Thursday, December 29, 2005

it's twinkies!

c., a friend of mine from high school, just gave birth to twins - a boy and a girl. what makes this particularly amazing is that she has struggled with serious eating disorders since the age of 13. she hasn't had an easy time of getting pregnant, but then i guess it's not that surprising when you don't feed your body properly for years, your body isn't going to trust that you're going to feed your body enough to support a child. but she did it! once with her son who's about 3, and now with a pair of sweet little twinkies - in pink and blue, such complementary colors. not surprising actually, c. was never one to do something half-ass - valedictorian, student council president, homecoming court and now...Mommy of three.

these are the onesies i made for them. cute, huh?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

janie's birthday

my mom was born today.

she'd be 61. she was 30-years old when she delivered me, and i will be 31 in january. (her third child. i am sooo far behind. i just gave away a cat - too much responsibility.) it always made it easy to figure out her age - "just add 30." determining dad's age was always little more difficult for me - 32 years older. could involve carrying over a one, and everyone knows how frustrating double-digit addition can be for a first grader. in some ways, these little calculations would become fitting analogies for the dynamics of our relationships:

mom and me = easy
dad and me = ehhhhh...a little more complicated

i don't normally get nostalgic and weepy on The Big Days - the day she died, November 19 - and her birthday - December 28. they usually just pass right on by. i usually don't even notice until the next day:

oh goodness, yesterday was Mom's birthday. i guess i should have done something to mark it.

this year seems to be a little different. i feel the need to recognize it. bend the corner of the page. highlight this excerpt. maybe i'm getting more sentimental as i get older. i am getting closer in age and mentality to the woman she was and further from the girl i was. i am shocked to find myself having moved from a Ms. magazine-reading college girl who's terrified of slipping into a trapped life that's exactly like hers - wife, mother and homemaker - to being a Martha Stewart-reading woman who's terrified that she will slip into a life that's absolutely nothing like hers - wife, mother and homemaker. surely there is some sort of delicate balance. (can't just be a coincidence that Ms. and Martha Stewart are the same initials!) i just haven't figured out how the hell to make that even out just yet.

so today, for the first time since her death 18 years ago (holy shit - that long? and why do i find myself tearing up when i write that?), i find myself marking it albeit accidentally by doing very Janie-like things:

i started the day by doing a load of laundry. i will listen to Mozart's violin concertos. i will go to the bank. i will go to the post office to mail belated Christmas presents. i'll look in the mirror and bemoan the landscape of my belly. i will write thank you notes. i will heat up leftovers for dinner, and i will fall asleep before finishing the first chapter.

not so different after all, i guess.


and then just when you think you're alone, your brother goes and sends you a picture like this. he put yellow roses on her grave this morning - her favorite. thanks, L.

Monday, December 26, 2005

holiday (over) eating

on the phone this evening with r. she's at her hometown airport, waiting to board the plane to come back to the city:

"...i've been eating six meals a day. not the six small meals they say you should be eating. no. six full-size meals. i swear i'm like 40 pounds heavier. seriously."

"40 pounds heavier? yeah. i'm sure. 40 pounds heavier, r., in 5 days. totally plausible."

"oh, okay. then five. five pounds heavier."

"there ya go, that might be a bit more realistic."

"i've eaten so much since i've been here; i swear that's all we've done. today i decided i was going to eat light. at lunch, i ordered the ribeye."

ahh...the comfort of kindred spirits.

happy holidays, y'all.

Friday, December 23, 2005

put your napkin in your lap...ahem. time like the holidays to polish up your napkin folding technique.

i'm sorry, but the candle? can you imagine approaching a dinner table dotted with 8 of these linen phalli?

then there's the rosebud and the atrium lilly...positively o'keefian.

my gutter.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

this transit strike is making me feel fat.

i had to go buy some new clothes today. i don't have anything else. my entire wardrobe (minus the one change of clothes and a pair of pajamas that i had the foresight to shove into my backpack before i left the house yesterday morning) resides in astoria, new york. for me, this means a earlobe-numbing 4.6 mile walk in the dark on a bridge suspended over the East River.

not gonna happen. so, i've been crashing at friends and will continue to do so until this @#$%!&* strike ends...

this explains why i was forced to go to the Gap at lunch today and try on a few pairs of pants and shirts lest the ones i am currently wearing start developing opposable thumbs and accosting my co-workers.

here's the thing: i don't recommend trying on anything in front of a full-length mirror when

1. you're menstrual


2. you ate sushi the night before. as you know, sushi is normally accompanied by a sodium-laden condiment called soy sauce that i adore, but causes me to bloat and swell like a...a...a...flesh-colored Michelin man.

ah well...i tried my damnedest to look at myself objectively and not judgmentally:

do the pants fit, margrocks?

yes, but look at that muffin top squish...ohmigod, i think i need a bigger size. i am so fff...

zip it! not what i asked. do the pants fit, margrocks?


excellent. buy them, and let's get the hell out of here.

so i did.

but still...not a pretty sight in that Gap dressing room.

i guess i could toss myself into the East River and float home.

Monday, December 19, 2005

brownies for breakfast...and dinner.

where the hell is the menstruation badge?

1. brownies taste better when you're sober.

2. brownies taste better when you're premenstrual.

3. brownies taste better when you don't eat a quarter of the pan.

how do i know? because...

1. i tried them both ways.*

2. i am.

