Friday, July 30, 2010

Pixie cuts, men like hair, and creepy little celebrity aliens

One way or another I am done with this hair.

Although I don't know why I said "one way or another" since we all know I'm headed to a professional to cut it. I used to chop and color my own with no compunctions, and the result was never good.

Also, remind me sometime to tell you of the time my dad dyed my hair in the garage. Also not good.

I googled "celebrity pixie cut" yesterday and found a bunch of examples - Victoria Beckham, Halle Berry, Natalie Portman - that I like. Shorty short.

Nick is not particularly excited about the super short, but as far as I can tell, men rarely are. They like women with long hair. Fact.

Another fact: If I were single, I wouldn't have gone platinum and I wouldn't be chopping it short-short. Not in DC, anyway. Too judgey. I'd have kept the subtly highlighted blonde bob.

But back to the celebrity hair googling. Since one thing leads to another, I came across a picture of an Olsen twin, as an example of choppy hair or something of the sort.

I don't wish them ill, those Olsen twins, or even think about them much. But they creep me out, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn they're only temporarily on earth from another planet.

Maybe because of the deer-in-headlight eyes and the fact that they never seem to open their mouths. Or maybe I just have really good alien-dar. Not sure.

But I'm certain one of them is going to come to a bad end.

Aaaand I'd say that's about it for my celebrity predictions.

Fingers crossed on the hair. Fingers even more crossed that our friend J is willing to sit through an entire hair cut without having a boredom fit.


PS Also, since I'm a linguist nerd, I though, what if you take the commas out of the title? Or insert alternate punctuation?

Pixie cuts men like hair. And! Creepy little celebrity aliens.

Pixie cuts. Men like hair and creepy little celebrity aliens.

You'd think I had too much time on my hands, which I assure you, I do not.

Poo, maybe, but time, not so much.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

The daily update

From: Lisa
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 1:09 PM
To: Nick
Subject: Big J update

Jordan is feeling a lot better and his butt is much improved. He ate all of Betty's eggs and toast. Then she took him outside diaperless for some air. He pooped on her.

She called from her room, where they were temporarily trapped, but she figured out how to step on the safety gate moments before I answered the phone. They are now about to have lunch.

In other words, all is well in the world of Jordan.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday tidbits

Diaper rash: Big J has terrible burny red diaper rash. He cries and cries when his diaper is dirty. Which happened at 4:30 this morning.

It's terrible knowing he's in such pain. He clutches your arm with his chubby little hands, looks in your eyes beseechingly, and wails, tears pouring. He doesn't stop sobbing until you've slathered on the Butt Paste.

Nick took him for a walk all bare-assed this morning, in hopes that air would help. To be clear - Jordan was bare-assed. Nick had shorts on.

4:30 am: Who, I ask you, shits at 4:30 am?

Morning walks-around-the-block: J has his wake-up bottle, and then you pick him up in your arms and head out the door. He's getting too heavy for me to carry for very long, though.

Of course I want him to grow up, and yet I want him to stay little. I love my little snuggly boy.

My hair: Here's the thing. The platinum is fabulous for a couple weeks. And then the roots come in, and they bug. I've made an appointment for Friday. I'm going to get it cut shorty-short.

Unless I chicken out.

J's hair: Jordan is currently heading towards a baby-fine mullet. Nick wants to chop the back. I didn't think I'd be all, nooo! My baby! Don't touch his hair!

But I seem to be.

Vengeance: Remember duplicity? I think I'm more vengeful than I'd like. When I can't fall back asleep (see above - 4:30 am), I plot.

Zen, I am not.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The douchebag story: Betty learns a new word

Last week Betty and I were talking about this new condo project in our neighborhood.

She'd heard through neighborhood gossip (seriously, you wouldn't believe how many people she meets or how much she learns while having a cigarette on the sidewalk) that they're being built by Chris's employer - the unethical developer.

Betty said she'd like to know more about the condos.

"The problem with the developer," I said, "is that I just wouldn't trust him. He's such a douchebag. And I know that's a terrible world."

"Dishrag? Well, I was going to say something much worse. I was going to call him a sleazebag."

She says the word like it's on fire.

"No, Mama. A douchebag."

"Oh. Oh! That is a terrible word!"

A minute or so later I hear her muttering, "Douchebag?"

I can see her turning it over in her mind, in the same way you might examine a barnacled piece of driftwood you found on the shore. Hmm. Odd.


So Chris turned up just as Nick was heading out to the corner store to get a six-pack of beer.

