Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Idle Hands

I have two more days of leisure until my boss returns from her big holiday trip to North Africa. I have so far filled my down time at Mi7 with celebrating my office’s very first Holiday Party and…. well really that is about it. I could do some filing and tidying and still have time to mourn the recent death of our desktop orchids but I felt that I should use this time to close the door on 2009 with a revisit to the world of INTERNET DATING!!!!

How could I leave you all high and dry? How could I ignore your cries for MORE stories from the wide world of faceless email courting? Well today is your lucky day, for no other reason than lack of anything to do I signed onto OK Cupid and within 20 minutes I received a letter in the ol’ inbox. Now this guy is not really crazy as compared to the “I like blue” gent of months past however all of you who know me will recognize immediately this guy’s major mistake. Please read an excerpt from his email below:

(set up – his email is in response to my posting. Specifically to my response to the OK Cupid question, “What are you doing with your life right now?” My answer is, “Discovering creative ways to inhibit the sub arctic air from seeping in around my AC unit”.)

Subject: STOP with the creative ways...
“Go to the Home Depot down on 23rd Street and look for Painters tape (don’t be overwhelmed just ask a man in an orange apron to help you). This is a blue tape and you can use a regular scissors to cut it to the lengths you need.”

Continued - “Good stuff foam, this is something that comes in a red can with big letters on the label that say GOOD STUFF. Just be cautious in application, you can wind up making a mess if you aren't careful with it, and you should be wearing gloves.”

Continued -“ It sounds harder than it is but it's the best solution to your problem.”

I was going to delete the email BUT then I decided to respond, here is my retort in total:

Thank you for putting a pragmatic spin to my AC situation and for REALLY over explaining the process. I however worked as a professional Prop Master for years (had my own corporate Home Depot credit card within 2 weeks of undergrad graduation) so I am very aware of blue tape. YOU should however graduate to Gaff Tape - if you are intimidated by the black colored Gaff Tape you may want to first purchase the white (it’s more unassuming). I would never spray good stuff on my AC – it dries like cement and the yellow gunk is not only unsightly but permanent. I have already in cased my unit with soft insulating foam, tape backed foam, and have heat sealed the window with shrink wrap plastic (did you think this 'sounded hard' or did you assume I thought it 'sounded hard'?)- this is why I am NOW exploring creative ways in which to battle the biting cold. And no I will not stop my “creative ways” for that is vehicle that propels me towards creative solutions.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Baking (part 3) – This stopped being fun once the oven timer went off

3:30pm with the storm ramping up and my Fresh Direct order safely in my possession I began the baking. Blog Girl’s instructions were to use Martha Stewart’s recipe which I completed rather easily – thank you – and without sounding too boastful my gingerbread dough smelled fantastic! As my brown blobs of ginger goodness chilled in the fridge I cut out the template house pieces that Blog Girl so helpfully posted online. In no time my templates were complete and my dough was ready for phase two.

I didn’t want to bake too many pieces at once, just in case something went wacky so I began with just one house (6 pieces). Martha directed that I roll the cookies to ¼ of an inch but Blog Girl instructed that I go to 1/8 inch… indecision, great thanks. I stayed true to BG (blog girl) since these were her houses in design and went with the 1/8” thickness. My new fondant cutter worked like a charm slicing through the cool dough (yes I now own a fondant cutter) and in no time my first batch was in my 350 degree oven for a length of 12-14 min (as instructed by Martha – BG gave no direction as to baking temperature or time). At the end of my 12 min cycle my cookies were flat, dark and had a slight taste of burnt coal. I will cut to the chase and tell you that after 4+ hours of trial and error (and 8 inches of snow fall) I discovered that the cookies should be at least ¼ inch thick, placed on the top rack of the oven and baked for no longer than 10 ½ minutes. Martha and BG – you can both suck it! By 10pm the dough was not done (1/3 still in the fridge) but I was done with the dough.

Baking (part 2) – In search of Cinnamon

First Location, Corner Bodega
Upon entering my neighborhood bodega I quickly made a bee line towards the rear of the one set of high shelves that held the overflowing stock of adobo meat tenderizers. I was immediately overwhelmed at the number and variety of items, I never knew that the Woodside community had such a need for softening meat and poultry products, but I digress. I read every label at least twice but I could not locate the cinnamon. At this point I realized I was alone in the bodega, not even the clerk was in attendance. I yelled out, “HELLO? HELLO?” Then out from the darkened doorway immediately to my left appeared a man with his pants completely spread open with his belt dangling limply at his sides. “Yes?”, “Ummm (eyes diverted) do you have cinnamon?”, “No. No cinnamon” and with that he turned on his heels and returned through the darkened doorway. I left the bodega feeling like my gingerbread would always be tainted by this very dirty situation.

Second Location, Asian Grocery Market

The smell of fish was blinding, the crowd of intent shoppers was abrasive, and besides not being able to decipher the grocery labels the items themselves were unrecognizable. I found some small jars that appeared to be spices but I was totally out of my league. I asked one of the 8 cashiers if they stocked cinnamon and without a glance up from her register she grunted loudly and pointed in the direction of the spice rack that had so mystified me. I returned to the area and called back to the cashier, “HERE? Over HERE? The cinnamon is here?” She quickly lost patience with my unfocused Afikoman hunting skills and began shouting at a 4 foot tall man who was about 123 years old. He looked at the cashier, then at me, then at her again as she kept shouting and pointing. He shuffled over in his house slippers squeezed past me to the end of the row and held out a paper bag of cinnamon sticks. I smiled and shook my head while delivering a silent look that conveyed this sentiment - yeah thanks for the trouble but I need the Caucasian prepackaged ground stuff with a plastic shaker cap.

Third Location, Mexican Fruit Stand
Ah big, airy, clean and empty. I casually sauntered ‘round the indoor fruit and veggie stand thinking about all the tasty treats people who cook could make, all the while searching for the very recognizable spice jars (bottles? containers?). After completing my tour I approached the cheery cashier and inquired about the cinnamon. Pleasantly she smiled and with an outstretched arm pointed towards a peg board covered with small plastic bags. I smiled back and repeated, “No, cinnamon.” She repeated, “Cinnamon” and pointed at the peg board. With trepidation I approached the dangling clear plastic bags and within just a few seconds I discovered to my surprise a red and green package with a palm tree labeled “Canela Molida - Ground Cinnamon”. Gracias Mammi!

