Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 😉

i never told you the shampoo story

haha. i’m laughing just thinking about it.

i told you the other day about holly’s low-maintenance-ness when it comes to girlie stuff. she is particular, however, about the shampoo she uses. i mean, she’s not as bad as me. but she does care. anyway, we went to our favorite beauty supply store (Ulta–she dreads when we go there together b/c i love to walk around and around under the bright lights and ooh and ahh at all the sparkly eyeshadows and leopard-print straightening irons and spritz about a million different perfumes on those shake-em-like-a-poloroid-picture paper test strips; it’s way better than sephora b/c there’s no annoying sales ppl wearing those annoying gloves so it feels more casual) a couple weeks ago b/c she needed more shampoo. i took the opportunity, of course, to buy more frosty lipstick (buy one-get one; girls, can you really blame me??) since it seems to be my goal to have a tube in every coat pocket and every bag that i own.

anyway, the shampoo she likes is this citrus-mint (see above). it’s a pretty green color in a clear plastic bottle. technically it’s a “guys” brand but she goes by smell (and performance but mostly smell it seems like) and this one smells best. (like i said, low-maintenance) it was $8.99 for a small bottle but something like $10.99 for a larger one.

“let’s get the larger one,” i said. “it’s way cheaper.” (i love a good deal.)

it seemed oddly cheap but whatever, you know? so we bought it (and the lipstick) and went on our way.

so a week or so goes by, and holly’s mentions a couple times that her hair feels “thick” and isn’t laying right. i don’t notice a huge different but i guess maybe a little?

another week goes by and she’s saying that maybe that last haircut she got has already grown out since she’s just not having good hair days lately.

“yeah, maybe,” i say. “it doesn’t look that bad.”

a few days later i’m in the shower absent-mindedly looking at whatever bottles are lined up in front of me.

“‘american crew. citrus mint. body wash.’ wait, body wash??!”

she’s been using body wash! as shampoo! no wonder! this strikes me as insanely funny and i start laughing.

i make a mental note to tell her but the hot water feels so good and then i get hungry and forget. a week later i remember.

“oh honey! hahaha. honey,” i say.

“what? what? what’s so funny!!!'” she says. we’re both laughing. “what!”

“you know how you’ve been saying how your hair feels thick? well that shampoo you’ve been using…is body wash!”

we both laughed like crazy. she is so cute. what would she do w/out me? (come to think of it, i’m the one that picked out the bottle to begin with. but still. she needs me.)

sorry i’ve been such a crappy blogger lately

i’m on day four of a migraine. a new, unfortunate personal record of mine. might be stress-induced (stress? what stress?), i could be sick. hell, the smell from next door is coming back, maybe that’s doing it? in any case, i’m sure i’ll have something funny to say once i’m out of my stupor, so stay tuned…xox

i just gotta say

this whole layoff thing? we are saving one helluva lotta money on gas! booyah!

there are better things out there for me

i know this. i feel it. b/c i was laid off today. one door closes, a window opens.

i wasn’t the only one, either. ten percent of the organization was cut, 18 ppl.

i’ll tell you all, for those of you that don’t know me personally, or don’t know me well, i was miserable for a long time, so i’m looking at this as a blessing, an opportunity, more than anything.

i’m not going to go into it b/c, while i may have what some might call a big mouth (me??? never), i like to keep things classy. (anyway, all the juicy stuff is for my book, so you’re just going to have to wait 😉 ) but. i will say the following:

1) i have a sneaking suspicion i’m going to be getting a lot less headaches now.

2) while i’m stressing about cashflow (holly was laid off three weeks before our wedding, so, this doubly sucks) i am overwhelmed w/joy that i will be able to enjoy the season that i am ape-sh*t crazy for: fall.

 as in, i won’t be chained to my (ex) desk in my (ex) windowless office. i’ll be able to actually (gasp!) walk around, go to the park (with holly. during the *day*…sigh), stomp on soon-to-be-crunchy leaves and pet as many puppies as i want w/out any concern for time. as in: no busybody admin ladies who are all oddly obsessed w/my comings and goings noting in their little black admin books when i’ve left and when i return. the delight i feel at the prospect of this …well, i almost have no words for it.

