Friday, July 31, 2009


Our friend Rick is no longer homeless. He slept indoors last night, under his very own roof and on his very own carpet.


I've never had a very green thumb (it's a brackish color at best), so if a plant wants to survive in my house, then the force must be strong with it. Recently, though, I've had a surprising bit of success with two Christmas cacti, one of which bloomed enthusiastically for six months. I also have a jade plant that has grown to fairly impressive proportions, particularly when you consider that it was just a leaf with some roots when I got it. (Note: some would insist that I'm supposed to "shape" the jade, weighting the branches with stones and the like, but I'm just not sure that I can impose my will on it more than I already have.)

Anyhoo, those triumphs under my belt, I decided that it was time to enter the world of slightly flossier succulents. So we bought this:

Lovely, no? But then it started this shit:

What the f*ck? I don't overwater. I keep it in the kitchen, mostly, but I move it to the bar on sunny days, because I figure it might like to catch some rays and have a cocktail. But does it appreciate my care and thoughtfulness? No. It decides to make cactus raisins, which, as far as I can tell, ain't good for sh*t. Look at all the denuded spots:

It's shameful. The others seem to be doing well, which makes me wonder if the snoots at the plant shop did me less than a solid:

So, I'm at a loss. Any suggestions? Bottom line: I don't truck with pansy-ass plants, so if it wants to stick around it best buck up.

In other news, it is finished:
Now I'm off to start on the cantaloupe and peaches, and if you've read The Grapes of Wrath, you know where that will lead. But what the hell - fall comes too soon, so you've got to get your local fruity kicks while the getting is good.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

overheard at the library

"So I have that Comcast in my bedroom, and I like to listen to the music channel, you know, and sometimes I get into it. I mean, I'm groovin', right? Then I hear her banging on my wall, yelling that she doesn't like my music. And I'm just groovin', you know? I don't like what she listens to, but I don't start banging on her wall. But I have to tell myself that she's twenty-six, and I remember how I was at her age, going around corners when my parents told me not to, rebelling and shit. But sometimes I just get into it, and I have to tell her that."

---- A middle aged woman, relating her evening ritual to a man of similar age

First of all, I love hearing about how people enjoy themselves when nobody's around. I imagined this woman singing along and dancing in her bedroom, though n.o.c. was convinced that she was engaged in bawdier activities. But twenty-six? Really?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Aio, quantitas magna frumentorum est

Judging from these shots, I'd say that li'l Snorri doesn't like to be in front of the camera. And who can blame him? He's very busy learning Latin and redesigning public spaces for maximum energy efficiency. This cat ain't got time for gauche tomfoolery.

Too High on the Hog

Sometimes I just can't stop myself - shoe sales, awful sci-fi trilogies, cocktails, good pad thai, whatever. I generally consider my overindulgence a charming peccadillo, indicative of nothing more than healthy exuberance. Occasionally, though, there are consequences, particularly when the object of my excessive zest is summer produce.

I mentioned my affection for tomatoes. I also mentioned that I planned to make corn again (I did, and it is damn fine). I did not, however, mention the ten-pound watermelon we bought at Sunday's market. I love watermelon. In my book, a perfect watermelon - crisp, dense, sweet and juicy - runs a close second to a perfect fig in the hierarchy of foods that I could happily eat for every meal. So I was brimming with anticipation when I cut into our melon yesterday morning, because, while a great watermelon is a splendid thing, a bad one - mealy, bland, dry - is just trash, and I was thrilled to discover that this watermelon was nigh on perfect. Seriously, among the top fifteen watermelons I've ever eaten. To make it even better, the enormous fellow who sold us the melon sounded like a muppet on steroids. I heard him from across the market and knew immediately that I must buy whatever he was selling. When we asked him if the melon we picked would be a good one, he said, "Should be. Sugar baby." I was pleased by his brief speech not only because it sounded like it had been squeezed through some heretofore unknown orifice, like a snurzleplotz perhaps, but also because I thought he was paying me a compliment. Later I realized that "sugar baby" was the variety of melon. Still.

