Friday, September 23, 2011

My Pet Miniature Elephant

The other night I had one of the most terrifical dreams I've ever had. I had LOVED elephants for as long as I can remember. My friends are always getting me elephant pendants, lamps, and paper made from elephant poop (okay--two people have given me this as gifts--I love elephants, not their poop! If I hear that you like dogs, do I give you a bag of my dog's poop?).

In my dream. Peter and I were living in some sort of city. We were renting this huge and awesome apartment and we had a roommate--who had a miniature elephant from Ethiopia as a pet. She was all:

"Oh, this elephant? I got him in Ethiopia when I lived there for a few years."

Okay, so in my dream, I totally fell in love with this elephant--which looked like one of those baby elephants you see on TV. It was about as tall as a Great Dane--so pretty big, but so sweet and cute! And in my dream, I was trying to concoct all these ways that I could kidnap her because my roommate was never going to let her go.

The roommate got this last-minute call--I guess she worked for some sort of organization like the Red Cross or something like that and was called away to Sarajevo, or some other remote country. She asked if I would take the miniature elephant because she didn't want to have her quarantined for 4 weeks like she had to when she brought it to America.

Peter said to her, "Oh, I don't think that's a good idea."

And of course, I totally elbowed him in the stomach and said, "WE'LL TAKE HER!"

The rest of my dream was telling Peter that I would never, ever ask for anything else for as long as I lived if I can have a pet elephant. And we were already living with her!

And then I woke up.

You know that hazy state you're in right after you wake up from a dream? Well, I went over to my computer and looked up "Miniature Elephant as Pets" because I sort of believed that they were out there. And when I found a link, I got SOOOO excited--I mean, I'll go to the ends of the earth to get me a miniature pet elephant.

Apparently, this was a facebook page for the "Society for the Introduction of Miniature Elephants as Pets." It's sort of a jokey site created by someone who had the idea before I had my dream. And no, miniature elephants don't exist...yet. Bummer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


A few weeks ago, when I was in Kentucky, I talked to Peter on the phone and he said, "I think I hear an animal in our bedroom wall."

It's not that I didn't believe him, but Peter's ears suffered through years of playing in extremely loud clubs and rock concerts without earplugs. So yes, I believed that he heard something, but I wasn't really convinced that it was an animal.

About a week later, we were in our bedroom and he said, "That! Do you HEAR that?"

I did hear a little something, but it was very faint and I'm not even sure if I trusted my ears. But then the next morning when I woke up, I distinctly heard something that sounded like chewing in the wall.

I googled "animal in wall" and came across websites featuring birds and possums and raccoons caught in between the walls.

An hour later, I was blithely getting a Swiffer cloth to Swiffer around the living room floor. I pressed down on the box to lift up the flap and AMOUSERANOVERMYHAND!!!! Oops, sorry. I meant: A...MOUSE...RAN...ACROSS...MY...HAND.

Just at that moment, Peter turned the doorknob as he returned from work and heard my bloodcurdling scream that sounded a bit like: "UUUUUUUUUUAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

He said that at first, my frenzied, high-pitched scream made him think that I had hurt myself, but then my scream took on a frantic energy that made him think, "Oh, yeah. That noise I've been hearing is probably a mouse!"

Apparently, the mouse had been FEASTING on the bird seed that we keep under the sink--which is also where we keep our cleaning supplies.

That night we went to Home Depot and picked up these plastic kill and contain mousetraps because they didn't have what my friend who lives in Park Slope calls the "Mouse Electric Chair."

It looked pretty flimsy, but it caught the mouse a few days later. At least, I hope it was that mouse and I hope that it was the only mouse in the house.

Although, Peter and I keep wondering, how was is that the mouse was in the Swiffer box the moment I reached for it? Was he sleeping in there like Stuart Little?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Birthday Party

My sister Judy had a birthday party dinner last week and it was really wonderful. You know the feeling you get when you get so happy that it makes you feel sad? I felt a bit like that.

Judy has developmental disabilities so she kind of operates like a seven-year-old at times. Her friends were mostly from her school and programs she's involved in and a few of her friends have Down's Syndrome. My family picked a restaurant that does events with people who have developmental disabilities and the waitstaff was super-nice (The Bicycle Club in Englewood Cliff, NJ--a really nice space with great people).

When the menus were passed out, one of the kids asked if there was a party menu and when my sister Jenny said, "No party menu, you can order anything you want in the regular menu."

He gasped, "We can order off the REGULAR menu?"

You could tell that inside, he was thinking: Boy, this is CLASS.

It was sweet to see all those kids together. Each person has different disabilities. For example, some kids are shy about asking where the bathroom was, some kids won't eat vegetables, some have special food restrictions, some need help walking because they have physical disabilities. What was amazing was that they all knew each other so well, that they helped each other out.

One girl took away her all her neighbor's vegetables because he won't eat his ribs if vegetables are touching them. (Of course, I'm thinking: Man, his poops must be tough!) One girl with Down's Syndrome needed to go to the bathroom and a friend helped her find it. It was nice to see that everyone had their strengths and weaknesses and as a group of friends, they all worked together to help each other out. I wished that more people could be like that.

Jenny also made these gorgeous decorations with banners, place cards, cupcake flags and goodie bags. She spent hours and hours printing them up and putting it all together. And it did not go unappreciated. When we wrapped up the party, we discovered that a lot of the kids kept all those paper decorations--even the cupcake flags. How cute is that?

Jenny got cupcakes from Manhattan for the party, and on the way home, one of the girls told her mom, "We ate cupcakes from NEW YORK!" It was just so nice because these kids just APPRECIATED the hell out of every little thing and it did kind of make us feel like a million bucks.

I mean, the night was all:

"You're so PRETTY!"
"Where'd you get this? You MADE this? WOW! You're REALLY GOOD!"
"Judy, your sisters are SO NICE!"
"Who's this? Hi! Nice to meet you!"
"I LOVE your dress!"

