Category Archives: friggin a

the one in which i’m too depressed and shocked to write a downton abbey review

i thought i might have something funny to say about last night’s downton abbey until the last five minutes. let’s put that aside for a minute while i share some general insights:

1. i really had no idea what the hell was going on for, like, the first 10 to 15 minutes of the episode. who were all of these people and why were they there? i turned to holly and was like: “did we miss an episode? do you understanding what’s going on?” and she was like “no.” so that was a relief that it wasn’t just me. during those first 10-15 minutes i also could understand even less of what they were saying than usual. i feel like it was a huge backslide for me. i’m not used to smart tv like this and it takes work for me to keep up. try to keep the connections between the episodes stronger, ok, pbs? work with me here. 

2. did anyone else notice how mary was riding that horse?? SHE WAS RIDING IT SIDEWAYS. this was, like, a thing back in the day? that’s some mad skillz, mary! get it girl! and that guy totally likes you and he’s pretty cute! and you be talkin SHOP with him! wearin purple and sh*t! day-um.

3. edith: edith got very little airtime this week. and her old man boyfriend’s apparently some kind of…card shark?

4. lord grantham: STILL AN IDIOT! how do you NOT know how to talk to a singer?? idiot! making her eat her dinner alone in her room….seriously. every episode i wonder how cora married him. and then she opens her mouth and i’m like: oh.

OH YEAH AND THIS TIME HE GAMBLED ALL THE MONEY AWAY. good thing edith’s old man was there to save your ass! someone’s always savin your ass, rob! get a clue. stop talking and just…go to bed. take off your damn bathroom and go to bed.

5. apparently william the footman knows how to cook? he can make, like, dill sauce? for fish? while poor mrs. patmore has a panic attack? and what if she *was* having a heart attack? how long did it take for that doctor to come over? probably something like 90 minutes! this show makes me glad to live in 2014.

6. i knew that kind of new girl–whasser face, cora’s new ladymaid or whatever? i knew she was up to no good. pumping poor branson with alcohol. not looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

ugh. i don’t even think i can go on. #1. i haven’t had breakfast yet. #2. i’m too shocked and depressed. this show is going in a dark direction and i don’t think i’m ready for it. i’m going to have to rewatch the first two episodes of girls (OMG JESSA NOOOOO) so i can forget about it. this is why i only watch golden girls/friends/will & grace reruns, millionaire matchmaker, and snooki & jwoww. sigh. until next time…yours truly in irreverent-ness & non-english-ness, jessica

(miss last week’s review? read it here.)

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every once in a while our periods collide & our house pretty much goes up in flames.

These are the mugs we got in Disney World: one Mickey Mouse and one Donald Duck.

i should start this post by saying that this entry talks about periods and hormones and if you have a problem with that, you should probably leave right now because sh*t’s about to get real around here.

people always say that if you’re a female of child-bearing age hanging around/living with other women of child-bearing age you will eventually all get on the same cycle (that’s “period cycle” for those not in the know, which, really?). anyway, the reason for this has to do with…pheromones or something weird like that. i don’t know, look it up.

anyway, holly and i have been together almost 13 years and our periods have only converged a few times. PROBABLY BECAUSE WE’RE BOTH THE ALPHA. i should stop right here and say that sometimes i think my strong feminine pheromones pull her into my cycle. kind of like the rings of saturn. they’re that strong.

(holly, if you’re reading this, be quiet. i can see your lips moving but i can’t hear any sound.)

ANYWAY, this was one of those months. that our periods collided. we didn’t know it was happening at the time. and let me tell you, we were about to kill each other.

case in point: the damn tea. the damn mugs.

seeing how i work from home and all, i make a lot of tea. i make a lot of coffee but i make more tea. seeing how we both work from home i make holly a lot of tea, too. (she claims i mostly ask her if she wants tea but then forget to make it. i say this is bullsh*t. this only happens some of the time.)

so we’re recently back from a trip to disney world with holly’s family and we picked up two mugs while we were there. i gotta say: they’re pretty nice mugs. great shape, great weight, great design. one’s mickey mouse, one’s donald duck. i didn’t realize it at the time, but apparently the donald duck one is holly’s and the mickey mouse one is mine? oh excuse me, i thought we were sharing them equally. 

yeah so i’m making holly tea the other day. i know the mugs she likes and i know the ones she doesn’t. i choose one of her less favorite ones because the “best ones” aren’t clean. i’m getting the damn tea bag ready to put in the mug and she looks over and is like WHY AREN’T YOU USING ONE OF OUR DISNEY MUGS.

i was like, uh, EXCUSE ME THEY’RE NOT CLEAN RIGHT NOW AND TRUST ME I DID YOU A FAVOR BECAUSE THIS ONE’S THE BEST OF THE WORST AND YOU SHOULD ACTUALLY BE THANKING ME INSTEAD OF ACTING LIKE A JERK ABOUT IT.

suddenly her eyes, usually kind pools of brown, were filled with flames and daggers. my skin got all, what’s the word? like when a cat arches its damn back and hisses. similar to that. but skin.

i felt mad because dammit i was being nice by making her tea and choosing the least hateful mug i could find.

did she really want me to give her one of those generic starbucks mugs that she hates? (i don’t know why we even have them anymore. we got them years ago in a gift set and we’re always avoiding them. they need to go.) or one of the huge mugs that hold hold so much water they’d water down her decaf tea?

