Friday, December 19, 2008

"In the past 30 days, you spent $275 on Alcohol & Bars. Usually you spend $68."

It's almost Christmas, it's snowing in New York, and the city both slows down and speeds up at the same time. Ms. K and I will get our Christmas tree this weekend and then come Christmas Eve we'll cook a nice dinner for each other and open presents. Sounds pretty nice, right?

Post No Bills will be a little quieter as we get closer to the new year, but I'm sure I'll have time to write up a year in review. And oh boy what a year it's been. However my account reminds me that December in particular has been particularly boozy, scolding me with this message:
! In the past 30 days, you spent $275 on Alcohol & Bars. Usually you spend $68.

Tis the season.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Christmas came a little early to Post No Bills in the form of an unexpected raise. When Ms. K arrived home from work on Friday evening, I greeted her with the aroma of my celebratory meal cooking in the oven and a long, boozy kiss. "We will not be starving on the streets anytime soon," I gleefully exclaimed, fist held high in the air. My other hand held my half finished cocktail.

Seriously. Couple this with Ms. K's recent promotion and I think we might be alright. I mean it's ironic considering the state of world affairs right now and when many in New York are worried about layoffs. I don't know if this is good luck or a fortunate coincidence, but I supremely grateful.

Now Ms. K and I can look back at some of 2008's low points with a sort of nostalgic gallows humor. Hey honey, remember when the car got broken into? Remember the homelessness and unemployment? Remember the poverty? Ha ha, those were the days.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

". . . it's impossible to get an outright approval no matter what you do so you should just do what you want to do and they'll go with it."

The whole prospect of having to enter a guilt laden battle of wills with my mother was making me nuts. I emailed her on Monday morning laying out the various scenarios and variables for Christmas. When I didn't hear back from her right away, I began to grow antsy with anticipation, sensing that perhaps I had started a shit storm with my suggestion that I might not be home for Christmas. I even emailed my cousin, looking for a rational family opinion and she assured me that I should do what I want to do.

"One thing I've learned," she said, "is that in this family sometimes it's impossible to get an outright approval (my mother for one is almost incapable of giving a compliment unless it's to herself) no matter what you do so you should just do what you want to do and they'll go with it."

Good advice.

Then last night I got my response from my mother, which really was a forwarded email from my father. Strange.


From: Dad
Sent: Tue 12/9/2008 3:54 PM
To: Mom
Subject: Re: FW: Xmas


Let's see if we can come up with some kind of solution. To "bound the problem", let me offer the following:

1. Mom and I would very much like to have you at home for Christmas. Mom would be very disappointed if you did not come for Christmas

2. Picking you up on Christmas day would be a real logistical problem.

3. You and Ms. K are welcome any time.

4. The dog is going to be a problem with (a) Nanny's allergies, (b) the cats, and (c) all of the wild little kids running around Christmas day.

Give me a call this evening so we can figure this out.



Oh boy. I summoned the courage to face the issue and call my parents. It was a halting conversation as I reassured them that I had decided to come for Christmas, but would be staying from the 25th to the 26th. Ms. K and I will celebrate Christmas Eve together -- a imperfect compromise, but a compromise nonetheless.

"You're only going to stay one day?" my mother asked.

There was an awkward silence. "Uh, yeah."

"Don't you have the whole weekend off?"

More awkward silence. "Yes, but I want to get back to Brooklyn."

I don't think my mom was very pleased.

What I didn't say, but was thinking, was that any longer of a stay would drive me nuts. Why do I feel guilty about this? Must be the latent Catholic guilt in me.

Monday, December 08, 2008

"So what are we going to do about the holidays?"

Christmas. The time of year couples fight about whose family they are visiting for the holiday. I mean how do people tactfully avoid a fight? Unless they have the luxury of having both families living nearby, someone is going to have their feelings hurt.

I remember Ms. K and I had a big fight about this last year. At the time my parents didn't know I was dating anyone and I just assumed that it would be no big deal if we spent the holiday apart -- we had been dating for barely five months at that point. Oh how wrong was I? She accused me for being not serious about the relationship because I hadn't told my family about her. I said that it was complicated! She was hurt that I didn't want to spend the holidays with her. But you're Jewish?? I countered. I can still celebrate Christmas and presents without the baby Jesus part, she said. And my family is Catholic!


We emerged from the fight. Barely. We spent the holiday apart and I went on to come out again to my mother and tell her I was dating Ms. K. I also hoped that by the time we got to the next Christmas we would have a plan. I even brought up the subject sometime last summer. So what are we going to do about the holidays? Some plans were floated and after Ms. K discovered just how nuts my mother is, it seemed safer if I went down to Maryland for a couple of days by myself. I thought this was the plan, but then Ms. K started pouting about spending the holiday apart.

Crap, what am I going to do?

Part of me looks forward to having Christmas with my family, but I keep forgetting that the rosy sheen has long faded. Christmas now means hanging with the gray haired set, listing to my blatantly racist uncle make inappropriate comments, and having my Republican family members bemoan the tide of immigration as I clench my jaw and will myself not to shout at them for being idiots.

This should be a no brainer. Her family is only a short drive away in Pennsylvania and we have the dog to factor into plans. I'll just tell my mom that I'll being staying up north for Christmas . . . . Except that I'm a teensy bit (okay, a lot) afraid of her.

I don't know how this is going to play out and it's making me nuts. I emailed my mother to discuss the various scenarios and am awaiting a response. What do other people do? Next year I'm going to forgo the issue by being on a beach with a big fat drink.

Friday, December 05, 2008

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

In a time when unemployment in the US is up to almost 7 percent, Ms. K got a promotion and will now be a manager at the restaurant she works for. Thank you God, Jesus, Buddha, Ganesh, and other appropriate dieties. While she has barely worked since the pier closed back at the end of September, this news couldn't have come any sooner as we were starting to worry about having the money to pay rent and whether or not Christmas would be canceled. This promotion hopefully means stability in an unsure time and a reliable source of income. Cautious optimism, people. Cautious optimism.

So maybe that's why I have been on my blog that much lately. The world is in tumult and each day becomes an increasing act of basic survival for many. Now Ms. K and I can breathe a little easier and it feels good.

Monday, December 01, 2008

"Um, I think this is a one way street."

December? How can it be December already? My mom has been asking me for the past couple of weeks what my Christmas plans are. I keep telling her to ask me after Thanksgiving. And now that that holiday has come and gone, I guess I'll have to formulate a plan.

Speaking of questions, Ms. K has been asking when I was going to update my blog. Seems things got a little quiet because of the long holiday, the gloomy weather, and the Tryptophan in the turkey leftovers. My writing inertia ground to a halt as I enjoyed my relaxing 4.5 days off from work. So here are the highlights. Enjoy.

* While cooking Thanksgiving dinner for two, Ms. K embarked on a major closet organization/cull of our respective shit. (Stuff got shoved into closets after we moved.) Apparently I'm a pack rat, which I strongly disagree with. There were tears when she went through all my stuff and demanded to know why I was holding onto so much crap, especially random shit from 10-15 years ago. (Third grade report card? Make that 22 years ago.) Okay, so maybe I am a slight pack rat. And even though it made me inexplicably emotional to go through that stuff, I knew that I needed to let go and throw it all away.

* I discovered that spiking my homemade cranberry sauce with bourbon is delicious.

* Ms. K found her Isis puzzle ball when cleaning out the closets and has been sucked into deciphering the clues.

* We saw Milk, the new Harvey Milk bio pic starting Sean Penn, and sat behind Famke Janssen in the theater.

* I got another sort of show on the subway as I watched some guy brazenly huff from a can of compressed air. You know, the sort of compressed air you use to clean your keyboard? He would repeatedly pass out only to come to and huff some more, sometimes trying to hide it with his coat and other times not so much. Eventually he passed out on a Russian woman who was not amused. Ah, New York.

So there you go, your obligatory blog entry. All very exciting.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"And how dare you leave your readers hanging on the status of the bookshelves?"

Thank you everyone who gave be birthday wishes, your comments did not go unnoticed. In the shuffle of my birthday, it also did not go unnoticed that I have been in New York for four years officially -- my anniversary was November 13th. That said, my blog anniversary was yesterday, which means that I have been talking nonsense for nearly the same amount of time I've been a resident of the Empire State.