3. i did.

but here's the coup - i didn't despise myself as much as i thought i would the next day.


chock a lot of it up to just an increasing self-acceptance, but i've also decided to allow myself a little 'extra' nish nosh when it's (whispered) that time of the month. i read in Some Very Reputable Publication that you should allow yourself a bit more in the mangia department when you're riding the crimson wave. i guess it does make sense that your body would need additional nourishment. your body, ladies, is doing some pretty amazing things; your uterus is essentially doing a Jane Fonda workout for 3-7 days. in order for it to perform as it needs to, it needs a bit more fuel (and a slammin' pair of leg warmers).

now, i realize that a quarter of a pan of Scharfenberger brownies is probably not what these Very Reputable People had in mind, but i know that a few years ago, i might have devoured the whole pan, so this time, by allowing myself some, i only ate what i truly wanted which admittedly, was a pretty hefty chunk and probably more than my necessary caloric and fat intake for the day, but's all about baby steps.

so...think about it ladies. i suggest allowing yourself a few little indulgences when Mama Moon visits next time. truly allowyourself though. no, "oh my gosh, this is so bad, i shouldn't be doing this." FOOD DOES NOT HAVE MORAL VALUE. hitler was evil. chocolate is not. buy yourself the best damn piece of chocolate (or whatever your poison) you can find. light a candle. slip into your comfy velour pants that make you feel skinny. slap on a heating pad. pop a midol or two (or ten). cry if you want to. rip open your indulgence, and feed your Aunt Flo. she's got one hell of an inheritance, and she's lookin' to leave it to you.

*for concerned friends and family that might be reading this blog, i should note that i was not drinking and binging on brownies alone. i was in the company of my dearest friends for our annual Urban Family Christmas. the rules are as follows 1. drink too much 2. eat too much 3. buy too many presents for each other. it was a very successful evening. i got many goodies, but my fave might very well be the blush pink silk pillow case from r. meowwwwwww. and the brownies were homemade by moi.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

because i am a big ol' christmas dork

and this always makes me cry...but in a good way.

but then, i used to like to watch myself cry in the mirror as a kid. mom said she used to walk into my bedroom after a tantrum and catch me weeping, huffing, puffing, and red-faced while staring at myself in the mirror.

drama queen? yes. since birth.

Dear Editor,

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say that there is no Santa Claus. Papa says "If you see it in the Sun, it is so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?


Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds.

All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to our life its highest beauty and joy.

Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus? You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your Papa to hire men to watch all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove?

Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.

Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders that are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, or even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernatural beauty and glory beyond.

Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else as real and abiding.

No Santa Claus? Thank God he lives and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, maybe 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the hearts of children.

Written by Francis P. Church in 1897

How this editorial came to be...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

sausage balls + an ode to paula deen

absence makes the heart grow fonder.

b + s just moved in together, and in the frenzy of their lovey dovey bliss, decided to throw a combination housewarming and christmas party on saturday night. my attendance was requested, required, and absolutely wholeheartedly given, despite the fact that i'd spent 8 hours at IIN class and would be spending another 8 hours the next day in the same situ. sitting, sans caffeine, in a cavernous auditorium listening to and trying to assimilate the benefits of various diets as proclaimed by their impassioned advocates is exhausting. (the vegan was all to thin for my tastes. i so wanted to invite him over for some meatloaf with gravy.) i was, i thought, to be too pooped to participate.


amazing what a little green eyeshadow and a festive plaid mini with jingle bells on the hem can do for a girl. instant holiday cheer! just add green glitter! (everyone on the subway thinks you're an absolute loon, but i've discovered how to deal with the attention: put on your ipod fullblast and move through the car with absolute confidence. you can't hear the jingles, thereby making it so much easier to ignore them and your co-straphangers' envious stares.)

i was revived. thank heavens i made the trip - b. made paula deen's sausage balls just for me!

why? he knows how much i love that jolly woman.

when i was sick and hacking on my couch, i did almost nothing but watch Food TV. it was then that cupid struck. i even found myself seriously considering buying her set of 8 dvds for $99.99, but thought better of it after the nyquil wore off. other things were more, for one.

paula, paula, paula...oh, heavens. she is 100% pure southern lady. she does her hair. lipstick is not an option, but a necessity. every recipe requires a cup of mayo, and a cup of butter, and a cup (at least) of sugar. this makes some people nauseous, but i adore her unabashed extravagance and indulgence. her toffee cackle-giggle makes me want to spend the rest of my life in her Savannah kitchen, mouth agape, like a pink, featherless baby bird, squawking for her down home looooove. i'd just sit at her counter, and let her feed me and fatten me and call me "darlin." how could i do anything but just melt into her floor like pecan (pronounced PEE-kan, please) praline?

i'm tempted to write her a letter asking her to adopt me - if only for the holidays. i couldn't do it forever, but i could fake the Southern Belle thing for that long. i'd even roll my hair. 'course, after about 3 weeks, 3 pounds of mayo, butter, and sugar, that vegan diet might seem like pretty good idea.

Monday, December 12, 2005

do you have a minute for green peas?

last night, after i finished class at the Instititute for Integrative Nutrition (all day saturday and sunday. i'll write more about that later.), i met b. for dinner at our favorite italian restaurant. Don Giovanni's on 44th between 8 + 9th avenues. inexpensive, delicious pasta dishes (the gnocchi is worth the trip - little potato dumplings bobbing around in pesto or marinara, depending upon your preference or digestion), and waiters with that European-i-just-can't-be-bothered air.

the specials listed a number of tempting entrees, but this one really caught my eye:


tee hee.

i didn't order it. rosy-cheeked, post-collegiate idealists give me acid reflux.

Friday, December 09, 2005

iced G

Gucci ice trays

2 for $70. hm. not so ridiculous...if they refilled themselves.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

oh my darlin, oh my know the rest.

did martha mention THIS on her show?

Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.

- Clementine Paddleford's mother (click her name to find out more about her. fascinating article about her at nytimes, but ya gotta pay, dammit.)

and dontcha just looove the name Clementine? reminds me of all things old-fashioned, and scrupulous, and honorable. she always brings a gift for the hostess. sprinkles White Shoulders into her unmentionables drawer. sleeps in pink sponge rollers and a chiffon nightie. owns a 12-serving set of Wedgwood egg cups and wonders why anyone wouldn't and how anyone couldn't, i mean, there is brunch after all. what do you do if you have guests?

and of course, i can't help but think of those little oranges...the bitter pith and the sweet flesh - quite the marriage.

'tis the season to go out and buy one of those charming little wooden baskets loaded down with their glorious little titian orbs. yes yes might have to peel them, but the fruit makes your tongue scream summer, and the best part? the scent that's left behind on your fingertips.


they should bottle that stuff.

and our friend martha recommends using the boxes they come in to make a lovely clycamen gift box for Christmas presents. absolutely practical if you can find a use for 400 clems you'll have leftover. (mama stew suggested "making a delicious clementine sorbet." yes, martha, for who? your entire cell block?)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

katrina's kids toy drop off day

maybe a better way to spend your money this year. i mean, does your dad really need another tie? view the evite.

Happy Holidays Y'all!

Transport Group is sponsoring a huge toy drive called Katrina's Kids. We are raising 3,000 toys for 1,000 kids in Lizana, Mississippi who have lost everything. TG volunteers will leave Dec. 18th, drive down to Mississippi, on the 20th perform a new play written by Chris Harcum at a Holiday party for the kids and then distribute the toys.

Stop by Manhattan Theater Source Dec. 11th, 11am to 11pm and drop off a toy! The Source is located on MacDougal Street between West 8th and Waverly (Washington Sq. Park North), on the West side of the street. There will be caroling, snacks, good cheer and lots of space for the 1,000s of toys we'll raise!

Manhattan Theatre Source and Barrow Street Theatre Company are public drop off sites so you can drop off toys there from now until Dec. 17th.

home to Off-Broadway's long-running hit ORSON'S SHADOW.

Street Address: 27 Barrow Street (off 7th Ave. South)

Trains: 1 to Christopher St./Sheridan Sq.; A/C/E/B/D/F/V to West 4th

We need your help to make Katrina's Kids a success.

Here's what we need:

1. People/organizations to throw toy drives
2. $4,000 for a 26' truck ($3,121), gas ($550), housing, food and for volunteers (if not donated)
3. Two to Four more volunteers to drive the toys down to Mississippi.
4. $1,000 for toys not raised (i.e. emergency money)
5. Transportation back home for volunteers i.e. donated sky miles, donated car rental or $1,000 for car rental, housing on way home and food for volunteers
6. 20 people to help sort the toys (in NYC) on Dec. 17th and load the truck
7.One actress to perform the play and distribute the toys.

Checks may be made out to Transport Group (please write Katrina's Kids in the memo line) and sent to:

Katrina's Kids
c/o Monica Russell
233 East 21st St. #13
New York, NY 10010

What we already have:

1. 6 organizations throwing toy drives (we need more!! as of right now, we only have 400 toys)
2. $550 in cash THAT'S GAS!!
3. two volunteers to transport toys and execute play/party
4. a local school house in Lizana to hold holiday/toy party
5. local volunteers in Lizana to help cook and throw party

Other ideas!

1. If you are throwing a holiday party invite guests to bring a toy!

2. Ask your local School, Church or Synagogue if they would hold a toy drive.

3. If you know of a toy drive going on, ask them if Katrina's Kids could have the toys.

Thank you again. Please feel free to pass along my information to anyone who is interested in helping out!!

Happiest of Holidays to you all!!

Monica Russell
Transport Group
Outreach Program Director

Friday, December 02, 2005

concession smells a bit like jolen cream bleach

yeah, yeah, yeah. it's cute when you're a kid.

it's 9 am and i'm sitting here sipping a hazelnut coffee trying to keep my giant fuzzy white mustache from slipping into my java.

no, not taking hormones, i'm bleaching my 'stache a.k.a femustache, and my eyes are watering from the fumes.

why the early morning torture? i'm going to visit my aunt and grandmother down in baltimore tonight.

now, i know they love me unconditionally, but loving me unconditionally does not, apparently, extend to the slight shadow on my upper lip and my calloused, un-pedicured feet. The Feet are always mentioned on my visit, if they manage to catch a glimpse. if they're pedicured and polished and pretty, it's as if i've won the Nobel Peace Prize:

wow! your feet look really nice. did you do that yourself? look at her feet, grandma. don't they look pretty? she got a pedicure.

i try to fight the urge to pant and drool, wag my ass and bark.

if they are not pedicured and polished and pretty, they try to arrange for me to get a pedicure while i'm there, in what they think is a sly, stealthy way:

oh, you know, margrocks, your cousin c. just happens to be going to get a pedicure. do you want to go? i mean, you don't have to, but you could. we're not really doing anything around here, it might be fun. here, here's some money.

they forget. i'm the actress.

i could fight it. i could not bleach the 'stache out of defiance. it's really not that bad anyway. if i just kept out of the direct sunlight, they'd never even notice, but what the hey. i present so many challenges to them in accepting who i am - a liberal, new yorkified, single and unmarried 30 year old woman who doesn't clean - i figure i can concede the 'stache bleaching. no go on the pedicure this time though. no time. so i guess i'm keepin' the socks on all weekend.

have a great weekend, gotta go shave.