What's not to love?

I've heard of so many people who terminate their Down's Syndrome babies and it actually made me cry when I got home because these kids were so sweet and kind. And I know that growing up, a lot of my parents' friends have felt sorry for us, but we're so lucky to have Judy in our lives.

I mean, who else has a person in their lives who, no matter what he or she does, will ALWAYS love them unconditionally?

This is how nice my sister Judy is--when she first started work at the library, there was a co-worker there who HATED Judy. In fact, she tried to get the boss to get rid of Judy a bunch of times. I mean, what a creep, right?

About a few months after Judy started her job, I asked her how this co-worker was doing--and if she was being any nicer. Judy said:

"Oh, YES. She's SOOO much nicer now."

"Really?" I asked her. "What's different?"

"Now, sometimes she says hi!"

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Bangs That Never Were

When I was young, my mother used to cut my hair herself and she kept all of her children in bangs up until we were in junior high school. I haven't had bangs in about twenty-five years, but I had been hankering for a change, so I decided that when I went for my haircut, I was going to get bangs.

I've tried to get bangs before, but many hairdressers have talked me out of it, saying that my forehead was too small, my hair was too stiff, I'm too lazy for the upkeep, blah, blah, blah.

When I call up the salon I go to, I was told that my (very expensive) hairdresser was out of town for the next few weeks on vacation. I've had my hair cut with the other senior stylist they have, but I wasn't that happy with it, so I googled around for another salon who can do Asian hair. I found this Japanese hair salon in Scarsdale and thought, "Well, they're Asian, so they should do Asian hair well, right?"

I got there and I told the guy that my hair was really thick, so I wanted my hair thinned out and that I wanted short bangs. However, I did ask him if he thought that my hair could do bangs. He looked at me and said, "Yes, of course."

An hour later, I looked like a mulletted rat.

And I don't know why, because I was paying for a VERY EXPENSIVE haircut, but I didn't want to make a fuss. When the guy looked at my hair, he gave me his card and even offered to fix it if I didn't like it. You know it's bad when the stylist is already offering that while you're still sitting in his chair. I said it looked cute because I didn't want to hurt his feelings. Meanwhile, I was crying in the car on the way home.

This is why I had my friend Marisol come with me to get my hair put up the day of my wedding. I needed a hair advocate because when I'm sitting in that chair, I lose all ability to think straight and I'm so afraid of hurting the stylist's feelings that I don't ask for what I want.

So now I've been pinning back my bangs until they grow back, which according to google will be six months.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Bra Whisperer

I was sitting at a good-bye lunch with the magazine gang last week (our managing editor and three interns were leaving us for greener pastures) and I kept tugging at my bra because it was chafing my right boob. I was trying to figure out what was wrong and I thought that perhaps after all these years of practice, I had simply put my bra on all twisted up. I was sitting there sipping my extremely delicious butternut squash soup with dollops of creme fraiche when I simply could not take it any longer and went to the bathroom to investigate.

Yes, I went to the bathroom and took off my bra. And it wasn't all twisted, in fact, the underwire had BROKEN IN HALF. Yes people, my boob broke the underwire in my bra.

In the past I've had underwires just poke out and decide to leave themselves on Boston's Newbury Street. Apparently, Boston likes to see me without a bra on.

But this was the first time the underwire BROKE IN HALF. I asked all my friends if that had happened to them before and they were like, "Uhm. No. What's wrong with your boob?"

Unfortunately, my publisher and I had a very important meeting so I couldn't just go braless, so I MacGyvered the damned thing with some rolled up paper towels to act as wire supports.

That's when my publisher told me about the Orthodox Jew Bra Lady, who is the New York Bra Whisperer. She can look at any woman and know instantly what size bra she should were.

"Do you think that it'll be weird to tell them that I'm just going to wear it out of the store like a pair of shoes?" I asked.

"Are you kidding me?" she said. "ALL of my friends walk out of there wearing their new bras."

Unfortunately, when we drove by, it was CLOSED. Nerts!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Slovenly Vs. Sloppy

The other day I bumped into a person I know from town at the local coffee shop. She was wearing this old strappy-type dress that hung so low that her boobs were kind of hanging all out. And we're not talking movie-star boobs, but momish boobs. Plus, she was carrying around this really old pocketbook--it was dark with dirt and yuckiness. Also, she didn't look like she had washed her hair in days. She's kind of a salesperson, so I didn't understand why she doesn't take more care with her appearance.

I came home and told Peter that I didn't understand why my friend wanted to look so slovenly.

"Well, you look slovenly sometimes."

"Uh... Uhm... EXCUSE ME?" I said. "I may look SLOPPY all the time, but I don't EVER LOOK SLOVENLY."

Apparently, Peter didn't know the difference.

Sloppy is when you might not iron your shirt so it's still a bit wrinkly, but slovenly is when you don't even bother putting on a bra.

So after a loooong discussion where he took back the part about saying I was SLOVENLY--I said:

"The thing is, she IS married. Isn't it her husband's job to tell her that she doesn't look very good in that dress?"

And Peter said: "Oh, nooooooooo. That's the LAST thing he would ever do."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Goo Is What Tape Is All About

House of Yes is now playing on Hulu!

It's on my favorites list. I love Parker Posey and the writing is incredible:

"Goo is what tape is all about. Goo is what makes it tape instead of PAPER!"

"If she were ill I could give her an aspirin, I could put her to bed, I could make her that soup you're supposed to make. But I cannot. I mean, I can make the soup, for Heaven's sake, it comes in a can."

"Excuse me, I'm going to go baste the turkey and hide the kitchen knives."

"Boy, it's been a long day."
"Not as long as yesterday. Yesterday was 24 hours."

