Monday, December 31, 2007

Resolutions, Schmesolutions

Another year has come and (almost) gone, and we've reached that point where millions of people in quiet desperation say "Next year will be better! Next year I will be better!"

Not me.

The last New Years Resolution I made was so very cliche--to stop smoking--and we all see how well that turned out! (Nevermind that I was talked into it by Evil Ex Roommate who promptly started smoking again less than a month later, qualifying it by saying "oh I never really wanted to quit, just cut back a little... if I can only smoke when I go out, I'm happy with that"... you can imagine just how long *that* lasted.)

But I digress.

To me, New Years Resolutions are of the same ilk as Valentines. Just like choosing one day of the year to actually express your affection for the people you care about, what is the point of choosing one day a year to say NOW I will be a better person? NOW I will do all the things I should have been doing for the last 27 years of my life...?

You can just as easily choose to turn your life around on the 23rd of March. Or, as I did, somewhere in late December when you're temping in a law firm and some lawyer you've just met asks what you're waiting for... why don't you apply to grad school NOW?

Because, you see, 2007 really has been a turning point for me in my life, almost entirely due to going back to school. For the first time in, well, ever really, I feel like my life has some direction.

I'm not entirely sure what that direction is, but I'm headed somewhere. I feel like I've been treading water for the past five years, and while I've had a great time doing so, the feeling of stagnation was starting to overtake me. Now I feel that I'm genuinely moving forward, and that feeling? It's pretty damned good.

So I won't bother with a Grandiose Recap of 2007, mostly because I can't think of anything really significant that happened prior to September. So maybe that's when I should celebrate my own personal New Year. Hmmmm... not a bad idea really.

I've got a good feeling about 2008, and not just because the stars are aligned in my favor. I'm in a good place now. I've got a plan, a trajectory that may shift course slightly, but I know more or less where I'm headed.

2008 will bring travel. First to Uganda (which, dear god, I leave for in a scant 5 days!), and then hopefully to Ireland and Brazil in the Summer. I am also hoping to maybe, for the first time ever, actually travel during my Spring Break--Spain or Amsterdam anyone?

2008 will bring the continuation of school--new classes, new people (like New Guy, who I met at A's party, who is starting my program in January), as well as the return/continuation of old friendships--Slater, and yes, B.

2008 will also bring the completion of my Master's Degree. 'Nuff said.

And, most importantly, 2008 will bring surprises. New discoveries--about myself, about others, about life--new friends, new experiences, new chances.

That is, I suppose, why it's called a "New Year."

So raise a glass, my friends, and toast yourselves. Who you are now. Who you will become.

Resolutions be damned.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

In Pictures

Because a picture's worth a thousand words (and I'm really not feeling all that eloquent this evening), here are some images from my holiday.

The Advent Calendar I made for my cousin and her family.

At the beginning of the month...

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree...

And at the end.

So many ornaments to paint...

The Kitty (son of the Psycho Kitty waiting for me back in Brooklyn) had taken to napping under the tree. How could I resist?

Dad calls me Mr. Stinky

(yes, of course I submitted this to Stuff On My Cat... we'll see if he makes the cut!)

Of course, The World's Ugliest Christmas Gift had to be included.

Lafawnda!  Get yo' ass back heah wit mah jewelry!

Seriously Gramma... WTF? I'm turning twenty-eight... not eight! (and even when I was eight, I had better taste)

And finally, a scene from Hometown, taken on the way home from getting my hair cut this morning.

The road less traveled

It's nice to have a reminder that even on a dreary morning, this is a beautiful place. I'll be packing up and heading back to the Big City tomorrow morning, and I'm certainly ready to be back in the bustle of city life, and yet..

They say Home is where the Heart is, and I definitely keep a little piece of mine right here.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Communications Blackout

I have been without internet access (*gasp!*) since early Wednesday morning, as we were off to Ohio to fulfill our filial duties. At one point my cousin, my uncle, and I had all booted up our laptops in an attempt to scam wireless from the neighbors, but to no avail. It seems that wireless routers are not all that common in suburban Columbus. Oh well.

Aside from the roughly 15 hours spent in the car over the past 3 days, the holidays have been quite festive. All the handmade Christmas gifts went over well, which was gratifying--though if you could have heard the stream of obscenities uttered in the back seat of the car while I was finishing the Advent calendar, you may not have been feeling the holiday love. I certainly was not.

A note to the craftily-inclined public: "sew-on" velcro rounds are backed with an adhesive that is so sticky it will literally coat your needle with every stitch. Be sure to have a solvent, a thimble, and a pair of pliers on hand. My fingers are raw and I made a serious dent in the bottle of Windex that my dad keeps in the truck.

To further exacerbate my increasingly vile mood, every time a grumble or expletive escaped my lips my mother would turn around and look at me with that typical, mother-esque "oh, I'm sorry my baby is frustrated..." look until I finally snapped and told her to JUST STOP LOOKING AT ME! PRETEND I'M NOT EVEN HERE! I DO NOT WANT AN AUDIENCE FOR THIS DEBACLE!

Fortunately she took it with an uncustomary good grace.

In a cheerier retrospective, my parents spoiled me rotten this Christmas--which is a change from the usual, where my father and I spoil my mother rotten and she is opening gifts well after he and I have finished. It seems that this year was my turn, but I suppose these things go in rotation. Also, it completely makes up for the fact that my grandmother gave me what is quite possibly the world's ugliest necklace (though my other adult cousins would probably wish to submit theirs for consideration as well), and the memoirs of Alan Alda.

