Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Uncle Jay Explains the Year in Review

Uncle Jay sings about 2008 for you.

He has a lot of other great videos, too.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mistletoe, Menorah and Fan

It's unseasonably warm, and the holidays are almost over.

I'm happy, yet sad.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Cats' Holiday

Here's Chico in the new pet bed I got for the cats at IKEA tonight.

I got the basket and blanket from the people departments, because they were cheaper than the ones in the pet department.

PS: Okay, as I was posting the previous photo, Ashley jumped into the basket to double the cuteness quotient. This is working out just like I'd planned. Usually when I knock myself out getting them something nice, they ignore it and play with a cardboard box.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Christmas Gift To You

If you played video games in the early '80s, you'll get a kick out of this. You'll be saying, "Why didn't I do this?" And if you're the one who did it, thanks.

It's called 8-Bit Jesus, and it's Christmas carols done in the style of early '80s video games.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


My least favorite weather: Bitter cold with patches of lumpy ice all over the ground. The natural inclination is to walk as quickly as you can to get out of the pain, but you have to take itty bitty steps to keep from slipping on the ice.

And if somebody gets in your face, or you have a slow-moving human in front of you, you can't swerve around them because you can't move that quickly. Also, because you'll step out of your semi-ice-free little groove in the sidewalk and hit a small embankment and lose your balance.

Rain tomorrow. Wet Christmas. My hair will pouf, but walking will be safer.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Menorah and Mistletoe

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Dip Myself in the Mall

I tell myself I'm going to leave before I get stressed, but I forget how quickly that happens. Just like it takes much, much less exposure to the sun than you think before you damage your skin, it only takes so many sales clerks who don't speak English or give you the wrong directions before you're ready to say "The hell with it."

Then I start getting the evil impulse to go up to a sales clerk and ask for the location of something I know, just so she can give the wrong answer and I can say, "Gotcha! No, it's not!" And leave smirking with indignation.

Today I wanted to leave a trail of Cinnabon crumbs between Women's fleece jackets and Petite fleece jackets, just to find my way back and forth between the two. I was actually splitting hairs over fleece.*

The easiest people to shop for are the ones who will accept a gift card. It's a token, right? It's the thought that counts. Although why we can't go one step further and just exchange good old American cash is beyond me. Cash is accepted everywhere stuff is sold.

The hardest people are the ones who say, "Oh, we don't have to exchange gifts, just, you know, a fun little something." Okay, but when does a little something go over the line and become a gift? And what if the other person goes over the line and you're still under the line? And what constitutes a "fun" something? As opposed to what, a sensible, serious something?

Dave Barry's said in his Annual Holiday Gift Guide that women will buy gifts all year round, like two ceramic turtles that say "Best" on one and "Friends" on the other. Men will walk right past the friendship turtles.

Whereas many women (you know who you are) will buy the turtles, not because they know of anybody who needs friendship turtles, but because the turtles are, quote, ''cute.'' Then the woman will start shopping for a cute card to go with the turtles, or maybe several cards, since she's not sure which specific one of her numerous best friends will be getting them. While she's at it she might buy some cute little scented candles that would go with the turtles, and maybe a few other cute things. By the time she leaves the store, she will have as many as eight gifts for people who have yet to be identified. She may have totally forgotten why she went into the store in the first place (to get an extension cord).

By the way, I would love it if somebody got me an extension cord...or a set of A/V cables. Those cables are expensive! Better yet, pay my cable bill for a month.

Meanwhile, I'm going back to the Mall and asking the nearest clerk for the "fun little something" department, just to see what happens.

*This isn't as crazy as it sounds. They make the sleeves on most jackets too long, and who's going to take a ten dollar fleece jacket to the tailor?

Friday, December 19, 2008

They're Turning on Me

The cats were chasing each other last night and Chico banked himself on my face, making two big scratches around my left eye and one right on my eyelid. The first thing I thought as I shot out of bed was, “He poked out my eye and I’m gonna have to go to the Emergency Room and I want to sleeeeep!” I turned on the bathroom light and got out the peroxide and cotton balls. You never realize how much blood is in your face until it’s on the outside. Once I wiped it off I could see it was only flesh wounds. My eyelid is puffy today, but not infected puffy. More like somebody gave me a black eye.

