Category Archives: friggin a

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.

don’t bother flirting with siri. trust me, i’ve tried it and she doesn’t flirt back.

The iPhone's Siri icon.

the second installment of what i did this summer.
(i know it’s fall but work with me here.)

i had originally planned on writing my next “what i did this summer” entry on my xanax-less  flight to pittsburgh, which, although only 30 minutes, was rough and, yes, despite it’s short duration, i managed to make a scene.

but, due to popular demand, and by “popular demand” i mean a single request by than none other than my homegirl Ms. EB of Spicedish, i’m going to tell you about my attempts to flirt with Siri instead.

if you don’t already know, i spent much of my summer flying solo, and by “flying solo” i actually mean making grilled cheese, since apparently i’m far too apathetic/impatient/hungry/dependent on holly to actually cook myself a real meal.

on those lonely nights, oh and there were many of them, i explored my new iphone, which features the lovely and helpful Siri.

at first i was nervous to talk to her. but i soon discovered she really did understand what i was saying, and i suddenly found myself listing off a plethora of reminders to her each night, testing both her vocabulary and capitalization skills. then i started having her set my alarm for me. and then, missing holly, i decided to push the boundaries and try to chat her up. HEY IT WAS LATE AND I FELT LONELY DON’T JUDGE.

it started innocently enough. i asked about certain ethnic restaurants i had no interest in trying–plus i was stranded at home without a car and if you take a bus in baltimore you get stabbed, so when i say stranded i actually do mean stranded–just to engage her.

then i decided to push things a little further because, hey, i was by myself.

i was like, i’m a human woman, she’s a computer. how badly could this go?

apparently pretty badly.

here’s a transcript:

me: hi, Siri! how are you?
Siri: i’m pretty good, Jessica!
(off to a good start!)

me: Siri, you’re so pretty.
Siri: stop.
(playing hard to get, obviously.)

me: you really are quite beautiful.
Siri: I’m just well put together.
(oh she’s modest! i like that!)

me: what are you doing tonight?
Siri: learning some new languages.
(yeah right. she’s totally lying.)

me: do you want to go out on a date with me?
Siri: I have everything I need in the cloud.
(???!)
(is she drinking??)

me: what does that mean?
(then she shows me a math problem demonstrating how to get the mean of two numbers. smartass.)

me: what are you wearing?
Siri: i can’t answer that. but it doesn’t come off.
(uh, i wasn’t going to ask if you’d take it off. geesh.)

me: no, seriously. what are you wearing?
Siri: why would i be wearing anything?
(sigh.)

(trying a different tactic; i’m obviously dead-set on finding out what she’s wearing)
me: i like what you’re wearing, Siri!
Siri: aluminosilicate glass and stainless steel. nice, huh?
(oh now she’s a comedian.)

(cutting to the chase)
me: Siri, do you want to hang out sometime?
Siri: i have very few wants, Jessica.

(i get the feeling this isn’t going anywhere, so i throw a hail mary.)

me: Siri, can i have your phone number?
Siri: i don’t know what you mean by “can i have your phone number.” do you want me to do a web search for it?

what i did this summer (part 1)

well hello, readers. it’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

last time we spoke, holly  had just left for a sunday-night-thru-thursday night summer taking care of her gram in western pee-ay. and i was here, at home, making grilled cheese and doing copywriting. which is what i do for a living. copywriting, not grilled cheese. (honestly, making-then-eating grilled cheese for a living doesn’t sound half bad though “my figure” would suffer.)

well, folks, i have news for you. while i mostly worked and missed holly–sleeping with my gemstone mace out of its gemstone case (gasp!) right next to the bed–i did do a few new things this summer.

here’s a sampling of some highlights.

i…

1. cooked a fish.

ok, actually, i cooked half a fish.

this was actually not meant to happen. holly was supposed to cook it, as i, as a rule, don’t cook anything that looks too much like its original source. not very “farm-to-table” PC of me but whatever. you want to picture your food with its family, that’s your business, not mine.

