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    Meet the Parents

    This weekend I will board a train en route to a wedding where I will meet practically every member of Christian’s family for the first time. Normally I am an ace when it comes to big parties, working crowds and meeting people. (Hey, I don’t do party promotions for nothing, honey.) This time, however, I think I would like to be very awkward and embarrassing. You know, spice things up a bit. Christian hasn’t introduced a girl to his family in awhile, so I’d like to be memorable. . . go down in history, as it were. I’ve come up with some ideas:

    (A) When the priest asks if anyone is present who objects to the couple joining as one, I’ll make my grand entrance wearing an empathy belly and demand that the groom come home because his “children need their daddy!”
    (B) Wear a dress that blows up when I twirl around on the dance floor revealing that I have “gone cowboy”.
    (C) Dry hump the bride.
    (D) Dry hump the groom.
    (E) Dry hump the bride and groom during their first dance as Mr. & Mrs.
    (F) Kiss everyone on the lips and try to slip ’em some tongue.
    (G) Start a mosh pit and relive my days as a headbanger.
    (H) Body slam the bitch that catches the bride’s bouquet and take what’s rightfully mine.

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    Snoopy Was in On It, Too

    As one would expect, my deaf hippie parents had an eclectic bunch of friends. One such friend was a cartoonist specializing in caricatures. One afternoon he drew Risa and her coke bottle bottom glasses. Then Butch with his oversized smile. Then my older brother with his bowl haircut. We oohhed and ahhhed as each sketch was revealed and I waited patiently on the sidelines. Finally, my much anticipated turn came and I was in the chair posing for my first portrait at the tender age of three. I kept absolutely still, nearly peeing my pants in excitement. What would he see when he saw me? My big brown eyes? My cute little nose? My mom and brother looked over his shoulder and giggled, looking at me then the pad then back to me again and then would snicker some more. Oh I couldn’t wait! What was he drawing?! What were they seeing?

    Ta-Da! He was done and turned the pad around to reveal his creation. Staring back at me was not me at all, but my Snoopy sweatshirt. It wasn’t even a caricature of my Snoopy sweatshirt, but the exact same likeness of it. I was mortified and sorely disappointed. Where was the picture of me? You drew Snoopy? Motherfu*king, Red Baron-flying, Woodstock-loving SNOOPY? Where’s the creativity in that? My anger was made worse by the conspiracy that had taken place around me. They had all duped me, even my own mother. This very type of betrayal has sparked a thousand Greek tragedies and mass shootings in high schools, I’m certain of it.

    Alas, had I already played the part of Helena in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I would have quoted her lines in Act III:

    “Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
    Now I perceive they have conjoin’d all three
    To fashion this false sport, in spite of me. . .
    Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
    To bait me with this foul derision?”

    After the tears subsided, one would think he would make it up to me by then drawing what he had led me to expect. But, no, it was back to bowl smoking and beer drinking.

    At three years old, I learned that my level of expectation is sometimes too high. I know people are capable of disappointing me and yet I still hope that they’ll come through. I would like to believe that some day I’ll open my mail to find a tube with a little note from him stuck to a faded caricature of three-year-old-me, but I know that will never happen. Jerk off.

    That, folks, is why I hate caricatures.

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    Dating on the Cheap

    Tonight’s free movie (Thanks, Christian’s one year pass to any Loew’s Theater!) was Identity, an enjoyable, well cast thriller with a moderately clever ending and a few genuine gasp inducing moments. Yep, that’s my kind of movie: free and fun. We are the ultimately cheap couple, let me tell you. We sneak in candy and drinks to a free movie then go have dinner with a free gift certificate. There’s not much that we have paid for in our fledgling relationship, which is good considering neither of us are dripping with cash. Is there such a thing as a Date Registry for future dates he and I would like to take? Hmmm, maybe I’ll just create one. I could be on to something here.

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    Just because

    Ten things you didn’t know about me:

    1. I read magazines back to front.

    2. Most of my immediate family are deaf.

    3. I got whipped with a leather belt for (a) saying I hated someone; (b) pouting at losing Wahoo; and (c) laughing at my brother for getting whipped with a leather belt.

    4. I’m fixated on sudden death, dismemberment, serial killers, forensic photos/files/cases, horror films and rotten.com.

    5. I don’t watch nature shows any more because they make me sob uncontrollably.

    6. I lived in a tin shed, then a trailer, then a tin shed again after the trailer got repossessed.

    7. I stole a girl’s purse.

    8. I drink almost two gallons of water a day.

    9. I started working as a busboy at a yacht club at the age of 13.

    10. I curse like a drunken sailor.

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    May 28, 2003

    What is it with old flames or crushes who sporadically float in and out of your life or hover about merely to interject overt sexual flirtation and innuendo? Why do they do this? Is it to assure themselves that, yes, someone at some point found them sexually attractive without the lingering threat of developing a deeper relationship?

    You know what I say to them? “Get the fuck out already with your Hang-Around-Self.” Because you know what they’re doing? They’re sabotaging any chance at real closeness with whomever is unlucky enough to have them as a mate and undermining your value by pigeonholing you as nothing more a temporary ego fix that’s not worth the investment of real energy or time. You exist when they’re feeling low* and it’s convenient for them. And, if you’re in a relationship with someone else, well they just ignore that little fact. They don’t respect you, so why would they respect your relationship?

    Exception: If you actually do something noteworthy or are riding the wave of success, well guess who will suddenly be your good, close friend?

    *Sometimes, if they know (in their eyes, at least) they are superior to you (be it in the category of beauty, brains or the combination of both), they are merely dangling a tasty carrot in front of you knowing that they are (to you, at least) an irresistible treat. Again, boosting their ego. They will continue to tease you without the intention of ever giving you a taste, unless of course the aforementioned Exception is in effect.

