Category Archives: Uncategorized

this is how you know technology has gotten to you

spam: now in special mailslot size.

when you call actual paper junk mail–the stuff that comes thru your mail slot, that you can, like, actually touch and hold in your hands–“spam.” i have done this more than a few times lately and, frankly, it freaks me out a little.

“what’d we get, babe?” holly asks me across the house (our first floor is one big open space) as i crouch down to pick up the pile on the floor under our mail slot.

“just a buncha spam,” i say, stopping myself. “i mean JUNK MAIL. oh my GOSH why do i keep calling our junk mail ‘spam’???!”

at this point, holly, however, isn’t listening to me anymore. i talk so much she stopped listening to me about eight years ago. (ha. i need to pause here and tell you that TODAY is our nine-year anniversary!! happy anniversary, baby! oh wait. she didn’t hear me. lol.)

anyway, it kinda makes sense, the junk mail/spam thing, as the garbage-type paper mail we all get is indeed called “junk mail.” and junk mail in our inboxes is also called spam. so i guess i’m getting my lines crossed. still, it’s weird. kind of like when i’m laughing at a text message or IM or facebook-y thing and holly asks what i’m laughing at and i really wish i didn’t have to speak and could just, like, email her about it instead. so much for technology making us more effecient. talking is so…two years ago.

(shout out to fellow blogger t. for making me think about spam.)

(any of you out there actually try spam? as in, the food? or processed food byproduct or whatever it is. it seems…jiggly.)

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bring on the pizza!

passover ends tonight and omG what a week’s it’s been. i genuinely like passover but this year was tough. i’ve actually been looking fwd to it ending. we’ve had…a rough eight or so days. i can’t even tell you about it. you’re going to have to wait for book #2 for that info. [now, if only our lives could quiet down for like, five minutes, i could actually finish the proposal for book #1. (tho all the sh*t going down in our lives sure does make for good book #2 material.) i am so close to finishing that proposal, btw. (hey it’s hard summing up your entire life in a creative business proposal!) i’m telling you, folks, this is gonna be good. you all can say you knew me way back when.]

i’ve been distracting myself from thinking about puffy pizza crust and crunchy breaded fish sticks by reading ozzy osbourne’s memoir i am ozzy. talk about crazy! i don’t even know how that guy’s still alive, let alone functioning (ok, some could argue that point). hell, i can barely wrap my mind around the fact that he’s fathered multiple children! you’d think that, at a certain point, his sperm would yell, OZZY! ENOUGH! YOU’RE KILLING US DOWN HERE! but no. like i learned in slash’s memoir (and a million little pieces; oh that one’s a real doozie, too), the human body has an amazing capicity to process toxins. it’s mind boggling. and makes me feel a hell of a lot better for hittin’ the advil. (man i am such a dork.)

in any case, YES, bring ON the pizza. tonight at sundown, baby. poor holly’s been trying to convince me to eat pizza all week. she’s such a sport for going along with the passover thing. tho she did try to convince me it was tuesday yesterday, simply to eat pizza. i nearly fell for it, too. little stinker. ha.

some things are an acquired taste

gefilte fish: what's in it? i'm not sure and i don't want to know or else i'm sure i'll stop eating it.

like gefilte fish. if you’re jewish–or an “honorary jew,” as i say, i.e. you spend so much time w/us jews that you’re practically jewish yourself and “oy vey” with the best of us–you’re no stranger to this food. i didn’t realize it was…well, a little weird, until holly and i were together a couple years and i introduced her to it.

“what,” she whispered discreetly in my ear as we attended her very first seder, “is this?”

“it’s gefilte fish,” i whispered back. “it’s…” i paused. suddenly i didn’t know how to describe it.

how could i get this girl from western pee-ay to try a food made from a number of fish–man i didn’t even know what kind of fish were in it. hell, some gefilite fish has carp (overgrown goldfish, basically) in it, something i purposely ignore or else i wouldn’t eat it.

to add insult to injury, it’s preserved on dusty supermarket shelves nationwide in fish jelly. (yes! fish jelly) it also has eggs in it. and matzah meal. and it’s boiled. oh and you slather it with horseradish (horseradish w/beets) before you eat it. and…yeah.

