Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pile of Cheese Guy Strikes Again!

This guy is quickly becoming my new favorite person. 

Yesterday when he paid the bill, I noticed his wallet was one of those pleather western themed numbers with cowboys and horses all over it. It looked like something straight out of a souvenir shop and it was too awesome not to comment.  

-I love your wallet. I think I had something like that when I was eight.
-Yeah, well I lost my wallet and my girlfriend got sick of me carrying around a wad of paper so she bought me this. I have a new wallet that looks like my old one, but I like this one. The only thing is, it smells terrible.
-Why are you smelling your wallet?
-I smell things.

So this made me smile, and when I returned with his change he grabbed his toast off his plate and made for the door.
-I'm taking my toast. 
-Be sure to smell it first.

And with that, he pressed the four pieces of wheat toast against his face and left.

I'm inspired by people who understand how important silliness is as a character trait. 

Also, Pile of Cheese and Toast Face sounds like a legitimate underground rap duo.  

Monday, April 26, 2010

Red Sox Nation Goes To The Dentist.

Here's a bit of trivia about Boston: Anywhere you go, you'll find a Red Sox game schedule.

Look on the refrigerators of the apartments you visit, look at the wall behind the bartenders at your favorite watering hole, ask someone (people carry the schedule around like it's a driver's license) or simply look at the office assistant's desk at the dentist office. Obviously. 

I just experienced this last one a few hours ago at the dentist and had to laugh. A giant Red Sox schedule was taped to the desk where you check out, right next to a sign reminding you to schedule your next appointment. I mean, seriously? Dentist appointments seem kind of important. It's not a haircut or an oil change we're scheduling. We're talking about your TEETH. The idea of someone postponing dental work to catch a game killed me.
-Emergency root canal, you say? Hmm. Nope, can't do it. Home game vs. the Royals. Sorry, first things first. 

When the Sox give you something to smile about, you're going to be kicking yourself. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I Said Grow, Dammit!

A guy at the counter this morning was reading a magazine called Garden & Gun.

Garden & Gun.

Garden... and Gun.

I'm sorry, but it really needs to be said a few times.

Was Green Thumb, Trigger Finger already taken?
Are we really getting that aggressive with dandelions?
Is anyone else picturing Martha Stewart with a basket of fresh herbs and an uzi?


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day.

Walking home just now with a stack of books from the library, ready to spend the late afternoon reading on my balcony, I was humming Fleet Foxes White Winter Hymnal to myself, appreciating the warm weather, when a sunshower suddenly started. Bright and warm, contrasted with the cool rain. I had to smile. It was just really nice. 

Right now in parks, and on trees, and in gardens, life is teeming. And maybe that's why I sort of sense that in every other thing I encounter. Just lots of life.  

I met some really great people yesterday and we shared good laughs and a girl so perfectly summarized her appreciation for Spring that I had to smile. It was just really nice. And while enjoying the collective company and a few beers, she said, "Wouldn't it be sad if we never saw each other again?" I was struck by the honesty. I love when people say things they're thinking without editing. It's a little kid quality and it's great. My childhood best friend and I became best friends when I asked him one day, "Do you want to be best friends?" It was that easy. Sometimes life is that easy. I was reminded of this immediately when she asked the question, and I felt like I had made a fast friend. 

And while talking about relationships with a bud the other day, he said, "I'm over looking at someone and just thinking, 'I want you.' I want to look at someone and think, 'I want to love you.'" And then my heart shattered into a thousand little pieces because, gosh, what a nice thing to say out loud. 

And right about now my bud and her fam are jumping out of a plane together just to kind of high-five life. And that's freaking awesome.
Me: Aren't you scared of heights?
Mer: No, I hang out with you all the time.

Today's Earth Day. I should probably say something about recycling, or giving up on your car, or reducing your energy use, which are things I believe in. But I guess I just wanted to tip a cap to life in general, and how great it can be. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good Talk, Weirdos.

It's been interesting, to say the least, to get to know my parents as a couple. When we were growing up they were both so focused on the family that I never really thought of them as a team of two. It was only the two of them as they related to me and my sisters. They were part of a 5-person team. Does that make sense? And because of the insane hours a farmer works, date nights for my parents were about as common as meteor showers. The smell of cologne in our house always meant something exciting was happening because my father only ever wore it when he and Deb were going to go out for dinner together. To this day, the smell of cologne still makes me think something exciting is happening.  When I lived with Raf in San Francisco, every morning I'd smell his cologne in the bathroom and ask, "What's going on?!" He'd just look at my flatly and say, "I'm going to work." 

