Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sawat-dee kaa!

I am totally learning Thai. That means hello.

Sabai dee mai? That means How are you?

So ready for our trip, y'all.

I am in Boston now, about to head out to the airport bound for Philly, but wanted to share with you all that it is never acceptable to comment to a woman: "You look tired. Did you sleep last night?"

No, it is never acceptable.


In other news, my new pseudo-niece's name is actually Ryley Judith. I learned that when father of said pseudo-niece looked at me like I was MAD when I called his new baby Ryley Olivia. But she is just the sweetest, tiniest thing. Well done, Lauren!

Finally, tomorrow is my birthday. I'm legal! Seven times over.

Let's not speak of it, okay?


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Travolta Ain't Got Nothin' on DelCo Cover Bands

Pardon my vulgarity, but this morning I would like to say only:

Fuck you, Avis Rental Car.

The horror of this morning's rental car return! The incomprehensive signs pointing to off-airport drop-off locations! The gut-wrenching drive up and down Post Road! The calls to Avis headquarters! Who couldn't help me because I was calling from a New York number! And that's why I was routed to New York! And if I had been wise enough to call from a Rhode Island land line, I may have gotten the assistance I needed!

So yes, fuck you Avis, and your assinine ways. I thank you ever so graciously for causing me to miss my 7:15 AM flight to Philadelphia.

At the very least, you have offered me the opportunity to discuss last weekend's 10th Annual Girls' Christmas Party! The highlights:

  • The line of the night, courtesy of Di. I won't do it justice; just know that it ends with a blow to her two year-old son's ego, when he was unfortunate enough to be caught in the Gallery in Center City Philadelphia behind a dissatisfied customer, who directed her rage at the young kid: "Look at that big ass kid in the stroller!" Oh my God. We laughed for an hour, though it was probably D's delivery of the line. I'm still laughing now.
  • Allie presenting us with her gifts, explaining, "This is because we're all sort of homey now, y'know?" She gave us all wonderful cookbooks: except Grace of course, who got a giant encyclopedia of cocktails. Well-played, Al. Well-played.
  • Lord - Grace. After the lovely dinner hosted at Al's, the six of us plunged into the depths of Delco nightlife: Goon's. A particularly lame cover band performed (like, have you ever seen an all-man group rock out to "You're the one that I want" from Grease?). Grace became agitated and decided to throw me around some on the dance floor. And push me into the stage. Repeatedly.
  • Grace then followed me to the side of the stage, at which time the bassist foolishly invited her up. She danced, hopped off, then wanted more. She jumped back, dragging me with her. I stood in the back as Grace bounded towards the microphone. Security immediately accosted her. We decided it was time to head out.
  • The sleepover. Let's just say, Grace ended up in a compromising position at night's end. Koos delightedly snapped photos with her camera phone, which woke Grace from her delicate slumber. "Seriously?" she asked, exasperated. Again, we laughed and laughed.

Kudos to us for keeping the tradition alive since high school. Here is to Christmas parties well into our 90s, at which time I expect Grace will still be tossing me around on the dance floor like a ragdoll.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ryley Olivia Arrives

Ryley Olivia was born last night at 10 PM, as I lay asleep at Mohegan. She's completely adorable and delicious; if new momma Laur gives me the OK, I will post photos!

(My own momma called from the hospital last night to tell me the news. She added: "She did great! Only an hour of pushing!" "An HOUR?!" I yelled into the phone, because, um, that seems like a lot. And also - ouch.)

J, Ultimate Boyfriend/Secret Keeper

Many months ago, J and I were strolling around SoHo, our typical New York Saturday. We crossed Houston and meandered into Crate and Barrel, where I began mentally decorating my future dining room (J’s current). Suddenly, a brainstorm:

“Let’s not bother with Christmas presents this year,” I say. “We don’t need anything, and we can focus on stuff for the house.”

“That’s a great idea,” J agrees.

“Well, I mean, we should get each other one small, thoughtful thing,” I backpedal.

“Of course,” J says.

Naturally, O Magazine helps me create the perfect gift for J. I learn of a service that will allow me to convert photos to oil paintings. J is a wonderful photographer, so I pick one of my favorite shots from Greece and then wait until the very last second to send the pic to the company, because I procrastinate.

But when I do receive the painting a few days before the holiday, it’s spectacular. He will love it.

This gentleman from Santorini is hanging in our kitchen now.

J and I decide to celebrate our Christmas the Saturday before Dec. 25th. We each have one small wrapped gift placed under the tree – ahem, poinsettia.