“it’s good,” i assured her as she stared wide-eyed at her plate. “it’s a traditional jewish food. try it. you might like it.”

sport that she is, she tried it. and…didn’t like it.

how could this be? i wondered. how could she not like gefilte fish? and this was the homemade kind. not even a hint of the gross, translucent jiggly fish jelly. (ok, now i’m talking myself out of liking it. i’d better stop w/the jelly talk or else i’ll never eat it again.)

suddenly it dawned on me: gefilte fish is an acquired taste. one of those ethnic foods you just grow up with and ignore its inherant grossness/weirdness b/c it’s been a part of your life for so long.

i’m bringing this up now b/c it’s passover. passover is the holiday for gefilte fish and other odd foods such as chocolate-covered matzah (omg i LOVE chocolate-covered matzah; the exact reason i didn’t buy any this year. i will eat it all.) yeah, passover is basically the festival of gefilte fish. if you love gefilte fish, this is your time to shine, baby.

please share your acquired, ethnic foods w/me. let’s see if you can beat minced whitefish/pike/grown goldfish preserved in a translucent fish jelly served with horseradish and beets. happy passover!

if you don’t know me and ever wondered what i sound like

or you do know me but we haven’t talked in a while (since, like, high school; hi, facebook). or you know me and we talk all the time but you just want to hear me drop the jersey smacktalk and sound smart for once (heh), check out the interview i did for CBC/Radio-Canada (like NPR but only in canada) on “senior sexting” (yes, that means your grandparents (and parents!) are sexting now and no i’m not kidding and yes i actually wrote about it).

the interview was for their weekly tech/culture show, “Spark.” click here to listen. i’m on at about the 18 minute mark (sorry, no fast fwd, i know i know). also available for free download on itunes (just search “spark from cbc radio”; it’s episode 105, march 7-9–this week’s episode ).

and yes, i’m huge in canada.  😉

isn’t it crazy what can make you miss someone?

scientists say that it’s our sense of smell that can bring back our most poignant memories, but that’s usually never the case for me. usually it’s a song or a sound or just the look of something–maybe a combination of the two. it happens out of the blue, too, and almost always at the wrong time. and if the memory is connected to someone you’ve lost, it can really bring you to your knees.

we’re up in western pee-ay right now. we came here suddenly over the weekend. holly’s grandma–she’s 80 and still works full-time; she can actually run circles around people half her age. hell, she can run circles around us–had a bad fall at work. we jumped in the car as soon as we heard and made the five hour drive up. she’s ok, thank goodness, but pretty badly bruised on her face and hands. we’ve been staying with her while her parents are on their annual vacation (they go away just one week a year), and i’m so glad we’re here–she’s needed some tlc.

there’s so many special things about grandmothers. too many to count, really. if you lucked out and got a really great one–and had the privilege of spending many years w/her–you know exactly what i’m talking about. i’ve written about my grandmother quite a lot on this blog b/c she was, and still is, even almost a decade after her death, such an important part of my life. since i lost her in august 2000, i’ve sort of been…collecting grandmothers. holly’s grandma is now my grandma, too, and i take care of her as gently as i would my own.

i love spending time w/joanne (holly’s grandma), but sometimes it’s hard b/c it makes me miss my own so badly. usually the feeling creeps up on me. i got a huge, whopping dose of that sunday night while i was making myself a snack. i made toast. it was white bread (something we don’t usually keep in our house), similar to what my own grandma used to keep in her apartment. on one slice i put peanut butter, on the other, i can’t believe it’s not butter. ha. so cute, i know. my grandma didn’t keep that in the house. heck, i don’t even know if it was around back then. what she did have was tub margarine.

i used to go to her house on saturday nights when i was growing up. back when there was the saturday night lineup on nbc or abc or whatever it was. there was 227 and amen and empty nest–but the shining star of the night was the golden girls. omg how we loved the golden girls. hell if i could understand half the jokes back then (all sexual; most involving blanche or sophia calling blanche a slut or rose not getting that sophia was calling blanche a slut). i didn’t care about the jokes, tho. i  just loved being by her side. we would sip sugar-free swiss miss and eat white toast with margarine. i just loved it. looking back, i see that those were some of the happiest moments of my childhood.

i’m standing in holly’s grandma’s kitchen sunday night and i start spreading the butter spread on the toast. and something cracked in me. it was like…the looks of the toast, white bread with just a little golden brown, and the sound of the butter knife scraping against it. it was like i was whooshed back 20+ years in my own grandmother’s kitchen in new jersey. i was 10 years old again and my grandmother was in the living room waiting for me as our shows–our “programs,” as she would call them–were just about to start. it was just a split second but it split me in two and i stood in the kitchen and just started quietly crying and couldn’t stop. it just made me realize how something so small–just the look of a piece of toast and the sound of a butter knife scraping against it–can make you miss someone so badly it feels like your heart’s going to break in two.

it is so hard losing people. so so hard. i just hope that my grandmother knows how much i still miss her and how thankful i am that i had her in my life the 20 years that i did. i’m sorry this post is kind of a downer but it’s what i’ve been feeling and i try to write things here that a lot of ppl will identify with, happy or sad. if you’d like to share your thoughts on all this, pls do. you know i love it when you guys chime in. xo.