So. My birthday. It was good, obviously. The party I had a couple days before was small and intimate and made for a good reason to get The Apartment somewhat ready for company. And by ready I mean shoving things under the bed and into closets like Ms. K chose to do. Apparently I wasn't bothered or embarrassed enough that 3 to 8 people may be imminently arriving when the place still looked like a construction zone. There was blue painter's tape on the walls and tools strewn about. I was still finishing up the laundry and a certain someone was stressed out by the arrival of our first guests in the new place.

"People are going to be here in an hour and you're sitting on the bed
FOLDING LAUNDRY??!" Ms. K bellowed. "You haven't even made any food for people!!"

I glared at her as she stormed off to finish vacuuming.

She came back five minutes later. "Honey, I'm sorry I got so angry. It's just that this place is such a mess and people are coming over. Aren't you embarrassed?"

Meh, I thought. My friends are forgiving. At least we have BOOKSHELVES!

Indeed we did. The day before he had gone to IKEA, returned the farkakte old shelves, and purchased two Billy bookcases plus height extensions. I think that's all I really wanted for my birthday, some semblance of order in The Apartment. (That and a double ended vibrating dildo.) And after Ms. K had managed to shove all the odds and ends into the closets and under the bed and into drawers, I managed to take a long look at the place and appreciate that finally it looked like two adults live here.

"Honey, I like our place," I said repeatedly throughout the evening. The few people who did come to my birthday party said the same, appreciating all our hard work -- the painting, the sanding, the light demolition.

"Look," I explained to my guests as I passed around my digital camera. "The place used to look like this."

[ Photo ] [ Photo ] [ Photo ] [ Photo ]

We've come a long way.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"Make sure you buy something nice for yourself."

My cellphone rang when I was walking in the front door of the apartment, the caller ID showing my mother's number. Blurg. I hesitated to answer once I saw Ms. K in the kitchen wearing nothing but an apron and a smile. Now this is what I call a birthday. Dinner was cooking -- pork tenderloin with apple chutney, brussels sprouts, and pureed sweet potato -- and Ms. K was the dessert.

I motioned that I regrettably needed to take the call before copping a quick feel.

"Hi, mom," I finally answered a little out of breath after walking up six flights of stairs. The elevator was out again.

"Hi, Rouge. Happy birthday." My father chimed in too and I could hear their cat meowing loudly in the background.

I was still putting down my bags and slipping off my coat as they asked how my birthday was going. How did it feel to be 30? What did I have planned for the evening?

I cast a side glance to the kitchen. "Ms. K is cooking dinner and we're going to have a low key night at home."

We talked some more. How's work? How's freelance? What do you want for Christmas? "We're tightening the belt, you know," my mom explained, her code for Don't Ask For Anything Too Extravagant During A World Recession. "Dad had to lay everyone off at work."

Oh, that's fantastic news to hear on one's birthday. Everyone at work means that Dad laid off my uncle and my brother.

"Make sure you buy something nice for yourself," she continued, referencing the $100 check she had sent on Saturday with my birthday card. "Do you know what you're going to get with the money?"

On the bedroom dresser was the double ended vibrating dildo I had just purchased from Babeland as a birthday present for myself.

"Yeah, Mom, I have something in mind."

Monday, November 17, 2008



It's here. Oh boy, I'm an adult now and there's no going back.

Of course nothing really feels different -- in fact it's all rather anticlimactic. If there was some great cosmic wrenching to be felt, that came back in September when Ms. K and I moved in together, merging possessions, goals, and hopes for the future. Thankfully my freakout over turning 30 was confined only to last week.

Anyway, I'm going to go home, eat the wonderful dinner that Ms. K has planned for me, drink sparkling shiraz, enjoy the recently purchased bookshelves, and have copious amounts of hot lesbian birthday sex.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"I can has bookshelves??"

New York is not in a good mood today.

My power tool fueled natural high came to a crash the next day when Ms. K emailed to say that the book shelf installation process was not going well. Yes, the drill cut into the masonry with ease, but after 3 hours only one bracket was up (7 more to go!). Reality check time -- we just didn't know what the fuck we were doing, which was creating a massive time drain. Later, when Ms. K called to vent her frustration, she said she was done bullshitting around with the shelves and it was time to think about abandoning the plan.

Christ, the IKEA bookshelves already represented Plan D and I had sunk around two hundred dollars into this plan once you factored in tool rental and concrete screws. I sighed with defeat and frustration -- frustration because Ms. K and I, by conservative estimate, must have around three or four hundred books. (Obviously I was speaking in hyperbole when I said in a previous post that we had 15,000 books) Stacked waist high along the wall of our living room in addition to towering above the kitchen table, the place looks like a Dr. Seuss illustration. The chaos makes me long for a wall flush with neatly organized books like a smoker must long for that first cigarette after a prolonged separation. I surf enviously on the IKEA website for an economical solution to our personal library. Yes, YES! I MUST HAVE BOOKSHELVES!

Except that I'm broke.

"You really think you're going to be able to have a birthday party here in two days?" she said as we surveyed the damage when I got home.

The lone bookshelf bracket affixed forlornly to the living room wall surrounded by the remnants of the day's hard work. Tools were discarded everywhere, the contents of my hardware box spilled over, and balls of used blue painter's tape littered the floor. Oh boy, the place was a wreck and she was right. How the hell was I going to have my small intimate gathering on Saturday?

Time for Plan E, which involves going to IKEA yet again.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"New York is in a good mood today."

Today is a day of action. I set the alarm for 6:30 am, a half hour earlier than I normally get up. I showered, dressed, made coffee, took the dog out, and woke Ms. K up kisses and gentle prodding. I even made her a cigarette to further entice her out of bed.

We had stuff to do.

By 8:30 am, we were in the car on the way to a self storage company located near the base of the Manhattan Bridge. By 9:15 am I had successfully rented a 3 x 5 foot storage unit for my extra furniture. By 10 am, I was at work and ready to take on the day. Later, when Ms. K called to say that my pansy little drill just wasn't going to get through the concrete backed wall at home, she warned that our bookshelf hanging plans would have to wait yet another day until we could come up with another solution.

I thought of the teetering towers of books choking up the living room and I raised a fist to the air. Oh no, I would not be deterred.

By 1:30 pm, I was at a hardware store near my office that I knew rented tools because I would be good goddamned if I was going to have to buy a new drill. I selected one bad ass mutherfucker of a drill to rent, holding it's weight in my hands, and imagining all those teetering towers of books neatly organized on our brand new IKEA bookshelves. I felt victorious, I felt . . . butch.

Suck it, bookshelves.

But first, paperwork. As the store clerk began to ask the pertinent questions and assemble the proper forms, the customer behind me in line for the register shuffled his feet impatiently. He even sighed a little for added effect.

Okay, buddy, you can go ahead of me.

The cashier rang up his purchases, which I noticed included weather stripping for an AC window unit. Mr. Impatient apparently doesn't like drafts in addition to waiting in line.

"That'll be two dollars and five pennies."

Mr. Impatient handed over only two dollars. Perhaps the mention of "five pennies" had thrown him off.

"I just need five more cents," the cashier politely prompted.

Mr. Impatient fished grumpily around his empty pockets before pulling out a bigger bill.

Dude, I thought, don't break a bill because of five cents. And without saying anything, I reached into my pocket, pulled out a dime, and handed it to the cashier.

The universal order wobbled as Mr. Impatient grappled with the reality of my menial gift. He was incredulous, his body posture perhaps even a little defensive. "Are you sure?"

Am I sure? Buddy, I'm giving you a dime, not a kidney.

"New York is in a good mood today," the cashier announced as he ran the transaction and bagged up his items.

I liked that comment. I liked being the representative for New York's collective mood, which would also mean that New York is a little afraid of turning 30 in six days.

The man handed me back the 5 cents change. I stared at the nickel in the gloved palm of his hand, confused for a moment as to why he was giving me his change. "Here, this is yours," he urged.

Oh, right!

Mr. Impatient's mood seemed greatly improved and he said an extra thank you as he exited the hardware store. All for five cents! What a bargain.

New York is in a good mood indeed. New York has a big, fuck off drill. If only for a day.

"Spread happiness -- this tiny symbolic semantical grain of happiness."

I've been reflecting a lot on Life and Relationships as the great wheel of life transition from one era to another. Yeah, big "L" life, big "R" relationships. An anonymous reader from Belgium has equated this to whining, but I see it more as being sentimental and contemplative with a good ol' dash of kvetching. Oh yeah, and I'm apparently not funny anymore. What are you going to do? My apologies, Belgium. Life isn't always funny. And as the world teeters on the abyss, I dare say I'm not the only one taking the time to be contemplative. (Tip of the hat to Keith Olbermann for making what the British call a cracking good speech against Proposition 8.)

