BY Jodi

01/01 Direct Link
If it seems too good to be true, "they" say, it probably is. This is particularly true in matters of so-called romance, especially as presented on Facebook. Several years ago, I was wickedly envious of a friend's relationship with her live-in boyfriend here in NYC. I wanted to print out their photos just so I could blind and eviscerate them with a blue ballpoint Bic. A short time after I started fixating on the beauty of their everlasting love, I discovered they'd broken up, that the relationship had been shit for a while. Any condolences I offered were wholly false.
01/02 Direct Link
Only three minutes separates my apartment from the laundromat, but still, the entire enterprise of laundry is one I find particularly annoying. I don't know why, since the only sorting I do is, if I have more than one washer-ful, to do towels/sheets in one and everything else in the other, and I don't hover waiting to add fabric softener, and I leave for the duration of the cycle as soon as the stuff starts spinning. I think the separation of stuff-to-go-in-the-dryer and stuff-to-come-home-to-be-air-dried is worse. Or maybe it's the dread of knowing eventually I'll have to fold it all.
01/03 Direct Link
I don't know who's more annoying: The people who, when waiting on the platform, slyly maneuver into position so that when the train arrives, they'll be right by the opening doors, or those who blatantly cram themselves a fist's length in front of someone else who was already there. Either way, I want to kick the offender in the neck. Oh, how I love when I pretend I don't see it about to happen, and I thwart their attempts by just so happening to need to have my arm out to the side as they approach. Gee, so sorry, fucker!
01/04 Direct Link
It's 1989 and I'm in Greece with my boyfriend. We're in a small town, near the water, and in the not too distant distance, a man is lifting something high and then slamming it onto the deck. He does this over and over again, and I wonder what he's doing. I discover it's a squid and he's not exactly teaching it how to do a swan dive. The sound of the body against the deck fills me with sadness. How I was able to eat calamari on the trip after all, and when home, I'll never know. But never again.
01/05 Direct Link
I am not a girl who will give you a back rub. Do not expect me to reciprocate any you may offer me and which I accept. I'm not really that fond of the back rub anyway, unless I've suffered a sports-type injury and a hot shower has not provided relief. (Foot rubs are another story. But again, I won't reciprocate.) An old boyfriend knew this, but he still whined that I didn't offer to rub his back. One time I did indulge his request, and I tried to tell myself it wasn't that bad. But ugh, I was lying.
01/06 Direct Link
We didn't date enough for me to think of him as anything more than someone to have dinner with and kiss a little before I turned and went inside my building, leaving him to struggle with his pants on his subway ride downtown. But now we're friends, and he's showing me photos of the girl into whose apartment he gained entry after the first date. "Why wasn't it easy like that with you?" he asks. Since he's being marginally dickish I'm tempted to say something rude about the girl's looks. Instead, I don't say a thing, which says much more.
01/07 Direct Link
A decade ago I lived in a "Classic 6" in a posh doorman building a bit higher on the Upper West Side. Before my then-boyfriend and I moved in, as I was getting out of the chauffeured car with my real estate agent, I spied Richard Dreyfus entering the building. Turned out he lived there, which delighted me to no end. I also learned that Judy Collins lived there. Can you believe that not once did I think of ringing her bell, waiting for her to say, "Who is it?" and then responding, "The clowns. Should I send them in?"
01/08 Direct Link
It's 4:00 and my cat informs me that it's time for dinner and she won't take no for an answer. I hate to tell her, but no, I don't have any wet food in the house, all I have is the standard kibble and her bonito flakes, and it's cold out and I'm feeling like too much of a bum/hermit/loser/bad mom to go to the store even though it's only two blocks away. "I just don't feel like putting on boots" doesn't make her meow any less. So, instead, I make waffles, and she benefits. (She takes them sans syrup.)
01/09 Direct Link
If you invite me for a drink, I'll never enter the bar first. I refuse to go into a bar, perch on a stool, and then, when pressed to order (as I should be, since it's bad form to occupy a seat at the bar if you're not going to engage in bar activity), ask for a glass of seltzer with lime, with no one as a "buffer", and feel like I'm a kid waiting after school in the reception area of my dad's office, set up with a legal pad and pen, kicking my feet against the chair legs.
01/10 Direct Link
Wake me when I should give a flying fuck or fig leaf about how Justin Bieber was Photoshopped in the Calvin Klein underwear ads to look more beefy and "hung" than he really is, even though (despite being a colossal jackass and brat) his body looks terrific as it is, and every female model or celebrity from here to eternity in any ad anywhere for the past 14 titzillion years hasn't been airbrushed, color-corrected, manipulated, squished, elongated, erased, slimmed-down, plumped-up, and Photoshopped to the point where, when confronted with an image of them unadulterated, we think, "Girl needs some work."
