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Monday, April 30, 2007

How to get the girl

“The problem most men have is they don't know how to talk to women...” – Cal

The dry cleaner that Ken Mehlman and I frequent, is located at a busy intersection, where families with dogs and dads with babies strapped in a bjorn stroll, while driving tourists question how to get to the other end of the street at the opposite side of the city. My response is a standard: keep going straight for five miles. They perk up and I mutter "too bad, sucka, it'll take you like 45 minutes."

They – the dry cleaner – leave the doors open on nice days, as it was on Saturday afternoon. I had literally rolled out of bed after a night of a very poor Beirut performance and slipped on my practically crotchless jeans and the t-shirt I had slept in with my Vineyard Crew 80's-esque sweatshirt. I had rushed out without brushing my teeth in my haste to get to a mani/pedi appointment. My hair was pinned up with 17 bobby pins and a headband to keep the afro-mass o' curls hybrid at bay. I had hairs coming from strange parts of my face and no makeup to cover up the random chin hair or ten.

All of this while standing at the dry cleaner waiting, until a black man came up to the door and leaned on the frame.

"Pssst. Hey girl"

I looked up and saw a gangly man with an oversized Skins t-shirt and gray sweatpants on. He had fuzzies in his hair. I then closed my eyes quickly promising my first born child to the Lord if he just made the stray man go away.

I went back to rummaging around in my bag looking for a credit card. When the woman at the desk asked if he needed any help.

"No, I'm just trying to holla at her."

He then went back to interrogating me:

"Girl, you gotta boyfriend?"

" Can I take you out on a date?" [insert off color and horribly un-PC joke about the location, say to Taco Bell? Or perhaps BK, where I can have it my way]

When it was finally my turn I ran up and whispered my phone number handed my credit card and turned back around and wouldn't you know, that motherfucker was still loitering outside waiting for me to come out so he could sweep me off my feet. Perhaps he would take me to McDs for my filet-o-fish fix.

Upon completing the longest dry cleaning transaction ever in the history of the earth, I sprinted outside and there he was standing on the sidewalk. So I sprinted across the street and was almost a causality of woman versus Lexus. All to prevent myself from being love interest of random street man. And here I’m thinking that I’ll never find anyone – at least according to Oprah – but then again, there apparently is something mighty attractive about a woman with plaque covered teeth, a bird’s nest on top of her head and reeking of Natty light. I am every man’s dream.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007


“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.” ~Harry Truman

I’m queen of the half stories. The stories that there are to tell that maybe I can tell at a later date but just cannot right now. Regardless, I have to look at the little things as fucking awesome. El madre threw a kick ass party at Love that involved an open bar with top shelf vodka and my new coworkers who I know that I will grow to love.

It’s just a lot right now. I’m overwhelmed by several different things all trying to diverge right at my frontal lobe. I fear an implosion of infinite proportions and yet I’ve managed to stay steadfast and not spew brain bits all over my bay windows.

Last week, I ran one of my final errands to the Social Security office to obtain a new card. An office that is in the HOOD and involved different groups of people taking a number. Some were there for hours I was there for exactly one hour, which involved a screaming tiny baby and an old blind man who didn’t bring a single piece of identification. Though I came prepared and today in the mail, just days later, came my new social security card. So! I am now an actual US citizen that doesn’t have solely use a passport to prove that I was born in Albany. But really, who the fuck would lie about such a thing? That’s like pretending to be born in Scranton.

In addition to the new Social Security card came my Employee tax ID number, which means that I can freelance my way through life without fearing paying $10,000 to the IRS as well as my tax refund of like $10 , a coupon to Bed, Bath and Beyond and The Queen. Which means that I get to stare at Helen Mirren for as long as I’d like and that is the true source of my happiness.

There comes to a point where you just take what you can get. Life is hard and it fucking sucks so god damn much some days to the point where you wonder if all of this is really truly possible. So you allow yourself to relish the little things: a refund, a DVD, a form of identification. For those are the only things that can keep you going. It’s just realizing, way deep down inside, where you think there is absolutely nothing left, that there is a little glimmer of hope. Even if it is just worth a few dollars, it’s something.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Just keeps getting better

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.” – Bridget Jones

One would think that after giving notice, then one would be able to relax and enjoy semi-retirement. Froclicking about of course and possibly planning impromptu trips to Paris. Because I’m sure that’s what you think that I have been doing. Sitting on my ass, enjoying cake love for the last time ever and maybe quickly diminishing my Netflix queue.

But no.

