If I don't get into Halloween (at all) it's only because I grew up with a skewed sense of when I should be scared. When we were kids, my uncle Greg used to come out to the dining room table at my grandma's house wearing a horribly scary wolf mask and roar until we all ran away.
The was for Easter.
And to be honest, he still does this.
This is a picture from last Christmas. Seriously.
At least there will be clearance candy at CVS in a few days.
My girlfriend is insanely good with accents. It's part of the reason I like her so darn much. Many times I'll just ask her to say things with an accent and she'll happily oblige by talking like a Scottish person for the rest of the day. It works out quite well.
Anyway, this morning couldn't have been more perfect in Harvard Square. People were wearing their very best fall outfits, we had coffee in hand, and the hardest decision we had to make was choosing between a pumpkin cupcake or pumpkin ice cream. It's a nice problem to have. As we are wont to do when there is so much to be happy about, we started talking in British accents. Meredith is spot on and sounds like a true Brit. (Mine always slips between British and Australian.) Popping into a little watch store to check out timepieces, Mer held onto her accent so perfectly and calmly approached the shopkeeper, inquiring with English grace, "Excuse me, have you got the time?"
Without even cracking a smile, the man kept his gaze on a battery he was changing.
Not only was her accent unbelievably charming, but come on! It's a funny little joke!
I promptly grabbed her by the side and made for the door. I refuse to support businesses that don't like cheesy jokes and accents.
Heading out into the amazing fall day I said with a half cockney/half Aussie lilt, "Watch us leave your store."
I don't like and/or recognize the greedy part of me that comes out to play when I make a bag of popcorn. Always exceeding the recommended microwave time, I wait anxiously by the glowing window watching the bag inflate the way a day-trader monitors the fluctuating markets.
Pop, Pop. Buy, Sell.
As the time between pops increases, I hold out pressing stop, convinced that I can get one more kernel to morph.
This butter-coated belief that I can somehow outsmart the good people at Orville Redenbacher almost always leads to a burnt bag.
Unrelated note: The other day at work a customer told Tara he was allergic to microwaves.
I was watching Millionaire Matchmaker (no comments) and after discovering a mutual appreciation for binge drinking and mozzarella, this was a direct quote from the 24-year old girl dating the 40-year old millionaire.
"I thought that maybe with the age difference we wouldn't have that many things in common. But I like alcohol... and cheese."
Ah, yes. Nature's timeless aphrodisiac. Cheese.
And what a story for the grandchildren:
"Well, Grandpa loved cheese, see? And I loved cheese. And he loved raspberry Stoli, and he bought me one outside a yankee game once. But it was all about the cheese kids. The love we shared for cheese and his millions and millions of dollars. Mmmm. Cheese."
It ended up not working out.
In a semi-related note, statistically speaking, you might be surprised by how difficult it is for lactose-intolerant millionaires to meet people.
My little sister sent a text asking us to plan on attending her birthday party in December but gave few (read: zero) hints as to what was in store. When I finally got in touch with her she excitedly said that I had to promise to come.
"I promise! I wouldn't miss it!"
"OK, you promised."
"Ness, stop! What is it?"
"Are you sitting down?!"
"OK. Well I've planned for.. are you ready? A private yoga class! The instructor is insane! It's going to be awesome!"
Without even hesitating I flatly said, "I'm not going."
I realize it wasn't fair to flake immediately, but she had to know it was coming. I have the flexibility of a piece of chalk. I sweat when I eat soup. In a workout situation the perspiration is offensive. And to be honest, I've never particularly enjoyed being instructed through exercise. My mother used to bribe me to take swimming lessons by buying me Kudos bars. It helps explain why I'm a very strong swimmer and why I was an exceptionally fat child.
Anyway, here's why I said no:
-Ness is in amazing shape and really into yoga.
-I ran around the other day and proceeded to wake up in the middle of the night with a charlie horse in my butt. I remember shouting, "Is this even possible?!"
-She uses things like yoga walls.
(That's her doing the classic, Hang From The Wall And Grab Someone's Leg move. It's similar to that old school, extend your arms and make small circles stretch.)
-Without exaggeration, a strap on my bag got caught in a bench last week and I missed the bus trying to get it out. If I tried to use a yoga wall, this is the conversation people would have days later:
"She died?! How?"
"She got stuck on a yoga wall."