Chris came in and sat down, and Betty asked him about the condos, and whether or not the developer was involved. Which led me to explain how Betty had learned the word 'douchebag' a little earlier.

Shortly thereafter, Nick returned with beer in hand. He'd bought Blue Moon so Betty could try wheat beer.

Betty loves beer. Or rather, she loves half a beer. If you offer her beer, she will ask if you'd like to split one.

Nick pulled out some oranges and started cutting them to stick in the beer.

He poured a glass for each of us, garnished it, and suggested we head out back. Betty said she'd join us in a bit, so Nick, Chris and I picked ours up and turned to leave the kitchen.

Betty waved at Chris. "See ya, douchebag!"

Chris blinked, grinned, and replied, "Don't forget your beer, douchebag!"

At which point Nick's jaw made this big THUNK as it hit the floor.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The thing is, I have to introduce you to Chris before I can tell you the douchebag story

Because otherwise it just gets way too long. And before I can even get to the douchebag part, you'll be all SNZZZZZZ.

Our friend Chris works for the guy we bought our house from, who is a big developer in DC and, as far as we know from everything in the house and everything we've heard, just generally an unethical douchebag.

We met Chris when we were househunting, and we took to him immediately.

Chris is this tall, very cute, late-20s Midwestern guy originally from a small town in MN.
Being that Betty is from ND and my dad was from MN, they know the same places and had similar growing up experiences, and not just driving by Big Ole Chedo Lino and Babe the Blue Ox.

Until recently, he lived across the street, so the three - or four of us, when Betty is here - have spent many evenings drinking beer, talking about life, playing Scrabble. He even spent Christmas with us.

He is such good people. He's a lot bigger than me but I often have the urge to pick him up and squeeze him.

It would be awkward, because I wouldn't actually be able to lift him, so really, we'd just wrestle until we both fell over and as I mentioned, he is really cute, and so then Nick would be all, "the Hell?"

I don't. In case you're wondering.

So there you have it. That's Chris.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rules for Crazy: A public service sort of post

The intro: My friend Mark, who is a criminal defense lawyer in Houston, created the list of rules I've posted below. He's an incredibly accomplished lawyer, and one of my high school friends, and the original owner of the skinny jeans.

I read his post and was all, ohmygod this is exactly right and where were you five years ago, when I embarked on my Find Love on the Internet mission?

The truth is, I didn't really recognize The Crazy back then, so even if anyone had said, "Run!" I'd have been all, "But I can fix him! And then he'll love me forever!" Ha.

But I do kind of feel like should have this list and you should have to tick a box saying you've read and understood it before you can go forward in your profile. Kind of like making sure you have condoms on hand. Just in case.

Does that analogy work? I'm not sure.

Anyway. His title says Borderline Personality, but I'd say insert any kind of crazy, print them out, and stick them on the fridge. Or in a desk drawer in your office.

Because The Crazy? It is everywhere.

10 Practical Rules for Dealing with the Borderline Personality

I get to deal with a whole lot of crazy at work. The following rules are applicable to lots of flavors of crazy, but I've had a heavy dose of borderline personalities lately. So here are my ten rules for dealing with borderline personalities and other crazy people:
  1. If you don't have to deal with a crazy person, don't.
  2. You can't outsmart crazy. You also can't fix crazy. (You could outcrazy it, but that makes you crazy too.)
  3. When you get in a contest of wills with a crazy person, you've already lost.
  4. The crazy person doesn't have as much to lose as you.
  5. Your desired outcome is to get away from the crazy person.
  6. You have no idea what the crazy person's desired outcome is.
  7. The crazy person sees anything you have done as justification for what she's about to do.
  8. Anything nice you do for the crazy person, she will use as ammunition later.
  9. The crazy person sees any outcome as vindication.
  10. When you start caring what the crazy person thinks, you're joining her in her craziness.
What do you think? Anything you would add?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Don't drink don't smoke - what do you do?

Here's the thing, and I swear this is not justification.

Or maybe it is, but only a little.

I had a shoe emergency today.

It wasn't like my old dating days, where buying emergency shoes meant, "Oh, no! Need new shoes! These shoes aren't hot enough for a last-minute date!"

When really, I should've been all, "I deserve more than this last-minute date. Plus, you're crazy and I should run away!"

Oh, hindsight and therapy are the best cocktail.

But my current issue is Nick's sofa.

It's formal black leather with covered tacks and these carved wooden animal legs for feet - you know the kind I mean? And these legs, they're curved, like actual animal back legs, so they stick out farther than the sofa.

They're mean and stealthy.