    Well, guess what Hang-Around-Self? You’re pathetic. So, yeah. Leave. Now.

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    May 26, 2003

    This morning I woke up because it was quiet. I’m talking the morning after the Night of the Comet quiet. No rain, no wind, no babies crying or dog barking in the distance, no cars whizzing past, no cabbies honking and no gang of teenagers speaking Spanish outside my bedroom window. Nothing. The countryside isn’t as quiet as it was this morning in Astoria. I lay in bed for about 30 minutes straining to hear something, anything. Nothing. I determined, yes, it is true, I am alone on another holiday. So, I peeled myself out of bed and turned on Game Show Network (hereinafter referred to as “GSN”).

    I ate an apple danish, an entire canister of Salt & Vinegar Pringles, drank two large coffees and a 2 liter of Dr. Pepper, laughed and screamed at old episodes of Match Game and Pyramid, and got skeeved out by a smarmy Richard Dawson…all before 3:00.

    When the rest of the country is spending time with family and you’re sans the necessary ingredient, there simply isn’t anything else to do.

    Or, so I thought.

    I have since discovered the joys of the GSN’s interactive gaming option. Oh, sweet Jesus, thank you for cable modems and Macromedia flash plug-ins. The Richard Dawson Kiss-O-Meter is just icing on the cake.

    I must note, I get way too emotionally invested in the outcome of the show. I literally scream, jump up out of my seat, laugh heartily and loudly and say things like:

    NO WAY!
    GET OUT!
    WHAAATTTT????
    What an IDIOT!!!!

    All for someone who is wearing plaid pants and a fat tie with diagonal stripes and giant, poofy hair because those things are in still in style; because these shows have happened well over twenty years ago, and yet I’m still thrilled when they win and oh so sorry to see them lose.

    God, I can’t wait to go back to work.

    P.S. My radiator is spewing heat. Yes, that’s right, HEAT on Memorial Day. Jealous much?

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    May 26, 2003

    My tub is miserably clogged and Liquid Plumber doesn’t do what it professes. I need to call my Super, but I’d rather shower in ankle deep stagnant water than come face to face with him. Why, oh why, dear God, did Stevie Wonder’s I Wish have to be so fun and funky?

    So after last night’s dinner and show (one of the best dates EVER) we came back to Astoria for a beer at Gibney’s and dessert at my place. We were having such a great conversation, we completely missed Christian’s appearance as “Chad” in the “Mad Real World” episode of Chappelle’s Show. It wasn’t until the closing credits when Christian heard a familiar sound that we directed our attention to the television screen. Ah, well, they’ll air it again I’m sure. Meanwhile, read all about him here in Backstage’s “Spotlight On Comedy: Comedy Best Bets 2003 – 10 Standout Stand-Ups Worth Watching.”

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    May 22, 2003

    One lunchtime trek garnered me these little tidbits:

    * I do not like carnations. At all. Au natural and especially dyed.
    * I like Gerber daisies and peonies and irises and lilies and most other flowers.
    * I do not like it when my change is given to me with the bills on bottom and coins on top.
    * I like it when I catch people’s gazes in reflections.
    * I like “secret”, underground passageways on rainy days.
    * Very obese and, therefore, large breasted women should not rest their tits on a table. Even when that table is in a booth in McDonald’s. If having ones elbows on the table is a show of bad manners, then resting ones elephantine appendages there certainly is, too.

    That is all for now, thank you for reading.

    Jack’s Back
    Jack to me noticing my bag o’ food from McDonald’s: “McDonald’s!?!? You’re not a McDonald’s person.”
    Me: “I know, but I’m going out tonight and need something fattening.”
    Jack: “I’ll give you something fattening.”

    Boy, is he sharp.

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    Cuh-ranky

    That’s me. I have no idea why. I started out the day just fine and then, I don’t know, maybe it was the chilly temperature in mid-May, or perhaps the constant drizzle that is not thwarted by an umbrella because it is everywhere the wind takes it. Or, it could have been the throngs of tourists gathered to see Ricky Martin perform (very poorly) outside of my office thereby blocking my way and forcing me into a puddle. Or, maybe it was having too much work and too little time to be bothered by Movable Type completely fritzing out on me. Golly gee fucking willakers, I just don’t know why I’m so annoyed. Let’s see how tomorrow is, when the drizzle stops, and I get to see a free movie* with Christian.

    In other news, Kayla Solomon was chosen to be the featured playwright for the inaugural 4: Your Consideration Art Series. Why her? She submitted three nice pieces that will mesh well with our mission of integrating social interaction with art; and, welll, you didn’t submit anything, did you?*That’s supposed to link to Christian’s May 13, 2003, entry, in case you’re interested.

  • All Blog Entries,  Deaf Culture & ASL,  Family & Life,  Tex in the City

    AIDS Walk

    Paquita and I joined Tex in the City, 40-some-odd-thousand volunteers and John Spencer for the AIDS Walk. (Don’t we make a cute little family?)

    Out of all those people walking for the cure, I ran into my neighbor Steve; his large, horny-for-Paquita German Shepherd named Turbo; and a coworker who wasn’t walking, but saw our signs and ran over to say hello. Funny things, Timing and Chance. I walked in memory of my Deaf family lost to AIDS: Darold, George and Lisa. May you rest in peace and may a cure be found.

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    Mother’s Day Quote of the Day

    Mom to toddler walking in the rain: “When we get home I’m gonna beat your ass so you better start walking right.” Aww, so sweet, it makes my mammary glands hurt.

