Thursday, August 31, 2006

Now, if he'd said Pluto, I'd go.

Today is Josh and my third wedding anniversary. Last night, we went out for an absolutely lovely dinner at Le Perigord, one of New York City's finest French restaurants. It was an evening replete with sensational cuisine drizzled with rich, dark sauces; pretentious, ornery service who would occasionally walk past our table and speak to us in French just because Josh said "merci" when handed his menu; and clientele whose average age we brought down to be about 72.

It was really enjoyable, actually: It's restaurant week, when many of the greatest establishments in the city offer prix fixe meals for low, low prices, and it gives us an opportunity to try places we normally can't afford. Even so, I've been to enough of these chichi haunts to know that when you're youngish and not dripping in estate pearls, it's anyone's guess how they're going to treat you. Josh and I are polite and educated and we clean up nice, but it's no secret when we walk into a room that we're not going to spring for the $200 bottle of St. Estephe. Some places — like Chanterelle — wine and dine you no matter who you are (even if you're wearing a $30 strand of fake pearls you [meaning, I] bought at Lord & Taylor), but I was a little wary about this place, especially since I was wearing a skirt with no pantyhose in such a reputable establishment. Would they deign to feed a woman of such questionable taste and morals? I felt far less bad about it when I saw a patron who was probably 862 years old fall asleep at his table for roughly 20 minutes. You know the service is good when they wait until you wake up on your own before they tantalize you with the dessert cart. And it made me feel better to see that they were ornery to everybody, not just to us. It was very old-school, very '30s, and when we told one of the servers that we were transfixed watching him fillet a salmon with a spoon because he made it look so easy, he gave us a look like, "Seely cheeldrin, I heve been doing zees for fourty yeerz. Of courss I mek eet look eezy!"

I must say, the chocolate souffles were fluffy heaven in a cup.

When we got home, Josh said, "Do you remember that conversation we had about going into outer space?"
Um, no. "Yes."
"Well, I've been thinking: If it turned out that it was safe, I'd be okay with going to Mars."
[pause, while I stare at him blankly]
"I mean, if it turned out we couldn't get back and were stranded, I'd be okay with staying on Mars."
"Is Mars developed at this point?"
"Not necessarily. I just mean that if I had a choice between floating out to space in a capsule or staying on Mars, I'd feel more comfortable on Mars because I'd be on land."
"But Mars isn't developed. It's just a desolate, red planet. You'd have nothing. What's the difference between dying out in space where you'd have nothing and dying on Mars where you'd have nothing?"
"Because at least I'd be on land instead of lost Out There. I'd be grounded. It's better."
"Why? Either way, you starve or suffocate to death."
"Ugh. You don't get it. Just ... look ... it's better ... never mind."

He also told me the other day that he thinks women in PVC catsuits are hot. And he didn't have a problem that, in a dream I had Tuesday night, I had sex with David Duchovny in a shower, because he recognizes that David Duchovny is the shit.

Best three years ever.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

RIP, Pluto

Raise your hand if you're distraught over Pluto losing its planetary status! I feel like my entire childhood was a lie. It's like saying, "You know that red spot on Jupiter? Yeah, that's a marshmallow." Or, "Those two objects over there? The ones you call your parents? They're Rhode Island."

Here's where I start to sound completely ridonkulous. Please bear with me for a second:

I was never a good science student, which I found frustrating because it always fascinated me. And I loved learning about space and going on planetarium field trips. Pluto was the unsung hero of the cosmic lineup: It was small, it was out there at the end of the line of nine all by itself, it had the same name as the coolest Disney character. I'm completely overreacting about this and I feel like a giant douche, but Pluto getting Alderon-ed made me sad — it's made me feel incredibly nostalgic. I sort of think that, especially when you're a kid, you rely on the knowledge that your planet is protected and everything is working out there as it should, the way you learned it to be. When you hear an asteroid is barreling toward Earth and will miss it by 100 million miles or something, you think, "That's close, right?" and you get a little scared. Growing up, I knew very little about what was Out There, but I did know that there were nine planets and they orbited the sun. Period.

