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How is it all ready after ten?

Now that I’ve had a couple of days to think about it, now that I’ve said it out loud to the Internet and fielded reminders about how I give snide a-holes too much power over me, (Thanks, Mama, I love you too), I’ve begun to think that maybe it’s just life.  Or at least that’s what it is now.  Weeks ago it was raisins and now it’s life.  That’s pretty awesome.

Today Mike and I drove around Long Island making sales calls in boutique pet stores.  I wish you could hear how good my Long Island accent is getting, you’d be really impressed.  Also, do you have any idea how many pet stores in my territory sell more pet clothes than pet foods?  It’s incredible.

We ate our lunches (Mike made turkey, cheese, pepper, avocado sandwiches) sitting by the ocean in Northport, Long Island.  The houses there look like doll houses, with their wrap-around-porches and attic windows.  I dream of spending long sunny spring afternoons curled with a book in one of those attic windows, and then Mike grabs the steering wheel and shouts, “PAY ATTENTION!”

He’d like to be doing all the driving, but I’m the one with the Zip Car membership, and the penalty fees are big if they find out I let a non-member drive my rental.  Why does that sound dirty?  A non-member driving my rental?

So it’s beautiful in Long Island.  And I feel like I spent some time in the sun, because I did, sitting there by the ocean, shivering in my coat because even though this weekend is MAY, Mother Nature hasn’t turned the heat up yet.

Today, sitting by the ocean, I checked my email in the palm of my hand.  I’m just barely beginning to figure the thing out, but all ready that little device is sucking out my soul, I can feel it.  My BlackBerry buzzes whenever one of my friends updates their Facebook status.  It’s insane.  Today, this girl I knew in grade school updated her Facebook status, complaining because her AC isn’t working and my phone buzzed and I was compelled to reply.  Connected all of the time, everywhere, to people I haven’t even spoken to since grade school.  And now she probably thinks I’m a weirdo, because out of nowhere, the girl who brought a dead snake to school in third grade* is publicly scolding her for complaining about her AC when other people in other cities are still wearing their winter coats.

This new mobile device is going to get me into trouble.  But look!  It can do this!

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And now you see how impossibly narrow my little kitchen really is.

*The teacher was not amused, and neither was my mother.

All ready?

Wow, so, it’s Wednesday. I really wanted to post yesterday, I had about a million things to tell you, but now it’s after nine thirty on Wednesday night and it just feels like it’s been so long since we talked.

First of all, the things that were said were said by people who’d never even seen this website or read a single word I’ve written, so don’t worry. I couldn’t believe how many comments and messages I got, apologizing for misunderstood or misspoken words. I had no idea you’d think I was talking about you. And no, Grendl, Nik didn’t say anything, and way to make a situation awkward.

Anyway, I should’ve been more specific. I was trying to explain how, despite the support from friends and family, I let a snide comment from someone who’s never seen my writing completely block me. And that it didn’t matter, because even if all I got were raisins, I was gonna keep on pushing.

Why does that suddenly sound so gross?

Moving on.

I have assimilated. I own a BlackBerry. It was free, with the data package, whatever, I just suddenly knew I needed to be able to access the Internet all the time, from everywhere, no matter what. Why did I know that? Because advertising works really well.

What we really wanted were iPhones, but the BlackBerries were free and I’d rather have hot needles shoved under my fingernails than use AT&T. Until this afternoon my cell phone was a little flip phone, cracked screen and chipped body, a simple device with a 1 megapixel camera and T9 text messaging, and I was happy with it. But now I have this … thing … this computer-like device that logs into the Internet and vibrates when I get a new email and downloads Apps and it terrifies me. It really, actually terrifies me.

In other news, I can now add Professional Blogger to my list of careers. I’d like to unofficially announce the unveiling of my latest project:

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RonandRobertonDivorce.com is news, events, information, articles and personal stories from attorney’s Ron Supancic and Robert Borsky, partners in The Law Collaborative, a family law firm dedicated to bringing peace to the legal process and helping families resolve crisis.

