I'm prettier than you are.
Saturday, 31 August 2002
Bona Fide Sicko?

I just finished watching "American Psycho". This means, of course, that now I feel compelled to read about it on imdb.com. I prefer to read reviews after, rather than before, I watch the actual movies, because I like to take an "innocent" approach to everything I watch. I want to determine if it sucks on my own. Or, of course, if it doesn't suck.

Anyway, I like to read the User Comments on imdb.com, because I really enjoy the earnest yet poorly written commentary that "regular" people have to offer before I read the "professional" reviews. There is only one User Comment for "American Psycho". The person who wrote it says he really identifies with Patrick Bateman (the psycho in question).

As I read through the review, I began to "worry" a bit about the reviewer, who calls himself "onebrooksbrothers". He seems a little too turned on by Patrick Bateman's actions. I wonder if this misspelling, found in the last paragraph of his review, says it all.

P.S. If you haven't seen "American Psycho", I suggest you do — if only to indulge in a few sublime peeks of Christian Bale's spectacular form.

fresh-baked at 05:37 PM
No mo' Jo

All right. I've had enough of this already. It's not funny anymore.

Would whoever stole my motivation and replaced it with the inertia that is currently inhabiting this fabulous shell, kindly return it to me pronto, posthaste, and immediately, if not sooner? I'd really appreciate it. I will gladly return the lackluster load that's latched itself onto me to its rightful owner.

Vim and vigor, where are you? Come back! I miss you!

fresh-baked at 10:35 AM
Friday, 30 August 2002
Claret-fication (Editor's Note)

My ever-viligant editor has suggested that I clarify that I was not intoxicated last night due to the ingestion of any alcohol; rather, I experienced the same feeling of "drunkenness" from the coffee and Diet Coke that I would have had I ingested two glasses of wine.

I don't mean to, uh, w(h)ine, but hey, my good reputation cannot afford any tarnishment. Especially after all the brouhaha that resulted after I was caught shoplifting in Saks with my best "gal pal" (the one I will only refer to as "WR").

fresh-baked at 05:12 PM
Holiday Schmoliday

All right. I know you're dying to tell me what you're doing this weekend for Labor Day. And you know it too.

So go on. Tell me already.

(And make it snappy! I don't have all day!)

fresh-baked at 12:22 PM
Friday Funfest

Go on. Amuse yourself here.

Warning: If you are at work, you may want to turn down your speakers. Or you may just want to wait until you get home to check this out at all. That is, if you're a whiny pussy who's afraid of getting caught! Boohoo! Googoo!

Thanks to the inimitable Ms. Doglets for this link. As she said when she presented it to me just moments ago, "Don't thank me, it twa(t)s nothing"!

Have fun.

fresh-baked at 11:45 AM
Special Effects!

Hey! Know what's kind of amusing but also pretty disturbing?

I can get the same sort of effect from not eating dinner and consuming a bit of caffeine (one watered-down Diet Coke and one small coffee) as I can from drinking two glasses of wine!

I don't really drink alcohol (except for the occasional glass of witch hazel). The last time I had a "drink" drink (several glasses of wine) was in May of this year. And before that, the last one I had was in the early fall of 1998. But I remember enough about intoxication to knows it when I feels it. (It's so glamorous!)

And I'm feelin' it.

And hatin' it.

No wonder I don't drink. (Never mind the calories!)

Yes, here is where I say, "Feh. Kaka." And crawl into bed.

Or lie down on the cold tile of the bathroom floor and pass out with my head squashed between the toilet and the wall. (It's so sexy!)

I feel green. Good night, Irene!

fresh-baked at 01:13 AM
Thursday, 29 August 2002
Note to the cat

Shana: You do not have claws. Stop it. Stop it. STOP IT!!!

fresh-baked at 08:35 AM
Good (?) Morning play me

From about 5:15 until 6:30 this morning, I laid in bed watching the rain do its thing on the skylight, trying in vain to fall back asleep. I pictured myself sinking into a cloud, my limbs loose and heavy and completely relaxed, but instead of actually doing it I spent way too much time thinking about doing it. And wondering if it would work.

So of course, as usual, my mind bounced around like a hyperactive three-year-old. Idle thoughts came to frenetic life, ricocheting off the walls, ceiling, and floor — ping pong balls gone mad — and the more I tried to relax the more impossible it became. It wound up being a chore, so I wound up resenting it.

While lying in bed, I wanted my thoughts to just drift naturally, without any guidance, hoping that would lead me to sleep. But of course it didn't work. I started thinking about the following things:

  • What ever happened to Debra Messerman, a friend from first grade, whose piano teacher was the first one I ever had? I wonder if she still has that amazing head of curls.

  • Curls. Judy! Today is her birthday! Damn it, I fucking miss her. Amazing how I couldn't stand her when I first saw her. Hyena! Why doesn't she just move up to New York? She's the only bitch who truly "gets" me.

  • A silver car with red leather interior, circa 1967, parked outside my house. Seated inside the car: My mother, brother, sister, and I. Drinking chocolate milk from the carton and bread from a plastic bag. Passing the milk carton among ourselves. A warm day. We didn't have keys to the house. I have no idea whether my mother lost them or forgot them.

  • Anne Frank had a better view from her annex than I do here from my skylight. When I look up at the grayish brick of the building next to this one, stacked impossibly high, I don't think, as I ordinarily do, of the guys who labored to put each brick into place, but of Anne Frank and her belief that people are really good at heart. Can't decide if she's right. Wonder: If Anne Frank were around today, in her same situation except 60 years later, would she have a "blog"? "The Blog of Anne Frank".

  • OK. Just imagine you're on a cloud. Your arms are heavy ...

  • Aurora. Au. Ro. Ra. Sounds like something Astro Jetson would say. Whatever happened to Aurora, my second piano teacher, an "old" woman of perhaps 23? Whatever happened to her and her silver bracelet I admired? She always wore it, and I asked her why she never took it off. She showed me the name of a man and "MIA" inscribed on it. "I won't take it off until he comes home," she said. I wonder if she's still wearing the bracelet.

  • Where is Joel Roth, my third piano teacher? The one I used to hide from when he would visit my house for my weekly lesson. I would whisper frantically, "Go away! Just go away!" as he knocked on the door for five minutes, walked in frustration around the house to peer into the windows to see if he could find the 12-year-old me crouched underneath a window, pressed against the wall, praying for him to just leave, get out, go home, I'm not here I'm not here I'm not here.

  • OK. Just relax your jaw. Stop clenching your jaw. He's probably dead. His song selections really blew. You're in bed. You're on a cloud. Your legs are sinking into the cloud ...

  • "I think six hours of sleep is perfect for me. I think I'm going to try to get to bed by 11:00 every night from now on. My energy is better this way."

  • Guilt at not going to the gym, but visions of tiny muscle fibers repairing themselves and being allowed to rest for a few days.

  • I wonder if Daniel still wants to see Todd with me tonight. (Daniel, let me know!)

  • I need a manicure, but my nails are too short and atrocious right now. But I can't go to the salon because I don't want them to see my fingers like this. Maybe I should do them myself a little and then go to the salon. But that's ridiculous. That's like cleaning your house before the maid gets there.

  • Those dogs yesterday were fucking adorable. I really loved every one of them. I should go more often. Yeah, but then the novelty would wear off and I'd begin to resent it. No, I wouldn't. Yes, I would. No, I wouldn't. Yes. No. I don't know. Would I?

  • What will I do on my fabulous site today? Is it Friday? Should I offer cake or something? Strudel? Didn't I just give them Pop Tarts earlier this week?

  • Fuck. I hate that that one dog, Zachary, has cancer. I can't stand knowing that. I wish the guy didn't tell me. I wish I didn't ask if Zachary was going to be OK. I wonder if that's the last time I'll ever see Zachary, except for in the picture I took of him yesterday. Must not think of him.

  • The rain is fantastic. What a joy to be in bed, all warm and safe.

  • Zachary.

  • "American Idol" really sucks. But I'm so relieved that Nikki's gone! I can't believe I'm watching that garbage. Why do I care? I don't really care. So why am I watching it? I don't know. Do I care that I don't know? No. I don't. Or do I?

  • I feel guilty about not going to the gym.

  • I miss my old dogs. Oh god.

  • I know I have to take a break from the gym, but still.

  • I should go to the gym.

  • I should just stay in bed until 8:00. Arms and legs are heavy. I'm on a cloud. I'm drifting. Sinking into the cloud.

  • Zachary.

  • Go to the gym.

  • Warm chocolate milk.

  • Must send Judy a digital card. Must call her too. Maybe email.

  • Is Joel dead?

  • Bio-dad threw my Dawn doll across the room and her head snapped off. What a prick.

  • I'm not drifting. This is bullshit. I'm getting up.

  • Is Aurora dead too?

  • Silver car.

  • Was it Wonder bread?

  • Get out of bed.

  • Get out of bed.

  • C'mon. Get out. Of bed.

And that's just a fraction of the fun.

So here I am.

I've been awake and out of bed for about an hour and a half. And now that I'm up, with the rain on the skylight, doing its thing while I do mine, neither one of us focused on the other but just enjoying each other's company, I am much more relaxed. Because I'm not forcing myself to enjoy it. We don't have to gaze into each other's eyes, the rain and I, to know the other is there. We don't have to say a word. We don't have to pretend to be interested in each other. We just are.

Good morning, all!

Update, 7:59 a.m.: I'm going back to bed!

fresh-baked at 07:51 AM
Wednesday, 28 August 2002
Dog Day Afternoon

People have been saying these are the "dog days" and the "dog days of summer". Well, today I spent my day involved in a literal interpretation of those phrases.

For close to three hours, I hung out at a dog daycare, where I was in the company of around 20 dogs. I had gone to watch my own dog swim (yes, that's right -- swim!), but he chickened out (he didn't want me to see him in his Speedo, I guess), so I just stuck around for a few hours and watched him and all the other dogs play.

It was the perfect antidote for whatever was ailing me. I hung out with many of the handlers, all of whom were wonderful, caring, and warm. But even better, I hung out with 20 amazing "guys" who wanted nothing more from me than attention and smiles. And also to have their pictures taken. I was more than happy to oblige. I may post some of the pictures in a separate album in "It Lasts Longer" (see my sidebar) later.

"The eyes of an animal have the power to speak a great language." -- Martin Berber

I couldn't have said it better (even if I'd wanted to) (which I didn't)!

fresh-baked at 05:21 PM
So much to say ...

... but so little desire to say it.

Rev wrote the other day that she was "bored with the whole eating process". She wished there were a tablet she could take to just get it out of the way.

Well, that's the way I feel about talking right about now. I just don't want to do it. I just want to communicate via telepathy or body language. (And no, I don't just mean via my middle finger.) I've got a lot to say, but no desire to actually say it.

Or write it.

This would be a perfect opportunity to subject you to Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind," but I'm not going to do it.

fresh-baked at 10:49 AM
Tuesday, 27 August 2002
Public Note to a Private Douchebag

Hello to the ball-less stain who visited this site via some sort of anonymous browsing service.

You should know that even though you don't appear in my "stats" as having visited, your comment did come in with an IP address. Consider yourself, and it, banned.

fresh-baked at 04:16 PM
Let You Entertain Me

Apparently I'm shivering and comatose and feeling less than my usual high-voltage self because I'm "overtrained", according to my trusty and trusted advisor. It seems that five gym workouts a week plus three to four Pilates sessions a week is a lot. Who knew?

I have been advised to get under blankets and watch really bad TV. That's where I will be, and that's what I'll be doing.

So would you please entertain me? Tell me a joke. Something stupid. Tell me why the chicken crossed the road. Or knock me out with a particularly hilarious knock-knock joke. Or tell me about the priest and the rabbi. Whatever.

Do not send in the clowns, though, no matter what.

Thank you.

fresh-baked at 09:51 AM
Monday, 26 August 2002
Humor Me

Walking south on Broadway, below Union Square. A youngish, rather attractive guy extends his hand and tries to give me a glossy postcard. I don't take it.

