Thursday, June 29, 2006

Heh. I said "crotch."

It seems that the latest seasonal gimmick at Starbucks is an oversize cookie made to look like an orange or lime slice. To help their customers more easily identify these cookies, the great minds behind Starbucks' baked goods have coated them in copious amounts of Day-Glo orange and green sugar icing of some sort. If the theory is that you either a) feel less guilty for eating a cookie if it looks like fruit; or b) don't actually gain weight from eating a cookie that looks like fruit, then I'm completely behind it.

I am in a piss-poor mood today. The past two weeks of feeling like I'm sitting directly inside a sponge is making me crotchety. Humidity is for suckers!

On a lighter note, I finished reading ATONEMENT by Ian McEwan last night. It was gorgeous and heartbreaking. I felt through the entire book that McEwan was really USING language in a way I hadn't read before. It was lush and beautiful and you should read it. The end.

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Excuse you

Last night, we were watching "Cheers." Midway through the episode (the one where Sam pretends to be a rich Jewish doctor to get a table at a swanky restaurant while Diane waits hours to be seated and oh feh blah blah pompousboringplotcakes), Josh started to blow air through his lips, making a farting noise. He did it a few times, very calmly, and when I looked up at him, he said:

Josh: When I do this [mouth-farts again] the TV screen gets all wavy.



Josh: I'd be really good at parties.

He has also taken to plugging my nose each time I ask him what we're doing for my birthday. I love that he's so easily amused, even if it occasionally hurts my face.

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Friday, June 23, 2006


A man on the elevator was talking about how he's lactose-intolerant but just ate a pastrami sandwich with cheese and mayo. He was powerless to its allure.

He is me when confronted by ice cream. Because really? I don't care what ice cream does to my stomach or my thighs or my whatever-innards. There is nothing better than ice cream. I think even — dare I say it? — french fries are not as good. (By saying this, I have entered a new phase of my life. The Ice Cream as Goddess Phase. EVERYTHING is different.)

Anyway, this week has been eventful in its uneventfulness. My body shut down from head-to-toe exhaustion (but not the Lindsay Lohan/Mariah Carey/Britney Spears kind; I don't have to check into Promises or anything) and I slept all day Tuesday and Wednesday. Sleep like that is extraordinary when you have the luxury of taking it: You are just on another plane, when getting up is not an option and there is absolutely nothing twittering in the back of your mind to keep you awake or worried or alert. The flowers in my garden even started to grow, I think because I was asleep long enough to stop staring at them. I hate to cook; my garden is my watched pot.

Last week, we were talking about the effects of magazines on everyday life. I said that every time I walk through the art department of an outdoor-lifestyle publication in my office, I look at the pictures on the designers' screens and want to be THERE, in those photos. My friend Amy said, "Yeah! I know! I think, God! My life sucks! Why aren't I spelunking?!?"


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Friday, June 16, 2006


This just in, from Jennifer:

"Anyway, the other thing you should know is that Chubby Weiners is on Western Avenue, which happens to be the longest street in the world!"

And according to Wikipedia, it is the longest continuous street in the world. Which means it doesn't stop for breaks.

Awww yeahhhhhh ...

I am 12.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Why can't they tear down Ann Coulter instead?

While I was working at my previous job, there was a man who would drop things off in my office. He was very quiet, a little skittish, relatively slight in stature, glasses, tight curly hair. He was very nice but incredibly shy.

I think I just saw him in the lobby of my current office, resplendent in a bright-red mohawk.

What was even more bizarre was that he was still wearing his glasses and sensible blue oxford/navy chino combination. I either saw this, or I am insane.

In other news, I read today that an announcement regarding the possible demolition of Tiger Stadium could come by next week. Oy, this made me sad. I understand that Tiger Stadium has been used for virtually nothing since Comerica Park was built (didn't Snoop have a party there during the Super Bowl?), and I understand that it's just the most recent in a long line of historic ballparks going the way of the dodo. But I can't get my head around the concept of the disposable landmark. Yes, I did throw up on my father at my first Tigers game (ew, hot dogs), but man, that meant something!

