Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Summer! Now with more swelling!

For the last four months I have been praying for Spring. Begging for Spring. Dreaming of Spring. Spring with it's sunny, breezy days and cool, refreshing nights. Spring with its glorious flowers and birdsong. Spring! A season of floaty dresses paired with cute suede boots to be worn on lovely outdoor dates with perfect weather. A season to make up for the cold frozen winter and ease us into the soul-sucking summer. Spring! How wonderful is the Spring?

Last week was our millionth week of forty degree weather. I am not exaggerating. One million weeks. And since I packed away my winter things at the end of March, I ran around with frozen fingers and frozen ears AGAIN. Was it hope, or an innate stubborn nature that prevented me from unpacking my winter gear? It was hope, truly. I believed, with my whole heart, that my beloved Spring would arrive any day. The bulbs in the gardens were beginning to sprout, the tree branches bare but prickling green. Any day now, I told myself. Any day now.

This past Sunday, without warning, Summer reared it's ugly head. Summer, with it's melting humidity and searing heat. Summer, a season of sweat stains and acne. A season of clothes that stick to skin and feet that swell so shoes don't fit. A season of filthy miserable wetness.

Spring hath forsaken me. Spring is that boy from high school, the one I had that terrible crush on, the one to whom I wrote notes that went like this:
"Dear Dustin. I really really really like you. You are so
beautiful and smart. You're eyes are blue like the ocean at midnight. I've liked you
forever. That's why I sit next to you in English. DON'T YOU KNOW THAT? Seriously. Why won't you talk to me? It really hurts my feelings. I cry every night over you. I think we'd make a really cute couple. Don't you think I'm pretty? Don't you want to go out with me? Check 'yes' or 'no'."

And then he'd neither check 'yes' nor 'no', but crumple up my note and drop it in the trash.

I've been dropping love notes in Spring's book bag for four months and this weekend I got my answer. I said: Love me? Spring said: SUCK IT, CHUMP.

Update: The day after I posted this the weather dropped back into the sixties. It has been cool and rainy every since. And me? I AM NOT COMPLAINING.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Things to do when a cousin visits NYC

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge for both of your first times.

Enjoy embellished cocktails at a diner near Union Square

Eat coal fired pizza at Lombardi's in Little Italy

Nab new-to-you furniture off the street 
and use it as comfortable seating on the subway

Enjoy a picnic in the financial district

Walk barefoot through the park

Thursday, April 23, 2009

At least I know where I stand.

Me: Look at this.
Him: Is that a mosquito bite?
Me: It's a lump! And a gash! 
Him: It looks like a mosquito bite.
Me: I banged my head on your new bathroom cabinet!
Him: Oh my gosh! Did you hurt the cabinet?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Not eligible for XY rating.

This weekend Valentine woke me up in the middle of the night by vomiting all over my face. I jumped awake thinking someone had dumped a bucket of warm water on my head, but it was just Valentine, her wet little nose pressed to mine, emptying the contents of her belly all over her mama. Because that's what widdle babies do when dey don't feel well. And I did what any mama would do. I wiped myself off, put Valentine back to bed, laid a towel over the wet spot on my mattress, and fell back asleep.

The next morning I got up, went about my normal morning routine, and then settled in to work on the unpacking. Around noon, I noticed Michael staring at me.

"Um ... have you ... showered today?"
"What? Why?"
"Because, um, it looks like you still have dog vomit in your hair."
"Huh? Oh. Whatevs. It's just a little dog puke."
"That's a hormone thing, isn't it."
"What are you talking about?"
"Someone threw up on you ten hours ago and you still haven't showered."
"It was mostly water. And it came from Valentine."
"I am going to believe that this is an X chromosome thing because otherwise, this is just too disturbing. So this is an X chromosome thing. A 'getting ready to be a mommy thing'. Ok? Just tell me that's what it is."

That's when Valentine leapt off the couch, trotted over to me, put her little paws on my shoulders and started licking my face. 

"Oh god. That is disgusting."
"What are you talking about? Dese are doggy kisses! Da best widdle kisses in da world!"
"I'm filing a complaint against your hormones."
"Papa dust doesn't understand our wuv, does he baby girl? No he doesn't! He doesn't! Das a good widdle baby doggy." *smooching*snuggles*yummytimes*
" ... She eats poop. You're covered in dried vomit, kissing something that eats poop. ... ... ... WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY WIFE?"