HIM (with incredibly bad fake English accent): Excuse me, Miss. Do you by any chance like stand-up comedy?

ME (a la Daria): I hate to laugh.

Him: ?

I had to laugh, but only when I was far enough away so he couldn't hear me.

fresh-baked at 07:56 PM

I hate "bittersweet".

I hated walking through Union Square this afternoon and stopping dead in my tracks when I saw an Irish Setter puppy in the dog run who reminded me too much of my dog Shimmer as a pup in the early '70s. I hated standing there with my shopping bags, tears filling my eyes as I watched the pup's "dad" tossing two blue tennis balls to him and saw the long-limbed, thinly-fringed tailed, floppy-eared pup gleefully gambolling toward me. I hated wanting to take a picture of the adorable little guy so I could look at it on my monitor and cry over it later tonight after everyone else was asleep.

And I hated walking away.

I hate "bittersweet". It only works for me when it's chocolate.

fresh-baked at 04:33 PM
Pop to It

plain and frosted!

All right, so it's Monday, and already the day sucks and so does your week. There's a bunch of crap on your desk that you didn't leave there on Friday afternoon when you fled that dump masquerading as an office. Already you want to go home or at least hide in the file room, jam your face into a file, and scream like there's no tomorrow. Because right now, you can barely figure out how you're going to get through this day, let alone tomorrow. Shit's hitting all kinds of fans, so you're already knee-deep in a bunch of kaka.

Well, before you run off to the file room, or into the stairwell, or into the restroom, or wherever it is you go for momentary escape, and count to ten before exploding (P.S. don't believe it -- it doesn't work!), take one of these. (That's right. Take a whole box!) But you'll have to eat it/them "raw", unless there's a toaster where you're planning to hide.

Glad I could help.

fresh-baked at 10:20 AM
Pop to It

Apparently I'm shivering and comatose and feeling less than my usual high-voltage self because I'm "overtrained", according to my trusty and trusted advisor. It seems that five gym workouts a week plus three to four Pilates sessions a week is a lot. Who knew?

I have been advised to get under blankets and watch really bad TV. That's where I will be, and that's what I'll be doing.

So would you please entertain me? Tell me a joke. Something stupid. Tell me why the chicken crossed the road. Or knock me out with a particularly hilarious knock-knock joke. Or tell me about the priest and the rabbi. Whatever.

Do not send in the clowns, though, no matter what.

Thank you.

fresh-baked at 10:20 AM
Pop to It

plain and frosted!

All right, so it's Monday, and already the day sucks and so does your week. There's a bunch of crap on your desk that you didn't leave there on Friday afternoon when you fled that dump masquerading as an office. Already you want to go home or at least hide in the file room, jam your face into a file, and scream like there's no tomorrow. Because right now, you can barely figure out how you're going to get through this day, let alone tomorrow. Shit's hitting all kinds of fans, so you're already knee-deep in a bunch of kaka.

Well, before you run off to the file room, or into the stairwell, or into the restroom, or wherever it is you go for momentary escape, and count to ten before exploding (P.S. don't believe it -- it doesn't work!), take one of these. (That's right. Take a whole box!) But you'll have to eat it/them "raw", unless there's a toaster where you're planning to hide.

Glad I could help.

fresh-baked at 10:20 AM
Sunday, 25 August 2002
Rampant Random Fame

Hey, it's not Bartleby's, but it's a start. (Scroll down. It's the first entry for August 25, which means it's the last one under that date.)

I have no idea who submitted this charming bit from a recent entry.

Very exciting, nu?

fresh-baked at 04:38 PM
Listen to Me! play me


TO: Jodi

FROM: Track 12

RE: Passed Over and Pissed Off!!!

I've had it with you! I'm so fucking sick and tired of the way you purposely skip over me every time my number comes up on the display of that stupid off-brand CD player you take with you to the gym. (And really, who buys a red CD player, anyway? Do you think it's cute that it matches your wallet? Knowing you, you probably do!!!)

You know something? I didn't ask to be included on that retarded CD you "burned". Frankly, I'm thoroughly revolted that just this morning you chose to listen to Track 9 ("I Think I Love You" by the Patridge Family) instead of me! And what's up with "I Need A Hero" by Bonnie Tyler? Come on! What is wrong with you? What did I ever do to you to make you treat me this way? Didn't I get you through many a sweaty, tortured ride on the stationary bike a couple of years ago?

Remember how excited you were when you actually bought me and a few of my closest friends on our CD for the express purpose of keeping you company while you pedalled furiously? And remember how thrilled you were when, after you lost that CD, you found me on Kazaa and giddily downloaded me? (It would've been nice if you'd downloaded a few of the other guys that you lost on that CD, but I'm not surprised. It's too much to ask, I know!!!) Well, where's that excitement now?

Are you even listening to me now?!

I hope your batteries run out when you're only five minutes into your next cardio workout, you ingrate, so you're stuck having to watch infomercials for "The FIRM" or VH1's "Behind the Music" featuring Destiny's Child instead. It would serve you right!

And no, don't try to make it up to me by playing me ten times back to back tomorrow. Or putting me on your asinine "website"!!!

I have your number, even if you ignore MINE!


P.S. You looked fat today. I mean, more than usual.

fresh-baked at 01:28 PM
Reason #821 ...

waiting for me when i get home from the gym

... why I adore him (even though I act like a bitch and pretend I don't and sit here in my little office at the computer when he's out front in the living room doing the Times crossword puzzle and drinking coffee with the dog underfoot and the cat on his shoulder and TVLand in the background).

fresh-baked at 10:33 AM
Saturday, 24 August 2002
Meat your maker

Here's the final word in fine dining.

And here I thought that murderers would request Boca burgers and Tofutti. Go figure.

(Link found here.)

fresh-baked at 05:53 PM
Adam's Rib

Hey, kidz.

Thanks to my fabulous friend, the inimitable Adam Felber, I now have a brand spankin' new email address: jodi@felbers.net! Please make a note of it.


(All right ... go on ... Picture me in a cheerleader outfit!)

fresh-baked at 12:58 PM
Accept No Substitutions

I can't stand most substitutions. Sometimes they're OK: like when you're in a restaurant and you don't want the mashed potatoes, so you ask (politely) for a baked potato instead. And other times, they're not: like when you ask the waiter if it's OK if you substitute peaches for the apples in the apple brown betty or ask for the baked Alabama instead of the Alaska.

But for the most part, no.

Earlier this week, I mentioned that when I was in chorus in fourth grade, one of the songs we sang was "Feelin' Groovy". Our repertoire consisted mainly of insipid mind-numbers. Stuff that would qualify as "easy listening" or "contemporary adult". But to really mix it up, the music teacher included a Beatles song. Granted, it was "Yesterday", which isn't the most rollicking, but still, she was trying to show us that she was pretty groovy after all.

Now, I don't hate the song "Yesterday". I actually like it, in small doses. However, as with other songs, I like it only when its lyrics are left intact. For instance, I don't want "she" changed to "he" (as in ""Something in the way he moves ..." or "He works hard for his money ..."). I don't ever want anyone to change The Turtles' "So Happy Together" to say, "I should call you up, invest a quarter" rather than "... a dime". And I wish I never had to sing this:

Yesterday, all our troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they're here to stay
Oh, we believe in yesterday.

Suddenly, we're not half the group we used to be
There's a shadow hanging over us
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

Why they had to go, we don't know, they wouldn't say
We said something wrong, now we long for yesterday.

Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play
Now we need a place to hide away
Oh, we believe in yesterday.

Mm mm-mm mm mm-mm-mm.

Painful, no?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go listen to "You Aren't Anything But A Hound Dog."

fresh-baked at 11:42 AM
Friday, 23 August 2002
Deal-Breakers, Part Deux

Stop! Thief!

But hey, at least she admits it. And gives me credit. A classy dame, this one.

Technically, however, she is not a thief, because she did not intend to escape notice.

* * *

This reminds me of a guy I went out with in the very late '80s. Let's just call him "Trey" (not his real name, of course). Trey was (and still is) a lawyer, about eight years older than I. He was well-educated, -read, -travelled, and lived in a very well-"appointed" apartment on a tree-lined block in Center City Philadelphia. He was extremely intelligent and had an excellent vocabulary and a strange (in a good way) sense of humor.

One night we were in a dimly lit restaurant, drinking quite a bit of wine. We were getting a bit giddy thanks, in great part, to the wine, but also to the anticipation of doing something we hadn't yet done (no, I will not spell it out for you). I don't know what we were discussing. I do know that I said something like, "That guy is such a thief" or "That guy was robbed". I don't remember exactly what I said or what the context was. Nonetheless, I used either "thief" or "robber" in my description of a situation. (Let's just say, for purposes of this story, that I said "thief".) It didn't matter. It shouldn't have mattered. But to Trey, it did.

"Well, actually, Jodi," he said, "technically he isn't a thief."

Without pausing to see if I was actually interested (I wasn't), he continued.

"It's only thievery if his intention was to escape notice. There's a difference between thievery, robbery, and burglary. Robbery is the act of unlawfully taking someone else's property by the use of force or violence. And burglary involves the entering of a building with the intent to commit theft. So you see ..."

And his tongue wagged on ... and on ... but nowhere near mine.

We didn't wind up "doing" anything later that night, but I almost wish he would have asked for some sort of "action". Because then I could have responded in kind.

"Now, are you saying you want to 'make love', 'have sex,' or 'fuck'? Because technically, Trey, there's a difference ..."

fresh-baked at 07:11 PM
This Just In

This little bit was provided by Nicole, who learned about it from Deliah.

How I adore my lovely ladies. They know good news when they see it!

fresh-baked at 04:38 PM
Be My Guest

Be a dear, won't you, and leave your mark on my Guest Map, if you haven't already done so. It's semi-sorta kinda fun.

(Speaking of fun, I really like squeegees. I also like watching cement being smoothed down onto the pavement. And I love watching someone frost a cake. [Note: I cannot frost a cake to save my or your life. Invariably I tear and gouge the cake with the "spreader" or knife, or whatever is used to frost a cake, and wind up cursing the person for whom the cake is intended. Never mind that I'm not exactly a talented baker to begin with, OK?])

That's all.

Now ... go ... check out the Guest Map. (Scroll down. It's in the sidebar to the right.) Leave a peppy little comment, too, if you like.


fresh-baked at 04:01 PM

You know how when you meet someone and you think he's pretty close to perfect, and you start to think that he might be "The One" — if single, the person you could actually see yourself with for the next few decades; if "attached", the person with whom you can finally have that sordid, illicit affair you've been craving for oh so many years — and then he either says or does something that immediately dissolves all of those fantasies and you can't kick his sorry ass off the pedestal fast enough? Or you glance down and see that he's wearing sneakers with his suit or these with anything, and any attraction you felt for him just moments ago immediately shrivels up and dies?

Those things are what Kelly and I call "deal-breakers". Of course, there are the common infractions such as horrid shoe selection, lip-smacking while eating, and blowing of the nose at the table, all of which are easily corrected (but still cause me to sneer and think, "Oh why should I even bother? He should know this by now.") Then, naturally, there are the more serious crimes, such as smoking, using a cell phone at the table, and interrupting me when I speak. And of course, there are the unforgivable and truly heinous, such as a dislike of animals, a tendency toward serial killing, and horseshoe-shaped pinkie rings. But these are just a few.

So tell me: what breaks the deal for you? What sin (sartorial, personal, social, or otherwise) do you find unforgivable? In other words — guys, what makes you go limp immediately; and girls, what makes you pat yourself on the back for not bothering to shave your legs before the date?

(Just a suggestion: The more frivolous, the better.)

fresh-baked at 09:53 AM
Thursday, 22 August 2002

It's getting out of control.

The cyber-begging garbage, that is.

There's Karyn, the self-proclaimed "hottie". There's the "just one little dollar" guy, whom I mentioned two days ago. There's even some lumpy schmuck who has a site asking people to buy him a hooker. That one is a hoax or a spoof, I think. (I never wrote about that one.)

