Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Again, with the bananas

I spied this strange pile of banana skins by a garbage can on my way to work this morning. Either a gorilla was walking up Madison Avenue and missed the trash, or someone wants me to fall on my ass while tossing out my coffee cup.

Very funny.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Banana Phone

My boss is out today, so I'm being an ass.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Home Alone

Lily went with her Dad and I'm having a really hard time filling up the space.

I miss her.

At least I'm not totally alone...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

365: Day 5

Lily has reached that age where her childlike curiosity leads her to ceremoniously disrobe all of her toys, even the ones with no discernible genitalia (which, I kind of hope, is most of them). She tore the britches off poor Animal with the fervor of a starving dog with a bone, then left him in a lurid heap on her bed like a washed up, schlumpy porn star.

I'd like to say that I have no memory of doing this myself as a child, but I distinctly remember a Disney World trip at around Lil's age when my cousin Simeon and I each got a Pinnochio doll, and engaged in a dead heat race to see who could strip him of his lederhosen first.

I am pretty sure he won.

Friday, June 26, 2009

365: Day 4

I awoke this morning to a smear of poop on my bedcovers and a kitten scampering away with shit feet because he stepped right in his own excrement while trying to cover it up in the litter box.


So, Lily and I gave him his first bath today.
I thought he might go like Michael Jackson, his little heart was bursting and beating so fast out his chest.

But instead, we dried him off and Lily carried him around wrapped in a towel like a baby for a while, then he crawled up on my pillow and passed out.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

365: Day 3

I couldn't find a stirrer this morning and was too lazy to walk my ass to the office kitchen to get a spoon, so I used a nail file.

Because I'm disgusting.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

365: Day 2

I snapped this picture carefully because this is from the cranky old Italian ladies' garden around the corner. They're two sisters who spend most of their time going to church, wiping tomato sauce on the aprons covering their housecoats and growing, ironically, some of the most exotic and gorgeous flowers I've ever seen, much less in Queens, NY.

But they're grumpy as hell. One in particular reminds me of the witch from Rapunzel, who made the man promise to give his first born daughter to her for stealing radishes. It wouldn't surprise me if she whacked me on the wrists with a wooden spoon for taking a picture of her garden.

Anyway, it had just rained, and I thought the leaves looked cool.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And now, for something completely different...

Hi, folks!

Maybe some of you have been wondering why this blog is covered in cobwebs lately. Probably you're not, but hell, maybe you are. Fact is, I post even less often than I have sex, so I'm falling down on the job, obviously.

I want to blog more. But since they upped my medication I can't seem to focus on anything.


So. I decided to take some of the pressure off myself and start a PROJECT 365.


Well, for one thing I'm hoping it'll light a fire under my arse to be a teensy bit creative each day. Also, I need a fun project. A diversion, if you will.

So, here goes.


Amazing myself that I can put on a pout despite the fact that I am positively rotting inside from lack of sleep and a summer cold. Kill me. Please. Someone.

See y'all tomorrow! Tell your friends! Mwah!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dumb Shoe Review: The Sandal-Boot.

This is the most impractical shoe I have ever seen.

My favorite thing to wear in the summer is BOOTS! Yeeeeeah! I love to coat my ankles and the tops of my feet in non-breathable suede. And thanks, shoe designer, for adding an open-toe to this fashion disaster so that the puddles of feet sweat have a place to runoff, instead of just stagnating inside my bootie/flipflop.

I like trends. I read Womens Wear Daily (sometimes. Ok, not that often), but I draw the line at this. This is ...insane.

I remember when I first moved to New York City almost ten years ago, I was kind of overwhelmed by how attractive, shiny and fashion-focused everyone seemed. I busted my ass (and credit card, HA!) buying slashed-price designer fashions at Loehman's and TJ Maxx and using my sewing machine to alter hot thrift-store pieces I snagged so that I could feel sophisticated and hip on a budget, while working a slave-wage-payin' publishing job in Chelsea.

