Thursday, December 25, 2008


I got my hair cut on Tuesday at the Korean salon near my mother's house. The way my mother found this salon was by asking a cashier from one of the local shops where she gets her hair cut. So far, both my sisters, my mother and my grandmother has been sent to this shop because this is what my mother does. She decides you need a haircut and makes you CAH-RAZY until you agree to go to her salon. It goes like this:

"You need a haircut."

"I'll get around to it."

"No you won't. You will continue to look unkempt with all your hair flopping all over the place for months and months."

"Like I said. I'll GET AROUND TO IT."

Then, every time she sees me, she'll make this clicking noise with her teeth, which sums up all the disapproval for every life choice I've ever made, culminating in the fact that I HAVEN'T GOTTEN MY HAIR CUT.

So fine.

I went.

I was strapped into a chair and these thoughts rushed through my mind, like--I DO NOT want to look like an old Korean lady. What in the world am I DOING HERE? My hair is my shining glory--am I really going to let this happen? It didn't help matters that, as I sat there, my wet hair dripping water onto the towel draped over my shoulders, my mother leans forward and says, "Well, anyway, if you don't like it, it'll grow back."

Not words of comfort.

Then, the girl behind the counter said:

"While you're here, you should get a Brazilian Treedmend."

My hands instinctively covered my crotch and I said, "No thank you."

But she didn't let it go.

"You need it to straighten you hair."

It dawns on me that this Brazilian thing doesn't have anything to do with my girl parts.

"Oh, what is it again?"

"Brazilian Treedmend."


"Yah, treedmend. To straighten your hair."

"My hair's pretty straight."

She takes a dismissive look at my hair as if it had caterpillars crawling all over it and said, "No. Your hair? It's frizzy."

Let me tell you, my hair is NOT frizzy. It's so shiny I use it as a nightlight in my bedroom. But I suppose this is how the beauty industry chugs along, one treedmend at a time.

My sister got such a kick out of the way the girl said treedmend that she walked over and said, "What was that again? The Brazilian what?"

Sunday, December 21, 2008


This evening, when I took my dogs out for a walk, I noticed that some kids had drawn a bunch of dog bones on the snow that had accumulated on car windshields. I passed by my car and saw the letters P-E-N-I-S in huge capital letters and realized that those were not dog bones.

Just really badly drawn penises.

Why would anyone draw balls on both sides of the penises?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Your Wii Controller Smells So Good!

I am afraid of germs. That is why I carry a bottle of Purell and wet wipes with me everywhere I go. I try not to touch door handles in public. When I wash my hands in a public toilet, I do not use the hot air dryer, but a paper towel. Then I use that paper towel to open the bathroom door.

This is something Peter used to make fun of, but he is now one of the converted. Because he has seen people go to the bathroom and walk out the door, TOUCHING the door handle.

The other day I brought the kid I babysit over my apartment because my sister made the good point that since I have 2 dogs, a cat, and a Wii, this makes my apartment the child's fantasy dreamland.

"You mean, I live in a dreamland?" I said.

"Uh...Yeah..." she said.

So after the kid went home, I Purelled all the Wii controllers. Why? Because I don't see children as small people--I see them as creatures teeming with bacteria.

So when my sister came over last night, we're playing Wii and she brings the Wii controller close to her face and said, "Wow! These newer type controllers smell SO GOOD!"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Quit!

Today I quit my babysitting job. I felt kind of bad about it, because no one wants to go through the trouble of hiring someone, especially someone as AWESOME as I am, and then hear that she wants to leave. I had wanted to do this in person, but the mom is always working late and I haven't seen her in weeks. So today when she called the house, I had to buckle down and tell her over the phone.

Her reaction was what I expected. She was REALLY ANNOYED.

I told her that I had been offered a full-time job. Okay. That's not true, but I didn't have the guts to come out and say, "You're boyfriend really creeps me out and I don't like his energy or his naked afternoon parades."

I told her that I would give her until the second week in January because I wanted to give her four weeks notice. Between you and me, internet, this is something I didn't want to do, but I thought that the extra few weeks would be appreciated. In an exasperated tone, she said that it really wasn't enough time since she couldn't start to look until after the holidays. I did see her point and I felt really bad about it. I felt bad about it for about an hour until I realized something: This wasn't the job I had signed up for!

The job I signed up for was taking care of her son, which was pretty easy work. He's a nice kid who doesn't trouble me at all. I like the mom and the dad, who both seem like nice people.

However, I did NOT sign up for the boyfriend. And since he's home ALL THE TIME, I don't see why she can't just get him to pick the kid up after school until they find someone better.

If the job had continued to be the same job I had the first month I had started, then I would have been more than happy to keep working there.

Also, whenever she doesn't need me, she only gives me about a day's notice, which had irked me because I do plan my life around having to be around for those hours. I felt that I gave her more of a courtesy than she had shown me. Let this be a tip to all you moms out there.

If you want to keep a babysitter happy (and working with you for a LONG time), you can't be taking away hours all the time. In the future, when I hire a babysitter, I will definitely pay her a set amount each week whether I use her or not. I don't think it's worth the extra $30 you save here and there because that babysitter, if she's a good one, will find a better situation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Idealized You by Wii

Last weekend I was really excited to have Peter's friends over because I had made Miis that looked EXACTLY like them. It was astonishing how close I got.

So when we turned it on during halftime of the Steeler's game, the Miis came on the screen and the comments were:

"That doesn't look like me at all!"

"Where's my goatee?"

"Why do I have a smirk on my face?"

"My eyes don't look like that!"

Okay. Hold. The Freak. Up.

The Wii gives you like 8 types of faces and a VERY LIMITED amount of variations. I had created these two masterpieces of Wii Mii. I had become the Leonardo da Vinci of the Mii and here they were COMPLAINING?

I felt like saying:

"This is the idealized you. Notice that you didn't say, 'Where's my drinking problem?' 'Where's my gut?' 'Where's my bald spot?'"

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Guess I'm Quitting

This afternoon, I was sitting in the dining room of the house where I'm babysitting, and the dreaded boyfriend loafs down the stairs and says to me, in a really disparaging way as if I was a five-year-old:

Him: "Did you call -(the kid's mom)- yet?"

Me: "No."

Him: "Uh...WELL...Don't you think you SHOULD?"

The thing is, I've been doing this for the past 3.5 months and I never call the mom. She usually calls the house whenever she wants to talk to me...after all, she KNOWS I'm there. It's no mystery.

Now, I don't know if I'm blowing this whole thing way out of proportion because every time he talks to me, I want to say:

"Uhm...Did you roll over and DIE yet? Uh...WELL...Don't you think you SHOULD?"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Put Yer Shirt On

The boyfriend of the lady whose son I babysit (hmmm... could this be more confusing?) often comes downstairs from taking a shower, which he does at 4:30pm every day -- I mean, 4:30pm? Most people take showers in the morning or at night, but in the early evening? -- wearing only a bathrobe or a towel or jeans and no top.

Am I being prudish, because I find this completely INAPPROPRIATE and when I talked to Peter about it, he said that I cannot say anything if I want to keep this job, which I actually don't want anymore because of this stupid boyfriend.

He says my best bet is to say something to the boyfriend, but I don't want to talk to him at all.

It's not the biggest deal in the world, in the whole scheme of my life, it's such a nothing thing. I think he's mostly doing it for attention and to even mention it will give him what he wants. So I completely ignore him and curse him for being such a douche.

I think when I'm out the door, I'll tell the mom, "Oh, by the way, you MIGHT want to warn the next babysitter about the naked boyfriend parade at 4:30pm."

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Snow Already

So last weekend Peter and I were programming our new Wii and there's this feature where we can put in our location and we will have access to weather reports. So Peter puts in our location and we flick on the weather report and it says that it is snowing. In shock, I say, "Oh my gosh! It's snowing!"

Peter looks at me with his crooked Harrison Ford grin and says, "Uh huh...VERY funny!"

"I'm totally serious," I said.

"Right. So if I open the blinds, I will see snow falling."

"Yah, dude."

So he goes over to the window, peeks through the blinds and says, "Holy SHIT!"

Monday, December 08, 2008

Wii are Not Very Fit

Whenever a birthday or anniversary rolls along, there's never anything I really want. Actually, I always want elephant-shaped objects and cute orange-colored things, but Peter always refuses to purchase me anything that would be considered clutter or nonsense -- two types of things I LOVE.

So this year, I asked my sister what I should ask for as my anniverscary present and she said (without skipping a beat), "A Wii Fit!"

So I asked for one and I got one! Although our first Wii was stolen by someone in our building (or UPS) because the folks at Best Buy are GENIUSES and put "Wii Game Console" on the boxes. Duh, people!

Peter saw our old UPS guy at the local pizzeria and told him what happened. The UPS guy was all, "Oh yeah, people who work there steal stuff ALL the time. I wouldn't be surprised if it was stolen before it got to your building."


But I totally think that someone in the building stole it. But that's their karma and Santa is SO not going to be happy about this. I'm going to write him a letter and HE KNOWS WHO YOU ARE.

The Wii Fit is SOOO much fun, but I don't really think that we will be able to lose any weight shifting our weight on a block of plastic, but I'll let you know in 6 months. It's really the most fun you can have with a video game and actually makes yoga fun. Although, because my weight is posted on the chart, I can never show my mother this video game because she thought I was fat about twenty pounds ago.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

You Have to Go Home Now

Peter and I went on our trip to Cancun, Mexico and we stayed at a great resort. I was really nervous about booking this trip because I didn't want to make the wrong move, so I stayed up night after night reading about 805 reviews of the hotel. I knew I had done a little too much research when Peter ran out of singles and I told him, "Oh, they exchange twenties for singles at the front desk!"

It was the first time we had gone to a resort-type of facility and it was AWEsoooome! We had so much fun that I want to bring my parents next time. But then I thought back to every vacation we've ever had and it always involved Doing Something, Visiting Someone, Going Somewhere.

Every morning Peter and I would wake up and say, "What have we planned for the day? Uhm... Nothing? Sounds great!"

We just sat out there with constantly replenished drinks in our hand.

When we were shown our room, the bellhop pointed all the amenities to us and made a big deal out of telling us that there were two porn channels (since this is an all-adult, mostly honeymooning resort). And during the whole week, we would be blithely channel-surfing when, all of a sudden, GAPING ORIFICES would appear on screen causing us to scream at the television.

