Thursday, April 27, 2006

Spitters never win?

"I think it removes the last shade of doubt that fellatio is actually a healthy act," said Dr. A.J. Kramer of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research. "I am surprised by these findings, but am also excited that the researchers may have discovered a relatively easy way to lower the occurance of breast cancer in women."*

Uh huh.

*Yes, it's a joke. Thanks to ElleCharlie for the laugh.

Interpret THIS

I bought a new journal when I was at Kripalu and ever since I started writing in it, my dreams have become much more vivid. Not particularly relaxing or happy, but at least I can remember the dreams when I wake up and that keeps me feeling more connected to myself. I hate not being able to remember my dreams. Sometimes I take them too literally, but when I can’t recall them at all it feels like there’s static along the line somewhere.

Two nights ago, I dreamed that T called me to tell me that Glenn had gotten married and was having a baby with his new wife. I proceeded to have a total Sally moment, but I was more upset about the fact that she’d been talking to Glenn behind my back. Her only explanation was that he’d lent her some money because he thought she was a worthy cause.


Last night I dreamed that I was stuck in line at the airport in DC, trying to switch my flight so I could get home. Instead they routed me through New Orleans. Then I lost my ticket and had to wait in a long line of whiny elderly people who had bigger problems than me. And I couldn’t find my luggage.

All of this might have to do with the fact that the cats have become much more affectionate at night. Scully sleeps next to my head, Griffin curls up on my legs and Cringer snoozes under the blankets next to me. Movement is impossible.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

That explains...something

Interesting but also sort of random.

A spoonful of sugar wouldn't hurt

Work is hard right now. Hard as in political, not time consuming. I can’t stand office politics, mostly because I’m very bad at them. Why is it too much to ask that everyone be able to come to work and get our jobs done without all the drama? And how long is the drama allowed to go one before it’s time to start looking for a new job? I dislike the fact that I’ve never stayed in a job longer than two and a half years, so in an ideal world I would like to stick it out where I am for a while longer. But if the politics don’t improve, I might have to make a move. I used to be all for change, but right now I’m enjoying some relative stability and it would be nice not to have to rock the boat. Either something bad is going to have to happen or I’m going to have to be recruited. That’s my newly discovered bottom line.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Blissed out

I don’t really know how to write about the weekend, except to say that it was amazing and wonderful and totally transformative. The weather was cold and rainy and perfect. About 100 of us hunkered down in what used to be the main sanctuary of the building that Kripalu occupies, and did almost 10 hours of deep, intense yoga. When I wasn’t stretching and breathing deeply in class, I was sleeping or eating salad with this amazing organic yogurt-parsley-feta dressing that I totally fell in love with.

Vegan brownies with almond butter are not as gross as they sound.

When can I go back?

Friday, April 21, 2006


So you know how boys always get the bad rap for forgetting important dates (birthdays, anniversaries,etc)? Well, I’m the asshole on this one. When I booked my trip to Kripalu, I was so excited about the workshop that I completely blanked on the fact that tomorrow is our one year anniversary. It just flew my mind. I’m not a huge anniversary geek but this one feels important—I mean, a year ago who would’ve thought that we’d be here? And yet here we are, and we’re happy (at least I am), happier than I knew it was possible to be. And yet, I didn’t make the connection between dates, so there’ll be no anniversary lovin’ tomorrow. Lunchboy doesn’t seem too upset. He’s excited to set up the new entertainment center and get some HD Gamecube action going. Because what’s a girlfriend-free weekend without at least 6 hours of Smash Brothers? He’s fine with doing an anniversary dinner next weekend. But I still feel bad. Not bad enough to cancel the trip, though. Part of me feels like at this age it’s less vital to rely on dates to reinforce the progression of relationships. Then again, that’s probably just yet another in a long line of attempts to avoid responsibility…

So true

I am a pinching koala and tree!
Find your own pose!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Totally obvious survey of the day

Well, duh.