So, for the last two days, I've feasted on corn, tomatoes, and watermelon almost exclusively. There was one fillet of pan-fried catfish and two pieces of pizza (I made the pesto and the whole wheat dough with my own little hands), but otherwise I've remained ardently faithful to the holy trinity of summer produce. Hence the consequences. Let's just say that I won't be straying far from the apartment today. And while I'm sure that I'll go right on enjoying summer's bounty, I think I'll also try to incorporate a bit more variety. Cheese, anyone?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Well, hello there.

Yesterday, while I was perusing the CVS facewash selection, a woman grabbed my ass and started yammering away in Polish. She'd mistaken me for her friend, who was farther down the isle, and after a moment of confusion we all had a good laugh.

But here's the odd part: Since she didn't immediately notice her mistake, I assumed that she must someone I knew but could not place, and since I couldn't understand her, I decided that I must be having a neurological episode. I don't think that's a normal reaction.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm supposed to be typing stink tank minutes

But because I'm feeling miffed that I only have four weeks and one day left of my summer, I will instead answer some survey questions that the very lovely Megan tagged me for ages ago.

What is your current obsession?

Tomatoes. Last week I spent $25 on tomatoes.

What is your weirdest obsession?

Avoiding bathtubs. The very idea of sitting in a tub gives me the willies.

What do you see outside your window?

What is your favorite color?

Last weekend we played bocce in the park. I yelled at n.o.c. to pick up my ball, and he just stood there staring at it, insisting that he couldn't find it. I was frustrated until I remembered that he is colorblind.

What is your weakness?

Fool, I ain't got no weakness.

Rereading mindless books in an escapist manner. I could spend years reading about imagined lives. Have, probably.

What animal would you be?

Snorri! Obviously! Who wouldn't want to be the cutest cat in the world with the bestest, happiest life ever! (Sorry. I'm stopping, I'm stopping.)

What do you want never to happen in life?

For bathing in bathtubs to become mandatory.

What is on your bedside table?

A lamp. A box of kleenex. Eight books and a Kindle.

What's the last thing you bought?

A dozen ears of corn from the farmer's market. Corn spiders be damned!

What do you think about the person who tagged you?

I think she should seriously consider relocating to Baltimore. I could use a friend and a florist, and the mean streets of California are far too dangerous.

What was your favorite children's book?

I was the second grader sobbing in the back of the classroom because I'd just finished Where the Red Fern Grows instead of my math assignment... When I was very young, like three or four, my favorite was Miss Twiggley's Tree - I can still recite most of it. "Old Miss Twiggley lived in a tree with a dog named Puss and a color TV. She did what she liked, and she liked what she did, but when company came - Miss Twiggley hid." Telling, I think.

Who do you want to meet in person?

Dolly Parton.

What did you want to be as a child?

Dolly Parton.

What did you dream about last night?

That I had two martinis and then made the coffee backwards and with butter. Also, there was a fat kid from my high school riding a beached whale.

Which do you prefer, day or night?

Breakfast and dinner.

What's your favorite piece of clothing in your closet?


What would you like to get your hands on right now?

A compact sofa bed that is comfortable and does not a) make me gag b) make me feel like a college junior or c) cost a grand.

What's your favorite tea flavor?


If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

Anywhere, as long as n.o.c. could go too. Before you barf, know that my reasons are entirely selfish. If he could accompany me, then I could feel completely and totally on vacation, instead of just persistently and annoyingly guilty for not working.

Show me something AWESOME!

Three sights within a block of my apartment:

Now I'm to delete one question and add one of my own:

College- or wide-ruled paper?

College! College! The narrower, the better!

So, I'm supposed to tag eight folks, but it is not yet time for me to hand out assignments - I have a month and a motherf*ckin' day left, dammit.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Yammering Away

Thanks, all, for li'l Snorri's warm reception. He won't actually be with us until late September, but when he does come he'll be as polite a kitty as ever was seen. And a badass. And a math wizard. And an author. And waaay more advanced than most other kitties his age. I would be an insufferable parent.

