Wednesday, September 27, 2006


A picture of Zoe Dog from over the weekend, because it makes me smile.

I'm off to Chicago for work now. I've never been to Chicago before and now I'm going for one day for a conference. I wonder if I can see the Sears Tower from the confines of the hotel?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Life is a reality check sometimes

I was going to write a long post to make up for the weekend and have it be what I strive for it to be - at least somewhat amusing. But then I found out that my cousin was robbed at gunpoint yesterday in Savannah, Georgia, where she attends art college. And that's no laughing matter. Thankfully, she's okay.

Friday, September 22, 2006

And Woof Grrl was born

It's no secret that I'm a HUGE fan of dogs. If I were a super-hero, I think my super-hero name would be Woof Grrl. You know, like a dog goes "woof" and then growls like "grr"? Never mind. Anyway, my costume would have fur all over it and my mask would have a wet nose with pointy ears on top. My super power would be that I can smell out doggie injustice within a 50-mile radius. The would call me the Canine Avenger.

So this morning....ohhhh, you didn't want to mess with me this morning! I'm dog-sitting for my parents (natch) while they're away, meaning I must commute in from New Jersey and wake up super-early to do this. I'm only on my second cup of coffee and traffic was a snarl because of the UN General Assembly. I was not a happy camper.

Barrelling down 2nd Avenue is a van from Biscuits and Bath. This driver gave new meaning to the words "driving like an asshole". Okay, fine. What was NOT okay was the fact that there was big sign pasted on the rear window saying "Live Animals" on it.

Watching this van cut off other drivers and braking hard in between made my blood boil. I saw red! You don't understand, when I see someone mistreating a dog, I just go off. C will back me up on this. When some schmuck is dragging his dog along the sidewalk without even paying attention to notice the dog is trying to wee, I'll be the first to say something. Like (tap on the shoulder), "Have you noticed your dog is trying to take a piss?"

I'm a big believer in that there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. If I see someone trying to do the "My dog just made a poop and I'm going to pretend I didn't see it" shuffle, I'm hot on their heels waving a plastic bag, "DO YOU NEED A BAG TO PICK UP YOUR DOG'S POOP?"

Dogs are human beings, too.

So when I saw that van, I could only imagine the poor doggies in the back, flying around in their cages while being subjected to what he was doing. That just made me so mad, I was shaking. Because any idiot who decides to drive like an ass - while driving a company van with the business phone number printed on the side of it - deserves to be reported.

Which is exactly what I did. I dialed up Biscuits and Bath and in no uncertain terms, I made it clear to them the following: that not only was this upsetting for me, not only was it bad for their business to have their company van being seen like that - but it was animal cruelty. And I made it very clear I was thisclose to calling the Humane Society of New York City, the director of which I happened to interview for an article last spring. I was assured the manager would be informed. But I'm not done yet, which is why I'm writing about it and naming names.

As Woof Grrl, my work is never done; next on my agenda: banning doggie couture. Seriously, someone's got to save them.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sleep deprivation does funny things

Cross the principal from Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Paul "Pee Wee Herman" Reubens...

...and you get A Thousand Different Ways to kill whatever was left of Clay Aiken's post-American Idol image.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Not in my house, you won't!

They say after planning a wedding, moving is one of the most traumatic things you will ever experience in your life. As C and I will hopefully have moved into our new apartment by the new year, I'm starting to agree.

I don't think I'm prepared for this. I've lived in my current apartment for 9 years. 9 years!!! Apartment-dwelling in Manhattan is like dog years, so I've really lived in it for something like 60! I have a lot of emotional and mental ties to that place. I was practically a wee sprog when I first moved in, and now I'm married with a dog. Wait a second - how did all that happen?

But my apartment has seen me through the years. Different jobs, boyfriends, impromptu parties, and meals with friends - we're talking a lot of memories. When everyone would come over to pre-party before going clubbing. The time the blender exploded raspberry daiquiri like a self-propelled rocket all over the ceiling. The time I stayed awake all night, hugging Zoe-dog, both of us quivering at what we thought was a mouse shrieking in pain. Turns out it was the battery in the smoke detector dying.