Baking (Part 1) – How hard could this be?

After viewing these adorable gingerbread houses on a blog I frequent I got a bee in my bonnet - I wanted these mug hugging gingerbread houses! I asked T-Bone, Bookie, and The Kid if they baked and I got No’s all around. I then reached out to my Facebook community and just like my cry for help with the AC removal; I was greeted with utter silence. So not to be thwarted by others’ lack of culinary competence last Friday afternoon I scoured the web for baking suppliers, placed a Fresh Direct order (turns out the only ingredient I owned was flour) and cleared my weekend schedule for bakefest 2009.

With warnings of a major blizzard blaring from Weekend Today’s weather center I was up and out early Saturday morning on the hunt for all my baking supplies (cutter, rolling pin, parchment paper, sifter, etc……). Lucky for me I have a custom bakery supply shop just 8 blocks down from my apartment, really? Yes really. After a quick walk down Queens Blvd. under the ominous gray sky then up again to the 99 cent shop my list of needs was fulfilled and I was home and cozy by 11am.

If there are two things I have learned from my Mom is ONE - you can never set your table too early (in the Lewis household that window is 24-36 hours in advance of the first dinner guest) and TWO – when cooking anything you should set up everything you may need during the process (utensils, ingredients, bowls, etc…) at least 2 – 3 hours prior to the cooking event. Thanks to my inherited (learned?) obsessive cooking regimen I quickly discovered that I DID NOT own cinnamon, a major ingredient in my gingerbread recipe. So on with the coat, back out into the storm in search of the Queens spice trade.

Happy Holidays

Holiday are happy and since I am known for my sugary gooberness I embrace this time of year with the exuberance it so deserves. However what usually compels me into total BahHum Bugness is the forced participation (actually in my case the forced planning and hosting) of the mandatory office Christmas Party (let’s not fool anybody, it is NEVER a HOLIDAY party, it is a CHRISTMAS party). I despise the office Christmas party, the Secret Santa, the obligatory socializing with people whom I only tolerate 40+ hours a week because my checking account smiles every Thursday and the fact that most of the people who attend the office party sulk around griping about the lame assness of the music, the lack of alcoholic beverages or the lack of THEIR favorite alcoholic beverage – which of course is also the BEST beverage, or a multitude of other issues that they deem worthy of an “eye roll” and a loud lengthy “ughhhhhhh...sighhh”. But this year as you all may know my job ROCKS it! Yep this is the first year since 1994 that I have been totally jazzed to spend the holiday season with my office mates who are the perfect combo of holiday spirit and apathy.

We began our office holiday festivities on the day of the Rock Center Tree lighting by dimming our overhead lights, blasting “Oh Tannenbaum” while T-Bone threw the switches on our desk top neon Xmas trees – after that we were in full holiday mode (silently of course, we do have to side with decorum).

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Roller Coaster of a Weekend

I went into this past weekend with some trepidation however in the light of a sunny Monday morning I think the whole crazy ride ended up rather super.

Things learned on Friday

  • The general public SUCKS at karaoke.
  • Screaming, laughing, and talking to your friends on a mic is NOT karaoke
  • The karaoke menu should NOT include any songs by the Jonas Brothers NOR should a karaoke bar have any patrons who choose to sing (?) the Jonas Brothers.
  • Mailroom guys do not understand that “Shout’ is the TITLE of a Tears for Fears song, not the style in which it is to be performed.
  • When somebody says, “Hey you didn’t sign the going away card” and you respond, “I don’t work with you”, then they retort, “But you’re our concierge!?”, is it rude to remind them that you were laid off in Jan. of 2003? I hope they haven’t been waiting all this time for their tickets to “The Producers”.

Things learned on Saturday

  • Even in a recession people will venture out in a Nor’ Eastern to wait online at Marshall’s for over an hour with screaming children (I was just making a return).
  • Microwave popcorn and two frozen waffles is dinner.
  • When spooning do not utter THIS sentence into your ‘spoon partner’s’ ear, “We really shouldn’t have done that” – even if said statement is true. There is a time and a place for an attack of conscience, like on your own time in your own place. Or as Peggy Olson would say, “Quit barging in here and infecting me with your anxiety.”

Things learned on Sunday

  • Skipping breakfast and lunch and going straight to pints of Guinness makes a Sunday afternoon breeze easily into a Sunday evening.
  • People who sing – should.
  • Tubas make everything funny.
  • Drunken bras shopping may be my new Sunday indulgence.
  • Being overly flirty with the male cashier will score you a 20% “Friends and Family Coupon” – or maybe it was because I let him man handle my newly purchased lacy incidentals. Either way I tell you who didn’t get the coupon, the 2 nosey Orthodox Jewesses next to me.
  • Swason will always tell the truth (that’s not a new thing I learned, it was just reinforced)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Done and Done!

After one month on the free dating site, OKCupid, I have collected no less than 15 offers of various forms of intimate encounters with boys under the age of 24, about 8 of the same invitation from the thirty something set, and let’s not forget the 55+ troop pulling up the rear (excuse the term) coming in a close second with 6 offers. Wow Cupid, really…really? However I did receive one email response from a seemingly clever guy who was so witty and clever with his electronic communications that I agreed to meet him for a drink.

Enjoy the following story for it will be the LAST of my internet dating saga:

About 2 weeks ago after receiving a very humorous response to my OKCupid posting I willingly handed over my gtalk info (for those of you who were lost at ‘posting’ just ask somebody under the age of 35 to explain). For the next few days I was bombarded with inane IM’s, the more he typed the less I was intrigued. I warned him of his quick descent into the ‘uggghhh not this guy pile’ but he took no heed. After a few days of random banter he asked to meet for dinner, I countered with ‘drinks’, he agreed to my counter offer but added the caveat of a Saturday night date. Who makes a first BLIND date for a Saturday night? Not only did he insist on a Saturday night but it was Halloween and he wanted me to travel to Brooklyn – from Queens! That is just crazy man talk. I ended up canceling on him 3 days before the appointed date (thanks Rubin for the cover) and he went into a tail spin – FREAK SHOW. Unfortunately after his meltdown I knew the only way to shake this zealous G Fan was to actually commit to a face to face. Don’t get me wrong, I love being the target of undying infatuation but not from complete strangers – that’s just intrusively obsessive and icky.

