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BY Jodi

07/01 Direct Link

Gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, organic vegan baked goods.  No, thank you.  No thank you to the stuff that precedes "organic vegan".  You will excuse me while I roll my eyes at you because you do not have Celiac disease and you are truly to be so damned "healthy" that you think a little fat and a little sugar are going to make the difference between life and death.  Give it a rest.  And if you're asking for a nutritional breakdown, to see if there is any "protein" in your brownie, and how many calories it contains, why even bother?  Go away.

 

07/02 Direct Link

My mixing bowl, not wanting to rip off the gay Mr. Biv, are ordered by size so that they'r identified as Roy V. Gib and can thus enjoy autonomy.  I mix salads in the orange one, and don't bother transferring it to a plate because the size is perfect and the color so gorgeous against the salad "fixin's" (the "G" is missing, hence the apostrophe; I shudder to think anyone would think I used an apostrophe for a plural) that there's no reason.  This makes me inordinately happy.  I can't decide if that's a good thing.  Or a pathetic one.

 

 

07/03 Direct Link

I was truly a winner if, when my grandfather served me and my siblings fruit cup in heavy syrup, my bowl contained the coveted maraschino cherry half, a morsel whose unadulterated sweetness, as a maraschino cherry in the wilds of a Philadelphia A&P, was no match for its processed sweetness.  I scooped it into my teaspoon, gently tilted the spoon to admire its round perfection in the spoon's smooth cradle, slurped the sip of syrup, and left the cherry alone before eating it, a tiny trophy made even sweeter because I was clearly Poppop's favorite, at least for that night.

07/04 Direct Link

We're in the Ford Fairlane, aqua/teal with a big steering wheel, melting into the red vinyl.  These are the days before air conditioning in cars, before automatic windows, and that big non-power steering wheel is a pain for my tiny mom to maneuver.  We're locked out of the house with nothing but chocolate milk and Pringles, new from the store.  We drink the quickly warming milk from the wax paper spout and shuffle Pringles into our palms.  It's hot and we're tired and our legs are sticking to the seats, but this is a lunch we can get behind.  Yes.

 

07/05 Direct Link

We called her Suzy Cream Cheese.  She had a red ponytail and rode a big-girl bike with a leopard-print banana seat.  I was about four when we left the Philadelphia twin-house that made us neighbors, and that's all I can remember.  That's a lot more flattering than what I remember about Nathan, standing at the top of the concrete steps leading up this house, by the screen door, young enough to not only be without pants but diapers as well, and not old enough to know you just don't pee in public like that.  I wonder where they are now. 

07/06 Direct Link

He tells me he still fantasizes about a certain activity we engaged in when we were a couple.  I raise my eyebrow at the message and say to myself, "Well, duh."  He tells me that he regrets that we never got around to doing another thing we had planned to do.  I smirk at the message and say to myself, "Your loss."  I remind him that he's the one who broke up with me, and that all of that and more could have been his.  It's not my fault he's back to banging broads with tapioca thighs and gelatinous hips.

 

07/07 Direct Link

I refuse to present myself food as if I'm a disgruntled, sweaty school lunch lady, plopping a ladleful of slop into a divided tray reminiscent of a TV dinner.  I take great care in spooning it onto a dish whose colors complement whatever it is I've made, and then adjusting pieces "just so" to make it pretty, and even arranging slices of avocado to resemble a pinwheel.  I'm not as meticulous or obsessed as, say, the Japanese, and I would not call it "art", but it makes me happy to honor the food and myself by making it look lovely.

 

07/08 Direct Link

Most rehearsals, she's shown up late, sashaying through the door, foil-wrapped falafel in hand, without apology, perhaps because she is chewing or because she is rude.  The first time it happened, in an effort to try not to hate her for these offenses, I offered a few words about how delicious falafel is and how I wished I had some, because I didn't know it was her habit.  "Oh, sorry," she said.  The second time it happened, I raised an eyebrow and motioned with my eyes toward E, across the room, who smirked at me.  Commiseration quieted my disgust.  Temporarily.

