Thursday, December 30, 2010

Love Is.

It's kind of a difficult to explain, but here's all you need to know.
-I needed to do laundry this morning but didn't have any pants to wear to the laundromat. 
-I borrowed a pair of Mer's sweatpants but couldn't figure out the drawstring so my underwear was showing most of the time as I walked down the street. 
-I was carrying my belt because that's what you do when your jeans are in the washer.
-I was wearing my work sneakers, which are HIDEOUS. When Sabrina visited me she literally bent in half laughing when I put them on.

This is what was going on.

In short, I looked like a crazy person. This picture doesn't really give you a sense of how insane I actually looked, but trust me, I was embarrassed. On our walk back to the laundromat to switch my clothes to the dryer, Mer held my hand the whole way. It struck me that maybe that's what love is. Maybe love is holding hands with the person you're with even when they're carrying a belt, wearing moon shoes, and showing oncoming traffic their underwear. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Can't Stop.

The Drifters version of White Christmas is hands down my favorite Christmas song and I can't stop singing it. I try to hit the low "do do do do" and the high "I-IIIIIIII'm dreaming" parts and obviously, cannot. 

Walking in the snow this morning, making weird faces as I tired to sing bass-- just butchering the song-- I laughed to myself. 

I love Christmas. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I was joking around with some coworkers the other night, asking if it would be funny if I walked around the restaurant using something of a chicken dance movement, and while demonstrating, I slammed my leg into a wall. Dominic happened to be behind me when I did this and started laughing uncontrollably. For the rest of the night, whenever he passed me, he would simply point, say, "ha" and walk away.

Anyway, it reminded me of this little number from last year, and I figured it's about that time again.


This should have been included in the grab bag of thoughts but I forgot.

-If you have a pair of cool hipster glasses, you better make sure that your other friends don't have crazy weird glasses too, because when a group of you head out together with your stylish glasses on, you look ridiculous. One person in a group of friends can have fashionable frames. Maybe two.* Any more than that and you look like a walking advertisement. 

*This does not apply to Europeans. You can't help it.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Grab Bag.

Just a little of everything.

-My roommates and I decorated the tree the other night with homemade paper snowflakes, purple garland from the dollar store, candy canes, and two pig ornaments. Stepping back together to look at it, Kathleen tilted her head and asked, "Why does it look so...nice?"

-Home Alone is a perfect movie. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is a slap in the face to the original. 

-Someone was arrested on the bus I took home from work the other night. A cop pulled the bus over, boarded the bus, and arrested a kid for tagging something with spray paint. I'm sorry, but can you think of a worse getaway car than a MBTA bus?! Especially the 66?! It stops like every 10 feet. What was that fool thinking?

-I thought as I grew older, the people in the Olive Garden commercials who laugh for no reason would annoy me less. It turns out the opposite is true. 

-People put their bananas in produce bags at the grocery store. I see them do it. Why do they do it?

-I learned how to tie a bow tie and I'm quite pleased with myself. For some reason I always thought that was something everyone should know how to do. Just in case. 

-I'm digging on the Miniature Tigers right now. If I had a car I'd drive around listening to them today.

-If I hold the door open for a mother with a stroller, I'm not a door person. If you're behind the mother with a stroller, and you're not a child, and you don't have a stroller, hold the door for yourself. 

-Furthermore, people in revolving doors, we're in this together. Push! I'm not going to push the whole door for you.

-I've been thinking a lot about doors lately.

-My buddies at work had the best conversation about games the other night. Electronic Mall Madness, Girl Talk, CrossFire, and Dream Phone. Do you remember Dream Phone? It should have been a huge red flag for me as a child that I shuffled through the cards of hot guys looking for a girl. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Where's The Couch?

This is a joke I made up for Mer over the summer:
Two social workers walk into a bar. What would that look like?

