Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Can't Get Rid of Stuff

I have been going through a tumult of cleaning the past few days. This is all coming about because I have gotten sick and tired of looking at my messy apartment and getting into arguments with Peter on why I cannot clean the floors before I clean the dogs and if I clean the dogs, I will have to clean the dog beds. If I clean the dog beds, I will have to clean out the laundry machine, which means that I cannot clean our clothes before I disinfect the laundry machine. I cannot clean the floors before I clean out all my papers. I cannot clean up my papers before I get a desk so I can keep my crap in it. I cannot clean the clothes before we get a new dresser because Peter gave away my dresser to the painter dude who sprayed blue paint all over my bathroom because he must have been too lazy to put drop cloths down.

But DESPITE all these things, I decided that I should start to clean the clothes and the bathroom and spruce up the kitchen and living room anyway. And it looks a LOT better than it did two days ago, so that's good.

The thing is, I am a huge procrastinator, mostly because I want am super lazy, but also because I want things to be done right, which makes each small task a huge undertaking. But my New Year's Resolution is to not let Peter live like a slob. Because if there's only one life to live, I don't want us to live like that dirty kid that was Charlie Brown's friend.

Inspired by my whirlwind of cleaning, Peter decided to get rid of some of his old computers. I don't know why he's kept them so long. But last night, he asked me to look up when we could dump old computers in Mamaroneck. So I pull up the Town of Mamaroneck's website and discovered that they will only accept computers on two days per year. One day in April and another day in October. Which means that if you are on a cleaning spree in January, you have no choice but to dump it somewhere you're probably not supposed to (which we would NEVER do, of course).

Sometimes I don't get this town. Why are we paying these huge taxes?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Superman Just Doesn't Make Sense

Tonight we saw the tail end of Superman Returns. What I didn't like about it was that every seemed too mamsy-pamsy to be those characters. Lois Lane was so meh...And Superman was not Super enough. Kevin Spacey didn't have any charm.

"You know what I didn't like about Superman?" Peter asked. "I didn't like the fact that there isn't any explanation to the phenomena."

"Do you mean stuff like, if Superman's hair is so strong, how does he get his hair cut?"

"Maybe his hair doesn't grow? There's no explanation."

"So he's destined to only have one hair style? And also, remember that movie where Lois Lane dies and he turned back time? If he can turn back time, why doesn't he just do that all the time?"

"Well, that would require too much energy."

Friday, January 23, 2009

Late-Night Conversation

Me: Don't you hate it when you get to a dark room and flick your hand up to turn on the light switch---

Peter: And you miss it? Yeah, it feels really weird.

Me: And then you lose your balance because you flicked too hard?

Peter: No... That's never happened.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pleasant Techno Music?

While we were in Orlando this year, I browsed through Tripadvisor.com to look for restaurant reviews and it always makes me laugh. For instance, we went to a restaurant called Sweet Tomatoes, which was really delicious for a buffet that costs merely $8.19.

But when I logged on to tripadvisor, I saw several posts which advised people that there were MUCH CHEAPER deals in Orlando. My reaction was, "Cheaper than $8.19 for a huge salad bar, all-you-can-eat soups (delicious soups at that), freshly baked breads and pasta (including a whole wheat penne dish)? What do you people want for $8?"

But the funniest post was this one, especially because it starts out with: "My wife, daughter and I began our experience by having a glass of wine at the bar while listening to pleasant Techno music."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rachel Getting Married=Vomit

A few weeks ago I took my mother to see Rachel Getting Married. The performances were good, although a bit over-the-top, but ultimately it was pretty boring. At one point, everyone sits in the kitchen watching a dishwasher-loading contest. I turned to my mother and said, "Is this interesting cinema? I can load my own dishwasher at home."

But the biggest problem in the movie is the way indie film makers want to capture a film with all its "real world" jiggling a la "Blair Witch." The purpose, I suppose, is to make things appear more like documentary off-the-cuff film making. However, the real effect is my poor mother leaving the theater and saying:

"I feel like THROWING UP!"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Inauguration Day!

Wishing everybody a Happy Inauguration Day!

It's the day we all tell President Bust --oops--typing slip-- President Bush, "GET OUT!"

I believe that Bush was a terrible president, but let's overlook the non-intelligence and the bad decisions and falling asleep during Hurricane Katrina and the torturing, etc. etc. etc. A lot of very unlucky things happened during the first term of the Bush presidency.