Intellectually, I know this is all semantics, and in the grand scheme of things, semantics don't mean much. If my parents were actually Rhode Island, it doesn't mean they didn't raise me. (Did I really just say that?) In any case, I'm going to teach my children to rebel against the elite astronomers of the world, and we're putting Pluto into every styrofoam diorama they'll ever be forced to make in science class.

On a completely unrelated note, here are some random shots I've taken lately:

This is a sign in the ladies' loo at Jasmine, a Thai restaurant on the Upper East Side.

My sister Jen with Lucy Madonna (the wee one who thinks she's big), Henry (the Lab who looks like a golden retriever and thinks he's small) and Sir Charles Barkley (the golden retriever who looks like a Lab).


I wanted to take a close-up photo of this guy, but I couldn't tell from moment to moment if his eyes were open or closed. And if they'd been open, well, that would have been incredibly awkward.

What caught my eye first was the woman in the center's pink hat. Her fashion sense isn't mine, but I thought she had great personal style. I love how she's staring down the guy who's checking her out. I watched her group for probably 20 minutes and could not for the life of me figure out what they were doing with the boxes and the suitcases and what-nots.

Like most people, I love the Strand bookstore.

I'm basically allergic to it, what with the insane amount of dust and all, but you will always leave that store with at least five things you didn't know you were looking for. I am particularly in love with the view of the upstairs windows from Broadway, books piled to the ceiling.

But I think I most love the sale books they leave outside. It's the most random collection: I once found an ancient book about postage stamps for my dad. The pages were so smooth and thin that they made the crinkling sound you think of when you remember your grandparents' books, and the pictures of the stamps were intricate sketchings instead of photographs. It was beautiful. And you can't beat the people-watching outside the Strand. Check out the guy with the beard and the "212" hat. He had the most incredible face, but I love that in this photo, all you see is beard and hat.

And I love Grace Church. I've walked past it a million times and it always catches me by surprise.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Duchess Dumbass, at your service

This is Gwendolyn:

Sunday night, Gwendolyn disappeared. Josh and I fully experienced the five stages of grief, although they came in a compressed six hours.


Around 11 p.m., Josh was ready to go to bed but wanted to give Gwendolyn her shot. She usually hides when she knows it’s coming, and as we find each of her hiding spots, she moves to another that’s even harder to locate. Not surprisingly, he was unable to find her.

We can never go to bed until we know where she is, so we started to backtrack: Had we seen her since dinner was delivered at around 9? Consensus was that we hadn’t. We started to tear apart the apartment, hoping she hadn’t gotten out. There was a lot of this happening:

“She couldn’t have gotten out, right?”
“No way. You would have noticed.”
“I would have, right?”
“Yes. And the delivery guy would have had to intentionally let her out, which would have taken a while because she’s so tentative going through doors outside the apartment.”
“Exactly. [pause] Right?”
“I think so.”

We spent an hour and a half dismantling all of our belongings: The contents of our front-hall closet littered half our floor space

bags of old papers were dumped on the carpet; chairs were tipped over and couch cushions were flung. I checked a miniscule space in the folded-up treadmill

Josh opened all the kitchen cabinets, including the ones above the sink. I looked inside a mostly-empty, large box of Kleenex. No Gwendolyn.

I spent another 10 minutes shaking her plastic canister of Pounce treats around the apartment, singing, “Gwennyyyyyyyyy, treeeeeeeats!” No Gwendolyn.


We started to look outside. Josh went in one direction, I went in the other, but we didn’t go too far because we know that if she got out, she wouldn’t go far, either.

I checked under every car on the block. Josh checked in our neighbors’ bushes (dirty!). We reconvened back on our stoop and decided to blame the delivery guy.

“What kind of person lets someone’s cat out without asking them first if it’s okay?”
“Are you sure you didn’t see her walk out?”
“Look, I don’t know what I saw, okay?!? She’s gone!”

I went back inside to check the apartment again. It felt completely empty, no vibe of an animal at all. I shouted, “Enough, Gwendolyn! Come out already!” Nothing.