It sort of worked. The trying to look good, I mean. Some days were a hit, others, I cringed when I saw my slouching reflection in a store window, wondering if perhaps I'd dressed myself that morning in a fit of hysterical blindness.

However, and this is the honest truth (from the mid-30's sage who's life experience can benefit you, young reader!) ...over time I began to realize that even if you're wearing hottest trend of the season (ie skinny jeans...oh, you hateful fashion 'staple'), if you aren't comfy in your own skin, you're just not gonna look good.

And that's the truth, Ruth.

Here's my goddamned question, though: Why does it take growing older to grow wiser?
How come I couldn't feel this good about my looks when I actually didn't have crow's feet and thighs that kissed each other when I walked around the village? Huh? Huh?

It's not freaking fair. But still, it's ok.

I was thinking about all the freaky things I used to wear when I had my first job at 22. I had a pair of pink and black wool bell-bottoms that looked amazing with my polyester button-down shirt and manic-panic'ed burgundy hair.

My only leftover cutting-edge fashion accessory now is a nose ring and a messy ponytail. But it's cool.

I guess when you think about the steel toed Doc Martens I used to wear (my dad would chortle, "Don't you need a prescription to wear orthopedic shoes? Waka Waka!"), the sandal bootie isn't really that bad. But still.

I will not be wearing that crap this summer. Bet on it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I bet they never made a Ringworm Barbie.

I hate unexpected days off from school.

As a single parent with a freelancer's inconsistent (ie spasmodic and well-below-the-poverty-line) income, I get panicky with the slightest upset of our stone-clad school routine. Quite simply, if mama don't go to work, mama don't get paid. And if Mama don't get paid, well, there are just so many creative recipes you can come up with for canned cat food, get me?

But this week I was fucked. Fucked, I say! The school nurse called me to come pick up my kid because she was itching with ringworm (we both got it from the filthy kitten), and though this localized, common fungal infection (everyone can get it! Not just poor people!!!) was no longer contagious, I figured I'd better not argue because I really don't need Child Protective Services coming by and judging my mothering abilities when they see the state of my domicile.

So, during our quarantine in the apartment (which I somehow managed to clean during a Hannah Montana marathon) Lily and I cooked up an epic game of Barbies that sucked up a good part of the afternoon.

When I play with Barbies I can't help but shudder with relief that I have a little girl and not a boy. I could never, ever muster the same enthusiasm for toy trains or baseball cards that I do for Barbie and her entourage of Kens, Skippers, and more-cheaply manufactured cousins with names like "Benign Girl" and "Vogue Fashion Princess", whose bodies are crappily assembled and coated in lead paint, but still fit into the same hooker clothes made for the authentic Mattel brand.

I delight in brushing out the tangles of knotted Barbie hair, and the pulling of tiny clothes over stubborn rubber legs (why haven't they done something about that? smooth, hard plastic would be soooo much easier, am I right??), I even like slipping teeny shoes onto Barbie's ridiculously weensy feet, though it does conjur a terrible memory of once finding a spider in a Barbie shoe when I was six and freaking out so hard I almost threw up.

Lily is tough on her Barbies like I used to be. She keeps them naked, thrown together in a bin, their feet gnawed on and hair clotted with god knows what because they have spent too much time in a backpack or under the couch or floating in the bath tub. She is abusive as hell to them, but still maintains a loyalty to these dolls that I have to respect. It makes my little mom heart thump with a nostalgic pride.

With my Barbies, I eventually gave up and chopped all their tangly locks off. I then graduated to ballpoint pen eyeliner and lipstick and punk rocker earrings, which I fashioned out of pilfered straight pins stuck right into Barbie's tough plastic ears.

Eventually, my pre-pubescent urges lead me to the inevitable sex-play grind-a-thon of naked Barbie and Ken (or Shaun Cassidy or Donnie Osmond), and to make the scenario more realistic I took tiny bits of chewed Big Red gum and made nipples for Barbie's impossibly conelike, immovable breasts.

Somehow, this helped.

It's difficult for a mother to picture her daughter locked behind a bedroom door and ignoring calls for dinner while she mashes two dolls together in an attempt to work through pre-teen horniness, but I guess it's inevitable.