The Chinese believe firmly in the reality of luck. Belief in luck and superstition is more powerful than any religion or blood relations. My grandmother was given away at birth because a fortune teller told my great-grandmother that a girl born in the year of the tiger was bad luck. Luckily, she was adopted into a wonderful and wealthy childless family. So, I guess as it turned out, being a tiger girl was good luck. For my grandmother.

The fundamental difference between Americans and the Chinese, is that the Chinese people would NEVER have re-elected a president as unlucky as this one. You know the saying, "You don't have to be good if you're lucky?"

Obama seems to be pretty lucky so far, so it's a great sign.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Not My Friend

Today, I was talking to my sister and she started a story with:

"Something happened to my friend... actually, she's not my friend because I hate her.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

JCPenney Has Tricksy Mattresses

When I bought my mattress, I made a point to go to JCPenney to buy one of those "Natural" mattresses made of organic materials. Peter and I got into HUGE fights that day because when we went to the JCPenney in Nyack, that particular store didn't carry mattresses. However, Peter did purchase two pairs of Lee Jeans for a steal.

We traveled to a part of New Jersey no one with all their teeth venture to purchase this particular mattress. I felt the aggravation was worth it, since I wanted us to fall asleep in luxurious organicness every night for the next ten years.

So I was VERY UPSET to learn in this NY Times article that the mattress I bought, in the Natural Care line by Danny Seo is not so organic.

JCPenney sucks and they are lying liars! I am NEVER buying non-organic organic items from them EVER AGAIN!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Relying On My Personality

The other day, I was looking in the mirror and I thought that I really should start wearing makeup. The thing with me and makeup is that I had a friend in high school who used to take two hours a day to get ready for school and a large portion of that time was applying makeup.

I told my friend Amanda about this and she was horrified. "You mean," Amanda said. "She looks at herself in the mirror for two hours every day?!"

It seemed like the height of vanity and I had a bad attitude about this. Especially since most of the girls I knew who were consumed with fashion and makeup seemed to have very little else to offer. Plus, the whole thing with makeup, I find, is that it's all about the re-applying. Makeup WEARS OFF, practically from the first moment you put it on. So the whole rest of the day is spent obsessively looking into mirrors to make sure that pieces of my face didn't rub off.

I realized the other day that I am the opposite of the girl who relied on her looks and never worked on her personality. When I had just graduated college, I had my wisdom teeth pulled and I went to work anyway with a swollen face and wearing an ugly white sweatshirt with orange cuffs and collar. I remember pulling on that ugly sweatshirt and thinking that I wanted to look as bad as I felt.

That day, a new guy came to work. A really cute new guy. We all hung out after work together and when things were winding down, the guy asked me out. I was stunned. You mean, I can look like a slob and cute guys will still like me? Wow. Only in New York! (By the way--this would NEVER happen in Westchester. They like their girls made up, with long colored nails and wearing tight mafia-wife type sweatpants.) (And yes, whenever I mention New York, I am not talking about the state, but THE CITY.)

When this happened, it was just positive reinforcement for bad behavior, because I hardly ever took pains with my appearance again. I mean, I brush my hair occasionally and wash my clothes, but I have twisted open a mascara wand less times in the past ten years than I have fingers and toes.

It doesn't help that EVERY MAN I've ever dated has not cared (or noticed) whenever I put on makeup. In actuality, the only people who care seem to be other women. At my wedding, my mother-in-law turned to me and said, "You're so BEAUTIFUL when you FIX YOUR FACE!" I took that as a compliment.

It's only recently that I've thought perhaps I should put a more presentable face to the world. It's probably my age. Although it's kind of funny to still get mistaken for a teenager, perhaps it's not such a good thing. I should look my age and do all the things my mother wished I would do--like fix my hair and not look slovenly. Oh! And lose that last bit of weight. So I went shopping with my sister today for grown-up clothes and I bought a suit. The thing is, that I'm between sizes, so a size 12 was a little too big, but a size 10 was too tight to be comfortable. At one point, I looked at my sister and said, "Honestly, which one looks better? Because I can't figure it out. A little too big? Or a little too tight?"

"Uhm. Well, I think the best thing to do is for you to lose five pounds so you can look really good in a size 10."


