Saturday, September 20, 2008

Just so ya know...

The following things, since I know you've been wondering, have crawled up my ass of late:

1. Lost my T pass. The monthly one. The $60 one. I'm simultaneously stranded and strapped for cash.

2. Just paid my September rent yesterday. Can't imagine getting the funds together to pay October, especially since rent goes up Oct. 1.

3. My roommate ignores me or returns all queries with growls and grunts. Won't explain why, but I imagine it has to do with her passive aggressive attempts to get ME to call our landlord about HER mouse problem. I did call, and got yelled at by the surly receptionist because someone else has been calling her nonstop.

4. Three panic attacks at work in five days. Bad ones. Crying, gulping, gagging bad. So fucking embarrassing. Usually follow my trip home to Brookline with a straight-to-bedroom-shut-door cryfest. Could contribute to roommate's testiness.

5. Local babysitting job drying up abruptly, as the family shall abscond to Seattle tomorrow. Dealing with my mini-bereavement because, as usual, I have fallen utterly in love with the little one.

6. Did I mention the money problem? Have no insurance, stopped going to physical therapy (or any other therapy for that matter), thus in pain. Keep selling my stuff hoping to boost my finances - s'long file cabinet, stereo, maybe guitar next. Returned PAYLESS shoes I bought for interviews because a) I can't afford $12 shoes right now and b) I'm too gutless for interviews. What was I thinking? Also can't leave the house because (refer to item 1) I can't afford to go anywhere, see friends, eat food...

7. The Baby Girl's birthday is October 9th. Raise your hand if you can afford (mentally, physically, financially, emotionally) a trip home to Le Victoire - NOT SO FAST JoBiv!

8. Losing weight. Not on purpose, but none of my clothes fit correctly. Paradoxically always feel dumpy and gross and fat in my clothes.

9. Election season. My wee brain and shrinking faith can't take another bad one.

10. Because there might as well be 10... JoCD is back in full force. Lists, scratches, bald spots, blatherings...

Eggs tarragon, avec loneliness.

This is a lovely little Saturday morning omelet for a party of one. That's you, JoBiv.

You'll need:

2 eggs - the last two in the carton. Yikes.
2 sections of shallot, diced
1 roma tomato that may or may not be your roommate's, seeded and diced
2-3 tablespoons of grated parm
1 tablespoon tarragon
splash o' milk (1% today! Oh luxury!)
salt n' pepa (not the hip-hop phenomenon, the staple condiments)
2 slices of that creepy Trader Joe's bread that never goes bad. Seriously, I bought this loaf three weeks ago and it's still in tact! Non-furry! Of course, it tastes like cardboard, but whatevs. I mean seriously, remember last week when you thought you didn't have any bread? And then you find this forgotten loaf in the back of your shelf and are sure it's gone native to find... useful food!

1. Get some butter melting in a smallish pan, very low heat.

2. Whisk together eggs and milk until a little frothy. Whisk in tarragon, then parm.

3. Pour slowly into pan. Slide in the diced veggies.

4. Make yourself coffee, put the bread in the toaster but don't toast yet, and generally take yer dang time. This one's best cooked slow. When you can hear the butter crackling and the sides of the egg have released from the pan, start the toaster.

5. Fold the omelet (or don't, I don't particularly care, but it's nice for presentation) and let cook a little while you butter your creepy bread. Divide in two, plate prettily and serve. To self.

6. Eat. No, really, go ahead and eat. Cry later, over the sink full of dishes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A plea

O, High Maintenance Women of Boston, hear me: If you must ride public transportation in stiletto heels, do so with utmost caution and consideration for us fragile humans. Please make use of poles and handles whilst complaining with your friends, so as to lessen the chance of your foot-weaponry impaling fellow passengers. Every time you lose your balance, we gasp in chorus, pray for our feet, and snatch our children from your windfall. The constant threat of bodily harm is too much for us to take on our journeys home from work. Have mercy on us, the Lesser Beings, the plebeians who shuffle from our surely tawdry homes to our surely tawdry places of work.

Also, your feet will whither and crumple by the time you're sixty if you keep wearing those damned shoes. I have a nurse friend who will speak to this.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


On the summer days or presidents’ week vacation, I’d follow my mother around the house, curious about what she did on a normal day. With the boys somewhat self-sufficient and me always more responsible than they were, she took on the onus of our stuffed house, her parents, and my father. We mostly took up emotional energy, I realize now, and actively undid all her work on the house without realizing it.

We always joked about my mother leaving glasses of water all over the house. In her bustling she’d realize she was thirsty, forget she’d already filled and left a glass of water around the kitchen, and bring the next cup of water with her wherever she was headed. She’d get busy or called away by her obnoxious kids, and later that evening we’d have to collect her water glasses when we ran the dishwasher. More often than not, one of the glasses would end up spilled before the day was over. Thus they were christened, “water bombs.”

I suppose in a house of six people the logic goes thisaway: Look, there’s a glass of water; I wonder if it’s mine. It can’t possibly be mine, there are five other people, plus guests, roaming this house right now. At least three of them have hacking colds, too. If I move it, one of the kids will yell about me throwing out his glass of water. I will leave it.

So when some skinny elbow or flailing overexcited hand brushed one off a shelf, or the hearth, or the washing machine, or the end table… the permutations are endless. We all did it, and we all smiled patiently, laughed together, and screamed out, “Water Bomb!” My mother rolled her eyes, surely thinking they couldn’t all be her glasses of water, and handed us the paper towels.

