Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Don't touch my boobs, don't touch my ass, just stop it."

Ms. K has a coworker that propositioned her for sex last night.

Let's call this coworker Deborah.

Look, I'm not particularly the jealous type and I feel 100% secure in my relationship with Ms. K, but this is the same coworker who is quickly sleeping her way through the rest of the restaurant staff. Not only has Deborah slept with one of the managers who has girlfriend, she's gotten friendly with a waiter who is known to have patronized hookers. Hookers! So it's all a bit sordid and with a dash of a potential STD. And furthermore, Deborah has met me. Multiple times! She knows that Ms. K and I are married!

I guess this means that it was inevitable that Deborah would set her sights on Ms. K, but it's still gross. There's a lot of dirty back story that I could explain, but this is all you need to know. Deborah was rather sexually aggressive with Ms. K last night as they had drinks after work with other staff members. If she wasn't pressing her body against Ms. K while sitting on the bar stool, she was Mr. Grabby with the inappropriate touching. Or she was saying, "I was thinking of you all day." Or she was suggesting threesomes with the guy who has sex with hookers. Deborah even followed Ms. K to the bathroom at one point and she told me that had to forcefully say to Deborah, "You need to stop."

However it really didn't stop, so Ms. K called it a night and left the bar before anyone could slip her a roofie, coming home to me and regaling me with her story of bad touching and incestuous, alcohol fueled coworker relationships. With hookers.

I feel the need to go down to the restaurant and reestablish some boundaries, but my gut is telling me that Deborah is not the most stable person and thus my saying something would be like pouring gasoline on fire.

Dude. Too much drama.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"The apartment was found in disarray."

The Good:

Unexpectedly, my friend and colleague DJ surprised Ms. K and I with a wedding gift -- two wedding gifts! Orchestrating donations at work, she not only presented us with a lovely card signed by 18 of my colleagues, but two gift certificates -- one to the restaurant Blue Hill in Manhattan and the other to Char No. 4 in Brooklyn. Hey, maybe there's something to this whole getting married thing.

Furthermore, on the same day that we received the gifts, I unexpectedly won a free service probably valued at about $50. Huzzah. Time to take that luck to Vegas!

The Bad:

Apart from losing a couple of paychecks to IKEA, things have been generally good. The new apartment is great! No regrets! However my previous landlord is less that happy with me and is threatening to sue me in small claims court. This can probably be sorted out without going to court and we've been playing phone tag over the last week, but right now the red voice mail indicator is flashing on my work phone and I really don't want to pick it up and listen to the message because I know there's a 99% chance that it is him. Needless to say I've been procrastinating on this all morning and, well, need to just nut up and call him back and sort it all out. He says, "The apartment was found in disarray," and I need to explain to him that that was pretty much how we received it from the previous tenant.

The Not So Ugly:

A couple of days ago, after going over a week without cooking gas, I finally made my first meal in the apartment, which was a modest supper of chicken, sauteed crimini mushrooms, and green beans. Apologies for the iPhone quality photo. My camera is packed somewhere . . . . But hey, note the granite counter top at the top of the picture!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

"Attention Ikea associates, we have a Code 99 in textiles."

Since I still don't have cooking gas hooked up in my apartment, I've been subsisting on a diet of cold Thanksgiving leftovers, takeout, and the occasional meal from the Farm on Adderley. Needless to say this shit is getting old, but I should hopefully have full use of my new stove on Thursday. In the interim, let's look back over the last couple of months, scraping together a couple of half formed story ideas that never made it out of the gate because I was busy getting gay married and stuff.

* My parents bought my 27 year old brother a house in October. This sort of made me laugh in a way that really means that I'm crying on the inside. Do I want my parents to buy me a house? Absolutely not, but I find it funny that my parents would buy my brother a house yet have only visited me twice in New York in the five years I've lived here, complaining that it's too expensive to visit. Cue sad trombone.

* What else, what else . . . OH! I still haven't my parents that I got gay married.

* Because I switched neighborhoods when I moved, I need to find a new gym. UGH. Seriously, this was really the only Con in the Pros & Cons category regarding the move. But it is a big Con. The closest gym to me now is the Crunch on Flatbush, where the Yelp reviews don't exactly inspire confidence.

* Ms. K and I went to IKEA and spent a small fortune, which in turn is helping make our new apartment look like we had hoped the old one would look like. Plus we painted our bedroom "Electric Blue" and bought this rug. Fun!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

"We have nothing to fear from love and commitment."

Brava, New York State Senator Diane Savino, brava. It's a shame the majority of your fellow senators didn't see your eloquent point.

Monday, November 30, 2009

“It is hard to live near houses.”

Ms. K and I moved yesterday to an apartment in Ditmas Park. If you will permit me, I have some things to say.

Fuck you, Kensington. Fuck you, former residence and your inhabitants of sour faced malcontents. Fuck you, roach infestation. Fuck you, screeching neighbor child. And, especially, fuck you, old women in the elevator who mutter epithets at me in Russian.

Hello, Ditmas Park! Hello, beautiful Victorian homes that cause my heart to pang with the longings of home ownership. Hello, two block walk to the subway. Hello, new neighbors who muster the correct reaction to a friendly golden retriever. Hello, new big kitchen with granite counters and an abundance of oak cabinets, so much that Ms. K and I don't quite know what to do with ourselves. Hello, gleaming white new bathroom.

We moved three quarters of a mile to the east and it's like a completely different world. I walk out my front door and I am confronted with the sight of detached wood frame homes instead of the rumble of Ocean Parkway. While a welcome change, I can't help think of this:
"It is hard to live near houses. Big, broad Victorians, houses I dream of, with rooms and dark staircases, and sky painted porch ceilings. Houses with trees that shade unattainable octagonal-walled bedrooms, with people who I never see, walking up and down the stairs.

"It seems not right to live near houses, houses with yards, and lawns, and one, not too far, with an in-ground pool you can see from the sidewalk. On a hot day I watch two ladies sit on lawn chairs, chatting in one pieces, not even swimming, and am tempted to ask them if I might just – quickly – jump in and then out." [ more ]

Someday. Until then, we'll revel in our new neighborhood.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dude. Seriously. I'm in this photo. I hadn't seen it in 20 years, but some crafty soul posted it to Facebook and now I feel all weird. And shameful of some bad 80s-ness going on. Also, I hate Facebook.

Friday, November 13, 2009

"Honey, I'm glad I larried you."

I spent the greater part of last week alternating between googling about tax law and sharpening my pitchfork, ready to lead an angry mob of my disenfranchised gay brethren. While I haven't really gotten a clear answer on the inequitable financial impact of getting Ms. K health care, it's starting to look not as dire as the picture I painted previously. From what I understand, I have to pay tax on the value of the health care, not the actual benefit. Still, unfair is unfair.

However my rage might be voided. Tucked in the 1,000 pages of health care bill that the House of Representatives voted on last week was a provision to end the so called gay tax in regards to health care (and by extension domestic partner benefits too). Well well well. Here's to hoping that it passes in the Senate.

Another reason to tone down my angst is because I felt that it was sort of distracting me from just enjoying the moment and being in love, blah blah blah. So here I am, coming down from my soap box, enjoying the chocolate truffles and champagne that Denise sent me last week. While my parents still do not know that I got gay married, I did tell a cousin of mine and she was very supportive.

Ms. K and I joke that we got larried, aka lady married. We walk around the apartment saying "Honey, I'm glad I larried you" or "Honey, you're a good life" aka gay lady wife.

In other celebratory news, today marks my 5th anniversary as a New Yorker. And this is my 705th blog entry, which means that blog entry no. 700 went quietly unrecognized. Furthermore, Tuesday is my 31st birthday. Ms. K bought me a 1978 Bordeaux to mark the occasion.

Joyeux anniversaire!

PS -- Thanks to everyone, from Denver to Dubai, who gave Ms. K and I their best wishes and congratulations!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


This whole Maine voting to repeal gay marriage thing -- and by extension California -- has me thinking. And angry. Mostly angry. I know I'm preaching to the converted here, but one of the comments on my initial "Hey, I got married" post was "Why?" The answer relates so poignantly to Maine's decision to revoke the civil rights of some of its citizens.


I know that on one hand marriage in the West is a dead institution and when I say this I speak of the institution that our grandparents and countless generations knew before. Women are no longer chattel to be moved from one family to another. There are no more dowries. Women no longer have to love, honor, and obey. (Sorry, honey. I know you were whispering "obey" under your breath as we exchanged vows.) Women, as a whole, are equal partners.

What is marriage in 2009? Again, it's about equality. It's about two people coming together to form a lasting partnership. It's about taking care of the one you love and vice versa, whether you're 30 or 90, regardless of gender.