Considering how many times the cats have chased each other in the middle of the night and how many times Chico’s grabbed or pushed at some part of my anatomy with his claws out, the first order of business is going to be to trim his claws constantly, since I can only get one or two of them at a time when he’s asleep. Then, I want to do something about the distance between the bed and the top of the wardrobe, since Chico tends to gain mass the higher up he falls from and my pillow is right under the top of the wardrobe.

So why don’t you move your pillow? Because he grabs the other end of the bed to get onto the bed, and sometimes sinks his claws into my toes.

I also have to give Ashley ear drops again, Baytril this week and then Epi-otic for the next three. So part of my days off will be spent on catly problems, being in a constant state of claw-trimming and ear-dropping. And as far as giving them something to grab onto, maybe I can buy some shelves and get somebody to help me do what this guy did.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Live Near Famous Crimes

I actually went to this Community Council meeting last night that the 6th Precinct has once a month in a church basement. I wanted to hear the cops talk about the spate of muggings that have been happening within a five-block radius of my home for the past few weeks.

The inspector led with a speech about how they believe they've apprehended the perpetrators and have linked them to at least two of the muggings. Our City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who sounds like a sane Rosie O'Donnell, was the guest speaker. She said that even though the cops had caught the suspects, you should still exercise all the caution she told you to exercise in her e-mail. She was welcomed with a slew of complaints from community leaders about how, even though the cops had caught the suspects, it wasn't going to make any difference in the quality of life in the West Village until somebody does something about the insane transvestite crack ho's. Drug dealers see the ho's and they figure, the cops are letting them get away with it, and then other criminals see the ho's and the drug dealers and they figure it's a good location to set up shop.

This isn't the first time I've lived in the middle of famous crimes. In 1977 I was just out of school and still living with my parents in Queens, and Son of Sam did two murders within ten minutes of their house. And most of the victims were girls around my age with long brown hair. I would come home late from the City with my hair under a hat and walk ten blocks from the subway to my parents' house. I was full of guerrilla vigilance and expected that at any moment, "Sunna" was going to leap from a car, or out of the bushes, or suddenly break up from the ground like Jaws.

On one such night I got in and was sitting at the kitchen table when my mother ran out of her room in a frenzy. I was ready to say, "What? You said I could stay out until two!"

"They caught Son of Sam! His name is David Berkowitz." And my first response was to crack up. The shark from Jaws, and he turns out to be some creepy nerd that I would have turned down for a date. Who knows--maybe I did and that's why he shot all those girls.

The Summer of Sam...that time when every New Yorker looked nervously over their shoulders and said, "Oh thank God...It's a black guy."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Not the Revolution Kind

I stopped in this store Uniqlo yesterday. They had a big sale on fleece jackets and puffer coats like what the kids are wearing. I tried on a Sherpa jacket and a vest...

I looked like Sonny Bono.


Things and Stuff and Stuff and Things and...Stuff

Okay, just took a little walk around the office looking for discarded office supplies from the cubicles of the downsized, and scored a couple of magazine holders. Then I got back to my cubicle and reorganized my quarterly file folders. All of this took a whopping eleven minutes.

At lunchtime I want to return a necklace I’d bought on Saturday at the GAP because I needed gray beads to go with the purple blouse I’d bought there. The purple blouse looked good on Saturday and will be worn again, perhaps even to the office. The gray beads were unnecessary but for some reason on Saturday afternoon they were a matter of life and death.

Then to the bank for a checkbook register. Then I still have this $20 credit slip at The Rose shoe store and I feel as if somehow I’m destined to have a credit slip there for the rest of my life or until they go out of business. If I go there and get a pair of Merrell sneakers for $60 plus my $20 credit, I can guarantee you that for some strange reason known only to God, those sneakers will be totally wrong for me in three days and I will be back there to get an $80 credit slip.

Also, I feel like, “You already have two pairs of sneakers! Save that credit slip for a necessity!” But when necessity comes along, it can never be filled by whatever the store with the credit slip has on hand when you need it. So I may as well get more sneakers.

I'm adopting this as my new mission statement in life: I may as well get more sneakers.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Apartment Therapy Moment

I went to my fancy-schmancy gym yesterday, the one I have a discount at through my company. There was a three-legged stool in front of my locker.