I guess that's what most men want to see, alternating HUGE CLOSE-UPS of gaping orifices and those orifices being stuffed by unnaturally huge and alien-like penises. It's more scary than sexy. Actually, scary would be an understatement. Gross would be another understatement. You know it's bad when you're sitting there thinking, "Wait, that doesn't belong there...unless...ew, GROSSGROSSGROSS!"

Of course, I can't watch porn because I always look at the poor girls (who look obviously high on whatever it is that gets them through the ordeal) and think what a sad life they must lead and I hope that they haven't been kidnapped and sold into sex slavery. This kind of thinking is what Peter calls "taking all the fun out of" thinking.

Seven days of pure relaxation made us realize that we wanted to live every day like that. Except for the being drunk seven hours of the day every day part.

At the end of our trip at checkout, the girl asked us if we had a nice time and we said, "Oh YES! We had the BEST TIME!"

She answered with, "But now you have to go home."

And Peter muttered, "Bitch," under his breath.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I Can Handle It

Tonight my friend Andrew called because he's coming to NYC this weekend and we're going to be hanging out. This is sort of a huge step for us because he broke up our bestfriendship a few months before my wedding, at a time when I was really stressed out because I hadn't selected a venue, my mother had just started a new business and was completely unavailable for any support, and every question I asked my then-fiance about anything concerning the wedding, be it invitations of programs or cake was met with, "I don't care."

Of course, what Peter ACTUALLY meant was, "Whatever you wish, love of my life." But he chose to express it as, "I don't care."

I ended up not inviting Andrew to my wedding. At the time it was just one more thing I didn't want to deal with, especially having to already deal with Peter's estranged family members, the non-estranged mean and awful sister, my grandfather who was rushed to the hospital the week of my wedding, etc. etc. ETC!

In hindsight, I felt that I should have invited him and my advice to anyone getting married is that if you want to ever have a relationship with the person you're thinking of not inviting, please invite him/her to your wedding. Because even though you don't want your crazy bitch sister at your wedding because you hate her, one day she may marry George Clooney and wouldn't you just wish you could spend the summer with them in Italy.

We've been trying to repair our friendship for the past few years now and this last phone conversation actually felt like the old days.

We were talking about how he has this friend who does not believe in conserving water. He leaves the water running for half an hour before he showers and when Andrew travels with him to foreign countries, sometimes very poor countries with limited water supplies, it drives Andrew up the wall.

During one of the two years my family lived in NJ in the early eighties, we had a drought in Bergen County. Some of our neighbors who would water their lawn at 2 in the morning, which would drive me crazy because in my house my grandmother was taking micro-showers. To this day, I don't know how she would do it. She would go into the shower with a Dixie cup full of water and two minutes later, have been bathed and shampooed and smelling like flowers.

I used to feel that those bad neighbors were spitting in the face of all the sacrifices my family made to preserve our water supply. And for what? Green lawns? It soon became a badge of honor to have a dead yellow lawn and anyone with a green lawn was looked upon as a traitor.

Andrew told me that it's very common in San Francisco for people to turn on the faucet and leave the water running when they're in the bathroom. And when people do that at his house, Andrew says to them:

Hey! Stop wasting water in there! Listen, if I hear you pooping or farting in there, don't worry! I can handle it!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Olden Days

The one thing I really wish we had in the NY area is a good radio station. And puh-lease Do NOT email me about how much you like THE PEAK 107.1 because I can't get into a radio station that plays Phil Collins every other song.

And what is the deal with Westchester and Phil Collins, anyway?

I mean, everywhere I go...

When I went to Amherst, I flipped through the radio channels and found a station that played the greatest music. A bunch of stuff that was popular when I was in college and right after the DJ played Sleater-Kinney she told the listeners:

"Hey! That was something from the OLDEN DAYS OF THE NINETIES. We feel that it's really important to listen to the great music in our archives."

Uhm... OLDEN DAYS? Really? Already?

That didn't just make me feel old, it made me feel completely ancient.

But the very next day I was mistaken for a high school student, so although I may look young, really I'm old and listen to ARCHIVAL MUSIC. Y'know, from the OLDEN DAYS OF LIZ PHAIR.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Last week at my creative writing class, one of my students read from his short story and pronounced scimitar SKIM-I-TAR and I almost cracked up laughing because my sister and I just had a conversation about pronouncing things wrong.

In my sister's Chinese class, the professor said that she was reading a famous German writer and she pronounced the name in Chinese, but no one could understand her. This makes complete sense because it took me years to realize that when my mother mentioned someone named E-luh-Tz-BYE-Teh-Loh she was talking about the actress I knew as Elizabeth Taylor.

The professor wrote the name on the board and said, "I really like this author, GO-eh-theh."

Jenny casually mentioned that she was pretty sure it was pronounced, "GER-tuh."

"Well, you should know," I said. "We used to live right around the corner from Goethe Street when we were growing up." But of course, I forget that she was intsy-bintsy when we used to live there and she had no idea. I always thought that it was funny to name a group of streets in Elmhurst, Queens after philosophers. I'm sure all the people in the area pronounced it the same way as Jenny's professor.

There's an area in Hartsdale called Poet's Corner because all the streets are named after poets - it's pretty funny because the guidos who live there probably don't even know who Keats is. And I mean guido in the nicest way possible, because some of those people who live there, with their statues of water-spouting cherubs on the front lawn? They're some of our best friends.

When I was in high school, this guy named Jonathan asked me out on a date. At the young age of 16, I hadn't mastered the art of telling a nice guy that I wasn't interested and letting him down easy. Instead, I decided to say yes and then invite all my friends to the movies with us and pretend it wasn't a date, but a mere gathering amongst friends.

During lunch at McDonald's, I was talking about something and used the word facade, except I called it FAH-KADE.

Jonathan looked at me, rolled his eyes, and said, "That WORD is pronounced FAH-SSSSAHHHHHDDDDDuh."

I felt really stupid and turned BRIGHT RED. Especially because I was already embarrassed at what I had just done and facing his unhappiness the entire afternoon. A few minutes later, my friend Mac took me aside and said, "Hey! Don't be embarrassed when you pronounce things wrong. It means that you read a lot. And you know that word choir? For years I used to think, 'What's a CHWAH?'"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No Back Story Needed

When I went to visit my sister at Amherst a few weeks ago, I had such a good time that I wanted to go there again this past weekend. I asked my sister why we didn't have as much fun the last time I stayed with her and she said, "I was a freshman then. I didn't know anything yet."

That's why seniors are so much cooler than freshmen.

Peter and I had been planning on going last Sunday, but we had started to finally put up our curtains and shelves and making our place look like a real home and we were on a real roll, so we decided to spend our Sunday going to Home Depot and buy curtain rods and drill bits.

I really liked meeting Jenny's friends for dinner, especially her friend Tranny, because every time I said something like, "Did you read Aunt Jodi's blog?" She knew who Aunt Jodi was and yes, she had read the blog.

And later, when the topic of Native Americans came up, I said, "It's so sad, but did you know that our government won't let them have access to running water?" She knew exactly what I was talking about because she had seen that episode of 30 Days.

After we had dropped everyone off, I told my sister that I felt like her friends were so easy to talk to.

"Especially Tranny, right?" My sister said.

"Uh, yeah. Every time I talked about something, I didn't have to explain any backstory. She knew exactly what I was talking about because she had seen the movie/read the newspaper article/had the same thing happen to her. Which makes me think that we just might be living parallel lives."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

No Stickers!

I went and voted yesterday and yes, I am SO PSYCHED that we have a first non-white president of the United States. BUT I didn't get a STICKER! :(

Mamaroneck-voting SUCKS!

Part of the fun of going to vote is getting that little sticker. It's like going to the dentist when you're five years old, but without the teeth-cleaning.

After I pressed all my levers and pulled the curtain back, I asked one of the guys who worked there for my sticker.

"What da ya mean?" He asked. "Like a smiley-face sticka or somethin'?"

Boy, I feel like I totally miss out on everything good here in Westchester.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Not Just Eating Poop

Today I came home and discovered the litter kwitter completely clean. At first, I thought that the kitty swiped every single morsel of litter into the toilet, but when I looked into the toilet, there was No. Litter.

That can only mean one thing. That the dogs have been eating the litter. I already buy very expensive Holistic Dog Food so that Scout doesn't get explosive diarrhea. So I am NOT HAPPY that they have now decided to eat very expensive flushable cat litter made out of corn.

I don't know whether Rocky was eating the cat's poop one day and then discovered that her litter tastes like nachos or whether he just went for the litter. When I told Peter about it, he said:

"Now do you want to get rid of her?"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Secret

Last weekend I took Scout on a trip to Amherst, MA to visit my sister. At first, as we were sitting in a traffic jam, I thought that it was a huuuge mistake because Scout used to get crazy carsick. By crazy carsick, I mean that as a puppy, she would sit in the backseat of my Nissan Maxima and contort her throat into making the most disgusting sounds, after which she would propel a mound of half-digested dog food onto my leather seats. The only great thing about leather seats is that it cleans up dog vomit pretty easily. Otherwise, it's too hot in the summer and too cold in the winters.

As I drove, I tried to ease into the gas pedal and keep a bit of a distance between my car and the next driver so I wouldn't have to slam on the breaks, but wouldn't you know it -- about two dozen people would see that small gap and decide to cut me off, forcing me to SLAM down on the breaks and curse the son-of-a-bitch under my breath after which I screamed, "SORRY SCOUT!"

When we got to Amherst (about one hour late) we took Scout on a beautiful walk through the woods and met a bunch of my sister's friends. On the way home, I suddenly realized that I forgot to pack any of her dog toys. Right after I had that thought, the tennis coach, who was packing up her car, dropped a tennis ball which bounced right toward Scout. When the coach saw us, she said, "She can keep it!"

S'lucky! I threw the ball around with her and got her all tuckered out before my sister and I headed out for dinner.

The next day, we took her to a farmer's market and Scout made friends with the organic apple ladies, who gave her generous slices of apples rich with organic goodness. Amherst is such a dog-friendly town that almost every person who passed us gave her pets, which is her Number Two favorite thing in the world only second to FOOD!

We went for another long walk and window-shopped. I was afraid that Scout was thirsty after all that walking, but I didn't bring her dog bowl with me. Just then, we walked into the Essentials store and the cute salesgirl asked us if Scout wanted water, because the store has this great dog bowl they fill with water for dogs!

