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I Love Palm Springs

Four Palms

Before last week I never understood why people vacation in Palm Springs, but I totally get it now.


In some places people are bundling up to go outside and dig their car out of the snow. But in Palm Springs, in February, you can gaze at palm trees as you roast in the sun.

You guys, I love the sun. If I wasn’t already married, I would totally marry it.

mexican food

A dear friend from college joined us on Wednesday and we all went to dinner at this fantastic Mexican restaurant called Las Casuelas Terraza. It’s been there since 1958 and the food was unreal. It was a Wednesday night but there was a live band playing the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Journey, Chicago, and other such classic rock & roll staples. There was a dance floor and you guys, PEOPLE WERE DANCING. Not the kind of epileptic-type dancing you see the young people doing today, but actual, real, grown-up dancing. I almost died of happiness.


On Thursday Joe flew out from the city of New York to join the party. We picked him up from the airport and headed straight to Ruby’s for the World’s Best Burgers.

best burger ever

I’m not kidding about those burgers. (Nor am I being paid to write that.)

After lunch we hit a matinee performance of the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, a troup of sixty to seventy-eight year-old ladies who dance like whipper-snappers and look like, well, very attractive and fit older women in pancake make-up and feathers. It was absolutely delightful.

street fair

On our way to dinner that night we discovered a street fair. It was as if all of Palm Springs was gathering to celebrate Adam’s birthday!


Dinner was a feast at Wang’s in the Desert. We ordered the catfish which arrived head and tail attached. I tried to get a pictures of Joe and Mike licking the fish’s eyeballs, but I hate and despise my camera so you are getting a photo of Adam and Joe being adorable instead.

I miss them already.



I haven’t been to Palm Springs since I was a kid and I barely remember anything about it. It was entirely Adam’s idea to go and with my parents help (Thank you Mom & Dad!) we scored a fabulous suite at an old famous 1960’s resort. We feel like we’re walking around on the set of Mad Men except that instead of Don and Betty Draper it’s Grandpa and Granny Draper. I swear, we are the youngest people here by at least forty years.


Neither Adam nor I were alive in the 1960’s so we don’t really know what we’re talking about, but it seems to us that Palm Springs, at least the section we’re staying in, is a perfectly preserved 1960’s suburb. I am in absolute vintage heaven. Today, after a relaxing yoga practice, sunbathing, and a quick dip in the pool, we went downtown to shop. We found this enormous pawn shop stuffed to brimming with all kinds of treasures. I bought a pair of really cool 1940’s salt & pepper shakers and a trivet that someone bought in Tel Aviv in 1981. How do I know? Because they wrote it on the bottom! I cannot wait to show them to you.


It’s like stepping into Stepford – impossibly perfect.


I can’t speak for Adam but this is the best birthday week I’ve ever had and it’s not even my birthday!

Two Wiener Palms


Adam snapped this off my balcony this morning. I love the Valley.

I am in Palm Springs for the next five beautiful sunshine-y days. It’s Adam’s birthday and he’s in town from New York and we are going to be pool side starting tomorrow at 10 a.m. I cannot wait.

Yesterday we got together with friends for brunch. Michael took this photo of Kevin taking a photo of Adam and Dori looking at the photo that J.D. just took of them. I’m the one standing on the stairs looking like a red-haired loon.


By the way, my hair isn’t actually red, it’s just a chemically treated disaster.

This morning Adam interrupted me while I was packing for Palm Springs. He was laughing and pointing at our linen cabinet. “You’ve got to see this!”

I turned my attention to the cabinet and it trembled. Then it opened an inch and a black nose appeared. At first I thought it was one of the cats because they love to hide in the cabinets. But it was not one of the cats.


People who own herding dogs always talk about their dog’s instinct to heard everything, but dachshund owners never talk about their dog’s instinct to ferret small frightened creatures out of hiding places.


Poor Amelia. She just wants my wiener to leave her alone.

