Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pregnancy Pact Pregnancy Pact Pregnancy Pact


Remember that time we all watched For Keeps in high school, and then we all vowed we would get knocked up as one big pregnant team, because, like, Molly Ringwald looked so cute with that swollen belly at prom! Remember when she complained about her hemmorhoids? That tub in the center of her dilapidated apartment?

Didn't we just yearn for it?

So, in short: shut up, Media, about this assinine pregnancy pact, and if you mention Juno one more fucking time, I will explode. Yours, HV.

In other news, just returned from Chicago, and man, did she and I ever have an amazing first date! We just clicked: shopping on the Magnificent Mile; jogging along Lake Michigan; becoming a student of the fascinating architecture; sampling the delicious Indian cuisine.

The only thing that could have made the trip any better would have been meeting one of my heroines, like, oh, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and maybe having her sign a copy of her new book, Team of Rivals.

And then:

That happened.

I heard DKG speak first. She waxed poetic about her time at the White House during Johnson's administration, her love of history, and finally, Abraham Lincoln. By the close of the speech, my eyes were brimming with tears. Surprisingly, the man next to me was also wiping tears from his face.
"She was incredible," he said to me. The lump in my throat didn't allow me to speak, so I only nodded. "That was the best part of the whole convention," he concurred.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Meat for Brains

Or: I couldn't help but wonder... Can this carnivirous Swede go green?

At one point during our lovely Father's Day luncheon with J's family last Sunday, we talked MEAT. Or, more specifically, meat as carcinogen. See, J's parents have a fascinating Christian monk friend who dabbles in eastern medicine, mystery novel writing, and Buddhism. I'm fairly sure he's met the Dalai Lama. He also sends emails with Power Points attached, espousing the myriad of health benefits associated with green tea. Naturally, he is my hero.

So my ears perk up when Mom o' J tells us that said friend believes, plainly, that meat is a carcinogen, equivalent to cigarette smoke. At least meat as J and I purchase it (er, Acme brand. Chock full of hormones and additives. Get it while it's hot!).

J turns to me. "Babe, we could do it. Why don't we become vegeterians?"

Then J asserts that he doesn't eat meat at all during the week, only the processed, packaged cold cuts he eats daily in his sandwich. "I don't count that anyway."

And thus beginneth J's meat-eating vegetarianism.

I give the issue a bit more thought. Without becoming vegan, and without giving up fish, could I do it?

I decide to try it for one week, beginning Monday. I travel to Syracuse, in a filthy rental car with a busted radio that reeks of cigarette smoke (oh, I also discovered books on CD this week. Stunning.) On my trip, I am bombarded with signs for McDonald's and Burger King every 15 miles or so, and suddenly I can't stop thinking about a double cheeseburger. It consumes me as I drive on, at a ridiculously legal pace. No meat and no radio make HV... something something.

I manage to quell the fierce cravings, and order grilled salmon later that night, though I can't help but feel that my head's gone a bit fuzzy. I notice it when I am leading a meeting the next day, so when I make to leave 'Cuse, I think to myself, 81 North. Remember, you need to get on 81 North.

I successfully navigate my way onto 81 North and take a business call that lasts for, oh, 30 miles. I hang up and notice another sign for Watertown.

Oh. I say to myself. Right. 81 South.

I've got meat for brains!

I turn around somewhere near Mexico, NY, and live to fuck up another day.

Like, er, today. I wake up early this morning to return the rental car to 30th Street Station. I am even clear-minded enough to negotiate a deep discount for the deeply dysfunctional vehicle. I purchase a one-way ticket to Manayunk, buy an iced decaf, and make my way to the R6 platform.

When the train for "Cynwyd" comes, I eagerly hop onboard.

And then I learn from the conductor - didn't even realize this one on my own! - that I am, indeed, on the wrong train.

Meat for brains!

I get off the train on City Line Avenue, and resign myself to walking the three miles back home. Besides, it's a beautiful morning, and the exercise will be a great warm-up for my 8:30 AM yoga class. I may be mind-numbingly stupid this week, but by God, I am in great spirits. Am Zen-Goddess. Even my yoga instructor tells me she can feel my positive energy today.

I am so pleased with the compliment, I float home in my newly relaxed and stretched body. I prepare myself two organic eggs, which I scarf down with strawberries and a perfectly ripe plum.

