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Just when I think I couldn't possibly care less about a casting decision in a movie that's bound to rake in ridiculous amounts of money -- of course I'm referring to Ben Affleck as Batman, which no doubt still has people flailing as if actual bats are nesting in their hair -- another announcement is made, this time about the lead in "Fifty Shades of Grey", a book you couldn't pay me to read even under the threat of shackling with Spencer Gift fake-fur-lined handcuffs, eyes pried open a la "A Clockwork Orange", and forcing me to watch "Gigli". Next!
It's been 20 years since my Poppop left this world, but still, every Labor Day I think of him saying, any Sunday we were together, "So, tomorrow's Labor Day, right?" He also made a "haddock" pun that I can't remember right now, and tell us he was on a "seafood diet", crinkly-eyed laughing, as he said, in his gravelly Polish accent, "I see food, I eat it!" He'd simultaneously tell us these jokes as if he'd never done so before and as if he'd relayed them countless times. And I'd respond in kind, groan-laughing and sighing, a labor of love.
In seventh and eighth grade I had a super-groovy white belt with solid pewter smiley-face prong-back buckle that I loved to pair, to marvelous effect, with red hip-hugger bellbottoms with white stitching that I "borrowed" from my mom. I can't imagine I ever got rid of either, given my habit of holding on to iconic items, so I suppose they still reside somewhere in her house and are crying out for me to unearth them and wear them now, 35-plus years later. (Sadly, my worn-out navy blue Converse high-tops were tossed, but I wouldn't literally wear them out now anyway.)
For you I disregarded two of my "rules" for OKCupid nonsense: (1) I called last night (we just "met" yesterday morning!) and (2) agreed to meet for coffee this afternoon. Ordinarily I don't like talking to anyone before meeting face to face, and I'm not keen on getting together so soon (that only yielded wonderful results once, definitely a fluke). But I made exceptions for you because your email was cute and our hour-long phone call was fun. I have to wonder: Is one of *your* "rules" that you don't control your caterpillar-esque ear hair until the second date? Next!
After several links to Thought Catalog "articles" appeared in my news feed, I clicked on them out of curiosity. Is this claptrap tapped out by the thumbs of tenth graders whose biggest experience in the world so far has been waiting overnight in line near Rockefeller Plaza for the opportunity to get within squinting distance of whatever lack-of-talent "artist" is appearing on a Friday morning? Is it written as a punishment exercise in detention for having been caught texting during a pop quiz? Holy fucking garbage. If you turn to Thought Catalog for food for thought, you'll die of starvation.
One morning after a particularly humiliating physical rebuffing, I asked my boyfriend of four years if he was seeing someone else. He said no. I said that if he was, or ever had, he just had to tell me and he could leave my apartment immediately, the relationship was over. "You have a 'get out of jail free card'," I said. He denied it again. One month later he broke up with me, still denying. Five months after that, I got the truth. Why was it so fucking important for this colossal jackass to keep passing "Go" and collecting $200?
I've had it with the saturation of "selfies" (the photos themselves and also that gross little word). The people taking them obviously think they look good ONE WAY ONLY, making the same facial expression they think is adorable, invariably shot from an angle they can't maintain in real life, especially in the company of other people, unless they're forever presenting themselves with their chins down, looking up with big doe eyes. I don't know what's worse: The self-conscious posturing that's supposed to look natural, or when they act like they don't even know the photo's being taken. Either way: Ugggh.
For your consideration, a few haiku(s?). I know haiku is kind of passť, but so be it.
Manhattan Day School
Shush, raucous Yid kids!
Pink Lady rebel
Hanging with the McIntosh
Granny Smith's appalled
Jellyfish cat sack
Nineteen pounds, snoozing lapful
Perfect Friday night
Apartment smell: Skunk
Also: Poppop's cigar stub
Somehow, quite pleasant
Yom Kippur: No food.
"Yum" Kippur: Bring it, bitchez.
Cute guy on subway
Literally twiddling his thumbs
Unwashed grapes, meet mouth
Living on the edge, aren't I?
Fruit vendor's impressed
Looseleaf, three-hole punched
Mimeographed "ditto" quiz
How I adored you
Because I live on the edge, always up for an adventure, I'm accompanying a friend to Costco this morning in what I think is a station wagon. I'll spare you my feelings on Costco and the reasons for my revulsion and just say I'm willing to put all of that aside in my quest to find an inexpensive clothing steamer. If later I complain that I don't know where to store 15 one-gallon containers of olives, which I don't even like, kindly kill me and bury me in the casket that I hope fits in the back on the car.
Reason No. 1,179 why my Bubby and Poppop were the best: They still stocked their refrigerator with bottles of Bosco and cans of Hershey's chocolate syrup and enormous Hershey's chocolate bars -- even though they knew I was drinking the chocolate syrup directly from the bottle/can and biting off big chunks from the chocolate bar, knowing full well I was the culprit thanks to the gap I had then between my front teeth. And then, of course, my piercing of the Jell-O chocolate pudding skin that formed perfectly on top of the individual-sized cut glass bowls prepared for our desserts.
