Monday, December 17, 2007


Recently I was left alone for two days on the job, the only person present in the department. I held down the fort rather well. I was able to complete all tasks assigned to me, as well as handle 90% of incoming work. In my free time I organized files and did other sorts of work that was sitting on the back burner. By the end of the second day, I was pleased with myself, and had that inner warmth that comes with the satisfaction of having made oneself useful.

I had to leave work early on Tuesday. I had a dentist appointment in the city. As I drove from the office to the train station, I found myself daydreaming about being taken out to lunch by the department supervisor and coordinator, as a thank you for handling everything so smoothly. An odd thing for me to daydream about... I don't usually look for that sort of fulfillment on the job.

The Tarrytown Metro-North station no longer welcomes non-resident automobiles; you have to hunt and search for a metered spot on the street. It didn't take long for G and I to realize that, unless you show up prior to 5:30am or after 11pm on any given weekday, the streets are full. G is rather resourceful, and a few months ago, he discovered an are where there are no meters, although it's many blocks away in an industrial area.

Gotta leave the car somewhere. I headed for our secret parking spot. There was plenty of street parking available, but... I noticed a very small parking lot, about 15 or 20 spaces all in a row, just off the road. I remembered seeing it the last time I was here - it always seems to be empty, or nearly so. Free off-street parking? There didn't seem to be a gate, or a sign saying limited hours, permit only, or any other such restrictions. If there were any penalties for squatters, they weren't posted. I threw the dice, and left my car parked just behind the only other automobile in the lot - an oversized pickup truck. It hid my sedan quite nicely.

In the bright afternoon sun, it was about 40 degrees, and the walk to the station wasn't bad. My brain ambled through a sensory projection of making that same walk in the dark, after 8pm. It would be about twenty degrees colder, and due to my little gamble with the local police, there really was no solid guarantee that my car would be waiting for me.

I called G, feeling a bit foolish, and let him in on my parking gamble. He agreed that it would be prudent for him to pick me up at the train station and we would lift the cards together. I felt a pang of regret as I clapped my phone shut. I have become somewhat attached to my big, red, plush-seated Buick with the Dynaride suspension. My gamble was seeming stupider and stupider as I thought about it.

On the train, I read. I’m in the middle of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I’m thrilled by it, for many of the same reasons I was thrilled by On the Road, which I have re-read countless times. I love Pirsig’s writing style. I love how well-fleshed-out the characters are. I love the philosophical meditations, so typical of the intellectual counter-culture that I was born too late to experience but have always respected. My parents, after all, weren’t too far from that.

I’m also fascinated by the specter of Phaedrus in the background of the action. I know enough about the book to know who – or what – Phaedrus is, but I am still able to enjoy the mystery, revealed to the reader one page at a time. I’m glad my previous knowledge of the book doesn’t ruin this for me. It’s a testament to the writing.

When the train pulls into Grand Central, I don’t rush. I’ve got about an hour to kill before I have to catch the uptown 6 train. I watch the projections on the walls and ceiling of the Great Hall for awhile, then decide to cruise through the Christmas Market.

I’ve become very difficult to please. I strolled past the shops, and fingered a few items, but they all seemed like the same “handmade goods” I see at every artist’s fair. I’ve seen the same stuff at the Columbus Avenue Artisan’s Fair, and down on Houston Street too. A lot of New York artistans seem to have settled into two types of work: something rather simple, a silver hook earring with one stone set into a metal seashell, for example, something pretty but not overly attention-getting, or something loud, such as an oversized satchel sewn in felt with a caricaturized face on it, in bright colors and metallics, maybe a bit of beadwork, a spangle sewn on to the felt earlobe. People who buy these sorts of things tend to revel in their patronage of local artists, and seem to display their homemade goods like peacocks, clothes with raw edges and too much jewelry, knowing someone will comment on it, and they can drawl “Thank you… I bought it from the nicest design school student at a fair in Soho. I bought this wallet too…”

It all speaks to me of a need to impress others, seeking fulfillment externally, which has become distasteful to me. It smacks of internal emptiness... or of being lost. And these "artists" cater to it!! The creativity is abandoned in the name of profit. I know it's a hard life in New York, and this is how these people pay their rent, but if I see one more fleece baby hat with fringe sprouting from its cinched top, or one more jewelry display celebrating “found objects” such as antique buttons or foreign coins, I’ll puke.

The only artist whose work interested me was selling fine jewelry made from pearls, including chocolate pearls, for which lately I’ve developed quite the obsession. This was no fatigued 10-year unknown art fair veteran, throwing together a mélange of her perennial best-sellers, chatting idly with her friends while the customers finger everything and buy nothing. This was a real fine jewelry craftsman. She was on the phone, speaking very quietly and urgently with someone. I browsed as invisibly as I could.

Her necklace of chocolate pearls on gold beams looked like a grapevine hanging around someone’s neck. The pearls were of varying sizes and shades of brown, with a few dark cream and gold for depth. It was far, far beyond the price of anything I’d ever purchased for myself or anyone else… and it looked it. I gazed a few minutes and imagined how it might feel, heavy yet soft on my skin, resting just above my collarbone.

I moved on. My hour was up.

In spite of all my positive experiences over the last two years, I still experience rather pronounced anxiety when visiting the dentist. Just sitting in the waiting room for a routine cleaning makes my stomach tighten and my breath come short. I know how to play those mental tricks on myself to calm down… but I still have to use them. I took advantage of the free mint tea and sipped slowly.

When I went in for my cleaning, they had to take X-rays first, which didn’t bother me.

While I was waiting for the hygienist to return, I heard the weezzzzzzz of a dental drill coming from another room. This dentist’s office doesn’t really have exam rooms; it’s more like nooks with partitions and really wide doorways. You can see everything going on around you, if you look. This is probably good for a lot of people; you don’t feel closed in, the space is open and breezy. The drawback is that you can’t help but hear everything going on around you… and nobody wants to hear this stuff.

WEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZ. “Now what’s going on?” I hear a woman ask.

“I’m pulling out your nerve root,” the dentist explained to his patient. WEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZ.

I almost threw up. The dentist and patient continued their graphic discussion of her treatment. How the fuck is she talking with a drill in her mouth!? I wondered. I started to shake, and a droplet of sweat fell on my hand. I reached up to wipe my forehead and it was dry. My breathing came in hiccups and I realized that wasn’t sweat, it was a tear. I was crying. I shoved my fingers in my ears and sobbed. Complete panic.

The hygienist returned. I couldn’t look at her. I saw her lips moving – she’s asking if I’m ok. “That drill - he’s doing a root canal! He said he was pulling her nerve out!” I choked. I shook like a seizure gasping for breath. My eyes streamed tears and I tried to vanish down through the floor but nothing happened, I just sat there in the chair and held my ears and cried.

“..wanna… (incoherent) …music?” The hygienist tried to say. I realized she was offering me headphones. I thought about that. “That’s a good idea…” I whispered. The hygienist disappeared around the corner and returned with an iPod. She gently pried my hands from my ears – the wzzzzzzing had stopped – and helped me get the headphones on. They were the old fashioned kind with the pads that completely surround and cover your ears. I switched on the iPod, set it to shuffle and CRANKED that sucker up.

The first song? The Rolling Stones’ “Emotional Rescue.” I laughed in spite of myself.

The cleaning, after that, was uneventful.

About ¾ of the way through, the dentist came in to see me. “You doing ok?” He asked.

“I’m alright,” I said, a little embarrassed. “This iPod is awesome.”

“I’m so sorry about that,” the dentist said. He looked genuinely concerned. “That lady is so loud. She was actually less chatty than usual today!”

We laughed, and he checked out my X-rays and overall smile. Everyone felt better.

The hygienist finished up with me, and sent me on my way with a special toothpaste that apparently you get by prescription only, but I got a free sample. It’s supposed to reduce sensitivity. I’ve been using it. We’ll see. I have a strong feeling that gum sensitivity isn't my problem, but I'll be a good sport and use the toothpaste.

On the way home, I couldn’t concentrate on my book. I thought about all the things in life that don’t go the way we plan. I think a job’s going to be routine, and it’s actually exciting. I find artists in places I don’t expect. I develop tastes for things that I used to dismiss as frivolous. I think I’m prepared for something and wind up having a complete meltdown.

Someone once defined madness as repeating the same action over and over, expecting a different result. Well, I tend to have the opposite problem. I repeat something, expecting it to be like it was before… and it’s not. This is why I was always bad at mathematics… I could never get the same answer twice. I’d swear I was repeating my steps exactly, in the same order… but I always varied something in my approach, and now matter how I scrutinized my work, I couldn’t find the inconsistency.

In math, I was penalized for that. I never felt that was fair.

Thinking about my book, the narrator talks about Phaedrus, which is really himself before shock treatments. His former self was searching for absolute truth in the world – how to know what exists, how to prove it. The sort of philosophical questions that have been fodder for, well, the great philosophers. Phaedrus found questions underlying every answer he was given. Every answer led to another question.

Phaedrus experienced despair over this, and eventually found himself in the nuthouse being shocked out of existence. A new personality emerged – and it was that personality that wrote Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Isn’t that, in some way, a rather extreme metaphor for simply growing up? For learning to take disappointments in stride? For learning to accept that humans are imperfect, and we simply can’t know the answers to everything?

The thing that was different about this particular dentist visit was the absence of shame. I was a little embarrassed at my inability to control myself, but I also know that this practice specializes in people like me, who have terrible phobias of dental work. I’m normal in this place. I know I’m not going to be judged. I feel accepted, even supported. The shame I used to feel, that used to plague my nightmares for months, even years after visits to the dentist back in Illinois… it never manifested this time. Which is partially why it took me so long to write this essay.