For the ‘make up date’ he again demanded that we meet on a Saturday night but at least I was able to negotiate down to a Manhattan location, thank goodness. I arrived at the bar seconds after our appointed time and there he was all a flutter with nervous excitement standing awaiting my entrance. As I approached him it was hard to get a lock down on my man scanner since the entire establishment was sparsely lit by only 5 strategically placed votives. However as I grew closer and his shadowy figure began to appear through the dark amber glow I could plainly see that he was sporting a BLACK KNEE LENGTH LEATHER BLAZER. Time out, date over.

I don’t really think I even need to describe the remaining 2 hours (yes I was basically kidnapped) of this date; just the fact that he was wearing a leather coat that was purchased in 1983 when he was at least 45 pounds slimmer is enough to set the tone. You want more? Sure how about his buttons holding on for dear life as his shirt strained and gapped around his girth, or the gushing perspiration and the long stringy hair? Or the combined action of swiping the flowing streams of sweat off his forehead while fingering it through his hair as if he was applying ‘product’. Yes friends this was my LAST internet date. The humor is over, I was a good sport, I stayed positive, I fought the good fight but I just can’t submit to this humiliation anymore. DONE!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Refocused Energy

With the weight of the responsibly to my online paid dating subscriptions removed I found myself overflowing with creative juices. Instead of filling my time futilely searching for a date I have been utilizing my newly discovered freedom to rebuild a relationship that I had left to dwindle; the relationship between me and my one bedroom rent stabilized 1929 fourth floor walk up.

Next month marks our 11th anniversary however the blush has faded from the bloom. We’ve been through a lot together, parties, break ins, trysts, and vermin infestation but through it all my rent has only increased 3% each year so it is hard to say adieu to such a bargain. However as I have grown and improved with age (turning 39 in a month – yikes!) my humble abode has been crumbling beneath me. My kitchen, always the bane of my existence, running a close second to my bathroom, has borne the brunt of my absenteeism. The combined issues of my lack of culinary skills and the fact that the darken interiors of some of my cabinets frighten me so that I have never opened them has kept me removed from tackling this epic eyesore.

Last week however armed with a steadfast passion to reignite my habitat lustfest I hit the The Container Store, The Home Depot, Marshalls, TJMaxx, Target, and JC Penny. Oh sweet home improvement tasks I have missed you so. The living room scored with a new rug, seat cushions, drapes and curtain rod. I even replaced the poorly worn pull cords on my sea grass roller shade, framed several of my photographs, and set some useless furniture pieces into the stairwell for “adoption”. The hallway and bedroom received new art as well, while the bathroom got a spa like makeover. White rugs and shower curtains with white wooden louvered blinds, ahhhh. But the true fruit of my week’s worth of hard labor can be found in my homey retro kitchen. Love has blossomed again, now all I need is somebody to whip up a stack of fluffy blueberry pancakes and my fantasy will be complete.

As a side dish to my ‘nesting’ achievements I have also scored a full week’s worth of testosterone infused entertainment. Once I allowed my subscriptions to slink off into the ether my calendar quickly filled with lunch, dinner, and ‘other’ social engagements. True these are not ‘dates’ for this troop of men consists of old friends who are neither straight nor single however, even though they are not “mine” it’s still a nice way to spend a week.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

3rd Time’s a Charm

It’s mid October which means that we have arrived at the conclusion of my 3 month subscriptions to Match.com and Eharmony. Must say that I am actually relieved to be released from my interweb dating servitude since my diligent efforts yielded no fruit. Here is the breakdown of my 3 month stint of actively engaging the every so degrading, wallet draining, passtime of “Let’s find G a date on the internet!”

Searched 500+ postings
Sent aprox 85 emails with a response rate of 0%
Received about 15 unsolicited illiterate emails
Received ONE literate email - went on one date – bought my own drink (nuff said).

Received aprox 112 “perfect” matches
Received NO requests from men to communicate – yes that’s right 100% of the men on Eharmony who were matched with me chose to ‘close’ my account. Oh I forgot there was ONE guy who was a childhood friend from my home town who thought it was funny that we got matched - he contacted me.
Sent aprox 45 requests to communicate
Received 4 responses to my requests for communication – went on one date with one guy – he fell asleep on the bar then tried TWICE to make out with me.

After this 3 month jaunt I’m out about $200 and my ego has been ground into a bloody pulp but I must carry on my quest for a date. I specifically state DATE cause that’s all I want. I am not looking for a husband or a baby daddy– all I want to do is date a guy, I’m thinking – that should be rather easy. I am confident that there are guys who currently live in NYC between the ages of 32 and 45 who would like to DATE – right?

So I’m keeping the hope alive and on the advice of an old dear friend I have once again JOINED a new (to me) dating site, “OK Cupid”. Pros – it’s free, Cons it appears to be saturated by hipster dufus dudes who even though are in their 40’s love to rock a trend like a 23 year old Lower East Side trust fund baby . Neck tattoos, facial piercings, skinny jeans, graphic T’s and ‘ironic’ eye wear seem to be the go to steeze on this site. I feel that I may not be cool enough nor have enough angst to succeed on this website – but I’ll try. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Time For Remembering

The Holiday Season is here and boy do I need to atone for 5769 – yikers. Hopefully the almighty will view my transgressions of the past 12 months as minor bumps in the road and inscribe me once more into the book of life (fingers crossed). For those of you who don’t observe the holidays I’ll give you a quick overview. On Rosh Hashanah (the New Year), God does a little sorting, kind of like a naughty and nice list. At this time he is compiling his first draft of who will make it through the year and during Rosh Hashanah services we read what is one of my favorite lists, I like to call it, “The list of terrific demises”. Here is a small snippet of the horrific ends that God is reviewing, “who will die by fire and who by water, who by sword and who by wild animal,… who by strangling and who by stoning” I think you get the drift….ominous! Now after you get sorted there is still time to get yourself off the bad kid list, you have one week between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to make good with all the people you have wronged because as it is said, “On Rosh Hashanah it is written, on Yom Kippur it is sealed”.

