Saturday, September 27, 2008

Goodbye Paul

It is a sad, sad day for your humble frog, and for many others out there as well.

Paul Newman--talented actor, dedicated philanthropist, and quite frankly the sexiest man to ever walk the face of the earth--has passed away.  We were lucky to have him with us as long as we did.

We've all gone through phases where this actor or that celebrity gets our motor running and gets us all giggly because of his chiseled jaw line or fantastic smile.  But from the first time I saw Paul Newman I knew... that, right there, was the perfect man.  Or as perfect as a man could be and still be human.  And not only for his good looks, but for who he was.

Judging from the heartfelt statements that have been flooding the airwaves in the past several hours, I am not alone.

Long have I envied Joanne Woodward for being the luckiest woman on earth.  I was going to say that tonight I do not envy her as she and her daughters deal with their loss--and yet I still do.  I envy her life with a man who not only could pierce your soul with his eyes, but also continued to make her laugh after 50 years, as she is often quoted as saying.

So thank you, Paul, for all that you gave us.  Your talent, your charity, your charm... and of course those amazing blue eyes, and the way you could smile around a cigar that made me tingle from head to foot.

You will be missed.


Friday, September 26, 2008

A Dear John Letter *

Dear Senator John McCain,

I got home late this evening and am still in the middle of watching this evening's debate on my trusty DVR, but there are a few pieces of advice that I simply cannot hold back any longer.

First, stop trying to make the former editor of the Harvard Law Review look stupid. It's not working, and it just makes you look petty. It would behoove you to remove the words "I don't think Senator Obama understands..." from your vocabulary. You look like a twit.

That goes double for the word "Maverick," and triple for repeatedly mentioning that you "didn't win Miss Congeniality" in the Senate. Just. Stop.

Now, I know that the self-satisfied smirk is the trademark expression of the Republican party, and it may have worked extremely well for George W. Bush in the last two elections; however, after 8 years it's gotten a little old, so how about wiping that grin off your overly-botoxed face and comporting yourself like an adult rather than a petulant child. You're, what? 72 years old? Fucking act like it.

Next, stop lying. Or, if you can't quit cold-turkey, perhaps stop purposely misinterpreting the facts. You know Obama is just going to call you out and once again you come off looking like a twit.

Particularly if you follow up with "I don't think Senator Obama understands..."

Cut spending to everything except the war and veteran's benefits? Don't even get me started on everything that's wrong with that idea.

And finally, I just have to ask... Ronald Reagan is the person you admire most in the world? Ronald Fucking Reagan?!?! The man was bat-shit crazy. You'd might as well have said Tom Cruise.

Well, the debate just ended, and so has my advice to you. I know I barely mentioned your thoughts on policy, so let me sum up my opinion on that front: THHHPPPPTT!!!!

Oh, and that tie? Hideous.

There, I think that about does it.

The Frog Princess

* Sooooo original, I know. I wonder how many other blog posts went up with that title today.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


My body... hurts.

Yesterday I went back to the gym for the first time since my travels. I've started a new one-month training regimen with the goal of being able to jog for 30 minutes by the end.

That may not sound like much, but I should explain that I? Do not run. Ever. Unless being chased by a sociopath with a chainsaw, and even then I would probably try reasoning with him first.

Running and I do not get along. Have never gotten along. I ran a mile once, in 8th grade, and nearly passed out when it was over. There was one freak incident in my aerobics class Senior year of high school where I managed to get on a treadmill and run for 20 minutes without passing out, but said experiment has never been replicated and therefore I can only conclude that the results were a fluke. A statistical outlier, if you will.

The workout program comes from Self Magazine. It was first published in 2006, but back then I belonged to a gym that I could only visit during peak hours, at which time you signed up for a strictly enforced half-hour time slot on all cardio equipment--and in the 2nd and 3rd week of this program there are a few workouts that go over that limit.

Now, however, I attend the gym during the slow daytime hours when normal people are at work or in school, and I can hog a treadmill for 45 minutes if necessary. So I figured... what the hell? Fortunately the program was still listed on their website.

Also when I finish my degree in December and no longer have access to the University gym (at least, not without paying for a membership), I may need a method of exercise that doesn't require equipment. And I'd feel like a loser power-walking around Bed Stuy.

Actually, if we're being honest, I'll feel like a loser jogging around Bed Stuy as well, but at least I'll be moving quickly so people will have less time to mock me.

And that... was a very long-winded explanation of why everything hurts. And I've only done the first cardio workout and one day of strength training.

I feel bad, a friend of mine that I haven't seen since Brazil just called to see if I want to go out tonight, and while I'd love to see her... all I really want to do is make dinner and curl up on my couch with the Sex and the City DVD, and Disc 1 of the first season of the original 90210, which both arrived from Netflix yesterday.

