Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

What always happens? Life.

January 19, 2010


So. I’m back. It’s been a while. I moved. A relationship ended. A second job started. A much-loved dog died. My birthday happened on schedule. I developed a real penchant for beer. A new year began. Life. It’s happening to me now.

I traded a 7th floor walk-up for a panic room where I sleep with my head out the window on the street where my parents got engaged and I love it. I can almost touch parallel walls simultaneously in my bedroom, but I got DVR. My closet is in the living room, but I doubled the amount of toilet options. My pillow is on a windowsill, but that means there’s a window. I have fewer roommates, but one of them is my sister. New York. It’s all about the give and take, (but really about the tolerance levels regarding the take portion). And just like that, I’m moving on up to the (lower) west side.

life.

So I’ve been busy being happy. Sad. Spackle-ing walls. Forgetting my umbrella. Waiting in lines at the DMV. Writing about deep fryers, cardboard Christmas trees and cookbooks written by toddlers. You know. That’s why I haven’t been around. The point is, I get my groceries delivered, and 95% of the time they’re what I ordered, and not someone else’s box of hot sauce. I’m taking life in stride, but I’m taking it, no matter what. I mean, life is really bringing everything to the table here. This is me taking a huge bite out of my slice of the pie. I’ll try to write about it. I’m great at keeping promises like that.

Also, I don’t pay myself for this, so, see you again in 2011.

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Rules to live by

May 24, 2009

I have a couple rules that I live by that I would never force upon anyone because they’re asinine. Anything that tastes like bubblegum has to be chewed for example. In other words, the only thing I want to put in my mouth that tastes like bubblegum is bubblegum. Bubblegum-flavored ice cream is an abomination. I feel the same way about minty things. Something minty has to be gum or an actual mint (candy canes obviously included), and the only exception to this rule is that it could also come in the form of ice cream, but that is a taste I’ve acquired. I cannot describe my disappointment when the “What Drink Are You?” quiz pegged me as a mojito. Lastly, you should never bite into a Popsicle. These are bad odd examples because they all involve either gum or frozen desserts. But still. The point is I govern my life by these tenets privately, but there are some rules that I have that seem absurd but apply to everyone.

Todd knows this.  I told him because in doing so I was saving his life. I know this is going to be one of those things that he reflects on for the rest of time, in the same way that he’s always remembering how easily the set-issued drum peddle breaks in the latest version of RockBand. On the way back to the airport at the end of our family vacation to Captiva, we stopped at a Walgreen’s because Lynda had a purchase to make that couldn’t wait. Todd asked her what she needed to buy.

Never ask a woman over 55 what she’s buying at a drug store. 

This can only end in misery. It’s taking a stroll through a mine field. I’d say 7 of 10 times the answer will be harrowing and etched in your memory if the party answers truthfully. I’ve lived my way into this realization. Sometimes I can’t remember things, like people’s faces after I’ve met them for the first time. I remember drug store lists.

Fake Bake

May 8, 2009

Today Lynda called me on my cell phone during work hours to try to convince me to get a spray tan before our family vacation.

I said no, it’s too expensive. She doesn’t hear these words when they’re strung together in this sequence, so she just plowed ahead into her soliloquy about the benefits of having a base tan. It might be nice, she said, to have an even color and not appear “so ghoulish” on the beach.

 

 

Beach Vacation 2009!

Beach Vacation 2009!

Pretty in Pink.

April 29, 2009

Remember that time it was Lynda & Jeff’s 25th wedding anniversary? I do. It was last year. I remember it because it was a milestone, of course, and because Al and I picked out some gorg flowers from a very high end florist in Chelsea, and made special arrangements to get the bouquet into their hotel room before they checked in. I know. I have an acceptance speech on file for the Perfect Progeny Awards, whenever they come into existence. I also remember this because the first thing Lynda said to Alex on the phone (after thank-you’s) was, “Were you aware of how much pink was in this bouquet?”

Lynda.

We weren’t aware because we had sent an eye-less being into the florist with strict instructions to just buy without asking questions or making requests.  And because we know that pink is the last thing anyone wants to see in a floral arrangement

They were actually very pleased with the flowers. You would have to know Lynda to understand that there was no ill-will meant by the comment, which of course in layman’s terms seems to translate to a kind “Did you see this and think it looked nice?” Like the answer might be “No. We thought it looked heinous but we bought it anyway!”. And you’d have to know me to understand that my harshness is nullified by my absurd sarcasm. I can be harsh with myself too. Here goes: The problem with this situation is that I do know how Lynda operates, so here’s where I get insanely stupid: This year for their anniversary, I decided to go out on a limb and buy them flowers.