I saw the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapse with my own two eyes in 3D living color, while staring down Fifth Avenue near the Flatiron Building just around the corner from my apartment. I don't need to see it all over again, on Facebook, the news, or otherwise, in order for me to "never forget". The tower heaved a sigh, and collapsed like a combination sand castle and waterfall, in silent slow motion, with the grace of a dancer. It would've been beautiful if it weren't so insanely devastating. I can't even type about it without crying.
A Vine video went viral, showing two teenage twats putting a tiny kitten into a microwave and turning it on for six seconds. One of the little bitches opened the microwave and the terrified kitten bolted from its brief captivity in hell. In comments to the video/article, some people said these obnoxious little cunts need therapy, that obviously they don't get attention from their parents, blahthefuckblahblahwhatever. I don't give a shit. I don't want these vicious wastes of flesh and breath to get anything but punishment that fits their egregious crime. There is no excuse for this revolting behavior. None.
Oh, so it was FASHION Week. Fashion. I was wondering why, despite camping out on the beautifully appointed rooftop lounge of the Empire Hotel in my Prada sleeping bag and Versace pajamas for the duration of the vaunted event, I hadn't spotted, through my Swarovski crystal-encrusted opera glasses, the darlings of the runway, Mussolini and Hitler, both marvelously lean and gaunt and decidedly hungry-looking, strutting arm-in-arm, with insouciant savoir faire, down the LED-blinking steps of Lincoln Center in suitably embellished military-style jackets and spectacular matching "kinky boots" fashioned from skins culled from secret sources Now I know. Fashion. Duh. Whoops.
Gee, how novel. Your "fantasies" include women dressed in French maid uniforms and black stiletto heels, tits pushed up so if they were lactating and wanted a sip from their own spigots they could avail themselves without even moving their heads, laid across your suit-panted lap to receive a spanking when it's revealed, as she's on her tiptoes trying to reach the highest bookshelf with her feather duster, she is actually wearing "panties". My eyebrow can't shoot off the top of my head fast enough, ricocheting off the ceiling and back into your "latte". I'm supposed to find this "hot"?
Why do I write super-short stories? Because I can't stand reading long stories. Indeed, most of the time I don't want to read anything beyond two pages, and even that's pushing it. Unless you grab my attention as fiercely as a guy who, after jumping off the Empire State Building observation deck, decides, somewhere around the 90th floor, that oh fuck he made a mistake, and by some mixture of sheer luck, so-called divine intervention, and King Kong's hand, finds himself at least able to cling to a birdshit-slippery ledge by his fingertips, I'm just not interested. End of story.
Some fucking moron is apparently not home to turn off his or her alarm clock, and as a result everyone who shares this courtyard/alley/whatever must suffer the thin, high-pitched, tireless, "beent beent beent" that could rouse even a deaf corpse. Here's a wake-up call, anonymous neighbor: YOU ARE A FUCKING DICK. May you be cursed not only with a fortnight of insomnia, but accompanying charley horses in both calves, those absolutely horrid toe-flexing cramps in the arch of the foot for which there is no relief, and the loss of your employment that requires you to awaken at 7:00 a.m.
While running on the dreadmill to The Ventures' "Wipeout", I had to amuse myself with mind-movies to keep myself amused and not wanting to cry. I pictured my friend Eric's blind pug, Xander, on the drums and bongos, wearing a black turtleneck and beret, my friend Elaine's six dogs dancing mod-style on a beach by a bonfire after dark, several cats lolling around, high on "the nip", and much, much more. Several times I laughed aloud and pretended I was listening to a hilaaaaaaarious podcast just in case anyone wondered what I was finding so funny about running so fast.
At the end of a deposition that runs almost three hours, she breaks down and sobs. She's been rambling almost non-stop, pausing neither for breath nor punctuation, as if she's having a gab-fest at a family reunion while gnawing on corn on the cob or gossiping over a fence. She thinks it's cute on the rare instances when she catches herself, and I imagine sealing her mouth shut with packing tape. But when her voice finally breaks and her body quivers like a bowl of chocolate pudding, I realize I actually like her. And want to take her to lunch.
I've abandoned most high heels because that's not who I am anymore, in favor of groovier, lower heels that I can run in even better than I could in high heels (trust me, I could really move in those things). "The sex is in the heel," Lola says in the movie "Kinky Boots" (and maybe on Broadway too) (I have yet to see it), but I'm not convinced. The "sex" is in the way you walk in your shoes, whatever the heel. A chick strutting in flats with confidence is much sexier than one stumbling in high heels without it.
Street Notes No. 3
A young shaved-head construction-type guy and another, maybe ten years older, the same "type", cross Sixth Avenue. The younger one calls out, "Yo, bro, your bag's unzipped!" The bag guy turns, alarmed. No recognition registers on his face. As the younger one passes, he gestures and says, "It's wide open, man." The bag guy sets it on the sidewalk, crouching to zip. The younger guy struts away, and the other calls out, "Hey, thanks, man! Have a great day!" The younger guy looks over his shoulder as he crosses 24th Street and smiles. "You too, man."