Instead of sitting on it, I immediately flipped it over to see if it said "Aalto."

PS: It didn't say anything, but I strongly suspect IKEA rather than Aalto.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I'd said here last August that what I needed was a re-weavement group, for people who are putting their lives back together again.

I haven't found a group like that, even in New York, where there are support groups for people who can't get over the re-branding of Diet Coke. But there's re-weavement to be found on the Internet on a one-by-one basis:

Wende, who recently split from her hubby and went back to Phoenix, and

Above Average Joe, whose Mrs. moved out this year leaving joint visitation of Peanut and the Champ.

Wende uses at least part of her real name, or what I'm assuming is her real name. Above Average Joe makes me wonder if I should have been using a pseudonym all along, since I'd then have the ability to be as touchingly honest and vulnerable as possible without getting sued.

What with getting more hits lately on Facebook in one day than on my blog in a month, I know this sure the hell needs something. If you have any idea what, let me know.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The REAL "Girls Behaving Badly"

"I went to one of these scrapbooking retreats, and it's all these women in their pajamas with snacks -- Hostess Twinkies everywhere! There's something about junk food being part of this. It's like, no husbands, I'm going to let myself go and look at pictures of my family and eat Twinkies."

Jessica Helfand has written a book on the history of scrapbooking. She's interviewed about it here in Salon. Check out the Amazon link for cool videos of vintage scrapbooks.

Happy Breakfast

The fishy art of Anne-Catherine Becker-Echivard. (Courtesy of Shelterrific)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

One and One-Half Wandering Jews

I always thought that should be the theme song for me and Jim. Paul Simon wrote it about his marriage to Carrie Fisher.

Carrie Fisher has a new autobiography that I'm planning to read. She grew up in Hollywood at the same time that I was growing up in the Bronx, her parents and Liz Taylor were the Jen-Brad-Angelina of their day, and she was Princess Leia when I was an office temp. She writes about all of those things. Okay, not about me being an office temp, but about her parents and Paul Simon and Star Wars:

"I tell my younger friends that one day they'll be at a bar playing pool and they'll look up at the television set and there will be a picture of Princess Leia with two dates underneath, and they'll say, 'awww -- she said that would happen.'"

And like that.

And A Blouse Made of Ampicillin

I was checking out a site for discounted designer clothing that advertised a jacket made from "40% cypro."

"What the Hell is that," I said, Googling. The only cypro I've ever heard of was the antibiotic they gave people who thought they were going to get attacked by anthrax seven years ago.

Google asked me, "Did you mean cupro?" Several sites told me cupro was similar to rayon.

"Oh,' I replied. "Thank you. Rayon I know."

In other news, everyone I know is on Facebook and we keep sending each other stuff, but I can't figure out how the "Requests" thing works. So I'm behind by 87 trees and a snowman.

Update: And now I just signed up with Twitter. Aaagghhhh! Just what I needed for the holidays...a new learning curve.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Stuff I Saw in Amish Country on Saturday

A young woman gave us a guided tour of the farmhouse, and filled us in on the history and customs of the Old Order Amish. The Amish broke away from the Mennonites in the 17th century because they didn't think the Mennonites were strict enough.

We learned about the custom of Rumspringa, where Amish teenagers run around in the modern world sewing their wild oats. Then they either come back and settle down or they get shunned. And you thought your parents disapproved of your lifestyle!

My friends and I had lunch at a smorgasbord the size of a football field. Since the Amish, unlike the Hasidim, have no dietary restrictions, they go to restaurants frequented by outsiders. So when you're lining up at the buffet you see a bunch of regular suburban families in fleece hoodies and baseball caps, and then a bunch of Amish people in the hats or the bonnets. The line looked like a casting call for Witness.

There were also a lot of Mennonites at the smorgasbord. The women had skirts above their ankles. Those hussies!

I enjoyed a meal that included creamed dried corn, bratwurst and shoo-fly pie.

I realized that all ethnic cuisine, including Pennsylvania Dutch, was invented by people who pushed a plow all day instead of sitting on their fat behinds in a cubicle.

I realized that I could be Amish, maybe: The black clothes and the minimalism, yes; the shunning, not so much.

It's been a while since I've had news from the land of Intercourse.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

nyc bloggers map