Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sunday Stylin': waiting for Stephanie Rosenbloom's call

New York Times Styles section writer Stephanie Rosenbloom is a subject of some interest at Cole Slaw Blog. For one thing, we're pretty sure she's read us at least once, when she googled herself in preparation of a moderately endearing article about how google makes a person's past pretty transparent. For another, many of her articles are unintentionally hilarious, discussing things like makeup and how people like nicely fitting tennis shoes.

Today, she writes about a blogger named Stephanie Klein. Stephanie Klein appears to be a pretty lady with a penchant for emotional exhibitionism, writing about all kinds of incidents in her life that I wouldn't tell anyone, let alone the general public. Apparently, her blog is highly popular.

Like most Styles section articles, this one is geared toward frivolous young women. Since starting this blog, I've learned that some otherwise-sensible and educated young ladies enjoy the Times styles section. So be it. I like GameDay on ESPN, but ESPN isn't part of the country's most important newspaper.

I digress. Given Stephanie Rosenbloom's newfound interest in blogs and the internet, it's only a matter of time before Flop and I get an e-mail asking us to sit down for a Sunday Styles profile. Modeled on today's article, I figured it would be helpful to write a first draft for the Sunday Styles profile of Cole Slaw Blog:

"It's excessive," blog pin-up Brian said. "They write too much. There's no compassion. There's foolishness. There's misery."

Mr. Brian, 29, wasn't describing a hot new edition of The New Republic but a blog about the childish habits, complimentary appetizers and jurisprudence of two young New York City men named CrimeNotes and Flop.

Since March 2005, Messrs. CrimeNotes and Flop have been blogging about the intimate details of their lives, from an affinity for crenshaw melon to the similarities between The Real World-Road Rules Challenge Inferno II and the nominations of federal appellate judges, including the episode where Abram drove a scooter off a dock.

Today the blog has a readership numbering literally in the dozens with fans who recognize the authors when they see them stumbling around Manhattan, and who find parallels to their own lives in the site's candid, freewheeling rambles.

Cole Slaw Blog is a raconteur's playground, replete with anecdotes about Monkey Clap Dance Parties and spying on Hans Christian Andersen. But the allure is muted somewhat by lengthy expositions on current events in law and politics, criticisms of Times reporters, and hyperbolic concert reviews. Nothing, it seems, is too inane or lofty to share with readers.

And that is exactly how they like it. While a handful of blogs have legions of followers, Cole Slaw Blog's daily readers number in the moderately plural.

"I have to read it every day," said Evil Girl. "I have to know that they're doing stupid things and making asses of themselves. I want bad things for them."

Their blog, called Cole Slaw Blog, takes its name from a popular free appetizer. The title is tongue in cheek because while some of the entries involve fruits and vegetables, an undercurrent of indigestion runs through them -- something fans cling to when regurgitating their own bile. "I want to be able to not just cry over your foolishness but rise above it with triumph just as you've done," a reader named Bonsai, 27, once thought quietly to himself, as he shed a single, perfect tear.

"Here are guys that have got everything. I mean everything," said Crunk Raconteur, 28. "And yet they struggle to find a perfect balance between preserving the filibuster without approving judicial extremists. Us single people, we all struggle with that. We can all relate to that."

Although their love lives are not discussed on the blog, Mr. CrimeNotes clearly is the more dashing of the two bloggers, similar to a young Robert Redford with healthy doses of David Souter and Vanilla Ice. Yet it is Mr. Flop, with his resemblance to George Michael Bluth on Arrested Development, who is often observed by the general public while Frenching pretty ladies. Mr. Raconteur confirmed the general consensus when he attributed such success to "pheromones."

"It's a strange feeling when you're trying to buy an Old Speckled Hen and the lady bartender is like, 'I love you,'" Mr. Flop said.

In addition to the solidarity readers feel with the bloggers' ups and downs, many say Cole Slaw Blog offers a glimpse of a glamorous-seeming urban life. Just as "Home Improvement" attracted viewers outside suburban Detroit who felt dumber by proxy while watching, Cole Slaw Blog offers its own vicarious pleasures.

"It's like following the obnoxious next-door neighbor on a 1980s sitcom," said Winston, 28. "They do things that some people don't have the opportunity to do. They can throw coasters in bars and they can bodyslam in front of stopped cars. I mean, I can go to football games and that's about it."

"When you're honest," Mr. Flop said, "you're never boring."

On a warm summer night, Messrs CrimeNotes and Flop and several friends met for drinks at White Horse Tavern on Hudson Street, where at one point, Mr. CrimeNotes broke away from the group to snatch a stranger's jalepeno popper.

"Excuse me," a lady said.

"I'm sorry. I thought you ordered these for everyone," Mr. CrimeNotes replied.

"Mostly, I'm into the appetizers," Mr. CrimeNotes said later. "The hamburger, it's on its way. Sometimes patience pays off. I'm all about fighting over John Roberts at the afterbar."


evil girl said...

even if i weren't drunk right now, i would still be amused.

Crunk Raconteur said...

I'm particularly fond of being referred to, on second mention, as "Mr. Raconteur!" I read every Times wrapup of every music industry awards show, hoping that, on second mention, they refer to, for example, the members of Outkast as "Mr. 3000" and "Mr. Boi."

notdoocedyet said...

I almost fell of my chair! That was highly funny..

CrimeNotes said...

Thanks, notdooced! If you're one of the Stephanies, you just made my week.

Flop said...

My entire week was once made by spying a reference to "Mr. 3000" in The Wall Street Journal.