And before you think I'm getting too serious on you all, LOOK! PUPPIES!! A LIVE PUPPY WEBCAM!!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

"I just called in sick, like half of America, I expect. I am going to lie on the sofa all day and watch victory TV."

Every generation has their "Where were you . . ." moment. My mom could probably tell me with clarity where she was when JFK was assassinated. The world gave my generation 9/11, but now it has also given us the election of Barack Obama.

Originally I had wanted to go out and watch the returns at a local bar -- to be with the people on such a potentially historic day, you know? But Ms. K was feeling sick so we stayed at home instead, both curled up on the couch in front of the laptop streaming live election coverage. When the election was called around 11 pm -- Obama reaching that sought after threshold of 270 electoral votes -- I cried. Everyone cried. Oprah cried.

I was a little bummed that I missed out on the spontaneous public celebrations and the dancing in the streets, but I was where I was supposed to be, with the most important person in my life on one of the most important days in modern history.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"You might have to hand hold me a little on my birthday."

I've been feeling weird today. Maybe it's the crazy election vibe in the air or maybe it's PMS or maybe it's the heavyweight Saturn/Uranus opposition. Or maybe all three. When I went out at lunch to grab a sandwich I felt so sad -- achingly sad -- and panicked. But why? Today is election day and a day that possibly will bring long sought after good news. Then it struck me.

I'm going to be 30 in 13 days.

I started to silently freak out then and there on 34th Street.

I fought back tears and the irrational fear that was going to end up old and alone but it pounded at my fragile emotional state as I struggled to remind myself of the obvious -- I'm very much not alone.

C'mon, Rouge. Shake it off! Get a hold of yourself!

In all seriousness I don't normally care about the big 3-0, but for some reason I did today, some reason I felt the specter of mortality like a punch to the gut. I still don't have birthday plans ironed out other than a vague idea that I want a party and an even vaguer idea of who would actually show up.

I'll pull myself together soon enough.

"I voted."

Previously, events have conspired against me voting in New York state. But this time would be different I promised myself, fist shaking defiantly, and today I schlepped all the way back to the old neighborhood to do so (short subway ride + a mile and a half walk), all the way to my polling place at the corner of freaking Empire Boulevard and New York Avenue. The place was a bit of a clusterfuck as evidenced by the first long line I waited in follow by the second long line that I was directed too after I was told I was in the wrong line. But I did this happily, gladly, as did everyone else who smiled knowing that they were taking part in a historic event.

I amused myself in the interim by reading This Much I Know Is True and watching everyone fawn over the eight month old baby held by a lady two spots ahead of me in line. Even a New York Post photographer was there taking photos of New York City's lil' voters. The baby slept in his mother's arms as the camera clicked away.

It took an hour to get to the head of the line. The poll worker took my card and asked if I needed help using the machine. I'm a smart girl, I reasoned, but I didn't want any surprises when I went behind the curtain.

"Here, I'll show you," she said as she motioned me into the voting booth. Once behind the curtain, I saw what awaited my historic vote, some lumbering anachronism that dated from the Eisenhower era. Seriously.

I've voted in two presidential elections before. The first, the infamous 2000 election, I voted in Maryland and the machine was a lever that punched holes into a card. Many hanging chads later, Maryland adopted the touch screen voting machines for the 2004 election. Easy breezy. But this thing, this sprawling contraption of metal nobs and switches had all the technological sophistication of a circa World War II computer.

Ummmmm . . .

He's to hoping I did it correctly! Go Obama!

Friday, October 31, 2008

"was it some strange fabrication of my mind?"

I woke up before my alarm this morning, my body fully awake despite coming out of a dream and in this dream I had been in the basement of the house I grew up in with its mauve carpeting and the mildew stained Ikea bookshelves. I had been searching for baby photo albums because I wanted to take them back to New York and show Ms. K. In an old cardboard box I found photos from the two years we spent living in Michigan, the state of my birth. I also found an album that I had never seen before, its white plastic cover dusty. Inside were a trove of secret images of my mother, artful black and white shots of her nude that dated back to the late 1970s. I slapped the album close with a shameful gasp. Then I woke up.

Even though it was a dream, I still felt strange to see my mother naked -- even if it was a subconscious creation that drew on images of her onetime Dorothy Hamill haircut and her body as it was before two children took their toll. Was it a memory or was it some strange fabrication of my mind?

My alarm went off and Ms. K was wrapped an arm around my waist to pull me closer. She kissed my back and I felt her warmth. The image of the dream started to fade as the room grew slowly lighter with the rising sun.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"You are my favorite person to hang out with and have too many drinks."

When I said "suck it" in my previous entry, I did mean that all the love and humility in the world possible. Forgive me, but it's nice to revel in my own good fortune because I can think back to the days of Operation Find The Lesbians and remember every disappointment wrought upon me as I searched the Universe (or rather Brooklyn) for a sane, well adjusted, smart, single lesbian who thought I was pretty and wanted make gingerbread for me. The irony is that I got bisexual Manhattanite, but good goddamn she makes the best margaritas ever. Yes, I shall keep her.

Speaking of margaritas, I had two last night unfortunately. Unfortunately because I had like four glasses of fresh made apple ginger vodka punch, a glass of Chianti, and a whiskey sour previous to these two margaritas. All at home. I don't know what happened, but Ms. K and I started drinking over dinner and then proceeded to blow through the better part of a bottle of Ketel One. Then we started watching episodes of Queer as Folk and Ms. K assailed me with chants of "¡Uno mas!"

One more episode. One more drink.

At one point, after we finished off the punch and after she peer pressured me into switching to margaritas, I slurred to her, "I'm officially seeing double."

That was always my body's way of telling me to switch to water. Message received, body. Loud and clear.

"¡Uno mas!"

Body, I would like to introduce you to Peer Pressure. She's pretty. Oh and there's two of her!

By 2 am (this is a work night, mind you) we dragged our drinks and the laptop into bed to finish watching an episode of The Folk. Ms. K smoked hand rolled cigarettes out the window and I tried not to pass out while clutching my margarita against my chest. The glass was a mess of melting ice cubes, pulpy bits of homemade sour mix, sticky finger prints, and flecks of kosher salt. I must have passed out because I awoke suddenly to the cold spread of a liquid across me -- I had fallen asleep and the glass had rolled out of my hand and into the bed, thankfully missing the laptop. I vaguely remember my ineffectual attempt to clean it up with a dish towel, but I do know that Ms. K and I passed out sometime after 2 am -- she in her clothes and I in my underwear.

Obviously we were both a wreck in the morning. There were mascara smudges under my eyes and face looked waxy. The bed was still soaked with margarita and the dog looked at us with disapproval since he needed to go o-u-t and we were holding up the show. Ms. K curled up in a ball on my side of the bed -- the dry side -- while I attempted to get ready, which involved crashing around a lot. Later, when Ms. K got up to brush her teeth, I found her naked and sitting on top of the closed lid of the toilet. She was moving the tooth brush slowly, dejectedly across her bottom teeth with all the energy she could muster through the hangover. She looked at me all dressed and ready to leave for work and her eyes were plaintive.

"Don't you want to stay home with me so we can be hungover together?" she asked?

"Sorry, honey. I have to go to work. I'm already late."

"Why aren't you in worse shape?!" she remarked with a scowl as I ran down the list of drinks I had had the night previous. My attitude towards mixing alcohols had been so cavalier, so by any right I should have been in worse shape. "You're the old one! You should be hungover more!"

I playfully gave her the finger. "No need to be ugly." And then I gave her a kiss on her toothpaste flecked mouth before leaving for work.

"I want to treat you nice."

"Hey," Ms. K called from the living room where she had the laptop propped open in front of her as she ate dinner. On the screen was the familiar sight of my blog. "I thought you were going to write a blog entry about how I treat you nice?"

It's true, I was going to write a counter point to entry I wrote about the two times she and I broke up, explaining that she's an awesome girlfriend who likes to do nice things for me. Ms. K felt that she had come off as a jerk in that entry. Nevermind that I had painted myself in a less than flattering light with my confession that I was the douche who had broken up with her via email. At least she had the grace to dive all the way from Pennsylvania to break up with me in person.

But I digress.

"I was," I explained from the kitchen, "but I didn't want to come across as schmaltzy." Because, you know, writing numerous blog entries about why my girlfriend is awesome could get old real fast. But since she is awesome I will regale you with one quick example.