I have always viewed the fall holidays as a fresh start of something, like a new school year or the beginning of the theater season. But after a few googles I found a great excerpt from a Jewish textbook that really resonated:
“Rosh Hashanah is a time of self-reflection, a day to ask ourselves what is it that drives our attitude and behavior? What is it that we really want out of life? Are we acting in a way that makes progress towards our vision of a good life or are we acting in a way that inhibits us from progressing? Rosh Hashanah is a day to take back control and to master those things that may have been mastering us.”

As some of you know my father, who passed away when I was 10, was a Cantor. Even though I only heard him sing the Kol Nidre about 5 times his booming baritone is forever cemented in my head as the standard that all Kol Nidre’s are judged. At this time of year it is impossible not to be reminded of my few years with him and the excitement I felt as his voice reverberated off the wooden rafters of our mod mid century sanctuary while the several hundred congregants bowed their heads in payer. Here is a very poor quality live recording of my father singing the Kol Nidre at Yom Kippur services (the link will navagate to a new page and it may take a while to load). Click here Walter Lewis Kol Nidre

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Givin’ it Back

Despite my lack of tan and straight boy lovin’, stuff is going great. So great in fact that I thought I should do something to return the favor to the grand powers of fortune and put my passion for inspiring kids to use.

For the past two weeks the Today show has been running a PSA for the Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of NYC, and after hearing the announcement only twice I realized – YES that is for me! (Oh Today show you have inspired me once more to take action – fingers crossed this one will prove more fruitful than the Eharmony membership). The reason why I wanted to become a teacher was to empower city kids, engage them in creative thought processes, and create experiences for discovery and self enlightenment. Unfortunately that plan never came to fruition – nice going NYC Dept of Ed. – however I can still fulfill this goal by becoming a mentor (or so I hope). This week I started the ball rolling to becoming a “Big”, my application is complete, my character references have been submitted – Side note: references, you know who you are, just a reminder there is no crime in omission, you know what I mean. – and now I wait for my invitation to the formal 1.5 hour interview and background check. Funny that Big Brothers/ Big Sisters requires a mandatory 1.5 hour interview in order to judge whether or not I should be chosen to spend 4 hours a month with a kid, while the NYC Dept of Ed. only requires an 8 min. interview to hire a full time educator. Yep still just a bit bitter.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy Anniversary No Slaw!

One year ago this month Swason suggested that I create a blog to aid in purging all the crap that was building up over my nonexistent teaching career and to document my period of reinvention. Reflecting back on the past 12 months it is amazing the amount of change that has occurred and even more amazing that I have emerged from the other side victorious!

12 months ago with the economy crashing around me I was temping as a receptionist for $12/hr. at a graphics firm with a small glimmer of hope of a full time gig as an office manager at an agency that seemed a bit dodgy. I didn’t have a plan, well unless you call not being evicted and forced to live in my Mother’s basement while scraping together pennies to repay my Grad School Loan a plan (side bar – I still haven’t returned to CUNY Hunter to pick up my diploma). On Sept 22nd 2008 my greatest achievement was discovering the office’s flavored coffee stash and uncovering the NYC underworld of free haircutting services – since I was too broke to actually PAY for a licensed tonsorial artist. Now one year later that life sucking office manager job vanished along with the DOW, my dearest friend left town (drowning me in a wake of emotional turmoil and a dump truck load of drama), I temped some more, then landed what I truly believe to be one of the sweetest jobs in town. It’s been traumatic and dramatic, soul searching and challenging but oddly enough it has all worked out, even without a major plan.

Thanks 2008-2009 for kicking my ass, breaking me down, bringing me to ecstasy then pulling the rug out from under me only to ignite my fervor once more till I proved triumphant over the setbacks and disappointments. Here’s to the next 12 months…. Bring it fates I am ready for ya!

Here’s a quick shout out to my first post:
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I think I shall begin by posting a sampling of a lyric that best represents my current state of mind:

What will this day be like? I wonder.
What will my future be?
I wonder.
All I trust I give my heart to
All I trust becomes my own
I have confidence in confidence alone!
Besides which you see I have confidence in me!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Well is Dry

Thank you all for rooting for me BUT after a ‘two- fer” lame ass date-fest 2 weeks ago – I got nothing! I am still on Match and Eharmony but I have no bites. Not only is there nobody to ‘communicate’ with, there is nobody trying to communicate with me…ughhhhh. Each day it becomes more of a chore to troll the depths of the interweb in search of humanity. I think this should really be more fun, instead it feels like a job search. However to keep you all amused I thought I would collect a sample of opening lines from my Match.com “mutual match” profiles – enjoy.

Ok ladies If I ever have a kid, I dont want him or her to call me grandpa by mistake.

Every girl I've met on Match is A Nut job!! Are you??

In process of divorce. Back in NYC to make money and meet a honey.

at times known to be a great kisser.. I learned at a very young age that I had knack for kissing.. God just blessed me with a strong tongue.

I'm on here to meet somebody that I want to be with

I am looking for a consistent drinking and walking exploring life buddy

Just wanted to update my "fans" - Divorce trial date scheduled for beginning of August 09 it may happen or it may be postponed but cannot come soon enough for me.

Only 4 weeks left on Match.com- Now I know why guys are flocking to Latin America to meet mail order brides

I beieve that Oswald acted alone!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Love Shack

My weekend was filled with so much love and laughs that I feel like I have sunshine seeping out of my pours. I’m energized and filled with glee for my weekend away in NJ was undeniably a cure for many of my recent ills.

