Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gimme a Break

Today for lunch I had:
roast beef on a roll
Bag of chips
Diet coke
I ate with Julie and said, "I know I should have a vegetable, but I don’t want one."
She told me I didn't have to have one.
So I got a twix instead.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Time to Make the Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts was a big part of my college life. It’s not especially healthful, and I’m not proud of it, but for the better part of two years my diet consisted of: French vanilla coffee with cream and sugar, diet coke, oodles of noodles, and pizza.
My roommate Sara and I hit the Dunks in Saratoga daily. Sara had a car and so we’d take orders for all of Wilmarth before trudging through the snow and cold to get our fix.

During finals, of course, our dpd (Dunks per Day) increased exponentially. This had less to do with an actual need for caffeine and more to do with diversion, distraction, and denial. Each trip provided the perfect excuse for procrastination. We needed energy to study, right? It was in our best interest to get coffee. How else would we stay awake to cram and prepare for our end of term exams?

So there we were, two 18 y ear olds avoiding the few responsibilities we had, treking off to buy coffees. It struck me as so odd. There we were, 18 years old, given the great privilege of doing relatively nothing for 4 years. Shipped off to live together, create a small community and all that was asked off us was that we study and learn. And yet, here we were refusing to do even that. Of course, being 18 and incredibly self-involved, I quickly pushed the thought out of my mind.

Until yesterday.

When I heard about the massacre at Virginia Tech I instantly thought of my neighbor’s sister. Her famous quote, “I loved going to Tech. 4 years living alone on Daddy’s dime.” And that’s what it should be. 4 years of getting your sea legs and transitioning from childhood to adulthood. It’s called the Ivory Tower for a reason. Eat nothing but sodium filled foodstuffs, drink your face off, stay up all night having incredible bullshit sessions where you solve the world’s problems and uncover the secret of life. Or, as my mother would say, “there’s a time and a place for everything, and that place is college.” It is not, however, a place to die.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Because OH MY GOD I love Nora Ephron

Howard Wolfson claimed on Hardball that it was unfair to criticize Senator Clinton and President Clinton on "personal terms." I would like to say something about this: there's no separation between personal and political terms when you're President of the United States: your job is to keep the country focused on what's important, and if you screw up for a "personal" reason, it's going to change the subject and (as Dowd wrote) pull the focus. This is probably unfair, but in this age of cable, it's a fact of life.

In other news,

Oliver Bruce Young
February 23rd 2007

I am an aunt


Clearly, I have taken leave of my senses. I barely recognize myself.

Today, I awoke at 6 am and went for a run. I showered, dried my hair, and even applied make-up! I dressed, made my bed, drank my tea and left the house at 7:20. I was 5 minutes early for Ash Wednesday Mass. I’ve never been early to mass in my life.

Pay day is Friday. All my bills are paid and I’ve got some $ left over (shock!).

I don’t know who I am any more.

Ramble on Baby

Hugh Grant and Jemima Khan are officially over. I heard this morning. Is it wrong that my first thought was, “oh good, now I have a shot again?”

Delusional much?

I spent the night in NJ and slept maybe 2 or 3 hours. I woke up well before my 6 am alarm. Then stayed in bed, or at least under the blanket on the pull out couch until 7.

The house still smells like my grandmother. Her stuff is all there and for all intents and purposes (or intensive purposes) it is still her house. This makes me feel all sorts of better.

My mother is not, as you may know, a good housekeeper. Our family home is in a constant state of disarray. When I was young, the blame fell on having 4 young children and a husband who wouldn’t notice if the house was on fire. Now that the children are mostly grown it’s clear that although my father still wouldn’t notice if the house was on fire my mother is a terrible housekeeper. She doesn’t like to keep things neat and tidy and so the house isn’t neat and tidy. You can’t be assured of having clean sheets on your bed or clean glasses in the cupboard, but at nearly 27 I’ve come to accept it. During the summers I keep a clean set of sheets in my closet. Each Friday I strip the bed and replace it with my clean sheets. Each Sunday I strip the bed, wash my sheets, and put whatever was on the bed Friday evening back on it. I bring my own towels and face clothes and toothbrush (can’t leave it there from week to week, never know where it will be when you return). I’ve learned.