A couple days ago over email, while ironing out a shopping list (and a budget!) of what we needed from Fairway, she asked me if there was anything I wanted to add to the list. I said that I had been having a big craving for spice cake and something with sage in it -- two things she does not like. In fact she said for emphasis, "I don't like sage! I don't like spice cake!"

So I was vetoed and I took my craving, with a dramatic sigh, to Epicurious where I looked at gingerbread recipes figuring I would just make something for myself.

That night Ms. K made dinner with her Fairway purchases (tostadas!) and when I got home I was met with a wave of warmth and the smell of roasted garlic from the kitchen. But I was also met with the smell of something else. I sniffed the air like my dog likes too when he detects something although not sure of what. I sniffed again. The apartment smelled like gingerbread? Gingerbread?!

She had gone ahead, even though she doesn't like it, and made me the Dark Gingerbread Pear Cake recipe from Gourmet. Why? Because she loves me.

So that's why my girlfriend is better than yours. Suck it!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"You used to make me cry in the night."

I guess what I was trying to say with my previous blog entry is that after a wobbly start, my relationship with Ms. K finally found some solid ground at the end of 2007. It's funny to think that I had had my doubts about the seriousness of the relationship considering that now we live together and find joy in the simple pleasure of cooking dinner together and looking at paint samples. How very lesbian of us.

I don't know, guys. What happens when you get into a serious long term relationship? This is a little bit new to me . . . or maybe not so new since I was with my first girlfriend for almost three years and my second for a year and a half. But I think I blocked those years out. Well I didn't block everything out since I remember my second ex-girlfriend having a rage fueled breakdown involving a hammer and a bookcase.

That's another story for another time.

Monday, October 27, 2008

"Did you ever want to break up with me?"

Laying in bed one night recently, Ms. K was pressed against my back. With her arm hooked around my waist, she was, as she likes to call it, a big spoon to my little spoon. Content and warm, I began to drift off into the gentle waves of my unconscious only to hear her ask,

"Did you ever want to break up with me?"

Jerked back awake, I hesitated to answer -- not because there were times when I had secretly considered ending the relationship, but because the question was far too loaded for pre-bedtime conversation. No, I cautiously answered, not apart from the two times we actually did break up.

(Consider this post some relationship DVD extras. Or rather a missing part of the narrative.)

The first break up came a little over a month after we started dating. For those who were reading at the time, I was enjoying myself. Highly. I wasn't taking things very seriously because for the first time in a very long time I was having fun. There was booze, hot sex, and staying out late on a work night to be had. But at the same time I had my Lesbian Red Flag Detector set to kill and with each successive date I proceeded to interrogate the shit out of Ms. K. In hindsight I feel bad because I probably came across more as a member of the CIA than a fun date, but the point is that alcohol makes for good truth serum and I learned far more than I needed to know -- far more than was relevant.

Armed with too much information I came to the conclusion to break things off and sometime in late August 2007, after blowing her off a little, I sent her an email outlining why I thought continuing dating was not in my best interest.

"Anyone else I would have told to fuck off," Ms. K later said about my email. Instead she wrote a strong rebuttal and told me why I was wrong and why I should give things another chance. She made a convincing point and the burgeoning relationship lived to see another day. Actually what she said was, "I can completely understand why you don't want to get involved with someone carrying around a lot of baggage . . . . I feel like maybe it's possible that because of what you've been through with other women, you really aren't giving me the benefit of the doubt."

(I found out much later that my initial email had not only been mean, but had caused her to cry while at a her family's Thanksgiving, Summer Edition. Yes, I am an asshole.)

Speaking of mean . . . this brings me to the second time Ms. K and I broke up, which was last December.

To simplify a long story, let's just say that Ms. K had enough of my bitchy snark. (Hey, it's a defense mechanism!) She met me after work one night in Union Square and as we huddled under the awning of a subway entrance trying to stay out of the steady drizzle, I watched her nervously pick at the the hole in her brown striped cashmere glove. She obviously had something to tell me, but her mouth was having a hard time forming the words.

"I . . . don't think I can do this anymore," she finally said after more than a few halting starts.

Oh, no way. No way she's breaking up with ME, I thought.

We stood there for a long time, conspicuously positioned by the entrance of a busy subway station. Intervals of people pushed by us, umbrellas opened and closed, a German tourist asked us for directions, unaware that it was Not A Good Time.

When I asked her why she was breaking up with me, she reluctantly explained I was mean and that I didn't make her feel good about herself.


I can't remember what I said or what sort of defense I had, but I do remember that all I wanted to do was leave that perch above the stairwell and head back to Brooklyn. I was totally done.

We stood there awkwardly some more, unsure how to leave things. Goodbye? Nice knowing you? I watched as she continued to play with the hole in her glove as another wave of commuters flooded by.

At some point there was an energy shift and Ms. K started to back track. Life force quietly seeped into the corpse of our relationship. One of her gloved hands reached into my pocket and found mine, her touch rekindling our affection for each other. The warmth of her hand felt like water after a drought.

She later said that at one point I had looked at her with hatred and that's what did it -- that's what made her regret ending things. Her heart, she confessed, would have broken if I hated her.

Suddenly exhausted from the emotional lurches, I motioned to the subway below, "Let's get out of here and find someplace to talk." Standing on the subway platform, we held each other as we waited for the Q train to take us back to Brooklyn.

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Oh noes!"

I realize I've talked a little more about politics than usual, but it's hard not too. The earth is shifting beneath our feet. The air in New York seems electrified with the gut wrenching dichotomy of progressive change and economic catastrophe. On the subway I notice people proudly wearing Obama pins affixed to their coat lapels while others talk worriedly about possibility of layoffs at their job.

It's stark.

On the personal end, Ms. K and I are trying to shore ourselves up for any earthquakes thrown our way. We cook more at home and figure out ways to save money. I don't know about her, but I'm always running crisis scenarios through my head and wondering how I would react. Job loss? Financial disaster? Zombie uprising? I feel like we've already gone through that (well, apart from the zombie uprising.) We're battle seasoned and we already have the medals for those tour of duties.

Ah, the things I have to think of now I'm an adult. Thank god I don't have kids to worry about.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"In the tank."

Larry David said waiting for November 4th -- that's Election day to those who are outside the US -- is like waiting for the results of a biopsy. What a perfect metaphor -- my foot is tapping nervously, my fingers jingling across the keyboard, my eyes darting over statistical data -- and while the doctor is pretty sure that there's nothing to worry about, there's still that chance for bad news. Very bad news.

Since there's 12 days left before the election, I want to remind you all to vote. Honor your vote. Love your vote. A lot of women protested their asses off so you and I and our daughters would get the chance to have our voices heard. And if you're registered to vote in the California, vote NO on Proposition 8. (My friend Sinclair is one of 8 bloggers uniting in a fight against a proposal to amend the California state constitution to define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman. Big nod to Dorothy Snarker too, the lady who likes to give me mad props.)

Don't let someone else dictate your future because you didn't cast that ballot.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jeez, lady. Why don't you write some blog entries?

I could. Except I've realized that my life has officially become boring. Like seriously boring, but in a refreshing hey-staying-at-home-is-vastly-underrated sort of way.

Should I remind you that your blog is subtitled Adventures in Banality? Hello!

Fair point, but I don't think people want to read about my ongoing battles with sweeping.

Probably not.

Nor my overly self aware essays on growing older.

You are a lesbian for chrissakes. You know, lesbianate or something.

Lesbianate? You made that word up.

There has to be something exciting going on? C'mon, think.

Ms. K and I are looking at lumber prices to see how cost effective it would be to build bookcases over buying them. Because we have fifteen thousand books.

I give up.

Friday, October 17, 2008

"That'll do, pig. That'll do."

Pardon me while I brag.

It's been a very very long time since I've had something to celebrate. While Ms. K and I had our anniversary back in July, it was mired in the uncertainty of a move we knew would be coming soon but not knowing exactly when. (And lord knows there was nothing celebratory about that move when it finally did come.) So when I recently completed a prestigious freelance design job, I at last felt like I had something to celebrate. Champagne was uncorked and laurels rested upon. All my hard work gave me a boost to my confidence and the professional pat on the back I craved. And feeling generous, I took Ms. K out to nice dinner at Pomme de Terre where we enjoyed our fleeting foray into modest luxury.

Yesterday I went to a lecture at New York University where the publisher I freelanced for was speaking on a panel. At the door was a stack of the magazine I had worked so hard on and I grabbed a copy, spending most of the lecture flipping through to see how everything turned out. I was pleasantly surprised to hear my new boss mention me by name to the audience in conjunct with my freelance design work. Later, after the lecture was over and people swarmed over trays of complementary smoked salmon hors d'oeuvres and glasses of Long Island wine (not an oxymoron), the publisher came up to me to tell me how happy he was that the magazine had turned out so well.