We'll drink wine with diamonds in the glass

Today I’m 31 and the fact that I am now firmly in my 30s is somewhat softened by the fact that Katie Holmes finally gave birth yesterday/today and now I no longer have to hit “refresh” on Yahoo news every five seconds. And no, it’s not sad that I care about the tomkitten’s arrival—I am mostly relieved because it’s almost inhuman for a woman to be pregnant for that long and as someone who has never carried a child in her womb, it scared me to death to think that the experience could be so long and so ghastly to watch. Now it feels like things are somehow right with the universe again.

What I am most excited about is this. It’s my present to myself. A few days of me time, where I don’t have to think about the house or the cats or whether the mortgage got mailed, where I don’t have to deal with inconsiderate, self-absorbed people or Boston drivers, or feel like I have to yell in order to be treated with respect. As Chiz would say, it’s a few days of sweating and eating kale. And I can’t wait. It’ll be the first weekend trip I’ve taken in almost a year and I wish I could leave today.

Tonight I’m going out for drinks and dinner with some girlfriends. Bring on the martinis. Driving to work today, I listened to “Lady Marmalade” and decided it was time to be saucy again.

So good, so good

The Red Sox game last night was eye-opening. The last time I went to Fenway, there weren’t security checkpoints at both ends of Yawkey Way. Or an Emily Post-like how-to guide on ballpark etiquette that got flashed on the jumbotron. I’m supposed to call security if someone is affecting my enjoyment of the game? What? Aren’t ball games all about being rowdy? I think the people in the bleachers broke most of the rules by the fourth inning and I was GLAD.

I haven’t been paying much attention to the Sox so far this season, so I was really confused the first time Kevin Youkilis came up to bat and everyone in the stands booed. “Why don’t they like him?” I asked one of the guys I was with. “They’re not booing, they’re saying Yooooouk,” he replied. Then it made sense. I’m slow on the uptake sometimes.

The first six innings went by in about an hour—it was crazy fast. But it got interesting in the seventh. It was my first game singing “Sweet Caroline” and it was so much fun to be at Fenway without the curse hanging over the entire park. No one was morose. Everyone was upbeat. And we won, so you can’t beat that.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Makes sense

The online Osho tarot deck is addictive. There are weeks when I check it every day and days when I forget altogether. With one or two exceptions, the cards are frighteningly accurate (which is why I keep going back). Here's my card for the day:

The Burden:
When we carry a load of shoulds and shouldn'ts imposed on us by others we become like this ragged, struggling figure trying to make his way uphill. "Go faster, try harder, reach the top!" shouts the foolish tyrant he carries on his shoulder, while the tyrant himself is crowned with an imperious rooster. If life these days feels like just a struggle from the cradle to the grave, it could be time to shrug your shoulders and see what it feels like to walk without these characters on your back. You have your own mountains to conquer, your own dreams to fulfill, but you will never have the energy to pursue them until you release yourself from all the expectations you've gathered from others but now think are your own. Chances are they exist only in your own mind, but that doesn't mean they can't weigh you down. It's time to lighten up, and send them on their way.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Apt description

On depression: "It's exhausting. It's like you have these pictures in your mind and you're pulled toward them at the same time that you're trying like hell to stay away from them."

I'm having a hard time staying away from the pictures right now. I wish I could be witty about it but I can't. A friend told me to lighten up yesterday and she's right, but I didn't know how to tell her that it's hard to be light when it feels like you're walking over a giant black abyss that just opened up beneath you. Melodramatic but true. Depression comes hard and fast, for no particular reason (at least for me). Maybe the happy pills aren't doing their job anymore. I hope that's it--that can be fixed.

Friday, April 14, 2006

One of those days

One cannot control the actions or reactions of others. All we can control is our own actions and reactions. I know this to be true but there are days when I get dissappointed in others and no amount of rationalization makes a difference.

