Cruising down La Cienega Blvd. past the paparazzi hotspot with your head hung out the window of your pink Mini Cooper like a dog gulping the night air in an effort not to vomit = not dignified.
Vomiting all over yourself in the car = not dignified.
So two wrongs DO make a right. Viva la stomach flu!*
Yesterday's post and the comments on it just reminded me of a story. Back in 2001, I lived in a Huge Apartment Complex. If you live in LA, you know of what I speak: all the apartments look exactly the same: two bedrooms with their own bathrooms separated by a living room and a galley kitchen. I lived there with Peanut, the three legged pit bull, and every morning before I'd head over to Ren-Mar I'd leash her up and take her for a walk.
My building was no ordinary building, however, it was known as the "Stripper Building" as it was right around the corner from a bunch of Sunset Strip Clubs and a good portion of the strippers - or former strippers - chose to live there. (We also had a couple of Working Girls, but they informed me in no uncertain terms did they strip.)
My morning outing with Peanut (in which I was clad in pajama bottoms and a tank top or oversized t-shirt) would coincide from the girls getting home form work. They'd always oooh and ahhh over my cute three-legged dog and then give me a look like I was something to be found under a hobo's shoe. It was a familiar routine that I looked forward to every morning.
Until one evening I had gotten home late from work and was taking Peanut out in my work clothes - fully made up, skirts-and-boots-and-little-t-shirt and I ran across the same girls leaving for their evening shift. They ooohed and aaahed over Peanut and then said to me
She's so cute! We see her with your dogwalker every day!
I didn't have the heart to tell them.
*On second thought, no viva the stomach flu.
When I started making my trek over the hill from North Hollywood to Mr. Boy's place, I always made sure I was appropriately slackmistress-clad in my uniform of tight t-shirt, boots, miniskirt and knee socks if the outfit called for it. Panties were always simple black cotton, bras were always black and clasped in back (no need to confuse anyone). Makeup was always simple, as some nights I'd end up crashing on the futon-mattress-placed-on-slats he called a bed. You dress like a supervillain, he once told me, quoting Hank Venture.
While I doll up when we venture out into the world, most days find me in jean and t-shirts, or in the case of the last couple of days whilst I've been sick, ratty t-shirts, sweatpants, and glasses. The days that I'm here when he gets home from work, I always think I should put on makeup or maybe I should change, but those are also the days I get up at 4:45am to get to work on time, and usually I just think fuckit. At least I'm clean.
I'm wondering, though, if that's unfair. To him? To me? It's not as if I've "let myself go" (as my last ex-boyfriend told me as I gained twenty pounds over the span of the relationship). While I can stand to lose a few pounds, I weigh less now than when we got together. And not getting dolled up isn't a sign of depression - I'm getting out of bed, I'm going to work, I'm writing. While I certainly have my moments (as documented in this blog), I'm reasonably together and working hard toward multiple goals I've set for myself. I'm not unhappy at all (although I would like this head cold to leave, now.)
Have I dropped the ball? Have I lost my mystique? Is that why people date crazy, because it's never boring?
Last night, I asked Will: You know what makes me sad?
Last year, when I had my Halloween Party, you didn't come.
You didn't invite me!
So? I still can't believe you weren't there.
I wasn't at your birthday party, either.
Yeah, what gives?
We had met online but not in person - that wouldn't come for another month - but he promises me that during this time last year, he was proclaiming his love for me to whatever IMfriends would listen. I had considered inviting him to the dinner party I threw right after Halloween, but I thought it might be weird inviting him to a dinner with six people he'd never met.
a) I move fast.
b) I like to throw a lot of parties.
Party season is once again upon us, starting with my birthday and rolling into Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year's. Then there's my mother's Russian Christmas party, and then Valentine's Day, and then a couple of family birthdays, and then my friend R's wedding in Hawaii that we're saving our pennies for, as it coincides with our one-year anniversary and we're trying to finagle it as a Belated Honeymoon (I know, crazy. Can it be done? I'll tell you when May rolls around.) The fact is that I've got the party-throwing fever. It's been suggested to me that I turn it into my own little business, part-catering part-event planning, but while the party-throwing fever is amazing in theory, in practice it starts with that little red flush of excitement and ends with me being a shivering, shaking, achy sweaty delusional mess. And yet every time it's over...I want to do it again.
Parties are also pricey, so minus Thanksgiving (SlackParents are coming to town!) I am keeping my visions of bacon-wrapped dates and honeyed goat cheese with figs and prosciutto-wrapped smoked mozzarella and antipasto plates to a minimum. But a girl can dream...