an article in favor of a female five o'clock shadow.

a radio show in favor of the female five o'clock shadow.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

how ya like them apples?

have you all seen this blog?

now, if you're not a foodie, you might not dig it, but it's run by (who i think must be, as i've never actually met her) a lovely lass named Molly out by Seattle-way. i go to her blog every day in hopes that she's posted something new...a recipe always scrumptious and a little story to go along with it, all writerly and charming and absolutely devoid of the seething, bitter sarcasm prevalent in so many blogs these days.


i will never be like Molly. i get the impression that she is one of Those People: her kitchen always immaculately clean, her measurements always precise, her thank you notes always written in a timely fashion. she would never even consider devouring the entire pan of brownies that she just baked, much less actually doing it. i, on the other hand, in my less aware days, have been known to make an entire pan of brownies at one in the morning merely for that purpose - eating them all...alone. when i say she's like this, i mean this all in a good way - not in a hoity-toity-i'm-better-than-you-neurotic-mean-way like Reese Witherspoon in Election. typical moi fashion, i've wandered off on a tangent. again, something Molly never would never do. her writing is always on point and grammatically correct.

she posted a recipe for an Upside-Down Ginger Pear Cake a week or so before Thanksgiving.

eureka! i thought, there's my Thanksgiving dessert!

now, i love pears, but it wouldn't quite feel like Thanksgiving without an apple dessert (and who can ever find pears that are actually ripe anyway?) i asked Molly if she thought i could substitute apples for the pears. agreeable young lass that she is, she said (i paraphrase) sure, just be sure to cut the apples into thinner slices so that they soften sufficiently.

not a problem, moll.

so, i gave it a whirl, and like a proud mama, i am now showing off the pictures to you.

a little busby berkeley line up of apples...

she's a little thinner and shorter than intended. she was supposed to be baked in a springform pan, but since i had to toss the one i had because i'd let my last cheesecake sit in my fridge at work until it developed an autonomous mold that then seemed to swallow the actual pan, i had to bake it in a regular round cake pan. so, i only needed half the batter, and ended up making two layers. one avec pommes (for Thanksgiving), one sans pommes (in my freezer awaiting a dinner party or binge - kidding). i almost like it better this way as the ratio of apples to cake is greater, and everyone knows that cake, no matter how moist and nostalgic, gingerbread-y and delicious, is merely a conduit for the topping.

either way, she's my baby, i love her unconditionally, and so did everyone else. some of us 3 or 4 times. ahem.

merci, molly.

Monday, November 28, 2005

for that next office birthday party

dig in. you never know what you might find.

spam cupcakes. i kid you not.

now, i understand that they're savory, but puhleezzz...all things with "cupcake" in the name must be sweet. am i right or am i right? i mean really. what's next? potted meat eclairs? vienna sausage biscotti?

but here's a plus according to hormel: they're low in carbs!

i've never been bulimic, but after eating one of these, i might have to give that dysfunction a whirl.

Friday, November 25, 2005

a wishful thanksgiving

next year i'm wearing a costume.

how many pieces of apple ginger upside down cake i wish i'd eaten: 1

how many pieces of apple ginger upside down cake i actually ate: 3

how i wish my nasal passages felt: free and clear and clean like a York Peppermint Pattie commercial.

how my nasal passages actually feel: as if a sorority of Upper East Side girls have moved in and are tittering about in their Jimmy Choo stilettos reupholstering everything in last season's Prada mucous green.

how i wish my abs looked post-second-helping of stuffing and 3rd piece of apple cake: sleek and sexy like Keira Knightley's

how my abs actually look post-second-helping of stuffing and 3rd piece of apple cake: in the family way.

how i wish my obligatory Thankgiving telephone call home went:

Me: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thankgiving, honey! So great to hear from you. How are you? I've heard you've been sick. How are you feeling? We sure do wish you were here. We're all positively on the verge of tears missing you. Oh, wait...hold on. Everyone's clamoring for the phone here dying to talk to you.

how my obligatory Thankgiving telephone call home actually went:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Who is this?

Uh...Happy Thanksgiving. You get 3 guesses.

(Silence...followed by a series of clicks and squeaks and fumbles...I have been speakerphoned.)

Here's your stepmother.

Happy Thanksgiving, Dad.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

what am i thankful for?

better than tryptophan.


actually the generic version available at Eckerd Drug. Nighttime Cold Medicine.

the taste makes me want to vomit, but i'm asleep so soon afterwards it doesn't really matter.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

reason to have a second helpin' of memoriam.

Ruth M. Siems, Inventor of (Stove Top) Stuffing, Dies at 74

The secret lay in the crumb size. If the dried bread crumb is too small, adding water to it makes a soggy mass; too large, and the result is gravel. In other words, as the patent explains, "The nature of the cell structure and overall texture of the dried bread crumb employed in this invention is of great importance if a stuffing which will hydrate in a matter of minutes to the proper texture and mouthfeel is to be prepared."

who knew?

mouthfeel. weird word.

Monday, November 21, 2005

i've been slimed.

i suppose my body is seeking revenge for not having given it quite enough rest and respect in the past few weeks, as i am now just one big dripping, stuffy-nosed, gravelly-voiced, hacking hunk o' misery who cannot move outside of a 6 foot radius from my couch.

i've been fighting the arrival of this virus for the past few weeks, but now that the show is over my immune system has relented and allowed it to move in and sprinkle it's mucous-inducing potpourri all over my susceptible little insides.

i'll probably be a bit mum on the blog for the next few days. no energy. but i shall not despair. i'm still being a way...the amount of goo my body is producing in it's kaleidoscope of colors and textures is certainly worthy of some sort of phlegmatic pride.

trust me. you won't find these colors anywhere...even in the Crayola box of 64.

