Category Archives: perpetually 15 (omg idk)

no but seriously if one more person calls me ma’am i’m gonna cutta b*tch

Sophia from the Golden Girls.

“go ahead. call me ‘ma’am’ one more time.”

so we were in holly’s hometown of butler, PA, over thanksgiving and we went to the mall on black friday. which honestly? is like an average day at a mall in say, jersey, where people will literally deck you for your hot potato at the food court.

anyway, i walk into hot topic because a) i was by myself (holly’s not a fan of faux-punk, faux-goth teenage stores, go figure) and b) i still like it. i mean, where else can you find a ramones shirt at the clearview mall in butler, PA? like, nowhere. anyway.

i walk in and this guy behind the counter is like HELLO MA’AM CAN I HELP YOU FIND ANYTHING?

at first i felt like looking around, expecting to see sophia from the golden girls standing behind me with her boxy little purse, shopping for body jewelry for her great grandkids. and then i’m like: WHAT.

HE’S TALKING TO ME? HE’S CALLING ME MA’AM IN HOT TOPIC? WHAT IN THE HELL?

my first instinct is, of course, to b*tchslap and tell him to shut his mouth when he’s talking to me.

i have been going to hot topic since FOREVER, ok? i want to shout. i was BORN in hot topic, OKAY. (actually i wasn’t. but i like saying that.) i will make this the worst day of your life on planet earth if you call me ma’am one more time.

instead i blink and say hello because, while i may be b*tchslapping you or enthusiastically pulling out your weave in my mind, i am nothing if not polite and usually quite likable, especially to strangers and the elderly.

i smile and tell him no thanks, i’m fine, just looking around.

are you shopping for gifts? he asks, somewhat effervescently (most people are so friendly in western pennsylvania, it makes you wonder what the hell’s wrong with everyone else in the country), obviously unaware that he should probably stop communicating with me lest i find a boxy little purse and hit him with it.

no, just looking around for myself, i say.

he clearly does not know how to respond. i’ve obviously thrown him for a loop.

oh! for…yourself! (awkward pause.) well….let me know…if i can help you find anything!

i say thanks, i will, as i walk towards a rack of bad discount t-shirts. my need to pull out his non-existent weave subsides. i feel sad and confused. i feel like a deflated balloon.

is this it? i think, slightly panicked. oh my gosh this is it. i’m old! am i old? i don’t feel old. i don’t think i look old. i’m wearing high-tops and jeggings. OLD PEOPLE DO NOT WEAR THESE SORTS OF THINGS. 

i console myself by thinking that the guy behind the counter probably just thought i was a hot older woman (older for, you know, him, because he’s probably, like, 17) and just wanted to talk to me. that must have been what it was. and he was just showing me the respect a hot older (for him) woman deserves.

like julia roberts. or, you know, karen from will & grace. (OMG LOVE HER.)

this doesn’t help. i wander around and look at the crap they’re selling (admittedly, it’s mostly crap. but it’s fun crap.) and then leave, somewhat broken-hearted. i pledge to never go back to the clearview mall hot topic, but i know i’m only fooling myself. i will go back. i always go back.

look, i’m acting like this is the first time this has happened but it’s not. when i go to the towson mall (that’s my spot yo!), it’s pretty much a bunch of really cute, sweet college kids working at the stores. and they call me ma’am but i can ignore it for some reason. (probably because i had towson university students as interns at a  job years ago. or maybe it’s simply my will to, you know, actually keep going to the mall instead of curling up in a ball with my organic night cream.) but being called ma’am in hot topic was far too much for me. it was like a slap in the face.

 a little piece of me broke inside and it can never be repaired. 

i know i sound dramatic, but ladies, i know you feel me. it’s like: i am not ma’am! i am not a “ma’am”! while i may not be a “miss” i am most certainly not a “ma’am.” it’s kind of like: i know by definition, i’m a “a lesbian,” but HELLO! i am totally not! WHY YOU GOTTA CALL ME A LESBIAN. I KNOW SOME REAL “LESBIANS” AND I WILL TEXT THEM RIGHT NOW AND THEY WILL COME HERE AND KICK YOUR ASS.

anyway, my point is: i really am ’bout to cutta b*tch. i do not desire to be 20 (OH HELL NO) or even 25 again (LORD NO) but there’s a 15-year-old girl inside me with purple streaks in her hair that’s really and totally confused why everyone thinks i’m an adult.

so. some new rules for strangers working in stores, etc.

1. if you feel like calling me ma’am, hold your breath and count to 10. like you’re trying to stop the hiccups or however the hell that goes. just say hello. why you gotta call me anything?? say HELLO, LADY. how ’bout that? “lady” works!
2.if you accidentally call me ma’am, run towards the nearest exit because i will be chasing you.
3. if you’re a woman wearing heels (or, you know, a man, if you’re into that, which hey, go’on wit’cho bad self, boy), THROW THEM OFF and run barefoot to the nearest exit. RUN LIKE THE WIND because while i may not be a “miss” i’m surprisingly fast, especially when i’m mad.
4. if i catch you, i will pull out your weave. so if you’re wearing one, best take it off right now. however, if you’re not wearing one, i will tape one to your forehead and rip it off so you’re pretty much screwed either way.

my next post will either be about a) hairbands (where do they all go??) and how holly says i “don’t need to buy more because they’re all over the house, put those down, you don’t need them, let’s go look at towels and other boring things” blah blah blah but hello! if that were true i’d actually find them. or b) how i’ve been starving since september because holly started grad school and now doesn’t have any time to cook so i eat granny smith apples and cheesesticks for dinner every night, which sucks and makes me mad and i’m therefore more likely to act out when people call me ma’am.

