Monday, December 31, 2007

Ready For Its Close-up

Spectators were out there by the hundreds already at one in the afternoon when I passed Times Square on the way to my credit union.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Single-Bedded Life

I was looking at daybed frames and fell in love with the one pictured above. Then I had a dream that Jim's ghost came back and complained, "I have no place to sleep!" I woke up thinking, "Now I have to get a convertible sofa in case Jim's ghost comes back."

Does this dream mean I'm Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands? I could hardly even fit one into this apartment. Do ghosts even sleep? I thought they were past all that. 

The dream could mean that I feel guilty about continuing to have a life that he'll be left out of, and eventually, a life into which he would no longer fit. It could also mean that even though I'm independent, I have to balance it with being connected to people.

Or it could just mean nothing whatsoever, but in the future it may be a good idea to get a convertible sofa anyway.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

More Light

Re-arranged bedroom, new lamp, same Chico.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Festival of Light

Old Kitchen Ceiling Fixture:

New Kitchen Ceiling Fixture:
Not as dramatic as the Great Paint Job of 2006, but I'm happy.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Bluetooth and Green Tree

I finally synched my cell phone with my iMac. You like my tree?

Merry Christmas to the back of the guy's head...And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Vacillating Over Oprah's Bra

Not Oprah's actual bra...I didn't sneak into her mansion, plunder her possessions and abscond with her lingerie. I mean the Le Mystere Renaissance bra, which Oprah endorsed heartily in her magazine and which receives prominent mention in Charla Krupp's forthcoming book, How Not to Look Old: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, 10 Pounds Lighter, 10 Times Better*. It retails for about seventy bucks in Macy's, where I tried it on today.

I found the Le Mystere to be uplifting, supportive and empowering, just like Oprah. I also found it to be so damn tight it felt as if I were being strangled by a boa constrictor. 

The Bra Fitting Lady was in attendance, standing outside my fitting room with a variety of different sizes. "Zat one fits you perfectly!" But it's common knowledge that Bra Fitting Ladies hitch 'em higher and tighter than Scarlett O'Hara's at the barbeque, which has nothing to do with how most real women wear their foundation garments.

So as flattering as the Le Mystere is, it's my conclusion that Oprah must do most of the serious thinking needed to run her vast empire when she gets home, puts her feet up and takes off her brassiere.

*Assuming that each thing you do takes ten years off your age and you're fifty and you do four things, does that make you ten?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I've been doing some reassessing over the past few days, what with the experience with the guy on the subway the other day and then cutting my finger the other night. The people I hung out with twenty years ago would have said, "You were asking for it because you want to be a victim."

As I get older, and especially throughout the experiences of the past three years, I find it's almost impossible to bullshit myself anymore. So I've been doing a lot of soul-searching and here's what I came up with:

Thank God I wouldn't let people like that into my life anymore!

Next I have to get them out of my head.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sliced Christmas

I was drying the disc attachment to my new food processor, which possesses a slicing blade as sharp as the razor with which Paul Sorvino sliced the garlic in "Goodfellas." Unfortunately, I wasn't watching what I was doing and sliced the tip off my right index finger. Off to the emergency room of St. Vincent's.

This is how I have to hold my hand for the next 24 hours:

Some dyslexic wack job on the subway tomorrow is going to think I'm giving him the finger.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Avert Your Eyes

I got on the "F" train this morning and squeezed into the middle of a three-person seat facing the aisle. I smiled an "excuse me" to the people on my right and my left. The young man on my left started taking off his iPod earbuds and I thought he was going to ask me a question.

Instead, his face became instantly vicious and he began to rant at me, "You bitch, you c__t, I'm sick of your attitude you nasty bitch..." I grabbed my bag and headed to an empty seat at the other end of the subway car. People were looking away as if I were the crazy person. I wanted to say "I'm a nice person! Don't listen to him!"

When I got to my stop and began to stand, all of a sudden the guy came from nowhere into my face again and resumed his rant, then ran off the train and up the stairs, knocking people out of his way. I turned to the people around me.

"Uh, did anybody see that?" Again, everybody was like, "Don't look at her; you'll only encourage her."

"Okay, just me then."

I stopped shaking by the time I got upstairs and got my coat off. When I went out at lunchtime, I noticed I was walking on eggshells. That nice lady over there...was she suddenly going to come up in my face and turn vicious? What had I done to provoke this guy? What innocent thing was I going to do that would provoke the next person to attack me?

Best not make eye contact. Then I won't set anyone off.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Feminism in Oz

L. Frank Baum wrote seven "Oz" books, and thanks to you can read them all for free, along with other great classics in the public domain.

I'd only read the first Oz book, so I got a real kick out of the second book in the series, "The Marvelous Land of Oz," wherein the Kingdom is taken an army of women:

As they passed the rows of houses they saw through the open doors that men were sweeping and dusting and washing dishes, while the women sat around in groups, gossiping and laughing.

"What has happened?" the Scarecrow asked a sad-looking man with a bushy beard, who wore an apron and was wheeling a baby-carriage along the sidewalk.

"Why, we've had a revolution, your Majesty as you ought to know very well," replied the man; "and since you went away the women have been running things to suit themselves. I'm glad you have decided to come back and restore order, for doing housework and minding the children is wearing out the strength of every man in the Emerald City."

"Hm!" said the Scarecrow, thoughtfully. "If it is such hard work as you say, how did the women manage it so easily?"