Monday, April 20, 2009

This Title Is Definitely Not "Homeless Lady Feet"

Homeless Lady Feet

This photo has attracted 4,312 views on Flickr since I posted it in June of 2007. A whopping 33% of that traffic came from search engines. Apparently there are people in the world doing google searches for "homeless lady feet". I've lost track of how many Flickr users I've blocked because they leave comments like, "I'd love to lick your toes" or "I want to stroke your feet with my penis" or "I'd like to put those dirty little toes in my anus." Is that supposed to be flattering? Because it isn't. Just saying.

The above photo is also the reason why I had to write this warning on my Flickr profile last year. Despite my profile warning, the Crazies insist on commenting on that photo and then adding me as their friends on Flickr. I know they're Crazies because when I check out their profiles to see who is adding me, all of their photos are x-rated. Not normal, run-of-the-mill x-rated. No, no. That would be creepy enough. These photos? The photos the crazies post? These photos are x-rated photos involving food products and squid tentacles and kitchen appliances and poop.

At first I thought it was funny. I would click on the profiles and look at the photos and laugh and then block them. (Hey, FAIR WARNING. You didn't read my profile? You didn't know I'd block you? SUCK IT.) I don't think it's funny anymore. Now it just gives me the creeps.

Today, I removed the photo. I'm taking my power back, Flickr Crazies! I will no longer be fodder for your twisted imaginings! I will no longer allow my pretty feet to be exploited, lusted after, or defiled because at some point in your toddler-hood you found comfort in the mess in your diapers or because your mother punished you by walking on your back in spike heels. No! No. I resolve, here and now, to never post a photo of my feet on Flickr ever again. I've learned my lesson.

(Although possibly not well enough to prevent me from posting the photo on my blog. Does this mean I'll start getting more traffic to this site? Because I think I could use it.)

Friday, April 17, 2009

I predict a riot

Me: What happened?? Are you ok???
Him: I'm fine.
Me: Are you sure? I thought I heard you screaming out in pain. It scared me to death.
Him: ... ... ... 
Me: What was going on in here?
Him: ... ... I was singing.
Me: ... ... ... 
Him: Go back in the bedroom.
Me: You were singing?
Him: Just go back in the bedroom.
Me: I'm sorry I couldn't hear that well, it just sounded like - 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

This is the last one. I swear. No really.

You know what my new favorite sound is? The sound of my dresser drawers opening. It is like the sound of angels singing, I'm not kidding. You know what else? I have a sweater drawer! A SWEATER DRAWER. And Mike and I each have our very own sock drawer and our very own underpants drawer. Our own! One for each! No more mixing of socks and bras and panties and undershorts! It is so luxurious and wonderful and completely makes up for the paint peeling off the bathroom tiles.

I know, I know, it must be really hard to relate to somebody who shudders with pleasure when she thinks of her dresser drawers, but bear with me. Bare with me? I think it's "bear with me". Who knows. Whatevs. The point is, we are down to seven boxes in the living room and three boxes in the bathroom and then all we'll have left to do is hang our photos and art work on the walls. Of course, there will always be a little project here or there that we want to work on, like the bathroom tiles or the beading around the perimeter of the rooms, or staining the french doors or buying more furniture (it is kind of pathetic how empty the place will be when all the boxes are gone because we have no furniture), but other than that, we'll be done. Done! And then I'll take photos, post them and life will return to normal. A prettier, cozier, sunnier, more spacious normal. And then, eventually, the infatuation will wear off and I will shut the F up about my fabulous apartment and resume regular posting about dog poop and crazy people. I just have to get my head screwed on straight.

I miss you all.
Thanks for sticking around.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Confused By Affection Or Infatuation

We are twitterpated. Completely. We're freshman and our new apartment is the star varsity football player. Honestly? I don't know if I've ever been this in love with something lacking a nervous system in my entire life.

Since last Wednesday we've been completely consumed by our attempt to get the place put together so we can start living in it. I mean, we're sleeping there, but everything is in boxes so our lives are in total limbo. Speaking of limbo, I'm working on an essay which explains how moving is the modern day equivalent of the seven layers of hell. But I'll save that for later.

The new place is so so so cute, you guys. I know you're probably sick of hearing about it already, but I just can't stop gushing. I didn't know one could love an apartment this much. I think I might have to name her. The apartment is a her now. I just decided. Her name is Rachel. I love her. It's a non-sexual love, a platonic love, if you will, but not at all lacking in passion. Don't get me wrong, Rachel is not perfect. Not by any means. When she was turned over she was completely repainted, which is impressive for New York, but the tiled walls in the bathroom were painted over and guess what? You can't paint tile. Six steamy showers later, the paint is peeling off and revealing the filthy, grimy tile underneath. Which means we'll have to scrape all the paint off and clean the tile really well. I don't even want to begin to think about what a hideous project that will be, especially after watching Michael rip up the bathroom linoleum and prep it for new flooring. Also, there are no cabinets in the bathroom, not even under the sink, so there is no place in the bathroom to keep extra towels or the seven boxes of beauty products I packed up. Why do I have enough beauty products to fill seven moving boxes? I don't know. I think they came with the extra X chromosome. But you know what the bathroom does have? A bathroom sink. And I love it. I kissed it hello this morning, as a matter of fact. Oh! I know! Let's name the bathroom sink! How about ... ... ... Delilah? Delilah the sink. Perfect.