    Look what my friend, Mr. Bob Barker, did as a favor to me so I’d have a gift for my mom on Mother’s Day. Isn’t he dreamy? Thank you, Mr. B., for making my mom tickled pink today. She’s getting you framed as we speak. Mine is worn out now, since Paquita and I kiss you boys good night faithfully every night. Can you send another?

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    Horrifying

    I do not exaggerate when I say it is horrifying to learn that you have been caught dancing — and I mean freak dancing complete with the white man’s overbite and finger snapping — in your underwear singing Stevie Wonder’s I Wish at the top of your lungs. I know this because after I had made it through the first chorus, I was executing my best stocking feet double spin move only to fall short at one and a half revolutions stopping in precisely the right position to see my building Super staring right back at me. I’ve never seen him move that fast. He bolted down the stares as though HE had been caught doing something wrong when, really, who wouldn’t watch a free freak show?

    This was so much worse than my chiropractor visit. I was immobile; rooted permanently in humiliation. I could only manage to scream, “Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!”

    That’s the last time I open my windows . . . EVER. In fact, I’m never stepping foot outside of my apartment again. Kozmo come back.

    Sing with me folks:

    I wish those days could come back once more
    Why did those days ev-er have to go?

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    We Interrupt This Program…

    Hey, Kambri, where were you when the President declared the end of the war in Iraq?

    Why, Yankee Stadium with Christian Finnegan, of course!

    In my typical way, I got *free* tickets to the game and quickly called Christian to tell him, “No, we won’t be watching a movie after all. No, we won’t be going to the MoMA for their music video exploration montage after all. Yes, we will be sitting in Yankee Stadium eating $4 hot dogs and drinking $7.75 beer in absolutely perfect weather, so get dressed and be at my place STAT!” What can I say, he follows orders well.

    Afterwards, we indulged in some brownie, ice cream, caramel concoction at Serendipity III before heading home to Astoria for a hot make-out session with a very horny Paquita.

    I gotta tell ya, dates don’t get better than that.

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    Oh, Puh-leeze!

    Watching the opening sequence to Mr. Personality makes me want to shove splinters under my nails. Quotes such as “This is a life long decision” and “I’m going to meet the love of my life” make me want to shove splinters into that chick’s urethra while I wear a creepy mask. Now that would be worth watching.

    Yee haw, the bad weather spell finally broke. I watched Katie Couric play tennis this morning during breakfast then at lunch the Smithereens performed outside in what was recently the ice skating rink and is soon to be my Friday after work hangout here in the famous Rockefeller Center. I was grooving in place, letting the sun damage my skin while humming along to “A Girl Like You”. Ah me, Vitamin D and skirts without tights. It’s enough to bring tears to my eyes or maybe that guy next to me just farted. I don’t care, I’m happy!

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    Apr 25, 2003

    My friend Lyric Benson was killed by her ex-fiance yesterday who then killed himself. I’m sorry that such a sweet, lovely creature was cut short so young. May she rest in peace and may those fortunate souls that get her organs live as happily as she did. The world and I will miss her. And, Bobby, what can I say? I’m sorry for his family. I know what it’s like to be related to someone who has done such a horrible thing and it’s not easy for the survivors of such tragedy. Bless their hearts.

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    Apr 23, 2003

    So for lunch, I stepped outside to have a private conversation on my cell phone, because where else can I have a private chat in New York City but right out on the sidewalk where no one cares what I have to say as long as I stay out of the way? So I was loitering outside of Crane & Co.’s Fine Stationery, because it’s rude to go inside to such a quiet place and have a flirtatious conversation for everyone to hear.

    But I was being flirtatious, so I was smiling a lot and licking my lips and teeth and getting myself worked up talking about the next time I get to see the certain someone on the other end of the line. Meanwhile, I did notice that a Big Apple double decker tour bus has pulled up beside me and I did hear the noise coming from the open air top level, but I did not pay attention, because, you see, I was lost in my conversation and am expert at tuning out the nonsensical noise of Midtown Manhattan.

    It wasn’t until I playfully smacked my own ass that I heard an instant, deafening ROAR of excitement from the top of the bus that I noticed that I had an audience of about 20 college-aged men that were whooping and hollering, cheering me on, trying to get my attention and I had just pleased them in the most base sort of fashion without my intent. I half expected beads to come raining down on me. Just where did they think they were for Spring Break?

    So I announced in a fake New York accent: “Can’t you see I’m having a conversation here? Your bus made a wrong turn somewhere, boys, ’cause this ain’t Mardi Gras.” And with that, they let out a collective, “Awwww,” and disappeared into the City looking for their next thrill. Sorry to disappoint, but my mind is made up.

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    Apr 18, 2003

    So it’s Good Friday. Not sure what that means to you religious folks, but what it means to me is a seat on the train, no one in the office, no phones ringing, non-stop web surfing without those pesky interruptions for “work” and leaving work early sans guilt to go shopping on 5th Avenue without a care in the world. Good Friday, indeed. Hallelujah (or whatever y’all say for this “holiday”)!

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    Apr 15, 2003

    Assuming the IRS doesn’t reject my tax return, I owe the founder of Turbo Tax a blow job* or some other equally rare and wonderfully pleasurable treat.

    In other news, I finally tackled the colossal dirty laundry blob that was overtaking my life. It was so big, Paquita climbed on top and looked me in the eye. I’m 5’10” tall. She’s a tiny dog. It cost $5.50 and 1.5 hours of my life. Was that so bad? I suddenly feel like I have a whole new wardrobe and I won’t be ashamed to have my heirs (HA!) dig through my things in the event of my sudden death. What a great feeling! I owe myself a blow job**.