"Oh, there's something I've been meaning to ask you. There's this thing I heard. And if I thought for one second it was true I would probably kill myself. Does your fiancee work in a doughnut shop?"
"A Doughnut King, actually."
"A Doughnut King? So is she like, the Queen? Are we entertaining royalty?"
"She would be more of a Doughnut Lady-in-Waiting."
"So she's sort of a marginal donut figure."
"In all fairness, she is a minor and not a major doughnut...figure."

Saturday, June 18, 2011

16 and Pregnant...and Stupid

There's a show on television that I can't tear myself away from and it is 16 and Pregnant.

I know, it's totally strange. I think this is the same part of me that loved to watch Jon and Kate Plus 8. One time when my sister and I were watching the show, my husband said, "I don't understand the appeal to this show. It's just a show about two people taking care of some kids."

"Yeah," my sister said. "But we're compelled to watch because there's just so many of them."

My favorite episode is the one where the anorexic girl is having a baby and she asks the doctor, "So, do you think it's possible to lose weight while I'm pregnant?"

Uhm...yeah...because you want a baby that weighs negative pounds.

And then one of her friends tries to get her to eat some food and says, "Aren't you supposed to be taking prenatal vitamins?"

The 16-year-old's response was: "I do when I remember to take them...about once a week."

Yup. This is why the show should be called 16 and Pregnant...and STUPID.

The funny thing is that a lot of the 16-year-old pregnant girl's friends have been forbidden to socialize with the pregnant girls. However, I think that hanging out with a teenager who is pregnant is the best thing to scare your daughter shitless.

There's a scene in that anorexic girl episode where she starts to go into labor while her friends are all over her house for a sleepover. All the girls burst into tears and broke out into hysterics. There was not one level head in the room.

No one said, "Okay! Let's get you to the hospital! Where are your bags?"

Instead, there was a lot of freaking out, hand-wringing and crying as the pregnant girl passes out at the dinner table.

Another reason not to get pregnant as a teenager: Your friends are just not ready to handle it.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Rocky Killed an Opossum

Last night Peter couldn't call Rocky back into the house and went out to see that he had killed an opossum. We love opossums. They eat all the rotten fruit on the ground and roadkill. Basically, they are the garbage-eaters of the world, making our communities cleaner. Plus, they're adorable.

Peter was shaking when he came back to the house and threatened to get rid of our dog.

"Is this your anger talking, or do you really want to get rid of him?" I asked.

"I just don't want a dog that does this. He's a real asshole."

I sort of argued the point that as his owners, it's our responsibility to ensure that there are no roving small animals in our yard. But Peter is insistent that Rocky "knows" it's wrong to kill animals. Hmmm. Sometimes he doesn't even "know" where his tail is.

Today I called the vet, who directed me to the Department of Health. Apparently, I need to take the dead opossum to get it tested for rabies and make sure to give the dogs their booster rabies shots. And if the opossum did actually have rabies (which the dept. of health thinks is a really low possibility), then Rocky will have to be quarantined for 6 months.

He got skunked last year and he also killed a crow. The crow, I'm just like, well, what kind of self-respecting crow can't fly away from a dog? But this poor opossum? Rocky sure is a big jerk.

When I told Peter what would happen if the opossum had rabies, he said, "Well, instead of quarantining him, I think we should put Rocky down."

Oh boy, that dog's days in our home may be numbered.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gender Neutral Debate

I recently read an article about a baby in Toronto who is being raised gender-neutral. At first I thought it was a crazy thing to do, but when I kept reading the piece, the parents started to seem less and less crazy. Basically, the couple want to raise this child to figure out his or her gender preference without society pressures. Here's the article.

When I talked to Peter about this, he was all, "Uh, don't get any ideas of doing this for any future children."

I don't see that there's anything wrong with sending out a birth announcement with just a name and a picture. If people want to find out what gender, they can come over or pick up the phone. While we're going that route, we won't let them know what ethnicity the baby is either.

In theory, I think that this is a great idea and it would be great for people to get over the old-fashioned notions of what's right for girls vs. what's right for boys. I went to a Catholic school where boys and girls had their gender-specific uniforms. We had to line up with one line for girls and one line for boys. They also separated us in the classrooms--boys on even rows and girls in odd rows. I always felt that sort of gender-specific classroom placement so oppressive. That separation kind of reached its way into the playground--boys never played with girls. I had only spent a few years in a public school in NJ where all the boys and girls played together (mostly because there were 19 girls and 3 boys in the class--girls ruled that grade!) and it wasn't a big deal.

Intellectually I think it's great that the parents of this kid are trying this out, but I wouldn't feel comfortable about it because I also don't want people in my neighborhood thinking I'm a total freak. Maybe this is just something that you can get away with more in Canada.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Another Use for Balsa Wood

Peter and I had an errand to run super-early in the morning last week on the upper east side, and after some debate, we decided to go home for breakfast. However, it was raining so hard that we ran into what looked like a small lake that had formed at the entrance ramp to the FDR.

Just then, I remembered that there was this breakfast place I used to go to when I was in college--E.A.T.

So Peter turned the car around that's where we went for our overpriced omelette and an overpriced danish. But while we were sitting in the restaurant, Peter remembered that we had gone there before when we used to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"Hey!" I said. "Didn't you want to go to the Guitar Exhibit?"

We googled the Met's hours and it was about to open so we got our stuff and walked over.

There was a HUGE line in front of the museum, which was a pretty amazing sight. I used to spend every weekend at the Met during my high school years, but I had never been there when it opened (let's say I'm not a morning person). It was so nice to be in that dinghy, rainy, early morning hour to see a zillion tourists clamoring to see ART!

The guitar exhibit was in my favorite gallery space in the museum and the only thing I was bummed out about was that the Stradivarius violin was missing because it had been used in a performance the night before. I have never seen one in person before. That would have been fun.

Peter and I also walked through the Alexander McQueen exhibit which was Ah-MAZing!