Which is precisely what I'm going to do.

Before I do that, however, I wanted to invite anyone out there who's feeling particularly squishy, or who--like me--exercises better when someone tells them what to do, but can't afford a personal trainer, to JOIN ME in this ridiculous quest! Come on... Misery not only loves company, it thrives on it!

The program is located here. I've only just started, and technically you can count your "week" starting on whatever day you damn well please. It's like birth control. So dig those dusty old running shoes out of the closet and come play!

It looks deceptively easy. We'll see if I'm singing the same tune come Week 4.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Hardest Part

The first half of my day was disarmingly quiet.

I pulled my lazy ass out of bed before 10am, which is a vast improvement over recent days, especially considering that I was sleeping with Prince Ambien to help curb the relentless insomnia that's been plaguing me as of late. Spent some time on the phone with my phone company, figuring out my ridiculous bill, only to discover that I was being charged $15/month for the past 3 months for a service I never asked for--with the resultant refund dropping my current cell phone bill to 68-cents. I should have asked for a framed copy, it will never be that low again.

Spent some time tackling the massive task that is catching up on all of your blogs--some of you will notice an enormous slew of comments as I read everything from September. Sadly most of the Summer will have to rest in the archives, waiting for a rainy day--I simply don't have enough time! To those who have not yet received the comment influx, don't feel bad... it's coming! And my selection of which blogs to read is entirely arbitrary and has nothing to do with... well... anything. I'll get to everyone in due course.

Something that I've seen several of you mention, however, is some sort of Bloggy Bridal Shower for the lovely Jess, which my out-of-the-loop self knew nothing about... so Congratulations Jess!! My shower gift will be to make your blog next on my to-read list. I know it's not much, but I do it with love :)

The day picked up this afternoon, which marked my first venture into my new internship... and I looooved it! Working with high school kids on Shakespeare is already proving to be a fabulous experience and I can't wait to continue. I do have to laugh because the girl who is playing the role I played in this show in high school was annoying me at times... and then I realized that what was annoying me was absolutely something I would have done at her age. So I had to suck it up and face my own demons, so to speak.

Which isn't to say that I didn't tell her to knock it off... but I said it much more nicely than I might have otherwise :)

I returned home this evening and putzed about, trying not to freak myself out before the Skype interview I was having (had) at 10:00... with Japan.

I've been in the process of applying for a job teaching in Japan, using Drama to improve the English language skills of elementary school children. Or so I thought. What became clear during the interview was that my perception of what this position entailed was not correct. I had thought it would be in a day school setting, working in conjunction with an English teacher and teaching Drama classes to enhance what was being learned in the English class. That is, apparently, not the case.

The school is actually an afternoon/evening school that is just for English. And I would be the only teacher. Head Teacher, if you will.

This, in effect, terrifies me. Which is not to say that I've been offered the job. I haven't. But I am now seriously questioning whether or not I am actually qualified for it. The school seems to think I am, obviously, or they wouldn't have interviewed me. But I still worry.

There is also the whole idea of moving--for a year--to a country where I do not speak the language. The woman interviewing me even told me that they've had teachers in the past--particularly the women--who got intensely lonely and/or homesick and left after 3 months. I understand she's just covering her bases by telling me this but it's not exactly comforting.

All of my friends whom I've spoken to about it are so wonderful and encouraging. They all say "if anyone can do it, it's you!" Sometimes, however, I find it difficult to maintain the faith in myself that others find so easily. It's amusing, in a way, that others carry such conviction about an aspect of myself I often doubt--namely, my independence.

I shouldn't get myself so worked up over a job I haven't even been offered. I suppose I'll just have to wait and see. But as Tom Petty says... The waiting is the hardest part.

Some Thoughts on the Emmys

Since insomnia is doing its best to devour my soul these days, I thought I would postpone the tossing and turning for a few more minutes by sharing my thoughts about tonight's Emmy broadcast, in the order that I scribbled two-word reminders on the pad of post-it notes next to the couch...


  • Josh Groban is adorable, and his Cartman impression isn't half bad, but he should never, ever, EVER be allowed to rap again. And why did they show the Cheers sign and not sing the song? It's only, like, the most iconic TV Theme song of my childhood!

  • David Boreanaz looks really bored. Perhaps he's just pissed off that he has to share the stage with Lauren Conrad.

  • Martin Sheen's "Go Out And Vote!" speech has to be the least annoying one I've ever heard. Thanks West Wing!

  • What the fuck is "Bernard and Doris"? It was nominated for all these awards, Susan Sarandon looked hot, and still I've never heard of it...