I WAS DOING HER A FAVOR AND SHE WAS, LIKE, RUDE. ABOUT IT. REALLY RUDE. AND IT MADE ME MAD.

me being mad made her mad and then we exchanged words. i was like, oh now i’m supposed to ask you what mug you want every time i make you tea? for the rest of our lives? like, get mug approval if there’s no disney mugs available? and she was like can you just stop talking? CAN YOU JUST. STOP TALKING.

then she shot fire daggers from her eyes. and i wanted to karate chop her in the throat. i felt like saying that but i didn’t. because telling your spouse who’s suffering from severe pms (lalala, see your lips moving, holly, not hearing any sound) that you want to karate chop her in the throat is usually a bad idea.

this was just one fight of many small to medium fights we had in a span of a week.

(I JUST THOUGHT OF THE WORD: BRISTLING! she made my skin bristle.)

we’d pass each other in the kitchen or look at each other in our office and i’d think why can’t we stand each other? what is happening right now? why does her breathing make me mad? why do i feel she can’t stand to be around me right now? why do her brown eyes look like pits of hot tar about to burn my insides? 

she’d put her cold feet on mine in bed and i’d be like WHAT. STOP. i’d kind of want to kick her in the shin. (i may have done this, i’m not actually sure.) everything i said she was like NO. and i felt: oh G-d. this is it. almost 13 years together. five weddings. good times. bad. and…this is how it’s ending. i….can’t even. i just…can’t.

and then she got her period. four days early. and then i got mine. the same damn day. five days early.

i’m blaming the damn acupuncture. even though i love it, i’m blaming it. i’m blaming the friggin moon and the damn  tides. i’m blaming patchouli and everyone that wears it. i’m blaming the indigo girls and anything else that’s gay.

vote for my blog in the mobbies early and often

now that i’ve (hopefully!) made you laugh go ahead and vote for lunch at 11:30 in this year’s annual baltimore sun mobbies competition. it’s up for best personal blog. registering to vote takes just moments (moments! literally!) and you can feel good knowing you’ve made a difference in the world. (my world. but still.) then tell your friends to vote. also your mom. and your gram.

p.s. those are the mugs in the picture up top. i told you they were nice!

it’s almost fall: here’s all the sh*t that needs to end.

fall leaves

oh beautiful crunchy fall leaves! what a friggin concept. can we do the damn thing already? damn!

it’s mid september–hence almost fall, my FAVORITE SEASON–and i’m pissed.

i wait ALL YEAR for this time of year. ALL. YEAR. i start listening to the smiths and early REM in, like, mid july, trying to will the season in. i even occasionally bust out the high tops and boots (much to holly’s chagrin) and you know what? i may look a little ridiculous but i do it for fellow fall lovers. i do it for you. and i do it for me.

usually it works BUT NOT THIS YEAR. this year everything is all wrong. it doesn’t friggin feel like fall is coming AT ALL.

here’s all the sh*t that needs to end right now so we can do the damn thing:

the heat.
it’s so damn hot out. what the hell. BRING ME CRISP AIR NOW. i want. to wear. a damn. sweater. what don’t you understand about that? damn!

the humidity.
don’t even get me started on the humidity. how are we supposed to have any DAMN CRUNCHY LEAVES with this humidity? the answer is we can’t. it’s just not right.

the DOGGONE DAMN ICE CREAM TRUCK.
c’mon! put it to rest, man! take that rusty old salmonella-carrying clunker you call an ice cream truck and hide it. then don’t bring it out til spring. stupid ass.

people being annoying. 
ok this is actually all the time. i just felt like bringing it up now. if you’re annoying. like, if you don’t know how to put your damn blinker on when you drive. or you’re not capable of not taking up an entire grocery store aisle with not only your body but your damn cart, then just stay the hell home or else i will be forced to pull out your weave–and if you’re not wearing one i will tape one to your damn head and pull it off–and smack you in the face with it.

the dog poop.
i seriously think there are packs of wild dogs running around baltimore because i swear every time we take a walk one of us is always pushing the other saying WATCH OUT! coming thiiiiis close to stepping on dog poop in the middle of the damn sidewalk and nearly giving each other a heart attack each time. i am just bringing this up now but it needs to stop throughout the year. summer just makes it feel worse. everything feels worse in the damn summer because it is so damn hot.

