Tag Archives: fashion

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

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

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

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

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

here’s what i bought at the store today:

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

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

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

Leopard print Diva Defense pepper spray with sparkly blue jewel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xox
jessica

gay vs. lesbian

A female couple holding hands from the back.

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

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

i can’t stand the word “lesbian.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

you see, a noun defines you.

i.e. you are a lesbian.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sincerely,
jessica “lady gay” leshnoff

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

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!

well apparently i’m 60 because i started shopping at chico’s

before nicole’s wedding, i went to chico’s looking for a dress. i went to chico’s b/c they make “dressy” clothes specially designed for ladies with curves. sometimes, but not all the time, these “curves” are actually rolls. (not dinner rolls, folks; the other kind) other times, they are actual curves. the kind that used to be revered, but are now frowned upon b/c ppl think they represent a poor diet and lack of exercise–even if your diet is actually pretty much fine and you occasionally drop-kick bathroom locks in the ladies room at under armour–when you’re actually just of eastern european descent and hello, hispanic guys totally love you.

chico’s gets a bad rap amongst the younger set, and it really doesn’t deserve it. here’s why:

first of all, chico’s makes clothes you can roll up in a ball and they won’t wrinkle. it pretty much blows my mind. (see “travelers collection.”)

they also have fives sizes: 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4. size 4 is actually, like, a size 22. for example: i wear a size 2 and i’m basically like hell’s yeah bitches! i’m a size 2, kiss it! kind of like going to a weight watchers meeting in suburban baltimore (like i did before our big fat gay wedding) and you look around and think: damn i’m fine! which prompts you to leave early to buy an 8,000-calorie celebration frappacchino no whip (hello, whipped cream probably adds like two points!).

chico’s also has the best damn salesladies on earth. they are so friggin attentive i can’t even deal with it. i want to be like YES! yes i’ll take The Big Lady Belt–in black and silver! b/c i love you. b/c you are not judging me like those skinny bitches at Express. and you remind me of my mom. and i want to hug you, let’s hug right now, i don’t even care that i don’t know you, let’s just hug.

so i go to chico’s looking for a dress–this is, yeah, like a week before the wedding. and they don’t have anything for me. i wind up finding a dress at macy’s. oh but what did i find at chico’s? i zero in on this silver sparkly tunic sweater that i decide i really need to have. hello, it’s a TRAVELERS piece, which means i can take it to san francisco without it wrinkling to wear for…something!

oh it’s so sparkly, i say to Judy the Attentive Saleslady.

oh i know, isn’t it *fabulous*? she says back. and it looks wonderful on you. just wonderful.

ohmygoshthanks, i say breathlessly. but it’s too expensive, i continue. i…i couldn’t. 

i’ll give you $25 off, she says.

how could i possibly say no?

ring it up, judy! i say. ring it up before i change my mind!

so i bought the damn sparkly tunic, much to holly’s dismay. and i bring it to california, and of course need to wear it to the pre-wedding party at nicole’s parents’ house in sebastopol. as soon as we arrived i knew it was a mistake.

you know how, at every party, there’s that girl who’s overdressed? you try not to look at her but you have to? i was…that girl.

that’s because it’s a *holiday sweater*, holly told me when i got back to baltimore.

what, because it’s sparkly? i said.

holly: yes because it’s sparkly! it has sequins in it! 

me: so you mean to tell me that i wore a chico’s holiday sweater to nicole’s parents’ party–in october. in california. because i felt really overdressed. 

holly: yes, honey, you wore a chico’s holiday sweater to the party.

me: why didn’t you tell me i was buying a holiday sweater at chico’s?!

holly: i tried but you didn’t listen to me! it looks good but it’s for the holidays!

me: so you mean to tell me i spent $75 on a sweater i can only wear one month a year?

holly: yup. i tried to stop you. you didn’t listen.

ladies, this is the magic of chico’s. while everything else there fits like mom jeans, there will be that one item that absolutely dazzles you. you will be blinded by its beauty. an attentive saleslady will bring it to your dressing room, pump you up with compliments and then give you a coupon. bolstered by a false sense of self-esteem from the fact that it’s a fake size 2, you purchase it and then wear what turns out to actually be a sequined holiday sweater to san francisco in early fall.

so yeah, i play bingo. and i stare out our windows at our neighbors. i shop at chico’s. i’m a senior and i don’t even care. and so help me i’m going to rock that damn sweater the entire month of december. so if you’re here in baltimore and you’re blinded by a silvery tunic’ed figure, it’s actually me. and shut the hell up b/c i’m still from jersey and i’ll kick your ass or hire someone else to do it for me.