I do everything right. I link in Alex (who only gives negative feedback on items she dislikes) and Todd (who gives no feedback). I use a website I have used before for sympathy flowers to rave reviews. I get points on my credit card for the purchase. I pick one of their few styles that includes absolutely no pink flowers of any kind, and I plan the color scheme to coordinate with their “Spring has Sprung” theme party the following weekend. Everything short of growing the flowers myself on my tenement windowsill with seeds hand delivered from God Himself. Go. Me.

You can imagine my disappointment, then, when I received a call from the flower company’s customer service, with Lynda already on hold on their other line. Game ender.

The flowers were delivered dead. I had ordered them the afternoon prior, and some how, against all known odds and any recorded rate of biological decomposition, they arrived dead. Lynda was sure to tell me later that it couldn’t have been my fault because they looked so bad upon receipt that they had to have looked awful even to the person who was placing them into the box before shipment. That is how dead they looked. My father even said so, she told me, knowing the solace that comes with everyone’s agreement on their level of craptasticness. 

I told the sales woman to hang up with Lynda and that I would handle it with her separately, and spent the next 25 minutes trying to replace the bouquet, which, as time has told, is no easy process. It required me to say things like, “Now let me be explicitly clear about this. This bouquet can have absolutely no pink in it.” And “She really hates pink. We’re talking accent-level pink only.” I had to set a quota with this woman. One pink flower, with a margin of error of one. And it had to be a spring bouquet because of the Spring Has Sprung party, which Lynda had already told her about over the phone. And I was fine with asking this woman to be a miracle worker. She had already proven she could do the impossible – what with her previous experience of delivering flowers that went from living to dead in 12 hours.

Long story short, we decided on a something similar to the original (roses & irises) or spring mix bouquet with a note to the grower about the use of pink. I called Lynda to tell her and she told me they had promised to send her the same assortment. The next day a spring assortment arrived using only red and blue flowers to mimic the original bouquet. A tragically dark hybrid bouquet for the Spring Has Sprung party. FAIL.

And all this after the woman had initially tried to convince me that the flowers had arrived dead because I sent them to New Jersey, where the weather was bad.

A few days later, after Spring Had Sprung in style, (bringing with it tons of perfectly live bouquets from guests), I got a surprise shipping confirmation in my e-mail. The flower company had re-sent the original assortment, just in time for Lynda to put it in a vase before leaving to go on vacation.

Up on the Roof.

April 28, 2009

So, it’s a Tuesday, it’s 6,000 degrees in my apartment, so, natch, I am burning the motor out attempting to make whipped cream with a handheld machine intended to make lattes, when the handle end of a broom slams into my kitchen window. 

“Ma’am? Ma’am? Hello? Can you let us in?”

Two dudes had been standing on the adjacent roof chanting “Ma’am” at me for 10 minutes, but my focus, while completely absent during work hours, is impenetrable while churning dairy products into icecream topping. In retrospect though, I can hear them droning on, and even remember asking J “who the hell they were calling Ma’am.”

So after a round pertinent questions (How did they get up there? They walked. Where do they live? The building whose roof they’re trapped on. Why were they up there? Because they’re idiots – their words not mine) and the offer of an $80 convenience charge, we went up to the roof, retrieved the keys they tossed onto our roof, walked down 100+ stairs, past two tables of diners and into their building and let ourselves into their apartment via a KEYED elevator. I could have melted into a puddle right there, but I persevered because I had just finished my Interior Design: Manhattan Style class and there was some judgement to be passed.

It appears our friends had just moved in. Nice granite counters. Kitchen island. Custom lighting. Roof access with an automatic lock feature! And spotless floors – freshly mopped with my dignity! Really, one of a kind. Bravo, boys, bravo.

We let them in and gave them their keys to many thanks. Back in my apartment (where we had to walk two makeshift plank balance beams – over newly placed tile flooring – to get to the stairs) I wondered if I will miss this place when I move next month.

I think I will, in the retrospective, temporally emollient way people miss cracked out but endearing things, like they were never as hot as they were, or had so many stairs, or allowed them to see into a neighbors shower without trying as much as they thought they did.

I think.

Craig’s Lies.