01/11 Direct Link
I "scored" a 2-ounce bag of fenugreek leaves at Kalustyan's this afternoon. Powder and seeds are easier to acquire here, but the coveted stuff, the stuff that's gonna make the saag aloo I'm making this evening sing, for those of us who seek almost-instant gratification and want to keep commerce within our city rather than resorting to online purchase (unless absolutely necessary), is found in a far corner of a store on the other side of town. When I pulled the package from my messengerbagpursewhatever to admire it on East 28th, I felt like I'd be arrested for illegal possession.
01/12 Direct Link
If you fucking call me at 2 a.m. through Facebook Messenger for a reason that doesn't include you being chased down an alleyway by a blood-thirsty, machete-wielding circus clown or doesn't include you telling me you just found a dog shivering on Broadway and he needs a warm home to go to NOW NOW NOW or you're not one of my closest friends locked out of your apartment, and not only say you're *not sorry* for waking me up but do it again 20 minutes later and request my "real" phone number, I'm pretty sure you don't deserve my acquaintance.
01/13 Direct Link
If you fucking call me at 2 a.m. through Facebook Messenger for a reason that doesn't include you being chased down an alleyway by a machete-wielding circus clown, or doesn't include you saying you found a dog shivering on Broadway who needs a warm place to stay NOW NOW NOW, or you're not one of my closest friends locked out of your apartment, and after I message you that you woke me up, and you not only respond that you're *not sorry* but do it again 20 minutes later and request my "real" phone number, you don't deserve my acquaintance.
01/14 Direct Link
First thing he notices upon awakening is that his mouth tastes like pennies, tomato sauce, and a gym sock, and that the right side of his face itches like hell. He tries to move his head but his cheek is stuck to something scratchy, and he feels like he'll vomit if he smells the beer-soaked nubby armrest one second longer. When he finally gets up and looks in a mirror, he sees someone inexpertly drew a dick on his forehead using not a black Sharpie but a green crayon. That's it, he thinks. It's time to seek out smarter friends.
01/15 Direct Link
If you've ever fantasized about cursing a mug of hot tea for not being sufficiently caffeinated to keep you productively awake at your desk on a cold winter afternoon in Manhattan, shoving yourself away from your desk with enough force to swivel your chair, and then flopping onto your bed-like sofa, perchance to nap, perhaps with a cat, while dressed in squishy plush pink, black, and white Hello Kitty pajama bottoms and a violet chenille sweater "tipped" with chartreuse that you've had for maybe 20 years, today is your lucky day to live vicariously though a real live New Yorker.
01/16 Direct Link
There once was a tiny boy who lived in the cardigan pocket of a very large woman. He couldn't decide if he was extraordinarily small or she was outrageously huge, but either way, the ratio of him to her was largely (!) in her favor, so he didn't question it much beyond that. He loved living in her cozy pocket, nestled in the soft facial tissue she always kept there (and thankfully never used), and would occasionally feast on the crumbs of whatever cookie she would stash there for her mid-afternoon "emergency lull snack", as she liked to call it.
01/17 Direct Link
The tiny boy loved nothing more than hanging out in that pocket, making little mittens for himself out of lint that would gather there. He was amused by small strips of white paper that would occasionally come to rest there as well, on which important messages such as "You like Chinese food" and "You will have some new clothes" appeared, and wondered if life outside the pocket were as glamorous as those notes suggested. He didn't dare peak from the pocket when the woman left home, for fear of falling out or being discovered and perhaps mistaken for a mouse.
01/18 Direct Link
The woman knew the tiny boy lived in her pocket and not only did she have no problem with his residency but she welcomed it. Brief glimpses into the warm confines revealed that the little fellow was quite good-looking, with glossy black hair, almond-shaped eyes, a mischievous smile. She had never heard him speak, but at times she did feel the faint vibration of short chortles through the chenille and wished she had the gumption to ask him what was so funny. But she did not want to intrude or violate his privacy, even though she was, essentially, his landlady.
01/19 Direct Link
I wish I didn't feel like I had to "research" every online purchase to hell and back. I wish, for example, that upon deciding I need a silicone basting brush to apply oil to my waffle iron, I could do a simple search, find one I liked at a good price, say, "Okay, that's great," put it in my "cart", click send, and be done with it. But no. I spend eye-burning hours reading reviews, fretting over any negative comments, and wondering if it's "worth it". And then, when I finally make my choice and buy it, instantly question it.
01/20 Direct Link
At long last, a genuine smile, free of self-conscious fret or manufactured glee, and full of not giving a damn if anyone would think he looked goofy or crazed or anything else he considered negative and imperfect. For the first time in all the years I've known him, he looks comfortable and at ease and not at all nervous, and I want to climb into my phone and join him inside the frame. Who knew that all it would take was a perfect slice of plain cheese pizza on a standard issue white paper plate, eaten during an evening snowstorm?