I really did not need to dream that an extremely tall and not very convincing drag queen, who had been stalking me, stabbed herself to death after dark in the corner of a cramped kitchen of a house that was apparently mine and then her alter ego "buried" her above-ground in my backyard, close to the house, leaving behind, empty, a cavernous excavation, but marking her grave with an enormous mound of mulchy dirt marking her grave with a small cross and the word OCTOBER in big glittery block letters that I could see from my kitchen window, did I?
I really didn't need to dream that an extremely tall and not very convincing drag queen, who had been stalking me, stabbed herself to death after dark and was found in a shimmery mini-dress "crumpled" in the corner of a cramped kitchen of a house that was apparently mine, and then her alter ego buried her above-ground (leaving behind, empty, a cavernous excavation), the grave indicated by an enormous mound of dark mulchy dirt marked with a small white cross and the word OCTOBER in big glittery block letters, in the back yard just outside my kitchen window, did I?
Reason No. 212(c) why I love my work.
I'm transcribing the deposition of a neurosurgeon. It's getting on my nerves, but I like the guy for a variety of reasons, one of which is that he kinda reminds me of Richard Deacon. Then this transpires:
Q. Okay. Why was the IDET then ill-advised?
A. Because the IDET procedure, and -- and let's -- let me try to parse it out so that, again, we have our record. So, that's intradiscal electrothermography, I believe. So, intradiscal is the ID, and the ET is phone home. No, sorry. Is -- is electrothermography.
Whenever I see an article about becoming "minimalist", I look around my apartment and think, "Yeah, this shit's fucking crazy." Then I remember that everyone who visits falls in love with it (or pretends to), that one of my favorite people calls it "a Jodi museum", and that no one could ever have a place just like it. And that all the places in which I feel the most at home are places just as wacked as their inhabitants. Minimalism sends my brain-nook into a coma and makes me want to dash into West Elm with a Bedazzler. Spare me.
Oh dear Lord, Peter, Paul, and Mary, not to mention Moses and John Quincy Adams (what?) ... I just joined Pinterest. Yes, Pinterest. (Even though I'm not exactly sure how to pronounce it.) I figured, hey, I'm not really using my relatively new Twitter account (the hashtags almost literally make me murderous), so I needed to join SOMETHING ELSE that I swore I'd never join. What's next? An Oprah-style book club? The ladies' auxiliary? The Cub Scouts? AA? The PTA? The Impossibly Foxy Upper West Siders Who Work From Home and Hate OKCupid Coalition (IFUWSWWFHAHOC)? Save me. Someone, save me.
On my way to see an actor friend's show in the West Village, I see her mom on Seventh Avenue, and although I don't really feel like chatting with her too much, I approach anyway and exuberant greetings spill from my mouth. She looks at me with benign pleasantness and confusion, and I know it's because she had suffered a stroke a few years ago that destroyed much of her memory. Still, I'm convinced she's "faking", much like I thought my friend, her daughter, was feigning wrinkled-brow confusion and memory loss years ago after electroshock therapy. Like daughter, like mother?
I'm happily in my aisle seat, daydreaming about California, when suddenly I'm assaulted with a pungent stench inches away. It's attached to a young guy hoisting stuff into the overhead bin. He indicates he needs to pass over me to access his seat to my immediate left. The stink is baked onto his clothes, his skin, and damn it, I swear, his soul, and I feel no pity for him, just disgust. Fortunately the flight attendant is able to change my seat. I want to "gently" say, "Ever hear of a shower, dude?" but resist. "Dude" isn't in my vocabulary.
Lola noses her wiggly way into the garage, because I, on leash duty, fail to reel her in. But Sharon, the perky neighbor, who must be in her early eighties, doesn't mind at all and indeed is delighted by the intrusion. When I tell her I'm from New York, she says, "Oooh! Lucky!! I say no, she's the lucky one. She tells me she'll put me up if I ever want to return. I'd take her up on it if my friends hadn't already told me I could come back any time I wanted. Oh, to Big Sur with love!
I'm in my friends' living room in California, gazing starry-eyed at the "Creations Elite" Vitamix on QVC, a smoothie in hand concoted by one of my hosts. The first day, I admire it demurely out of the corner of my eye. The second, I'm blatantly ogling it. The third, it's a full-blown obsession. So, under cover of darkness, in the last two hours of the special offer, I ordered one online, practically breathless. I rearranged my entire kitchen counter to accommodate it, and the Mason jar filled with dried chickpeas is already flirting with the handsome blue hunk. Easy, sister!
Today my dad would have been 75 years old. With all due disrespect, fuck you, cancer, for denying him the pleasure of being here for it. I still can't believe I won't get to hear his voice "singing" along with my mom's next month, per the annual birthday telephone call tradition they took over after my grandparents left this world. I hate that he won't be here to tease me about being half a century old and to jokingly call me "Chubs" even though I weigh 111 pounds. Happy birthday anyway, Daddoy. I raise a chocolate-covered cherry in your honor!
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