Plus there's one in the middle, right where you maybe don't expect a sofa leg.

Which makes it eminently kickable with your little toeables. And it hurts like a motherfucker when you do so. In case you're wondering.

This is how I wound up with the stub of death. It didn't fall off, but I'm pretty sure I broke it. And then two days ago, I kicked the same damn leg with the same damn toe.

This time it didn't turn black, but it hurts like all hell when it's squozen into normal shoes. And when I walk. Or stand.

So I wore this pair of shoes that leaves my toes free, but I walked to work in them and they rubbed a sore spot onto the top of my foot.

(See me building my case?)

Which is why at lunch I had to put on my rubber flops and flippity flop over to Nine West and buy two pairs of these cute shoes - black and pale gold - totally on sale and totally comfortable.

The woman trying on shoes next to me said, "Oh! How cute! I wonder if they have my size."

I told her my plight. I said I've been under a shopping injunction.

"But this," she said, "this is a medical emergency."

I almost asked her if we could be friends. But I was afraid I might sound weird.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Two hotels, flimsy safety pins, one boob, and yet another awkward position

If Kelli's string hadn't broken, or the Marriott safety pins weren't so flimsy, or we'd gone to the right hotel in the first place, or if Kelli had worn a bra, we wouldn't have wound up in such a seemingly-compromising position.

Is what I'm saying.

Kelli, as you may know, has these very nice boobs that she paid good money for and really quite enjoys.

So we were almost to Crystal City when Kelli said, "Oh!" and grabbed the side of her wrap dress.

The wrap string had broken. And she wasn't wearing a bra.

So we headed towards the Marriott, although it turns out there are two Marriotts, so pay attention if you're going there.

We minced into the Wrong Marriott and headed for the reception desk, where a very nice woman gave Kelli a handful of what turned out to be the most ineffectual safety pins on the planet.

And then I asked her where the rest of the hotel was.

"The rest of the hotel? This is it."

Turns out we meant the other Marriott.

But nonetheless, the dress had to be fixed, so we headed to the bathroom and Kelli spent some time reaching into her dress while holding it shut and then one pin bent and then another and she said, "Oh for Pete's sake!" and let go of the dress.

At which point I offered to try to pin the tie back on.

I think we were so immersed in this that we didn't notice the woman walk into the stall.

We did, however, notice her walk out.

Because at that point, Kelli was towering over me in her 5" heels, looking down.

I was doing a semi-squat, eye to nipple, reaching both arms around her, one in her dress, trying to get the damn pins to work.

So the woman, she walked out of the stall. And kind of started as she saw us. She froze, just for a moment, then hurried to wash her hands.

Our eyes meet in the mirror.

I considered winking, but realized we seemed all kinds of suspect as it was.

Kelli smiled and said, "Hi!"

She hurried out, not stopping to dry her hands.

That was before things even really began.

Monday, July 19, 2010

And after one hour more 'twill be eleven. And so from hour to hour we ripe and ripe...

Today, my little pickle-eating friend, today you are eleven months old.

There are days where you are so utterly charming, and I am so in love with you and I feel like time is fleeting.

I just revel in being your mama.

And there are days like yesterday where everything is a whiny whiny drama trauma.

Dad calls those days "challenging" - whereas I call those the "only child" days.

Meaning, keep this up, buddy, and you're definitely going to be an only child. Which means you're more likely to be a serial killer, according to some article I read on the Internet.

And nobody wants that, do they?

I doubt it's true. But it's a good threat, don't you think? And better than stabbing myself in the ears.

But back to the positive.

This has been a huge month for you. Huge!

We had a houseful of guests over 4th of July. You could barely sleep, you were so excited. You fell in love with Kelli. I knew it was love when you crawled in her lap and wanted some of her cereal.

And then, then last weekend, we went on a trip! You played with big kids! You slept in a closet! You swam in a big pool!

We discovered that you love ice cream sandwiches, ham and cheese omelets, and dill pickles.

You can crawl with astounding alacrity. And you stand up and sit down with a great deal of dexterity. You've learned how to go up and get down one stair. It's only a matter of time with the rest.

Once you really started moving, you lost interest in talking. But recently you've added things like "Gak!" to your vocabulary. You and Dad go back and forth with the "gak!" "Gak!" "GAK!"

At which point I generally ask him, the English-speaking adult, to use real words with you.

We've put up a number of baby gates, and you definitely notice the lack of freedom.

Sometimes you stand at them, shaking the bars. We're in the room with you, so it's not like you're trying to get to us.