I can’t define reality. I’ve never really been interested in trying to. Knowing why I’m here isn’t going to lower my rent, make my sniffles go away, or feed my cat. I’ve never had any use for philosophy. I’m ok not knowing why we’re all here, or how we got here – I’m more interested in making the best of what we’ve got. And if something pops into my awareness, I’ve stopped asking why. Somehow over the last couple of years I’ve gotten a lot better at just rolling with stuff.

When G and I drove out to my car, it was right where I'd left it, no ticket, no locked gate. A deep inner voice said "Your lucky day, kid." I whispered thanks to whoever might be watching, started my car, and followed G home.

In my bedroom, in my jewelry case, in an inconspicuous small jeweler's box, surrounded by ten or twelve similar boxes, sits a pair of chocolate pearl earrings. They gouged a chunk out of my credit card. I paid them off in two installments. I haven’t worn them yet, but I take them out and look at them, sometimes can't resist touching them. I run the back of my finger over the pearls, feeling their softness. I don’t know why I made such a frivolous, unwise, totally unnecessary and unjustifiable purchase. I didn’t tell anyone I bought them. They are… something I’m holding private. I think they represent something. Other than financial stupidity? Yes. Other than that.

I like that this doesn’t make much sense.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Blah blah crumple toss blah blah blah

I've thought all day about what I'd write, how I'd tell the rather mundane story of how the Food Tasting went, when G and I tasted the food for our wedding. I've told the story to a number of people on the phone - people who knew we were going and couldn't wait to hear about it. Every time I tell the story, I get it right, and think to myself why haven't I blogged this yet?

Every time I try to write the story down, I change things. I begin telling a story, not the story. I don't know why. The story doesn't need embellishment to make it interesting or exciting. It has a decently happy ending. Yet for some reason my fingers are lying.

It was disappointing. The tasting I mean. It was a group tasting, so we didn't get to try everything we wanted to try. All 20 couples submit several menu choices. The staff chooses the three most popular entrees, two most popular appetizers, etc., and creates the tasting menu from that. G and I were surrounded by people who eat at fucking Applebees and don't know the difference between a reduction and a glaze, and who pick wines because the label is pretty. So the majority ruled, and instead of the chicken with the exciting sounding apricot-fig stuffing with three berry sauce, I was served chicken sitting in an orange puddle of thin garlic-citrus juice. With baby red potatoes and haricot verts. Green fucking beans. I could have made that in my own fucking kitchen.

And sushi. I'm sure the fast-food eaters were thrilled by the goddamn sushi station. I've from fucking New York, I hung out with Asians for years, I'm not impressed with how fresh your fucking tuna rolls are. It's a dumb-ass tuna roll, you moron. Seaweed, rice, cucumber, I'M SO BORED HERE. At least gimme a goddamn quail egg and some Unagi? Oh never mind, I've had that before too. A MILLION TIMES.

All the wines sucked. One was palatable. Just palatable. The Champagne was watery and tasteless, which meant I was so thrilled to have something inoffensive in my mouth, not to mention potent, that I giggled deliriously and had two glasses.

All four of the cakes failed to move me. The one we'd wanted to taste wasn't on the menu. The one smidgen of chocolate cake wasn't even chocolate, it was fucking mocha with some kind of cappuccino filling. One of the five very thin layers was so dry it crumbled. I guess that was supposed to be an interesting texture? Fine, I'm not a big cake eater anyway. I told G he could have whatever cake he wanted. I was done.

When the chef and the manager of the venue came by our table, G asked if there was any of the cake WE wanted to try in the back, just sitting around? There was. We were brought two tiny slices of day-old cake in the flavor we requested. That day-old cake was 10 times better than any of the crap we'd been served. It was sooo flavorful, tart fruity filling and creamy cakiness, wrapped in slightly dry buttercream frosting. That's our cake. I can just imagine how sublime it will be when it's fresh.

So it wasn't all bad. And the people at the venue really expressed care for how we were feeling. They really listened to my, which, to give myself some credit, I really worked hard at stating calmly and rationally, even apologetically. Eventually the woman who appeared to be in charge of bar selections whipped out a pad and pen and started writing down the names of our favorite wine houses and varietals. That, really was what I needed most: to know we were being listened to, that our event wasn't going to be white-washed into a predictable wedding like everyone else's, talking us into serving less-exciting dishes, "trust us, people will like it." No, they really listened, and made us feel much better by end of day.

But frankly, I was so exhausted by then... And as you can see, I'm still fuming, and trying to pretend I'm over it, that it didn't really bother me that much, I'm fine, I'm sure the food will be wonderful.

I do that.

One day after that gut-wrenching experience, I went for my very first wedding gown fitting. My gown has been hanging in the back of my closet for around six months. I'd forgotten what the fabric felt like.

Just draping myself in that satin transported me out of myself for a few minutes. It's so soft. I resisted the temptation to run my hands down my sides, gliding them over my waist and hips... If one of my hangnails caught the fabric I'd want to die. No, I was reserved. I stood and just looked. I slipped my feet into the $400 glittery gold four-inch heels that everyone thinks I was nuts to buy, since they will hardly be seen.

Fuck everyone. I was Dorothy. there's no place like my own dreams, coming to life before me in the mirror. I was a dreamgirl. And I am telling you I am BEAUTIFUL. I was 21 again, shopping for a dress for my Grandma's 80th birthay party, trying on the most beautiful dress I'd ever worn, seeing a vision of my best self. I was someone I've never been, but always knew I could be. I was tall, slim, and natural, without a scrap of makeup or jewelry. Just for those few minutes, alone in the dressing room. I was everything that I know, deep down inside, that I truly am. I am the woman G loves, and I knew why.

I stepped out of the dressing room and walked into the empty dress shop. The seamstress did not smile. She did not comment on how nice the dress was or how I looked in it. She pursed her lips and directed me where to stand. She waited impatiently while I tried on a second pair of shoes I had brought along, one that I felt everyone else might approve of. I rejected them. "Stand here," she pointed. She pinned the hem, about a 1/2 inch to shorten. She pinned the strap, about 2 inches. She pinned the bustle, a double French. No further alterations needed.

As I walked, alone, back to the dressing room, she stopped me. "Turn around." I faced her obediently. She examined my chest. "You want cups or no?" She tuned me sideways. "Maybe no."

"No," I said, "I think my chest is fine the way it is." Just because no tengo dobles silicas doesn't mean soy fea, bitch. The seamstress turned away, having lost interest.

Before I took off the dress, I drew the dressing room curtain behind me, and took out my wedding veil. I set it into my unruly red curls, and indulged in a few more minutes of mirror time. I allowed myself about three seconds of sadness, and one tear, wishing just one friend or my Mom had been able to do this with me. Then I put my clothes back on and rejoined reality.

Bill for alterations: $169, paid up front.

At home this evening, G did a lot of that face he gets, that look he gives me with his brows knotted together in concern, pausing his activities for a moment, as though he's hoping I'll notice his concern and ask what the face is for. I know what the face is for. Yes, baby, I feel like shit tonight. For no really good reason. I enjoyed my Campbell's tomato soup and Pillsbury French Bread dinner.

I love my life. I wish I was living it. I don't know what happened over the last few months. I would love to blame this on Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I think I'm just tired.

One of my closest New York friends told me, semi-apologetically, that she wasn't going to come to my wedding. Not because she had something else to do, but because she didn't want to drive to Boston in the winter. Not because the hotel night would cost too much. Not because of other, deeper reasons, which I won't go into here. She just can't be bothered with the drive.

Part of me hates myself for being so hurt by that. Part of me feels justified. Another part of me reminds myself that I don't have to justify my fucking feelings to anyone.

Meanwhile, G's suggesting inviting a few people who we really haven't known very long, who aren't really close, intimate friends. I'm thinking he's afraid nobody's going to show up. We created our guest list very carefully, choosing people who've been intimately involved in our lives for years. Looks like we misjudged some of these friendships.

What the hell does a friendship entail? I can't tell anymore.

I don't expect my wedding to be anywhere NEAR as important to anyone else as it is to me - I'm not that foolish. But to be told by someone you've been that close to that "I don't know what I'll be doing that weekend, but I'm NOT going to your wedding..."

Forget it. It's ok. Weddings aren't fun to be invited to. They are burdens, really. Who wants to get dressed up and schlep all the way to another freakin' state? Spend money on a hotel room? I know most people hate being invited to weddings. They groan. Aw, shit, another fucking gift to buy, another damn dinner with strangers in uncomfortable clothes. I know.

Maybe that's why I'm in such a bad mood.

I don't sleep well. I'm usually awake between 3:30 and 5am. Just have been for a couple of years now. No real good explanation as to why. Good opportunity to do some blogging. Ok, here's a blog.

Maybe now I'll sleep a bit.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hard to See Me From All the Way Up There

So, I'm on the third floor because I have to deliver something. The only time I've ever on the third floor is to deliver something, and I never stick around long. On my way out, I always make a quick stop in their Bistro because they usually stock these amazing 100-calorie brownies, and if they have them, I grab one before I go.

For the most part, the people on the third floor hardly see the people on the first floor, and vice-versa.

So today, I have to deliver something up there, and I make my usual quick stop into the kitchen. I can tell right away they don't have my brownies, but I decide to grab coffee. I must have looked a bit lost, because a rather portly man of medium height began pointing out where everything was in the kitchen. "Coffee? Right there. And we got snacks, candy, in all these drawers!"

"I know, I've been working here for over two months," I said, with my best "I'm being patient with you" smile.

The man laughed. "Oh, sorry.."

"That's ok," I said, "I work on the first floor - nobody up here knows me."

