I'm prettier than you are.
Saturday, 29 November 2003
Miss Chef

Yeah, so I "cooked" for Thanksgiving. It wasn't a big family deal (I will resist the almost overpowering urge to add an "io" to the end of "deal") (I will) — just the DOG and I (unlike previous years when it was the King and I) (but then Yul Brynner had to go and die and all) — so I didn't go all out the way I ordinarily would, with three different kinds of stuffings, my super-secret Yam and Pineapple Surprise (pssst, the surprise is that the yams are really carrots! and the pineapples are your long-lost half-sister who has been sleeping with your son!), roasted garlic rosemary chive parsley parsnip paprika praline pecan mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce that's not sauce at all but a lovely concoction in which each cranberry retains its individuality and is not jellied beyond recognition with can marks to facilitate slicing, and vegan turducken. Instead I lovingly prepared a Tofurky Feast, and noted, with a generous helping of chagrin, dismay, and alarm, that there is no "e" in "tofurky". Imagine my disappointment, with this information coming on the heels of my discovery that there is no "I" in "team"!

So, anyway, yes. In answer to your burning questions (really, you should see a doctor about that already), I did cook. Not the kind of cooking many of you indulged in, but still, it counted as cooking to me, because, as I'm sure you know (or could guess), I don't really do the cooking thing. It's not that I can't. No. Au contraire. I, like Yan, can cook. The thing is, it's just not my thing. I don't dig it. It does not relax me, as many of my kooky cook friends say it does them. In fact, it's just the opposite. It unnerves me, and not just because I'm afraid of losing yet another finger (thankfully I started out with eight on each hand). In fact, it doesn't even unnerve me. I just plain ol' don't like it.

I did it anyway, but not without yelling at one point — when I realized that I didn't do a very good job of timing, and the dumplings defied boiling and refused to rise to the water's surface, and the broccoli was not only getting cold but was approaching a certain aloofness — "Oh, it's all too much! I am not doing this again next year!"

I did take a couple of photographs, but the food insisted on approving them before I shared them. Unfortunately, the tofurky said it looked fat in the photos and the dumplings said they looked dumpy, and both threatened to make me fat if I didn't comply with their demands to keep the photos private. Of course, they did not appreciate my taunts of, "What are you? Chicken?" So really, I didn't have any choice.

But I know you want fabulous food fotos. So I'll show you what I had for lunch yesterday, at Village Mingala, where I think I have now attained status as a regular. Here it is:

Mango Salad and Basil Tofu

Today the DOG and I head to my parents' house for a more traditional Thanksgiving feast, which will hopefully not be as shy about having showing itself photographically. I suppose I won't have it wear the rather immodest underpinnings I forced on the Tofurky Feast. In retrospect, that probably wasn't a very good idea.

*   *   *

Thanksgiving, last year:

fresh-baked at 09:33 AM
Friday, 28 November 2003
I am disappointed!

With "spammers", that is!

"Oh, who isn't, girlfriend!" you're thinking. "Who isn't!"

My disappointment has nothing to do with them clogging my in-box (hahahaha, "box", hahahahahahaha), no. It has nothing to do with the usual complaints one reads about, about the products and services being offered by these entrepreneurial pioneers.

No, I'm just disappointed because none of these spammers have come up with a subject line offering me "The best holiday SPREAD on the table!" and a full-color email showing all manner of comely cuties offering a cornucopia of their goodies between their spread thighs (as tan and buttery as a Parker House roll!), atop a well-appointed dining room table.

But then again, perhaps in the spirit of the holiday, I suppose I should be thankful they didn't think of it.



fresh-baked at 11:44 AM

The resident dog, Taxi (known around this house as "T"), revealed last night that he is sick of leading a regular dog's life. Although his isn't quite as ordinary as many dogs' — indeed, he has more than most dogs could possibly ask for, including the finest kibble money can buy, more toys than an Upper West Side child, bones that could tip over Fred Flintstone's car, a private walker/personal trainer who takes him to the Dog Spa five days a week, and an absolutely glorious new coat — he still says it's just not enough. He's not ungrateful for all that he has, no ... in fact, last night during Thanksgiving dinner, he wept without shame as he raised his champagne glass and counted all the reasons he's thankful ... but this morning, just after he finished his huevos rancheros, he dropped a bombshell.

He wants to be a toreador.

"I know what you're thinking," he said. "You're thinking, 'What bullshit.' You think this is all just about some four-session seminar thing offered at the Learning Annex for $79. But it's not. NYU offers a full course of study, beginning in January. I have the brochure in my book bag."

He brought it out, and panted with excitement as he pointed to the various course descriptions. We learned that bull-fighting has been a lifelong dream of his. One of those dreams that you think is just a pipedream, that people regard as solid an idea as when someone says, "I am an actor" or "My dream is to operate my own frozen yogurt franchise" or "I want to have my own design show on Oxygen or WE, just like that maverick Courteney Cox and her kooky sidekick husband."

"Haven't you ever noticed," he said, looking off into a distance only visible to him, "the gleam in my eye when I flip the little throw rug under the red chair? The passion in my jaws and my paws when, with a flourish, I flounce around the room with the yellow blanket?"

And here we'd all thought this was mere folly. A dog doing what a dog does. Toss that throw rug. Wave that blanket. ("And please," he said, closing his eyes and fluttering them, "don't call it a 'blankie'.") Little did we know it meant much much more.