  • Loved the tribute to "Dragnet"! I used to watch it on Nick At Nite all the time when I was a kid. You know, before Nick At Nite started showing the shows that were on primetime when I was a kid. Right. But with all the other shows, they panned down to actual actors who were on the show... so why'd we get stuck with the dudes from CSI?

  • Oh... wait... I just checked IMDb. They're all dead. I guess that explains it.

  • Ohmygod I LOVE Don Rickles... and Kathy Griffin for ordering the audience to stand up. But not for anything else she's done. Just to clarify. Except maybe "Suddenly Susan."

  • When did they make a mini series out of "Andromeda Strain," and why did I not watch it?

  • Ohmygod I really REALLY LOVE DON RICKLES. Best acceptance speech ever. Except perhaps for Tommy Smothers, but I forgot to write a note about him, so unfortunately he gets left out--though I used to watch his show on Nick At Nite too.

  • Glenn Close looks damned good for her age.

  • YAY! Malcolm's Dad won an Emmy! For some show I've never heard of! Go Malcolm's Dad!

  • I can't believe they finally created an Emmy for Reality TV Host and didn't give it to Ryan Seacrest. He's probably at home plotting the murder of that guy from "Survivor" as we speak.

  • I was about to say that Mary Tyler Moore is also looking fabulous... then I saw her arms. They are terrifying. It also makes me wonder how many pounds of make-up were airbrushed onto her face.

  • Betty White's red pant-suit on the other hand? Ah-freaking-mazing! She looks like she just stepped off of the set of a Golden Girls Reunion Show. Except there would be no Estelle. Oh, Estelle... :(

  • Is that blonde from Mad Men wearing underwear as outerwear? Why yes... yes she is. Someone get that woman a jacket.

That's it for my hastily scrawled notes. I was so glad to see Tina Fey up there so many times tonight, and her acceptance speech is also high on my list. And why wasn't Goldie Hawn up there with the other folks from Laugh In? (Another staple from the Nick At Nite of yore).

Finally, a big A+ for technology! I love watching Award Shows on the DVR (I paused in the middle for half an hour to go make food), because in addition to skipping the commercials, you can also fast-forward through the acceptance speeches for the boring people thanking a bunch of other people we've never heard of. Phew!

So, what were your highlights/lowlights/time-to-go-get-a-drink-of-water-lights?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Nocturnal Emissions

Two nights in a row, I have dreamt about my Ex.

This is not an Ex that I want back in any shape or form.  In fact, this is the Ex who taught me what, precisely, I absolutely will NOT put up with in another partner ever again.  So what gives?

The night before last, I dreamt that I was out drinking with him and his wife--whom I have never met, and who had a different name in my dream, probably because it took me a day to remember what her real name is.  That dream was peopled by a large number of random faces from the past--an old friend, Jeff (my Brit friend Violet's fiance), a couple of twins I went to high school with... and Amy Winehouse, just to make it absolutely certain that this dream did not wander out of the realm of the totally freaking bizarre.  So seeing the Ex in this whacked-out context really didn't phase me.  My dreams like to fuck with me.  I'm used to it.

But two nights in a row?  What's up with that?

Last night's dream was decidedly more unsettling.  We were, for whatever insane reason my sleeping brain was able to concoct, back together (nearly 10 years after we broke up... and in the real world he is, in fact, married).  We were going to bed and next thing I know I wake up and he's sleeping on the couch rather than the bed, pouting because I wasn't paying attention to him (duh, I was sleeping).  This is not a stretch.  This exact argument most likely happened at some point in our relationship--much like the time he woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me he'd just thrown up, and then freaked out on me when I didn't make a big deal out of it (because apparently I was his mother as well as his girlfriend... and HI!  We'd been drinking all night jackass!.... *deep breath*... Whatever, that's a rant for another day...) 

Anyhoodle, in the dream we began arguing (duh), I said something about it being "the same old shit," and next thing I know we're having sex. 

This, also, is not a stretch.  Particularly considering that there was no foreplay, it wasn't all that great, did nothing for me--a fact which he most likely did not notice and made no attempt to rectify--and he got off and I didn't.

Fortunately my dream then veered off in another bizarre-o direction as he went off to take a shower (and pouted that I did not want to accompany him... there was always a lot of pouting) and my surroundings transformed into somewhere else entirely.

But still... what the fuck?  What spurred this intrusion of my past into my dreams?

This morning my horoscope said "In Love, your inner self is going through a phase of crisis; everything around you is not right and you want to renew and regenerate yourself."  So perhaps these weird dreams are just a manifestation of whatever crisis I'm supposedly in--though what could have triggered it, I have no idea.  I haven't even called Hot Bartender since flirting with him a few weeks ago (though I'm still considering it, purely for booty call purposes... I'll keep you posted).