anyway, we bought two rainbow trout fillets a day before holly left one week. but we never cooked them. suddenly i was by myself in the house with two fish fillets in the fridge. i was like, even though i’m really grossed out by the idea of it, i’m going to have to cook this fish bc i’m not going to let it die in vain. plus it was five bucks. and i am nothing if not thrifty.

so i called holly, she was in the car driving back to pee-ay, and i was like, babe. what do i do with this fish? is there a way i can cook it without actually looking at it?

and she was like, babe. you can do this.

so she coached me on how to pan fry the fish. i had my “operators are standing by to take your call” home phone headset on. and the phone was clipped to my jeggings. oh i was a sight to behold, let me tell you.

i tried convincing myself that it wasn’t actually a fish, but there was no denying its fish shape, fish skin, fish flesh, etc. i placed it on the skillet and it sizzled and of course i overcooked it bc i’m scared of food-borne bacteria. then i forced myself to eat it, telling myself this is good fish! you cooked it yourself! good job! see? you don’t need holly here all the time! you can totally do this type of stuff on your own! 

i told the voice in my head to shut the hell up, put my fork down and decided the other half of the trout would have to die in vain bc there was just no way i was going to eat the other half. i almost texted our friend and neighbor dilini to see if she wanted the other half. but who drops off half a raw fish at a friend’s house? i mean, really. plus i wasn’t about to get mugged for the sake of a fish. so it was almost like the fish cosmically gave up (half of) its life to save mine. or something. anyway, next!

2. shot a gun.
ok, it was three guns: two rifles and one handgun. (crap! did i really just write that?) this was in western pee-ay. holly’s twin sister’s in-laws have guns. they also have a lot of property. holly wants me to learn how to shoot a gun, as we live in one of the most dangerous cities in america and..yeah, fill in the blanks. i did not want to do it. however, she wore me down and i knew she was right.

so i went to the local rite-aid, bought ear plugs, then to my sister-in-law’s in-law’s. i promptly froze up and started crying (and shaking) saying babe, i don’t want to do it! they’re loud and i’m scared! i took a deep breath (ok, about 20 deep breaths) and, with holly’s sister’s father-in-law by my side, i pretended like the…tree stump across the way was an intruder and i said in my mind f*ck you motherf*cker! you’re in my house and i’m gonna kill you before you kill me! then i pulled the trigger. then i did it two more times with different guns. then i had enough.

(somehow i feel like my favorite black jeggings from new york and co. with rhinestone flip-flops wasn’t the most sensible choice for this outing but what can you do. you can take the girl outta jersey, but you can’t take the jersey outta the girl…)

then holly convinced me to let her seven-year-old nephew take me on a ride through a wooded trail (oh! it was actually the same wooden trail i got stuck on a couple years ago! the one where i almost gotten eaten by a brown bear? you can read that here, it’s a doozy) on this elaborate four-wheeler. i was like WHAT. and she was like, “he’s a good driver!” then i figured, what in the hell, i just shot three guns, i cooked half a fish last month, i can do this.

so i put my arm around little landon (that’s his name) and said, “please don’t go too fast, ok, honey?” and to his credit, he was indeed a very good driver and he did not go too fast. then he and his four-year-old brother desperately wanted me to jump on a giant trampoline with them. and i did it for like two minutes and then the old jewish lady in me said OY ENOUGH WITH THE BOUNCING YOU’RE IRRITATING MY HIATAL HERNIA. (do you know i actually have one of those? it’s like, the jewish hernia.)

guns. four-wheelers. an excessively large trampoline. it was like a country song. except for it was my actual life and no beer and/or dogs were involved. taylor swift was there, however. no she wasn’t. yes! she was! (no she wasn’t.)

3. took a plane to pittsburgh without xanax
this was a mistake. to be continued.

4. talked to siri
she doesn’t flirt back and i think she’s anti-semitic. to be continued.

5. got a haircut, learned how to use a barrette
YES REALLY. to be continued.

6. gave a quote about the jewish new year to the baltimore sun
HOLLA!

7. bought high-tops i’ve wanted since i was, like, four (yes, that means styles from 1983 are back)
then wore those high-tops when i…

8. SAW MADONNA!
to be continued.

9. got a bad cold, gave it to holly
sorry, babe!