Just as a game, though, when I was following my mother around on those rainy vacation days, I’d count myself lucky if I found her morning tea. It was never anywhere near the kitchen. I figured out it was closest to the location of the first errand of the day, left cold and lonely in a linen closet, the basement, the shelf above the recycling in the garage, next to the stack of library books that needed to go back. I’d find it and rejoice privately, the real thing after ten false-gold nuggets in the form of water bombs. And before I’d wander back to the kitchen with it, or offer it to her wherever she was, I’d take a sip.

Black tea, English breakfast or the equivalent, not enough sugar for me, a lot of skim milk, stone cold. Maybe this explains why I can never drink mine hot.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday Morning Fancy Eggs

You will need the following:

A freezer full of hamburger buns you bought for a friend's Labor Day BBQ that required, she claimed, "shitloads" of buns, the purchase of which took up two weeks of your grocery budget.

Okay, not really, you only need

2 hamburger buns, defrosted on a plate over the pilot light. Sliced bread would work, too, if you had any.

2 eggyweggs

1 cube frozen basil
1/4 cube frozen garlic (these cube things are the coolest! Of course you could use fresh if you had it.)

splash o' roommate's milk

salt and pepper

1. Beat eggs with milk, add basil and garlic. Beat beat beat til frothy and green. Add salt and pepper.

2. Using the tops of the hamburger buns, slice off the seedy part. Cut holes in the center using cookie cutter shaped like an autumn leaf that you got when you threw a party with an old roommate/once-upon-a-time friend. Stuff bottom slice of hamburger bun in your mouth unconsciously.

3. Get a pan on the burner with some oil. Get it not-quite-cracklin' hot.

4. Place hole-y roll in the pan. Carefully pour about 1/4 cup of the egg mixture into the center of the bun. Let the bread absorb a little, then pour a little more. Cook 'til it puffs, then flip and cook until it REALLY puffs. Wonder idly what happened to the bottoms of the hamburger buns.

5. Garnish with sliced tomato and parmesan. Eat while thinking that next time it would be fun to have ingredients like Italian bread, cream, pancetta, fresh rosemary, shallots... Shut self up and try to eat mindfully.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Kittens to cats

The week of September 1st is always a bit jagged in Boston, and especially for me. Between the move-ins and move-outs, the crap on the sidewalks, the moms and dads navigating badly as they drop off their freshmen/women, pretty much everything reminds me of school.

Now, I miss school, and not just because I have a fondness for anxiety. I miss the smell of new notebooks, the click of new pens, and the neat, exact edges of unopened books. I love peeling price stickers off of things that are so new that the price sticker is barely on there. I miss the reunions with people you've missed all summer, the eager introductions with people you're just meeting, the promise of brand-spankin'-newness everywhere.

But these days, I miss feeling the rusty cogs of my brain begin to turn again. I try to self-educate, but I miss the brilliancy of the moment when someone else's perspective cracks a window in my brain and I just... see new things. Of course my reading and poking does this for me, but I love a conversation that challenges my every thought.

Which actually comes down to this: I miss my fellow nerds.

I talked to Arahsae today via gchat, or whatever it's called. And I ran into two other Simmons peeps near various train stops. And I have more and more people asking me, all the time, "Why are you at Starbucks? Aren't you in school or something?"

Or something.

But here's the underlying truth, the covenant with fate I seem to keep... All ends in entropy. Everything goes pear-shaped eventually, as my favorite Brits say. Some things start new and make life better while you work on them, but all things unmanaged age and fade and fall apart. Kittens inevitably turn into cats. Cats are okay, but kittens are waaaay cooler.

That's not a direct line of logic, I guess. More than preferring my metaphorical kittens, I'm just sick at heart from all the people and things that have left me here in my dismal patterns. It's completely natural to leave things behind and therefore to occasionally feel left-behind, but I'm just tired of it. Sus once said that every friendship has an expiration date; it may be tomorrow, it may be seven years from now, it may be the year 3012. I guess in my life this has held true, but not only for friendships. Every new situation has an expiration date. That's what kills me. These days I'm apt to obsess about the ends of things before they start because I'm sick to death of entropy. I've had my fucking fill of cats.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Et voila!

Two versions, and this is merely the beginning...


"Who's ever heard of a
parakeet funeral?"
Christopher asked as we
put the corpse in

Strawberry tupperware
hoping against hope it
wasn't a sin.

Not bad, eh?


Maybe it wasn't an
Avian heart attack:
We can't blame Dad for Doc's
tragic malaise--

Could be some allergy
Parakeet's seemingly
bescorn a cage.

So that one forces a rhyme, sentence structure, and sense, but it has promise, no?

Monday, September 01, 2008


Good news, I think. I'm back to writing some poetry. I'm currently working on a double-dactyl poem. Here's my favorite (and I don't think I can top it):

Higgeldy Piggeldy
Hamlet of Elsinore
Ruffled the critics by
dropping this bomb:

"Phooey on Freud and his
Oedipus, shmoedipus.
I just loved mom!"

-Anon. (until proven otherwise.)

So far I have a few thematic lines that could work for a short tale about the death of my pet bird. How does "parakeet funeral" strike you? I'm sure I can work in "anaphylactical," although it doesn't seem to be a word yet.