Yes, Alan Alda.

The same book was also given to another adult cousin and several uncles. Methinks the lady is running out of ideas. She is 80 years old, however, so that probably qualifies her for the Senility Escape Clause. At least she has declared that she is no longer giving jewelry to the grandkids. (Seriously, this thing is heinous. Did I mention there's a matching bracelet? Pictures forthcoming.)

I'm really not sure where else to go with this. My brain is fried from so much time in the car--as well as a day and a half in close quarters with my large and noisy extended family. At least I have one more day to recover here in PA before trekking back to the city and then off to Uganda! Tomorrow is haircut and errands and possibly a visit to BFF and her brood.

So, in the spirit of The World's Ugliest Necklace... what was your "Oh, gee... thanks..." gift this holiday?

Monday, December 24, 2007


A very happy Christmas Eve to those of you who celebrate the day... and a happy evening in general to those who do not :)

I have a bit of a gift for you: my 100th post! Perhaps that's more a gift to myself, but hey, who's counting?

I've been thinking about this one for the past few days. I'll be the first to admit that most of my blog posts as of late have been mostly just faffing about. I've been busy, and somewhat stressed, and therefore that's more or less what I've babbled about... yet you've stuck with me regardless. Bless you all.

A 100th post, however, seemed to merit some thought and, indeed, a bit of planning. After mulling it over, I determined that the best thing to write about would be... writing.

I would be hard-pressed to describe myself as "a writer." Don't get me wrong, I enjoy writing--very much. Having always been a big fan of reading, the two just seemed to go hand-in-hand. I love words. If there really was "Word of the Day" toilet paper, I would buy it. (And considering how often I go to the bathroom, my vocabulary would be expansive!).

Yet I wouldn't call myself a writer. Perhaps when I was younger, but now? A million other descriptors come rushing to mind long before that one ever would.

And my reaction whenever someone comments on my blog and calls me a great writer? It's interesting.

On one hand, sure, I know that I write well. I never bat an eyelash at having to write papers for school (though there is much batting at the research involved, to be certain!), and I can generally predict within the half hour how long a given writing assignment will take.

Trying to make that complaint letter to your credit card company sound professional? I'm on it. Writing your entrance essay to Harvard's PhD program? Of course I'll proofread it (yes, she got in!).

I've got a little novella that I tend to work on only when I'm in a particularly shitty mood--it oozes misanthropy from each and every letter. And here I am, writing my 100th blog post.

Yet I honestly don't take my blog as seriously as many bloggers do. I believe I have saved a post in my "drafts" folder precisely once--because I knew it was a piece of mindless drivel and wasn't quite ready to admit it just yet. It was deleted roughly an hour later. For the most part? I write whatever I'm thinking about, whatever randomness has popped into my head. I'll read it over a few times, checking for grammar and spelling--but I'm a bit of a perfectionist, I do that with all of my email as well (was it Samantha who said she did the same?).

So when someone compliments my writing here, I've got to admit that there's a little part of my brain that says "...Really?"

Not that I want to you stop, of course... let's not go crazy. And I always have been my own harshest critic.

But am I a writer?

I still don't know the answer to that. Which, really, is completely fine. There are many, many questions to which I do not have the answers--I have no qualms with adding this one to the list.

And of course you all will be the first to know should I ever figure it out.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Oh there's no place like home for the holidays...

Or so I'm told. I'll get back to you on that in, oh, about 7 hours or so.

I have a confession to make. I didn't actually get around to cleaning my room last night. I gathered up what portion of the dirty clothes was going to be washed prior to my journey (because, yes, I have such an extensive amount of dirty laundry that it requires multiple trips... and I lug a LOT of laundry when I go). Then I sort of threw the shoes into the closet and called it a night. Having one room left to clean after the holidays isn't so bad, especially considering that the rest of the apartment is freaking immaculate.

Which sort of bugs me out. I don't like it when things are too clean, or too put together. It makes me feel like I'm in a hotel, or a guest somewhere, instead of in a place where someone (namely, me) lives.

Which explains why the place is usually a wreck. In case you couldn't tell, I have a tendency to take things to extremes.

It's odd, I haven't put my glasses on at all today, and I keep having to squint at the screen. Now that I wear my glasses/contacts religiously, I've forgotten just how crappy my vision is. And here I am walking around in a blur and wondering how the hell I ever functioned like this. For several years I almost never wore my glasses, and the prescription was so outdated anyway that when I finally got a new one it had nearly doubled!

Getting old sucks.

However, when hauling one's ass out of bed at 8:00-ish in the morning in order to do laundry, being able to see clearly really isn't at the top of the priority list. Kinda like, if you can't read the clock, then it's really not as early as it feels :)

And it seems that 8:45am on a Saturday? Perfect time to do laundry. There was one other person in the laundromat, so I was able to get 2 large machines side-by-side, rather than scattering my laundry through multiple tiny machines in different locations (and effectively paying twice as much). Also the cute little coffee shop next door opens at 9am, and if you pop in right when they open it's not jam-packed like it is later in the day. So I was able to get my insanely cheap bagel w/ cream cheese and massive coffee and actually sit on a comfy couch to eat it.

And the crowning glory... I found $10 in a pair of jeans! You know what this means? It means that one of those hungover mornings when I opened my wallet and thought "crap! how the hell did I manage to spend so much money last night?!?"... I actually hadn't. I had just failed to properly empty my pockets.