So I think the question isn't "why" but "why not"? Especially since the gay marriage gods apparently giveth and they taketh away. (I'm looking at you, California and Maine.)

I've learned to value things differently as I've gotten older. While I don't need a piece of paper to confirm what I already know in my heart, I do want the legal structure of a partnership. And yeah, I want my wife to have health care. I want her to make the tough decisions for me should I ever, God forbid, be incapacitated. I want my inalienable right to equal protection under the law. Why is that so threatening to a large swath of the population, especially the voters in California and Maine?

And for one final dose of moral outrage, let me outline for you what lopsided, second class rights I'm entitled to currently. While the State of New York doesn't allow gay marriage (Fuck you, Albany), it does recognize "marriages" performed in other states. Ergo, Ms. K and I went to Connecticut to get hitched, which does perform gay marriages (ie, not civil unions). I'm in negotiations at work over what benefits will extend to Ms. K, namely health care. While things look like they are a go, this is what will happen should Ms. K decide to use my health care.

She goes to the doctor.

She submits a claim to my insurance company.

They reimburse her.

The IRS, because the federal government does not recognize gay marriage, treats the money the insurance company reimburses her as taxable income. Taxable fucking income. Just let that sink in a moment. So if Ms. K spends the night in the ER, like I did back in 2008, receives a $5,000 bill, and it is covered by insurance, we have to pay a percentage to the IRS come April. If your tax rate is 15%, that's $750 that will have to be paid to the IRS. If we were a straight married couple, this would not be the case.

This is what it is like to be a second class citizen in your own country.

I recommend reading the New York Time's "The High Price of Being a Gay Couple."

Monday, November 02, 2009

"I want to hear about how your families are responding."

Ah yes. The families. Anonymous commenter, you touched upon a major point that may or not have come across in my previous post. You see, my family doesn't know that I got married last week. It is infinitely complicated when it shouldn't be. Frankly I'm a little intimidated by my mother and don't quite know how to break the news to her. As for Ms. K, she told only her mother. Still waiting to see how this all goes down.

But let's rewind a little.

While it may seem out of left field that Ms. K and I would run off and get gay married, we've been talking about it privately for almost a year. We've also gone back and forth on whether this was something we wanted to do, but the possibility of my health care benefits extending to Ms. K was a huge lure. I know it's not very romantic and neither is a civil ceremony, but there you go. That said, these are murky legal water we've waded into. No, we won't be changing our last names.

So how did this all evolve?

Back in September, Ms. K and I started talking about moving from our much maligned apartment. If fact, had I been blogging that month, I would have regaled you all of tales of apartment listings on Craigslist and the place in Park Slope we looked at. Great location! By the park! In a brownstone! Dog friendly! But the place looked like squatters had been living there and it was overpriced in its condition. Alas.

The thrust into moving and the challenges that it would create led us to another conversation about perhaps waiting till early 2010 to commit to moving. Then it was like, "If we're not moving this month, why don't we get married instead?"


I picked an auspicious date and time in the future, which turned out to be October 28th at 11:15 am. As that day grew closer, we scrambled to buy wedding bands, rent a car, and buy dresses to wear. I even bought a pair of 3 1/2 inch stacked heels to wear with my new blue dress. Ms. K looked beautiful in a new gray dress paired with brown patent leather heels that she already had. No virginal white for us; the jig was surely up. On the day of, we got up early and drove in the rain to New Haven. By the time the paperwork was done and the justice of the peace had married us, it was noon. So much for my auspicious time frame.

When we finally got home and returned the car, we drank a bottle of Moet in bed and lounged around as "joined legal spouses." Then it was off to our wedding meal at Applewood in Park Slope where we had the tasting menu with the wine pairing. Afterward, tipsy and full, we took a car home where we crawled into bed exhausted, but most importantly married.

Friday, October 30, 2009

"Blab blab blab blab blab."

I wrote a couple of blog entries to explain some of the stuff that has been going on over the last month, but then the phrase "burying the lede" kept coming to mind. So I'm just going to come out and say it.

On Wednesday, Ms. K and I eloped to Connecticut. We are, in the eyes of the State of Connecticut and thus New York, "joined legal spouses."

Questions? Comments?

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Don't worry, I'm gay."


According to Merriam-Webster, it means "a power or process of transforming something common into something special." It's not what I would call your every day, run-of-the-mill kind of word, but I randomly saw the word twice within a fifteen minute time period. First, as I was waiting in line to order a sandwich, I glanced upon the word on an advertisement. Second, it graced the book chapter that I woman was reading next to me on the 6 train. I was reminded of childhood episodes of Sesame Street. Boys and girls, the word of the day is . . . alchemy.

Maybe there is something alchemic in the art of turning a random coincidence into meaning. Maybe I was turning something common -- a common event -- into something special.

But there was nothing common about the two events that happened hours later.

First, I randomly received a check for $189 from the hospital that I stayed overnight in way back in January 2008. I have no idea why the hospital sent me a check almost 22 months after I stayed here. There was no explanation in the envelope, just a check. Also, how often do hospitals reimburse? Color me confused, color me $189 richer.

After leaving work, my windfall fresh on my mind, I headed to the bank to deposit it lest they decide to take it back. As I crossed the street to the corner of 33rd and Park Avenue, I saw man walking straight toward me. At first I thought he was going to let me pass, the street was busy with people leaving work, but we ended up doing this sort of awkward dance that people do when they're trying to not run into each other. I noticed he sort of looked homeless and it was as if he was intentionally blocking me from entering the bank.

"I was wondering if I could ask you a strange question?" he said.

Great. Fantastic. What does this guy want??

Before you think that I am uncharitable to homeless people, especially in the wake receiving an unexpected $189, let me explain what happened next.

He started with his speech. "Don't worry, I'm gay."

It was a disarming thing to say, especially to a woman in New York. Translation? Don't worry, I won't rape you! Meanwhile as he talked, some explanation of some situation that required my help, I was a little transfixed by the poor state of his teeth. They were either non existent or small, discolored nubs. Anyway . . .

". . . . you see I've done something stupid and I've locked myself out of my apartment."

Something clicked in my brain. Wait a second, I thought. WAIT A FUCKING SECOND! The speech. It was familiar. Because that's what it was. A speech. A con.

Flashback to December 2004. I was new to New York City, painfully broke, and painfully naive. While crossing Washington Square Park one evening, I ran into the same man with the same exact story. I'm gay! Help me get uptown! I need cab money! I locked myself out of my apartment! I need to make an appointment for some job! Except that time I gave the bastard $20 because I believed him. He even asked where I worked and swore he would come back the next day with my $20, thanking me profusely. (Suck it, naysayers, I am charitable. And gullible.) After I had handed over the money -- the smallest bill that I had -- I knew that it was a mistake, but it was too late. He was already off on his bike. Sometime later I happened to read a description of the same guy and the same scam on Gothamist, confirming what I already suspected.

Five years later I was face to face again with the con artist. And yes, it was the same guy . . . except time had not been kind on his teeth. (Karma!) In city of 8 MILLION PEOPLE, I run into the same man? What are the odds?! Had I remembered all the details of our last encounter as I do now, I would have thumped him on the chest and demanded my $20 back and perhaps my good faith too. But I remembered enough to walk away from him with a curt, "Sorry, I can't help you."

And then I deposited my $189 in the bank. It's like my original $20 made interest over the last five years.

How's that for alchemy?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Do you want to get another drink or do you want to go home?"

It's funny to think that there was a time not too long ago in my life where I danced on bars, got hangovers with an alarming frequency, and went out four nights a week. I spent a good portion of my 20s sleep deprived and dehydrated, like it was a right of passage, but with age 30 came this strange thing called maturity and responsibility. And while the party is far from over in my life, it's now taken on overtones of a quiet dinner followed by a glass of port. Ms. K, who ironically is only 24 years old, has also mellowed from her free wheeling gal about town days too. My oh my.

We're okay with this, really we are, but now and again we are reminded that our tastes and habits have shifted in the couple of years since meeting. Take Saturday night when I thought it might be nice to meet Ms. K for a drink at 11:30 pm after she got off from work. A nice idea, yes, but it became clear that both of us were out of practice.

We tiredly drank a couple of rounds at Superfine and as the time grew long after midnight, we negotiated the remainder of our evening.

"Do you want to get another drink or do you want to go home?"

I yawned. "I can go both ways. Do you want to go home?"

Ms. K yawned. "Only if you want to go home."

God, we were like two old ladies, but two old ladies determined to recapture some of our past glory while simultaneously longing for our bed.

"One more drink!"

