Tag Archives: gay marriage

a note to manufacturers: not everyone likes rosemary so stop putting it in everything.

rosemary

WHY WHY WHY.

apropos of nothing (mental note: learn how to spell “apropos” so google can stop correcting you. also learn: synagogue, initiative, occasional. oh and aesthetic, which, hello, practically impossible.) — ANYWAY, apropos of nothing, i’m going to rant about rosemary, which, in my book, is long overdue.

first of all, if you have an intense love of rosemary, i strongly suggest you stop reading right now. just click the X and close out of this page. then run to your local produce department. once you get there, grab armloads of rosemary. throw it up in the air like you just don’t care. squeeze it between your fingers so the rosemary oil gets on your skin and then smell your fingers. that way holly and i can easily identify you. you, with the smell. sniffing your fingers in the supermarket. you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

so yeah, go ahead and buy all the rosemary in the world, we don’t even care. wanna know why? IT’S IN EVERYTHING ANYWAY. we can’t get away from it.

let me tell you a story. the story goes like this:

in my continuing effort to eat less grains in order to keep my blood-sugar steady, which therefore prevents me from getting hangry (i.e. so hungry you’re actually angry) while simultaneously helping me ward off type 2 diabetes, an affliction of the jews (the hiatal hernia i actually already have – OY. mental note: learn how to spell “hiatal” ), not to be confused with the bread of afflictionHEY OH! passover joke! (passover starts soon, biznatches! overeat pizza now so you don’t miss it. wait don’t. wait…nothing. forget i even said that.)

…so yes, in my continuing efforts to limit grains (SERIOUSLY I DON’T EVEN EAT PIZZA THAT OFTEN SHUT UP), i often purchase mary’s gone crackers, which, despite their odd name, are actually pretty good. they’re gluten-free and made of a variety of seeds, which, i don’t actually understand? regardless, they’re actually quite delicious. i usually buy the “original” crackers. they have served me well despite the fact that i continue to be confused about how they’re made.

at some point over the past two years, i decided to, you know, spice things up and picked up a box of the “herb” variety. BIG MISTAKE. listing “herbs” on an organic product (these crackers are organic like everything else we eat–yes, as i said years ago, we have truly become one of those households with nothing to eat, where you have to make everything. like a hippie. or a colonial person.) is not only vague but it’s also dangerous for those of us that don’t like rosemary. i feel like if an organic food lists “herbs” in its ingredient list, it probably contains enough rosemary to kill or at least choke a small to medium-sized mammal. oh and forget about salad bars. (YEAH WHOLE FOODS, I’M LOOKIN AT YOU. PEOPLE THAT DON’T LIKE ROSEMARY EXIST.) i’ll get to that in a minute.

anyway, as you can probably guess, the predominant flavor in these crackers was rosemary. it was like munching on a pine tree. ON A PINE. TREE. mary, (as in: of Mary’s Gone Crackers) would it be so hard to list ROSEMARY as an ingredient in your herb crackers? WOULD IT BE. SO HARD. no! i don’t think it would be!

i was recently reminded of this debacle yesterday when i delightedly opened a box of mary’s gone ALL NEW super seed crackers. which, hello, i was totally excited for! i mean, pumpkin seeds AND sunflower seeds AND poppy seeds in ADDITION to all the OTHER SEEDS. it was too much.

i bit into a cracker and at first i thought: oh my gosh. it’s almost like: an everything bagel! but then: NO. no no no NO. the familiar and unwelcome flavor of rosemary–of pine and soil itself–bloomed in my mouth. i shook the crackers at the sky. WHYYYYYYY. i shouted. WHYYYYYY.

no, i didn’t do that. who even shakes anything at the sky anymore? only people in biblical movies. i’d be more likely to throw the damn box across the room but i didn’t want to clean it up. anyway, it made me want to rant. so here i am.

why my intense dislike for rosemary? (oh hooo, this is going to get me in major trouble with some of you but whatever. it was bound to come out sooner or later.) first of all, if you break it up and toss it in things before you cook them–say, red-skinned potatoes, for example–it dries out and becomes these pokey little needles that can not only stab you in the throat, but choke you if they flip sideways in your esophagus! (go figure, i can spell esophagus.)

this very thing happened to me years ago. luckily, i was able to push the offending needle or needles down with a gulp of water or a slice of bread but it was touch and go there for a minute. it was touch and go. and it probably irritated my hiatal hernia.

and yes, if i wanted to gnaw on a pine needle, i’d gnaw on a pine needle. if i wanted to taste the earth’s rich, bountiful soil, i’d just eat a handful of rich bountiful soil.

and now for the kicker: THE WHOLE FOODS SALAD BAR. guys. c’mon. is it necessary to put rosemary in every single dish?? IS IT? i’ll tell you what: it’s not. because i don’t do it at home. this is the universe telling me to avoid the whole foods salad bar. it’s too damn expensive anyway. i already had words with the sushi guy. i should forget their prepared foods altogether.

so. in closing, does rosemary have its place? yes. but in small doses. (and YES, it can be good in a roasted chicken dish, so please don’t mention roasted chicken to me. i already know.)

if you are a manufacturer of something PLEASE list it on your ingredient list as not all of us want to eat pine sol. and chop the damn stuff up dammit! you want a lawsuit or something?? i should not have to review a heimlich maneuver chart before i eat your food.

heimlich maneuver

“help…i have rosemary…stuck…in my throat.” “i gotcha, buddy. i gotcha.”

next up:  my recent-ish 30-minute flight from pittsburgh to baltimore, also known as I Took Too Much Xanax & Held a (Kind) Stranger’s Hand. until then, please don’t choke on rosemary. or at least avoid it if you’re with me because you know my ass isn’t gonna know how the hell to save you and before i can do anything, i’ll have to google “heimlich maneuver” and you know i’ll spell it wrong.

remember that time we got in a fight before downton abbey and i made you watch it by yourself?

A photo of the cast from the hit HBO series Girls.

