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BY Jodi

04/01 Direct Link
Today marks the 14th year that I have had the supreme pleasure of living with my cat. It's hard to believe that there was ever a time she was not in my life, when I didn't have her to talk to, to snuggle with, to yell at (I suck when this happens), to stroke, to adore, a time when I didn't have her fur to cry into when someone broke my heart. There mere sight of her brings me to tears, and I can't imagine loving anyone or anything more than I love her. A human baby? No fucking way.
04/02 Direct Link
Miranda uses a stretched-open safety pin to paint painstakingly perfect faces on individual grains of rice that wind up as uneaten leftovers after her weekly Friday night Chinese food delivery. At first she felt bad about not eating every grain, as she believes that every grain of rice counts, just like every bean and lentil, no matter how tiny, but when she started painting faces onto the rice, she transformed it into inedible anyway since she vowed years ago to never eat anything with a face. She knows this is kind of ridiculous, but it helps her sleep at night.
04/03 Direct Link
You dangled bait in front of me and I let it rot on the hook. You reeled in the hook and went back to land. I swam happily, swishing my tail. Occasionally I'd look up through the surface of the water and see you in your little boat, wondering if you'd try again, occasionally blowing tiny bubbles your way. So, after some time, your hook reappeared, and again I let it rot. "Never mind! I've got better fish to fry!" you shouted, paddling away furiously, perhaps scaring off the other fish. But I just laughed, knowing that too was rot.
04/04 Direct Link
Oh, yes, we've all seen your type. You, over there, in your airplane seat, focused on your laptop screen as if awaiting a vital message from your home planet, practically stabbing at the keyboard with your fingertips in a great show of productivity and purpose. We get it: You're a very important, efficient, focused person who needs us all to recognize this. Congratulations on owning a laptop, chump. You have marvelous company in the cretin who makes a big show of chewing gum with brisk, self-satisfied, jaw-bruising intensity. Kudos on masticating an unwieldy wad of Big Red, dunderpate. Bravo. Bravo.
04/05 Direct Link
I haven't heard your voice in almost two years, yet when we finally talk on the phone, it's like no time has passed at all. And not in a good way. It's not that old familiar feeling, like we were continuing a conversation from August 2012. No, there's no excitement in your voice, no joy, no relief that the silence is broken. You sound as if you're reading from a script, and I'm doing improve. This is way too studied, too careful. I feel like we're talking through wax paper taken from some kid's sandwich circa 1971. Let's hang up.
04/06 Direct Link
I know it's real when I feel it spilling before I even realized it was teetering on the eyelid ledges at all, deliberating for a moment how much safer it would be if it reeled itself back in, took a step backward, and retreated inside where it could sigh deeply over having never been found out. I know it's real when no amount of pressing my thumb and forefinger tightly against the sides of my nose can stop its flow and the saltiness is on my lips, making me thirst for external water necessitated by the outpouring of the internal.
04/07 Direct Link
I was mid-thought, mid-sentence, mid-paragraph, about to make what I considered a very important statement to end all statements when without warning I ran out of words. It's not that I was tongue-tied or lost track of my train of thought or realized I didn't know what I was talking about. No, I ran out of words. I used up my allotment of all words bestowed upon me at birth. I don't know why my logorrheometer didn't register that I was nearing empty and spur me to pay another $1,000 for the next 10,000 words, but there you have it.
04/08 Direct Link
When an absolutely gorgeous boy promises you on Monday to bring you something the next morning and then, when that morning comes and he realizes he forgot, and he leaves work to go back to Brooklyn to get it, even though you protest that no, no, no, it's okay, he can bring it tomorrow, it's no big deal, but he insists, goes home, gets its, and gives it to you with a brilliant grin and hugs you really hard and you hug him back, that's a good thing, right? How do you pay him back for that level of sweetness?
04/09 Direct Link
The first dozen pecan chocolate chip cookies came out slightly underdone, but a fear of burning them led me to say they'd be fine and not take the risk. The next half dozen, overachievers, burned themselves before their allotted bake time was up. But just because they're burnt doesn't mean they're not going to get eaten. By me, masquerading as the ghost of my dad, who loved all things burnt, at least when he still of this world. I sure hope his ghost has the same taste and is "in the house" as we speak. Daddy, these are for you.
04/10 Direct Link
Yesterday while at the vet with my friends Jessie and Elizabeth, visiting Jessie's doghter (it's a REAL WORD!!!), Gracie, we not only hung out with her in a private room but also in a bigger one where other furry friends stay overnight. All those fuzzfaces, groggy and calm, the resting paws with little "drips" or whatever they're called, monitors, oh, I got so teary and had to stop and say hello to every "baby". Something about seeing a dog's name coupled with a human last name made me swoon so hard I almost needed to be sedated like "Chauncey O'Shaughnessy".
04/11 Direct Link