(p.s. don’t tell holly but i totally just bought more hairbands yesterday. next week i will have none. i think they’re all in our vacuum. holla!)

xxx
jessica

we watched “poltergeist” the other day. that was a mistake.

The little old lady from Poltergeist.

IT’S NOT CLEAN! IT’S NOT. CLEAN!!!!

you can add this to my list of recent bad decisions, including but not limited to after-lunch hula hooping (i hiccupped every five minutes for about, oh, five hours) and other things of which i am purposely forgetting at the moment which may or may not include getting into a fight with the sushi guy at whole foods.

if you’ve read this blog even one time before, you’d probably guess that i’m not emotionally or physically hearty enough to watch horror movies. i watched jennifer’s body like three years ago for one damn kiss scene but i nearly collapsed from fright in the process. was it worth it? maybe. no.

seven years living in this city has given me some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder–except for the trauma isn’t actually over, it’s ongoing–in that blocks and blocks of boarded-up houses and you know, zombie heroin addicts don’t freak me out, but if i see a shadow in my own house i freak the f*ck out. or  a friggin firework goes off a few blocks over, i think it’s actually a gun and shout HIT THE DECK to holly, who’s sitting calmly on the couch looking at me, smiling as if to say oh baby, i love you. but could you please calm down a little bit maybe sometime? 

i was feeling particularly curious (never a good thing with me) a couple weekends ago. holly was flipping through our endless comcast cable guide and i saw poltergeist was listed.

oh poltergeist! i said, half-kidding. let’s watch that!  and you know what? she turned it on.

watching it was a mistake. i knew it would be a mistake the moment we turned it on and yet…we watched it anyway. even though the “special effects” were 80s and therefore sub-par, it still shook me to the core.

DON’T LAUGH I HAVE A VERY SENSITIVE SYSTEM. PLUS THIS WAS A VERY SCARY MOVIE BACK IN 1982.

shortly afterwards i heard a kid yelling outside (there are a ton of kids where we live) and i was like sh*t! is she stuck inside the tv? WHAT IF THAT IS ACTUALLY NOT A KID OUTSIDE BUT A KID STUCK IN OUR TELEVISION.

i managed to calm down but then i kept thinking about that weird little old lady. the ghost-fighting lady? the one they call in for help when they’re desperate to get the little girl back and rid the house of ghosts? i kept thinking of how she looked and her voice and her huge glasses and the things she said and i was like shit! that was really freaky! she was really freaky! also: why did she say the house was “clean” when it clearly wasn’t?!! if she knows everything there is to know about ghosts wouldn’t she, like, know? that the house wasn’t clean like she said it was? that freaked me out for some reason.

then when it was quiet in the house (our house) i started thinking about all those decayed old bodies, you know, the skeletons? with the hair still on their skulls? popping up in the rain…when the mom’s stuck in that huge hole with all the water in it? while her kids are upstairs, like, being attacked by that big ghost and it’s trying to suck them into the other side? and coffins keep popping up from the ground? and they swing open and bodies fall out?

and the DAMN CLOWN. that damn clown toy in the kids’ room! that is burned into my brain now. i need brain bleach! do they make that??

i also thought about the weird red jello-type stuff that was stuck to the mom and the little girl when they fell through the ceiling. what was that anyway? ew!

and THEN, then i kept hearing the dad shout at the evil boss:

YA MOVED THE HEADSTONES BUT YA DIDN’T MOVE THE BODIES! WHY? WHHHHHYYYYYY?

after it was over, i had to sun myself outside for 15 minutes, which, as you may know, is the minimum amount of sun needed for your body to produce mood-enhancing vitamin D.

i have no memory of the rest of the day because i blacked out. but i’ll tell you what helped me a couple weeks later:

watching st. elmo’s fire. which i had never seen before. it’s a pretty good movie! here are some reasons why:

1. a young rob lowe.

A headshot of actor Rob Lowe in the 80s.

look at that bone structure! gorgeous!

2. a young rob lowe playing the sax!

Rob Lowe playing the saxophone in the hit 80s movie, St. Elmo's Fire.

hey now!

some good 80s sax really calms the soul. and when i say calms the soul, i  actually mean makes you stop thinking about that weird red poltergeist jello sh*t.

3. a young demi moore. again: the bone structure.
4. a young demi moore smoking at her desk. i know, right?! the 80s were crazy!

Demi Moore smoking at her desk in the hit 80s movie, St. Elmo's Fire.

what’cha workin on there demi?! looks important!

5. the nerdy girl GETS THE GUY!

Wendy from the hit 80s movie,  St. Elmo's Fire.

YOU GO GIRL.

6. i googled where it was filmed while i was watching and some of it was filmed at my alma mater, university of maryland, college park. HOLLA CLASS OF 2000! SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM WHAT WHAT. look at me now! i blog in lowercase! WHAT!

7. the theme song. hello. that’s some good instrumental sh*t! if that can’t make you forget about the damn red poltergeist jello, the clown, and the little girl in the tv, i don’t know what can.