My grandmother’s house is pristine. It smells of White Linen, mothballs, and witch hazel (a truly delightful combination, I assure you). The sheets are always clean. The bed is turned down for you when you arrive. Drinks are served promptly at 5. Along with celery, cheddar cheese, Carrs table water crackers, and radishes. There is always vanilla haagen dazs for desert. If you’re there for dinner during the week it will invariable be chicken soup with rice. And it will be delicious. Bobby pins are kept in an old medicine bottle and the witch hazel (thank god for witch hazel) is on the third shelf in the linen closet.

I love my mother and honestly don’t fault her the messy house. I will, however, miss having a place where everything had it’s place.

Silent Bob

We’ve discussed, I think, my dad and how he doesn’t talk. If we haven’t, here’s the deal. The man does not talk.

It’s kind of his deal. He just doesn’t talk. We have conversations about specific events, we discuss the Beatle’s, the differences between John songs and Paul songs, and why mallowmars are the greatest cookie known to man. In general, however, he prefers the company of his own thoughts to the idle chit chat of others. I get this.

Except, he calls me. He calls me and doesn’t talk. He calls to say hi. Literally.

“Hi Ryan, it’s your old dad”
“ Hi Dad”


It never ceases to amaze me. What’s funny is that knowing full well my father is a mute I continue to call him. I proceed to have 5-10 minute monologue all the while thinking “I wish he would just say something.” Perhaps I’ll never learn.

Not a Significant Source of Calories

So in general I am quite against “fake” foods. I am a “eat ice cream if you want ice cream” kinda girl—no fat free half and half or splenda for me. What’s that, oh that diet coke can, pay no attention to that. Anyway, as I was saying, I do my best to avoid chemical laden foodstuffs.

Friday I broke down. I needed something sweet. Something to munch. Out comes the sugar free jello. Orange. Made with diet 7 Up. Yummy. With Cool Whip lite. Saturday, I took it a step further. Fat free, sugar free, cook and serve Jello pudding.

Oh. My. Gawd.


Per serving just, it comes out better calorie wise and nutritionally equal to the ricotta deserts in the South Beach book. Even with the “whipped topping.”

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I want to wear a bikini this summer. I’ve never worn one before (I mean, except for that gloriously anorexic summer I lived in Nice. My head was a mess, I starved and purged but I weighed 122 lbs and had a c cup. I looked good. And I didn’t even own a bikini that summer. I wore a pair of dark panties as bikini bottoms and ran around topless. Vive la France!) For 13 summers I’ve said, “next summer.” Summer 2007 IS “next summer.” Damnit!


I drink a lot. I don’t mean alcoholically. In general, I consume a large amount of liquids each day. I drink roughly 2-3 litres of seltzer water, 2-3 cups of tea, 4-6 cups of coffee, 6-8 glasses of still water, and perhaps a litre of diet soda per day. The detritus litters my desk. At present I have 1 12 oz coffee cup, 2 20 oz diet sodas (diet coke and diet Sunkist), AND my water glass. It’s somewhat embarrassing. It’s never been mentioned, but I can’t help but feel it looks unprofessional.

My Community Value Store

So, I think I have discussed my love for CVS with you. It is quite similar to my love for Boots. I simply adore drug stores. Once, in college, I asked a friend what her "breakfast at tiffany's" was. "CVS" was her reply. I concurred. Whole heartedly.

Everything is possible at CVS. The solution to any problem can be found there. And, unlike Tiffany's, one can easily afford everything at CVS. Lighter hair, brighter teeth, unclogged pores, unstuffed noses-- everything can be fixed at CVS.

I am a dedicated customer. Duane Reede may have everything I need, and at a bettter price, but I shop at CVS. CVS is so much more than a drug store to me. I use it as a make shift ATM (paying $.75 for a pack of gum and getting $35 cash back is much better than paying $3.50 for using an out-of-network atm). I use it as a temporary living room. Those chairs, next to the pharmacy? And the magazine rack? Well, I've been known to camp out on them for part of an evening while I enjoy a soda and catch up on my gossip. Ahem.

Anyway, I just popped out of the office and made a quick CVS run. Imgaine my joy when I received 2 (two!) extra-care coupons printed on my reciept. Each for $4 off a purchase of $20 or more! Oh frabjous day! Calloo Callay!


I’m making our brussel sprouts for dinner tonight.

I’ll add carrots and perhaps parsnips, but not much else.

And that’s all I’ll eat.

Straight out of the mixing bowl. On the couch. In front of the tv. Watching the Sopranos.

But first, I’m going to Ann Taylor to buy something on sale. It’s been that kind of week.