Lately when I call my parents (which I've been doing because of the serious LACK of phone calls on their end) I've been greeted by a fast run-down of their recent adventures, dinners they've had, plans they're making, and then quickly rushed off the phone. "OK, Jess. We love you. Talk soon."

These calls always end with my staring at the phone thinking, "Um, excuse me. I hang up on you. I rush through the weekly calls. Did they even ask me what I've been up to?! What the hell is going on?"

Often when I call home, my mom and dad will answer at the same time on two different phones, and then my dad will stay on the line, commenting throughout the call. The last time this happened, he started to replay an inside joke between the two of them and then Deb started to chime in, and they both started laughing, talking louder over each other, until they were both laughing hysterically on two different phones in the same house, as I stood waiting for the train, listening like an idiot, realizing that I wasn't a necessary part of the conversation.  
Me: OK, well I have to go.
Deb & Steve (laughing): OK, so do we.
Me: No, I really have to go. So I'm hanging up now. 
Deb & Steve: No, we really have to get going too. Bye. [click]
Me: What the what?

Don't get me wrong. It's cute. Kind of. And I love that my parents have inside jokes. It's weird, but it's nice. But when I talked to them on Sunday, my mom interrupted me by asking, "Do you hear that?" 
"Hear what?"
"Do you hear that noise?"
"No, what is it?"
"Well I'm on the sofa in the family room, and your father is pushing it into the kitchen."
"Dad's pushing you around on a sofa?"
"Yes. I'm on the kitchen phone and he doesn't want to cord to stretch."
"He's going to scratch the floor doing that."
"He doesn't seem to care."
"Right. Well enjoy your sofa ride. I think I'm--"
"Oh, sorry, I'm getting a beep.

Seriously, who are these people?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Say Something Nice.

Sometimes when I catch the time at 10:10 or 3:33 or 5:55, I make a wish.
It's silly.
I touch the clock, close my eyes, and ask for something to happen.

I'm not saying it works. It's really just a stupid kind of game. 

But to see 12:11 and feel like anything I might ask of 12:12 has already come true, makes me think it might work a little.   

Friday, April 16, 2010

Talent Show.

Fucking Lynne went to a talent show at her grandson's elementary school and for her talent, a little girl made a smoothie.  

Hearing Lynne impersonate the little girl with a high squeaky voice and this quote, "First I take the berries..." was pretty much the best part of my day.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Life Is A Ziggy Cartoon.

A man paid me a compliment yesterday by saying, "You have an extremely hospitable smile."

He was blind. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Let The Record Show.

I received a rather hilarious call from my mother last week concerning her recent grand jury summons. She's been called for jury duty numerous times in the past but always gets nervous about the selection process. Answering questions under oath, having your personal life picked apart for biases, speaking in front of a large group of people in a court setting-- I imagine it can be stressful.

I've never been called for jury duty, but for someone who watches as many Law & Order reruns as I do, it really wouldn't be a good idea. I could totally see myself interrupting court proceedings with"Dun Dun!" sound effects, or randomly requesting sidebars or remand. 
"Your Honor, the people request remand." 
"You're not allowed to say that. You're a juror."
"Sidebar, Your Honor?"

Right. Well after the long day of grand jury selection, my mom called to let me know about the funniest piece of grassroots PR my poor little unpublished book has seen. 

Here's what happened:
The entire jury box was sworn in under oath, and then one by one, they had to stand and answer questions about their lives. Name, occupation, spouse's name, occupation, the names and occupations of their children... etc. Deb mentioned that she really enjoyed hearing the life stories of all the other people around her, often thinking to herself, Oh, that sounds nice. 
When they finally reached my mom, she stood and addressed the judge as she answered all the questions. For the one concerning her children this is what she said, "I just said my oldest daughter lives in New York and works for New York City Opera, my youngest daughter also lives in New York and is a personal trainer, and then I said, and my middle daughter is a fledgling writer trying to get her first book published.  (Laughing) And then I paused for a second and addressed the court, saying, it's called Open-Eyed Sneeze. There were about 150 people in the room, Jess. So now they all know about your book."

I laughed about this for a good 5 minutes. My mom used her grand jury selection as a venue to plug my book. But it is kind of cool to think that the title exists somewhere in a stenographer's report for that day.

Thanks, mom.  