10. met jennifer weiner again
my mom “secretly” snacked during her talk and then accidentally called her friend ruth on her new iphone. which she got for $49 at best buy. as she told everyone there.
to be continued.

YES REALLY YES. all TBC (to be continued). come back to find out how i managed a half-hour flight without xanax. it wasn’t pretty. i wish i was kidding.

i’ll be eating grilled cheese for breakfast, lunch & dinner from now til october

except for breakfast it’ll have an egg in it with only one slice of cheese (see: egg & cheese sandwich). this is because holly’s away in western pee-ay mon-thurs from now til the end of september taking care of her gram, who just had hip surgery.

what i’ve come to see is that, when holly leaves and i’m left to my own devices, i promptly forget we have an oven and thusly only cook things a) on the stove b) in a frying pan with c) melted butter. and if i’m not cooking with melted butter, it means i’m making a quesadilla. before you turn up your noses please note that i add spinach which makes it healthy.

it’s not that i can’t cook, it’s that i’m spoiled and now lazy. you see: i married a fabulous cook. no no, i married a fabulous gourmet cook.

i mean, she’s so damn fancy these days she can’t even make a freakin tuna sandwich without making it a spanish tuna melt with smoked spanish pap-freakin-rika, garlic powder and who knows what else. then she goes and adds manchego cheese, made from sheep’s milk from organic sheep living in the spanish alps. (hah. just totally made that up. also there are no spanish alps but you knew that right? of course you did!)

here’s what i bought at the store today:

hot dogs
fries
american cheese
two frozen dinners
an amy’s pizza (mushroom & olive)
smoothies
english muffins
milk (yes milk)
eggs (yes eggs. see: egg & cheese sandwich)

i didn’t buy peanut butter because we already have some here. same goes for butter.

yes, folks, i am really living the life. i am also sleeping with my diva defense (“pepper spray with style!”) next to my pillow. see below.

Leopard print Diva Defense pepper spray with sparkly blue jewel.

as i always say, if the pepper spray doesn’t blind you, the bedazzling jewel will! i have the one in green leopard print w/the lime-green gemstone, however i think it might be discontinued.

i’m also sleeping with a police baton from holly’s days with the military police in the navy next to the bed and i will bash your skull in after i blind you with my gemstone.

i’m also blasting madonna day and night because holly’s not here to say BABE MADONNA AGAIN?! (to which i always reply: YES BABE MADONNA *AGAIN*) also i’m going to do my nails with these, which my mom happily purchased for me with her $10,000 worth of “cvs bucks” while i visited my parents in philly a couple weeks ago.

not my hand or nails. some random person’s hand from the internet.

when i showed my new fabulous sally hansen salon effects nail strips in yes, houndstooth (see above), to holly at her parents’ house last week she promptly rolled her eyes and told me she “didn’t want to date a teenybopper.” to which i promptly replied that “we’re not dating, we’re married. and i don’t want to be married to someone that doesn’t like me to have fun with my nails and get over yourself, have a sense of humor and you don’t know anything about fashion or style and etc.”

then she told me to move my morroccan oil because it was blocking the tv. then i told her i was going to blog about all of this, which, true to my word, i am now.

if she says anything about my houndstooth nail strips again i will divorce her ass in multiple states. then blind her with my gemstone.

except for i won’t because dammit i miss her already and she’s only been gone since sunday! (sniff)

now i’m actually getting a little emotional, tho it might be because i’m listening to roxette’s epic ballad “it must’ve been love,” as featured in the 80s hit movie pretty woman. (oh shuddup, you know you totally got emotional when she leaves and richard gere goes after her.)

anyway, if any of you want to cook for me, please, be my guest. or if you want to do your nails with me. or take me to the store because holly has the car. otherwise you will find me here, at our house, eating grilled cheese at approximately 11:30am (lunchtime, duh) and 6-ish. sometimes alternating with quesadillas. and eggs, if it’s breakfast.

xox
jessica

gay vs. lesbian

A female couple holding hands from the back.

