Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Christmas just ended for me. It started early in the morning on Christmas Eve day with Joel's parents and went straight through in a flurry of meals, traditions and presents and just ended up here in my sister's apartment in Boston. I got hiking boots and ice skates and the Dyson Special British "Never Loses Suction" Pet Hair Vacuum (been DYING for that; I danced around and hugged it)and a home iPod player thingy and Mrs Enders' Homemade Fiddle Faddle (TM) and Chapter 13-and-a-half of Gwen's awesome book and long, satisyfing letters from Scotland and an exciting announcement of a bun in the oven for close friends who are totally going to be kickass parents and so many other amazing good things.

I need a nap.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Garbage Pail Kids

Wetzel, that was just to get your attention, (although a little googling found that Garbage Pail Kids fans are a live and well on the Internet. You can go here to build your own kid.)

I will be in Lancaster for 48 hours. I really want to see you. A handful of the old '97 HHS people are going out for breakfast on 12/26 at 10 a.m. at the Lyndon Diner (the one near E. Bumblefuck and the McDonald's with the playground by the mall, not the one by the CaddyShack). Unless you're an Internet stalker, in which case we're not meeting anywhere, please don't try to find us.

If you come, I will do a multi-paragraph post about Garbage Pail Kids AND build one on that website in your honor. Plus, the Lyndon Diner makes a mean scrapple. It wouldn't be Lancaster without scrapple.

Friday, December 16, 2005

This is why I don't do photo greeting cards.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Me: "Oh, you guys are so cute. Nobody move; I'm going to take a picture of you by the tree."
Fred: (Yawn)
Bella: Pictures? I love pictures! I'm wearing my pretty jingle collar! JingleJingleJingle!

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Me: I know. You're very cute and Christmas-y. (click)
Bella: Did you get my good side? Oh, wait, I think I blinked.
Fred: She's blocking me!

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Me: Yeah, you did blink, actually. We'll do it again. (click) And he's right. Scoot over a little, Bell, I can't see Fred.
Bella: Was that a good one? Can I see it?

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Me: You can see it when we're done. I want to take a vertical one now. (click)
Bella: I'm Jingle Bella! Jing-le Belle, Jing-le Belle, Jingle all the waaay!

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Me: Guys, can you just-
Fred: If you can't see me in the picture anyway, I'm going to go lay on the bathroom rug and lick my balls.
Bella: Someone's touchy.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Me: Fred, don't leave. I just want to get one good shot by the tree. Just one. Bella say you're sorry for being an attention whore
Bella: Sorry for being so much prettier and better at this than y-
Me: YES, *thank* you, that will do.
Fred: Meow.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Bella: See Fred? You just sit in front of the tree and look adorable. Like this! Ta da!
Fred: I swish my tail defiantly in your general direction.
Me: (click)

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Bella: Amateurs!

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Me: No, you are NOT calling the ASPCA. Just sit. right. there. Good. (click)

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Fred: You got human cooties on me! Unclean! Unclean!

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Me: Fine, fine. Lick the cooties off and let me take this picture. (click) We are NOT sticking our tongues out for this photo. Just smile normally. Bella, I need you looking at the camera so I can just take it whenever Fred is ready.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Bella: I seemply can not vork like zis!
Me: Why are you French all of a sudden?
Bella: Yeah, I don't know.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Fred: Screw you guys.
Me: That's it. I'm getting the Whiska Lickin's as bribes. That's what you really want, isn't it?

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Fred: No! Okay.... Yes.
Bella: I will just sit here by the tree looking photogenic, because I am above the need for sodium pressed into little fishy shapes.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Fred: mmmm.. munchy munchy fishy shapes... It takes like "happy!"
Bella: They do sort smell yummy.
Fred: Mmf? mm hmm. Yummy.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Bella: But.. but.. but the human says we can't get the treats until AFTER we do the thing she tells us to. Fred! You don't get the treats 'til AFTER. That's the rule.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Fred: Whatever, fool.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Bella: Well, maybe I'll have just one.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Me: Is everyone sufficiently bribed and ego-stroked now? Because I do have a life too, you know,
Bella: (snort)
Fred: Meh?
Me: SHUT UP! I just want one nice picture of you both by the tree. (click). Thank you. You can both go back to licking your dainty bits now.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Ooh.... Aah....

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Here. Have a nice, random nature photo for your viewing pleasure.