April 19, 2009

FOUND: The perfect post to illustrate the absurdity of Craigslist, housing in New York City, and New Yorkers in general:

$2995 / 3 BR – LIVE LIKE THE OBAMA’s   –Sick Flex 3 Space — Washer/Dryer in Apt! (Financial District)

 

washer and dryer in the apartment. Obama style

Typical phantom post on Craigslist. Just when you think you may have a shot at the White House, you realize that it’s not in New York, and there won’t be a window in the added room when you put up a temp wall in the oval office. I’ve seen it all before. Next thing I know, the broker’s going to be telling me  he heard a rumor that there’s a family already living there. And that they’re not moving out for, like, 8 years. Pets OK.

my spirit is broken.

The Work Witching Hour: 4/16/09

April 15, 2009

4:30 pm – The witching hour in corporate America.

I am drinking a Vitamin Water Focus in my cubicle when into my Outlook drops the following e-mail from my mother (who will henceforth be referred to as “Lynda” because this personality cannot be contained in the word “mom”. Everyone has a mom. There’s only one Lynda.)  :

FWD: NYTimes.com: The Claim: Nasal Irrigation Can Ease Allergy Symptoms

 

I do not have allergies. But she included a note in the e-mail informing me that she has just started doing this, and that on the days she does it, Dad says she doesn’t snore.

I needed to know this immediately at my place of employment. It was almost as crucial as the Youtube video she followed it with, featuring a clip from Britain’s Got Talent.

Manhattan Style

March 25, 2009

Hello.

I’m coming to you live from my bed in my 7th-floor walk-up, slanty floor rhombus room, where I have just returned from my first Interior Design: Manhattan Style class. We toured a one-bed in the east 60’s followed by the professor’s penthouse apartment and office on Gramercy Park, and I am pleased to report that I learned a great deal about furnishing small spaces on huge budgets. Then I came home and got tomato sauce and chocolate ice cream on my duvet cover in a span of 9 minutes. New record. The sauce part is understandable because my bed doubles as a dinner table (creative space solution!). The ice cream spill was the result of putting a spoonful of ice cream down on the bed for a while. I don’t even know how this happened. Apparently you can’t pay your way to classy.

I am chic as hell.

Public Penance

March 15, 2009

This is public penance. I do this in the (vain) hope that I will learn from this mistake and never do something like it again.

It has been 8,842 days since my last confession. Because I’ve never gone to confession. Because I am not Catholic. It has probably been 1 day since I have done something like this.

A while ago, I was walking home from the subway after work, the way I always do, and when I got to the appointed street, I yanked my keys out of my bag like I always do, except this time a tampon came out with them and flew right into the middle of a crowd of tourists standing on my corner.

I hope you’re taking notes. You can’t achieve this overnight.

Overheard in New York

March 5, 2009

Today I went to the “magazine bodega”  I usually go to when I’m feeling like supporting magazine sales everywhere with a philanthropically-justified purchase. While scanning the racks for the latest issue of Glamour I heard  an older man address a girl paying at the counter. “Excuse me dear, but would you mind passing me a smile?”  

Ohellno. And thus, I was rippedfrom my internal monologue (glamour-glamour-glamour-glamour? glamour-glamour-glamour!) and dropped squarely into the mental situation room which is where I go to make some split-second decisions about who I am going to write off as krazy. Tonight, I was taking a hard look at where this guy fell on the creepy vs. grandpa-cute scale.

Verdict: The man was tipping the scales in favor of grandpa-cute, but only slightly, as he was in the younger grandpa category, which we all know is a gray area because that’s where kraziness can still stand on it’s own without being completely endearing. Still, he had the kind of look in his eye that said it was one of those days where he got out of bed, put on his boat shoes and flannel robe and promised himself that he would compliment one person today and make their day. Which is funny, because the person he chose had the kind of look in her eye that was already running out of the bodega without signing her credit card receipt. And her execution was flawless.

The girl came back in to sign it and gave the man a completely uneasy smile, to which he said “You must be in the business of long lashes!”

I basically pulled up a chair at this point. She said thank you (and really what can you say? Yes, I am in the business of long lashes? No, I can’t give you a smile because it’s stuck to my face? I was seriously thanking God I wasn’t involved in this cracked out Jeopardy game because I would have said these things. “No, actually I’m in publishing!” Are long lashes recession-proof? Punch me in the face.) 

“No, thank you,” he said.”I profit from your smile!”

 First I see a cookie cake on display in the Rockefeller Center concourse that said “I love you, Sarah” on it, and now this?