Well, I have broken my vow to leave the house every day no matter what. Some days you're just better off wallowing a while, knowing that it's temporary, that tomorrow you will be out and about, but in the meantime reveling in hiding out, indulging it, and enjoying every moment you're inside, on the sofa, under a blanket, cat on your lap, a few homemade chocolate chip cookies by your side (and a few more in your stomach). This culture of forced happiness feels false and devalues our need to be sad sometimes. It's all good, even when it's bad.
04/12 Direct Link
This "Believe in Good" video has been making the rounds on Facebook, and if you haven't already seen it, you "should". I'm so sick of people saying, "The world is a fucked-up place, and people treat me like garbage, so I'm gonna lash out against those bastards and reclaim my right to be an asshole on my own terms." Screw that. I am by no stretch of the imagination an "Up With People" pollyanna, but I still believe in the "Golden Rule" even when tarnish is everywhere. I interpret "Good is good" to mean "God equals good." Got it? Good.
04/13 Direct Link
How best to spend a gorgeous Spring day in a city bursting with possibilities than inside my apartment in clothes I'd never dream of wearing outside, making matzo ball soup, watching a documentary, providing yesterday's cookies with a loving home inside my mouth (sexxxy!). and working on a 6-1/2 hour deposition of a Polish guy who, Dzięki Bogu, is accompanied by an interpreter. Mock me if you will, weekend warriors, but the beauty of self-employment means that tomorrow, while you're crying in your cubicle, I won't have to fight for a space in the park. Everything is a tradeoff. Everything.
04/14 Direct Link
You know that kid in elementary school who, just as class was ending, not only raised his hand but his entire arm and shoulder and said, "Oh, Teacher! Didn't you forget to COLLECT THE HOMEWORK [that nobody did except for me]?" That kid? Well, if you're a so-called adult and you're still that fucking kid, I'd like to "call you out" to wherever it is that's the adult equivalent of the woods behind the schoolyard, far beyond the scope of the recess monitors, and show you my cap gun, the one that reeks of sulfur when its trigger is pulled.
04/15 Direct Link
Please keep the wonderful actor Robert Loggia in your thoughts and prayers. I was just thinking about him (in particular, his role in "Jagged Edge" and his quote that I think was, "Fuck it. He's trash") and wondering if he were still living. He is. (He's 84.) But I have an uncanny way of killing celebrities just by wondering if they're dead or alive. I'd suggest you talk to Milton Berle, Billy Wilder, and Shelley Winters, but you can't, since I am responsible for their deaths no more than two days after my wondering. Excuse me while I knock wood.
04/16 Direct Link
Ah, yes, I'm doing Liza at karaoke again. Apparently I do best when I act as if I'm Liza and not me doing Liza, when I envision her in my head and think, "What would Liza do?" and act accordingly. Any wonder that the gays think I'm the bee's knees? If only I could belt out the end of "Cabaret" the way she did, I would be golden. I am grateful for the boys who dance around when I sing it, so at the crucial moment I can act like I'm so amused by their antics that laughter overtakes me.
04/17 Direct Link
Three black ants are wandering across the countertop as I'm preparing stuff for the vegan jambalaya on a Sunday afternoon. I keep my eye on them almost as much because I don't want them ending up in the food as much as I don't want to hurt them. Although even for a vegan, I'd be more upset about hurting them than I would be if wound up eating them by dint of them ambling into the seitan mixture or hitching a ride on a celery stalk. But as it stands, they can stay as long as they respect the boundaries.
04/18 Direct Link
I'm "sorry", but sitting around "praying" for something is not taking real action. If someone or something is in danger and you can actually DO something to help, for the love of fucking Dog, DO IT. Kneeling by your bedside sending out little desperate messages to whatever force in the universe you think is responsible for overseeing all the misery on the planet is NOT ACTUALLY DOING ANYTHING. If you want to do that stuff in addition to taking action, that's fine. But stop thinking that that telepathy stuff is enough to save the day. It's not. It's just not.
04/19 Direct Link
Today my li'l sis is 49, and I still laugh when I see her behind the wheel of a car, just like I did when she was 16 and we'd inexplicably give each other "the finger" because we couldn't take seriously the idea of such a tiny person actually being allowed to operate something more substantial than a pogo stick. On the flip side, nothing was more seriously beautiful than when she worked at a kennel and would crawl into the dogs' cages and talk to them or dance with them in her arms. I love this kid like crazy.
04/20 Direct Link
A version of me who doesn't cry in a variety of ways every day would be nice. A version of me who doesn't wince in pain with certain shoulder movements would be nice. A version of me who doesn't wake up sad because the dad who faked his own death in her dreams isn't actually in her mom's kitchen eating French toast explaining why he did it and asking for forgiveness that is his without even asking would be nice. For now, though, I'll just accept the version of me as I am right now. And that will be nice.
04/21 Direct Link
A tiny old lady sits on a stone bench in Verdi Square with a small white poodly pooch, whose sweet milky-eyed face peers out from a stroller sort of contraption. I smile as I pass, stop, and spin around for more. I say hello, the woman welcomes me, and I crouch so I'm on their level.