And the neighborhood. Don't even get me started. Where else am I going to get ribs as good as Brother Jimmy's? Investing the energy to discover new favorites in a new neighborhood just seems so exhausting at the moment. And what about Mike, the eccentric owner of the pet shop that Zoe loves to go to? Who else is gonna comp her the free doggie biscuits? And being so close to Central Park where, if there's a blizzard out, we'll find ourselves in a snowball fight with 30 other strangers, some of them in Santa suits?

I need a 12-step program for what I'm about to do.

I had to show our apartment last night to a potential buyer. It was a last minute thing, so I had to race home yesterday and deconstruct the bomb that hit our home Sunday night. This would be the one brought on by the trashy magazine/sloppy pajamas/ice cream-induced wallowing frenzy that was Moi. And I had to do it less than two hours.

When this girl walked in, she was like the ghost of my brother's ex-fiance come back to haunt me. Aside from being unnaturally thin, she was her doppelganger - a yenta in Juicy sweatpants, Juicy bag, and her cell phone permanently attached to her ear. She gave me a dismissive wave as she walked in, making me feel like I didn't exist in my own home. I instantly disliked her and wondered could I vote her out of my apartment if she decided she wanted it? I proceeded to show her around, which wasn't going to take very long as my little piece of real estate could probably fit in your living room.

M: "Here's the kitchen, where we recently purchased new appliances and re-tiled the floors-"

Girl: "Oh, I'd rip all that out anyway and make it a walk-in closet."

M (eyes bulging as I recalled the time and effort invested into re-doing the kitchen): "The gas line is in here."

"Yeah, and?" She blinked at me, not pausing to think that one false move with the gas line and she'd be taking off into the sky like a firecracker with a French pedicure.

Moving on, I talked her through the rest of the place, not that she heard me because she kept answering her cell phone and promptly cutting off whatever I was saying. Coming upon the antechamber to the bathroom...

M: "And here is the dressing area-"

Girl (eyes widening and smiling): "Is it a walk-in???"

M: "No."

Girl (gives a disdainful sniff): "How big is this apartment anyway? I thought it could be converted into a 1 bedroom?"

M: "Did you even read the listing?"

Girl: "No, I just saw the pictures. It's 'cute', but it's not for me." (She made air quotes when she said "cute". For that, I could have tackled her Juicy-swaddled ass and force-fed her a double cheeseburger from Jackson Hole. With mayo.)

M: "So you didn't read the listing and you were 45 minutes late, when I mentioned on the phone that I had dinner plans with friends right now?"

Girl (shrugging shoulders): "Stuff happens, you know?"

M (grabbing the back of her shirt): "That's it - you get out of my apartment right now! You and your walk-in-closet obsession have wasted my time and don't deserve to be in here one second longer!"

And with that, I dragged her across the apartment, opened the door, and threw her out into the hallway, Zoe-dog barking her approval throughout.

Okay, well, I didn't. But I soooo would have loved to!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

And on Sunday, she wallowed

Today, C went back to England after a short weekend together.

Going with him to the airport to say good-bye has always been tough. It's five hours of an emotional mind-fuck, knowing I'm going with him to the airport to say good-bye. Walk around the terminal with him, with the feeling that he's leaving soon making it all fun and games. The wierd feeling when I see him walk through security and knowing that if I acted purely on instinct, I'll be calling my parents from jail tomorrow morning. And then the long train ride home, snuffling to myself. On the E train. And you really don't want me to discuss the E train.

But staying home after he leaves is no fun either. Especially as the apartment is our home now. We have our life together, and I've only realized now just how much it's our life now and not really so much mine anymore. And I like it.

So after this weekend, this chilled-out weekend where I had the shock of my life regarding zebra print (different post, different time), it was time for him to go. So I had this brilliant idea that if I'm not going to the airport, then I shouldn't stay home...I should go shopping! (Hitting forehead) Retail therapy! What was I thinking? Of course! Driver, take me to Bloomingdales!