01/21 Direct Link
I downloaded an "app" on my new phone to remind me to drink more water throughout the day. Or, really, I should say to drink water at all, because I don't drink any. I cringe while admitting that most of my fluid consumption is coffee or tea, with the occasional burst of seltzer or a Diet Coke as a "treat", and I know this is not good because I am a Wandering Jew and plants like me need to be watered not only to live but to thrive. And here I wonder why I often feel fatigued for "no reason".
01/22 Direct Link
It made me sad that I didn't find the new tooth gel as wonderful as the old stuff, and that for the duration of that tube I daydreamed about the moment when I could squeeze no more from it and would start on the tube of the old stuff that I had bought in anticipation of this eventuality. I didn't want to hurt the less-liked stuff's feelings by starting the old stuff straightaway. However, I admit that I let out a little cheer when I finally squeezed the more-liked stuff onto my toothbrush. Yes, kids, it has come to this.
01/23 Direct Link
The landline rings, and the name of my friend's ex-husband appears on the Caller ID. (The phone company won't switch the account into her new married name for some reason.) Although three and a half years have passed since his suicide, I still get a little chill at the sight of his name on the two screens, both the base and the handset. It's as if he resides, within the phone, in a pocket-sized version, hoping that one day I'll get wise to his location, pop open the back of the device, and he'll emerge, handsome as ever, and hungry.
01/24 Direct Link
What's the German word for when, at a favorite restaurant, you finally take the plunge, after much worry and fretting, and order something other than your "usual", and within two bites you wish you had stuck with the usual, which has never failed you, and then feel a little sad for the food on your plate because, through no fault of its own, it's just not "doing it" for you, and you don't want to hurt the food's feelings so you pretend that you're fine with your (terrible, unloved) choice, even as you think, "I am never ordering this again"?
01/25 Direct Link
I know that when learning new stuff in the kitchen, it's common to have mishaps and misfires, to make mistakes, and even encounter some disasters. Still, I don't take kindly to them. Today I experienced a fawaffle (falafel waffle) kerfuffle and a regular waffle wipeout, all the falafel had to be tossed, some of the waffles went by the wayside, and I had to spend a mess of time cleaning the waffle iron not once but twice. The only upside to any of this is that I learned that baking soda and white vinegar are champs. All is not lost.
01/26 Direct Link
Up until a couple of weekends ago when I had brunch with a friend at Quantum Leap, I hadn't had waffles in, oh, I'd say at least this century. But after that, I became obsessed with making them, and after seeing online that you can make more than just waffles in a waffle iron, I became fixated with buying one. I didn't rest until I researched to the point of brain numbness, and when I finally hit SEND, I was overjoyed to the point of foam-finger cheering. One minute later, of course, I wondered if I made the right choice.
01/27 Direct Link
Too much snow. Not enough snow. We're crybabies because Buffalo produces more snow when it sneezes. Starving children in Africa or China or wherever they're starving these days would be overjoyed to have our snow for breakfast. We bought too much bread and didn't need that extra flashlight. We didn't buy bread but still wish we had toast. Oy. Whatever, guys. Put on some cute boots, zip yourself into something warm, dash outside if you're off from work, and go make snow angels. Enjoy the snow day as if the middle school math test you were dreading has been postponed.
01/28 Direct Link
Several friends have recently told me they’ve had dreams about me. This comes as no shock, of course, because I'm undeniably a dream girl. Take, for example, this delightful tidbit that entered the dreamscape of a friend's head last night.

"I had a WEIRD dream about you last night -- but you yourself were not in it; you were a large, skinny black spider -- makes NO sense -- but it was you. You slid through a crack in a wrought-iron gate, and I was waiting for you to emerge again so I could whack you."

I feel so loved!
01/29 Direct Link
The distance between the starting point of his gut and his chest appears to have increased drastically since I last saw him a year ago, so that if he were to want to rest his thumb in his bellybutton like I imagine men of a certain girth do, hoping to find raspberry jam within, his arms wouldn't be able to rest comfortably at his sides in order to do so. I imagine a minuscule mountain-climber, gazing up at the incline, taking a deep breath and a bite of a tiny granola bar before digging a dinky pick in the fat.
01/30 Direct Link
After hanging out at the home of new friends recently, I've been marveling over how incredible it was to see how they were with their two young daughters. None of that horrible helicopter hoohah, that coy coddling crap, that bullshit babytalk bunkum. I lost a long-time friend over, largely, her insistence on treating her "child" like she was the most special snowflake, the most precious teacup, the most sensitive soul to ever pirouette on the planet. How wonderful it was to see my new friends acting like their kids were just OTHER PEOPLE who just so happened to be short.
01/31 Direct Link
I want to stop and say hello to you, darling pupper-face, but in order to do so, I have to ask the woman accompanying you, but she's wearing fur and I don't know how I could look at her and be nice enough to request an introduction, knowing that the whole time I'd want to chastise her for the coat, but not wanting to insult her because she was nice enough to let me meet you, but also feeling guilty because I feel I *must* say something but also don't feel brazen enough to do so. Oh, woof is me.