Today I opened a door for someone who left my life suddenly and at a really bad time. And she didn't walk through it. I'm glad I took the risk--the end of that friendship was a loose end that needed tying up--but it still smarts that the risk bit me in the ass.

So now I'm eating grapes and watching Scully roll around in the grass and trying not to be dissappointed about something I can't control.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Drawing a line

Earlier this week, a friend threw a Passion Party, which is like a Tupperware party but with sex toys. Is that a great idea or what? I went to grad school with a Brit who said her friends threw Ann Summers parties all the time but this is the first I’ve heard of it in Boston. I was so curious—what kind of toys? Do we get to play with them? Did the hostess get a free gift for throwing the party? But the sad truth is that I didn’t go.

Full disclosure: the party was on a Monday night and Mondays are, well, hard. Also, the friend in question happens to be Lunchboy’s best friend’s girlfriend and the bottom is line is I just don’t want to know. I don’t want to know what her kinks are or what toys she buys or what orifices the toys are intended for. I don’t want to know these things for the same reason that I didn’t want to share a two-bedroom suite with them on a proposed B&B weekend in NH. Hello, proximity? You have to draw a line somewhere and this is where I’m drawing it.

I wouldn’t have cared if she knew what I bought, but the thought of her boyfriend finding out---that grossed me out. My group of college friends is pretty raunchy and we’re all very open with each other about that aspect of our lives, but this feels different. There’s a modicum of privacy that needs to be maintained when dealing with male friends of my significant other and if Lunchboy’s best friend knew whether my preference lies with the Rabbit Pearl or the magic bullet, then that privacy has gone poof.

I’m just saying. But the party still sounded like fun.


Renate and I have been talking about mothers a lot lately, specifically the strange evolution of the guarded, complex relationships that we have with ours. I bring this up because my mother might be coming over to the house this weekend and I’m still not sure I’m ready for her to visit.

She means well. She really does. And her gardening expertise far outpaces mine, which is to say that she knows how to transplant all the random, unidentifiable green things that are sprouting in our narrow strip of garden and I do not. I know that if I try, all the green things will shrivel up and die, just like half my houseplants are doing right now. The simple presence of her green thumb will probably perk the plants up again because that’s just the way it works. Just like I will end up with difficult children because I myself made her life hell until I was 6, and she will laugh at my pain because by God I deserve it.

I digress.

Bligh said something the other day that made me think. She said, “Life is always an adjustment,” and she’s totally right. I guess I'm still adjusting to the way my mother and I relate to each other right now.

Full of beans

Dooce posted this yesterday and it made me laugh so hard I spit water all over my new keyboard at work.

Monday, April 10, 2006

House, history and baggage

When I was a sophomore in college, my maternal grandmother died after a long illness. Her death was sad, if something of a relief for my mother and her siblings, and it set in motion a process that continues to reverberate through my life in strange, unforeseen ways that are sometimes only apparent in my dreams.

My grandparents lived in Somerset, MA, in a two story farmhouse built in 1912. They married young and moved into the house shortly afterward. My grandmother was extremely practical. She had no use for an engagement ring. Instead, she and my grandfather bought a beautiful cedar chest that sat in the spare bedroom and housed blankets, papers, and my grandmother’s love letters from old suitors. The house was my grandfather’s great labor of love. He was an engineer and he spent most of life working at the Montaup, a massive energy plant a few miles up the road. When he wasn’t working or helping to raise their four kids, he worked on the house, converting the second story into an apartment that he rented out. They lived in that house for almost 60 years.

As they got older and became less able to take care of the yard and the grape arbor over the carport, my grandfather became more and more attached to the house. When my grandmother went into the hospital, my mother and her siblings raised the idea of an assisted living facility but my grandfather would have none of it. He wasn’t moving from that house, even after he went blind in one eye and had a bad fall on the stairs. It wasn’t until my grandmother died that he relented and allowed his family to move him somewhere else. After she was gone, he just stopped caring.