(It was cold as f*ck next to this lake.)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Fancypants Fountain with Scum in It

I feel like I have a handle on the holidays. Things are getting done, I guess. Gifts are getting bought, or at least, they're arriving from mail-order catalogues and websites. They are definitely getting wrapped, because hoo boy, do I love me some fancy paper from the Container Store.

At the same time, I'm marking new milestones, redefining old relationships, figuring out the new boundaries, and coming to terms with the fact that some things just take more time than we want them too. Some of it is hard work. Some of it is easy, really fun and feels completely right. Tonight I was feeling stuck in the middle between who I was and who I'm becoming and with the true meaning of the holidays and how I'm spending them differently *this* year for the first time *in* years and WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

I was getting all caught up in this thought bog at the Fancypants Stepford Mall because a basketball game I was supposed to be covering was cancelled due to a snowstorm that hasn't materialized yet, which I don't really get, but hey! Why work when one can shop? Also, Joel and I spent more time this last weekend hunting for the elusive "right menorah" than we did picking out the "perfect Christmas tree" and I had a discount thingy for Crate and Barrel.

Then I got distracted by children who were fascinated by something in the fountain that's on the ground floor, three levels below the food court. There was some sort of foamy, fountain scum floating around. When you look at it up close, it really, really looked like a soaked kaiser roll. The thought of some disgruntled mall employee chucking round rolls into the ornate fountain by Tiffany's made me smile, but it was definitely scum. The kids were SO. EXCITED. about the scum. (I felt bad for their parents.)

I stood there for a moment, looking at the Fancypants Fountain with Scum in It, feeling stuck, wanting to find a perfect, pain-free place to carry the best of my past while running headlong into my future,and wondering if it's even possible or worth it, because damn, my future is looking pretty great and I'm tired of crying.... when PLOP! a quarter dropped into the fountain right in front of me, tossed by someone making a wish on level somewhere above me... It was a tiny thing, really, a small reminder that some things can fall into place because we really hope they will.

Best of all, I have a Christmas tree AND a menorah in my house now. I love that.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

How I know my sister is devoted to her husband.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
I've written before about my friend Brad being my hero and kicking ass. Aside from his general kick-assitude, (aw, look at him humoring me on Thanksgiving by not shooting me his best "I Hate Being Photographed" Death Glare. He's single, ladies; line forms to the left), I will now tell you a story about me, Brad, and my sister, and yes, it will retrospectively reveal her devotion to her new husband.

When I was in first grade, my mom took us to her school's annual FunFest in May, and miracle of miracles, both Amanda and I won goldfish in little bowls by bonking them on the head with ping pong balls. Go, us.

After whipping ourselves into a frenzy brought on by prolonged exposure to funnel cake and cheap plastic crap, my mom piled us and the Plotner kids into her little hatchback Datsun and drove us home. I still can't figure out how we all fit, except that we were small, Greg may have not been with us, and everyone in the entire Plotner clan has always been a skinny marvel of metabolism. Also, I was scrunched into the fun, seatbelt-free zone under the hatchback door known to children of the 80s as "the way back."

I cooed lovingly over my goldfish in its inflated plastic baggie almost the whole way home, until we stopped at a red light by the Fulton Bank, Hayden Zug's and Gargano's in East Bumblefuck. I leaned forward to say something, putting the plastic fish baggie over the barrier between the way back and the backseat. Amanda leaned back, popped my fish baggie and SCREAMED BLOODY MURDER as my goldfish flopped spasmodically around on the seat.

Brad calmly took Amanda's plastic fish baggie out of her hands, gently loosened the knot, and being my hero, plucked my dying fish off the seat and plopped him in with Amanda's fish. I'm giving you all this background because you need to know that dealing with dead and dying pets, especially slimy dead pets, has never been Amanda's, um, specialty.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
About the same time chronologically that my miracle goldfish was eaten by a new, larger, beautiful and apparently cannibalistic fish we added to the tank, in another state, my brother-in-law Tom got a frog for his birthday.

In an email forward I received earlier today, Tom writes: "It wasn't exactly a frog, but rather the equipment to take care of a tadpole and nurture it into a frog and a coupon for one tadpole from the Grow-A-Frog company.  The small aquarium, instruction booklet and other items were passed around the living room until someone (I don't know who) noted that while Grow-A-Frogs had a life expectancy of five years, they had been known to live fifteen years."