I MISSED GIRLS, TOO. NOT HAPPY.

i barely remember what happened in the last episode of downton abbey (season 4, episode 4) because it’s been so long since i watched it. actually. actually no. it hasn’t been that long, i guess, because i watched it monday, not sunday, because holly and i got in a fight sunday night and i made her watch it by herself, which pretty much killed me because i desperately wanted to watch it, just not next to her because i couldn’t stand to be around her because i was so irritated.

doesn’t that suck? when you get in a fight with your spouse/mate/significant other right before your TWO FAVORITE DAMN SHOWS, WHICH RUN BACK TO BACK, AND THEY’RE NOT NORMAL SHOWS EITHER. NO, YOU HAVE TO WAIT A DAMN YEAR FOR A NEW DAMN SEASON AND EVERY EPISODE IS LIKE A LITTLE POT OF GOLD (sunday night is a twofer: downton abbey, then Girls on hbo, which hello. best show ever.) and then you’re so mad you want to punch them in the throat, not only because they’ve wronged you but because they’ve ruined everything. the night is ruined. the shows are ruined. and the only way you can avoid said punch is to walk away, which means you have to walk away from the tv also. don’t you hate that?

anyway, i guess this post needs to address the last episode at least a little. so here’s some commentary based on what i can remember, which, admittedly, is not that much.

-the cooking teacher. the french guy? did anyone understand what the hell he was saying? because i sure the hell didn’t.

-”her ladyship’s” new “lady’s maid”–obviously another freakazoid weirdo! cora is so…i don’t even know. i’m beginning to think her and her asshat husband deserve each other. i remember going to a farm as a little kid for a school trip and there were turkeys there. i looked at a turkey, at its eyes, and it was like, there was just…nothing there. and i wondered: what’s behind those eyes? do they even have a brain? that’s what i’m starting to feel about cora. also: does she suck helium? oh well. at least she likes orange juice. at least there’s that.

-mary’s really swinging some zingers at edith these days, isn’t she? geesh. (WHY’D EDITH GO TO THE DOCTOR? WHY? OMG WHY.)

-poor daisy. why’s she always pickin the wrong men?? the first one’s a homo. the second one dies. the third one doesn’t like her back. she’s really not all that bad. daisy needs a man. so does thomas. i stand by my earlier statement that thomas would be a whole lot nicer if he had a man. i’m sure he’d have better coloring, too.

-why’s lord grantham being all nice and whatnot to that farmer? give him time. i’m sure he’ll screw everything up.

-mr. bates is going to do something bad. we all know this.

-the new gardener. the letter opener. i have no idea. these ladies need more to do.

-molesley: still an idiot. i called that one last season.

when downton abbey was over, holly called up to me and asked if i wanted to watch Girls with her down there or did i want to watch it upstairs with her in bed. i told her i was too tired to watch it, which was a lie. what i really was saying was: DON’T EVEN ASK ME. COME UP HERE AND CUDDLE UP NEXT TO ME AND LET’S WATCH IT TOGETHER WHILE YOU APOLOGIZE FOR BEING A JERK. THEN EVERYTHING WILL BE BETTER AND THE NIGHT WILL NOT BE COMPLETELY RUINED AFTER ALL.

instead of reading between the lines she was like “you sure? okay.” and she watched it downstairs without me.

OH MY GOSH DID THAT MAKE ME MAD. sometimes i wonder: why did i even bother marrying a woman? why did i struggle coming out of the closet the way i did? why am i even gay? she thinks like a man. she acts like a man. she doesn’t understand that when i say something i actually mean something else. 

anyway, i was so mad i couldn’t even watch Girls upstairs in bed. instead i turned on the grammy’s and stewed and listened to holly watching Girls downstairs by herself. then i got madder. it was a vicious cycle. i tried breathing out the bad feelings down to my feet the way my acupuncturist says do so but it was no use.

when she came upstairs, i shut my eyes and pretended i was asleep. i made sure i was way the hell on the other side of the bed, too, so she couldn’t put her doggone cold feet on my legs. OHHHH NO. YOU GONNA USE ME AS YOUR PERSONAL HEATING STATION YOU BEST NOT BE WATCHING GIRLS WITHOUT ME, UH-UH NOT HAPPENING. WARM UP YOUR OWN DAMN FEET DAMMIT.

so yeah, we made up the next day. of course we made up, we always do. part of making up was, of course, making her watch both downton abbey and Girls again, which was all about death and kind of upsetting. the fact that holly watched these again with me means that she loves me. even though she was on facebook on her phone or her ipad or whatever. she loves me. this is what marriages are made of people. compromise.

sidenote: please make GIRLS an hour an episode, lena! PLEASE. WE WAIT ALL YEAR FOR THIS. WE WAIT ALL YEAR.

holly’s going to leave me for savannah guthrie

when it comes to women, holly is nearly powerless against what we’ve labeled in our household as the Triple Threat.

a woman that displays the Triple Threat is: 1, smart. 2, sexy. and 3, funny.

there aren’t many women lucky enough to be a Triple Threat. and holly’s pretty picky, so that leaves a fairly small pool. to illustrate what i’m talking about, the following are some of holly’s favorite celebrity Triple Threat ladies off the top of my head.

-drew barrymore (as featured in my 2011 post who’s your gimme? WE LOVE US SOME DREW. hey drew HAAAAY.)
-jennifer anniston
-shannon tweed (gene simmons’ wife)

i told holly i was writing this post, so i asked her to name more. here we go:

-chelsea handler
-liv tyler (steven tyler’s daughter. i just asked holly if she was funny or smart. “i have no idea but she’s sexy as hell!” alrighty then.)
-as a 90s teen, the natural next question to this was “what about alicia silverstone?” YES YES YES.  
-halle berry
-portia de rossi (ellen’s wife)
-she’s told me a bunch more that i may or may not be purposely forgetting at the moment. (no actually, i really do forget.)
-OH WAIT I JUST REMEMBERED A GOOD ONE! MICHELLE OBAMA! WHAT WHAT!

i’ve left one important woman off holly’s list because her Triple Threat-ness is so strong she will knock all the other ladies off the list. the list will simply explode into nothingness:

savannah guthrie.