Friday, November 18, 2005

after a show

so, of course it's nice when people bring you flowers and brownies and tell you you're great.

but it's something completely different when a dewy-skinned, wispy girl of 16 or 17 whom you have never seen before, stands before you and says, swallowing tears, "it was great...and i think its message is very important."

because, of course, this is the reason you did it to begin with.

you can, after all, buy flowers and brownies for yourself.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

so being moody isn't a bad thing after all.

there's an excellent article in The New York Times today on Iris Apfel, socialite and personal style renegade, and the new show "Rara Avis: Selections from the Iris Barrel Apfel Collection" at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. lots of lovely little bon mots, she's a brave and snappy 84 years young, but my favorite comes from one of her style predecessors, Isabel Eberstadt:

Her style places her squarely in the company of a long-vanished breed of socially prominent style-setters of the first half of the 20th century, women whose authority in style matters was absolute. Ignoring the dictates of the runway in favor of a personal aesthetic in those days were maverick spirits like Millicent Rogers, a debutante of the 20's; Nancy Cunard; and Isabel Eberstadt, a society fixture of the 60's. They counted themselves among an influential minority for whom, as Ms. Eberstadt told Marylin Bender for a 1967 book, "The Beautiful People," "looking pretty is not so important as creating a mood."

if this is true, what mood does a black turtleneck with a hole in the neckline, scuffed, black Dansko mules, no makeup, and the same pair of jeans the third day in a row create?

apathy. stuffy-nose, sore throat apathy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

readin', writin', 'rithmetic 'n' godiva.

i think i was sick this day...

got this via email today...if this were on the SAT, i would have done so much better...


1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate
(more than once but less than 10)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

3. Add 5

4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1755 ....
If you haven't, add 1754.

6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number

The first digit of this was your original number
(i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).

The next two numbers are

YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!!!)


Monday, November 14, 2005

my kinda cardio

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz
yes, yes, life may very well be lacking in romance these days, but i totally disagree with the friends/family rating, and i don't know how the hell my finances got such a decent score...they have clearly not seen my checking account balance. perhaps they believe in the less is more principle?

love and romance is such a tricky thing. one wants it, but one can't very well
make it happen. i mean, you can put yourself out there, open up your crooked little heart, and welcome a little lovebird to alight itself upon your shoulder, but beebee guns and nets don't work. i mean, they do. you can shoot the poor sucker down, but if it survives it's liable to be mighty pissed off and not charmed by your matter your new Bath and Body Works Vanilla Love body spray or Maureen Dowd-ish witticisms and well-blown-out hair.

but i saw something today that quenched my parched little 2.1-rated heart with a new Gatorade flava called Hope:

first day back at the gym in a week (or two?), i'm jogging along on the treadmill, my earbuds firmly nestled into my ears, the typical Treadmill Treatise coursing thru my brain:

hold your stomach in.

move from the core.

don't let your legs go slack, you'll hurt your knees.

egads, how much longer?

hold your stomach in.

i'd kill for a cup of hazelnut coffee with half and half.

move from the core, dammit!

jesus, this is boring.

can i do this and sleep at the same time?

why aren't i outside in the sunlight doing this?

because you are a creature of habit comforted by the droning safety of the treadmill.

please don't let your legs go slack. tendonitis is a beeatch.

then, in a split second, i was charmed. taken right outta my Cardio Coma and thrust into the Present Perfect.

directly across from me was an elderly couple. she on the stationary bike. he on the treadmill. i see them at the gym frequently, but we've never spoken. they must be in their late 70s/early 80s. she moves with a difficulty and extreme caution that hints at her having had a stroke in the recent past; he does not. he's quite spry and trudges along on the treadmill beside her with an enviable pounding enthusiasm, proof positive that youth is, in fact, wasted on the young and miserable.

today, she sat on her bike, winded and a bit piqued after her workout. she turned to look at him, and between a huff and a puff, he kissed his fingertips and blew her a kiss. a soft, slow smile spread across her face, and then as if on cue, his lips did the same. oh, thank heavens! romance isn't dead! it's alive and well at the Astoria Sports Club in two perfectly matched smiles, and one stranger's heart going pitter patter...mine.

tee hee hee.

oh joy. i think my rating just went up a notch.

Friday, November 11, 2005

wearing my dirty laundry

*this is not actually my laundry. this picture is hyperbolic for artistic effect.

sorry i haven't written more lately. between the show, asthma attacks, and exhaustive treks over the volcanic terrain that has become my apartment, i'm just plum "too pooped to participate" (to quote my mum).

the laundry situation is bad. very bad. turning the underwear inside out bad, or just none at all bad.

oh, please. like you've never done it.

(oh god. i forget co-workers are now reading this blog. ah well...verisimilitude is not always redolent of Tide Spring Breeze, sometimes it reeks of 3 week old yoga clothes.)