the yellers.
the drinking as soon as the damn sun comes up? it needs to stop. all day from my (home) office i hear weirdass drunk motherf*ckers shouting and it’s like, people: you may be able to drink like that in the summer but the season’s coming to a close. let’s give it a rest so i can get some work done dammit. pack it in and shut the hell up.

the weirdos.
i swear the heat brings out every last doggone weirdo in the city. GO INSIDE. be weird in your own damn house and stop freaking us all out! jesus.

the heat. 
the humidity.
oh right i already said these but it’s so damn hot i forgot.

i’ll tell you what else is wrong:
the jewish high holidays came earlier than they have in, like, multiple generations (i don’t know how to count a generation and i’m too lazy to google it right now). the last time they fell this early in september it was 1889 or something. obviously i’m failing already because i made a (jewish) new year’s resolution not to curse so much and in this post alone i said “damn” 13 times, “sh*t” twice, “hell” three times, “ass” twice, “dammit” once, and “motherf*ckers” once.

here’s my list if you don’t believe me:
(i starred out the vowels in case, you know, there’s kids reading.)
(and yes, i’m aware my handwriting is quite bad.)

correction: i actually said “damn” 16 times. i did a search for it. 16. oh that’s nice.

actually i just fooled all of you: do you really think i’d make a new year’s resolution not to curse?! that is crazy! i don’t drink. i don’t smoke. this is my only outlet. if i didn’t do it i’d be wreaking havoc on society and my marriage. plus i know i couldn’t keep it and that would be sacrilegious.

ACTUALLY. actually i just added the photo of the leaves at the top of this post and i wrote “damn” twice in the caption. so that’s 18. i thought about not mentioning it but that would be wrong.

so listen. obviously i’m mad. (i really did make a new year’s resolution not to be so damn mad.) (19, oops!) and obviously this will have zero effect on the universe or the earth’s axis or whatever the hell (ok i’m going to stop counting now) controls the seasons but let’s all join hands–no wait. i’m a germaphobe. i don’t want to touch your hand. let’s just get pumpkins. those are available now, right? yeah let’s get some pumpkins and carve them. toast the friggin seeds. throw some salt on ’em. yeah. they’re so good, right?

turn up your a-c (I KNOW IT’S NOT “GREEN” BUT BEAR WITH ME OK) and throw on a sweater. get your boots on. take out your halloween decorations. hell, break out pilgrim desk decorations if you’ve got em. COOK A THANKSGIVING DINNER.

that’s it! cook turkey. cook a damn turkey in your sweater. let’s all do it at the same damn time. i’d help you but i have to go to michael’s now to make a fall wreath. i used to hate fall wreaths but i’m “adult” now and i love them. holla!

f*ck yeah, baltimore.

baltimore's famous domino sugar plant.

i took this photo from a sailboat. even though it smells terrible, hot damn i love that doggone sugar plant.

lord knows i’ve had my issues with this city. LORD KNOWS. I HAVE HAD. MY ISSUES. WITH THIS CITY.

for example:

  • a rat was living in our dryer vent, hoarding chicken bones and crab shells. after holly cleaned it out, she thought she had “rat fever” from breathing…rat dust? then i had to convince her she didn’t have rat fever. that was really something.
  • fighting parking tickets here is nearly impossible. as if that isn’t enough, everyone in the courthouse has the type of body odor that literally makes you feel like you might drop dead.
  • if you rent a dumpster for some kind of big home renovation project, everyone and their mom–literally everyone and their mom–will come to your dumpster, morning, noon, and in the middle of the night to drop off refrigerators, carpeting, and cribs. it will be a community event and you will get no rest.
  • then other people will come to your dumpster to dig through it and  haul off everyone’s junk. they will always do this in the middle of the night. and they’ll break a lot of glass in the process. cause why bother being careful when you’re already in a dumpster?
  • if it snows one inch, everyone puts, like, orange cones and chairs in their parking spots. and if you move a cone or chair, you will get stabbed. (note: please don’t move the cones and chairs. your life is worth more than a parking spot.)
  • these ancient little row homes have tiny ancient holes in the wall–invisible to the naked eye–that let in bad odors, like, for example, the smell of dead body next door. the smell will seep into every crevice of your home and your belongings. then you will have a breakdown. then you will spend months trying to get rid of the smell, which will only completely go away when the home is gutted two years later.
  • oh yeah. and a rat could get in your house, from like, a bigger hole you never saw behind your stairs. from your late neighbor’s house. right after your basement floods and it will jump in and out of boxes like a sick carnival game. and then you will really lose your mind.
  • there’s more but i’ll stop.

yeah. it’s kind of a party here. not like a good party either. no, the type of party where you wake up the next day somewhere missing a heel, your phone screen is cracked like a car windshield that’s been in a horrific accident, and you have raccoon eyes from makeup your best friend did for you the night before that you thought was ok, but now, in the light of day, you actually see was alarmingly sloppy and you immediately decide you will kick her ass the next time you see her.

so it’s a hot mess here. there’s random puffs of weaves on our curb and our alley looks like a thrift shop and a helicopter once temporarily blinded me with its searchlight.