    I still haven’t sold my car due to my immeasurable laziness at facing a daunting task. If I sold it, I would save myself $600 a month. Don’t you think that’s reason enough to take selling it seriously? I’m a self-defeating ass.

    * Mom, “blow job” is what kids these days are calling ice cream cones. No worries.
    ** Again, Mom, think “ice cream cones”.

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    Apr 10, 2003

    The phones in our office are equipped with an interoffice buzzer system. This means one touch dialing will produce an ear piercing BEEEEEEE BOOOOOOO that demands immediate attention before it will BEEEEEEE BOOOOOOO at you again. Several of these demanding signals in a row are enough to drive a girl (me) mad. I am petitioning to have the BEEEEEEE BOOOOOOO changed with a less aggravating, more happy summons. Perhaps positive affirmations that rotate on a regular basis. For my phone, I will have:

    – Have you lost weight?
    – Damn you’re fine!
    – You’re smart, talented, funny & sexy and dammit people like you!

    and the obvious:

    – You deserve a raise!

    I think I’m onto something here.

    High Anxiety
    My heart’s not big enough for these butterflies. They make me want to run and run till I can’t remember the reason I started running in the first place. Run so far that nobody knows who I am or from whence I came. Run so my heart bursts open and lets these butterflies free because they hurt. They hurt bad.

  • All Blog Entries,  Christian Finnegan,  Family & Life

    Apr 10, 2003

    You Say it’s Your Birthday!Hey check out what I got Christian for his 30th birthday. I swiped some photos and information off the internet and registered and created his very own website. Unfortunately Blogger picked today, April Fool’s Day, to have MAJOR bugs in templates, so I wasn’t able to transfer his Tower of Hubris blog just yet. But when I do, then he’ll be as cool as me and y’all will need to update your links. Yeah, homework for everyone!

    Happy birthday, Christian!

  • All Blog Entries,  Christian Finnegan,  Comedy,  Family & Life,  NYC,  Random

    Apr 9, 2003

    I was stuck underground between subway stops due to “heavy smoke” at Lexington Avenue. After an extremely long wait, I started getting nervous and wondered if I would be burned alive or die from smoke inhalation first. All I could think of was:

    (1) Poor little Paquita and Larry Bird and Phish home alone for a few days before anyone noticed I was missing and broke into my apartment to save them and loot my things; and
    (2) I have the most monumental pile of dirty laundry hidden in my closet that someone would find once the looting began.

    I had a friend over the other night who went into my kitchen and said, “Hey, look, you’ve got a quarter on the floor,” then bent down and picked it up. My reply, “Yeah, it’s been there a coupla weeks.”

    What’s wrong with me? Am I that lazy, really? Laundry sucks, but come on, I can’t pick a quarter up off the floor? Time to start training Paquita to learn a new trick called: “Take care of the lazy slob that occasionally feeds you.”

    Funked up Facts
    I learned a disturbing fact from the source of all great knowledge —why, the flip side of a Snapple lid, of course— and thought I’d share it with you:

    Snapple’s “Real Fact” #137:
    The City of Los Angeles has 3x more automobiles than people.
    Get all the “Real Facts” at snapple.com

    What the Hell? Those self-indulgent pricks! Something Christian might point out is that Real Fact is in quotes. Is the “Real Fact” not real at all? Perhaps the folks at Snapple are just toying with us East Coasters trying to get us to hate the West Coasters by leading us to believe that they are excessive, grandiose, spoiled snobs. I wonder what their Snapple lids say?

    Perhaps this:
    Snapple’s “Real Fact” #2003
    New York is responsible for all earthquakes.
    Get all the “Real Facts” at snapple.com

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    Cookies & Macrame

    Once, in the slums of Houston when I was tiny and very young, the neighborhood kids were playing with a fun toy found by the railroad tracks. It was basically a giant “pillow”; thick material filled with air that cushioned the freight in the rail cars. Some older boys hauled it over to our apartment complex with a genius idea. The first kid in line would sit on one end of the pillow and the second kid would then run and jump on the opposite end sending the sitting duck sailing through the air.

    Great waves of laughter cut through the afternoon smog and wound their way into our kitchen where I was surely baking cookies or weaving macramé with my mother. My interest was piqued, the lure of the adventure was too great, so I abandoned my activities and wandered outside to see what I was missing.

    Once I saw the boisterous escapades that were unfolding without me, I immediately wanted to join the group; to be part of the fun.

    “Please let me do it!” I begged to my much older brother. He got a look on his face that at the tender age of four I was unable to translate, but at the bitter hardened age of 31.5 I recognize as evil subterfuge. “Sure! Let her do it,” he agreed, as he shot a devious glance to the biggest corn-fed Texan boy that side of Mississippi. And, with that, I placed my tiny little bottom on the big stolen pillow and let my feet dangle in anticipation as that hulking corn-fed beast bounded towards me as fast as his feet would carry him.

    The butterflies were big at first, as was my smile, but the rest was a blur of blue sky and rapidly approaching grass. Things went black for a split second before I saw stars and the sidewalk an inch from my face. I couldn’t breathe since the force of my land had squeezed all air out of my miniature frame.

    Still, somehow I managed to find the breath to run away from the peals of howling and shrieking, mocking laughter that trailed further and further behind me. I didn’t want the adventure anymore. I wanted to be back with the cookies and macramé and Love. Just like today.