High fives. It felt good to be a gangsta.

When I left, I called Ms. K to tell her I was on my way home.

"Are you drunk?" she asked.

"No, I'm giddy with professional recognition. I had a small glass of wine though."

"You sound a little drunk."

Even by my standards (though not unheard of), 5 pm on a weekday is a little early to be intoxicated. I explained that I got a shout out during the lecture and a happy endorsement of my work.

"Congratulations, baby. I'm so proud of you. You got your 'That'll do, pig,'" she said.

For those who never saw the 1995 movie Babe, the blog title is a quote from the movie and is something that Ms. K says from time to time to explain that everyone craves a little pat on the back, a little recognition for their hard work. Not much, but just a gentle, "That'll do, pig. That'll do."

So there you go. I got that pat on the back I craved.

That'll do.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"The fundamentals of my life are still strong."

What does it mean to turn 30? I have 35 days and counting to contemplate this idea further. One thing I've noticed is that my energy is more focused, calmer. Some of the flamboyance of my past seems conspicuously absent. Gone are the feather boas, alcohol binges, late night drunken taxi rides home, inappropriate crushes, crippling hangovers, and periodic displays of exhibitionism. (I guess that makes for boring blog reading.)

Over the last two years I went through a chrysalis of crisis -- precisely what my Saturn Return portended. I withdrew from a lot of my friends* and from life, retreating to somewhere within so I could figure out some of the more nagging questions of my existence. I went into therapy and had epiphanies about my relationship with my mother and how that shaped my emotional thinking. And the person that emerged from this chrysalis was someone different -- not greatly though, but different enough that I feel it when I try to awkwardly connect to my old life.

Maybe this is what they call growing up?

I don't know . . . I think I'm looking forward to this whole turning 30 lark. My 20s kind of blew and I'm getting excited about the promise of a fresh decade -- one where I hope I'll make fewer stupid mistakes. And after the seismic rumblings of the last two years, I'm looking forward to increased maturity, stability, and security.

Apart from a few recently discovered gray hairs, I think another sign that I must be getting older is that I'm leaning towards a small(er) and moderately restrained birthday party -- a marked departure from previous decadent birthdays. Wow, I must really be getting older. It's bad enough that I now get hungover after a three margaritas.

* To any of my friends reading, apologies for dropping off the radar and from going from social butterfly to social hermit. Life threw a lot at me and it took me a while to process it all.

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world."

Okay, so maybe I have been a little too harsh on filmmaker Sue Kramer in the past (memories can be jogged here and here). She has put a out an inspiring reminder for everyone to vote. As today is the last day to register to vote before the November 4th election -- at least it is here in New York state -- I will pass along her reminder. Only 26 days left in the election.

Monday, October 06, 2008

"I have a sewing machine and a dream."

On Sunday, Ms. K and I took an important step in our relationship. We went to IKEA.

Lured by the promise of cheap household items and breezy Swedish marketing, we drove to Red Hook to round out a list of things we needed for The Apartment. We told ourselves that we could only spend $100 because, you know, all that cheap shit adds up fast and, well, it's not the best time to break the bank when the bank is already broken.

So yes, it's official -- we're domesticated. We spend our weekends on DIY projects, looking at decorating websites, and going to suburban-esque chain stores. I'm sure if we had a yard we'd be raking leaves right about now. Seriously, I can remember a time not too long ago when Sundays were spent recovering from hangovers. Now we go to Lowes and IKEA.

Oh and that $100 budget? High fives for sticking to it, but I feel like we get negative points for buying pilsener glasses, wine glasses, and cocktail glasses. Did I mention that we have enough kitchen supplies already to start a restaurant?? Maybe this is just an excuse to throw a party and try and get some of our cred back.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"Happy new year."

Until last week I hadn't had my hair cut in thirteen months. Its length had become heavy and dead, hanging in tendrils down past my collar bone. In a way my hair came to represent the deep financial stress of the last year, the austerity, and the withdrawal.

But with the move last month there was an obvious shift towards a new chapter and with that shift my hair felt increasingly claustrophobic. So I made an appointment at a Park Slope salon where my hairdresser relieved me of layers and inches and burdens. As the hair fell around my chair, something of my old self began to emerge.

Ms. K also got a much needed haircut from the same hairdresser, which she claims gave us identical haircuts. I don't think our hair is that noticeably similar. Either way the cut looks really cute on her and when we met for date night dinner last week she looked like a knock-out and I fell in love with her all over again.

In other hair news, Ms. K found my long dreaded first gray hair. Now beings the slow decline . . .

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Don't worry, love will prevail!"

Now that Ms. K and I are in love again, we can turn our attention towards The Apartment and the very large list of things to do. Does this mean we're nesting? Does nesting involve scraping the paint off the bathroom walls in preparation for painting it a color called Anjou Pear? DIY projects? Trips to home improvement stores? Hot cooked dinners? Copious amounts of sex?

Oh man, we're totally domesticated. I hope it doesn't come across as barf-worthy, dear readers. At least it beats two weeks ago when we seemed to hate each other.

Friday, September 26, 2008

"Welcome to JPMorgan Chase"

I don't like to comment on politics. Much. But the dueling shit storms of the presidential election and the biggest shakeup of the US economy since the Great Depression has me riveted to The Internets like I'm watching some sort of Hollywood disaster movie. Woah! How's it going to end?? Will McCain debate Obama tonight?? Will there be a bailout?? How far will the economy tank?? Who's on first???

At any rate I'm glad that I'm neither an investment banker nor working in advertising, the later of which was Ms. K's previous career before she decided to abandon it with some of her soul intact. We're pragmatically thinking towards the future and how we'll survive should things get worse than they already have. Her job ends on Sunday, which we knew would be seasonal, and I have faith that there will be ad hoc work with her employer in the interim. Plus I'm thinking being a bartender during a recession can't be that bad -- people still gotta drink!

Oh and if anyone banks at WaMu, like we do, looks like it's time to find a new bank!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"I'm glad we're in love again."

The pendulum has swung the either way or rather Ms. K and I have gotten our mojo back. Perhaps it was packed in one of the boxes I went through last weekend? Either way things are back to sunshine and smiles and no more couch sleeping (fingers crossed). We even had (a drunken) date night last night at Superfine in DUMBO and an at home date planned for this evening. And as we walked to the subway last night after dinner, she pulled close to me and said that she wanted a million more Best Day Evers™ with me.

Just like old times.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"naked chicks in a hot tub"

Thanks everyone who recently passed along their support. Moving is hard -- fucking, fucking hard. And combining households with a lover puts the stress in a whole new ballpark. Yes, this was definitely One Of The Three Most Stressful Things I've Ever Had To Endure. (This coming from the girl who up and packed her life for New York City.) I think I cried more in the last few weeks then I have in the last few years. One breakdown came when I couldn't find my wallet for all of three seconds. Another when Ms. K couldn't find her car key. There were fights and someone slept on the couch one night, but hopefully things are finally settling down.

Anyway things seem a little more peaceful at Casa Rouge. I put a big dent in bedroom organization and Ms. K fixed the screwy electrical outlets. Some of our larger projects (Bookshelves! Painting!) have been put on hold because we're fucking broke right now and the living room is a disaster. Baby steps, right?

Monday, September 22, 2008

"Watch your dog!"

In my family, we are not Dog People. We are Cat People. At least I think we are owing to my mother's early and frequent declaration that Dogs Are Yucky.

That said, I am now stepmother to a 100 lb golden retriever named Harley. This is quite a curious turn of events for a previously avowed Cat Person. I should also note that -- duh! -- dogs require a lot more maintenance than cats. What's with this whole walking multiple times a day? Have you ever tried walking a 100 lb dog? He walks you! And don't get me started on the whole poop-scooping-hand-in-bag maneuver.

So life is all about adjustments I guess. Harley is a good dog and I can generally keep him focused while walking, but sometimes he pulls with the strength of an ox towards some new smell or squirrel or other dog that he thinks will be his new friend because all he wants is love and attention. He's probably the gentlest, least aggressive dog you'll ever encounter, but you'd be surprised by the amount of people who lose their shit when they see Harley walking their way.

Grown men stop in their tracks.

Children cry with fear.

Women recoil and cross the street.