BUT DAMMIT THIS PLACE HAS GROWN ON ME. like a mushroom. or…a wart. at first you don’t even know it’s there. then you see it, hate it, and want to rid yourself of it immediately. and then, as you contemplate wart creams at rite-aid, something strange and miraculous starts happening: you get used to it. and…start liking it a little? because dammit it’s your wart and it’s become part of you. and you could go to the dermatologist to get it removed but why bother?

folks, that’s baltimore for me. over the past seven years, i have cursed this place. i have screamed and shouted and chased cats, rats, and run from our neighbor’s beautiful german shepherd that continues to get loose. i have looked up at the sky, shaken my fist, and shouted WHHHYYYYYY. (really? geez, i’m dramatic.)

i honestly didn’t even know i kind of liked it here until i read this obnoxious dc response to the recent (and newest iteration of the) longtime baltimore vs. dc debate. (for background, first read this, then this.) since then, i have felt oddly protective of this hellhole of a city and i have come up with a list of my own.

mind you, it’s not a baltimore vs. dc list. as baltimore’s city paper points out, the dc vs. baltimore thing is lame. i have lived in both places and they are two distinct, very different animals, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

my list, aptly named F*CK YEAH BALTIMORE, is a list of reasons how this weirdass city has quietly and successfully wormed its way into my friggin heart. so here we go:

  • we may have some sketchyass people walking through our hood, but our neighbors are friggin awesome and we look out for each other and help each other out all the time. i have never experienced anything like it in my life.
  • we have a bread factory right splat in the middle of the city. the smell fills your whole damn car up for like three or four blocks. it’s pretty awesome.
  • old folks sit out on their stoops in the summer and can tell you what the neighborhood looked like 50 years ago. (you can read about one such old timer here. it’s an article i wrote on the late “mr. john” pente of little italy, who lived in the same one-block radius for 100 years–his entire life.)
  • carolers on your front stoop. really? yes, really!
  • big boyz bail bonds pens. they’re everywhere. and surprisingly good pens! gotta laugh or you’ll cry your eyes out.
  • formstone. also everywhere.
  • corner bars. yes, everywhere. go twice and you’re a regular.
  • playing bingo at the sons of italy lodge in little italy. 25 cents a card. i’ll take four, thanks!
  • speaking of italian, this place right here. dipasquale’s italian marketplace. best tiramisu (and everything else) you’ve ever had in your life. if that’s not enough, the owner, joe, is a huge madonna fan. and adorable ladies like this might be lunching there. come to our neighborhood, we’ll take you there.
  • speaking of food, this is best damn greek food you’ll ever have in your life. cash only, no reservations. get there early, and whatever you do, you must try the dressing.
  • sure, there’s blight here. but it’s beautiful in its own way.
  • and our little old ladies have some serious spunk.
  • you can take a free boat to the office and get a photo like this on the way home.
  • you can go out in your pajamas and no one looks at you like you’re crazy. and you know what? even in your pajamas, you’re still hotter than about 85% of the people here.
  • we are not cooler than you. baltimore is not one of those places with a reputation for being hip or cool. in fact, it’s kind of uncool. and you know what? that makes it kind of cool.

so there’s my working F*CK YEAH BALTIMORE list. have your own f*ck yeah baltimore? please share!

see, this place is MY WART. it’s my hot mess of a party. and if you’re gonna be dissin it, get ‘cho ass down here to southeast (SOUF-EAST) and tell it to my FACE. yeah that’s what i thought. PEACE OUT YO.

(p.s. i’ve never had a wart.)
(but i’m probably going to get one now because i wrote this. and i’ll tell you what: screw the wart cream at rite-aid, i am going straight to the dermatologist to burn that sh*t off.)