And now there's another. This one needs a BMW. This time I won't link directly to the site. If you're in the mood to spill some bile, check it out here: http://www.geocities.com/need_a_bmw/.

"Dan the Goose", the first person to comment on "Karyn's Kin?" was right. As he said, "We need to stop linking to these losers!"

I jokingly told Dan, in a comment, that we needed to stop telling other people what to link. I still believe that, in general. But in particular cases such as these, I must say I agree with Dan.

fresh-baked at 09:10 PM
Jack Daddy

Who can forget my recent assertions of admiration regarding my darling love of life — the suave and sexy Jack? He of the brawn and sweat. He of the grunts and the groans and the agitation when his manliness is even marginally challenged. Oooh, I get all tingly just thinking about thinking about it (and him).

Well, as if I needed further proof that Jack is indeed the virile, charming he-man I have regarded him to be since his incredible body first graced my sense of sight and his devilish voice first enchanted my sense of hearing, today he decided to hammer it on home. Today, however, it was not his brute strength with which he chose to win my affection but his tender moment on his cell phone with his son.

Yes, his son. The same nine-year-old son that he forces to work out with all manner of manly apparatus. The same son who I hope, in the summer of 2012, struts his sassy stuff across a flower-strewn float heading south on Fifth Avenue, flaunting his well-muscled and oiled body in nothing but a gloriously flamboyant feather boa, snug cut-off denim shorts, and black workboots.

It was clear that Jack wanted me to overhear his little exchange with the boy. Rather than take his call off the gym floor, the way the signs on the walls encourage, he stood by the windows and gabbed for a while, and then, at the very end of his call, he paused about three feet from where I was seated on a weight bench in the middle of a "set" (uggh, how I hate workout terminology) and glanced at me in the mirror to see if I was almost done. He watched me do two "reps", realized that I was not going to stop, raised his eyebrows in greeting, opened his mouth as if to say something, and then reconsidered when he saw that I was not about to pay active attention to him.

Rather than continue off the gym floor to complete the call, he decided to stick around and talk loudly enough into his phone so that I could hear his conversation over the music.

"OK, babe," he said entirely too tenderly and sweetly (even if too loudly to be truly tender and sweet). "You go in and wake up Mommy, then, OK? Just go in and wake up Mommy."

I continued with my set. (He should have known it would take me a while, though. I mean, hey, isn't he the one who dubbed me "Super Slow Girl"?) I saw in the mirror that he glanced at me out of the corner of his eye. I have great peripheral vision and a fantastic ability to appear disconnected even when my attention is engaged.

"Well, OK, honey," he continued. "Be a good boy, and I will see you soon, OK? I'll be home soon. Tell Mommy when she wakes up." He paused to let the good boy say something, and then said, "I love you!" and did a little kiss-kiss into the phone.

He looked over at me again, just as I was silently counting "12", and turned slightly toward me with a "Gee, am I not the most adorable dad this side of Bob Saget?" lopsided smile that I wanted to scrub off his face with a coarse washcloth. And finally walked away.

"Fucking jackass," I muttered, ventriloquist-style, as I turned away to stretch, just in case he turned around and saw that I was "free".

I only hope that he went directly into the restroom and scoured his tongue and teeth to remove all that sticky-sweet treacle. He certainly doesn't need any more holes in his head.

As for me, well, I'm still tasting vomit, even after a dozen brushings.

fresh-baked at 03:40 PM
Irizarry doctor in the house?

Oy. Mommy's not feeling up to par.

She's shivering and a bit out of it.

But don't worry. The doctor has just arrived!

just what the doctor ordered

All right, so he's actor Vincent Irizarry, who plays Dr. David Hayward on "All My Children" ... but hey, I'm willing to suspend reality.

fresh-baked at 11:09 AM
Wednesday, 21 August 2002
I told you so!

Hey. Wait.

Haven't I been saying this all along?

fresh-baked at 11:21 PM
I told you so!

Hey, it's not Bartleby's, but it's a start. (Scroll down. It's the first entry for August 25, which means it's the last one under that date.)

I have no idea who submitted this charming bit from a recent entry.

Very exciting, nu?

fresh-baked at 11:21 PM
I told you so!

Hey. Wait.

Haven't I been saying this all along?

fresh-baked at 11:21 PM
Note to Archive Divers

I've noticed that quite a few readers have been going through my archives — especially the stuff that I wrote before I switched to Movable Type at the end of May 2002.

Late this afternoon, I got a teary telephone call from five posts from my "Blogger" days, dated March 4 through March 8. It seems I inadvertently neglected to include them when I did my high-tech "cut and paste" (my version of "importing") a few months ago. So those of you who have been reading the archives chronologically, and have already passed March 8, may want to backtrack a bit in order to include these five posts (freshly archived late this afternoon) in your fun-filled journey.

Be kind to them. They've had a rough time.


fresh-baked at 06:16 PM
Save Karyn?

On no! Now how will she save face?

Thanks again to Chris for keeping me up-to-date on this thing. He also supplied the link for yesterday's "Karyn's Kyn?".

fresh-baked at 05:03 PM
Feelin' Groovy

Don't worry, kids. Although I originally intended to include the song of the same name, I changed my mind (oh, the ever-famous "women's prerogative" we all know and love!) after downloading it and listening to it. I never even really liked that song anyway, and not just because I had to sing it in chorus in fourth grade. It just reminds me, and it always has, of a thin white bread sandwich served on Corelware and presented with a glass of milk.

Anyway, I was actually feelin' pretty groovy this morning after a free one-hour stretch class that was offered to me by one of the girls in the yoga studio downstairs. It was 7:30, and as I crossed the street to my building, she waved me in enthusiastically and told me about the class that was just about to start. I begged off at first, telling her that I had Pilates at noon and that I'd just been to the gym, but hey, what can I say, I was influenced by her puppy-dog eyes. So I took the class.

Although I couldn't get into the "lion stretch" for the face (looking up at the ceiling, opening your eyes very wide, sticking your tongue out as far as it will go, and saying, "Aahhhh!!!"), found it a bit difficult to concentrate on listening to my breathing when all the other voices in my head were vying for my attention, and definitely could have done without the "partner stretches" (they weren't nearly as horrifying as I thought they would be, but still I'm not a big fan), I must say that overall it was a much more pleasant experience than I had anticipated.

Toward the end of the class we did a final relaxation. On our backs, legs stretched out, arms by our sides, palms up "to receive", eyes closed. My mind, of course, raced around like a dog chasing its tail, but eventually it circled three times and settled down. Settled down so much that anyone wanting to hypnotize me would have found me pretty fair game. At one point I peeked through my left eyelid to make sure the girl to my left was still there, because I feared that maybe class had ended hours ago and I had fallen asleep.

One good thing I took from the class was something that the instructor said. "You're not in competition with each other or yourselves." At that point, I was feeling so insanely groovy and peaceful that I marvelled at that bit of wisdom and thought about embroidering it on a little silk pillow or writing it on a card and putting it up on my bulletin board.

But now, an hour and a half after the class ended, the grooviness has worn off and I'm full of bile and ill-will yet again! Thank fucking god!

Now if only I could only stop bbbbaaawwwwking like a chicken and flapping my arms like wings.

fresh-baked at 10:12 AM
Tuesday, 20 August 2002
Karyn's Kyn?


fresh-baked at 06:27 PM
Shop Girl

Yesterday after I bought something in the men's Banana Republic, I shot across the street to check out the stuff at the women's store. My fresh new purchase, delicately swathed in white tissue paper, sealed with a smooth Banana Republic sticker, slept peacefully in the white shopping bag as Mama touched almost every bit of fabric she possibly could, just to get a literal "feel" for what was available.

But no matter how pure and non-shopliftersque I looked — and I assure you I did, what with my sassy new haircut and happy-go-lucky smile inspired by the fresh-clothes fumes — I was still convinced that the guard by the door was watching me as if I might stuff something into my crisp white bag. (As if I would dare disturb my new purchase's nap!) I made sure to flash him my most engaging smile, a real prize-winner, just so he would know I was a good girl.

Still, I couldn't help but think that everyone thought I was there to take something. As I gently rubbed the silk of a twin set between my fingers, the salesgirl thought, Aha. She's pretending to check it out like she's really going to buy it. But I know she's going to shove it into her bag when I'm not looking. As I foraged through the sale racks upstairs, the dressing room attendant thought, Even though her shirt is sleeveless, I know she's got something up her sleeve. She's going to cram that flimsy little number into her bag and twist off the tag as she does so. She'll probably cough so I don't hear the rustle of the tissue paper.

I had no intention of stealing anything. I mean, I learned my lesson more than two decades ago, when I was caught shoplifting a travel-size folding toothbrush from Clover during a day of shopping with my mom and sister. (It was so cute, though! I couldn't help it. Little toothbrush that fit perfectly into an adorable hard plastic container shaped like a miniature suitcase. And the petite toothpaste was to die for!) But still, I thought they thought I was there to steal. I wonder if they thought I thought that. Who knows.

What I do know is that, just to show them that I didn't steal something, I sauntered over to the round table by the front cash registers and lingered there for a while to smile at and admire the display, unfold one of the sleeveless turtleneck sweaters (a really great cut, by the way), hold it up to my body, blithely check the price, nod my head in appreciation, refold the sweater slowly and lovingly, gently tuck the price tag back inside, and smooth its surface lovingly with my fingertips ... smile up at the guard who was checking out my ass, stroll to the door, even pausing to gaze back at the sweaters one more time as if I might just change my mind and buy one, and then smile wryly to myself as if to say, Oh, but I really shouldn't!, and then push open the door to the street.

I walked up Fifth Avenue, swinging my fresh white shopping bag, humming a nonsensical little tune to myself, smiling at no one in particular and everyone in general, feeling like I got away with something.

It wasn't until I got home, though, that I truly felt safe.

And it wasn't until then that I laughed maniacally and recklessly pulled out all the random stuff that I'd crammed into my crisp white bag when no one was looking.

fresh-baked at 05:01 PM
Shear Genius

Here he cuts to the chase!

fresh-baked at 11:28 AM
A Case for Shearlock Combs

short 'n' sassy!


I was kidnapped earlier tonight by a crazed fan. Look what my captor did to me! My lustrous locks ... gone! At least this lunatic had the decency to grace me with with another eyebrow.

Your challenge: Give me back my hair. Restore it however you see fit. And while you're at it, please give me a nose job too.

Thank you hairy much. I nose you can do it.

(Yes, it is my site, and yes, I can make as many bad puns as I like!)

P.S. Please send your masterpiece to me by email. The submissions will be displayed in a special gallery somewhere on this site. (I haven't decided where yet.) Not fade away!

Update, 8:55 a.m. — See The Gallery for the stunning transformations.

fresh-baked at 12:39 AM
Monday, 19 August 2002
It's Bananas!

Oh, Banana Republic, you sly little devil you. Don't think for one minute that you fooled me with that fresh pretty black plastic card you sent in the mail inviting me to save $5.00 off my next purchase (through August 20, 2002). Don't think for one minute that I was going to buy something I don't really want, probably for $68.00, just to save $5.00.

You didn't really think I was going to fall for that tired old trick, Mr. Republic, did you? Oh, you silly retail giant! You and your ploys!

So ... what was I doing this afternoon inside your fine establishment on Fifth Avenue a few blocks from my apartment? I was doing quality control! That's all. I swear.

(And also noticing, quite peripherally, that there was absolutely nothing there that I had to have.)

(But your cottons ... they're so substantial. And that one sleeveless turtleneck sweater on the round table by the door ... $29.99 marked down from $48.00? Cute!)

I am cutting up the card as we speak. I won't play your games!

fresh-baked at 05:05 PM
Water Cooler

It's important to stay hydrated!

So, tell me. What did you do this weekend?

Tell me in 25 words or less. (Do not exceed the word limit.)