"Dogs don't just dream of rabbits and bones," he continued. "It's not all about kibble. There's more out there for me, and I have to, well, grasp the bull by the horns!"

"Touché, T," I said.

"Olé," he said.

fresh-baked at 11:15 AM
Wednesday, 26 November 2003
No, I'm Not:
  • Going to even taste the turkey
  • Going to the Macy's Day Parade
  • Going shopping this Friday

I haven't had turkey for at least 12 years.

I despise all parades, with the exception of the gay pride extravaganza, but even then I can only take about 30 minutes before I start praying for rain.

Your suburban mall crowds on "Black Friday" are nothing compared to the mayhem in New York City. What you experience the day after Thanksgiving at Pinchapenny Outlet Commons is what a New Yorker sees on an ordinary day. So this is my not so gentle request for you to not make this the year you decide to buck up and brave it into this city to do a little Christmas shopping. Remember, or, if you didn't know in the first place, be advised, that we have sales tax of 8.625% here. It's not worth coming into the city to shop. Besides, our selection of novelty sweaters isn't as broad as yours is.

Site Note:  Now through the end of the month only, you can enjoy the "A-Maize-Ing Face" version of my face at the top of this page. If you hover over it, you will be able to see "Classic Jodi". So don't fret. I know change isn't always easy, so I'm willing to accommodate. It is, after all, Thanksgiving.

fresh-baked at 07:36 PM
Monday, 24 November 2003
Taxi Driver

Someone buzzed up to this apartment on Saturday while the DOG and Taxi were out for their afternoon walk. I was in Sleeping Beauty mode, or at least attempting to effectuate a nap, as is my wont in the late afternoon. I like to nap, because naps trick me into thinking that one day is two. Of course, as people like to say, "It's all psychological." Or psychotic. Or something.

So, anyway, I was all tucked in and drifting off into the Land of Nod, when the door buzzed. Thinking the DOG had forgotten his key, I flitted, fleet-footed, out to the front of the apartment, and pressed the button on the video intercom to see who dared disturb my household on a weekend afternoon. I am not a fan of people just dropping in. "I don't care if it's someone I like," I've said to the DOG. "I will not answer if I'm not expecting someone." Although this practice has yielded some rather unfortunate results, such as missing out on Girl Scout cookies (which blow, despite what you may think about those Thin Mints) (but still, it's nice to help out the little ladies) or some delightful discourse with Jehovah's Witnesses, it generally works in my favor. Because really, I uphold that dropping in without advance notice is plain ol', flat out rude.

When I pressed the button, I saw a young man and woman standing on the front step. Neither of them looked familiar, so I was just going to pretend no one was home and hope they would go away. I also considered that they were acquaintances of one of the other tenants and had pressed the wrong buzzer, in which case their idiocy would be rewarded with my not allowing them entry. When they buzzed again, I decided to end my speculation and see what they wanted.

"Yes?" I said, with a strange accent somewhere between British and French.

"Hi," the man said, with an accent I could not place. (It was neither British nor French.) "It's Ray. I'm here for Taxi!"

What? I quickly recalled that Taxi's walker's name is not Ray, so this person had no business coming here for Taxi. I was suspicious. Taxi, after all, is a famous TV dog, and we have gone to great lengths to secure his privacy from a rabid public.

"Glrffpphhsrphhx??" I said, flummoxed.

"I used to be his driver," the man said. "I used to pick him up to take him to [daycare]."

"Oh my god!" I said. "Is this Reynaldo?"

Reynaldo was Taxi's driver for quite some time, until he moved to Florida about a year and a half or two years ago.

"Yes, yes!" he said. (The accent was Brazilian.)

"!!!" I said.

"We just wanted to stop by and see Taxi!" he said.

I squealed with unbridled delight. "Oh, that's just so cute!" I think I even barked.

I told him that the DOG and Taxi had gone for a walk about ten minutes earlier and would probably be back in five or ten. I told them they could just wait downstairs and see them then. They said they would.

And they did.

Twenty minutes later, Taxi bounded up the 69* steps to the apartment and then burst into this bedroom, where I was trying with all my might to float into sleep. He ran to my bedside and told me all about his surprise reunion with Reynaldo.

"Oh, and some weird-looking old guy in big glasses was downstairs with a bunch of balloons and a video crew!" he said. "But I know how you hate people dropping by like that, so I told him you moved and I didn't know where you were!" He thumped his tail thickly from side to side.

"Good boy," I said.

* Giggle all you want at that number, you babies.

fresh-baked at 12:26 PM
Thursday, 20 November 2003
Valued Opinion

In case you're wondering, according to a very reliable source, I am MUCH cuter than the drawing of me at the top of this page!

I always thought so, but it's nice to have confirmation!

Thanks, Bob! :-*

fresh-baked at 10:07 PM
Wednesday, 19 November 2003
Dream Girl

So I had this dream last night ...

Now, I know what I've said about dreams in the past, but hey, it's different when the dreams are mine. And sure, I know that's a double standard, but so what? Double standards, like money, make the world go 'round. And if you don't believe me, ask the hyper-cool Greg Brady as he appears in the episode where he tries to shake a girl named Carrie, for whom Peter has googly eyes, and he and Marcia stage a scene where Greg, in an attempt to show Carrie what a cad he is, tells Carrie she's only allowed to date him but he's allowed to see any chick he wants.

