Tag Archives: new jersey

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.

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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!

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

Sophia from the Golden Girls.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

no, just looking around for myself, i say.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xxx
jessica

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!

THAT SH*T’S F**KED UP: downton abbey season 3 finale

The original cast of the hit 90s TV show Beverly Hills 90201.

the original cast beverly hills 90210 in mom jeans. i know this is a post about downton abbey but bear with me here.

let me tell you a story:

back in the day, back in jersey, in the 90s, i was a big 90210 fan with equally big hair. BIG fan. HUGE hair. i loved that show with every fiber of my being. i even had a 90210 poster (reminiscent of the photo above except they were on a beach. cut me some slack, i was in seventh grade.)

anyway, everything was going ok but then everything changed: brenda “moved away.” tiffani amber thiessen from “saved by the bell” came on the show, which was totally disorienting. someone bought a nightclub. everything got all mucked up and confusing and stupid. the show totally lost me so i stopped watching and moved on.

that was sunday night’s downton abbey season finale. the writers should probably just go ahead and write in a part for tiffani amber thiessen now. lord stupid grantham should probably turn the library into a gay dance club. jan brady edith should “move away.” because i’m not watching anymore.

some thoughts:

so apparently some people knew that matthew was going to die. yeah i wasn’t one of those people. i was pretty  horrified.

as matthew lay DEAD under his convertible with his eyes freakishly open and his mouth dripping with blood, i decided that downton abbey sucks like all other soap operas. it just seems high-class because everyone has english accents, but at it’s core, it’s an overly dramatic soap opera that i can’t bear to watch.

RIP downton abbey. it was fun while it lasted.

additional thoughts:

BITCH BETTER STAY AWAY FROM TOM. the guy just lost his wife and has a little baby! people are sick. i can’t even deal.

why the F*CK would anyone ask O’BRIEN for advice on HAIR? just look at her! if i ever see that woman i’m gonna elbow her in the mouth.

that was a noble thing of thomas to do but damn it was dumb. BOY NOTHING YOU DO WILL MAKE WHASSISFACE WANT TO GET WITH YOU. YOU HAVE GONE SO LONG WITHOUT ANY ACTION YOU’RE ACTUALLY DELUSIONAL AT THIS POINT.

c’mon mrs. patmore. did you really want to go out with that guy? i don’t think so. you and thomas need to go manhunting together. you’ve been in the kitchen too long. you need some air.

i can’t believe that guy’s nickname was shrimpy. shrimpy? really?

yeah even i know not to sit on the damn couches upstairs and i don’t even work at downton.

molesley. still an idiot.

rose‘s hair: still really bad.

everyone was wearing headbands. what was that about?

PLEASE PLEASE  PLEASE GIVE EDITH A MAN HER OWN AGE.

finally, mary. of course she doesn’t even gain one pound while pregnant. i’m about ready to force feed that biznatch a burger, fries, and a milkshake. her friggin braid probably weighs more than she does! sigh. i miss sybil. she was the only normal one.

lastly, i’m not live tweeting anymore, at least not with this show. hot damn. it’s hard enough to follow the damn plot, let alone understand what they’re saying. sometimes i wonder if they’re even speaking english! would it kill all of you to speak slower??

in conclusion: i’ve had about enough. i don’t know if time will heal my pain or what. but i’m done for now. i need to start reading spoilers so i’m not so damn shocked at these sorts of things anymore because i just don’t have the emotional wherewithal to deal. i really don’t.

(ok i just looked at that photo again: DAMN THEIR JEANS WERE SO HIGH!)

what is it with jews and seltzer anyway?

if i have a choice between plain water and seltzer i will always choose seltzer. why is this? i really have no idea. for starters, seltzer doesn’t even have a taste. second (secondly?), it has virtually no advantages to one’s health, only disadvantages, namely gas.

i’ve been thinking about seltzer a lot lately, as my parents very kindly gave me/us a seltzer-maker (a sodastream) for my birthday. well actually, it’s more of a soda-maker (you add flavored/colored powder), but since neither of us really drinks soda, it’s basically a seltzer maker.

we got it a while ago, back in the fall, but only started using it a few weeks ago. i think holly may have forgotten we had it at all. i, on the other hand, was simply scared of the carbon dioxide canister exploding in my face. anyway, it turns out it’s not all that scary (and quite simple to use, i may add). and let me tell you: since then, i have been drinking a lot of seltzer.

as i walk around the house hiccuping wildly proclaiming to holly you know, i probably shouldn’t drink so much seltzer, it’s got me thinking: what the hell’s up with jews and seltzer?