Friday night after a few drinks and a bus ride out to New Jersey JGB and I arrived in her wooden enclave of A Frame homes originally built to house vacationers but now repurposed for young families and senior citizens. Cheffie greeted us at the door along with the GB’s eldest who was a bit shy at first but warmed up quickly. The other two junior GB’s were fast asleep but I was promised that our Saturday would be filled with plenty of opportunities to bond over swimming, a living room dance party, and numerous hands of Uno. To my surprise however it turned out that I didn’t need to wait until sun up to meet #2 of the clan. Because of my futon’s proximity to the adult’s quarters I was mistaken for ‘mom’ and received a 4 year old bed warmer during the predawn hours. As not to scar this sleepy nugget for life by informing him that I was NOT his mother I simply slid over, surrendered my pillow, and tucked him in under the blanket. I knew right there that we would be buddies or he would be totally FREAKED out when the light of day filled the room, either way I would be remembered.

Saturday morning. Both folks and kids up early getting ready for a big day of fun, sun, and FOOD. Good lord, staying with a professional chef (who is also one of the sweetest guys ever made) is luxurious. As Cheffie stood at the counter whipping up handmade blueberry pancakes and bacon as easily as if he was pouring out cold cereal, I formally met #2 and #3. #2 was surprisingly resilient after being informed that he had crawled into bed with a relative stranger, however we both had the good manners to not talk about it, and #3 was a ball of 2 year old happiness, like a golden retriever puppy.

After breakfast and with the addition of two nieces in tow, us ladies took the bigger kids to the community pool while Cheffie stayed at home with #3 preparing the Saturday night feast. The pool was basically deserted with the exception of the apathetic teenage lifeguard and 2 ladies who probably wished our Marco Polo championship was being conducted at a lesser decimal level – oh well.

After many hours of aquatic recreation we returned to a home saturated in the aromas of Cheffie’s hard work and feasted like a royal family, but even better since we didn’t need to dress for dinner. The kids were great, even after such a long day out in the sun and the water they were charming and silly. After dinner we had a sing along dance party to all the popular tween Disney Channel tunes of the day- Swason would have known all the words, I however did not, but enjoyed the floor show anyways. Then a few hours later, feeling sleeping and filled with lobster and handmade ice-cream, JGB tucked me into my futon with a kiss on the cheek and hopes of ‘pleasant dreams’ – awww shucks.

Sunday, another fantastic breakfast this time with big fluffy omelets complete with potato pancakes and apple sauce. Of course #2 and I had an Uno battle on the living room floor –the kid is a shark – but with some help from big sister I think I was able to squeak out at least one win. We then spent the remainder of the late morning on a driving tour around their hood and LOUD show tune singing – JGB and I do a mean Annie.

Aboard the bus by early afternoon I made my way back to NYC filled with a cheerfulness that can only come from being surrounded by people (both big and small) who are boundless with their love. Thanks GBers – you all rock!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Back on the Horse

The two dates last week were less than perfect. Number 1 was a ‘handsy’ narcoleptic and number 2 was a fidgety 41 year old Vet Tech who thought it was perfectly fine to sit at the table downing his pint while I excused myself to buy my OWN drink.
Me: “Ummmm I guess I will just go to the bar and get a drink?”
#2: “Yeah sure” points towards the bar

After filling my Monday and Tuesday nights with these exhausting interactions I was ready for a respite from the daily grind of hunting and pecking through cyberspace for a suitable beau. For the remainder of the week I focused on other more pressing things, like installing my air conditioners ON MY OWN and drinking copious amounts of cheap wine on Swason’s roof top. That roof top thing is becoming a habit but I don’t think Swason minds, I mean I did splurge for the $13 bottle of Screw Kappa Napa.

My week was also plagued by immense personal upheaval that unfortunately readers I cannot share with you. However please know that things are on the mend and my outlook is that it can only get better from here. Either that or I'll start heavily self medicating.

This week has kicked last week’s ass! It has been fantastic and it’s only getting better. I started off with a super fantastic dinner at Cookshop with my ol’ High School buddy Weezer (shout out to Face Book for the re-friending hook up) where we dined on succulent seafood topped off by the most decadent of deserts, The Cookshop Candy Bar – wholly cow - frozen chocolate cake with like a peanut butter ganache, dipped in dark chocolate, sprinkled with sea salt and stuck on sticks – yeah that was good. From there we sped off to Madison Square Garden where we bopped the night away to Depeche Mode. These 50- somethings were kicking it HARD – damn they sounded terrific. So good in fact that Weezer and I both vowed to actually learn their names instead of referring to them as lead singer, blondie, and that other guy. The next night I continued my week of joy by meeting up with one of my old Pink Ladies from Hunter and trying out the NEW beer garden in Astoria. Great night once again, full of Sangria (yes at the Beer Garden) wurst (infused with cheese), lots of laughs and a some venting over the state of the Department of Education and the entire metro area school system – nice to have somebody who understands (i.e. agrees with me). To continue on my track of good humor, this evening my officemates, Bookie 2 (in the future I will refer to her as just Bookie) and T-bone and I are popping down to NoHo to take in some theater, Puppetry of the Penis. For those who are uneducated in such artistic ventures – Puppetry of the Penis requires its troupe of naked Ausie to manipulate their flaccid members into interesting shapes; I hear the “Mickey Mouse” is a crowd pleaser. Ohh I wonder if there will be audience participation?

Now back to the online dating update – I’m back in. I’m searching and responding, poking and winking, and yet…..this is what I get:

i'm looking for someone that can relate to the late 80's and early 90's, girls you gotta love the hi hair and spandex, please be fun, gotta like tattoo's. in free time love to go art museums, tattos conventions, hunting and fishing when ever I get a shot, and hanging down at killy rock. got any guestion just ask, dont be shy. so lets have some fun....

Friday, July 24, 2009

Double Fisting the Dating Scene (maybe I need to re-word that)

Last week without much to do I signed up for EHarmony making me now a two-fer wanna be internet dater. For weeks friends told me to join eHarmony, people whom I respected and admired, people who’d found not only boyfriends but husbands begged me to join eHarmony, but yet I refused. I had been burned before by ol’ eHarmony and I wasn’t about to poor more money into their scheme. No I was sticking with my pathetic 3 month Match.com membership and that was that. Then the Today Show jumped onto the bandwagon and demanded that I join eHarmony. They practically reached through my 8” 1981 color TV, grabbed me by the collar and insisted that I join eHarmony not only because I was dateless but because their membership had jumped 20% since the recession. Hmmm this did seem like good news but I still was not convinced enough to break out the Visa card. The last straw came in the form of an email, the fates finally put the beat down on me by delivering an eHarmony discount code directly to my inbox – I was hooked. Fine, FINE, just get off my back “voice from the unknown” I’ll join eHarmony.

