Thursday, December 28, 2006

Pain, illness and ... pain

The other day, while in the shower, while shaving my pits, I lost control of my razor, it flipped in the air and cut my lip on the way down to the bottom of the tub. It was one of those tiny surface cuts that bleeds profusely and stings like a fothermucker. I felt like a gigantic idiot, as I've never heard of a shaving accident involving the face when one is not actually shaving the face. My face has nothing to do with my underarms, and yet ... It's like walking into a salon for a haircut and leaving wearing a new pair of pants.

This came about at the tail end of my victorious battle against The Phlegm. The Phlegm has taken over my face twice a year since college, but I've managed to temper it in the past two years, though I don't know how. The Battle of Bunker Phlegm, I have taken on your challenge armed with vitamin C pills and Kleenex with aloe, and I reign supreme! But now Josh is all congested, so we have a lot of this conversation:

JOSH: I can't breathe!
ME: I shaved my lip!
JOSH: You're an idiot.

Beyond that, and I don't know how to say this, we had to put Gwendolyn to sleep yesterday. She deteriorated rapidly in the past two weeks and by Tuesday night was mostly unresponsive. She just had enough and all of her organs shut down. So I hide behind humor so I don't cry at work, and I'll write about it from home this weekend because I have so many thoughts. So please bear with me while I get my head together. Thanks.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006


The chartreuse coat caught my eye first. Then her hand, lacquered nails daintily pointing skyward as her LV handbag dangled from her bent elbow. And then her high ponytail. She didn’t quite walk over to the corner as much as she societied over there. (Her walk was that of a woman trying to show that walking was beneath her, but oh, poo, she’ll do it anyway IF I MUST.) When I saw her profile, I was taken by her puckered lips, slathered in rich magenta. She was a riot.

And then I saw the frontpack. The doggie frontpack.

She turned to the side and there was this grey head coming out of her belly. For a moment I was enthused, thinking her plastic surgeon had missed one glaring, hairy growth smack in the middle of her torso. But no, it was the frontpack slung around her neck with her minipup chilling inside of it. She looked like John Hurt in “Alien,” except that instead of an otherworldly life form bursting forth from her chest, she was expelling a Yorkie.

Here’s the thing:

Walk your dog.

In my old age, I have developed very strong opinions regarding pet accessories. (I can’t believe I just said that.) Between the Fashionista Frontpack and Tori Spelling carting her pug around in a stroller, I lament a future of doggie go-karts, motorcycle gloves for paws, puppy earrings, kitty toe rings and bunny messenger bags. You cannot possibly tell me that animals actually LIKE these accoutrements. Have you ever seen a poodle in a cowboy hat who looks happy? You can’t look at your Maltipoo and say, “Fifi is just IN LOVE with how she looks and feels in this $250 bomber jacket!” while Fifi is gnawing at the collar and peeing all over her Bedazzled tutu.

I will concede a few points: Smaller animals don’t move as quickly as people do, so I understand the necessity of a doggie carrier for daylong jaunts. And some animals are so small and frail that they, unfortunately, do require clothes in colder weather. Josh’s friend Jill has a 12-year-old, very fragile, longhaired Chihuahua who, bless the little dude, will freeze to death without some kind of barrier between himself and the elements. This I understand.

This I do not understand:

1. Tiaras on pets.
2. Bikinis on pets.
3. Sweaters on pets who weigh more than five pounds, in weather warmer than 30 degrees.
4. Pseudo-stylish modes of transportation made solely for pets.
5. Hats for pets, under any circumstance.
6. The frontpack, when an animal would be far more comfortable in its natural, sitting, not-force-Björned position. Seriously, who is the sadist who invented the doggie frontpack?

A good theory to live by is that if you don’t allow your pet to walk, it will not walk. And you want your pet to walk. And your pet likely wants to walk as well. It also would probably like to run. That’s pretty much how that works.

Speaking of advocating the act of walking, I had a doctor appointment last Friday up near the American Museum of Natural History (i.e., the most beautiful building in New York City) and I had the rest of the day off, so I just walked. It was the most I Heart NY day. I started off on 81st and Central Park West and basically zigzagged my way south — going as far east as Union Square East and as far west as Seventh Avenue — to 14th Street so I could browse through the holiday market that’s set up every December in Union Square. It was roughly 80 blocks.

It’s days like that when I feel like a tourist, which I don’t mind at all because this city still inspires awe in me like it did on my very first visit when I was 13. Hell, I even meandered down Fifth Avenue to look at the always-spectacular Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows. (To clarify: A local voluntarily walking down Fifth Avenue the week before Christmas? An anomaly.) I’ll post my pictures soon.