I'm pretty sure it's more that you're all, "They may take my life, but they can't take my freeeeeedom!"

(Unfortunately, however, when you're a little older, I'm going to have to break it to you: Mel Gibson is a douchebag.)

We all love you like crazy, and you're the best thing in our world.

Even if your poo does make me retch once in a while.

Love love love,


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Reserving space in the handbasket to H-E-double toothpicks

We have these plastic baby spoons and it says you can dishwasher them on the top shelf.
Which is good because we have 73 trillion baby-feedy things to wash every time we turn around.

And yes, I like to use dishwasher as a verb.

But these spoons, they fall through the top shelf. So I take my chances and stick them in the silverware thing.

Sometimes this doesn't work out so well.So now we have a Thalidomide spoon.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stuff, I got. Time, I don't.

I've got stuff to say, but no time.

The kid is sound asleep in the closet, and I'm going to have to wake him so we can vacate the room before noon. Minutes! Minutes to wake the kid, change his bottom, and head out.

I'm postponing. Because who wants to wake a sleeping baby?

We're putting our stuff in a colleague's room so that we can do some more splishy splashing in the pool before we go. And then we head back to DC. To our very own crib.

This will make Big J happy. Which will make mama happy.

But I do have stuff to say.

I have stuff to say about hanging out at a country club and how I've realized I use the word "penis" in casual conversation more than most people and how I am maybe too candid about stuff. And how I've realized that I don't shock the group I'm with as much as surprise them.

I'm pretty sure it's surprise rather than shock.

And how we started with beer in the afternoon and then moved on to red wine and how I am maybe regretting it right now.

But I've gotta go. There's a kid in a closet who needs waking.

Happy Friday, all! Huggy hugs to you!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nobody puts Baby in a closet

Yah, so, we did. And he is NOT happy about it.

Also, obviously, this isn't a picture of a closet. It's a picture of the bathroom window. Covered in tissues, in case you can't tell.

Because who in heckfire has a window in the bathroom that you can't cover?

Every year Nick has a work retreat at a country club in Charlottesville. Last year my OB wouldn't let me go because I was too pregnant. And then this year we were all going to go and then we weren't and then we were and we weren't.

I won't bore you with the details but in the end we did and here we are.

And it's sunny, and Jordan loves the pool. And grilled cheese. And dill pickles. Boy does he love dill pickles.

And I have decided this: I live in quirky old-house odd windows blah blah blah charm. I don't need it on my "vacation." And vacation is in quotes because traveling with an angry "this isn't home and fuck you I'm not sleeping" almost-one-year-old doesn't exactly say Vacation! to me.

When we got down here at 11:30 last night, poor old J was so tired and discombobulated that he pretty much went to sleep. In the closet.

The closet that's almost as big as the bedroom in my old place.

But let me tell you, it's nap time now, in fact, it's past nap time, and he is FURIOUS. He's in his familiar Pack and Play. But he's pissed about not being in his own crib, in his own room.

PISSED. And Dad is in all-day meetings. Mama has to pay.

But back to the window. Last night, right about midnight, after we'd stuck the kid in the closet and I went in to take a shower, I realized that with the light on, God and everyone would be able to see me all nakey nakey. Which, of course, is how I prefer to shower.

So I asked Nick if he'd brought any nails along.

Although I guess God is always able to see you. But anyway.

He's all big and handy. He always carries a Leatherman.

Nick, I mean. I doubt God needs a Leatherman.

He hadn't. (Nick, again.)

But there was this box of tissues. I started wetting them and sticking them up, in an effort to opacify our window. Although I guess they're more translucent than opaque, huh? I'm not so clear on which. No pun, seriously.

Anyway, that was last night, and they're still stuck in the same place.

I have to think Housekeeping was either WTF? or good idea! when they went through today.

We have the same damn window in the bedroom. I haven't tissued it, but tonight I am considering propping the ironing board up in front of it and mashing a pillow against it.

Is it trashy, the kid in the closet and tissue and ironing board with pillow on the windows?

And if it is, does trashy mean you can crack a beer before 3:30 on a Thursday afternoon?

If so, I'm totally embracing it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And why can't I just talk about drywall like normal people?

Plantation shutters are my downfall. Because now every time I think of them I think of my imaginary penis and where to put it.

Although, OK, downfall is a little strong.

You know it all started with those plantation shutters at Nick's old place (hello, morning!) and how Nick was afraid you'd all think there was something very wrong with me if I blogged about it.

And then I did.

For people who know me, it's not that weird.

Right? Please say right.