I don't know if it's indicative of the culture of people living in my neck of Brooklyn, but they act as if I am walking a harry Velociraptor who will EAT THEM. Seriously, people. This is a Golden Retriever we're talking about. Even I know this and I'm a Cat Person.

The blog title comes courtesy of a charming man who yelled at me because Harley loves kids and he made a motion towards a little girl who excitedly yelled "DOGGY!" while pointing at Harley. Looks like we're not in Park Slope territory anymore . . .

Friday, September 19, 2008

"How are we going to make this work?"

I have StatCounter loaded on my blog and since I don't have enough personal distraction while I'm at work, I like to spend time looking at who's coming to my blog. I also like to note the strange Google searches that bring random strangers to Post No Bills. (I think "feeldoe demonstration" is still number one.) Anyway, last year's post on the Best Day Ever™ came up in the statistics and I was reminded that for every bad day there is a good day and that for every low in a relationship there is a high.

May tomorrow be more of a Best Day Ever™ then another horrible, no good, very bad day?

"I am a lot more worried about us . . ."

Things are slowly -- emphasis on slowly -- starting to settle. Our various possessions are finding the appropriate cupboards, closets, and drawers to live in -- although I'm still stumped as to where to put our 15 baking sheets, 27 pots and pans, 12 Pyrex dishes, and 9 muffin tins etc. Seriously, with the amount of kitchen stuff between the both of us you'd think that we were opening a restaurant.

That said it's the intangible things that are taking longer to settle -- mainly the chemistry between Ms. K and I. Something shifted with the move and our energy is off. We've been distant with each other and we've more apt to argue. Now we're worried that something changed for the worst. Is our mojo still packed in a box somewhere?

Monday, September 15, 2008

"This building is full of miserable old people."

So we have finally moved to Kensington -- it only took a week. But hey, it takes a while for two women to move interstate households into one apartment, especially since the only help we had was someone that Ms. K knew in Pennsylvania. It was hard going through one of the most serious transitions of my life with very little support. There are scratches on my arms and fingers, bruises on my thighs, muscles that ache, emotions that are fragile. But we did it. Finally.

Like any good lesbians, Ms. K and I have been spending a lot of time at the local home improvement chain store. We're seriously worried about the state of the wiring in the apartment and Ms. K is confident that she can replace the outlets with something safer. I defer to her, especially since I don't want to die in an electrical fire. And our concerns were only deepened when one of the outlets started sparking and destroyed a table lamp. (Mental note to self -- check to see if the smoke detector works, update insurance policy, and call 311 to narc on the landlord.)

Apart from that, we're slowly getting settled and rooting through all the extra stuff we have. There's also a cultural adjustment since the building and the neighborhood is mostly Orthodox Jewish and Russian -- old Soviet types who have probably only smiled three times in their lives and shrunken widows with their heads covered with babushkas. I'm already making friends with the neighbors.

The other morning when I went to go move the car at 8 am, I tried to park in one space before abandoning it for something easier to pull into. As I got out of the car, still bleary eyed from a lack of sleep, a heard someone shouting at me. "Miss! Miss!" an old Russian man barked from his second floor terrace as he pointed to the space I had previously abandoned. "Your parking . . . is no good!" And then put his fist repeatedly into his palm. "BANG, BANG, BANG."

The man seemed to think that I had been banging my bumper into his. First of all, I didn't bang my bumper into his whilst parking. And second, if there was any bumping it was totally within the legal limits of fair urban driving. It was a love tap at best.

I put a hand to my ear and made the international sign of No comprende, Señor and started to walk off. He made a sharp hand gesture and I was afraid that he was going to come downstairs and confront me, but he didn't. Part of me wished he had because I needed to blow off some steam.

Ah, good times.

"Your mom is a piece of work."

Who am I? Two X chromosomes, DNA, molecules forming tissue and bone and organs? Dark hair and eyes that need corrective lenses? Am I twenty-nine-years worth of experiences? Layers of psychological conditioning? Am I words formed by finger strokes and neural impulses turning thought into action?

What I hope I'm not is my mother. She and my father stopped by briefly to see the apartment and take some furniture that I just didn't have room for. The idea was to stash it in their basement for time being so Ms. K and I would have some breathing room in the place. But the second she got in the door she was criticizing the new apartment and spent an hour forcefully trying to tell Ms. K and I how to arrange the furniture, especially the pieces I wished to be temporarily rid of. And again my mom asked Ms. K when she was going to get a real job.


I told Ms. K to warn me if I ever get like my mom.

"Don't worry," she said, "I'll smother you in your sleep with a pillow if you do."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"I don't know how this placed hasn't burned down yet."

I knew it was a risky move signing for an apartment that Ms. K hadn't had a chance to see, but I was bolstered by faith and optimism. Look! An apartment! For us! Yeah it's kind of a mess, but I have a vision! A vision of apartment awesomeness!

When Ms. K and I opened the door last Thursday, she didn't quite have the same level of optimism that I had. The place was a wreck -- a dirty wreck with many layers of paint on its forty-year-old walls. The previous tenant hadn't cleaned (ever) and the super hadn't painted or done repairs. The toilet was brown and so was the shower. The stove had a couple of years worth of caked on grease and food. When I saw the apartment previous to signing the lease, I had overlooked these glaring problems somehow. Probably because the previous tenant was still there and her shit was everywhere so I couldn't assess the full horror.

But, honey, I have a vision!

There were tears and things have swung back and forth between I hate this apartment and I hate you for making me live here to Let's make this work! The dog versus cats issue has exploded into a ginormous issue, the electrical wiring in the apartment is dangerously old, and we've also started fighting about how we just have too much stuff.


Stay tuned for the next installment of Adventures in Cohabitation!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

"How are we going to fucking do this?"

We in the process of moving to Kensington.

We have keys.

The place is a bit of a wreck.

I don't think the previous tenant ever cleaned.


I spent three hours scrubbing the bathroom.

There will be photos.

We are sore.

We are silly ladies for thinking we could do this ourselves.

Time to start praying?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

"It's not like I rely on them . . . for love and approval."

My week went something like this.

* Searched Craigslist for apartments.

* Emailed listings.

* Called brokers.

* Stalked brokers.

* Searched Craigslist some more.

* Saw one unsuitable apartment after another, including one in a building that had burnt out windows and the cops out front.

* Cried a little while watching Obama's speech.

* Found a suitable apartment in Kensington.

* Put an application in for said apartment.

Through this process I asked my parents to be a guarantor just in case our application looked a little weak. I knew I was opening up myself to scrutiny, but it's amazing that at 30 -- or damn near close -- my parents have a way of making me feel like a failure because I asked for their help. In the end, after some special alonetime crying, I rescinded my plea for help and submitted my application on Sunday without them. Despite if I got the apartment or not I knew that I did it on my own terms. I'm still waiting to hear if it was accepted.

It's kind of hard to articulate the wound I have in regards to my family. My mother isn't very warm and fuzzy and my father is not very emotionally present. When all I desperately need is a hug and a "it's going to be alright," instead I get a brusque lecture on how I should live my life and how I should protect myself for some sort of over-imagined doomsday scenario.

Anyway, enough whining from me. Sometimes a girl just needs a hug.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"18 million cracks."

Oh, Hillary. You made me cry seeing you on that stage in Denver. I got a little verklempt when the camera panned to Bill, who was holding back the tears too. I'm so sorry that it wasn't you accepting your party's nomination. I wanted just one of those 18 million cracks to give way and let you ascend past that last barrier. But I'm with you, girl, and I'm with Obama too. Let's rock this together in November.

See people, it's all about unity. Party unity. Say what you will about Clinton vs. Obama, but in the end it's down to the Barackstar to knock this election out of the park. We've got to stand behind him because, if we learned anything from the last two elections, your vote counts. My vote counts! I can't believe someone would have the audacity to say that they would abstain from voting rather than actively preventing Bush Lite from having a chance at the White House? Ladies, our grandmothers and our great grandmothers didn't sacrifice so much for us to toss our vote away. Let's stand together! And then maybe that glass ceiling will finally crack for our daughters.

We owe it to them.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Sometimes you just gotta yell in this city for people to hear you."

We saw an apartment we want in Ditmas Park, which ironically is in the same building that one of my ex-girlfriends used to live in. We want the apartment, but someone put in an application before us. Sigh. Why, apartment gods, why?!

In the meantime I will console myself with a brownie and the trailer for the upcoming movie New York I Love You, which is just like the movie Paris, je t'aime except a love letter to Gotham. The trailer is below followed by one of my favorite shorts from Paris, je t'aime.

(Alas this one doesn't have English subtitles . . .)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"Where's our damn apartment?"