The cast of the hit 1980s movie, St. Elmo's Fire.

thanks for the memories, guys! i’ll never forget you. if i had your yearbooks, i’d write, “never change!” in each one of them. except you, demi: you need to stop smoking. and the cocaine. thanks for that sweet sax, billy. rock on, nerdy girl. if you wanna be a social worker, you go ahead and be a social worker. your dad will get used to it.
always ‘n foreva, jessica

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!)

this is what happened when i met jennifer weiner, part 2

the fourth and final installment of the “what i did this summer” series.
[part 1 (shot guns/cooked a fish) is here. part 2 (flirted with siri) is over here. part 3 (took a 30-minute flight without xanax, made a scene) is over there.]

you may recall my post a few months ago in which i met my literary idol, new york times bestselling author jennifer weiner, and promptly turned into a blubbering idiot, scaring her by saying things like, “i think i’m going to faint.” and the very unique “i’m a writer, too.”

it was my mom who wound up rescuing me from myself, miraculously and stealthily popping up behind my shoulder, announcing in a way that only a jewish mother can that i really was a writer, making me look far less crazy and perhaps only emotionally deranged.

when i found out that jen would be stopping by the philadelphia public library on tour for her fab new book the next best thing, i called my mom immediately on her new iphone (that she bought at best buy for $49; please oh please don’t ask her about her iphone–more on that later) and told her we needed to go. a longtime jennifer weiner fan, she immediately agreed.

we got to the library and there was already a line to get into the auditorium. once the doors were unlocked and everyone filed in, it soon became absolutely packed. despite the crowd, i knew with great certainty that i was still jen’s #1 SuperFan.

what i’m saying is: if she had a fanclub, i’d be president and i’d make holly treasurer and we’d hold bake sales. i’d make holly bake everything, of course. and we’d name the baked goods after her books, like Good in Bed Brownies and Fly Away Home Flan (ok wait: flan’s probably not good for a bake sale.)

my mom and i found seats towards the front right, and after this funny library guy gave an introduction, jen walked out and the crowd went wild. well, as wild as a library crowd can get.

she started speaking and five minutes later, i see my mom covertly open her purse and unearth a small mass of chocolate chips. and they’re wrapped in plastic wrap. she “secretly” unwraps them, then begins sneaking them out a couple at a time.

she’s trying to be quiet, but it’s no use. she’s the kid in synagogue trying to wrestle a hard candy out of a crinkly wrapper in the middle of the torah service. (if you’ve ever been to synagogue you know this isn’t a good thing.)

mom,” i whispered.

“do you want some?” she whispered back. (and by “whispered” i mean not whisper. jewish mothers are not renowned for whispering. it’s like an evolutionary mechanism to protect their children from wild animals and cold weather.)

“they’re ghirardelli,” she said, pushing them in my direction. like the fact that they’re a name brand was going to make me want to snack on chocolate chips during a jennifer weiner event.

“no thanks, mom.”

then she informed me she had “cheese wedges,” in her purse, too, which i could only surmise meant laughing cow cheese wedges, which are actually meant to spread on crackers at home or at the office, or even at a picnic, not enjoy on their own in the philadelphia public library’s auditorium during a jennifer weiner event.

“mom, what? cheese wedges?” i whispered, my eyes wide.

“well, it’s protein,” she non-whispered back . “and carbohydrates.”

“oh i am so blogging about this,” i told her.

“do you want one?” she asked, trying not to laugh.

“no, mom, i don’t want any cheese wedges!” i said, trying not to crack up while simultaneously trying to remember what she was saying, since i knew i’d be writing it down.

then she offered me chocolate chips again, which i declined–again.

after jen’s talk, (which was hysterical–you can listen to it here) all us superfans ran out and got in line for her to sign our books. i guess the problem with sitting in front at an author event is that you’re pretty much dead last in line for the signing.

i really didn’t mind, as i feel a special kind of kinship with other jennifer weiner superfans (JWSFs). i quickly befriended my fellow line waiters, thrilled to discuss my fave JW books without holding back. we also animatedly discussed jen’s foxy new look, which featured glamorous extensions and fabulous shoes.

my mom joined the line, also thrilled to be part of the JWSF excitement. i don’t know how it came up, but one of my new JWSF friends started talking about coupons and wouldn’t you know, my mom has an app for that. on her new iphone. that she got for $49 at best buy.

“i have the greatest coupon app!” my mom told my new friends. (this from the woman who never figured out how to use a VCR–and yet she’s mastered the world of apps. i know, i don’t get it either.)

“i got my iphone for $49 at best buy,” she continued.

mom,” i implored, gently touching her shoulder. but it was too late. the levy broke. the i-got-my-iphone-for-$49-at-best-buy-yes-i-really-did-no-i’m-not-kidding speech had begun.

“…you see? it’s a real iphone. yeah i really did get it for $49. i can’t believe it either.”

“i think you’re calling someone,” one of my new friends, i think her name was emily, politely informed her.

“what? i am? how can you tell?”

“look, the call counter’s on,” i said, pointing to the screen. “it’s ruth.”

in her coupon app excitement, she had accidentally called her friend ruth. i love ruth.

she held the phone up to her ear.

hello? HELLO? ruth? hello?”

when it comes to cell phones, jewish mothers have no volume regulator. it’s only loud or LOUDER. it’s like they think whomever they’re talking to is connected to their cell phone by a piece of string and if they don’t speak loud enough the other person will not hear them.

“i think she hung up,” she told us.

then my mom did what any sensible jewish mom would do after accidentally calling her friend ruth while waiting in a jennifer weiner booksigning line at the philadelphia public library: she called her back.