I went back outside onto the stoop, trying to figure out with Josh what to do next. All of a sudden, I looked across the street toward the large church on our block and saw a set of four white feet dart from the sidewalk through a gate that leads into the courtyard of the church, which connects to a public school. We headed over there and stood in front of the gate: It’s a chain-link fence that is topped by rows of electrified barbed wire, securing the courtyard parking lot behind it. You can only get through the gate with a garage-door-opener-thingy, but there was a very small crawl space between the gate and the brick wall next to it that only a small animal could fit through. Gwendolyn weighs barely more than 5 pounds.

Here is the gate, shot Monday morning:

We stood in front of the gate and saw a little head with our cat’s ears peeking around a corner toward us. We called to her and she ran away. So we sat down, waiting patiently, and the cat came back around and sat in front of us. She was covered in shadow, but she did have white feet and a white chest and a teeny little head. We gestured and called to her again, but she instantly took off. We figured that, because she’s not an outdoor cat, she was completely freaked out and that’s why she wouldn’t come to us. This was going to take work.

Josh and I split up duties: He ran back into the apartment to get my phone and I started calling the police and fire departments, any emergency services I could think of. Josh ran over to the front of the church to see if there was any other way inside. No dice. I stood at the gate, shaking her canister of Pounce, singing, “Gwennyyyyyyyy … treeeeeeeats …” Then he came back and I went to check out the front.

I basically scaled over some bushes and climbed into the church’s landscaping to find a fence that overlooked a ledge leading to the parking lot. I didn’t see Gwendolyn but it didn’t look like a difficult drop over the fence. Then I saw a sign that said the rectory had emergency services 24 hours, so I started buzzing the doorbell for minutes at a time. Nobody answered. I went back to Josh and the gate.


Josh went back to the front of the church to see if he could scale the fence that I found. I kept calling the emergency number for the rectory, but there was no answer. Josh came back and was looking frazzled but determined: He said that there were two lines of barbed wire over the fence in the front, but if he put on long sleeves, he could probably scale it with little damage.

[cue melodramatic music]

ME: Listen to me! You are not climbing over barbed wire!
HIM: Yes I am! She’s in there and I have to get her out!
ME: And what happens if you slice yourself on your way over? What good are you to us then? We’ll have to rush you to the hospital and that means we leave her here … at night … all. by. herself. Do you understand?
HIM: My cat’s in there! I’ll do anything to get her out! I've climbed barbed wire before, you know!
ME: You can’t climb that fence!
HIM: I’m going in!
ME: No! Don’t leave me here all alone!

Josh fell to the ground, despondent. “My kitty …”

“I know,” I said. “I know.”

“What if … ?”

“Shh. We know she’s in there. She’s not lost.”

“How sure are you that she’s in there?”

“I’m almost positive.”

“How much?”

“Um, 80 percent.”

“That’s good, right?”

“I could be wrong.”

“I hope you’re right.”

“Me too.”


We decided to try the emergency services again. 911 told us to call 311. 311 told us we had to wait until 8 a.m. for animal rescue. I told off the 311 woman, telling her that my sick cat who doesn’t have working kidneys was in a strange parking lot and she might not last the night because she needs her medicine, but 311 Lady was a coldhearted wench. We called our local police precinct, who told us that if we scaled the fence, it’s trespassing but we wouldn’t get arrested if we were saving our cat. They told us to call the fire department because they have ladders and stuff to try to get over the fence in the front, as nobody had the ability to get through the electrified fence we were standing in front of. We called the fire department, New York’s Bravest, who save kittens from trees and all that shit, and they totally wouldn’t help us save our cat. Wouldn’t even come and check it out. I called the school, which shares the parking lot, but there was no security person to answer the ringing phone. We had no help, no way to get inside, and we hadn’t seen a glimpse of the cat in an hour. It was getting windy, and the temperature was dropping. It was 3 a.m.

In the meantime, Josh had taken to chasing after every cat he found walking down the street. We couldn’t catch up to any of them. “She could be anywhere,” he said forlornly.