a jersey girl goes to under armour

aside from my early tomboyish years (before my muscles had been warped by absorbing years of frosty lipstick & elizabeth arden green tea perfume), i would have to classify myself as a fairly unathletic person.

i mean, i can catch a ball. and i’m a damn good walker. and sometimes i run when we’re walking back to our house after 10pm and we hear footsteps behind us. but honestly? aside from the occasional yoga session—which usually annoy me b/c of poses called “corpse,” “cat,” “cow,” oh and let’s not forget my favorite, “happy baby,” which is just another way of saying “unhappy adult”—i’m not so into sports. which is why it’s so incredibly, fantastically ironic that i wound up contracting (as an SEO web copywriter) at under armour for august/sept./part of october.

yes, folks, that’s where i was. i know you thought i was, hell, i don’t know where the hell you thought i was. but you probably wouldn’t have guessed in a million years that i was at under armour.

i had a lot of fun there. in fact, after a few weeks of writing about staying cool, dry & light on and off the field, i felt inspired to be athletic. so i started climbing the stairs in my jeggings to the e-commerce floor. then one day when i was feeling exceptionally inspired, i drop-kicked the lock closed in one of the ladies bathroom stalls.

(have you ever thought about all the germs on those locks?? ppl touch them after they use the toilet but before they wash their hands. whatever, if you touch them, it’s your business, but don’t try to high-five me or use my computer afterwards)

anyway, as soon as i kicked it, i heard a rip. not just a baby rip. i’m talkin big-poppa/granddaddy rip. rrrrrrrrrrip.

it was…my pants. the entire crotch of my american eagle black jeggings split down the middle–like, up to my butt. like a cartoon. this is what i get for karate kicking the lock closed, i thought as i stood dumbfounded in the stall.

looking in the mirror proved it was every bit as bad as i thought i was.

i felt helpless. like the time i was listening to phonics records in my elementary school library and peed my pants (probably bc i didn’t know where the bathroom was–hello this is important  information for a newbie 5-year-old library-goer. it was my first time alone down there!). i didn’t even know i peed my pants until this really nice second-grade teacher lady asked me if i had to go to the bathroom and did i want to go to the nurse so she could call my mom to drop off another pair of pants for me. i was like, why do i need another pair of pants?

what i’m trying to say is that i felt pretty ridiculous, at under armour w/my black jeggings split down the middle. i was about to miss my boat [yes, i took a boat (a water taxi) to work–i’ll need to tell you about that next time] home so i thought fast and called my project manager, who was off-site at the time.

“renee,” i whispered. “i have a…a problem. a girl problem.”

“what, what is it?” she asked. tampon emergency, she probably thought.

“i…i split my pants. down the middle. can i tie the jacket hanging over your chair around my waist and give it to you tomorrow?”

“oh my gosh, totally,” she breathed out. “i didn’t know what you were gonna say, but yes, sure!”

yeah, luckily she didn’t ask how i ripped them down the middle. but she was incredibly cool to let me borrow her jacket even tho she’s like a size zero and the jacket arms barely tied around my jewish birthing hips. so i caught my boat and then holly picked me up on the other side of the water and wanted to go out for pizza.

“but babe,” i said. “my pants are split down the middle.”

“it’s ok, honey. the jacket covers it up. let’s get pizza.”

honestly, the pizza wasn’t worth me worrying that my butt was two to three inches of microfleece away from being exposed to all of fells point but “marriage is about compromise” so we got the darn pizza and then ate it on our roof while we listened to the sweet sounds of baltimore, like helicopters flying three feet above our heads and hookers fighting at jerry’s house.

so that was me at under armour. i have to say that the past 2.5 months have been some of the most ridiculous yet. there was an earthquake. my mom learned how to text. holly began using my health & beauty aids (HBAs) as household tools. i got high on xanax and took a flight to san francisco for nicole‘s wedding. and one time i almost fainted.

to top things off, we now have rogue, psycho mice, so we called shumakers animal control b/c i saw the owner (dave) standing in the middle of the woods in his tv commercial and figured, hell, if this dude can catch raccoons and coyotes, he can sure as hell deal with these crafty sonsofbitches mice.

i’m starting to feel like this is karma is for giving my hamster “baths” in middle school and then drying her with a hair dryer. in my defense, she looked really cute with her fur puffing out and hello, i kept the blow dryer on cool–what do you think i am, some kind of monster?

talk to you soon! aren’t you so happy i’m back? xxo!

my chiropractor thinks i’m goth

me, according to my chiropractor. i have gorgeous baby blues, don't i? ok, stop staring at me or i'll put a hex on you.