Except it didn't quite work that way. I was in Shoes on 2 and I realized I wasn't really quite paying attention. I was there shopping, but I was not really there. My heart wasn't in it and I knew why - I was already missing C. The knowledge that he would be back in two weeks and the "Buy One, Get the Second Pair 1/2 Off!" sale did little to console me.

So when the salesgirl handed me several boxes of shoes to try on, she looked at me and said, "And how is your day?" Oooh, dangerous question. M, don't do it, M, don't do it. But I did it.

My eyes welled up and I became one of those people who answer a simple, non-committal question with their Life Story. I became a Gusher. In the middle of Bloomingdales, of all places! Listen - Robin Williams can have an emotional meltdown, defect from Communist Russia, and have half of New York City cheering him on in Bloomingdales (see Moscow On The Hudson). But if you are not Robin Williams and start crying to the salesgirl, she is calling the men in white coats. Designed by Michael Kors, of course - it's Bloomingdales!

But by a wierd twist of fate, she actually sat and listened to my rambling. If - as I suspected - she was stoned, then this makes a lot of sense. Otherwise, I highly commend Bloomingdales for the level of customer service this store supplies and everyone should shop there!

Having stumbled out of the store and walked my sorry self home, a friend called me on my cell to check in, as she knew C was leaving today. After five minutes, I sighed, "I'd rather not talk right now, I just need to be alone." But she had different ideas.

7 pm - the phone rings. I'm changing into my slobby pajamas. Answering machine picks up. "Hi. Just calling to see how you're feeling. Call me back when you can."

8 pm - phone rings again while I'm hugging a pint of Better Batter ice cream from Maggie Moo's. Let the machine pick up. "It's me again. Not to go all wierd on you, but you've got me a little worried. Call me at least when you walk the dog."

9 pm - Again. "I hope you're having fun wallowing. I bet this includes an interesting combination of sleepwear and a pint of Haagen-Daaz. Am I right?"

Close, but it was enough to make me crack a smile

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sometimes my boss has no sense of humor

An actual e-mail that took place earlier today, regarding an awards event we're doing next Wednesday:

-----Original Message-----

From: CD
Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2006 11:58 AM
To: M
Subject: Event program

This is what I have. Will copy sheet from program and you can update. Don’t forget your credit.

-----Original Message-----

From: M
Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2006 11:59 AM
To: CD
Subject: RE: Event program

My credit should read:

"And a very big shout out to M in da house - holla!"

-----Original Message-----

From: CD
Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2006 12:01 PM
To: M
Subject: Re: Event program

Sounds great.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I know what you did in the 3rd grade

Like a phoenix rising from the plethora of character flaws that make up moi, I have one strength that cannot be denied - my elephantine memory. I can tell you what you ate when we had lunch at that place in Little Italy two years ago and I'll remember the birthday of the girl that I worked with at the GAP in high school. Phone numbers roll off my tongue while other people are still looking for them.

My brain is like a personal computer, retaining all useless bits of information, details, and events. Either I'll win a lot of money on Jeopardy! one day or my personal hard drive will crash.

With this memory of mine, it's highly advisable that you don't lie to me. Because. I. Remember. Everything.

Unfortunately, a friend of mine forgot this credo when telling me something about themselves recently. And this something directly contradicted something they told me last winter. It all of a sudden became the same story with two very different endings. Because alcohol was involved in both situations, the Truth Serum Rule could not be applied here. But my instinct could and I'm 99.9% sure I know which of the two endings is true.

But it sucks. Because I saw it coming and thought Uh oh. Do I interrupt them and say, "Yeah, remember when you told me last winter?", thereby deflecting the opportunity for a lie to emerge? Or do I keep my mouth shut and play the asshole who believes them? I may be hurting their credibility by calling them out on it, but I'm hurting mine when I don't say anything at all.

But guess what? I played the asshole and allowed myself to be lied to. I swear my body temperature went up five degrees throughout the course of the story-telling. It was like watching the proverbial train wreck happen, with the emphasis on "verb". I kept wanting to burst out Hey! I know you're lying to me! But I didn't.

And for what? To save them the embarassment, even though I was embarassed for them? So they feel better in believing their own version of events, because it reinforces and even boosts their perception of themselves, however implausble it is? All the while my self-assurance and belief system taking a hit, because I've let them continue on with their altered version of reality.