“ruth? HELLO, RUTH? hi, it’s susan! IT’S SUSAN. right, i called. by accident. uh-huh, i’m at the jennifer weiner event right now with jessie. oh it’s so fun! yeah. ok i can’t talk. but i’ll…what? what? i think we’re…hello? right i’ll call you, i’ll call you back. ok, talk to you later.”

“that was ruth,” she said.

“i know,” i said.

i think everyone in line knew it was ruth.

the line was moving at a decent pace. before i knew it, it was our turn.

jen greeted us warmly, and i mentioned that i was the crazed SuperFan that blogged about meeting her months earlier.

“and this is my mom. again,” i said, smiling, proud of my effervescent champ of a professor mom that, if i invite her, will come with me to any and all jennifer weiner events in the philadelphia area, come hell, high water, or chocolate chips. she will get there three hours early with me to sit in the front row (like she did last time), and she will stand in a book signing line with me for who knows how long, make friends with other JWSFs, and educate them on handy, money-saving apps.

jen laughed and said it was nice to see us again and yes, of course she remembered my blog post. (how could she not? if you had a psycho fan write a 1,000-word blog post about how she met you for two minutes, you’d remember it, too.)

then she asked me why i was so nervous about meeting her the last time.

i blubbered something about…oh hell. i actually don’t remember what i said because i’m probably repressing it as it most likely sounded mentally incompetent or at least slightly demented. however i do remember saying something about madonna. (i have the unique ability to insert the topic of madonna into any conversation.) 

jen announced that i needed a beach towel. before i knew it, i was holding a huge JW towel.

then she mentioned something about thinking about her when i was hot and steamy just out of the shower and then i really forgot everything i planned to say.

in my JWSF stupor, someone handed me a JW tote bag. then, tote and towel in hand,  i waved goodbye to jen and my new JWSF friends–just another 30-something emotionally deranged superfan with her sensible mom.

i put my JW beach towel in my new JW tote and stepped into my dad’s waiting highlander, amped up from the delicious combination of literary celebrity, community, and free fan merchandise.

suddenly i felt my blood-sugar dropping.

“mom, do you have any of those chocolate chips left?”

of course she did. and man was i glad they were a name brand.

as the chocolate chips melted in my mouth, i held my new JW tote close and thought about all the fun things my mom and i have done over the years: playing hooky when i was a kid to hit the MET and the hard rock cafe on a school day (YES REALLY!); getting miraculously bumped up about a hundred rows closer to barry manilow when he played madison square garden a few years ago (yes i took my mom to a barry manilow concert; it’s called love, people–and besides, he still has a voice like buttah and moves very well for a man his age); countless mall outings, coffee shop chitchats, and trips to buy me bare escentuals make-up and warm winter coats (jewish parents live to buy their children warm winter coats).

i suddenly kind of wanted a cheese wedge, too.

“i love you, mom. thanks for coming with me,” i said.

“i love you, too, honey. i had a great time. i knew you’d eventually want some chocolate chips. that’s why i brought them. here’s a cheese wedge. the chocolate’s not enough. you need protein, too.”

aw, mom.

——–

this concludes the what i did this summer series. it was a busy summer full of mystery and intrigue: grilled cheeses. guns. flirting with female robots. a 30-minute flight to pittsburgh without xanax. literary celebrities. moms. chocolate chips. free totes.

special thanks to jennifer weiner for once again being a good sport with her more…excitable fans. and the towel. and the tote, which i proudly tote around, proclaiming my superfan-ness.

an additional special thanks to jen’s fab assistant meghan, who not only remembered me, but didn’t run away when she saw me coming towards her. i believe she orchestrated the free towel and tote, but i was too excited to understand it at the time. love the towel, love the tote, love that you didn’t kick us out for chocolate-chipping. (do you want some? i’m sure my mom has more.)

next up: tacos with the in-laws. and how i thought i just scratched my throat with a corn shell but wound up coming down with a two-week cold that’s resulted in me becoming an alcoholic.

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?

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

if you say you don’t have a crush on kate middleton you’re lying

claire danes, who played angela in the short-lived mid-90s drama "my so-called life"

i can’t believe i was jessica’s crush in the mid-90s. it’s so…so…unfair i didn’t know her then. i’m going to have to tell ricki the next time i see him in the girls’ room.

first things first: yes, i kind of abandoned you. kind of like when i went to under armour except this time i didn’t dropkick any ladies’ rooms bathroom stall doors and/or split my pants down the middle, then have to take a boat home, then have to go out for pizza with holly with my underwear showing. (gosh that was kind of funny now that i think about it.)

no actually i just felt severely unfunny the past couple months. so instead of turning this blog into an episode of my so-called life (omg loved that show; loved angela (loved her too much, probably), loved jordan, loved ricki & his eyeliner in the girls’ room, even loved rayannei decided to step back and “let the storm pass.”

so yeah, the storm passed. and one day i’ll write about it in a sensibly priced e-book. until then, i’m back to help you procrastinate to the best of your abilities. so here we go!

first: a number of revelations i’ve had over the past few weeks. let’s start with kate middleton.

1. kate middleton:  yes, if you say you don’t have a crush on kate middleton, you’re absolutely 100% lying. or else you’re of a grandmotherly-type age–or you’re actually a grandmother–in which case it feels quite wrong to crush on a real-life 30-year-old princess. but i’m not a grandmother yet so i’m just going to say that i suddenly noticed it’s probably almost impossible not to have a crush on her.

she’s just so…so absolutely heartbreakingly lovely. not only is she beautiful, she’s graceful and loves children–and they love her back! she’s the type of girl that, if she were to, say, walk into a forest–which i imagine she would once in a while, as she seems like the outdoorsy type–animals would gather around her feet. like bunnies and deer and baby animals in particular. puppies, especially. i know puppies don’t live in forests, but they would sense her presence and run into the forest to find her.

anyway, i’m not going to deny my feelings anymore. instead i’m embracing and sharing them and suggest you do the same.