Take a minute to let that sink in.  Divorce lawyers who advocate for the family.  They’re the guys you go to when you really believe divorce is your only option, but you don’t want to go to court, you don’t want to fight, you don’t want to make a big fuss. They’re lawyers who believe in the child’s best interest, family first, and preserving the integrity of the relationship between divorcing spouses. They’re lawyers who will recommend marriage counseling before they talk about filing divorce papers. They’re kind of amazing.

Check out the blog and tell me what you think.

When life gives you raisins

BehindBars

When I started this website I had big plans.  Though I didn’t know how my plans would play out, I knew that they must be played perfectly.  Nothing else was acceptable.

My mother is always telling me that I put too much pressure on myself.  I tend to disagree.  The problem, I think, is that I don’t pressure myself enough.  You see, I am a perfectionist with very high expectations and a very good imagination.  While those three attributes might work well when used alone and in small doses, put them together and you get a girl like me; roaringly enthusiastic and easily discouraged.

In other words, I’m disappointed a lot.

In January, things started off with a bang.  The response from friends and family about my new website had me walking on cloud 9.  I was electrified.  I was writing every day, for hours on end.  I wrote by hand on the subway, leaning into the tight little alcove where the doors and the seat barriers meet.  I wrote at home, curled in my blue chair with the sun on my back, an animal tucked into my hip.  When I wasn’t writing I was thinking about writing and when I went to sleep I dreamt in a string of words. Words, words, beautiful, glorious, thrilling words.

Then life was lived and things were said and sometimes even people who think they mean well can deliver a blow that snuffs out a flame that only moments before had learned how to burn bright in the wind.

Months have gone by and still, still I am forcing out posts, sentence by sentence, word by excruciating word.  You know what it’s like when you’ve been constipated for days and you’re sitting on the pot breathing so hard there’s sweat breaking at your temples and then finally, finally something bursts forth and you think, Yes!   But no, no, the fruit of your labor is the size of a small raisin.  And your heart breaks a little bit.

That is what writing has become.

However.  I will not be so easily defeated.  There is something… there is something in there, just right there, I can feel it.  So when the Universe gives me raisins, I will give them to the Internet.

White Devils and Stolen Dogs, The Moral

And you thought it was never coming…

When we lived in L.A. we had an emergency disaster kit I was so proud of I showed it off whenever people came over.  Here’s our kitchen, here’s the bathroom, and this?  This is our emergency disaster kit!  I imagined that angels hovered above it and sang whenever I opened it.  When the Big One hit, we were going to be able to feed ourselves and the animals for months.  We had canned food and bottled water and special camping stoves and lamps and a first aid kit to die for.  Now we live New York City, where in the last three years I have been chased, followed, harassed by police and masturbated on during rush hour, and yet we have never prepared for disaster or emergency.

Ours is actually a funny story, if you think about it.  I mean, who gets chased through markets by growling, chanting homeless people?  I do, actually.  That sort of thing happens to me.  I am told that the city is much, much safer than it once was, that it’s really the Disney version of a city that vanished when Guiliani came into office, and I believe that.  In general I feel a thousand times safer walking the streets of New York late at night than I’ve ever felt in Los Angeles.  That being said, we must acknowledge that Manhattan is a tiny island with eight million people and awful weather.  Shit will happen and it’s our responsibility to be prepared.

When we got home that day, after the apologies and the pretend-pouting and the don’t-worry-I’m-not-really-mad-at-you roll in the hay, we had a long and serious conversation about how we’re going to react the next time, as there will inevitably be a next time.  Now we have a pay phrase, something incongruous that he or I can say outloud to let the other know we’re feeling threatened. Then we’ll find a well-lighted public place, and I will stand behind Mike with the cell phone ready to call for cops, while he faces the predator and firmly says, Back off.  Or something along those lines.  If he’s met with violence, I will run the fuck away and call 911.  Because I know how slow NYPD is to respond, I will tell the operator that my husband is being physically assaulted and that his life is in danger.