I've never seen an exhibit like this at the Met in my life! When you walk in, it's really goth-looking with dark mirrors and mannequins with leather wrapped over their faces. The dresses were gorgeous. There were dresses made up of feathers of all kinds and a hat made up of elaborately carved cork which reminded me of the cities carved on a grain of rice in the Taiwan museum. It's definitely a sight not to be missed.

My tip is that if you want to go to the exhibit, get there as soon as it opens, because Peter and I just walked right in, but I saw a bunch of velvet covered ropes with signs that said: 30 MINUTE WAIT FROM THIS POINT

The exhibit was pretty fabulous, but it kind of made me a bit sad and I said to Peter:

"Now I hate all the crappy clothes I have at home. I want a vest made of balsa wood."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Fates Hate My Dentist

So I've had this cavity that I needed to get fixed for a while--but I was a bit nervous about finding a new dentist because my previous two have been not-so-great.

After a few months of procrastinating and getting on a better dental plan, I picked a dentist out from one of the "Best of" lists in the local magazine and he's great. I had an appointment with him yesterday which got cancelled because I had to make a last-minute trip to the city for a work emergency at the time of my appointment. The receptionist was nice enough to reschedule it for today at 2pm.

I left my house with plenty of time to get there, but that's when the road crew decided to shut down all the roads FOR HALF AN HOUR. I was so annoyed. And of course, this was after a HUGE fight I got into with Peter because we had planned on going downtown to run an errand and he didn't understand why I couldn't blow off the appointment. So we basically got into a huge fight for NOTHING because the fates have decided that my cavity WILL NEVER GET FIXED.

When I called the receptionist again, it's a new one who I've never met and she doesn't like me already because of all the cancellations. Begrudgingly, she scheduled me in for Monday at noon. I hope that there's no crazy tornado or anything. I'm going to leave two hours early to make sure that I make it on time.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Everything About Everything

The other day I was teaching creative writing and the kids had a zillion questions.

"What does a gun case look like?" (for a murder/mystery she was working on)

Well, I've only seen one gun case--my friend John's father mailed him a gun (which is against the law, by the way) the week John got engaged. It was aluminum and padded with yellow foam on the inside.

"What does a divan look like?"

It's basically a sofa.

"What's that sort of chair that looks like a bed?"

A fainting couch.

"What's another word for off-white?"


After answering all of their questions, the little boy in the class looks up at me in wonder and says:

"You know what I like about you? You know everything about EVERYTHING."

Kids are so easy to please.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Own Your Notes

Last week it was raining and when I got to my car, which was parked on a PUBLIC street, I found this note on my wet windshield:

It says:

If possible please leave this spot open, for I come home late from work and its very hard to find a parking space considering I have no driveway and you do.

Thank you for your consideration

Besides the fact that this person isn't very literate--I mean, c'mon neighbor! (its=possessive it's=it is)--this is about the fourth or fifth note we've gotten from a neighbor about parking. It's so ridiculous.

When I moved back into town, a guy I know who has lived here his whole life was so happy to see me and asked if I was glad to be back. I said yes, but I was getting stupid notes from my neighbors whenever I parked on the street. He got so mad that he offered to get his police officer friend to send letters out to my neighbors. I was all, uh, no, I think my neighbors hate me enough already.

You know, I also come home late from work and it isn't very hard to find a parking spot. Honestly, most of the homes are single-family so you just have to walk about three houses down on a very safe block. I get really annoyed when people are SO LAZY that they find it a complete hardship to walk a few extra feet.

I'm so thankful that I have legs and feet and that I can walk. Whenever someone is being ungrateful for something in their lives, I always say to them, "But hey, look on the bright side--you've got legs and feet! Some people would do ANYTHING to be able to walk." My friend Andrew is always, "'re STILL talking about the feet thing?" And I always answer him by saying, "Well, if YOU had an aunt who was in a wheelchair because she contracted polio, you would be thankful every single day you could walk also."

I mean, if you have the energy to go home, write a note, and put it on my car, then you certainly have the energy to walk a couple of steps to your house. And if you don't have feet, let me know! I would have total sympathy for you...but I've seen you guys and you all look like you have feet. And what's it to you, stupid neighbor, if I have a driveway or not? That's like saying, I would appreciate it if you could give me ten dollars because you have a driveway.

I find this note extremely cowardly because it is unsigned. I mean, own your notes, dude. Leave a phone number. If my neighbor actually wanted to open up the lines of communication, then I could tell her that we can't park in our driveway because the ramp needs to be fixed and it's just not at the top of our priorities budget-wise.

I also find this note totally infuriating because it is the same handwriting as the note I got on my car last year when it was parked on another spot in the street. Okay crazy neighbor! Even if you want to "claim" a public parking spot, don't try to "claim" two. I mean, that's just plain greedy.

I think the neighbors are getting upset because we've started to park our two cars in front of our house. Usually there are three cars parked there and now we're taking up two prime spots that our neighbors have gotten used to parking on. I asked Peter if he thinks that the neighbors are upset that we're parking our cars in front of our own houses and he said:

"Yeah. I bet they WISH they could write us a note about that."

Hmmm. Maybe I should park my car in front of my house and put a huge note on it saying:

"Don't you WISH you could write me a note telling me not to park here?"

Monday, May 02, 2011


Our magnolia tree blossomed this week!

Last year we were in Denver the week our magnolia tree bloomed--basically we came home to the pink petals all over our yard. The thing only blooms once a year for less than a week. The year before that, we got a crazy thunderstorm right before the tree bloomed and all the flowers got dashed to the floor before its glory could be realized.

This year we're really lucky! Here's to the end of the longest winter in forever!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dirty Rocky

This is what happens when we let the dogs outside a day after it rains:

Did I mention that he's a WHITE Siberian Husky?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Scout from the 70s

I am in love with my iphone because I can take photos like THIS.