THAT SH*T’S F**KED UP: downton abbey season 3 finale

The original cast of the hit 90s TV show Beverly Hills 90201.

the original cast beverly hills 90210 in mom jeans. i know this is a post about downton abbey but bear with me here.

let me tell you a story:

back in the day, back in jersey, in the 90s, i was a big 90210 fan with equally big hair. BIG fan. HUGE hair. i loved that show with every fiber of my being. i even had a 90210 poster (reminiscent of the photo above except they were on a beach. cut me some slack, i was in seventh grade.)

anyway, everything was going ok but then everything changed: brenda “moved away.” tiffani amber thiessen from “saved by the bell” came on the show, which was totally disorienting. someone bought a nightclub. everything got all mucked up and confusing and stupid. the show totally lost me so i stopped watching and moved on.

that was sunday night’s downton abbey season finale. the writers should probably just go ahead and write in a part for tiffani amber thiessen now. lord stupid grantham should probably turn the library into a gay dance club. jan brady edith should “move away.” because i’m not watching anymore.

some thoughts:

so apparently some people knew that matthew was going to die. yeah i wasn’t one of those people. i was pretty  horrified.

as matthew lay DEAD under his convertible with his eyes freakishly open and his mouth dripping with blood, i decided that downton abbey sucks like all other soap operas. it just seems high-class because everyone has english accents, but at it’s core, it’s an overly dramatic soap opera that i can’t bear to watch.

RIP downton abbey. it was fun while it lasted.

additional thoughts:

BITCH BETTER STAY AWAY FROM TOM. the guy just lost his wife and has a little baby! people are sick. i can’t even deal.

why the F*CK would anyone ask O’BRIEN for advice on HAIR? just look at her! if i ever see that woman i’m gonna elbow her in the mouth.

that was a noble thing of thomas to do but damn it was dumb. BOY NOTHING YOU DO WILL MAKE WHASSISFACE WANT TO GET WITH YOU. YOU HAVE GONE SO LONG WITHOUT ANY ACTION YOU’RE ACTUALLY DELUSIONAL AT THIS POINT.

c’mon mrs. patmore. did you really want to go out with that guy? i don’t think so. you and thomas need to go manhunting together. you’ve been in the kitchen too long. you need some air.

i can’t believe that guy’s nickname was shrimpy. shrimpy? really?

yeah even i know not to sit on the damn couches upstairs and i don’t even work at downton.

molesley. still an idiot.

rose‘s hair: still really bad.

everyone was wearing headbands. what was that about?

PLEASE PLEASE  PLEASE GIVE EDITH A MAN HER OWN AGE.

finally, mary. of course she doesn’t even gain one pound while pregnant. i’m about ready to force feed that biznatch a burger, fries, and a milkshake. her friggin braid probably weighs more than she does! sigh. i miss sybil. she was the only normal one.

lastly, i’m not live tweeting anymore, at least not with this show. hot damn. it’s hard enough to follow the damn plot, let alone understand what they’re saying. sometimes i wonder if they’re even speaking english! would it kill all of you to speak slower??

in conclusion: i’ve had about enough. i don’t know if time will heal my pain or what. but i’m done for now. i need to start reading spoilers so i’m not so damn shocked at these sorts of things anymore because i just don’t have the emotional wherewithal to deal. i really don’t.

(ok i just looked at that photo again: DAMN THEIR JEANS WERE SO HIGH!)

did i tell you how holly cut her fingertips off on christmas?

oh, i didn’t? yeah that’s right because i tried to and then i fainted.

warning: if you have problems with blood (like i do) i suggest you stop reading and go watch funny cat videos.

really. right now. do it.

(i know you’re still reading. i can see you.)

(fine. keep reading. but don’t say i didn’t warn you. i’m dizzy and i haven’t even started writing yet. just try not to hit your head on anything on the way down.)

so it was just an average christmas in butler, pennsylvania (or “pee-ay” as the locals say). and by average i actually mean less-than-average. a ray of light in the darkness was holly’s fancy new french au gratin recipe, which she saw on the cooking channel, her second favorite tv channel after bravo.

she decided she’d try it out on christmas day. i should note that holly has a habit of trying out new recipes on holidays, when we’re having visitors, on special occasions, etc. it doesn’t always go so well. but i digress.

this recipe, it’s actually called, get this, pomme de terra a la boulangere, french for “potatoes a la bakery,” which is equally as vague, if not slightly ridiculous. it calls for a lot of thinly sliced potatoes and onions. a whole lot of them. especially onions. so holly packed her oxo brand “v-blade” mandolin slicer and off we went to pee-ay.

at the time, holly had only used this slicer (pictured below) one time. and the entire time i felt myself getting dizzy and paced around the downstairs saying things like babe, we really don’t need julienned beets. i can do without the damn julienned beets just come here so i can hold you.

the slicer features an alarming array of sharp blades, all of which could easily slice off and/or shred one to four of your fingers and/or digits. what i’m saying is: just looking at this thing makes me picture pints of my blood on the floor, which, in turn, gets me light-headed and forces me to frantically search for a hard candy in one of my thousand purses to distract me and raise my blood sugar, which drops in times of severe stress. (hard candies are a jewish thing used to treat all ailments. kind of like windex for skin problems in my big fat greek wedding. don’t ask me, i don’t get it either.)