“Gwennyyyyyyyyyyy, treeeeeeeeeatssssssss …”


We started to regroup. We figured that, at the earliest, people would start showing up to the school and to the church around 6 a.m. and could let us in. We mapped out which way he’d go once inside the courtyard, and that I’d guard the gate outside. We figured if we lost control and she ran out of our grasps, we’d go straight home and start printing out Lost Cat flyers, the saddest flyers in the world. I started thinking of which photos to use because I’d taken some good shots of her lately. We thought this would be a good one:

And then we settled down to wait until sunrise, figuring that whatever was going to happen would happen and we’d just figure it out as we went. The thought of all the care we’ve given to this pet — the dozens of vet visits and the hundreds of shots and the multitudes of cans of prescription food — and that we’d ended up losing her in the most careless way was something that we just couldn’t entertain, it was too devastating.

Josh went back to the apartment to recharge his cell phone. A couple minutes later, I heard the front door shut and I heard him call my name. I walked into the middle of the street and he was waving me over.

“Bring all our stuff,” he said.

I collected the flashlights, the water bottles, the cell phone, and walked toward home.


“She’s here.”

“Shut up. Where?”

“She’s been inside the whole time.”

It was 4:30 a.m.

STAGE #6 (invented): DENOUEMENT

When Josh went inside to look for his cell phone charger, he turned around and Gwendolyn was sitting behind him, looking at him like, “Where ya been? I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”


We still have no idea where she was. The apartment was torn to shreds and we have no clue where she went. Also, we feel like giant assholes. And we can’t even claim that we found her: She found us because, apparently, we were the ones who were missing.

Here is what we learned:

1. Despite the small detail that our cat wasn’t missing, the city of New York completely failed us that night.

2. I spent three hours yelling, “Gwennyyyyyyyy, treeeeeeeatssssssss!” to absolutely nothing.

3. The cats would not come to us when we called because they weren’t ours.

4. One of those cats was completely white and looked nothing like Gwendolyn.

“I’m glad we didn’t wake the priest at 4 a.m.,” Josh said.

“I’m glad we didn’t have the fire department cut down the church’s barbed wire,” I said.

“Yeah, that would have been REALLY embarrassing.”

Seriously, could you imagine?

So, because “Saturday Night Live” has already claimed Lord and Lady Douchebag, Josh and I have decided that we’ll begin answering to Duke and Duchess Dumbass. It’s not flattering, but it’s our reality. We’re huge idiots.

I was so exhausted at work on Monday that I kept checking to make sure I put on pants.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Marlo hates Vincent, too.

I haven't seen a therapist since 1998. I'm not averse to therapy at all — on the contrary, I think it’s pretty much mandatory, if not for our own sakes than for the sakes of those around us. I’d even go so far as to say that it’s a subject of one of my Top 5 Most Overused — And Likely Inappropriate — Marlaisms (listed in no particular order):

* What was I saying again?
* OK, here’s the thing.
* WHATever.
* Have you thought about going to therapy?
* That apostrophe doesn’t go there.

My last therapist was a listener. Meaning, that’s all she did. She didn’t talk much, she didn’t share much insight, and she wore a lot of bows. More than the noticeable lack of psychoanalytic musings, the bows caused me to question her judgment. Anyway, after six months, she finally sat up and said the most wordy response I think I ever got out of her:

“I think your problem is that you don’t know who you are.”

I said, “Well, that’s what I said when I first came in here six months ago. I don’t know who I am and where I’m going with my life.”

Unfazed, she continued: “Why don’t we really look at you. Why don’t you [figuratively] come sit by me? Come sit by me, and let’s ask, ‘Who are you? Who IS Marlo?’”

I wanted to say that I didn’t know who Marlo was but I’d be thrilled if she’d pay my bill. Instead, I never went back.

(My favorite part of all this is that I don’t remember her name. Mmm, comeuppance.)

Anyway, I’m long overdue for some shrinkage. So I made an appointment at a reputable institute that employs 90-some therapists. The intake process lasts three weeks, after which they pair you up until you find someone you click with. On Tuesday, I had my first appointment.

During our conversation, the woman interviewing me asked me a list of basic questions: Do I get headaches? Do I get anxiety attacks? Do I have heart problems? Do I have trouble sleeping? That kind of thing. The entire conversation was really nice, very proactive, and I was clear-headed and –spoken the whole time. It wasn’t an emotional conversation at all, just very pragmatic. Then she asked me if I experience bouts of excessive crying. I said that last year was a bear and for a few months I did, but since about January or so, things have calmed down and I have myself under better control. Then I said that certain things come up that set me off, but they’re very natural things like, for instance, my grandmother passing away three weeks ago.