I made a joke to Ms. K that when I close my eyes I see Craigslist ads for apartments. Like after a long road trip and you only see highways signs and lane markers when you close your eyes. She laughed and agreed.

Our lives are pretty much glued to Craigslist, refreshing every few minutes or so. My mind is even starting to think in broker-speak. $1600 / 3br - SUPER DEAL!!!! $1300 / 1br - OMG*HugeSpace* $1700 / 1br - PERFECT PAD FOR U... WITH ROOFDECK... OOO MAU MAU. HW floors. EIK. Jr 1br. Dogs are OK - wooof. Ditmas Park. Flatbush. Kensington. Sunset Park. Lefferts. I think I might explode.

Actually I'm starting to understand why people pay a thousand dollars for a broker to do the work for them.

We saw an almost perfect place a couple of days ago, but the broker had neglected to tell us that the place was secretly a studio and not a one bedroom apartment. Sigh. And then we saw another place that had potential, but the kitchen was the tiniest kitchen I have ever seen outside of a galley kitchen on an airplane. Sigh again.

The hunt continues.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"¿Dónde está Connecticut Muffin?"

A couple days ago Ms. K and I made the resolution to only speak Spanish at home in order to work on our bilingual skills. I should mention that I do not speak Spanish apart from "¿Dónde está el baño?" and "Uno mas cerveza, por favor." Ms. K, once fluent herself, has forgotten her Spanish and listens to "Learn Hebrew" podcasts instead. I was the genius who studied four years of German and Latin in high school. So obviously this resolution needs some tinkering.

Anyway, the apartment hunt marches on, ensuring that when we find a place we can start speaking halting, food related Spanish to each other. "¿Te gusta burrito?" Yes. Yes I would. And to answer Anonymous's suggestion that I should look in other cheap neighborhoods other than Prospect Park South, I should mention that we don't want to be too far out that my daily commute to the city takes forever or that Ms, K, when working bar hours, isn't having to have to travel long distances late at night. I mean that apartment that we are looking at tonight off of Newkirk Avenue already feels like exile. Although I said to Ms. K that should we need to be exiled to BFE Brooklyn, at least we'll be exiled together.

Monday, August 18, 2008

"Under Pressure."

I read somewhere that moving is one of the three most stressful events one can experience in life after death and job loss. But what that conventional wisdom fails to express is that the run up to a move is as equally stressful, like staring at the horizon and see the slow build of a very large tidal wave. The ground trembles and shifts. Every moment seems precarious. Will Ms. K and I be able to ride the wave or will it sink us?

This isn't just any ol' move. It's the combining of two people's resources and property. This is a Serious. Life. Change. While Ms. K and I have been living with each other in a de facto situation since March, looking at cheapo crack dens south of Prospect Park sort of seals the deal. I saw a dreary place on Saturday that had potential, but the 12% broker fee was a little more that silly considering the state of the apartment and the building. (Attention brokers, this is no longer the height of the market! People are not going to pay close to a two grand broker fee on top of a deposit for some dumpy walk-up! Thanks.) So Ms. K and I have soldiered on, combing Craigslist for other potential places. She's been feeling very frustrated and anxious, but I reminded that we have only just begun our apartment search.

The tidal wave grows closer.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Plan B, thy name is tequila."

Now that my visit to my Mom's is out of the way, Ms. K and I have turned our focus towards restarting our previously frustrated apartment search. There's nothing like a spin through Craigslist and a couple of humiliating calls to brokers to get the gut churning. Yes, I have an awful credit score. Yes, Ms. K is in worse shape. I'm just praying that we can find an apartment, preferably minus a broker, where my income outweighs my credit score.

For those who live outside of New York City, let me explain the apartment hunting process here.

1. Search Craigslist.

2. Email or call a variety of anonymous people about available apartments listed. Brokers have the cream of the crop rental listings, but they charge a 10-15% fee of the yearly rent for their services. You don't have to go through a broker, but the options are definitely limited.

3. Go look at 1,500 apartments during a stressful two week period, most of which pass for crack dens.

4. Pay an enormous amount of money for said crack den.

The thing that is humiliating about this process is that you're handing over very personal financial information to someone who then judges you on your desirability as a paying tenant. And when a broker hears your credit score, they basically want little to do with you (unless you have a guarantor on the lease). I got really lucky with my apartment hunting search three years ago since the place I found was for rent by owner. But dear God, having to start this process again in worse shape than I was three years ago is really making me nervous.

"Your mom has a little bit of a bite on her."

My apologies for the slack off in blog entries. On one hand I have been very busy at work, which is generally prime time for blog writing. (Shhhh . . .) On the other hand I was anxiously awaiting my vacation with Ms. K -- anxious because we would be traveling to Delaware to stay with my mother at her beach house.

Yes, dear readers, my mom has now properly met Ms. K. And I don't mean the five second drive by that they had at Christmas. I have to tell you I was really nervous. Would my mom be on her best behavior? Would Ms. K run screaming, never wanting anything to do with me after spending time with Mom? Everything went fine. No one had to go into the bathroom and cry, which I did at Christmas. The only thing my mother did was inappropriately ask when Ms. K was going to get a "real" job. And she gave Ms. K the finger when Ms. K kept referring to John McCain as 112-years-old and Dara Torres as the "old lady swimmer." Apparently my mom, 58-years-old herself, was feeling touchy about her age.

But I guess it's good news when your mom gives your girlfriend the finger, right?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

"All those skinny girls are jealous."

"Hey, miss. Can I ask you something?"

It was almost 11 pm when I heard a voice call to me from behind as I walked along Flatbush Avenue towards the subway.


I hesitated since I could almost predict the conversation to follow, but I turned around anyway and saw a tall skinny man in his 20s. Maybe he was lost? Maybe he was looking the subway? Oh, I should have known better.

"Can I ask you something?"

"Uh, sure."

He looked me up and down excitedly. "I just wanted to say that I saw you walking and I just had to say that you look amazing."

"Uh, thanks."

Just to prevent you all, dear readers, from thinking I'm sort of narcissist who gets off on having strange men praise me on the street, just wait till you hear this guy's sales pitch.

"See I love heavyset women. All those skinny girls are jealous. I just wanted to know if we could keep in touch?"

Cue embarrassment.

"Uh, I'm seeing someone," I sputtered as I started to back away.

"There's no way we could keep in touch? See not a lot of men could handle you." He said this last bit with the sort of feeling one would reserve for an overly large steak.

And then . . .

"See I got twelve inches on me and I could definitely make you happy," he said with an earnest grin.

"Oh I bet you'll make some lady happy someday." Just not this lady.

I have to say that this was a first for me. You know, being a lesbian and have a man praise my curves in tandem with his penis size. I really wasn't threatened as it was more hysterical and surreal than anything. I guess I'll give the man points for trying, but I laughed as I left him still pleading to keep in touch before disappearing into the nearby subway.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

"Just comb it out."

Going into the bathroom this morning and starting my usual routine, which involves tending to my out of control eyebrows via a pair of tweezers, I noticed a large purple splotch on my neck. It was longer than wide, almost two inches in length stretching over neck and collar bone, long enough to have been made by a mouth.


Ms. K gave me a hickey. What am I? Fourteen years old? She has been recently obsessed with trying to give me one despite my protestations and despite my warnings to not do it where people can see.

My neck? People can see that. Is this the reprisal I get for accidentally dislocating her jaw?

"Shit," I muttered and went to find my cell phone so I could yell at her while she was working her morning shift.

"Did you know that you gave me the biggest hickey ever on my neck?" I snapped once she answered the call.

"Wait. Seriously? Or are you speaking in hyperbole?"

"No, I'm looking at it right now in the mirror and it's almost two inches long and blotchy. If you don't believe me I'll take a cell phone picture of it and send it to you."

"So I can admire my work?" she asked a little too excitedly.

"Okay, maybe I'll not send you a picture of it. I don't want to encourage you."

"Just comb it out."

"Comb it out? What?"

"Take a fine tooth comb, like the kind you get at a drug store, and comb over the skin. It's supposed to break up the trapped blood or something."

"Seriously?" I wasn't convinced.

"Well if you had gone to high school like a regular person instead of locked in your bedroom reading vampire novels, then you would know this."

I made a noise that signaled that I was not pleased.

"I feel like you have your cranky voice on," she said.

"I'm cranky that I'm thirty years old and I have a huge hickey on my neck."

"Come on, babe. You're not thirty."

"In four months I'll be! I'm too old to have this thing on my neck."