oxo v-blade mandolin slicer

anyway, holly and i are alone in her parents’ kitchen. the rest of her family is downstairs in the basement hanging out. as she’s slicing onions with the mandolin, i’m peeling potatoes with an ancient peeler repeatedly inquiring about how many i should peel. i should note that holly was not in the best of moods. she really shouldn’t have been using anything sharp and dangerous. (and i probably shouldn’t have been asking her annoying questions.)

i hand her potatoes and she slices them into gorgeous, even, thin slices. things are going well. she double checks the recipe, and it turns out she needs even more onions. she switches from slicing potatoes to slicing onions, reducing the depth of the blade since they’re thinner than the potatoes. this is the move that probably saved her fingers.

she’s in a hurry and grabs the onion and begins slicing it without the guard. if you’re familiar with mandolin slicers, you may already know that the first rule is to use the damn guard. that’s why they make it! the guard (the round thing in the photo above) attaches to whatever you’re slicing, thus protecting your hand and fingers from complete annihilation.

i’m not sure how long it took for her to hit the blade since i’ve already repressed the memory of almost the entire afternoon. all i remember is her suddenly shouting F*CK! F*CK! F*CK! then jumping up and down holding her hand and me shouting WHAT WHAT WHAT!

i went into panic mode immediately, ran to the sink and put on the cold water, shouting PUT YOUR HAND UNDER THE FAUCET, which, of course, didn’t help at all seeing how she had just cut both nail and flesh off her left middle finger, ring finger and pinky. (i had done something similar, in the very same kitchen, over the summer, cutting off a significant chunk of flesh off the right side of my right thumb with a (*gulp*) apple corer, and the first thing holly did for me was put my thumb under cold water. i almost fainted but couldn’t since her little nephews were there, so we played “i spy with my little eye” in order to keep me conscious.)

by the third “F*CK!” her younger sister, heather, thank G-d, ran up from the basement, followed by her parents.

there was a lot of blood, most of which i didn’t see because i had to turn away. as holly’s stepdad (once a cop, always a cop) went through the sliced onions looking for fingertips to put on ice  (she didn’t cut off enough flesh to reattach; all he found was (ugh) fingernails), heather and holly’s mom tended to holly’s bleeding and i ran around in circles panicking.

it was quickly decided holly would go to the emergency room to stop the bleeding and for a tetanus shot. holly, of course, was fairly calm. she was mostly a) in an extreme amount of pain and b) irritated at the thought of getting a tetanus shot–and the fact that she had had the accident at all.

i, of course, was far from calm. this was not the type of health crisis that called for a hard candy.

after handing holly–who was standing near the door waiting to leave–a superfluous amount of paper towels to replace the blood-soaked ones she was holding and promptly running away from her, i ran around the house in tears looking for what she’d need on the way to and at the hospital.

i grabbed her cell phone, a charger and her driver’s license. remembering she hadn’t eaten lunch yet, i also found the rather large square of what could only be described as artesian caramel we purchased at the wexford, pa whole foods the day before. because when you’ve chopped off both nail and flesh in a mandolin slicer the thing you really need most is artesian caramel.

“heather,” i said to her sister, who works in the medical field and who was therefore acting normal, unlike me.

surely i had ramona crazy eyes by this point. the fact that heather did not run from me is a testament to her love for her older sister.

“here’s stuff holly’ll need at the hospital: her cell phone, charger, driver’s license,” i plopped everything down in her open hands.

“and caramel. she hasn’t eaten and her blood sugar’s probably low.”

heather looked at me, blinking. she may have laughed a little, i have no idea, i’ve blocked it out.

then it was time for holly and heather to go to the hospital. i couldn’t hold it together any longer. i grabbed holly around her neck and blubbered something about how much i loved her, i’m so sorry this happened, i’m so worried about you, i love you so much, i love you and i love you and etc. i swear you’d think she was about to go into battle.

her mother may have had to pull me off her. again, i have no idea, i’ve blocked it out.

once they left, i sat down on the couch and sobbed into my hands. it was a crap week and this was the cherry on top. she was bleeding and in pain and i couldn’t do a thing to help but hand her sister a piece of artesian caramel.

her mom told me that it was ok and not to worry, that’d she be fine. susan (her mom) and frank (her stepdad) threw out the onions holly had been slicing, cleaned up the accident scene, finished up the recipe, and went to visit with family downstairs.

i stayed upstairs, immobile with worry. incapable of doing anything else, i picked up my phone and played words with friends, then walked around in circles. honestly, i don’t really remember what i did until they came back. luckily they weren’t gone for long (about an hour).

when i saw holly’s fingers (below), of course i burst into tears again.

holly's fingers after her mandolin accident

as instructed by heather, i met them both at the door with two glasses of guinness –and a rather large shot of whiskey for holly.