I yawned again.

By the time we finished our third round, we decided to leave and find an open restaurant even though it was nearing 2 am. Crazy. We should have just gone home, but instead we stubbornly took a car to Park Slope to see if Blue Ribbon still was open. It was, and in the car over I found a pack of Camel Lights on the back seat.

For a second I was excited by my good fortune. Camel Lights! That was my brand when I used to smoke! They're normally $9 a pack! I will smoke a free cigarette and recall the bygone days of my youth because I am wild and crazy! But then the moment passed and as I clutched the nearly full pack, I realized that some things were best left in the past.

Our hearts were no longer in our late night adventure, even though we had gone all the way from Dumbo to Park Slope at 2 am. It was time to go home to walk to dog and crawl into bed, accepting defeat and knowing better than to stay out into the wee hours again.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

"We're going to crack open the big egg!"

I know, I know. I am a bad blog neglector. See, Ms. K and I got back from vacation and life sorta slipped back into this sleepy late August vibe complete with picnics in Prospect Park, bottles of white wine, and trips to the Cortelyou farmer's market. Naturally Labor Day weekend was a staycation since our travel budget was blown in Sweden . . . and then some. Basically a whole lot of nothing has been happening.

It's been a year since Ms. K and I moved in together and very nearly broke up in the process. Time flies! Despite our grand home improvement plans, our initiate stalled sometime in November. Dusty pictures remain unhung, trim is still not put back up, painter's tape is still up in the bedroom, and a To Do list is still on the fridge like a tally of our failures. I think the problem is two fold. On one hand, losing the car in the accident last January cut back on our mobility and the ease in which we could visit Lowes or IKEA. On the other, I think we lost steam in the end because we want to live somewhere else. To put work into a place that we would like to be out of in 6 months seems silly at this point. Never mind the fact that half our books still are in need of bookshelves.

When Ms. K and I got back from abroad, it became ever more obvious that we hate our apartment and our neighborhood. We even started poking around Craigslist to see what apartments were going for. But money is still a big factor and while it is not as expensive to get a back yard space in Park Slope these days, I'm sure we're both reluctant to double our (currently cheap) rent.

So we have dreams and we're working on them, but it doesn't make for very exciting blogging. Ms. K wants to get her masters in Computer Science, we're both working on freelance projects, yadda yadda yadda. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, check out this video that blew my mind:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


You know, I had this idea that I would blog during my trip to Stockholm and Amsterdam. I even brought along my iPhone to connect to various wi-fis and to maybe capture my off-the-cuff thoughts about traveling, Scandinavia, the perplexing ubiquity of 7-Elevens in Stockholm, the akvavit, and Hell and Gore (or was it Helan går?). But it wasn't to be. How do you say mas cerveza por favor in Swedish?

Now that I am back in ridiculously hot, sweaty, dirty, and Augusty New York City, I've had time to reflect on my week abroad -- long enough to wish I was back in Stockholm or Amsterdam, probably because I had zero responsibilities apart from figuring out the next cafe to drink a beer in. Also it should be noted what Scandinavia calls Summer is what we call late September/early October. The temperature when Ms. K and I got off the plane at 7 am in Stockholm was a brisk 52 degrees, which was a little shock to the system after 89 degrees in New York with 80% humidity. Thankfully we packed jackets.

The day after our arrival, we were introduced to many Swedish customs while attending Beth and Nils's wedding, which was held in a church in Södermalm followed by a boat ride to a reception held on the small island of Fjäderholmarna. Specifically, we learned that Swedish weddings are enjoyably long (11 hours! Drinking!), entertaining (many many toasts as if attending a roast instead of a wedding), and punctuated by drinking songs and shots of akvavit (More drinking!). If only all weddings could be Swedish. Skål!

Then we were onto warmer Amsterdam and to the comforts of posh hotel bed at the Grand Amrath. A vacation is only as good as the bed you sleep on, right? The rest of the time was filled with walking around between meals of Indonesian food and lager and canal boat rides. Surely I gained 10 lbs, but I am afraid to look at the scale. August is a sleepy time in Amsterdam as everywhere seems to be closed for an extended holiday including the restaurant we really wanted to try. Guess we'll have to go back.

Someone previously commented that they were interested in knowing what I thought of the Swedes and Sweden. To answer, I thought Sweden was a lovely country, immaculately clean compared to New York, and wonderfully environmentally conscious, which translated into a no frills, utilitarian culture where nothing goes to waste. This is by no means a slam. In fact I think it's a quality that all of us Americans could stand to emulate.

Finally, one of the most exciting things about the trip was that I saw Greenland from my window seat on the plane. Greenland! And not some tiny speck on the horizon, but the high peaks of Mount Gunnbjørn, the coast, and icebergs. Icebergs! How cool is that?

Friday, August 21, 2009


We have returned. Proper update to come shortly.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"The beast! It's back!"

Last week Ms. K warned me via text that there may or may not be some gargantuan beast lurking in the bedroom and it may or may not be there to deal with when I got home as she was off for work.

A beast?? That sound alarming. My logic oriented brain kicked in with some pertinent questions.

What did this beast look like?

Huge! Black!

Was it an animal or an insect?

An insect! A huge flying black insect! It came through the open window!

After some back and forth, I deduced that the offending insect may or may not have been a dragonfly. I'll admit that I kind of made fun of Ms. K for being such a girl. I mean a dragonfly? C'mon. Not something one gets into hysterics about.

When I got home, I tentatively entered the apartment, crept up to the bedroom door, opening it slowly as if it was reenacting the scene in Ghostbusters when Peter Venkman enters Dana Barrett's apartment to investigate whether or not there was a demon in her refrigerator.

Like the movie, I found evidence in the bedroom of a hasty departure. Her open laptop had been flung onto the bed, laying at a strange angle, and there were papers all over the floor. But what was absent was anything resembling a beast or even a dragonfly. With the window still open, I figured whatever flew in had managed to fly back out. Case closed.

Or was it?

On Sunday, as Ms. K and I prepared to leave the apartment and get dinner, I heard her shriek from behind me. "The beast! It's back!"

I looked up and saw something large flying around the bedroom, which for a moment looked like a bird. Except it was the largest dragonfly I've ever this side of a science fiction movie.

Holy shit!! Huge flying black insect! Flying around our bedroom! But this was no normal dragonfly. No, it was something straight out of the Jurassic Period. I swear to God that it was about 6 inches long (that's about 15 centimeters for those keeping score in metric).

What to do?

Ms. K and I, armed with rolled up magazines and pathetically swatted at it in between shrieks, which only made it fly around erratically. Our savior came in the form of an 80 lb golden retriever named Harley, who sensing our panic, went after the intruder and mauled it. Immobilized, I swept the giant dragonfly onto a magazine and tossed it out the window.

Phew! We were safe once more! I even apologized to Ms. K for having made fun of her. But what I didn't tell her was that two days later I saw four of that fucker's brothers flying around outside the bedroom window probably looking to avenge his death.

We've inadvertently started a dragonfly war. Good thing we're leaving the country!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

"You're throwing away my youth!"

There were a tense few days last year after Ms. K and I moved in together where, frankly, neither of us had much to say to each other. She took one look at all my accumulated crap, contemplated the reality of having it merged with her own, and figured that she wasn't impressed. Cue a night of her sleeping on the couch followed by a trip to our new storage unit, our love finally saved.

But before you think Ms. K bullied me into letting go of sentiment, the pendulum eventually swung the other way. It's just that her cull wasn't as dramatic as my teary eyed trips to curb with bulging trash bags because Ms. K had already done a big cull before we moved in together. Still many things remained in the way of gratuitous kitchen supplies and clothing purchased during the later years of the Clinton administration.

In the run up to our trip to Sweden and Amsterdam, it became obvious that Ms. K needed new adult clothes. With shopping bags full of purchases from a high end discount store in Gravesend, I locked my sights on the stuff that needed to go, clothes that hadn't been worn for years, holding up each offending article with no mercy.

Synthetic blend pull-over from Express? Gone.

90s era surfing logo t-shirt with arm pit stains? Gone.

Jean skirt that is so short it could be a belt? Gone.

Ms. K winced as each item went into the trash. "You're throwing away my youth!"

Whatever nostalgic argument she had, whatever story of inappropriate activities she once took part in whilst wearing said clothes, I wasn't hearing it. Payback's a bitch.

Monday, August 03, 2009

"No, honey, it's our desk."

Each day that goes by, Ms. K and I become a little more merged, a little more complexly interwoven. It's been a year since we moved in together, but there's still plenty of stuff to cede to the collective "we".

"That's my desk," Ms. K will say of the glass IKEA desk that houses both my iMac and her Macbook Pro.