After I said that, I burst into tears.

So I was trying to explain that no, I don’t cry more than usual, and yes, I have my emotions under reasonable control — and while I was saying all this, I was heaving-sobbing and could barely get the words out through my leaking face.

Then we started to laugh for the ridiculousness of the situation. I really like this place.

What I’m hoping therapy will help me tackle is my unhinged anger over last night’s episode of “Project Runway.” Vincent over Alison?!? Ddt! Guh! Ack! Bbb! WHAT?!? What on earth will it take for the judges to eliminate him? Does Jeffrey have to design a distressed, frayed, cooler-than-you straightjacket, wrap Vincent in it and pitch him off the end of the runway? And what was that “Road Warrior” monstrosity that Angela made? I think the chick in the band of rebels that crashed Gary and Wyatt’s party in “Weird Science” wore it first. Either way, oogly.

There. I feel better. Therapy rules!

Also, I took about 510 pictures of the Strand bookstore and other fun bits on Tuesday. I’ll post 'em soon.

Note: Just returned from picking up lunch with Lisa and James (who's moving to L.A.! bastard!). The music piping through the speakers at Bread Market was a bossa nova-type remix of "It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." Best.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Hank & Yo-Yo, T/L/A

Okay, this is the coolest thing ever:

I have an amazing friend named Sarah who lives in England. Sarah is one of those friends who makes everything prettier and sparklier and far more interesting just by walking into a room. When I grow up, I want to be Sarah.

Sarah has a friend named Lisa. Lisa is creative and dazzling and has the kindest, most gentle demeanor. And she has gorgeous blonde curly hair. And she appreciates the life-changing power of a pedicure. I was able to hang out with Lisa when she and Sarah took business trips to New York when they worked together, doing clothing graphics. One of their clients is Topshop, a very large, very hip clothing chain in Britain.

I just found out that Lisa designed a top called the Marla top, named after yours truly, and word is it's going to be the top of the season. (Many "top"s, one sentence.) I find this to be flattering and hilarious and not the least bit ironic, as I am not exactly fashion-forward. (To clarify: I know what I like and I think I have decent taste, in the same way everybody thinks they have good taste, but I just don't wear what I like because the plus-size market is a travesty.) I don't know what the Marla looks like yet, but I'm dying to see it because I'd love to know what I look like in garment form. I always thought my garment equivalent would end up being, like, a 10-year-old J. Crew rollneck sweater and a pair of granny panties, but apparently I've been upgraded. Lisa, if you're reading this, THANK YOU for making me far more stylish than I am. How cool! This is way better than having a sandwich named after you, for sure.

It was absolutely gorgeous outside this weekend, so I spent three hours on Saturday bushwhacking my woefully overgrown, neglected garden. Between that and my latest efforts to work out, the inconvenient pain in the backs of my thighs will currently not allow me to a) sit, b) stand, c) bend, and d) move in any way.

My mother just called to tell me that their yellow Lab, Henry, has fallen in love. He met his girlfriend, Yo-Yo, at the dog park, where he nuzzles her and licks her face and, says Mom, "gazes lovingly into her snout." I said they must make a fabulous couple; Mom said, "It would look wonderful on napkins: Hank & Yo-Yo."

I think that if you find someone who doesn't walk away when you lick their nose, then you've found a keeper.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Do I have to be blogging for four years to be considered a specialist?

Across from my desk hangs a large photo of Madonna slinging back pints of beer with Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino. Yesterday, two men walked by, and one said, “How cool would it be to sit in a bar and drink Guinness with Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino?” I looked at the photo, and Quentin is wearing this garish seashell choker-necklace like the one I bought in Florida in, like, fourth grade, and he’s wearing it with a “Saturday Night Fever” leisure suit. This, to me, eradicates any coolness factor from the scenario. My guess is that Madonna and Guy need the beer in order to withstand The Boca Necklace.