I turned to Jenny and said, "I think that Scout has been reading THE SECRET."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The New Knight Rider

Peter and I watched a bit of the NEW Knight Rider pilot and it was so bad that a few minutes into the show, Peter turned to me and said, "Wow, the show hasn't been cancelled yet?"

I burst into laughter, picturing a big corporate television executive sitting in his plush leather sofa watching the same part of the show we just did and calling in the order to cancel the show five minutes into the pilot episode. I imagined the television screen going into an old rerun with a message from the network saying, "Yes, we let Knight Rider run for a few minutes, but realized that this show is SOOO terrible that we had to perform an Insta-Cancel. Thanks for watching and we're so sorry that we greenlit the absurd amount of money to produce this show instead of feeding hungry babies in Africa."

I mean, there are some shows which warrant the spending of the big bucks -- but the New Knight Rider? It's the sucks.

It's so bad that when the main character goes into the "Restricted Area," the audience is made aware that it is a "Restricted Area" by the signs which looked like photocopied paper taped to the doors.

When the show first aired in the 80s, the concept of a talking car was just so whack. But now, I don't think it's as far-fetched, so it's just silly to watch people get FREAKED OUT by a talking car. By now, I think we're expecting cars to talk.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Husbands Don't Belong in Forever 21

Walking into Forever 21 is like being blasted into a room filled with sensory experiences -- clothes just itching for you to touch its material, shiny bangles that beg for you to touch all their shininess, funky sunglasses that look just like Nicole Ritchie's, and you know you must try them on just to see how she looks at the world.

When we were in Orlando, Peter and I went shopping and just as he wanted to leave, the Forever 21 store beckoned its shiny gold fingers at me. Y'know those scenes in movies when a box opens and all you, the audience, can observe is the shiny light on the character's faces? That's what Forever 21 is like. Forever 21 is the shiny box.

The minute we walk in, Peter is in a bad mood, because, HELLO? There are NO CHAIRS!

The reason there are no chairs is that this store is made for fifteen-year-olds. Fifteen-year-olds who are not saddled with husbands who are just fine if they have a chair to rest their weary butts after a long day of shopping and a place where they can twiddle around with their Blackberry.

So I browse the store, which can take all day, there's too much stuff! The store is jammed-packed filled with STUFF. So I walk only about a quarter of the way through the store and Peter stomps up to me and informs me with a controlled unhappiness that I have been there for FOURTY-FIVE MINUTES!!

Huh? Whaaa? How can that be? Not only is Forever 21 a roomful of STUFF, it's also a sucker of time. You walk in and WHOOSH! You're the Rip Van Winkle of shopping.

But how can Forever 21 put any chairs in its stores? I'm sure its CEO wakes up every day and says:

"Each and every square inch Must. Be. Filled. With. STUFF."

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I've noticed that there are more cars with vanity plates these days than there used to be when I was a child. Is it because our generation is more willing to throw money away on silly things? Or is it because when we renew our registration online the website asks us if we want to get a license plate that features the Yankees, Child Safety, or vanity plates? I'm sure more than one person looks at that screen and says, "Hey, I've always wanted all my friends to know that I'm lame."

One time, while I was living in Michigan, a foreign student from Asia drove my roommate and me to Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace and I saw that she had a vanity plate that had both her first name and last name printed on it.

"Uh," I said. "You really shouldn't have your name printed on your license plate."

"Oh!" She said, totally surprised. "Why not?"

"Well, it's the same reason our mothers didn't write our names on our backpacks or our T shirts, because then some stranger con man on the street can walk right up to you and say, 'Hey Emily Kee, remember me?' and then take you to an undisclosed location, hit you over the head, and it'll be an episode of CSI."

She looked at me like I was CUh-RAZY and snorted, like,'re paranoid.

Today I noticed a vanity plate that said: "ISAVEGAS" and I was all, "What's Is A Vegas?"

Peter looked at the sanctimonious white Prius and said, "Oh, what a douchebag. It's I Save Gas."

Meanwhile, this whole time, I'm thinking, "What's the thing that is a Vegas?"

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Didn't Write It

Today after I dropped off the boy I've been babysitting, I went to the supermarket, where I randomly bumped into the mom's boyfriend. He seemed really surprised to see me and for some reason, even if there's nothing strange about bumping into someone in the supermarket, I felt weird about it. When I told Peter about it and asked him if it was weird, he said that it was and here is the conversation that followed:

"But why would it be weird to simply bump into someone in the supermarket? What's so strange about that? Yet, we BOTH think it's weird."

"Uh oh, this is the part of the movie where he's been STALKING you and is going to try to kill you."

"Uhm. Not if it's a Desperate Housewives episode."

"No, if it was, you guys would be about to start an affair."

"Well, he's nowhere near as cute as you, so that wouldn't happen."

"Then he's a stalker."

"That's ridiculous."

"Don't blame me, I didn't write the movie."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Not Shitting You

I decided that the long weekend would be a good time to move little kitty to the next level of Litter Kwitter. The dreaded GREEN level -- the level which FREAKS THEM OUT (according to the Litter Kwitter message boards). The first morning after I outfitted the Litter Kwitter with the newer green level, I woke up with Peter going around the house screaming, "Oh, no! Oh NO! OH NO!"

Of course, that could only mean one thing, which was, yes, the kitty decided to poop and pee ON THE FLOOR! Do you know how heinous it is to wake up to poop and pee that you will need to clean up off the floor?

However, before we clean up the poop, Peter and I must take turns analyzing all the angles of the excrement all over our bathroom floor. Did it look like she tried to poop and pee into the toilet, but simply missed?

Or...Did she just sit her butt down on the floor and poop?

That's right, the newest show on television: CSI: OUR BATHROOM.

I walked up to the kitten and said, "No! Bad kitty! No going on the floor! No treat for you!"

I think I gave her a complex, because she then proceeded to not pee or poop...for about 65 hours. I am totally not kidding. She did not empty her bowels the whole weekend. Instead of pooping, she would meow and meow and meow and meow. As if saying, "Why did you fuck with me? Now I can't go! I need to go! What should I do?!"

A few times over the weekend I almost broke down and put the orange disc back in, but Peter was totally playing hardball and absolutely would not allow it.

Finally, about ten minutes ago she pooped! On the green disc like she was supposed to! We almost threw the kitty a ticker-tape parade right in our living room. We showered her with treats and now the meowing-all-the-time kitten hasn't made a peep. She needs to rest after all the hard work of holding in poop for three days.

Later, I said to Peter, "I cannot believe that she held in her pee and poop for three days. I mean, that's just not normal."

"I don't really know about that," he said.

"Oh yeah?" I asked him. "Have you ever held it in for three days?"

Friday, October 10, 2008


About a year ago, my sister Jenny introduced me to this frozen yogurt called Pinkberry. Yes, you've probably heard of it, as have a gajillion other people. On more than one occasion, we've driven into the city before Pinkberry opened to get our Pinkberry breakfast!

The last time we were in the city, I looked at her and said, "Hey! I think there's time to get some Pinkberry!" I reached into my day planner, where I keep a list of all the local Pinkberries. "Oh," I said. "Do you think this is totally over-the-top?"

Reaching into her bag, Jenny pulled out her moleskine notebook to her very own Pinkberry page.

So a few weeks ago, Jenny told me that her friend made Pinkberry with this recipe in their dorm room with the Cuisinart ice cream maker and said it was "face-meltingly GOOD."

I went right out and bought the ingredients and tried to make it, but it just formed goopy yogurt. It was very delicious goopy yogurt, but it was disappointing. No freezing!! I was so bummed and I called Jenny to tell her that the recipe didn't work. Apparently I had the same ice cream maker as her roommate, so what the hell?

I went on message boards and found out that I need to put my ice cream freezer container with my fridge on the coldest setting for two days. So I did this a few days ago and I made the pinkberry today and....

IT WORKED!! It tastes (can I say it?) BETTER THAN PINKBERRY!

I ran into Peter's office and yelled, "IT FORMED! IT FORMED!"

He laughed because he immediately knew what I was talking about.

Now I am s'happy!

Sidenote: I used 2 containers of Trader Joe's greek yogurt, 1/2 cup sugar and a few generous squeezes of agave syrup in the ice cream maker. Whoooa! Ambrosia!

The funny thing is that I looked at the yogurt at the supermarket and thought, "Four dollars for a tub of yogurt? That's expensive!" Then I realized that I spend that much on ONE little serving of Pinkberry.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Lazy-Loafing Larchmont Librarians

There is yet another thing I CANNOT stand about Westchester and that is what Peter and I call the closing time situation. In New York City, when a store posted that it closes at 11pm, it closes at 11pm. If you walk in at 10:45, they will serve you. In fact, my dad's restaurant's clock is 5 minutes slow, so in case you are walking in at 11pm, you will definitely get served.

In WESTCHESTER I'm constantly getting to a store, even half-an-hour before closing and the store will be closed or the lights will be turned off.

Today, I walked into the Larchmont Library at 5:45pm to look for a book. I know that the closing time is 6pm, but that's plenty of time for me to run and get that one book, right? I walk to the computer to locate the book, I find the code and walk over to the librarian to ask where that is. This is the first time I've tried to use the Larchmont Library, so I did not know that if you ask the librarian a question at 5:48pm, she will refuse to help you because, "We are CLOSING. There's NO TIME."

And not only did she refuse to help me, the other librarians were already turning off the lights. I've never run into this at Chappaqua, Mount Kisco, or Mamaroneck. In fact, the librarians there will always try to help you because they're not one foot out the door at closing time. (Or fifteen minutes before closing time)

This is a huge pet peeve of mine. There are lots of times Peter and I have gone to a restaurant an hour before closing and the staff is vacuuming and Windexing the tables right next to us. It's so annoying.

Anyway, one thing's for sure, Larchmont Librarians Suck Balls!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Not Helping

In the past few weeks, I have befriended a local au pair at the schoolyard. Basically, none of the moms really want to talk to any of the babysitters or au pairs and I can't make friends with any of the babysitters because I don't speak Spanish.

In the hour I am waiting for my charge to finish playing soccer or football in the play yard, the au pair vents about her home family. When I went to pick up my little boy a few weeks ago, I witnessed first-hand how the mom treats her. The mom was basically going over which children's shoes to throw out and which ones to keep, but in the time she was "showing" the au pair how to do this task, she could have just done the task herself. This wasn't really so much micro-managing as it was power-tripping.

