Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Slope & the City."

So I don't really comment much on pop culture -- I will leave that to others -- but I learned that the creator of Sex in the City is developing a television show to be set in Brooklyn's Park Slope . . . and I threw up a little bit in my mouth. I also thought back to the recent New York Times article about the Carrie Bradshawification of Manhattan and shuddered to think that something similar would happen to Brooklyn.

Then I threw up a little bit again.

For the record I don't live in Park Slope; I live in Lefferts Gardens (although that might be changing soon). Park Slope is nice for getting a drink or bite to eat or ogling some pretty sweet brownstone architecture, but I wouldn't want to live there.

[ Exhibit A. ] [ Exhibit B. ]

Before Park Slope was home to roving packs of hyperliterate thirty-something hetero couples pushing their $800 Maclaren strollers, the neighborhood was alternately known as "Dyke" Slope. This old timey connection to The Gays lives on in the neighborhood's three gay bars, but for the most part the dykes have migrated away and left a power vacuum that was filled with pregnancy. (Here's hoping the benzene doesn't have any lasting pre-natal effects.)

Although, according to the New York Post, the project has yet to be cast or greenlighted, the news that Park Slope Mommy is possibly getting her own cable show has been met with horror and not just by me. I read the Post article and discovered:

Sue Kramer, who wrote and directed the 2006 romantic comedy "Gray Matters" starring Heather Graham, Bridget Moynahan and Molly Shannon, is writing the script.

What? The same Gray Matters that I watched last year and wanted to gouge my eyes out after only 30 minutes? But here's my question. Since Gray Matters had a lesbian plot line, should America expect this untitled project to be the east coast version of The L Word? The L World 11215 if I may?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"There is no Dana, only Zuul."

Writing about my future goals apparently provoked the Universe to push a lot of them front and center.

Completely independent of my blog post, Ms. K and I got into a lengthy and emotional discussion on Thursday night of our plans for the future -- cohabitation, our respective pets, short term and long term goals; it was all on the table, messy and offered up to speculation. And then yesterday I was sort of busted by my landlord for having Ms. K live with me on the sly. Feeling myself pushed into Triage Mode yet again (shakes fist!), I freaked out thinking that he was going to force her or us to leave. I fended off his inquiries for now. (Oh please God let this please be the last of it!)

The stress took a toll on me yesterday, so when I came home I made myself an overly large Manhattan while making three cheese & mushroom pizza from scratch. Afterwards Ms. K and I played Guitar Hero to blow off some steam, which reminded me that she is an excellent partner for having fun with and I looked back fondly to our Date Day of Sunday brunch at Beast followed by Baby Mama.

Unfortunately the mood I was in last night could only be delicately described as "bitchy." When she asked why I was cranky, I quickly answered back, "I'm not cranky!" Except imagine if the voice that came from my mouth was a combination of Linda Blair in The Exorcist and "There is no Dana, only Zuul" from Ghostbusters.

Ms. K looked at me alarmed when the deep voice, so unlike my own, growled at her. It was the first time I think she ever saw me get really tetchy and after she stopped looking like a frightened puppy, she burst out laughing and showered me with kisses.

"Aw, you're the cutest thing ever."

Yes. I am also big and scary.

In other news I'm thinking about taking a waitressing job so I can have a steady source of second income since the freelance pay has a tendency to fluctuate in an undesirable way. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"What do you want?"

What do you want?

It was a question my therapist asked a few weeks ago and it has been quietly gestating in my head since then. What direction do I want to go in? Where do I want to drive the proverbial car? It wasn't something I could answer at the time, but I have taken a hard look at where I am and the tenuous foundation that I stand upon while turning my gaze towards the future.

What do you want?

For the first time in a very long time I feel myself again. I feel that I can relax after being in constant triage mode. My relationship is also settling down as Ms. K is in Brooklyn more and has a bartending job in Park Slope, although things are unnervingly slow right now. I helped her come up with a house cocktail and happy hour menu to start drawing a bar crowd (Hey New Yorkers! Free appetizers during happy hour! Vegetarian stuff too!). But the point is -- knock on wood -- that I have less to worry about. Now she just needs her own apartment so she can bring her dog to Brooklyn and stop living out of a suitcase.

So now what? Here's my wish list.

* I want to live in Brooklyn for a very long time. I am completely in love with the borough. I want to live in an old house in Ditmas Park with a back yard. I want patio furniture and a grill. I want a garden.