for some reason, there’s an inexplicable link between the jewish people and seltzer. or maybe it’s just jews in the northeast? or tri-state area (ny/nj/ct)? i have no idea. but i’ve met very few people in my life that drink plain (or flavored) seltzer that aren’t jewish. even the word seltzer sounds jewish. like it’s someone’s last name. as in: “honey, who was at synagogue today?” “oh, you know, the usuals: the rosenbergs, the greeblatts, the goldsteins, the seltzers.”

i honestly think there’s a jewish seltzer gene (JSG, if you will). i really do. every jewish household has or has had seltzer in the fridge. and it’s always “seltzer” to us. not “club soda.” it’s seltzer.

sometimes when we go out to a bar, since i’m not much of a drinker, i’ll order a “club soda with lime*” because we’re not in kansas anymore (kansas, of course, being new jersey). but truly, in my mind, i’m the jewish grandma shouting GIMME A SELTZER WITH LIME, DAHLINK. OY VEY DOES YOUR MOTHA KNOW YOU WORK AT A BAR? YOU’RE VERY PRETTY HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT MODELING INSTEAD?

*please note that i won’t be ordering anything with sliced lemons or limes at a bar or restaurant until at least april, as most, if not all, restaurant or bar-sliced citrus have norovirus all over them and, as G-d as my witness, i will do nearly anything to avoid the norovirus. 

the JSG (jewish seltzer gene) makes no sense to me, since jews, by their very nature are a) gassy (ok i made that up but it sounds about right) and b) complainers. we have very sensitive systems and complain about everything. why would we be inexplicably drawn to a beverage that will not only give us gas but compel us to complain to our spouses, friends and family about how gassy we are? it seems all wrong. and yet….we just can’t stop ourselves.

(is it because we’re bad swimmers? an…evolutionary adaptation to protect us in the event of a shipwreck? so we float to safety?)

one of my earliest and fondest memories of my late grandmother is the two of us standing side by side at her apartment’s kitchen counter–yellow formica speckled with gold–as she taught me how to make “orange soda,” my curious five-year-old eyes just barely making it above the counter.

“orange soda” was, of course, just orange juice and seltzer. but oh i adored it. anyway, i have continued to make it ever since (and think of my gram every time i do).

in conclusion (is there a conclusion here?), seltzer does have a taste. it tastes like seltzer! yes, it tastes like bubbles. thousands of teeny tiny bubbles. which beats the hell out of regular water. i’ve also started to make a less carbonated seltzer (two shots of carbon dioxide from the sodastream instead of four) to protect my sensitive jewish system.

p.s. about downton abbey (the subject of my last post)

WHY LADY SYBIL? WHY!!!!!!!!!! she was the nicest one! DAMMIT THIS IS WHY I DON’T WATCH SHOWS LIKE THIS.

also: lord grantham is an idiot! he’s always making the wrong decisions! AND THOMAS IS CREEPIER THAN EVER! WHY CAN’T THEY JUST GET RID OF THAT GUY? HE’S IMPOSSIBLE TO GET RID OF! LIKE A ROACH! HE JUST KEEPS COMING BACK!

hurricanes upset my hiatal hernia

(a breaking news interruption in the what i did this summer series)

like most jewish girls in the 21st century, i’m not known for my hearty nature. my straightened hair frizzes easily, my joints tend to ache before rain, and i need to eat every three hours or my blood-sugar will drop severely and i will undoubtedly act out.  (trust me, you don’t want me to act out.)

i also have a hiatal hernia that gets irritated during stressful situations. so you know i wasn’t happy to hear there was the worst hurricane in like 50 years headed our way.

to be quite frank, even before sandy’s arrival, i’d kind of had it with the natural disaster type things around here. we’d already had two hurricanes and we’ve only lived in baltimore since 2006. oh and then there was THAT EARTHQUAKE which i mistakenly thought was an underground gas explosion, which propelled me to make the wise decision to stick my head out of our second-floor bedroom’s wide-open windows and shout at the jackhammering work guys outside WHAT THE F*CK ARE YOU DOING MY HOUSE IS GOING TO EXPLODE.

as luck would have it, a drugdealer across the street looked up at me and shouted EAAARTH-QUAKE!!!!!! oh so it wasn’t a gas explosion, i thought as i my socked feet slid across the rumbling floor. relief quickly turned to guilt, as i really gave the confused-looking workers a verbal lashing. i kind of felt like a dumbass but whatever. it could have been a gas explosion. what the hell do i know? i’ve never felt a friggin earthquake before. this isn’t california, it’s maryland. so i did what any jersey girl would do: i threw on my sneaks and jean jacket, grabbed  my purse and ran the hell out the door. it doesn’t matter that it was 90 degrees out. hell if i’m going to let our house crumble on my very best jean jacket.