2. facebook: i took a two-week hiatus from facebook and i kind of loved it. i felt so…so 90s. it kind of made me want to listen to some gin blossoms and…pick up my home phone and call someone. (of course i didn’t. but i could have. except for i’d text them first to tell them i was calling.) it was like: i wasn’t bombarded with 10,000 pieces of information every five seconds and i actually started liking people again. but then i got back on and got disgusted and started hating people again. it’s really a catch-22, facebook. i’d say more about this, but i have to go check my notifications. kthanks, brb.

3. growing out my bangs: ok, i’m back. speaking of the 90s, i’m growing out my bangs. yes, growing out my bangs. i should note i’ve had bangs since 2003 so this is major for me.

in hindsight, i’m noticing that bangs kind of held me back. like, creatively. now that i’m nearly sans bangs (that’s fraaanch. “sans” means “without” and no, i don’t remember anything else from five years of french, so help me, what a waste of time that was–i should have taken spanish so i could communicate with all the hispanic guys that probably say such nice things to me in their native tongue) anyway, without the baggage of bangs, so to speak, i’m able to do all sorts of fun things with my hair now: flipping it this way and that, using hairspray and clips and all sorts of things.

note: i haven’t used hairspray since the early 90s! i feel like buying some guess jeans, pegging them, splashing on some jean nate (pronounced GEEN-naTAY; also fraaanch) and doing the running man to some c+c music factory. i probably won’t. but i might. then i’ll go to friendly’s and get a fribble. WHAT. get outta here. i totally would but it’s 2012 and most of the friendly’s have closed down. i also don’t have to peg my jeans anymore. that’s what jeggings are for! 

4. the blue angels: the the blue angels came to baltimore and omg. we watched them practice and perform from our roofdeck and holy crap wow. seeing and hearing them so up close and personal from the comfort of home was like this big free gift wrapped in a bow dropped on our house–like a big ol loudass exciting present for persevering in this hot mess of a city. who knew a neurotic jew like me was an airshow fan! instead of complaining oy it’s so loud! oy they’re so close! OY ARE THEY GOING TO CRASH INTO OUR HOUSE CALL THE SISTERHOOD WE HAVE TO PUT THIS IN THE NEWSLETTA!  i was like HELL’S YEAH DOGGIE BRING IT ON!

5. middlesex: i finally read middlesex by jeffrey eugenides and woah. dude, that is a good book. i seriously felt myself getting smarter while i was reading it. also who knew a, ahem, love scene between a 14-year-old hermaphrodite and 14-year-old a red-headed girl could be so…special? oh shuddup. i’m not a sicko, just read the damn book, you’ll see what i mean. (p.s. I WANT TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THE RED-HEADED GIRL, DAMMIT, JEFFREY!)

6. new jersey housewives: i know she’s kind of a bee-otch, but jersey housewives wouldn’t even have a storyline if it weren’t for teresa. so even if you don’t like her, i suggest you just deal with it or else you’re not gonna have a show to watch. also: i love rosie. and, i hate myself for saying it, but joe gorga‘s kind of a hunk. and if you don’t watch the show don’t worry about it, you’re probably better off without it, let’s go to the next revelation.

7. more with the hair: i need a keratin treatment. i tried to deny it. i said i wasn’t interested but i am. i’m going to get carpal tunnel in my right arm from straightening my hair in this damn humidity. put that in your sisterhood newsletter. no wait. don’t. my mom probably gets that newsletter.

til next time!
xxo!
jessica, i.e. the one in synagogue with the mouthpiece and all the hard candies

this is what happened when i met jennifer weiner

if there’s one thing you need to know about me–besides my penchant for frosty lipstick, eternal love for madonna and the fact that i’ve married holly like 100 times–it’s that i’m a jennifer weiner superfan.

she’s pretty much my literary idol. so when i saw she was coming to philly’s head house books, i made it my personal business to rearrange my schedule so i could be there. two hours early. with my mom. and snacks in my bag in case i got hungry.

i introduced myself to the the bookstore worker, who proved to be both patient and kind as she listened to me blubber about how excited i was to meet my fave author.

“there’s only two people i want to meet in this world,” i breathlessly told her as she stood trapped behind the counter. “jennifer weiner and madonna. and i’m not sure if i even want to meet madonna because there’s a good chance she might be kind of mean.”

once that came out of my mouth there was no taking it back. i was that person. i was the overly excited fan waiting around to meet the star. but i didn’t even care.

“oh yeah! and this is my mom!”

yup. i really was that person. and i brought my mom! all i was missing was a star wars t-shirt and a juice box.

in my former life as a journalist, i interviewed rock stars, television personalities, politicians, federal officials, heads of state (ok i totally made that last one up but i know people that’ve interviewed heads of state–does that count??) and i’ve never, ever been as nervous to meet/talk to anyone ever in my life.

jen (despite my distaste for using nicknames when you don’t really know someone, i’m going to call her “jen” because everyone kept referring to her as that) and fellow fab author liz moore did a great job speaking to the audience, which had grown to fill the entire store.

as soon they were done, i made a beeline for jen.

