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BY Jodi

03/01 Direct Link

I'm six years old.  I live in a new house in New Jersey.  We spend all of our time in the avocado green kitchen with the wall oven and the family room, which is decked out with a chilly-cushioned Naugahyde sofa that I want to marry, a long red Parsons table, a fuzzy black ottoman inside of which resides my cherished Smess game, a glass coffee table, a neato push-button phone, and a red and tan dinette set with chairs that I'd swivel in all day if it didn't make me nauseous.  How I wish I had that house today.

03/02 Direct Link

I have been working all day.  At 5:30, I check my phone and see a text from 2:30 from a friend inviting me to a Broadway show at 8:00.  I really don't want to go out, but the play sounds good, I only have to pay $5, and I figure, hey, I live in New York City, I should take advantage of this opportunity.  I text back with exclamation points I'm not feeling and say yes, I'd love to go!  He texts back within a few minutes with an apology;  he already sold the tickets.  I'm incredibly relieved.  Exclamation points!

03/03 Direct Link

Lola could not be less like Shana if she tried.  She's brash, athletic, nosy as a bloodhound, acrobatic, brush-averse, and lets me gently use her as a pillow.  Most of the time when I'm at my desk, she's on it, sometimes blocking the monitor, but more often lounging directly in front of me, offering her services as a stress reliever.

Although I miss my other cat like mad, I don't want this one to be that one.  Still, sometimes when her back is to me and I can only see the black part of her fur, I imagine she is.

 

03/04 Direct Link

Why my sister and I wear matching toreador outfits for our second and fourth grade school photos is beyond me, but there we are.  Purple bolero jackets, patterned knickers, white tights, and black shoes, both of us.  The resulting photos don't reflect our joy at our ensembles; indeed, my sister looks downright pissed-off and I look wasted, but trust me, we adored our groovy get-ups like crazy.  None of the other kids in 1972 were wearing duds this darIng.  I can't believe that despite my shyness, I was not only willing to leave the house like that but dying to.

 

03/05 Direct Link

This spring I'm venturing to parts of Manhattan that I haven't given enough time to exploring.  Usually when venturing out, I go south, and then a little east, but there's much buzz about a bridge called High Bridge in Washington Heights that has recently reopened for the first time in 40 years, and it demands my attention.  There's Fort Tryon Park, near the end of the "island", which I've been to but only minimally.  And oh, Roosevelt Island, via the marvelous tram on the East Side, visited only once with a friend who wasn't as adventurous as I had hoped.

03/06 Direct Link

In ninth grade, my new best friend, Kathy, a tiny blonde cheerleader, suggested sharing a locker.  I thought this was premature, and had I known about the lesbian/instant U-Haul stereotype, I would've made a hilarious joke.  I was so impressed that a "cool kid" wanted to take such a big step that I agreed, even though I wasn't keen on the idea of sharing her space.  We spent a fair amount of time sketching the interior layout, including a cloth sling/hammock that we'd create to hold sundry items.  How is it that I can't remember if we actually did it?

 

03/07 Direct Link

Neighborhood Playhouse, 2000:  I'm the only one in class unable to do a pirouette.  Even the most ungainly and/or flat-footed and/or klutzy other students have managed to do at least one, and some of the more enterprising (translation: fucking showoffs) have managed two or three non-stop.  (This, of course, excludes Sara, a real ballet dancer, who is an obvious outlier and looks like she was born on pointe.)  The teacher had held out high hopes for me, given my "dancer's body".  I should pirouette like an egg beater, yes?  But nope.  I'm more like a fork with a bent tine.

 

03/08 Direct Link

At least ten years ago, before all of the gross "plazas" overtook the area, I was hanging out in the little park called Herald Square on my way home from the gym.  Usually I don't sit at any point during my treks.  This time I did.  Several feet away, sat a gorgeous girl, alone, sobbing.  I asked her if she was okay and learned she was crying over a guy.  I told her the guy was blind, an idiot, and she could do so much better.  I think of her often when passing that spot, and hope she eventually did. 