No cheating. For example, if you use stuff like LOL and ROTFLMAO and ROTFJOBIL, I will count each letter as a separate word. I will also bleed from the ears, an event that I generally try to avoid.

If your weekend was uneventful, make something up. But if you do, make it good.

fresh-baked at 09:44 AM
Sunday, 18 August 2002
Sweet Dreams

All right, so I watch too many movies. That much we already know. We already know, too, that many of the movies I watch really suck. We know they suck because they are Lifetime movies.

Any wonder, then, that when I go to sleep at night — or, rather, I should say go to bed, because quite often sleep doesn't immediately follow — my mind starts to wander like a toddler in a toy store, and I start fabricating ridiculous scenarios that don't do anything for my ability to drift off to sleep?

I'll be lying in bed, comfortable at last — hair secured in a soft ponytail holder atop my head so my neck doesn't feel claustrophobic, the need to pee taken care of [that issue finally tended to only after trying to convince myself, during a first attempt to nestle into bed for sleep, that I didn't really have to go, but failing and kicking the covers off to run to the bathroom], all email sent, the living room pillows fluffed up — when all of a sudden I'll start to worry.

When I hear the burglars sneaking into the apartment later tonight, I'm not going to be able to call them quickly enough on the pink rotary phone in this bedroom. And even if I could call on it quickly, they would certainly hear that distinct rotary sound as the dial returns to its original position. And then there's the huge possibility that they will have cut the phone lines entirely, and I won't be able to use the phone anyway. So I'd better get my cell phone and leave it on the nightstand so I can call no matter what. And I'd better make sure I turn the keypad tone down so they don't hear me pressing 9-1-1. Or do I have to even press that? Don't I have a one-touch number pre-programmed into it in case of emergency?

Or maybe I should just pretend to be asleep and let them take whatever they want to take. What would Nancy McKeon do? What about Jennie Garth? Or Veronica Hamel? Would they just lie in bed like a wimp? Wouldn't they fight off the intruders? What if the burglar looks like Steven Bauer from "Thief of Hearts"? Do I try to seduce him so he doesn't take our stuff, even though I'm wearing men's boxer shorts and an old tank top and I look like Pebbles Flintstone in her baby days and not the hot Pebbles Flintstone in those bad newer cartoons when she and BamBam were teenagers?

So I get the cell phone, prepare it for the event that I've built up in my mind, and lie awake, clutch my two stuffed moose, stare up through the skylight, obsessively check to make sure my cell phone is in working order, and wait for Steven Bauer to cut my phone lines.

The next morning, four hours later, the sheets and covers are kicked off to one side, if not completely ... and I'm really pissed because Steven didn't wake me up to kiss me tenderly before leaving ... but happy because he didn't steal anything.

fresh-baked at 10:26 PM
Three Lifetimes

Is it any wonder I have no energy for anything after having subjected myself to three Lifetime movies in the past 16 hours?

Each movie consumed a two-hour timeslot, which means that of those 16 hours, six hours (37.5% of the 16 hours) were spent watching this drivel. But hey, I got to see Kirsten Dunst as the 15-year-old pregnant daughter of Park Overall; Melissa Joan Hart as a college newspaper reporter in relentless pursuit of the truth following the rape of her roommate, the adorable Lisa Dean Ryan; and Richard Thomas in a tour de force performance as a man obsessed with Brooke Shields.

See how much fun you can have in your boxer shorts and tank top, when you're too hot and bothered to put on real clothes and participate in the real life drama beyond your door?

fresh-baked at 03:42 PM
Saturday, 17 August 2002
Double Duty

I'm doing double duty this weekend.

I'm hanging out at Excursus! in Aaron's absence, per his request. (We exclamation point sites must stick together.)

I didn't know if I really wanted to do it, but after my "emergency" earlier this afternoon, I needed to vacate my own space and relax elsewhere. Excursus! provided a refuge.

So come hang out with me over at Aaron's place. Bring a covered dish of some kind or something cold to drink. There is nothing in the Excursus! icebox.

Hope to see you there!

fresh-baked at 07:36 PM

I inadvertently deleted every instance of the word "gym" from this site. Every fucking instance. I was doing a search for the word, and somehow managed to do a "search and replace" instead. So every time the word "gym" appeared, that word is now gone, and replaced with a blank spot.


Well, you all know what I'm going to be doing this afternoon.

I feel like the biggest fucking retard this side of ... I don't know. Just insert the name of your favorite jackass/imbecile/idiot, and that's who I am.

All is NOT gym dandy now.

Update (5:34 p.m.): All right. I'm done. I guess this snafu was the gym's way of getting back at me for not visiting it today.

fresh-baked at 03:59 PM
The word on the street

Don't tread on me!

fresh-baked at 12:38 PM
Friday, 16 August 2002
A True Show of Strength

This morning at the gym, one of the trainers who irks me the most — a guy whose body looks like a "before" picture but who struts around as if he were the embodiment of all that is hunky and desirable — irked me more than usual. His mere physical presence is enough to annoy me, and on the occasions when he has made his presence known by opening his mouth to speak to someone else, he has annoyed me even more. However, nothing quite compares to the astounding level of annoyance that he manages to achieve when he speaks directly to me.

Today was one such occasion, and he did not disappoint me. Today was his crowning achievement. He finally annoyed me to such a degree that I found myself muttering aloud for the next hour and a half of my workout. In fact, I'm still muttering about it now, and I've been home for almost four and a half hours.

I was on the leg press. Doing my leg press thing. My "thing" does not require me to load up the leg press with anything more than a 45-pound plate on either side. I do not believe that "more is better". (Don't worry, though. I won't get into my workout "philosophy" here, because it's kind of important to me that my readers be awake when they read my stuff.)

Anyway, I was on the leg press, and this trainer whom I'll just call Jack (which, yes, is indeed short for Jackass or Jackshit or Jackoff) thought it would be cute if he said to one guy at the whom I actually like (we'll call him Fred, which is his real name), "Hey, let's load her up with some weight!!!" and then pretend to go toward the weights to add some onto the press. I think I made the "Hardee har har, Potsie" face, and said, "Oh god, that is SO not what it's all about for me," and went about doing my "thing".

I like to concentrate. I like to focus. I like to take my time and make sure I have proper alignment and form. But it's pretty hard to do all that when someone named Jack is to your left, in a "rack", groaning as if he's been constipated since 1972 and today is the day he's finally going to rectify the situation. It's hard to do when Jack is struggling to lift so much weight that he looks as if he's going to simultaneously suffer a double hernia, stroke, aneurysm, spleen failure, torn ligaments, and a myocardial infarction. Quite a sumptuous buffet for the so-called "buff". (Except he's not. But I'm not even going to get started on his body. No. At least not today.)

Trust me when I tell you that I tried to ignore him. Trust me when I tell you that I tried to shut him out of my peripheral vision, even though he and his struggle and his sweat and his orange T-shirt (short sleeves rolled up to expose biceps that are no competition for mine) invaded it. Trust me. Know that ordinarily I wouldn't even look his way. But for some reason, today I just could not resist. I had to look directly at him. He, of course, took this as an invitation to engage me in conversation. But I beat him to it. Yes, kids, you heard it here: I spoke first.

"Oooooh, big man and his weights!" I said, or something similarly disparaging. "Big man and his struggle with the big weights!"

The sweat dripped from his soaked face. That soaked face screwed itself up in a show of agony of which I think he was unaware, and clouded over when he realized that I was not speaking to him out of admiration for his feat of strength. I daresay he looked quite pissed.

You see, he thinks I like him. He likes to talk to me. He likes to occasionally talk to me about his son and his wife and his house in Brooklyn. He likes to use Yiddish terms with me, and he likes to let me know that he knows Hebrew too. He likes me knowing that he, too, is Jewish! (Imagine that. Two Jews in New York City! Who knew?)

It wasn't always this way. I used to actively ignore him, for a multitude of reasons, the least of which was his obvious interest in me and the resultant involuntary engaging of my gag reflex upon realizing that he was probably imagining me doing my workout stuff in the nude. But one day he finally broke the ice and addressed me as "Super Slow Girl" in an attempt to talk to me about my approach (for the so-called record, I do everything almost excruciatingly slowly, on purpose).

"It's not about momentum," I had said dismissively. "It's all about control."

And he took that, ran with it, passed the baton to himself, and ran around like he was given the Olympic torch. He prattled on about workout methods, none of which interested me, most of which I cannot remember, and all of which would put even the most devout workout freak to sleep almost immediately.

Since that one time, we exchanged a few pleasantries, but until this morning I hadn't spoken to him in quite a long time. So I thought it was only right that today, given his ridiculous display, I would break the silence by indirectly commenting on his poor form and directly addressing his need to show off. I don't remember the details of our exchange, but it dealt extensively with numbers documenting how much he can bench press, how much he can lift, how many sets he can do, and how huge his penis is. (OK, well, the last one was tacit.) (I said tacit, not flaccid. Oh, you kids these days and your filthy one-track minds!)

"So basically," I said with my patented eyebrow raise and smirk combo, "it's all really a pissing contest." (This is the first time I have ever used that odious phrase. It will most definitely be the last. In fact, I cringed internally upon hearing it spill from my lips.) He at least had the balls to laughingly and wholeheartedly admit it.

I was all right with leaving it at that. I even laughed a little to show him that I was "cool" with it (even though I still considered him to be a supreme jackass). I thought it would end there. But no.

No. The bombastic bastard had to go and tell me about how he inflicts this same sort of torture on his son. His nine-year-old son. His son who must be outside when his dad comes home. Outside and ready to do something sporty, no matter what. Ready, willing, and able, lest he suffer his dad's considerable wrath. He bragged to me about how his son trains with sandbags, medicine balls, and all other manner of weighted paraphernalia, including a weighted sled that the son pulls like a Siberian Husky across the frozen tundra of Brooklyn.

I don't know how I finally managed to get away from him, but that's not important. I'm just overjoyed that I managed to escape without completely letting loose on him, which was becoming more and more of a possibility with each syllable that slid from between his sweat-soaked lips. Talk about a true show of strength.

I wanted to point that out to him as I walked away, but knew that in trying to defeat him, I would have defeated my own purpose.

P.S. One thrilling detail that I do remember is this: Jack can do "x" number of pull-ups with a 90-pound weight dangling between his legs. Ahhh, talk about weakening my resolve! (Alas, I remained strong.)

fresh-baked at 12:22 PM
Lip-Smackin' GOOD!

I have no bagels or doughnuts. I don't even have strawberries.

All I can offer you this morning is this.

Chew on that for a while.

Never let it be said that I don't take care of you.

fresh-baked at 09:03 AM
Thursday, 15 August 2002
How may I help you?

I'm glad to see that I can satisfy the public's need for the answer to the most pressing issue of modern-day life.

Look no further. I'm here to serve.

(But really, I'm more interested in where I can get the "best price" for it on DealTime. And I know that most of you are even more interested in the other site found by this search. I mean, who among us isn't titillated by the mere thought of "gapingpussy"? Can I see a show of hands — at least those that are above the table?)

fresh-baked at 08:41 PM
Unicorns and Rainbows!

I'm trying to come up with something sunny and breezy and light and airy to say, but it's just not working. I'm trying to come up with something about how people are basically good at heart and maybe I should just give in and join in a big group hug somewhere, go downstairs to the yoga studio and chant and play with my yin and yang and my chakra and my chi and picture myself on top of a mountain with flowers growing out of the top of my head and roots sprouting out from my ass, anchoring me to the soil that represents Mother Earth and wholesome goodness and love and laughter and light, and then rearrange everything up here in my apartment in accordance with the principles of feng shui. Sip some chai, and then sit in a lotus position, releasing the anger that, according to the guy who works in the yoga studio downstairs, is stored in the hips, and perhaps crying soulfully upon the release. And then, peacefully and without judgment, contemplate my unique place in the Universe, tearfully realize that I'm going about everything the wrong way, and come to the conclusion that I should embrace strangers on the street rather than push them away and mutter under my breath how disgusting they all are and how I hate them on sight and how I would hate them even more if I did give them the chance that people tell me I should give them. And then maybe I can take all that I've just learned about basic goodness and the innocence of the human spirit and erase all negativity from my soul, and then carry that over to this site, deleting every bitter, venomous entry that disgraces the internet and my life, all in a tearful rush of realization that when life gives me lemons I should just make lemonade. Enough for everyone!