Eight-year-old Tom named his tadpole Clyde after one of the Pac-Man ghosts.
Tom's email continued: "'You mean Tom could have this thing when he's in college?' remarked Dad. Much mirth followed with Mom and Dad making creaky old person voices pretending to be on the phone with an older me.  'Tom, it's your mother; come home from college and feed your frog.'"

Clyde, indeed, lived through college AND law school. He's featured in their wedding video AND their wedding album. Today, Clyde went to the Big Freshwater Habitat in the Sky, I'm afraid. Tom is taking this pretty hard. He writes, "One out of four days I will have on this Earth began with feeding Clyde...He lived a long time, was probably more loved than any frog in history."

While I know a great deal about the bond between people and their pets, I have to confess I'm a little bit more touched by the phone conversation I had with my sister tonight. She was on her cell phone, clacking through Boston's blustery downtown business district to her firm's annual Christmas party. You have to have met her to picture her as I do, probably wrapped in her Burberry scarf, Blackberry most likely thrumming in her fashionable pocket as she told me how her morning began: trying not to scream as she skimmed her very sad husband's dead pet frog out of its little plastic home with a slotted spoon.

She went on to describe the way she positioned him just so and then re-positioned him as respectfully as possible- and here's where we come full circle, readers- in, you guessed it, a plastic baggie. She also described her success ordering a reasonably priced memorial stone made from river rocks over the Internet AND how she called the company right back immediately to have a duplicate made so that Clyde can be buried in the river near Tom's childhood home AND have a memorial in their apartment.

Did I mention the part about the slotted spoon? THAT is devotion, people.

"It's not easy bein' green. 
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things. 
And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water- or stars in the sky. "
-Kermit the Frog

Rest in Peace, Clyde. I always liked you.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Heartbreak: Month 10

I fall asleep every Thursday and Saturday night with my head resting on the shoulder of my new lover. I still get goosebumps every time he touches the back of my neck or reaches for my hand. My body just responds to his presence. I don't know how long that particular phenomena will last, but I love it. Thanksgiving- for all my bloggy crabbiness- was great. Joel charmed my Nanny, remembered all the names of the sisterfriends (and most of their husbands) and insisted on driving in my hometown so he could learn his way around. His friends have folded me into their routines for things like hanging out and holiday gift-giving. We just... fit. All in all, Plan B is going swimmingly.

And yet, I'm writing a heartbreak entry for the first time in months, since Month 6 when I announced I was back in the saddle. One of the major hurdles of this heartbreak, for me anyway, was the sudden way things ended. Maybe it's the time of year, knowing that Stephen was thinking about breaking up with me around now. As the holiday decorations go up all around me, I catch myself walking the same streets thinking, "Was this when the ground started shifting? Were we at this ice rink when he started slipping away? Was it the fight we had the night I covered this annual holiday gala that made him stop loving me?"

The answer I came up with months ago was that it doesn't matter, because it's over. I'm a stronger person for it, in a healthier non-long distance relationship, and so is he.

There is one remaining hurdle in my heartbreak. There's a child turning five on the other side of the world today. I remember when his parents announced that the "goalie was out of the net," as it were, and we wished for him with all our hearts.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
I remember the night he was born, listening eagerly to one side of the cell phone call in a driveway in Syracuse, trying not to slip on the ice.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
I remember the first time I really got to hold him and play with him. It was Father's Day. I was taking picture after picture, hoping his father's chemo would be successful, hoping that the photographs would just be a few pages in an album and not what he would use to try to remember his father as he grew up.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
I remember him coming out of the bath, warm and damp and sweet.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
I remember him asking for milk in a language I don't speak, stroking the inside of my arm as he snuggled up to me for a story.
I remember when he first began loving fire engines and Spiderman, telling us, "I like school."

I remember recording him singing "Jingle Bills" in the clear, slightly off-key, confident notes that only children are unselfconscious enough to sing in public. He stalls at one point, and I join in to prompt him, though I edited that part out in the CDs I burned as Christmas presents for his family last year. I doubt I will ever listen be able to listen to that duet again.