So here I am 1.5 weeks into my eHarmony experience, a little weary from structuring endless witty responses to dreary questions BUT I have a date. Yes, David from the Upper East Side (Jew, maybe?) is taking me out on Monday night for an actual face to face interaction. He seems pleasant, kinda gets my humor, maybe a bit reserved (but that’s OK) and appears to be engaged and attentive (both very good traits). So we’ll see how this goes, if nothing else I will at least score a free Tom Collins and get to wear my new gladiator inspired strappy wedge sandals.

In addition to my good luck with EHarmony I finally received a cleaver Match.com email. Short but witty (the email, not the guy) however it’s still too early to tell if this will go someplace or just fizzle out. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cocktails, Balls, and A Boy At A Urinal

Just a few little tid bits that never really amounted to a full post this week :

Monday night was another free drink fest hosted by my office building’s concierge service. Pix (one of my favorite long lost gays) and I stood atop a roof lounge between the Empire State Building and the golden turret of the NY Life Building enjoying our free bee Bombay Sapphire Gin cocktails while tearing apart the fashion (hardly) choices of the surrounding guests. Lot’s of sloppy boobs, bad spray tans, and at least one twenty something in a borrowed suit 3 sizes too big. The highlight of my night was discovering my new signature drink - ta ta G&T, and hello Tom Collins! How retro 60’s of me. I swear I was built for the bombshell era and now with my Tom Collins in hand…. I am ready for my time machine.

Tuesday was Bastille Day and in celebration Jesus and I went to Barolo for an Italian dinner. Upon entering we were faced with a rowdy group of red faced French men (ooh la la) playing petanque in the restaurant’s roomy back garden. As fate would have it just hours before dinner the co-workers and I were researching petanque and agreed, after looking at the official FPUSA (Federation of Petanque USA) website, I would probably have better chances of scoring a date if I joined an officially sanctioned NYC petanque team than if I stay on Match.com. The pictures show hardy teams of grinning floppy haired Frenchmen enjoying big French Provincial meals and several bottles of red wine – and why am I not playing petanque? Oh and for a mere $20 registration fee I can obtain my official USA petanque credentials so I could compete in the national tournaments. Vivre la France!

On Sunday after my lazy day in the hammock I took a detour over to PS 1 since I was in desperate need of a bathroom. I hightailed it past their summertime environment installation
(looked like Frank Gehry meets Snuffleupagus) zipped past the admissions counter, with a quick smile and a wave, then down the stairs to the WC. As far as I could tell there was only one restroom, I looked at the door for any gender demarcation but there was none. I quickly searched the hallway for another such facility and again nothing so considering PS1 is avant garde I went with the whole Gender Non-specific situation and made a beeline for one of the 2 open stalls. The stalls were fully contained rooms with doors that went from floor to ceiling…ahh ha this is why it is all genders all the time, unfortunately when I exited my private pisser I was forced into a VERY public situation that I was not prepared for. There I was face to back with a young man who was mid stream in his urinal experience – whoopsie! Unsure of how to react he put his head down and sped up his task at hand, I trying to appear ‘cool’ and oh so “avant garde” sidestepped it over to the sinks to quickly wash my hands (running out into the hallway would have been so prosaic). (the following is my internal monologue) - Turn water on…TURN WATER ON….. crap no water, ok move to next sink…good lord who designed this place we have a half wall between us, our shoulders are touching…. ok now just some soap …no not the MIRROR yikes, (half smile as we both regard each others’ countenance in the reflection of the mirror in front of me)...ok I don’t need soap, look back down…. now for a paper towel and I’ll be out of here but where is the paper towel dispenser?...please don’t think I am stalking you peeing man…. I am just looking for a towel…. WTF!!??? It is on the wall next to his right arm!!! Nope no paper towel I’m good…. wipe hands on pants and I’m OUT! What is it with me and bathrooms, maybe this is why I never go?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Discovering your own backyard

Living in my 24 hour city becomes a bit overwhelming at times. The quantity of entertainment options are limitless yet it’s the vastness of the offerings that can stunt my motivation to actually participate. If I miss something no big deal there will be another new show, new exhibit, new whatever in 10 minutes. This past weekend however I made an internal pact that I would take a journey of discovery and visit a new local locale.

Friday night began with a few bottles of wine atop Swason’s Astoria abode. Yes I did call Astoria my home years back however I never sat on my roof and drank wine on a cool summer’s night – I lived in a basement. This act of semi-illegal behavior, though very lovely, was not conducted in order to satisfy my stated goal of a journey of discovery it was simply a nice way to kick off my weekend – and finally prove to Swason that I could drink like the Irish stock from whence I have sprung.

Day 2 of my quest – not so much discovery but I took a journey. LIRR out to Long Beach to put some quality time into my tan – mission accomplished!

Day 3 –Sunday morning, a bright yellow sun and sparkling blue sky beckoned to me as I began to weigh my options for the day’s J of D (that’s journey of discovery). I was torn between two unknown mistresses luring me out into the wiles of the sweeping city; Gantry Park in Long Island City or the grand opening of The High Line in Manhattan. After quickly completing my cerebral list of pros and cons Gantry Park won hands down – mostly because I assumed it would be less likely overrun with hot smelly crowds and avoiding malodorous masses is my main goal for any excursion.

Hopped onto my ol’ 7 train with my wearever chair strapped to my back filled with my survival gear (water, book, grapes, etc…) and 6 minutes later I was exiting at Vernon Boulevard in the middle of nowhere. Yes there really is a reason that for 12 years I have never seen anybody enter or exit the 7 train at the Vernon Boulevard station. Once above ground, using the sun as my guide, I navigated westward past the abandoned one story cinderblock warehouses to the high-rise luxury condos perched on the edge of the East River. The river, just steps away, lapped at the organically manicured man made shoreline bursting with wild pink roses and swaying sea grasses. I had made it – it was GANTRY PARK!