Josh and I had to rush our cat, Gwendolyn, to the vet yesterday morning. She has a myriad of health issues, not the least of which are cysts around her liver. Every three months, we take her to a highly recommended vet on Staten Island who is remarkable; he’s helped us keep her alive for years and we wish he lived with us. In any case, he has told us that if she jumps and lands wrong, there’s a chance a cyst could rupture, which would be the equivalent of a burst appendix. Even so, with the help of every-other-day IV hookups, prescription food and a regular intake of SAM-E, she still runs around and flirts and gets coy and is thriving — and she only has one operational kidney, which only works at 25 percent and has a giant stone in it. She’s the most easygoing, sweet-natured, resilient animal.

Anyway, yesterday morning she fell off our bed, which is pretty high off the ground. She started acting funny and walking weird, so we went to a vet close to our apartment that has emergency services. The first doctor we saw was lovely, didn’t seem too alarmed, told us the cysts were intact and had not been punctured or compromised in any way, and had us wait to see another doctor.

The second doctor could best be described as Bitchy McCrotchypants.

I understand that many medical professionals lack in the bedside manner department. That’s all well and good if they know what they’re doing. This doctor? Not so much.

She walked into the exam room and immediately launched into, “So, you take her to another doctor on Staten Island?” Now, it would be one thing if she was curious about why we go all the way out there and asked for our vet's contact information in case she needed to talk with him, but there was an immediate attitude. Her tone was accusatory and defensive, and she just had a look on her face that was unpleasant. We said we take Gwendolyn to a specialist for her kidneys. She snapped, “Is this person a true specialist?” We were a little dumbstruck, because we figured she was there to find out about our cat who fell some distance and could have done damage to her felinity, but no. She appeared frustrated with us, and continued.

“Did your doctor do an additional four years [or whatever some such nonsense] to become board-certified as a specialist or not?”

We said we didn’t know what degrees and certifications Dr. Kinnear had completed before launching his successful veterinary career some 40 years ago.

So we started to tell her why we were there, that we were concerned that a vascular cyst had burst. She immediately got a Melanie-Hutsell-as-Tori-Spelling assface and said, “Vascular cyst? There’s no such thing. You mean, a tumor.”

And each time we said the word “cyst,” she’d interrupt us and bark, “TUMOR!” to the point where we resolved to use the word “growth” to shut her up. Keep in mind, when we told the first doctor that Gwendolyn had cysts, she didn't bat an eye.

She went about questioning all of our knowledge about our cat (HER: “Why isn’t she being treated for hypertension?” US: “Because she doesn’t have it; her blood pressure goes up at the vet because she hates being there.” HER: “She has hypertension and isn’t being treated for it!”), and then she burst into a jargon-filled tirade about all the things that could be wrong without actually saying anything of substance. She did say that “ugly things” could be going on in Gwendolyn's body. When I asked her what she meant by “ugly things,” she stood back, stared me down, and blustered, “SHE. COULD. DIE.”

Okayyyyyyyy …

So I said I understood that, but what I meant was that I was interested to hear what could lead up to such a grim result. Like, what’s wrong with her, you freak?

We ended up leaving there with no information other than that we’re terrible parents and the borough of Staten Island is killing our cat. She told us that since Dr. Kinnear apparently knows so much, we should take her to see him.

By the time we got home, Gwendolyn was eating, jumping on the couch, and causing all-around havoc, per usual. Dr. Kinnear said to keep an eye on her and call him in a few days if she shows signs of waning. If a cyst burst, she wouldn’t be acting all Gwenlike and she certainly wouldn't be eating, so she probably just bruised her hip when she fell and is getting better as she's walking it off. He laughed when Josh told him that the vet was a — how you say? — “quack.”

That settled, I went to work, where I participated in this conversation with two coworkers, James and James.

ME: I hate it when people say, “I’ll let you go,” when THEY want to get off the phone.

JAMES 1: I do that.

JAMES 2: I do that too.

JAMES 1: I did that on two phone calls last night.

ME: Never mind.

Also? I’m completely obsessed with “Project Runway.” I’d never seen it before this season, but I can completely get behind a reality show where people actually do something creative and worthwhile. Except for the poufy Bedazzled skirts that look like Phyllis Diller that Batshit Crazy Angela keeps making. Those are not worthwhile.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Really, where ARE we going?