An example of one of the mean things the mom does? They were all in the car and the mom looks at the au pair and says to her: "Something smells in here. Oh, it's you. You STINK." She says that it wouldn't be so bad, but the kids are really awful to her also, and curse at her and call her names all the time and everyone treats her like a slave.

The funny thing is that she's from a place where there are no Jewish people and this family she's staying with is Jewish, so when I tell her to try to get assigned to another family, she said, "I should, because not ALL of the families will be Jewish."

I quickly tell her, "Not ALL Jewish families are mean. You just happen to be staying with a mean family. Who HAPPENS to be Jewish. A lot of my friends are Jewish and they're AWESOME."

She looked at me like, "Yeah, right." And I felt really bad for her. I really think that if you are hosting an au pair, you need to be extra nice because then the au pair will think Americans suck. That mean lady is creating an Anti-Semite in her own house.

Friday, October 03, 2008

He LOVES His Blackberry

For years Peter has gone back and forth on whether he wants a Blackberry. He always gets whatever the Verizon store has for free or for very cheap, just because he couldn't stomach spending $500 on a cell phone, especially when you know they're just giving them away for free in Japan. Every single person from Japan comes over here and is like, "Oh, you mean your cell phones don't come with 5000 megapixel cameras and 2000 Gigs of memory? And you have to pay for them?"

Fine, but they have to pay $2 to play a video game and $50 for a peach, not to mention their $500 melons.

Last week, Peter finally got his very own Blackberry and he LOVES it. Every few hours, he would play around with his Blackberry, turn to me, smile and say, "Have I told you that I LOVE this thing?"

At around the thousandth time he said this, I said to him:

"I KNOW. Did you know that for the past few days, you have told me you love your Blackberry more than you have said you love me?"

He looked at me and blinked several times and said:

"You just made me feel AWFUL...But I do LOVE this Blackberry."

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Yup, Still Married

Every once in a while, an old boyfriend or old crush will contact me somehow. Sometimes they find my name on yahoo people or they find my page, and there are some people who actually had my cell phone number since way back when (ten years ago!).

A few months ago, an old friend of a friend called to chit chat and Peter was home when the phone call came. But I stayed on the phone with him for about an hour and a half because every time I wanted to hang up the phone, he was like, "Oh yeah! I forgot to tell you about that guy who tried to teach you how to rollerblade backwards and how he's in prison for trying to kill two people." And I would sit right back down on the sofa and go, "WHAT?!"

Then later, I was try to wind down the conversation because Peter was casting evil glares at me from across the room and this guy would say, "Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about another friend of ours from way back had a baby with someone he didn't even know."

And of course, who doesn't want to stay on the line as this person tells you how wonderful you are and how all his friends get together and talk about what a shame it is that you're married because you're TERRIFIC!

I guess that's the difference between men and women. Men will say to themselves, "Hey, it's been four years...Maybe she's not married anymore. Let's give her a ring."

Women are just, "Been there, done that. NEXT!"

Today I got this random email from my page. An old boyfriend from high school had just emailed my account there. Last I heard, he was married. And when I checked out his website, I noticed that there was an overlap in their story and our story. We had dated in high school for about four weeks, one of those high school ridiculous relationships that consisted of holding hands and saying, "You like going ice skating? Me too!" "Wait a minute, you like science fiction?" "Me too!"

The problem with this guy was that he was attached to his mother, almost literally. On more than one occasion, we would make plans and then he wouldn't show up and I would spend the day with his best friend...which caused him to one day profess his love for me. I guess all that time together and the thought that: Hey! The guy she's dating isn't going out with her! I am! I'm going on all their dates, she might as well be dating me! It was like every bad high school movie from the eighties.

One time, we made a date to meet up at this park near his house and as I was waiting for him, I saw him approach the to his mother! And I kind of got up from the bench I was sitting on and he made a slight gesture with his hand, a dont-come-up-to-me-I-haven't-told-my-mother-about-you gesture. I was SOOOO mad. I remember storming home, just barely keeping it together, I was so mad.

Later that night when he called me, I said to him, "DO. NOT. EVER. CALL. ME. AGAIN."

And then I hung up the phone.

You know what I learned from that situation? You have to give boys CLOSURE otherwise they will obsess about you for no reason at all. So four years after I hung up on him, I bumped into him in Forest Hills, NY, where we used to go to the movies at The Continental, and his friends were all like, "That's HER?"

Now, if I had let that relationship follow its course, he would have gotten bored of me eventually, but cutting him off made him build me up in his mind. He wanted to be friends, so we sort of hung out every once in a while when I was in college. And one time, while I was over at his house, he offered me a diamond ring. It was sort of a proposal, if you consider, "Hey, I have this ring. Do you want it?" a proposal.

He was constantly asking me if I wanted to give it another shot with him, but the answer was always, "Uhm. Absolutely NOT." That image of him walking next to his mom at that park...that image will never die.

So when I found his site, it miffed me that he was going out with her for about a year of the time he was trying to get me to go out with him again. I mean, did he offer her the same ring or what? I wasn't jealous at all, but a bit indignant for the other girl.

So anyway, he emailed me a few weeks ago and I just found out today. And it makes me a bit suspicious. If Peter ever emailed some random girl he had proposed to -- God help him.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Litter-Kwitter Training Update

For the most part, lil' meow meow has gone in the litter kwitter except for the two times I left the bathmat on the floor and one time on the towel that fell onto the floor. My biggest fear is that she'll decide to wander on over to the sofa and pee on it. If she does that, then I'm just going to have to open my window and throw her out.

I'm on the orange stage right now and TWICE she's actually tinkled INTO THE TOILET so I didn't even have to clean anything!

For those of you who are interested, you can see what the orange stage looks like here. Of course, if you keep clicking around, you'll become totally mesmerized by all the cat-peeing and pooping videos.

The tinkling into the toilet is nice, but she does scrape the litter all over the place so that litter goes all over the floor. I am hoping that she will be able to be fully trained soon before we have to buy another bag of very expensive flushable litter made out of corn. Basically, this means that when the bathroom does not smell like poop, it smells like tortilla chips.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

We're NOT Bringing Him Home

Peter came home after throwing out the trash and said, "You HAVE to come see this."

The last time he said this, we got a new cat.

"Uhmm. Okay, but we are NOT getting a new cat. Or a dog. Or a rat. Maybe, and only maybe, if it's a pot-bellied pig, but that's probably not wandering around Mamaroneck at night."

When he brought me to the trash dumpster, Peter pointed out the cutest opossum I'd ever seen in my life. Usually they're a bit messed-up looking with bent tails and kind of scary faces. But this one had a cute little face and big eyes.

"At least this animal is better off outside," I said. "Thank GOD. Stop looking for cute animals in dumpsters. It will only get us into trouble."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

That's True

Growing up, there was always one or two kids I played with who my mother did not like. She didn't like them, but she was always super-nice when they came over. The second they left, she would say, "Why do you have to play with that one? I don't like her. She seems sneaky."

As it turned out, she was pretty dead-on about those kids. Each one of them ended up proving themselves unworthy of my friendship.

This kid I babysit has play dates and the kids who come over have always been nice kids...except for the one who came over yesterday. He asked if we could go to the bagel shop after school to get something to drink, which was fine so we went.

While we were there, two elderly ladies were also at the bagel shop and this kid kept making comments like:

"Oh look, she's so hot!"


"I think I hear wedding bells. I want to marry her."

He kept pointing and saying things that were not-so-quiet. He was very ill-behaved, but it's not my job to discipline him. Later, when we got to the house, I prepared some snacks for the boys and when I brought them down to the basement where they were hanging out, this kid snatches the snacks from my hands, which ignited my very quick temper.

"Hey!" I said. "What's wrong with you? You shouldn't grab things out of people's hands! "

He looked a bit stunned, probably because no one ever talks to him this way, and said:

"That's true."

He didn't apologize, but I thought it was funny that he said, "That's true," as in, "I'm in total agreement with you and I don't know who got a hold of my brain there for a second."

When his mom arrived, she kind of poked her head in the door as asked, "Did he behave?" She looked a bit worried, like she was half-expecting me to say, "Whoa, that kid you got? He's a nightmare."

The kid then came upstairs and had his mother put his shoes on and tie them for him. He's nine, for crying out loud.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Not Edible

We have this toaster oven that we can preset to "oven" so that we can heat something up at a uniform temperature for a longer period of time than the timer dial allows.

Tonight, at 12:45am, I happened to see that the light on the oven was lit.

Alarmed, I asked Peter what time he had placed the piece of naan bread in the toaster oven, which had now turned into a hardened brown hockey puck.

"Oh MY GOD!" Peter said. "I can't BELIEVE I did that! I put that in at 6pm! I'm SO SORRY! This will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN."

Two seconds later, he said.

"Is it still edible?"

Because you know he's sorry that he put us all in jeopardy, but more importantly, he's upset that he didn't get to eat his snack.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Promoting Mediocrity

The little boy I'm taking care of had a soccer game last Saturday and when I asked him who won, he said that his team won 5 to 0, but only because his team wasn't allowed to score any more points after 5. I kept asking him to repeat this because I didn't understand why they couldn't score any more points, and he said:

"When the winning team scores five points and the other team hasn't scored yet we have to stop at five. If we score 6, the other team automatically wins the game."

I really couldn't wrap my brain around this and then he told me the kicker:

"AND when we get to five, we're not allowed to go on our half of the field anymore. It's called SPORTSMANSHIP."

"Noooooo, that's not what SPORTSMANSHIP is. That's called RIDICULOUS. I mean, those sucky teams know that they're sucky, right?"

"Of course, YEAH."

"I mean, wouldn't it just make them feel even suckier that the winning team has to STOP PLAYING SOCCER? If you were on the losing team, wouldn't you feel COMPLETELY EMBARRASSED?"


I know what it's like to be on a losing team. I went to a total nerd high school. A nerd high school that had a basketball team which was completely trounced by the opposing team during each and every game. The question wasn't whether or not we would win the game, it was: Are we going to lose by thirty points or sixty points?

And yet, our boys went out there and did the best they could. Sure, none of them went on to play for the Knicks, but they went out there and we cheered them on and we got ridiculously happy when we only lost by 20 points.

Are we so afraid of hurting our kids' feelings that we're going to change the rules of the game so that they won't feel so bad losing by fifteen points?

All of a sudden, it completely makes sense to me that when I was teaching at that lovely coed Catholic College in Lower Westchester, the students would neglect to turn in assignments or show up for class and still expect me to pass them. Parents don't make their kids face the very real truths and sometimes those truths are about themselves.