Monday, November 07, 2005

oh my ipod!

the opening of size ate went of my major props broke on stage within the first 5 minutes of the show, but luckily it wasn't absolutely essential. ah...the thrill of live theee-AY-tur.

i'll write more in the next few days about the opening, in the meantime, get your fill of my mindless while occasionally charming chatter by going to and listening to my interview with Bazooka Joe about the show. you can download it to your ipod, but ya don't have to...if you have media player it works just dandy too...

it's weird to hear never do sound quite like you imagine. i think i sound like i eat way to much cheese...

you can also download it directly from

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

a rose by any other name is still a betty

check out this interview avec moi. i can't believe they printed the whole thing. verbose is an understatement...

sophia, dorothy, rose + blanche

there is something incredibly freeing about dressing up as Rose from The Golden Girls for a pre-Halloween saturday night - complete with white blond wig, old age make-up, robin's egg blue polyester parachute pants, and v-neck t-shirt embroidered with peach flowers. you go out with your friends (and co-stars blanche, dorothy, and sophia) to a bar in the East Village that is postively teeming with young, lithe girls who normally don pantsuits from Express and Barami. here, tonight, they are indulging their inner tarts by dressing themselves up as more provocative (read: slutty) versions of childhood toys - Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Mary Bo Peep, etcetera ad nauseum. i get the need to indulge that inner Jezebel, but sheesh it looks awfully exhausting and oh-so-uncomfortable.

for you, though, it is fabulous. the Long Island boys leave you alone. you can drink your vodka gimlets in peace. snickering and pitying the young 'uns teetering about on their stilettos, tugging at their eyelet bloomers, and re-stuffing their wonderbras, you hold court on the edge of the dance floor with your other Golden Gals in your comfy Nikes and a Playtex bra that could withstand 24 hours of C-cup Jazzercise. two, eh...or three gimlets later, you hop onto the dance floor to display your very best geriatric Janet Jackson impersonation:

It's Rose, Miss Nylund if your nasty.

of course, the best part is when a look of recognition sweeps across the nubile 20-something faces as they take in the whole glittering tableau of elderly bombshells:


of course you do, my dear. now let's have some cheesecake.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


i'm pretty happy living alone. i like my privacy. i love my solitude. i indulge in a number of idiosyncratic habits, disgusting and otherwise, that would not be excusable if i were living with a siggy other (not if i wanted him to stay anyway) but being sick, at home...alone with no one to bring me my childhood home-sick-from-school snack - cheez-its smeared with smuckers natural peanut butter and ginger ale - is pretty depressing. i'm trying to piece together some sort of comforting snack from the pathetic contents of my pantry and fridge. fiber one and edamame? wilted spinach and veggie hot dogs? ginger jam and gorgonzola?

ugh...i think i'm getting more nauseous.

so, for today, i'd love a boyfriend to keep the Schweppes and Cheez-its coming, force feed me my dose of absolutely vile, gag-inducing cough syrup (Tussin Expectorant: Temporarily relieves chest congestion and loosens phlegm to make coughs more productive. A productive cough? blech.), and lie to me -

Honey, you've never looked more beautiful. Really. Here's a Kleenex, you have a string of yellow snot hanging from your left nostril. I didn't know that color existed in nature. You really are miraculous.

ah well...must weather this little snot storm alone, i'm afraid. the upside is that i have complete and total control of the channel changer. i can watch Martha's cooking show, The Wedding Story on TLC, and Oprah! in between naps. mwahahahahahaha!

oh! i just spied a box of graham crackers in my kitchen hidden behind the chickpeas. hot tea...graham crackers spread with a little peanut butter and maybe drizzled with a little clover honey...comfort on a cracker...and no one to complain about the crumbs in between the sheets.

Monday, October 31, 2005

confessions of a 30-year old drama queen

have a breakdown, but by God, look fabulous doing it...

difficulties show men what they are.

i wrote this on a post-it in purple metallic marker and stuck it on my computer monitor last week when i was weathering one of the many mini-breakdowns about my show that has, in the past week, seemed to be falling spectacularly to pieces...3 or 4 or 5 times.

if what epictetus says is true, i are a drama queen who weeps first, eats chocolate second, and then feels like a big ol' dork when everything turns out just fine.

the aforeblogged projector breakdown is just one example in a long line. i suppose i must accept this as just one of the (many) flaws of my character. i am a drama queen who does not clean, does not write timely thank you notes, and has not committed her neighborhood recycling schedule to memory. this drama queen business can be awfully taxing but it sure makes for damn fine entertainment. makes for damn fine pre-40 heart attacks and stomach ulcers too.

today's drama: who woke up with a stuffy nose and sore throat this morning?

the same person whose show opens saturday night who never gets sick.

brilliant. i couldn't write this stuff.

Friday, October 28, 2005

turns out...

it wasn't the projector, it was just premenstrual me.

it works. it works just fine. persnickety in the sense in that the correct plug must go into the correct outlet in order for it to operate.

details, details, details...

a premenstrual me and a projector

Tears, Snot, and Self-Pity on the prowl.

the projector is not working, and i am trying not to explode. the projector that is absolutely essential to my show for the 100+ projections does not seem to be recognizing the "signal" from my computer. is it a Mac/PC thing? i do not know...i am too busy trying to not completely lose my merde.

too late...i already did.

Tears, Snot, and Self-Pity arrived at around 10pm last night in a flourish - skirts bustling and freshly spritzed perfume in the air, they greeted me with an aggressive kiss-kiss, bruising my cheeks with bright red Revlon Cherries-in-the-Snow lipstick, and settled down for the night. they drank all my vodka, ate all my chocolate, and used up a whole roll of toilet paper. Tears and Snot snuck out in the middle of the night, but Self-Pity is hanging on for one last hurrah. (she suffers from that same sense of self-importance all double-namers do. i was named twice, therefore i must be doubly divine and deserving.) she likes to sit around and gloat in the morning light, pointing out my puffy eyes and recounting the details of my self-created drama like a teenager might those of of The O.C. damn her.

she's a real pain in the ass, but if she can figure out how the hell to work this projector, she can stick around as long as she likes.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

a man who can idolize my thighs, is a man i can love.