Rachel has other little flaws, but they aren't her fault, really. It isn't her fault that the french doors were hung incorrectly and so must be taken down and rehung so they will actually shut. And it isn't her fault that all her other doors have been painted and repainted and the paint has cracked and been repainted over again. She's an older girl and those painted over cracks? They add character. And I'm just really thankful that my husband is so handy so that he can fix all the non-working electrical outlets, and even install an electrical outlet in the bathroom that doesn't have an outlet. But you know what that bathroom does have, right? A SINK, YOU GUYS. A SINK.

Rachel is so pretty it hurts me. A good kind of hurt. She is spacious and airy and sunny, Oh! the sun and it's beautiful sunshiny-ness. So much beautiful sunshine. We don't even need to turn on any lights until the sun sets. It's extraordinary. The tenement required lamplight by 1:00 p.m. every day. But not Rachel! And the hardwood floors. They take my breath away. You think silk is luxurious? Or satin? Or velvet? Try my hardwood floors. You don't know luxury until you take off your shoes and walk on my floors. I kissed them good morning today, too. Mike was all, "You're kissing the ground I walk on?" And I was like, "Can't talk now. Making out with hardwood floors."

And also this morning? This morning when I took the dogs out for their walk, SOMEONE WAS MOPPING THE HALLWAY. Now, in my prior rants regarding the tenement, I left out the part where whenever the hallways and stairwells needed sweeping, our "super" would down a bottle of Jack Daniels and paint the stairs with a green oil based paint that then took three days to dry. He'd tape up signs that warned us to "walk on the left" but is that the left if you're going down? Or the left if you're coming up? And inevitably you'd end up with sticky green soles, and then you'd track green paint into the bitchen, and both dogs still have green paws. Plus, cleaning up filth and painting over filth are just not the same thing.

I feel like we've died and gone to heaven. Except for the part where if we eat one more meal from a fast food joint we're going to die. Because there should only be fresh cooked meals in heaven, I'm just saying.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Movin' On Up

Say Goodbye to Tenements!

Our lease is up on May 1st and after two years of tenement living, we decided not to renew it. Sure, the bitchen has been fun. And I'll really miss the fist-sized cockroaches that scurry along the hallways. And also the dingy stairwells with the lingering poop smell. And the shower ceiling that has a habit of crashing down while you're bathing. I'll miss having an apartment that is twelve whole foot-steps from the front door to the back wall. I'll surely miss the drunken ex-homeless man that lives in our basement. And our inability to use more than one electrical appliance at a time for fear of blowing a fuse and having to wait three hours for the super to come home from the bar so he can go into the basement he refuses to give anyone but the ex-homeless man a key to and change the fuse. I will also miss having to boil water on the stove to take a bath in February because the hot water has been turned off in the building - again. And the fifteen minute walk to the closest subway station. And the landlord with his gambling problem and his habit of calling us after 11 p.m. a week before the rent is due to see if maybe we could pay early because he owes his bookie. I mean, I know how lucky we've been to have all of that for a mere $1,513.90 a month. Sure, most people in most cities could rent a house with a backyard for that, but honestly? I'm not complaining. Two years in that tenement has given me a wealth of stories to possibly write one day and that's pretty valuable, I'd say. Maybe not worth the $35,806.80 we've spent in the last two years, but hey! It's only money, right?

We have really had to cut back on our expenses (thanks, recession!) so our goal was to find a new place for around $1200 a month. And we more than met that goal when we found an apartment for $977.80, but it's a little scary the downgrade we've had to make. Really.

All right, I'm totally lying. Our new Manhattan pad is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. I am completely in love. I even added the apartment to my list of 5 People I Can Sleep With And My Husband Won't Get Mad. (It's cool. Mike has his own list.) My list is now officially as follows:

1. Michael C. Hall
2. Michael C. Hall
3. Michael C. Hall
4. Zac Efron (He's over 18 so it's not creepy. Shut it.)
5. Our New Apartment

I digress. Our new apartment is fabulous. It's a five minute walk to the subway, a supermarket, dry cleaners, pharmacy, and restaurants. There are five beautiful parks within a 15 block radius. And the amenities! If, five years ago, you'd have told me that I'd one day think of a bathroom sink as an amenity, I'd have laughed at you. But trust me, all you bathroom-sink-takers-for-granted, a bathroom sink is a HUGE amenity.