I feel like I should take that $10 and go buy lottery tickets or something.

Also while checking the washing instructions on my red Dickie's I glanced at the size tag and saw that they are a size 5... and they currently fit without inducing muffin top. This also makes me smile :)

I'm flattered (though a bit surprised) that everyone likes my teenage poetry. I haven't been able to write a decent poem in years... maybe I ought to try again.

Right, time to go be productive. I've got 2 hours until I need to leave the house and first I must shower and pack--and quadruple check to make sure I haven't forgotten anything important... like presents!

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Where am I?

Holy crap.

My apartment is so clean I hardly recognize it. I've been cleaning for, oh, about 6ish hours and I've got one room left to go... which I can't quite face just yet, hence the blogging.

It's just the bedroom, which is probably the smallest room in the apartment.

But it's knee deep in dirty clothes and all the shite I collected from various other areas of the apartment and chucked haphazardly through the door.


However, though my back is aching, I must congratulate myself because... after living here for four months I am now down to just one box that needs to be unpacked!! And it's mostly stuff that needs to be hung on walls, which I just did *not* have the strength to tackle this evening.

Oh, and that big box under the bed, but who are we kidding? It's probably going to stay just where it is until I move again.

It's weird though... my diningroom/office now feels so... empty. Like I'm sensing an echo from the computer keys, now that all that sound isn't being absorbed by layers and layers of cardboard and newspaper.

Would it be silly to get little console tables to go where all those boxes where, to make the room all cozy again?

Yeah, I thought so.

However, in the spirit of finally unpacking, I thought I'd unpack a bit of my past and share with you a bit of angsty teenage poetry that I uncovered during my endeavor.

I've kept this notebook for nearly a decade now. It's only half full, a few poems and a bunch of doodles of "little man" that say quite a lot about the mood I was in when I drew them. Whenever I read the poems part of me laughs--"Really Teenage-Froggy, must you use the word 'melancholy' in every poem??"... but on the other hand some of it still strikes a chord. There are images and phrases that jump out at me and make me think "damn, that's actually pretty good..." (bleed across the landscape with feathery fire... love that image!) and some that are so familiar that I can no longer tell if it's because I've read them so many times, or if I stole them from somewhere else...

In any case, here is the one of the lot that stood out to me tonight when reading through it again. I will do my best not to make alterations if any parts of it make me wince...


it's a splendor of a fallen world, she said.
when angels kiss the fractured sky
like flies
swarming to an open wound.

we were too careless with our words
and now the trap is set.

it's the mercy of a dying sun, she said.
when moonlight spills on broken glass
a thousand
shattered daydreams.

we were too gentle with the void
and now the anchor falls.

it's the night that's screaming in my blood, she said.
when splintered sunlight
between the bars.

we slept too long in silent bliss
and now the voice has died.

it's the patience of a thousand years, I said.
when I find the strength
to wait
for your return.

you were so long in searching for yourself
that now I'm left to gather up the pieces.

Ooooh, the holidays are nearly upon us!

And in a scant 2 hours I will escape this office, not to return until January 2nd... and then only for 2 days!

I will only be in the office for 2 days out of the next 30 or so. Now *that* is something to celebrate!

Speaking of celebrating, I have discovered Yahoo! streaming radio and have been permanently glued to the "Traditional Holiday" station since around 6pm last night. Rockin' around the Christmas tree, have a happy holiday... I'm sorry, where was I?

Right, the holidays. Merciful universe, I cannot wait to be lounging around my parents' house, my largest concern being whether my next beer will be Stella or Amstel, and really, how many shots are "too many"? I have been a walking ball of stress for the last several months, which I knew would be the case, but I am really looking forward to those few blissful stress-free days.

But alas, there is no rest for the wicked just yet. The last 2 nights have been spent feverishly sewing christmas gifts, and tonight will be spent cleaning my apartment, which looks like it's been recently inhabited by frat boys. Frat boys who like arts and crafts, anyway. Then tomorrow morning I have to wake up early and do laundry before packing and catching a 3:00 train out of Penn Station. Phew!

Despite my stress level, however, the holiday spirit is still going in full force. I cannot wait to get home and see my parents' house, which (as usual) will look like Santa's workshop walked in the front door and exploded. Exploded tastefully mind you, but exploded none the less.

There is only one slight damper on my seasonal cheer: I wish I wasn't so poor this holiday--or most holidays. I love giving gifts, and the fact that I was only able to get one gift for each of my parents kinda makes me sad. One of my best Christmases in recent memory was a few years ago when I was waitressing and hit a great run of luck right before Christmas. I had a ton of money and was able to buy lots of great stuff for my parents--and friends as well! Being able to give so many gifts honestly made me much happier than all the things I received.

Not that I don't like getting presents, who doesn't? But really, the giving thing, just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. So I guess this year what I'm really giving is my time, because lordy does sewing take forever!

In some respects I think time is worth more than money... probably why I so often wish I had more of both!

However, in the spirit of giving, I put it to you dear readers: What gift are you most excited about giving this year?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I... have no idea what to call this one.

My brain is all over the place today.

This morning I left the apartment (late, as usual), got about halfway down the block, and realized I'd left something important at home.


So I walked back down the block, up three flights of stairs, got what I'd forgotten, walked back down three flights of stairs, back down the block, and around the corner.

I got all the way to the subway, through the turnstile, and was about to go down the stairs when I realized... that when I'd gone back to the apartment, I'd left my purse there.