But then sometimes I meet people, like for example this guy at a BBQ a month ago. He was, and I imagine still is, in the throes of massive construction on his house, which is what he was talking about when I met him.

A friend of friends was talking to him, and introduced us. She's someone I really like and hadn't seen in over a year. I asked what she'd been up to.

She has this very cool international everywhere job plus she does things like spend a month in Kerala at a yoga retreat. So she was telling me and I tried not to turn too deep a shade of envy green as the India-yoga-Iceland-volcano-stuck-in-Dubai-international-glamor washed over me.

(And what shade would envy green be, anyway? Mint? Chartreuse?)

Anyway, in response to the same question I was all: baby-baby poo-lack of sleep-baby-baby-snnnzzzzzzz-here-let-me-bore-you-to-death. In fact, let me bore myself to death. Gah!

So I turned to the guy to ask about The Construction.

(Because the construction! Having lived it, I now find it interesting! I don't know a lot, but terms like duct work and transom and mitre box and molding are now in my vocabulary!)

What was he doing to his house?

Him: Well, everything. Seriously, everything. But at the moment, he was dealing with installing new windows and shutters and such.

Me: New windows! Yes! New windows can simultaneously deplete your bank account and improve your life and electric bill.

We commiserated on the hassle and expense. He's not yet at the life improved stage. And he's trying to figure out the rest of the window treatment business.

Me: And shutters! I love shutters! Particularly plantation shutters, which we used to have and you know, if I had a penis, I would totally stick it through them! Which my husband thinks is weird and have you been to Founding Farmers?

As soon as all of that was out of my mouth, I had this sudden moment of, ohhh, what if they're interested in each other? Maybe they were having perfectly nice flirty conversation! Until I barged in and told them where I'd put the penis I don't have.

It's kind of like Tourette's with me, isn't it?

I made sure to excuse myself before I could bring up the caulk issue.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

So Nick compared my high school reunion to a wedding and it makes me want to wear my veil and I am not kidding

One of Nick's friends asked him how my high school reunion went.

He replied, "She had a great time. It was kind of like a wedding."

I don't know if you have ever donned a veil, but I did, just that once, and it felt like magic. When I was a kid, one Christmas my dad gave me a purple feather boa. I just felt better when I had it on. It was exactly like that.

I'd wear it every day if I could. Honestly.

But I digress.

So he went on to explain the wedding analogy to me: there was the build-up. The anticipation! The excitement! And! Then! The all-weekend party! It was so incredible for all of us to be together! We stayed up late and drank too much and danced and talked and talked and talked and had such an amazing time!

(I'm adding the exclamation points; unlike me, Nick doesn't talk all exclamation-pointy.)

He went on, "And then there was some bratty behavior..."

"Wait, who was bratty?"

"You were. You were kind of a bridezilla."

"I was not! At our wedding!?"

"No. At your reunion."


"You were all, this is MY weekend."

(At which point I was immediately all, asshole, it was MY weekend. YOU had your reunion weekend out of town. So you spent the weekend boozing and sleeping in and doing whatever the fuck you wanted ELSEWHERE while I stayed home with the kid.)

But since I'd already gotten 54 kinds of furious about our incident that weekend, thus branding myself as "bratty" I said, "Go on."

Although I maybe muttered "anal sphincter" under my breath a few times in a row. What? Sometimes it just feels good.

He continued, "You all had a great time all weekend. And then it was over and everyone left. And then you crashed."

And this was true. I had a hard week last week. I felt a lack in my world.

(I'd say a disruption in the force, but then you'd know for sure what a dork I am.)

I'd heard about people having the post-wedding crash, where they miss the lead-up and the excitement and anticipation and then they have such a good time! And then there is this void in their lives.

While I loved our wedding like crazy and wanted it to go on and on, this wasn't the case with me.

But post-reunion, I definitely felt like my life was, I don't know, a little less brightly colored. It wasn't Oz vs. Kansas. But somehow slightly diminished.

Realistically, I know that it was a superintense, highly emotional time. We filled Every. Single. Minute. with talk and laughter and drinks and remember when! and hugging and oh!, there is not enough time! Sleep is for when you're dead because we only have a couple days! and wow, I've missed you!

You can't sustain that intensity for very long. I get that. But coming down from it was hard.

And I love my now life. I love my husband and my child beyond reason. I never get enough time with either of them, and I revel in the time we have. I love where we live. I love my friends.

But still, I've realized that there's this little piece of my heart that is missing here.

It doesn't stop me from being happy. I don't generally feel the lack.

In fact, I didn't even realize it was empty, until it was full.