So, anyway. This is about dreams — not dreamboats like Greg Brady. So on with it.

I had this dream last night. I was in a classroom (but wearing pants and without an incidental mustache, unlike many of my other dreams) and had just taken a test. Somehow the teacher got wind that quite a few of the students had cheated, and those students' papers were torn up and those students were dismissed from class. I remained behind — smug, superior, and outraged at those students' transgressions. Until Salma Hayek burst into the room, pointed a finger at me, and "outted" me as one of the cheaters. Just when I thought I was safe, I was disgraced. And dismissed from the room.

I went out into the hall and fumed. Paced. Then I, like Salma, burst back into the classroom, where Salma had remained, and "outted" her as "the one who ratted on me". I sang a song about rats and disloyalty. It was rollicking. It rhymed. I danced around a chair placed at the front of the room. Salma was in that chair. Everyone in the class was bopping along to the song and dance. The applause was deafening, and Salma was boo'd out of the room.

I left the room a star, but once out in the hallway, a team of four Salma-esque chiquitas, all with slick glossy hair and smoky purplish eyeshadow, cornered me and then marched me down the hallway — two in front of me, two in back — to a filthy room filled with bad bad girls. I was to do whatever the lead Salma told me to do.

So I obeyed. I got down on my hands and knees. I licked the filthy tile floor, as she did. "Get the grout now, where there's chemical waste," she instructed, showing me how to do it properly. "Now get this spot where everyone's boots have stepped," she instructed. Again she showed me how to do it properly. Apparently I was supposed to point my tongue more. So I did. What did I know? She was the boss.

Across the room were some blondes, all eating trayed lunches at long communal tables. A typical jailhouse cafeteria. Except all the girls were short-haired blondes. The lead Salma, like I, was incensed because our respective girlfriends were hitting on each other as she and I licked the floors.

And then the dream got really weird and involved the ocean, an opulent Thai cafe, and rugelach.

But you know what? It was all so ridiculous. I mean, I don't even like blondes!

fresh-baked at 01:20 PM
He's gonna live forever?

I just gasped. Genuinely gasped.

"Oh, she probably just took another gander at her ass in the mirror," you're thinking. "She's worse than those narcissists in the Special K commercials!"

Well, yes, but that's not why I gasped. This is why: I just learned that Gene Anthony Ray, of "Fame" fame ("I'm young and single, and loves ta mingle"), has died!

fresh-baked at 12:26 PM
Tuesday, 18 November 2003
Kyria and Curry Leaf

No, it isn't a delightful children's story along the lines of "James and the Giant Peach" or "Harold and the Purple Crayon" or "Missy and the Bulbous Green Tumor Growing Somewhere She's Embarrassed to Show the School Nurse". "Kyria and Curry Leaf" is delightful, yes, like those beloved classics, and the kids may squeal and clap their hands in response and do that little dance where you can't tell if they're happy or about to do something disgusting that will require a change of pants (theirs, not yours), but it's non-fiction, which isn't a big kid-pleaser.

No, the title is just my way of telling you where I was today and with whom. At least part of the day. The tastiest, laughingest part. Because what better combination could I ask for than fantastic food and a funny fraulein? Ordinarily to have this much fun in the company of a lady, all I have to do is carry a full-length mirror in my specially made bag and prop it up across from me in stores or restaurants. But today I only had to do that for the part of the day that involved the purchase of a pair of intensely kicky boots at Otto Tootsi Plohound! Swell!

Although Kyria and I rarely veer from saag paneer (see here and here for background on PaneerQuest2003 ... in case you're new here, or, if not new, then nostalgic), today we went to Curry Leaf for mushroom saag. I'd had it a couple of weekends ago, died over how delicious it was, and then somehow revived myself so I could dash off an email to Kyria to tell her we'd have to go back and die together (we're romantic like that) (and no, by "die", I don't mean it in the Shakespearean way, you literate perverts).

And die we did. Look at what did us in:

Aloo Tikki, Rice, and Mushroom Saag (left to right)

I was so thrilled that Kyria was there to share the excitement, because after a while, spooning food onto the face of an unappreciative mirror with an uneducated palate gets a little old (even if the conversation remains scintillating). I much prefer spooning it into Kyria's mouth as she sits on my lap like a little girl. But that, children, is a story for another day.

P.S.  The waiter was tickled to tell us that the mushroom saag contained "lots of Vitamin C!" Take note, flu sufferers!

fresh-baked at 09:14 PM
Monday, 17 November 2003

Listen, I don't have time to both run around uptown doing some serious shopping for myself (please, did you really think I was doing "holiday" shopping?) and entertain you here. Something's gotta give. Something's gotta be sacrificed ... and it's not going to be my fashion flair. It's going to be your enjoyment.

So please, tonight, find somewhere else to go. Usually I want all your attention. Every last speck, iota, and jot. But tonight, I'm not writing. So go somewhere else. With my blessing. Do a "meme". A quiz that tells you what kind of dildo you are (which, face it, you are, if you do those things) or which kind of toast you are (which, face it, you're as exciting as, if you do those things). Something like that.