But then again, maybe I won't.

(Have a nice day!!!)

fresh-baked at 02:30 PM
Wednesday, 14 August 2002
Crappy Birthday To You

In another lifetime, or so it seems, I worked with a woman (I'll call her Meryl) who was one of these very well-maintained Main Line (Philadelphia) types. She had impeccable style, flawless makeup, and a certain panache that seemed to be lacking in most of the other people with whom we worked. It wasn't until she opened her mouth to speak that I realized that her élan only extended to her physical appearance.

It's not that she was nasty. It's not that she was particularly stupid. I mean, she wasn't a brain surgeon or anything (after all, we were working in a law office), but she wasn't the dimmest of wits. It's just that she was bland. Boring. I had thought that because we were the only Jewish chicks in the office, we would share some sort of bond, but I'm willing to bet that she put mayonnaise on her white-bread sandwiches and wouldn't know a knish if it plopped itself in her hand and said shalom.

But for some reason we "took" to each other anyway, despite an apparent lack of anything in common, so when the office birthday list (insert pained groan here) was circulated, I decided that when hers came around in January, I would acknowledge it. I would get her a card and leave it on her desk when she was away from it. The cards I give are usually blank inside, because I know I can write something better than what Hallmark or any other card company can, and also because I can't stand pre-packaged trite sentimentality, especially when it rhymes and is written in script.

Eventually January presented itself, and I presented Meryl with a card. I wrote something guaranteed to make her laugh. And it did. I don't remember if she buzzed me or came around to see me, but in any case she thanked me profusely and appeared genuinely touched that someone who had only known her for about a month would not only recognize her birthday but write something in the card that couldn't be written to anyone else or by anyone else.

I worked with Meryl for about three years, and each year would give her a card. Each year she expressed her surprise that I continued to remember her birthday and thanked me for remembering it and her. She wasn't putting it on, either. I can spot a phony immediately. Meryl was genuinely touched by my gesture.

When I left that office, I still sent her cards. As always, I took special care to select only the most elegant, unusual cards and to write something special tailored just for her. Within days, I would wind up seeing her on the street, usually during our lunch breaks, where she would wave to me and hurry over to thank me. "I can't believe you still remember," she would say. "It's so nice of you to do this every year!"

This went on for about seven years. Maybe more.

One year I sent Meryl a card, but didn't see or hear from her. I thought maybe something had happened, and started knocking wood, but eventually I did see her on the street about a month after her birthday had passed. I called to her across the street, and gestured for her to wait for me to cross.

"Happy belated birthday!" I greeted her. "I'm so glad you're all right. I thought maybe something had happened to you, so I'm thrilled to see you!"

She looked uncomfortable, as if she didn't know what to say. I began to feel a little awkward, standing there with a smile as frozen on my face as the ice on the sidewalk.

"Listen," she eventually said, somewhat icily. "About the birthday cards. Don't do it anymore."

I stood there, dumfounded. If I were the sort to let my jaw drop, it most certainly would have been stuck to the ice on the pavement. If I wore my heart on my sleeve, it would have cracked, shattered to the ground, and joined my jaw in disbelief.

"I don't need to be reminded every year about how old I'm getting," she continued, coldly. "It's nice that you remember, but I don't want to remember. So just stop it, all right?"

I pretended I understood. But I didn't.

I still don't.

I can't stand when people say they don't like their birthdays. Birthdays are the only "holiday" that I can tolerate. I cherish and embrace them because they celebrate the introduction of a new person into the world. And when I heartily wish someone a happy birthday, I mean it. I don't just say it like a generic Hallmark card. When I say "Happy birthday!" I'm essentially saying "I'm glad you're in the world."

To deny your birthday is to deny the process and progression of your life. Trick yourself as much as you want into believing that if you don't acknowledge the passing of another year, that year won't be added to those you've already collected, but hey — it's there.

Every year, I send birthday greetings to quite a few people, either by telephone, "snail mail", or email. Every message personalized. Every message heartfelt. But in the past few years, quite a few of my acknowledgments have gone unacknowledged. The first year I was ignored, I was willing to believe that some of those messages fell by the wayside due to the vagaries of the post office or email. I was even willing to accept that the messages I left on answering machines could have been erased or not passed along by another member of the recipients' families.

But what I'm unwilling to accept is that people can't accept the fact that another year (or two or three) has passed. And I'm unwilling to accept that my acknowledgment of their existence in this lifetime and in my life is unwelcome.

So to those people, I say this: Next year, when your mailbox is empty, your phone doesn't ring, and your email contains nothing but spam, don't wonder why. I will, of course, remember you, but I will not acknowledge you. If you can't accept the inevitability of time's passing, then I have no time for you.

(Any cake I eat that day will be purely incidental.)

fresh-baked at 09:03 AM
Tuesday, 13 August 2002
American Idol

Against my better judgment, I just watched "American Idol". I had never seen it before, didn't intend to, but finally curiosity got the best of me, and I found myself witnessing this thing.

I wasn't expecting it to be as bad as it was. Even though a friend had warned me, moments before turning it on, that it was not going to be the "good" kind of bad that I like, I still forged ahead.

I want my hour back.

The judges. My god, what can I say that probably hasn't already been said. Some oversized bald black guy named R.J. who was trying a little too hard to appear easy-going. Paula Abdul, looking like the long-lost quadruplet of Michael, Janet, and LaToya. And Simon. What the HELL. All I can say is that Simon must have the smallest penis this size of my pinkie. How anyone can actually take what Simon says seriously is beyond me. He of the overblown jaw, squirrelish hair, and flabby triceps (as seen on "Live With Regis and Kelly" earlier this week).

And the so-called performers? Oh, I don't even know where to start. And because I don't want to relive the absolute horror, I will merely touch on each.

  • Kelly: Leave the bobble-head action to the dogs that line the back windows of trashy cars. "Walk On By"? I suggest you do.

  • R.J.: You seem like a really sweet kid. But haven't I heard your brand of warbling behind me on many a city street, the accompaniment to a song on a CD in someone's Walkman? And really — the theme from "Arthur"? Is that really the best that you can do?

  • Tamyra: I don't think your performance of "A House Is Not A Home" warranted the standing ovation and teary eyes that Paula Abdul awarded it, but you were quite good. However, when Simon told you that your performance was one of the best things he has ever seen on TV — right up there with Whitney Houston and Celine Dion — please remember that he basically admitted to wanting to get into your pants on "Live With Regis and Kelly" earlier this week. Please don't let his flattery get him anywhere.

  • Justin: I honestly don't know what all the fuss is about you. I don't get it. Unruly hair, a jaw that could double for the pants of SpongeBob, scrawny legs that can barely fill out your leather pants. Plus your attempt to seduce the audience with your direct stare into the camera left me more dry than high. I can't even remember what you sang. Next!

  • Nikki: The karaoke competition was last night, on a cable channel, in the form of the horrid movie, "Duets". R.J. was right when he said that you reminded him of someone from "The Wedding Singer". And what were you thinking by not only choosing "Always Something There To Remind Me" but changing the line "How can I forget you girl" to "How can I forget you boy"? Oh my. Boy oh boy, in five minutes, I will have already forgotten you, girl.

I hate myself for watching this tripe, but of course I'll be tuning in tomorrow night for what I think is the finale. But there really is no contest. It's black and white. The winner will be Tamyra Gray.

And not just because Simon says.

fresh-baked at 10:23 PM
What a bunch of shirt

My tiny adorable Russian grandmother, Bubby, used to love Tom Jones. Yes, Tom Jones. Welsh warbler Tom Jones. I don't know what she liked more — his voice or his grabbable chest hair, displayed by way of a simple white shirt unbuttoned almost to the waist — but I do know that my grandfather was quite jealous, especially after they saw Tom Jones in concert and my grandmother fairly swooned at the sight and sound of all that manliness. I'm sure that had he torn off his sweaty white shirt and flung it her way, she would have cherished it forever. And I would have been very proud to have inherited it, given that I inherited not only her penchant for high heels and manicures but a love of Tom Jones as well.

It would be cool to have something that Tom Jones actually wore. Sure the shirt would be sweaty. But somehow a sweaty Tom Jones shirt wouldn't make me grimace. And I wouldn't want to use tongs to pick it up to quickly toss it into the wash, the way I would with a similar shirt, drenched by the sweat of a regular guy. No, I'd probably just keep it on a hanger, in a garment bag, and once in a while take it out and slip it on, if only for a second. It would be, after all, literally a part of Tom Jones.

So when I saw this in my email yesterday, I wasn't too pleased -- and not just because I thought I'd removed myself from Banana Republic's mailing list months ago. No, my displeasure had more to do with the white shirts offered.

Who would want a shirt merely autographed by a celebrity? A pristine white shirt, never worn by the person who signed it? What's the purpose? If I wanted the signature of my favorite celebrity, I'd rather have it on one of his old cancelled checks, because there, at least, I would know that the signature on its face was actually part of the person who wrote it.

If I wanted an autograph (and I really don't, because I'm not a big autograph person), I'd want it on something the person had literally touched. Something that was part of his life. For instance, if I were a huge baseball fan, I'd want a baseball, signed by Hank Aaron. But not just some ordinary, clean, never-used baseball. I'd want one that he'd slammed out of the ballpark or into the stands.

But these white shirts that Banana Republic is selling for $150, untouched except for the two seconds it took Tom Cruise or Kevin Spacey (or especially my ex-husband, Nicolas Cage) to sign them? Please. You can keep 'em. There's nothing touching about them.

As Bubby (and I) would say, with a dismissive wave of both hands, "Feh. Kaka."

fresh-baked at 09:05 AM
Monday, 12 August 2002
Pass the spatula, please!

revenge is sweet

Out of the frying pan and into the fire!

fresh-baked at 04:51 PM
Bulletin Board



Stumpy Jackass Who Flung A Lit Cigarette Butt Behind Yourself Onto The Sidewalk, Which, Had It Scorched Me, Would Have Resulted In The Butt Being Shoved Up Yours

Woman In Huge Hat Who Somehow, Despite Petiteness Of Frame, Managed To Block Everyone Else From Passing You In The Middle Of The Supermarket By Moving More Slowly Than An Arthritic Snail On Lithium

Petite Woman With Wimpy Wheelie-Cart Thing Who Took Up The Entire Sidewalk On Sixth Avenue (Perhaps The Supermarket Woman's Twin Sister)

Chick With Cell Phone Who Didn't Have The Decency To End Your Riveting Conversation Before Entering The Pilates Studio

Two Doofi Unfortunately Clad In Patterned Short-Sleeved Shirts With Knit Collars (Thank You Men's Wearhouse) Who Insisted On Conversing Loudly Across Two Lines Of People Waiting For Cashiers At Whole Foods

Woman In Condiment Aisle At Whole Foods Who Stood Transfixed By The Variety On Display As If You Just Arrived From Russia Even Though Your New York Accent Revealed Otherwise

Hideous, Misshapen Loser With Horrid Posture Who Cut Ahead Of Others When A Newly Available Cashier At CVS Said, "Next In Line", Despite The Fact That The Rest Of Us Had Been Waiting Longer Than You Had

From:    Me

Re:      News Flash

Contrary to what you obviously and obliviously think, you are not the only person on the planet.

Please make a note of it.


cc:     Everyone On 23rd Street

fresh-baked at 02:25 PM
Sunday, 11 August 2002
Tell me play me

I'm going to sleep.

(No comments about "turning into a pumpkin" unless you want to make me violently ill.)

Tell me something good, for when I wake up.

(Make sure it's good.)