savannah has Triple Threat  in spades. with her winning smile, sense of humor, knowledge of current events, and excellent interviewing skills, savannah takes the prize, folks. she’s also really pretty and dresses great. she is holly’s #1.

holly didn’t even need to tell me how she felt about savannah. i knew the minute she stepped into the co-anchor position next to matt.

i wasn’t born yesterday. i see the way her eyes sparkle when she watches savannah on the today show. and even though we’ve been together almost 13 years and have been married in multiple states and therefore would probably have to get divorced in multiple states, i know she’d leave me in a hot minute if savannah waved, winked, and said to holly, “come hither, holly. the future is ours.”

could i blame her? no. would i be mad. YES. would i still watch the today show? maybe. no. would i immediately remove holly from our family cell phone plan, since i am the primary account holder? YES. would i call and/or text her family before i did it so they could figure out an alternate way to reach her. yes. why? because i’m a decent person, that’s why.

why should they worry? after all, it’s not their fault holly left me for savannah guthrie. they’d probably smack her upside the head and say WHY’D YOU DO THAT HOLLY? WHY? JESSICA’S FUNNY AND SHE ALWAYS MAKES US TEA, EVEN WHEN WE DON’T ASK FOR IT. SHE ALWAYS KNOWS WHEN WE WANT TEA. IT’S LIKE MAGIC. AND SHE KNOWS HOW EACH ONE OF US LIKES IT. but then holly would tell them about the fabulous new york city apartment savannah is sure to have and they could all go there over thanksgiving to watch the macy’s thanksgiving day parade and they’d forget all about me. and savannah probably has a butler to make her and her guests tea anyway. i’m sure he’d make the whole damn family tea just the way they like it just like downton friggin abbey. plus savannah wears a lot of colors and i wear mostly black. i mean, even my chiropractor thinks i’m goth. they’d probably like that, too, all those colors savannah wears. especially holly’s mom. she loves color.

great, now i’ve made myself mad.

i’m playing like i’m jealous but i’m really not. i love me some savannah, too. and i love to  joke around about stuff like this. we’ve been together so long, holly and i, that i’m not worried. it’s not that i’m overly confident, it’s just…i know holly loves me. and apparently, according to holly, i’m kind of a Triple Threat myself. (it’s all the jokes. and the jeggings. she is powerless against my jeggings.)

(psych! i actually just figured out they’re skinny jeans. whatever! i love them.)

look, the bottom line is: savannah’s engaged (to a man). she kept it under wraps for a while, this boyfriend-turned-fiancée. or maybe she didn’t? but we hadn’t heard about it before they announced it on the today show.

oh that was a sad day in our house. when they announced her engagement. and she showed her sparkly ring to the nation. and they beamed out a picture of savannah and her fiancée.

i hope he’s good enough for her, holly said as she flipped my over-easy egg, sounding a little sad and defeated. (holly makes fantastic over-easy eggs, btw.)

i’m sure he is, baby, i said.

savannah needs a good man.

i know, baby.

he’d better be good to her.

i’m sure he will be, honey.

anyway. savannah, i know you’re all fiancéed up and everything. but, like, if you ever decide to, you know, switch teams, stay away from my holly, willya? you don’t want to be known as a home wrecker. and i really don’t want to have to change my cell phone plan.

A photo of Today Show host Savannah Guthrie.

hi savannah! we love ya here in baltimore! keep up the good work! xxo! jessica & holly

i went into a panic last night about the polar vortex and now we have too much food in the house.

so yeah, as you probably already guessed, i bought into the media hype about the “polar vortex” and kind of went into a panic last night.

the panic was similar to the widespread terror many of us here in maryland feel when we hear or read that it will snow except no snow was involved, just cold. this panic, of course, gave me an urgent, frenzied feeling that we were out of everything in the house and we needed to go to the supermarket immediately. i usually have this feeling anyway, because i’m jewish and we never feel like we have enough food in the house. it’s like, a genetic thing, so that when we have visitors we will feed them until they say NO MORE PLEASE STOP. this gives us great joy. anyway, i pushed holly out into the cold and off we went to the store.

when we made it there–THANK GOODNESS WE MADE IT, IT WAS SO COLD–before we got out of the car, she turned to me and said, calmly, that we were going to be ok. that there was no need to panic, we would be fine, we were only here to pick up a few things, we didn’t need to go into emergency mode, this wasn’t a hurricane, etc. i only heard her say “panic,” “emergency,” and “hurricane” so i panicked even more.

we get inside and the store’s…empty. it’s almost empty. OH MY GOSH WHY IS IT EMPTY? WHERE IS EVERYONE? clearly everyone else knows it’s extremely dangerous to be out in such cold. we’ve made a grave mistake but it’s too late to go back now. i must think fast. we must act fast. the temperature’s dropping.

lunch meats! we need lunch meats. MILK! TEA! PEARS! OH MY GOSH WE NEED PEARS.

CANNED FOOD! tuna! YES TUNA! and EGGS! OH LORD THE EGGS. we get to the eggs and THE EGGS ARE ALMOST GONE! the masses have already been here, i think. clearly there’s reason to panic, the eggs are gone! the only eggs left are three containers of those weird omega 3 eggs so we settle on a carton of egg whites. this is a valuable source of protein, i think. one that, i figure, we can cook up using a candle somehow, which i will light immediately when the electricity goes off because surely it will because we live in baltimore and nothing works here. AND OH MY GOSH WE’D BETTER CHARGE UP OUR CELLPHONES HONEY HOW MUCH POWER DOES YOUR CELL PHONE HAVE (i grab it from holly’s hands) OH MY GOSH ONLY 58% THAT WILL ONLY LAST US MAYBE HALF THE DAY. then i see mine is only at 20% and nearly faint.

we get to the cashier and we don’t even have to wait in line. it’s that empty. OH. MY GOSH. IT’S THE VORTEX. we need to move fast. YOU BAG, i tell holly, AND I’LL PUT THE FOOD ON THE CONVEYOR BELT.

the bill is $104 and i honestly have no idea what we bought besides milk and tuna and pears. i obviously blacked out while we were shopping. this is bad.

we go out to the car and the wind is howling.