“hi! i’m jessica,” i said, putting out my hand for her to shake.

“hi, jessica!” she said, smiling as she shook my hand. “it’s nice to meet you.”

don’t faint don’t faint don’t faint. do. not.  faint. i told myself.

a lightening speed battle between the dorky side of my brain (you know, the side with the juice box and star wars t-shirt) and the sensible side commenced.

this is your big chance! the sensible side shouted. this is what you daydream about! you’re meeting your literary idol! say something meaningful and witty about your writing background. don’t say “i’m a writer, too!” because hello, everyone tells their favorite author they’re “a writer, too.” make yourself stand out from the crowd!

say something cool! the dorky side shouted back. TELL HER YOU LOVE HER! wait! don’t tell her you love her because that would be weird because you don’t actually know her. maybe you should ask her out for coffee? no wait, don’t do that. wait…no, you definitely should. yeah, see if she wants to get coffee! there’s a great place just down the street!

no! absolutely do not ask her out for coffee! the sensible side advised. say something clever. be friendly but not overly friendly. pretend like you’re about to interview her. act cool, you’re a professional! 

so what did i wind up saying?

“ohmygoshican’tbelievei’mactuallymeetingyou. i think…i think i might faint. i’m a writer, too!”

niiiice.

dorky side: 1. sensible side: 0.

then i started to sweat and my mouth went dry, at which point the sensible side of my brain threw its hands up and left me alone with my dorky side, which took a noisy sip from its cranberry juice box, delighted to take over completely.

unfazed, she laughed, obviously used to weirdo superfans like me, and said no, don’t faint, it’s ok.

i felt the heat of the crowd behind me. i had to act fast and turn this thing around.

i told her i came in from baltimore to see her, that i was a former journalist, had a blog and brought my old paperback copy of “good in bed” for her to sign. then she asked me what kind of blog i had.

“it’s a humor blog,” i said, sounding completely devoid of humor.

this was a trainwreck. i watched as she signed my book. the clock was ticking. my time with one of the people i most wanted to meet in this world was quickly coming to an end and i had to make an impression other than Potentially Psycho I’m-A-Writer-Too! SuperFan. and, without warning, who comes to my rescue?

my mom.

suddenly she was over my shoulder–hell, i didn’t even realize she was behind me anymore!–and sang my praises as only a jewish mother from new jersey can.

“there’s something my daughter neglected to tell you,” my mom said in all her proud jewish mother glory. “she was in the It Gets Better book!”

YES MOM YES! i totally forgot about that! yes i was published in an actual book! that made me sound way less crazy!

jen looked up and said she loved the it gets better project, and that her and her siblings were going to be making a video. then she asked for my card.

jennifer weiner asked for my business card. 

i died a thousands small deaths. right there. i really did. i took a card out of my bag and put it on the table, at which point she tucked it away and said she’d check out my blog. 

the dorky side of my brain and my sensible side did one of those running/jumping shoulder-bump things that guys do. then the dorky side did the running man and the sensible side shook its head and walked away.

leave it to a mom to be your best publicist. she totally saved the day. not to mention a) happily agreeing to arrive at the bookstore ridiculously early b) tirelessly keeping me company while c) simultaneously not judging me for being overly excited.

since that day, almost three weeks ago, i’ve felt that special kind of peace that only comes with checking a life goal off your list. now all i have to do is go to a madonna concert (ACTUALLY HAPPENING THIS SEPT *goosebumps!*), have a baby and publish a book. oh and also go to england and ireland. and an organic spa with holly in arizona or new mexico (do those even exist?). and take a road trip with holly to visit my great uncle ben in florida. not necessarily in that order, but those are the biggies.

anyway, i may have acted like a complete dork, but at least i got out there, stepped up to the plate and met my number one superstar. so jen, if you’re reading this, thank you for your kindness–and for not backing away from me.

yours truly,
jessica leshnoff, superfan
baltimore, md

part one: my big fat jersey high school reunion

i invented post-its, bee-otch!

ok so i posted a million years ago that we were about to embark on weddingpalooza 2011 (three weddings! three states! one day! click here for background) and now that we’re back in town, post-honeymoon, post-holiday, i’m ready to break it down for you, despite the fact that i’m tempted to divorce holly’s ass in multiple states for many reasons including but not limited to:

1. her inability to throw used tissues from her side of the bed into the trash when she has a cold–which she does now, which she continues to remind me of by saying, “baaaaabe. i’m sick. make me tea.”

2. the fact that she continues to butt-dial every single contact in her phone, since she refuses to carry it anywhere but her pocket, like a five-year-old. or my purse. and hello, i don’t want to carry her phone all the time, esp bc it’s always dinging with email notifications from kohl’s, bed, bath & beyond, bath & body works, every single deal-of-the-day and who the hell knows what else bc she signs up for everything while i’m grumpy and sign up for nothing and mark everything as spam.

anyway, there were many stops and much adventure on our wedding blitz. in the interest of time, space & procrastination (yours, not mine; i’ve heard from more than a few of you that lunch at 11:30 is a top workday procrastination station and you know i live to make you happy) i’ll be breaking it down into a few parts, starting with:

1. my high school reunion, i.e. we’re gonna party like it’s 1996.

saturday, november 12th, late afternoon

my high school reunion is in a few hours. while copywriting is a perfectly respectable career, i’ve decided i’m telling everyone i invented post-its.