I felt the same way when they demolished the old Hudson's building in downtown Detroit in 1998. Nearly every Christmas of my youth went down thusly: Go to Hudson's, sit on Santa's lap and tell him what you want, listen to my sister Stephanie say that she didn't want anything because she's Jewish, go out for Chinese food, drive around predominately Jewless neighborhoods like Rochester and Livonia to look at lights, go to bed. I thought I managed to avoid the constant media replays of the demolition, seeing that I had moved to New York just before it happened, but lo and behold, I came home from work one day, turned on my TV, and there it was: "The historic Hudson's building in Detroit came down today ..." And they aired no less than two showings of the beautiful structure crumbling to dust. My heart sank.

I think, ultimately, it's about change and a deep, ingrained need to avoid it. One more image of your childhood is erased, to be filled in by a condo complex or a parking lot or an Ikea. Is memory stronger than physical structure? I don't know, but it's what you have left whenever you move to a new house or graduate from college or watch one of your favorite sporting venues get leveled. Being married to a baseball purist has absolutely rubbed off on me. Tiger Stadium coming down means that I can never take Josh there.

Last night, for the first time in maybe ever, Josh and I watched Jay Leno, but only because George Carlin and Ann Coulter were the scheduled guests. (We're Letterman people. Jay Leno gives me hives.) What we really wanted was for George Carlin to beat the crap out of Ann Coulter. We would have taken the smackdown any way we could get it — physically, verbally, he could pelt Skeletor figurines at her head. But he sat quietly while the she-devil hellbeast spouted off on whatever-the-hell-she-says. He listened to her, his brilliant mind likely reeling with the most acute, on-point responses. He was far more mature about sitting next to her than I would have been. (When I accidentally met Ann Coulter at my office holiday party two years ago, I just ignored her each time she tried to say something to me. I firmly believe that the worst thing you can do to Ann Coulter is to pay any attention to her. Also, looking her in the eye caused my skin to melt from my body.) Anyway, I would have given anything to have been a fly on the wall during the commerical breaks.

My sister Jennifer just called to tell me she drove past a place called Chubby Weiners. This is in Chicago, which is also home to Mr. Beefy. Chicago is dirty!

Quote of the day:

JOSH: (holding up his can of Arizona Iced Tea after having a "D'oh!" moment) It's too bad this is a 23-ounce can, because I can only smash a 12-ounce can against my forehead.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Potato, potahto, tomato ... eggs?

Overheard on the downtown 2 train:


Now, I would have been right there with him if ILICS#1 had pronounced Jan like "yon," but he pronounced it like Jan Brady. And ILICS#2 didn't pronounce Yanni like "yan-nee," he pronounced it "yon-nee". So really, the conversation may as well have gone like this:

ILICS#1: If bark tasted like coconuts, I would drive it straight into the Grand Canyon.
ILICS#2: I know what you're saying, because mustard is Pez!

It's a good thing I saw this the other day

because otherwise I might never leave the house.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Overall wellness

Stacy and I have been BFFs LYLASs since we were six years old. It's an extraordinary thing, knowing someone for that long who isn't family, and knowing someone that well. I think I was never fully aware of how rare such a friendship is until I hit 28 or 30 and people would be flabbergasted when we'd tell them we've known each other since 1980. (And then they'd say, "I wish I had a friendship like that," which would make us feel slightly sad for them but admittedly lucky for us. I admit to a gratifying smugness, which I'm not proud of but there you go. It's okay to pat yourself on the back over something like a 26-year friendship.)

We've lived in different parts of the world for large chunks of time, so when she moved from Brooklyn to Chicago last November, it wasn't so much the basic idea of once again setting up camp in faraway cities that was the bummer. It was more that the ideas we had of what our friendship would be like as adults would likely never come to fruition. When we were in high school, we talked about living next door to each other and knitting booties for our grandkids together. But seriously, who were we kidding? Neither of us knits. And don't even get us started on the "kids" thing. And for some reason, I always pictured some rural setting with dusty wood and yellowing leaves and rickety greenish rocking chairs and dirt roads and Forrest Gump darting past us, running out of his leg braces. This would never happen, as I would never live in Alabama. Along the lines of Anne Who Is Awesome's musings on our former coworker, it's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.