Monday, April 18, 2011

You Spin Me Right Round

Right now my arms feel like they're about to fall off, my hands are shaking, and I feel sick to my stomach--I even have the shakes. What happened to me? I just failed my first spin class.

This class felt like TORTURE. And it's not only because that teeny-tiny seat just about dug right into my lady parts. I'm still feeling the burn.

Just ten minutes into the class, I felt like getting out--and the worst part was I didn't even know how long the class was going on. We cycled like super-crazy, then we got up and cycled standing up for five whole minutes--the longest five minutes of my life, then we were supposed to hunch over and cycle some more like crazy, still balancing on our feet.

On my way home from the workout I called my sister Jenny.

Me: I just took my first spin class.

Jenny: That's great! Wasn't it super-fun?

Me: No, it was TORTURE.

Jenny: What? Did you tell the instructor it was your first class?

Me: Yes, and all she said was--"Good luck keeping up! Ha. Ha. Ha."

Jenny: She's supposed to make sure that you're seated in correctly and show you how the resistance levels work.

Me: My arms feel like they're about to fall off and my hands are shaking.

Jenny: That's not good. I think you're seat was too high. There's NO REASON why your arms should hurt. Your legs should hurt. That instructor doesn't sound very good. I think you should try it again with another instructor.

Me: I'm NEVER trying this again. The whole time I was on the bike, I was all, "I HATE THIS. Why do people like this?"

Jenny: No, you should come to my gym. I have a great instructor and it's really fun if you do it right. I have to show you because it seems like you were supporting yourself with your arms and hands and you're really supposed to be working your core.

Me: I didn't know that! I wasn't working my core at all! Sucky Westchester lady's gym! Y'know, I took a Zumba class there too and it was all over the place.

Jenny: Oh, Young is a great dancer and she can't do Zumba. That's for pros.

Me: Okay, I'll try a class with you with a GOOD instructor and see if I like it. I definitely think I was doing something wrong because my lady parts are all sore too.

Jenny: Oh THAT? That's normal. You're just going to have to get used to it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dog Food Hoarder

I love Trader Joe's, but the one thing that drives me a bit nutty about that store is that sometimes for no good reason, they decide to discontinue something that I have grown to love with no warning. That happened to Oregon Chai, those yummy spicy papadums, those really crazy delicious garden burger chicken patties, to name just a few. I mean, with no warning? That means that there's no time to hoard supplies.

The one thing that I have CONSTANT paranoia about is the Bench & Field holistic dog food.

Yes, I feed my dogs holistic dog food. Why? Because when Scout was a puppy, she used to have an explosive diarrhea problem. I tried several different kinds of food including Iams, Nutro, and PHD dog food and it wasn't until we moved to Westchester that I picked up a bag of Bench & Field dog food on a lark and...discovered...that Scout's poop no longer just pooled on the sidewalk whenever she squatted down. Try picking that made us VERY popular neighbors back in the Queens days.

Another reason I like buying the Bench & Field food is that the company is great. About five years ago, there was a problem with a Bench & Field shipment to our local Trader Joe's and I called Bench & Field in a panic. The customer service person calmed me down and told me that she would overnight a bag of dog food to me FOR FREE.

Scout is two months away from being 12 years old and she's in great shape. In fact, every time I tell people she's 12, they marvel at how great she looks. Both of my dogs are in super condition (knock on wood) and I know that this food plays a large role in this.

We really cannot be without this dog food. In fact, just last year when Peter and I went to Denver, I got a call at about 6am in the morning and one of the poor boys at the dog kennel said that Scout's poops were getting a bit soft, so he gave her a special veterinary dog food and now she was exploding poop all over the place and he wanted to call in a doctor ASAP.

After I talked him down from the cliff, and believe me, I understand that cliff. I talked Peter down from that same cliff when Scout was still a puppy and I had left Peter alone with the care of this puppy for the first time. As soon as the plane touched down, I called to tell Peter I had landed safely and his first words to me were:


Apparently, when Peter came back from dropping me off at the airport, Scout had exploded diarrhea all over her dog kennel, rolled around in it and shook it all over our bedroom. It was all over our carpet, our bed, our walls...Peter said after he gave Scout a bath and cleaned up the mess he couldn't even look at her. He was THIS CLOSE to taking her back to the breeder.

So with this kid from the dog kennel, I explained that his first mistake was taking Scout off the Bench & Field dog food and to put her back on it IMMEDIATELY. She probably got a bit anxious so had a few soft poops and then he totally exacerbated the situation by taking Scout off the only food that has ever made her not explode feces out of her ass.

She was totally fine when we went to pick her up.

Last month, every time I went to our local Trader Joe's they didn't carry the Bench & Field dog food. Not only that, but there was a strange new bag of TRADER JOE brand holistic dog food, which is something they do sometimes. They take away the brand that you have grown to love and trust and put in an imposter TRADER JOE usurper.

Of course, I kind of flipped out. I ordered a huge bag from Amazon, went to another Trader Joe location and picked up about 10 bags of dog food. Peter thought I was going nuts. But my response was, "Hey, this has been working for us for the past 13 years. It's TOO LATE to get this dog used to something new!"

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Passive-Aggressive Are We?

So the other day, I was outside waiting for Peter to come out of the house so we could go out for lunch when one of my neighbors across the street--no, not the one who left huge snowpiles in front of my house...and not one of the ones who wrote me douchey notes about parking in front of their houses.

That's right--that's TWO neighbors who have written me notes about not parking in front of their houses. Is that Kah-razy or what? It's a PUBLIC STREET people!! Well, even though it's a public street, I don't want to park my car in front of people's houses if I'm going to find notes on my car, it's more aggravation than it's worth. (Unlike my sister, who would totally be parking in front of that person's house every chance she got, because she's just like that.)