If I’m alone the next time I feel threatened, I will make my way to a well-lit public place, point at the predator and shout, “This man is following me, I am in danger and I am calling the police!” And then if I still need to, I will call the police and wait two hours for their arrival.

What’s your safety plan?

Somewhere in the global community

Many of our teens are in danger of falling through the cracks of a “too busy to care” world. If you’re worried that your child has something dark and troublesome on his mind, he probably does. If you’re too busy to take the time to break through to your child, make the time. If your child pushes you away, remember you don’t need his permission to protect him from anything that could hurt him or his future. In fact it’s your most important job as a parent. If you don’t know how to communicate with your defiant teen, learn to.

That paragraph is about halfway down the article, right at the place where I stopped reading because I knew that everyone I love must read this too.

So here you go…

Good Morning Tuesday

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1.  Anniversary was more fun than Christmas

2.  White Devils P. 2 is coming … tomorrow

3.  Yesterday was the longest week of my life and today is probably going to be longer.  Luckily there’s BBQ at the end of it.  And a paycheck.

Miss you.

I go weak in the knees

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Gettysburg, 2008

When I was a little girl and I’d overhear someone talk about falling in love, I’d always ask the same question: How did you know?  Responses varied slightly, but the general consensus was that you just did.  You just knew.

You just knew?  Knew what?  I couldn’t wrap my head around it.

Then one autumn night a couple of months after I’d started dating Michael, while I was folding costumes backstage after a rehearsal and thinking about how badly I just wanted to flee the theatre and fly across the 101 and be in his arms again, I suddenly just knew.  It happened in an instant and it took my breath away and the costumes fell from my arms as I reached out to steady myself because I’d almost fallen over.  And I started crying because the vision, the dream in which I saw our woven lives spread out before me was suddenly the most precious, beloved dream I’d ever had.

Happy Anniversary, Michael.  It gets better every year.

White Devils and Stolen Dogs: 2

Click here for Part 1

In a perfect world I’d have walked over to the checkout stands, where there are always a lot of people, gathered my confidence, and yelled at the top of my lungs, STOP FOLLOWING ME.  Instead, when the aisles started closing in and my vision went funny, I turned and ran.  I ran as fast as I could out of the market where I saw, crossing the street in front of me, the backs of six uniformed police officers.  The screaming that erupted from me at that point was entirely involuntary.

“Help! Help!  Help!  I’m being followed!”  I shrieked, waving my arms over my head madly.  All six officers turned around, looked at me, and kept walking.

Dear NYPD,

I am not impressed.

Sincerely,
A Serious Girl

Thank God the lights were in my favor because when I realized the cops were walking away I bolted across the street without even checking for traffic.  I chased those cops down, waving my arms and screaming the whole time.  When I finally caught up with them I was out of breath and furious.

“Hey!  I need help!  I’m being followed!

The one who looked like he’d just started shaving last week smirked and said, “What do you want us to do about it?”

I wasn’t sure what to say, because I’d always assumed that cops became cops so they could protect people, that protecting people was their job.  The way they were glaring at me as if I was an annoying kid sister was too much, so I started crying.  Not on purpose, it was just my natural reaction, but it worked.  All six of them puffed up, put their hands on their guns and swiveled their heads around in search of a suspect.

“What happened?  Where’s the guy?  What’s he look like?  Is that him?”

I looked in the direction the cop was pointing and there was Mike, looking completely baffled, waving frantically, the little dogs barking and snarling at his feet.

“Um, no, that’s my husband.”

“Why’s he on his cell phone?  He callin’ the cops?”

He wasn’t, he was trying to call me.  Right then the homeless man came stumbling out of the market and I pointed him out to the cops, who asked him to leave.  Just like that, the whole thing was over.