Norwegian Forest Cats are climbers, so we're going to have to get a cat tree. I refuse to have one of those hideous carpeted monstrosities in the apartment, so we're looking for something a bit less aesthetically nauseating. I will also be carting him all over the place in a baby bjorn, just see if I don't. Enhabiten, my fingers are crossed that you'll find your kitty soon.

Not much going on in these parts. Our visitor left. I participated in a day of Think Tank activities (which, by the by, I've cleverly dubbed the "Stink Tank." I'm just so creative.) Poor n.o.c. is working about a million hours a week. I feel very sorry for him as I click my way through yet another novel, but I don't let sympathy interfere with my scrabble playing. How's he gonna be tough if no one beats him when he's down?

Rick, our homeless friend, has gone through a bit of an unfortunate/fortunate period. Unfortunately, he got the shit kicked out of him on Saturday night, and now has four staples in his head. Fortunately, he signed the lease on a Section 8 apartment, so he'll be off the street by next week. Yay for Rick! Though, as he told us yesterday, he won't have a job or receive a disability check for a while, so he'll still be "working" in our neck of the woods. In truth, I'm glad that I'll still get to see him.

Incidentally, I've decided that the next time I have a summer off, I'd like to have an abundance of friends and money. My favorite Baltimorians have been off jaunting around Italy - one of them for the entire month of July, which is incredibly rude, since he has the summer off too and was supposed to spend his time entertaining me. It's bullshit, really. My favorite New Englanders have been marinating in stinky old Europe. n.o.c. is out the door by 7am and seldom comes home before 7:30pm, and he works a good bit when he is home, so he's not really in an ebullient I-don't-have-to-work-let's-play-all-the-time sort of mood . AND we're trying not to spend any money, which, let me tell you, limits your damn options something serious. I'm not complaining - I mean, I'd much rather sit on my couch or wander aimlessly around the harbor than try to teach seventeen-year-olds how to think rationally - but I just think I'll do this differently next year.

And on that oh-so-insightful note, I'll leave you until I have something more interesting to say. Happy Friday.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And I'll love him, all the same.

Snorri may not be photogenic. He may not even be cute. But he's mine, and I'm going to have to kick your ass if you talk shit on my cat. That's just how I roll.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tender is the morning

A dear friend is visiting.

We made an amazing dinner last night - tender, spicy brisket; fried, stuffed squash blossoms; mustard greens; heirloom tomatoes.

I drank a vast quantity of wine.

I can feel my pulse in my eyes.

Friday, July 17, 2009

These are my people

We've got a pretty predictable cast of characters in our neighborhood. There's always gentle, homeless Rick, whose sclera is the color of a bruised banana and who spends a lot of time reminiscing about his salad days as a dealer in Virginia. During the weekdays, we've got herds of state employees and investment bankers, all stampeding the hot dog truck around lunch time and giving their extras to Rick. Friday and Saturday evenings, the kids are out at the clubs across the street - some at Club X for hip-hop, some at Club Y for table service, some at Club Z for house. On Sundays, the yuppies come in from the 'burbs, braving the mean streets with their double-wide Bugaboos to score some fresh local produce and a curry pocket from the farmer's market.

But on some days, a distinctly different crowd creeps toward my little block - they are the children of darkness, and they have come to see the death metal shows at Club Z. I told you about Death Fest 2009 back when I thought that sort of thing was merely an annual occurrence, but it turns out that minions of Satan are pretty much regulars in these parts.

As I was on my way to the gym yesterday, I passed young lady with a complexion like white out. She wore an ill-fitting black satin dress that looked hot-as-balls, crusty blood-colored lipstick, and cat ears. It was, like, noon. Then I noticed all the Painfully Pale Princes of Pain streaming toward the club and I began to wonder. Why? Didn't death metal cease to be transgressive or shocking or subversive a decade ago? I remember being afraid of Marilyn Manson when I was in middle school, but now if I saw him walking down the street I might suggest that he take some supplements. "Whoa, gramps! If you want to cut your chest with that broken bottle, I'm going to insist that you take some iron first."