Anyway, I was parked in front of yet another neighbor's house--why? Well, our driveway ramp needs to be fixed because we no longer have our cute Honda Element due to all the 800 blind spots that kept causing me minor hear attacks every time I tried to merge into traffic because there were hidden cars that suddenly appeared as if out of nowhere being driven by extremely angry people who would honk and curse at me. Hey! It wasn't my fault!! It was the Honda Element blind spot! I once nearly ran over a lady because I stopped at a stop sign, looked at the street and no one was on it. I proceeded to drive--and apparently a thin woman was totally hidden by the metal between the windshield window and the passenger window of the Element. She screamed at me and I was all, Hey! I didn't see you! It's not me, it's this car!

Basically, if you see an Element on the road, STAY CLEAR! And if you're crossing the street in front of an Element, WATCH OUT!

Oh, did I digress again? Sorry!

Every time we go up and down the ramp of our driveway, it scrapes the undersides of our cars--and we like to keep our mufflers ON our cars. So, it's not a huge priority to fix this, but for now, we're parking on the street.

So I was waiting for Peter to come out of the house when I see the neighbor and three middle-school-aged girls get out of his Highlander. Then he faces his kids and shouts really loud, "I WOULD HAVE PARKED ON THE STREET BUT SSSOOOOMMMMEEEEBBBBOOOODDDDYYYY TOOK MY SPOT!" Then he ran into his house.

My ears heard his shouting, but my brain hadn't processed what he had said yet, so my first thought was: Wow, he really is super-mad at his daughter--and why does he need to shout at her in public?

Then a few moments later, my brain finally kicked in and I was all: He was passive-aggressively communicating with ME!

I mean, what a COWARD! Not only does he not have the balls to just come over to me and say, "Stop parking in MY SPOT." He ran into his house after his outburst like a total pussy!

I've mentioned before that it's not difficult to find parking on my block. At most, you'll be one or two houses down from yours. In Queens where I grew up, you're lucky if you can see your apartment from the parking spot you find. So you have to walk a few feet to get to your house. Is that any reason to get so worked up?

The fact is, people ALWAYS park in front of my house, which is why I have to park in front of OTHER PEOPLE'S houses!! See how that works? And by the way, that guy who screamed before he ran into his house? His wife is always parking her car in MY SPOT. I should totally scream at her. What a BITCH.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Alien in the Bedroom

I have had trouble sleeping my entire life. I still remember being at my aunt's house for a sleepover and I was in a room filled with children (she had 5 daughters) and I lay there listening to my cousins breathe for HOURS. At home at least I could turn on my secret flashlight and read my Trixie Belden books, but at my cousin's house I could ony stare into space.

Some time in the night, my aunt comes into the room and I pretend to sleep. Because if you are a kid and have as much trouble sleeping as I do and you grew up with my father, you learn to fake-sleep or you're hauled out of bed to stand in a corner. Because in the child-raising manual he got when I was born, punishment cures insomnia.

My aunt then takes the pillow from my head as I lay there fake-sleeping. And of course, not only do I have trouble sleeping, but I absolutely cannot sleep without a pillow. My aunt kind of did stuff like that to me my whole childhood--little things that just made me think, "Why do you hate me and what the hell have I ever done to you?"

After college, my constant insomnia turned into nightmare-laden sleep...and then, the most annoying part of this whole thing was that the family snoring on my father's side, which I thought I had escaped, came down on me--hard. Granted, I didn't bring the walls down like my dad's younger sister, nor did I snore as loud as my grandparents, I mean, talk about insomnia, when I went to visit them, I slept next to my grandmother on a futon and my grandfather slept on the other side of the room and the snoring IN STEREO drove me to get up and play with my dolls at 3am just about every night.

I was completely embarrassed about my snoring until one time I went on a road-trip with my friends and while I was in the back waking up from a nap, I overheard my friend Nicole complain about my snoring and my other friend Mike said, "I think it's kind of cute."

I stopped being embarrassed about it because if someone liked you, they would think it's "kind of cute."

I am so jealous of Peter because he can fall asleep the moment he presses a pillow under his head. I mean, it's pretty amazing. I'll be talking to him and he'll get into bed and as soon as he's in a horizontal position, he's fast asleep. Plus, he says that he's never had ANY trouble sleeping. I'm sure it's some kind of fairy godmother trick because I've never met another human who has NEVER had any trouble falling asleep.

If I had a fairy godmother, I'd ask for the gift of easy sleeping. And if I had two fairy godmothers, I'd ask for being able to find a parking spot in front of any place I visited. Yup, forget beauty and grace.

So Peter and I have been married for almost 7 years now and my snoring and nightmares have gotten really bad--so he made me go see a sleep specialist. I had to go in to a sleep lab a couple of times and I got hooked up to a zillion wires. The verdict is I have sleep apnea and now have to sleep hooked up with a CPAP machine that will blow air into my lungs.

Tonight I put the machine on for the first time and showed it to Peter.

"How sexy is this?" I said. "It's like sleeping with an alien."

He looked me straight in the eyes and said. "You. Need. This."

And then he rolled over and fell asleep.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Westchester Has Turned Me Into a Jonathan Franzen Character

So I yelled at an old man.

Yup, I've finally gone off the deep end.

Remember those snowpiles I mentioned a few posts back? Well, we've had those piles of snow on either sides of our driveway since December 16!

Yes, that's SINCE LAST YEAR people!!

And when I went over to the neighbor across the street to ask him to please stop pushing all of his snow to our side of the street, he responded by saying:

"Well, where else should I put it?"

Uhm...oh, I don't know...maybe YOUR side of the street? Maybe YOUR backyard you big DOUCHE? How about I hire a crew to stuff it all up your pooper?

So a few days ago it snowed again and I was sick of it. I spent two hours digging out the snow and putting the snow on HIS side of the street. Then, a window went up in the house and an old man shouted at me. He said:

"Why are you putting all your snow on our side of the street? How am I supposed to drive over all that snow when I get out of my spot?"