In conclusion, I would just like to send a little cosmic message to the Universe (and my warped psyche):  keep my Ex out of my freaking dreams!  They (and I) are fucked up enough as it is...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Randomness, It's What I Got...

As much as I would love to sit down and write a coherent post, it just does not appear to be happening.  So here are the thoughts that floated through my head as I ran errands in Manhattan this afternoon.

Jesus Christ!  Could you have found a worse place to stop!?  People who stop dead in the middle of busy sidewalks deserve to be fucking kicked.

Attention:  If your skirt is shorter than your shirt... it doesn't count.  Put on some damned pants.

You know... I'm really glad that people can't hear what I'm thinking 90% of the time... but ever since I started watching "True Blood" I find myself considering it as a possibility.  I need to watch less television.  Or stop reading DListed.

And there it is... perhaps not my best material, but it was a bit of an off day.  For starters, I'm fairly certain that my uterus is trying to take over the world.  Or at the very least, Brooklyn.  Anybody watch "Fringe" last night?  Because I feel like the girl in the opening scene.  That's enough to make anyone crabby.

Also the chick who spawned the first mental outburst stopped dead, two inches in front of me, in the only moving lane of foot traffic on a crowded sidewalk under a construction awning (read: no escape).  She's lucky she made it out with her shins intact.

For reasons I cannot quite fathom, I am considering buying a Nintendo DS.  If I buy it, there's a very strong chance that I will never use it, but there's a genetic anomoly in my family that causes us to compulsively purchase electronics.  I was on the Circuit City website and saw that they only cost $130 and I practically started salivating.  If I didn't need it for necessities like groceries and Pinkberry, I would totally stick my debit card in a ziplock full of water and stick it in the freezer to save me from myself.

I'm not kidding.  I actually did that with a credit card in college.  My debit card wasn't a risk at that point, as my bank account was empty.

Another reason I should not be purchasing unneccessary electronics is that I am apparently unemployable.  I got turned down for another job this week, and so made the command decision that since I've got my student loans and can suck on the Unemployment teat for at least another 2 months, I would start looking for internships and put my virtually-nonexistent networking skills to use in hopes of alleviating my employment leprosy.  I'm meeting with one possibility tomorrow, and judging from our phone conversation it's pretty much mine... unless I fuck up royally during our meeting.

And this is me we're talking about, possibly the worst interviewee in the world.  This is why I think job interviews should be held in bars.  After a few beers I can make just about anyone love me.  Sadly, that's not an option, so keep your fingers crossed.

I promise I will get back to reading all of your blogs very soon.  I still haven't worked up the courage to open my Google Reader... I may have to hire someone to go in first and test the air.  I need a Google Reader Canary.

Well then... I think I shall quiet my rebellious uterus with some Aleve and an Ambien and head to bed.  One of the many things currently wrong with my PMS-riddled (or is it DMS now? oh whatever) body/brain/life is that I have had absolutely no discernible sleeping pattern since I returned to the States.  Perhaps if I can get myself on some sort of schedule I'll be able to pull my shit together. 

I'm not exactly Brittney Spears, but I must admit that right now?  I'm feeling a bit of a mess.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

10 Years...

So yeah, not gonna lie.. I'm a little drunk, but that seems the only appropriate way to blog about this, because... tonight was my 10 year high school reunion.

And, amazingly enough, all the shit you would hope happens at a ten year reunion--i.e. people putting aside all the stupid bullshit and just having a good time--actually happened.

 I saw the two girls I really wanted to bitch-slap in high school... and we maintained civil conversation for 5-10 minutes.

The one guy who I truly never wanted to see again straight-up apologized for being such a cocksucker.  I'd been told he'd found god.  I didn't think that would make him nice.  Apparently I was wrong.

I gave the guy who dumped my answering machine in the 7th grade (and then followed me around high school asking why I didn't love him)--who was wearing a name-tag with his twin brother's name--a whole heaplod of shit.. and he took it gracefully and then dogged me for a good portion of the evening.  It kinda sucked watching him with the girl he's apparently now dating, but whatever... it's been 10 years, I can't expect him to pine forever.

The guy I would have killed to even kiss in the 7th grade, who I just barely worked up the nerve to ask to dance at a Middle School Dance, was practically eating out of my palm by the after-party.  Sure, I eventually discovered that he was married-with-child, but I also knew, without doubt, that had I set my mind to it I could have taken him home without hesitation, and that... really... was ALL I needed to know.

And then I got a ride home from a guy of whom my main memory is him leaping off the floor in terror of my friend's rottweiler, while I sat in the middle of the room and said "hey [dog's name], come and give some love!!"  He pretended to  deny it, but we both know it happened.

So yes, high school reunions are bizarrely mixed bags... but highly entertaining none-the-less.