* I want to start correcting my past financial mistakes whether through increased freelance income, increased savings, and sticking to a budget. I want to rebuild my credit score. I want the disposable income and the freedom that comes with it while making smart choices about how to spend it.

* I want to travel. I want to go see Beth in Stockholm and visit my old friends in England. I want to visit Amsterdam again and stay longer than 1.5 days. I want to go somewhere with a beach. I want to float in the water and close my eyes and relax.

* I want to have a job that challenges me again. I want to somehow bring writing into my 9-5 work. I want to write a book. I want to partner up with the astrologer I freelance for and write columns with her in addition to the column she already writes for a major fashion magazine.

* And most importantly, I want Ms. K. I want us to start building a life together. I want us to have a house with a backyard and patio in Ditmas Park where we can relax and watch the sun go down while enjoying a cocktail and each other's company.

Yeah, that would be nice, right? I don't know how long it's going to take to get my wish list (months? years?), but I promise you that I will be putting in the hard work to make it happen.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"The only reason I'm not laughing harder at this is because I am horrified of this happening."

What I was trying to allude to in some of my previous posts is that there comes a point in a relationship when the illusion fades and the mask slips, boundaries shift and taboos slide. You start to see your partner or girlfriend in all their glorious, awkward humanity. It's inevitable, just as an accidental piece of toilet paper sticking out like white flag is inevitable. The whole point is to see the humor in it, right?

It's not like I've stopped trying to be sexy for Ms. K, although I can get away with not shaving my legs as often. Actually I think I pulled the three day leg stubble thing on our third date. She still kept going home with me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"my vote is that you're more tactful next time."

I should note that I have been known to be snarky upon occasion and despite my love of/reliance upon the word fuck and its many forms, my deft use of the English language can come across as a tad bit acerbic. Lovable, but pointed at times, yes? Maybe that's what initially attracted Ms. K to my blog -- that and our common love of author Ian McEwan.

Our relationship can also be snarky. We both have lightning fast minds* and often our verbal exchanges ricochet back and forth as if we're trying to best each other with one liners. Originally when Ms. K and I started dating, I played a little rough, which led her to think I was mean and kind of a bitch. (Sorry, honey.) Thankfully we've cleared up that misconception and I've learned to pull my punches. (Only a little.)

When Ms. K and I had a date for lunch last week, she confessed that she was afraid that she was coming across as an asshole on my blog. Fair point since you, dear reader, only know what I tell you. The thing is that our exchanges go both ways and I feel more inclined to write about what happens to me (in addition to mining comedy gold) because, well, it's my blog.

Anyway, blah blah blah. I didn't want you all to think that I was being verbally abused. I have a very snarky relationship with my mother, which is probably how I learned to show love (in the form of biting criticism). When Ms. K was making fun of my BGP, she had no idea that she was tapping into some Fat Girl shame and felt awful about it when she read my blog. The thing is that she absolutely adores me as I am and would worship my body if she could. We've gotten so comfortable with each other that we've started playing a little rough again. That and we're living with each other in a small apartment, so our words are bound to be a little sharper than usual. But I will say that we also relieve tension with copious amounts of hot lesbian sex (after she removes any extraneous toilet paper).

I'll leave you with this link to when we first started dating, a time when I mercilessly gave her her own fair share of shit. All good natured, yes?

* Except when I'm doing simple arithmetic apparently.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"Are they supposed to go up this high?"

The only downside to Ms. K working is that we now have completely different schedules, which means that we either see each other as I get ready for work in the morning or when she gets back from the restaurant late at night. It's a small sacrifice to make in exchange for the security of employment, right?

Last night marked the restaurant's first official night open. When Ms. K came home I was already asleep, deeply enough that I groggily kissed her as she joined me in bed, her lips and face cold from her bike ride home.

"Hi, honey," she whispered, the scent of the restaurant lingering on her clothes and in her hair as I snuggled up against her.

"Hi, baby," I answered, still half asleep. "How was work?"

She regaled me of the evening and how a group of lesbians stopped by, one of whom gave Ms. K her number. Cheeky. At least they tipped well.

As she readied for bed, which meant getting naked, she noticed I was still wearing my knickers.

"What's that?" she asked, motioning to the offending garment.

At first I thought she just wanted me to remove the underwear, since she's the boss of the bed and likes her lady naked. But as I slid them off, I could tell that she meant something else.