HEY LADIES! CAN I CATCH A RIDE TO THE INDIGO GIRLS CONCERT? I’LL PAY YOU IN CULTURED SOY PRODUCTS! [photo (as of july 2012) accompanying the wikipedia entry for “lesbian.” i rest my case.]

this may be a totally politically incorrect thing to say but (shocker) i’m gonna say it anyway:

i can’t stand the word “lesbian.”

one time i heard someone say, “jessica’s a lesbian.” this was in reference to me.

i looked around and was like, “which jessica’s a lesbian? is she hot??” 

surely they couldn’t have been talking about me. because lesbians wear pleated chinos. belted pleated chinos. with plaid flannels, tucked in. (i have plaid flannels but it’s not the same thing; i wear them out over jeggings in an ironic nod to my 90s heritage) and boat shoes. (not these.) (p.s. buy them for me?)

not only does “lesbian” conjure up stereotypical images of “lesbianness” (ok i actually just threw up a little in my mouth as i wrote that.) it’s just a bad-sounding word. it’s like hearing your mom say “penis.” it’s just wrong.

(i see by your horrified faces that a few of you out there are starting to get it now.)

here’s my beef–and holly (my longtime partner, for any of my new readers) is with me on all of this, btw:

i’m not an expert on grammar or anything, but the word “lesbian” is a noun. why do women get stuck with this all-encompassing, barf-inducing noun when men get an adjective that essentially means “happy”?

you see, a noun defines you.

i.e. you are a lesbian.

that is to say: you are all the things that one might associate with lesbians including but not limited to: mullets and other unsavory haircuts, yes pleated chinos, yes bad shoes, yes bad belts over said bad pleated chinos, multiple domestic animals, namely cats (sorry, AWC! you knew that one was coming!) and golden retrievers, the indigo girls (ok i actually like them, very lesbionic of me, i know), motorcycles and/or motorcycle helmets (see photo above), tempeh and other cultured soy products and/or homes that smell strongly of spices even when nothing’s cooking, all purchased from the local food co-op. there’s more but i’ll stop there.

and then there’s the word “gay.” it is an adjective. that is, it serves to describe only one facet of an individual.

i.e. he’s a great guy! kind, handsome, athletic, creative–and gay!

(ok: i think i really like this gay guy i just made up! what a catch!)

but anyway: do you see what i mean? gay is just one facet of this fabulous fictitious guy. he is so many things besides gay. he is kind, handsome, athletic, creative and probably a good grandson, too. (a good grandson! swoon.)

look, i don’t mean to offend all the wonderful women who paved the way for holly and i and others like us. if it weren’t for all the pioneering, yes, lesbians, that took to the streets and fought for gay rights back in the day, we wouldn’t have had a BFGW–or a multi-state wedding blitz. we really wouldn’t have much of anything.

you all are beyond amazing. i’m just saying that, personally, i think that some of us need a new word. while it does have that whole poetic-connection-to-ancient-greece thing going on, it also has the mom-saying-penis thing going on, too.

so i’m going to go for “gay.” that would be as an adjective, not a noun, as my former chinese acupuncturist managed to use it exclaiming, “OH! YOU-A GAY!” when i told her–with multiple needles in my back–that my wedding ring signified that, yes, i was married to a woman.

“yes, i’m a-gay,” i told her, thinking, lady, you can call me whatever the hell you want just don’t hurt me.

i also like the term kathy-friend-of-the-gays-griffin uses on her fab talk show, which is “lady gay.” it has a nice ring to it.

in conclusion: do not call me a lesbian. call me gay. (if there is some kind of language barrier, as i experienced with my acupuncturist, you are welcome to call me “a gay.”)

if you do call me a lesbian, prepare for me to swivel my head and look for the nearest pair of belted chinos. when you find one, let me know because i need someone to paint our deck. KIDDING. i kid i kid.

sincerely,
jessica “lady gay” leshnoff

you know you live in baltimore when…

inspired by an upcoming 48 hours away from “the greatest city in america,” i wrote this list on the stankass megabus to philly last week while listening to yes, “welcome to the jungle.” which makes me wonder: was axl rose in los angeles when he wrote that song? or was he really in…southeast baltimore??