I'm so totally putting on that veil when I get home.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday bitty bits

Too much to do: I currently have too many competing projects and deadlines. Some people can start at the top of the list and calmly work their way down. I kind of start in the middle and spin around frantically.

80s music: I've been listening non-stop to the 80s mix that Russ, Kelli and I made reunion weekend. I was thinking maybe Jordan likes it because I played it for him in-utero but I realized it's probably because I dance around like a maniac while it's on. Love!

Aging: Sooo I just realized that a month from tomorrow I'm going to be a whole nother year older. Which means J is coming up on a year. Cripes.

New Favorite Chocolate: Have you tried Vosges chocolate bars? We got some as a present, and oh, happiness and delight!

Does this make me a terrible mother?: We need to get J a passport...which is all fine and good except that I still haven't applied for his birth certificate.

Friday, July 09, 2010

This is how hard I laughed for four days straight. Just with less food in my mouth.

I wish you all a happy laughter-ful weekend.

And a break from the hot-as-balls heat.

Hugs to all! Huge, huggy hugs.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Channeling Fred and holy cow, a real live felon!

We used to have this Shih Tzu named Fred.

Also, you know how I'm always saying things like I'm going to stab Nick? But you know I would never actually do it. I just kind of verbally over-react to things sometimes or always.

Just a reminder.

Plus, did you know that if you're a felon, you can't serve on a jury? I asked Nick if they ask for proof and he told me that he didn't know but in any case nobody would believe me.

Because how did he know that was where I was going with it?

Much like whether or not I would make a good lesbian, I get all bothered when people tell me I can't do something. So I was all, I could too seem like a felon. Don't you think?

He says no.

So Fred.

When Fred got annoyed, he would make these little huffing FFFFFFFFFFT hissing noises PSSSSSSSSSSSSSHT and bend his front legs and put his chin on the ground and stomp his furry little back feet one by one. Sort of like he was kicking sand backwards one foot at a time.


And when I am annoyed, I have this feeling I do something very similar. At least internally.

So yesterday I was all in a tizzy, because I'd just realized that my previously postponed jury duty (legitimate excuse: breastfeeding) was July 8! Which was suddenly tomorrow! Aaagh!


So I hustled myself to jury duty this morning all hissy and stompy and OF COURSE I had demagnetized my metro card because I have demagnetized every fucking metro card I have ever bought and do you know how large a stash of useless metro cards I have that I need to send in?


I was late and sweaty and hissy and stompy as I ran back and got myself another metro card and then clop-clop-clopped in my ugly but oh-so-practical Dansko commuting clogs down to the train.

All this fretty hurrying was for naught, because the check-in line was long.


So I sweated in line for a while answering work email and fretting about all this annoying crap work that I need to get done today and then when I got close to the counter it was apparent that this one woman had been taking up two of the clerks' time for quite a while.


Because, it turned out, she had a felony record.

FFFffNow this is interesting...

So she was waving this piece of paper and saying it was wrong, and they told her that they couldn't do anything about it, and in order to fix the record she needed to go to an office upstairs.

They pointed to a line on the paper and said, "This right here is the problem. It says here you pled guilty."

"Oh, I don't have my glasses."

"It says guilty."

"I don't think so. I don't remember that."

"You don't remember?"

"Uh uh. I'm pretty sure I didn't plead guilty."

"Well, it says you did. So we are going to have to excuse you."

(And there I was thinking, that looks easy. And whatever they think she did, I'd like to know!)

"Oh! You know what! I remember! I did plead guilty! Because my lawyer said to. But they let me off."

"Well, we have to go by what this piece of paper says. You need to go upstairs to see about getting the record changed."

There was more back and forth, and then she left. And both clerks said, "Next!"

And then the senior clerk called across to the other, "You have to go by what the record says. You can't listen to what they tell you."

"Yes, I was."

The senior clerk pointed in the direction of the woman. "But don't even listen to their stories. I mean, that one? Murder."


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Memories, boobs, old friends, new friends, and painful pauses

This is something I'd forgotten until Kelli, Russ and I were sitting on the floor of our kitchen at 1 am, talking about her boobs.

The ones she didn't have in high school. The ones she paid good money for. The ones I asked to feel at the last reunion - thus causing a number of guy friends to make the same request, although mine was clinical curiosity.

But then I had to feel those of another friend - at the time more of an acquaintance, really - just to be polite.

This story is actually about the other friend, who is older than us and left Delhi before either of us arrived. But who I'd met in childhood, as she's the daughter of friends of my parents. I'll call her Adrienne.