All Hallows’ Eve


Me and Adam, Halloween in NYC, 2010

Photo by Christine Lindebak

We were going to go as Jackie and JFK, but I couldn’t find a wig or a pill box hat, so we went as Extras from ‘Mad Men‘ instead. I wish I had a great clear picture of us because our costumes were killer and totally authentic. The white suit I’m wearing was purchased in China in 1962 by my grandfather, as a gift to my mother. Sixties fashion at it’s best.

Oh man, you guys. This is long.

When did I last post? I have no idea. It could have been forty-eight weeks ago. That’s what it feels like for sure.

Life has just been so … life-y lately. I haven’t wanted to write about it because blegh. What a downer. I know I’m in the middle of a transition, and transitions can be messy, but I don’t want to post all kinds of self-pitying garbage every week. So I haven’t been writing at all. And not writing makes me really unhappy, which means I can’t write because I’ll just write self-pitying garbage. It’s an ugly circle.

Anyway, I’m in New York to see the revival of Angels in America, and celebrate Halloween with Adam, my BGFF. We were texting about our costumes last week:

  • A: Do you have your Jackie Kennedy wig yet?
  • T: No, we’re gonna need to go shopping.
  • A: Totally. :-> I can’t wait to give you your birthday present!
  • T: Seriously? My birthday’s not until January.
  • A: Omg, you’re gonna die. It’s the best birthday present in the world.
  • T: Is it alive?
  • A: Kind of? :-/

Last night over pizza he handed me a gift wrapped in gorgeous hand-made paper.

“Open it!”

“I can’t! It’s too pretty!”

“Here’s scissors, just cut into it. But be careful.”

“It feels like ….” I felt the gift all over. Fingertips on hard edges. “A book!”

“You’re so funny. Open it.”

“You do it.”

“Here.” He snipped the tape seals. “Now rip it.”

The first thing I saw was my name, “Frosty” in white glossy letters. “What is it?” I laughed, my eyes welling over because it couldn’t possibly be what I thought it was. It couldn’t be.

“It’s your book. It’s every single blog post you wrote on Frosty-licious, with all the pictures, everything. It’s your entire three-and-half years in New York. It’s all the moments you and Michael shared, with photos, it’s everything.”

It’s everything. It’s incredible. It’s my words on slick glossy paper. It’s warts and all, because let’s be honest, there was a while there when all I did on Frosty-licious was whine about how I wanted to stab myself in the face with a fork because being a grown-up was sooo hard. It’s everything. All the humiliating shit I wish I could wash myself clean of and it’s all the beautiful stuff too. It’s how I climbed out of the cesspool of misery and how Mike and I fell in love all over again, as a family, just him and me and the fantastic army of creatures we call our pets. It’s how we built a life with nothing but our hands and our love. It’s beautiful.

Adam wrote a forward for it, and when I read the first line I started crying so hard I had to put the book down until I could catch my breath again. Happy tears, tears of sweet nostalgia for what’s behind me, tears of gratitude, because it’s incredible that someone sees in my story something precious and worth holding on to. Tears of shame because there are parts of me in that story I wish I could hide, but why should I be ashamed of my humanness? Why should I be ashamed of my darker moments? Maybe I didn’t need to type them out into the Webisphere for anyone with access to the internet, but who cares. We’re all human. We all have our own sewage to sludge through sometimes. It’s what we choose to do with it at the end of the day that counts. I think I’ve learned how to try and choose “deal with it and move on” as an appropriate response to those times in my life and I guess that’s really why I haven’t been writing lately. I haven’t known how to write about my shit without wading in it and I’d like to write about my shit and laugh at it.

Like, for example, how my entire family expects me to cry at the drop of a hat. I totally earned that, I have always cried at the drop of a hat, so they have every right to expect it. I still do cry whenever I feel big emotions, but not like I used to. I think. It’s still up for debate. The other day I cried all during lunch at Goucho Grill, so it might be harder to live down than I thought, but still.

Whenever I start to speak really passionately about something, my brother will jump up and point at me and shout, “No crying! No crying!” and I’m always so surprised I have to start laughing and it breaks up the moment, you know? In a really good way. We have to be able to laugh about our shit.