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    Highlights from this past weekend:

    — Vodka gimlets and strange coincidences.
    — Leather seats warmed by the spring sun.
    — Submitting the winning Oscar ballot…again.
    — Guacamole with Sheila an hour before she flew to Hong Kong and having her leave me a 10 minute tipsy voice mail minutes later from the airport describing every person in the room.
    — Special invitation and free tickets (Thanks Mr. Producer!) to Betty Rules and the “after party” with said Mr. Producer and the rockin’ cast.
    — The author of a best selling children’s book wanting to submit the stage version to the 4: Your Consideration Art Series.
    — Our Oscar party and dressing up in black & white pinstripe sequin pants that made my ass look (and feel) Dyn-O-Mite.
    — Hours and hours of diligent work on a special gift for a special boy’s upcoming 30th birthday.
    — Watching Paquita try to decide whether to play with her ball or stolen panties.

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    Mar 20, 2003

    I suppose I should talk about The War. Life isn’t all parties and armoires and home improvement or dates and flowers and my dog. If Hussein is really behind 9/11, then I hope we hunt him down and kill him, but I’m concerned that we’re going against the majority of the UN. It seems as though Bush just has a big boner for Saddam Hussein. I’m most worried about the anti-American backlash and potential for suicide bombers and biological attacks, especially here in New York City and in the subway.

    That said, I will still carry on my business as usual wearing an invisible bulls-eye for the same reason I rode the subway and walked to work on September 12, 2001, when much of this City stayed inside: “It is better to die on one’s feet, than to live on one’s knees.” –Delores Ibarruri**

    So, fuck you, Mr. Terrorist.

    **In the event I am the victim of an attack, somebody please take care of Paquita. She’s very loving and knows 10 tricks in voice and sign language and loves to hump arms. Oh, and Mom, those things in that middle left dresser drawer are not mine. I don’t use them. Nay, in fact, I have no idea how they got there. Please kindly disregard.

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    Mar 18, 2003

    I lost 10 pounds assembling this computer armoire (scroll down a few pictures to see it) and it’s beautiful! “Some assembly required” my ass. I should be getting the $0.05 an hour they paid that little 5 year old China girl because that bitch didn’t do shit.

    I can’t even tell you how amazing it is that I did it alone. I could have killed myself or Paquita. I kept telling myself, “Just wait till someone comes over to help. Don’t do this alone.” But I’m never one to wait on anything I want…you know, like Veruca from Willy Wonka. Anyway, it looks fantastic and is functional to boot. I still have a few things to screw, but my hands look like I’ve been working the chain gain with Dad all day…swollen, red, knicked and scraped…very feminine.

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    Mar 17, 2003

    Hard to believe that I got caught in a marching band not once, but twice today. Those wacky St. Patrick’s Day Parades, I tell ya! Just lovely having your eardrums blasted and getting jostled by every drunk “Irishman” during your lunch break when you have PMS. Really…you should try it.

    Saturday night included a date that brought me flowers (!$@%# This never happens to me!) coordinated to match my new living room (Double &%*$@# How freaking cool is that?) and a stop at a birthday party. I didn’t go to sleep till 6:30 in the morning (gulp) which meant that when my friend of five years, Zach, called me Sunday afternoon I was still in bed. He was rightly ashamed of me, so I hurriedly got dressed, grabbed some chocolate milk and Pringles and met him at the nearest subway stop.

    Zach, a mere 25 years old, has boundless energy. Needless to say, he didn’t let me suffer from bad sleep and dehydration quietly. We walked all over Central Park, ate hot dogs and pretzels and tossed around a frisbee with a bunch of old friends of his that also happen to be my neighbors. We stumbled upon a DJ who was blasting some really funky dance music and over a 100 people were gathered in a in a big circle. Everybody was on skates roller dancing and laughing and mingling. It was electric and so New York. I know Zach wants to live here especially for impromptu parties like this. I could see him doing the math in his head while we were all dancing in place grooving to the beat of a different drummer.

    We moved on to the best dive bar find in NYC. The Subway Inn had $3.00 beers and is about 10 steps from the N/R Lexington Avenue Station which puts me about 10 minutes from home. It’s such a dive, the men’s room has been broken and never fixed for at least two years. The bartender bought me a beer and I wrote graffiti on the bathroom wall for the first time. It was good and smutty. I hope Zach does move here. We always have fun and find the best trouble. He keeps me young at heart; and, as he says, “All women should have a Zach in their pocket.” He’s so right.

  • All Blog Entries,  Family & Life,  NYC

    NEXT!

    Now that I’m living along again, not only do I have to cook and clean for/after myself (WTF?!), I also have to run my own errands. Egads! It seems I’ve been missing out on colorful characters all this time. Paquita and I waited in a surprisingly short line at the bank considering it was Friday and the 15th of the month. Said short line even graciously moved fairly quickly. It wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance of one short, rude, impatient, old, foreign woman two people behind me sharply announcing “Next!” each time the “Next in Line Please” light would ding, as though the next person in line couldn’t possibly figure it out on their own. They just weren’t moving quickly enough for her. When I was the next I turned to her and hissed with curled lip, “I won’t be needing your assistance, thanks.” I wanted to pop her in the mouth. My first errand running excursion doesn’t bode well.

  • All Blog Entries,  Family & Life,  NYC,  Random

    My Density Has Brought Me to You

    After work, I met Sheila and her dear friend Rich, Captain of a Firehouse in Long Beach, CA. Rich and his firemen crew are here in town to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade with Rich’s old 51st Street firehouse. They were great fun, but I left early to get home to my beloved Paquita. I walked to the Lexington Avenue Station and made my way through the maze of people and signage before I peeked out from underneath the brim of my hat to spot him staring at me just as his 6 train was pulling in to the station. Okay, it probably wasn’t him, but a slightly older dead ringer for him with a top coat and great hair. I didn’t hold his stare, just kept moving in my I’m-in-a-hurry-and-it’s-fu*king-colder-than-a-witch’s-tit-in-a-brass-bra state of mind. After all, I wasn’t waiting for that 6 train; I was headed towards another platform entirely.