The park consists of piers, winding shady pathways, a riverside board walk equipped with lounging chairs, a rolly polly green space that beckons to be enjoyed by bare feet, a round seating area that is magically misted from below by fine sprays of water and a small row of bright orange hammocks. I thankfully scored the hammock with the best unobstructed view of both the Empire State Building and the U.N. (FYI delegates – your building needs a good power wash). True the bright orange strapping of the hammocks, though comfortable, was a bit reminiscent of those cargo nets one finds on the docks in Newark so I never quite relaxed into a deep rest for I was concerned that a barge with a large crane might take advantage of the situation and use me as ballast for a training drill.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Like Bees To Honey

I’ve re-read my add on Match.com ten times over and I still don’t understand why my cleverly composed advertisement only succeeds in soliciting responses from men who are illiterate and delusional. In the past week I have yet to win a response from any of the thirty funky/ nerdy/ nebishy/ arty/ chunky/ alternative-ish dudes of whom I have contacted – however they have all checked out my posting. Hmmmmm…… Who the heck am I up against that these guys are all…nahhhh I don’t think so? Seriously I’m not checking off the Upper East Side doctors or the Connecticut hedge fund guys, I’m poking the “I’m in a band and work weird hours” guys.

Now for your reading pleasure I submit to you the ONLY match.com emails I received over the past 4 days:

I just want someone who we can both make each other laugh (I’m not sure but I think this guy is looking for us to get together then find a third person, preferably a clown, to entertain us both.)

on my free time , i love talk on fone with fiends, specialy with my sisters, be with my daughter, love watch soccer game, love go to atlantic city, six flag, meet peoplesi ve good intention, im one of the honest person, you llever meet, i ve good faith in god ,i go to church . god bless you

i'm not jealous, just want to find someone who has the same values and who wants to be treat the way she deserves to be treated. Love spending time together cuddling and kissing. waiting on her is something i think is important to make her feel like she should always be treated for fun: spending quality time with woman who enjoys being treated like a queen

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Two Birds One Stone

This lady got needs and currently I have two very pressing needs, 1 – a guy to date, 2 – somebody to install my two window air conditioners. Yes I CAN install my ACs, I’ve been doing it for 7 years but it would be sooooo great if there was another set of hands to help. Lugging them out of the closet, dragging them across the apartment, balancing them on the window sill 4 flights up from the sidewalk below as I precariously wedge loose bricks under the bottom edge to help reduce the risk of “flip out” – I’m kinda done. Last year I was almost decapitated when just seconds after pulling my head back into my apartment my circa 1929 window broke loose from its track and came slamming down full force. Unfortunately my left arm was not as lucky as my head; it was splayed across the top of the unit with my fingers wrapped around the outer edge of the AC. I don’t know how I was able to lift the entire weight of the window off my arm with just my free 4 stubby fingers while not loosing the appliance or passing out from the pain, but I did it and as a souvenir I rocked an oozing black and green bruise for weeks.

Fast forward to summer 2009 and once again it is time to re-install my units but this time I thought I would do the very smart thing and post on my facebook – for all 154 friends to see – my need for help. Not only did I post that I needed help I even offered up a pint and a cheeseburger from Donovan’s (voted NYC’s best burger by TONY) and guess what, the ONLY person who responded was Q in NC promising that if she was in NYC she would lend a hand. Really, really? WTF!? It would even be cool if Scooter offered to do it when he visits at the end of the month however he and Galleta’s have decided not to respond to voice mails or emails. Yep I just called both of you out in the blog – but I have no worries of any repercussions since Galleta is MIA and Scooter recently informed me that he’s just too busy to return calls, reply to emails or read the blog anymore.

While bemoaning my fate to an old friend (name withheld) she suggested a very creative solution to both my needs (#1 and #2). She recommended that I post an add on craigslist.com offering a buffet of torrid services in return for AC installation. At first I shrugged off this strategy however as the temperature rises and Match.com has been unable to locate at least one “mutual match” out of their 16 million subscribers, this raunchy plan is shockingly gaining my approval.
In closing please share in the horror of the only email I received yesterday from Match.com. While you are reading this please picture a fat balding 55 year old man in a Hawaiian shirt, gold chains, faded tight jeans, white socks, and cream colored pointed-toe shoe-boots lounging in a leather office chair with one hand on his crotch and the other holding a telephone receiver to his ear.

you will fall in love


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gone Fishing

Onto day two of “Match-fest 2009” and even though I have not garnered a response from the 12 gents I reached out to, I’m still keeping the faith. I have committed to searching at least 200 profiles per day and with only 12 ‘hits’ out of 400 profiles… I think this may take awhile. On the receiving end I have been the recipient of 7 ‘winks’, one email, and one tedious 6 minute IM session during which my male pursuer informed me that I was “cool” a total of 5 times then when I refused his request for my personal email address he responded with, “well then will you just go out with me”, I said no. As for the email I received – here it is:

hello, i'm not into describing myself since every time i sit in front of this box, i loose all the words, but i'm very open minded and easy going person that like to have fun and live his life happy and quiet.

I’m intrigued by this mysterious ‘word swiping box’ that the author alludes to in his email and I wonder - if this lexiconian Bermuda triangle is so offensive then why doesn’t the wordless Romeo just change his location when writing? Oh well I guess I will just have to live with the mystery because I already deleted this easy going guy who doesn’t like to conjugate verbs.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Back in the Mix

Last night while not installing my two air conditioners I re-registered on Match.com. I feel like I have to do something to meet a guy and even though I have been on and off Match for over ten years (yikes) and have never met anybody I am still optimistic that I will find that arty confident needle in the haystack. I tried in earnest in February to really focus on my Match subscription, hitting it hard for hours every night, searching profiles, emailing, ‘winking” but after 2.5 weeks of chumming the waters in the hopes of snagging a dude who would pony up for some drinks to justify my $32 subscription fee not only did I not bag a single response I also was laid off. Being laid off with no savings and two grad school student loans tends to put a damper on one’s flirting ability so I was forced to quickly shift my obsessive focus from Match.com to Monster.com. Now that I am gainfully employed and have traded in my winter bluish skim milk pallor for a good “starter tan” I am primed for the hunt (I guess). I even bit the bullet and prepaid $75 for a three month membership. I usually only purchase a month’s subscription because at day 27 I lose momentum and throw in the towel but now I can’t shrug off my responsibilities to continually search the postings of the 30 – 45 year old male populous who inhabit the 30 mile radius around Metro NY.