*To those of you born in the 80s/90s: Before Eddie Murphy liked did Disney Remakes and ran a Good Samaritan Cab Service for Tranny Hookers he was funny and also cut an album.
Today is Older SlackBrother J.'s 37th birthday. He and his family (SlackNiece j. and Slack S-i-L M.) stopped at the library before heading out for birthday ice cream. SlackNiece j. is a hair shy of three years old.
They enter the building and she makes a beeline for the Information Desk.
She told the woman behind the desk I would like [some book about a garbage truck.]
The woman checked the computer. I'm sorry, honey, it's checked out.
SlackNiece j. processes this information, and then replies with
You know, it is my daddy's birthday.
In true SlackFamily style, knows exactly what she wants and is willing to play whatever cards she's got to get it.
Happy Birthday Older SlackBrother J.! I once told him that he'd always be older than me. He responded with not if I die first.
His birthday means mine is right around the corner. Thirty-five means that I'm riding the wave into my late thirties. I'd just like to know when they'll stop carding me at Trader Joe's.
Younger SlackBrother j. came over the Sunday night to watch the Bears game (painful), so I had him read the first draft of my spec pilot I've been working on. He read it, the Bears lost, and he went home. Later, I realized he hadn't said a word about the script. I sent him the following email:
A. Not that I don't love either of you, or find the moments that we share precious (and daisy and will are are under that banner) but I did come over with the intention that for two and a half hours living out my emotional life as the "army" of my homeland went to battle with another army representing another homeland. And as that battle went sour, it did take a little out of me. If this sounds primitive and gay . . . well call me an assraping caveman butt pirate.
B. I honestly enjoyed it, one main thing jumped out at me, but I'll tell you later. I'd rather that be in person than in email, or when the entire bear's season is going down in one firey hindenburgesque debacle named "Rex Grossman".
P.S. Never say another word of our other sister, the one uglier than Gloria Estefan.
Last night he shows up at our front door with a box of jellybeans.
I brought jellybeans! All is forgiven!
In true SlackFamily fashion, all is always forgiven if you show up with food. If it was carrot cake, I might have invited him to stay for dinner. (Okay, I did anyway.)
Has your Manager ever gotten you a job?
What does he do?
I'm not exactly sure.
So why don'tcha fire him?
Because then I wouldn't have a Manager!
-- EXTRAS (Quoted from memory.)
I have a check coming to me from Cartoon Network for something that occurred a while ago and required a bunch of phone calls and some legal documents and notarized signatures. When the settlement was drawn up, I brought it over to the studio myself and dropped it off so I could expedite my payment.
Which never came.
I sent an email to my Manager, who called me right before I left for Long Island. I wasn't able to return the phone call because I was traveling for most of the day, and then the weekend hit. Monday I received an email, asking to call. Tuesday I received another. I called between flights on Wednesday. Thursday, another email asking me to call back again. I started to get nervous, as three emails and two phone calls had already been spent on this matter, so clearly there was An Issue.
Today, they finally called me, when the following exchange took place:
You need to fill out a W-9, he told me.
And you don't have my new address, so you're calling to get it so you can mail it to me?
Oh no, he replied, I have the W-9 as an attachment. I can email it.
You still there?
I am. Go ahead and email it. And thanks, Darren.
Shocking, in a good way:
Will did not need to install the new starter. It turns out that the connector to the battery was corroded. Huzzah!
Shocking, in a WTF? way:
Will and I were watching The Larry Sanders Show last night, an episode with the very young Jon Stewart. A very young and very different looking Jon Stewart.
Doesn't Jon Stewart look weird?
He paused the DVD. Now that you mention it? Yeah, he does.
He looks like--
It hit me.
He looks like he had a nose job!
We scoured the Internet for early photos and came up relatively empty-handed. I love Jon Stewart, don't get me wrong, but I'm beginning to think there might be some sort of Jon Stewart Nose Job Conspiracy Theory. The best I can give you for comparison is the following:
It's not of Jennifer Grey proportions, but the only things I'm aware of that shrink as you age are your hairline and tolerance for the kids and their rock-and-roll music.
What do you think?
Anyone who knows me knows that my list of things that are important in my life goes something like this:
3. Orphans and Homeless Dogs
4. My car.
This list is all true, except for the orphans, who I personally think have it made since they probably don't have curfew so they should quit their bitching. I realize that the stuff in life shouldn't matter. And for the most part, it doesn't. I can say that firmly as a person who has Had Stuff. And I am somewhat embarrassed to admit in a public forum the highly unnatural love I have for my automobile. If autosexuality was legalized, well, I might have already been married by the time Mr. Boy came along.