In addition to the fabulous bathroom sink, our new apartment also has a bathtub that is not scary. It's been refinished so it looks new and it plugs and doesn't have rust stains and years of mildew that refuse to scrub off and the best part? You don't even have to climb over the toilet to get into it. You just step in. That's it. Step and you're in. You know what else we have in our new apartment? Windows that look out at sky and have sunlight streaming in. I thought it was great to move into the tenement, with its windows just a few feet from the luxury condo complex next door and the blobs of cement permanently affixed to the glass from when they built said luxury condo complex. Those windows were an improvement from the single teensy window that was inches from an enormous cement block wall in the studio I rented in Chelsea for two grand a month. At least in the tenement we could decipher whether it was day or night without having to walk outside. But our new apartment? It has six windows. SIX. And they are all huge and when you look out of them you can see sky without having to open the window and crane your neck upwards. It's lovely. Oh! And back to sinks, because I'm really thrilled with the sink situation, the one in the kitchen, that is in addition to the one in the bathroom, is GINORMOUS. And brand-spanking new. Know what else? There are six fuses in the fuse box, which is located in the kitchen instead of in a scary, dank basement that we don't have a key to and that has drunken ex-homeless people living in it. Do you know what that means? It means that, if I were so inclined, I could watch a DVD with the AC on while blow drying my hair, heating my curling iron, brewing coffee and ironing laundry. I bet you are just now realizing all the things you take for granted about your home, huh? YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

And I still haven't told you about the beautiful elevator, the clean and shiny marble stairwells, the enormous and clean laundry facility in the basement, which is also clean and well-lit and full of windows, the buzzer that works and is hooked up to an intercom system next to our front door. I didn't talk about the trash shoot which is right next to our front door and doesn't smell, not even a little bit. I haven't told you about how the bedroom has a door, a real bedroom door that shuts, and how this aforementioned bedroom with a door is larger than the tenement living room. I haven't described the new living room that is larger than the bedroom, has brand-new gorgeous french doors and the most beautiful antique wood flooring. And since I am so excited about all the things that make our new apartment so utterly, breathtakingly fabulous, I'm going to leave out the part about how the kitchen and bathroom linoleum are completely trashed and that, because the apartment is priced so far below market (thanks, rent stabilization!), they refused to replace them, so we are forced to do it ourselves. I also won't mention how the brand-new kitchen cabinets were nailed into the drywall and so hanging off the walls at precarious angles, and how Mike had to pull them down and re-hang them correctly using firring strips, screws and the wall studs. And I am most definitely going to leave out the part about how the brokers fee cost us our first and second born children and also our souls. I'm not going to mention any of those things because, bathroom sink! Buzzer! Elevator! Trash shoot! Laundry room! Sunlight! Space! Closets! Less than five minutes to train platform! HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS. WE'RE MOVING INTO A BEAUTIFUL BUILDING AND WE ARE SAVING OVER FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS A MONTH ON OUR RENT. That is totally worth using the all-caps key inappropriately.

$977.80 per month. $977.80. Nine hundred seventy-seven dollars and eighty cents. Say it with me. $977.80. Isn't that beautiful? It's my new favorite number. Move over 11! Make way for 977.80.

This is probably where an editor would tell me to shut the F up now, but I can't. Because you know what? After next week, I will never again have to bundle up and walk through rain, sleet, snow, ice and general misery to do my laundry or take out the trash. I will never again fumble to unlock my front door because my slumlord doesn't pay the building electric bill. I will never again have to put on my shoes and run downstairs to let a friend into my building. I will never again have to climb over my toilet to take a shower, bang my knees on the bathroom door trying to shut it so I can have privacy when I poop, or brush my teeth in the same sink I wash my dishes in. And that is so so so cool.

Wanna see photos? Of course you do. Click here and grab a bib because you will start salivating.

p.s. In other news, I just booked a leading role in a workshop of a very very exciting new play. I'll write more about that later. I am so excited I can't believe it's really happening. 

p.s.2. Expect posting this week to be light, what with all the packing and moving and rehearsing I'll be doing. But just think how many wonderful stories I'll have when I come back!

p.s.3. If things keep going this well, I might start to genuinely enjoy this wild metropolis I am trying to call home.
Say Hello to Luxury Living!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Why I love him, reason 212

While mopping the entryway to our new apartment he stops suddenly and gasps. He crouches down and examines the flooring under the door. In a voice that suggests he's just found a million-dollar treasure he whispers, "It's the original marble lintil!"