Parents are afraid to say:
No, you are NOT an excellent soccer player. GET OVER IT.

The county's slogan may as well be, "Westchester, Building Mediocrity, One Child at a Time."

I mean, c'mon Westchester! All your kids are going to grow up completely gutless and useless! Am I the only person that thinks this way?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Conversation With My Sister

"Ooooooohhhhhhh! Scout and Rocky have been lying down on our sofa!"

"Why aren't they allowed on the sofa?"

"Oy. We'd like them to, but we totally got the WRONG type of sofa. It's sort of a velour-ish Restoration Hardware sofa that keeps every little hair and shows spittle. We didn't think it through and now it's too late and it's easier to keep the dogs off the sofa than to clean it every second."

"Why don't you lock the dogs up in the kitchen?"

"Because ever since we've tried to toilet-train the cat, we don't want her to jump over to our living room in case she's looking to pee into our potted plants. When the dogs are in the living room, she won't hop over. But now I'm going to have to put stuff on the sofa so the dogs don't get on it. But I hate the way the sofa looks when there's stuff all over it and I always forget to put stuff on it when I'm leaving the house."

"When did your life get this complicated?"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Like New Cars

Peter and I recently purchased a brand-new car and I've come upon a new theory of car-owning. I used to be a strong believer in the buy-a-car-and-drive-it-into-the-ground school of car ownership. That way you get the best bang for the buck. But THEN we got a BRAND-NEW CAR! And I LOVE driving a BRAND-NEW CAR! If we only buy a car whenever one craps out, then how many cars does one get to buy in a lifetime? 4 or 5 if you live a very long time?

It might not be very frugal (and it does sting a bit to do something that isn't saving me some money every second of every day), but maybe buying a new car every 5 years isn't a bad idea. That way, you're always driving around in a relatively new car. If you have only one life to live, isn't it nice to be able to go around driving new cars all the time?

After much deliberation, we decided on a Galaxy Gray Honda Civic. Although we DID NOT purchase it at the Mount Kisco Honda because MT. Kisco Honda SUCKS!! We also didn't buy it at the White Plains Honda because they foisted us off on this nineteen-year-old salesperson who we could tell was completely not given any authority to give us any deals on pricing. We bought it at the Yonkers Honda because they knocked $1500 off the price we were given at the White Plains Honda. So yeah, we got it under MSRP!

(Side note: Why is it that whenever we ask a salesperson about the Honda Element's windshield cracking problem and if they've fixed it in the newer models, they tell us that they've "never heard about it." Aren't salespeople supposed to be kept apprised of law suits filed against Honda and the many complaints about a car that they are supposed to be selling?)

We were told that Galaxy Gray is to be discontinued, so we thought we were getting a car color not many people have.

Hmmm. I've already almost tried to open the door of TWO other Galaxy Gray Honda Civics.

Peter said that it was probably the same person.

The same person at the CVS and then a few days later at Trader Joe's? Are we living parallel lives? I don't think so.

Although one time my mother opened the door to another green Jeep Cherokee, sat in the driver's seat and thought it was so strange that someone left a whole bunch of trash on the passenger seat. It took her a few moments before she realized that this was NOT HER CAR.

Well, if you happen to see a girl trying valiantly to open the door to your Galaxy Gray Honda Civic, just give her a few minutes, and please don't get mad.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pain in the Ass Toilet Training

When Peter and I adopted this stray kitten, I knew that I wanted to train her to use the toilet. I had read a really long article years ago about a woman who had trained her cat to do this and it completely fascinated me and I thought, "How cool would it be to have a cat that uses a toilet?"

So a few weeks ago I purchased a system called "The Litter Kwitter," which guarantees to work in 8 weeks to get your cat to use the toilet so there will be no more cleaning up of litter.

The thing is, this kitten likes to paw at the litter all day long. Sometimes she'll just climb up to the toilet and paw the litter so that it is scattered all over the bathroom floor. This wouldn't have been as big a problem in our old place where we had 2 bathrooms and a bath area which was closed off from the toilet areas, but now we only have ONE bathroom, which I like to keep relatively clean and this is DRIVING ME INSANE.

We've also discovered that if you leave a bathmat or accidentally unhooked your bath towel from its place, the kitten will use this opportunity to pee on those things, which is SO GROSS.

Plus, we are encouraged to give the kitty treats when she does do the right thing, but whenever I give her a treat, she FREAKS OUT because when my sister Jenny came over, Jenny gave the kitty a treat, which caused Rocky to LUNGE AT THE CAT. So now she equates delicious kitty treats with MURDER.

But I'm looking forward to a day in which she will be able to just use the toilet, but I can now understand why there are many many people on the litter kwitter forums who have given up.

And just the fact that I am checking something called a litter kwitter forum every day just goes to show you how pathetic my life is right now.

Friday, September 12, 2008


"You have a copy of the Bush/Dukakis debate on tape?"

"Uhmm... Yeah... But don't look at that."

"Why not?"

"Because it might have turned into porn."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not Sure I Fit In

I found a job which fits into my schedule and gives me a little bit of spending money. For the past week I've been picking up a child after school and babysitting him until his mom or dad gets home. I figure that this will give me a good opportunity to chat up some of the local moms and get tutoring gigs in the future.

I don't want to sound really snotty, but I really don't get the stay-at-home moms I've met. One mom spent about half and hour recounting each and every item of clothing her daughter tried on at The Gap to her friend, who seemed to hang on her every word. It was kind of like a really boring mommy blog, except I was witnessing it in real time, which made it even more boring.

She probably does that because she can't differentiate between what is interesting and what is NOT INTERESTING. I feel sorry for people like that because they create really boring blogs.

It's a strange dynamic, being "the babysitter" or "nanny." Peter does NOT like it. He said that he doesn't like the idea of people seeing me in that way and looking down on me. I don't really care what people think and I actually look at it as a good way to inform my writing in case I decide to write about a really boring stay-at-home mom one day.

I like the kid I care for and the mom, but I don't know where I fit in with the other moms. Do I sit with them or not? Do I talk to them or not? Some of the moms DO NOT even acknowledge my presence. It's a bit strange. I'm not sure if I really hate it or not so I may not do it for very long.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Television Seats

When my sister agreed to dog and cat-sit for us, we neglected to mention the fact that we no longer have a television. Her reaction was:


(big pause)

"But...You have THE INTERNET, don't you?"

Our saving grace is that Peter is a web developer, so yes, we do have THE INTERNET.

When her friends found out that she was dog-sitting, they all said, "So...Watching a lot of television, huh?"

"They haven't gotten around to buying one yet, so right now all their furniture is facing the wall that the television is going to be, but right now is just a blank wall."

"No television? What do they do?"

"I guess they, uhm, TALK to each other."

"TALK TO EACH OTHER? Why the fuck would they want to do that?"

The funny thing is that the other day, we were sitting around. I was reading a magazine and Peter was sitting on the sofa, the sofa that faces the large blank wall and Peter says, "This is nice, I like this. What do you think about not getting a television?"

I looked at him and said, "Yeah, I think it's a great idea."

The second that came out of my mouth, my mind flashed through all the episodes of Project Runway I missed, the fact that I didn't get to watch any of the summer Olympics this year, and PUSHING DAISIES! I need to watch Pushing Daisies! At least until they cancel it since no one else is watching it.

So then I said. "Maybe we'll get a television and I'll promise not to watch it as much."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Things to Look Up on Google

During our road trips, Peter and I spend about 90% of the time talking. And when we go down to Florida, we jibber-jabber about the randomest things such as, "Are armadillos mammals?"

And of course, being that it's a road trip, we don't have Google handy. So many random facts are now so easily found out through Google that in the future, there will be no more, "It's on the tip of my tongue"-syndromes -- it will be replaced by Googledom.

One billboard I saw coming back up from Florida was a HUGE sign that had a smiling Colonel Sanders and the words KFC BUFFET in ten-foot-long letters.

"KFC Buffet?" I said to Peter. "IS THAT ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT KFC?"

"Why?" Peter said. "What's the big deal?"

"KFC is like twenty dollars for a bucket of chicken."

"No way."


"It's fast-food? Nothing is that expensive."

"What do you know? You haven't had bought a bucket of KFC chicken in twenty years."

"I never liked KFC."

"Correction. What do you know? You've NEVER bought a bucket of chicken."


My sister Jenny took care of the dogs during our impromptu end-of-summer vacation right before Peter starts work. It was pretty nice having someone whose diapers you used to change could every actually become useful.

The only thing I worried about was that the cat and her habit of just blithely sauntering into a room the dogs were in and then go apeshit with hissy fits because they are there. Jenny told us that the cat would go into the bedroom and sleep in the same room as the dogs. To this, Jenny said, and I quote:

"That cat is ballsy!"

Yup, until the night Jenny called me up at 1am to tell me, "Emily Mortimer ALMOST DIED!"

Apparently, everyone was sitting around getting along and while Jenny was giving the cat a treat, Rocky decided it was a good idea to take a chomp out of Emily Mortimer and he went right for her. Luckily, she got away.

When I found out about this, I was so upset, and then I realized, "Hey! I'm getting ATTACHED. I guess this means that we're going to keep her."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What We'll Put Up With

Peter and I are so desperate for a different place to eat that we actually followed the advice of someone at and tried Stanz Cafe in Larchmont.

It was pretty great. It's a cute little breakfast place and I got a sandwich while Peter ordered the pancakes. As I was eating one of the best sandwiches I have ever eaten and Peter was eating one of the best pancakes he's ever had, we see a HUGE ROACH crawling around on the floor right by his foot.

"Uh. Oh," I said.

Peter looked at it and then at me and asked, "Should we be worried?"

"I mean, it's a restaurant. All restaurants have roaches."

"Yeah, but should they be the size of my hand?"

"I say that we give this place one more chance. If the NEXT TIME we come here, we don't see a roach, then it's fine."

"Wow. Are we really that desperate for a new place to eat in Westchester that we're willing to put up with this?"

My Friend Went to Tanzania and All She Brought Back Was This Stupid URL

I have given a lot of gifts in my lifetime, but I have never given away a website. My sister met the "male her" during her trip to Tanzania this summer and for his birthday she gave him the URL to my blog.

"You gave him my blog for his birthday? Wow, you're cheap. It's FREE ON THE INTERNET."