I'm glad I went.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Finally Did It

Last night I realized that part of the reason I've been having trouble sleeping since I got back, is that I lay in bed at night thinking of all the things I want to say to CFL and have not yet said.  So this morning I finally buckled down and responded to her email.

And of course, being the frog that I am, I now feel the need to share the correspondance with you.

First, her email...


I just wanted to send u a quick email in regards to everything in brooklyn. First and foremost i wanted to apologize....I had some severe family issues that occurred recently that kinda sent me into turmoil. I dont know how or why i dealt with everything the way that i did, but i did. We all grieve in different
ways...and while no excuse for my actions or behavior, I guess u could say I was having more than a difficult time dealing with it all. I wont really get into it too much, but it was 1 very serious circumstance after very close cousin just got diagnosed with breast cancer (that has already spread), while my grandfather got dimensia, and my grandmother sent to the hospital. My brother got mugged, and my best friend in the world went off to the military. On top of that, some other personal family issues that u would rather not here aboutl I came back to Florida now so that I could be there with my mother to help take care of things and to be there to give my love and support to my family when they needed it the most.

I am not sending u this email to ask for pity or even empathy, but instead to hope that you can at least
attempt to understand somewhere in your heart of hearts why I kinda went off the deepend for a few weeks. It is not in my nature to handle bad situations the way that i did, but i guess this time, that was the case. I truly apologize from the bottom of my heart for any inconvenience I couldve caused. Being home has brought me back to the level of calm that I have so very much missed. I was only slated to stay a couple months anyways so it was time to go. But I truly hope your trip was beyond amazing and that all
in your life goes beautifully from here on out. Thanks for listening. You do not need to email me back, but I just felt it was important for me to express my situation and for you to know that I genuinely feel
deep remorse. That is all...have a good one.



I have been holding off on responding to this email until I was a bit calmer, but there are a few things that I feel need to be said.  Though now that I am attempting to do so, I am not certain I can manage without completely blowing a gasket.  However, I will try.

First of all, I wonder if you truly grasp the repercussions or expanse of your actions.  You were found wandering, half naked and incoherent, on the street--and rescued by my landlord who subsequently missed a day of work.  You were wandering on fire escapes banging on windows while your friends were in my apartment, apparently ignoring you.  You caused a great enough disturbance that the neighbors actually called the police.  The cops have now been in my apartment thanks you to, and according to one of the neighbors, our house is now "famous" on the block because of your behavior.

Everything you said or did while living in my home was a reflection on me in the eyes of this neighborhood, and clearly you did not reflect well.  I still don't know the extent of the damage to my relationship with my landlords thanks to your actions and the disturbance you brought into their lives.

I came home to a house that was filthier than I thought possible.  I couldn't walk barefoot in my own home because I was disgusted by the dirt sticking to the bottoms of my feet--and then my flip-flops stuck to the kitchen floor.  The living room rug was actually grey from dust and dirt.  My comforter had been taken out of storage (in August? why?) and left in a cat-hair-covered heap on the dining room floor.  It had to be thrown away.  The first time I went to take a shower, I discovered that while all of the towels were in the cabinet, they were all dirty, and at least one of them crusted with what looked suspiciously like vomit.  You somehow managed to triple my electric bill for the month of August, raising it by over $100, and the $40 left in the liquor cabinet covers perhaps a third of what was consumed.

As if all of this weren't bad enough... there is the matter of Gracie.  The entire reason I was looking for a subletter in the first place was to take care of my cat.  It was the most detailed clause in the sublet agreement and the main reason I chose you was because you two seemed to connect when you came to see the apartment.  Imagine my shock, then, when I receive an email from the landlords detailing your behavior and stating that she was not being properly taken care of.  My friend who came to feed her once you were gone stated that the litter box apparently had not been cleaned once--which he corroborated with photos before cleaning it himself.  All of the dry food was gone, but over half of the wet food remained, which indicates she was not being fed properly.  And when I returned home, her fur was in such a state, so filthy and so matted, that I had to go out and buy a pair of clippers and shave her.  Yes.  SHAVE MY CAT.  Gracie has been with me for 14 years and never once in that time has her coat even come close to the state that it was in upon my return.  I cannot even imagine the circumstances, the level of neglect, that could cause that to happen.  Your primary responsibility--the reason that I did not charge you the full rent and continued to pay the utilities myself, a priviledge which you abused--was to care for Gracie.  Clearly, this duty was not performed.

The empathetic side of my personality is sorry for your personal troubles.  However, taken as a whole, the above does not indicate to me someone who temporarily made a few bad judgment calls in a moment of crisis.  The facts that my landlords' intial email reported that you had a "serious substance abuse problem" that was causing you to "act out in dangerous and disturbing ways," and according to the neighbors you could be sweet and friendly--the girl that I met--one minute, and completely crazy a few minutes later, all indicate a much larger problem here.  In my experience, it takes a liver with an awful lot of practice to drink oneself to a state where one can behave the way you did without simply falling asleep.  Everything I have heard--and I have not yet received a complete retelling of all that occurred in my absence--indicates a much larger issue at work here.