So if you're not listening to death metal to make a statement - which, I don't think that it does anymore - are you listening to it for the.... um... musicality? I mean, otherwise, you're just an angsty kid from the suburbs wandering around in half a halloween costume for no real reason. Am I right? Or am I an old fart? Either way, we're happy to have the Mephistophelian masses - they're unfailingly polite and they always give Rick a few of the cigarettes they used their fakes to buy.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I am not a very constant person. Mondays I'm hard-done-by and surly. Tuesdays I'm magnanimous - pinching adversity's cute little cheekums and indulging the foibles of others. Wednesdays I'm eating local and vegan. Thursdays I have veal and foie gras. Fridays are up for grabs; Saturdays I drink excessively; Sundays I do yoga. Point being - if you don't like what I'm doing or saying, then wait five minutes, and I'm sure something you prefer will come along.

Perhaps I seem more staid from an objective point of view. Sure, there are things about me that you can depend on - I'm a loyal friend and a good cook, I enjoy fine cheeses, I have terrible feet - but if you're looking for someone with a clear-eyed, steady vision of, well, anything, then perhaps you'd best keep clicking. I admire folks who have a vast array of firm opinions - I hate onions, John Cheever was a drunk idiot, I only wear thin socks, my favorite book is Little Women, I approach life with an enduring sense of wonder, I look best in orange, eight is my lucky number, socialism is the work of the devil, whatever. Other than my general beliefs about kindness, the environment, and marriage equality, I don't have many convictions. Now, I will make one up should the need arise, but I'm generally just being quick witted, and I'm always thrown off when someone takes me seriously or refers to my position in later conversation. "No, no, no," I want to tell them. "I was just, you know, saying something, avoiding awkward silence. I didn't really mean it."

It's not that I don't have strong likes or dislikes - it's just that I can imagine situations in which I might feel (or have felt) otherwise. Like, say, last Thursday or next Monday. I don't have favorite books or movies. There isn't one food I most love (or hate). I don't think one attitude or political platform always works (though, surely, there are some that very rarely do). Maybe I'm just too lazy - maintaining lists of things I always do or like or believe seems terribly time consuming.

I was thinking about this last night as I was lying awake; n.o.c. was blissfully sleeping. And snoring. What a turd. Anyhoo, I've been busy preparing for grad school apps in the fall (favorite book so far: Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, & Anxious Patriarchs), and it struck me just how foreign my life now would seem to the me of five years ago. I mean, that me had barreled through undergrad, a masters, and straight into a PhD, with no intention of stopping or slowing for anything or anybody. Then - WHAM! - I was suddenly a hostess at a Hawaiian restaurant in Las Vegas and thinking about getting married. Aloha! Welcome to Roy's! Then after spending years trying to learn Sanskrit - POW! - here I am in Baltimore (what?!), getting powerfully excited about studying women, religion and science in the South. Who'd a thunk? (Please, please, please don't state the obvious. I'm not ready.)

All this to say - I think I am finally square with something that I can always believe: I am not really steering this ship. Oh, I can do my best to learn the maps, chart the currents and master the finer points of ship steering, but if I head for Goa, I shouldn't be so surprised if I end up in Panama City. And who knows? I'll probably discover that I'm wildly fascinated by the cruising patterns of rednecks and their dance club mating rituals.

I've watched several friends come to similar conclusions of late, and while it's disconcerting to hunker down with the bald and scabby truth of your limited control, it's also kind of nice. In fact, I'm going to incorporate my new-found belief in all aspects of my life. At work, for example, I may start saying things like, "Yeah, I think I should be able to meet you next Thursday. You know, Lord willing and the creek don't rise." And then I'll immediately start looking for ways to make the creek rise.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Give me your ears.

When I was a young thang, my granny would shuck corn and let me race the corn worms around the dining room table, which is remarkable, since the idea of touching larvae now makes me a little sweaty with discomfort. She would also peel me huge bowls of fat, sweet figs, and I have been hopelessly spoiled ever since. Anyway, in a nod to my granny and summer suppers everywhere, we bought a dozen ears of sweet, Maryland corn from Sunday's Farmers Market.