I should note that I have to laundry, which means, as every woman knows, being forced to wear the dregs of the underwear collection. What Ms. K discovered, much to my chagrin, was a pair of dark gray high cut briefs with an embroidered floral pattern. (If you all ever wanted to know why no one would sleep with me for three and a half years, look no further than this pair of Big Girl Panties.)

"Let me see them!" she playfully demanded, but I had already tossed the underwear over the side of the bed in anticipation of being made fun of.

Undeterred by my hiding of the evidence, Ms. K threw her body over me and snatched the BGP from the floor and unleashed a torrent of good natured teasing.

"Oh, honey, these are sexy," she said, waving them in front of me disdainfully. "This is definitely the sort of underwear one wears when fancying cats in accordance with the latest cat fancying trends."

I rolled over and began to pout. "Thanks for making me hate myself more," I groaned, voice muffled from the pillow that was covering my face. (Ms. K had inadvertently tapped into a very large vein of Fat Girl shame.)

"I'm going to put them on!"

"Please," I begged like a woman being handed a death sentence. "Please don't."

No mercy was granted. "Are they supposed to go up this high? It's like underwear and a tube-top all in one!"

I didn't want to give her the satisfaction of looking, but I rolled over nonetheless and beheld the humiliating sight of her wearing my underwear. The waistband was so high that it came only inches from her breasts.

In a huff, I rolled back away from her and pouted some more.

She cajoled me to come back, promising that she teased only because she loved. After some commotion from her side of the bed, I felt her poking at my back. "Look, honey!"

I turned and saw that Ms. K had put the underwear on her head. Her long, dark curly hair was tucked neatly into my BGP. She seemed to think that she was very clever for some reason.

"Look, it's a hat!"

I have to go and die now.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"Oh the folly of youth."

Tax day. My favorite day of the year. The day when the specter of my past financial mistakes comes paying for a visit. Hmm, not paying. How about collecting? Cause I'm the one paying. But the good news is that the US government would like to economically stimulate me to the tune of 400 something dollars, which will in turn go right back into financing my debt. Suckers.

I know I resolved that 2008 would be about more sex and less financial ruin. I'm really working on it. I'm in debt counseling among other things. But here are some more specific financial resolutions that I can expand on this year.

* File a 1040 EZ for my 2008 tax return. (A girl can wish.)

* Have money saved in the bank to pay the taxes on my freelance 1099s.

* Have money saved in the bank.

* Have money saved in the bank with an institution that offers a 3% interest rate or higher.

* Increase my freelance intake. (Refer back to resolution no. 2)

* Take a fucking vacation. (Refer back to resolution no. 3.)


Monday, April 14, 2008

"I want you to keep being my lady."

Now that Ms. K has a job in Brooklyn, I can rest a little easy. It has been a rough transition back to New York for her and getting her car broken into last month represented only the tip of the iceberg in terms of calamities tragedies she's had to endure. (And nevermind the fact that even though it's been a month, she still doesn't have her car back from the shop. Grr.) Thankfully her new job represents positive, forward movement . . . and delicious cocktails, which I got to try on Saturday when my roommate and I checked out the new bar.

Now that she has a job, she'll be crashing with me between trips to Pennsylvania until she can get her finances in order and find her own place. I've tried to keep her presence on the DL with my landlord since I'm not supposed to have long term guests, but he figured it out on his own . . . as did his wife, who also realized that Ms. K was more than just a friend. Guess this means that they know I'm gay . . . and that my girlfriend is pseudo living with me. Er, the cat is now out of the bag. (Can you believe that it's been nine months since Ms. K and I started dating?)

Sorry, not a very interesting blog update, but this makes for very big news in the Post No Bills household. That and I discovered last night that I am not very good at playing Guitar Hero. Hope you all like Ethiopian food!

Friday, April 11, 2008

"You don't know. There could have been a fast moving key bandit."

The phone call came when I was on the 6 train, caller ID showing that it was Ms. K.

"Hey, I'm on the subway," I shouted over the din, waiting for the inevitable lost connection. "What's up?"

"I'm locked out!"


Then I lost the call since getting cell phone service on the subway is kind of a fluke and when you do it only lasts for 12.5 seconds. I hopped off the train at 28th Street and checked my phone, seeing that I had like 6 missed calls from Ms. K. When I got above ground, I called her back.

"I'm locked out," she reiterated. "I can't find my keys."