I believe that you are sorry.  But I do not believe that you understand the extent of the havoc you wreaked on my life, and on the lives of my neighbors, and therefore do not realize all that you have to be sorry for.  You showed no respect for me, my property, or my neighborhood, and least of all for yourself.

Further apology and/or justification is not required.  I just thought you should know.


So there it is.  I hope to god she doesn't respond... unless it's to send me a cheque for the freaking electric bill.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Time and Distance

Last night, for the first time since it was purchased for me, I finally removed the Eye of Horus pendant that Violet bought for me in London (to protect me on my travels) and exchanged it for another pendant that I had purchased in Peru.

As I donned this new adornment, a lovely silverwork and stone llama purchased in Aguas Calientes, I thought back to the man from whom it was purchased.  I was on my way down from the hot springs, in no particular hurry as there were still several hours to kill before my train departed, and I happened to glance into a jewelry shop near the top of the hill, just past the hawkers renting towels and bathing suits.

It looked like any other jewelry store in town, though perhaps in a slightly more low-rent location, but something caught my attention about it.  In retrospect, I believe it was the proprietor.  He was of native descent (though they do still use the word "Indian" there, so I can say it without the PC Car Alarm going off in my head), and something about him was magnetic.  I can only describe it as a sense of supreme spiritual stillness.

I browsed his jewlery and found the llama pendant--which was not just a llama, but a green llama, and therefore clearly meant to be in my possession.  As I inquired as to the cost and decided to buy it, we began to talk (in Spanish, of course).  He asked my name, and when I told him he looked taken-aback for a moment--almost reverent.  It turns out that my name (with a very slight--and common--spelling variation) is a very important word in Quechua, the native Inca language.

He asked if I believed in spirits, and I told him that I did.

"Come here," he said.  "I want to show you something.  Just you."  He indicated a few other browsers wandering on the fringes of the shop.

He took me to a small photograph pinned to the wall behind his work table.  It was the back of a man--I think it was him--standing in front of a waterfall.  He pointed to an area of plant-covered rock beside the waterfall and asked "What do you see here?"

I looked for a moment, and then gasped.

"Oh wow!  It's a face!" I whispered.

He smiled.

"Yes, and here?"  He pointed again, and there was another.  He pointed out several more, all innocuously hiding in the rock face, like those old photos from the 70s where people claim to have seen faeries.  He went on to tell me that in that place there are many other figures in the rocks as well, including figures of Pumas, which are a sacred animal to the Inca culture.

He wanted me to go there.  Unfortunately, I was headed back down the mountain that night, and back to Cusco the following day. 

Then the power went out in the upper half of the town.  In the dark, he kissed me on both cheeks and we said goodbye.

If, as I hope to, I ever make it back that way, I will find him, and find that place.

I don't know what made him choose me over the others in the store.  I don't know what drew me into the store in the first place.  But last night as I put on this necklace it all came flooding back to me and it seemed so long ago, as if it had happened in another life.

Then I thought about it and realized that, actually, it had only been 16 days ago.

Time is nothing if not subjective.  Just as a sound or a smell can bring the distant past crashing back into your brain as though it were yesterday, a distance of a thousand miles can send yesterday reeling to the recesses of your mind, like a childhood toy discarded for bigger and better things.

What is it about distance that stretches time in such a distorted fashion?  Why is it that something that occurred only a few days ago somewhere far away, seems as though it actually happened and year ago?  Or a lifetime?

How can we hold onto something that happened in another world, once we've returned to this one?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Retail Therapy

Victoria's Secret is discriminating against women with small breasts.

I realized the other day that the majority of my bras are in what could only be described as deplorable condition, and so as part of this afternoon's retail therapy mission, I decided to head over to good ole' Vicky's and see what I could find.  At the first store I entered, I was disgruntled to find that not a single one of the bras I liked was available in my size--34A--and was more than a little puzzled that many styles didn't even have 34A drawers through which to browse.  I chalked this up to it being a small location and decided to head further uptown to the huge 2-level store in Herald Square.

I arrived and breathed a sigh of relief at the much larger selection and once again began to browse, only to encounter more of the same:  Not a single 34A in sight!  Those that I was able to find all contained about an inch of foam padding, and gone are the days of removable padding, oh no!  All of this stuff was permanently attached.  Finally, I found a saleswoman and asked, somewhat exasperated, where I might find a size 34A, non-padded bra.