J asks to open his gift first. As I suspected, he loves it. Success!

I open my gift. A Reebok sneakers box!

Wait - a handmade book inside. The Grinch adorns its cover.

It reads: Merry Christmas, Melissa.

I begin reading. J is absolutely silent.

…a few sheets of paper were all I could afford…

…you’ll need a break after a long winter cooped up with your boyfriend…

Map of the United States?




I scream as I frantically turn the pages. There is a 17 hour flight to Bangkok! There is a three-night stay in Chiang Mai! There is a four-night stay in Krabi! There are snorkeling trips to Phi Phi! There is a two-night stay in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to visit the temples at Angkor Wat!

I can barely wrap my head around it; I am so astounded.

He’d been planning it since that afternoon in Crate and Barrel. He set me up. And he kept it top secret for months and months.

He should work for the CIA; he’s so secretive and smooth.

The trip is coming up quick; we leave for Bangkok on February 22nd. We're in the process of getting the appropriate shots (hepatitis A) and antimalarial meds, as you do. J thinks I am crazy for insisting on a mosquito net for Cambodia; he assures me we are not sleeping in wilderness. I have to explain to him that mosquitos love to feast on me, and he'll be sorry when I contract malaria!

So yeah, ever so slightly crazy.

And going to Thailand and Cambodia!!!

(High-pitched squealing ensues.)

Monday, January 22, 2007

I'm Alive!

Well, it has been one HELL of a January thus far. I've been traveling non-stop (Orlando; Westminster, Massachusetts; Manhattan; White Plains, New York; Uncasville, Connecticut). I swear, the networking never ends. I actually see J less now than when we were doing the long distance thing. For serious!

I write to you, faithful readers, from the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Connecticut. I am headed to dinner in five minutes, but wanted to check in with the Internet. I miss you guys. Let's really catch up soon - I have so much to report!

Here's a preview: at 2:36 AM I received a text message that read only: LABOR. Cousin Lauren is having contractions, y'all! And it's 5:34 PM, and yeah, still no baby Riley. Silly kid! And aww - Laur. May your epidural be blissful and may you dialate soon. Love you lots, dear Cuzzy.

So babies and trips abroad coming up very soon and much Holy Shit! It's all fun and games until someone moves in with someone chat by Wednesday.

Mmm... Mini bar. Sweet, sweet mini bar.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Back. And also - everything's different.

Well then. Um, how was your holiday?? Great, great. Mine was excellent, thank you for asking.


And your New Year's?


Awkward silence. Writer looks down at feet.

So, am a little embarrassed by my prolonged absence, faithful readers. But I still love you like a fat kid love cake. Seriously. And now we're back in business!

I have no idea where to begin.

Should I tell you that I am traveling this week? That tonight I am traveling... in Manhattan? You know, where I used to live? Remember Queens? The new Manhattan?

I no longer live in Astoria. And yes, it breaks my heart, ever so slightly. Just ask my calm, patient, kind boyfriend, J, who lovingly sat with me in my empty apartment bathroom as I sobbed and sobbed, willing myself to give him a smile so he wouldn't think I had gone completely mad.

He also sat with me in my empty bedroom. And in my empty living room. He handed me rolls of toilet papers because I couldn't seem to stop the tears. I named this blog after Queens for JC's sake!

Damnit, fucking tears!

I am sitting in a Courtyard Marriott on 92nd and First Avenue. I've been living in a gorgeous home in Philadelphia for barely two weeks; and amazingly, in that short span of time, I don't belong here anymore. I don't live here anymore. I rode the 4 train downtown to meet Vanessa at our former favorite happy hour spot, and I felt like a poser; a ghost. When the woman behind the desk at the hotel asked me how my trip to the city was, I felt compelled to tell her that it was great; after all, I just moved to Philadelphia, from Astoria! Really! You see?? I really am one of you! Don't you get it, lady??

Writer heaves huge sigh.

It will get easier.

I mean, it has to! This is 2007, y'all. This is serious. And I am excited to report that it's January 9th, and I've already broken all of my resolutions. Unless, of course, my resolutions were as follows:

  1. Drink more.
  2. Er, drink every day.
  3. Don't exercise.
  4. Start drinking caffeine again.
  5. Sleep in.
  6. Forget B vitamins.
  7. Stick foot in mouth once daily.
  8. Leave laptop at security in Orlando airport.
  9. Frantically recover laptop in nick of time.
  10. Ignore blog.

Happy New Year, Internet. Happy New Year, Everyone.