"Yeah, and he LOVED IT."

I'm sure it provided him with minutes of entertainment.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Bryan-spelled-with-a-Y!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

She's A Good Girl

Today we listened as the kitty used her litterbox, as she does every night. She then very diligently and for several minutes, paws at the box and sweeps up any loose litter on the floor with her paws into a neat little line.

"She's a good girl," I said.

And then Peter said, "So why do I hate her?"

Monday, August 18, 2008


There are many ways cats are different than dogs.

1. Cats do not come when called.
2. Cats will bite you for no reason.
3. Cats will scratch at you for no reason.
4. Cats hiss.
5. Cats will meow and pace around at night.
6. Cats will not play with the toys you give them.
7. Cats will jump up and knock over your orange jewelry box.


Cats are kinda jerky.

I am a dog person, I've always been a dog person and whenever I meet people with cats and not dogs, I understand that the cat is just a placeholder until they can get a real dog.

Now that there's a cat living in this apartment, I discover that I am still a dog person. I think this cat is very cute, but she is not cuddly. She is super-smart and I like her very much, but I just don't know if I can form a very close bond with a creature who hides under Peter's desk 95 percent of the time. And even when she comes out for a few minutes, the second she hears a pin drop, she's ready to run back under his desk.

We're giving her some time to adjust to living in a space with us, but we can't help but feel like we're terrorists and she's our hostage. Every once in a while, I wonder if she'd rather be out in the world as a stray cat. Does she sit around trying to figure out a way to get out? When she looks out the window, does she want to tear out the screen and head for the hills?

She doesn't seem to like Peter, which is a bad thing, because he's the one that feeds her and takes care of her litterbox. She's still TERRIFIED of the dogs, who really don't do anything but look at her through the divider. Rocky looks with interest. Scout looks at her with concern. She doesn't seem to be afraid of Scout, but hisses at Rocky whenever he turns his head at her. The only person the cat seems to like is me and I'm not the cat person, Peter is. She better start learning which side her bread is buttered because Peter is getting a little tired of her hissy fits.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Not Listening

Peter: What was it that you were saying about the plumbers tomorrow? When you were talking about that in the car, I was listening to the baseball game.

Me: That they were going to be here at 9am?

Peter: Glad I asked.

Me: So you didn't hear a word I said during the car ride?

Peter: Uhm...nope. But you just told me now, so we're good.

Me: Riiiiight.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fancy Microwave

There are two types of shoppers, there's the person who likes to research and scope out stores and track down the best price for an item -- that's me -- and there's the other type of shopper, someone who will buy something just because it's right there -- that's Peter.

That item can be the suckiest blender/food processor/fan/air conditioner in the world, but if it's at the Lowe's while we're shopping for a replacement hacksaw blade, then that's the item he's going to want to buy IMMEDIATELY because IT'S RIGHT HERE AND I'M ALREADY HOLDING IT.

Needless to say, we've gotten into a lot of heated arguments at stores because I want to go home and ask the crystal ball I call THE INTERNET and ask it if it's a good idea to purchase that $35 blender from Target (the answer was no). But Peter wants to get his credit card and put $35 on it on a blender that will fall apart the second time he uses it.

And I completely understand why he wants to just buy the blender. Because then WE WILL HAVE A BLENDER AND CAN USE IT TONIGHT. And I'm all -- BUT IT MAY BREAK THE VERY NEXT DAY. LET'S WAIT TO BUY ONE THAT WILL LAST A FEW YEARS.

I was raised by extremely frugal parents. Parents who taught me that it was best to save up to buy things IN CASH and be careful how you spend your money. These are people who showed me their booklet of mortgage payment slips instead of reading me bed-time stories.

Peter, on the other hand, was raised by a woman who will buy Hummel dolls as an investment, a person who thinks that "credit card" is synonymous to "free money." In other words, Peter was raised by a RENTER. Not that there's anything wrong with renting, but I wouldn't advise you to do it for sixty-five years.

But I am trying to be better about it. Being with Peter has taught me to bend a little more and to compromise. Sometimes it's better for me to pick my battles. A few days ago, we went to Sears to purchase a microwave that I had researched -- a $200 microwave that would suit our needs just fine. Unfortunately, Sears was out of that particular microwave. But they did have a $350 microwave that had a "browning feature" that was good for "melting cheese."

This is probably a feature that we would never use, a feature that no microwave really needs, but this microwave, the one that cost nearly double what we had planned out in our microwave budget was the one that was in stock, so Peter wanted to take it home.

And I didn't even argue with him. That's love, people.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Property Managers

I'm sure that mothers everywhere want the best things in life for their children. What's the point of gestating a baby for nine months, raising them through childhood and paying for their college tuition just so they can grow up to be the property manager of our new coop apartment? I'm sure the mother of our property manager asks herself this question every single day of her life.

Right before we closed on our apartment, we did what the real estate biz calls a "walk-through." Which is basically a formality of walking through the apartment, making sure that everything turns on and nothing has fallen apart from the time you looked at it and the day you are officially the new owner.

This is usually a formality, but during our walk-through, water was leaking everywhere -- out of the bathroom sink, gallons of water poured from the dishwasher and the bottom of the kitchen sink, it was a NIGHTMARE.

Of course I got completely freaked out and I was literally shaking as I sat in the law office where our closing was scheduled. When my attorney walked in, I told her that I needed to speak to her privately, and when I told her the problem, she said to me, "Well, there's nothing you can do about this. We're closing right now."

Just so you know, don't hire our real estate attorney. (I won't mention names, but her initials are CM and she works out of Mount Kisco). This was the last thing I needed to hear, especially from someone we pay to be OUR advocate. Because I ended up having to do the negotiations to get the seller's attorney to ensure that this stuff would be fixed -- while our attorney was chit-chatting with the bank's attorney about the last time they all went fishing together. At one point, the seller's attorney (who was the building's attorney, since we bought the unit straight from the building) said, "That sounds to me like it's just a gasket. Sometimes when a sink isn't used for a few months, the gasket gets loose."

My useless attorney who still uses an aol mail account for her law business says, "Yeah, y'know it's probably a GASKET."

I was shaking with anger at this point and I'm usually a very nice person, but push me to this limit and all I can say is that I let her HAVE IT. I turned to her and said in a very slow and calm voice, "I would appreciate it if you don't try to ARGUE FOR THE OTHER SIDE. You are OUR ATTORNEY. I would appreciate it if you would SIDE WITH US."

A hush fell over the whole room.

FINALLY, we got it sorted out that the building would take care of the plumbing issues, which is all we wanted. I don't know who they sent, but we're still having trouble with our bathroom sink and the water from our kitchen tap comes out hot -- on both sides. It's been about a month since closing and just yesterday some new plumbers came over and took a look under the kitchen sink and told us that all the hook-ups were done incorrectly and that no hot water was coming into the dishwasher.

I emailed our property manager, who on his nicest day is a putz, and he didn't reply. So I called him today and asked him if he was going to give the okay to fix the dishwasher.

"I'm debating it," he said.

"What do you mean by that?" I asked. I mean, what does he mean by that? I'm debating it? Does that mean -- yes, I know that I should have this problem fixed, but I don't want to?

"Your problem was that the dishwasher was leaking. It's not leaking anymore, is it?"

"But nothing is hooked up correctly under the sink. We're getting hot water on both taps and apparently, there's only cold water going into the dishwasher."

"That's because we got one of the newer ENERGY EFFICIENT dishwasher which has its own heating system so that you don't need to have hot water going into it."

"I know about those ENERGY EFFICIENT dishwasher and it's more ENERGY EFFICIENT to wash the dishes with HOT WATER than to have to HEAT COLD WATER to wash the dishes."


"I don't have a problem going to the board with this issue, I'm sure they'll side with me with the fact that you had agreed to FIX THE PROBLEM, which means not just ensuring that the dishwasher doesn't leak, but that IT WORKS."

Dealing with this property manager is kind of like dealing with my younger cousins growing up. Everything is a struggle until I say, "I'm going to tell your parents." And then all of a sudden, it's like the sun breaks out of the clouds. Because as soon as I mention going to the board, this guy is all nice as can be and all "of course we need to fix your dishwasher."

Peter's ready to call it quits with this guy and just hire our own plumber because the aggravation isn't worth it, but I'm all like, "But there's a PRINCIPLE here! THEY agreed to fix it!"

And Peter's all, "Arguing with this jerk is a WASTE OF LIFE."

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Hiss and Vinegar

At this point we have had the cat almost two weeks now and she is still TERRIFIED of the dogs. We put up a divider between Peter's office and the living room so that the dogs don't go rushing into the office to try to eat her. We've also been sleeping on the sofa in the living room because we don't have a bed yet.

Yesterday, the cat decided to jump over the divider and sleep under our makeshift bed, which I didn't realize until this morning, when the dogs were sniffing under the bed and I heard hysterical hissing sounds underneath me. Peter thinks this is because she has become so attached to me that she wants to be around me, and I'm all, "So why does she hide whenever I go into the office?"

And since Peter's family has had numerous cats while he was growing up, he says, "Because she's a cat, not a dog. Hiding is what cats do."

We've discovered that this cat hisses at just about anything: vacuum cleaner, dogs, an accidental touch on the tail. Oh, and let's not forget about the dreaded BROOM. She hates that thing with a vengeance that comes straight from the dark depths of her soul. Somewhere in her short life a broom has done her a large wrong. Whenever Peter sweeps the floor in his office, she goes into conniptions.

Yesterday we went to Petsmart and bought several jingle-jangly plastic balls for her to play with and when I tossed one at her, she ran away from it and gave me a dirty look that said, "Why are you doing this to me?" I let Peter pick out the toy at the store because of his previous cat experience and he said that cats LOVE this stuff.

When she ran away, he looked at me and said, "Well, I guess this isn't going to be the first time this cat makes a liar out of me."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Moved In...Kinda

In recent days, Peter has told his mother that it's okay to call every day. She coming up against the doldrums of summer. My theory is that between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, she's got events coming up on the horizon she can look forward to, but during the summer, it's just one long stretch of being reminded how little your older children care about you.

One mean trick Peter's sister plays on his mother is telling her that they're going to invite her to stay over soon. In my mother-in-law's vocabulary, "soon" is synonymous with "this weekend." So several weeks ago, she turned down an invitation to her grandson's bride's wedding shower in order to go to her daughter's house. And because she told Peter that she was going to Long Island that weekend, he made no plans to visit. By the way, did I ever mention that she NEVER gets invited to do anything? So the one time this millennium she got invited to something, she turned it down to keep herself free just in case her daughter just happened to feel like having her over.