03/09 Direct Link

A few years ago, at or around the same day as I either lost a knit hat or left it behind on the bus, I found a beaded bookmark on the street with a vaguely Native American pattern/design.  I was sad about my and tried to console myself by imagining a hatless girl being delighted to find it and make it her own, just as I did with the bookmark.  Now I'm sad because I can't remember what the hat even looked like.  I wonder if the person whose bookmark I found wonders if someone gave it a good home. 

03/10 Direct Link

I don't need every bakery to serve gluten-free artisanal hemp berry scones hand-crafted by two best gal pals who quit their corporate jobs to pursue their girlhood dream.  I don't want to order my lunch from a large blackboard hanging on a wall above the counter.  I don't want to wait for my coffee to be individually brewed into a cup by a guy with egregious facial hair and a tattoo on his inner wrist.  I want the word "bespoke" to go away.  I want young men in bow ties to follow suit.  I want skinny jeans to fatten up.

03/11 Direct Link

I just spent a great deal of time Googling images of Columbus Circle pre-Time Warner Center.  I had coffee with a friend at the Starbucks at the northwest corner of West 60th not long after construction began in late 2000.  I remember thinking the area was a mess of dusty ground, chain link fence, and debris.  I didn't know what had been razed or what was to rise.  Now that I live about three-quarters of a mile north, I pass it all the time and can't imagine it any other way.  I wish I'd thought to take photos back then. 

03/12 Direct Link

Since moving to Austin in 2011, Chris has been back to NYC often enough so that I don't have to miss him too much.  Every time he's here, we have breakfast or lunch at his favorite spot on the Upper West Side, he warns me that he's going to eat like a pig, I smile stupidly as he orders a toasted muffin in addition to the rest of the stuff, and we pick up as if we'd stopped mid-conversation during his last visit.  I always come away from our time together feeling so giddily good about myself.  The kid's magical.

03/13 Direct Link

I subscribe to NYC Notify messages to inform me of transit issues, weather alerts, and missing people (mostly "vulnerable" adults and senior citizens, which are categorized as "silver alerts").  The transit and weather stuff hasn't been that helpful yet, but I keep thinking that if I unsubscribe, that will be the day something big will happen and I'll miss out.  When the transit issues resolve or the weather alerts are no longer valid, I receive an update.  However, this is not the case with the missing people alerts.  Are all of these sad people still wandering around, untethered, unaccounted for?

03/14 Direct Link

Ahhh, yes.  The water is the ideal temperature.  The bubbles are Doris Day/Rock Hudson "Pillow Talk" perfection.  The pink lemonade is poured into a vintage glass.  The tea lights and other candles are lit.  The hair is atop my head like Pebbles Flintstone.   The fluffy towel is at arm's length, waiting to hug me when I step out.

Which is five minutes later, after I'm sliding around the tub, squeakily, even though I'm not yet squeaky clean.  Indeed, I feel like I'm the meat in a filth soup.  This is bullshit.  I blow out the candles and take a shower.

03/15 Direct Link

A neighbor whose windows face my patio taped a polite note to my building's front door asking if the person with the wind chimes on the "terrace" could remove them since they're keeping him/her awake at night.  My landlord leaves a note saying there are no wind chimes on a terrace here.  I feel a bit bad, so I write my own note saying yes, a tenant (me!) has them and will bring them in when windy.  It was windy the other night, but I neglected to bring them in.  A second polite note ensued.  Must I really "make good"?

03/16 Direct Link

In the morning when he's making us coffee, I sing my Celebrity Boyfriend song to my celebrity boyfriend.  We drink the coffee at his desk, where he goes online to see what's being said about him on any number of websites.  We laugh at him in a tuxedo.  We laugh at him with his arm around an actress he can't stand.  He says he wishes it were me, and I say, no, it's better this way; I'm a private person and know the private man and like reading about him online where he's just the celebrity and not the boyfriend. 