Damn you, Frankie Vali

I think I need to have a good cry.

I’m not upset about anything in particular. Just feeling a bit moodish. I’m craving the release. I read about Alice Trillin today and nearly started crying. Unfortunately, I’m at work and it is, I fear, frowned upon to have an hysterical meltdown at one’s desk. Professionalism, what?

Sky Won't Snow and the Sun Won't Shine

My tea’s gone cold I’m wondering why I got out of bed at all….

Yesterday wasn’t great. Oh, don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t bad. Nothing terrible happened. I didn’t fuck anything up at work, I didn’t bounce any checks, or get any nasty phone calls. I came in, I did my job, and I went home. In between I had some laughs, emailed some friends, and generally took care of business. And yet... And yet it was the kind of day that can only be salvage by buying myself a treat. It was, in short, a Wednesday in January.

Peresphone may have gone to the underworld, but I have gone to Narnia. Pre-Aslanian Narnia. Except for me it’s not always winter and never Christmas, it’s just always winter and always Wednesday. And that makes life tough.

I check daily—today’s sunset is at 4:57 pm, yesterday’s was at 4:55. We’re making progress here people! Each year it’s the same thing, a race from the first of January to the first of March. I take whatever I can get. And I congratulate myself for making it through Wednesday.

Deep Pockets and Short Arms

That’s what my dad would say to me when I was a kid.

“why don’t we go to the islands for easter?”
‘Cause I got deep pockets and short arms

That’s what I’ll have this month.

Here’s what I won’t have:
Any outstanding bills.

Ayup. All paid in full and up-to-date.

Feels good.

When I first moved to New York, or, rather, when I first moved into my apartment, I had this idea in my head. I thought if only I could read X salary and Y position that I could relax. I would feel happy and confident. Magically, or so it seems, I now make that salary and have that job. So I have it, I’m pleased to have reached the goal I set for myself 2 years ago, and at the same time am thinking about the next step, the next place.

So I guess that’s it really. Being pleased with your current situation but looking forward to the next.

The feelings of accomplishment and competency are two of the nicest feelings in the world.

That Beggars Might Ride

Sometimes I wish I were less responsible-- perhaps more able to stick my head in the sand. Make poor decisions and not feel wracked with guilt. Knowingly exercise poor judgment and not watch as my self-worth plummets perceptively. Perhaps I need a sense of entitlement, you know, greater than the one I already have. I want a vacation. Warm sands, hot sun, the water, the waves. I cannot afford this. I could throw it on a credit card, but doing so would not give me any sense of relaxation. It would without a doubt produce the exact opposite. With a generous helping of self-loathing thrown in on the side. For good measure.

Would that I had little regard for myself or others. Would that I could spend with reckless abandon. Would that I could so manage my affairs as to afford an early Spring vacation.

Making Salt

I am not on the wagon. I am not off the wagon. I am behind the wagon, walking at a clip, attempting to keep up with the wagon whilst doing my best to avoid breaking a sweat. It’s an interesting position. I am playing Mountbatten to my wagon’s Ghandi. We’re chasing the same goal, one more reluctantly than that other. The goal is a good and righteous one and, as with most things good and righteous, it is difficult and painful to achieve. At times we work together at others, well, I know how Mountbatten felt when Ghandi would take his days of silence (that fucker). On my better days I am inspired by thoughts of independence. On bad I have visions of boats exploding in the Irish sea…

All this to say, I ran both Tuesday and Wednesday night. Pathetically, but I did run.


This morning we took the 7:57 in from Montclair. It’s the last of the morning rush hour buses and generally rather crowded. Crowded, warm, and, on occasion, stinky. Given that I didn’t get a shower and am wearing clothes I wore to a bar Friday evening, I think I can safely say without fear of successful contradiction that I contributed to the stink. But, I digress.

A 20 minute delay at the tunnel put me in the city exactly at 9 o’clock. Tired and without my morning coffee, I threw myself into a cab and barked my directions “32nd and Park.”

Across 42nd Street, past Grand Central, and onto Park Ave South. I looked up and realized the meter wasn’t running.

“Hey, did you turn the meter on?”

“Ah, no I forgot! Do you take this route often? How much do you think it is?”

“How about if I give you 10 bucks and we call it even?”


And then I laughed. ‘Cause I was in a cab heading south on Park on a sunny April morning with what can only be called a kindred spirit. Lord knows if I were a cabbie I would forget to turn the meter on, too.