I am so Zen, you see, that I neglect to look at my Treo - my one saving grace in this world - until exactly 15 minutes after I was expected at my doctor's appointment.

Hormone-riddled meat: 3
HomeValley: 0

I shan't give up though. You see, I've just listened to The Alchemist on CD and I am dangerously close to prattling on about Personal Legends and Omens and all that delightful "listen to your heart" business. You can't win, Meat! I am stronger than you!

At least through Monday. Then we'll make a game time decision to see if vegetarianism is truly a fit.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I am dangerously close to having my future sister-in-law read this at our wedding:

His hello was the end of her endings
Her laugh was their first step down the aisle
His hand would be hers to hold forever
His forever was as simple as her smile
He said she was what was missing
She said instantly she knew
She was a question to be answered
And his answer was "I do"

And I can't be having some season two Carrie Bradshaw poems spoken on that beach in DR.

Or - or can I?

In desperate need of some inspiration. I want something magical and mystical, something that speaks to us, and our relationship. And no offense, Mr. Tradition, but once you hear those ubiquitous wedding words uttered - "Love is patient, love is kind..." - does your brain perhaps shut down, because yes, that is so beautiful! So beautiful that everyone uses it at their wedding!

Alas, folks: because of its ubiquity, it is mostly devoid of sentiment. Unless, of course, I could convince my S-I-L and my little bro to do some sort of dramatic improvisation? Like, Ry mimes raising a hand to E's face, but then she proclaims: "No! Stop! Love is patient!" And then he heaves a hugh sigh, and concurs: "Yes. Love is patient, y'all. And so, so kind."

Do you see what happens when I think about this too much?

The situation, she is grave.

So, Internet, any ideas?

I have revisited the works of great poets, philosophers, and Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer. Through it all, I said: Meh.

Could someone perhaps point me in the right direction?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

An Open Letter to the Donald

Dear Mr. Trump:

Your casino? The Trump Plaza?


It absolutely needs to be vacuumed, and disinfected, and perhaps fumigated. It reeks of stale cigarettes and feet. Most of the clientele here smoke; alternately, the non-smokers are attached to oxygen masks. The irony is not lost on me.

Now I do not gamble, because lo, I hate to lose even more than I love to win. Also, I don't understand goddamn craps. The fuck?

Yesterday, however, I played the slots. And then when I was up $47, I kept going, as you, no doubt, intended. And I lost and I lost, but I stopped when I was exactly $3 up.

Haha! I win!



Tuesday, June 03, 2008

To the women in my life, with love.

A very belated thank you to the gorgeous women in my life, who planned an amazing bridal shower for me in, er, late April.

It was absolutely lovely, with nary a bridal bingo card in sight!

There was lots of wine, amazing food, and lord - the gifts! They were abundant, and generous, and beautiful, even if I held up everything that resembled a bowl and said, "Oh wow! A serving dish!" And then one of 18 people would tell me, "No no; that is a __________." Perhaps they then muttered under their breath, "Good luck, J."

And dudes, it was a "surprise", but I accidentally found out about it when I used my superior detective skills to jokingly discover the elaborate ruse... Only to actually discover the elaborate ruse, and then feel like an asshole. But come on, everyone wins when the bride-to-be is this talented an actress:

(Though my mother was nearby at this time, rolling her eyes and telling everyone: "She knew.")

Soon it was time to open gifts, and Vanessa gave me this apron, which I promptly put on and wore all day. I give the people what they want.

Unbeknownst to me, my mother coordinated the creation of a scrapbook, in which all the women closest to me (parents, aunts, sisters, cousins, friends) made pages, chronicling our lives together. It is quite possibly the most exquisite and hilarious gift I have ever received.

Squee! Another serving dish!

Ladies, words cannot begin to express my gratitude, not just for my lovely bridal shower, but for everything you have given me over the years: your constant love, support, friendship, and laughter. You have made me the woman I am today (perhaps one of you could have pulled me aside at some point and given me a cooking and kitchen-utensil lesson, but still). I am proud to know you; proud to be your daughter, step-daughter, sister, niece, cousin, and friend. I love each and every one of you around the world and back again.

(And dudes, yes, you are still getting thank you cards. Soon.)