Friday, November 30, 2007

An odd turn of events

I've just realized that I much prefer the derogatory-against-the-female-posterior use of the word booty than the treasures-pillaged-by-pirates-or-won-by-landlubbers use of booty. It sort of goes against everything I stand for, but I would rather shake my booty than count my booty. Although it would be nice to have some booty to count.

You know what? Never mind.

Also, when I typed in the title of this post, I accidentally typed An odd turd of events, which is far superior than what's there. Shake your booty on that.

Many apologies for the sparse postage. We've been dealing with post-Thanksgiving regrouping (dinner went great, despite all 22 guests showing up 40 minutes early ... and yes, we were up to 22) and acclimating kittens, both of whom have been battling nasty respiratory infections that have forced us to shuttle them to and from the vet with alarming frequency. Plans are to post with many pictures this weekend. You too shall enjoy my fuzzbombs. (Dirty!)

Happy post-Thanksgiving, y'all.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007


This is what happens when you visit an animal shelter with the sole purpose of donating items that belonged to your beloved pet who died almost a year ago:

Happy Thanksgiving indeed.

Is it actually possible to leave one of those places without an extra someone or two? Methinks not.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Greetings from Whelmed, New York.

There are some people who do kind things for others out of the goodness of their hearts. Just this morning, I went into the Starbucks in my office building for my Monday dose of frozen mocha crack. Latesha, an exceptionally cool woman who works there, saw me and said, "I have something for you." She disappeared into the back room, came out and handed me a paper bag with my name on it. I opened it, and inside was an aluminum takeout container. She'd placed a white bow on the top, and inside was a piece of chocolate cake with vanilla and coconut frosting.

Is there anything anybody can do that tops gifting someone with a piece of cake? I really don't think so.

She went over to refill the milk pots on the counter. I went over to thank her, and she said, "I like making things. My son doesn't like anything homemade" — he's 12 — "so if he won't eat it, I just like to make things for people I love."

Friday is Latesha's last day, and I'm going to miss her. She's smart, she's a great networker, she's the only person who remembers to make my drink (and she remembers what absolutely everybody in the office orders), she always has something going on, she's raising a prince of a son all by herself, she is always fun and hilarious and composed and never loses her cool when there are 15 people trembling in front of her with caffeine withdrawal.

The cake was heaven.

On the flip side, this is what happens when I decide to do something nice for someone:

My mother has hosted Thanksgiving every year since 361 B.C. She continues to host most holidays, even when not all of us can make it to Detroit, so she's often entertaining for various members of extended families but not necessarily for her own immediate one. So last year, I decided to take on Thanksgiving 2007 to give her a break. It's my favorite holiday (though, oddly, I don't particularly like the food; I have issues with the texture of turkey), so I thought, Hey, bring it on, good times. I had all these plans to start new traditions — ice skating! games! — and test out recipes months ahead of time to cut down on stress leading up to the dinner. I've been really excited about the whole thing.

What the hell was I thinking?

Apparently, unlike Latesha, I do kind things for others because I am clinically insane. To wit:

1. As of this exact moment, the confirmed number of attendees is 20, with another one or two arriving for dessert.
2. I live in an apartment. Where I will have three different waves of family staying with me, starting last weekend.
3. I don't cook.
4. I took on two freelance projects at the end of October that are both due the Monday before Thanksgiving.
5. Our apartment is full of stuff for our stuff that sticks around for our other stuff so all the groupings of stuff can collect dust together in their Stuff Union, which is going on strike until we can guarantee (in writing) that they'll be joined in stuff piles by more stuff to satisfy their stuff quota.

So I decided three things:

6. I'm doing all of this by choice, so I have no right to complain.
7. I'm ignoring point #6.
8. So if I'm going to piss and moan about the whole thing, I should at the very least create some kind of catharsis.