Mike was silent on the walk home, while I told him what had happened in the store.  I’d been pretty freaked out, was shaking while I told him how frightened I’d been, how narrow the aisles were, how the moment the man started growling, he’d been less than an arm’s length away.  It hadn’t even occurred to me that the situation could have been handled a different way until Mike suddenly erupted in apologies.  He pulled me to his chest and ruffled my hair.

“I never should have let you go off alone.  I thought he was going to come after me, but I made you a target, I sent you off by yourself and I am so, so sorry.”

I sniffled for dramatic affect and said he should be.

To be continued…

White Devils and Stolen Dogs

Monday afternoon was sunny and gorgeous and because we knew rain was predicted for the rest of the week, Mike and I decided to take the dogs to the off-leash park.  We stuffed our pockets with treats and poop bags and tennis balls and were on our way.  A few blocks from home, while Valentine was crouched to do her business, a homeless man with a long grey beard walked up and reached out for her.  Thinking the man was trying to pet Valentine, who does not like to be touched by strangers, Mike leapt between them, laughing and warning to be careful because the little yellow one bites.

She doesn’t, actually, but she is an unpredictable little dog and while most days she’d froth at the mouth and lunge at anyone trying to pet her, that day she just squatted by the tree, doing her business.  She didn’t seem at all bothered when the homeless man began chanting and petting the tree under which she pooped, but I was not pleased and neither was Mike.  We couldn’t wait for her to finish and when she was done we couldn’t walk away fast enough.  Then I glanced over my shoulder and saw that he was following us.

I wanted to believe he was just headed in the same direction, but it was a little disconcerting that he insisted on walking so close to us.  When he started chanting about white devils and stolen dogs I got a little nervous.  I looked over at Mike and he grinned and suggested that when we get to the market, I give him the dogs and go inside, and let him talk to “our friend”.  So I stayed calm, because my husband had a plan, and it was a good plan.  The market was less than a block away and I could all ready see the usual crowd gathered in front.  I was sure that once we were surrounded by people the whole thing would dissipate and Mike wouldn’t even need to address the guy.

For the next part of the story to make sense, I need to explain that our neighborhood market is not like those sprawling, glittering Mecca’s of rare wines and organic canned soup you find in suburbia.  Our market is a tiny, dingy market with aisles so narrow you can’t fit a cart through them.  It’s so small it could fit in the deli section of most suburban super markets.  It’s so small that when I stand at the checkout paying for my groceries, my butt rubs against the butt of the cashier at the checkout behind me.

So when I got inside the store and realized the man had followed me in, I kind of freaked out.  I ducked into the cereal aisle, walking so fast I was practically running.  I looked over my shoulder and he was there.  I started feeling claustrophobic.  My heart was racing, my breath quickened and my limbs tingled.  I turned into the canned food aisle and the man followed me.  The next time I looked over my shoulder he waved his hands in the air, bared his teeth and growled.

To be continued…

Four Things

1. My building has bed bugs. We don’t have them, I don’t think, but yesterday I found out about them and last night I woke up seventy-three-thousand times because I thought bugs were crawling all over me. This is not good.  If we get bed bugs we will run screaming back to the west coast and we will never look back.

2. Yesterday I was chased by a growling homeless man. Story to come.

3. Today, the thing that made me laugh out loud, so loud Mike asked what was wrong with me, was when I found out I could use “Theo Eats Penis” as my pay phrase* on Amazon.com. I had tried to choose “Valentine Eats Feces” but the system wouldn’t let me. So then I tried “Theo Eats Feces” but it wouldn’t let me use that either and I thought, it’s because it thinks I’m trying to type something dirty! So I tried “Theo Eats Penis” to see if that was the issue but no, apparently there are just other people who also have dogs named Valentine and Theo who eat feces and are willing to use those phrases as their Amazon.com pay phrases.

4. Number three was more funny if you were there.

*Obviously I didn’t use that phrase.