    So I passed him as the train pulled to a stop and walked for a moment before something made me turn around and take a second glance behind me. There he is, one foot on the platform and one in the train, and he’s holding the door open despite the conductor’s warnings and he was still looking at me. This time our eyes locked and he motioned for me to hop in the subway. It was a tilted move of his head directing me into the car and his eyes slightly pleaded for a brief second. His face and body language said, “Come with me. Why not?”

    I thought, “Thanks, but I’ve got an N to catch,” and kept on walking.

    And it just struck me as I got further from him and the doors of that 6 train slid between us that, metaphorically speaking, I always take the N home. I could be missing out on some serious destiny. I guess that’s why God invented Craig’s List; because, in the cold, fast-paced life of New York City, sometimes destiny needs a little helping hand.

  • All Blog Entries,  Anipals,  Family & Life,  Food & Drink

    Look Ma! I Will Survive!

    Here’s one of those wacky evening post I warned you about!

    Behold lemon pepper chicken, grilled to scrumptious perfection by yours truly, asparagus and baby red potatos. This, folks, is one of my favorite meals. Simple, hearty, cheap and mmm, mmm, fu*king mmm. It satisfies my Southern meat n’ potatos need without clogging my arteries. Never mind that it’s served up on the only plate I currently own. A single green Asian dish purchased for and used by a candle for the last two years. Buy me a rug, silverware, or pretty much anything else, and I just might cook dinner for you. You can have the plate. I’ll eat off the floor. No really, it’s okay, you’re the Guest.

    So it turns out after two years of never having to cook one single meal for myself, cooking reasonably for one person just isn’t that hard. However, it turns out after two years of never having to wash dishes after cooking, washing dishes sucks Cable Guy ass.

    Throwing Down Those Amish Chains
    Every time the Cable Guy would go into my bedroom, my bird Larry would whistle a catcall. I was like, “Yo, I think your ass crack is fine and all that, but that was the bird.”

    I’m all fancified at home now. Got me some high speed internet and some digital cable to keep my lonely heart company. Now I can leave witty posts and pithy comments any time of the day. You won’t know when I’ll be updating my blog. I’m all crazy like that.

  • All Blog Entries,  Family & Life,  Random

    Mar 12, 2003

    The Cable Guy is hooking me up tomorrow morning. Hallelujah! I’m amazed that I’ve been able to find things to do every day and night without a television and the internet to occupy me. I’ve read, cleaned, organized, cooked and even washed dishes by hand! This must be what if feels like to be Amish.

  • All Blog Entries,  Family & Life,  NYC,  Random

    Mar 11, 2003

    I drove a car for the first time in 2.5 years yesterday. I love my car. I wish I didn’t have to sell it, but it’s an expensive and unnecessary luxury. Public transportation is where it’s at, but thankfully I still had my Cabrio handy to run an errand. I picked up Steven from my Mailbox Place, drove him to his new home and put him together. I love him with all the unconditional love a mother has to offer. I hope he has a long and healthy life and stays away from the pot unlike his father.

    The hair behind a dog’s ears is so soft. If I could, I would skin them and make panties out of them, but that would be cruel.

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    Smooth Move Ex-Lax

    Friday’s move was smooth like imitation butter. Movers Guiseppe (married with a too-tight wedding ring), Monty (drinks Pepsi Blue and once moved JFK, Jr. and Caroline and Andy Warhol and his collection of rare cookie jars) and Jermaine (strong and silent) arrived promptly at 11:00 and were done by 2:00. Four flights of stairs couldn’t slow them down. Every penny I paid them was well spent. I know this because after the movers had gone, Christian and I moved a few stray items. It was not pretty. He was in charge of carting a tall, narrow, pantry-like cabinet, and I had my arms full of other miscellaneous junk and Paquita. We bumped into everything and he had a metal bowl filled with Science Diet Small Bites ding off his head and shower the sidewalk. Yeah, I’ll pay whatever it takes.

    Two true tests of friendship: (1) moving large personal objects; and (2) vacationing together. So thank you, Christian. I owe you a trip somewhere. That is, if you’re still talking to me.

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    Congratulations! It’s a Boy!

    Today, at 12:14 PM EST, my new baby boy was delivered. Weighing in at 45 lbs. 9 oz. (So it wasn’t water weight, after all!), Steven, named after his father, was welcomed with open arms into my world. Yes, I am the proud mother of a brand, spankin’ new, top-of-the-line Dell. Steven and I are doing fine. In lieu of flowers, please send cash. Lots and lots of cash.

    Movin’ on Up! To the East Side!
    I’ve gotten my new apartment painted and cleaned and ready for the delivery of my furniture. Three hunky, brawny men will be ringing my bell at 11:00 AM tomorrow and get paid a lot of my money to move nine pieces of furniture about half a block. (Note to self: Obtain several beefy male friends in time for next move.)

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    Mar 4, 2003

    My last two weeks have consisted of non-stop apartment hunting, shopping, moving and painting. I enlisted Scott to join me on a mission to select paint colors, since I’ve done so solo in the past with disastrous results. He was a trooper and agreed to forgo a night out with the boys in exchange for pizza, beer and hard labor with a girl who knew him when he wore dance shoes and homemade vests adorned with appliques and puff paint. God love him; I sure do.

    For the living room, we chose “Good Vibrations”. I hope the name is indicative of what’s in store for my future, and I’m not talking back massagers. Oh, that reminds me! Add to the list: batteries. In the bedroom, “Cedar Key” was the hue, which says nothing really. We preferred the sexy moniker: “Girl on Taupe”. Before and after photos coming soon!