"Shit," I said as a wave of irritation came over me. Ms. K has a propensity for losing important things -- glasses, check books, wallets -- and I figured it was only a matter of time before I could add my spare set of keys to the list.

"I'm really really sorry. I thought I had them in my coat pocket when I went to smoke a cigarette," she said.

I gave a long sigh as I realized that I would have to call my boss and tell her that I was going to be late and then go all the way back to Brooklyn to give her my set of keys. Shit.

After the whole song and dance of going back home and the doubling my commute, we talked on and off all day about her progress on finding the keys. I asked the obvious questions. Where did you see them last? When did you use them last? I was getting more and more annoyed since it was going to be a production to get her new keys.

We narrowed the hunt down to a 40 minute time frame that morning when she knew she had the keys after she came back from moving the car.

Are the keys in the car?

Are they on the nightstand?

Did you accidentally drop them on the stairs?

Did they fall into the couch?

How could you be so careless??

Where the fuck are the fucking keys??

"Honey, I still cannot find them," she wrote over email after she tore apart the apartment. "I am beginning to think that they are not in the apartment."

"They HAVE to be in the apartment."

"One would think. But they are not here. Unless I left them in the front door and a key bandit stole them."

"If there was a key bandit then they moved fast because the time from when you came back from moving the car and Libby leaving for work was 10 minutes tops. Ergo they have to be in the house."

"You don't know. There could have been a fast moving key bandit."


Ms. K tore apart the house for a second time and I considered phoning up MIT to tell them that a black hole had appeared in a brownstone in Brooklyn. Then I decided to use my magic powers to find them. I closed my eyes, cleared my mind, and tried to envision where the keys were. The sense that I got was that they were someplace stupid. It was as if I could feel their weight in my hand, as if I could reach out and touch them they were so close.

Although I was at the office, I turned around and looked at my purse, wondering if I absently threw them in there by mistake. A cursory look revealed the usual purse contents, but the keys were still missing.

Sigh. This was a big problem.

When I got home that evening, we tore apart the apartment for a third time, getting on our hands and knees with a flashlight.

"I really think they are gone," Ms. K said as we canceled our search in defeat. By then I was sitting on the floor in the middle of my bedroom resigned to the fact that I was going to have to let my landlord know that the key bandit had access to the house.

My purse and my jacket happened to be in arms length and I figured it was worth another search of my purse. Again, no keys. Then I reached for my jacket and felt the pockets.

Uh oh.

The keys were in my jacket the whole time. I really could have reached out and touched them when I was at work. We stared at each other with elation and relief.

"I'm sorry I accidentally took your keys and then blamed it on your carelessness," I muttered.

Mea culpa accepted.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

"The air was thick as treacle."

I was tagged a few days ago by Dykes in the City with a meme that I've seen making its way around the internets. The rules are:

1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 (or more) pages.
2. Open the book to page 123 and find the 5th sentence.
3. Post the next 3 sentences.

It took me a couple days to comply as when I'm at work, which admittedly is when I tend to write blog entries, the nearest book is the Chicago Manual of Style. And, seriously, no one wants to read that. So I waited till I got home, since I have a library in my office, and chose Sarah Waters's Fingersmith, US paperback edition.

P.123, fifth sentence and the three following:

"The air was thick as treacle. My gown was damp where it gripped. A limb of iron would have sweated, in a dress on such a day. And eye of marble would have swiveled in its socket to gaze as I did."

I tag:

Mouthy Femme
My Secret Ennui
Write Again Soon

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

"See, honey, this could have been you."

As I said previously, there aren't many points of tension in my relationship with Ms. K save for my two white cats, which she affectionately calls "the little bastards." Since she has been spending more time at my apartment, we have had many a conversation about them and the kudzu like spread of cat hair. I'll admit that with two cats it gets everywhere despite the fact that I clean and vacuum regularly, but I'm trying -- really trying -- to alleviate their impact on our environment for the sake of her allergies.

"BTW, your ad didn't say that you had two cats," Ms. K said recently, feigning annoyance with me.

"I didn't have them at the time," I shot back testily. (I have become very defensive when the subject of my cats comes up.) "If I had, would you have run the other way?"

"No, you're too pretty to be a crazy cat lady," she said with a mollifying smile.

So last night as we laid in bed, Ms. K flipped through her recent purchase of Stephen Colbert's I Am America (And So Can You!) and read me some of the funnier passages. When we got to the section referencing a senile old spinster and her collection of cats, she pointed to the picture of the woman and said, "See, honey, this could have been you."

