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BY Jodi

05/01 Direct Link

Greg pauses and gazes past my shoulder.  He's silent for at least a minute, a rarity if you know this guy.  I turn, to find out what's so captivating that he'd interrupt the flow of what had been one of our rather hilarious exchanges.

 "What are you doing?  Is the train coming?" I say, looking into the completely dark tunnel.

 "No, no," he says.  "I was just thinking about how I'll translate everything we did today into a melodic poem."

 If I didn't like him so much, I'd tell him to knock it off and just call it a "song".

 

05/02 Direct Link

Marvin dashes into my office like he's being chased and tries hard not to slam the door.  He flops into the cushy chair, balls up his jacket, and shoves his face into it.  I know he wants to scream.  I can practically hear his mouth opening wide behind the jangle of zippers and snaps.

I wait for him to start.  When he's like this, that's the best approach.

 "It's just EVERYTHING!" he says.  "An assault of my see-holes and hear-holes and today, on the train, my smell-holes!"

 I'll wait a bit before telling him to say "eyes", "ears", and "nose".

 

05/03 Direct Link

Professor Fenster Graphite likes to wiggle his fleshy ears as he introduces the syllabus to his class on the first day of each semester.  If by page 2 no one notices, he loses patience, but slows his review of the page to give someone the chance to at least raise an eyebrow in recognition, if not downright appreciation and admiration, of his unique gift.  You'd think that after 30 years of doing this, word would have gotten out that the first three students to notice by the end of page 2 automatically get an "A" for the term.  But no.

05/04 Direct Link

Freddy has accepted that he'll never be yarn wrapped between the hands of someone's patient granddaughter, enjoying metamorphosis into a scarf, taken for rides around town all winter long.  He's accepted that he'll never be embroidery floss, colorful and shiny, decorating the hem of a teenager's well-worn jeans.  He knows he's a tiny piece of white thread left in the eye of a needle, to be discarded the next time someone needs a button sewn.  He just wishes everyone else in the sewing basket would stop saying, "(Th)ready, Freddy?"  From now on, he wants to be known only as Frederick.

 

05/05 Direct Link

When I'd accompany my mom on errands in her turquoise Ford Fairlane 500 in the early '70s, on one of the commercial roads we'd pass a building on whose stone face was inscribed the number 1620.  Every time I saw it, I'd think something like, "I didn't think 350-year-old buildings looked the same as the buildings of today!"  I'd marvel at its modern design, how it blended in so well with the slick suburban architecture of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  Eventually I realized that was the street number of the building's address.  (Secret:  Sometimes this still happens here in NYC.)

05/06 Direct Link

Hello, it's been over an hour since I ordered and I'd -- WHAT'S THE ADDRESS?  He shouts above the clatter of people who actually leave their homes on Friday nights.

"Your food is just leaving now, ma'am," he says.  I'm relieved I called, so now I don't have to worry that they forgot about me and my dal makhani and samosas and don't have to worry about placing the dreaded call itself.

I thank him and hang up, treating the phone receiver like a hot potato.  And start to fret over having to go to the door to accept delivery.

 

05/07 Direct Link

Oh, that moment when you open a new package of tofu with a knife, and a sliver you inadvertently sliced off finds its way into your maw (because you're like a dog that way) tastes like something a dog would roll in in a grassy field, and you spit it out into your hand like a lady of elegance, and then bring the rest of the tofu block to your dainty schnoz and tell yourself the fetid stink isn't that bad just because you don't feel like returning it to Whole Foods.  And then you come to your freshly-assaulted senses.

05/08 Direct Link

MarciaMarciaMarcia's parents tell him he was named after one of the kids on a show they've never allowed him to watch for reasons they still haven't told him.  He knows nothing of the show except that it's about six kids who wound up living together in a house with too few bedrooms and they had a dog and then they didn't and they had a maid too.  And he only knows that from the bits and pieces he's heard on the street.

He thinks the name is girly-stupid and can see why the kids at school constantly beat him up.