On this child's birthday, I'm wishing that his life is wonderful. I'm wishing that he gets to have many more adventures as he lives in countries all over the world. I'm wondering if his dad will ever again be in the type of post where ninjas come in the middle of the night if you open the wrong door and hoping he has fun with that. I'm hoping that he gets to grow up with two whole, healthy parents until he's very, very old. I'm hoping he conquers whatever challenges that come his way. I'm hoping he gets hours and hours to spend with his uncle who adores him, who can do endless silly voices and keep a straight face for hours before giving him a "serious word." I'm hoping all of that with the same silent fervor one feels as they lean over to blow out the candles on their birthday cake.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
And yet, for all my memories, I know he was probably too young to remember me. He will never know how much I loved him, though maybe when he's an adult he'll realize make a connection to the dozens, maybe even hundreds, of photos of his earliest years, and realized that when someone takes *that many* pictures of you, they really cherished you.
This is the final hurdle of my heartbreak. I knew it would be.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Yes, I'm Ms. Crankypants. How can I help you?

SHUT UP kid who hit my car in the parking lot of your high school and didn't leave a goddamn note last Monday.

SHUT UP creepy episode of Medium with your pertinent hit-and-run plot.

SHUT UP $1000 deductible.

SHUT UP Geico with your adjuster appointments and rules about rental cars. Just... eh... SHUT UP.

SHUT UP big long line at Best Buy for only two goddamn ten dollar gift certificates. You have 10 cash registers. There are 100 people in line. You are closing soon. Why are only two people ringing up customers?

SHUT UP heart-poundy anxiety thing that keeps happening when I think about going to Boston for Christmas with the newish boyfriend because I'm afraid I might run into the old boyfriend.

SHUT UP nagging thoughts suggesting that maybe I *should* see the Ex for the first time in a year to have coffee, catch up and make peace or whatever.

SHUT UP heart-wrenchy thing that happens when I think about Ex's nephew turning 5 in two days.

SHUT UP confusing lack of organization and communication in an organization of professional communicators

SHUT UP pile of dirty dishes. I think I hate you most of all.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Grrr.. Arg.

Hi. Happy Thanksgiving. I'm in Lancaster, all is well.

On Monday, my car was hit in the student parking lot at a high school while I was inside shooting a portrait of a basketball player. When I came out a mere 24 MINUTES LATER, there was a big gash in the side of my car and no note. They left the front grill of their own car behind. I have a $1000 deductible. I hate the punkass high school kid who most likely did this, and I hope they choke on their Thanksgiving wishbone.

At least my pets haven't committed suicide like the guy at the end of "Good Night and Good Luck." Oh, sorry, have you not seen that movie yet? I'm a right little ray of sunshine today, no?

I'm tired. Joel and I got on the road late last night. We weren't thinking we'd get here until about 2 a.m. anyway, but then we got stuck in traffic for TWO HOURS because there was an enormous car accident that closed a six-lane highway in both directions on I-78. Then it started snowing, and playing car games began to lose their appeal.

Me: "I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing an aardvark."
Joel: "Huh?"
Me: "You know, the car game."
Joel: "Oh."
Me: "Your turn. You're B."
Joel: "I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing an aardvark and a banana."
Me: "I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing an aardvark, a banana, and chimichangas."
Joel: "I'm bringing an aardvark, banana, chimichangas, and.... [YAWN]... dairy products."
Me: "I'm bringing an aardvark, banana, chimichangas, dairy products, and elephant poo."
Joel: "Elephant poo?"
Me: "We're never moving again. We're going to have to live here in my Toyota for the rest of our lives. Yes, elephant poo."
Joel: "What letter am I?"
Me: "You're F.
Joel: "Okay. I'm bringing an aardvark, banana, chimichangas, dairy products, elephant poo, and a FUCKING TRAFFIC JAM."
Me: "I'm bringing an aardvark, banana, chimichangas, dairy products, elephant poo, a fucking traffic jam and GET ME OUT OF HERE."
Joel: "Aardvark, banana, chimichangas, dairy products, elephant poo, a fucking traffic jam, get me out of here, and HELL, I WOULD IF I COULD."
Me: Oh, hey, wait... Are we moving? Is it.. Aw, damn. Oh. I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing an aardvark, bananas, chimichangas, dairy products, elephant poo, a fucking traffic jam, get me out of here, hell I would if I could and JUST 'CAUSE THE GUY IN FRONT OF US TURNED HIS CAR BACK ON DOESN"T MEAN DICK.

We rolled into East Bumblefuck around dawn. For a minute there, I thought I might have to take my tripod out of the trunk, throw my coat over it and live in a little tent on the side of the highway. The house is warm and smells yummy and the friends will be here soon. Hmmm, happy... Well, happier.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Cat and Gas

My mom tells a story about something that happened when my older sister was probably about eight or nine months old. She and my dad were new parents, in love with their baby daughter and each other, and they decided to go for a walk in the freshly fallen snow. They pulled her along in a tiny sled behind them, on one of those perfect, silent winter nights. They didn't notice it when she rolled off. She didn't make a sound. They walked probably about 100 feet before they realized she wasn't on the sled.