HONEY! i shout over the swirling winds. HONEY! YOU PUT THE BAGS. IN THE CAR. I’LL. TAKE BACK. THE CART!

i want to shout SAVE YOURSELF! but i decide there’s no need to be dramatic.

we get in the car and start driving home and we see water gushing out into the street. WATERMAIN BREAK, i think. i immediately decide to hoard water when we get home, lest our pipes burst. first i’ll fill the brita filter. then all the pots. every one of them. the largest ones first. i’ll fill the crockpot, too. nothing’s off limits. if it can hold water, i will fill it. i made a stir fry earlier in the day and noticed a green pepper can hold water once you empty out the seeds. i suddenly wish i had bought another pepper. i’d fill that, too.

when we got home, i almost expected our block to be engulfed in flames but honestly, everything was fine (save for some drafty bedroom windows, which holly managed to fix).

it’s late and i want to keep things short so i’ll wrap things up:

the wind blew all night but we both managed to sleep. in the morning, we woke up and i found a cheese danish in the pantry. i’d like to say i was in my blacked-out state when i purchased that, but no, i totally remember buying it. i found beans and two cans of tuna, milk, the carton of egg whites, pears, frozen chopped spinach, and a number of other necessities.

what didn’t i find? what were we out of? toilet paper.

NOBODY LIKES YOU, LORD GRANTHAM. NOT EVEN YOUR MOM. (downton abbey season 4 premiere recap)

The Dowager Countess of the hit PBS series Downton Abbey.

how could such a cool lady have such a loser son?

when we left off, i had given up on downton abbey. matthew was dead. sybil was dead. everything was in chaos and i couldn’t take it anymore. but that was almost a year ago. and as the months ticked by, my pain eased. i started pining for that damn theme song again, and english things, like tea, and being proper, and holding in one’s emotions to the point of it actually being bad for one’s health.

anyway, i really enjoyed writing irreverent downton reviews last year and i think you enjoyed it, too. so i’ll take a break from my usual neuroses and get back to it. LET’S GO.

first some general thoughts:

1. i still can only understand like 80% of what people say. the whole show i’m like WHAT? HOLLY WHAT DID HE JUST SAY?

2. every time i watch that damn show it’s like my brain has an english accent for two hours afterwards. like…the voice in my head is speaking like it actually lives in downton. and when i talk, like, out loud, i kind of expect to be speaking with an english accent but…i still sound like i’m from new jersey. what’s up with that?

3. seeing how friggin O’BRIEN finally left (CAN I GET A WHAT WHAT), can we all agree that it’s pretty ridiculous that no one “upstairs” in that house is able to, you know, dress themselves? i know they’re rich but get a grip! c’mon cora! i know you can put on a dress yourself! OH WOE IS YOU, YOU LOST YOUR MAID. guess what?? SHE WAS AN EVIL BITCH AND YOU’D HAVE A BABY RIGHT NOW IF THAT WENCH DIDN’T PUSH YOU OUT OF THE TUB OR WHATEVER SHE DID. THIS IS THE BEST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED TO YOU.

ok i guess i only have three general thoughts. here’s some commentary on the characters:

lord grantham: i think we can all agree that lord grantham is more of an ass than ever. even his mom is calling him out on his shit. NOBODY LIKES YOU, ROBERT. ONLY THE DOG LIKES YOU. (can we get a hand for the dog?? cutest cast member!) why is he so power hungry? ew! i can’t stand him. it’s like: you already ran the place into the ground once, what makes us think you won’t do it again? give mary a chance! she’s your daughter! idiot chauvinist. you know what? just leave! take a vacation. we’re all sick of you and stop reading so much in bed. talk to your damn wife. you’re lucky she didn’t leave your ass in season 1.

mary: they did a great job making her look really terrible. i mean, really pale. good thing her father pissed her off so badly that she got some gumption and changed into a purple dress and started to kick some man ass. YOU GO GIRL. she did, however, still dig down deep and find the energy to be mean to edith. gotta love it.

edith. yes, edith: edith has been the bane of my existence. but, like, that time she told on mary after she saw her dragging that hot dead guy out of her room in the middle of the night….it was a while ago. and i know she’s really annoying but (sigh) everyone’s really mean to her and they’re laughing that she has a boyfriend. let the girl have a damn boyfriend! maybe that’ll calm her ass down. MAYBE IT WILL GET HER OUT OF THE HOUSE. anyway, she’ll probably move to germany and that’ll make everyone hate her more.

“her ladyship”: i thought i had bad intuition about people, but girl, you blow me right outta the water! get a clue! how could you NOT SEE that lady maid you just hired is a sketchy biznatch?! good job firing that nutjob nanny, btw. well done.

yeah, the nanny: if i ever see her, i’m gonna kick her in the mouth. what a weirdo!

granny: i do love me some dowager countess. she kicks so much ass. how could such a cool lady have such a loser son? she is the best character on the whole damn show. she needs a spinoff.

rose: who the hell is rose again?? GET OUT OF DOWNTON. NO SERIOUSLY. LEAVE.

thomas: if i had a choice between punching thomas or edith, i’d choose thomas. because while edith is just clueless and generally annoying, thomas is just plain evil. however, despite my protests, i’ve come to the conclusion that he’ll never leave. i made a statement last year that he needed a boyfriend and i stand by that. he’d be a whole lot happier and a whole lot calmer if he was gettin some. also: for once his evilness did some good and got that freak of a nanny way the hell out of the house. i don’t think i’ll ever say this again but good job, thomas. however, i will counteract that by saying: try smoking less! it’s going to age you!  how you gonna attract a fine young thang if you look like an old man and have a gross smoker’s cough? girl please.

mr. bates: something’s up with mr. bates. he’s creepy. i regret rooting for him.

mr. carson: that was quite a woman! did you see her picture? it looked like him in drag!

mosley: poor mosley! i’m telling you, when that dingaling jerk butler handed him that burning hot plate i nearly lost it. i used to hate him, but now i feel bad for him. why’s this show always gotta play with my emotions like that?? shiiiiit.