So we're purging the contents of our apartment. Today, Salvation Army carted away eight boxes and two giant garbage bags filled with stuff. We've recycled three garbage bags full of old papers, and we're not finished. I don't think it's made much of a dent, but at least the remaining stuff is shifting, so maybe we can do some design tricks around it, like covering it up with more stuff. George Carlin would be mortified. Even so, it feels good. It was a long time coming.

Josh and I took a giant calendar and color-coded all the whozits and whatnots we have to do before the holiday. We have time for the grocery store and Costco and donating Gwendolyn's stuff (some of which we still have) and deep-cleaning the apartment all mapped out. I'm usually pretty good under pressure, productively speaking, and I'm great with a to-do list for the most part, but I'm not good with sleep deprivation and I'm a whiner despite my intentions not to be, and hence, point #7. Even so, things are pretty much under control, and despite some banana peels along the path (was supposed to see Duran Duran on Broadway Saturday night, stagehands went on strike Saturday morning, show is rescheduled for tomorrow night, that was not part of the plan because ohmygoshfreelance), it will all come together. It will all work out, I will sleep in December, everyone will have a nice time and the food will be good and if it isn't then everyone will laugh about how bad the food was that year Thanksgiving was at Marla's and then it will be over. My in-laws keep offering to have it at their place. It sort of reads like they don't want me to do it, but they say they just don't want me to have to stress out. They're kind people, I believe them, and I've told them that if I'm stressed, it's really no big deal, because who doesn't stress when they're hosting a holiday? Or an average dinner party? Even a little bit? Even if these are events you're looking forward to hosting? The Barefoot Contessa must throw a wooden spoon every now and then, snapping a fierce "Fuck this! Jeffrey! Stir this goddamn sauce! I'm taking a bath! ARGH!"

I keep thinking about people who have babies, who probably feel this way all the time. Harried. Overscheduled. Tired. Energized. Looking forward to bringing family together. Organized (or teetering on the edge of it) out of necessity. Resolute. Or I could look at it this way, as I flirt with martyrdom: This Thanksgiving won't, god-willing, last for 18 years, at which time I would send it to a pricey out-of-state college to finally get some quiet.

I don't have children so it's perhaps an unfair analogy, but when I'm sleep-deprived, I often think about parenting. I think that I have no right to complain (there you go again, #6) because for those who do have kids, that whole state is amped up to a far higher decibel. So until then, should I have some offspring of my own to raid the fridge after Thanksgiving while I sneak in a five-minute nap, I'll share the leftovers with you guys.

And for now, I'll be throwing spoons.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

I don't know if I can even run for 26.2 seconds.

The differences between myself and the folks who run the New York City marathon are legion, but I think the following example best exemplifies Difference #1:

Saturday night, I was at a party. Gorgeous apartment, excellent people, Orangina. Life was good. A few of us were talking about the marathon, which was to take place Sunday morning. I geeked out, of course: Marathon Day is my favorite day of the year, the day when New York energy is at its best and the leaves are peaking and the air is crisp and everyone, even the yahoos who just ran nearly 30 miles, is in a good mood. So during my not-so-extemporaneous rhapsodizing about how I get out of bed and make it to mile seven's sidelines by 9 a.m. every marathon morning to cheer people's names I can't pronounce, I realized something.

That on Saturday morning, despite all the good intentions I had to get. stuff. done. early., I hit the snooze button on my alarm clock for two hours and 15 minutes.

And that in the same span of time, in two hours and 15 minutes on Sunday, certain people will have finished running an entire marathon.

And thus, by virtue of the transitive property, I cannot get out of bed in the time it takes someone to run a fucking marathon.

"Don't hate yourself," one of my coworkers said today when I shared.

"No, I'm not going to have an existential dilemma about the whole thing," I said, "but that doesn't mean I still don't feel like a huge loser."

I did go home after completing my annual cheer duty to do two and a half miles on the treadmill. I won't tell you how much of it I walked, but damn those yahoos, they inspire you to get you off your ass — no matter how long it takes you to roll out of bed.

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