Have a wonderful Halloween, you guys. I’ve gotta go find a white pillbox hat.

Behind Bethesda


Three and a half years in NYC and I finally got my boat ride in Central Park. Adam did all the rowing. I tried rowing, but I couldn’t make the boat move hardly at all. And certainly not in a forwardly direction. Adam, however, did great.


And while he was rowing, I kept an eye out for sea monsters. I spotted one, too!

sea monster

Ok, it wasn’t a sea monster, it was another boat. We were so focused on taking a picture of ourselves that we forgot to pay attention to where we were drifting, and right as the camera snapped was when I realized we were bow-to-stern with a boat-full of tourists and that’s why my face looks like that.


Bethesda Fountain. My favorite place in all of NYC.

August 12, 2010

(Are we home yet?)


A Serious Photog

Saturday before last, Adam and I swapped cameras.

Now I see the world through his eyes…

Yesterday — This and That

We started packing this weekend. Not Michael and I, Adam and I. Michael is taking care of eight Alaskan Malamutes who live on eighty acres of land in Esopus, New York, and so Adam and I spent Saturday in Central Park, then we went to SoHo to do a little shopping, and then we went back to my apartment and started packing. I didn’t want to. We’d shared an idyllic New York afternoon and the last thing I wanted to do was ruin it by packing my home into cardboard boxes. I hemmed and hawed and insisted on cooking a three course meal, which is laughable considering I only starting learning how to cook within this last year, I was obviously just procrastinating. However, Adam is the kind of guy who organizes his underpants by color and cut because he thinks it’s fun, so by the time I had the first course on the table, he’d all ready packed up several boxes of stuff. And I was relieved. It was little like ripping a band-aid off a wound, but once the book shelves are empty, what’s the point in putting off the rest? So we packed and we packed, until we ran out of boxes and only then did I realize how much crap Mike and I have. Seriously. Adam and I packed twenty boxes of stuff from the living room and the only reason you can tell is because now there is a huge stack of packed and labeled boxes along one wall. Mike and I have really got our work cut out for us.

But for now twenty boxes will have to be enough, because on Sunday morning I hopped a train to Poughkeepsie and Mike picked me up at the station and drove me to Esopus, and now I am sitting on a deck with my feet up, laptop perched on my knees, a cup of peppermint tea at my elbow, and I am looking at this:

My View

I don’t know if you can tell from the crappy photo I took with my computer (I forgot the cord that connects my camera to the laptop, so had to use Photo Booth instead) but there is a lake beyond those trees. A perfectly lovely shimmering lake, full of fish to fish if you like to fish, and snapping turtles, and frogs, and all kinds of other wonderful things. There is space for the doglets to run around, so long as I keep them separated from the herd Malamutes, who, friendly as they are, see ten pound dachshunds and fifteen pound chihuahua mutts as snack foods. Of course, if I did let them mingle, we wouldn’t have to worry about driving cross-country with two dogs.

Sunday afternoon it was very hot and so I put our doglets in the air-conditioned, furnished basement and spent my afternoon like this:

P and Ish.

That’s Printer, and he probably weighs about a hundred pounds. He likes to rest his head on your knee for a scratch behind the ears, and if you don’t comply, he will take one of his giant paws, and he will place it gently on your shoulder and push a little. And then huff an exasperated sigh, as if to say, “I ask so little of you, human. PET ME ALL READY.”

This place is heaven. The space, the green, the crickets, the humming birds, the dragon flies, the wind in the trees, it’s all absolutely heaven. It’s a perfect reprieve from our impending move.

Malamute Footrest

Malamutes make good footrests.

T and TT

When Trouble wants to sit in your lap, you let her. All ninety-five pounds of her.

EDIT: This is my 100th post at A Serious Girl! (Just felt like I had to mention it.)

To Ramble

My brain is totally fried.  It’s only Monday and it took me three attempts to type the word “fried.”  Both times.  I’m exhausted.  I’m working a lot.  But I had an absolutely fantastic weekend, even though I worked on Saturday, so I am not complaining.