Because I believe that I am a fearless badass, despite all contrary evidence, I decided to shuck 'em myself and make creamed corn. (Note: There is a contractual clause in my relationship agreement with n.o.c. stating that he handles all things tall, dirty, or potentially disgusting. While corn shucking may not be an explicitly tall, dirty, or potentially disgusting activity, n.o.c.'s from Iowa, so it has always fallen within his perview.) Things went fairly well until I came across a corn spider. I was prepared for worms. I was prepared for huitlacoche (I know it's delicious, but I can't. I just can't.). I was even prepared for worms in huitlacoche, though the thought of that makes me nauseated. I was not prepared for a corn spider. Hate spiders. Loathe them. Tooooo many legs. F*ck, f*ck, f*ck. So, despite a brief bout with a full-bodied case of the willies, I shucked all the corn, since it turns out that I am, actually, a badass.

And then I cut off the kernels and scraped out the juice.

Then I did what any normal human would do - I browned half a stick of butter, threw in a few shallots, added the corn and finished the whole shebang with the merest drizzle of heavy cream.
Can I get an amen from the amen corner!?! This shit is worth a corn spider encounter. Derlicious.

Friday, July 10, 2009

An oddlot - things that give happy

Patterson Park, complete with a Victorian-era pagoda from back when Baltimore was a bit more grand. We didn't step on a single used hypodermic, so I call the day a success.

I don't believe I've introduced you to this Edgecomb beauty:

It's an orchid vase from Dawn Susan and The Rog. Kicks ass.

Sushi in Annapolis with n.o.c. - beautiful evening, and easily the best sushi we've had on the east coast. Kind of like being the best hockey player in Guatemala, but still...

Can you see the jeans? Tell me you can see the jeans! Oh, how I wish I hadn't been driving by myself.

"New" dining chairs! Six for $100! Though I'm sad to say that many naugas gave their lives for these chairs, I'm thrilled to report that you may now sit at our dining table without fear of plummeting to the earth. These sons of guns are sturdy.

Throwing out the rest of the crumble once I noticed vast mountain ranges of solidified fat. Tasty, but my blood cells like a little elbow room.

A full wine fridge. Wine has a protective cardiovascular effect, which I clearly need. Hush up with you and your increased cancer risks. You're ruining it for everybody.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wise Words

"Plaque is like pudding. No need to scrub so hard."

---- My Dentist

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

You get a day. At least.

I always try to eavesdrop on interesting conversations, mostly because I'm unimaginative and hoping to hear something that I can steal. Two exchanges I overheard recently have stuck in my mind - not because they were particularly clever or funny, but because they were so similar.

The first, I overheard while perusing the shops in Hampden, a little neighborhood where blue-collar locals mix uneasily with their new artsy hipster neighbors. I was walking past a townie bar, the kind that appears to be open and in full-swing by 10am, wondering if I would get the shit beat out of me if I went in and ordered a Hendrick's martini, when a very thin, very pregnant woman stormed out of the bar, dragging a toddler. She was wearing tight jeans, a white tank top, and a little plastic crown with a veil attached. Her friend, let's call her Tammie, was close on her heels. While our bride, whose name really was Kim, smoked a cigarette, Tammie shouted at a man who refused to exit the dim safety of the bar.

"It's not Randy's day! It is not motherf*ckin' Randy's day! It's Kim's day. It is motherf*ckin' Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiuuuuum's day!"

The second, I overheard while double parked outside the library, waiting for n.o.c. to return our towering stack of Great Courses CDs. (Note: It is perfectly permissible to double park in Baltimore. You may also park in the right lane at will, and you may run red lights for up to five seconds after they have turned red. Just know that everyone else is at similar liberty and plan accordingly.) I noticed a gorgeous woman who looked just like Lisa Bonet walking toward the library, two small children in tow. She was having a very intense cellphone conversation with someone, we'll call him Tim.

"It was my motherf*ckin' birthday. MY. BIRTH. DAY. That shit hurts. It was my motherf*ckin' birthday, you know?"

She paced back and forth, enumerating the ways in which Tim was an irresponsible asshole and a poor steward of her feelings, but she always came back to her main point - it had been her motherf*ckin' birthday, and he had shit all over it. Meanwhile, her children, gripping supersized dunkin' donuts iced coffees in their chubby little hands, followed her back and forth like magnets, staring down at their football-sized beverages while their beautiful mother eviscerated some douchebag named Tim. Eventually she snapped her phone shut (oh, for the days of big, heavy phones that you could really slam down!), and shepherded her children into the library.