There was ONE.  Gee, so much for selection!  At first the salesgirl thought there might be two, but no!  Lo and behold, Body By Victoria no longer comes in A cups.  Neither, for that matter, do well over two-thirds of the styles in the store!  I came home to browse the website and was elated that hooray!  My favourite style--the push-up without padding--had returned!  But... you guessed it.  No A cups.  Foiled again!

So what gives Vicky?  Girls with small tits are no longer allowed to have nice lingerie?  Girls with A cup boobs can't possibly be comfortable in their bodies and therefore we only sell them bras with ridiculous amounts of padding?

I've got to say, Ms. Victoria, I am deeply disappointed.  This is the first time my retail therapy has left me feeling the need to seek therapy!

And PS - one of your security guards stepped on my foot--right on top of my new tattoo!!  Nice to see we are hiring security guards who are vigilant and aware of their surroundings.

Fortunately Vicky's was the only aspect of my retail therapy trek that left me looking for a shrink.  I more or less signed over my firstborn to Sephora, which is not all that unusual.  I attempted to shop at H&M but it appears that two seasons of my adoring everything in the store have dried up my shopping karma--I wasn't tempted to try on a single article of clothing.  Sadly, the only store currently housing anything I would consider wearing is Urban Outfitters, and every time I walk into that store I feel a little piece of my soul shrivel up and die.  Which didn't stop me from spending a bunch of money, which is the only way to actually purchase anything in that overpriced haven of hipster cliches.  Still, I dare anyone to mock me in my rockin' 1920s style hat.  For real.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to eat my dinner and shop for lingerie from Frederick's of Hollywood.  At least they still make bras in my size!

Saturday Night's Alright for...

It was a good night.

First and foremost, I met my darling A for drinks--whom, of course, I haven't seen since I left the country a bit over two months ago.  We caught up, she heard what dirt I had to give on CFL (I promise you all, a transcript of ridiculous apology is coming soon), and then her darling man,whom I also adore, joined us.  Being the stellar literary agent she is, she has sold more books, and one of them has a movie-style trailer which I will be sharing with you all just as soon as I have the link.  The book is fab, I've read it, and I recommend that you all do the same!!  (I'm sure DS will agree, A tells me that she's read it too.)

And, before A arrived--a wee bit late, thanks to the fact that the MTA goes to shit every time something falls from the sky, be it rain or snow or otherwise--I had Hot Bartender to keep me company.  Hot Bartender is a guy I had the hots for for YEARS, whom I dated briefly a few years ago, and then who vanished off the face of my planet but would still give me free drinks when I landed in his bar, most likely out of guilt.  I have a feeling he did the same tonight, as the tab for A, myself, and her man ended up being only $50, which was, considering the time spent and the amount of alcohol consumed, not much.  There was also a good deal more flirting than there has been on previous visits, which ended in my discovering that my number is still in his phone--and I hope his is still in mine, as I texted the only number under his name shortly after returning home--so hopefully we will be seeing each other again sometime soon.  Past experience has taught me not to expect anything, but past experience has also taught me that he's a whole lot of fun while he's around, so I'll play my cards where they lay.

Other than that, it's business as usual.  Had a job audition on Thurs which I hope went well (it's so hard to tell), and a show audition yesterday that I already know I didn't get, but I'm not too distressed as a.) I knew beforehand that I wasn't really right for the show, and b.) in the process I managed to impress the artistic director, who invited me to audition for another show he's doing later this Fall.

So that's where it all stands right now.  I haven't really taken time to assess just how much work I have to do for Ginormous Project--which is probably a good thing, because if I'd really thought about it, I'd probably have had a breakdown already.  I'm just putting that off for a few weeks.  And 10 year HS reunion is next weekend, which I'm sure will breed stories of an epic proportion.  So for now, here I am, slightly tipsy, headed for bed, and really hoping that the individual I just texted was, indeed, Hot Bartender, and not another man of the same name.  Because that would certainly be embarrassing.

Just another Saturday night in Brooklyn.  What can I say?

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Somehow, New York City has managed to slow down in my absence.  Every single person I walked behind today was moving at roughly the pace of a physically disabled snail dragging an elephant... uphill.  Seriously people, WAKE THE FUCK UP AND MOVE!!  Some of us have places to be.

I was amazed at the number of women I saw today who simply could not be wearing underwear under their sheer, light-coloured pants/skirts/dresses.  Thank heavens for the absence of unexpected updrafts or I would have seen much more of New York than I cared to this afternoon.

The NFL took over the better part of 59th St (and several blocks south) this afternoon, with the result being that when I arrived in Manhattan a freaking hour early for my job audition (thanks HopStop), I could NOT go kill time in Central Park, even though it was only 6 freaking blocks away!  I would have had to walk halfway across town just to get in.  Thanks NFL.  Thanks a lot.