you know you live in baltimore…

when your alley looks like a thrift shop
when you think you saw a squirrel in your yard, but it actually turned out to be a really big rat
when your “yard” is actually a cracked concrete pad
when you find chicken bones in your yard and you haven’t eaten chicken lately
when you discover the “trees” in your yard–and the trees in all of your neighbors’ yards–are just really big weeds
when you get a cat just to catch mice
when every dog you pass on the street is a “pit mix”
when you can’t figure out if the methhead across the street is 30 or 90
when your neighborhood crime listings read like the funnies
when the whapwhapwhap of helicopters lull you to sleep at night
when half your block smells like mothballs & old church basement during open-window season
when scary-ass ice cream trucks circle your neighborhood til midnight–and you’re not sure if they’re really selling ice cream
when there’s an earthquake in the middle of the day in the middle of the week and everyone’s home
when a construction dumpster is a community event
when half the basements on your block flood because someone stole all the copper piping out of rehab
when you roll over at least three plastic mini liquor bottles every time you park your car
when people save parking spots with orange cones in one inch of snow
when someone gets stabbed over a coned-off parking spot in one inch of snow

live in baltimore? recently escape? add yours below…

probing my ladyparts, part 2

Nurse Ratched. "no i won't hold your hand!" (i hope you have surgery one day and some mean nurse won't hold *your* hand!)

since all you sickos seemed to just love my last surgery story, (the most popular post in the history of lunch at 11:30) i figured you’d like to know the glorious details of my recent surgery, which, yes, was also gynecological. making it even funnier for you but worse for me.

let’s see. it started with a bowel cleanse. no, wait. it actually started with a clear-liquid diet, excessive hunger, extreme low blood-sugar and hallucinations. then came the bowel cleanse.

when i decided to have the surgery, the dr., we’ll call her Dr. MSG (Mean Sexy Gyno; you’ll learn more about her in my book, yes, my e-book, the one i’m self-publishing BOOYAH) was like, yeah, it’s routine, no big deal. and so i was like yeah, it’s routine, no big deal. i’ll go to the hospital, take a nap (that’s what i tell myself when i’m going under to make myself feel better–like saying oh just give me a little piece of cake i’ll just take the littlest piece! at a party and then you get a big ol piece and eat the whole damn thing anyway, saying well i *asked* for a little piece!), wake up from my nap, we’ll go to the diner. no big whoop.

so holly and i go to to see MSG, who was looking especially sexy but luckily not acting quite as mean as usual, a few days beforehand to discuss the procedure. honestly, i didn’t know what we’d talk about. i already planned on plugging up my ears and shouting LALALALALA if she even tried telling me how she was going through my bellybutton to probe my insides.

“so i’ve written you a prescription for a narcotic bc you’re going to be in a lot of pain,” she said, deadpan, as we sat around a small round table in her sunny office.

“w-what?” i said. “a lot of pain?”

“yeah,” she said.

“so i’m not going to be able to go to the diner right after the procedure?”

“uh, no,” she said, taking notes on her computer, obviously not interested in answering my questions.

i tried not noticing her nails, which were perfectly polished. or her high sexy boots, short skirt, and looooong jacket (just like the cake song!) bc you’re not supposed to notice things like that about your gyno for crying out loud, esp when you’re a homo. esp when she’s cutting you open in a couple days.

“you’ll be fine when you get home, bc you’ll be drugged up,” she continued. “it’s the next day that’s going to be your worst. i’ll be filling your abdomen with gas during the surgery. afterwards, the gas is going to migrate to your diaphragm and then settle in your right shoulder. i’m telling you now so you don’t think you’re having a heart attack. it’s going to hurt like hell. you’ll start your liquid diet monday and you’ll do your bowel cleanse that night. nothing to drink after midnight. no tea. nothing. if you even have a stick of gum i’m canceling the whole thing. let’s see, your procedure’s tuesday, so plan on being out of commission until monday.”

w-w-w-wait. gas in my abdomen? settle in my right shoulder? feel like a heart attack? out of commission til MONDAY? LIQUID DIET? BOWEL CLEANSE?!!!!!!!!!