Once he was safely ensconced in an assisted living facility five miles away from my parents, my mother and her siblings realized that they had a monumental task ahead of them—cleaning out the Somerset house to get it ready for sale. My grandparents were children of the Depression and, like many of their peers, they saved just about everything. Over the course of their 60 years in that house, they had turned into pack rats of the highest caliber. Every drawer, every built-in cabinet, every closet and nook and cranny was stuffed with things that they thought might come in handy down the road: string, light bulbs, paper clips, glass pickling jars, garbage bag twisty ties, toothpicks, the aluminum lining from bubble gum wrappers. In a dresser drawer, my mother found 12 sets of sheer curtains and a box containing all the “nice” towels, the ones my grandmother found no occasion to use. We found a closet shelf full of the threadbare tea towels that my grandmother draped over the back of the living room chairs and couches to keep the furniture from getting worn down by people’s heads. A bench in the breakfast nook was stuffed with fake flowers, bought because they lasted longer and were cheaper than the real thing.

Then there was the basement, a space so dark and dank and crowded that none of us could make a dent in the clutter. In the end, the man who bought the house—the former neighborhood paper boy—asked that we leave the basement as it was so he could explore.

We spent three months of weekends cleaning the house out. It was dirty, dusty, emotionally messy work. None of us felt good about the fact that my grandfather couldn’t live there anymore. All of us felt like the house itself, home to so many Christmas days and Thanksgiving dinners, wasn’t something we were willing to let go. But we didn’t have a choice—finances dictated otherwise. After all the siblings and all the cousins had taken the things that meant most to them, my mother hired an auction house to sell the house’s remaining contents as a lot.

The dreams started immediately after we sold the house. At least once a week, I’d fall asleep and I’d be back in the house, sorting through rooms of clutter. In some of the dreams, I’d scour yard sale-like tables of glassware and serving dishes, looking for things whose history spoke to me. In others, I’d be in the basement, scared out of my wits and trying not to trip over the bones that my grandfather found down there one year and reburied. Night by night, room by room, I worked my way through that house just like I had when I was awake. Every dream was weighed down with a sense that I was looking for something very specific but I wasn’t sure what it was. I wanted to keep everything I found but couldn’t; everything felt valuable in a distant way, as if we’d never known the significance of what was right in front of us.

Years later, the dreams have changed. Now I dream of houses and of rooms filled with things, but they are not that specific house or those specific rooms. The other night I dreamed that my family inherited a beautiful old Second Empire Victorian from a distant relative who had left the house’s contents intact for us to sort through. I spent the dream running from room to room, pulling down dust cloths and peering into glass cases. In every room, I amassed a pile of the things I wanted. And then I had a room of my own, in an upper corner of the house filled with light. From the corner window I could see the skyline of San Francisco.

Dreams are weird.

Even as I sort through my own boxes of history in my parent’s basement, I’m sorting through the clutter that’s stashed away in my head. I see the reason why it was so important to me to save everything in the past, though I’m now at a point where I want to divest myself of as much clutter as possible. I don’t want piles of boxes and cabinets full of crap that I don’t have the strength to trash. For any of my friends who have seen my parent’s basement, you know what I’m trying to avoid. Baggage, boxes, whathaveyou—it’s time for a clean start.

Things that make me happy

1.Reduced-sugar Froot Loops have the same nutritional content as Fruit & Berries Special K
2.Watching V for Vendetta and seeing Jolyon and Monty from the Forsyte Saga
3.Watching the cats “help” us make the bed, ie chasing the corners of the fitted sheet, hiding underneath the top sheet, and then flopping over on their backs as soon as possible when the comforter is down

Friday, April 07, 2006

Just like Frank says

"So, what's new with you?"