when we get to the hotel in Livingston, NJ (hometown of my longtime fave chelsea handler WHADDUP CHELSEA! love ya! call me!), the lobby looks like a wanna-be jersey housewives convention. it’s noisy, crowded and smells like a variety of overbearing perfumes–like the mall. or a synagogue function. or perfumania. i wonder what the commotion is all about. is there a hairspray-and-mousse giveaway? eyeliner rally?

holly joins me in the check-in line and i discreetly point out a couple women in leather pants and hooker heels pushing baby carriages. i assure her that yes, this  really is where i come from. this is the land, these are the people, that nurtured my first 17 years on earth. so, really, the daily jeggings, frosty lipstick and occasional chico’s holiday sweater isn’t all that bad considering what i was up against.

a couple hours later we come back to the lobby area for the reunion. luckily the mascara convention is over, and i suddenly see a bunch of people that i think i recognize that i think recognize me. thanks to facebook, i get some names right. this one nice girl, i don’t even know how i remember her name. when i get it right, i feel an immediate sense of pride. i see her again later and get her name wrong bc it’s not actually her, it’s her identical twin. shit! twins! i think.

we walk into Ballroom B or whatever, and it’s pretty fancy. candles, centerpieces, real silver. the whole nine yards. we immediately realize we’re severely underdressed since we’re in jeans & sweaters while all the girls are pretty much in, uh, gowns.

“did we miss the memo?” holly asks me.

i told her there was no memo. just a facebook event page. someone inquired about “dress code,” and i enthusiastically wrote on the wall “jean chic!” since i suggested it, i figured that’s what we ought to go with. brilliant, i know.

“whatever,” i say, suddenly aware just how snug my jeggings really are. and that maybe my boobs look too big in my sweater. “we’re gay. everyone probably expected us to show up in bad pleated chinos, brown boat shoes–the kind with the white stitching and the two-tone laces–and unfortunate plaid flannels. tucked in. oh, and brown belts, also with white stitching. so i actually think we look great. plus i’m wearing my nine west reptile high heels. and jeggings plus high heels equals fancy. so we’re good.”

“well i’m not wearing jeggings. or heels,” holly says quietly.

“you’re fine,” i tell her. “you’re wearing black boots. that have small heels. plus your sweater is black. plus your jeans are dark. plus this is my high school reunion and i don’t even care.”

holly was definitely the hit of the evening, as many of my old classmates already felt like they knew her from this blog. on my way back from the ladies room, i made eye contact with this one guy and figured it’d be rude not to stop and say hello even tho i really wasn’t all too sure who he was.

“hi!” i say. “dave, right?”

“no, rob,” he says. “dave’s my brother,” and he points to the guy sitting next to him. his twin. shit! another pair of identical twins?! what class of approx 144 has two friggin sets of identical twins??

lovely gals that i wish i’d spent more time with in high school tell me stories of fun things we did or funny things i said or did and i realize holy crap, i don’t remember anything about high school. it’s kind of frightening how much of a blank i’m drawing. later on, i realize that, while other people had no idea, high school as a closeted teen was so horrifically painful for me that i think i just left and never looked back.

i tell people about our “wedding blitz” plans for that tuesday, and everyone is so excited. i get hoarse from catching up with people, answering everyone’s questions about our weddings and our life in baltimore. i love that i can finally stand proud with my partner of 10+ years by my side. i love that all my self-doubt is so far in the past. i love that i finally learned how to put a damn arch in my eyebrows b/c dang! i needed a makeover! HOLLA!

grandmothers come first and other notables

yes, i’ve been missing a while. and yes, the last time i wrote holly was scared she had contracted the rat fever, which, for the record, actually turned out to be the flu. but, as i’ve explained in the past, when i disappear, there’s always a good reason for it. and this time it was to take care of holly’s grandmother.

if there’s one thing holly and i believe, it’s that grandmothers come first. and while the rest of the world (well, america, at least) may be slow to catch onto this theory, we live and breathe it. so when holly’s gram broke her hip in january, we came to butler, PA (“pee-ay”) to be with her for her surgery and get her on the road to recovery.

either holly or both of us have been here in butler caring for her grandma, which–between traveling, working and caregiving–hasn’t left a whole lot of time for blogging. but just b/c i haven’t been blogging doesn’t mean my impish mind hasn’t been working overtime.

here are some of the things i’ve been thinking about/what’s been going on:

1. i don’t know how in the hell it happened, but somehow i avoided getting “the rat fever.” first holly went down. then her mom. her gram started getting it but we got her on tamiflu, which curbed it. i was the last one standing. well, me and frank (her stepdad), but he’s a tough police officer dude so he doesn’t really count b/c his immunities are probably stronger than mine.

i fled the scene via amtrak, pittsburgh to philly (where my parents live), a seven-hour train ride, which, for some reason, was dominated by amish ppl. i hit about 5-10% of them (just their shoulders) with my laptop bag when i was going down the train aisle w/all my luggage. i was like, “oops! sorry! ooops! sorry!” i swear it wasn’t bc they were amish (hello, i’m a gay jew). i think they were just broad-shouldered and my laptop is four years old so it’s kind of massive. i’d apologize to them but they’re probably not reading this. unless, of course, they’re on that 16-year-old, four-year break thing, in which case they’re probably too busy binge drinking and having sex to care about regularly reading my blog.

2. i was on my own at home two times, once for like 10 days, while holly was in butler. this was hard for me for a number of different reasons.