As for me, I'm too busy stroking my new purchases, many as there are. (No, girls, I will not list them. Some things are just private!) I will say this, though: the sassy salesgirl who sidled up to me at Mexx as I was checking out a pair of pants was right when she said, "Girl, those are booty pants!" I didn't know what she meant by that, of course, because I'm not hip to the way the kids talk these days. But once I got them home and tried them on, I knew what she meant. I learned what "booty pants" are. In fact, I'm so educated now and so in love with the education that I just can't take my eyes off my own ass.

And hey, look! I said I wasn't going to write anything here tonight, but I did. In the end, I did.

So forget about that meme. It's still aaaall about me. Me.

fresh-baked at 10:44 PM
Sunday, 16 November 2003
Real Women

I'm sick of sitcoms, commercials, advertisements, and all other manner of media that insist on showing women, usually in their 20s and 30s, bonding with ice cream. Either a big tub that all the gal pals dig into with their individual spoons, or individual pints for which each of the gals has her own spoon. For added flavor, they're commiserating about Men.

Don't the masterminds know that this isn't the way it goes? I wish they would start representing women realistically: in their lacy push-up bras and/or panties (yes, panties), rubbing (ice cubes onto?) each other's arched backs and knotty naughty places those damned men ("they're all the same!") couldn't ever quite find, if they even knew they existed in the first place!

That's an image we could all get behind. Isn't it, ladies???

fresh-baked at 06:54 PM
Saturday, 15 November 2003
Hire Power

Thank you to my charming friend TD, who saw this sign outside the Starbucks at 17th and Broadway (Union Square West) on his way to work this morning. I suspect it is the handiwork of "Hungry Jew".

Sure, everybody's workin' for the weekend ... but apparently one person is setting his sights even higher!

fresh-baked at 08:09 PM
A Tall Order

As you have no doubt heard, either by reading it here or via any one of the many news sources available to an ever savvier public these days, yesterday I actually left the house for the first time since this Monday. One detail that I'd kept hidden from my public, both adoring and jealous, in order to avoid exciting the paparazzi needlessly, was that I spent a bit of time yesterday afternoon with my tallest friend ever. We did a fair amount of snappy shopping at Mexx (Fifth Avenue location), and along the way, couldn't help but notice this at Rockefeller Center:

Yes, that's our good friend Oscar Tannenbaum! There he is in the foreground, on the bottom right! It's unfortunate that that big tree thing took up so much of the shot, because O was wearing a really cute outfit that you just can't see here. Stupid stupid stupid tree!

*  *  *

Oh, and speaking of orders, today is the first day I've gone out to lunch in quite a long time. I know that you're used to regular updates and luscious full-color photos memorializing my menu, and you don't like being disappointed. Well, fret no more, food voyeurs! Today's lunch came courtesy of Village Mingala, which I've mentioned before. Here ... have a look-see!

Green Papaya Salad

Tofu Thoke

Chili Soybean with Vegetables

The DOG's dish, Spicy Prawn, looked just like my Chili Soybean — except, get this: with prawns and not soybean protein!

Oh, it's a wonderful life!

P.S. For photos of wintertime fun at Rockefeller Center, check out last year's heartwarming photographic essay, "Ice of Life". And here is the accompanying entry.

fresh-baked at 05:35 PM
It's so OLD already

Just a little suggestion:

Would everyone just knock it off already with the "_____ is the new _____" hilarity? We all know that 40 is the new 30 (oh haha), another color is the new black (oh hahaha), and that some other something is the new something whatever (oh, I'm in stitches)!

When my cherished friend, the inimitable Mrs. Z, recently told me that her four-year-old son is being terrible, I consoled her by saying, "Four is the new two" — and promptly made myself vomit (involuntarily!).

Vomit, by the way, is a classic and will never be replaced by something new.

Thanks for your cooperation.

fresh-baked at 12:32 AM
Friday, 14 November 2003
Braving the New World

Well, I finally did it, friends and foes. I did it. I finally ventured outside this afternoon for the first time since Monday morning. That morning, upon my return home after being out for almost two hours, I collapsed in a heap ... a jangle of limbs, like a marionette unceremoniously flung aside by a pink-cheeked little boy lured away from his new toy by the irresistible aroma of a freshly baked plum pie.

Amazing, how much the world changed since my last active participation. Gone are the hoopskirts and horse-drawn carriages! Gone are the parasols! And the only bustle around is the one attached to the hustle — and the ragamuffins on the street tell me that that was the name of a dance some years ago! I was comforted to see that some vestiges of the old days remain, though, in the form of newsboy caps ... but then I was alarmed to see that they adorned the heads of the ladies! And the men don't doff whatever caps they're wearing.

It's all so very new to me, and oh so very strange. But I don't care what the new customs are. I'm still entering a restaurant by the back entrance, just like the coloreds do!

By the way, I have no idea what this contraption is that I'm using to type. They say it's better than my old Royal typing machine, and I must agree that it is easy on the fingers. But my goodness, the colorized daguerreotypes of ladies in various stages of undress and in a variety of indecent positions ... well, I could do without that!

I'm almost sad I had to get well, and live to see this new world. I don't know if I want to brave it!

fresh-baked at 07:09 PM
Feet Fête!