Later on, I was perusing the company website, and noticed there are photos of all the employees. I was looking up the address of one of our VP's so I could send him a package. I noticed there was a link to his manager's profile. I wonder who the VP's manager is? So I clicked it. Took me to an SVP. There was a link to HIS manager's profile as well - so I clicked it. Took me to the COO of the Company.

There, smiling back at me, was a photo of the man in the Bistro.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dear Huge Financial Company,

Your new over-blown security requirements are preventing me from accessing my own account.

I know I attended Laketown Elementary school, but does your system want me to type "Laketown School" or "Laketown Elementary" or some other combination?? Or not capitalize anything?

I know I was born in Manchester, CT, but does your inane system want me to spell out Connecticut? Or not capitalize it? Is the comma acceptable?

And if you keep spitting out three different combinations of questions from the pool of five, how will I know which of the three entries was incorrect?

I have been a customer for over a decade and have NEVER experienced security problems, or ever heard of ANYONE experiencing data theft, identity issues, etc due to YOUR COMPANY's website. It wasn't broke, people, but some team of auditors or lawyers suckered your top brass into setting up this system. And I'll bet you paid a fortune for it.

To top it all off NOTHING CAN BE DONE except to delete my registration information altogether. Now, after TEN YEARS of knowing my login credentials, I have to create a new userID, password, and whole new set of FIVE @#$%! Questions. Because you have no back-up plan. How much DID you pay those programmers for this sloppy, inefficient, half-assed bullshit?

Please add my complaints to the millions of others that are clearly clogging up your suggestion box, as it is currently unable to accept messages.



P.S. Trying to sell me something after a 15-minute long phone call during which you were unable to resolve my problem and during which I made it QUITE CLEAR how disgusted I am with your company is also unfathomably stupid.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I still miss you with all my soul

Last Friday night, I dreamed an older woman cooked dinner for me. She was in her 60's, slightly built, with a straight, healthy back, and white curly short hair. She made me some sort of cheesy quiche-looking dish, and a bowl of some tomato stuff. It was cheap American food, made with canned ingredients. I got the impression that she thought it would approximate Italian food because it had tomatoes and cheese in it.

That woman was not my grandmother... but she was trying very earnestly to comfort me in the way that Grandma would have. I knew this wasn't grandma. I tried so hard to just try the food, and express my gratitude... but I broke down in tears. I sobbed uncontrollably.

Two young people, a man and a woman, both in their twenties, removed me to a small cozy room with a fireplace and dark wood paneling. I sat in an overstuffed cordovan leather chair, with a red velvet throw, and cried and cried and cried. "You don't understand," I choked. "Grandma was my favorite relative, the only one who loved me, the only one who really cared at all about me. We had something special. She was everything to me... and now she's gone. And now I have to make the zaples, and the fried smelt, and the galama... and if I don't no one will." I couldn't stop crying. I felt guilty, and embarrassed, but overwhelmingly sad, just utterly, completely heartbroken.

The young man looked like Greg Grundberg from Heroes, but thinner. He had that open, sweet face, and that genuine need to make someone feel better. He wanted to rescue me. I could tell he was tending to things I couldn't see, things outside the room. I hoped he was apologizing to the nice lady for me. How could I have rejected such a lovely gift? Please, I know she meant well, please tell her I'm sorry...

The young woman was brunette, slender, pretty, with dark eyes, wearing black pants and a blue sweater. She sat with me and talked soothingly to me, it's ok, cry all you want, we can stay here as long as you like.

Days seemed to pass.

Finally, I said to the girl, "Thank you." She smiled at me with those eyes, huge and dark and endless. "I think I'm ready now," I said to her.

Instantly I was in a large banquet hall, darkly lit, with candles on the table. My two young friends were with me, asking if I was comfortable, could they get me a drink? No thank you, I said.

We were seated at the back of the room. It occurred to me that there might be a way to move up to a table closer to the front, and I wondered what that might be. At the head of the room was a raised dais with a table on it - like we were at a wedding, at the seat farthest from the bride and groom. And yet, as I strained to see whatever might be on the other side of the darkness, across that sea of people, I felt as though I was right where I belonged... for now. I knew I had something to accomplish, and someplace to go, but for now, I was exactly where I was supposed to be... and I had friends.

My sadness was profound. Every cell of my body, every fiber of my being was saturated with grief. I didn't cry anymore, but I sat there, present, in the moment, feeling the sadness completely enveloping me like a dark grey woolen blanket, layers and layers of it... almost a comforting grief. The comfort that comes with acceptance, with letting go, with not fighting anymore. I accepted everything, in those moments. My place in the room. My companions. My loss. I was aware.

I will never see my Grandmother again. And, as hard as it is to type this, as frightening as it is, I will be alright.

I will be alright.

I will be alright.

I will be alright.

Someone is looking out for me. Maybe it's Grandma, wherever she is. Maybe it's her best pal, St. Anthony. Maybe it's my friend, the Morrigan, who, like me, is often misunderstood, and gets a bad rep. Just because you tell people things they don't want to hear doesn't mean you make them happen, or that you enjoy delivering sad news.

Maybe the young man is a guardian angel. Maybe he's G. Maybe he's me.

I woke up feeling more loved than I have felt in... a very long time. I felt it in the marrow of my bones, in the blood pumping through my battered heart, in my skin and hair and the tears flowing from my eyes. Saturated in love. The feeling stayed with me for hours.

* * * * *

About Heroes.

The image of Matt shouting defiantly to his dad "I'm a good man! I'm a good cop! I'm a good father!" may never leave my mind. Something deep inside me responded to that. I knew exactly how Molly felt, hearing that, knowing she was loved, knowing she would be rescued. My Hero, she was thinking. My very own hero.

I am my own hero.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Last Time I Checked...

Sir Walter Raleigh was NOT on board a vessel during the fight against the Spanish Armada.

Just sayin.'

Here's another blog post I don't have time to write. So go see the movie. It's bloody fantastic.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Originally uploaded by MzOuiser
These are the flowers my dear friend Kristin sent me for my birthday!

Ok, this is the picture from the Martha's Flowers catalog. But they looked EXACTLY like this!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Who is my secret admirer?

To whoever sent me the STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS bouquet of Irises from Martha's Flowers, thank you!

Unfortunately, they are still buds right now, and will likely bloom while I am in Wisconsin, where I will be vacationing with Mom and Dad until next Wednesday. I will therefore be sure to have G take a digital photo when they do bloom, and I will post said photo on Flickr and this blog when I get back.

I am a sucker for flowers!

DISCLAIMER: No services or goods shall be exchanged for gifts to MzOuiser. MzOuiser is happily engaged and will not engage in relationships, romantic or otherwise, online, via email, in person, or in any venue with anyone except her fiancee.

UPDATE: It was Kristin! >whew<

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wonderful World

Thank you for your kind comments and emails regarding that last post. I was almost afraid to post it, and considered taking it down. It's hard to see some of those words in print, out there for the world to see, especially since a lot of people I know in real life know who I am and how to find this blog. I'm out of blogging closet, so to speak, so all sorts of people might read that... from my hometown and elsewhere. I just felt it was time for me to get it out there. And I am glad I did it, for lots of reasons I won't go into here.

I started a new temp job last week. It should only last about a month, but the people are nice and the money is good. Everytime humanity seems to let me down, I'm given several new reasons to believe in us again. Sometimes I think God is deliberately slamming doors in my face to shock me into noticing the many wide-open windows in my life, and the beautiful vistas beyond them.

I spoke last night with a long-lost aunt and uncle. We used to visit once a year when I was small, but of course the older us kids got, the less frequent the visits became. By the time I was in college, we were practically strangers, with nothing but children's memories between us.

This aunt has always seemed to take a shine to me, however. She's my dad's kid sister, and my dad and his three siblings are very, very close, so I imagine I mean something to her in a special way. Being my Dad's only child seems to have endeared me to my 2 aunts and uncle, and I've always been glad of that, even if their spouses couldn't contain their judgementalism.

But we're all a lot older now, and we've all mellowed. I find my more difficult relatives much more palatable in their advancing age, and I'm more tolerant of our differences, and far more appreciative of their kindness. I love them dearly... odd, since I feel virtually the opposite way about most of my Mother's family. Which makes me very sad sometimes.

I got an update on my "Baby cousins'" lives. I was born several years before Lil' Auntie's oldest kid, so I always called her brood "my baby cousins". Of course they are all in their 20's and 30's now. The youngest is about 19, the only one not married, thank God. She is attending Bob Jones University, and just starting to date, in the chaste way that this particular brand of Christians do. She's a stunningly beautiful blonde, and very bright, and I can't imagine a single one of those close-minded pinheads at BJU will be anywhere near worthy of her... but I'm glad she's having fun, in her way.

The next youngest is a 6-foot-5-inches 26 year old redhead, with freckles, blue eyes and a smile like the sun rising over Lake Pend Oreille. When he was a baby I thought he was the most beautiful kid I'd ever seen. When I was about eleven and he was about one, I dropped him on his head. I was mortified. I always wondered if I wasn't to blame for his LOUDNESS and general obnoxious behavior as a child, not to mention his struggles in school. Well, that wild brat grew up to be a the most sweet, loving man, and he captured my heart all over again when we were in college. He married himself a gal as loving as he is, and they now have two babies. As adults, we have enjoyed each other's company far more than I'd imagined we might. They're probably the least uptight of my generation in the family. Frankly, I miss them, and wish we had some excuse to see each other. But I don't know about visiting. I'd be very nervous on their turf. I might put some feelers out, I don't know.