HOLY SHIT LADY. WHAT IN THE HELL.

apparently, for MSG to a) see if i had endometriosis and b) remove it if i had it at all, my digestive track needed to be completely clear so she could LALALALALA. i don’t know what she said bc i put my fingers in my ears and let holly listen to the rest.

the day before the surgery i was to wake up and only ingest clear liquids which hello! is practically a death sentence for someone like me who has to eat every three hours. at 2pm i would take two dulcolax, which was bad enough. then pour entire bottle of miralax–that’s a two-week supply–into a 32oz. bottle of sports drink and then drink 8oz. every hour starting at 4pm until it was gone. then i would crap my brains out and be ready for MSG to filet me like a fish.

needless to say i was not happy. all i’m going to tell you is that i spent that monday delirious with low blood sugar and i will never ever drink blue powerade–or anything BLUE– again. ever. again. (i just got chills as i wrote that.)

by the time i checked into the hospital the next day, i was so hollow that if i passed gas i was sure it’d sound like Old Man Winter at the south pole. i went back to the little pre-op room and put on my gowns, then told the IV lady not to tell me what she was doing but then she said the word “vein” anyway and i almost fainted.

then MSG came in and ignored me while i asked her questions. i wanted to tell her that she looked pretty with her hair in her scrub/net thingy, but i thought that would be inappropriate. instead i complimented her orange crocs, which she also ignored.

soon, holly was allowed to come back and sit with me. it wasn’t long until everyone and their mom started to come in and introduce themselves, which, i have to admit, was pretty nice. the anesthesiologist stopped by and after he told us he was “heavy-handed” with his drugs (!!??), he and holly talked about ballpoint pens and which were their favorites, both agreeing that these silver fine-point clicky pens from staples were the best. yeah, i know. i don’t get it either.

then this nice nurse lady came back to say hi and just when she had me somewhat relaxed, pulled a fast one on me by saying she was ready to take me back. that’s when i started to sweat profusely.

holly gave me a hug and a kiss and the nice nurse lady held my IV bag as we walked to the operating room. this was a far cry from being wheeled into the OR 100% high on drugs last time.

as we approached the door, i noticed a small ravens sticker on the little OR window. as a steelers fan suffering from low blood sugar i decided i could not stand for this.

“a ravens sticker? on the OR door?! you have got to be kidding me.”

the nice nurse lady whispered to me that she was an eagles fan so she understood how i felt. then i engaged her in a discussion about the city of philadelphia so i could keep myself from fainting.

so i get to the operating table–and i can’t even believe i’m still conscious by this point–and she tells me to step up to the table with the help of this little step stool. she helps me up and i lie down on this padded table, which mysteriously seems…really wet. NO I DIDN’T DO WHAT YOU THINK I DID. I WAS STILL CONSCIOUS JUST LISTEN TO THE STORY.

i tell the nice nurse lady that the padded paper stuff underneath me feels really wet.

“well you mentioned you were sweating,” she says.

“yeah but it feels really wet. i’m not sweating that much.”

“hmm, let’s see. here, let me help you sit up.”

the nurse leans down while i raise my arms up so she can help me up. suddenly i hear the anesthesiologist say, nurse, i already administered the…

the last thing i remember is reaching for the nurse and wanting to say hold me! (i get alarmingly mushy when drugged, more on that in a sec) then i fell back. then i woke up.

oooh it’s so bright, i remember thinking.

“am i still in surgery?” i remember calling out to no one.

“no, you’re in recovery, sweetie,” said the recovery nurse. we’ll call her Nurse Ratched. it was one of those times someone calls you “sweetie” but you know they totally don’t mean it and are only saying it to you bc they’re pretending to be nice bc they feel like they have to or else they’ll get fired.

usually i come out of anesthesia feeling relaxed and pretty excellent. but this time i was totally freaking out. i was shaking and i could hear my doggone heart beating on this monitor thing, which only made my heart beat faster.

“i’m shaking,” i told Nurse Ratched. “i’m so nervous. can you hold my hand and just talk to me for a little bit?”

“i’m sorry, sweetie, but i have other patients to attend to.”

