BY Jodi

02/01 Direct Link
Poetry that does not rhyme is lost on you. If you ever dared to recite it aloud, certainly you would stumble at the end of each line, the inflection of your voice struggling to grasp the anchor of a rhyme for safety. Left to your own vocal devices, you don't know how to proceed.

In art and architecture and anything visual, you seek comfortable symmetry. Your eye does not comprehend Sophia Loren's face. It sighs when encountering Grace Kelly's.

You need compasses, THE END at the end of movies.

How is it, then, that you say you loathe laugh tracks?
02/02 Direct Link
People think that just because I'm a huge fan of dogs, I'm also an enormous fan of the Westminster Dog Show. Alas, I pay no mind to any competition involving animals and even loathe such events because they're yet another example of human beings foisting their arrogance and pettiness onto species they deem beneath them. Really, though, what hound gives a howl about how his tail is positioned or how well he trots in a circle? And, more to the point, the handlers would be better served by a trek to Fashion Week (as hideous as that is as well).
02/03 Direct Link
"They" say that Scottish Terriers are not the nicest dogs in the world. I don't trust "them", though, because "they" don't know every Scottish Terrier in the world and don't know that dogs respond to me far more favorably than they do the average Jodi. I wouldn't know firsthand or first-paw, though, because I've never met one. I hesitated to change that after one won "Best in Show" at Westminster last year, because I didn't want it to seem like I was only interested for that reason. My goal this year is to meet one. Who says I'm not ambitious?
02/04 Direct Link
The vegan stands in front of his bedroom closet, swatting at a moth, attempting to rob it of its right to live and chew holes in the collection of Cosby sweaters his future ex-wife shipped from the marital home out of which he's only recently moved. I admonish him not to murder the moth since vegans don't kill, adding that they should be rewarded for trying to ensure that those multi-colored monstrosities never see the light of day. He bristles, no doubt vowing to kill the next moth he sees when I'm not there, while wearing one of the sweaters.
02/05 Direct Link
Hello, my name is Shana, and I know that I am 19 pounds and have a rather robust rump, but I am determined to fit my entire bulk into the space occupied by a Post-It note. My ambition also has me trying the same thing with a postage stamp (do they still exist?), an ATM receipt, and the wrapper from a Hershey kiss. Sure, any cat can attempt this with a coffee table book, a shirt box, or the New York Times, but it takes a certain talent not only to conceive of my project but to successfully execute it.
02/06 Direct Link
Oh, it's amazing, they gush on Facebook, how much the baby looks like her mama! Ordinarily I don't jump on the baby bandwagon, but in this case I'm not only jumping on but I'm doing a handspring onto it, grabbing the reins and barreling down the cobblestone San Francisco-style hills, headed straight for an enormous sheet of plate glass carried by three men in careful white jumpsuits. Yes, the baby looks just like you, I want to post in a comment. It's vaguely cross-eyed and doughy, and even in unmoving 2-D flatness, her subpar IQ is apparent. "Jodi likes this!"
02/07 Direct Link
I remember only three people from my third-grade class photo: One of two Yvonnes, the one purported to be smelly but who I never noticed smelled any better or worse than the other Yvonne or anyone else in the class; me, in a medium-purple long-sleeve pullover shirt that clashed with my olive skin, sporting a Keith Partridge shag; and Debbie van Slyke in a Marcia Brady dress and long blonde hair that made Marcia's look like straw.

Any notion I'd had that I was cute disintegrated when I looked at that picture. I may as well have been stinky Yvonne.
02/08 Direct Link
I don't have enough nerve to call the object of my crush, so I do what any normal 11-year-old would do: Call pretending to be one of his closest friends, whose voice, for some reason, I've learned to impersonate to startling perfection.

"Hello Timmy, this is Janice!"

How can I be so short-sighted that I don't realize that if he's fooled by that salvo, he'll pursue further conversation, none of which I've rehearsed for proper tone and inflection?

I sputter a wholly unconvincing follow-up.