Their older sister is probably about 28. I saw her with her husband and four kids at my paternal grandmother's funeral in 2005. Another freakishly gorgeous blonde woman, with a TOTAL HOTTIE for a hubby. "If my husband were that good looking," I told her over sandwiches, "I'd have had four kids too!" Her brood is as achingly gorgeous as her little brother was, all blonde and redheaded and peachy cheeks. They're loud and rowdy brats like their uncle was too. If I could have just hit the mute button, however, I could have watched them all day.

It breaks my heart that Mrs. Hottie and I are not close. I always felt that we were deliberately kept apart as teens, because I was such a bad kid - hangin' with rough characters, drinkin' sexin', all that shit. Well, that little girl cousin of mine had been one of my closest kin growing up, and I had always assumed we'd stay that way. But she made it very clear to me (at her own wedding, would you believe) that our special friendship ended long ago. Now I'm just someone she's related to that she feels she has nothing in common with. She's kidding herself. She's more like me than anyone wants to admit. And she should be proud of it. Because the truth is, I'm more like her than she knows. Now wouldn't that shock the family.

The oldest kid is about 30, 31. He's brilliant, always was. I was devastated when he didn't attend Harvard or Yale or Wheaton or some decent school where those brains could have been put to work saving humanity. But he's happy. He likes his life. He married an adorable girl whose personality is as quirky as his, and they are waiting to have kids, I'm not sure what for, but I'm impressed with them for not mindlessly doing what everybody else does. Grandma and I used to talk about this boy a lot, and our hopes for him, how much we admired him. I am proud of him, for what he is. Although at 5 foot nine and easily 200 pounds of muscle, I can't call him a baby anything anymore.

The whole reason my aunt called me has to do with the wedding.


The one personal thing I've decided to do with this wedding - that is, the one thing I'm not paying someone else to do - is display family photographs, specifically wedding pictures. I'm collecting framed wedding pictures of my parents and grandparents, G's parents and grandparents, and am asking our Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, all of whom are married, to bring their framed wedding photos as well. I want to be surrounded by examples of happy, healthy marriages on my wedding day, and I want everyone who comes to the wedding to see them.

Apparently my parents are unable to locate the photo of my paternal grandparents, so my Dad asked his little sister if she might have one she could loan me. She's going to make a copy of the one she has and send it to me. In a surge of familial longing, I invited her to also send along a copy of her wedding picture, and promised to display it if she did. She is four foot eleven. Uncle is six foot six. They were married in the early 70's. It's one fab photo, let me tell ya.

I was horribly embarrassed that my Dad passed the buck like this, especially since I'm not inviting any of my family members. Most of them don't even know I'm getting married again. That's just how NOT close my family really is - we are completely UN-involved in each others' lives. Granted, with my Dad's family, they are all very low wage earners, and couldn't afford the plane flight even if they wanted to come, so technically I'm off the hook... but I felt bad that Lil' Auntie had to find out this way. I stammered a bit on how I was really only having this wedding for G's sake, since he's his parents' only son, and he wanted the party, yada yada yada. Auntie and Uncle didn't sound the least bit angry or disappointed or slighted in any way, just genuinely glad to chat with me. I love them for that all the more. Again - the opposite of my Mother's family.

For all my cynicism, my lingering resentment, in spite of our mutual scorn of each other's lifestyles and values, our ability to see through our differences and be truly loving toward each other fills me up in ways I can't describe. There's no food like the love and support of family when you most need them. There's no safer haven than Grandma's kitchen, and though my grandmothers are gone, I can still sit at that table anytime I want. I was there last night, on the phone with Lil' Auntie, listening to her and Uncle tell me how they'd been praying for me. "It's been working," I said.

When I got off the phone, I could see the photo in my mind that they would be sending me. Grandma and Grandpa were little people, he was five foot six, and she was about five-one. They were poor, and rather country, so no fancy wedding finery for them. Grandma wore a dark red velvet dress, "more of a burgundy color," she once said, with that faraway look in her eyes, with that sparkle she'd get when she was remembering her mischievous youth. Grandpa wore a white shirt and a tie, and a nice jacket and pants. He is not smiling, but he wasn't a big smiler. Grandma has a quiet, small smile, like the Mona Lisa, like she's hiding something, and she thinks it's funny.

The picture is 5x7 size, in surprisingly good resolution and quality for the late 1930's. I will buy a classy, beautiful frame for it, and when G and I buy our first home, I'll hang it in the living room where our children will play.

And we'll leave the past in the past, and start our new lives in the wonderful world we'll make for ourselves.

Blessed Be.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Here's Where I Fell. I'm Up Now.

This morning I watched "Blues Brothers 2000," which I'd never have seen if not for TiVo. That's too bad. For all the things wrong with it, I think it would have been a hoot to see in the theater, on the opening weekend. If I'd been in my home state of Illinois, I can only imagine the whooping and hollering when the strip club sign "Featuring Miss Carbondale" splashed across the screen.

Sometimes I miss Illinois. But not much.

I haven't really blogged in-depth about the abusive relationship I got stuck in between high school and college. I've pretty much made my peace with it. I have no problem talking about it in person to pretty much anybody who asks, and have done so freely on many occasions. People are often shocked to hear that I lived through something like that. I have a strong personality, and don't appear domitable. The truth is, I was anything but formidable at seventeen. My New York peeps have never seen me like that, the little girl that I was, but it's true. Back then I fit the typical victim profile, if there is such a thing. So, yeah, folks, hard to believe, but it's true. I was Carol Ann, and although I had plenty of girlfriends with Adam's Apples, none of them beat up Earl.

A few weeks ago, I was called for Jury Duty in Rockland County. I was actually looking forward to it. Everybody has to do it sometime, and I have no problem doing my civic duty. G commented how ironic it was that I lived ten years in New York City and was never called, but after just over two years in this less densely populated area, my number came up. Not surprising.

The Orangeburg courthouse is a civilized looking building, on a plot of land all it's own, not hard to access from one of the main roads traversing North Jersey into New York. I parked right in front of the building, and walked through the lobby. It was deserted. I wore office casual clothes, something I feel oddly secure in. I brought a book to read, two pens, a pencil, and my summons.

It seemed like there were a hundred people in that room, though it was probably less. There were so many of us, from all walks of life, but all looking like decent citizens. I kept to myself, interacting only as much to loan my pen to the guy in front of me. We filled out forms with the basic demographics.

Then we filled out another form. Have you, or any member of your family, ever been the victim of a crime? Well... that would have to be a yes. Not only was my whole stalker/abuse thing in my mind, but there was that time in high school when someone broke into our house and stole our VCR. I checked the "Yes" box.

There were other questions relating to the crime in question, including whether or not it was a violent crime. I dutifully answered everything. I turned in both forms to a lady up front, who took mine and everyone else's and put them in a big stack.

We all rose as the judge came in. The attorneys were already there, and so was the defendant although I hadn't noticed him. Judge had us all sit down. I didn't see anyone looking at the forms we'd all filled out.

The judge called out twelve names, one of which was mine. As our names were called, we walked up onto the stage - or whatever they call that area where everything happens - and sat in the jury box. He asked us to raise our right hands, and right there, before anything had happened at all, he swore us in. We had promised to honestly answer any and all questions put to us. Ok... just like on TV.

The Judge proceeded to introduce the defendant. He was a stocky, rather tall, handsome Irish guy, probably about my age, with a poker face. No way to tell how he was feeling about all this. He looked like he'd played football in his youth. He looked like anyone you might see in a bar, or on the subway.

The Judge then read to us the official charges: violation of a restraining order in the year 2005. Two years ago!? The plaintiff was a woman who now has a new last name, but in 2005, shared the defendant's last name. His ex-wife.

We were read the details of the crime: the defendant had called the plaintiff's place of work, and left voicemails. The voicemails were not in any way violent or threatening. He told her he loved her, then called back and apologized, then called again and reiterated. That's it.

At least, that was the extent of the specific violation for which the defendant was standing trial today.

I listened to all this with interest, but made a concerted effort to remain professional, even cold. I was here to determine the facts, and not project. But the fact that I had to remind myself not to project was bothering me.

At this point, the judge asked all the potential jurors in the room to raise their hands if they or someone close to them had been the victim of a crime - a close friend or immediate family member. Half the room raised their hands, and reluctantly, I did too. I had to. I'd been sworn in.

The judge then proceeded to explain that if any of us were uncomfortable answering a question, we would be welcome to be questioned in chambers, and pointed out the tiny little room behind the bench. I could see part of a table and a couple of chairs. "There are no right or wrong answers to these questions, only honest answers, the judge impressed. He seemed like a kind, fair man, and I wasn't sure exactly where he was going with all this.

The judge then proceeded to ask the juror sitting in the end of the jury box the nature of the crime he or his friend or family member had been a victim of. He proceeded to tell the story in reasonable detail, about how his daughter's apartment had been broken into, and some items stolen, but nobody was hurt, and they caught the people who did it. The judge asked the man if he felt that is ability to remain impartial during this hearing would be affected by this experience.

"It's a totally unrelated situation," the potential juror said. "I don't think I'll have a problem remaining impartial."

The judge asked the prosecuting and defense attorneys if they had any questions for the juror. They did not. The judge asked if they attorneys had any objections to this man sitting on this jury. They did not.

I froze. I was next.

"You stated that you or someone close to you has been a victim of a crime?" the judge asked me.

In front of all those people. "Yes," I stated firmly, if a but quietly.

"Do you feel comfortable discussing this here, or would you prefer to discuss it in chambers?" The judge asked.

Something deep inside me froze solid. I felt myself sweat just a bit. I motioned with my head, slightly inclined toward the chamber. I opened my mouth a bit, but nothing came out. I nodded.

"You'd like to discuss in chamber?" the judge asked?

"Yes," I affirmed.