So when she called that Saturday and Peter said, "I thought you weren't home this weekend," she got extremely agitated and a pus-filled vitriolic tirade flew out of her body and Peter was all, "I was gonna come by and see you, but now I'm not. Good. Bye." Okay, he didn't verbally say it because he's too nice to, but those were the undertones.

These past few days she's been leaving messages on our answering machine that go like this:

"Peter? Are you there? Are you there? Why you no call me? Are you okay? Okay...."

When he tells her that we're EXTREMELY BUSY, I don't think she gets it. So I told him today that he should bring her over here where she can sit in the one crevice that is not overtaken by boxes while I paint and he organizes his office, just so she can fully comprehend what he means by WE ARE BUSY.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Unnamed Emily Mortimer Project

I'm so sorry that the postings have been nonexistent! We just found out last Friday that we could close on our condo yesterday, so I've been in a packing and labeling frenzy and hadn't had internet access in the last few days. PLUS we're trying to acclimate our brand-new kitty with our two dogs and let's just say that it is NOT going very well.

I wanted to name her Emily Mortimer, but since Peter hates that name, we're calling her Meow Meow, otherwise known as The Unnamed Emily Mortimer Project. Every other day I vacillate between keeping her and giving her away. She's sweet and affectionate, although a bit skittish, which is understandable since she was a stray. But she is TERRIFIED of the dogs, and yet brazen enough to jump over the pet gate just to be subjected to her terror. I guess cats are just not that bright. We might have to give her away to someone who doesn't have dogs, but we're still holding out hope that they will be able to acclimate to each other.

Anyway, we're really glad to be back in Mamaroneck! We've been going to Sal's Pizza almost every other day since our kitchen is a MESS. However, I do believe that their slices are growing smaller and smaller as we speak. Pretty soon they will be bite-sized.

A great, big, HUGE thank you to the commenter who suggested Al's Moving Company. They did a GREAT job and were the nicest movers I've ever encountered. I could write a tragic novella describing my experience with past movers (Flat Rate and Seaman's. Please, do not EVER hire Seaman's Movers. They are the sucks.)

There is tons of new news and I will post more later!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Think She's Traumadized

Last night, at around 11pm, Peter and I got back from Borders and were bringing massive amounts of cardboard boxes (Thanks Borders Managers!) into the house, when a mewling noise caught Peter's attention. This was the same mewling noise that we have been hearing in the middle of the night.

An itty-bitty kitty came out of the darkness and went right up to Peter. He went to get me and said, "You've got to see what's out here."

Well, I did, and in about two seconds I was sitting on the floor petting and playing with the cutest kitty ever made. She looked a bit rough around the edges, but she was extremely friendly. We were kind of worried about her being out there so we decided to put her in one of Scout's kennels. We tried to lure her in with a can of cat food given to us by a nice neighbor, but when Peter finally got her close enough to push her into the kennel, she freaked out and there was cat food EVERYWHERE.

By the way, cat food smells disgusting. It kinda smells like vomit. Why do cats like to eat vomit.

As soon as we threw her into the kennel, Peter turned to me and said, "Fuck! We have a cat now!"

All through the night, we were trying to decide what to do. What if this kitty doesn't get along with the dogs? What if it's not tame enough to keep as a pet? What if we hate having a cat?

In the morning, after we got up, we went to the kennel and found the most fucked-up kitten ever created. She did not look that messed up last night, but apparently she had been thrashing herself against the kennel so badly that her nose is all bloody. One of her eyes got smaller than the other, so she looks like an insane cock-eyed-crazy-cat. And in the bright light of morning, her fur looked all mangy and messed up.

It must be kind of like when a drunk guy brings a cute girl home and in the morning, comes to discover that she's got one eye bigger than the other and she's kinda fugly.

When I said this to Peter, he said. "That's not really fair. She's had a really rough night, probably the roughest night she's every had. She's totally traumadized."

At this point, we don't know if we're going to be keeping her forever. We hope that it works out and we're trying it out for now. It's going to take a LOOOONG time before she's acclimated with us much less the dogs. I don't know if I want a cat for the next 15 years, but I kind of feel like she came up to us for a reason (even though the reason may just be that she's a kitten and that's what kittens do) and I want to see what happens.

Also, a side of me wonders if she's the reincarnation of someone I used to know. If it's my Uncle Jack, she should be a nice cat. If she's my grandmother. Hmmmm...This may get interesting.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Like, What Are You Saying?

A few weeks ago, my sister and I were at our parents' Japanese restaurant and we were having a conversation. An older gentleman who kind of reminded me of Peter O'Toole kept looking over at us. He was sitting, waiting for his to-go order. I thought that he wanted to jump into our conversation. My parents are very friendly with their customers, so they usually want to get to know us. My mother can make friends with anybody. She got that from my grandmother. My grandmother makes friends on the bus traveling from Princeton up to Manhattan.

"But Ama!" I said to her once. "You don't speak ANY English. How do you communicate?"

"Well," she said. "Sometimes these old American ladies sit next to me on the bus and they just start talking. By the time they're talking a few minutes, I feel too bad to let them know that I can't understand a word they're saying."

"How do they not pick up on this?"

"Every once in a while, I'll say 'uh-huh' and 'NO!' and that seems to do the trick."

Boy, those old ladies sure are easy to fool.

So this old guy kept staring at my sister and me and when his order was ready, he spend a good portion of time talking to my mother. My mother's English is not so good. I don't understand how someone who spent 5 years in Japan can speak Japanese fluently, but the same person, who comes to the United States and has been here about thirty years, still cannot read a Vogue magazine.

"What did that old guy say?" I asked my mom.

"Oh, he thought that I spent too much money on you girls because you like so many things."

"He did NOT say that!" my dad said. "What he SAID was that you girls say the work 'like' too often and you should be punished. Every time you say 'like' you should have to put a dollar in a can."

First of all, I do say "like" a lot and I can't help it. I don't know why or how I picked up this terrible habit and I blame that Catholic elementary school I attended. I'm lucky to have escaped without a Queens accent. Second of all, how DARE this old guy sit there and judge how I speak? I mean, English was my THIRD language, so even if I say "like" once in a while, cut me a break!

I think that every time that guy acts all judgey, he should have to put a dollar in a can!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What the Hell Happened to 3 o'clock?

The best time to call my sister is 3pm, because it's right after dinnertime in Tanzania. Her birthday was about a week ago and I have not been able to wish her a Happy Birthday! because everything in my life decides that it must happen at 3pm.

Day 1: Closing on the new place.
Day 2: Dealing with handyman over crazy plumbing problems in the new place.
(post coming up, I promise!--I'm still PROCESSING THE TRAUMA)
Day 3: Meeting at the magazine where I work.
Day 4: Totally overslept and then totally forgot about calling.
Day 5: Terribly long phone call with a client.
Day 6: Went out to lunch with Peter. Came back too late.
Day 7: Dentist's appointment (two cavities. boo.)

And I won't be able to call tomorrow, because the cable guy is going to show up between 2-4pm at the new place.

So I guess my sister will have been 21 for about a year before I'll be able to say, "Hey! Remember the day you were born? I do!"

I think my life is just too exciting at 3pm. She probably should have gone to Asia this summer, because nothing's really happening at 7 o'clock.

Side note: On the invitation for that fourth of July wedding, it stated that the wedding was going to take place at "Four-Thirty O Clock." Does that seem right?

Monday, July 14, 2008

We're Moving...Again!

Peter and I just closed on an apartment in Mamaroneck, where we used to live. It's a really nice place and closer to the city, which is key, since we go down there a lot.

We really liked Mount Kisco, but most of our friends and family are further south and Peter's going to be starting a new job in New Rochelle, so this way he'll be closer to work.

I'm excited about this, but everything leading up to this move is going to take up a lot of time and energy -- did I mention that I absolutely hate moving? Just thinking about it gives me a huge headache. We've moved about three times in the past few years and not once did we hire the right company -- so if anyone knows of a great moving company in Westchester, please let me know.

I guess Peter's no longer going to be the Count of Monte Kisco.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Breaking News

I was watching the new Denise Richards reality show and a BREAKING NEWS STORY usurped my show. Peter rushed into the room and said, "What's going on? Isn't that the E! channel?"

"If they're breaking news into E! it must be really serious."

We sat there, watching a French person speaking French and since I had the TV screen expanded, we couldn't see the subtitles just under the surface. Quickly, I grabbed the remote and changed the setting so that we could see the subtitles. And when I saw that it was that stupid Angelina Jolie's French doctor, it made me so mad.

"I can't believe that they're BREAKING NEWS into the SHOW I WAS WATCHING for this MEANINGLESSNESS!"

When I looked at Peter, he gave me this look he always gives me when I'm being totally stupid. It's a look that says, "And...?" As in, "Let me give you a few seconds to process what you just said and run it through your brain, because you obviously skipped that part last time."

"Okay, fine," I said. "I can't believe that they're breaking into my meaningless show with their meaningless news!"

Sunday, July 06, 2008


So we survived the fourth of July wedding. It know that Peter was very nervous at first, driving to the wedding. Of course it was a really long Catholic wedding with a lot of standing up and kneeling and standing up again. I kind of felt sorry for the priest because he was like, "Do you promise to raise your future children Catholic? You promise, right? Yup, you said it and now you have to."

Whenever we attend christenings and weddings, the priests do act a bit harrumphy about all the people the Catholic Church has lost over the years, especially when people are supposed to go up and take communion, and he tells everyone not to come up if you're not prepared -- and then only five people go up.

We did the receiving line and Peter kind of hesitated before going up to his sister, and he almost turned around to walk away, but she acted very normally and thanked us for coming. Later, at the reception, Peter's nephew was kind of all goofy around Peter, as if they were still very close. I guess he just doesn't get it. We showed up because it was an obligation, but it's difficult when people who have acted in an awful manner in the past assumes everything is okay just because you show up at his wedding. There's a large disconnect there.

I think that it was a bit healing for Peter to see everyone one last time. He doesn't think that we will see his older sister's family ever again. I'm still processing what happened, so I'll post more about the wedding later on.