And I guess Barbie and Ken are better specimens for sexual experimentation than, say, the next door neighbor or some little douchebag on the school bus.

I really have no idea what this post was about.

Monday, June 8, 2009

It's a damn shame.

Why would anyone want to burn down a topless coffee shop?

Is this what the world is coming to?

I'm wracked with grief. My eyes are sore and bloody from sobbing.

Why, god? Why?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Lying Liar

I don't particularly care for lying to my kid. Like, if Lily asks me straight out if there is a Santa Claus, I am not going to tell her that yes, some grizzly old fucker is able to haul his fat ass around the world in one night and drop off stuff you can get at the neighborhood Target to every child who's been good that year. I can't say that with a straight face. Instead, I'll smooth Lily's hair and kiss her forehead and try and turn the question around (a solid, well-practiced tactic of passive-aggressive parents everywhere), as in, "Well, Sweetie, it's a wonderful thing to believe in. What do you think?"

This lets Mama off the hook, because I know Lily's candy-colored, hyper, 5 year old brain can't focus on the question long enough to really decide what she believes, and she's already moved on to the next thing ("Do you think he'll bring me a Bratz doll anyway, even though you think they look like trampy Barbies?")

Anyway, lying isn't my favorite thing to do. Sometimes stretching the truth is
necessary, though. Like in the case of the loss of Lily's first wiggly baby tooth, which she yanked out while watching "Little House" and ran to show me with blood dribbling down her chin, I told a little fib. I helped her place the dainty little nub, almost like a doll's tooth, in the special "Toothfairy Tin" her grandmother gave her, and we stuck it under her pillow.

Then, viola! Next morning, when the tooth was gone and a folded-up dollar bill was in its place, I, with my giddy mommish tendency to cherish these once-in-a-lifetime moments, was as surprised and joyful as she was that the tooth fairy had actually visited. (I also mused that probably "A dollar was a special treat for the first tooth, and maybe the tooth fairy would be bringing nice, shiny quarters from here on in").

This morning, however, I told a flat-out lie.

See, last night around bed time, the cats were making a fuss about something in the hall. I flipped on the light, and there on the floor, curled up in a fetal ball, was a teeny baby mouse. Aaaah, shit. That's what I said, too. Loud enough, unfortunately, for a certain someone to hear me over the whirrrrr whirrrr of her Cinderella electric toothbrush, and Lil came running to see what I was cussing my face off about.

She watched in horror as I coaxed the not-yet-dead victim into a tupperware container and deposited him on the windowsill right outside the kitchen.

"I bet he'll be fine in a few minutes...just in shock," I smiled and gave Lily a hug. When we got into bed we talked about how Baby Mouse would find his way back to his his warm nest where Mommy and Daddy Mouse would take care of him and nurse him back to heath with mouse tea and lots of kisses. Sigh. Lil said she wanted to check on him first thing in the morning, and if he'd disappeared, that meant he was alright.


So, after the kid drifted off to sleep, I made my way into the kitchen to get a drink.
I checked on the sill and there was Baby Mouse, in the exact position I'd plopped him, very much no longer alive. I saw as I glanced closer that his little ear had been torn and his stomach was starting to leak out from underneath him.

Ahhhh, fuck.

So, I made a decision, and this might make me a shitty person or a good mother, I still haven't decided.

I reached out the window and gave Baby Mouse a gentle, one-finger flick down, down, down to the great street below.

Then I drank a double bloody mary with extra tabasco.

This morning, Lily bolted out of bed and skidded into the kitchen. Bleary eyed and slurping coffee, I barely realized what she was doing when she came and bounced, thrilled, onto my lap. "He's GONE! He's GONE! He's okay! The mouse went home to his family!"

I smiled. I nodded and said, "Yep, he must have. He's gonna be fine."
Then I hugged my daughter close and made a tiny contrition to the great judger above (whomever that might be) for this teeny transgression.

Sometimes the truth is just nothing but bullshit.