 

07/09 Direct Link

Debbie and I are poking around in the shallow woods and scraggly lots behind the Leo Mall, looking for thrills to top our side-splitting antic of tossing not-quite-empty hot pink Tab cans into mailboxes, when we stumble across the carcass of a car charred not quite beyond recognition.  Indeed, the aqua/teal paint is still intact in spots and the word "Fairlane" does an approximation of shining through.

"My mom used to have this same car," I say.  "But we haven't had it for a while."

My parents have a store in this boring strip mall.  I shudder at the realization.

 

 

07/10 Direct Link

Melanie could pass for either a boy or girl.  She's about my age, 8, and her cool sandy blonde shag haircut gives her a vaguely Keith Partridge vibe.  She wears a puka shell necklace.  If she doesn't smoke cigarettes, she at least looks like the kind of kid who would.  I spend a great deal of time in awe of her lack of guilt as she deftly pries hood ornaments off the fancier cars in the neighborhood.  I don't know what I secretly covet more:  the Mercedes-Benz emblem pocketed in her corduroys or Melanie herself.  (Alas, she digs my brother.) 

07/11 Direct Link

My Sunday morning mission is to find a recipe my sister and I have been mentioning to each other for quite some time.  I don't remember what it's called since it's been at least 35 years since I made it or ate it.  She thinks it's Better Crocker, I think it's a Pillsbury Bake-Off winner, and we're not sure if it's cornbread-based or Poppin' Fresh biscuit-based.  I opt for the latter of both and am finally rewarded with the elusive recipe.  Still, 20% of my brain is haunted by the notion that it's cornbread and that my search isn't over.

 

07/12 Direct Link

Ninety percent of the email he sends me contains a link to a Groupon or some other kind of "deal", mostly for vegan restaurants or a great grocery store called Westerly Market on Eighth Avenue, where we first met face to face after being Facebook "friends" (acquaintances) for a while.  Any time he invites me to dinner, he tells me he has a coupon.   I have not accepted any of his invitations beyond Westerly Market, because that sort of conspicuous thriftiness is an enormous turnoff.  I joke with my best friend that this dusty schlub's favorite sexual positions is 34-1/2.

07/13 Direct Link


An ex-friend of mine posts the most vile garbage about her personal life on Facebook, for public consumption, and knowing her the way I know her, she wants guys to think, "Golly, she's got those tits and that ass, and comes up with stuff that's grosser than my sloppy drunk frat brothers could come up with?  Gosh, she's the perfect girl!  Just one of the guys but she'll let us bang her to hell and back!  Sign me up for a top-notch blowjob behind a Lower East Side dumpster, dudes!"

Way to go, skank.  You're going places!  (The VD clinic.)

07/14 Direct Link

Such a treat to be in a car on a weekday, even if it's just to Costco.  I'm acting like a dog going for an R-I-D-E and almost sprout a tail just so I can chase it with glee.

Although I tell him he's certainly welcome to avail himself of my Vitamix anytime he wants a smoothie, the way he's been doing on those days he doesn't mind the 20-block distance separating our apartments, he says it's "time to bite the Nutri-Bullet" since his product of that name bit the dust.

We giggle over that more than we probably should.

07/15 Direct Link

I suppose I could have dashed over to the assisted living place up the street and asked someone at the front desk to help unzip the back of the dress, since I was having no success in doing it myself despite practically dislocating my arms, but that would have been bizarre.  Instead I chose a reasonable alternative, to cut myself out of the dress, which began to feel exactly like I imagine a straightjacket would feel and caused me to panic.  It's sad, but it will be refashioned into a cute bag by my friend Zoe in Houston.  Viva upcycling!