C'mon. You know you want to.

fresh-baked at 11:55 PM
Be careful what you wish for

First it was this.

Then I wished for this (see the seventh paragraph).

And now this happens.

Should I start using my powers for good and not evil?

fresh-baked at 12:11 PM
House of Worship

Just a friendly reminder:

Today is Sunday.

On Sunday we worship St. Fu.


fresh-baked at 10:56 AM
Saturday, 10 August 2002
Irregular Inanity (Second Edition)

At long last, the time has come for the second edition of my exclusive, sinfully delicious, award-winning occasional questionnaire, Irregular Inanity. If you were around the first time, 41 days ago, either as a participant or merely a spectator, you no doubt remember the soul-searching nature of the questions I posed. This time is no different.

If you are a new reader, or for some reason you missed the first round, please refer to the original questionnaire here before proceeding.

If you choose to participate, please leave a comment here with a link to your answers on your own site. If you do not have a site, you may leave your answers here (without reproducing the questions themselves). Please note, however, that if you do have a site and you leave your answers here anyway, I will delete them posthaste, pronto, and immediately (if not sooner), which will result in calling you all sorts of unflattering (yet appropriate) names loudly enough so you will hear them no matter how many miles, oceans, or continents separate us.

So now, without further ado, here are today's questions. Have fun.

  1. You're at a restaurant with a friend, and he is in the restroom when the food arrives. There are french fries on his plate (or something else that you like). Do you take some before he comes back? If so, do you tell him?

  2. That "I'll have what she's having" line from When Harry Met Sally: Inspired or tired? Sublime or asinine?

  3. You break it, you buy it? - or - You break it, you run away?

  4. Which sucks the most: emptying the dishwasher; putting away the groceries; folding the laundry?

  5. Anna Nicole Smith: "I still say the overinflated harlot has a pretty face" or "Face?"

  6. You wake up before your "significant other" and see that the dog/cat/baby did his "business" in the middle of the living room floor. Do you sneak back into bed and pretend you didn't see it, knowing that your S.O. will be up in five minutes and thus take care of it?

  7. Jan or Marcia?

  8. Cake: Eat with your hands or with a fork? (And don't tell me you don't eat cake, or I'll have to toss you into a windowless, dank basement along with the people who say they don't ever watch TV.)

  9. Name one article of clothing that you cannot live without and one you wouldn't be caught dead wearing.

  10. Caffeine: friend or foe?

  11. Raisin Bran as a snack: Eat whatever comes out of the box, or root around for more raisins?

  12. What's the best thing you've ever stolen from work? (If you think you've never taken anything, then where the hell did you get that nice Razorpoint pen with the company logo that you keep in the kitchen junk drawer?)

Thanks for your participation. Have some orange juice and a couple of crackers.

fresh-baked at 04:18 PM
Friday, 9 August 2002
Cliché - Debunked!


Today I learned that it is indeed very green where I am. My side of the fence is fantastic.

(No, I will not give details.)

If this were "Father Knows Best" or some other '50s sitcom, this is the part where the music would crescendo, followed by thunderous canned applause.

The characters would probably even indulge in a group hug, but I'm not willing to get that carried away.

fresh-baked at 05:24 PM
Simple Request

Parents: If your child is still in diapers, please please please put something on over the diapers. That's all I ask. Is it really that difficult? Is it too much to ask?

fresh-baked at 05:03 PM
I leave you kidz alone all afternoon ...

... and just look what you do to my comments (Phriday Phruit)!

Clean up after yourselves!

Use coasters next time! Don't play "dress up" with my clothes! And please, don't drink lemonade directly from the pitcher. Remember, other people live here!

And haven't I always always told you not to play ball in the house?

Damned kids. Go to your room.

And just wait 'til your father gets home.

P.S. Where the fuck is the babysitter, anyway?

fresh-baked at 04:42 PM
Exercise Control

The following tidbits are brought to you courtesy of my customary disdain, provoked by the daily visit to the gym.

  • Madame X: Later, when you're just about to push B6 on the vending machine in the office kitchen, and one of The Girls ribs you about how you should maybe just have a piece of fruit or hahahaha split your snack with her hahahaha, are you going to brag about how you spent an hour and a half at the gym, and neglect to mention that 75 of those minutes were spent exercising your jaw and not your body?

  • Trainer to the Pillsbury Doughgirl: May I suggest that before you have your client do that thing where you bounce a weighted ball at her and she feebly heaves it back at you, drops down to do a wobbly "squat thrust" and then a pushup where her back sags and she barely makes it down an inch, you first show her how to do a proper jumping jack?

    In addition, please take another look at the memo, dated Monday, April 7, 1986, distributed on a planet-wide basis, in which the world at large was advised that the sort of sit-ups you inflict on your clients are incredibly bad for the entire body, including the "abs" they are supposed to develop, and ultimately do more harm than good.

  • Stud: If your desire is to appear brawnily sexy, as I suspect it is given the way you insist on glancing at me every time you complete all of your "reps", perhaps you would benefit from knowing that the florid face that results from holding your breath, the grimaces attendant thereto, and your inability to do a single perfect pushup all conspire to make me envision the same pathetic configuration in the bedroom, where you would wish to have me.

fresh-baked at 11:18 AM
Phriday Phruit

we're so sexy!we're so pretty!

Do(ugh)nuts may be de rigueur where you work, and I may have provided you with your fix a few weeks ago, but around here I don't and won't touch 'em. I prefer fruit. And in the summer nothing beats the sexy strawberry.

So here. Have a few.

However, if you insist on adulterating (a/k/a "ruining") them with sugar, cream (whipped or otherwise), or chocolate, you'll have to provide that stuff yourself.

Enjoy! But please, when thanking me for my unnecessary but oh so appreciated generosity, kindly resist the overpowering urge to thank me "berry" much. Strawberries don't look so pretty after they've been regurgitated.

fresh-baked at 08:38 AM
Thursday, 8 August 2002
Three Strikes and You're Out

There's a reason they call it a workout and not a cookout.

There's a reason why the word "work" is in the first word and "cook" is in the second.

Do not confuse the two.

The workout is the one where you don't bring food and hang around and gab and drink brightly colored drinks and iced coffee. The cookout is the one where you do.

The workout is the one where you don't wear cargo pants and a flimsy tank top sans bra and flipflops and carry your stuff in a straw totebag. The cookout is the one where you do.

The workout is the one where you don't spray on citrusy cologne or some other sweet stuff from Bath & Body (or whatever the hell that place is called) and flirt prettily. The cookout is the one where you do.

Got it?

Just so we have it straight.

fresh-baked at 02:24 PM
You want it ...

sittin' in a tree

You got it!

Within limits, of course.

This isn't the first time someone has found me by searching for my and Chad's names together. And now that I have hired Chad as my personal assistant, to replace the one I recently fired, it probably won't be the last.

Although searches for "Jodi, Chad" will yield results, I'm afraid, Google freaks, that the searches (yes, plural) for "goy fart" will not. Please. I'm Jewish. Come on. I'm sure there are tons of gaseous goyim for you to haunt.

Oh, and by the way, if you're looking for "asshole stuffed jpg" and "refrigerator cum", you've come to the wrong place. Chad's duties are many and varied, but providing assistance for these sorts of things is not among them.

fresh-baked at 12:00 PM
Wednesday, 7 August 2002
Water water everywhere

My fabulous cohort and wacky sidekick, Mad Genius, shares my distaste for bathroom water as potential potable.

Read all about it here.

The horror!

fresh-baked at 07:42 PM
You gotta have friends

Today is what some decidedly more breezy types would consider a "nice" day, so I decided, against my usual better judgment, to venture out, if only up to my roof, to see what all the hub and bub is about. I'd heard so much about the sun and the gorgeousness that it tends to bring to one's day, so I figured what the hell, why not go outside and answer the question, "Why all the fuss?" So I indulged the fancy before it passed like oh so many fancies have been known to do when left in my charge.

Well, I must say that I still don't understand all the brouhaha.

Even though I was in the finest of company -- paperback incarnations of three of my best friends (David Sedaris, Fran Leibowitz, and Dorothy Parker); my cell phone (turned on to actively avoid all calls should anyone actually be foolish enough to call during the day when they know I'm ever so busy avoiding human contact); my digital camera (in the event I was feeling particularly sparky and adorable and wished to commemorate my experience to prove to a suspicious public that I do sometimes venture outside); one small notebook and one larger one; a favorite pen; a spritely, entirely too colorful beach towel that I would smack for its perkiness if it somehow "morphed" into human form; broken pieces of a Happy Herbert's extra dark pretzel; and, yes, my dearest and bestest friendest of all, a large, sexy glass of iced coffee, complete with clinky spoon -- I still couldn't fully engage myself in the business of being outside, and spent most of my time wondering how much longer I had to spend there before I could consider my attempt a valiant one.

As it turns out, valiance takes only an hour. Tops.

Yes, an hour was about as long as I could stand knowing that, 59 minutes earlier, my tender, shapely bare foot had made contact with a particularly obstinate piece of old chewing gum that would, 61 minutes later, compel me to stand in the bathtub, fully dressed (if yoga pants and a tank top constitute full dress, which, believe me, does, when you're spending 23 hours indoors), in order to remove not only it but a considerable accumulation of delightful roof filth. True, I could have worn my kicky little slides to prevent any such occurrence, but hey, I'd felt extraordinarily footloose and fancy-free and had decided to play bohemian roof reader, knowing, of course, that such a departure from my real "self" would result in my saying, "Never again".

So here I am, back inside, safe and sound, among the same friends who accompanied me to the roof. A phone call to return. Coffee to swill. Clean feet. And perhaps a little tan.

At the very least, however, I reacquainted myself with Fran, whom I befriended many years ago, and who reminded me, once again, why she deserves to be placed on the pedestal that is my desk, along with my vaunted iced coffee:

All God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable. The most common error made in matters of appearance is the belief that one should disdain the superficial and let the true beauty of one's soul shine through. If there are places on your body where this is a possibility, you are not attractive — you are leaking.

I am in exceedingly good company.

P.S. For those of you who had hoped I'd include the Bette Midler song that contains the words in the title of this entry, well, I suggest you jump off the roof I just vacated. Thank you.

fresh-baked at 03:48 PM
Time management skills

Why is it that if I have half an hour to get ready to go out, I will make exceedingly efficient use of that time, but if I have three hours to get ready, I will squander almost all of it, until I'm left with 15 puny minutes within which to prepare, and then run around the apartment in a kinetic frenzy doing so ... still somehow finding the time to drool obsessively over this?

fresh-baked at 01:28 PM
Dia bom, Brasil!


Boa vinda, a todos meus leitores faladores de Portugeuse!

Several Brazilian readers have translated my stuff into Portugeuse. Even though I don't think it's difficult to do, I must say I'm very flattered that people take the time to do it.

The above is an entry from yesterday. I love the title: "Hoover? Nada!" is the translation for "Hoover? Damn!" And I'm actually chortling over "fresco-cozido".

But my favorite part is my site's name: Porque Eu Digo Assim!

("Jodiverse", by the way, doesn't translate.)

fresh-baked at 01:13 AM
Tuesday, 6 August 2002
Kitchen Glitch

i'm so pretty i'm not so cute

All I had to do was pop it in the microwave. And that's all I did. I swear. I made a 1" slit in the plastic wrap, microwaved it for 5 minutes on HIGH, turned it 1/2 a turn, cooked it for 3 more minutes, and then waited for it to cool another 3 minutes.

So why did I have to pry it from its paper container with a spatula, a steak knife, and a fair amount of "elbow grease"?

OK, so maybe I allowed it to cool for an additional five minutes ... but still ... why does the slumped pile on the plate look like the ugly long-lost twin of the lasagna pictured on the box? Why does the lasagna on the box look twice as tall as the container in which it was packaged? Is this the "ten pounds" they say the camera adds to its subjects?