"No, honey, it's our desk."

That's all fine until I started sharing my Netflix account with Ms. K and discovered that a certain someone (ahem) had been watching Cher: The Farewell Tour, irrevocably throwing off my Netflix recommendations. This stands in sharp contrast to the unfortunate pile up of Holocaust themed movies in my queue that I am understandably never quite in the mood to watch. Although Ms. K and I recently watched The Reader, I joked, noting my Netflix queue, that we could follow The Reader with a double feature of Sophie Scholl: The Final Days and Bent.

Hmmm . . . Cher: The Farewell Tour isn't looking so bad anymore.

Friday, July 31, 2009

"Your life was more interesting back when you were a swinging single."

Today marks the end of another July in New York, a time when humidity and my body conspires against me and I walk around in a endless soaking of sweat. I'm looking forward to my trip to Stockholm for obvious reasons, but also because I have a feeling that the weather will be nicer than it is in Gotham.

Continuing a recent trend, I've been very remiss in writing in my blog. Ms. K is unimpressed and has periodically declared, "Do you not love your blog anymore?" I do love my blog, but summertime apathy has not helped. That and my life is blessedly boring these days. Do you forgive me, dear readers? However I think Ms. K has an emotional attachment/investment in my blog because it is how we met. And for those who have been around long enough, the 17th marked our two year anniversary. Why does it feel longer? I mean that in a good way of course.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Although now that you point it out . . ."

Ms. K shot me an email today.

"I was just reading your blog. Maybe you could mention that your current girlfriend does not look like a teenage boy."

Yes, it's true, Ms. K does not look like a teenage boy, or Daniel Radcliffe, or any of the actors from the Harry Potter movies.

"Although now that you point it out," she continued, "I have seen pictures of [Crazy Ex], and you are right. She does look like him. Weird."

See, it's not just me.

I don't give much thought to Crazy Ex as she's ancient history, but while I was out for drinks with work colleagues last night, one of them asked, "Are any of you still friends with your exes?"

Funny that you should ask . . . . No.

"Really? What happens to those feelings? I don't think they ever really go away."

They do, I insisted as an emotionally divorced jumble of memories spilled into the forefront of my mind.

Look, if your ex-girlfriend looked like a blond Daniel Radcliffe you'd banish those feelings too.

Monday, July 13, 2009

"i just dont undersunders"

Every year, or rather ever year that a Harry Potter movie poster blitzes New York City, it has become increasingly apparent to me that actor Daniel Radcliffe looks an awful lot like my crazy ex-girlfriend. Strange . . . and also a little bit creepy. I'm not sure what this says about my overall taste in women, but in my defense it was the 90s and I didn't know better.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

"In my mind I see airports and hear the cacophony of European train stations."

The hotels are booked at a ridiculously discounted rate, plane tickets purchased, and passports renewed. In five weeks, Ms. K and I will be on a fight to Stockholm and a few days after that we'll be on a flight to Amsterdam. Ah, adventure. If we're lucky, no one will be getting food poisoning again.

I'm thinking that this trip is my do-over. It has to be. My previous trip abroad burned through so much bad travel karma that I'm expecting a gentle, relaxing flight to Stockholm full of quiet passengers and helpful flight attendants. (Ms. K, however, will be covered in nicotine patches to get her through the eight hour flight.)

So, dear European readers. I know there are a few of you left. If anyone can give me recommendations of places to go whilst in Stockholm and Amsterdam, that would be great. You know, places beyond the super touristy stuff.

And if anyone remembers, it was back in early 2008 that I felt a strong sense that I would be traveling abroad soon. Who knew that "soon" meant a year and half later. Not that I am complaining or anything.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

"I am starting to heart Brooklyn like you do."

Like any couple, Ms. K and I have our differences of taste. Dogs vs. Cats is one such issue, so much that at one point you would have thought we were trying to negotiate peace in the Middle East. Another issue has been Manhattan vs. Brooklyn.

When I first met Ms. K she was a die hard Manhattanite -- an Upper East Sider to be exact. And although I am originally from Maryland, my love of Brooklyn has become a fiercely rooted part of my New York cultural identity. Divested of her Manhattan residency, Ms. K reluctantly came to Brooklyn, first crashing with me in Lefferts Gardens and then sharing an apartment in Kensington. However her heart has always longed to be back in Manhattan and periodically she'll send me emails of apartment listings.

"Look, honey. We could live in Manhattan!" she'd say.


I realize that the secret to any good relationship is compromise, but both of us had entrenched ourselves on opposite ends of the East River cultural divide.

"See how nice Brooklyn is and how much space you get for your dollar?" I'd say.


"But they have good restaurants in Brooklyn!"

"They have good restaurants in Manhattan too!"

This has always been a theoretical argument because unless we suddenly came into a large sum of money, economic practicalities dictate that we would be Brooklynites, much to Ms. K's chagrin. But I think the tide might be turning in this argument. Oh yes, I think Ms. K maybe coming around the the ol' BK. It started with this post on Brownstoner that I sent to her.

"Look! If we live in Brooklyn we can have a backyard and a pool!" (Nevermind the lack of 1.5 million dollars. Details, details.)

Hmmm, she thought.

Who knew the lofty goal of owning a pool would be such a trump card?

And today, when I teased that her much beloved Sarah Jessica Parker maybe moving to Park Slope and that Brooklyn can't be all that bad, she said, "Like I said the other day, maybe I was being too quick about [hating Brooklyn]. I am starting to heart Brooklyn like you do."


Monday, June 29, 2009

"Yeah, he is dead."

The weirdness continued into the weekend. With Michael Jackson songs as an unintentional soundtrack, storm clouds formed over Manhattan on Friday evening and unleashed a burst of apocalyptic weather. My vantage point from a dive bar in Kips Bay, I watched as the deluge and winds soaked anyone who happened to be walking outside. Street signs rattled and people fled for cover. After the storm passed and four happy hour beers later, I stumbled from the bar to find Manhattan bathed in an eerie pink light. People all around me were looking to the skies and taking pictures of the strangest clouds I have ever seen in my life. The pictures online (and on my cellphone) really don't do the experience justice.

Then on Saturday, while I was at a dinner for a friend getting married, I got a series of jumbled texts from Ms. K.

Yeah, he is dead.

Followed by . . .

It made the worst noise. I think he's dead.

Who's dead??? I started freaking out and try to get more information. Then her original text came in.

Holy shit. Some guy just jumped out of a window on the parkway as I was walking by.

Turns out a man jumped (presumably jumped instead of fell) 15 stories to his death and landed four feet from Ms. K. Had he fallen just a little bit differently, he could have landed on Ms. K.


And then on Sunday we went to Pennsylvania for the first time since the accident. Thankfully the drive back was uneventful -- we even were on the West Side Highway as the Gay Pride fireworks were going off -- but I couldn't stop thinking of moment we got hit.

It's great to be alive!

Friday, June 26, 2009

"It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark"

What a bad week for the 1980s. Ed McMahon? Farrah Fawcett? Michael Jackson?? And speaking of Michael Jackson, his death has been giving me some weird childhood time warps. I've probably have heard the song Thriller more times in the last 24 hours than I have in the last decade. Thriller at the nail salon. Thriller blasting from cars with their windows down. Thriller at the gym. Suddenly it's 1984 all over again and I'm five years old, trembling from the scariness of Vincent Price's monologue at the end of the song.

So RIP, 1980s. I'm officially old. If Mr. T dies, then I don't know what I'll do.

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Are you going to write about this in your blog?"

"Are you going to write about this in your blog?"

Ms. K poses this question to me from time to time as if she's afraid that I'm going to say too much or poorly portray her to the four people who still read my blog. "Don't expose my secret shame!" she said when she recently brought home a kombucha culture to start making her own tea. She didn't want anyone to know about her one hippyish interest nor did she want anyone to know just how giddy she got when she brought the kombucha "baby" home to ferment. Guess the cat is out of the bag for that one.

Yesterday we played three successive rounds Trivial Pursuit and I crushed her. CRUSHED. This elicited the oft repeated "Are you going to write about this on your blog?" Yes. Yes I am because after the spanking I get playing her in every other game, I deserve to gloat just this once.

Look, Trivial Pursuit is my game just as Scrabble is Ms. K's game. Somehow she always manages to beat me with a sizable point lead while I'm struggling to keep up with the language gymnastics -- so much that my brain is sweating. As for Trivial Pursuit, I just have a talent for useless random knowledge gleaned form a variety of sources.

Today Ms. K emailed me, "Perhaps I will spend the rest of day reading random Wikipedia pages with the hopes that I will someday beat you at Trivial Pursuit."