"I really do not know" replied the man, with a deep sigh. "Perhaps the women are made of castiron."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Home For Christmas

I went to the Beacon Theater last night to see Hall and Oates' Home For Christmas Tour. They were promoting their Christmas album of the same name. I didn't even know Hall and Oates had a Christmas album, but they covered The First Noel, The Christmas Song and Jingle Bell Rock with arrangements that rendered these stalwart favorites into...Hall and Oates songs. It was as if an improv group had taken the stage and asked, "We need a Christmas song" and "we need a style" and then came up with a brilliant Hall and Oates parody.

They also did a lot of actual Hall and Oates songs, which pleased us greatly, since at $75 and up you want to hear "I Can't Go For That," not "Jingle Bells."

At the finale of the show there was a fake snowfall. Then we went outside and there was a real snowfall. How did they do that?

No Word From the Vet Yet

In fact, the vet called me on Monday night to tell me there was no word yet on Ashley's biopsy. Yesterday, there was no word from the vet about there being no word on Ashley's biopsy. So today I'll call and see if they have any word.

Meanwhile, Ashley is acting just fine, except that every time I look at her she thinks I'm going to put drops in her ears, and she runs somewhere and hides and pees. The house is going to be extremely clean for the holidays, as I play "Find where Ashley peed."

Update 4:25 PM:

The scariest words to hear when you're calling into your voice mail: Your vet saying "I want to go over the results of Ashley's biopsy with you."

So it's twenty minutes later and the tingling is just going away from my hands and the results are: "It's an infection. Keep giving her the antibiotic drops and bring her in for a recheck next week."


Friday, December 07, 2007

Kitty Teeth and Ears

I'm waiting for a call from the vet's office, where I dropped off Ashley this morning for her annual dental work. They're also supposed to clean her ears and remove the (we hope) benign tumor in one of them.

I Google'd "ear tumors in cats" and found out that even malignant tumors in cat ears are usually local and rarely spread to other parts of the body. Also, many ear tumors in cats are actually skin tumors and they appear in the ears of white cats who are exposed to too much sunlight. I remember reading that somewhere when I first got my original cats. My original cats were pure white. They, and my present cats, are indoor-only and my apartment rarely gets any direct sunlight.

Given the darkness of my apartment, the cats would be more likely to sprout mushrooms. So I'm waiting to hear that my cat has sprouted mushrooms.

Update, Friday Evening:

They'll have the results of the biopsy on Monday.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

December Dilemma

The New York Times, who's going with the two "H's" and two "k's" spelling, asks "Christmas or Hanukkah: How does an interfaith family celebrate them both?"

We had a tree on Christmas. We hung Barry Manilow from it.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I Want to Live on This Houseboat

It's the same size/shape/layout as my apartment, but it's, like, a boat!

It's in Redwood City, California. I'd have to find out if they have strong storms or squalls there.

This looks cozy, doesn't it?

And you don't have to mow the lawn.

Sweet Charity

The Post Office is sponsoring its usual Operation Santa Claus, and every year I tell myself I'm going to participate, basically because I feel guilty for not having kids.

The closest I've come to Operation Santa Claus is when a company I worked for several years ago was sponsoring some first-graders in a public school up in the Bronx. My co-workers and I each were given a letter from a six-year-old, written in block letters in crayon, most with helpful illustrations. Mine was from a boy named Jorge who wanted a Transformer watch. He'd drawn a picture of a stick figure whose wrist and hand were bigger than the rest of his body put together. If this were an accurate self-portrait, the Yankees had better sign this kid immediately.

Off I set on a shopping expedition. Except, the other problem with not having kids is not knowing what kids are into. Even parents of small children have been known to become utterly bewildered when their kid obsesses over the latest must-have. So I'm running into Toys 'R Us, Macy's, K-Mart, every conceivable place that might sell items meant for children, and describing this thing, and showing the clerks the picture, and they would all chuckle and say that they ran out of them sometime in August.

"This is worse than when they discontinue my favorite brassiere!" I thought.

At the eleventh hour, I finally found a place that had a shopworn package...oh yeah, and I threw in some extra batteries, which I'm sure made Jorge's mom very relieved.

I don't know yet if I want to set myself up for this kind of stress this year, although added to my guilt about being "child-free" is also, now, my guilt about not having to care for any other adult except myself. So maybe I'll get a gift for an adult. New York Cares is having their coat drive, and they're especially in need of large men's coats. I thought, "Maybe there's a lot of homeless big fat guys." But the reason they need large is so the wearer can layer other clothes underneath. This makes sense to me, since when I imagine myself being homeless I think about how to cut back on excess luggage.

I've already given away Jim's overcoats, so maybe I'll pick up a down jacket at a discount store and donate it. Down is impervious to the elements and easier to keep clean, and it can double as an igloo if you find yourself without a place to live. Except I keep thinking, what if I get mugged by some crackhead and he's wearing the jacket I donated.

"Yes, officer, he was wearing a navy blue North Face jacket that was on sale for $69.99 at TJ Maxx."

The police precinct around the corner from me always has a canned food drive. I always have canned food. So that's probably going to be the charity that I go with this year. Charity begins at home.

Monday, December 03, 2007

They Made a Movie Out of "Sweeney Todd"

And it stars Johnny Depp!

Oh boy, graphic bloody violence and Johnny Depp!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

First Snow of the Season

Got out the snowboots and down coat for the first time this season. I wore them to Sam Flax to buy a bigger cart for the new computer that I had to get for the new iPod. Then, watch: It'll be a new chair to go with the new cart. You'll see. It never ends.

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