I am now the proud owner of not one, but two fancy coffee presses.  One 8-cup press, on the off chance I should ever actually have someone in my house in the morning (other than myself) requiring coffee; and one fancy little contraption that you simply hang in your mug!  Amazing!  It's a good thing I'm still waiting for a new debit card and therefore operating on a cash-only system, or I would have gone buck wild in Bed Bath & Beyond this afternoon.  I heart housewares!

And finally, as promised, new ink!!

I've been threatening to do this for years--my mom and I are both slightly dyslexic when it comes to Right and Left.  Now I have a permanent reminder!  (So long as I'm wearing open-topped shoes, at any rate).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Looking for a New York Groove

Somebody needs to find my Productivity Switch and flip it to the ON position... pronto!  Because I've got about a million-and-one things to do, and can't seem to get my ass in gear to start on a single one of them.

Well, that's not entirely true.  I did memorize a monologue this evening, but that only ever takes about half an hour anyway.  Hardly a large investment of time.

And I did find time this afternoon to get a mani-pedi and a new tattoo, but in the hierarchy of THINGS THAT MUST BE DONE STAT, those are fairly low on the totem pole.  Except the tattoo.  Those are always urgent.

This is clearly the beginning-of-semester story of my life, is it not?  I'm always losing my shit at this time of year, particularly when I've just returned from traveling.  Go ahead, ask me if I've unpacked yet.  Just ask.

I haven't even looked at my Google Reader since I left the country.  Anyone want to make a guess as to how insanely high that number will be before I begin gratuitously marking-all-as-read?  Come on, leave a guess in the comments and the winner gets a cookie.

(See, I'm surreptitiously engaging you in my procrastination tactics.  I am that good.)

So really, that's it for the time being kids.  Sorry.  I promise a recap of some sort when I eventually get around to answering CFL's lame-ass excuse for an apology.  I am debating whether or not to include photos of my poor, half-shorn kitty in my response.  We'll see how benevolent I'm feeling when I finally get around to writing it.

I have an audition for a job tomorrow afternoon, and an audition for a show (non-paying, new Rep company that someone I know started last year) on Friday.  I need to get my arse in gear and start working on all the red-tape-alleviating paperwork for my ginormous project, as well as creating lesson plans for another job I'm applying for.  And there's always the fact that if I don't get around to unpacking ASAP, I'm going to end up living out of boxes for the rest of the semester.


And did I mention my 10 year HS reunion is in 2 weeks?  Yeah, I just hope that it's not too soon to ask the landlord's little brother to cat-sit after the whole CFL debacle.  The afore-mentioned "talk" still has not occurred.

Okay, I'm working myself into a tizzy again and can't think of a witty and/or coherent way to end this little tirade, so I'll simply say "goodnight" and promise pics of the new tattoo once I actually take some.


Monday, September 1, 2008


Closet optimist though I may be, it seems quite often that I find myself in this position--waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I've been back in NYC for roughly 4 days now.  The first was spent feverishly cleaning my apartment--which was absolutely filthy--and taking care of various other lovely chores such as buying a pair of clippers to shave off half of my cat's coat, which was so incredibly matted that it rendered all other options impossible.  Late that evening, Froggy-Clause dropped off "I'm Sorry" presents on the doorsteps on my landlord and my downstairs neighbors, hoping to smooth things over.

The second two days were spent with my parents--respectively getting drunk (after buying me a new vacuum--mine committed suicide in spectacular fashion whilst trying to rescue my rugs from the aftermath of Hurricane CFL) and recovering from the resultant hangover.

At the tail end of day 2 of Parental Visitation, while I was ushering them into a car service car to get them back to their hotel, I ran into my landlords on the steps.  They were rushing inside with some sort of food, and the wife--with whom all of my communication while abroad took place--said simply "Hi, welcome back, we'll talk later," while the husband added "Hi, happy holiday weekend!" before following her inside.  That was the extent of our communication since my return.

And now I sit here, awaiting that very "later" like the Sword of Damocles, or Edgar Allan Poe's Pendulum.  I have no idea what this conversation will entail--will she simply fill me in on the remainder of CFL's outrageous behavior?  Raise my rent as a penalty?  Inform me that they're now kicking me out as well?  I cannot keep these fears from racing through my head with such rapidity that my strongest instinct is simply to hide.  Hey, if she can't find me, she can't kick me out... right?

I wish I could just calm down, but each time I discover a new piece of debris from this train wreck--all of my towels put away in the bathroom and absolutely filthy... like with stuff crusted on them--my fear of the final windfall increases ten-fold.

I have the distinct feeling that life is hiding behind a corner, just waiting to chew me up and spit me out.  I guess there's nothing for it except simply to wait and see...