I've written before about how my sister and I, in elementary school, used to wish we were twins, and would insist on wearing matching outfits to promote our fantasy as reality among those who didn't know we weren't. Somewhere along the long and winding road of our torturous and tortuous childhood, our style paths diverged. Sometimes I like to wonder what would happen if each of us had taken the other's "road less travelled". But that's getting just a bit too deep, and I like to keep things light around here, because I'm a girl, after all, and it's enough that I'm pretty.

Ajax and I are as different as Patty and Cathy, but we're alike in that each of us likes to indulge in a little good-natured light ribbing about the other's style. So imagine our shock when we discovered this past Saturday that we had bought the same pair of shoes. Take a gander at this, would you:


You will notice, if you're crafty, that our pairs are not exactly alike. For instance, her cloddish although comfortable Earth shoe is her right shoe, whereas mine is my left. And likewise, vice-versa, switcharoo, for our sleek, sexy, stylish other shoe (which is a boot).

"Pretty sneaky, Sis!" we said in unison. (We're two of a kind, after all!)

She's the one with her feet in First Position. I am the one who is inching toward Second. Although neither of us is as turned out as we are capable of being, I think you'll agree that as far as foot fashion goes, we're both incredibly turned out.

Tip:  If you're not familiar with ballet positions, you can learn all about them here!

fresh-baked at 11:44 AM
Thursday, 13 November 2003
Fowl Language

Be a love and do me a favor, would you, please?

Don't call Thanksgiving "Turkey Day". Unless you want me cramming a brick inside the place on your body that corresponds to the part of the turkey from whence you extract the giblets bag and insert your prize-winning homemade sausage/sage/Jello/walnut stuffing.

Thank you, mon petit butterballs.

fresh-baked at 05:02 PM
Two Things Along the Same Line, re: Redundancy

The following are two small, seemingly insignificant items that I've been meaning to touch on (but only touch on, not fully massage or otherwise manipulate in a massage-like manner), but never got around to touching because I'm too busy touching the lives of many, many people with my travelling tapdance/puppet show. But now that I'm on hiatus, I have a spare moment to share them with you. So without further fanfare, here they are:

  1. When someone's name is followed by the initials of their professional title, it is not necessary to precede his name with the title as well. For example, "Dr. Filbert Snappersoup, M.D." is redundant. Use "Filbert Snappersoup, M.D." to indicate he is a medical doctor, or use "Dr. Filbert Snappersoup". Tip: If he is a chiropractor, use the latter option to lend an air of respectability.

  2. When you want to indicate whether the time of day you're referring to is before noon or after noon, all that is needed is the appendage of "a.m." (or "AM"*) or "p.m." (or "PM"**). Writing "Satan will appear for a book signing this morning at 10:00 a.m." is incorrect. Either leave off "this morning" or omit the "a.m." Please note, however, that either way, this is factually incorrect, as everyone knows that Satan never rolls out of bed before noon.

Thank you for your time.

* Not to be confused with "Auntie Mame"

** Not to be confused with "Prime Minister" or "Peter Maxx"

fresh-baked at 11:15 AM
Wednesday, 12 November 2003
Cover for My Brother

The following little ditty is a song I'm posting for my brother. You can listen to it, too, though.

Be sure to listen beyond the first 14 seconds, because it's not the version you probably hope it is.

Here it is: Groovy Tune


fresh-baked at 04:26 PM
Ill ... and lovin' it!

I just love being ill! When else can I find the time to curl up on the sofa, messy-haired, "spooning" Shana, feeding Taxi popcorn, while watching Gidget Grows Up — all without a speck of guilt?

"Wait a minute," you're saying. "Who's she trying to kid? Doesn't she do something like that almost every Sunday?"

Well, yes. Yes, I do. But it's different when I'm ill and am thus relieved of the duty of dressing appropriately in my silky kimono-inspired robe and maribou mules. It's different when my throat is scratchy and forcing my voice to sound like an exotic blend of Demi Moore and Peter Brady (in the "Time to Change" episode where his voice cracks and the kids go ahead with the recording session anyway even though Peter sounds like a deaf-mute when he cross-eyedly approaches the microphone and forces out his "sha na na na na"). It's different when I can't really partake of the popcorn festivity. And it's different when Shana and Taxi are wearing surgical masks because they don't want to catch my "disease", as they so gently put it.

I'm getting better, though. Whatever it is, I think I have it almost beat. I'd like to give credit to one of the remedies I've tried — Aleve, NyQuil, or oscillococcinum (some homoerotic homeopathic remedy recommended by my Pilates pal/instructor, "C") — but really, I think credit goes to the near steambath temperature of this room, which rivals that of my beloved Bubby and Poppop's apartment circa 1985. As if a featherbed, topped by thick flannel sheets, themselves topped by a lightweight down comforter, cotton Indian spread, velvety throw, and another down comforter weren't enough. And a lightweight down "throw" thrown over my head. And flannel pajamas enrobing my body. (No socks, though. They're too suffocating.)

I've finally realized just how I managed to contract this disease, by the way. No, it's not because people at the gym cough into their hands and then handle the free weights. It's not because they don't put a towel between their sweaty flesh and the non-porous vinyl seats of the weight machines. It's not because they secrete all manner of body fluids all over the cardio equipment. No. It's all because of Mother Nature, that harridan.

See, this is what happens when I leave the city and expose myself to unrelieved fresh air and grass and trees and stuff the way I did this past Saturday. This is what verdant Pennsylvania does. Either that, or my brother put DISEASE on the extenda-fork and transferred it to my plate during his skewer-fest.