So we're doing what one does when one is faced with the repetitive life theme of things not turning out the way you'd planned: We're kicking ass as best we can. Case in point: her visit to NYC this weekend.

The bonus of Stacy now living in Chicago is that it's guaranteed that whenever she comes back for a visit, it's going to be the most I Heart NY experience. So this past weekend, we stomped some favorite grounds in Brooklyn, shared the most ridiculously tasty blackberry-and-white-chocolate dessert at a Hell's Kitchen patisserie (when was the last time I ordered a dessert that wasn't chocolate-chocolate? other flavors DO have a purpose, Marla), and headed to the Town Shop on Broadway and 82nd Street to buy bras. I can proudly say that for the first time in years, my breasts are properly housed. O, I adore thee, buoyancy!

Our makeshift picnic in Cobble Hill Park was a potpourri of deliciousness from Middle-Eastern shops on Atlantic Avenue. We were talking about all the yummy ethnic food to be found in the neighborhood, and she said her husband felt weird going into one of the local shops.

HER: He thinks it's run by al-Quaeda.
ME: Well, al-Quaeda has really good bread.
HER: Seriously.

After we parted ways on Sunday, I had various things to do around Union Square. It was a divine day — sunny in the 70s, a fine break after two weeks of pissing rain. I picked up a late lunch at Zen Palate (mmm, Sesame Medallions) and sat on the grass

in the park for hours. There was much people-watching to be done — a beyond-irate fellow screaming to absolutely nobody that if they touch his wife and daughter, he will kill them; a troupe of masked, make-upped vixens

slithering along the park's paths in some kind of silent, choreographed mimicry of the "We are Siamese if You Please" ditty from "Lady & the Tramp"; etc. etc. and so forth. But my favorite was this guy who can best be described as Biz Markie's doppelgänger: He walked by wearing ginormous headphones, singing at the top of his lungs to a song that sounded familiar. The closer he got, the more clearly I heard, "Somebody tell me / why I work so hard for you." Dude was jamming to WHAM! and it pleased me to no end.

On Saturday, Stacy told me a story about one of the first business trips she had to take at her new job: She was sitting on the plane next to a coworker, a man she barely knew. She takes Chinese herbs every day like clockwork, and when he saw her pour her stinky leaves (seriously, they smell like feet) into a cup half-filled with hot water, he asked her what she was doing. "I take herbs," she said. "What for?" he asked. Knowing that any reason she could give would certainly be none of his business — if it was arthritis, it would be none of his business; if it was because the herbs made her hair lustrous, same thing — she said, "They're for my overall wellness."

That will now be my reason for doing absolutely everything. Marla, why did you spend so much time watching capoeira demonstrations

in Union Square that only the left side of your face is sunburned? Why, it was for my overall wellness!

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

A nice place to visit

Today I was talking with my friend Anne Who Is Awesome about a guy we used to work with. He's an interesting man, well-read, flies by the seat of his pants in his own grizzled, stylishly-wrinkled-trousers, paperback-in-the-back-pocket fashion. I said that scores of women in our office had secret crushes-from-afar on him, and she said, "Yeah, but in a 'it's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there' kind of way."

I thought that was one of the most brilliant descriptions I've ever heard of a person.

So I started to think about blogging again — which I've been thinking about on and off for a while — thanks to Anne Who Is Awesome: I love the idea of spreading around the insights of the cool folk around me. Beyond that, I love the idea of taking random pictures and posting 'em (once I learn how to do it) because visuals are meant to be shared. I'm deeply attracted to jotting down random observations so I remember them, because as I get older, my memory gets what was I saying again? But then again, I've wondered who would be interested enough to read this drivel, if I would even have enough to say to keep it going, is it a cry for attention, would it replace my already sub-par efforts to keep in touch with my friends, would I get too personal blah blah blah needycakes. But apparently, my adoration for the genius people in my life won out.

So, basically, I thought, Fuck it.

And here we are.

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