Monday, January 12, 2009

What Our Parrot Would Say

Today Peter and I just sat around the house and thought up words and phrases our parrot would say...if we were to have a parrot. Yes, this is what happens when you've been together for eleven years. If you are LUCKY.

If we ever had a parrot, we would name him Caribou and he would say:


Ack! (what we tell the dogs when they're doing something wrong)

Good Kitty!

Where are my KEYS!


Good Meow Meow!

What a douche bag!

It's a MESS in here!


Where's the DS?

Don't drain all the batteries from MY DS!

Get your OWN DS!

Are you pooping in there?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

We All Have to Deal With It

The little kitty is (so far) pretty successful with the litter-kwitter toilet training. However, she has been pooping a lot less. She used to poop every day and now she will keep it in for three days straight. My sister asked me why and I said, "Well, my theory, and it's only a theory, is that she hates it when the poop splashes the water up her butt. I haven't figured out a good way to fix that yet."

"So what? She needs to learn how to DEAL WITH IT. I mean, WE ALL do."

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Worst Book EVER!!!!

I have been a lifelong reader of books ever since I have learned how to read. I have read many books. Some good, some bad, but never have I read a book and thought to myself, "THIS is the WORST BOOK EVER WRITTEN." It wins the Pulitzer Prize of BAD books.

My friends, I have discovered the NADIR OF LITERATURE and it is "You've Been Warned," by James Patterson and Howard Roughan.

I discovered this book sitting in a drawer at the house we rented in Florida. I like great literature, but I also like a good thriller. I've read some of Patterson's other books. He doesn't have the insight or the great writing voice as Stephen King, but it's like cotton candy. Most of the time, it's disgusting, but every once in a while, you want some.

Spoiler alert in case you ever want to read the NADIR OF THE WRITTEN WORD--

The story starts out with a girl nanny who is having an affair with the man of the house. The woman of the house is a witch (of course) and the kids love the nanny more than their stepmother. Okay. Can we get more cliche? This character has these awful nightmares and keeps seeing people on the streets who have died. Then she witnesses the same events from her dreams.

You would think that this was a murder-mystery, what with the body bags and the moving arm she sees poking out, but no. We go right back into the boring-ass story about her stupid affair. And then the end? In the end we discover that the wife was having an affair with a younger man all along, the nanny told the husband. The husband went to the hotel to discover what happened and ended up killing the boyfriend. The wife kills the husband and the nanny tries to save the boyfriend, killing the wife in the process. However, when the wife was defending herself, the nanny got herself killed and...the body bags the nanny saw in her dreams were of the four of them! They're all dead and she's been reliving this nightmare on a loop! It's Groundhog Day, but with body bags!

I think this may be a huge April fool's joke Patterson is playing on all of us. I mean, the title is "You've Been Warned." That should have told me something.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Honor Your Father and Mother

My mother-in-law hasn't spoken to her daughter since she got back from her house during Christmas vacation. My sister-in-law is not my favorite person, ever since that time she told me I wasn't part of the family. It's also hard not to judge someone who skips out early on her own father's funeral and refusing to attend the burial because she wanted to go to a local restaurant with friends.

I grew up attending a Catholic school and all throughout my childhood, I could never parse these people, these Catholics who attended church on Sundays and Wednesdays and, at the same time, show such racism toward me. Not everyone, of course. My best friends have been Catholics and I married someone who was raised Catholic. As my friend Andrew says, "I guess Jesus feels like he owes you!"

On Christmas morning, Peter's mother wanted to attend Christmas Mass, which she does every year. Her daughter knew that Peter's mother wanted to go with her, but snuck out of the house without taking her. Since I studied the Ten Commandments in kindergarten, I know that the fifth commandment in the Catholic faith is, "Honor your father and mother." In fact, that commandment is listed above, "You shall not kill."

I always felt that this meant God viewed honoring your parents as more important than not committing murder.

This is the sort of behavior which always annoyed me about certain practicing Catholics. They will cut you off to get a parking spot to make it to Church on time. They will leave their mother at home to go to Church to act pious.

When she arrived back home, Peter's mother had it out with her daughter and during their argument Peter's sister said, "Maybe I'll be DEAD by next year and you won't have to deal with this at all!"

Of course, Peter's mother played right into her hands by crying and professing her love. This behavior is so manipulative. Peter's sister basically avoids being called out for bad behavior by taunting and scaring her mother. I don't even know why she bothers inviting her over the house if she's just going to ignore and terrorize her all week.