run, (or whatever the equivalent of running would be online) don't singer/songwriter ethan lipton's website and download my new favoritest song i like your thighs:

i like your thighs in the fatty position
sitting upon a wall

spread out so wide and all

they touch

i know you do not think it's flattering

but it really rings my bell

i like your thighs in the fatty position.


then, once you've started to feel better about your dreaded "thigh spread," click on let's go to mars, and just feeeeeeeeeeeeel good. makes me want to take my sleeping bag and a big thermos of almond tea out back and sleep underneath the stars.

let's go to mars
let's fly away
let's build a new hoome
this one is rotting. shhh...

let's go to mars
children can pay
they get allowance
at least i know i did.

and jesus will meet us with chili and a spoon
and take us on side trips to the moon.

his music is the best first you giggle to yourself and think,

oh, this is funny and light and silly.

then after you let it settle and sit for a sec you think,

oh, this is profound and pretty and probably true.

sorta like some boys i know.

anyhoodle...check it out.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Friday, October 21, 2005

blue mascara lovingkindness

what? don't you think it looks natural?

i rec'd this email in response to one that i sent out about my show from my absolutely fabulous friend, mother, wife, and woman in posession of the most symphonic snorting laugh on the planet, r.

I have thought things through and decided that b/c you were the first person to put blue mascara on me, I owe you.

Seriously, I need to get away so my sister and I are planning a trip to NYC to see your opening show. I have an Uncle and Cousin in the city so I'm all cared for I just wanted to make sure I got to hug your neck and buy you a drink or something. I'm sure it will be a crazy weekend for you so I plan on being a very low maintenace friend. Anyway, things are not set in stone just because my sister has not purchased her ticket yet. I will email when our plans are final. Love You and praying for you, I know the show will be amazing! r.

first of all, i'm not sure that she owes me. i think i might owe her. blue mascara? yikes. but then, that's the thing about r. she is one of those people that is just good, sees the good, does the good. i have to try to be good. r. doesn't. she just is unconditionally good and kind. it oozes out of her pores, this goodness, and even when she was woopin' it up, sneakin' out, drinkin', drivin', and doin' other dirty deeds in high school, that goodness was apparent b/c of course, goodness is not really about how many wine coolers you drink or what you do with the boy in the treehouse, it's how kindly you treat the skinny kid with the lazy eye who smells like canned tuna.

she told me then (i think we were drunk and waxing philosophical) that what she really wanted was to be "when she grew up" was a mom, wife, and Christian counselor.

whaaaaaa??? i thought, as i took another sip of my bourbon and coke. (we were in college at this point so we'd graduated to the hard stuff. mine being in mississippi; we all drank bourbon.)

i thought she was crazy, but who's the doof? here she is 10 years later: mother, wife and Christian counselor. don't roll your eyes, you cynical pagan, you (and i can say that b/c i'm a cynical pagan too). she's not one of those poseur Christians who espouse to be, but clearly do not act as if. i personally don't do the whole Christian bit; i celebrate Christmas, i get teary-eyed whenever i hear Silent Night sung by a chorus of 5-year olds, and i dig a church potluck as much as the next gourmande, but beyond that i'm not buying the whole Jesus is the Savior ad campaign. i do, however, respect and am maybe even a little bit envious of the faith that r. so strongly believes and lives in. r. gives Christianity a good name. it's just a shame that it's Tammy Faye's face that is emblazoned on our minds like a Mary Kay Shroud of Turin.

to give you an even better idea of how highly i think of r: whenever it came time to nominate people for Homecoming Court in high school, i always nominated her. every year, without fail, i'd scribble her name on a little piece of paper and pass it up to the front of homeroom. i desperately wanted to be on the court myself, but figured if anyone deserved a tiara it was her. a tiara is a kind of halo, after all. better, i think. it's more sparkly, and it has those little combs that hold it in place.

so glad you're coming r. i'll prep the mascara.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

thanks be to jesus...

...beignets are back!

the south shall rise again! (and so will their cholesterol).

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

a hairy, i mean, happy family

the 70s was all about hair...bad hair.

my dad, mom, and brothers circa 1973 P.M. (pre-moi).

not sure who the animal perching on my mother's head belongs to, but i will never again feel guilty about letting my roots go for a few months.

Monday, October 17, 2005

addendum to a little (okay, a lot) bubbly

how do you think they made the bubbles?

someone, a fella presumably, anonymously commented re' the previous post about my recent bout with indigestion:

Well there goes my romantic notions...

in reponse:

1. first of takes zero cojones to post anonymously. show your face, little man!

2. if you're that easily put off...good riddance. who needs a guy who's so squeamish? if you can't handle gas, whaddya gonna do when she births a watermelon-sized child through an orifice that's roughly the size of a lemon?

3. you have these issues too, i'd imagine, and i'll bet you've woken up past girlfriends with your little odiferant symphonies in the middle of the night. did she say anything? nooooo. she may have even found it charming in a very endearing, oh-look-how-comfortable-he-is-around-me, human way. you know that little bottle of Gas-x that serendipitously appeared in the medicine cabinet right next to your unromantic nose-hair clipper? not serendipitous - a fully conscious act of unconditonal love and concern for your digestive health.

3. newsflash, guy...GIRLS FART. we also do far more disgusting things, but i won't go into that now. don't want to topple all of your female fantasies in one day...just keep believing that we're odorless, hairless, non-excretory, all-natural blondes, whose morning breath smells of honeysuckle, and who really do enjoy hearing all about your fantasy football games and listening to you play "stairway to heaven" for the 400th time on the guitar you've had since college.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

a little (okay, a lot) bubbly

a saturday repast of seafood quesadilla + sugar-free taffy (saccharin-sweetened rubber the body understandably does not recognize as food)= 24 hours of bloating and yes, gas. someone popped a cork of champagne in my bowel.

yes. yes, i did. i went there.

happy sunday.