"Well, um, I just finished unpacking and putting stuff away. The downstairs actually looks like a couple of rooms now, instead of just a big space with stuff crammed everywhere."


"And we got a cleaning lady. The cat fur tumbleweeds finally won the war. Also, I think the kitchen sink has become a sentient being all its own."

"Cool. Let me know how that works out."

"We're having closet people come in and laugh at the closets. The bedroom closet is about to explode and there's no place to put anything."


"Feel free to giggle. The domesticity is kind of sick-making."

"No, no. Sounds like you'll have a pretty nice little Saturday. You'll go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don't know, I don't know if you'll have enough time."

"When we go streaking, you are so not invited."

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Hello, spring?

When the temperature hit 70 in March, I knew it would end up snowing at least once more before spring really hit. But this is kind of ridiculous. Flurries my ass--this is full-on snow, complete with messy driving, accumulation and flakes the size of quarters. I’m trying to be Zen about it but I really just want to go back to bed and curl up with the cats and a good book. Either that or flee to a warm, sunny place where the weather gods don’t play mean-spirited jokes just to see how many people they can send over the edge of insanity.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Les ananas

My bananas are embarrassing me.

Last weekend I bought a bunch of bananas at Whole Foods and they are…big. As in, pornographically big. These bananas could win an AVN award. I swear to god they are the biggest, most phallic pieces of fruit that I have ever seen. Not that pornographic fruit bothers me, but I take my bananas to work so I can eat them for breakfast and the guys in my department have been giving me weird looks in the morning.

When I bought them, the bananas were green and I was pretty focused on getting the shopping done, so I didn’t really pay attention to the issue of size. I noticed that they were kind of heavy in the basket but it wasn’t until I got them home and put them on the counter that the true nature of their size hit me. I blushed. Then I grabbed a ruler.

9 inches long, 3.5 inches around.


Needless to say, the bananas have made my mornings a little more colorful. The art director at work, who happens to be flamboyantly gay, thinks they’re the funniest thing ever, though I have a feeling he wants to steal it for his own purposes. I have to look around a few times before I eat my banana and then I hunch over a little so that it’s less visible. That’s because two of the marketing guys walked by my desk on Monday and their conversation came to a complete stop right when I was taking a bite of my breakfast. Does eating a banana count as sexual harassment? Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Pack rat redux

Yesterday we went out to my parent’s house for a few hours to give them a hand with some yard work, and so I could go basement-diving again. I could write a blue streak about how stressful it is to visit my parents with a significant other, but I don’t particularly feel like getting into it. The day was amusing for me because while Lunchboy helped my father chop and stack firewood in the yard, I began sorting through a wall of boxes that have been in the basement since we moved into the house when I was 13. The term “pack rat” doesn’t quite cut it. I literally had a box for every year of my life and most of them were filled with stuff that should have been trashed or recycled long ago. My finds included but were by no means limited to:

--my first bra
--my treasured plastic link charm necklace circa 1984
--every piece of schoolwork I did during middle school
--a whole box of New Kids on the Block fan paraphernalia that I’ve been trying to erase from my memory since high school. Cassette singles? A scrapbook of newspaper clippings? Concert posters? It’s all in there.
--my old collection of books about King Arthur
--a biology scrapbook of leaves and ferns (now dessicated and crumbling), complete with notecards listing the proper Latin names, circa 9th grade
--an entire box of glass soda bottles, now full of dust and dead spiders
--the miniature ceramic shopping bag that I got as a favor at my ex-best friend’s bat mitzvah

The funny thing is, I remember putting some of those things in boxes so that I’d remember what it was like to be me when I was 13 or 16 or seven. I wanted to be able to chart my past with pieces of paper and trinkets, so that I could put my hands on my history and be able to show my children and grandchildren that I remembered what it was like to be young.

Now, I just want to get rid of clutter. I’m not sure if I’ll regret trashing as much as I did (really, who needs my math homework from 6th grade) but it felt good to do it.