Two things I didn’t get pictures of:

1. In Central Park, I walked past a maroon knit glove that had been run over by any number of people, cars, horses and carriages. I don’t know why I remembered it, but on my way to getting my nails done on 23rd Street and Seventh Avenue, I swear I walked past its mate in the middle of an intersection.

2. In front of the Plaza, there was a dance troupe doing a routine to “Eye of the Tiger.” Further down Fifth Avenue, another dance troupe was shakin’ it to “Eye of the Tiger.” I figured that they were part of the same team, but they weren’t wearing matching T-shirts (the required street dance troupe uniform) and seemed to have little else in common. I’m sure they represented the same group regardless — were they all going to get together afterward and see “Rocky Balboa”? — but in any case, I felt very 1982 and Clubber Lang–hatin’.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Random bits

* Today, for the first time in six years, I am paying off the balance of my Visa card. This is monumental for several reasons, not the least of which is that my husband — a student — has no job, and our debt is stratospheric. I don't know how I managed to get to this point. In any event, the last time I paid off my credit card, it lasted about a week, and then Stacy and I took a spontaneous trip to Scandinavia. Tipping our toes into the land of "Take on Me" ringtones and men whose names we understood to be Jrgn Shplrgn was well worth the dive back into the debt-utante ball, but that was 2001, yo. I'm-a gonna make this one last two weeks, for sure!

* Today, Amy was talking about her ex-boyfriend's new fiancée, whose photo she has seen because her ex-boyfriend was so kind as to send her an e-mail with a picture attached of the two of them. (NOTE TO BOYS: DO NOT EVER DO THIS.) Amy said that it's not that the fiancée isn't pretty, it's just that she isn't "HIS kind of pretty." She said, "I feel like she would have fake nails, you know what I mean?" I have not seen the offending picture, but just by that description, I know exactly what she looks like.

* Today I had a good workout. I've been on a good kick of it lately, which has been enlightening in that I don't hate it as much as usual (which isn't saying a thing, considering I hate working out A LOT), but it's also been making me feel incredibly old. I have a consistent dull ache in my left hip, and it's taking forever to get the bloat down, though it used to take about two weeks. I've become an old Jewish lady. Oy, my hip! It smarts!

* Today I heard that Peter Boyle died. It is incredibly sad. So let's take a moment of silence for him.


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Wednesday, December 06, 2006


You are all SICK, do you know that?

It is simply astonishing how much blog traffic I've gotten since I titled a post "Britney Spears's Vagina." I mean, it's a lot more hits. A whole lot. All of you chotch-chasers are just dirty motherfuckers, aren't you?

Oh, who am I to judge? I saw those photos, I Googled them myself. And I had dinner last night with my fabulous friend Scott who is an actor and a playwright and his play is getting produced and I'm going to require that all of you in the tri-state area attend his play in February. Just so you know. Thanks. Anyway, conversation with Scott is always gripping and fun and runs the gamut, but I did bemoan that I spent too much time thinking of vaginal euphemisms for that post.

"Why?" he asked.
"I don't know," I said. "I really wanted to use 'snatch' but I just hate that word."
"Oh, I like that word!"
"I do like 'cooter.' I'm glad I used 'cooter.'"

Along those lines, does anybody know the proper spelling of "chotch"? I wouldn't want to misspell something so klassy.

And also along those lines, James, Jessica and I got into a "words we hate" debate today. Jessica came over to my desk:

JESSICA: Do you know which word I hate?
ME: Which one?
JESSICA: [leans in and whispers, because she can't even say it out loud] p ... a ... n ... t ... i ... e ... s ...
ME: Ew! I hate panties!
JESSICA: Uck! Don't say it!
ME: Panties is so gross. I hate slacks too, but I'd rather say "underslacks" than "panties."
JESSICA: I also hate "quivering." Ew!
ME: Quivering is so dime-store novel.
JAMES: Hey, are you guys talking about words you hate?
ME: Yeah!
JAMES: You know what word I hate? Panties!
JESSICA: We were just saying that!
JAMES: I hate those Victoria's Secret commercials where they say it, like, 100 times, and the person has a fake British accent.
ME: Pahnties pahnties pahnties.
JAMES: Yeah.
ME: I hate the word lunch.
JESSICA: Really? Why?
ME: I just think it sounds so ... LUNCH. And cake. And I like the word salad, but not when it's tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad. Salad has to stand alone to not be gross.
JESSICA: So what do you do? Do you just say, "I'm going to get something to eat"?
ME: No, I do say that I'm getting lunch, but I don't like it. I think the worst sentence in the world is: I'm eating a tuna salad sandwich for lunch.

Stephanie just called me to tell me her new job gave her a beeper. She's SO getting suspended from school.

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