i want to start things off here by saying that i have nothing against anyone goth. some of my best friends are goth. (actually they’re not. i totally made that up to make myself sound credible.) no but seriously. i like the cure as much as anyone (ok mostly their greatest hits but still). and i’ll admit to spending a considerable amount of time at hot topic in my youth (and by youth i actually mean last year). but dammit, people. i’m not goth. can someone please convince my chiropractor of this?

our chiropractor is kevin. we’ve been going to him, like, forever. (ok, maybe four or five years, but two of those years i was working at a boring/evil office where every year was actually 10,000 years, so i suppose he’s actually been our chiropractor for just over 20,000 years.)

if i go in for an appointment and i’m wearing a white shirt or (gasp!) something even mildly colorful (this is rare, but still) he totally freaks out and says something along the lines of woah, jessica! i see you’re breaking out of the whole goth thing today! what’s up with the bright shirt!? you’re not goth anymore? the worst part is he’s not even kidding.

my first instinct is, of course, to say something kind of obnoxious but i think we all agree it’s best not to piss off people that are about to adjust your spine.

i don’t know how many times i have to explain to him that i’m not goth. i just have extremely dark hair and wear mostly black. it’s called northern new jersey, folks. it’s my heritage. it’s programmed into my DNA. and anyway, usually i’m not wearing black pants and a black shirt (tho i do from time to time–it’s called dressing up). i’m typically wearing jeans and a black shirt of some sort. so i’m more like a walking bruise than goth. no white makeup. no dog collars. no chains from ear to nose.

(if you’re goth and offended by my stereotypical portrait of goth ppl, i invite you to chime in re: diversity in the goth community, i.e. please don’t hunt me down and kill me. or put a hex on me. unless you want to hex the curl out of my hair so i don’t have to break down and get a keratin treatment. which would save me both time and money, but really it’s up to you. more on that in a sec.)

anyway, the last time i went in for an appointment i was wearing a white shirt and white capris (hello, do you think anyone goth would wear capris?) and he nearly blew a gasket. i’m telling you his world was flipped completely upside down. i wanted to say, kevin, it’s 200 degrees outside and 1,000 percent humidity. even lady gaga’d be breakin out the pastels today. but my resistance was futile. to kevin i am always and will forever be goth. so i’m just going to have to accept it and move on or else risk losing feeling in my toes and/or find a new chiropractor.

now that that’s out in the open, some other notables:

1) many thanks for making my surgery post pretty much the most popular lunch at 11:30 post ever. (if you didn’t read about my surgery, you really need to b/c it’s mostly about me high on drugs at the hospital and you’ll pee in your pants or at least laugh really loud at work and disrupt your coworkers. the best part is that the anesthesiologist that drugged me actually read the post and commented. i died a little inside. it was that funny.)

1.5) if you read that post, you know about my surgery mix (i.e. the vaguely titled “new mix”). well it turns out “new mix” is great not only for IV insertion (*thump* sorry i fainted again as i wrote that) but also doubles as a fabulous daytime work mix. email me if you want the track list. just call me dj jazzy jess. (wait no. don’t.)

2) last week i made fun of holly on facebook  for sneezing (while driving) and simultaneously honking the car horn saying it was–and i quote–quite possibly the dorkiest thing i’ve ever witnessed.  well over the weekend i sneezed so hard in home depot that my sunglasses slipped off the top of my head and landed lopsided on my nose. my arms were too full of boring home depot sh*t to put them back on my head and some lady yelled BLESS YOU! across the entire garden section and then shouted something about allergies. karma.

3) i’m lucky that holly loves me so much b/c my hair has reached new levels of hugeness lately, due not only to the merciless baltimore heat/humidity but the fact that i think i have  blackberry thumb from data phone addiction and therefore can’t properly straighten my hair. if it gets any larger we may just split up and not b/c she’s going to leave me. because she’ll get pushed out of the house by my hair. there simply won’t be enough room for the both of us. i wish i was kidding but i’m not. yours truly, jessica the non-goth

happy 10-year anniversary, babe!

holly & i, sept. 3, 2001: see? even then i was smothering her. (remember: streaky hair was in back then. so were studded bracelets. and blue nail polish. so shuddup.)

ten years ago today, i went on a date with a girl named holly. (you can read all about that date here. warning: longest. entry. ever. so grab your hot drink of choice and get your lumbar pillow.)

from the outside, we were an unlikely pair. i was a trashtalkin badass. she was…not. i was from jersey. she was…definitely not. but…we fit. she smoothed my rough edges. we were everything we never knew we needed.  