The judge picked up his notebook. The attorneys picked up their notebooks. The Court Reporter picked up her machine. I picked up my purse and book and followed all of them into chambers. I had to climb over a few juror's feet, whispering "I'm sorry" on the way out.

I sat down around the small table with these three men in black and one woman with Jersey Hair who did not look at me. The judge asked the question:

"What was the nature of the crime?"

I was raped repeatedly for over a year. When I broke up with him and tried to date someone else, he stalked me. He threw me across rooms, threw me into and out of cars, threw me down onto the front lawn in the middle of the night and held his cigarette over my face. He drove me outside the city to a remote rest stop, threw me out of the car, and left me there. He...

"I was... assaulted," I stated flatly, looking the judge directly in the eye.

"You were... assaulted," the judge repeated.

"Yes," I replied.

"Was your assailant prosecuted?" He asked.

"No." I didn't flinch. I never pressed charges. His father was a police officer.

"I see..." said the Judge. He glanced at the attorneys, and so did I. No real reactions. The prosecuting attorney seemed to have a sympathetic gaze, an almost sad look. The defense attorney stared at his shoes, rigid as a stone. The court reporter minded her machine.

"Now, being assaulted is certainly a terrible, tragic crime," the judge said, a somewhat softer tone to his voice. "Do you think that you might be able to remain impartial, given the nature of this case?"

I thought hard. "I don't... I don't know," I whispered. The frozen spot inside me ached. It grew. I felt 400 pounds, sitting in that chair.

The judge said something, I don't remember exactly what. He asked the question again; would I be able to remain impartial? The silence in the room was deafening.

"I don't know," I choked. "I wish I did know. Clearly I'm experiencing some emotions just answering these questions, which I didn't expect. It was a long time ago, and I'd like to think I could remain impartial, but I don't honestly know."

No one said anything. Clearly I was screwing this up. "I'm sorry," I stammered. "I wish I could tell you what you need to hear. I wish I knew what to tell you."

"Now, now," said the judge, "As I said before, there are no right or wrong answers, only honest answers, and we all appreciate your honesty in this situation." He's trying to diffuse something, I thought. "Do you feel that you'd like to be excused?"

I was tired. I was exhausted. "Yes," I sighed. "I should probably go."

The judge turned to the prosecuting attorney. "Do you object to releasing this juror?"

The attorney made a somewhat dismissive gesture with his hand. "She's been through something that's very similar..." his voice trailed off.

"Do you object to releasing this juror?" Now it was the defense attorney's turn.

The man didn't look up from his shoes. Didn't move. "Nope," he stated, sounding like a pop-gun.

The judge asked me if I'd like some water, or to use the bathroom. I declined.

There was a bit of confusion, as though nobody wanted to be the first to get up and leave. I was hoping to be shown out. I was hoping there was an invisible door in the wall I could disappear into. I was hoping for anything but what I knew lay ahead. But in the end, the judge got up, held the door for me, and I did it.

I walked out, alone, across the trial floor, in front of the jurors in the box, in front of all the jurors sitting in the chairs, walked through those 80 or 90 or six million people all the way to the back of the room, feeling all those eyes, some on me, some averted, all wondering what had happened. I did the walk of shame out the door, past the glass walls, until I finally reached the lobby.

I was shaking all over. I put my purse down, jiggled the zipper open, rattled a Kleenex out, blew my nose, and released just a few sobs. Just a few. Then I took a deep breath, and clacked my office heels out to the parking lot, walking briskly to my car, blipping the remote control door lock, leaping behind the wheel, slamming the door.

I had a good, loud, hard cry, right there in the parking lot, behind the wheel of my Buick sedan. I have NOTHING to be ashamed of! I thought to myself, screaming inside my own mind. I HAVE NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF! I HAVE NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF!

But I was. I felt humiliated.

Why didn't they read the form I'd filled out?

I drove home in a fog. Why was this bothering me so much? I was a victim! I was a child! I did nothing wrong! I learned from this! I've helped others because of it! I've become everything I wasn't back then, I'm strong, I have agency, I don't take shit off nobody anymore. I'm a WOMAN now. I'm an adult. I'm a professional. I'm... in control...

G was working on his car in the parking lot as I walked across the driveway. I don't remember what he said to me, but he noticed immediately I wasn't myself. He walked inside with me, and we sat down on the couch, and I told him the story.

I stayed calm as I told him. I did not cry again. He poured me a soda, or got me an ice cream bar, or something, I remember something sweet in my mouth.

"Of course, this is going to hurt," he said to me. "They poked at your tenderest, oldest, deepest wound. No matter how many years of scar tissue may have formed, it's still going to hurt." He gave me that what-were-you-thinking look, with his eyebrows disappearing into his hairline. "Those assholes," he said.

I laughed. "Yeah. Assholes."

I slept hard and dark that night, like a drunk, like an overdose.

The next night, I went to the spa. I had some time before my client arrived, so I chatted with our new receptionist. She's working at the spa part time for extra cash. In her real career, she's a domestic violence victim's advocate, or some such impressive title. We've talked several times about domestic violence, on a societal level, intellectual discussions.

I told her about my experience. She was livid. "You should call and complain! They handled that terribly! You never should have been required to go through that! They had it all on a form for God's sake!"

It made me feel better, seeing her so outraged on my behalf. I felt somewhat validated. I was able to articulate that I felt victimized all over again, by being forced to talk about this in the manner I was. I felt violated. I had no choice but to open up to three strange men about a very intimate detail of my life. Would I have been any worse off discussing it openly in front of everyone? Who knows.

I can't say this experience caused me to relive the events of my abuse, but it did cause me to remember, viscerally, the humiliation, the shame, the feeling that everybody knew, the feeling of being judged, even damned, for being in that situation. That's a feeling I'll never forget. Even writing these words brings it back, the heartburn-like sensation, the heaviness, the desire to turn invisible, to blink out of existence, anything to escape the feeling of judgement.


I had chosen him to be my first time, but he was determined to also be my last. When I lost interest in having sex with him, he forced me. "You wanted this," he'd say, "You still do. You're just trying to hurt me but you'll never leave me."

After I shoved him out of my life for good, I became a sex symbol in my own right, in an effort to reclaim my own sexuality. I went too far with it. It's common.

Years later, I have problems with the image of myself as a sexual object, because although I have been one in several ways at different points in my life, it has never been in a healthy way. First I was jailbait - a tease who liked the attention. Then I was a sex kitten. Then I was a slut. Then I was a fun date, a fun girlfriend, a wiser gal with a past. Then I was a wife. Then I was a wild divorcee.

I don't want to be any of those things anymore. I don't want to be defined by my sexuality. It's a part of me, and it does speak to who I am and how I got this way, but it's not the first thing a person needs to know about me.

Not anymore.


Ever since that night at the courthouse, I haven't wanted to do anything. I've been staying indoors as much as possible, sometimes for days at a time, when I can get away with it. I watch a lot of TV. I crocheted so much that I need more yarn to finish this throw pillow I'm working on. I did not cook. My eating slowed.

I had a birthday. My parents and a few friends gave me some very nice gifts. I threw an end-of-summer party at Lucky Strike Lanes, and had a great time. I went into Manhattan, had a makeover, bought $400 shoes for my wedding.

I felt numb through it all.

My friend from the spa gave me a business card for a therapist, but there is a pointlessness that comes from having had all the therapy in the world, knowing it's just going to be more weeks of her getting to know me, and finally her telling me everything I've already heard before. It's ok to be mad. It's ok to feel all the things I feel. It's ok to slow down when you need to. Yada yada yada.

I'm pulling myself up out of the hole now, bit by bit. here I am, sitting on the edge of the hole, taking a breather. It wasn't even a hard climb, I've done this plenty of times before. I don't need to stare wonderingly down into the hole - nothing there I haven't seen before. I don't need to stare ahead of me, wondering what's out there - it's the world, like it always has been, full of ups and downs and surprises. I'm still getting married in February. I'm flying to Wisconsin in two weeks for a short vaca with my parents. I'm still a massage therapist with clients in Westchester. Nothing dramatic has changed.

Just a speed bump.

I tell ya, how can you East Coasters stand living like this? The traffic sucks, everyone drives like maniacs, with this "Fuck Everybody" attitude. Everyone has to go 80 fucking miles an hour all the time. People get smeared all over the pavement every day. And then they complain that the accident is making them late to work. The ambulance is hauling away someone's son or daughter or spouse and all people care about is their own fucking schedule, making them late to jobs they don't even like.

Sometimes I miss Illinois.

But not much.

(Don't worry. I called the therapist.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Be Part of the Goodness

Some Ideas:

My Good Deed

Peace, Remembrance, Hope, Forgiveness

The names are being read right now, in my living room. Someone is playing a wistful tune on a guitar, a tune that seems to have risen forth from someone's memory. I have cried several times.

I was lucky. I was one of the lucky ones. I lost no loved ones. Yet I mourn for those who did, those complete strangers who are my sisters and brothers in humanity. I have friends who barely escaped with their lives, and I have friends who lost loved ones, but I myself was extremely lucky. I will never take that blessing for granted. I honor this blessing by not punishing myself for it - I don't believe I was given that gift so that I might live in misery, guilt and self-sacrifice. I believe I am meant to celebrate life, and all that being an inhabitant of planet Earth has to offer.

My entire life has changed since then, for the better. I hope I have found favor with the divine, for the choices I have made. I hope I am living a "right life," in my new career as a massage therapist, with my new resolve to no longer temp at companies I don't feel good about, with my commitment to raise a family with a man I respect and share values and beliefs with. I hope that I am doing my part to represent the best of humanity... as imperfect as I may be.