But however it happened, well, that's all water under the bridge. The troubled water is almost all gone. Praise be! Oh, praise be!

And with that I leave you now to enjoy an as of yet unchosen hideously bad movie as only properly befits illness. I could watch a cinematic feat on Movies on Demand, such as Bend It Like Beckham, but that would make me sick in another, far more distressful way.

*  *  *  

Wait just a minute! Wasn't she ill earlier this year?

Why, yes. Yes, she was:

Sick, Oh!
NyQuil in NY
Still Ill ... and lovin' it!

fresh-baked at 12:02 PM
Tuesday, 11 November 2003
A Pinch About Lynch

Oh, baby-faced West Virginian Jessica Lynch! You seem like a pleasant, thoughtful enough young lady, what with the unhurried, simple cadence of your speech, the demure bow of your head, and the sincere manner in which you converse with Diane Sawyer on Primetime. Your shyness is even quite appealing and sweet. And believe it or not, Iím willing to forgive you for saying "ain't", "seen" instead of "saw", and pronouncing "trapeze" as "trampeze". But I just cannot forgive you for those horrible wheat-colored straight-cut bangs that rest on your forehead. Even those wacky Iraqis know that's a big fashion "don't"!

fresh-baked at 11:14 PM
Monday, 10 November 2003
Gravely Ill

I have taken a moment away from my deathbed to tell you that I am on my deathbed. Whoever said deathbeds were no fun really didn't know how to live!

(knock wood)

(My mother would kill me if I didn't do that.)

fresh-baked at 04:51 PM
Sunday, 9 November 2003

The drive down to Pennsylvania went off without a hitch and with a minimum of bitch. The car, a four-door Taurus, was not white, but gold. Actually, it was closer to champagne, but "gold" is what Hertz called it, so gold it is. Who am I to say what's what, anyway, right?

The biggest excitement of the ride was my dash into a Wal-Mart in the middle of Flannelshirttown, PA to use the ladies room. I cut quite a smashing figure as my heels clacked their New York pace on the rural floors. "She must be one of them New York Jews we saw on the TEEvee," someone said as I zoomed by. I was not thanked by the jovial, matronly "greeter" for coming to Wal-Mart on my way out, though, the way everyone else was. What a relief.

Things progressed nicely at my brother's house. Although nothing makes him happier than to rib me about my relative veganism, he still catered to my tastes:


All the makin's of a fine puddin'. And brofu, expertly seasoned and seared.

He is such a fine host, and so considerate and accommodating, that after we froze our respective (and respected) asses off standing out back viewing the eclipse:

... he set up a little camping chair in his huge living room, so I could enjoy the view without having to deal with the pesky great outdoors. Talk about a room with a view!

"Oh look, everyone, Jodi's camping!" he said. And elaborated about how he envisioned me dressed as Jackie O, enjoying a relaxed rustic moment.

He extended every courtesy to me, to make me feel at home in his. So I felt that one of my gifts to him — a telescopic extending fork — was only appropriate:

That's my sister on the right side of the frame, quite pixellated. (Oh, Sis! That's what happens when you have one too many vodka and Diet Cokes!) If the fork extended just a little more, it could have reached the moon, but as it was, the only thing it reached was my plate of pasta puttanesca!

However, since we are very resourceful sorts, we found other ways to amuse ourselves. And amuse ourselves we did, once we realized that given that the earth was casting its shadow on the moon, we could put on a whimsical shadow puppet show not only for own benefit ... but for all the world to enjoy! So if you saw a shadow that looked like a floppy-eared rabbit romping across the surface of the moon, that was my handiwork. And if you saw Richard Nixon doing something unspeakable to John Dean, that would be my brother's.

As a bonus, and to show my appreciation for the wonderful accommodations and good time, I did not warble "Total Eclipse of the Heart", as I'd planned.

Maybe next time!

fresh-baked at 05:11 PM
Saturday, 8 November 2003
Gearing Up

In about an hour, I will be in a modern automobile on my way to the very nice commonwealth known as Pennsylvania. The rental car will undoubtedly be white, which will make me want to spray-paint this on it: "This is just a rental car. I have better taste than this, really I do. My own car would be black and much more sporty and/or elegant. But I live in New York City, so I don't own a car because that doesn't really make sense for a whole host of reasons I can't really go into now because I'm running out of space and spray paint. Have a nice day!"

I am gearing up for the ride. I want to knock myself out. I do not "do" cars very well at all. And no, I won't enumerate all the things about other drivers that rankle me (please, we all detest the people who don't turn off their turn signals or don't use them at all; we all loathe the ones who drive in the shoulder when there's a jam; and we all detest the ones who climb up our asses to pass us [enjoy that unintentional little rhyme] and then, when they do, don't drive any faster anyway ... blahblahwhocaresshutupthat'snothingnew). I'll just say that being a passenger in a car — any car, even non-white non-rental cars ... even luxurious black AMC Pacers! — nauseates me, and leave it at that.

It does not, however, make me nauseous.

Did you know that when a person says something makes him nauseous or that he is nauseous, that means he nauseates others?

So unless I inspire nausea in someone else by dint of being seated in a white rental car, then I will only be nauseated.

I will have pretty photos of foliage and perhaps food when I return. Hold onto your hats, your seats, and, as my father used to say, and which always nauseated me, your ... "crotch rot".