Amanda was lying in the middle of the road, happy as can be. My mom tells this story now and is able to laugh about it, but at the time, they just about died of heart failure. A car could have easily driven up the alley, she could have fallen face first and suffocated in the snow. She was fine. They were heart-poundingly aware of how quickly disaster strikes. (Amanda is now a successful attorney with an MBA, a woman of the world, a wife and lover of Diet Coke.)

But I had my own heart-pounding experience on Friday. I worked until about 6 p.m. I actually got out of the office ten minutes early. I was in a rush to get home to let Bella out before starting to drive to a town 45 minutes away where I had dinner plans. I got home around 6:45 p.m. As I opened the door, I was assault by the smell of cooking gas.

Bella met me at the door in her usual happy, bouncy way, with a squeaky toy in her mouth. I didn't immediately see Fred, which scared the shit out of me. Panicked, I ran into the kitchen to find the gas turned all the way up on one of the burners. The entire apartment reeked of it. At first I thought it was my fault. Did I turn on a burner to boil the kettle for oatmeal this morning and forget to light it? Except... I was gone for about 9 hours. It's cold now, all the windows were closed. If *I* had forgotten to turn it off... well, I don't want to even THINK about it. I think Fred must have jumped off the counter and accidentally turned the knob with his foot.

Fred was fine, by the way,happily licking his nether regions on the bathroom rug with one leg fully extending toward the sky like a ballerina. I herded both pets into my bedroom- the door had been closed and it barely smelled of gas- then ran around throwing open windows and turning on the exhaust fan over the stove.

They were fine. I'm so glad I came right home. I work next to the Gigundo Mall of Temptation now; I find myself in there for one thing or another every other day now. I very easily could have gone Christmas shopping until 9:30 p.m. The thought of coming home and finding them...ACK. I can't even type it. When I think of the risk of fire... ACK. ACK!! Would it surprise you to learn that I had a lot of nightmares this weekend?

I wonder, though, how often we brush right past disaster without knowing it. I'm not even referring to the times when we drive past a bad car accident and think, "If I left a minute earlier..." Or even these heart-pounding scenarios like my sister rolling off the sled, and the cat and the gas. I mean, how often do we just pass right by impending disaster, obliviously passing through just before the proverbial anvil falls out of the sky?

The knobs for the stove now live on top of the refrigerator; ironically, next to the dog and cat treat jars. Fred will occasionally get up there, but he only ever kicks down the Pupperoni. He never kicks his own treats down. If somehow the knobs get off the top of the fridge and back on the stove, my pets had better cook me a damn souffle.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Have cake! Eat it, too!

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Okay, the basic web slide show of Kelly and Michael's wedding is up and running.

Chunky Photojournalist Barbie wants you to know, again, that it is a very bride/couple-centric slide show and mostly features pictures that interest Idiosyncratic Life readers. Just sayin'.

Oh, and there are a number of HI-larious photos that are so funny I promise you'll laugh so hard milk comes out of your nose. Even if you're not drinking milk at the time, which is really saying something. They are, however, unsuitable for Internet viewing, so you'll have to come over next Thursday. :)

Just a few to hold you over...

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Okay, so the web slide show from Kelly and Michael's wedding will up really, really soon. Like, tomorrow. Probably.

I feel compelled to say, however, that unlike the other recent slide shows, I wasn't Kelly's real wedding photographer. I mostly shot photos of the people who were around me throughout the day, so there are a ton of the bride and my sister (the other attendant), a handful of my parents doing the chicken dance, and absolutely none of the ceremony or formal portrait session. Just so you know.

If you want to see the fancy-schmancy slide show with music and rehearsal dinner photos, you have to come hang out and eat pie after Thanksgiving. Same Bat Time, same Bat Channel as every other year. And I'm making the pie now, so it won't be all weird and grey and spicy (I figured out why that was happening, though. It was Larry's fault. No, really. It was.)

Oh, and you have to do a special extra step to leave comments now. Have fun with that. :)

I love this one

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.

Party Like You're in Junior High!

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
We have been doing this parody of junior high schoolish "touch dancing" for more than a decade. I know we did it at Gwen's Sweet 16 party...