I have worked hard to forgive those who have hurt me, and in a few instances I still work at it. I also work to remember the many gifts given to me over the years by good, loving people. I remember the connections, however brief, and am grateful for them every day.

I have seen nothing in this morning's memorial service which inspires any negative feelings in me. I am proud of everyone involved. I am proud of everyone I see who make efforts toward peace, who works toward helping and supporting others. I'm proud to be a member of the human race.

I believe in Us.

Friday, September 07, 2007

With Respect and Gratitude

My favorite Children's author, the great Madeleine L'Engle, has passed away. She was 88 years old.

I read A Wrinkle in Time so often, I could practically recite it from beginning to end. I read A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet almost as many times. The more complex and heavy her stories became, the more engrossed I was.

A Ring of Endless Light was a formative story in my young life. It "went there," and I stayed, re-reading the last part of the book over and over, not wanting to lose the intensity of feeling that blossomed inside my young body, feelings of love, of loss, of transformation into something more than an ordinary human child. It may have been the first recognition that I, and therefore all of us, are born of something larger than ourselves, something deeper and more mysterious than flesh. I felt connections inside me, to the characters, to the writer, and to everyone who may have lived through such frightening, sobering events. I recognized the world, and I myself felt recognized as well.

Isn't that all we really want out of life? To be recognized? To be known? To know that, when we die, when we simply aren't there anymore, that someone will notice?

Thank you Madeleine, for making me feel, for teaching me how to feel, for showing me where to look when I couldn't feel. Thank you for showing me that the world was bigger than my schoolyard full of bullies, my neighborhood full of strangers, my little house full of shouting, my dark bedroom painted in colors someone else chose.

Thank you for showing me that the world does care about smart little girls who seem to have no friends, that are a burden to their teachers and misunderstood by almost everyone else, that it is possible for girls like Meg and me to fall in love, have friends, be happy.

Thank you for inspiring me to write. Thank you for letting me know that, if all I have to write about is sad things, that people might still want to read it. Thank you for being an example to me. Thank you for Meg, and Vicky, and Charles Wallace, and gangly, red-haired Calvin O'Keefe, and the unicorns and the living stars, and for teaching us all to look inside ourselves for the answers to life's most important questions.

Rest in peace. You will never be forgotten.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Fade Out

I just don't have it in me these days. Maybe in the fall, or after I get another day job.

Be well.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dobbs Ferry: Station of Death

I didn't make it to Bergdorf's. Story soon.

Update: 8/18 - Now if I could get a solid half hour to write a coherent page, I might get to actually tell this story. Maybe tomorrow.

In two words, Wasp Storm.

And that was my free 30 seconds today. Off to work.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Lost in Bergdorf's?

I hear the cosmetic counters are maze-like. Someone mentioned to me last month that they weren't heard from for days after venturing down into the basement in search of Chanel. I'm sure they were exaggerating.

My Man of Honor works the Estee Lauder counter there, and since my temp job at the school is officially over, I'm hopping into Manhattan to see him and get a makeover, and talk general wedding stuff.

Yeah, the job ended Thursday. The decision was made by some higher-ups who don't work with me, and really have no idea what impact I may or may not have had on the department. So supposedly it had nothing to do with me, although I can't believe my being so expensive had nothing to do with it. My boss didn't want me to leave, it was very sweet. We chatted for a good half hour about all sorts of stuff before I finally headed down those big chandeliered stairs for the last time. He suggested I case the local Independent schools for development work, and offered me the highest of recommendations. I may taken him up on that.

Or, I may just keep temping. It's been good for me.

It would be so tempting, however, to just be a part-time massage therapist for the next six months, and focus on the wedding. My student loan won't get paid off very quickly if I do that, but still... it's the wedding...

Anyway, I better get my ass in gear if I'm going to make it into Manhattan by noon. There's no more non-resident parking permits at the Tarrytown Metro-North station, and it's royal bitch to leave your car there now - you have to park at a meter. I'm investigating parking at other stations. Blech.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Love you, Google, but you might want to re-think this one

An email I received today:

Google has implemented a new feature that enables you to type a telephone number into the search bar, hit “Enter,” and you will be given the person's name and address. If you then hit “Map,” you will get a map to the person's house. It's a new nationwide reverse telephone book.

While this may be helpful, there are safety issues. For example, if anyone gets your phone number, someone can now look it up to find out where you live. The safety issues are obvious, and alarming.

Note that you can have your phone number removed or blocked. I tried my number and it came up along with the map quest and directions straight to my home.

To test whether your phone number is mapped, go to Google at Type your phone number in the search bar (i.e. 212-555-5555) and hit “Enter.” If you want to BLOCK Google from divulging your private information, simply click on your telephone number and then click on the “Removal Form.” Removal takes 48 hours.

Check your own number, as this may not apply to you if you have an unlisted number or cell phone as primary contact.

Please share this information with friends and FAMILY .

I tested it with every home number I have stored in my phone. It works.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Well, this makes sense

Transit selected for today (by user):
Uranus Opposition Med.Coeli ,
activity period from beginning of April 2007 until beginning of March 2008.

"New insights"

Valid during many months: At this time there will be many changes within yourself, which will be reflected in your immediate personal environment - your home - and in your most intimate personal relationships within the home, as with parents or partner. This influence can signify disruptive events in this area of your life and energies that require you to drop everything else to deal with.

On the most mundane level this influence can signify a sudden event in your home or real estate - damage to the buildings, a sudden need for repairs or the like. But this is only an outward sign of the need for change within. Something that has been hidden away for years and years struggles to break free. But if you suppress it, the energy transfers to your environment and causes disruptions. You may have to deal with aspects of yourself you never even knew existed in order to come to a new understanding of yourself. People may not be very aware of this happening, but you will be, and so will those closest to you. You may find it necessary to make tremendous changes in your home and in those relationships that most affect your home to reflect this new encounter with yourself.

Since this influence is also associated with profession and social status, you may expect changes in these areas, too. You may encounter opposition from others in your profession, people who do not want you to get ahead or achieve your purposes. Try to find out what the problem is and come to terms with these people. If you ride roughshod over them, they will try to hurt you as much as possible. This is also true in any aspect of your social life, if your actions seem to threaten someone else. There is a danger of a sudden fall in social position with this influence, usually because you have acted without considering others. They then feel that there is no recourse but to bring you down.

Take this time to discover new truths about yourself, deal with them as honestly as possible and make these insights part of a new way of being. Then you will not have to contend with the worst effects of this influence.

Things are pretty rough at the day job right now. I'm hanging in there, like I do.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Quick Celebration

Back in 2003, when I moved out of my ex-husband's apartment for good, I realized I was in enough credit card debt that the interest was killing me. Between the debts David and I had incurred, and my moving expenses, I was in a pickle. After a good long frustrated cry, I got on the horn to my bank. I'd been their customer in one capacity or another for about ten years, and they practically salivated at the notion of getting some customer-initiated business. They approved me for a five year loan with a variable interest rate, not to exceed... etc etc.

Four years later, I have paid off that loan. $15,000 worth of debt. Gone. As of yesterday. Fifteen Thousand Dollars. It looks like more when I write it in words. In a year's less time than I was provided.

I want to shout it from the rooftops. This feels like one of the biggest accomplishments of my life so far.

Part of me hasn't quite realized it yet. Gimme a month, when I find myself with an extra $314.29 that I get to spend on something else. Better yet, gimme four months, after I've been shoving some of that cash into my student loan, doubling my monthly payments. My student loan really isn't much - I wonder how much this will shorten my repayment period?

BETTER YET. Gimme six months, after I've started funneling the rest of that cash into the Deidre's New Car Savings Plan.

I just want to cartwheel down the street!

The sweetest part of this is G. He has been anticipating this day as much as I have. He sees that debt as the last remaining vestiges of my first marriage, and all the unhealthy habits I fell into, living with Dimarc. I lost most of the weight I'd gained. I've gotten better jobs, more schooling, more healthcare... pretty much changed everything about my life I didn't like, and added a lot to it. This loan was the last reminder of how things used to be - the irresponsibility, the hiding, the bad habits, the borderline addictions, the layers of depression, futility and resignation.

And now it's gone. All of it. Now the good memories fill in all that space. Talk about cleaning out the closets - I've totally remodeled my inner space.

Party at my place!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The More Things Change... the Less Surprised We Become.

Although, no less sad.

I meant to post this on Monday, but things are a bit hectic these days...

I can't belive Rose's turn and Copeland's closed on the same weekend. The New York Times had profiles on each of these New York institutions, including a touching video of the regulars at Rose's taking their last turns at the mic.

Part of me wonders, if I do finally leave New York State, and come back to visit, will I recognize anything? But then I know: of course I will. And I'll be full of stories about what used to be here, and who I used to go there with, and the crazy things we used to do.

There's something sweet about that.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Horse First, Please

This morning I couldn't lounge in bed. My right hip, thigh, and lateral lower leg were aching, almost a dull burn. False sciatica, from a squeezing-tight piriformis muscle. In laymans terms, my ass is so tight it hurts.

I've had this problem for around six or so years. For a little while it woke me up in the middle of the night, stabbing pains shooting down the side of my leg. As I recall, it was the right leg back then, just as it is now. I need to get some help.

Back then, I went to a medical massage clinic that my insurance paid for. A gifted therapist named Hugh made the pain go away in three visits. This time, I think it's going to take a little more. I'm looking into Chiropractics. My old school chum Penny (and fellow Massage Therapist) recommended a Chiropractor in my town who sees a lot of Massage Therapists, so I left her a voicemail this morning. I'm hoping for an appointment after work Tuesday.