03/17 Direct Link

He wasn't the first to make you a smiley-face breakfast with fried eggs for the eyes and a few strips of bacon for the smile, and he won't be the last.  I'm telling you this as you loudly crunch the Cap'n directly from the box.

"And you know, it wasn't even original," I say.  "I could see being upset if he'd done something that a dozen other shmucks haven't done for you before, but come on."

You tell me that's not the point.  I silently marvel at how the cereal remains crisp even when doused by all those ridiculous tears.

 

03/18 Direct Link

Why are you no longer on Facebook that much anymore, Jodi?

Because I just don't care.

I don't care about your daughter's flute recital.  I don't know your daughter.  I don't know you.

I don't care about your trip to Arizona or London or Saturn.   I don't need to see you in front of a cactus, a big clock, or the rings of a planet.

I don't care about your political affiliation and how much you hate the other guy and his hair.  Or her hair.

I don't care about your yoga pose and toes.

Your self-aggrandizement is a snooze.

 

 

03/19 Direct Link

The apartment cuteification is coming along nicely.  It sadden me that Shana isn't here to witness the changes.  However, although I don't think she would've stood in front of the oven, admiring its simple beauty, I think should might've been slightly amused by the vintage lazy Susan storage containers.  She may have looked down her adorable fuzzy nose at the new bathroom mat at first, but she would've sprawled on it, quietly commending me on my choice.   But oh, how I could use her advice on what else to do on the patio, one of her favorite places to be.

03/20 Direct Link

A friend who lived in Brooklyn moved to Philadelphia less than two weeks ago.  Her apartment is right across the street from the building I lived in 26 years ago.  Although I adore my apartment here in and am still in love with New York City, I couldn't help but be envious.  However, when I last visited in late 2013, the neighborhood was much more "happening", which made me sad.  If I lived there again, I'd want it to revert to the late '80s, with the diner down the street and the eggplant parmigiana "grinders" at the corner pizza place. 

03/21 Direct Link

A guy jumped or was pushed, no one knows yet, and a lady said she saw a severed arm still holding an iPhone and some kid says he saw a head with its eyes still open on the third rail.  Marissa finds this out from bystanders who aren't permitted access to the subway station thanks to this jumper or pushee, many of whom are taking videos here on the street where there's nothing to be seen.  She makes a mental note to Google "third rail" and sighs.  Maybe one day she'll be lucky enough to witness something so exciting firsthand.

 

03/22 Direct Link

Someone from the United States Parcel Service writes to me with obligatory apologies for the disappearance of the package that was supposed to be here over a month ago.  This person realizes an apology is not a substitute for good service, but that's just lip service and this person doesn't give a hoot and/or holler about the package that was supposed to be here over a month ago.  This person just wants to go back to sitting on a folding chair in a dusty windowless room, picking Pringles out of the canister with her fingernails and licking off the salt. 

03/23 Direct Link

I don't see my love affair with roasted vegetables ending anytime soon.  I don't see a lean, lithe carrot slinking by me, crooking its finger, and me saying, "Can it, carrot!"  I don't see a swarthy mushroom stopping dead in its tracks, gazing at me, and me saying, "Move it, mushroom!"  I don't see a beautiful bell pepper bouncing toward me, and me saying, "Beat it, bellsy!"  I don't see a comely cauliflower pirouetting  past me, and me saying, "Forget it, floret!"  Nope.  I see this groovy veggie orgy love-in continuing indefinitely, with me as hostess in a palazzo pantsuit.

03/24 Direct Link

Celebrity Boyfriend says, in a mock old lady voice, that's "marvelously refreshing" to be with someone who is not in "the business".

