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It's the last month of the decade and I gather I'm supposed to be feeling something special about the passing of the time or the turning of the calendar page, but I'm not. All I think is how shitty this century's '20s fashion is bound to be compared to the stellar dazzling gorgeousness of the 1920s (roaring!), how there's nothing distinctive or memorable to mark the past 20 years that someone in 2120 will look back on and say, "Wow, now that was some swingin' style." I wish I could come back then, though, just to see what everyone's wearing.
My landlord is in the basement with one of the workers who's been clanging around down there for weeks, doing who the hell knows what. I stomp on the floor to let them know they're making way too much noise at 9:30 p.m. Forty-five minutes or so later, my landlord calls through my door, to apologize, I say something nominal like "okay," and he says he wants to talk to me. I shout back that I'm sleeping, I'm in bed, it's way too late and completely inappropriate. In what fucking world is disturbing someone at this hour even marginally okay?
In the reflection of the huge plate glass immediately to the left of my treadmill, I see him sneaking peeks at me. I turn my head forward again, grinning, and wonder if he knows why. He sneaks other peeks for as well, and I cast my eyes downward because I'm demure. Or so it may appear. I'm really doing it because I'm not positive his peeks are targeted at me or if he's just glancing at the general corner of the gym floor. What is this, 1977, when I was 14 and he was probably not even a fetus yet?
My friend and I get our Lyft at East 57th and head west. She's going to another party around Tenth, and I don't want to go up to Inwood for the other party I'd been invited to, so I'll continue home. She's paying for the car, and I don't want to bother with figuring out how to pay for the rest of the ride, so I get out when she does. I could send for my own car from there but walk the mile or so home instead, thinking "This is the night I get attacked under scaffolding." (I don't.)
The front hallway is redolent of old-fashioned, classic, 1970s Jews-at-Christmas Chinese food. The moment I stepped out to place TaB cans into the recycling bin, I almost felt myself floating in the air horizontally, eyes fluttering, nose twitching, toes twinkling, a la Fred Flintstone. Man oh man, I can almost see the red and white foil-lined bags filled to bursting with egg rolls and spare ribs, the rounded canisters filled almost past capacity with wonton soup, the large white folded boxes with wire handles bulging with butterfly shrimp and fried rice. Tomorrow, I order in scallion pancakes and chow fun.
For years I'd send an ex-beau (from 1996) email on his birthday, but this past January I did not. He emailed to say he'd been waiting for it and was sad when it didn't come. I wrote and said, oh, yeah, happy belated birthday, and we had a bit of an exchange. I won't be emailing him next month either, though, and wouldn't put it past him to follow up again. But even if he doesn't, I know he'll miss my acknowledgment, and that's good enough for me. I'm done with being the initiator, especially when there's no reciprocation. Feh.
I wish there was as much righteous outrage over the Red Bull Thanksgiving ad as there is for the Peloton ad. I'll bet social media hasn't focused on the former because it deals with animals, who just don't matter for a lot of "folks", who would probably find the ad oh so funny and say, "They're just cartoon animals anyway" so it doesn't count. I haven't seen the ad myself, but my sister's teary description of it over the phone last night was enough to infuriate me and make me want to hug a real live turkey. Animals > People.
It's raining on the annual idiotfest known as SantaCon. Ahhh, yes. There's nothing more heartwarming than a bunch of bedraggled belching boozehounds in a variety of stupid Santa costumes, complete with hats they doubtlessly wear in the office, tripping all over themselves and everything and everyone in their puke-paved path, en route to vomiting in delightful volume into massive rain puddles at any given intersection unfortunate enough to be trod upon by their footwear made slick and slippery by a combination of rain, the aforementioned spew, and who knows what else they tread on in their moronic quest. Merry Christmassholes.
What with all the labels people feel they have to assign to themselves these days (the dizzying, ever-expanding lexicon that no one in his or her or their right mind can keep up with or should be expected to) or insist other people remember to assign to them or else suffer scorching, bitter vituperation, usually on social media where it's safest, let's not forget that in reality there are still only two categories, and they don't require much memorization or mnemonics: Asshole and non-asshole. Which one you are is wholly up to you. Thank you, good day, and carry on.
I'm rarely sick (knock wood) (punching myself lightly on the side of the head while rolling my eyes so you "get" the hilarity), but for the past week or so I have been. I was well enough to attend a soiree/shindig on Saturday night, but the following day (Sunday, if you're good with these kinds of things), I felt like what medical professionals would diagnose as "absolute shit" and found I have lost my voice. However, in its place is a rousing cough that I hope disturbs the motherfuck out of my next-door neighbor who "plays the drums" at night.
The Salvation Army driver calls about this afternoon's TV pickup/donation. Is it an old tube type, a flat screen? He'll need a dolly if the former, he says.