There's a lot more wrong with me than my ass. My lower back on the left has a nasty knot. My neck has been stiff, with this burning ache - nerve pain. I can't sit still for too long at work without random aches and pains flaring up - arms, legs, wrist, shoulder, ankle... I can't sit still. I have to be in constant motion or I literally freeze up and have to crack and pop joints for relief.

The holistic view of this might point to a feeling of being stuck in my life. Of course I'm stuck. I happen to like where I'm stuck right now. And it's not like I can't leave if I need to. I don't feel stuck - I feel finally able to sit still. Is my body simply unable to accept this, and something inside me is rebelling in fear? Have I, on some level, forgotten what it means to settle down?

Weird. But it kind of makes sense.

I don't have the day off today. I have one client this afternoon, at 3:30. So I went for a leisurely breakfast at the diner with G, and treated myself to jeans and the wicked cool Amy Brown tank top I bought on vacation. It's black and has a painting of a bad-ass red-haired gal with black feathered wings, and a huge crow head behind her. She's got celtic spirals tattoed on her arms and looks ready for business. When the store told me this was the last top with that design in the store, and that it had been discontinued, I tried it on, and it fit perfectly, despite being labeled "small." I slapped $12.50 on the counter and walked out with a gleam in my eye. Anybody who visits me in my dreams, and then shows up on a random tank top, is coming home with me.

As G and I waited for our breakfast to arrive, I confessed that I'd been "dealing with" these aches and pains for a couple of months. G did that eyebrow thing, where they practically dissolve into his hairline. "Damn, woman," he said. "You sound like you're sixty years old."

I gave him The Look. "I told you about what happens to athletes and FORMER DANCERS when we stop doing our thing. Our bodies rebel! I've been dealing with this since I was in my mid-twenties!"

"But," he persisted, "You seem healthier than ever. You're kicking ass these days. You're in a good frame of mind, your gym workouts are better than ever, you're enjoying the massaging..." His face shifted slightly. "Could this be psychological?"

"I believe it is," I said. G's hands lay flat on the table, my hands resting on top of them like little blankets. He loves me, and he goes to all lengths to understand me, and do everything he can think of the help me feel my best. His surprise at this latest set of complaints ruffled my feathers. I still think that, on some level, he thinks one day I'll be "all fixed." I don't think he's going to leave if that never happens, or anything dramatic like that, but I do think that idea sticks in his mind.

I guess it's natural to hope our loved ones never have pain again, never get sick, never feel discouraged or despair.

"What really bothers me," I said, "Is what our daughter might inherit. What if she wants to be a ballerina like I did? What if she's twelve years old, and dancing Clara? What if she's doing Swan Lake or Giselle in high school? What if she's really good and wants to do this?"

What if I have to watch my childhood repeat itself in my daughter?

"Wow..." G breathed, looking at me sharply. "I'm more concerned about YOU right now than any offspring to come."

I had to laugh at that.

I fear the heartbreak that comes with seeing your child adopt unhealthy or dangerous drives. I fear the over-protective panic that kicks in when your child rushes determinedly into one of those minefields life is peppered with - the arts, a relationship, experimenting with drugs, adopting a personal style rooted in rebellion...

Most people wake up with ass pain and difficulty walking, and think about how this will affect the upcoming workday or other activities. Me, I start obsessing about kids I don't even have yet.

This could be my latest brilliant strategy for ignoring my problems. Clever me! Not working. With G around I'll never get away with that again. He slices through my screens in seconds. S'mabaybay.

I want to leapfrog over certain smelly swamps, when I really have to just plod through them. You know the feeling? Once we identify the problem, we want to sidestep the work it takes to fix it. Like quitting smoking. We want to just slap the patch on and not smoke anymore, and we don't want to have to crave and yearn for days or weeks or months on end. Wouldn't it be great if life was more like Tivo, and we could just fast-forward through the sucky parts?

Yeah, I had to laugh at that.

So I'll see the chiropractor on Tuesday, and schedule a deep tissue massage for myself the following week. And most importantly, it's time to cut myself some slack. It's time for me to tell my boss at the spa that I need to scale back my hours.

Wish me luck on that one. My boss can be manipulative. She gets people to give a mile when they only offer an inch. And she's hardly ever at the spa, making it hard to nail her down for a serious conversation.

Ok, so I know what I need to do, and what to expect.

I'm ready for business.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Happy Summer

At 8:40 last night, after my last client left the spa, my vacation began. It's been a long time coming.

At about midnight last night, during a short phone conversation, my Mom told me I was part of her soul. I lay awake in bed after that, thinking about my Mom and Dad, and G, and how comfortable it is to have pieces of my soul portioned out here and there. Our souls are quilts, fused pieces of each other's lives, keeping us warm.

See you in a week. Pics to follow.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Not Really Regrets

It's been weeks now, but I saw Lady Brigit, in a dream. She was strong and heartily built, wearing a white caftan, with wild reddish-brown hair bushing about her head. She was peppered in freckles and her green eyes glowed, as though they were backlit.

We were in her house, at her hearth. It was dark, but the blazing fire lit the small round earthen room. We weren't alone - someone small was behind her, like an apprentice, a sort of benevolent blankness. Brigit wore a beaded belt with gold inlay, knotted about her ample hips, and the neckline of her gown was worked in the same pattern. Her hands were meaty, but soft, and she had short, clean, practical nails, like mine. Working hands.

She was trying to tell me something, and I couldn't understand. I couldn't move or speak. I couldn't move my mouth or face to tell her that I couldn't hear her. I could only stand there helplessly while her words floated past me, breaths of wisdom lost to the air.

I woke up with stomach cramps. I ran to the toilet, but nothing happened. I sat there and cried, at 4 in the morning, while G slept, and Marge meowed piteously outside the bathroom door.

Over the past year, my dreams have become more infrequent. When I do dream, it's often about the movie I fell asleep watching. The nothingness in my mind... I have been so incredibly lonesome without my dreams. I miss my grandparents so much it hurts. I know the goddesses only visit me when I need them the most... and one finally came, and I couldn't hear her. I feel incompetent, disconnected, abandoned. Just plain sad.


In the spring of 2002, Dimarc and I settled into a two-level brownstone apartment on a historic block in Long Island City, Queens. After seven months of living apart, contemplating seperation and divorce, we had decided to start over, renting a home from a happy couple who were living in Florida. The vibes seemed good.

It was a delicate time for us. We were happy to be back together, each comforted by the knowledge that both of us wanted to stay together. We resolved to work our hardest at fixing our problems. We promised we'd talk more, be more sensitive to each other's feelings. We didn't really know if we'd make it, but we were determined to try.

We loved each other.

My cousin Julie got married that summer, and Dimarc and I were invited to the wedding in the Idaho Panhandle, where a sizeable branch of my father's family lives. Dimarc and I flew into Spokane, and Dad met us at the airport, all jovial with family pride, full of stories about his previous visits to that airport. From there, Dad drove us out of Washington through a stretch of rolling hills, over Lake Pend D'Orellie to the booming metropolis of Sandpoint, Idaho, population just under 7000.

The wedding itself was held at the home of a neighboring family, the Potters. They, like my Aunt and Uncle, bought a pice of land well outside any city limits, and built their house there, so really, we were in the middle of nowhere.

My aunt and Uncle have eight kids. Two of the Potter kids married two of my cousins, so I suppose that makes the Potters family. They were very nice people and gracious hosts. Their house is quite large, sitting on the sunlit mountainside, surrounded by trees and flowering bushes and all the natural beauty that draws folks to that area. It was too much nature for me, as I spent most of outdoor ceremony hoping the large wasps buzzing around the floral arrangements didn't come too close to the seating area.

It was well into the seventies that day, and Dimarc and I were overdressed. In New York, it had been unseasonably chilly, and the forecast had predicted more of the same for Idaho. I wore a plum-colored turtleneck-sweater dress with a matching cardigan tied over my shoulders, with tall black boots. Dimarc was in a black wool-blend suit. Once we stepped outside, we knew we'd be too warm... but we hadn't brought anything else. I consoled myself with the assessment that, out-of-season or no, we did look rather dapper.

My aunts and uncles and cousins were dressed for the weather, in modest floral sundresses and sandals, the men in short-sleeved white shirts and dress pants with ties, often in Khaki or Navy blue, of questionable fabric. David and I stood out. We were just so New York... but I imagine the family expected such. Nobody looked disapproving. After a while I was too focused on the bees and the pollen to really care about our clothes.

The ceremony itself was short, and peppered with references to God's commandments regarding marriage and the role of men and women. I've sat through these things enough times to be able to grit my teeth and bear it with minimal nausea. Eventually the bride and groom kissed, and we all applauded. Time for photos.

I still have the photos, some of which are very dear to me. I'm particularly fond of one picture of Dimarc and I with my paternal Grandmother, who at that time was wheelchair-bound, but of sound mind and in bright spirits. She was wearing a purple dress, and the three of us matched quite nicely. She has a serene expression on her face, as though all is right with the world. That day, everything seemed to be.

The special thing about this particular wedding was the musical soiree. Most members of this side of my family are musical. If they don't play an instrument - and most of them do - they sing. I was asked to sing "O Mio Babbino Caro" to my uncle's accompaniment on violin. One of the Potter girls joined in on piano, and it was just lovely. I was the only singer, but there was a guitarist, several pianists, a couple of violins, a flute, and I'm pretty sure a harp somewhere in there. We all took turns, and there was a constant stream of live music in the air.

At some point, during some very pretty song, Dimarc took my by the hand, pulled me to my feet, and asked me to dance. I blushed, and we danced.

"You know... this isn't really kosher," I whispered. "These people really don't believe in dancing!"

"I know," Dimarc mumbled. "I don't care."