Now, I am not one to give relationship advice - seriously, before n.o.c., all of my relationships were the pits. But I do know this - if he/she/it is not willing to give you one motherf*ckin' day, then you should probably move on. Just saying.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


n.o.c. just read the previous post (after working a twelve-hour day, mind you) and said, "Yeah, it's great, in a self-indulgent, I-just-sat-on-the-couch-all-day sort of way. I mean, it takes sand to make a pearl, and it just sounds like you don't have any sand." This was after I cooked him fried catfish and brought him two cocktails, mind you.

F*cktard, you're lucky I love you.

The Good Life

I spend a shitload of time pondering the sorts of things that make a life good. Like, does a life have to be big and impressive in order to be good? Obviously, the answer to that is NO. Do you have to have a PhD in order to have a great life? No, but I'd like one. Are moderation, vegetarianism, and yoga necessary components of happiness? No, maybe, and I have studied too much Sanskrit to talk about Americans and yoga. Do you need love? Probably. Friends? Definitely. n.o.c.? Absolutely.

After much discussion - with myself, with others, with a bottle of rye - I've come to the conclusion that many kinds of lives can be good ones. Obviously, a good life is nearly impossible to craft if one is plagued by hunger or poverty or bombs or dysentery, but let's lay those circumstances aside because, at the moment, there's not much that I can do about them other than feel vaguely and persistently indignant - something must be done! - and give homeless Rick another granola bar (I try not to give Rick money, because Rick likes to smoke crack). Anyway.

I bring this knobby topic to the fore because I've been working to organize myself - my life - in the absence of official expectation. All of my bills are on autopay, my checks are directly deposited, and n.o.c. can feed himself. Other than a three-day think tank (groan), there is not a damn thing that I have to do. So, I get to do what I want to do. All day. Now wait - wait! Think about this for a minute - how do you live your life when there is nothing that you must do? I'm not talking about how you spend your time on a lazy Sunday or about how you drink gallons of banana monkeys and you cook yourself to a crisp while vacationing in Majorca. I'm also not talking about what you do when you're spending months in an ashram or backpacking across Europe. I'm talking about how you would live months of obligation-free life right where you are. In that chair. In front of that computer. Oh, and you can't spend any money. Important point.

I come from a long line of Southern Protestants, which, in case you're unaware, means that I'm often riddled with guilt about everything. I hide it well, but I'm generally perseverating about people I haven't called, thank you notes I haven't written, floors I haven't scrubbed, chairs I haven't reupholstered, physicals I haven't scheduled, applications I haven't finished. I've also spent a goodly amount of time in New England, so I'm basically f*cked. Doing what I want to do makes me feel devious and afraid that I'll be discovered and punished. For example, whenever I reread an entertaining book for pleasure, I feel compelled to hide it before anyone sees. Naps seem lazy and self-indulgent, so I have to fall asleep "accidentally" while doing something else. Buying food for myself while traveling alone seems wasteful, so I sit and watch others eat while I patiently wait for fifteen tasteless pretzels and a shot glass of water. All of this reading and writing and pajama wearing and cobbler eating that I've been doing? I feel as though I need to fast and self-flagellate.

Guilt be damned, this morning I sat on the couch for three hours and thought. Just thought - nothing measurably productive about it. That's what I wanted to do. And while I did it, I realized that having the time and space to really give things a solid f*cking think is a big chunk of what you need to live a good life. I know that Socrates beat me to this punch thousands of years ago, but sometimes a reminder is in order.

What else did I want to do today? I wanted to see n.o.c. off to work and pack his lunch. I wanted to write, I wanted to research and I wanted to do it all in my motherf*cking nightgown. So I did it. And then I wanted to take a nap, because being a self-fulfilled, good-life-living person is tiring shit, so I sat down with a book that I'd read before and pretended to read until I fell asleep. And then I slept through my guilt.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Quality - highly preferable to quantity.