Battling Static Cling

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
She got married... and crackly! :)

Andrea Rocks

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Go throw some money at her.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


"Yesterday brought the beginning and tomorrow brings the end, and somewhere in the middle we became the best of friends. I may be pretty, you may grow tall, but we don't have to change at all."

Except when we do.

Shake it off, walk it out.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Show and Tell

So, Joel met the parents over the weekend. It went about as well as could be hoped for. Conversation flowed. Cannolis were eaten. The "Oh My God, You Are So Much Like My Dad that I Should Just Slap Myself Upside the Head and Call Myself Electra" Factor was in full effect.

But I feel a lot better about Thanksgiving. The Boyfriend is doing a good job trying to remember which friend is which before he meets the remaining cast of characters.

Him: Gwen and Kelly are the only ones I know for sure. Kelly just married Mike.
Me: Umm... Yes, but everyone calls him Michael. He's not a "Mike."
Him: Michael. Okay. Not Mike. Wow. (looking at a photo) How tall is Kelly?
Me: My height, more or less.
Him: So Michael is really tall.
Me: Yup. (pointing to a new picture.) This is...?
Him: Your sister. Amanda.
Me: Nope. My sister is the one who looks nothing like me.
Him: Oh.
Me: It's okay. It's Alissa. She's the one whose house I stay at all the time outside Philly, who watched Bella for me when I was working on the murder investigation story in Delaware?
Him: Got it. You know, you and your sister have the face shape, it's just that your coloring is different.
Me: True. And we have frighteningly similar mannerisms. It's a little scary when we both get going. It's like Sisters in Stereo. You'll see. And this is....?
Him: It's Heather, but I only know that by process of elimination.
Me: Right. She's the teacher. And she's married to?
Him: I have no idea.
Me: Don't worry about it.
Him: I just know that Kelly is married to the really tall guy.
Me: Um... Oh boy.

Let's just say that there are more than a few really tall guys hanging around lately.

And I don't even know where to begin to try to describe my grandmother's eccentric psuedo adopted son/best friend friend Larry. Sigh... Anyone care for a banana? The mummers are still mumming.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Gorgeous Girl

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Well, they did it! Whatever you want to call it- Got hitched, tied the knot, threw half of a hairy banana out the window of a moving car.... This is, um, a brand new expression Kelly and I coined ourselves on the way to the salon. I'm STILL washing out the bridesmaid hairspray. :)

The full slide show (everything except the ceremony and formal portraits, which I did not shoot) will be available soon.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Unemployed!!! in CLEVE-LAND!**

So I'm in an airport in Cleveland. I am on my way to Kelly and Michael's wedding, and may I just say that there is a man here who looks just like Michael? I mean, REALLY looks just like Michael?

It's creepy. I mean, people are flying in from all over for this wedding, so the potential for one of Michael's relatives to be in an airport in Ohio is pretty high, you know? He's standing the same way and every time I look up I do a double-take. I'm not shy; I make friends in the check-out line at the grocery store, but I'm not in the mood to scare this man. Maybe he'll be seated at table 10 or something tomorrow night. Maybe I should stop blogging and start finishing my maid of honor speech. Maybe I should practice my speech on Michael's twin.

"Hi! You look just this guy my best friend is marrying tomorrow? If I said this at your wedding reception, would you like it?" 'Cause THAT's not creepy. Not at all.

** That's a little play on words for the Boyfriend, whom I made watch the Princess Bride for the first time two weeks ago.***

He needs an affectionate little pun right now because I was kind of bitchy this morning when we were trying to get out the door so he could drive me to the airport. In my defense, I- Well... I- I am not a morning person and I couldn't find my DayQuil Sinus pills, which was really frustrating to me, because I *just* had them in my hand mere moments prior, and he was only trying to tell me that I had the liquid form of DayQuil right there in my bag and help me think of places were the pills could be and I don't seem that sick to him- because of the DayQuil, you see?- and it wasn't LOGICAL but in my morning state I felt certain that if I didn't find the DayQuil SINUS as opposed to DayQuil REGULAR that my face would be impacted with goo from the flying and Kelly's wedding would be RUINED. RUINED. RUINED. and it would be all my fault, and he was only trying to be helpful AND he was driving my ungrateful, dragging ass to LaGuardia during rush hour AND I turned the radio off when he was trying to listen to the traffic report AND THEN- being super-logical, I felt the need to be defensive about my irrational need for the DayQuil Sinus pills AND ALL THE WHILE he was driving a load of MY wet laundry back to Queens because my neighbor accidentally spilled detergent all over my CLEAN, DRY LAUNDRY FOR THE TRIP late last night and I didn't have time to dry it and otherwise it would have just grown mold until my return on Sunday. Maybe someday Kelly will tell you all about my psychedelic freak-out when I lost my sunglasses RIGHT before we were supposed to leave for the airport for my trip to Prague. That was "fun." But she still loves me enough to make me her maid of honor... Right? See? And I just apologized in front of the whole Internet, telling them I was wrong AND sorry. That counts for something, no?