The nicest thing happened. We were sitting at this table with an older gentleman, someone whose wife had worked with Peter's sister about 45 years ago. I was a little tipsy (after downing four drinks as soon as we got there) and talked with him about all sorts of things. At some point I went to the bathroom and Peter said that while I was gone, this guy said to him:

"I've met a lot of people in my life, but that woman you're with? She's WONDERFUL."

And then when Peter told him that we were married, he said:

"Oh! Now THAT makes sense!"

And then he went on and on about how lucky Peter was, which was really sweet. Dealing with Peter's family is really trying because no one seems to want to get to know me and whenever I reach out to people, it's met with nothingness. So it's so affirming when other people say: Hey! You're WONDERFUL.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Going "Poo-Free"

Last night I decided to try a new way of washing my hair. I found it here.

My usual shampoo is a very no-nonsense cheap-o Head and Shoulders 2-in-1 shampoo I've been using since forever. Mostly because it's the only shampoo that doesn't leave my hair all gunked up. I have really wonky asian hair that is straight, but has this (very) slight wave to it that makes it kick out.

Okay. I have to come clean. My hair is fabulous. It's my own fault that I am too lazy to actually brush it and put product in it. Because it is so straight, I can go for several weeks without brushing it.

I have this strange thing with vanity. I attended an almost all-white Catholic school with mostly Italian and Irish kids. Suffice it to say that diversity isn't very prized in an Irish/Italian Catholic environment. For the first fourteen years of my life I was convinced that I was hideous and would end up a lone spinster like those witches in fairy tales.

The style that was popular in my elementary/junior high school was the gaudy Guidette with her pouf of hair-sprayed hair and long red fashion nails. Let's not forget those shiny pink lip-glossed lips. Gloss that come in the white plastic tubs you buy at the local drugstore. And the mascara! Oh yes, the mascara!

During this time I learned to not look at mirrors too much. I used to have to wear a uniform so there goes any need to pay attention to fashion. My only desire in high school was to blend into the crowd.

After junior high, I attended a school that was VERY asian. In fact, there were so many asians, I no longer stood out! Okay, it was a nerd school, but for the first time in my life, I fit in!!

I started to wear makeup, do my hair, and wear all sorts of ridiculous outfits (after all, it was the early nineties).

Then I met my friend Amanda, who had been horrified that a mutual friend of hours took two hours every morning to get ready for school.

"Do you mean," Amanda said. "That this girl spends TWO HOURS looking at herself in the mirror?"

I never thought about it that way before. Through Amanda, I was given books by Derrida, Wittgenstein, Kristeva, and JD Salinger. She introduced me to The Cure, New Order, and indie punk bands. We bought second-hand clothes by the bag and wore the same thing three days in a row. It was a messy, dirty, fabulous life. I no longer cared how I looked. I went out on dates in my ugly white sweatshirt with the orange collar and sleeves. I felt that if the guy didn't like what I looked like all non-dressed-up, then he wasn't worth dating.

As it turns out, it was a very effective way of weeding out the duds. Although it probably only works when you're 22-years-old.

Anyway, I've recently wanted to go more green in terms of the products Peter and I use in our house. I now only use green products to clean almost everything (except for the occasional use of bleach) and yesterday I learned about a new way to wash my hair using baking soda. It's not just good for baking!

I put one tablespoon of baking soda into one cup of hot water. After I wet my hair, I poured this mixture on my head and rubbed it in for about a minute. Then I rinsed it, finished my shower and went to bed.

Yes, I take my showers at night. It's something I've always done. I like to go to bed all clean. I've been trying to convert Peter since we met, but he is a morning-showerer.

The next morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my hair was shiny, bouncy, and smooth. This baking soda thing is the greatest shampoo ever! I'm going to keep using it for a few weeks before I decide if I'm going to completely go "poo-free" -- so hopefully this will work out because it's even easier than the Head and Shoulders 2-in-1. Not only am I lazy, but I'm frugal too and baking soda only costs pennies. So I can save a whole $20/year!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I Love Boston, but Those Red Sox Fans Better Chill

Yesterday Peter and I made an impromptu visit to Boston. Yes, we drive 3 hours to go on a day trip. We told our friend John we were going and his reaction was that it's not worth it.

"What do you do? Drive for six hours just to spend about four hours in Boston?"

Why? Is that crazy?

This is something I've always done with my parents. We'll drive four hours to go to a restaurant we like. Every spring, we'd drive all the way to Washington DC from NYC just to look at cherry blossoms for about an hour. Sometimes you just want to go to another city, isn't that why we have cars?

On the way there, we stopped by a visitor center on the highway to pee. The old guy behind the counter gave Peter a look of evil and it took me a moment to figure out that Peter was wearing his Yankee hat!

Walking with Peter down Newbury Street when he's wearing a Yankee hat is a misery of dirty looks and constant barrage of: "Nice haaat."s (picture Boston accent here)

Peter wanted to get a Boston Red Sox hat because he likes their colors and he likes the team as long as they don't play the Yankees, but I am putting my foot down. No Red Sox hat is allowed in my home, just because of all the stupid fans that have given us such a hard time in the past. In NY, I would never notice if someone was wearing a Red Sox hat, let alone make a comment about it.

When we got into town, Peter stuffed his hat into his pocket and people pretty much left us alone.

Walking down Boylston Street, we noticed that Boston is now about 65% Asian. When did that happen? I mean, don't get me wrong, it's an improvement :) -- but since when? Is it because there are a million colleges and universities there and Asians love to study? Hmmmm...

Also, Peter noticed that there are a lot more attractive people in Boston now. Is Boston the new New York? Now THAT will really piss off those Bostonians.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

They Said This Would Happen!

Hey! I got my first hatemail!

Okay, more like hate comment.

I've arrived!!

I'm strangely ecstatic about this. In fact, I'm so excited and I can't stop grinning.

Yes, I know it appears that we're being complete jerks about this stupid wedding, but it's mainly because there's a lot I haven't explained to my readership so here goes (take a deep breath):

We're not exactly happy to be attending this wedding because Peter has a very strained relationship with that part of the family. Basically, his sister and mother had a falling out over the purchase of a kitchen appliance.

Although Peter has purchased a dishwasher, a refrigerator, a sofa, a dining room table, three air conditioners, a microwave, and any other household appliance that needed purchasing in his parental home, when his eldest sister decided to purchase a new stove for his mother, her husband informed Peter that he would be chipping in for it. That was fine for him, in fact, he had wanted to buy his mother a stove just a few months previously for her birthday, but his mother insisted that she didn't need nor want a stove and she would actually prefer the cash, thank you very much.

I think that Peter's mother keeps quiet about all the things he does buy for her because she wants to play the martyr card in front of her other children. So this whole time there has been a lot of resentment amongst the other children (who only visit her once or twice a year) on how Peter had been fleecing her dry until he met me (the villainess) and then he moved out and abandoned her. I'm sure she never tells them that he paid off the large credit card debt she accrued buying Christmas presents for them. I'm pretty sure that all she does is complain about the stuff that Peter doesn't do for her instead of looking at all the things he does. Basically she's a glass-half-empty kind of person. If the glass is Peter and the empty air is all the unrealistic things she expects from her youngest son.

Okay, back to the original story: New York has this strange law that the stove store cannot hook up the stove. You need to unhook the old stove if you want to have the store carry it off and you need to hook up the new stove. I'm not sure why a Sears technician cannot do this, but he can't and don't even mention it to him because he will shrug his jumpsuited arms at you.

So when the new stove got delivered, Peter's mom insisted on not asking her landlord to unhook the old stove. I don't know why, but she was really against it. So for a few days there were two stoves in her kitchen. Then, there was a phone call from Peter's sister to Peter wherein he told her about this strange New York Stove Law.

In frustration, she called Sears and had them cart away the new stove and return it and she no longer wanted to buy the stove for her mother. In fact, she didn't speak to her or Peter for about four years.

You know how sometimes a stove isn't just a stove? I think that this stove represented a lot of things to Peter's sister and what happened was just the last straw. The fact of the matter is that Peter was born when his mother was in her forties and his elder siblings were already adults, so a lot of water got filled up under a lot of bridges even by the time he was born. There's a lot of crazy family dynamics that he doesn't even understand because they predate him. So this stove thing happened and his sister snapped.

During this time, Peter's father died. (That was a complete nightmare in and of itself without any support system for Peter or his mother during this terrible time.) Peter's eldest sister's entire family did not attend the wake, the funeral, or make any phone calls to the family.

There was a lot of resentment all around, and Peter's mother still has not forgiven them for not attending the funeral. I mean, I had to pick out the coffin and I was all, "The one with the big gold cross. No! The one with the roses. No! The one with the big gold cross. Wait. Uhm. I'm not sure. Can you show me all of them for the third time?" The funeral director was very patient and nice and I was so afraid of picking the wrong casket and the whole time I wished that someone older and wiser could help us out. (Ultimately, the funeral director assured me that yes, the one with the roses is completely appropriate and very Catholic-y)

It's true that for a long time Peter and I have judged this family very harshly for what they put his mother through and the embarrassment this caused her in front of all the other people who attended the funeral service. She doesn't like to feel that her family has completely fallen apart, but sometimes being confronted with it at the age of 84 is extremely difficult and she's not very good at dealing with feelings.

Peter has tried his best to reach out to his nephew. He had called him and not received any telephone calls back. He had asked his nephew to serve as a groomsman at our wedding, hoping that this would mend things a little, but his sister's family did not attend. In fact, their RSVP note was written in ALL CAPS to convey the fervency of their refusal, I suppose.

Because Peter's nephew did attend our wedding and he did stand up for us at our wedding, Peter feels obligated to attend his nephew's. Also, we understand firsthand what it's like when family does not attend a wedding since his sister did not attend ours. We didn't want to do that to anyone else. So we are attending the wedding, but we have reservations about everything. This will be the first time he will have seen his sister in about six years and he's not sure how that's going to be like. He doesn't really understand why his sister has removed herself from our lives, this was a sister that he had felt very connected to until six years ago. He feels that this relationship is completely damaged and irreparable.

The reason we're attending this wedding is that we were invited. And yes, it probably didn't matter which day of the year it was going to happen, but the fact that it was happening over the 4th of July weekend gave me an excuse to bitch and moan about it without really talking about the real issues.

But now that piece of hatemail has forced me to open up that can of worms, so THANK YOU HATEMAIL!

I am trying to be more positive and hopeful about this Friday and I guess that means I'm going to have to stop bitching and moaning. Which sucks because I LOVE bitching and moaning!

So okay, positive feelings from now on!