Friday, October 14, 2005

cinnamon-flavored charity drizzled with icing

World's largest cinnamon roll baked for charity

wanted: fun

are we having fun yet?

"i'm boooooooooored."

"then you must be a boring person."

such was a frequent dialogue between my mother and i as a child. i'm sure i was surrounded by a bevy of toys, 8,000 books, and 200 computer games, but i still managed to be booooooored frequently. a case of saturation, i guess. it can come across as somewhat Mommy Dearest-est, but i assure you my mum was as unlike that arch-browed, hanger-wielding nutjob as anyone could be. she meant it in a pull-yourself-up-by-your-rainbow-mork 'n' mindy suspenders-ya-gotta-make-your-own-sunshine-kinda way.

it certainly worked. holy shit! i don't want to be a boring person! let's sell my art work on the street corner!

i kinda feel that way now. booooooooored. ironic, isn't it? considering how much i have going, show, work, show, work, but see, them's there the problem, i think. see the variety? work, show, work, show, work, show. of course you don't. there isn't any. more variety in a plateful of macaroni sans poudre du fromage*.

i need a little variety. a little balance. a little tabasco. a little sumthin-sumthin'. i need human connection. i need to laugh so hard vodka martini comes flying out my nose. i need to dance and swing my head around and around so many times while live music thumps in the background that i'm sore in the morning. i need to kiss someone i'm not sure i like, but definitely think is cute on a street corner in the rain. i need...i need...i need...FUN, goshdarnit!

does anyone have a good recipe?


in an effort to create a little of my own fun this fall/winter (b/c apparently, Fresh Direct does not deliver), here's my list of things to do this fall:

1. read every eensy bit of poetry i can get my paws on and go to poetry slams. i realize, that to some of you, this is tantamount to Hell on Earth, but poetry makes me feel connected in a way that nothing else can. to read a Jane Kenyon or Sharon Olds poem in bed, by candlelight, is to know that you are not alone. and yes, smartass, i find it FUN.

2. go to at least one barefoot boogie a month. yes, there are a bunch of new agey folks in batik pants, wavin' their underarm hair proudly, and that's not quite my scene, but the music is diverse and you can dance yourself silly. i'm sort of anonymous there, so i can be as bizarre as i like, which is always a plus.

3. once i catch up on rent (ugh), i shall procure myself a pair of Dansko red patent leather clogs. fun...on your feet, and comfy to boot!

4. i shall have a people over for a chili dinner (Havana Moon Chili and a veggie version), we will carve lascivious designs into unsuspecting pumpkins, drink beer, and nibble on ginger chocolate chunk cookies.

that's about all the fun-planning i can handle for one day...please, suggestions welcome.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

say cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese.

my favorite pic

took publicity shots for my show this past saturday. i know i'm a performer/attention whore, but i actually hate getting my picture taken. not true. i don't mind getting the photo taken, it's the looking at it afterwards i abhor. i have this strange fear that i'm going to discover some flaw in my body or visage that i've failed to notice during my daily grooming process, and here i've been walking around thinking i'm perfectly normal, when really, no one can stop staring at my giant hump back, whispering...does she know she has that? she can't possibly know, otherwise she'd be wearing a burka.

you know what i mean tho. those times you've looked at photos of yourself, and sometimes, you're pleasantly surprised:

wow. i don't have a double chin.

that new lip venom gloss does make my lips look like Claudia Schiffer's.

but then, there are those other times, you've looked at photos of yourself, and you are horrified:

why didn't anyone tell me my new dye job makes my hair look like cotton batting?

cottage cheese...good with strawberries and bananas. not so good on thighs in a swimsuit.

but then, i guess that, in and of itself is a healthy process. if you can, of course, look at yourself, pseudo-objectively, see the imperfections (the slight, skewed underbite that my braces didn't correct that shoves my chin a little to the left, my ample belly that looks practically pregnant, my father-was-a-pro-linebacker shoulders) and love yourself anyway. okay, let's be realistic. accept yourself. loving myself is sometimes just a wee too ambitious. like certain people. i might not loooove them, but i accept them. hating them just takes up way to much energy.

god...what could i have been, done, etc. if i hadn't spent so much energy on this body perfection obsession?

sheesh. that's a whole other post, and i just don't have the energy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

4 random thoughts

1. my toenails painted sunday. purple. can't decide whether they remind me more of grape kool-aid or a corpse. seeing as how i'm trying lately to live by the philosophy that "happiness is a choice," i'm gonna go with grape kool-aid. if you catch me sucking my toes later, you'll know why. thirsty.

2. had the best latte ever yesterday. available at joe. expensive as all hell...$3.95 for a large (what starbucks would call a "tall"), but absolutely worth it. they even drizzle a little fleur de lis type thingy on top w/ the foam. then, walk to union square, buy a scone at the farmer's market, and enjoy it while soaking in the delightfully chilly autumn air. if you're feeling particularly indulgent, get it made with whole milk. fatty fatty fatty (five weight watchers points!), but winter's coming. gotta stay warm somehow...

3. from a profile on Joan Didion in the New York Times Book Review this last Sunday:

In a commencement address at the University of California, Riverside, in 1975, Didion offered a general imperative that still illuminates her own disposition, even in the darkest times: "I'm not telling you to make the world better, because I don't think that progress is necessarily part of the package," she said. "I'm just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave's a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that's what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it."

4. getting publicity for a show is hard when you want to remain true.