 

05/09 Direct Link

Sal "Salamander" Mandarino tells me he's got the skinny on the sitch.  Those are the words he uses.  He's yelling into his phone.  I tell him to cool his jets, take a walk around the block, and smoke a cigar.  Maybe get a cannoli or streudel or whatever stuff the local bakery sells.  "This ain't 1946, Jimmy," he says.  I want to say, "Then why do you still have a rotary phone?" but I don't because I don't want him coming after me in the Caddy, the one with the big fins, that used to belong to his "uncle", Vito.

05/10 Direct Link

I never thought I'd be telling someone they can't name their newborn "Cortisone Shot," but here I am.  The squirmy pink blob, who's got the consistency of that fast food "slurry" stuff that's made into chicken nuggets, is in his exhausted mom's arms, and his shiny-faced dad's touching each larva-sized finger and counting to 12 and back again.

"People always say, 'I don't care what we have, as long as the baby's healthy and has ten fingers and ten toes,' so I feel like we lucked out here with the extras," Ben says.

He's obviously trying to change the subject.

 

05/11 Direct Link

He invites me to his friend's one-woman show.  I'll love it, he says.  She's funny and brilliant and a great performer.  Plus it's free.  I tell him I'll think about it, even though in the five seconds since he invited me and then excused himself to find the restroom, I've already thought about it and decided against it.  I barely want to go to my own friends' one-person shows, where my appreciation of the material and performance is colored by our relationship.  The thought of effusing fake accolades to a stranger after the show is repugnant.  I'll stay home, thanks.

05/12 Direct Link

"It's not my real name," he says, "so don't even think about Gurgling me, young man."

I resist the urge to say something smart-assy to Colander J. Pepperschmidt, but keep mum.  I also don't tell him that my real name, oh by the way, is Georgette Woodentooth Washington, even though it is.  I don't want him Gurgling me either.

I also don't say, "Say, I'm not a fella, by the way!"

He adjusts his wax paper hat decorated with lemon rinds, I straighten my tin foil crown with cherry tomato gems, and we both continue waiting for a monorail that never comes.

05/13 Direct Link

He looks vaguely Bob Dylan-esque.  He takes a seat on a bench outside Madison Square Park and takes out a large Blick sketchpad.  I feel a twinge of camaraderie given my own Blick supplies.  He opens the pad, crammed with pencil drawings.  Instead of passing, I stop and say something innocuous like "Such a wonderful thing to do."  He scowls and says, "Yeah yeah yeahhhhh" like he's trying to shut up his mother on the phone.  I want to say, "Damn, your teeth look like they were drawn by a sight-impaired toddler with palsy," but I take the high road.

05/14 Direct Link

It's official.  I have not left NYC for an entire year.  I haven't even been to Hoboken or any other part of New Jersey.  Yes, I've to Brooklyn, but that's as far from home as I've been.  If I didn't have a little trip planned to Philadelphia in a few weeks, I'd get on a bus or train this week and go somewhere just for the hell of it.  At this point a ferry to Edgewater, New Jersey would seem like a big adventure.

Ahhh, to be debt-free by year-end and free to dash to California for a quick getaway!

 

05/15 Direct Link

Tara has fucked every guy on the subway since it lurched to a stop 15 minutes ago and the conductor announced mechanical failure and thanked the passengers for assumed patience.  She's fucked 'em all, even the tall guy with the marvelously broad shoulders, because by the time she noticed the massive tufts sprouting from the back of his henley's neckline, it was too late to stop the fantasy and she would have felt a little bad rejecting him, knowing other people playing the silent "Who would you fuck?" game wouldn't be so charitable as to forgive him his unfortunate hirsuteness. 

05/16 Direct Link

Between the idiot tourists who put a baby bison in the trunk of their SUV at Yellowstone National Park because they said it looked "cold" and the imbecile with a baby nurse shark stuck to her arm after possibly taunting it at Boca Raton beach, I've had it up to here (somewhere actually above my head, where a swirl of question marks and exclamation points would be if I were in a comic strip panel) with the arrogance and stupidity of the human race.  Both animals were killed as a result of unwelcome, unnecessary human interference.  People make me sick.