"Gosh, that's sad. Although, I once saw her trying to pull a bag out of a bench at a bus stop. Kind of makes sense."
-I know part of the reason she's doing this is because she wants to laugh at my sad attempts to touch my toes. And sure enough, that's what she said.
But I suppose if sweating like an idiot, wearing spandex, and pulling a butt muscle on a yoga wall is all she wants from me for her bday, it's the least I can do.
Lisa came up to me at work this morning and asked me if I knew I had a mannequin twin.
(I live for questions like this.)
Me: No! Like Elaine in that episode of Seinfeld?!
Lisa: We were shopping last night and my daughter climbed up with all the mannequins and asked me to take her picture. When I went through them I was like, hey! It's mannequin Jess!
I thought it was funny.
But this is the better story:
After taking the pictures, Lisa asked her daughter to get down and started saying things like, "Ok, I'm not taking anymore pictures of you up there, let's go. Come on, get down from there, I mean it." as people passed by.
With Jacqueline remaining perfectly still, people passed by and gave her looks as she tried to explain that her daughter was posing.
Lesson: Boston natives treat the city like a sibling or close relative. If you have something nice to say, they want to hear all about it. They LOVE family compliments. But if you have a complaint, they look at you like, "You know who you're talking to, right? That's my brother."
I feel like New Yorkers are better with complaints. They share city complaints with a smile, like they're talking about a jerk friend that they still love to death. Even if a tourist complains about something in the city, there's a happy recognition of, "Yeah, he can be an asshole, but what are you gonna do? He's got a good heart."
Anyway, whenever I mention even the most minor complaint about Boston, (I try to never talk about public transportation with her) Meredith launches into little sister defense mode.
This was an exchange we had the other day.
Meredith: I wish you didn't hate Boston so much.
Me: I don't hate Boston. I just think it's really full of itself. You know those cocky people that always find a way to talk about how great they are? It's probably just because their parents fed that to them their entire life and they truly started to believe it. "Oh, you're so great! Oh, you're amazing!" But it's like, geez, Boston. You must have had some incredibly supportive parents.
Without missing a beat, and with some serious ever heard of it? tone, Mer snapped back with,
The new agency website is up and as I mentioned before, I was supposed to submit a photo.
Well, of course, I didn't, but now I'm kicking myself because my bio just has that weird fake person silhouette where my face should be. I suppose the fake person could be me, but something with eyes would be nice.
Here are some choices:
Me by a duck.
Me wearing my favorite headband.
Me buying snacks in the middle of the night at a convenience store.
This was during the height of a rather debilitating stretch of insomnia, and yes, I'm holding Slim Jim, a Hungry Man Dinner, and pie crust.
The TVs at work were on CNN yesterday as crews worked to drill out the trapped miners in Chile. It was amazing to walk past the counter and hear everyone talking about it. It appears that the story is the ultimate game of "What If?"
Honestly though, what would be the first thing you'd do after being trapped in a mine for months?
I'd go swimming, I think. In the ocean. Or do snow angels on my bed. Or give ridiculously big hugs to all the amazing people in my life. Or just take huge deep breaths everywhere I went. Or ask that "Home" by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros be played upon my arrival to the surface and proceed to dance around like an idiot.
I've been thinking about those guys so much and the latest story is that arguments have started over who will be the first to leave the mine. Apparently, no one wants to be at the top of the list. They all want everyone else to go ahead of them.
Doesn't it weird you out when you go to use the microwave and the time on the clock seems like the actual time, but it's really just the minutes you have left from the last time you used the microwave?
I'm not explaining this well.
But furthermore, doesn't it make you a little sad to know that the unused minutes from heating something up days earlier serve as a good enough time estimation for you because you literally have nothing else going on?
Jessica Martin grew up on her family’s farm in Brockport, New York. She spent her formative years talking to herself in the mirror and memorizing lines from Full House episodes. She graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Television, Radio and Film and that proved to be worthwhile in that she still enjoys all of those things. After living in San Francisco, New York, and Boston, Jessica has learned the importance of light layers, irony, and remembering how people take their coffee.
A fortune cookie once told her that she finds beauty in ordinary things, and she liked this. But then another fortune cookie told her that she liked horse racing and gambling, but not to excess, so she’s not entirely sure what to believe. She sort of thinks fortune cookies should stop pretending they know her so well.
Open-Eyed Sneeze is her first book.