I sense a rematch brewing tonight.

Speaking of great feats, I would like to update you all on The Reckoning. I started going to the gym three months ago, which entails getting up at 6 am and schlepping on the subway to another part of Brooklyn. After three months I was a little dismayed that I had only lost 10 pounds, but Ms. K reminded me that muscle is denser than fat, which is why the jeans I bought three weeks ago now have to be worn with a belt.

Suck it.

And another thing that can suck it? All those stairs at the Broadway-Lafayette BDFV station. From platform to street, there are 70 stairs in total and no elevator or escalator for help. Meeting that climb in the morning without the aid of coffee is like a special punishment handed out by a vengeful god. But today marked an accomplishment for me. Not only did I go running (shock!) on the treadmill at the gym today, but I quickly climbed everyone of those goddamned stairs without losing my breath.

It was my Rocky moment.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Do you not love your blog anymore?"


Remember me?

I used to blog with greater frequency. And then my mind sort of took a siesta and I used my non blogging hours to do all sorts of things like lay around and watch the television (eg, Simon Schama documentaries because I'm a nerd). I even drove down to Delaware with Ms. K and sat by the pool at my parents' beach house and developed a skin tone a little more opaque than my usual translucence. My gym visits became staggered and I decided that my new favorite drink was black cherry infused bourbon (Red Stag by Jim Beam) with fresh squeezed lemon juice over ice. Oh the delights! (Oh the bad habits, how they've returned.)

But now I feel a little more mentally present to recommit myself to blogging and the gym and all those other commitments that I shirked while sipping cocktails and playing 3 hour games of Monopoly with Ms. K, who always wins.

For now, I leave you with this.

Hammer time.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

"Get a room!"

I'm not sure if its writer's block, but every time I try to write a blog entry my fingers go still and my mind goes blank. It's not like there aren't things to write about. Take for instance my picnic in Central Park with Ms. K. Add some sandwiches, a couple bottles of prosecco, a frisbee, and sunshine = some instant fun. While we were enjoying our time in the Sheep Meadow, we noticed a young couple lying on top of each other about 20 yards or so away from us. They were obviously making out, but in a stackable, keep your clothes on sort of way. They were at it quite some time, long enough for the group of girls near us to make beer fueled cat calls in their direction.

"Get a room!"

I should note for the uninitiated that the Sheep Meadow in Central Park is an extremely public place. On a nice day, such as the day we visited, it is full of people on blankets soaking up the sun, playing frisbee, or tossing a ball. So it's rather noticeable when two people are practically dry humping in full view of many many people.

Maybe it was the bottle of prosecco I had drunk, but I found this to be rather hilarious and I was consumed with the giggles as Ms. K and I lay on our blanket, watching the show from afar.

Then the young woman, straddling the man, took off her jacket and tied it around her waist.

"Wait. Is she going to . . . . ?"

Sure enough, if you paid attention, you would have noticed that the woman had surreptitiously pulled down her jeans. Why yes, you would be right in assuming that the couple was having sex. In the Sheep Meadow? IN THE SHEEP MEADOW?! If you're going to have public sex, why not by a tree or furtively in the bushes? That's why God invented the Ramble! And to top off the sleaziness, men with cell phone cameras swarmed around the couple, like sharks to blood. It's very possible that this all made it onto YouTube.

I've lived in New York almost five years and I have to say that this marks my most quintessential New York experience.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"That's not a sandwich. That's an introduction to colon cancer."

Over Memorial Day weekend, Ms. K and I blew through a couple of seasons of Rescue Me, free for the watchin' on Hulu. The acerbic, well acted, melodramatic television show reminded me that pain and trauma makes for interesting story lines.

Which got me thinking.

For once in a long time I'm happy. Yeah suck it, guys. I'm happy. Ms. K is happy. (Other than hating her job, but I digress.) And a happy yours truly suddenly finds herself unable to write because blog entries about Ms. K making googly eyes at me isn't the compelling story line I'd like it to be. My life is not like Rescue Me's Tommy Gavin who always seems to have a kid getting run over by a drunk driver and a plot twist at every turn. My life is boring central, but happily so.

I don't know, it's kind of nice. Maybe it's because of the gym and endorphins and natural highs, but I realize it makes for crappy blog writing.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Is there anything that you want to tell me?"

Yesterday Ms. K emailed me:

"I checked the mail on the way back upstairs. You got something from 'Raising Mom: your perfect place for post pregnancy care.' Is there anything that you want to tell me?"

Uh . . .

Perhaps it's because I'm in the prime of my child bearing years, but I'm not sure how I got on that mailing list. Call me crazy, but the last time I checked there had to be a pregnancy in order for there to be a post pregnancy.

Just a thought.

PS -- I don't want kids!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Definitely not kosher sex."

I like bacon. I also like lady parts. But something tells me that combining the two is perhaps a step too far. Behold. Bacon flavored lube. Bacon fail?

"What happened to me??"

As per our fast and healthy lifestyle, there is one escape clause -- the "special occasion" clause -- to the no drinking during the week rule. In the last seven weeks, it's only been invoked three or four times, one of which was to go to the staff dinner for the magazine I freelance for. However Ms. K and I invoked the clause to attend Brooklyn Uncorked, a wine tasting of Long Island wines, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. But the other reason for the special occasion is because Ms. K and I were enjoying a rare weeknight date.

I love dates with Ms. K. We go out, have a nice diner at restaurants like Applewood and Rosewater, maybe drink a bottle of prosecco, and tell each other a thousand times how pretty each other is. During the tasting I remember leaning close into her and noticing that her scent was instantly evocative of when we first started dating two years ago. It was a mixture of Chanel, cigarettes, and alcohol and I realize this might not be the most appealing mixture of scents, but I assure you that the pleasure center of my brain lights up whenever I smell it and it drives me crazy. Equally there is a perfume that I wear during the summer months that causes Ms. K to bury her nose into the crook of my neck and breathe deeply.

"Who'd ever thought I'd like being in a monogamous relationship," she later remarked over dinner and elderflower martinis at Ici. There was a time in the recent past when Ms. K lived the life of a confirmed bachelor. "What happened to me??"

"You met a nice girl," I replied with a smirk. "That's what happened."

Monday, May 11, 2009

"You look so goddamned pretty in the daylight."

A Smattering of Updates:

Gym -- It's been 7 weeks since Ms. K and I joined the gym. In that time she has lost 15 pounds and even though I have lost only 10, Ms. K says I look like I've lost more. I'll have to take her word for it, however I do know that my clothes are looser, that's for sure. Regardless, I like our new fast and healthy initiative and for the most part I've been disciplined in going to the gym four mornings a week, usually arriving around 7:15 am.

My Bone Spur -- Physical therapy is paying off as my foot and ankle grows stronger and I am in less pain. I have a follow up appointment with the podiatrist this evening. Sexy! A friend of mine recently grew concerned after I kept referencing having to go to doctor's appointments. No, it's not cancer. I just am trying to take care of a lot of things all at once. Think of it as Operation Pimp My Body.

Sweden & Amsterdam -- Plane tickets have been purchased! My passport has been renewed and has arrived! I'm very much looking forward to our trip, although we will be very very poor because of it.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"It's not a wedding until someone goes to the emergency room."

Despite the long drive, Ms. K and I enjoyed our mini vacation to Vermont. Ms. K is even less a country person than I am, but I was surprised that she enjoyed the Green Mountain air and verdant landscape. Every time we drove past a Moose Crossing sign, she would peer off into the horizon looking for any signs of such and was highly disappointed when left the state without seeing a moose. (And although we liked visiting Vermont, what's up with everything closing at 8 pm? Huh??)

Harley enjoyed the vacation too and got to smell all manner of smells that he does not have access to in Brooklyn. The only downside to bringing him with us to the hotel is that the ride up marked the first time he had been in a car since the accident. He trembled so much as we drove up West Side Highway, that the car shook, poor guy.

In all, it was nice to see Former Fake Girlfriend and Ms. B get married in a tiny tiny town in central Vermont. I never did get to make that toast of mine because Ms. B's father choked on his dinner and had to go to emergency room. Alarming, yes. Despite an emergency endoscopy, his is apparently doing well.

And finally, Ms. K and I danced our first slow dance together. Unfortunately it was to "I Don't Wanna Close My Eyes," by Aerosmith. I demand a do-over.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"I'm going to a gay wedding in Vermont. How very topical of me!"

I gave up on the dream of wearing my new kate spade shoes to Former Fake Girlfriend's wedding on Saturday. It was an ambitious dream, but there is no reason -- apart from being lazy with my physical therapy -- that I cannot wear them to Beth's August wedding in Stockholm. So that is my new goal.