10 reasons why i’m actually a senior citizen

Older ladies in floral swimcaps smiling.

my people.

i have long suspected that i’m actually a senior citizen in a young(er) person’s body. and not, like, what aarp considers a “senior” (55. puh-lease! 55 is the new 35!) no no no, i’m talkin little old lady senior. like, little. the kind that gets her hair set, drinks coffee with lunch, and clears the way through the local diner with her cane. (that was my late gram. she was so totally and completely cool, it was kind of unbelievable.)

anyway, ever since i got my nighttime mouthguard (see “i got a retainer“) and started soaking it in efferdent, i started thinking: oh my gosh. i really am a senior.

i recalled my unbridled joy as i played bingo with italian-american octogenarians at the sons of italy lodge, this year and in years past, pining for the $13 “jackpot.” of my deep love for the golden girls, and my need to secure the boxed set, despite holly’s protests. my need to shout WHAT? at my spouse even when i hear her.

so i started making a list of all the reasons why i’m actually a senior citizen. because what else am i gonna do while i wait for the efferdent to turn from blue to clear?

ok, here we go:

1. i have hard candy in my bag at all times. including ginger chews “in case one of us gets nauseous.”

2. i also have “nerve spray” in my bag at all times. for nerves. it can also help with nausea if it makes you nervous. (which, yes. being nauseous makes me nervous. don’t even get me started.)

3. speaking of bags…i need to admit to myself that as much as i want to call what i carry around a bag, it’s…a purse. and i pretty much have it with me at all times. i strap it across my body “in case i get mugged” and freak the hell out if i can’t find it in three seconds, shouting to poor holly WHERE’S MY PURSE HONEY WHERE IN THE HELL IS MY PURSE. this is my grandma’s gene. her bag was full of crumpled tissues and hard candies with pennies stuck to them. i’m getting there. 

4. i always check the backseat when i get in the car. again, this is a habit i picked up from my gram who shouted CHECK THE BACKSEAT at me once i started driving. as a lifelong non-driver, it was the one tip she offered me. i guess this was a thing once? people hiding in the backseat? i also lock the doors immediately when we get in the car. “in case we get carjacked.” or rather: “to keep from getting carjacked.”

5. here are the three things i always have in my coat pockets: hand sanitizer, lipstick, and mace. see: “in case i get mugged.” also usually napkins. see #6.

6. i always take a stack of napkins when we go to starbucks or chipotle. and we go to these places often. not such a big stack that it’s obnoxious, but like, a decent, respectable amount. #1, you never know when you’ll need extra napkins! you could sneeze. you could spill something. you could find yourself in an emergency situation where you need to immediately blot your lipstick. #2, they’re good napkins! #3, you need them for your purse. what else will your hard candies stick to? #4, you need them for the glove compartment. #5, you need them to wipe off the seat after you spray the bastard that’s been hiding in your backseat with mace.

7. if holly is in the bathroom for more than 60 seconds i begin shouting HONEY ARE YOU OKAY? ARE YOU OKAY? (again, i picked this up from my grandma, who would shout ARE YOU MOVING YOUR BOWELS at the bathroom door if i was in the bathroom for more than two minutes. she would shout this to me even when i was four years old. before i even knew what “moving my bowels” meant.) this is the way i show my love. by shouting about my spouse’s health. see #8.

8. if holly coughs i immediately announce that she’s coming down with something and then hound her about zipping up her coat. i threaten to make her soup. i ask if she loves me. because if she did, she’d zip up her coat.

9. water aerobics classes featuring hits of the 80s, 90s and today. tried it, loved it, ready to get a floral swim cap so i don’t ruin my blowout.

10. if you visit, i will ask you 10 times if you’re hungry. if you say no, i will feed you anyway. if you still refuse to eat, i will send you home with fruit. old people love fruit. i love fruit. especially apples and oranges. and we all know those are the preferred fruits of seniors.

and…….a very special #11…..****drumroll please!****

if the weather’s too bad to walk outside, i’ll do laps in the mall!!!!

HAPPY 2014, ALL! LET’S MAKE IT COUNT!

happy new year!

me, left. holly, right. happy new year from balteemore, hons!

every once in a while our periods collide & our house pretty much goes up in flames.

These are the mugs we got in Disney World: one Mickey Mouse and one Donald Duck.

i should start this post by saying that this entry talks about periods and hormones and if you have a problem with that, you should probably leave right now because sh*t’s about to get real around here.

people always say that if you’re a female of child-bearing age hanging around/living with other women of child-bearing age you will eventually all get on the same cycle (that’s “period cycle” for those not in the know, which, really?). anyway, the reason for this has to do with…pheromones or something weird like that. i don’t know, look it up.

anyway, holly and i have been together almost 13 years and our periods have only converged a few times. PROBABLY BECAUSE WE’RE BOTH THE ALPHA. i should stop right here and say that sometimes i think my strong feminine pheromones pull her into my cycle. kind of like the rings of saturn. they’re that strong.

(holly, if you’re reading this, be quiet. i can see your lips moving but i can’t hear any sound.)

ANYWAY, this was one of those months. that our periods collided. we didn’t know it was happening at the time. and let me tell you, we were about to kill each other.

case in point: the damn tea. the damn mugs.

seeing how i work from home and all, i make a lot of tea. i make a lot of coffee but i make more tea. seeing how we both work from home i make holly a lot of tea, too. (she claims i mostly ask her if she wants tea but then forget to make it. i say this is bullsh*t. this only happens some of the time.)

so we’re recently back from a trip to disney world with holly’s family and we picked up two mugs while we were there. i gotta say: they’re pretty nice mugs. great shape, great weight, great design. one’s mickey mouse, one’s donald duck. i didn’t realize it at the time, but apparently the donald duck one is holly’s and the mickey mouse one is mine? oh excuse me, i thought we were sharing them equally. 