So back I go. Calling work on the way to tell them that maybe I'm gonna be a leeeetle bit late. Or later than usual. Whatever.

So yes, I'm a mess today. Thankfully the office holiday party starts in half an hour and I will not be required to use my brain any more for the rest of the day.


For no discernable reason, I got a record number of hits on Monday! A whopping fourty-two! Now, I know that for all you bloggers who get hits in the hundreds that may not seem like a lot, but for those of us who generally hover in the low to mid 20s? Kindofabigdeal.

*sniffs* You like me... you really like me!

I really can't explain why I feel the compulsion to imitate Sally Field's 1985 Oscar acceptance speech every time the opportunity presents itself. Let's just call it a charming personality quirk and move on, m'kay?


So anyway, what I actually intended to blog about when I logged on here...

I think I'm over it.

B, that is.

It started on Monday after our final crit. Unbeknownst to me until we emerged from the stairwell, The Girlfriend was meeting him to deliver Christmas presents she'd bought for his family. So I waited patiently (we had come up to smoke and I was in need of his lighter) and somewhat awkwardly while she delinated each and every toy in the doggy stocking. But something sorta clicked in that moment. I can't really explain what it was, but something shifted.

We went out for a drink last night after another school function. Slater was supposed to join us but due to unforseen circumstances had to leave. B and I agreed to a strict "just one drink" policy, as he still had to pack (he left for the holidays today), and I wanted to get back to Brooklyn before my shitty train was replaced by an even shittier shuttle bus for the evening.

So we went to the same bar we went to that first time. No, not the Froggy's-drunken-confessional time, the time before. I am totally in love with that bar and feel the need to go there more often, as does he. Anyway, we sat and had our one beer, and for once I wasn't feeling conflicted or frustrated or like I wanted to jump him right there on the spot.

We walked to the subway, shared a hug (which has only ever happened, like, twice before. Once after the confessional, and once after Slater's party), and went our seperate ways.

I didn't walk away giddy, like I used to. But I also didn't walk away stewing in my own frustration.

I just... walked.

Hey, it's a start.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Sometimes I hate being a girl. Like today. It's the first day of my period (sorry gentlemen), and therefore I am a total disaster.

I am not normally a crier. Sure, if I've been emotionally trampled I will succumb to a--generally very private--fit of sobbing (unless you happen to call on the phone when I'm already in the middle of it--then you'll catch an earful!), and I'll admit that "The Notebook" makes me bawl my eyes out every single time (damn you Nicholas Sparks! Damn you!), but in general, day-to-day life? Not so much with the tears.

Until, that is, the hormonal overload that comes with the arrival of Aunt Flo.

So here I am at work, and I just came *very* close to shedding tears over something that would normally just irritate me. As in, so close that I realized that hiding in the rear hallway to calm down wasn't quite enough, and I was forced to go sequester myself in the ladies' for a few minutes, silently telling myself to suck it up, I was being ridiculous, this in NO way merrited tears.


Could I *be* any more of a walking cliche?

Pass the chocolate and potato chips.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Wow, looks like talking about body hair brings folks out of the woodwork--that post garnered the most comments of any post to date!

I'll have to keep that in mind :) (It's all still there, btw).

So anyway, howdy campers. How are all ye fairing on this bright and blustery December day?

Me? I'm freakin' exhausted. I realized around Thursday evening that I had far too much work to do this weekend to cram into two days--especially when there was also a Christmas party to be thrown into the mix. So I called in sick (cough cough) to work on Friday, and after running several dozen errands all over Manhattan, I trudged back to Brooklyn and settled in to some serious mask-and-puppet-making.

Which continued throughout Friday evening, and recommenced about 20 minutes after I woke up on Saturday. Saturday evening was the christmas party, and therefore Sunday morning was a wash as I was suffering from a fairly nasty hangover--the type that masqurades as the flu (fortunately without the digestive side effects) and can only be cured by a diner breakfast followed by a 2 hour nap.

And even after that I was a little shakey.

But the masks and puppet are done and damn! are they awesome!! (if I do say so myself). I am really pleased with myself, and as I head to my final crit after work today, I can only hope that my professor and fellow students are equally impressed with my handywork.

Oh, and the ears came out freakin' awesome! I will try to post a few pics at some juncture.

And really that about sums up my weekend. Work and booze. Oh, and randomly at this party I met a guy who is going to be starting my grad school program next semester! So I got to feel all sage and wise offering advice about courses and professors. Um, yeah, note to New Guy: I really have no idea what the hell I'm talking about--I've only been here a semester!

But when I'm drunk, I'm omnipotent. You know how it goes.

So after this afternoon's crit I. AM. DONE! With the semseter at any rate. Now all of my free time will be devoted to sewing Christmas presents.

Oh, and I think I'm going to get a drink with B tomorrow eve.

Which reminds me... Saturday he called and invited me to go to the movies. With him. And The Girlfriend.


God, boys can be so... thick.

After reading about all the awful (or inexplicable) boy behavior that has been afflicting the women of blogland as of late, I have officially dubbed December "Boys Are Dumb, Throw Rocks" Month.

I know the month is almost over, but really, it's been a doozy.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Experiment

I was debating about whether or not to blog about this, but then figured... what the hell? That's what a blog is for, right?