Speaking of the FFG's wedding, I've been asked to speak (give a toast? lecture? powerpoint presentation?) about how I introduced FFG to Ms. B and thus can claim credit for their eventual nuptials. I'm not 100 percent sure what I will say, but I will shy away from regaling them of stories of how FFG used to be my fake girlfriend, causing all sorts of ridiculous consternation and introspection. But hey, things work out the way they are supposed to and I have Ms. K and there are no regrets.

Monday, April 27, 2009

"A modest proposal."

Recently, after Ms. K made a grumble about our neighborhood stemming from another altercation with a hasid, I made a modest proposal. "Hey, we don't have to live in Kensington. It's just a thought, but we can see what is available when our lease is up in October."

After all our hard work, scrubbing, DIY projects, and suffering, the idea of moving by the end of 2009 seemed like a betrayal, especially since we were hoping to stay put and save money to buy a place. I felt guilty for suggesting it, but there's no reason to be miserable in order to save a few hundred dollars.

As the idea grew in our heads, we started naming places we'd like to live instead. I even went onto the dreaded Craigslist to see what apartments were going for in the neighborhoods we desired and boy have prices gone down since September. Funny how when we were last looking was right before the stock market crash. Now, for only a 30% upgrade in rent, we could live in Park Slope or have a backyard in Windsor Terrace. A BACK YARD. Soon we were giddy with fantasies of Weber Grills, patio furniture, cocktails, baby pools, and Harley frolicking in the grass.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

"I would love to find out what you think of sweden and us swedes!!"

I'm all silly with excitement because Ms. K and I decided to go ahead and RSVP for my friends Beth and Nils's August wedding in Stockholm. We found ridiculously cheap airfare on SAS Airlines for flights to both Stockholm and Amsterdam. Long time readers will be reminded that this is my first flight out of the US since my near apocalyptic trip to London in 2007. My passport is being renewed as I type.

Oh man. A vacation. With Ms. K! Finally! Although I'm sure Stockholm will be lovely, I absolutely loved Amsterdam when I was there. We're going to stay here. We've worked very hard for this.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"This used to be your life. Remember?"

I was in Washington, DC recently for a brief business trip and being back in the old hometown was strange, as if I was visiting a past life. From my old Metro stop and the place in Dupont Circle where I used to get my hair cut to Teaism and Adams Morgan, the old emotion connection was there like the distant crackle of a radio signal. Everything I walked past said, "This used to be your life. Remember? That was where you used to go to happy hour. That used to be the road you lived on."

Yeah I remember, but that was five years go if you can believe it. My DC knowledge has gotten rather rusty and it took me a second to navigate the farecard machine for the Metro. And I was acutely aware that my memory of DC street names has been supplanted by New York ones.

Even stranger was the memory that for a while DC represented the sum of my goals. I wanted to live in Dupont Circle or own a house in Takoma Park one day and I was reminded of this as I traveled past visual cues of these old goals. I guess I still could, but I've got my eye on a sweet brownstone in Brooklyn. Now I just need to make my millions.

Incidentally I had forgotten how beautiful the city gets in the Spring.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Look! I'm Jared!"

It's been a month since Ms. K and I started our gym initiative. After a bit of a white knuckle first week, I'm used to drinking less and waking up at 6 am. I crave the mental clarity that comes after a morning workout, although I feel like an old woman when I start to fall asleep at 10:30 pm.

Ms. K discovered that her jeans are so loose that she can pull them on and off without unbuttoning them.

"Look! I'm Jared!" she exclaimed happily, referencing the Subway sandwich diet guy. She pulled them up and down as if it was a party trick.

While I haven't had some dramatic results, I am coming close to being able to perform that party trick myself.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"You poor thing, you must be in agony!"

Ever since my new kate spade shoes arrived, I've gazed at them longingly, noting their patent leather shine and flirty style. At a size 10 (boats!), they're a smidge big, but in a good way. The princess in me wants to wear them around The Apartment as I do such everyday tasks as the dishes and putting away the laundry.

But here's the problem. I've been in near agony for a year (a year!) with chronic pain in my right foot. I read somewhere once that the average New Yorker walks four miles a day and so imagine how that feels with chronic pain. When I put on my new shoes, the pain was so great that my right foot could barely support my weight. Oy.

As sexy as this sounds, yesterday I broke down and went to a podiatrist in Chelsea. Why it took me a year of suffering, I have no clue. I guess I figured it would eventually go away. But it didn't and now I know why.

Upon meeting my lovely new doctor, I explained that I've been in pain for a year, but have these super cute shoes I would like to wear in two weeks. He merely shook his head. "You give me no time!"

But since my doctor is the Tim Gunn of the podiatry world, he vowed to make it work provided I do x, y, and z.

Further exploration with the x-ray revealed that I have a large bone spur in my right foot and evidence of plantar fasciitis. "You poor thing, you must be in agony!"

Finally! Validation!

Excuse me while I go ice my foot and perform a series of calf stretching exercises. In my cubicle. And I have an appointment with a physical therapist. Sexy shoe wearing, here I come!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Curious if you know of any tax breaks for people who didn't commit a heinous financial crime this year."

Since today is Tax Day, let's revisit last year's post where I made a series of resolutions. Did I keep them?

* File a 1040 EZ for my 2008 tax return.

A lofty goal, but one sadly not obtained.

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


* Have money saved in the bank.

See previous bullet point. Although I did not quite have as much money saved up as I would have liked, I am patting myself on the back for my improved situation.

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

Actually I could have answered yes, but bastardly HSBC Direct has slowly whittled away my 3.5% interest rate to something in the 1% range. Suck it, banks.

* Increase my freelance intake.

My freelance is taking off despite this shitty economy.

* Take a fucking vacation.

Does a weekend in Vermont count? Also there is a small chance I may be in Sweden this summer, so there you go.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"A size 10? Isn't that like a small boat?"

I now have (heavily discounted) kate spade shoes for Former Fake Girlfriend's wedding. Awesome.

Monday, April 13, 2009

"Why can't she get married in a state closer than Vermont??"

Apologies for the lack of updates -- I was in class all week learning the javascript (my right side of the brain was not happy with this). And then I had a deadline for a freelance project (both sides of the brain felt overtaxed by Friday's end). In lieu of a proper post, here are some updates.

* As of Saturday, I've lost 10 lbs. Yay gym! Although after last night's cake and booze laden Easter dinner, I'm sure I've gained it all back. I'm afraid to get on the scale and check.

* I bought a dress for Former Fake Girlfriend's wedding next month. As I tried things on in the dressing room of Lord & Taylor, I got a good look at myself in the three-way mirror and it wasn't pretty. Cringing as I noted an ample spread of cellulite, I wanted to cry out, Who let this happen?!! Oh. I did. But that's what the gym is for.

* Speaking of Former Fake Girlfriend's nuptials, she texted me excitedly when the Vermont legislature voted in favor of gay marriage as her wedding next month is in said state. But she was disappointed to learn that gay marriage will not be legal until September, four months after her ceremony.

* I found out last week that my health insurance company extends benefits to same sex couples who are legally married. Hmmm.

Friday, April 03, 2009

"The gym is working!"

Day 12 of the Reckoning:

There may be something to this whole fast and healthy lifestyle lark. So far I've lost 7 pounds as has Ms. K and I think my jeans are starting to feel roomier. I guess this makes the Stairmaster my new best friend -- a best friend that likes to inflict pain and make me drip sweat.

With Former Fake Girlfriend's wedding coming up in May, it is my goal to look somewhat presentable. Nay, I want to look good. Maybe shed 15 or so pounds by then, wear some cute high heels, and a black cocktail dress? It can happen, right?

Monday, March 30, 2009

"You had one job. One job! And it didn't involve blueberry pancakes!"

Monday. Back on the wagon day.

True to form, Friday's break from self imposed alcohol abstinence led me to drinks at Bar Tano with friends I hadn't seen a while (ie, Former Fake Girlfriend and her bride to be). I arrived first, so I saddled up to the bar and perused the cocktail menu with a mix of glee and trepidation. I didn't want to set back my new fast and healthy lifestyle, but the liquors were calling to me. Oh yes.

The first cocktail went down rather quickly and by evening's end as we migrated to Commonwealth, I migrated from cocktails to beer. Ms. K joined us after getting off of work, breaking her own fast with rounds of Ketel One and club soda. As it got later and we got progressively more inebriated, she said, "Whatever happens, don't let me eat anything."

Ergo, no giving into the drunk munchies. Roger that.