yeah so i’m making holly tea the other day. i know the mugs she likes and i know the ones she doesn’t. i choose one of her less favorite ones because the “best ones” aren’t clean. i’m getting the damn tea bag ready to put in the mug and she looks over and is like WHY AREN’T YOU USING ONE OF OUR DISNEY MUGS.

i was like, uh, EXCUSE ME THEY’RE NOT CLEAN RIGHT NOW AND TRUST ME I DID YOU A FAVOR BECAUSE THIS ONE’S THE BEST OF THE WORST AND YOU SHOULD ACTUALLY BE THANKING ME INSTEAD OF ACTING LIKE A JERK ABOUT IT.

suddenly her eyes, usually kind pools of brown, were filled with flames and daggers. my skin got all, what’s the word? like when a cat arches its damn back and hisses. similar to that. but skin.

i felt mad because dammit i was being nice by making her tea and choosing the least hateful mug i could find.

did she really want me to give her one of those generic starbucks mugs that she hates? (i don’t know why we even have them anymore. we got them years ago in a gift set and we’re always avoiding them. they need to go.) or one of the huge mugs that hold hold so much water they’d water down her decaf tea?

I WAS DOING HER A FAVOR AND SHE WAS, LIKE, RUDE. ABOUT IT. REALLY RUDE. AND IT MADE ME MAD.

me being mad made her mad and then we exchanged words. i was like, oh now i’m supposed to ask you what mug you want every time i make you tea? for the rest of our lives? like, get mug approval if there’s no disney mugs available? and she was like can you just stop talking? CAN YOU JUST. STOP TALKING.

then she shot fire daggers from her eyes. and i wanted to karate chop her in the throat. i felt like saying that but i didn’t. because telling your spouse who’s suffering from severe pms (lalala, see your lips moving, holly, not hearing any sound) that you want to karate chop her in the throat is usually a bad idea.

this was just one fight of many small to medium fights we had in a span of a week.

(I JUST THOUGHT OF THE WORD: BRISTLING! she made my skin bristle.)

we’d pass each other in the kitchen or look at each other in our office and i’d think why can’t we stand each other? what is happening right now? why does her breathing make me mad? why do i feel she can’t stand to be around me right now? why do her brown eyes look like pits of hot tar about to burn my insides? 

she’d put her cold feet on mine in bed and i’d be like WHAT. STOP. i’d kind of want to kick her in the shin. (i may have done this, i’m not actually sure.) everything i said she was like NO. and i felt: oh G-d. this is it. almost 13 years together. five weddings. good times. bad. and…this is how it’s ending. i….can’t even. i just…can’t.

and then she got her period. four days early. and then i got mine. the same damn day. five days early.

i’m blaming the damn acupuncture. even though i love it, i’m blaming it. i’m blaming the friggin moon and the damn  tides. i’m blaming patchouli and everyone that wears it. i’m blaming the indigo girls and anything else that’s gay.

vote for my blog in the mobbies early and often

now that i’ve (hopefully!) made you laugh go ahead and vote for lunch at 11:30 in this year’s annual baltimore sun mobbies competition. it’s up for best personal blog. registering to vote takes just moments (moments! literally!) and you can feel good knowing you’ve made a difference in the world. (my world. but still.) then tell your friends to vote. also your mom. and your gram.

p.s. those are the mugs in the picture up top. i told you they were nice!

it’s almost fall: here’s all the sh*t that needs to end.

fall leaves

oh beautiful crunchy fall leaves! what a friggin concept. can we do the damn thing already? damn!

it’s mid september–hence almost fall, my FAVORITE SEASON–and i’m pissed.

i wait ALL YEAR for this time of year. ALL. YEAR. i start listening to the smiths and early REM in, like, mid july, trying to will the season in. i even occasionally bust out the high tops and boots (much to holly’s chagrin) and you know what? i may look a little ridiculous but i do it for fellow fall lovers. i do it for you. and i do it for me.

usually it works BUT NOT THIS YEAR. this year everything is all wrong. it doesn’t friggin feel like fall is coming AT ALL.

here’s all the sh*t that needs to end right now so we can do the damn thing:

the heat.
it’s so damn hot out. what the hell. BRING ME CRISP AIR NOW. i want. to wear. a damn. sweater. what don’t you understand about that? damn!

the humidity.
don’t even get me started on the humidity. how are we supposed to have any DAMN CRUNCHY LEAVES with this humidity? the answer is we can’t. it’s just not right.

the DOGGONE DAMN ICE CREAM TRUCK.
c’mon! put it to rest, man! take that rusty old salmonella-carrying clunker you call an ice cream truck and hide it. then don’t bring it out til spring. stupid ass.

people being annoying. 
ok this is actually all the time. i just felt like bringing it up now. if you’re annoying. like, if you don’t know how to put your damn blinker on when you drive. or you’re not capable of not taking up an entire grocery store aisle with not only your body but your damn cart, then just stay the hell home or else i will be forced to pull out your weave–and if you’re not wearing one i will tape one to your damn head and pull it off–and smack you in the face with it.

the dog poop.
i seriously think there are packs of wild dogs running around baltimore because i swear every time we take a walk one of us is always pushing the other saying WATCH OUT! coming thiiiiis close to stepping on dog poop in the middle of the damn sidewalk and nearly giving each other a heart attack each time. i am just bringing this up now but it needs to stop throughout the year. summer just makes it feel worse. everything feels worse in the damn summer because it is so damn hot.

the yellers.
the drinking as soon as the damn sun comes up? it needs to stop. all day from my (home) office i hear weirdass drunk motherf*ckers shouting and it’s like, people: you may be able to drink like that in the summer but the season’s coming to a close. let’s give it a rest so i can get some work done dammit. pack it in and shut the hell up.

the weirdos.
i swear the heat brings out every last doggone weirdo in the city. GO INSIDE. be weird in your own damn house and stop freaking us all out! jesus.

the heat. 
the humidity.
oh right i already said these but it’s so damn hot i forgot.

i’ll tell you what else is wrong:
the jewish high holidays came earlier than they have in, like, multiple generations (i don’t know how to count a generation and i’m too lazy to google it right now). the last time they fell this early in september it was 1889 or something. obviously i’m failing already because i made a (jewish) new year’s resolution not to curse so much and in this post alone i said “damn” 13 times, “sh*t” twice, “hell” three times, “ass” twice, “dammit” once, and “motherf*ckers” once.

here’s my list if you don’t believe me:
(i starred out the vowels in case, you know, there’s kids reading.)
(and yes, i’m aware my handwriting is quite bad.)

correction: i actually said “damn” 16 times. i did a search for it. 16. oh that’s nice.

actually i just fooled all of you: do you really think i’d make a new year’s resolution not to curse?! that is crazy! i don’t drink. i don’t smoke. this is my only outlet. if i didn’t do it i’d be wreaking havoc on society and my marriage. plus i know i couldn’t keep it and that would be sacrilegious.