I look over at him and I throw down my shovel and point at the HUGE piles of snow on my side of the street. And then I proceed to scream at this extremely old man:

"Do you SEE the HUGE PILES of snow on our side of the street? YOUR LANDLORD has been doing this to us ALL WINTER! Well, it's not cool, is it? I'm totally SICK OF IT and we don't get any sun on our side of the street so the snow DOESN'T MELT. If I put the snow on your side of the street it will melt by tomorrow! WE HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO PULL IN AND OUT OF OUR DRIVEWAY SINCE DECEMBER 16TH! And what are you talking about? That's NOT EVEN YOUR CAR parked next to that snow!"

Yes, not my best moment.

Then the landlord opens his door and just stands there staring at me with his hands on his hips. I mean, it was really weird. I thought, you know, if this was a movie, he would come out here and help me with the snow. I thought he was going to come out and talk to me, but no...he just spent the next half-hour watching me shovel snow.

When I told my friend about this, she said, "Oh, dear. You HAVE TO move back into the city. You've just turned into a Jonathan Franzen character."

And I was all, "Duuuuude. I'm turning into Patty Berglund."

Of course, as soon as I yelled at the old man, I stopped pushing the snow to their side of the street. I was a bit embarrassed because I knew that even though our neighbor was being a total douche, I shouldn't have escalated it. In fact, when I told Peter about it, he was all:

"Are you okay?"

As in, do we need to send you to a mental hospital to calm down?

I am just so sick of my stupid note-leaving neighbors who are so crotchety and awful and do douchey things. But on the bright side, when the neighbor cleaned out the snow in his driveway, he didn't push it all against our side of the street this maybe my crazy rant wasn't for nothing after all.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bronchitis in California

Peter and I just came back from a week-long Valentine's trip to a lovely resort hotel in California, but unfortunately, I was sick the entire time and I got Peter totally sick. And even though we were wheezing and coughing almost the entire time, we still had a good time (although we spent almost all of our time in the hotel).

Driving around the central valley of California, Peter and I kept saying to ourselves, "Uhm...WHY to we live in NY? Because it's perfect weather here all year round! Why have we been so stupid our entire lives?"

At one point, Peter turned and asked me, "Okay, why are you resistant to the idea of moving here?"

I really couldn't think of any real reason. But a large part of my brain was all one big ball of resistance.

And then he said, "I know. It's difficult. Because we're such New York people and California...well, it's the anti-New York."

Then it all clicked. I mean, of course that's why I'm so resistant. California is the anti-New York. It's like turning my back on a place where they do almost everything the way I'm used to and then moving to a place that's three hours behind. And yes, I know a bunch of people who have moved to California, including a whole bunch of people I went to college with, but the thought of being so far away from the center of the universe is a bit daunting.

It's one thing if we were going out there for a job or a reason, but to pick everything up and move away from all of our family just for nice weather and a cute house? In February, it's always a good idea, but then the sun comes out in March and New York is lovely for a few weeks before the deadening heat of the summer. And, oh yeah, we have bedbugs here. Maybe we should move to California.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


We have been hit by snowstorm after snowstorm and as I pull out of my driveway each day, I notice that there are no huge snowpiles around other people's driveways, but I don't give it much thought.

Then last week, after our last storm, Peter stomps into the bedroom and wakes me up and he is FURIOUS.

As I wipe my bleary eyes, he lets out this HUGE rant and I'm all, "What did you do to my mild-mannered husband and who are you?"

Apparently, he noticed that our neighbors across the street dig out their driveways and their side of the street by pushing all the snow onto our side of the street. The neighbor directly across the street from us snowplow all their driveway snow right up to our driveway so that it now looks like this:

It's hard to tell in this photo, but there are two huge mountains of snow on each side of our driveway, making it super-difficult to maneuver our car in and out. It's been really annoying because the snow has not melted since the last week of December. It's ultra-more annoying because our side of the street GETS NO SUN. That's right, their side of the street gets sun all day so that the snow would eventually melt, but the shadow from our house prevents any sort of sunlight to hit these huge mounds of snow.

Peter was incensed because this is completely crappy unneighborly behavior and very inconsiderate.

I offered to go across the street to talk to the neighbors about maybe not pushing all their snow to our side of the street and he was all, "Oh, really? You think that'll make a difference? That they DON'T KNOW that they shouldn't be pushing their snow in front of our driveway?"

The thing is, we live on a block populated by older people who have been here for the past twenty-five years. So they won't really be taking too kindly to some newcomer who's going to ask them to change their ways.

Sometimes I really hate living in the suburbs--I can't believe how much time I waste talking about these stupid neighbors. Just last week I parked in front of one of our neighbor's houses and received a note on my car telling me not to park my car there. Keep in mind that we've lived here 5 years and this was the first time I had ever parked my car in front of this house. Also, I was only parked there for 3 hours--I only parked my car on the street because we were planning on going right back outside. I don't mind getting a note on my car, but I think it's the height of cowardice to not sign a note. I mean, really, neighbors! Own up to your stupid notes!

My sister said that I should park my car there again and leave a note on my car that says:

"Please forward all correspondence to the blue Accord parked across the street."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Austin Is Awesome...and Weird

A few weeks ago my friend Hannah invited me and a couple of girls to her house for a psychic friends visit. Hannah's ex-roommate discovered psychic abilities a few years ago and now makes a living as a medium. I know, sounds kind of nutty, but I am totally into it.

My mom is a bit in tuned to that sort of thing--she's saved us a lot of money on long-distance calls in my childhood because all she has to do is think of a person and that person will call her. Plus, every time she's had a car accident, she had dreamed of one beforehand--of course, why would she would still take the car? Uhm... still can't understand THAT one.