  • All Blog Entries,  Family & Life,  NYC

    Hey, brother, can you spare a dime?

    Moving in New York is a strange beast. After my first month’s rent, security deposit and broker fee, I managed to drop $4,500. Ouch. How am I gonna afford all those little things I need like dishes and a toilet bowl brush? Walking from my old apartment to my new apartment with arms full of what makes up my life, I spotted a tiny dead mouse splayed out and forever stuck to a glue trap. Someone had tossed his lifeless body and paper casket out on the sidewalk for all the world to see. Heartless asshole. Marc said, “It’’s vermin.”

    “Yes,” I replied, “But what a horrible way to die: starving to death; stuck in glue.”

    “He probably died of exhaustion,” Marc assured me
    .
    “Oh, like that’s better.” I wailed.

    “It’s a mouse. If you had as much compassion for humanity as you do for vermin, the world would be a better place.”

    He’s right. I need to go get me some of that, ummm…how you say, compassion.

  • All Blog Entries,  Family & Life

    Feb 27, 2003

    The “flood” is gradually subsiding, but am I emerging “strange and lovely”? I think not. More eroded and fatigued. Soon enough, things will find normalcy.

    Meanwhile, just think of me as the house in Burnt Offerings.

  • All Blog Entries,  Family & Life,  NYC

    A Worn Sea-Shell

    It rained buckets today and I had no choice but to be out and about in the midst of the chilly flooding.

    Then I remembered that “The flood subsides, and the body, like a worn sea-shell emerges strange and lovely.” –D.H. Lawrence.

  • All Blog Entries,  Family & Life,  NYC

    Feb 22, 2003

    I love it when I run into one of those really old ladies that has lived in New York for so long and has never lost her spunk. You know those feisty women that flip off people and curse at speeding taxis even though they look like Granny. I love those ladies. I aspire to be them only without those ridiculous wire pushcarts filled with the day’s errands. I’d rather be too drunk at the races betting on a sure thing.

    On another note, if I live through today, I’m going to develop a Southern Belle accent and ask things like, “Are you going to bring me my lemon, or do I have to squeeze it from my hat?” You know, just for the sheer insanity of it all.

  • All Blog Entries,  Family & Life,  NYC

    Feb 20, 2003

    Yesterday, having been declared an official Snow Day, turned my three day weekend into a mini-vacation. Fun you might think, but I hadn’t planned on all this extra solo time and was ill-equipped to handle such solitude. I was stir crazy. I called upon friend and neighbor, Christian, to help me blow some stink off.

    In my hasty, I-have-to-get-out-of-the-house-please-don’t-make-me-do-it-alone state of mind, I suggested we watch Daredevil. He, helpful friend that he is, unwittingly agreed. After seeing a cheesier than usual Ben Affleck, decked out in a maroon leather body suit with matching bondage mask, beat up some bad guys and catapult himself in the air, Christian whispered, “Now why can’t he do that in, say, sweatpants?”

    I actually groaned, out loud, more than once. It was that ridiculous. Eric Mitchell, New York Times critic, summed it up best with three words, “Tacky and disposable.”

    New York Rage
    It’s been a while since I felt some good old fashioned New York City dweller rage. This morning it all came back to me when I heard a familiar sniff. That bitch was back and she was still sniffing wildly, sucking in faux snot. The trains were late and slow and packed and I’m stuck next to HER again? I snapped my head to face her and glare at her a while before I directed my rage at the woman taking up more than her fair share of a bench and sleeping cozily while we all stood waiting for imaginary congestion to clear. I waited till she woke up and made eye contact with me then said in my most sugary sweet voice offset with curled lips and feral eyes, “Comfy?” And then I was happy.

  • All Blog Entries,  Family & Life,  Writing

    Feb 17, 2003

    In the few years of my young life, before we moved to the shed, my family and I lived in the polluted, sweltering Mecca that is Houston. It was there that I passed the days looting burned out apartments for charred Barbie dolls and their various accoutrement, dreaming of being Evel Knievel (or at least his sexy sidekick), having sleepovers with older boys, and wasting my Latch-Key-Kid hours by soaking in American culture with my face mere inches from the television screen.

    Although not much has changed, these days I buy my Barbie supplies, thankyouverymuch. It was also there that I had my first crush on a real live boy. His name was Dallas and he wore a Fonzie t-shirt and curled his upper lip when he spoke, much like Elvis or Billy Idol. He was cool, and he was mine. We had all the passion that five year old kids possess. On Valentine’s Day 1977 (hereinafter referred to as “Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve So It Can Get Stabbed Through Its Aorta and Bleed to Death Day”), we went on a field trip to a local fire house to meet firemen and play with their hoses. I drew Dallas a special something to commemorate the momentous day. That’s when he stopped coming round. I know I’m no Picasso, but come on!

    **At 5 or 31.5, I still give too much too soon and am left in the lurch. Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve So It Can Get Stabbed Through Its Aorta and Bleed to Death Day 1977 was just the beginning. And so it is, that I do not celebrate love on February 14th or any other day.

    **For the record, I did pee on the floor that day. That could have turned him off. I don’t know. You’d have to ask Dallas.

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    Feb 14, 2003

    So, it’s Valentine’s Day. Ya-freaking-hoo! I’ve failed too many times to know I’m no good at romance and relationships. I’ve got a chilled bottle of champagne left over from New Year’s Eve and four dark chocolate covered strawberries I bought from Godiva. I say I drink and eat it all by my lonesome and make my Sims forgo all food, drink, showers and sleep and have them have make out sessions all night long. That’s some sexy VD stuff.