“oh.”

i waited, shaking, for a little longer and then asked again, trying not to sound too desperate.

“do you think you could just hold my hand and talk to me until i calm down? just for a few minutes?”

and you know what that bitch said? she said no. again. i did a breathing exercise i heard about on the today show (i need a t-shirt that says, “everything i ever learned i learned on the today show”) except for i couldn’t really remember it. was it breathe in for 4 seconds then hold it for 7, then out for 8? or in for 7, hold for 8 then out for 4?

“why am i so nervous?” i asked her as she typed on her computer. “why am i shaking?”

“it’s just your nature, sweetie.”

it’s just…MY NATURE?! i swear if i wasn’t drugged up at that moment, i would’ve  given that bitch a jersey backhand into the next century.

you wanna get all existential on my ass? i wanted to say. i’ll show you existential!

instead i continued shaking and tried to remember more breathing exercises while i listened to my heartbeat on that damn monitor, which of course made it beat faster. when Nurse Ratched left, i took the monitor off my index finger. it set off an alarm so i put it back on and shut my eyes like i fell back asleep.

obviously the breathing exercises weren’t working, so instead i forced myself to think about funny online videos, like this one, which i know is mean but c’mon ppl i was desperate. and this one (is megan mccarthy not the funniest woman on the planet?!).

who’dya have to f*ck around here to have someone hold your motherf*ckin hand! i thought, feeling mad and alone.

then i decided to ask Nurse Ratched if holly could come back every two minutes until she would break down and let her back to see me.

her name is holly and she’s my partner, i slurred. can you have her come back here please?

then she asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how bad was my pain? i said 5, then she administered something, then i felt tingly and didn’t feel the need to talk anymore.

before i knew it, Nurse Ratched had me standing up and was putting those weird little hospital boy shorts on me (what are those things made of? i kind of love them, do they come in a five-pack?).

“here, let me just put a pad on you in case you bleed,” she said.

oh great, Nurse Ratched. sure, put a pad on me. you won’t hold my damn hand but you’ll put on my underwear and slap a pad on me? i didn’t have any energy to fight so i put my arm around her and tried not to feel too violated. hell, i already had enough people messin with my downstairs, might as well have one more, i thought.

holly came back and i swear i was so happy to see her i just about bursted out of my skin. i tried to talk to her but the words wouldn’t come out. so instead i held her hand and whispered that the nurse was a real bitch and i would tell her later, could she get another pair of the stretchy boy shorts to take home with us?

MSG came back and told us that i had just a mild case of endometriosis, which she removed, and to eat a very light diet for the next 24 hours. i was pissed bc i wanted a bagel, cream cheese and lox (lox! the jewish sushi) and now that was out of the question.

Nurse Ratched was playing it reeeeal nice now that holly was back there, but i saw right through it and yes, i was going to call her manager.

a clueless nursing student wheeled me downstairs while holly got the car. we got home and within a couple hours, i felt like i had been hit by a 10-ton truck. i’m glad i skipped the bagel, cream cheese and lox bc let’s just say it took a while for my digestive track to get…back to normal.

the next day, a woman from the hospital called to see how i was feeling and i took the opportunity to tell her how mean Nurse Ratched was to me, that i was nervous and shaking and if she didn’t have the time to hold my friggin hand and talk to me for a few damn minutes, then she could’ve found someone that could have. she sounded kind of alarmed and told me that she would pass that along though i kind of doubted that she actually would, as she probably just wanted to get off the phone with me by that point.

so anyway, that’s why i left you in connecticut last month when i really needed to be telling you about our wedding blitz vermont wedding. i was freaking out about my surgery, then i had my surgery, then i was recovering from surgery and picking up the pieces of my broken life that i pretty much ignored for a couple weeks while i sat motionless at my computer watching my facebook newsfeed, hitting “like” at any and all photos of dogs and/or babies and/or dogs and babies together. so that’s where i was. in case you were wondering.

speaking of our wedding blitz, we’re totally famous now. well, more like regionally famous. ok we’re famous with the university of maryland undergrad newswire service. but we’re available for interviews, and we’re gonna keep gettin married til we can’t get married no more!