Yes, unfortunately, by doing that I've either encouraged the image of myself as this unwitting naif who'll believe anything they say, or they know that I know, but don't have the cojones to speak up and say something about it.

Because of all the things I do remember, I've still forgotten to grow a pair.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

All hail the Farty Shoes

I am a fashion victim in the worst way. I have been afflicted with not just one, but two pairs of Farty Shoes.

Yes, you read right. I myself never knew there could be such a thing, and now all of a sudden I have two pairs. We're talking Farty with a capital F! Dorothy had her ruby red slippers and I've got my Farty Shoes

Earlier this summer, I acquired a pair of Donald Pliner one-inch heel sandals. These were perfect for work and ideal for walking around everywhere in comfort. Later on, I acquired another pair of sandals, this time lavender Nicole Miller with two-and-a-half inch heels. Also comfortable while achieving the desired level of fashionability I strive for. Two great pairs of shoes. Stylish, comfortable...and Farty.

My presence is announced even before I enter the room, thanks to the pfffftttt, pfffttttt and the occasional pffffooomp! that accompanies each step I take. The only time my Farty Shoes do not make themselves known is when I'm stepping on carpeted floors, which thankfully most of my office has. But on the way back from the ladies' room, where there are tiles, the receptionist will say without even seeing me, "Is that M I hear coming round the corner?" And if it's a really bad misstep, the sound then becomes what can only be described as a seal with a sinus infection. When that unfortunate ONK! ONK! happens, I should just clap my hands and bounce balls on my nose, you know, for the full effect.

I have devised a strategic walk to minimize this unfortunate problem; however, my legs are becoming quite sore as a result. So pray for me if I get tired and take a wrong step in public company. People step away from me in the elevator. They discreetly cover their noses waiting for the assault they think I have just let loose. Meanwhile, my red face indicates my embarassment, but for entirely different reasons. So this presents me with a dilemma - do I falsely out myself and shout "It's not what you think!". Or should I stay quiet and let them be grateful it's not a Silent-But-Deadly, even though I really haven't really done anything at all?

Do I look like a girl who farts that much? (C, don't answer that question) Granted, we all do it and it can't be helped. But if I really cut one each time I took a step, I should be seeing a doctor, no? I mean, that can't be healthy! The shoe guy on my block has offered to fix the problem for me, charging $50 for each pair to fix their heels and frankly, I'd rather be Farty than broke.

No, unfortunately, my shoes are Fashionably Flatulent and they have found a home with me. Maybe if I practice, I could do a whole dance routine to the tune of Lady "Marmalade", without the music. "Pfffft, pffft, pffftt, pfffttt, pffft yah yah yah yah, sweet lady Pffff-alade!" I could start charging admission and buy a pair of Farty Boots - just imagine the fun I could have with that!

So next time you pass by a woman walking down the street and you think she's just let one loose - give her a break. It could simply be that her shoes are Farty.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Plug, plug = Nepotism at its finest

If you're in the New York City area towards the end of the month, there's a new off-Broadway show called J.O.B.- The Hip Hopera. My baby cousin, the mini-mogul, is a producer of the New York run, despite the fact that he's a) not religious and b) not a hip-hopper. Who knew?

The show got good buzz in Hell-A, so my friends and I will all be attending in support of my cuz and in hopes of scoring free Mai Tais, with the mini-umbrellas and plastic monkeys, at intermission. Although he's got champagne wishes and caviar dreams, my friends have been briefed what to do if he starts pulling rank: remind him of when he threw a 2-hour tantrum at age 7, because he dropped his chocolate chip cookie on the floor.

I will never, ever let him live that down.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

And finally, Psycho Nutter - A rant

Saturday night, I walk out of the ladies' room back out into the bar somewhere in the south of England. Standing behind C and his best friend is this girl who's staring me up and down. I clock her watching me and think it's either one of two things:

a) She just hit on C


b) Psycho Nutter is here and that's one of her goons

Pyscho Nutter is this girl C dated for all of two months right before we met. The problem is three years later, I don't think she's still quite got over it.