Last week Mike left for Los Angeles for his nephew’s high school graduation.  The kid is graduating Valedictorian, after all.   I’ll admit I was a little nervous about him going away for a long trip and me being all by my lonesome.  And I know it’s ridiculous considering I live with five animals in an enormous apartment building in the middle of New York City.  If there is anything I couldn’t possibly be, it’s alone. Even if I didn’t have the animals, you can’t go anywhere in this city without being pressed up against a hundred other sweaty bodies, so being alone is not an issue here.  But I do not like when we are separated.  I feel like I’m missing a limb.

And of course the rain didn’t help.

even the windows are weeping

There is nothing like rain to make a barely-holding-her-shit-together gal totally lose it.  But you know what?  It was only for a day.  He left Tuesday morning, I spent the day feeling miserable and sorry for myself, and then on Wednesday I got my ass back to work and I have been hustling ever since.   I miss him, I really ache for him, but I have been totally o.k.  I’ve even been eating my vegetables!

having a nice sniff

Friday morning I got up an hour early so I could take the dogs to the park while the sun was out.  Those little poop-eating beasts bring me so much happiness, I cannot even begin to explain it.  Sometimes I worry that I won’t love them anymore when I have babies.  Like, there won’t be enough left over for them.  And then I know that’s not true, I know I have enough room in my heart for everyone.

Saturday I worked, and afterwards Adam picked me up in his little blue bug and swept me off to Astoria for a slumber party with Joe, Christine and Breya and oh my god, you guys, it was amazing.  There was pizza, and prosecco, and an Audrey Hepburn flick.  We played dress-up and talked about clothes and we even made ice cream sundaes.


Sunday morning we lounged around in our jammies, watching the news.  I cannot believe the oil spill.  I cannot believe this is happening and we’ve let it go on and on for fifty-six days now.  The consequences of this disaster will be felt by our great-great grandchildren.  It makes me sick.  It makes me not want to give birth to more children, because it makes me think I don’t want to bring another life into this world.  It makes me thinks “What’s the point of living when our future is so horribly bleak?” Which is why I don’t watch the news and why I haven’t known anything about this oil spill, except that it happened, until now, because these things terrify me to the extent that if I pay too close attention I will implode.  Call me socially irresponsible, I don’t care.  I’ve got to take care of my sanity.

So we turned off the TV and we went to Central Park.  We had cocktails and tapas at the Loeb Boathouse, which is without a doubt, my absolute favorite restaurant in New York City.  We sat on the patio and we sipped mimosas because life is too damn short to spend the afternoon in a black hole of despair when you could be sipping mimosas.  It started to rain just as we were getting ready to leave the restaurant, but it felt so lovely and we were so cheerful that Adam and I decided to walk barefoot through the park, while Joe watched in horror.

“Take your shoes off!  The grass feels lovely under your feet.”
“Until you step on a hypodermic needle.  No way.  I’m keeping my shoes on.”

smoking joe

“You guys are crazy.”

Then I called him a stuffed shirt, because that’s what Corey calls Paul when he refuses to walk barefoot in the park with her.  But Joe, in case you’re reading this, your whole stuffed shirt thing is part of what makes you so irresistibly charming.  Yesterday wouldn’t have been the same without you.

Joe's loafers

We walked and we walked and it rained and it rained and it was heavenly.  When I closed my eyes it was as if we were monkey people living in a wild jungle. (I have a wonderful imagination.)  We found ourselves in the middle of a giant field and we stashed our stuff under a tree and and played frisbee.  Rather, Adam and I played frisbee while Joe smoked cigarettes under his umbrella.  And by the way, if you’ve never played frisbee in the middle of Central Park in the pouring rain, I highly recommend it.  It was absolutely spectacular and absolutely worth the soaking wet train ride home.

best pals


Adam: “Give me a hug.”
Joe:  “Nooo!  I’m wearing dry clean only!”