The End Of Summer

Don’t ask me how I know this, but I hear that summer’s on the way out. I can’t say I’m completely surprised. Things have gotten pretty lax around here. When was the last time we put in a full day’s work? It has definitely been nice. But “nice” isn’t going to cut it any longer.

Summer probably should have seen this coming, probably should have pushed us harder. But no. That’s just not summer’s way. I have a lot of respect for that. You remember how it used to be, right? People had gotten so jumpy that it was almost counterproductive. Our faces kept breaking out and we were exhausted. Then summer took over and everything eased up. We showed our appreciation by doing those extra things that make you a winner. But then we got used to our good fortune and, little by little, we took it for granted. We started coming in late and going home early. Fridays became a joke. Thursdays were not much better. In short, we acted like jerks.

I’ve been told we should expect a crisp, businesslike atmosphere in the months to come. No more long lunch breaks in the park, for one thing. Summer was too cool to care about that, but they’ve been noticing upstairs.

The new regime will probably start out nice and friendly-they all do-but don’t be fooled. I hear we’re even going to have to start watching the way we dress. No more short-sleeved shirts, no more shorts, no more sandals. And if all this doesn’t work, they’re supposedly going to take more drastic measures. Yeah, I’m really looking forward to that. I’m telling you right now, if it gets any worse, I’m out of here. I’m serious.

I feel like we’re the ones who failed. It’s like when you’re a kid and you take advantage of a substitute teacher. Then your real teacher comes back, and you wish you hadn’t been such an ass when you had it easy.

It’s stupid that we seem to require constant bossing around. But even if we could change, it’s too late now. I hear it’s a done deal. Summer’s out, and soon we’ll be paying for our time in the sun.

-Doug Carlton

I Am Trying To Kiss A Wilco Guy

Ladies! Still wondering where the good young single men in Manhattan are? Well, get your butt down to the Cinema Village on 12th Street, where the nicest boys in the city are catacombed in the basement, ruminating over the Wilco documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart .

Now, Wilco guys are different. Don’t get carried away: don’t think Cary Grant, or Chris Noth. Think bookishly handsome, well-educated semi-wimps . Wilco guys tend to be sensitive, literate, bespectacled, somewhat wan Don DeLillo readers with a bit of a grainy edge. They’re a little bit angsty, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, and slightly femme-but not andro. They subscribe to Spin, wear sandals- sport sandals-and still enjoy wearing gas-pump shirts with someone else’s name. They like Harper’s and Bottle Rocket and dingy noodle shops and wear jewelry-the twine kind. They don’t get fat, they stay on good terms with their ex-girlfriends, and they probably went through a big Thelonious Monk period in college. They mumble but don’t do hard drugs. They are creative but stymied (think freelance Web designer, or Esquire fact-checker), but just like Wilco, they will not sell out-oh, no. They can quote Robert Christgau, don’t make a lot of eye contact, and a lot of them are broke.

But they’re single!

Think I’m kidding? I wandered into I Am Trying to Break Your Heart the other night and- whammo !-I bumped smack-dab into handsome and available Chad Dryden, 24, who already had a pair of ladies trailing him. “Wilco fans of the male variety have a sensitive side,” Chad told me. “Like, they deal with relationships, but not in a Michael Bolton way.” Chad wore a scruffy Brad Pitt beard left over from a recent trip to Europe (he’s a world traveler , girls!), where he was inspired to write a few poems about “stuff, you know-moments in time.” (He writes poems !) Unfortunately, Chad was also unemployed, so he was on his way back home to his folks’ house in Ohio.

Wilco Bachelor No. 2 was Jon (he wouldn’t give us his last name), a music journalist with a Beatles haircut. He was cute and a massive Wilco fan. “Wilco is one of the few bands writing songs about things that are happening in my life,” he said. “Aging, resignation, stuff about memory and loss, the fear of having to have kids someday.” Sounds like this handsome devil is already polishing a contribution to next year’s Pazz & Jop poll!

There were more Wilco hotties to be found: Anthony Cappa, who was “thirtysomething” with Mediterranean features, cool-nerd glasses, single and-yes- looking . He was a freelance litigator by day, a jazz singer by night (hot and cool!). There was 30-year-old Darren Hoppa, who was blond, clean-cut, plays the trumpet and designs “green” architecture. There was Rick, an actual poet who teaches at Stanford- Stanford !-but was in the city “hanging out with friends” this summer. He said he was seeing I Am Trying to Break Your Heart to “steal some lines.”

Then- oo-la-la! -there was Chris Mezeva, 25, lead singer of the local rock band Pure Dream Ladder. Chris had huge eyes made brighter by his cobalt blue shirt, and had tendrils of hair curling on his neck-sort of a C. Thomas Howell 2.0 look. He wasn’t that familiar with Wilco’s music, but-now that labels are nosing around his band-he thought the film would shed some informative light on “their struggle with the industry.” He reported that he’d just gone through a breakup and was not ready to date again. In other words: perfect .

So there you go, ladies: two hours on a Friday night, one movie ticket, six great guys. You can’t find that kind of promising haul in any boutique hotel or magazine-touted hot spot. So pick yourself up a copy of Wilco’s latest album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot , memorize a few songs, and then truck on down to the Cinema Village. Wear something coy, preferably vintage. Think Winona in Reality Bites . Don’t mind the movie: It’s a little dull. But bring an open heart. And some money.

-Lynn Harris

Exclusive! ‘Kurt Andersen’s’ Homemade Johnny Cakes

Ingredients:

1 cup corn meal

2 tbsp. whole-wheat flour

1 tbsp. sugar

1 11/42 tbsp. vegetable fat

11/42 tsp. salt

1 cup boiling milk

1 egg, separated

Place corn meal and flour into the oven until lightly toasted. Mix all the dry ingredients. Add the fat, pour on the boiling milk all at once, and stir. Two or three tablespoons more of cold milk may be added if needed to make smooth, but the mixture must not be soft. Beat the white stiff. Beat the yolk, and fold it into the beaten white. Add the corn mixture and mix, using the folding motion. Drop from the side of a spoon into an oiled pan, in oblong shapes, leaving space between, and bake in a quick oven. Enjoy!

-’Kurt Andersen’ (with help from freerecipe.org)