In what I have dubbed The Great Hair Experiment, I have temporarily stopped shaving. While doing research for Research Project From Hell (on which I got an A, by the way! Hoorah! I will post part of it for y'all when I finally figure out how to get it formatted for the blog so it doesn't look like a giant mess), I came across several essays on body hair and shaving--mostly from the "Oh, this is an evil social norm imposed by men! Hairy sisters unite!!" standpoint which, I gotta say, is not really my bag.

But it did get me thinking.

Throughout our early adolescence we (girls) eagerly await the arrival of body hair... just so we can shave it off. While it's the hair itself that signals the biological entry into womanhood, it's the removal thereof that makes us feel like women. The more I thought about it, the stranger it seemed. And so I decided to give it a shot, this whole au natural thing.

So far the results are mixed.

First, the legs. That's easy. I know I don't like having hairy legs. I went through a phase when I was about 16 where I stopped shaving (yes, it was a hippie phase), and all was fine and dandy until one day I was out hiking with Highschool Boyfriend and I kept swearing I was walking through spider webs! Yech! I was totally bugged out and couldn't figure out why it was only me that kept running into them.

Then I realized that that tickly sensation was the wind ruffling my leg hair.

I went home and shaved that night.

(Ironically, in one of the essays I read the woman described the exact same sensation as "sensual." I definitely think "creepy" is a more apt description.)

So in the spirit of The Great Hair Experiment I'm letting the legs get fuzzy once more. But I'm not happy about it. At least it's Winter and I'm wearing pants.

Then there's the, er, bikini region. In the interest of full disclosure (because really, if you're still reading at this point, you obviously don't have TMI issues), I have been a Brazilian kinda gal for many, many years. So suddenly going in the complete opposite direction? Was maybe a bit traumatic.

But now that it's been about a month? I'm wondering why the hell I ever did that in the first place.

Actually, no, that's not quite true. I know why... in a sense. Honestly, at first I was just bored and wondered what it would look/feel like. Then it was a sensory thing--I liked the way it felt. But, I always sort of had an issue with the aesthetics (i.e., looking like I was 8 years old).

Now I can honestly say that I feel so much more female, more like a grown, adult, woman. Not a girl.

Once again it just takes me back to the whole idea of the ritual--the shaving, plucking, waxing, Nair-ing, etc.--being the mark of womanhood, rather than the actual biological mark of growing hair in certain places. It makes me wonder how we got here as a culture, how this became part of our gendering process.

And then, finally, the area of perhaps the most contest for women--the pits. This one is exceptionally strange. There are days when I love it, and days when I think "yech! gross!", and I can't figure out what triggers either reaction.

A few days ago I was in a bathroom at school, dirty and overheated from working in the shop (which is possibly the hottest room on earth), just wearing jeans and a tank top, having a good (head) hair day, and as I glanced in the mirror I caught sight of a hairy armpit and in that moment I felt so goddamned sexy! I can't explain why, or how, but I did.

The next morning I was in the bathroom blowdrying my hair, arms over head, and it was back to "yech! I don't know how much longer I can keep this up...".

In other words, the jury is still out.

I don't know how long The Great Hair Experiment will last. I'm fairly certain the legs will be the first to go. I am going to a party this weekend and plan on dressing up--will the underarms make me feel sexy in my spaghetti straps, or not so much? I suppose we'll see what kind of day it is when it gets here.

No matter how it ends up--whether I go back to baby-baldness, become a permanent hairy-sister, or reside somewhere in between--it's definitely been interesting.

I think that, in our own way, we all need to explore our own ideas of femininity. If the packaged, commonly accepted variety works for you... more power to ya! If you prefer to wander a bit (or a lot) farther off the beaten path... just be sure to bring a compass and plenty of water, and have fun!

I think a lot of our body image issues come not only from packaged ideas of what is attractive (super-skinny, big boobs, long hair), but what is feminine (lip gloss, high heels, stockings). The more we allow ourselves to create our own definitions of femininity--and accept those definitions created by our peers--the more comfortable and happy we can become in our own skin.

Not one of us is more woman than the other, high heels, socket wrench, or hairy pits be damned.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Thank you all so much for the kind words.

And the lack of judgment.

Especially that.

I'm used to my personal life being twelve different shades of fucked up, that's pretty much the existence I lead. And I am doing my damnedest to shut down that part of my brain that is still so very attracted to B.

But I'll let you in on a little secret: I have horrible taste in men.

And if he were to leave The Girlfriend and come running to me? I'd probably open my arms.

I am an optimist in pessimist's clothing. A closet romantic--with a dark, somewhat twisted sense of romance. Good people end up in crappy situations, the timing in my romantic life has pretty much never been good, but these things can work out... right?


But until that day ever comes (which it most likely won't, I am--much though I may be in denial--a realist), my hands will remain firmly in my pockets--and out of his... whatever. I will not so much as lay a finger on him (nor allow him to lay one on me) while she remains in the picture.

I've been that girl before, and I am definitely not going down that road again.

But I can't help but wonder... am I that girl already? I try to stifle my desire, but I am unable to let go. It appears that I am not alone. Am I an accomplice? And if so, what is my crime? One minute I feel like a victim (of B, of fate, of myself), and the other like a criminal.

Desire is a double-edged sword.

This evening as I bitched to Slater on the way to the subway, he told me that another friend, who knows both B and I but has never really seen us together socially, apparently picked up on some kind of vibe the other night as well. So clearly, this mess is *not* all in my head.

I kinda wish it was. Then this would all be only 11 shades of fucked up and maybe, just maybe, there would be room in my brain for something else.