07/16 Direct Link

Something as minor as having a new "granny cart" to take to the laundromat makes it so much less of a chore and a lot more fun.  Or maybe not even fun since the activity is doing laundry and there's really nothing thrilling about being at the laundromat.  Indeed, the fun itself is in admiring the fresh apple/lime green color of the cart and how happy it looks going for a nice little jaunt in the sunshine, all parts intact, the light green and white laundry bag inside, itself feeling young and new again thanks to the freewheelin' new cart.

07/17 Direct Link

While the band is busy butchering one of the bar mitzvah boy's favorite songs, my date and I leave the room and go out into the lobby with overly-iced glasses of Diet Coke.  I nudge him with my elbow and show him the big cloth napkin I've hidden under his suit jacket, which I'd conveniently offered to hold for him.  He takes the napkin and unfolds it to reveal half of the enormous apple strudel we'd both admired.

"And where's your piece?" he says.

We laugh like hyenas and run out to the car to cram it in our faces.

 

07/18 Direct Link

Your Croatian boyfriend has been talking to me about his mother's cooking for the duration of your extended trip to the bathroom.  He's been telling me about a kind of cake that she makes for the holidays, maybe a strudel sort of thing, maybe a cookie or a pie, I really don't know, because by the time he got around to that, I was already stuffed with descriptions of stews and wasn't listening.  So, no, I wasn't flirting with him while you were powdering your ass or whatever the hell took you so long.  Stop croat-ing problems where none exist.

07/19 Direct Link

Today my grandfather would have been either 105 or 106 years old.  I wonder what he would have been like, with 22 more years of living?  Would he have been 20% more ridiculous?  Would he have shrunk in height to below 5 feet?  Would he still be making those teary, sentimental toasts at family gatherings?  Would he still be taking each of my hands and making me slap myself in the face as I groaned and said, "No, no, no!" and wondered why the hell he did that and why was it so funny?  Oy.  I miss that magnificent madman.

 

07/20 Direct Link

"Something's lost and can't be found.  Please St. Anthony, come around."  How many times did I say this aloud over the past few days, through tears, at the suggestion of my friend D, even though she knows I'm not a God/prayer/religious person?   How much did I feel like a schizophrenic, mumbling to myself in the park and up Broadway?

"You have to believe it," D said.

So I had a sort of "faith" in, well, I don't know what.  But I did.

My prayers were answered, and today was rewarded with the return of the priceless lost "thing".

Um, amen?

 

07/21 Direct Link

The best day of my life.  The best day of my life.  The best day of my life.  The best day of my life.  The best day of my life.  The best day of my life.  The best day of my life.  The best day of my life.  The best day of my life.  The best day of my life.  The best day of my life.  The best day of my life.  Maybe one day I'll reveal why.  But for now all you need to know is that yesterday was the best day of my life.  I love you, 7/20/15!

 

07/22 Direct Link

I can find nothing online about the early 1998 death of one of my favorite ex-beaus.  I have myself about 1 percent convinced that he never really left this world, that his mother and sister faked his death so he could escape the abuses I'd learned his father had heaped on the family.  I like to tell myself that as much as they know I loved him and that his mom wished we would one day be married, she loved him even more and couldn't trust even me with the reality that he was safe in New Zealand, herding sheep. 

07/23 Direct Link

Alan and Marnie are the last to remove their shoes at the picnic.  Marnie claims a toenail fungus and we all quietly cringe.  Alan removes his shoes with a conspicuous "Ahhh" and flexes his toes beneath his threadbare socks.

"Nothin' like it!" he says.

"You're hardly barefoot in the park, Robert Redford," I say.

His left big toe pokes through.  It looks exactly like Marnie, down to the squinty eyes, freckles, puffy lips, and unruly hair.

"What the fuck?" someone says.

"Whoops," Alan says.

"He's got nine more just like it," Marnie says, and goes back to her ginger ale.