The next day I'm forced to apologize to both, without a script, in my own voice.
02/09 Direct Link
Over the years it has been brought to my attention that my cat isn't exactly on the slender side. I am grateful to everyone who has so informed me because without their hawk-eyed assistance, I never would have noticed on my own, especially when I have frequently mistaken her for a mid-size knapsack and not just because she, like the knapsack, is unrelieved black. (I only realized she was not a knapsack when one morning, in a rush, I tried to jam a roll of quarters and a shaker of Tic Tacs into what I thought was a front pocket.)
02/10 Direct Link
Although I adore my percolator, I'm vexed because I cannot seem to keep it as sparkling and unused-looking as my mother has kept hers. It's not that mine is a mess, it's just that it looks like it's entertained a pot or 600 of coffee in its day, its lipstick smudged a little and its hair in a bit of disarray, whereas my mom's is as squeaky clean, inside and out, as a high school junior (pre-prom night). I suspect this is what happens when you brew coffee strong enough to kick Bruce Lee's ass instead of hazelnut-flavored pansy juice!
02/11 Direct Link
Ordinarily I'm in and out of my locker in 10 seconds, but today I'm thwarted by Sunny, who engages me in one-sided conversation to which I pay no mind, and not just because from what limited experience I've had with her I know it's something inane, but also because all I can think is, "Don't look at her tits, don't look at her tits." Because it's clear she's only talking to me so I'll look at her tits.

I pretend not to notice she's topless. Of course, when I turn to leave, I check out her tits in the mirror.
02/12 Direct Link
Idea for Hilarious Hijink (singular) #1,622: Go to a teller at TD Bank and exchange a ten-dollar bill for a roll of quarters. Proceed to the delightful Penny Arcade a few feet from the teller counter, break open the roll of quarters, and dump the coins into the tray. When prompted to guess how much your bounty is in order to win a prize (if within $1.99), enter "$10.02." (you don't want to seem obvious). Collect your receipt, and notification that you're a prize-winner, and return to the teller to receive the ten-dollar bill you'd just exchanged and the prize.
02/13 Direct Link
I didn't come to Whole Foods expecting to buy a Yahrzeit light, but here I am, holding one in my hand, trying not to squeeze it until it breaks. Instead, the sadness manifests itself in a more acceptable manner, and here I am, crying in the aisle.

It's been three years since my dog left this world. I haven't lit a traditional candle yet. I'm not religious. Do I want to do this? Is it "proper" to do this for a dog?

Since when have I cared about propriety?

I place the candle in my cart and want to die.
02/14 Direct Link
While I appreciate that you want your kid to learn how to use the Metrocard so you won't have to accompany him on the bus until he's 52, now is not the time for the lesson. It's pouring, it's chilly, and a few of the dozen or so of the people waiting to board the bus clearly didn't consult a weather report before leaving their homes this morning. You're not just teaching the boy how to use the Metrocard, lady. You're also teaching him how to be oblivious and act like he's the only person in the world. Good going.
02/15 Direct Link
We're in a cab on our way to a friend's party in Astoria, and her directions take us to an Avenue, not a Street, which in Queens can be the difference between losing a limb and only fearing for the loss. I'm losing it in the back seat, complete with enough curses that I am compelled to apologize to the driver, and my boyfriend, seated to my right, is keeping it together just by being calm in the face of my calamity. As much as I could kill my friend for the misunderstanding, I could kiss my boyfriend for understanding.
02/16 Direct Link
A roomful of people, some of whose faces I haven't even seen, is seated on a variety of mismatched chairs in my friend's living room, experiencing a completely different party from the one my boyfriend and I have been having in the kitchen, which I think we've left for a total of six minutes between the two of us in the three hours we've been here. From what I've seen in my peripheral vision when passing that room on my way to relieve myself of Diet Coke, I see we're not missing much. All I really want is him, anyway.
02/17 Direct Link
I've been practicing the song for weeks on my keyboard, a surprise for my boyfriend. I've got most of it down pretty well, but there's still one part that rankles; my tiny hands can't accommodate all four notes suggested in the chord. The jumble reminds me of consonant-heavy German. I feel like my playing is the equivalent of someone mangling a foreign language. I try to tell myself it's charming, that I don't have to play it perfectly, but still I fear fumbling.

I'd like to report that I played it without a hitch, but no.

He loved it anyway.
02/18 Direct Link
I dashed into the living room to peek at the cat, who was making a rare cameo appearance atop the sofa. While there, I grabbed part of a sheet of matzo, to appear as if I'd come to the room for a real purpose, and then returned to the kitchen, where my boyfriend was washing the hostess' dishes, unasked.

Oh, to have grabbed him and disappeared under the coats piled on the bed, near music that wasn't doing too stellar of a job reaching the rest of the apartment. Dishes, cat, people, and matzo be damned. Party of two, please.
02/19 Direct Link
Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you. Jeffrey, I love you.