I keep trying to look at other men, to remind myself how hot I thought my one TA was at the beginning of the semester... but it's not the same.

I'm either going to burn out or explode and only time will tell which.

Attention Guests, please keep hands and feet inside the ride at all times. The Park will not be held responsible for fractured egos, battered ideals, or bruised hearts.

Thank you, and enjoy the ride.

Monday, December 10, 2007

In Brief, Take Two

Just a quick one kids, as I've got school work to do!

So really, I've been trying, trying, trying to just put this whole B thing behind me and be done with it. I mean, I met The Girlfriend for fuck sake! If anything, that ought to have put the final nail in the coffin of my fantasy life. And yet...

And yet.

There is not another man I know who smiles at me that way. Seriously, it's pure evil.

Because what it appears to say is nothing that should be said by a man with a fucking girlfriend.

Nor should it be anything I want to hear from a man with a girlfriend. But I can't help myself.

Oh, and there was this email:

"...I take it you slept on [Slater's] couch. Part of me wanted to just tip over there and sleep, but given the circumstances I kind of had to leave. I guess it was best that way though. I made it home at least."

"given the circumstances"?? "guess it was best"?? Is the above as rife with subtext as I think it is, or has the end of the semester just pushed me completely off the deep end?

The above, plus what Slater said (that whole "she can tell he's attracted to you" thing), plus that motherfucking smile of his leads me to believe that, as per the usual, my personal life is just totally fucked up. And being that I am very clearly failing at being "over it," it will probably only get worse.

What do you think readers? Clearly, I need some perspective.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

In Brief

Just a quick update, as I just got home from Slater's place a few minutes ago, and I need to eat, clean myself up, and head out to Party #2.

So, The Girlfriend was actually quite nice. We got on just fine, and at one point I think B got uncomfortable at just how well we were getting on--we had just discovered a random mutual friend in one of those "wow! small world!" moments and were squealing over it as us girls are prone to do--and he got up and left the room.

For the most part, however, things were fine. There were a few moments where she got cutesy with him and I kinda wanted to kick her (though to be fair, it looked kinda like he did too), but in our little post-mortem Slater's take on that was "yeah, but she could tell that he's attracted to you..."

Thanks, not quite what I needed to hear, you know, in the spirit of being "over it." Which clearly I am. Totally.

So that's it really. I had a blast, and took the first bong hit (okay, okay, three bong hits) in a verrrrry long time. Fortunately that was when it was just down to me and Slater in our pajamas somewhere around 3am. God only knows what I babbled on about after that. Slept on his couch until noonish, had coffee, watched a few episodes of Ab Fab, and discussed the predilection for being a "top" or a "bottom" in the gay male sex universe.

All in all, an excellent (and informative) afternoon. At the very least, some interesting new terminology has been added to my vocabulary.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend! Perhaps me and my hangover will drop in tomorrow to update y'all further.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Oh, for the love of...

It's official. Horoscope Free is totally fucking with me.

You'll all remember this little gem, after which I went to rehearsal, found out B had a girlfriend, and proceeded to confess my ginormous crush anyway because, well, I was drunk and pissed off.

Cute, right?

Well, bearing in mind my last post, get a load of this little gem:

Today you will be so romantic and will show your feelings with extreme sweetness, so you will be able to melt even an iceberg! Take advantage of this moment, you could seduce whoever you want.

Uh huh. Sure, Horoscope Free, whatever you say...

I am so not falling for this shit again.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Slip slidin' awayyyy

My friends, it is officially Winter in New York City.

Oh? you say. How so?

It's a simple calculation really.

Last night, we had a dusting of snow. That fluffy nothing that squeaks under your feet and turned my little brownstone-lined block into a mystery-land where every surface is crusted with crystal, and I found myself impulsively snapping photos with my camera phone and smiling at the delight that such a simple sight can bring.

But by nine o'clock this morning, this seemingly innocent accumulation of crystallized water had turned the path from my front door to the subway into a Treacherous Skating Rink of Doom, leaving me and my high heels to do the Constipation Walk all the way to the subway, lest I stumble and shatter my coccyx (read: fall and bust my ass).

Oh yes, Winter is here.

But along with the biting winds and treacherous stretches of ice-slicked concrete, she also brings.... parties! Two, yes TWO, of which I will be attending this weekend.

Saturday brings my favourite annual Christmas party, sure to be filled with much camaraderie and mutual destruction of liver and lungs.

Tomorrow, Slater is having a "low key" gathering of fellow grad students over to his place to celebrate our survival of the semester. And herein lies an itty bitty dilemma.

Significant others are invited. Which means... B is bringing The Girlfriend.

Now, for the most part, I am over this whole fiasco. Sure, he's still hot, and still one of my best friends, but I've had some time to digest the fact that he is off-limits and I'm more-or-less okay with it. As in, I'm as okay with it as I possibly can be considering I spent two months thinking I was in the midst of a budding romance as he systamatically failed to mention The Girlfriend's existence. Fine.

But now I have to interact with her, and this could go one of two ways. First, I could love her. This would be fine, though slightly irritating to discover that the man I spent two months pining after is attached to someone just as good (if not better) than me. Still, this is the best-case scenario.

Or, I could hate her. And therein lies my fear, because if I hate her, it will be solely for her personality--not because she is The Girlfriend. I mean, really, it's not her fault that she met him two years before I did and ended up embroiled in a "complicated" relationship that went unmentioned for a large percentage of his and my acquaintance. Hating her for that would be, well, illogical. And I am nothing if not logical (sic).