My lunch looked sadly amorphous and embarrassed on the plate, compared to the perfectly rectangluar and proud lasagna displayed on the box. It couldn't hide beneath the lustrous layer of melted soy cheese promised on the box. And yes, of course I know that the stuff that came out of the microwave didn't benefit from primping and preening, toothpick-bolstering, leafy garnish, studio lighting, and six hours of fussing and whatever the hell else goes on behind the scenes when they take pictures of food for presentation on boxes for retail sale. But still, shouldn't it have turned out better than this? I mean, come on.

Some other time I'll tell you another microwave story, where I was completely to blame for the resulting mayhem, but trust me when I tell you that today I wasn't. Today I'm blaming Amy.

Anyway, I apologized to my food and ate it quickly. "Oh, you're fine," I assured it after the first bite. "You're delicious anyway."

(But still.)

fresh-baked at 09:45 PM
Hoover? Damn!

My next vacuum cleaner is going to have a retractable cord.

That's all I'm going to say.

fresh-baked at 02:18 PM
Out of Context

Last week, on Seventh Avenue, as I waited at a light to cross the street to Whole Foods, I saw a woman in a black tank top and short shorts who didn't look half-bad, which meant of course that I had to pretend to look at something behind her so I could check her out from all angles. Upon looking at her more closely, on my third go-round, I realized she wasn't half-bad, she was more like three-quarters-bad and that the sunlight in my eyes was responsible for my original misjudgment.

It was then that I realized who it was. It was a woman I see at the gym quite often, especially on weekends. I'll just call her Paula (even if her real name is Heather) (no, it's not) (please, I'm not stupid). She's an all right enough person, or seems to be, even if somewhat neurotic and obsessive. Even if she insists on pixie cuts that do nothing to hide her rather obtrusive proboscis. Even if she annoyed me one time by insisting on talking to me when we were side-by-side on something called the StepMill (otherwise known to me as "the stairway to nowhere").

I planned to pretend I didn't see her, and I think she returned the favor, because I'm sure she saw me as I waited at the light not 15 feet away from where she stood. I mean, how could she miss me in my frayed-top jeans, body-conscious black tank-top, and sexy black slides, my hair cascading down my back, when two Cro-Magnon men in the van/truck made their approval of my appearance abundantly clear upon turning the corner?

Once inside Whole Foods, I sensed her not a dozen steps behind me. We were both in the produce section. I was on a quest for orange bell pepper, a Vidalia onion, and loose mushrooms. She, I saw moments later, was hunting for strawberries. Not three feet separated us. The only thing that did was some strange sense of snobbishness on my part. I decided to ignore it, but not ignore her.

"Out of context!" I said, touching her on the arm somewhere between her shoulder and elbow. She turned to her right, arm in mid-air, reaching for strawberries.

"From the gym," I continued, helping her out, because she didn't seem to recognize the non-drenched, non-crazed version of me that stood next to her. "I saw you outside and didn't realize it was you at first, but didn't want to say anything in case I was mistaken."

Yeah right. But then again, of course I couldn't just say, "I saw you outside and checked you out three times, only smugly noticing by the third time that there's a reason why you always keep your legs covered at the gym. But you do look much more attractive, facially, outside the gym. And your hair really does benefit from the application of a comb and some gel."

She laughed and smiled broadly. "You look fantastic, as always," she said.

"So do you," I semi-sorta lied. And then proceeded to tell her that because she works out so hard (which she does), she deserved to "flaunt it". She agreed, returned the platitude, and we chatted briefly about the and then the loveliness of Whole Foods and how wonderful it was to be ladies of leisure who could be out in the middle of the day doing something like shopping for strawberries and orange bell peppers while the rest of the world was stuffed into offices. I wish I could say we shared a moment, but alas we didn't. At least I don't think we did. I was just trying to think of a way to run away from her without her noticing.

She told me she was buying something for dessert for a party she was going to that night, and was going to bring a cake too in addition to the fruit salad she was shopping for, and everyone was going to be drunk ... and blah ... and whatever ... and so on. I didn't really listen. I lost interest, actually, even before she told me how fantastic I looked. But had I not, I would have lost interest as soon as she told me how drunk everyone was going to be. I can't stand that, even when the person telling me is college-age, but especially when the person telling me is old enough to have a kid in college.

Now, ordinarily I am not one to go in for idle chit-chat. Indeed, most of the time I'd rather perform a self-tonsillectomy using nothing more than a butterknife and a pair of pliers than force myself to talk when I'm not in the mood. But for some reason, that day I was feeling particularly magnanimous and garrulous; hence the compliments and the chatter. I was also just amused to see someone (anyone) Out of Context.

I don't know why it titillates me so. I just know that it does. There have been several occasions where I've seen people out of the context in which I was accustomed to seeing them, and evey time, I'm amused.

Before I moved from Philadelphia to New York, I came up to the city to see my then-boss' niece in a play. When I saw him in the lobby before the show, I almost didn't recognize him. Where was the dark-suited little guy with the red face who ground his teeth and whose halting shuffle led him to my desk every morning where he would hover in front of me like a hummingbird?

When a small man came up to me, dressed in "slacks", a pullover sweater, button-down shirt, and loafers, I barely recognized him, despite the florid face and omnipresent teeth-grinding.

Even though it was the weekend, and he too was entitled to dress more casually than was required at the office, I still expected to see him in a suit and tie, slightly frayed shirt, and squeaky shoes in need of resoling. I never pictured him in anything but his usual attire. On the rare occasions that I thought about his life outside the office, I pictured him at home, watching TV in a suit.

I even expected to see his hands clutching a 50-page document in need of revision "ASAP" and a faded, brick-colored file bulging with three years of shoved-in papers desperately in need of my attention.

I think one or both of us made a lame comment about how "funny" it was to see each other outside the office. And then we commented on our drives up to and into the city. I may have made an intensely lame comment about feeling like I should be revising a document, but I'm not too sure. Knowing how awkward I felt, I probably did.

So. There we stood, facing each other: he, grinding his teeth and regarding me with a blend of admiration and amusement; and I, wearing an obscenely fake smile, wanting desperately to flee the room. The usual. The only things out of context were our physical forms. Everything else remained the same.

When I came into the office the following Monday, he shuffled his red-faced way over to my desk, grinding his teeth, beaming, wearing the familiar suit, tie, frayed shirt, and squeaky shoes, and handed me a thick dog-eared document.

"Your niece's show was great," I said, lying.

"Thank you for coming. It was great to see you!" he said, not.

fresh-baked at 01:16 PM
No resent-mint

Thank you, kind sir, for the assault of wintergreen that emanated from your pores or breath or hair via soap, cologne, toothpaste, mint, or shampoo as you mounted the stationary bike next to mine as if it were a fiery steed. Had you not come along when you did, I surely would have remained on my bike even longer than I already had and pedalled myself into even more of a cardiovascular frenzy, which really wasn't necessary given that in three hours I would be at Pilates and need to reserve some energy for that.

If you don't mind, I'd appreciate if you'd come over to my place sometime around noon and straddle a chair next to me here in my office. The weather is supposed to be decent today, and I really want to get out and about, to take a walk to make up for the ten minutes that your presence forced me to surrender by dint of your mint.

Thanks! See you soon.

fresh-baked at 07:36 AM
Monday, 5 August 2002

This morning, in a fit of immediate thirst, and in a rather uncharacteristic moment of indiscrimination, I drank a splash of water from the bathroom faucet, in my cupped hands, rather than walking the 14 miles to the kitchen for an actual glass of Evian.

One time I drank from the kitchen faucet when there was no alternative. I used a glass that time, and the amount of water was perhaps just a few ounces, probably a bit more than what I drank from my palms today.

Why is it that the bathroom water tasted ... different?

Now, my hands are always clean, because I drink so much water that I make at least a dozen trips to the ladies room a day and thus wash them at least that many times (yeah, I do it at home, kids, in hot water, with soap, even when no one's watching!), so I'm certain my hands had nothing to do with the way the water tasted.

I came out of the bathroom scowling, wiping my mouth on the back of my hand, and plodded to the kitchen, saying, "Jesusfuckingchrist. Why does it taste like that? I may as well have just dunked my head in the toilet and gone to town ... like a dog!"

Taxi looked up from the newspaper he was reading, regarded me over the top of his reading glasses, and said, with more than just a drop of disdain, "Excuse me?" Pushed his coffee cup across the kitchen table for a refill, not once taking his stony eyes off my reddened face. And refused to answer my question.

So now I'm up to my neck in hot water, and damn it, it doesn't taste too good.

fresh-baked at 09:10 PM
Chill Out

hash it up splash it on

I saw my landlord on the street this afternoon after Pilates and told him I'm essentially hibernating until the weather decides to cooperate. He doesn't seem to mind the heat, so I asked him what his secret was. First he said, "Cannabis." I chortled heartily and genuinely. And then, so I wouldn't think he was some sort of drug addict, he said, "Jean Naté," and described to me how he douses his body with it immediately following a shower and is thus refreshed upon its evaporation. The ultimate chill.

So now I'm torn. I mean, I don't partake in either substance, at least not anymore. The last time I indulged in the first option was probably in 1988, and the last time I even saw a bottle of Jean Naté was probably 1972.

Which do you suggest? Please take my fabulous mini-poll and let me know. Thanks.

Which "chill" will thrill?

Jean Naté

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fresh-baked at 04:39 PM
Play with yourself

Go on. Do it. No one's looking.

You can blame me if you doolittle all day.

fresh-baked at 11:32 AM
Sunday, 4 August 2002

Oh so sorry, Certain Anonymous "Blog" That I Just Visited, but I will not be returning. You say you don't like animals. The instant my eyes met those words, your page blurred amorphously before them, the optical equivalent of the adults' voices on the "Peanuts" specials.


fresh-baked at 10:00 PM

Dear Mr. So Completely Nondescript That I, Someone Who Ordinarily Notices Even The Most Minute Of Details Of Others' Appearances, Even If Given Only Five Seconds To Observe, Can't Even Remember The Color Of Your Hair:

Whenever I leave my apartment, I am bombarded with all manner of blatherskite and bullshit almost as soon as my sassy strappy sandals hit the pavement. I am treated to a deluge of darling com(pli)ments, ranging from the outright and intelligible (but not necessarily intelligent), i.e. "Oh my GOD!" "Gorgeous!", and "YES!!!" to the mumbled and semi-intelligible, i.e. "Mmmpphhthhh beautiful phhtthhmmpphh" to clucks, whistles, groans, and oh too many non-word permutations to even consider listing.

Rarely do I respond to these asinine utterances. Indeed, I instantly regard anyone who thinks it's cute 'n' clever to offer anything other than a standard greeting, as a supreme jackass not even worthy of an eyebrow raise. (In case you're a little confused, a "standard greeting" is nothing more than a simple "Hello", "Hi", or "Good [part of the day]."

So why would you think that, out of the scads of idiotic remarks that I receive every time I set even one toe outside my door, your pathetic, sibilant, persistent "Pssssssssttt!!!" was going to be the one to which I would respond? Especially since you chose to share your delightful comment not as I came face to face with you but after I'd already passed.

You are forgettable. Your method of attention-getting is hackneyed. I mean, hey, if you feel compelled to utter something, at least be original. Come up with something good, like this, which a suave guy once offered in Philadelphia, in a voice that was reminiscent of Barry White:

Hey, Snowflake. How about some ... chocolate cake ... that's already baked ...

And say it to my face, the way this guy did, so when I laugh at your comment, you can laugh back and smile. Although his offering took the cake, I didn't take it or eat it, but at least I remembered it.

Just a suggestion, Mr. SCNTISWONETMMOFOOAEIGOFSTOCERTCOYH (if indeed that is your real name).


fresh-baked at 11:24 AM
Saturday, 3 August 2002
Flicks 'n' Chicks (and a li'l' dick)

Just because I live here in hip 'n' swingin' Manhattan doesn't mean I'm always out at the posh clubs with all the wannabes, has-beens, and never-weres who all clamor for a split second of attention from the bona fide fat cats and heavy-hitting hipsters. It doesn't mean I attend every fabulously glam movie premiere, flanked by my girls Gwynnie and Chelsea Clinton, all of us dressed not only to the nines but to the tens, twelves, and beyond, in our Earl Jeans, Jimmy Choos, halter tops, and body glitter.