Of his relationship with his ex-wife, he says, "It had the potential to be very A Star is Born-y.  I won't say which of us would've been the Barbra Streisand character, though.  Or whoever played the role in one of the old-timey flicks."

I stare at him in disbelief and tell him I'm deeply wounded.  Offended.  I'm famous too, after all.   Well sought-after.  Has he not noticed my impressive collection of 748 Facebook friends, my 223 Instagram followers? 

03/25 Direct Link

I have not seen her in four years, but instantly we pick up where we left off, as if it was literally just yesterday that we laughed like hyenas over coffee, giggled like idiots over big cookies, traipsed up the streets of Manhattan talking about everything and anything, and sat riveted in Verdi Square, slackjawed, unable to believe that the chunky older lady with white-blonde hair, in a bright pink dress and horribly sensible black shoes, sitting across from us on a granite wall seat, quietly reading a book, is affording us a horrifying view of her undeniably naked crotch.

03/26 Direct Link

One of my oldest friends is with me when I open the big box that arrived earlier in the day.  It contains a seven-piece set of Francipans cookware from the early 1970s, in pristine condition.  Since finding it on eBay, I've gazed at the photos accompanying its post with all the admiration and anticipation I would have reserved in the early 1970s for Keith Partridge, Greg Brady, or The Fonz.  I've been in the company of two of those icons face to face, and I squeal with my friend upon "meeting" the cookware as if I'm finally meeting the third.

 

03/27 Direct Link

Some nights we sleep in the back room/office of my parents' record store in a market called Normandy Square Mart in Northeast Philadelphia.  The place is a cross between a farmer's market and a mall.  The individual places of business/vendors aren't quite stalls but they're not quite enclosed stores either.  There are no doors, but heavy canvas curtains that roll down and are secured to the ground with padlocks.  When everyone is sleeping, my sister and I crawl underneath the curtains and dash to the restrooms far, far down one of the two main corridors.  Peeing is a terrifying pursuit.

 

03/28 Direct Link

My landlord is in the bathroom struggling to repair a drawer in the vanity.  He says he doesn't like that he won't be able to improve the way it glides on the track and that it bothers him because he's a perfectionist.  My eyebrow doesn't just raise; it torpedoes off my forehead and ricochets off the ceiling.  Fortunately I catch it on its descent so it doesn't break anything, thus requiring my landlord to fix anything else.  This is a guy who would remove chewing gum from his mouth to fix a leaky faucet if he didn't think I'd notice.

03/29 Direct Link

USPS sent my package, which had been lost in transit for over a month, back to the seller.  She writes to ask if I still want the items.  If so, I can have for half price and we'll meet in Union Square to avoid this shipping nonsense again.  Or maybe you've moved on, she says?

Although I did buy something else, I must have the original stuff.  They've been through so much!  And yes, I want all, not just a few, because the "family" has to stick together!

I apologize for my crazy anthropomorphism, but she says she loves it.

 

03/30 Direct Link

Your 2- or 3-year-old son with the light brown hair tousle and his faintly caramel skin dashed past me clutching a cellophane-wrapped bunch of purple tulips as if on a mission to deliver them to a girl he intends to woo in 15 years.  His little legs have to run, run, run to jump-start the time travel.  He will be sacrificing all the growing-up years in order to appear on her dimly-lit doorstep, breathless, his hair a-craze, but he doesn't know that because he's only a toddler now.  He hands them to you, though, and you take them without comment.

 

03/31 Direct Link

Let's keep our fingers crossed, shall we, that my landlord's handyman, who is finally going to take a look at the door that has been off of the corner kitchen cabinet for at least a year, deems it unfixable, and my landlord replaces all of the cabinets as a result.  I'd guess the cabinets are at least 25 years old, and not "vintage" in a nifty way.  No, they're just old and decrepit and, I must cringingly confess, filthy on their very tops.  The mere thought of fresh cabinets almost brings tears to my eyes.  I'm such a fucking girl.