So I felt Adrienne's new boobs at the last reunion and then we didn't keep in touch, since we didn't actually know each other and were in very different places in life.

Four years went by, and as you know, last summer my dad passed away.

As happens, there was a continuous stream of old friends coming over to my parents' house bearing food, flowers, condolences. They came, sat with us, had drinks, swapped Mike stories, mourned.

Among the first were Adrienne's parents. Who hadn't seen me since I was in junior high, at the oldest.

And here I was, grown up and married and all pregnant!

So I said hello, and asked how they were, and inquired as to Adrienne's well-being.

At which point Betty turned and said, "Lisa felt Adrienne's boobs at the Delhi reunion!"

I felt like one of those squirrels frozen in panic, unsure what to do with the approaching car.

Her father looked at me. I looked at him. Her mother looked at me. I looked at her. I tried to smile. But then I thought smiling might make me seem creepy. So I stopped.

There was this terrible pause. It went on and on.

Finally I said, "Well. This is awkward. Would you like some cheese?"

And that's all we said about that.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Blogger keeps eating comments and the Chinese spammers make me mad and I totally think we should hug it out

First things first: Blogger seems to be eating comments. I thought it ate some of mine.

But they seem to be turning up hours later.

Actually, it might not entirely be Blogger's fault. I suspect the Chinese spammers who leave me daily comments are likely heavily involved.

They probably steal my comments in my sleep and when I'm actually working on work work and replace them with things like, "Heavenly breezes, rough seas and small boats, so cheap Viagra!"

You think it's a haiku - oh, someone is leaving me poetry! - but then you remember that that's a Japanese art form. And I doubt real poets get involved in other people's erections.

Although truthfully, what do I know about the confluence of poetry and erections?

And WHAT is my point? I think all the endorphins from the weekend have temporarily created a void in my brain.

Ah, the point.

That if you have commented and you think it's gone nowhere, and you're all, this is the first and LAST time I comment on Lisa's blog because she just throws them away! Because WHERE is my comment?

I don't know where it is! Maybe in a Chinese Viagra warehouse?

But I jump up and down with excitement whenever I get comments, particularly from old friends, and I love having them on the blog, because that way I keep them forever and ever.

So just know that it might appear tomorrow. But they do wind up in my in-box and I read them and adore them. So please don't stop just because they seem to have gone into a vacuum.

I was about to be all, "Fucking Blogger! Fucking Chinese spammers!" but I've decided to try and be more Zen.

Don't think I didn't hear you snorting loudly at your keyboards.

Also, the hugging.

Nick, he comes from non-huggy people. They might hug hello when you arrive for a long visit. And they might hug goodbye. Or they might just say "Bye!" from across the room.

Whereas me, I hug. I hug you hello. I hug you goodbye. Even if I'm going to see you a couple hours later. At which point I will hug you hello again.

"You're leaving? Oh, you're just going to the bathroom? Well, let me hug you in case I don't see you when you come back."

I exaggerate, but not by much.

And so Nick, he gets over-hugged by my people.

At the end of our wedding weekend, he turned to me and said, "What's with the hugging strangers? I've never been hugged so much by so many people in my life. Two of them even kissed me on the lips!"

This happens. Some of the overseas friends are lip kissers. I knew exactly who he was talking about.

I shrugged, "It's good for you."

Nick thinks it's weird, all the hugging. I think, how can you be over-hugged? Tell me it doesn't feel good.

Unless, of course, someone creepy and molesty is trying to hug you. Eeeee! Run away! But in that situation, I know Nick could hold his own.

That sounds sketchy in itself. But you know what I mean.

So I knew that reunion weekend would be similar. I didn't warn him, because it's good to keep him on his big ole toes.

HUGS! HUGS to all of you! I hug you from afar!

Except you, Chinese spammers. You're pissing me off. I'm not hugging you. And not just because you're probably all walking around with perpetual erections.


Monday, July 05, 2010

Reunion weekend: Nick gets over-hugged by people he's just met and I wish time would stand absolutely still

I've lost my front door key. I can't find my phone. I still have random sparkles stuck to myself. I'm exhausted and a little teary.

I bet this is how it feels to come down from a three-day cocaine binge.

I'm guessing, because drugs are one of those things - like tons of casual sex or maybe threesomes - that I feel like I ought to have done in my twenties.

I have never been seize-the-day-y enough.

Not, of course, that people were offering me drugs or threesomes on streetcorners or anything. It's not like I was non-seizing left and right.


So Kelli and Russ arrived early Thursday evening, and honestly, I didn't stop laughing until I dropped Kel at the airport this afternoon.