"I guess it's too hot to be wearing a turtleneck."

I made another noise that signaled that I was not pleased.

"Well you have five hours till I get home so you better get your cranky out now."

When I hung up with her, I looked at the hickey again before fishing out a blue plastic comb from my purse. I'm not sure if this combing thing is going to work, but it has too. I'm too old for a massive hickey on my neck.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"I hope they don't give you a domestic abuse cell phone."

Up until a few days ago, the severest bodily harm I had ever inflicted on someone was a broken front tooth due to an accidental thwap of a badminton racket during ninth grade gym class. But a funny thing happened. See I managed to dislocate Ms. K's jaw with an accidental knee to the face. Accidental! We were rough housing on the bed and she was tickling me and I was writhing like my life depended on it and, well, that's when my knee met her jaw.

Er, I promise you don't need to send Ms. K the phone number of a shelter. In case anyone cares, she was able to pop her jaw back in and I managed a million apologies.

It's all fun and games till someone gets their jaw dislocated, right? At least she didn't lose and eye . . . not that she has health care anyway.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"You should move to Hawaii!"

Sorry, where was I? I think the heat and the lazy days of the summer has impacted the frequency of my blog writing. So what's going on? I wish I could say I've been at a beach, but alas I've been confined to air conditioned apartment or at least boozing it up in Prospect Park.

My cousin, who lives in Hawaii, was unexpectedly in town last weekend. We managed to catch up over beers and roasted corn on the cob at the Pop-Up Park. It was refreshing to be open with her about my homosexuality as I've not been very out to my family in the past. She confirmed that her mother -- my mom's sister -- knows that I'm gay and it's no real big deal. Apart from that, the conversation made me feel, for the first time in my life, a real connection to my family. And it felt nice.

Monday, July 21, 2008

"My phone has been commitment phobic in the past, but I think it's ready to sign up for another year contract."

As I'm sure you all are tired of hearing, Ms. K and I celebrated our anniversary last Thursday. We met up at Von, the bar we originally met at for a drink -- a drink that lead to fourteen more and a taxi ride with her back to my place -- before capping off the memorial tour at Sala, where we migrated to after our first meeting. Then we jumped on the B train to Ditmas Park, switching gears from Spanish to French for dinner at Pomme de Terre. Again, it took very little coaxing for her to come home with me.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Monday Night

Monday night. Sunset. I was sitting at the bar that Ms. K works at watching the lights flicker on across the river.

"Oh my god! Look at that ass!"

If I were a country with abundant natural resources such as oil or precious metal, I could be described as "ass rich." Yes, I have a rather large badonkadonk along with D cup sized tits. Men feel the need to make comments, going so far as to stop me in the street.* Generally I'm not bothered since I think the comments are made out of sincere appreciation, but I do feel the need to write about them here when they are extra ridiculous.

I had a new dress on yesterday, which garnered a little more attention than usual. It was a little past midnight when Ms. K and I waited for a bus in Park Slope after watching the Spoon concert in Prospect Park. A couple of eighteen year old boys walked by, one of whom had a big grin on his face.

"Excuse me," he said, "I just wanted to tell you that you are the most beautiful woman I've seen all day."

"Thanks," I replied, embarrassed.

"I just wanted to congratulate you."

"Thanks," I said again.

His friend carried a hockey stick with him and made a swing with it like he was hitting an invisible puck. "Varsity hockey," he said randomly. "Wanna date me?"

And then the guy proclaimed loudly to an empty Seventh Avenue, "Oh my god! Look at that ass!"

Indeed. I told Ms. K that she's a lucky girl. High school boys find me hot.

* Ah yes, that asterisk again. The irony is that I never got ANY attention from guys as a teenager or in my 20s, which doesn't matter since I'm a lady loving lady. So why now? Ms. K says it's because I "grew up pretty."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"There is evidence of a hangover in the kitchen."

Yes, things are definitely starting to look up.* I'm wearing a new dress, strange men are hitting on me in droves, and I'm reconnecting with friends that I haven't seen in a while. For the first time in a very long time I feel like my old self, which probably explains why I'm hungover this morning. And Ms. K and I will be celebrating our proper anniversary on Thursday.

You might have noticed an asterisk after the first sentence in the preceding paragraph. Ah yes, that pregnant symbol that denotes a contradiction and further explanation. For starters I got my phone wet while wading through a pool of water at the Delaware Water Gap. See, I got a little too excited about a waterfall and climbed all over it whilst fully clothed, forgetting about the phone in my pocket. The downside is that I lost all my phone contacts. The upside is that I have insurance, but I have to use my old timey circa 2004 fakakte cell phone in the interim.

Secondly, my cat Theo peed all over Ms. K's stuff. Twice. Bloodshed was averted. For now.

Friday, July 11, 2008

"I love us!"

Okay, things are starting to look up. Ms. K is working full time at the pop-up bar in the Brooklyn Bridge Park (which is NOT sponsored by Ikea, btw, despite the suspicious presence of yellow and blue umbrellas). There is wind in our sails. Next Thursday is our proper anniversary. Good times.

I visited the pop-up bar last week with my roommate Libby. We drank beer while watching the boats go by on the East River. As the sun went down, the lights came on in the skyscrapers across the way. Despite the stunning views of lower Manhattan, the bar felt like I was on vacation somewhere with a pool. And even though I can't afford to go anywhere now, for the price of a beer and some fish tacos, I managed to feel like I had.

Monday, July 07, 2008

"Lucky Sevens."

Maybe there was something about the date 7/07/07. Countless couples chose the date to get married thinking that it was a particularly auspicious date. Even my friend Beth was proposed to by her boyfriend Nils on Paris's Pont Neuf at 7 pm. I, on the other hand, didn't expect much from the day. However I got my very first email from Ms. K where she told me that she had a little blog-crush on me (of the non-crazy, innocuous variety). I responded with something generic yet warm, thanking her for her praise.

The next day she responded with,

"Ever the procrastinator, I found my way back to your blog this morning, where I stumbled upon your dating manifesto. As a way to distract myself from a looming deadline, I have crafted a response. Note however, that I realize you probably aren't looking for responses, and I myself am generally apprehensive about contacting random people via the Internet, but at the very least, maybe I can provide some hope that there are in fact dateable women lurking about our fair city . . . ."

It doesn't feel like it's been a year, does it? And yes, I am a tool.

Friday, July 04, 2008

"Look. A butt."

Ah, the summer holidays. For those of us lucky enough, it also means trips to the beach. From where I live in Brooklyn, I'm only ten miles from the Atlantic ocean and Ms. K and I have been traveling frequently to Jacob Riis beach in the Rockaways. It's not very crowded and it's clean. Well, usually.

There was something about Thursday. Maybe it was the pre-holiday vibe of everyone wanting to get out of the city for the 4th of July, but it seemed like people were extra crazy. Traffic was jittery and we must have passed a half dozen ambulances along the way including an accident in Midwood involving a motorcycle and a bus. When Ms. K and I got to the beach (after own own minor accident involving an exploding bottle of sparkling wine and a cracked car windshield . . . don't ask), we set our blanket out in a sparsely populated section of the beach. There were a couple of twenty-something girls nearby who turned out to be topless. In addition there was a strange man wandering about wearing only a short towel. I quickly learned what was under that towel when he wandered into the rough surf.

"Look. A butt," I said to Ms. K. But soon the man was showing us more than his butt.

Later after Naked Towel Man had wandered off, Ms, K and I wandered down to the shore line noting that recent storms had washed a lot of trash onto the beach. I curiously poked at the detritus and saw that among the seaweed and plastic bottles was a discarded nicotine patch, a tampon applicator, and an empty drug baggy. The only thing missing was a hypodermic needle.

Oh New York, how I love you. Let me count the ways.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

"It's hard to take you seriously when you're yelling at me in your underwear."

As I've mentioned previously, Ms. K isn't a cat person. I have two of them. Needless to say we've had some fights over my cats as we all learn to coexist peacefully together. However she has a very contentions relationship with my cat Theo, who is absolutely petrified of her. She just can't leave him alone, like this morning as I got ready for work.

As she began to give him hard time, I lost my temper and snapped at her. Nevermind the fact that I was half dressed.

"You know, I ask one simple thing of you! I ask sixteen thousand times a day for you to just leave Theo alone. Pretend he's invisible if you must! Is that so difficult?!"

She looked at me with a mixture of fear and amusement.

"It's hard to take you seriously when you're yelling at me in your underwear."

"Sorry. Let me go put on my yelling burqa for you!"

Cheeky girl.