Schnozz is going to read this and beat the ever loving shit out of me, because 2007 is the year of the other shoe dropping and I can't tell you what kind of shoe it is! Just when things get AWESOME! And GREAT! And I emphasize things with exclamation points and capital letters, something shitty happens. Like there are multiple things that I’m excited to do and I just finished this big giant freelance project that was fun and I was genuinely excited about. Then BOOM! While I’m riding this high of a new job that I’m beyond ecstatic for and party planning and other things, the other shoe drops.

It’s like the story of my life: one thing goes well and so another must go to shit because woe is always me. The sad part is that for once, I’m not being melodramatic.

In other news, I’m not a list maker. In fact I think lists kind of suck. But OH MY HELL…I have been listing away as of late. I get a little giddy each time I can cross something off. So you know, in that regard, life is good.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Queen of Everything

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh!" he whispered. "Yes, Piglet?" "Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."” ~A.A. Milne

I’ve probably told this story before, but I don’t care, because it’s one of my favorites. That one day when still living in Northwest, I was walking to my apartment on the phone with Kimber. There is a large empty park next to my old building and located on a very public and heavily trafficked street. And there in the middle of the park there was a very pregnant woman getting her picture taken in the middle of the park on Massachusetts Avenue in the middle of rush hour. Thus, I dubbed her Crazy Pregnant Lady to Kimber whose response was “oh my word, that’s the dumbest thing ever”.

I forgot about Crazy Pregnant Lady for a time and then discovered her blog and devoured her archives. I emailed Crazy Pregnant Lady about my enjoyment of her site and offered to babysit for her unborn child because that’s obviously so completely normal: “Umm hi, you don’t know me and I’m a crazy stalker freak who wants to babysit for your fetus. Wanna be friends?”

Anyway, Crazy Pregnant Lady never wrote back; at least not until about two months later when she requested my services despite the oddness of it all. I replied with an enthusiastic ‘Dude! YES!’ and the rest as they say is history.

I’m not sure how it is with most babysitters and their charges, but I fell in love with Noah. Despite the fact that the kid is gorgeous, he’s also amazing and funny. He gives hugs and kisses and likes to make faces in the mirror and I’m pretty sure that introducing him to Photobooth made his short little life. I figure that how he felt about Photobooth is how I felt about discovering Trader Joe’s: Shock and awe.

Growing up I had plenty of babysitters including an au pair. I have scattered memories of all of them, but nothing really tangible. If one walked up to me on the street today, I would have no recollection. For me they were just a string of women who were forced to deal with my brother and I locking each other in the garage in the dead of winter. Or the time I stepped on G’s back and he spit in my face. I’m sure these women felt really blessed with their good fortune of babysitting heathens. We even made our au pair cry once and so she locked herself in her room until my mother came home. Good times.

Last night Amy and I went out for drinks. It’s been something that we’ve wanted to do but never had the opportunity for until now. And thankfully she’d already been drinking when I told her that not only had I given my two weeks notice earlier that day, but that I’d also be moving. To Albany. And then I almost started crying at the bar, because of all of the people I’ve babysat for – and there have been loads – she and Jason have by far been the easiest and the best and they, in turn, have gotten a babysitter who has readily made herself available at the drop of a hat every week for the past 18 months.

They’ll find a replacement, I’m sure; probably not someone who will drive an hour in rush hour to come to them. And it’s not like I had the intention of babysitting him until he could stay home alone, because then I’d be like 45. But dude, I’m going to miss him so damn much. And even though he screams and looks like someone just shot his dog every time he sees me, and I have the audacity to actually wash his hair, I’m sure that deep down inside, he’s going to miss me too.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Comfort food

"Optimism is the foundation of courage.” ~Nicholas Murray Butler

Trader Joe’s makes this amazing macaroni and cheese. It involves gouda and havarti, two of my favorites and butter, my second favorite food group behind fermented grapes. Abi wrote a review about it and since then I’ve been hooked. It’s become my go to food when I need a little warmth and well, comfort in me. It’s the food version of the fetal position, though the fetal position has considerably less calories.

Despite the sometimes, rough exterior, I need a little comfort in my life, especially as of late. I need to be held and to be told that I will be ok and that I’m great (and hot and pretty and that my ass looks good in my jeans). I need reassurance.

Last night I turned to LB who hugged me and celebrated with me and got be drunk on Costco size bottle of Pinot Noir. She helped me with the pros and cons of things right now and then I made the biggest decision I’ve ever made in my life, even bigger than the PC vs. Mac debacle. At any rate she comforted me with chocolates and Mahill brought neopolitan ice cream which I mixed together so that all the flavors melted into one another. That’s always comforted me as well.