That's why there's nothing more frustrating (or pricey) than car trouble. And today we've had it in spades. We're both sick - he on the tail end and me just starting, and while I slept until noon with the aid for TheraFlu, he was outside in the rain trying to get his car to start. He even managed - solo - to push his car out of the way and pull mine up in an effort to jump start his battery, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. He finally woke me up and I steered his car back to its current resting place and waved goodbye as he headed back off into the rain to purchase a car battery.
Battery installed, the car worked - for twenty minutes. Some online research and a few phone calls later, he decided it was the starter and we were off to Pep Boys. As we were leaving - poorer, but armed with a Hyundai Elantra Repair Manual and hopefully with the part that will solve the problem - I said to him
Don't you wish you had married someone who could keep you in the manner to which you're accustomed?
He laughed, and said baby, this is it.
I just wish that I could help out, that I could show him that it could be easier. I know that everyone lives on a budget, I know that people have it a lot harder than we do, I know puppies are being kicked and that the benefit of no curfew probably doesn't outweigh the other crap orphans have to deal with, but sometimes I wonder why is it that we can't get ahead? I'm 35. I've held decent jobs before. And yet I'm barely keeping my head above water, I can't seem to get a foothold anywhere, and the thought that Will just spent $300 to keep his car afloat for six more months fills me with dread.
Just enough already. Seriously.
What're you doing?
I'm blogging. About the car.
He laughed. You've been blogging about me more than I've been blogging about me. I blogged about the Mets. And my brother.
Oh, I know. We both blog about the things we care about most.
Best $20 Ever Spent:
On matzo ball soup from Jerry's Deli for my poor sick husband, who returned from Long Island with a head cold. I picked it up after I got off work last night and returned home to discover that he had forgotten that I'm parking behind our building since my car got scratched. Instead of calling him to come move his car so he could make room for mine, I ran the soup inside, kissed him hello, and grabbed his car keys so he could relax.
Worst $20 Ever Spent:
On a cab ride - not for me, but for my husband's keys - as I neglected to take them out of my purse after I moved his car and before I left for work at 5:15am. My poor sick husband not only had to go to work, but was late for work this morning due to my boneheaded move. He didn't scream at me, which means he's a better man than most, or that TheraFlu is truly amazing stuff. (I'm banking on the first.)
I'm not a smart woman. Sorry again, love.
I made peace with my haircut
and Will and I were off to his family reunion, as it was the first time in ages that all of his siblings - six including him - were to be in one place at one time since, well, forever. It was also the first time that I met his extended family (as well as two brothers) since we had gotten married. When it took us nearly 25 minutes to get ten feet in the door of the American Legion Hall on Friday night, I excused myself and ran straight to the bar to fetch us drinks to get us the rest of the way in. There were great aunts and great uncles and cousins and second cousins and kids and grandkids and girlfriends and exes of cousins and parents and in Goodfellas-style, they were all named Maria or Annie or Billy. Finally I told someone I was just going to point and talk if I wanted to address someone.
The SlackParents were invited to the party, so they made the trek from the midwest and showed up (even when Will gave them slightly wrong directions!) At one point, I see SlackDad talking to a couple and SlackMom dancing with some guy in a tank top.
Uh, who's that? I ask Will.
No idea, he responds. Ask my dad.
I find Dad of Boy. Who's that?
He pokes his head in the hall. Oh, that's Joey Tequila. He's a friend of mine. (beat) Your mom shouldn't be dancing with him.
I went in and rescued her and asked the SlackParents the next day what had transpired.
Oh, there was this guy that kept motioning to your ma that she should come dance with him, SlackDad said.
So you just sent her? I asked.
What? He just looked like he wanted to have a good time.
So you sent your wife.
There are many more stories, of course, like how we nearly got into a fight at the airport while waiting in line and our time at the Marz Bar and subway rides not taken, but there was also Albert's Pizza and hanging out in the backyard with Sister and Brother of Boy and their boyfriend/girlfriends, there were crab cakes and shopping with SlackMom and getting to pour the coffee at Grandma's and a classic Dad of Boy breakfast and WFAN on the radio in our bright blue rented Chevy Aveo that we listened to while sipping Dunkin Donuts coffee and taking the Will Personal History Tour. There were in-jokes and drama and bullshitting and storytelling and moments where I wanted to strangle people and moments where I'm sure they wanted to strangle me, I'm both happy to be home and yet at the same time I miss them. And that's how I know that they're not just Will's family.
Me and BetheSister.
They're my family, too.