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?"