This reminds me of a time I had a huge argument with my father during my adolescence. We have a very strange relationship. I met him when I was five years old because he had come to the US to make a living. During my childhood, he wasn't a very good father. Seeing him become a better father to my sisters has healed some of what I endured.

I can't remember what we were fighting about, but he turned to me and said, "You can blame me for every unhappiness in your life. I know that I've given you many things to be unhappy about. But I also know that I've given you joy. It's your choice, what you choose to keep and what you choose to throw away."

It was the turning point in our relationship. Sure, he still drives me crazy. The other day, as I was on the telephone with my sister, I heard that timbre in his voice as he was talking with my mother. The one that made me want to run to my room and hide and I thought, "Hey! I'm THIRTY-FIVE YEARS OLD. I can just HANG UP THE PHONE and not have to hear this!"

When I was young, I would cry in my grandmother's arms and she would say, "He's not the best father in the world, but he's not the worst. There are some people who have burned their children alive."

Thanks Ama. Way to put that in perspective. At least my father doesn't use me for kindling.

Peter's mother gave birth to four healthy children. Three of them seem to hate her. And even though she may not have had the best capacities to guide her children through life, they are all still healthy and successful, with beautiful families and large homes (multiple homes, even). I'm sure there are thousands of people out there who would chop off their leg to have what these people have. However, they seem so unhappy and they harbor so much resentment toward their mother, which I don't understand. I often wonder about the good memories. Where did they store them?

I hope to be the kind of person that will remember the good things. It's not easy. I think it's easier to harbor negative thoughts and resentments. I guess that's my new New Year's Resolution. To be more POSITIVE!

To start, I guess I should stop grousing about how horrible my sister-in-law is.

Monday, January 05, 2009

It Says STUFT!!!!

Peter and I went on a week-long trip to Florida to do some research on whether or not we want to move to St. Petersburg.

Pro: No Winter

Con: Not NYC

The most annoying thing about this trip was that we didn't pack any food for the ride back home to New York. We drove because it was such a last-minute trip during the most popular time in the year to go to Florida, so we couldn't get a reasonably priced airfare. We figured that we would just drive up and stop by a Quiznos or Panera Bread and then get to our favorite restaurant in Virginia for dinner.

What we didn't count on was that we would get stuck in crazy unbelievable traffic in Georgia so we weren't going to make that restaurant in time. Also, there are NO PANERA BREADS all the way through Georgia and the Carolinas. Also no Quiznos. The ONE TIME WE STOPPED somewhere in South Carolina, Wendy's did not have the vegetable wrap. Apparently, they have no vegetarian options in any fast food by-the-road restaurant. Even the salads are sprinkled with chicken.

Finally, at around 9pm, we hadn't found anyplace for Peter to eat so we stopped by a Taco Bell drive-thru to see what they had and this was the conversation:

Peter: What does that say for number two?

Me: Uhmm. Steak?

Peter: No. Number two further down.

Me: It says STUFT

Peter: You mean it says STEAK.

Me: NO. It says STUFT.

Peter: Steak, right?


Peter: What is that?

Me: I DON'T KNOW! I've NEVER BEEN TO TACO BELL BEFORE. Apparently, they do this to their burritos. They STUFT them!

Peter: Okay, well ask them what it is?

Me (to the window): What's in the STUFT Burrito?

Window dude: Uhm. Well, you can have chicken or steak and there's beans. And there's other things in there...uh....uhm...but I don't know how to explain it.

Me: Can we have one that doesn't have any meat in it?

Window dude: Sure.

A few minutes later, while Peter is eating his STUFT, he turns to me and says, "What is it that the guy had trouble explaining? It's beans with vegetables and melted cheese. Doesn't he ever look into one of these things?"

"Well," I said. "I think he's just used to dealing with people who order Taco Bell every day. I was just throwing him into a tailspin. But perhaps those aren't real vegetables and cheese so he didn't know exactly how to explain the polymethlsiloxane that's in the sandwich."

"I don't THINK so."

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New YEAR!

When Peter asked me what my New Year's Resolutions were this year, I said:

Lose ten pounds.

Get a great job I love.

Try to have a baby.

To which he replied:

Those aren't resolutions. Those are wishes.


What's the difference between resolutions and wishes?