No, this is NOT just a "filler" post.

(Jeffrey, I love you.)
02/20 Direct Link
For months after he broke up with me, the dotted lines that tracked his movement around my apartment (like the route of Little Jeffy through his Family Circus neighborhood) still looked freshly painted. I took care not to smudge them for fear of being unable to preserve the paths. Now, eight months after his last visit, I have to squint to detect traces. If I slightly blur my vision, I'll see a squiggly outline of his body on the sofa, like heat rising from the pavement in summertime. When my new boy is here, though, all I see is him.
02/21 Direct Link
"Have you ever used the steam room?" she asks, drying her toes with a towel, completely naked, as if we're in a suburban kitchen in aprons circa 1952 chopping celery.

"I avoid you bitches in open space in more temperate, well, temperatures, while clothed, so what in your pea-brain leads you to believe I might be interested, even marginally, in congregating with you and several others and your Titzentwatz (it's German, look it up) in a room whose walls aren't the only thing moist and overheated?" I say. But only in my head.

"Nah, not my thing," I say aloud.
02/22 Direct Link
While the other kids are hanging upside-down from the monkey bars long enough to induce strokes, colliding on the sliding board, or trying to see who can swing the highest, I'm off to the side, thinking until my head wants to beg for a hammer to bash itself.

This is the dilemma. Which of the following colors, if removed from the collection, would be most missed: Blue, green, purple, red, yellow, or orange? Every time I think I've convinced myself of one, I realize how vital its contribution is.

Why can't I just collide on the slide with everyone else?
02/23 Direct Link
The booth by the front door of Viand is now "ours". We didn't ask for it, and in no way would it be considered the most desirable, but most of the Saturdays we've gone in the past two months, it's where we've been seated. We're recognized by our faces, though, because when we're seated at the booth the week after we'd been seated elsewhere, the waitress recognizes us from that other table and greets us with friendliness that a tourist would never expect from big bad New York City.

We're the cute couple of "regulars" we'd hoped we'd become! Hurrah!
02/24 Direct Link
In Whole Foods, standing in front of a row of products that calmly claim to quell bloating and gas, deciding how much of an investment needs to be made and if I can get away with just chewing fennel seeds instead. Still, I'm as embarrassed as if I'm in Duane Reade, regarding more commercial products with names that are just as mortifying as the malady they profess to relieve.

I place the box face down on the counter, hoping it blends in with everything else, wondering if I should include a copy of "Yoga" magazine to throw the cashier off.
02/25 Direct Link
Dear BL:

Thank you for fucking up on our third date in September. Thank you for wearing a shirt I loathed, for calling me "dude" a fifth time when I told you four times that I'm not 20 and not a guy, and for not being apologetic when you were very late for that date, just mortified because you went to the wrong place. Thank you for the personality that relied on alcohol for verve. And thank you for the incredibly lame action.

Thank you for being who I didn't want, so I could focus on finding who I did.
02/26 Direct Link
Apparently I'm one of the only people in all the land who doesn't give two and a half shits about Charlie Sheen and his fall into disgrace. It's been so long since I entertained celebrity gossip or gave a cursory glance at a People-type magazine beyond the covers that face me on newsstands and at the salon. For a few moments I thought perhaps I should indulge, should try to catch up on his antics and watch one of his interviews, but really, why would I? So I'd have something to gab about during the happy hours I don't attend?
02/27 Direct Link
A fingerpainting of a cityscape, 2-3/4" wide and a smidge under 2" high, is propped on a proportionate wooden easel on my desk in between my two computer monitors, a souvenir of a trip to Indianapolis to visit friends. It's their friend whose fingers touched this tiny canvass. I wanted it not as a souvenir of my trip but as a reminder that when I have writer's block, all I need to do is fill a small space as a start. I have since expanded that notion: Sometimes that start is an end in and of itself. Right, 100 Words?
02/28 Direct Link
Funny to think that two months ago today, I stood face to face with you at Penn Station for the first time, thinking oh my god, he's even cuter in person, hoping you weren't thinking oh my god, she's not as cute as in her photos. Later that night, we were mouth to mouth, and I was thinking, holy fucking moly, this boy can kiss, and dying more than just a little bit when you bit my lip a little. I didn't want you to leave, and the moment you turned to get to your train, I missed you already.