After our group disbanded for home sometime after midnight, I kinda forgot about the job I had been entrusted with as we passed an all night diner on 5th Avenue. Suddenly I wanted blueberry pancakes stat and quick scan of the menu reveled that they had just that. Mmmmm.

"No! No blueberry pancakes!" Ms. K scolded. "You are SO bad!"

We stood there for a minute, our eyes hooked to the menu, taunted by promises of greasy diner food. I could tell that Ms. K really wanted to go to there.

"C'mon. Let's get pancakes!!" I was no longer the voice of discipline, but the drunken voice of the serpent offering up Eve a plate of blueberry pancakes. Sweet, buttery blueberry pancakes. Mmmmm.

Ms. K looked torn, eyes gazing longingly towards the diner door where late night greasy food beckoned to fill our alcohol soaked bellies. But she then found the discipline that I had so casually jettisoned around the time I ordered my fourth drink.

"No! No pancakes!"

And soon we were in the back of a car on its way to take our drunk asses home before we could do any serious damage.

The next day Ms. K wasn't impressed with my greasy temptation.

"You had one job. One job! And it didn't involve blueberry pancakes!"

No, it didn't. But man, now I want some blueberry pancakes. Mmmmm.

Friday, March 27, 2009

"The hard part is defining 'special occasions'!"

Day Five of the Reckoning:

Ms. K and I have gone to the gym four times this week and now that the soreness has worn off, it's starting to feel good . . . except the part where we wake up at 6:15 am, which doesn't feel good.

The other thing that doesn't feel good? (This is a bit of a pathetic confession coming up.) Wait for it . . . wait for it . . . .

Not drinking.

Ugh, it's so true. I haven't had a drink since Monday evening per our new fast and healthy lifestyle rules and it's killing me. (Not literally, of course, but good goddamnit I feel like I could murder for one of Ms. K's blood orange margaritas.) Who knew that coming home after work and having a beer or fixing a cocktail had become so routine -- routine enough that my body came to crave it?

Even though Monday was supposed to be a day abstinence, I invoked the Special Occasion clause as I had a staff dinner for the magazine I freelance for. The meal was a seven course chef's tasting menu of locally produced foods, lots of Long Island red wine, and a smidge of bourbon. (That's how I define "special occasion", kittens.) Then I slammed into a booze free Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday and boy did it hurt.

Ms. K has been feeling the pain too. When she came home from work on Wednesday, she flung herself onto the bed, face buried into the duvet.

"I want a cocktail."

Her voice was muffled, but the sentiment was clear and it was a cry for help. Suddenly Friday's cocktail hour was seeming so very far away. But thankfully we made it without slipping.

Yes, we are the biggest losers ever.

"Dear Ms. Post No Bills . . ."

My angry letter writing campaign netted a result. After the fury of learning that my local post office lost four pieces of my mail, two of which contained money, I wrote to my federal and city representatives -- Anthony Weiner, Yvette Clark, and Bill De Blasio -- and explained my outrage.

A few days after writing City Councilman De Blasio, I got an email from a staff member in his office who wanted more information. Okay, that was nice, but I didn't expect more than that. Yesterday I received an official letter signed by Councilman De Blasio echoing my dissatisfaction. Attached to his letter was a copy of another letter that his office sent to the Kensington Post Office lodging a formal complain on my behalf.

Who knows if there will be any improvement in service, but it felt nice to be a citizen whose voice got heard. Ahem, Congressmen Weiner and Clark. Consider yourself on notice. De Blasio's got my back.

Monday, March 23, 2009

"I am going to be in some pain tomorrow for sure."

Day One of the Reckoning:

At 6:45 am this morning our alarm clock rang. Ms. K and I had an ambitious plan to get up and go to the gym together, throwing on our clothes, gathering our things, and taking the dog out for a quick walk. But item gathering took longer than expected and by 7:30 am we were just leaving the apartment. So much for get up and go! We groggily walked to the F train to take us to Carroll Gardens, Ms. K with her pre-gym cigarette and black tea, me in my new gym clothes. A half hour and a detour later, we arrived for our workout and I self consciously climbed onto an elliptical machine for the first time in four years.

We decided on a friendly wager. The first person to reach their goal weight wins (and by goal I do mean a reasonable goal, not "I want to lose 75 lbs in six weeks!") and the loser has to pay for a nice meal at the restaurant of the winner's choice. Ms. K clarified that a "nice meal" was not the tasting menu at Per Se, although that would be one hell of an incentive. Other rules include no drinking during the weekdays unless for special occasions and mandatory gym attendance four times a week. Ms. K is taking the contraband list one step further by cutting out refined sugars and flours. The weekends will be our splurge days because neither of us want to live some austere, teetotaling, bacon free existence. Oh no. Although booze and pork got us into our pants-to-tight predicament in the first place.

The race has begun.

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Let's me and you blow off work for the rest of the day and go have martinis."

After what seemed like the longest winter of my life, I awoke today -- the first day of Spring -- energized and longing for sunshine, greenery, and Easter eggs. Instead I was met with the sight of big fat flakes of snow and minimal sunshine. Mother Nature has a sense of irony.

My vernal excitement is unabated. Yes! I will go to the gym . . . on Monday! Yes! I will go shopping for a much needed Spring coat!

"What's wrong with your other Spring coat?" Ms. K asked when I told her of my failed shopping trip to Herald Square Macy's yesterday, which is like a workout in of itself.

I explained the my old coat is too snug, which brings me back to needing to go to the gym.

On Monday!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Yay gym!"

The reckoning has come.

I dragged my fat ass to Carroll Gardens yesterday and joined a gym. Not some busy chain, but a neighborhood gym where hopefully I can jiggle like an oversized jell-o mold in relative seclusion. Looking for possible places to join and where some of my dignity would remain intact, I researched my options on Yelp -- low marks for NYSC, Crunch was reputedly a meat market, and Equinox was too expensive. I checked out the YMCA on Atlantic Avenue after it received a lot of praise, but what I found was a clusterfuck -- long lines at the membership desk and a bathroom that made the hallway reek of shit. Next!

Then I walked down to Carroll Gardens and checked out what is now my gym. I've yet to work out, but I am painfully aware that I lack proper clothing, namely a proper fitting sports bra -- I don't want anyone to get a black eye. Keep in mind that the last time I went to a gym it was 2005 and I was a different size. Oh the humility.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Full of grace!"

Mrs. Carbonell, the old woman who lives across the hall from us, has a sticker of the Virgin Mary on her front door. This is a marked departure from the mezuzahs that adorn the other doorways of our neighbors. Maybe it's the Catholic guilt in me, but every time I run into Mrs. Carbonell I imagine the steely glint in her eyes is all knowing and all disapproving.

She doesn't say much when we do run into each other, she in her housecoat as she takes out the trash, cigarette dangling from the fingers of her spindly arm. However Ms. K had a brief conversation with her when we first moved in. Turns out that old Mrs. Carbonell used to live in our apartment long ago. That is until she got robbed via the fire escape. (Thanks for sharing! Along with our broken smoke detector and dodgy electrical outlets, lord knows I'll be sleeping better at night!) But surely she's figured out by now that her new neighbors are lesbians, especially if she's quite aware that our apartment is a one bedroom.

And so every time I see that Virgin Mary sticker it says to me:

"Oh man, she's onto you!"

All I have to think about is that look in my neighbor's eye, all knowing and all disapproving.

Monday, March 16, 2009

"It was like my life flashing before me."

A previous commenter asked if I was going to recycle my old computer. I should note that I had the old one fixed because it was either pay $200 or pay a similar fee to have my data restored. So I figured that if the computer was fixed, I could try to sell it on Craigslist and recoup some of the money I spent on my shiny new computer.

Having retrieved the broken Mac from the la doctora, I was keen to have my old files transferred to the new iMac -- four years of accumulated emails, iTunes, freelance work, and digital photos. I also needed to clean out the computer before I could sell it and so sorting through the hard drive was like a time capsule of my life since moving to New York. When I imported my digital photos to iPhoto a curious thing happened . . . . As it imported, the program flashed every photo I've taken over the last five years in quick succession.

It was like my life flashing before me. Slightly horrified, I nevertheless felt compelled to watch the slide show. Photos of my trip to Chicago in 2005. Photos of my clusterfuck of a drunken 27th birthday. Photos of my ex girlfriends. Photos of Holly and Val. Photos of friends I haven't seen in years. Photos of dinner parties. Old roommates. Seattle. Trips to England. Lesbian club. Weddings. The first photo I ever took of Ms. K. Boom. Boom. Boom. Every second a new photo.

I felt weird. Very very weird.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"We're boring."