On Match, like most web dating sites, you have to log in and search profiles frequently or else your profile gets pushed to the bottom of the pile, the more time spent searching the better your chances are at getting found, especially since it is about a 2:1 ratio of woman to men in my age group and geographic location. Please note this ratio includes all the married guys who are lying about their status, the 5’5” guys who state that they are 5’9”, the guys who post a full add but never pay for a subscription just so they can feed their ego, and the Nigerians. Then there is the self marketing side of the equation and since “it takes a village” I am posting my actual add here in hopes that you will weigh in with your edits and or comments:

I'm a smarty pants artistic chick who’s sensitive and sappy when I am not bitingly witty. I have a quick tongue, a great sense of humor, and I will keep you on your toes. I'm gregarious and goofy with an affinity for alliteration. What I lack in interest for essay questions I make up 10 fold in entertainment value. I can spit out a story in seconds that will send milk shooting from your nose or rival any barrel of monkeys.
My Date: You would posses the 3 C’s, charisma, charm, and confidence. Any dude with the phrases “Laid Back” or “Easy Going” may not be the guy for me. I tend to head for the guys who are actively engaged, energetically enthusiastic, dynamically intrigued, connected, inspired, and curious.

I will keep you updated on my progress and if we all think happy thoughts within 90 days I will have at least one date that will produce more than just a humorous blog posting.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Who ARE these people?

Last night I attended a free-bee mojito party sponsored by the concierge company that services my swanky office building. They hosted this event at High Bar, a midtown roof top lounge that one must gain entry through a series of velvet ropes and speak easy like basement catacombs.

Once at the penthouse level my plus one and I found Bookie 2, poured ourselves some free drinks then decided to do some investigating. The intimate outdoor space was furnished with brightly striped low couches and large square beds festooned with canvas drapes, with a BBQ, bar and DJ area. We plopped ourselves in an area marked ‘reserved’ since it afforded us the best vantage point to view the crowd and boy was it an odd mix. I thought it would be mostly business peeps from our building but it turned out that there were two very different parties being hosted concurrently. On the edge of the roof along the row of couches sat the office-y types (mostly woman, except for the one couple making sweet sweet love on the bed in the corner) while in the center the reserved banquets held a LA trashy crowd who I believe may be solely responsible for the influx of New York City’s bed bug infestation. This group of trendy, oh so bored with life anorexics were draped over one another smoking and texting. The guys looked to be in their 40’s with teen age haircuts and frosted tips, skinny jeans, and $200 vintage T shirts that had been strategically hand distressed by some top designer. The girls were mostly 23 with no pants, ratty hair (that oh so dirty messy I just rolled out of bed and did some blow look), all with a penchant for showing some sort of foundation garment. Who are these people? Where do they come from? Why don’t they smile or laugh? These are not my people – entertaining to watch, kinda like being at the zoo – but not my people.

So the immediate company was swell, the free drinks were yummy, the view was lovely and the people watching was a hoot however it was not the evening that I had hoped for – oh well.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Too Luscious for the Hampton Jitney

For the past 13 years I’ve been riding the Hampton Jitney to visit my mom in the bucolic sea side town of Sag Harbor. The Hampton Jitney for those of you not submersed in the Manhattan / Hamptons culture is a coach bus that shuttles self important travelers (moi excluded) from the Upper East Side to the Hamptons for double the price of the LIRR. During the ‘season’ the bus is riddled with swankers and hipsters smacking people upside the head with their oversized Louis Vuitton duffle bags as they trudge down the aisle while screaming into their cell phones, “What, What? I’m on the Jitney. The JITNEY? What? Who’s at the house? WHO’S at the HOUSE?” However I being the consummate Jitney passenger travel light, check my bags under the bus and enter demurely only with my purse, an ipod and a black berry set to vibrate. Once on the coach I always choose the perfect window seat, halfway between the stench of the rear bathroom and the subzero air cooled temperatures of the driver’s area, then tuck in for my 3 hour ride.

It’s odd then when you compare my very considerate behavior combined with the fact that I do not spread out an entire NY Times, Dean and Deluca picnic, or any other flotsam and jetsam onto the seat next to me to thwart others from claiming it as their own that I am ALWAYS the last one chosen for a seat partner. People will glance at the very empty seat next to me then as their eyes scan across to me they immediately retreat to find a more acceptable seat partner. “Acceptable Partner” could be the guy sleeping with his laptop and full briefcase on the adjoining seat, or the girl traveling with her yorkie, or really anybody that is not me. True it is nice at times to be the ONLY passenger on a packed bus to have two seats to myself but it’s disturbing after 13 years to still be declared “Too Fat” to share.

My bottom is juicy; it’s one of my three best features (so my fans have attested to) however I do not SPILL into the adjacent seat nor do I take up more room than any other size 16. I don’t hog the arm rest, I’m well groomed and dress more appropriately than the majority of the passengers, I don’t eat, drink, or even get up to the use the bathroom so the only reason I have found to explain this attitude towards me is that fat is contagious.

It is 100% certain that I will be the last chosen on the Jitney however every time I am left alone it still amazes me. Just last Friday after the driver secured the cabin for our 100 mile journey out East I actually stood up and scanned the entire bus to see if I was just paranoid or if I was truly the ONLY person left with an empty… and yes once again the cheese stood alone.

I know I shouldn’t allow other’s actions to affect my own image – and truly I do not respect or admire these strangers nor would I ever want to trade my life for theirs or the lives’ of the faceless tools on the other side of their cell phone conversations – however it’s never nice to be unjustly singled out. It’s funny though when I took the bus down to DC I was one of the first to be chosen as a travel partner and my seat buddy was a young charming international playboy whose parents were delegates at the UN, so that either means that people who take the bus to DC are less discriminating or my under 21 buddy liked him some “junk”.