“i knew i loved you even then,” i say to her sometimes about that first date.

“aw, babe,” she says, rubbing my hand. “no, you didn’t.”

“yes! i did! i mean, i may not have known it explicitly, but i think in my heart i knew it.”

then i usually get weepy and she hugs me until i squirm away and we start laughing. 

i am so lucky to have found someone that knows me better than anyone else in the world. that knows exactly what i’m feeling and thinking just by the look in my eyes. who can calm me with just a few words or a touch or a glance (which, trust me, is a big deal b/c my ass is hard to calm down.)

holly, you have the reigns on this jersey girl’s heart. you always will. thank you for making the past 10 years the most exciting, most rewarding years of my life. thank you for supporting me in everything that i do. here’s to 10 years and a 100 more. i love you.

what would you do if you found out i was a fugitive? would you turn me in or live life knowing your wife could never ever get a parking ticket or else you might lose her forever?

susan lefevre in 1975, left. marie walsh, ex-fugitive mom, right. pretty mugshot! you go, girl!

you might hate me for saying this, but i’m not the biggest oprah fan.  she’s incredibly good at what she does. but honestly? i’ve always imagined she’d be a bee-otch to work for (confirmed by these annoying behind-the-scenes shows on her new cable network–which holly inexplicably likes to watch while we’re trying to go to sleep, don’t even ask me why–and all her producers seem very, extremely scared of her) and therefore find her show hard to watch.

i also don’t enjoy the fact that she’s on the cover of every single issue of her magazine. she is, however, a big friend of the gays and i enjoy her interviewing style. so that might cancel it all out.

anyway, it was with great surprise when i found myself absolutely glued to her show yesterday, which focused on this lady, marie walsh–just your typical upper-middle-class, tennis-playing, horse-riding mother of three (or four, i forget)–who was, unbeknownst to her husband and family and everyone else, actually a fugitive on the run for 32 years. yeah, i know.

her real name was really susan lefevre and she was arrested at 19 for selling 2.5 grams of heroin to an undercover state trooper in 1975. (it sounds like it was a set-up but i don’t know.) and it was her law-abiding grandfather that helped her break out of prison. (you can read all about her story here. she has a new memoir out b/c, apparently, you have to either be snookie or a longtime fugitive to get a book deal these days.)

holly and i both got really into watching the show and at a certain point, after oprah talked to this woman’s husband, i got to thinking:

what would holly do if she found out i was a fugitive? not that i am. (really, i’m not. tho saying that does make me sound kind of suspicious.) no really. what if i had escaped out of prison and was on the lam for like 25 years (this would, of course, make me a seven-year-old fugitive) and changed my identity and had totally kept it a secret from my partner and one day she found out?

so i asked her.

“it depends on what you’d done,” she said.

my gut reaction to her answer was disappointment. [versus, say…when she rated me “an eight” (and that was “including my personality”) on a scale of one to 10 when my gut reaction was red hot seething anger. you can read all about that disastrous conversation here and don’t say i didn’t warn you. ew i’m getting angry just thinking about it.] b/c i was prepared to say i would support her as a fugitive no matter what. b/c we’re married and best friends and together for 10 years next month, and hello, we love each other.

so i thought about it.

“yeah, i guess you’re right,” i announced. “i mean, if i was a murderer, that could be a source of worry. but if i sold 2.5 grams of heroin in 1975 it’d be different.”

(now she’s saying, as i write this, that the bigger issue would be lying. like, if i lied about that for so long, what else could i be hiding? quiet holly! i’m trying to blog. she’s kind of right but whatever, i’m totally not talking about that right now.)

i told her that i would support her as a fugitive no matter what, and commit myself to living a life devoted to making sure she never got a parking or speeding ticket. (this would be difficult, as she’s a pretty risky parker sometimes. also she sometimes speeds but usually only b/c i’m always running 10 to 20 minutes late so she needs to drive faster to whatever event we’re going to so it doesn’t, you know, end before we get there.)

anyway, despite my disappointment, i’m going to stick to my original thought which is that yes, holly, i would stick by you if i found out you were a fugitive. i know that you’d never hurt a fly, so how bad could it be? plus i wouldn’t mind moving every few years. i might even let you get a motorcycle, b/c, you know, fugitives need motorcycles. and fugitives’ wives need jet-black motorcycle jackets with lots of unnecessary zippers to wear on their fugitive partners’ motorcycles. and i’d have to get, like, badass boots to match. these are my priorities, folks.

anyway, i’m wondering: would you stand by your woman or man if he or she was a (non-violent) fugitive and was hiding it from you for, like, 32 years. discuss.

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.