"Me neither," I sighed. I rested my head against his broad chest and closed my eyes. For those few moments, depsite the undercurrent of rebellious thrill, I felt that mushy, floaty, being-in-love feeling that people make movies about. Maybe it was the undercurrent of rebellion that made it more special. Or maybe it was a sense of relief, that my marriage might work out after all. Maybe it was simply happiness in the moment.

I suppose it doesn't matter. What matters is how happy I was, and how bittersweet the memory is now.

All of the things that came between Dimarc and I seem so senseless, so avoidable. That perspective is natural given the time that has passed, but I remember feeling that they were senseless and avoidable back then as well, even in the very moments of our conflict. I still feel that underneath the immaturity and the stubborness, we were two people with a great deal in common, including some of the most basic things that a couple needs to sustain a marriage. If we hadn't been so childish. If we hadn't been so controlling. If, if, if.

If we had really loved each other that much. Because, frankly, we just didn't. That's what I regret the most.


This morning just before waking, I dreamed of an old friend, who knew this all along, who tried to warn me, who I didn't listen to because I didn't trust him. I dreamed I was in a college bar in New Orleans, listening to him singing Karaoke, "You are always on my Mind."

Bullshit, I thought. I still didn't trust anything he said, even in my dream. I was drinking bourbon, like I used to all those years ago, neat, sitting at the bar alone, listening to someone I should have listened to years ago sing a damn good Willie Nelson cover. I woke up feeling sad, and lonely, and full of regret.

I'm happy now. I really am. But I feel old. I feel that an enormous chunk of my life is simply over, and I don't really know what's next, but from what I can see, it's nothing very thrilling. And yet, I know it will be thrilling. Our tiny wedding will be momentous. Having a child will be the greatest adventure of my life. Even the mundanity of buying my very first new car seems thrilling to me, when I really grasp the reality of it. And a home? Owning a home? That's actually starting to coalesce into an expected reality. For all my adult life, I've run like hell from the prospect of owning property! But now, I see it as a necessity. I'm gonna have to put some roots down. G and I will be better off investing. We'll have a kid to raise. And I'll need a place to park my car.

At 35, I'm finally genuinely afraid of becoming... I'm forcing myself to say this: Bored. A boring suburbanite.

Dancing with Dimarc, in a place where no one dances, to live music, surrounded by my family... That joy still surges through me when I think back and remember. So does the joy of having sex with Charlie in his car, pulled off the highway to wait out a thunderstorm, when I was 21 years old. So does the thrill of running around the lower east side with Glamgirl, or Wildgirl, when I was 26. The freedom of buying matching rings on Bleecker Street with Sam, declaring ourselves married, and fuck the world and its rules... How old were we then? The catharsis of screaming karaoke at 2AM in some gay karaoke bar, to thundrous applause. The humour in walking home in my opera concert clothes, after post-show partying. The triumphant feel of a new lease. New York. There will never be anyplace in my life like New York.

Hey Dimarc, at least you still live there. You've got that over me. I'll never live there again, and you may be the only one who knows how I really feel about that. If you ever need to feel like you won something, here it is.

I am moving out of the maiden... becoming... what? Have I gone straight to Amazon, skipping the mother? I will be a mother, but not for another year or more. Am I in limbo? Am I living the phases out of order?

That journey I'm always describing... for a while I was walking through a dark, seemingly impenetrable woods. Then I was standing in a doorway. Then I was through the doorway, walking on a vast plain, with nothing in sight but fertile feilds. Now I see something in the distance. Something shadowy, like a skyline... but I can't tell if those are buildings, or trees, or... I just can't see. Too far off. I'm treading earth here in Nyack, not really New York, but not "Not New York," feeling like I'm getting nowhere, but something is on the horizon. I just have to be patient, and keep walking.

Cherish your memories, forgive your friends, release your prisoners, and keep walking.

Maybe... maybe that's what Brigit was trying to say.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Brief Pause

Well, our laptop has bitten the dust, and apparently it will take two weeks for the new one to arrive, so... dearth of posts. Disappointing, since GB:NY4 was last weekend, and such a blast. By the time I have an opportunity to blog about it, it will be SO last month.

Love y'all. See ya later.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I guess I do read porn online...

Blogs I cannot acess at work because they are considered "Pornography"

Cheap Blue Guitar

Blogs that are NOT labelled Porn, and are easily accessible:

Traveling Spotlight

Famous Author Rob Byrnes
Splenda in the Grass

Honestly - do They read at all?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Getting to Know You

From Delilah's Blog.

The way this works is a little different: Leave your answers in the comments. If you want me to reciprocate, post the questions on your blog.

1. Your Middle Name:
2. Age:
3. Single or Taken:
4. Favourite Movie:
5. Favourite Song or Album:
6. Favourite Band/Artist:
7. Dirty or Clean:
8. Tattoos and/or Piercings:
9. Do we know each other outside of LJ?
10. What's your philosophy on life?
11. Is the bottle half-full or half-empty?
12. Would you keep a secret from me if you thought it was in my best interest?
13. What is your favourite memory of us?
14. What is your favourite guilty pleasure?
15. Tell me one odd/interesting fact about you:
16. You can have three wishes (for yourself, so forget all the 'world peace etc' malarky) - what are they?
17. Can we get together and make a cake?
18. Which country is your spiritual home?
19. What is your big weakness?
20. Do you think I'm a good person?
21. What was your best/favourite subject at school?
22. Describe your accent:
23. If you could change anything about me, would you?
24. What do you wear to sleep?
25. Trousers or skirts?
26. Cigarettes or alcohol?
27. If I only had one day to live, what would we do together?
28. Will you repost this so i can fill it out for you?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Afterthought: BG:NYC and Fleet Week in the same weekend. Coincidence? ...I think not!

No Really! A Fourth! Can you believe it!?

This guy comes to town four years ago, and a yearly event was born. I attended the first three, and the crowd changes slightly every year, but there are a few regulars I'm always looking forward to hugging, and a few new people I'm always glad I met. Bloggers are just fun people. And this particular bunch of boys is pretty fucking hot.

Sadly, the only day I know won't be working is Monday, so I'm hoping to get out to Long Island for Jess and Marc's BBQ. Hey - I might even drive. Who knows? I really hope I don't work Sunday - I'm dying for some Marie's Crisis!

What: Bloggers, Fans and Stalkers Meet and Greet
Where: Therapy on the 2nd floor.
348 West 52nd Street, New York, New York 10019. Phone: 212.397.1700
Time: 9:00pm until whenever we decide to stop

Where: Sheep Meadow (aka Bear Hill) at Central Park
West side, mid-Park from 66th to 69th Streets
Time: 1:00pm
Why: Watch the Roller Disco Skaters, eat lunch, drink and enjoy the sun, weather permitting. (No alcohol, but I hear you may smuggle it in through cleverly designed sprite bottles)

Saturday night alternatives:

The Eagle
Many bloggers could be found at The Eagle on the Rooftop
554 West 28th Street (between 10th & 11th Ave)
Time: 10pm?

Theater Night:
Crash from Crash and Byrne will be going to see Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind at 10:30 PM in the East Village. The tickets are $11-16 each. After the hour long show, he will be going to hit the East Village gay bar(s), probably Urge and Eastern Bloc.

Marie's Crisis
I wanted to make sure I took Brian and Steven to check out New York's infamous piano bar, Marie's Crisis.

Where: The Dugout for the Bear Beer Bust followed by Joe.My.God’s infamous Blarg (Blogger Bar Hop) in Chelsea.
Dugout: 185 Christopher St New York, NY 10014-2815 (212) 242-9113
Time: Meet at The Dugout at 5pm, end at The Eagle Beer Bust by 8pm. Bars would include the Dugout, Gym, View, Rawhide and the Eagle.

A BBQ on Monday (Memorial Day) starting at noon, has been added for those who would like to attend and is being hosted by Marc and Jess. Both are wonderful host and incredible cooks, not to mention great people. Anyone wanting to attend will have to email them to let them know so they have an accurate count of who's coming. If you don't have their email address, please contact me and I will get it for you.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Staci Swears She's Not a Snob

I sort of work with this lovely WASP gal named Staci. I don't know exactly what she does, but I see her at the copier from time to time. We chat idly about things like how crowded New Year's Eve in Aspen has become, and how much we both liked vacationing in Bermuda.

(I've been to each of those places once. She goes once every few years.)

Staci has lived in the Western Connecticut area her whole life. She's my age, blonde, about a size four, and shops at Bloomingdales. She was polite enough once to ask where I was from. I told her about Springfield (Nowhere near Chicago, mostly protestant, lots of country music) and about living in Queens (No, I was never mugged). She seemed sorry she'd asked. She did enjoy hearing about my wedding plans though, and was full of ideas for favors, such as Mikasa crystal candleholders or donations to a charity in the guest's names, or have you seen those mini-cakes that Vosges does?

At the copier today:

Staci: Where's your engagement ring?

Me: uh... in my change purse.

Staci: WHY is it in your change purse!?

Me: Well, I had a client last night. When I massage, I have to take off my ring, so I usually just slip it into my changepurse for safekeeping. I went directly to the spa after work, and then after the massage I went straight home. I was so tired that I went straight to bed, and then this morning when I got up, I was very rushed, so I told myself I'd put it back on when I got to the office. But ever since I got in this morning, I've been so busy, I haven't gotten around to putting it back on.

Staci: So Your Tiffany's platinum-and-diamond ring is still in your changepurse.

Me: Yeah, overnight! (How did she know it was Platinum? Or Tiffany?)

Staci: Hanging out with all those lesser metals!

Me: Ahh... yeah... (nervous laughter)

Staci: Sort of like when you lived in Queens?