Friday, April 03, 2009

And also this.

You must click here.

98 days until Opening Day. Not that I'm counting.

To watch the video, type your birth date into the little birth date boxes. Sorry they are so small and hard to see, but IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT.

p.s. I don't think I've been THIS excited about a movie since the first of the LOTR trilogy.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

And he was born on this day, years ago.

Today is Michael's birthday and for the last three weeks I have been trying to write something special to commemorate the day. Well, my deadline is here and I've got nuthin. My words don't do him justice. I tried writing about his grey/green eyes - how kind and gentle they are, how I can tell when he's really happy because of the way the skin around his eyes will crinkle when he smiles. I tried to write about the butterflies I get in my tummy when I hear him laugh. I tried to write about how much I love his work-rough hands, how I could spend hours admiring the little clusters of hair between each knuckle. I tried writing about his broad shoulders, the muscles in his gorgeous arms, how in bed at night while he tells me about how sickle-cell anemia protects people from malaria, I run my fingers through the fur on his arms and his chest and silently thank God he's such a bear of a man. I wrote and rewrote paragraphs detailing how delicious the top of his head smells, how I love to press my face into the place where his throat and his chest meet, how much better I sleep with my head on his shoulder than on my pillow. I tried to explain that when he is happy I am on top of the world but when he is sad my heart is smashed to pieces.

Then I tried writing a thank-you to him, to thank him for encouraging me to chase after my wild dreams, for convincing me that we could survive, even find success in NYC, and for supporting me, emotionally and financially, through it all. I tried writing about how I imagine it must be hard for a parent to let their child marry, how a parent must worry that the new spouse won't take care of or treasure or protect the child the way the parent would. And how lucky I am to have married someone so selfless, so kind, so hardworking, so trustworthy and strong, with such integrity and character that my parents could love him as their own son.

Then I tried to write about what a gift it is to curl up with that man at the end of every day, even if it means sleeping in a horribly uncomfortable position. How I love talking with him over coffee every morning, how wonderful it is that he is so willing and eager to share the day-to-day chores and burdens and successes and laughs. How much easier and more fun he makes my life just with his presence. How much happier I am when I've spent a day with him than without him. How I do not take for granted the luxury it is to have someone who knows exactly how I take my coffee, how I like the cheese melted on my sandwich, someone who knows my favorite color in roses. Or what a treasure it is to be married to someone who's heart I know as well as my own, and yet, who is capable of surprising me on a near daily basis. I tried explaining that I know I'm lucky to have a man who smells like heaven even when he hasn't showered all day and who will interrupt himself mid-sentence to tell me I'm beautiful, even when my face is unwashed and I've just eaten an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's by myself. How sometimes it feels like magic to be married to someone who never questions my feelings, who does not judge my actions, who knew all my darkest secrets and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me anyway. How safe I feel because I know that if I fall apart he will put me back together and if I win he will cheer the loudest.

But my simple words sound banal in comparison to all the great things that make up my husband. Nothing I write could come close to expressing how complicated, how stunningly beautiful my feelings are for him or how lucky I am because he is my partner in crime.

So I will just say this:

Michael, you are the great love of my life. I love you a thousand times and more, to infinity and beyond, forever and in all ways. My knight in shining armor, my trusted confidante, my best friend, my brilliant scholar, my nerdy pal, my treasure. Life with you gets better and better. Happiest of birthdays, love.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

This earned him an elbow in the eye socket.

A preface. Mike likes us to sleep on our sides like spoons. I like him to sleep on his back, and then I lay on my belly and put my head on his shoulder. He hates sleeping on his back. I hate sleeping on my side. And thus you have the biggest conflict in our marriage.

Him: Mmmmm. Spoons. So comfy. Sweet dreams, Pumpkin.

Me: Can I put my head on your shoulder?

Him: Shhh... go to sleep.

Me: Please?

Him: ...mmmmmm... ...so cozy...

Me: It would more cozy if my head was on your shoulder... 

Him: Shhhh....

Me: Come on. Roll over.

Him: (pretend snoring)

Me: If you love me you'll let me put my head on your shoulder.

Him: Shh... Sleep.

Me: Can I sleep with my head on your shoulder tomorrow night?

Him: (big sigh) Sure. Go to sleep.

Me: Promise?

Him: Yeah, whatevs. GO TO SLEEP.

Me: We should take turns. Like, every other night we sleep your way and on alternate nights we sleep my way. 

Him: ...

Me: So tonight is your night.

Him: ... You gonna move to the couch then, or what?