While the hoards may not be stampeding to my blog, the visitors I do get are the absolute best. Thank you. Anyway, the unwashed masses make me nervous, so this arrangement suits me just fine.

Since Thursday, which will henceforth be known as The Meltdown of a Navel Gazer (funny Times piece about that), many good things have happened:

1) You all made me feel better, even though I'm a lazy sh*t and don't really deserve your scary German encouragement or your kind words.

2) I played bocce ball in a park while eating fried chicken and drinking excellent sangria. Made the ball a bit difficult to grip, but I persevered.

3) Snorri was born. This cat will be the sh*t. Just you wait.

4) I spent three whole days in the company of my Number One Cookie, who is a badass main squeeze, despite (or perhaps because of) his inferior scrabble abilities.

5) I made a blueberry-lemon-ginger crumble with a doubled (!) crust(!). I have eaten it (by itself! just the crumble! 'tis but a pittance!) for breakfast and lunch. I feel f*cking fabulous, thank you for asking, and I am on my way to the gym shortly.

6) I am getting sh*t done. Today, for instance, I activated my key fob, canceled my verizon DSL (which, by the by, you basically have to break someone's legs to do), scheduled dental appointments for me and n.o.c., arranged my f*cking summer work schedule, and ordered a new filter for the refrigerator. Daaaaamn. And that's in addition to finishing a book, napping, eating crumble and drinking an entire pitcher of green tea! AND I flossed!

So, things are looking up. I am now off to give some crumble to our homeless doorman, Rick, and waddle to the gym.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


So, I need to apologize for the quality of the posts lately - they've been dull, unfunny and infrequent. Thank you all (Megan) for sticking it out. It's just that I'm not feeling terribly witty; in fact, I'm feeling a little lost. Here's the skinny, as I see it.

I cannot get my gears going at once. When I was the shit professionally, I was a wreck personally. Now that I'm as happy as I can imagine being personally, my professional life is in the shits. What the f*ck? I'm trying to work it all out, but to be honest, it's a huge pain in my ass. Do I finish my PhD, when I'm not sure that I believe in the stability or utility or import of academia? (Sorry D and A.) Do I dive into my unexceptional writing, when every self-indulgent loser (self included) is working on some piece of shit novel and the probable best case scenario is that I'll just end up editing copy on cereal boxes?

Maybe I should just put on my big girl panties, suck it the f*ck up, and be satisfied with my lot in life, because that's what people do and have done and will continue to do, and most folks don't have the leisure to sit on their asses bemoaning their fates whilst enjoying a work-free summer, dashing off to europe and drinking cocktails. But I can't. And I won't. And I will f*cking whine like a b*tch until I figure this sh*t out. Because I will have happy. Oh, yes. It will be mine.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

And I'm Back.

Berlin was fantastic. Lovely people, museums, archives, operas, schnitzels, beers... Since you've all seen pictures of the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and the hotel from which the late, great MJ dangled his baby, I thought I'd focus on the aspects of my trip that most guidebooks don't mention.

1) German toilet paper. I strongly believe it's some sort of government plot to keep the population slightly downtrodden. I mean, how happy can you be if every indulgence leads to a hurtful encounter with splinter-filled sandpaper? OR, perhaps the German fascination with digestion (seriously, every product claims to be poop-inducing, and toilets have a little shelf that catches the poo so you can inspect it before flushing) is a subversive tactic, and the people are using the tools of the oppressor as a means to better colonic health! Are you with me?!

2) German fashion. In addition to numerous mullet sightings, I also saw a woman wearing shoes that were an adidas sneaker-cowboy boot hybrid. Perfect for those occasions when you need to dash off the soccer field and onto your waiting steed.

3) Meissen Porcelain - the only thing I purchased. (OK, so Meissen is in the guidebook. I just wanted to show off my new dish.)

4) German sodas:
(Can you see that? Beer + Cola + X! I can only imagine that X = fun!)

5) The baby birds on my friend's great aunt's back patio:

6) A beautiful cemetery in a small German town - complete with a coin-operated watering can thingy:
7) The flowers I got for coming home.