Stacy talked with me, despite my inebriation about the evils of depression and she comforted me as well. LB and Stacy were like my Mac & Cheese last night. Just making me feel better and less likely to vomit and hyperventilate and more willing to get excited and be happy for myself and for everything that I have going on right now. Even when I don't feel like I deserve it.

I’m comforted enough to be confident in going in today and putting in my two weeks notice.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Just like death and taxes

“I personally believe we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain.” ~Jane Wagner

Right around this time last year I wrote these two gems. Both were my way of putting my anger and disdain into fine literary prose, peppered with the word ‘fuck’ a few dozen times just for good measure and dramatic affect. I wanted those around me and visiting and breathing the same oxygen in this tiny nation’s capitol of ours to understand the basic principles of dealing with several thousand smart Type A personalities, as every year we Washingtonians deal with the same shit and frankly, something needed to be said. I wanted them to understand that if you get on our nerves we will have no choice but to shove you down the White Flint metro escalator. And do y’all know how long that sucker is?

Which leads me to this morning when I took an impromptu trip on the metro. In a perfectly fine/excited/anxious mood but good nonetheless; that is until I encountered the first set of escalators. I wanted to walk up on the LEFT side but could I? Of course not, because standing on the RIGHT side would really be too much of a hassle. No, no, please do take up the entire escalator with your fabulous Jordache fanny pack and I’ll just stand here and smile and wait while you enjoy all that DC has to offer.

On the first escalator, “Please move over” I said it nicely, yet with an air of authority which says that I live here and you are totally just not following the rules, but I understand. The offending party quickly moved.

On the second escalator, they were just STANDING. Just standing still acting like they didn’t have a care in the world. And given the surly mood I find myself in without some good old fashioned medication, I did as any average PMSing female would do: “STAND on one side, WALK on the other. Why is this so difficult for you?” Then shoved my way through, huffing and puffing, with a trail of angry turistas behind me yelling that they were in fact tourists and/or new. Maybe I didn’t get that memo from the way they just take up all the damn space on the little tiny escalator.

Later was free cone day. And oh my lord, don’t get me started. But there’s nothing like a line of children under the age of 7 screaming about ice cream and generally flailing themselves around, that will force a woman to seriously contemplate tubal ligation.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Good news

“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.” ~Ivy Baker Priest

How 99% of the population reacts to fucking fantastic, mind
blowing news:

- gracious thanks
- a good old fashioned BJ
- equally mind blowing sex
- giving thanks to jesus/buddah/moses
- veuve cliquot or Cristal

How I react to fucking fantastic, mind blowing news (short of Random House calling):

- deep sobbing shoulder shaking tears, in which my mother offers a paper bag of some sort so that I do not completely hyperventilate
- xanax
- movie popcorn with extra salt and butter
- xanax
- two Blue Moons
- two glasses of 365 Merlot (mmm, tastes like ass with a hint of fruit. Goes best with chipotle burritos and xanax)
- three ketel one and tonics
- crying
- xanax
- told Andrea no less than 4 times that I have a linebacker neck so my necklace would have to be like 21" (I may have said "I'm built like a SF 49er." She may have wanted to drop kick me from 3000 miles away)
- the fetal position
-sticking my head between my knees
- cuticle removal courtesy of my incisors
- xanax

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

True love

“He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began.” ~Leo Tolstoy

On Monday evening, I drove home and noticed a compact car behind me. At the light I noticed it was a family: a husband driving, the wife in the passenger seat and a boy, about 12, leaning against the back window.

At the next light, they were directly behind me in my rearview mirror. It was that moment that I glanced over at the mother with her index finger up her left nostril: She was a pirate in search of her buried treasure. Convinced there’s gold up there, she keeps on digging.

And I sat in complete awe. While her husband kept chatting away. When she finished she pulled her entire finger from out of her nostril – still nasal mucus runs deep, apparently – she looked at the contents on her finger. Inspecting thoroughly and I half expected for her to bust out a macro lens, just to get a good look at her specimen. Then wiped it on the car interior and continued conversing with her husband.

Neither were dismayed by what had just occurred. They smiled, the husband chatted away and yet no look of horror or disgust nor did he push her out the car in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue or bust out the Purell.

