My front-page appearance in The Wall Street Journal is ushering in the end times.

Some of you may be aware of my recent publicity coup. If not, you need to adjust your radar. My moving and shaking should be noted in everyone's buzzworthy list.

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, the front page of The Wall Street Journal from Friday the 15th, December 2006:

That's right. Your favorite toy soldier has managed to catapult
, in a remarkably short amount of time, to the very front of America's most trusted business daily. I'm included in the above-headline teaser, sandwiched between a piece about NASD CEO Mary Schapiro and a feature on the new "jetrosexual" trend (i.e., cheap custom-tailoring from Asia). Needless to say I'm the biggest draw. Mary Schapirwho? And jetrosexual? No one reads about fashion from the WSJ. The millions of sleepy commuters, mid-level managers, and alcoholic business executives come to its off-white pages to steal a glimpse of a handsome young man outfitted in the brilliant red, black, and gold of the FAO toy soldier. Did anyone need their $17 cup of coffee to wake-up that glorious morning?

In addition, an even larger picture ran alongside the story in the Marketplace section:

Oh my. The whole situation is more than slightly ridiculous. I am after all in a toy soldier outfit, lest you forget. My debut into the stratosphere of national print media required me looking like the silliest little soul in five boroughs. (Strike that. Yesterday I passed a woman dressed as a toilet dancing outside of Charmin's public restrooms in Time Square. I'd sure like to read her blog.) And yet I appear so completely overjoyed to be working at FAO and having my picture taken. Clearly there is no place I'd rather be and nothing else I'd rather be wearing. But I couldn't even get a name credit in the caption, even though the photographer wrote it down on his ruled pad of paper along with how long I had been working at the store (2 months) and what my position was actually called (toy soldier).

Read it again, and you'll discover just who is named: Ed Schumlts, FAO Schwarz CEO (understandable since the piece is about him), and Otto, stuffed monkey. What? Do you see what's happening? The damn monkey is trying to muscle in on my big moment! Not satisfied with tattooing his name on his plush, squeezable foot, Otto wrangled the inclusion of his own, separate picture into the story and an actual boldface credit in the caption. What a publicity whore!

Next thing we know, Otto will be flashing his junk to the paparazzi as he drunkenly steps out of a zippy little Beemer driven by Wilmer Valderrama.

So I must be vigilant and watchful. The cheap, white cotton gloves are coming off. I will fight for the publicity that is rightfully mine. No longer will I simply be known as "toy soldier"! No longer will I be relegated to a two-second video clip playing as part of a background loop during an FAO piece on CNBC! No longer will the picture I pose for with American Idol judge Randy Jackson and family never run in the NY Post like the photographer said it would! And, most importantly, no longer will Otto undermine my ascent to the top! Brace yourself, readers. Tonight the downy-soft stuffing of one hundred Ottos will cover the floor of FAO's flagship store, and one hundred Otto-emblazoned feet will rest on the keys of that famous piano, never again to dance to upbeat renditions of "Chopsticks" and "Heart and Soul." Tonight, Otto, you have become Public Enemy #1!


(And so what if this post is focused overtly on myself, exactly what I promised you last time it wouldn't be. If you want to read a blog that's not in some manner about me, write your own, and I won't read that. Oh, by the way, I was never a Girl Scout. Ha!)


Non-fortune fortunes are ushering in the end times.

When the sesame chicken is finished and all that is left in the Styrofoam® container are those superfluous hunks of broccoli that no short-order cook actually intended for you to eat, the inevitable moment of closure awaits. Yes, fortune cookies aren't very tasty. And no, they're not native to China. But even if you don't eat the cookie - an innovative blending of stale and bland - you must crack it open to discover what the future holds...in bed. That said, nothing irritates me more (gross hyperbole) than finding out that my fortune is not a fortune at all but some ridiculous platitude or nonsensical sentence fragment. "A smile is like the flower in the midst of rocky soil." "Money is nice to have when you need it." "Love is good. Have fun day." I want to know if great financial success awaits me, if an old flame will re-enter my life (assuming I had old flames), or if I should be wary of street vendors who conspire to bring about my death. Non-fortune fortunes are just as awful as the edible packages in which they arrive. I want to shoot the message, the messenger, the minimum-wage worker folding the cookie around the little slip, the devil soul who generated the fortune-less muck, and your mother.

However, today at the Cuban-Chinese restaurant on E 60th God presented me with the first non-fortune fortune that I actually enjoyed:
What a wonderful read - a little disconcerting and a nice twist in the humdrum, everyday, slow shuffle off to death. Plus, it's bookended with smiley faces! But what secret is not-so-secret? Do all of you already know how self-conscious I am of what I've been able to retain from my graduate studies and how I fear someone asking me to elaborate on any number of philosophers? Don't tell me you're privy to the inexplicable sensation I have while standing in the shower and I see myself as a figure in a Peter Paul Rubens painting, composed of fleshy masses, rolling muscles, proportions heavy and protruding - and relish it. Maybe you've long suspected that I delete the emails I receive from Amnesty International without reading them. Or you find pleasure in the sad fact that I really can't do much more than the basics on my brand-new, pretty expensive, wondrously beautiful iMac. Oh, and I'd be more than a little embarrassed if you've been talking amongst yourselves for a while now about how, had the opportunity presented itself, I would've made out with a few undergrad and grad professors just to be exempted from the final paper assignment. (Don't worry, Adam. This doesn't include you. You never gave long writing assignments anyway.)

Now this next part is dangerous and possibly masochistic. I'm asking you, dear readers, to drop off your own suggestion. Don't be afraid/timid/obvious. We're all adults here - excluding for now the substantial number of hits I receive from tweens (2BZ4UQT! LOL)
. If you have an idea, hand it over. Remember, I can always delete, so you're not being given as much power as you may think. And I promise that the next post will not be focused so overtly on myself, and I will not ask you to spend any more precious time thinking about me than you're already liable to do. Girl Scouts' pinky swear. Honest.

P.S. My lucky lotto numbers are: 40 49 42 47 29 44.