I gave her one of my looks -- scrunched lips and a furrowed brow, We are not amused -- the same look she loves to provoke because she finds it so funny. She continued to read aloud anyway, taunting me with the sad and lonely schedule of this woman's afternoon.

"2:00: A visit from the postman! The fall issue of Cat Fancy is here!

"2:15-7:00: Fancied my cats in accordance with the latest cat-fancying trends."

Ms. K laughed harder than before and teased, "Aren't you glad you have me? You could have been this woman. Is Cat Fancy a real magazine??"

"Yeah, it's a magazine devoted to cats," I replied, perhaps a little too quickly.

"Wait . . . have you ever subscribed to Cat Fancy Magazine??"

I hesitated to answer, taking a sharp intake of breath. When her eyes began to grow wide with disbelief, I raised a finger to stop the onslaught of eminent teasing. "I have never subscribed to Cat Fancy Magazine. However when I was sixth grade, I would read it in my middle school library. I also didn't have any friends, so there was no social standing left to damage."

Oh how she laughed and laughed, threatening to get me a subscription to Cat Fancy as a funny little joke. I don't know why I give her so much ammo against me. She still hasn't let the TP Incident slide.

Monday, April 07, 2008

"I'm the drummest one at the scrty."

I tried to start many a blog entry last week. Multiple paragraphs were written, not always coherently, in the hopes that an entry would finally come together and artfully convey this sad point:

I need to go on a diet.

The thing is is that I don't believe in diets (which is probably part of the problem). I feel that they are only temporary solutions that don't address the root cause of weight gain or someone's relationship with food. That and when I die and my life flashes before my eyes, I'm not going to wish I had starved myself more.

So how does a girl who doesn't believe in diets diet? I've been trying this new thing where Ms. K and I "exercise." However this has come to mean going on a 3 to 4 mile walk around Park Slope and Prospect Park while periodically stopping at bars for a beer (eg, Commonwealth). I've been informed that this is not "exercising" but merely a jaunty bar crawl. And it probably doesn't help my new resolution to have my clothes fit again by eating nachos last night and drinking two beers, a margarita, three beverages named the PLG, and a bourbon and soda. (Plus, for the bonus round, I smoked a cigarette.)

Maybe I should rethink that diet and go for another bike ride.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

"Maybe you were a late bloomer."

With six years separating us in age, Ms. K and I are not quite peers. The gap is enough time for us to have completely different pop cultural references. Then there's the fact that we're of completely different tribes. She's constantly fascinated by my high school experience since it differed so much from hers. Whereas she was athletic and popular, I was the geek and the introvert . . . she the chemically altered party girl, me the teetotal social leper. You get the idea.

I once made the mistake of telling her about the murder mystery party I hosted my senior year for me and my friends, conveniently and sneakily arranged for when my parents were out of town. I wrote the murder mystery, cleaned the house, and cooked dinner for my eight friends. We had a blast.

From the look on Ms. K's face, you'd think I had told her I made regular trips to Mars. The super nerdtastic concept of a murder mystery dinner party boggled her mind. "Was there booze at this party??" she asked, aghast.

"No drinking."

She was nonplussed. "Who throws a party without any booze?? High school is supposed to be about having fun, experimenting with drugs, pregnancy scares, and beer pong. Don't you feel like you missed out??"

"Actually no. Minus the pregnancy scares, I got that all out of my system in my 20s."

"Maybe you were a late bloomer," she added with a sense of finality, like she had figured out the key to the puzzle. "When did you get pretty?"

"I don't know. You've seen the pictures."

Indeed she had. Perhaps mistakenly, I showed her photos of me circa 1995. My dark, thick eyebrows were untamed. I wore dark lipstick against my pale skin, a remnant of my Anne Rice reading, "preppy goth" phase. I wore blazers with such regularity that you'd think I was a middle aged woman -- in fact I was mistaken for a teacher TWICE during my senior year. And I certainly wasn't experimenting sexually as I had no interest in boys and the feeling was apparently mutual.

Ms. K shook her head. "We would not have been friends in high school. I would have been like, 'Who's that chick with the blazer? She's weird.'"

"Hey, I'm okay with my weirdness."

"You're normal now!"


"Yeah. Ish," she said with a smile and a kiss.

[ Me in 1996 with a sassy smile and a healthy tan -- minus the goth makeup thankfully. ]