 

07/24 Direct Link

The day-long low level hum of anxiety rages into full buzz as the hour approaches when I have to remove the plastic bag from the refrigerator, the bottle from the bag, unscrew the lid, insert the syringe into the lid, forget (again) how to work the plunger to collect the dose, and then approach the cat who needs the medication, talk to her in a voice that I can't even kid myself into believing is soothing, put the syringe near her tiny black lips, or at least try to, and hope at least part of it makes it beyond them.

07/25 Direct Link

Is it irony that my older cat won't let me take a nap?  That no matter how much I pat the sofa by my side, no matter how much lyrical cajoling, she's the one thing standing, literally, between me and my ability to catch if not 40 winks at least 20 or even ten?  Besides, she's the one who kept me awake, so shouldn't she be doing her damndest to make it up to me by letting me sink into the sofa for a siesta?  Maybe she didn't like my joke about not bothering to change into the cat's pajamas?

07/26 Direct Link

He's on his way over to help with Shana's subcutaneous fluids and antibiotic (translation:  he'll do it all and I'll stand in the bathroom, inert and confused).  He texts again, asking if we should order in Indian food.  I reply with a resounding affirmative.  Who cares if I just had it two days ago, my usual Friday night fare?  Who cares if two days ago I ate too much and said, "Never again"?  Tonight he insists on four orders of naan to go with the rest of the table-crammed feast and I don't protest.  Shana whispers, "He's a keeper!"

07/27 Direct Link

Oh, cats.  That thing you guys did where you were both walking all over the bed, taking turns at the foot, on either side, one of you walking over my head, jumping off and back up, and confusing tired little ol' me as to who was who? It would have been cute if it hadn't been at 2:15 a.m. and I'd been able to fall back asleep. But no.  Now, at 9:45 a.m., I've already been up for 7-1/2 hours, and I feel like something the cat dragged in.  Or on.  Or over.  Or on top of.  No thank mew.

07/28 Direct Link

The two wide sandal straps are the same color as but even shinier than a freshly minted penny, and the platforms are brilliant white.  She's walking south on Fifth Avenue, looking at her feet.  She doesn't trust herself not to step in sputum or some other disgrace that would sully their newness, she has not yet mastered the foot placement necessary to walk like an old pro, and she can't decide if these shoes are as stupid as she fears they must be.  She's trying to convince herself they're awesome, though, because it's too late now to take them back.

07/29 Direct Link

I was "bad" enough with one cat, but now that I have two, I'm sinking into nauseating Cat Mommy Mode.  I'm talking in MewSpeak, having three-way conversations with different voices, complete with questions and answers.  Squabbles, debates, and really bad songs.  When I'm out and about with less fuzzy friends, those who stupidly walk on two legs, I find myself daydreaming about being back home with eight paws, four ears, two noses, and three green eyes.

My only saving grace is that the term "Cat Mommy" makes me want to claw someone's eyes out and hiss like there's no tomeowrrow.

 

07/30 Direct Link

I would gladly sign any petition to bring back public stonings to take care of the vicious scourge who are duct taping dogs' mouth shut, dragging dogs behind their pickup trucks, the festering tower of teeth who murdered Cecil the lion, the oozing sewage who just killed Cecil's brother, and anyone else who preys on any other living being. "Sorry", but I have absolutely no compassion for heartless, soulless, mindless subhuman detritus.   If you say, hey, two wrongs don't make a right, well, again, "sorry", but I see nothing wrong with relieving the Earth of this worthless trash.  Fuck you.
07/31 Direct Link

So involved was I in singing a new song to my new cat that praised her Belly of Surprises, the Notch of Noir ("Black if you don't speak French") on one paw, and the cotton paws that informed the surname I gave her, that I neglected to include in her list of physical charms her enormous right green eye, in all its sparkling magnificence.  I'd focused on the cotton paws and not the readily apparent focal point.  But whatever.  The song is a work in progress and will evolve for years to come, much to my delight and her chagrin.