dumb. 
  86. Food poisoning. 
  87. Men who ask you out for a second date while still on the first.  The answer is no. 
  88. Back fat. 
  89. Living 3,000 miles away from your wonderful family. 
  90. Paying $75 for a haircut and not looking $75 hotter. 
  91. How awkward I can be sometimes. 
  92. People who like to flirt by making really blunt observations about you, like “wow, you’re really awkward.”  Or maybe they’re not flirting.  Oh….damn. 
  93. People who talk about poo.  Totally inappropriate.  I’m a motherf*ckin lady. 
  94. Two-in-one shampoo/conditioner. 
  95. Walking down Bowery after 10 pm.  Scary! 
  96. Weak handshakes. 
  97. Firm mattresses. 
  98. Trying to run with earbuds. 
  99. When your friends move to stupid places far away. 
  100. Forgetting to enjoy it while it lasts.
Originally published November 2006
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