No, some nights I stay in with my Celebrity Boyfriend Whose Privacy I Must Respect and a couple of gal pals, and watch really really really bad movies. Like tonight. Tonight we treated ourselves to perhaps the worst pay-per-view experience we've had since the time we chose to anesthetize ourselves by watching "Scary Movie 2". Tonight we sat through 81 minutes of something that should have been good for at least a few well-placed guffaws, given its cast. Tonight we were disappointed.

Tonight we watched "Orange County". "Schtick dreck" is perhaps too kind an assessment.

Not only was I repeatedly traumatized by the sight of Jack Black's unsupported package sadly sagging in dingy white briefs, but dismayed that a cast with so much going for it went absolutely nowhere with this poor excuse for entertainment.

Gwynnie did laugh a few times, though. When I turned to stare at her in shocked disappointment at her lack of good taste and judgment (not only for her taste in movies but for her poor choice in shirts), she swore she was only laughing out of respect for her one-time co-star. But I know otherwise.

She's out there now, and wants to watch something on "Animal Planet". I love when she tries to get back into my good graces!

fresh-baked at 10:01 PM
Dress Code + 1

If I say nothing else today, let me at least say this:

  1. Adults should not wear overalls. Unless they are farmers.
  2. No one (especially women) should wear suspenders. Sorry, Mork.
  3. Little boys look asinine in miniature "business"-type suits.

  4. When people say, "I could care less", they're usually not making the point they want to make. Example: "I could care less about J. Lo and Ben Affleck" does not indicate the lowest possible level of interest. "I couldn't care less" does.

Of course, as is the case with all of my lists, this one is by no means complete. (And yes, I must say that every time I make a list ... just so no one says, "But you forgot [blah] and [whatnot] and [whozit].")

fresh-baked at 10:12 AM
Friday, 2 August 2002
Going? Just go!

I hate when people do that "Goodbye, everyone ... it's been nice BLOGGING, but it's time for me to start keeping a paper journal instead ... I'm going to miss you all ... I really am ... You've seen me through a lot of heartache, a lot of joy, a lot of ups and downs ... I really hate to go, but ..." nonsense.

Every time I see that, I say to myself, "O ... kaaaaay? And ...???" and sit here with my palms up, doing that sort of "rolling" thing with my hands the way people do when they want someone to get on with a really long-winded, boring-ass story.

Sometimes it doesn't bother me. Candi, one of my best "online" friends, for instance, has taken off for a while. Decided to get in a little bit of much-deserved sunburn time. And I hope she is handsomely rewarded. But she'll be back.

Other times, however -- in fact most other times -- I feel like saying to the coughing Camilles out there, "Oh, for fuck's sake, just die already. Stop clutching the hankie, lying back in your quilted pink satin bedjacket, propped up against fluffy pillows, and expire. See ya. Bye. Get out."

If there ever comes a time when I've had enough of the cold, cruel world of "blogging", you can bet your sweet bippie (whatever that is) that I won't make a big deal out of it. I'll just post that ol' GONE FISHIN' sign and be on my way, quilted pink satin bedjacket and all.


fresh-baked at 05:35 PM

Am I famous?

See the second and third posts on this page.

fresh-baked at 02:09 PM
How to Piss Me Off

There are thousands -- perhaps millions -- of ways to piss me off, and the few examples that I've provided here in the past are just a miniscule representation of everything that does. I have no patience for stupidity, bigotry, homophobia, racism, sexism, ageism, and a whole host of other "isms" that I won't even begin to list here. (And please, don't ask me if I can tolerate "j-ism", because just by mentioning it here, I already beat you to the hilarity punch [which is spiked, by the way].)

I touched on this in an entry several months ago (yes, I am again referring you to one of my pre-Movable Type entries, in case you haven't done yourself the grand favor of reading through my archives) in "Fuckin' Jewboy" (which I also linked to on June 14). And as I stated there, and now here, and everywhere, I don't give a fuck, flying or otherwise, what you are or who you are or why or how or when you are. All I care about is if you're a good person or not, "deep down" where it really counts. Are you kind to animals? Are you considerate of other people? Do you treat the planet as if it were a precious, live entity rather than an enormous, overflowing ashtray? Have you brushed your teeth?

I like to "poke fun" at other people's stupidity (and even my own) as much as anyone else. In fact, I may enjoy it more than most people do. But what I do not enjoy, and what I will not tolerate, is when the target of ridicule or censure is someone who cannot help his situation. For instance, I will never make fun of "little people" or join in the raucous laughter that is sure to result from a hilarious night of "midget bowling". If someone's "defect" is something that he can change (such as mossy green teeth or ragged, bitten cuticles), then of course he's fair game.

However, if you really want to piss me off, all you have to do is one simple thing. Tell me that LIFE SUCKS. And then go kill yourself. Or at least run away from me, really fast, because you won't want me to kick you in the place where your balls should be.

I've found that the people who say "life sucks" are usually whining about something they can change. "I'm fat." "No one likes me." "I don't have any friends." Please. One of the dearest people in my life is someone who, years ago, was a drag-down, falling-in-the-street alcoholic. He swilled vodka for breakfast, with a side dish of cigarettes. But did he whine about his situation and drown in a puddle of his own tears? No. One morning he woke up, basically said, "This shit's gotta stop," and swore off the bullshit. Went "cold turkey". And hasn't had a drop to drink or a cigarette since. That was at least 15 years ago. What's more, he did it on his own, without the prodding of anyone but himself and without a "support group". He is truly a remarkable man.

This morning, I saw another remarkable man on TV named Mark. Mark's face was ravaged two years ago by a viral infection and fungus that essentially left him without a face from the upper lip to just above his eyebrows. There is a hole in his head -- a literal hole in his head -- where his face should be. His face looks like an apple with a huge bite taken out of its center. Surgeons gouged out his eyes and nose, all the way back to the lining of his brain, so he would have a chance to live. In addition, he suffered several mini-strokes. But not once, he said, did he ever want to die. So he could live with his incredibly devoted wife, his two sons, and his granddaughter. As he said, "I had to survive, and I was going to survive."

Now, I ordinarily loathe "inspirational" stories, and regard most of it as maudlin manipulation. Sappy sentimentality. I can't stand being told that I should stop dwelling on my own stupid problems just because someone else has bigger, worse problems than mine. But I have to say that this guy, and his wife, Nancy, set an example that everyone would be well-advised to follow.

The next time someone whines that "Life sucks", I'm going to take my fist and shove it in that person's face so he can be reminded that there is someone out there who could be whining that his life sucks but instead is choosing to not just survive, but to live. And not just live -- but love and laugh as well.

So if you want to piss me off, tell me life sucks. Tell me you can't change your lot. Wallow in self-pity.

And then run like hell. Because I'm really fast.

fresh-baked at 11:22 AM
Thursday, 1 August 2002
The third time ...

I first mentioned this on July 16. Then followed it up one week later.

Well, here's the latest. Apparently the third time I read about this is the "charm". And apparently there are some absolute fools out there who find this Karyn cretin charming enough to part with their money.

Save her? Spare me.

I suggest Karyn take some of the money she "earns" and buy a real vowel (such as an "E", for "effort", as in "make a real one to help yourself out") to replace the "Y" in her name.

People, people, people ... Y oh Y are you bailing this beggar out?

Thanks, once again, to Chris, for keeping me updated.

fresh-baked at 10:29 PM
Reward System

Earlier this week, while scampering around the apartment in high heels and a frilly apron, feather duster in hand, I came to a realization that shocked me so profoundly that my knees went weak and I was forced to sink down into the squishier of the two living room sofas, staring into space in a quasi-catatonic state.

I realized that I am, above all else, a toddler. I am, indeed, a four-year-old.

Now before you run away screaming, please be assured that I am in no way referring to the hideous "inner child" that we've all heard too much about. The inner child whom we're encouraged to not only see but to hear within ourselves. The inner child who picks his snotty nose and wipes the crusty-chewy goodness onto a big plateful of kugel at a distant cousin's bris when only you and your sister are there to witness it and you then fantasize for the next 25+ years about ways to make him regret it ... and ... then ...

The toddler to which I refer is the one that I become whenever I am confronted with an unpleasant obligation, which usually manifests itself in some variety of domesticity. Now, I know this comes as a complete shock to you (almost as much of a shock as this week's revelation was to me, I'm sure), but ... I am not exacty the domestic sort. I pull a push-broom. I don't know how to boil an egg (do you heat the water first, or put the egg in first?) or slice a canteloupe (through that little indentation, or the other way?) or hem pants. I cannot fold sheets properly, especially the bottom one. In short, I suck at housework. (But until I hire a new personal assistant to replace the one I fired, I've gotta do it.)

I even hate doing the little things, such as vacuuming and emptying the dishwasher. Folding laundry. Putting laundry away. Emptying the coffee filter. Making the beds. For the most part, I take shortcuts whenever possible. I figure no one's going to check under the comforter to see if the bed is properly made beneath it. No one's going to check my sock drawer to make sure everything's lined up like little soldiers. But there are still some things that have to be done, and this is how I came to discover that I am, indeed, a toddler. And a petulant one at that.

I have to be bribed or rewarded for doing almost everything even marginally un-fun. This is what passed through my mind as I gave in to the call of domesticity on Monday morning, the day of the big revelation:

  • After I am done making the bed, I can check my email.
  • After I vacuum the floors, I can read the email with the attachment.
  • After I've mini-vacuumed the sofa, I can have a glass of Diet Dr Pepper.
  • After I transfer the laundry from the washer to the dryer, I can go to the, y'know, ladies room.
  • After I fold the stuff that was just forced out of the dryer by the newly deposited wet load of laundry, I can check my email again.
  • After I wipe down the kitchen counters, I can take a shower.
  • After I dry my hair, I can turn on the air conditioner in the living room.
  • After I empty the dishwasher, I can read "X" (my favorite "blog").
  • After I fold the laundry, the domesticity will end.

However, something very ... bizarre ... happened. Upon the completion of each task, I did not stop to reward myself as promised. No. I just forged ahead. Diligent, I was. Dogged. Onward and upward. Until finally ... I found that I'd completed everything without taking a break. Imagine! Somehow I'd managed to trick myself into delaying the excitement until everything else was finished. And it was then that I realized something even more remarkable than what I'd discovered earlier that day: I may not be a four-year-old after all. I may be ... 12.

And with that, I decided I really needed to celebrate my leap into young adulthood. Therefore, the ultimate reward was treating myself to something that wasn't on the original list. So as I sank back down onto the sofa, freshly showered and coifed, I finally unwrapped a Soy Dream Lil' Dreamer non-dairy frozen dessert sandwich. Just desserts, indeed.

So now I wonder. And worry. What am I going to have to do in order to bridge the gap between 12 and phttxxphh?

fresh-baked at 03:40 PM
Purpose, defeated

Why oh why on why do food-handlers who wear latex gloves keep them on when handling everything and anything else, including money and the cash register?

Why wear the gloves at all? What's the point? I know it's a wacky way-out notion, but, uhh, aren't the gloves supposed to serve as some sort of protective barrier, sort of like, y'know, them there condom things we hear so much about?

Or are these food-handlers just protecting their delicate digits from sandwich slop, money muck, and cash register crud? Are they like an ex-employer of mine, who kept a box of tissues by every doorknob in the posh townhouse that served as his office, and even by his own private telephone, so he wouldn't have to come into contact with germs, including his own?

If I look down at the food-handlers' feet, will I see sandals worn with socks? I don't think I could handle two indiscretions simultaneously.

What's the pernt, Edith? Isn't the purpose being defeated?

fresh-baked at 08:48 AM

grain of salt

Take one before every visit.

fresh-baked at 07:52 AM