But if she turns out to be vile and I hate her, the above is exactly what it would look like.

There is also the possibility that he told her about my little drunken confessional, and that? That would just be a one way ticket to Awkward City for yours truly.

However, at least her being there will prevent me from getting trashed and reenacting said confessional. Well, it will prevent the confessional at any rate. I fully plan on ending the evening ridiculously intoxicated and passed out on Slater's couch, because there is no way I am navigating the ridiculously complex route required by mass transit to get from his home to mine, nor am I attempting to direct a car service from the backwoods of Queens to the backwoods of Brooklyn.

All that being said, I'm trying not to stress it. It's a party, lots of good people will be there because Slater has excellent taste. I mean, hey, he likes me, right? :) So it will be what it will be and if The Girlfriend sucks I can hopefully avoid her without being too painfully obvious and if she rocks, well, I'll swallow my wounded... whatever.

I can lick my wounds on Sunday. For the time being... let's party!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I owe someone a cookie.

And that someone is... the lovely Miss OC!

She is the only one--that I'm aware of--that did my open-tag music meme. And I promised a digital cookie, so here it is! The Awesome Bloggers Deserve Cookies award! (It would be cooler, but all my artistic ability was poured into the creepy puppet head currently drying on my radiator).

OC, feel free to share this cookie with any other blogger that you feel deserves a sweet bit o' recognition :)

And if anyone else did the meme and I missed you, tell me! Cookies await!

This cookie also goes out symbolically to Ms. Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Now, now... before you throw tomatoes (or, god forbid, baked goods) at me, allow me to explain.

First of all, this is in no way an endorsement of her acting. The fact that she was allowed to play Audrey Hepburn should be considered a crime. That being said...

I'm sure by now most of you have seen the photos of her derrière splashed across the internet. Not being much of one for celebrity gossip (*gasp!*) it had escaped my attention until I saw it linked in a blog that I normally quite enjoy, followed by a comment to the effect of "I never thought my ass would look better than hers..."

I must admit I was unable to finish reading the post. This made me sad, I normally love this blogger.

But I looked at the photo and all I could think was...

My ass looks like that... And my ass is HOT goddamnit!

You wanna know why? Because just like real women have curves, real women have cellulite.

And English Ex wouldn't still inquire about my ass over the span of an OCEAN if it weren't something worth inquiring after, now would he?

Nor would the entire male staff of the first restaurant where I worked have formed a fan club for the celebration of my posterior.

No, I am not joking.

And then, in the midst of my turmoil, I came across this blurb on MSN while killing time at work.

A size 2 is not fat! Nor will it ever be," Hewitt responded in a post Thursday. "And being a size 0 doesn't make you beautiful."

So JLH, you may be a shitty actress... but this cookie is for you!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

Actually, it's not. Chilly, perhaps, but hardly frightful.

But ever since yesterday evening I have been filled with an incredible desire to listen to Christmas music. I blame Yes I'll Have Another over at Dignity Lost for the fact that "Jingle Bell Rock" has been running through my head since I woke up this morning, but I've been kicking myself for not taking my mom up on the offer of ripping some of her Christmas CDs to mp3 while I was home for Thanksgiving. And now Barbie's getting in on the action as well!

What it boils down to is that the Christmas Spirit? I'm feelin' it.

And I'm so very glad. Because last year? Not so much.

Sure, I was excited to go home and see friends and family, and I was knitting up a storm of personalized gifts. I put up my traditional itty-bitty tree (I am so Charlie Brown with my Christmas trees) and the apartment smelled like pine, but even so... I just wasn't feeling it. That special electricity that says "Get Ready! There's magic just around the corner!"

I traveled to PA, we did the Christmas Eve thing, I woke up Christmas morning and we drank coffee spiked with Bailey's and opened our gifts, but somehow the magic just wasn't there. And that made me sad. Was I just getting old? Would it always be like this?

Thankfully, it appears that the answer is... NO! Because this year the Christmas Spirit is back, and it's kicking ass and taking names all across the five boroughs. It all started when I ran into my my landlady and her little brother putting up lights on our railings (I think I'm going to do my windows this year!). Then there was the incident in Trader Joe's yesterday where, rather than irritate me as it generally does, the constant stream of Christmas music had me smiling and humming along. I'll be home for Christmas? Bet your ass I will!

And then the crowning glory, the moment when I realized that it would take the Jaws of Life to pry me from the grip of holiday cheer... last night I turned on the TV for background noise as I cast my hands in plaster bandage (explanation and silly photos to follow at a later date), and there is was... "Rudolph In the Land of Misfit Toys," narrated by Burl Ives, with that ridiculous Snow Monster and the elf who wants to be a dentist...

And I actually watched it.

And smiled.

And sang along with "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" at the end.

My friends, I am down for the count.

And so on Sunday, come hell or high water (or raging hangover, which is more likely to be the case as I have parties to attend on both Friday AND Saturday--rock star that I am), I am going over to Home Depot to get a Christmas Tree! And probably a tree stand as well, as I think my old one was tossed in the move.

However, here's the question:

Technically, my apartment is actually big enough for a *real* (read: full-sized) Christmas Tree this year (though I'm not so certain about my staircase). But... do I want to deal with having to haul a full-sized tree back down to the sidewalk at the beginning of January while also packing for Uganda, prepping instructions for a temp at work, and cleaning house for the lovely A who has agreed to house/cat sit for the two weeks I am gone? Also, this would require at least one evening dedicated to the making of enough new ornaments to cover said tree. (Handmade ornaments only please! Eat your heart out Martha Stewart).