3) twitter. w/said admin busybodies out of my hair, the tweets are unlocked, baby! it is ON! i’m in the process of putting the feed back up. bring it!

and, finally, last but certainly certainly not least:

4) lunch. lunch at home. and i don’t even have to wait til 11:30. (and i can eat it on the roof.)

good night, my lovelies. and to my facebook peeps: a million thanks for the kind words! (turns out facebook isn’t just great for coming out, launching blogs, having Big Fat Gay Weddings (BFGWs) and birthdays. it’s also pretty awesome when you lose your job.) you all are saying what i’ve been thinking since i got the news at 10 this morning, my breakfast barely digested and my to-go coffee mug from home still hot: this is a brand new beginning for me. and i’ll tell you something in case you don’t already know:

i’m completely unsinkable.

and like all those friggin cats that found their way into our walls this winter, i always land on my feet. something wonderful is going to come of this. i don’t know what right now, but it will. and altho i’m stressed in an unfamiliar new way, i have my life back. i. have my life. back. and i’m never going to lose myself like that again.

is there, like, a syndrome…?

when, like, a person can’t stop eating pistachios?  if so, i definitely have that syndrome.

holly and i have only had two longstanding disagreements

well…more like three. but i’ll get to the third in a minute.

the first was deciding on a bedspread. i know this sounds completely lame and shallow but it is what it is, and we could not, for the life of us, mutually agree on a bedspread until like, six months ago. this is after years and years of living together. i wish i was kidding.

see, holly’s taste is…classy. i mean, mine is, too, but well, she’s more of a minimalist. we both like straight lines and clean edges in furniture and whatnot, but i’d like to pair all that with say…a madonna wall mural. or framed ramones posters. also pink flamingo lamps. so yeah. the bedspread thing. pretty tough when one wants, like, whispers of bamboo shoots and the other wants a new york city skyline.

the first time we butted heads on this issue was not too long after we got our first official place together in d.c. now, i’m fuzzy on the details, of course, but here’s how i remember it going down:

maybe a couple weeks before i left to go home for yom kippur, she pointed out a bedspread to me in a catalog. this was way before i learned about her…very strong, let’s say, desire for things to match. (she even matches her flip-flops to her outfits. i only wind up matching by default b/c i wear black every day. black with jeans. those always match. i’m like a walking bruise, basically. but anyway.)

“isn’t this pretty, honey?” she said, pointing to it. smiling, hopefully, oh so hopefully, that i’d love it.

“it” was a bedspread, one that we still have now (on our guestbed), kind of indian-looking made out of shiny satin or silk earth-toned (first problem right there: earth-toned) material with flowers (dingding! second problem is right there: flowers. tho i must say they were small and tasteful).

“yeah, it’s nice,” i said, probably not paying 100% attention (shocker, i know) and thinking we were just window shopping.

“i’d like to get something like that,” she said.

“uh-huh,” i said, most likely thinking about puppies or hot chicks or any of my many other interests.

so i get back from yom kippur, fresh off the train, fresh out of a cab, walk in the apartment and bam: there’s the bedspread from the catalog. on the bed. with matching shiny orange and brown pillows. a number of them. and a crapload of matching towels in the bathroom (orange and purple; hand towels and washcloths). i need to note here that the bedspread was–and is–nice. it just wasn’t…what i had in mind.

“aren’t you so happy?! i went shopping with alane and got all this! don’t you love it???!”

i think the look on my face said it all. let’s just say things did not go well after that.

it took about six years, but we finally got a bedspread (thank you, west elm!) we both really like a few months ago.

the other disagreement:

salsa.

omg i know. salsa. but look, i like the sugary stuff: tostitos. or, better yet, paul newman’s “zero proof” tequila lime. holly likes the black bean stuff, which, while the flavor isn’t bad per se, has a weird slimy texture thing going on. or at least her favorite brand (again, paul newman’s).  

our compromise only came about two weeks ago:  Pace picante sauce. right there in front of us the whole time. go figure. not an earth-shattering discovery, mind you, but hey. when you’re in the mood for tacos, salsa can make or break the deal. i know you know.

the last longstanding disagreement: rollercoasters. holly’s for them. i am not.

i’m listing this disagreement last b/c honestly? i don’t think we’ll ever come to an agreement. we will have to agree to disagreement.

she talked me into going on one just once and…let’s just say it ended badly. (you’ll just have to wait on that story; trust me, it’s a doozy) let’s just say wild horses couldn’t drag me on one of those things. as in: if there’s a hell, it’s full of rollercoasters. (my personal hell, at least) and roaches. and daddy longlegs. and snakes. and pleated chinos.

 but i’m jewish and we don’t believe in hell. so. disaster averted. (yet another reason being jewish is great. i mean, as if the lox and whitefish salad weren’t enough 😉 )

if any of you would like to share your best couple’s disagreements, please post them. yes, even if they’re even less Deep and Meaningful as bedspreads and salsa. i know. and you actually thought i had a soul.