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010


Big-name celebrity sightings never really did anything for me. When I worked at the hotel, it wasn't possible for me to care less about diva actors who had their assistants order for them, or requested separate rooms to do their hair. (It's called a bathroom. And yes, there's actually one attached to the the room you're already in. Feel free to use it. Dummy.)

One of the only times I was genuinely thrilled to talk to someone famous was when I ran into Harold Ramis. I think Groundhog Day is one of the more perfect movies ever made, so I was basically tripping over myself to tell him so. 
I've also asked Kevin Bacon to call me Natasha, but that's another story, for another time.

Anyway, I was at work yesterday, helping some ladies grab some cupcakes at the counter and I noticed a familiar face behind them. Boxing up 10 assorted cupcakes gave me a minute to think about how I knew her.
Me: Another coconut? Absolutely. Who is that? And a chocolate vanilla? I know I know her. Oh, sorry, 2 chocolate vanillas? Her face looks so... holy shit, it's Blossom! 

For those of you who don't know, and apparently, that's a lot of you, Blossom was a popular television series in the early 90's.

As soon as I figured out who she was, it took all the strength I have not to shout, "Whoa!" Joey Lawrence-style. 

I immediately started smiling like an idiot because 
a) It was freaking Blossom!
b) Despite knowing I shouldn't, and really not wanting to, I knew I was going to call her Blossom. I think I saw somewhere that she's like a brain doctor now or something, so I'm sure she gets sick of the Blossom thing.

The ladies got their cupcakes, and up walked Blossom.
Me (smiling like a moron): Don't say Blossom. Don't say Blossom. Don't say Blossom. Hello.
Blossom: Hi. Do you know if any of these goodies are dairy-free?
Me: It's Blossssssom!!!! Does anyone else see that Blossom and I are chatting about desserts?!!
I'm afraid they're not. The Halvah bars might be.
Blossom: (sticks out her tongue like a little kid in disgust)
Me: (laughing) Oh, Blossom. You still got it. Hey, where's that funny hat?
Blossom: Also, do you know your potato pancakes?
Me: Do I?! Well that was stupid. Why'd you say it like that?  
Blossom: Do they have eggs in them?
Me: I believe so, but let me go double check. 

So I turned from the counter to make my way back to the kitchen, trying to get the attention of servers as I passed them to say, "Dude! Blossom is here! Blossom!" 
No one really cared. I TOTALLY 110% wish Tara was working that night! She would have understood!

When I made my way back to the counter from the kitchen, I delivered the egg news to Blossom and she thanked me. 
Me: Of course! Thank you, Bl--. Um, thanks. Have a nice night. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Maybe It's A Sign.

Saw a print ad the other day that was simply an aerial view of unrecognizable buildings with the number 60637 in a large font placed across the middle of the page.

I have no idea what the advertisement was for, but because I make a lot of my decisions like a superstitious 12-year-old, I booked a flight. 

Friday, April 09, 2010

Just Add Pants!

I know I've been writing a lot about cats lately. I'll stop. 
Right after this post.

So if you know me, you know that I always say the only way I'd want a cat in the house is if it walked on its hind legs and wore pants all the time. Well, holy crap, I might have found my cat!


Thursday, April 08, 2010

Zing! Zink!

I've mentioned before that I once saw a sign at Yankee Candle that said, "Please Don't Eat The Candles." Apparently it was a big enough problem at the store that a sign was warranted.

"What do you mean these aren't Christmas cookies?"

I think a more appropriate note might have been, "Yankee CANDLE. (Idiots.)"

I thought of the Yankee Candle sign yesterday while flipping through zink magazine and reading a little interview with a model. When asked to list three items she can't live without she answered: Coffee, water, and scented Yankee Candles. 

The same answer applied to the question concerning her grocery list. 

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Ice Cream: Newton's Law Need Not Apply.

Me: OK, for ice cream. Cup or cone?
Amalia: Cone. Obviously.

If you're playing along at home, that's the correct answer.

One of the best things about the arrival of the amazing weather is of course, ice cream, but if you watch closely enough, it actually extends beyond the simple happiness a cone provides.  

If you happen to see a child eating an ice cream cone, pay close attention. Notice how the child holds the cone. More often than not, it is off to the side with the cone nearly tipped upside down. Kids hold ice cream with complete disregard for the laws of physics because they don't know the laws of physics. And stunningly, the ice cream almost never falls. It's a law of naivete that sometimes seems more powerful than gravity because it involves a sugar cone and rainbow sprinkles.  