anyway, as soon as i heard about the hurricane, my hiatal hernia started acting up. (have you ever had bad gas pains? yeah, it’s kind of like that but higher and it burns.) i put on my brave face (and yes, my jean jacket) and went to safeway friday afternoon to buy water only to be confronted by soviet-era empty shelves, then promptly threatened to cut a girl and pull out her weave for two bottles of smartwater. (no i actually didn’t do that but i could have don’t tempt me)

i bugged holly all weekend about getting ice, buying more drinks, buying more food, making sure the gas tank was filled, recharging all the rechargeable batteries we bought before the last hurricane that we haven’t used yet. i also bugged her to cook me hearty hurricane food like guinness beef stew and chili even though they would probably all upset my hiatal hernia.

i finally remembered to fill up the bathtub sunday night, when the hurricane was already well under way, of course. i’m not exactly sure why you should do that? because storms make the water go out? and then you use it to flush the toilet?

whatever, they kept mentioning it on the news and it was stressing me out. so i turned on the tub then went downstairs and started doing dishes until, panic-stricken, i remembered OH MY GOSH I LEFT THE WATER ON BABE TURN IT OFF HURRY!

“oh i love how this is my responsibility now!” holly shouted as she frantically ran up the stairs.

i knew she was right but i was also in the middle of doing dishes. sue me, i panicked and she was closer to the stairs. anyway, in those moments before she got to the bathroom, i had visions of the tub running over and telling people, yeah we had a really bad leak and our ceiling collapsed but no, it wasn’t because of the hurricane, it was because i left the bathtub on for like 30 minutes.

“IT’S OKAY!” holly shouted downstairs.

i breathed out, eternally grateful for our oversized tub.

i rewarded myself for getting through such a stressful time by drinking some cranberry-lemonade honest-ade, which we bought in case the water went out and/or became poisoned, so it was strictly off-limits. i took a few gulps and irresponsibly encouraged holly to do the same.

then we decided to go downstairs to our children-of-the-corn basement, which, yes, once smelled like dead people but doesn’t anymore, to check how much water we were getting.

we quickly discovered that we’d sprung a new leak, which was saturating the ceiling. i immediately started worrying about how much it would cost to fix and would it lead to structural damage, simultaneously patting myself on the back for even knowing such a term. then i realized holly had been talking to me for like a minute asking me to help her pump the water out of the basement through our street-level basement window.

while we were pumping, all i could do was think about how much i wanted to wash my hands and would i get a spider bite and would patient first be open and what if i needed antibiotics?

we went back upstairs to the living room, and by then the wind was really going. between the howling winds, the leak downstairs, and pounding rain, i doubted i’d be able to fall asleep.

suddenly holly was next to me on the couch in her pajamas wanting to watch one of her dumb comedy/action movies. you know, the kind where one thing after another goes wrong? (this one was “the sitter,” which, though kind of annoying and crude, was also kind of funny.)

she’s always stealthily changing into her pajamas. seriously, i turn my back for a minute and the girl’s in her pajamas. i don’t even know how she does it but it never ceases to amaze me.

“you really want to go to sleep in your pajamas?” i asked her wide-eyed. “what if we need to run out in an emergency in the middle of the night? i’m sleeping in my clothes. i’m not even taking off my bra.”

“what kind of emergency?” she said, trying not to laugh.

“well…like if the windows break. if the wind blows the windows out and we have to run out of the house away from flying glass!”

“i think we’ll be ok,” she said, settling into the movie.

i gave her the evil eye, jealous of her cozy pajamas. my jeggings suddenly seemed restrictive, and my ironic flannel shirt felt too hot. but whatever. i was prepared. she’d be the one sopping wet in her pajamas outside with the neighborhood perverts if our window blew out, not me.

when the movie was over, we went to bed. i decided to wear sweatpants to sleep because hell if was going to run out of the house in the middle of the night in boxer shorts amongst the perverts and whatnot. i had a moment of hesitation regarding my bra but decided i could put it on while running out of the house if need be.

i’m happy to report that besides the new basement leaks, our house withstood the wind and rain. and i did manage to sleep. and there were no emergencies causing us to run outside in the rain amongst the perverts. i was relieved i didn’t have to put my on bra on the run. to be honest, i’m not sure if that’s even possible.

my heart is heavy for all the folks that lost their homes, lost everything, even their lives. i spent many happy times with my family at the jersey shore. but, as a one-time jersey girl, i have to say: new jersey folks are damn resilient. if anyone can rebuild, it’s them. the same goes for those in queens.

last night i thought about posting this entry, wondering if it was too nonchalant considering the damage that’s been done. but then i decided everyone could use a laugh right about now. and what better way to cheer up than to read about my multiple neuroses (and my hiatal hernia) during a hurricane? exactly.

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