Tots, Art and Wombats

August 17, 2006 by
Filed under: (s)Hit Parade, Area 51, Greenpoint Magic 

St. Paul the Hermit

For someone who is unemployed (and would presumably have a LOT of free time) I am damned busy.

Last night (until the wee hours of this morning) I researched New York State landlord/tenant case law regarding “Estoppel Agreements” and Rent Stabilization Law. I had to do this because our landlord is refinancing his mortgage and gave us an “Estoppel Agreement” to sign (because he wants to prove that people actually pay rent here). I can’t say I didn’t see this coming: I had the pleasure of showing our apartment to a patronizing sleazeball (Read: real estate appraiser) a few months ago. (I have written about this experience, but have yet to post it here.)

After completing this task, I moderated several internal feline disputes that arose from the local tomcat (who I have named “Clarence”, as in Clarence Thomas) making his regular nocturnal round(s). Ironically, Clarence’s hours of choice (for these social calls) are more akin to Dr. Pepper than Coke (or the pubic hairs contained therein): 10:00 p.m., 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.

After that, I tried to go to bed— only to be awakened at 5:00 a.m. by female trouble. In true Miss Heather form, I had no feminine hygiene products whatsoever on hand. Thankfully, my best bud Rachael gave me a new pack of pantyliners recently and these tied me over until the local bodega opened.

For all the previous reasons (and a few more) I feel awful and probably look even worse. It’s easy to pull off that “I haven’t gotten any sleep” look when you are in your 20’s. This is because many will assume you look haggard because were out partying, etc. After you hit 30 however, these very same people will pigeon-hole you (for this very same lack of kemptness and thousand-mile whiskey stare) as being “rode hard and put away wet”. Thankfully, I live in a ‘hood where there is ALWAYS someone who looks much worse for wear than I do.

That said, even when I do not feel so low I tend to be a bit of a hermit. This is due to the fact that I am the “homebody’s homebody” (as opposed to being a hardened misanthropist); it takes a lot to induce me to leave the confines of Greenpoint, much less the demented sanctity of my own home. My apartment is my “comfort zone”. I ventured out today for the sole purpose of purchasing the menstrual essentials: maxi pads and wine.

This meager one block trek netted me treasure, nonetheless. Even though I am terrible at making money (but am very good at spending it), the powers that be see fit to throw me crumbs on occasion. Like today.

I scored this object de arte at the intersection of Eagle Street and Manhattan Avenue:


While I am not usually a fan of this type of art, I think it will go nicely in my bathroom (next to the velvet painting of Elvis).

After picking up my new piece of art, I proceeded to the liquor store. I took my bottle of cheap-ass champagne to the cash register and I struck up a conversation with a sales representative for Wombat Hill Winery:

Me (to Sales Rep): Oh yeah, the wine store down the street carries this stuff. I have not tried it yet, but I think those plush wombats are cute as hell.
Me (to Cashier): When this promotion is over, I want one of those guys. They are so cute.
Sales Rep: Of these three wines, which one would you buy?
Me: The Claret.
Cashier: Claret?!?
SR (to Cashier): Clarets are blended wines. The Cabernet/Shiraz bottle here is a Claret.
Cashier: Ohh…
SR (to me): What would be your second choice?
Me: The Shiraz.
SR: So you like red wines?
Me: Yes. To be perfectly honest, I like wine. Period. But I veer towards purchasing whites during warm weather and reds in cooler weather. This is the general rule as I understand it. My father used to be the Chief Financial Officer for a company that imported wine into Texas— and as a result, I have learned a few things about wine.
SR (pulling out brochures): So do you think selling our Chardonnay here is a good idea?
Me: Yes, I do.
SR: Check out this product. It is probably too expensive to market here (at $30.00 a bottle), but you might find it interesting. It’s a boutique wine from Idaho.
Me: Do you mind if I make a note of this winery, as I’d like to pass it along to my dad?
SR: Sure.
Me: Thanks. I agree that this wine is too expensive to sell here. For now anyway. Soon enough there will be plenty of people living here who will be more than willing (and able) to outlay $30.00 for a bottle of wine. This will be good for you, but not for us (pointing to the Cashier and myself).


I pick up my wine and instinctively fumble around for my newfound painting, brushing my hand against the Sales Rep’s bag (which happens to contain eight bottles of wine) in the process. The Sales Rep notices this.

Me: Sorry, when I see a bag full of vino, my first instinct is to grab it.
SR: No problem. Here, have a plush wombat.


SR: Now I know I sell at least one bottle of wine here.
Me: No worries, I probably would purchase one eventually. (pointing to the cashier) Just ask her.

After expending only ten minutes (and ten dollars) I now have a bottle of champagne (with which to self-medicate myself), a new piece of “art”, AND a stuffed wombat. Not a bad haul, if I say so myself.

In closing, my neighbors have seen fit to throw more crap out their window. My new find can be found here. Happy hunting!

Miss Heather


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