I'm off.

fresh-baked at 10:07 AM
Friday, 7 November 2003
Just One Thing

I have not had any photo-worthy lunches lately. I did have one dinner that was not only photogenic but quite tasty as well, but my dinners, with very few exceptions, are very private affairs indeed, and I must respect that and remain discreet. So you will just have to imagine the mushroom saag and assorted pakoras that entertained me last weekend.

I have had many experiences lately where people have annoyed me to such wretched extremes that to recount them here would only serve to stir up yet another batch of boiling bile. And as much as I love overworking my liver, it has better things to do with its time, as do I.

I will say only this for the evening, and leave you to your own Friday night devices and drunken escapades, because, really, everybody's workin' for the weekend, after all, aren't they, and you're no different. So party hearty — but please realize that that should really be "heartily". Thanks.

Oh, so that thing I want to say is this:

If these people can run a 26.2-mile race with almost nothing to drink for more than two hours, then the elite athletes at Equinox who tiptoe on the treadmill for 20 minutes at the breakneck pace of 3.0 miles per hour can certainly survive without pausing for Gatorade and Powerbar breaks.

And with that I bid you adieu for the evening. Now go party. Heartily.

fresh-baked at 05:49 PM
Thursday, 6 November 2003
A Story In So Many Words (#7: 100) - "Cold Cut Heart"


Inside Kevin's chest where his heart should be is snuggled a half pound of bologna, sliced thin and wrapped in white paper. No one knows about it, and he doesn't really think about it too much, actually, except those lean times when business is slow and his take-home pay can barely cover his rent. Then, yeah, sure, he thinks about it, when thereís nothing in the refrigerator to eat. Then he thinks about slicing open his chest, pulling out the package, and making bologna "roll-ups". But when all is said and done, he doesn't have the heart to do it!

#1: 100 - "Food For Thought"
#2: 100 - "Mammu"
#3: 100 - "In A Pickle"
#4: 102 - "Meet Me"
#5: 100 - "Use Your Noodle"
#6: 100 - "Dental Gross"

Tuesday, 4 November 2003

At first glance, you may think Spencer Tunick is in the neighborhood:


Especially if you squint pretty hard:

You coyly check out their fine, smooth asses:


And two hours later and two hours bolder, their other Ken doll-esque smooth spots:

One of them — the prettiest, tannest girl in the crowd — turns to you as if in recognition:

"Malibu Barbie, is that you?" you ask, wondering if you should mention the chemotherapy.

P.S. In case you're wondering what this really is, it was a day-long shoot for an anti-smoking commercial, juuust north of 23rd Street where Broadway and Fifth Avenue converge.

fresh-baked at 04:48 PM
The Thought Counts

Many years ago I worked in a law office with a man I'll just call "E". He was in his mid-40s, on his second wife (younger than the first and younger than he), and had two kids by the first. His second wife, "C", had been "the other woman" before he married her. I think she may have even worked for him.

C came into the office on a fairly regular basis, so it wasn't long after I started working for her husband that she met me. Although she was quite friendly with me, she was also taken aback, because E's former secretary was a frumpy, squirrel-haired Scottish woman known around the office as "the one who ate a pound of bacon dipped in peanut butter". I think she was expecting E to downgrade. I tried to pretend I didn't notice C checking me out even more thoroughly than her husband did on a daily basis.

E had a reputation in the office and also in court for being difficult. The word "dick" comes to mind. So does "bastard". But with me, he was never difficult. He really liked me, thought I was different from the rest of the girls in the office, and couldn't believe his good fortune in finding a secretary who not only matched wits with him but who got his work done quickly and expertly. So quickly and expertly that quite a bit of the time I was free to just hang out with him in his office and gab while we drank barrels of Diet Coke.

E also had a reputation for being a bit of a lech. He didn't ever come right out and say anything to any of the girls, but he and I talked about all of them over our sodas. We agreed that "A" had the best rack in the office. That "K" had the best lips on the job. And also a great ass.

I knew he liked having me around for more than just the camaraderie and my smarts. He liked to look at me, and I know he felt like he was somehow really cool because he had a secretary that the other guys in the office wouldn't have minded having on the job. We laughed about this, and I didn't take him seriously at all. I also didn't take his lecherous comments seriously, because his self-deprecation negated them. I never felt "threatened" by them. Or him.

His wife, on the other hand, always seemed somewhat put out when she would visit and find me in her husband's office. Other times, when she called his line and I picked up the phone from my extension because he was not at his desk but beside mine, giving me some work, she turned cold when I told her, "He's right here. Hold on."

My birthday rolled around not long after I started working for E. He called me into his office, and I sat down to talk with him. He beamed at me and handed me a nicely wrapped box. Thanked me profusely for all of my good work, told me how much he loved having me around, and told me to go on, go on, open the box, happy birthday!

As I tore off the paper (please ... did you really think I'm one of these girls who carefully removes it?) and revealed the box, he proudly said, "It's from Paraphernalia."

Paraphernalia is a now defunct store that was one of my favorites in the late '80s and early '90s. The clothing was very modern and stylish, mostly black, and could very easily provide me with the "look" I preferred — mini-skirt, belt with silver-tone buckles, black tights, short jacket with "interesting" buttons — if I had been able to afford it. I was duly impressed that E had been paying attention during our talks and remembered that I was thrilled every time I was able to buy something on sale from that store. Touched that he had gotten me a gift that reflected my taste.