2a) Eddie the Rat (not to be confused with Dryer Vent Rat–no, Eddie the Rat came from the old man’s house next door and terrorized us over the late summer/early fall w/his terrible rat ways) must have found out thru the rat grapevine that i was by myself and decided to make his presence known, usually just after i had gotten into bed, by scratching at the foam insulation stuff that holly put in the space behind the stairs. one time he was so loud i was convinced he had actually made his way in and was downstairs, tap dancing on the furniture, drinking beer and doing whatever the hell it is that rats do.

i texted holly, as it was nearing midnight and didn’t want to wake up her parents and grandma by calling their home line. i wrote it with one shaking hand, as i was holding a shoe in the other. (shoes have been our preferred  method of scaring Eddie the Rat, as we can easily throw them from our bedside, out our bedroom, down the hall and against the stairs with astounding accuracy)

honey i think the.rat isdownstairs.Call me now. (like i said: i wrote it with one hand.)

holly called me a few minutes later, half asleep, and told me to go downstairs and check. i whimpered and told her that no, i was scared, until she suddenly seemed to wake up and exclaim, honey, it’s not a bear, for crying out loud. just go downstairs and check. i decided she was right and lo and behold, he hadn’t gotten in. i went back upstairs, lined up no less than four pairs of shoes next to the bed, along with a snow shovel from downstairs (a snow shovel? i don’t get it either; nothing like a plastic snow shovel to make you feel safe from rats) and was up off and on thru the night. he came back the next night, too, but of course disappeared again once holly came home because rats are like that.

2b) i essentially starved while holly was away, as she’s the cook in the family. my daily food intake consisted of mainly cereal and cheese quesadillas (i put fresh spinach in them, so at least there’s that). i went to whole foods, but instead of focusing on what food i’d make, i bought high-sodium frozen items and made googly eyes at the salad bar. one time i left and got sushi, despite the fact that our preferred sushi place is supertrendy and i was in yoga pants, sneakers and a fedora. but whatever. i was hungry. i got the sushi and ran.

i used to tease holly that when i went away for a day or two or maybe a weekend, she lived like a bachelor. i’d come home and find empty cereal bowls with the spoon and some milk still in them (sometimes the milk had even solidified into a crude cheese-like substance–oh stop acting like you don’t know what i’m talking about b/c you and i both know you know) along with half-empty beer bottles. but i’ve discovered that, left to my own devices, i’m actually way worse.

i drank red wine at my computer (at like, noon). ate canned cheese ravioli (organic, but still). downloaded songs on itunes that i have no business downloading (rihanna: s&m, flo rida: who dat girl, an alejandro remix, an entire gin blossoms album) b/c i’m not 15 nor am i a huge gin blossoms fan (nor do i actually need an alejandro remix). i watched “skins” on demand until i lost faith in humankind. i watched every episode of “portlandia,” some twice. (have you seen that show? omG funny.) i read portia de rossi’s memoir in, like, a day and a half. i even read it while i was drying my hair. i wore the same outfit every day. (yet another plus of working from home) i tried making a meatloaf, but managed to simultaneously burn it and undercook it at the same time. the texture resembled…oatmeal. which…i mean, i don’t even, i don’t even understand. i ate one bite and then worried for three to five hours that i gave myself a foodborne illness b/c i couldn’t find the meat thermometer and decided to “eyeball” it instead.

2c) as luck would have it, we got a lot of rain the 10 days i was by myself and our basement started to flood. i decided i would step up to the challenge and actually pump it out with this pump/hose contraption we have.

“before you use the pump,” holly instructed me over the phone. “put some oil in the motor. use canola or olive oil.”

i was like you want me to put cooking oil in the pump? and she was like, yes, the motor needs oil or else it will start burning and it will break. so not only did i have to pump out the basement, i had to figure out how to put cooking oil in the darn motor. plus the water in the basement smelled like cat piss since every friggin feral cat in the neighborhood uses our backyard as a litterbox. so i put the friggin oil in the friggin motor and pumped the nasty water out of the basement, frizzing up my nicely straightened hair and making me realize just how lucky i am to have a partner who deals with all the nasty stuff around the house.

3. speaking of nasty, i walked into our house last week only to be hit with the dead body smell again. i swear, it’s like this disgusting boomerang. just when we think it’s gone, it comes back. it’s not like it’s as strong as it once was (in fact, you wouldn’t really know you were smelling it unless you knew what you were looking for). and we’re not exactly sure why it’s back. it seemed to kick back up after workers removed the rest of the old man’s furniture. who the hell knows. all we know is that it’s annoying and gross but holly and i have both agreed we’d rather dead body smell than a rat. these are the things you learn in baltimore.

switching gears a little bit…

4. in exciting non-rat/bad smell-related news, i made my publishing debut yesterday as a contributor to It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living. inspired by dan savage’s It Gets Better Project, the book features over 100 essays from celebrities, writers and everyday people with the same powerful, resounding message: if you’re an LGBT teen, don’t give up–life gets better. i know i’m somewhat biased, but i have to say that it’s an absolutely wonderful book. it’s climbing up the amazon bestseller list and you can get it for half-off right now. (you can check it out here.)  my contribution is an edited version of my it gets better blog entry from december. if you liked that entry, you’ll love the book.

if you already bought the book, i’d love to know what you think. if you’ve ever battled an urban rat with a plastic snow shovel, i’d like to hear about that, too. and if you’ve ever watched “skins,” move it along, folks, b/c i never actually said that i watched it. you’re totally making it up.