I've long felt that people don't really change as they age - they just become more so. You distill, I suppose.

We're all still who we were in high school - just more. More candid. Funnier. Smarter. Kinder. More experienced and wiser.

More cognizant of the fact that what we had in each other was rare, and the fact that we still have it is precious.

High school for us was a place without cliques, where everyone was accepted, embraced. It was a small school, and a small ex-pat community. You played sports, did theatre, were in the band, the science club, ran track - you did several or all of those things at once.

After high school, most of us went off to our own countries - the countries we were supposedly "from." I learned this weekend how lost so many of us were. We didn't know how to fit in where we were supposed to.

Eventually, we all figured out how to fit, more or less, and how to feel comfortable.

Quite a number of years have passed at this point.

We've been to college, gotten married, divorced, remarried, moved, had kids, bought houses, quit smoking, begun and ended careers, started businesses, lost hair, lost friends, lost parents.

We've grown up. But not apart, astoundingly enough.

Because in our hearts and souls, we are the same.

I always thought it was India that I longed for when I ached to be home, although I wasn't from India. And once my parents left, Delhi wasn't home.

And what I realized this weekend was, it was these people. They were my sense of place and belonging.

This past weekend, I was so very home.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Surprise quicksand in the shallow end

I know this is Frivolous Week, but I got all heavy in my head, and to mitigate that for you, I thought I'd share a very sketchy fashion choice from my 80s.

Sooo. As you know, I've been posting all these dress options, and you've so kindly given me your opinions, and for me it's been like playing a game. With clothing! And shoes!

I love thinking about clothing, fabric, color. It's more fun than almost anything else I think about on a daily basis. I write all the time for my job. But not about anything I find compelling.

And why didn't I go into fashion? Why was I too insecure to do anything I actually liked?

(Yes, I know the answer to that. I've spent a boatload of cash answering those kinds of questions.)

So yesterday I learned that more of my high school friends have read my blog than I might expect - at least the last two posts about reunion outfits. Because we are all leaving excited messages on Facebook about seeing everyone this weekend.

And one of them left a teasing comment about the T-shirt he'll be wearing and suggesting I coordinate.

I immediately thought, "Oh, God. I seem so narcissistic and shallow. What if they think I'm an idiot? What if I wear one of those dresses and everyone who read the posts smirks?"

So we beat on, boats against the current, no?

And then I stopped myself and thought, "Well, but these are old friends! People who know me!"

Well, sort of. They knew me in high school.

When I was wildly insecure. When I spent so much stupid time lamenting how fat I was, when I couldn't be skinny or pretty enough, because being enough of either of those would make me enough. Would make me worthwhile.

When I was so uncomfortable with myself. When I was flailing about for an anchor, and desperate for approval.

When, most of all, we didn't acknowledge The Crazy in my family. Because that might hurt Dad's Career.

When I walked around believing the family party line, "We're fine! We're normal and fine!"


Maybe this is true for everyone, but I've grown so immensely in the intervening years. For me, probably mostly within the last several, really. With, you know, a lot of help.

On the outside, I don't look all that different. Maybe 10 or so pounds heavier, and with more wrinkles and more freckles. And I no longer have a Cyndi Lauper criss-cross shaved into my hair.

I'm still very much about what I'm wearing and "Ooh! I love your hair/purse/jeans!" and "Look! prettyshinysparkly!" and "Does my butt look big in this? No? How about if I bend over this way? Now does it? Well, no, I don't know why anyone would bend that way, but does it?"

But inside, I'm three lifetimes older and wiser. I feel like my dad's suicide attempts over the years and then taking his own life last spring were tantamount to living through war. We survived, and we're stronger, but the scars are deep.

I've developed an immense capacity for understanding some astounding things. My tolerance for unkindness and bullshit is remarkably low. I have much more of a poker face than I used to. But I'm much more likely to speak candidly - not unkindly, but candidly.

I can be really intense. In fact, I have this feeling that even when I'm being totally frivolous, it's with a great deal of intensity.

Can you be intensely frivolous?

So I talk about remarkably shallow things like clothing and jewelry and lip gloss and sparkles. Because Christ, the world is plenty heavy. I could talk about BP and McChrystal and Michelle Rhee and DC schools and overturned gun bans and carbon exchange.

But honestly?

I don't want to.

Also, I think I'm going to wear the Abortion Ring with one of the BDs and the S&M shoes one night. And maybe tomorrow's post will be all about jewelry.

La la la la la! Splishy splashy!