ACTUALLY. actually i just added the photo of the leaves at the top of this post and i wrote “damn” twice in the caption. so that’s 18. i thought about not mentioning it but that would be wrong.

so listen. obviously i’m mad. (i really did make a new year’s resolution not to be so damn mad.) (19, oops!) and obviously this will have zero effect on the universe or the earth’s axis or whatever the hell (ok i’m going to stop counting now) controls the seasons but let’s all join hands–no wait. i’m a germaphobe. i don’t want to touch your hand. let’s just get pumpkins. those are available now, right? yeah let’s get some pumpkins and carve them. toast the friggin seeds. throw some salt on ‘em. yeah. they’re so good, right?

turn up your a-c (I KNOW IT’S NOT “GREEN” BUT BEAR WITH ME OK) and throw on a sweater. get your boots on. take out your halloween decorations. hell, break out pilgrim desk decorations if you’ve got em. COOK A THANKSGIVING DINNER.

that’s it! cook turkey. cook a damn turkey in your sweater. let’s all do it at the same damn time. i’d help you but i have to go to michael’s now to make a fall wreath. i used to hate fall wreaths but i’m “adult” now and i love them. holla!

f*ck yeah, baltimore.

baltimore's famous domino sugar plant.

i took this photo from a sailboat. even though it smells terrible, hot damn i love that doggone sugar plant.

lord knows i’ve had my issues with this city. LORD KNOWS. I HAVE HAD. MY ISSUES. WITH THIS CITY.

for example:

  • a rat was living in our dryer vent, hoarding chicken bones and crab shells. after holly cleaned it out, she thought she had “rat fever” from breathing…rat dust? then i had to convince her she didn’t have rat fever. that was really something.
  • fighting parking tickets here is nearly impossible. as if that isn’t enough, everyone in the courthouse has the type of body odor that literally makes you feel like you might drop dead.
  • if you rent a dumpster for some kind of big home renovation project, everyone and their mom–literally everyone and their mom–will come to your dumpster, morning, noon, and in the middle of the night to drop off refrigerators, carpeting, and cribs. it will be a community event and you will get no rest.
  • then other people will come to your dumpster to dig through it and  haul off everyone’s junk. they will always do this in the middle of the night. and they’ll break a lot of glass in the process. cause why bother being careful when you’re already in a dumpster?
  • if it snows one inch, everyone puts, like, orange cones and chairs in their parking spots. and if you move a cone or chair, you will get stabbed. (note: please don’t move the cones and chairs. your life is worth more than a parking spot.)
  • these ancient little row homes have tiny ancient holes in the wall–invisible to the naked eye–that let in bad odors, like, for example, the smell of dead body next door. the smell will seep into every crevice of your home and your belongings. then you will have a breakdown. then you will spend months trying to get rid of the smell, which will only completely go away when the home is gutted two years later.
  • oh yeah. and a rat could get in your house, from like, a bigger hole you never saw behind your stairs. from your late neighbor’s house. right after your basement floods and it will jump in and out of boxes like a sick carnival game. and then you will really lose your mind.
  • there’s more but i’ll stop.

yeah. it’s kind of a party here. not like a good party either. no, the type of party where you wake up the next day somewhere missing a heel, your phone screen is cracked like a car windshield that’s been in a horrific accident, and you have raccoon eyes from makeup your best friend did for you the night before that you thought was ok, but now, in the light of day, you actually see was alarmingly sloppy and you immediately decide you will kick her ass the next time you see her.

so it’s a hot mess here. there’s random puffs of weaves on our curb and our alley looks like a thrift shop and a helicopter once temporarily blinded me with its searchlight.

BUT DAMMIT THIS PLACE HAS GROWN ON ME. like a mushroom. or…a wart. at first you don’t even know it’s there. then you see it, hate it, and want to rid yourself of it immediately. and then, as you contemplate wart creams at rite-aid, something strange and miraculous starts happening: you get used to it. and…start liking it a little? because dammit it’s your wart and it’s become part of you. and you could go to the dermatologist to get it removed but why bother?

folks, that’s baltimore for me. over the past seven years, i have cursed this place. i have screamed and shouted and chased cats, rats, and run from our neighbor’s beautiful german shepherd that continues to get loose. i have looked up at the sky, shaken my fist, and shouted WHHHYYYYYY. (really? geez, i’m dramatic.)

i honestly didn’t even know i kind of liked it here until i read this obnoxious dc response to the recent (and newest iteration of the) longtime baltimore vs. dc debate. (for background, first read this, then this.) since then, i have felt oddly protective of this hellhole of a city and i have come up with a list of my own.

mind you, it’s not a baltimore vs. dc list. as baltimore’s city paper points out, the dc vs. baltimore thing is lame. i have lived in both places and they are two distinct, very different animals, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

my list, aptly named F*CK YEAH BALTIMORE, is a list of reasons how this weirdass city has quietly and successfully wormed its way into my friggin heart. so here we go:

  • we may have some sketchyass people walking through our hood, but our neighbors are friggin awesome and we look out for each other and help each other out all the time. i have never experienced anything like it in my life.
  • we have a bread factory right splat in the middle of the city. the smell fills your whole damn car up for like three or four blocks. it’s pretty awesome.
  • old folks sit out on their stoops in the summer and can tell you what the neighborhood looked like 50 years ago. (you can read about one such old timer here. it’s an article i wrote on the late “mr. john” pente of little italy, who lived in the same one-block radius for 100 years–his entire life.)
  • carolers on your front stoop. really? yes, really!
  • big boyz bail bonds pens. they’re everywhere. and surprisingly good pens! gotta laugh or you’ll cry your eyes out.
  • formstone. also everywhere.
  • corner bars. yes, everywhere. go twice and you’re a regular.
  • playing bingo at the sons of italy lodge in little italy. 25 cents a card. i’ll take four, thanks!
  • speaking of italian, this place right here. dipasquale’s italian marketplace. best tiramisu (and everything else) you’ve ever had in your life. if that’s not enough, the owner, joe, is a huge madonna fan. and adorable ladies like this might be lunching there. come to our neighborhood, we’ll take you there.
  • speaking of food, this is best damn greek food you’ll ever have in your life. cash only, no reservations. get there early, and whatever you do, you must try the dressing.
  • sure, there’s blight here. but it’s beautiful in its own way.
  • and our little old ladies have some serious spunk.
  • you can take a free boat to the office and get a photo like this on the way home.
  • you can go out in your pajamas and no one looks at you like you’re crazy. and you know what? even in your pajamas, you’re still hotter than about 85% of the people here.
  • we are not cooler than you. baltimore is not one of those places with a reputation for being hip or cool. in fact, it’s kind of uncool. and you know what? that makes it kind of cool.

so there’s my working F*CK YEAH BALTIMORE list. have your own f*ck yeah baltimore? please share!

see, this place is MY WART. it’s my hot mess of a party. and if you’re gonna be dissin it, get ‘cho ass down here to southeast (SOUF-EAST) and tell it to my FACE. yeah that’s what i thought. PEACE OUT YO.

(p.s. i’ve never had a wart.)
(but i’m probably going to get one now because i wrote this. and i’ll tell you what: screw the wart cream at rite-aid, i am going straight to the dermatologist to burn that sh*t off.)

holly, i’m sorry i told you to buy those sweatpants in petite

as a spouse/significant other, you are depended upon for both a) tasks and b) opinions.  in our household, one of my tasks is that i make the coffee because you’re so good at it, holly says, batting her eyelashes. (i need to note here that she’s actually pretty good at making it, too, but she’d rather i’d do it, which is totally fine, as i’d rather her take the recycling and trash out to the black hole that is our alley.)

anyway, sometime within the past six months or so we were perusing our local jcpenny’s–wait, no: JAYCEEPEE–perusing the aisles of our local JCP, when she stumbled across a pair of particularly comfy looking grey sweatpants.

ooooh these are nice, she said.

yeah, i said. nice.

now, you may or may not recall this, but i’m not much of a shopper. it’s like, the “gayest” thing about me (besides, you know, the obvious). i mean, i love a trip to target, but at least there i can make a quick getaway into the greeting cards/ cleaning products/make-up aisle to get away from all the clothes.

holly loves to shop. oh she loooooves to shop. (“i DO NOT love to shop,” she just said. whatever, she likes to. i don’t care what she says.) and she loves to get my damn opinion on everything. so that’s the context here. as i was saying:

do you think i should get them in a regular or petite? she asks me as i walk behind her, distracted and instagramming (is that a verb? i’m making it a verb.)

you’re small. get a petite, i say. otherwise you’re gonna havta get em hemmed and that costs as much as the pants. 

so i should get the petite?

yeah, get the petite.

ok, i’ll get the petite.

great, can we leave now?

no, not yet, i want to look in the kitchen section. where’s the escalator?

at which point i groaned and we had our usual but-i-don’t-want-to/pipe-down-babe-it’ll-just-be-a-minute,-if-you-want-me-to-cook-for-you-i-need-kitchen-tools exchange.

after a couple of washes the pants shrunk. holly noticed first. i looked up from words with friends and agreed that yeah, they were a little on the short side.

now, weeks later, i see that they’re actually not just a little short, they’re painfully short. she likes to wear them, because they’re a great color and they are indeed comfortable, but, like an inside voice or an inside cat, they are inside pants. she’ll occasionally wear them for a walk to the park and immediately regret it, saying she feels like rocky balboa (see below).

Rocky Balboa runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum in the first Rocky movie.

rocky balboa’s short pants in the first rocky movie. i guess it was ok because it was the 80s? anyway, holly’s aren’t quite as short, but it’s close. it’s really close.

anyway, now i feel kind of guilty. even though i laugh and call her “short pants,” i really do feel bad. she depended on me for input and i lead her astray. she should have never gotten the petite. babe, i should have never told you to get the petite. i’m sorry and i love you, even in your short pants. especially in your short pants.

i’m also sorry i was accidentally making you caffeinated coffee instead of decaf for like a week last month and you kept feeling anxious and we didn’t know why. i didn’t properly label the ground bulk coffee we got at whole foods. completely my fault. it was my task and i failed. i’ll take the trash and recycling out to make up for it. wait no. i can’t because i’m scared of our alley. but i love you and i’ll be more careful from here on out.

in other news: we’re getting MARRIED this weekend. THIS TIME RIGHT HERE IN OUR HOME STATE OF MARYLAND! on st. patty’s day (sunday!), the three-year anniversary of our first legal wedding in dc.

it was kind of a spur-of-the-moment decision. we ran over to the baltimore city courthouse earlier this week and were like HOLLA! we’re here to get our marriage license! (well, we didn’t say “holla” but we could’ve) and the lady was like HOLLA! here it is! (well, no, not really but she was nice). anyway, the rabbi that married us the first time will do it again, except this time she’ll be able to sign a license. full circle right? and this time in jeans! (if you’re new to this blog and you’d like to read about our nuptial adventures–and oh, we’ve had many–in one fell swoop, check out this essay i wrote for the current issue of baltimore bride.)

until then, folks, take your spousal/significant other-ly duties seriously! if your partner’s pants seem too short, for crying out loud, pay attention and speak up. and if s/he can’t process caffeine, don’t confuse the bags. you know it can only end badly.