4 a.m. is the loneliest hour

that’s what i’ve decided. i concluded on 4 a.m. as i padded downstairs in silence this morning at 4 a.m. to fix myself a glass of chocolate milk to go w/all the ibuprofen i was taking for my three-day migraine [finally breaking as i write this; word to the wise, always take ibuprofen (i.e. advil/motrin) w/food or milk or you’ll eventually wind up on the verge of a stomach ulcer like yours truly)].

i hate being up in the middle of the night when i’m not supposed to, as opposed to, say, partying til 4 a.m. which maybe–maybe? but probably not–i did in college? anyway, being unwillfully woken up by head pain has  been happening to me a lot over the past few years as i wade thru these terrible headaches of mine. it’s the craziest thing: even tho i have a wonderful partner asleep next to me, i still feel so doggone lonely in the middle of the night.

i’ve always been the same. as a kid when i couldn’t fall asleep, my comforting thought was the 24-hour diner just up our street and around the corner. other ppl were up, i would tell myself. waitresses and cooks and customers. it wasn’t just me.

so i’m older and wiser and braver now, but that little kid is still in there. so as i lay awake for hours last night trying to relax and fall back asleep so i could wake up headache-free (didn’t happen), i thought about being up in the middle of the night and how it sucks (i think too much, i know). all my stirring, of course, woke up holly (i stir a lot w/these headaches; it’s just so hard to get comfortable). i was happy to have the company, as happy as i could be, considering the circumstances.

“4 a.m. is the loneliest hour,” i said in a whisper even tho there wasn’t anyone else around i could wake up.

“3 a.m. is pretty lonely, too,” she said, half-asleep cuddled next to me.

we agreed that 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. are the loneliest hours. i figured i’d share all of this w/you to get your thoughts. tell me your loneliest hour.

so there you have it.

on the way home from the holidays in pee-ay, holly and i took a quick verbal inventory of the new stuff we were bringing home. 

 we got some presents–always wonderful, as you know. we got gift cards, holly got jeans, i got a steelers jersey (troy polamalu; i love him. he’s cute, has great hair and is close with his mom. he also seems really nice. oh yeah, and he plays well, too, ha. you see my priorities in football! i also unintentionally call uniforms “outfits.”).

holly’s family, her mom’s side, also does a grab bag game at christmas. the gifts need to be at least $20. if ppl aren’t putting in gift certificates/cards, $20 bills or lottery tickets (scratch-offs; omG i love those. i get them whenever i can. always lose but it’s the thrill i’m after, i keep telling myself…) they usually choose gifts they’d like to win themselves. i mean, why not, right? we put in some pyrex containers (i know, hold your excitement, but we do a lot of cooking, so bear w/me) and some flannel sheets, as it sometimes seems to get exceptionally cold in our room during the winter. holly assured me this was a good choice. i’d never slept on flannel sheets before. i was worried they’d be too hot, but holly said they’re really cozy so i was in. anyway, we won back the sheets.

we bought holly’s grandma a new electric blanket for christmas to replace a new-ish one she bought that wasn’t warming up as hot as she’d like. she gave us her old one, which seems barely used. (never used an electric blanket before either.)

then, before we got on the road back to baltimore, we went to the local walmart (SO much nicer than any walmarts in baltimore; shocker, i know) to look for some salt for her grandma’s front steps and porch. but of course we have to look thru the whole store first, right? since we’re women and naturally drawn to “the marketplace.” (it’s in our genes, even bypasses the gay gene.)

“hey look at those travel pillows!” i said.

 i get excited about travel pillows b/c i need massive neck support on long car rides b/c of the neck/nerve condition that causes my migraines (i was recently diagnosed; if you get migraines that start in your neck and shoot right thru your head to your forehead, behind your eyes, etc. click on that link).

considering we’re about to take the autotrain down to florida to take a cruise with great uncle ben, i figure we both ought to look into some good travel pillows. we also looked at these small, figure-eight-shaped pillows that go between your knees while you sleep (if you’re a side sleeper). the physical therapist i went to in oct/nov for my aforementioned condition recommended that i sleep with a pillow between my knees for proper spine alignment. holly and i had never seen pillows like that so in addition to neck/head travel pillows, we bought the “knee-spacer” pillows.

so, as i was saying, we were taking that verbal inventory of our new stuff.

the gift cards, the clothes, travel pillows…

“oh and the sheets,” holly said.

“the knee-spacer pillows,” i said.

“oh right, right.”

there was something else, we kept saying. what was it?

“oh! my grandma’s electric blanket!” holly said.

“right! the electric blanket!” i said.

we sat there driving along the highway for a minute or so, pleased with ourselves that we remembered everything.

“honey, did you realize those last three things we listed?” i said. “flannel sheets, electric blanket, knee-spacer pillows? WE’RE OLD!!!”

we laughed til we just about peed our pants.

“honey, we’re old,” i said, holding my stomach, barely able to breathe thru the laughter. “we’re officially old.”

so there you have it. we’re old now, i guess. now if you could just reach over and get my prune juice over there for me… yeah yeah, right there, next to my walker. thank you. you’re a dear 😉