There’s a very good chance I’m completely self-absorbed, but I’m always shocked upon discovering that not everybody in this city works the same schedule I do. And my schedule is seriously meshugeh.

For example, I don’t work on Tuesdays because Monday nights are late, late, late at the office. In the event I actually leave the house on a Tuesday — in the event I get off the couch on a Tuesday ... in the event I don’t spend eight hours watching "Gilmore Girls" DVDs on a Tuesday — I’m baffled by the numbers of people walking the sidewalks of my neighborhood. On a weekday. At, like, 2 p.m. Don’t you people work?!? Where the hell are you going? Do you realize how much it costs to live in this freakin’ city and you’re not at your JOBS??? GAH!

(I realize that I, too, am walking aimlessly down the street and they could be thinking the same things about me. In reality, there are a lot of writers and various art-types living in my neighborhood — freelancers who work from home, people who have their own businesses. People who are actually more productive than I am because, professionally, they are living by sheer force of their own drive and creative energy and business-minded instincts, and I [professionally, anyway] live by my employer. This is what works for me, but I wish the spirit of individualistic free enterprise in my lovely nabe rubbed off on me a little bit more.)

I had to be at work at 9 a.m. today. This is VERY early. I think back to when I still lived in Detroit and commuted 45 minutes every morning to make it to my desk by 8:30, and it’s inexcusable that I now can’t bring myself to get to work before 10. (If you can sleep, you will sleep, and I often don’t have to be at work until after noon, and no I’m not complaining.) Anyway, there’s a whole different breed of people who slog through the early-morning commute. First, there are SO MANY of them. And they are a mighty aggressive bunch, hurling their way into the subway trains and bolting for the standing poles in the cars so my short self has to reach too high to hold onto a ceiling-mounted one and all the blood rushes to my shoulder and my fingers go numb. Today I got slammed against a wall dripping in gawd-knows-what because I deigned to attempt to pass through a turnstile that was actually on the same side of the station as my exit and not 50 feet in the opposite direction, which was where I was being corralled. Really, people, why so angry? Don't you have iPods and Dean Koontz novels for the very purpose of not being so angry during your commute? And they dress far more homely than the 10 a.m.-and-later crowd: These are business jobs, and they can’t dress as hooch-ily as the "Today" show jackassedly illustrated we do in our magazine jobs. Frankly, I think it’s worth it to get to work later just so I don’t feel like I have to wear Casual Corner cardigans and sensible loafers.

(A note on my brief-yet-mortifying "Today" show appearance: I went to work the morning of taping wearing my Slimming Jacket, just in case I did make it onto the clip. The Slimming Jacket does not extend its svelte-making powers to the chins, however, and I was concerned that my various face parts would be splashed across the screen, thereby ensuring that any ex-boyfriend who saw me on TV would be grateful he treated me with less respect than he would someone more hot and with fewer chins. I even worked on my lower-face concealer strategery. So there I was, two blink-and-you’ll-miss-them close-ups, and I didn’t have to worry about excessive chins because, apparently, my face is now COMPLETELY ROUND. No chins to speak of. Je suis moonface.)

In other news, Dave Navarro is not interested in dating women who are made of human parts.

Also, "pool boy" is two words, but I wish it were one.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Oozing with advice

Ever since the Roosevelt Island tram stalled a couple months ago for eight-or-whatever hours, dangling over the East River, I’ve become hyper-aware of making sure I pee before I leave the office every night. All I could think about was how badly all those poor people had to pee. I think this makes me lavratorily-sensitve, don't you agree? And also paranoid of getting stuck hovering over a cold body of water.

Speaking of water, my in-laws gave us a great tip for finding relief during the current bout of sweltering weather: Place a large bowl filled with cold water in front of a fan — not on the floor, but fan-level, and the fan should be either a standing one or placed relatively high, like on a table or something. The air coming toward you is cooler than it would normally be. This has left us almost chilly at night, though it has rendered our dehumidifier basically useless. And the dehumidifier is singlehandedly responsible for keeping me from getting phlegmy-sick three times a year. So for now, I shall be goosebump- and mucus-rich.

I realize that this entire post is about my own personal secretions. I shall stop writing ...

... now.

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