Sophie is 13, adopted by Rose three years ago.

"Oh, so you got Sophie when she was already an older girl!"

"I had to. An old girl for an old lady," Rose says, smiling.

I leave in tears, pretending it's, y'know, pollen or something.
04/22 Direct Link
Earth Day, right? One day a year to realize our planet is fucking incredible and we should honor, respect, and nurture its beauty and bounty? Shouldn't every day be Earth Day, and the stuff about turning off lights when we're not using them, recycling our endless crap, using our legs as transportation instead of cars, and being mindful of the effect our actions have on this marvelous marble, shouldn't all of that just be a "given" by now? Giving a shit one day a year is like going to church only on Christmas and celebrating romance only on Valentine's Day.
04/23 Direct Link
The movies would have me believe that people actually do the following:

Toss small stones up at a second-story bedroom window at cricket-chirp o'clock to get the dweller's attention, and do so with perfect aim and just enough force to make an impact without damaging the glass and to make enough noise to be heard only by the person whose attention is being sought.

Not only sing the "mockingbird" song *at all* to a wailing infant, in a moderately pleasant voice, but have it lull the kid into satisfactory slumber, without pausing to consider the poor grammar of the song.
04/24 Direct Link
Dear Everyone on Facebook:

My way is the only right way and you are all doing it wrong. I used to do it the wrong way and am now doing it the right way, and you are wrong for still doing it the wrong way even though it took me a while to do it right. Please try not to be insulted over my self-righteous denouncement of the wrong way to which you still adhere. Feel free to dispute in comments, but know that anything you say will be wrong, all right?

Love, Everyone on Facebook

P.S. Happy pre-TGIF. LOL.
04/25 Direct Link
Sorry, but no, you are not "starving". You're hungry. If you live in this country and you have eaten in the last day, and your stomach is rumbling or gurgling a little, you're just hungry. Save the starving for, you know, the children in Africa or China or Mississippi or wherever the kids these days are doing that thing where they don't have food for several days in a row and would be more than happy to share the baby's-head-sized bagel you mindlessly crammed in your bread-hole this three hours ago with their mom, dad, and five brothers and sisters.
04/26 Direct Link
The movies would have me believe that people actually do the following:

Toss small stones up at a second-story bedroom window at cricket-chirp o'clock to get the dweller's attention, and do so with perfect aim and just enough force to make an impact without damaging the glass and to make enough noise to be heard only by the person whose attention is being sought.

Sing the "mockingbird" song to a wailing infant in a pleasant but not songstress quality voice and have it lull the kid to satisfactory soft-snorey slumber, without pausing to consider the poor grammar of the song.
04/27 Direct Link
For the 4,002th time, no, no thank you, Facebook advertisers, I have zero interest in this thing called "office-appropriate" yoga pants. Don't you schmucks know enough about me by now, by monitoring my posts here, spying on my Amazon reviews, tracking my Internet shopping history, and via the microchip you secretly implanted in my shoulder that the words "office" and "appropriate" make me cringe more than the thought of dozens of pink shrimp bare toes in a yoga class? Also, stop showing me a variety of Bundt pans, for fuck's sake, two months after I bought one on my own.
04/28 Direct Link
This morning I met, and of course smooshed, two barrel-bodied black pugs, Tommy and Isaac, relatives, 3 and 10 years old respectively.

"Isaac!" I said, stroking the gray and white of his face, smiling into his eyes. "That was my grandfather's name, and he was built just like this!" When we parted, I was grinning but felt a little shaky.

A few minutes later, after turning the corner, while stooping to tie my shoe, I caught several whiffs of a cigar even though no one was in sight. My grandfather was never without a cigar.

"Poppop?" I said. "Poppop! Hello!"
04/29 Direct Link
That he was in this world at all was enough. That he was out there, wherever he was, leading whatever kind of life he was living since we were "a couple", that was enough. As corny as it was, I liked knowing that the moon I saw was the moon he saw, that at some point during any given day he'd eventually be asleep, dreaming. It didn't matter if we weren't together anymore because we knew one day we would be. But 16 years ago his ashes were buried beneath a tree in Tennessee and, with them, my dashed dreams.
04/30 Direct Link
I love when people tell me they admire how outspoken I am and that I don't have a filter. I smirk mightily and raise my right eyebrow, the one I arch so high that it stirs envy in Joan Crawford's corpse, because I only say about 14% of what I really want to say and what I do allow out is filtered more than Poland Spring or Dasani or Fiji or whatever bullshit bottled water is all the rage. Very few of you have seen the Robin Williams side of me, and I'm not talking about a monstrously hairy back.