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    Gospel of Jack 2:13

    Jack: How come I buy Kambri lunch all the time and I don’t get any action?
    Mel: Yeah, you don’t get any action…as in CIVIL action.

    A little law firm humor there for ya, folks.

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    Feb 12, 2003

    Scene: Flashbulbs popping, pretty people looking only slightly interested yet subtly posing for the potential photo op. Music deeply thump, thump, bum, bum, bowwomp, womp, womping deeper and deeper. Mesmerizing. Down the catwalk, in synch with every pounding of the bass, skinny mannequins strutting inside the clothing of Mr. Designer.

    In one of those minutes while I watched the above scene play out, I suddenly felt an intoxicating sense of relief sweep through me. It was intense and overwhelming and took me by surprise. There, in the midst of all the silly indulgence, I felt for the first time that maybe, just maybe, I’ll never be that girl I once was. The one who operated out of fear and worried that one day she would wake up and find herself back where she started.

    Oh, and the fashion? Stringy and shiny.

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    Feb 11, 2003

    Not that I’m expecting a gift of any kind from anyone this upcoming Valentine’s Day; but, if you were to buy a gift and for some crazy reason put my name on the card, I can say unequivocally that I will not accept graciously a stuffed animal of any kind.

    Does any well-adjusted adult woman actually want a fuzzy teddy bear?

    Chocolate lips wrapped in red foil, now there’s a gift that says “romance”.

  • Acting,  All Blog Entries,  Family & Life,  My Jailed Deaf Dad

    One of Five Most Embarrassing Moments

    When: Spring 1988 – Age 16
    Where: UIL State One Act Play Competition; University of Texas; Austin, Texas. Cutthroat and serious competition. We youngsters were on our best behavior.
    Witnesses: Hundreds
    What: Heard a smattering of gasps and giggles mixed in with familiar guttural noises and high-pitched nonsensical sounds reverberating through the sound system. Look up to the stage to observe a deaf-mute man doing his best gyrating Elvis impersonation into the microphone. A few people rush the stage and the emcee wrests the microphone from the offender’s hands. The deaf Elvis doesn’t leave but rather continues to perform more enthusiastically to the crowd.

    The emcee announced, “If he belongs to you, would you get this monkey off the stage?”

    The monkey? My dad.

    Happy birthday, Dad.

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    Porn Names

    A coworker ordered wild boar stew at lunch which I thought strange since I had just sent a fax to a client staying at the Boars Head Inn. Boars Head was the name of my childhood road. Deep, deep in the woods of Texas, it was paved for the first time only a couple of years ago. Someone then asked what my first pet’s name was. Answer: Panther. So, according to the formula*, my porn name** is Panther Boars Head. Jack was nearly in tears. He had never heard of this formula before and was so excited to find out everyone’s “name” at the firm so he could talk about people in code. Rob said his name is Kip Berkley. Hmm…I think I’ve seen his work. That name is too perfect.

    Oh, and Jack’s name? Rowdy East 14th Street. Guess it doesn’t work in New York so well.

    **Formulas schmormulas. My REAL porn name is actually a variation of my given name. When referencing me in terms of my work as a XXX-Rated Superstar ^^^, please refer to me as Kumbri Screws. Thanks.

    ^^^For my mother and those like her that take everything literally, I am joking. I am not a porn star and have never been paid to perform any sex act on video.****

    ****Unless you count dinner and a show as payment, then technically, yes, I have been paid.^^^^^

    ^^^^^Okay, Mom, I’m still joking.

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    Feb 4, 2003

    I really didn’t think I had much to share these last few days. Nothing seemed interesting, and I’m not nearly as clever as my friends and blog addictions. I was actually a bit bored with it all when I remembered some of my New York highlights since Sunday that would make my mom love and envy me despite my childlessness:

    *At dinner, Joe Pantoliano trying to be cool in a nonchalant way. Yeah. With that get-up? Whatever;
    **Swoosie Kurtz, also at dinner, looking so cutsie even though her show is closing any day now;
    **The Today Show, Rockefeller Center and 5th Avenue and all the frenzy.
    **A book deal and movie deal closing;
    **Drinks at The Plaza; and
    **An all-access pass to the NYPD’s crime photos. Yee haw!

    Pinch me. Hard. I must be dreaming!

    Okay, so I wasn’t that thrilled about any of the above (except the last one on the above list), but I did clear the jam out of the copier, got somebody to go on a coffee run for me and got some Godiva twice without asking. I guess I could have stayed in Texas or Ohio if that’s all I wanted.

    Okay, pinch me for real this time, because that last statement is just pure insanity.

  • All Blog Entries,  Family & Life

    Feb 1, 2003

    Today I was busier than a cat covering crap on a tile floor. I finally informed everyone, “I MUST go to the Ladies Room!” “Fine,” Trey replied, but he still did not leave my space. So, I tried my best to be discreet and get a *ahem* feminine hygiene product from my bag whilst he was distracted. Digging around and trying to camouflage my maneuvers, I decided it would be a good disguise if I grabbed a hairbrush to conceal the offending item. With one swift and determined move, I yanked the brush from its cozy spot in the belly of my purse. Instead of being concealed, my desired object flung itself out seemingly objecting to being hidden like some cheap floozy.

    My wide eyes followed its slow motion move as it flew through the air end over end over end, proudly announcing it’s name over and over and over, “TAMPAX, TAMPAX, TAMPAX!”

    Sonofabitch.

    Without word or hesitation, Trey’s catching arm flew into action. Suddenly he was Sandy Alomar and this was the World Series. The “ball” landed squarely in his trusty hand. He gingerly tossed it back to me and said, “I think this belongs to you.”

    “Why, thank you. Indeed it does.” And off I was to the dugout.