What do you think, readers? Should I go all out, or Charlie Brown it up as usual?

I also need to find time to go to Century 21, because while the funds are limited for Christmas this year (thank you $1700 plane ticket to Uganda) I've made a decision. The parents are getting cashmere. If they're only getting one gift, I'm gonna make it count.

And I need to hit the garment district so I can begin mass-production of child-sized christmas outfits for all of my friends who have kids. Damn, why did they all have to reproduce at once?

See... this? This is why that stupic KFC commercial stresses me out.

It's okay. I'll just be in the corner, singing quietly to myself...

Oh there's no place like home for the ho-li-days...
For no matter how far away you roam.
If you want to be happy in a million ways,
For the ho-li-days you can't beat Home Sweet Home!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I gotta tell ya, there's nothing quite like a sex dream where you Just. Can't. Get Off. to start the morning off on the wrong foot. I mean, come on! It's bad enough being sexually frustrated in real life... must my subconscious get in on the game as well?

And now here I am, somehow losing 10 minutes in the middle of the morning making me once again late for work (seriously, I haven't stepped out of that elevator on time in well over a month), or getting down a flight and a half of stairs before realizing I left something important in my apartment, and then dancing up and down at the top of the final flight, deciding whether or not it's really important enough to go back upstairs.

Ever try to walk through a subway turnstile without swiping your card?

Yeah, did that too. And stood there, surprised and confused, for several moments after the metal bar smacked me in the pelvis and jarred me back into myself. What was going on? Where was I? Why wasn't the bar turning? Oh, right, the subway isn't free. Dumbass.

I also completely lost track of where I was while on the first leg of my subway journey. Fortunately what felt like several hours was only 2 stops, and I did not end up in Queens.

In light of such an inauspicious start to the day, however, I find myself in a remarkably cheery mood.

First and foremost, as of 4:15 yesterday afternoon, The Research Project From Hell is officially out of my hands and into my professor's! Or, at least, into his mailbox. The only massive project that remains for this semester is all hands-on, artsy craftsy stuff. And while there is quite a good bit of it to do, it never quite feels like work

Also, I stepped out a few minutes ago to drop 300 or so envelopes into local mailboxes and there were flurries! Flurries, people!

I love flurries, because they incite all the giddy, childlike excitement of snow, without turning the sidewalks into a treacherous war zone, or lying in the gutters turning to frosty black slush.

And now, a question (because really, my brain is ALL over the place today): does that KFC commercial with the blonde mom checking off items on a mile long list make anyone else feel incredibly stressed out? Every time I see it my whole body tenses up and I get super-edgy. What's up with that?

Oh, and just for the record: SciFi Channel miniseries "Tin Man"? Oh-so-freaking-awesome. As far as mini-series go anyway. Check it out.

Right, that's it.


Sunday, December 2, 2007


There is something romantic about the New York City subway late at night.

And I don't mean romance in the hearts and flowers kind of way. That's not my romance. That's a postcard sold by Hallmark and Hollywood.

My romance is dark. And mysterious.

Hurtling through unknown passageways, below the scenes of our daily lives. Bright lights glowing at itermittent intervals. Shadows on the walls of a neon-lit existence.

The girl in the striped stockings.

The man in the white hat, laughing.

The hard-bitten thug, leaning gracefully out of the way as a drunk man examines the map.

My romance is everywhere, surrounding us, shrouded in routine.

This city is me, and I wonder if I will ever be able to leave.

I say, Oh, if I were to have children, I'd want to raise them elsewhere.

But the kids on my block call me "Miss," and apologize if they run into me when caught up in their games.

If those children become the adults I see in this shadowed, twilight world... how can I refuse?

My city encircles me and fills me with a sense of wonder.

The rats scurrying in the shadows make me smile, not shrink. I talk to them and call them mis ratones. This was their city before it was mine.

The smell of human waste disgusts, but a sunset behind a row of brownstones delights.

The trees outside my windows burn firey yellow, as if they would burn me should I touch them.

Last night I thought I heard gunshots, but no sirens followed.

My love affair with my city is deeper and more complex than any love affair I have ever had with a man. Many days I stop and wonder "can this really be my life?" When I walk the streets alone I feel as though I live in a movie, but no movie I have ever known.

To live in a place that delights me each day.

The musicians in the subway.

The light on a park bench, dappled by leaves, shifting as the sun sinks and disappears behind a building beyond.

Sometimes it doesn't seem entirely real, this world in which I live.

How could it be? The magic that I see and feel and absorb each day of my waking life since I chose you? Chose you, city of all cities.

I never knew a home could make me feel the way that you do. I can't explain it. I try, but words fail, to express the joy that each moment gives.

New York, you are my home. My shelter. My place. My person.

Thank you. For all that you are. The good. The bad. The sweltering Summers that make me wish I could melt away. The burning Winters when I feel as though my fingers are really the hands of someone far, far way. The Springs, when life returns and the medians glow with the green and white and yellow of new life. The Falls, when the light glows just so, and everything is more alive in its dying than it ever was in life.

Each day you give me the wonder of a child. I feel safe even when my senses tell me I am not.

I do not know how to express the wonder I feel within your womb.

Here, I am me.

And you are you.

We are we.

And we are all that we are.

Without question.

Without apology.

Without restraint.