 

05/17 Direct Link

It's not that my brother, sister, and I dressed like miniature spinsters, like that one weird girl, Lisa, who was rumored to have been home-schooled by her religious zealot mom before coming to our middle school, and who I imagined could rival Carrie in a telekinetic showdown, but, yeah, we did dress kind of odd, even for kids of the '70s.  You never would have guessed I wanted to make myself disappear and shrink in on myself, given my love of the bright red hiphuggers borrowed from my mom, wide white belt with happy face buckle, and blue high-top Converse.

05/18 Direct Link

The best part is how they toss into the delivery bag enough utensils to accommodate three people and enough ketchup packets for three orders of fries, even though I've only ordered one.  I guess they think the other food in the bag can use several liberal squeeze of the stuff as well.  When the delivery guy comes to the door, I need to wear something that shows that I am rather slim and not at all the kind or size of person who would eat everything he's just handed to me in a brown bag inside a white plastic one.

05/19 Direct Link

Three hours earlier, this white plastic bag transported a homemade macaroon to a friend at the gym.  Now it's bringing home a tiny baby bird for burial in the flowerbox graveyard on my patio.

I found you 20 blocks away, Hubert.  I didn't know what you were at first, but when bent down and saw your closed eyes and yellow beak and flightless wing, my eyes filled and I sniffed away the immediate tears.  Had you ever lived at all?

I buried you a few minutes ago, still crying.  I told you your sweet life mattered.

Rest in peace, Hubert.

 

05/20 Direct Link

I'm convinced that the guy with the long, wavy/curly gray hair in the mid-wash jeans who quietly goes about selecting his food at Whole Foods at the same time I do every Saturday, who silently weighs his  bulk bin stuff on the self-service scale, who I don't think uses a full-sized cart (or maybe he does and it too makes no sound), has an unarticulated crush on me and fervently hopes that one day I make eye contact with him.  (I purposely avoid it because I want to maintain the majestic aloofness that he expects from his pedestaled dream goddess.)

05/21 Direct Link

Am I only brunette at this party?  Am I the only one born pre-1990?  Who are all these droning clones and why are they here?  I guess they're all "actress" acquaintances of my friend, the hostess.  Meanwhile, where is she?

Finally she surfaces, in a silvery bodysuit that should be skintight but is a bit loose on tiny body.  Her spine and pelvis look especially bony.  She quietly mounts the trapeze and starts swinging fast.  I drop to my stomach on the sand floor so she doesn't take off my head.

Oh, Kelly Ripa, you're the life of your own party!

 

 

 

05/22 Direct Link

On a recent trek home from the gym, I passed a restaurant on a side street that I must have passed countless times before but never even noticed, perhaps because it's on the second floor of a nondescript building.  Its old sign boasted Pakistani food, and from what I could see, gazing up from the sidewalk, it looked like a hole in the wall.  A quick Google search yielded favorable reviews and I made a note to go back.  That it's accessed by a steel staircase that's steep enough to look and feel somewhat precarious is part of the appeal.

05/23 Direct Link

Of course everyone is free to wear whatever he or she likes, so if someone chooses to wear a jumpsuit in neon colors mixed with clashing earth tones and a plastic flower hat with a blinking LED hula hoop around his neck, fine, have at it.  I'm just kind of sick of people trying to be zany just for the sake of zaniness.  I'm much more delighted when someone dressed in a less "look at me" fashion says something hilarious or acts in a colorful way.  The contrast, the surprise, is much more delicious.  I always appreciate an unexpected revelation.