soon, more family came in for christmas dinner. despite her cooking injury, i’m pleased to report that almost everyone ate the pommes de terre a boulangere. the ironic thing is that most people thought it was “too onion-y,” so i guess holly didn’t need to cut up all those extra onions after all.

i can say with great certainty that this was our worst christmas ever. however, there is much to be thankful for: her injury could have been much, much worse. if she had been cutting the potatoes, she would have sliced off way more and this would be a much different blog entry.

since christmas, holly has changed her bandages many, many times, and, now that the bleeding and oozing has stopped, i’ve forced myself to take a deeeeeep breath and look her fingers and i gotta say: it’s pretty damn bad. seeing them kind of makes me want to hold her and tell her to never slice or julienne anything ever again.

when she got home from the hospital, i told holly we’d be throwing out the slicer. but frank said it was “operator error” and that there’s nothing wrong with the slicer. it was, in fact, the operator. which was holly. so, despite  my pleas, we brought the damn thing home.

last week, when i was upstairs, and holly was downstairs and therefore unsupervised, she secretly julienned zucchini and yellow squash for a pizza. i got kind of mad that she was using it again, but what can i do? she’s a chef, she needs to express herself through her culinary creations and has vowed to never, ever use the mandolin slicer without the guard again. i, on the other hand, am investigating blade-resistant gloves.

this concludes what i hope will be the bloodiest lunch at 11:30 post ever. if you fainted, you can wake up now. here are two funny captioned hamster pictures to help ease you back into consciousness.

funny hamster picture

funny hamster picture 2

haha. until next time! happy 2013! and if you need to use a mandolin slicer USE THE DAMN GUARD.

p.s. if you live in the baltimore area, be sure to pick up the current issue of baltimore bride, which features my essay, “Four Weddings And a Referendum: A love story about two women and their many weddings,” which chronicles our multiple nuptials (including some of the less-than-perfect things that happened on the way to our first wedding–the BFGW, if you will. kind of like the “dvd extras” you never got to read the first time around.) the entire issue is pretty goshdarn gorgeous and i’m honored to be a part of it. (plus they drew a picture of us!)

holly and i as CARTOONS!

us! as cartoons! (look at my shiny hair! FABULOUS!)

not taking xanax on my 30-minute flight to pittsburgh was a really bad idea

the third installment of what i did this summer.*

*(two to three more installments to follow.)
**(part 1 is over here. part 2 is over there.)
***(can we start now? good.)

if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may recall that just over a year ago, i bought a holiday sweater from chico’s, got a prescription for xanax, and boarded a plane to san francisco for my dear friend nicole‘s wedding.

(then i proceeded to wear that sweater–which was both unseasonal and inappropriately sparkly–to her pre-wedding party, burning out several people’s retinas in the process. SORRY ABOUT THAT.)

anyway, a couple weeks before leaving, i called my doctor saying i was nervous about the flight and could she prescribe something gentle and extremely low dose to help calm me down before and during my trip.

“xanax,” she said without skipping a beat.

she explained that it was the lowest dose available on the market, and i could even just take half.

i picked up the little white pills at the pharmacy later that day and stared at them. LORD, i thought. i must really love nicole because i do not want to take these pills nor do i want to take this flight. 

(and i do love her!!! hi, nicole! mwah!)

i decided to do a “test run” at home, and took one (well, half, ok i’m a sissy and actually only took half) on a sunday afternoon as holly and i were watching a movie on the couch.

my immediate urge was, of course, to gag myself and throw it up. but alas, as a neurotic jewish control freak, i avoid throwing up at all costs, so gagging myself was not an option and i was stuck there on the couch with the xanax melting in my stomach.

i immediately started to panic. kind of like that one time i took caffeine pills i found in a freebie welcome-to-college pack when i was a freshman and collapsed on the floor next to my sleeping roommate.

“it’s ok, babe,” holly said, her eyes fixed on whatever annoying action-comedy she had chosen. “you’ll be fine.”

and…i was fine. i was actually fine! it felt more like my old migraine medicine, but better. it just sort of…took the edge off. and it worked perfectly on my flight. except for when it wore off somewhere over colorado but we’re not going there right now.

so when holly bugged me til i agreed to let her mom book me a flight to pittsburgh a couple months ago–while holly was there helping her gram–i was like, ok, yeah sure. i can do this. i’ll take a xanax, i’ll be fine. 

but then i started thinking stupid things like: wait. do i really want to use xanax as a crutch like this? it’s just a half-hour flight. i can do it. i want to see how i actually am on a flight. maybe i’m not that bad anymore. it’s just half an hour.

folks, this was deranged thinking. a half-hour flight is still a half hour flight! you still have to board the friggin plane, sit the hell down, wait a long time for it to take off. then you have to take off (omg i hate taking off), fly and land.