I suppose that’s what we all want in life though: Someone who looks past our faults We just want someone who can see that there is more than just gross things and boogers and imperfections. It’s human nature to need someone who has We all just want and need someone who can love us and ignore our foibles and realize that we all just need to do a little deep digging every once in awhile.


Monday, April 09, 2007

What would you say?

“I’ll tell you in another life, when we’re both cats” – Vanilla Sky

Though I doubt I should have to explain myself, like ever, I feel the need to acquiesce to my gut and reiterate that I do not believe everything that Oprah says. I do not necessarily believe the aforementioned statistic. If I did believe such drivel then the title of my previous post would have been “Oh my fucking hell”. I would’ve been less jovial and unable to write three coherent words together let alone four entire paragraphs. I also would have swallowed my tongue, drank myself into a stupor, cried a bit, frozen my eggs and found a sperm donor all before writing Part #457 of the stupid shit that Oprah says. Or better yet, Part #457 of the stupid shit that Oprah’s production staff feeds to her and perhaps those women are feeling lonely in their powerful positions and University of Chicago degrees and so why not pass off their depressing statistics to the masses? That way all can partake in the joys of permanent celibacy.

I should probably stop going on these bitter tirades because in the end I seem so rancorous but I cannot because the neurons going from my brain to my fingers say otherwise. And yet thinking of how things have been going as of late, I suppose there are things that I wouldn’t dare write less incur the wrath of all those around me. So I step back and then skirt around the issue, which manifests itself into a myriad of crap ass half stories. Which begs not one but two questions: 1) Why can’t I stop with crap ass half stories but instead must go for the crap ass half segues? 2) What won’t you ever write about?

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Always the bearer of good news

“Lust is easy. Love is hard. Like is most important.” ~Carl Reiner

On Friday afternoon, after a rousing morning of sitting on my ass and then lunch and then a slight OH SHIT panic attack on the walk home, I settled down to stare at Jason Morgan for an hour and then some Oprah. Unlike others, I have no strong feelings towards Oprah. I’m ambivalent at best. I’ve been known to read ‘O’ and went to a taping, but I don’t believe that everything that comes out of her mouth is gospel which means that I also do not believe that she can walk on water.

So, she’s talking and getting America’s opinion on everything from Elizabeth Edwards to Anna Nicole Smith to Cadbury cream eggs: love ‘em or hate ‘em? And then she goes onto speaking of single women as this really fantastic demographic destined to a life of singledom 51% of the time. Then she decides to throw out the real kicker, the coup de grace of single statistics: 70% of black women are single and will likely stay that way forever.

I wasn’t sure whether or not to dramatically roll my eyes at the absurdity of such a statement, die, or drown my sorrows in a large bottle of Maker’s Mark. For if I’m to be perpetually single then why not just drink my way through life and indulge in chocolate fashioned Easter baskets EVERY SINGLE DAY?

Her reasons were something along the lines of black women waiting for their perfect black male soul mate and given the ratio of successful black women to the successful black men that they envision themselves with, was something like 50,000:1. Again, all of this according to the high priestess Oprah.

Obviously the validity of this might very well be skewed and I have probably mentioned before that I could give a fuck if a male is black or fluorescent magenta, I’m just interested in MEN. Period. So it might be possible that this whole 70% thing may not pertain to me. Or perhaps things could change before 2025. Who the fuck knows? I figure it’s best to not obsess about such trivial matters. And if I do end up single for the remainder of my life, it will have less to do with any specific criteria I have for a future partner and more to do with the really classy way I just housed a box of gummy bears and a Godiva chocolate bunny.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Welcome to the District of Columbia

“What is the city but the people?” ~William Shakespeare

Sometime yesterday afternoon I was sent a forward from the always useful and capable Metropolitan Police Department. They of infamous double parking and being generally unhelpful roughly 89.9% of the time. Except for those times when they choose to holler at me and/or stare and I choose to return their ‘niceness’ with my patented scowl/eyebrow raise combination and maybe the finger.

Yesterday’s email described attacks taking place in the Capitol Hill/Eastern Market areas, where a presumably homeless person in a red jacket has been going around stabbing people in the neck and back then running off. Before victims realize what has actually happened they experience a “burning sensation” in their back and then come to the astute realization that some psycho motherfucker has just stabbed them in the back. Which, you know…is almost as awesome as that time that we had snipers.

In the evening I decided to walk from where I was in south east to north east – across capitol hill – to a friend’s home. I had forgotten about crazy knife wielding man, though was thankful upon remembering that I was wearing my super cross country adidas and it’s easier to escape a knife than a rifle. But of course, every step I heard behind me on my mile long walk, gave me severe heart palpitations, but hopefully I’d be able to out run the motherfucker or have the where with all to step on the opposite side of the street upon seeing a red jacket clad man, dancing in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue and picking through the garbage. Just a thought.