05/24 Direct Link

Recent ways I wasted time on the Internet, Chapter 1:

Comparing recipes for vegan mushroom stroganoff when I already have two rather tasty ones in my repertoire

Searching for "jersey wrist wrap" on Etsy when I could make something similar by using an old T-shirt, if I wanted to get minimally crafty, or even cared about sporting a jersey wrist wrap

Checking out Yelp reviews for a restaurant I've already been to, to confirm that the food I enjoyed was enjoyable by strangers

Staring at images of mid-1950s Corvette convertibles

Wavering between ordering two bags of cat food or three

 

05/25 Direct Link

Can I use the word "curated" to describe what I've done with regard to a new collection of, um, foundation garments that I've recently procured from Ye Ole Internet without sounding like a hoodie-wearing, big-beard-sporting hipster riding his "fixie" to a cafe that boasts on its chalkboard menu an array of artisanal cheeses and locally "crafted" beers?  Probably not.  But still.  I feel it's the proper word for the careful selection I made from an exhaustive culling of every item on the site I chose for my undertaking.  It sounds more romantic and lovely than "I got some bras!", right?

05/26 Direct Link

I'll giggle like a moron the first time I make an official tapping sound with my special shoes.  I'll be filled with giddy images of myself as Eleanor Powell and Ginger Rogers, tapping my way across the floor of a club in the 1940s, my hair rolled just so, skirt floating out from my knees, the boys in the band wishing they could set down their horns to let out a few well-deserved hoots of appreciative delight.  I must remind myself that I'll be on the level of a 4 year-old in Miss Jane's Tap 4 Toddlers in Waukegan, Illinois.

 

05/27 Direct Link

It's raining too much for our trip to Philadelphia, so we're staying put.  We'll just run around our own city in the rain.  And where better to start than at the doughnut place inside the carwash at 47th and the highway, where on one side we can watch doughnuts being made and on the other, if we do a little spin, we can watch cars being washed?  The doughnut part of the place is new, but the carwash is not, and this gives me hope for NYC, where I lament so much of the old being replaced by the new. 

05/28 Direct Link

Seriously, is there anything more eyeroll-worthy than someone you know is an insidious, evil, totally twisted twat whose lifestyle consists mainly of waking up wasted in a gutter and sponging off friends, strangers, and everyone else in between, all of sudden waking up in that gutter and getting all "zen" and pretending that, gosh, they love the abundance of the big, bright, sunshiny universe and want to sit in a big circle, barefoot, in a gauzy, breezy tunic, swaying and singing (poorly) "Kum Bah Yah" and expect everyone who's owed an apology to just, like, forget the bullshit?  Is there?

 

05/29 Direct Link

Yesterday I started spiffying up the patio for the season.  I decided to finish early this morning, or at least get far enough to where it would be comfortably usable.  I went out there in my lounge-y pants and "cami", and kept thinking, "The person who had left notes on the front door earlier this spring, asking us to take down the wind chimes may be looking down at me and thinking, 'Wow, had I know she was so stunning, I never would have complained."  Then I remembered I'd let my hair air-dry and I probably looked like Howard Stern.

05/30 Direct Link

The two gorgeous "oya" scarves I selected from hundreds during a recent Etsy scour shipped today and are on their way from Turkey.  Given that the last time I ordered something from that side of the world (and here I fling my right arm toward the Hudson River even though I know that's east and not west and thus indicating more Jersey than Turkey) it took so long that I thought it was lost in transit forever, I don't expect to see them before July.  I am, of course, saying that here, "aloud", so the opposite comes true.  (Clever, huh?) 

05/31 Direct Link

Carol Kane doesn't know if I'm joking or not.

"You think I'm beautiful?" she says in her cute, raspy voice, turning her head from side to side to evaluate her profile in three-quarter view in the mirror that takes up a large portion of one of her enormous apartment's walls.

"I do, "I say.  "Absolutely gorgeous."  And I mean it.  Her hair is divine, right up there with Bernadette's, and her jeans and shirt flatter her petite figure.

She doesn't seem to agree.

Is she going to be my new dream best friend?  Will I have finally ousted Kelly Ripa?