i woke up at 5am nervous as hell, even though my flight was at 4pm,  so i started off my day by downloading a bunch of songs from itunes on my new iphone to calm me down on the plane. they were what some might call comfort songs. the musical equivalent of…toast with jam. a slice of your favorite pizza. birthday cake. ok carbs. they were the musical equivalent of carbs.

here’s what i purchased:

(i’ve had) the time of my life (yes, from dirty dancing)
waiting for a star to fall (yes, 80s)
so emotional (yes, whitney houston, yes, 80s)
i wanna dance with somebody (yes, whitney, yes more 80s)
bette davis eyes (and yet…more 80s!) (that is one DAMN GOOD SONG btw)
hammer and a nail (yes, indigo girls; yes, very lesbionic of me, i know)
now or never (gotta throw a little dance in there, too) (also a GREAT SONG)

so. i get on the plane. and i get a seat right in the middle on the wing like i wanted. and this businesslady is sitting next to me. she’s in sales and flys all the time and i’m totally making her talk to me even though it’s clear she’s really not interested.

i mention that i’m a nervous flyer but decided i didn’t want to take xanax.

“i just don’t want to use it as a crutch, you know?” i tell her.

she looks at me and smiles politely, as if to say: lady, i really wish you would have taken your xanax. i’m really doubting my decision to sit next to you.

she assures me that the flight is short. you’re up, you’re down, you’re there.

then it starts to rain. hard. and i fear there’s lightning. there’s only one thing that scares me more than flying and it’s lightning. but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

anyway, the storm passes and we finally move onto the runway. convinced the roar of the jet engines will cover it up, i start doing deep breathing exercises. we lift off the ground and suddenly i realize:

THIS WAS THE STUPIDEST IDEA OF MY LIFE. I REALLY SHOULD HAVE TAKEN XANAX.

i start frantically searching for my homeopathic stress spray and dammit i’m out! i’m spraying it in my mouth and…NOTHING. JESUS MARY JOSEPH WHY DIDN’T I BUY MORE OF THIS WHERE THE HELL IS MY XANAX.

and then, out the window, maybe a few hundred feet from the plane:

LIGHTNING.

HOLY G-D GET ME OFF THIS PLANE I AM GOING TO DIE.

at this point, i think the grumpy-ish sales lady begins hearing my deep breathing exercises and so she starts to make conversation with me. this helps a little. i thank her and start to calm down.

they make an announcement that we can turn on our electronic devices so i bust out my new iphone and my brand-new, never-before-used earphones.

i decide i’m more in the mood for dance music, so i choose “now or never.” (don’t ask me why, sometimes pounding dance music calms me down.)

i put in my earphones and crank up the tunes except for…i can barely hear it.

man these damn jet engines are loud, i think as i turn it up. and up. and up. til it won’t go up any louder. DAMMIT I WANT TO HEAR THIS SONG WHAT THE HELL.

a guy turns around in the row in front of me and gives me a dirty look. i glare back at him as if to say WHAT MOTHERF*CKER?! YOU NEVER HEARD A JEWISH GIRL FROM JERSEY DO DEEP BREATHING EXERCISES ON A PLANE BEFORE? I JUST SAW LIGHTENING I’M ABOUT TO FLIP MY SH*T DON’T TEMPT ME I LIVE IN BALTIMORE NOW AND I WILL CUT YOU AND PULL OUT YOUR WEAVE.

never mind that he wasn’t wearing a weave. but if he was i would have pulled it out to set an example for the plane.

i feel a tap on my shoulder. it’s the grumpy-ish saleslady.

she leans towards me.

“we can hear that,” she says, smiling.

i look around the plane. everyone’s looking at me. this one lady across the aisle, she’s looking at me, smiling as if to say, sweetie, it’s ok. we all know you’re nervous. you obviously don’t know how to use your iphone yet. 

my face gets hot. ohmygosh. i didn’t have my earphones plugged completely in my iphone. MY PHONE WAS BLASTING DANCE MUSIC AT FULL CAPACITY.

it was really loud. i can’t emphasize this enough.

i quickly hit pause, take out my earphones and explain to the saleslady that i got an iphone like a week ago and i was still figuring out how to use it. there are still a lot of people looking at me. i suddenly feel bad about thinking how i was going to cut that guy and pull out his non-existent weave.

i thank her for alerting me, push the earphones in and start listening to “waiting for a star to fall,” wishing i could disappear.  i’m suddenly extremely grateful i hadn’t been blasting “i had the time of my life.” i mean, can you imagine??

not even five minutes later, they announce we’re starting our descent into pittsburgh and to please turn off our electronic devices.

the grumpy-ish saleslady has her eyes closed with her head back and she’s still laughing. i kind of want to pull out her weave but her hair looks real.

we land in pittsburgh. my half-hour ride is over. i’m chilly with sweat. i vow to myself: never ever again without xanax. never. again. without. xanax.