My girlfriend invited me to her department's holiday party last week and to say that I was nervous is a gross understatement. I'm nervous all the time anyway, but knowing I was entering a room full of psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers--basically the Chex Party Mix of people who could analyze my every move-- made me sweat in the 20 degree weather as we walked over to the Harvard Faculty lounge. 
This was the conversation we had as we walked:
Me: Are you sure what I'm wearing is OK?
Meredith: Yes. 
Me: It's not going to be fancy? You promise?
Meredith: Jess, I have no idea. 
As we walked closer to the building I saw people through the windows.
Me: Damn it, Meredith! I told you it was fancy! People are wearing vests and ties!
Meredith: Jess! Calm down! Those are the waiters!  

We checked our coats and walked into the main room where Mer started pointing people out to me. That's the Chair of so-and so. That's the Chair of whatsername. As she pointed to important people I couldn't stop thinking about the Annie Hall line, "Two more chairs they got a dining room set!"

She introduced me to her incredibly kind colleagues and they all immediately asked me one of three questions:
1) Q: Are you a social worker? A: I'm a social worker supporter!
2) Q: Are you in the mental health profession? A: [Immediate flash of the restaurant] Indirectly.
3) Q: What is it that you do? A: I feed the hungry.

I finally relaxed after settling in for a minute and was having a nice conversation with someone when a waiter walked by with a tray of hors d'oeuvres and asked, "Vegetarian spring roll, sir?"
Motherfucker! Honestly people, I've been called sir at least 13 times in the past 3 months. It totally threw off my game. 

Grabbing my second drink in a 10-minute window, I wondered if anyone noticed. I've never in my life been in a room with so many good listeners. People asked me questions and then waited patiently for my answers. The only problem being that I never have anything to say. So it was a lot of awkward silences as Mer schmoozed and I tried my hardest not to say stupid things like, "The food's delicious. I was just expecting some Freudian dip."  

I became acutely aware of everything I was doing. Stop twitching. Smile less. Why are you nodding so much? Wait, no-- nod more. Not so fast you freak, your head will fall off. Did they just ask you a question? Redirect. Did you try the spring rolls?

Mer was totally in her element and I loved seeing how much her coworkers respect and value her. It was the best part of the night for sure, and totally worth any discomfort on my own part. Grabbing some desserts, we stood talking to some of her favorite people when her friend looked to the gingerbread man on her plate and asked, "How do you eat a gingerbread cookie? Legs first? Head? It says something about you."
Meredith considered the question for a moment and then answered. "Legs or arms, I'd say."
"Good. I'd be worried if you went for the head first."
Starting to sweat again, I looked to the mini fruit tart on my plate and didn't dare touch it. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons.

When we arrived in NYC late Friday night for my little sister's birthday weekend, Nessa and Andrea had a living room picnic waiting for us. The only possible way to make wine and appetizers with your favorite people even more fun is to throw down a blanket and serve everything picnic style. I was so ridiculously happy.

Clearing some space on the blanket for a large gift box, Andrea surprised me by saying she had a belated birthday present for me. The girl's got a sense of humor that totally appeals to me so I smiled wondering what sort of joke gift waited inside. 
She didn't disappoint. This is what I found. 

It was a Buddha Hand and a remote. The gift that keeps on giving.

Andrea: Do you know what that is?!!
Me: It's like a lemon, right?
Andrea: How did you know that? The woman at the grocery store was like, 'How am I supposed to ring this up?'

Anyway, we got a good laugh out of it and the next morning when we were heading out to brunch, Andrea stopped me at the door and said, "Don't forget your lemon!" She had fashioned a leash out of a belt and asked me to walk it down the street. "You know what they say. When life gives you a lemon, put it on a belt and walk it."

It was an excellent point. So I did.

There is no way for me to accurately describe the public response to the lemon on a leash. People were appalled. Seriously. I received so many dirty looks, people in cafes shook their heads at me and glared, parents held their children tighter to them, and dog owners pulled their buddies on leashes away from mine. At least six different people asked me if it was an octopus, to which I replied, "Yes. Yes it is." 

Sabrina's been having a lot of fun with the fact that so many people have been calling me "sir" lately, and she came running up to me laughing saying she overhead someone say, "That guy is walking an alien."

One woman stopped and asked to pet it. Only one older couple knew it was a lemon and asked me if I was making a statement. 
Me: No, just walking it.
Andrea: When life hands you lemons...
And then the two older people burst out laughing before walking away. 