Though it’s 7:30 PM, it’s still rather light outside. As I approach north east’s Stanton park, I’m still aware of my surroundings and see in the park a woman with a dog on the other side and a man on his bike then a black male standing in front of a bench. I look back towards the man at the bench and see an arching stream of water. But the arch…well it is controlled by the man standing at the bench. And well, there’s a homeless man peeing. In the middle of the park. In broad daylight. While some man pushes a stroller across Mass Ave.

The man finishes and sees me. Not that I’m still staring at him pissing in the park but because I start to walk a little faster as I can see him coming towards me out of my peripherals. And what does that motherfucker do? He starts yelling at me: “HEY HONEY! HEY GIRL! WHY YOU WALKING SO FAST?!? SHAKING THAT ASS!” For the record, I was sweaty and had shoved my fat ass into lycra.

At which point I died or at least contemplated moving to Ottawa. I mean, I’m sure in Ottawa, they don’t have snipers or knife wielding mental hospital escapees or homeless people pissing in the park exactly 3/10ths of a mile from their CAPITOL BUILDING.

Now tell me you don’t want to live here; with the brilliant hummer drivers, the Beltway, members of Congress and park pissers. Oh yes, and the Cherry Blossoms.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Crazy love

"Computers must be male. As soon as you commit to one you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have obtained a better model. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on. Big power surges knock them out for the rest of the day." ~Author Unknown

I never thought I’d be this person. A person who loves unconditionally, even though there might be some flaws, I see past them to see the overall beauty of Bordeaux. I thought Mac people were silly, creative, hipster types who sipped lattes in trendy coffee shops while hunched over their computers writing about Nietzsche. Those ‘right-brain’, smart types with the ability to be expressive and visionary while using big words in complete sentences. A group of people that I have no business cavorting with.

And then one day it was as if I made this rather big decision to see what all the hype was all about. Mahill kept professing his love for Steve Jobs and that whole ‘you can just plug it in and it works’ nonsense. I called bullshit though and needed to look and test drive and lightly touch the perfectly pristine cover. I saved my pennies and brought home Bordeaux and ever since then I have been in deep love.

Oh you all do not even know of the things that can be done with this machine. The comic strips and the easy start up and the way t
hat iphoto proves to be more interesting to an 18 month old than Blue’s Clues. Behold, a miracle.

It has made coming home to sit down and write less of a seizure inducing ‘I’m going to go stick my head in this oven’ activity. And more of a pleasure…more like an ‘I’m going to sit here and drink some Malbec while fondly thinking of a million other ways to pepper my writing with the f-word’ activity. When Stacy brought Pax home and spoke of her discovery and the way it truly can change one’s life and way of thinking, I wanted to hug her from 3,000 miles away and exclaim YES! For it is amazing.

The drawback would be the daytime. T
hose eight hours a day in which I’m forced to be at the beckon call of Michael Dell’s ass box. The way I slam on the keyboard and move the mouse around frantically as it eats away at precious time I could be using for copying and watching baseball, because it continuously freezes. And when it doesn’t freeze, it just shuts itself down and restarts all by itself. Which might prove just how far technology has advanced and maybe there’ll be flying cars tomorrow, but for now it’s a fucking pain in the ass nuisance. Every morning I die a little inside knowing that I have to ctrl+alt+del my way through the following eight hours. It’s a sad, sad existence.

True Story: This weekend, I was running late and had Bordeaux in the back seat. I made a sharp turn off of the Beltway and he fell. I picked him up as soon as I noticed what had happened and hugged him to my chest and hoped – nay, prayed – that he would be OK* and fully functional when I went to watch Best in Show for the 45th time. Of course, he was. But I fear that day, many years from now, when I learn the hard way that Steve Jobs might not be the genius that I had originally thought, but we do not speak of that. For now I feel like this might be how parenting goes for me. Name the kid some shitty name like Cabernet, drop it, kiss it’s boo boo, then fall asleep on top of it after using it to watch Borat naked wrestle a fat man. I am poised to be quite awesome at that whole parenting thing.

*Believe it or not, the same thing once happened with a six pack of Pilsner Urquell. I stopped short and hit someone’s bumper. The first thing I did was turn around to MAKE SURE THE BEER WAS OK and then I checked my car. For I have my priorities straight.

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