Like this, except brunette and shorter. Much shorter.

Seriously? Something is wrong with this girl. I'm joking, but I'm not. And his family will back me up on this. When C stopped seeing her, she didn't take it very well. No, she did not. I know, because she seemed to turn up everywhere we went whenver I visited him in the UK those first few months we were dating. Oh wait, she's still doing that even now. Regardless of the variety of venues, there she is, scoping us out. Watching, waiting. She might be the size of an Oompa Loompa, but she scares me anyway. She just wouldn't go away.

Look, I know what it's like when you like a guy and he doesn't like you back. You try a little harder, thinking you can change his mind. You go to all the places he hangs out, try to be a certain way which is not even close to who you really are. We've all been down that route, but we're all also old enough to know better by now. Her, of all people.

To this day, she still manages to turn up almost every time I'm there and we go out. It's wierd. How does she know??? Saturday night, we hit four different places and by the last place - a place we'd never seen her go to before - I felt relatively safe. But like a bad rash, I spy her friend behind the guys and knew she was somewhere in the vicinity.

I wouldn't have minded Psycho Nutter's shenanigans that night, which were comparatively harmless to previous experiences. I wouldn't have minded that night at all when:

a) she decided to blatantly watch every move we made, especially when we went out on the dance floor

b) she walked over to our table, then realized I was sitting next to him, and started cackling wierdly before hurrying away

c) when, I think, she put up one of her guy friends to make a pass at me when I walked right by the bar

d) when she tried to talk C's friend alone, and presumably started crying when he told her to go away

I would have said Fark it, let's go. Except for one thing. She went up to C to say hello while I was in the bathroom, and they exchanged pleasantries. During this time, she was informed that I - his wife - was in fact in the ladies' room at the moment. That's when she felt it was appropriate to ask him if he was happy, to which he answered yes. And then she repeated the question again.

Pardon my Fronch, but what the fuck is that??? Who is she to ask him that? No, that annoyed me.

I'm a Jewish woman. We like to complain as a form of socialization. It's a cultural thing, bubeleh. Throw anything at me, however innocuous, and I'll find something wrong with it. You say "a pencil", I'll tell you the eraser gets all over the paper.

But when a Jewish woman is quiet, she's happy. Which is why C was very concerned in Santorini:

C: Are you okay?

Me: I'm great.

C: Are you sure?

Me: Honestly? Yes.

C: But you're so...quiet.

Yes, I do like to complain about a bunch of things. But C's not high on that list. So I have to complain about taxi drivers, people who don't pick up after their dog's poop, and idiot co-workers, because he doesn't give me enough fodder with which to complain. Not that I want him to start either.

The point is he makes me happy and I believe I make him happy. So after I learned that Psycho Nutter asked him that question, I stuck my heels in, ordered a V & T, and said, "Right, we're not going anywhere."

The guys looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders, and ordered another round.

I don't like to mess with heads that are already messed up to begin with, but... given that my stay in the UK was short, and C's there for the next 7 weeks for work? I needed to make an Impact with a capital I. Send the message that in our little universe, she didn't quantify. Several people asked me afterwards why I didn't say anything to her, but that was the whole point. Any attention, any reaction would been interpreted as a crack, a weakness on our part, and ultimately, success for her. I know how those crazies work!

She was trying to get a rise out of us, and the more we ignored her, the more desperate she got. The dancing got a little more frenzied, the staring got a little more blatant. Until the point of the tears, she was practically hanging off the railing to watch us. But we refused to bite and ultimately, walked out of the bar and into the night, messily singing "The Last Train to Clarksville".

Try as she might, and she definitely did try, I was not about to get into a Britney/Justin dance-off with her. But had I wanted to do that, believe you me - one high-kick from me would have sent her ass flying all the way out to Glasgow.

6 am on the M25 to Heathrow

Intermission from the day

Random, but since when did I start being called "Ma'am"???

I'm back from England. (Rubbing my hands together) I think it's time we discussed Psycho Nutter, The Ex-Girlfriend of C Who Wasn't.

Stay tuned.