I really got myself up into a lather with my last post. Apparently my new persona of angry taxpayer/internet scold is reason #253 why I am officially an adult. Or lame. Or both! All I got to say is suck it, youth. The angry letters have only just begun.

A couple of posts ago I mused about how the direction of my blog has changed since the days of OFAG and a couple of you commented that I should indeed try writing about domesticity instead. When Ms. K read that, she turned to me, eyebrow cocked disdainfully.

"Yeah because everyone really wants to read about how we go to brunch, get drunk, and then do it again the following Sunday," she quipped adding, "We're boring."

It's true, we have become a bit boring and our our relationship does seem to involve a lot of cocktails. For instance, in response to tonight's taco dinner preparations, she sent me the following email:

"I will procure ingredients, and make sour mix, and have a margarita ready for you when you get home."

Yes folks, love is homemade sour mix and a margarita waiting for you when you get home. I'm a lucky girl.

Monday, March 09, 2009

"Dear Kensington Post Office"

Dear Kensington Post Office:

I am amazed at your incompetence. Not only are you a bastion of deplorable customer service, inspiring people into meltdowns, but you have lost not one but three pieces of my mail in the last month. That I know of. Two of which contained money!

Fuck you!

Yours truly,

Ms. Post No Bills
Brooklyn 11218


Now for my more eloquent and polite open letter to my congressional representative, Anthony D. Weiner.

Mr. Weiner,

Although I write at a time of great fiscal crisis insuring that there are matters of more importance, I would like to highlight a breakdown that is impacting your constituents -- namely the quality and basic functionality of the Kensington post office.

I understand that the location of post office concerns the 11th congressional district, but I am hoping that you can help as I am both a resident of the 9th congressional district and the 11218 postal code. I write because of my great frustration as the Kensington post office has routinely lost mail of mine and failed to deliver properly addressed letters and packages. At a time when people are suffering financially, that the post office presumably lost a $315 reimbursement check from my health care company is deplorable. Other mail of mine has also gone undelivered and surely I am not the only one who has experienced this.

If there is anything that can be done to remedy this situation and ensure that the level of service at this post office is on par with the most basic level of competence, your constituents and inhabitants of Kensington will be most ever grateful.


Ms. Post No Bills

Friday, March 06, 2009


I got my hair cut on Tuesday, which is only notable because in the last couple of years my hair has gotten very long. Not crazy long, but past my collar bone to a length that it hasn't been since college when I was broke and stupid. There was something psychological about its length, which to me represented all the limitations of the past two years, my hermitage, and reassessment of life.

I had gotten to a point where I couldn't take the length anymore. It was suffocating and imbued with a lot of heavy emotion that needed to go (despite the fact that I got it cut last October). When my hairdresser asked me what I was looking for in my cut, I said CUT IT OFF! Three inches removed, I looked like my old self and it felt good.

I'm back, bitches.

Dear readers, let's all take stock of things. I ain't going to lie to you, this blog has suffered through a fallow period because of a host of factors. One, I work three jobs, which makes me sound greedy on the day that unemployment officially hit 8% in the US, but a girl's gotta eat (bacon) and pay the rent. Two, my raison d'etre has significantly changed since the days of OFAG. As my friend J-Wo recently pointed out on her own blog, domesticity and "long-winded postings about putting away the dishes never won a BlogHer award." Amen, sister. Amen.

So where do I go from here? What is my direction with this blog? These are questions I've been asking myself lately. Feedback is welcome from the peanut gallery.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

"You are ugly woman."

As previously mentioned, I kind of live in a weird neighborhood -- weird because I'm this (cough cough) yuppie Brooklynite lesbian living in a heavily Russian and Jewish Orthodox neighborhood where no one smiles. My neighbors seem saddled with a leaden sense of stoicism, a psychic weight dragged with them from the old country. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

Also previously mentioned, people around here seem supremely weirded out by dogs -- particularly large dogs. When I take Harley through the building to take him for a walk, there is a palpable distaste and sometimes a fear of his presence. It doesn't bother me as much as it bothers Ms. K; it just is what it is and it is the price we pay for cheap rent.

That said, I was taking Harley out for a walk this evening and upon coming back to the building he pulls me with all his weight the closer we get to the door. That is what he does -- he pulls. He's a big dog, so you kind of have to really fight against him or break out into sprint because he's got places to go apparently.

We go though the front door and into the vestibule and I open the main door with my keys. He starts pulling me into the lobby, which again is like a g-force.

What I didn't know was that there was someone behind me as I entered the building, although he was far enough behind that the main door closed before he could get through. No big deal, I thought. Normally I would have gone back and opened the door for the 60 something year old man with a bottle brush mustache and who was carrying a couple of shopping bags, but like I said, Harley was calling the shots.

Even though Harley was pulling me, I managed to look over my shoulder towards the man who was 10 yards away at this point.

"Shit!" he called from the vestibule, clearly irritated and offended that I had not held the door for him. Someone buzzed him in and he walked to his side of the building, GLARING at me the whole time. I think he grumbled something in a language I did not recognize.

Look, buddy, I didn't not hold the door on purpose. I'm not some ill mannered asshole like you. Harley is calling the shots here and if he says move I move. Besides, people here are so weird about dogs that I try to stay out of people's way.

And FURTHER more, I am a lady (er, sometimes, when it suits me). You do not shout obscenities at a lady.

Oh, he was not happy with me and continued to glare as he waited for his elevator. (As he did so I was reminded of my previous run in with a neighbor.) My spine stiffened. I have a big dog, I thought. You do not. I will out stare you. I kind of wanted to get in his face, which is really not me at all, but I didn't want to upset Harley.

When his elevator came, he gave me his parting shot.

"You are ugly woman," he shouted out as he boarded his elevator.

I laughed. That was the best he could do? The worst insult he could lob in his broken English?

Next time I will let Harley eat you.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"So as you have retired from OFAG some of the rest of us are still on the mission."

Writing recently about Fake Girlfriend has caused me to think back to my single days. Two and a half years ago, OFAG was in full swing and I chronicled my efforts on this blog. OFAG, an acronym for Operation Find A Girlfriend, was a balls out, take no prisoners approach to lesbian dating in New York City and it was frenetic in the way that things get when they are hatched in New York. OFAG was also tiring and by the end of 2006 I had run into the "hard wall of little reward", burned out on dating and disappointment. But by the summer of 2007 I met Ms. K, a reader of this blog, and despite all my initial inaccurate preconceptions of the relationship, we've been seeing each other ever since.

So when Ms. K recently went back and reread some of my older entries, she wrote me the cutest email.

"I won the OFAG contest! Yes?"

Yes, yes you did.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"I want to go to there."

On Friday night my computer died. Its demise came not with a spectacular hard drive crash or calamity (water! fire!), but rather a pop as it spontaneously switched off for good and went to the great desktop in the sky. However the Mac support people assure me it can be resurrected by installing a new battery for $200, which I will do except that I used this opportunity as an excuse to buy a new computer -- a refurbished 24 inch iMac. Behold.

Shiny! Although Ms. K is not impressed that all of our big ticket items have decided to die all at once.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"There better be booze at this wedding."

Now that I'm shamefully domesticated and extra porky from all the love, let us turn the clock back to early 2007 when things were very very different. At the time I was maddeningly infatuated with a She's Just Not That Into You kind of friend. I gave her many pseudonyms on this blog -- Ms. Lawyer, Lawyer Girl, Fake Girlfriend, Laura -- and many long time readers might detect a stirring of recognition. (Memories jogged here.) It's been a long time since I last wrote about her, but what got me thinking of her former presence on this blog was the arrival of her wedding invitation in the mail yesterday. Yes, she's getting married to her long time girlfriend. Mazel tov. I know I previously lambasted the speed of their engagement, but seeing how it's been a year I am very happy for them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"You look good today!"

"You look good today!" my work friend DJ said as she hugged me good morning. "Is that a new top?"

Indeed I was wearing a new top, a recent purchase from one of my long overdue shopping binges. Wow, clothes that actually fit? It's a hell of a concept.

New shirt aside, I don't know how she managed to overlook my dry and blotchy skin, worn out by both winter and successive cocktails, but I thanked her for her compliment. It's all the love weight I've put on," I confessed.

"I didn't notice that you had gained weight!"

Now you're just lying to be nice, I think, but thank you again.

Last night I had this plan where I was going to cook a nice dinner for one of fish and vegetables since Ms. K was working. And I was going to try to cut back on drinking as another targeted way to be healthier. Except when I got home my will powered crumbled courtesy of a Modelo Especial and leftover slices of pizza taunting me from the fridge. But at least I walked up the six flights of stairs to the apartment instead of taking the elevator!

Baby steps.