Okay, so during this meeting, the psychic urged me to take a look at Austin, Texas because my guides are convinced that I would be happy there...she also said to stay away from Toronto because there was "bad karma" there.

Now I'm afraid to go to Toronto.

But for the Christmas holiday season, Peter and I went to Austin and aside from the soft water, we really loved it. The water was really kind of gross. Whenever we washed our hands with soap, it still felt grimy and slippery, like we couldn't get the suds off.

We went to see Tron at the Alamo Drafthouse. There's just nothing more fun than watching a terrible 3-D movie with your favorite person while eating macaroni and cheese and enjoying an orange creamsicle. The drafthouse is right next to Austin Vintage Guitars. Since Peter has started playing music again, we've been hitting vintage guitar shops everywhere we go.

Thanks to my sister's ex-roommate Selena, who sent us a list of vegetarian-friendly places, we went to eat at Casa de Luz, one of the best meals I've ever had, they make this taco thing with this awesome green sauce. The people there were nice (although a bit floopy) and the best meal (and good for you too) you can get for $12 per person. East Side Cafe was also great, unfortunately, we blew our load the first night out by ordering every vegetarian dish on their menu. We wanted to go back there later that week, but we had already tried everything...tip for you guys...PACE yourselves.

One of the best parts of the trip was going to this little airstream trailer and getting cupcakes at Hey Cupcake! Little did we know how famous it was--that cream cheese frosting is the best I've EVER had.

Oh yeah, we had a good meal, but an unpleasant waitstaff experience at Bouldin Creek Cafe the first time we went. Now, pretty much everybody likes me. Gay men, old ladies, babies, young girls, boys, you name it. And most of time, gay women like me, but for some reason, when I asked for more time with the menu, I just got on our lesbian waitress's last nerve and so she completely ignored us pretty much throughout our meal when Peter needed some stuff from her. In fact, on our way to the car, he said, "We got bad service because she DIDN'T LIKE YOU."

Later, Peter said that he only meant that if we had hoped to get ANY kind of good service from anyone, it was if she liked me...and she clearly didn't. Fortunately, we went back on another night and our gay waiter was practically tripping on himself to provide me with the best service, including getting me a special desserty thing that wasn't even on the menu. So my argument to him is that, even though I was a woman, perhaps HE could have done a better job charming the lesbian waitress, since I clearly charmed the gay waiter.

According to our guidebook, The Clay Pit was the spot to hit for Indian food. We went for the lunch buffet, but since we're used to the Jackson Diner, the food was merely...meh. Of course, the Jackson Diner has pretty much ruined us for any other Indian buffet. We're used to having practically ten meal choices with free dosas, tandoori, dessert, salad as well as naan bread. So when we went to Clay Pit, we were all, huh? Only three meal choices? But to be honest, all of the Indian people who were there ordered off the menu--so I suggest you skip the buffet and order off the menu, it seemed that's what the locals were doing.

We had a great time and ate a lot. There was so much for vegetarians in Austin. The only thing we didn't try was the pizza. Every time we passed a pizza joint, Peter said, "Soft water pizza. I just don't think that could be any good."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


So my mother called me up last week and her first question to me when I picked up the phone was:


Okay, ten heart attacks later, I'm all, "WHY? WHY? WHAT HAS HAPPENED?"

Apparently, she just wanted to get a hold of me to tell me to purchase MegaMillions tickets because according to her Tibetan sushi chef, a psychic from the Chinese newspaper said that the next winner was going to be a woman, born under the Gemini sign, who lives in New York State.

That's ME!

So she wanted to get a hold of me because I needed to get my coat on and run over to the local gas station to pick up my winning ticket.

My mom is a bit in tune with psychic forces herself, so I was getting my jacket and Peter came with me.

While I was in the car, I thought, which gas station am I going to bless with the fantastic reputation of being a winner?

At one point, Peter asks me, "Why are you doing this?"

I said, "Look, once a year, my mother asks me to do a crazy thing and I do it. Last time I had to burn a piece of paper, but water on the ashes and pour it over my head."

"You did WHAT?" Peter said.

"Yeah, I didn't TELL you about it because you would have told me that it was CRAZY."

"I don't think you should have told me now," he said.

I was really bummed when I didn't win, because she had me totally convinced.

Oh well, I made a deal with myself that I will do ONE crazy thing for my mom each year--and she used it up early this year!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Standing in the bathroom, I told Peter that, "2011 is going to be the year I CONQUER SOAP SCUM!!!"

I thought that would elicit a laugh from Peter, but he looked at me with an eyebrow raised and said, "You know, you said that last year."

I was all, "What? I did? I don't even remember!"

Oh well. Maybe I'll succeed this year. Now that I have this written record of it to remind me.

So much happened last year. Rocky got skunked, one of our cars was caught up in a tornado (thank goodness no one was in it), our other car was hit by a drunk driver (while we were in it), Rocky ran away during Peter's mom's birthday party (luckily some nice people found him), my grandfather passed away and Peter got cancer.

Although we hit some rough patches last year, we had some fun times. Peter has picked up the guitar again and is back to writing songs. We did a lot of traveling. We went to Denver, Austin, Nashville, and both Portlands--the one in Maine and the one in Oregon. Guess which one Peter liked better? The one that had more vegetarian options and didn't "smell like fish."

At the close of last year, a year we were on pins and needles just trying to survive, I asked Peter, "Was this year the worst year of your life?"

And he looked at me and said, "Of course not. Some really great things happened this year."

The reason I didn't post so much last year was that I wanted to respect Peter's request not to write about what he was going through while it was happening---but it was such a large part of our lives that it didn't ring true not to write about it so it felt easier to just not post. Then a few weeks led to a few months and pretty soon I became another deadbeat blogger even after Peter gave me the okay.

So, another one of my New Year's resolutions is to post regularly on this blog again. After all, I have my dozen fans to think all those people who come here to find out about Liz Cho's feet.