At one point, Brina started screaming and pointed to a Food Emporium truck stopped at a red light that had two giant Buddha hands on it. What are the chances? I ran over to the truck, holding my leashed Buddha hand up to the driver, smiling like an idiot. He just waved flatly. Is it possible he gets that a lot? 

Anyway, it was a nice New York moment. Thanks, A.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

I Saw Sparks.

A clear sky/cold weather combo motivates me to get out and start my day. I jumped out of bed at 6:45, threw on some sweats, grabbed my laundry, and headed for the laundromat. I figured I would throw a load in the washer, run over to Meredith's to say good morning, run back to dry and fold my clothes, and then run back to her place to walk her to work. 

Everything went to plan and I was quite pleased with myself. Even if I do nothing else with my day, finishing a load of laundry is a big enough accomplishment for me. And I did it so early! I'm a go-getter!  Holding Mer close as we walked to the hospital, I had a goofy grin because it was just a really nice moment. Crisp, cold weather, spring fresh scents, neatly folded t-shirts, all good. Stopping to give her a kiss goodbye, I leaned in smiling, touched her nose with my nose, and heard her yelp in pain as she quickly jumped away from me.

"I just got a static shock from your nose!" 

Rubbing her nose, we had to laugh. 

I get static shocks all the time in the winter and my clothes straight from the dryer probably didn't help. 

When I kissed her again, the static electricity returned. We both flew back Matrix style, grabbing our noses, shouting "Owww!"

We parted ways saying goodbye with pained expressions and half-covered faces. 

It was very romantic. 

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

I Love Him.

I used to play the shaker egg in a band called Man Jeggings. 
That's true.

Is This Thing On?

I recently asked my coworkers to be honest with me about a possible Truman Show situation happening in the restaurant. Everyone remained silent, only helping to solidify my theory. 

This was an exchange I had with an older customer the other day. It's important to know that I'm a middle child and have been asked to repeat myself all of my life because no one was listening the first time. As a result, I don't enjoy repeating myself. It's equally important to know that I grew up with a very loud family that used outdoor voices to speak to people 2-feet away. The volume always increased when discussing food. This killed me as a kid and to this day, it actually pains me to yell indoors.  

OK, so those points are made. Here's the scene:
-And what would you like as your side, sir?
-Your side?
-What's your vegetable?
-We have broccolini tonight.
-[Deep breath] Broccolini?
-[Raising my voice a little]: BROCCO-LINI. BROCCOLINI.
It's long broccoli. 
[Leaning closer] BROCCOLINI. It's like long skinny broccoli.
Sure, fine, broccoli.

And then I burst into tears.

You try shouting broccolini into a stranger's ear without thinking you're being secretly filmed. 

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Go Turn On My Tree.

This never gets old for me because it's basically the summation of my Christmas tree experience since I was a child. Well, this and this.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

I'm A Grown-Up.

I came home to my apartment this morning to find a half-eaten dinosaur cake on the living room table, the remains of about 300 chicken wings, and I'm currently waiting for my landlord to come replace the dishwasher that set on fire last week. 
Do dishwashers set on fire for other people? Is that like a common problem? 

It's important to know that I don't respond well to emergency situations. When I heard loud popping and saw billowing smoke coming from the kitchen the other day, my initial reaction was to run around screaming fuck for 30 seconds. There's no stop, drop, and roll procedure for kitchen appliances so I thought the running/shouting obscenities combo was solid.  I was nervous that the smoke would set off the alarm so I started flapping my arms like an idiot, and jumping a little as I did it, thinking that this too was part of the plan. When I finally decided to open the dishwasher door and kitchen window, I noticed our smoke alarm on the window sill without any batteries in it. I looked at it, bit my lip and nodded. Talking to myself I said, "So it looks like the jumping wasn't necessary."

Our landlord responded to an email about the smoking dishwasher by saying, "Please don't attempt to use the dishwasher."

Thanks for that.

Anyway, I'm still waiting for him to get here, but it's always nice to have a minute to reflect.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010