"It's flat," I say, my voice deep and laryngitis-croaky. "I'm 110 pounds and can lift it easily, so you'll have no problem." We laugh.
I can't decide if he imagines I'm a scrawny emphysemic relic or a spunky stay-at-home MILF with advanced vocal fry. Will he notice that I inexplicably shaved a pound off my weight and think less of me? I hope he thinks I'm the cutest "girl" on his route.
Last year, after seeing a play, I was gabbing on West 42nd with two people who'd sat in front of me, making them laugh, and the woman said, indicating my outfit with a Carol Merill hand flourish, "You remind me so much of that girl on that show about the '50s," and her husband blurted, "Mrs. Maisel! Yes!" and I promptly plotzed and flailed and tap-danced. Since the show's 2017 premiere, several people have made the same sort of comment, often within minutes of meeting me. And I pause and think, "Oy. I'd hope my shtick is better than hers."
Two sundry food-related morsels:
Yesterday afternoon the front hallway of my building smelled like a Swanson TV dinner circa 1971. Immediately I craved a small square brownie burnt around the edges, undercooked in the middle, and slightly encrusted with errant desiccated niblets of corn, but without a surprise splash of stewed tomatoes.
Soup never fails to disappoint me as the entirety of a meal, unless accompanied by endless baskets of fresh, crusty bread or rolls that I can place in the bowl to the point of creating a soup sandwich, which sorta sounds like "soupçon", a word that never disappoints.
If you ever hear me talk of my "brand", I wholeheartedly not only welcome but invite you to smack me upside the head, punch me in the pancreas and/or spleen (your choice!), twist my arm behind my back, and tie me to a chair (sexy) with my own fishnets (sexier), and force me to binge-watch any of the "housewives" nonsense or "Full House" until I bleed from the ears or worse. Or alert the authorities because I've been kidnapped and am being forced by my captors to use that word against my will under threat of harm to my cat.
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Pssst. Here's a little secret: Fuck all this infantile poppycock. Do what you want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. Carry on.
I don't need to interact with him. I don't need to stand without easy speaking distance of him while we wait for the gym doors to open. I'm willing to arrive a whole minute after opening in order to avoid the awkward moment of wondering if I should approach or if a simple head nod and smile will do, not to mention having to exchange a few soul-cringing pleasantries. If it's this nerve-wracking to spend a minute or two chatting about nothing, why would I ever want to go out with him and extend the nothingness across, perhaps, a table?
I've gone to the gym 305-plus times this year, almost all within minutes of the doors opening (5:30 weekdays, 7:00 weekends), to actually work out, not to just check in to purloin cotton balls from the locker room or park myself on a bench and post to social media without breaking a sweat. This is simply a reminder that I'm amazing and you're all lazy motherfuckers who can't keep up, not an invitation for you to ask me about my workouts and why I get up so early to do this stuff. I just need everyone to know I'm superior.
CREDO emails me, "We have your phone!" Such triumphant excitement when all I did was place a phone in my "cart" to see how much it would cost if I upgraded.
No, CREDO, I hate to burst your cute little bubble, but it's not my phone. It's the phone I spent an inordinate amount of time looking at on your site, other sites, and on YouTube, thinking I "should" upgrade even though my current phone is still about as pristine as when I bought it three years ago.
This is definitely a "want", not a "need", so no go, CREDO.
The hamentaschen I made for a certain special someone were a huge hit. I had only made them one other time, in 2014, and they turned out great then, but I hadn't written down any little tricks or tips I may have learned then so it was as if it was the first time. I had been sort of dreading it, oddly, but it was so much fun, from start to finish, with the exception of the dough climbing up the beaters (and cleaning up).
Of course I had to "taste" test at least a dozen "just to see". Yumentaschen!
I don't have a circle of friends. I don't have a group I call "my people". I haven't found my so-called tribe or community. Most of my friends are one-offs who have many other friends, and probably circles of them that congregate and know each other well enough that it's never awkward. On the rare occasion when I'm included in someone's circle, I feel like I did in fourth grade, when a teacher made the class stand in a circle, holding hands, and just as mine were about to be held, I inexplicably shouted, "Duh!" and bolted from the room.
I sometimes wish I could start all over with my apartment, to rid it of all the stuff I've amassed over the years, all the stuff that people who visit (rare) like to marvel over, the stuff that is "so Jodi", the stuff that other people have thought was "Jodi" enough to merit inclusion among the stuff I've chosen which, even though it might not be something I'd have selected, I appreciate for the effort and consideration. But with my overwhelming anthropomorphism, there's no way I could ever hurt anything's feelings by tossing it, giving it away, or selling it.