Monday, April 05, 2010


Lately I've been experiencing a lot of , "Um, I can hear you." moments. Most of them have dealt with people saying something about me within earshot.

"Well your boyfriend is big, right? Is he as big as her? She probably wears a large. Would he be about that size? Should I ask her if she wears a large?"
"Shh, no! Don't ask!"

What do I do here? Pretend I don't hear? Answer? 
I usually end up acting like I have no idea what's going on, but I guess I just have a face that says, "Tell me exactly what you think."

These are a few of my recent favorites:

"I'm buying a t-shirt for my 11-year-old grandson. He's a little chubby. Actually, you're sort of built like him, what size do you wear?"

"You're... what? Six? Ten feet tall?"

"You'd make a good ship's mast."

And tonight was nice. During a particularly insane rush at work, a regular (who never orders anything, just shows up to say hello and talk about hats) came in and said, "Hey Jess, you look horrible!"
Running around like a jerk, I nodded and smiled. "OK thanks, Larry."
"No, really. Just awful. You look really really tired."
"Oh, OK, thank you."
"Are you sick?"
"Just really busy, Lar."
"Well you look terrible."
"OK great! Talk soon."

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Something To Consider.

Paul Madonna is a genius and his comic All Over Coffee is one of my favorite things. 
Loved this one.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Terms Of Endearment.

There was a funny couple sitting at the counter for breakfast yesterday and when talking about his omelet the guy said, "I don't like a lot of cheese." 
Pointing to his girl, he added, "She loves cheese. That's why her nickname is Pile of Cheese." 

Friday, April 02, 2010

Jamaica Plain In Spring.

What's not to love? 

Fresh air, people hanging out on their porches (I have a serious thing for porches) with some beers and some buddies, cute dogs everywhere, the amazing light my treehouse bedroom gets. 

It's all good, folks. 

Also, semi-unrelated, but I enjoyed this exchange this morning:
Michael: Have you been to San Francisco?
Me: I lived there for years. 
Michael: So you've been downtown in the morning?
Me: (smiling) Yeah.
Michael: Then come smell outside.
[we leave the restaurant together]
Michael: Smell. 
[We take deep breaths inhaling the crisp cool air]
Me: Totally with you. 
Michael: Right?!

Things like being asked to smell things for memory make me happy. 

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Gotta Brag On Ya.

I have a plan to retire off the royalties from the rap songs I write. One of them is called "Brag On Ya." It's a love song. But that's another post. 

I mention it only because I'm about to brag on my little sister for being an incredible person. While this blog is normally dedicated to everyday absurdities, sometimes life and the people in it are just so good that I feel it would be irresponsible not to give a shout out. 

So without the dramatic Lifetime music, last month marked the 10-year anniversary of a nearly-fatal car accident that Nessa survived. After the accident, when she could barely walk, she was easily the toughest Martin in the bunch, and we all fed off her strength. Through surgery and months of intense physical therapy, she made recovering from something like that seem like no big deal with her positivity, humor, determination, and signature kick-ass attitude.  
She's sort of my hero.  

Anyway, big things are happening in her life right now and I'm:
a) Proud as hell. 
b) Inclined to share.

This was from an email she sent this morning: 

Hey guys

So if you cant brag to your family then who can you brag to?! I guess the real answer is whoever, you really can brag to anyone, buuuuut I want detailed responses and will be expecting/demanding those from you.

This morning I trained [omitted, but a big deal]

It was AMAZING! Ive known him since working here but he has always worked with another trainer. We were in gym same time the the other day and he said he wanted to set something up. This morning was the first session and he was totally floored. I was a little nervous, but I threw a lot of phys therapy exercises in with the incorporation of the "power plate" (http://patcapplifestyle.com/Images/power-plate.jpg) Cool piece of equip not a lot of facilities have and he was interested in learning. 

blah blah blah, Im now working with him once a week. We played anatomical term quiz game for a great deal of the sessoion and shared a lot of high fives and besos. 

Compliment me. Thanks.

The Martin girl with an amazing smile and titanium femur.

I love when people lock into what they should be doing. I think there's a tangible energy when you see someone doing what they're good at and enjoy. Nessa's got it right now.  This is her favorite affirmation and I think it fits:
I am strength. I see myself as strong, powerful and limitless. 
Stay Strong.

Mine would read: I see myself as strong, powerful, and limitless. 
But first, a nap.