"Paraphernalia!" I said. "Oh my god, I'm so excited!"

I lifted off the lid, pushed aside the tissue paper inside, and resting inside the box was ... a bright purple oily-shiny polyester bow blouse with poufy long sleeves and a bright multi-colored shiny polyester pleated mid-calf length skirt.

"C picked it out," he said. "I'm not very good at that kind of stuff."

"Either is she," I wanted to say.

"Well, thank you," I said.

"It's a little different from what you usually wear," he said. "But it's great, isn't it? You ordinarily don't wear color, so C thought this would be a fun change."

And you know what? C was right. I had a ton of fun with this colorful easy-care ensemble! It was so practical! The skirt was long enough to protect my knees from the scratchy carpet in E's office, and the bow part of the blouse came in very handy for wiping my mouth!

fresh-baked at 12:54 PM
Monday, 3 November 2003

Dear Kelly Ripa:

This morning you praised the cast members of Saturday Night Live for their ability to put on a show every week with almost no rehearsal. You said that every week at showtime, they are "literally shot out of a cannon". Was this your way of telling us you really thought the show was a bomb, which it was this Saturday night, when you hosted? (You, of course, were "da bomb".)

Love to Mark and the kids.


*  *  *

P.S.  This past Saturday night was one of the only times I've watched this show since the original, brilliant cast. I have a feeling this one abominable episode isn't the only one with all the humor of a third-rate junior high school prank. ("Cow farts". How droll!)

fresh-baked at 02:15 PM
Trick or Tweet

Seventh Avenue, between 21st and 22nd

Parents, I encourage you to view this photo with your children. Don't hide their eyes. Don't shield their innocence. Don't keep them sheltered. They need to know the truth.

Tweety Bird is nothing but a two-bit gutter drunk.

His last bout with the booze was so bad that he wound up going home with someone so trashy and vile that he had to gnaw off part of his own right arm while she was sleeping in order to free himself from her slutty clutches. Yes, I suppose you could say she was "coyote ugly". And say what you will about Tweety (and oh, there's so much to say), but he sure is wily.

fresh-baked at 01:27 PM
Saturday, 1 November 2003
Hallowe'en: Oh So Sweet

So yeah. Hallowe'en. I'm sure you all had a fun-filled, peanut-packed, nougaty, chocolaty, jolly ol' rancher of a time last night, doing whatever it is you did to celebrate the hallowed holiday. I'm sure your costume was fabulous and downright clever as all get-out and everyone thought you were just the bee's knees, even when you drank too much malt liquor after eating too many malted milk balls and wound up groping some chick in a really creative cop costume as you said, "Arrest me, officer!" and then "Frisk me!" Yeah, I'm sure you were adorable. And original.

As for me, well, I stayed home and dressed up as a full-color, four-panel picture postcard of Hawaii with a scribbled message on the back telling the folks back home that I just got "lei'd". It was a really cute costume. I wish you could've seen it.

If you'd come by my place as a trick or treater, you would've seen it. See, I'm one of these people who dresses up for the benefit of those who come to my door to collect goodies. But I only answer the door for kids of a certain age, i.e. those who haven't yet learned what a blowjob is, let alone been involved in one in any capacity. I realize that kids are pretty fast these days, so I may have to change this criterion for next year, lest I find myself opening the door only for kids so young they don't even have teeth to chew the candy I'm dispensing.

But then again, this year I decided I'm not giving out candy anymore. Not only do I want to avoid contributing to the growing girth of our nation's children, I also want to know the kids like me for me and my good nature and not for what they can get from me. But I also realize that I don't want the kids to walk away empty-handed, because I don't want to be known as some sort of aguafiestas.

So this year I decided to show the kids I care by giving out non-edible items in lieu of fun-size candy bars. You should've seen the ear-to-ear grins on these little moppets' faces when I held out a big box of high-waisted pants I will never wear again and told them to pick out anything they wanted.

"Anything, Miss Jodi?" they asked politely, their eyes widening in awe.

"Anything," I said, tousling their hair. "And unlike the other houses, where you can only take one piece, well, here you can take as much as you like! Go crazy!"

They went just as bonkers over my old bank statements, circa 1986-1993. Ditto with the tiny plastic bags containing extra buttons to shirts that no longer even exist, keys for locks I've long abandoned, expired coupons for "the new Coke", and instruction booklets for every portable CD player that's ever had the nerve to break while in my charge.

Of course, it wasn't all just about the treats here. No. I'm a big supporter of the "trick" side of the coin as well. With one hearty "Get to steppin', gang!" these kids scattered every which way in order to hold up the other side of the bargain.

You should see how my floors shine! You'd rave over the professional quality paint job in my office! And I've never had a better pedicure! My only complaint is that a few of the younger children apparently haven't learned how to properly fold towels. (Those untalented youngsters were still rewarded with stretched-out ponytail holders. I don't punish. And I don't play favorites.)

After all that hard work, though, I didn't feel content to just give the kids non-snack items as a reward. And wouldn't you know it: they were so well-mannered that they told me to please fuck off when I handed them fun-size Tofutsie Pops for a job well done!

fresh-baked at 07:23 PM