More plays in 2020. As with other ideas/notions/goals, this is not a resolution. It's not something I want to "manifest". It's merely a statement of desire or intent. More plays mean more opportunities to sashay around town in an outfit and more opportunities to be out and about at all rather than sitting home with my cat (no offense to her, of course) wondering why I'm living in NYC if I'm not taking advantage of what it has to offer.
And while we're at it, more museums. Off-hours, for hours, taking in something in real life, away from online nonsense.
The tennis elbow is on its way out, and I'd estimate it's got about 10% more to go until I can say it's left the building. As it is, though, I'm thrilled to be able to completely straighten the arm and haul groceries without wincing pain. This nonsense started around August, and like other incapacities I've endured, I thought it would be permanent. I never take for granted that my seemingly interminable bilateral frozen shoulder has disappeared, and several years later, still marvel at my full range of motion. (Hello. My name is Abe Mendelson and I'm 92 years old.)
There's nothing more obnoxious than someone who purposely tries to come off as "intimidating". Please. Don't even try that shit with me. I'll have you like Fred Flintstone in a chair, confronted by Mr. Slate, shrinking so fast (wah, waaah, waaaaah) your toes won't have time to twinkle. A young male lawyer tried swinging his dick around me (metaphorically, natch) years ago, and the office manager called to tell me that he was literally crying at her desk, full-on tears, because the temp (me) didn't budge and served his bullshit back to him. On a silver fucking platter, motherfucker. Lidded.
A year and a half without you. I don't speak aloud to you as much as I did, but that doesn't mean I'm still not talking to you. Indeed, now you've got an orchestra seat inside me, so you don't need the narration. Sometimes, though, I'll answer your usual question aloud, and burst out into, "Of course I miss you. Every goddamned day," as I'm out and about on the street, and tell you you don't have to keep asking me that, but of course you do anyway, simply to bug me. Just as if you were really still here.
No new clothing purchases in 2020. It's not a resolution, it's a goal. Instead, I can buy a theater ticket and construct an outfit from my already bulging wardrobe. What's the point of adding more to the mass when every time I go out, I have a hard time choosing from all that's already there?
I kept seeing stuff I wanted on eBay and Etsy and adding it to my "Watch List" and "Favorites", respectively, but I won't buy any of it. I'll go one step further and not even look in the first place, saving valuable TIME as well.
I just started reading an article about minimalism but stopped after a handful of paragraphs. I scrolled down and it seemed interminable. "Sorry," but any piece touting the magic marvel of minimalism needs to heed those tenets and make do with 100 or fewer words. For several seconds I thought, "Perhaps I should continue reading. Maybe the same points won't be made ad nauseam," but a quick scan suggested I was being too generous. The article sparked absolutely zero Kondo-scented joy and in fact had the opposite effect, leaving me rankled that I'd wasted even several paragraphs' worth of time.
Sometimes when reviewing a month's entries before the "batch" goes "live", I spot a typo or other error and cringe, and if I still have a few entries to write to catch up, I will do a "redo", because I'm a compulsive self-editor and hate the idea of someone thinking I didn't notice my mistakes, or, if I did, I didn't think they merited correction. Then I sort of chuckle (silently) to myself because who reads this anyway? And if anyone does, does that person even notice, and if he does, does he give a fig and/or fuck? (Highly unlikely.)
I'm thrilled I didn't go with the monitor that can rotate to portrait position or swivel. I have no use for either feature, as nifty as it may be. I don't need to adjust screen's height. I don't need moving beyond the regular tilt forward and back. I don't need to swing my screen to share information with an (imaginary) co-worker. I'm seated in a regular chair while I work, not a treadmill (which I will never understand). In addition, the "home" version of the monitor has a more attractive stand than the "professional". I fee like such a winner.
I may be through with Facebook for 2020, but it's not a New Year's resolution. Perhaps I'll consider it a challenge I set for myself, silently (except here, where it's whispered on the page/screen), not advertised like the myriad "challenges" on the site itself, where people post photos of books they claim changed their lives or photos of themselves being "artists" or performing. I'd challenge how those merit being called challenges, but that would require me to post about it.
I'll take my self-imposed silent challenge in bite-sized chunks, starting with a week, then a month. I'm giddy over it.
If your new year isn't happy, that's fine. If it's sad, that's fine. If it's nonplussed, that's fine. Whatever it is, it's okay if you just "sit with it" and experience it not being happy. Forcing yourself to be happy, to "fake it till you make it", to put on a happy face or a "game" face, at the behest/insistence of others, is putting on a lame face if it's not genuine. Does it suck to not be up to all the cheer, whether genuine and contrived? Maybe. Or maybe not. Feel whatever you're feeling. "Hello, 2020" is good enough.
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