I'm a happy, rational person who thinks happy, rational thoughts. I'm a happy, rational person who thinks happy, rational thoughts. (Offer only good after 11 a.m., apparently.)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Costume and the Boyfriend

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
You can't really see my wings, but I didn't wear them for long. The party was kind of crowded, and I kept smacking into people.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Jackass of the Month

So Joel (who is NOT the Jackass of the Month, by the way) has this very cool medieval suit of armor that he got for free a few years ago because he has nice, interesting friends. We were invited to a Halloween party, and he wanted to wear it. So I decided it might be fun to be the Lady of Shalott. I love the poem, love the painting, planned my color scheme of my freshman dorm room around the poster. So I got a lantern, figured I'd carry a book of Alfred Lord Tennyson poems and some yarn, and asked if I could borrow a gold, circlet thing from one of his nice, interesting female friends to wear around my head. Fine, fine, fine.

So last Monday, I went to a costume shop, found a decent period dress costume I could make work, tried it on... It was okay. I had to try a couple of corsets and underdresses and such on before I found something workable. It took a while, and we all know how I just LOOOOVE trying on clothes anyway. Especially clothes other people have worn, like, a LOT. The costume guy kept recommending this dark one with a rose pattern that made me look like a couch. I wasn't irrationally insisting on an off-white dress with bell sleeves like the one in the painting, which they didn't have anyway. I just didn't want to look like a couch.

I finally found a costume that only worked because the off-white gathered underdress thingy showed off my boobs. I didn't look like a couch. A small loveseat, maybe, but not a couch. Still, I was hoping to find something a little more flattering, so I didn't want to put down a deposit if I didn't have to. The Costume Shop Guy was like, "No problem, I'll set it aside in the back for you. Give me a call tomorrow before 8 p.m. and let me know what you decide."

Great. I look in the phonebook, look around on the Internet, can't find a way to locate anything better without it costing a fortune, call the guy back and offer to give him a credit card number for the $20 deposit. "No problem," he says. "I remember you. You were funny. Just come in on Thursday or Friday. You can bring it back on Monday or Tuesday, whatever." Great, thanks.

Friday afternoon, I, Our Idiosyncratic Heroine, walk into the Costume Shop.

OIH: Hi. Um, I'm here to pick up the costume I tried on a few days ago.
JoTM: (blankly) Your name?
OIH: I'm Idiosyncratic Girl? The one with the Ren Fair style dress? We spoke on Tuesday?
JoTM: Oh, right. I remember you. Let me think about where it is.
OIH: You said you'd put it in the back?
JoTM: Yeah, I never got around to doing that. But I'm not worried about it. I haven't rented any of those out, so I'm sure it's here.
OIH: Ah. Yes. Well... Let's look.

And it isn't easy. I tried on a bunch on things when I was there before, and we were mixing and matching, and I don't have time to do it again.

OIH: It was blue with an off-white underdress thingy. A Chamois.
JoTM: It's called a CHENISE.
OIH: Oh, right. Sorry.
JoTM: Here it is.
OIH: That's green.
JoTM: Oh, you said blue. (holds up small one)
OIH: Nope, that's the one that was too small.
JoTM: Oh yeah. You needed one of the three bigger sizes.
OIH: Riiiight. (hurriedly looking through racks now) How do I know which one the bigger ones are?
JoTM: They look bigger than the others. Here's the rose-patterned one I think is pretty, but you were like, "Ewww."
OIH: Yeah, well... I just want to look, you know... Er, never mind
JoTM: It's the Friday before Halloween. What do you want from me?
OIH: I want the one I tried on on Monday, that you said you'd put in the back for me.
JoTM: Sorry. You want to go as an animal?
OIH: Not really. Let me look around a little. What... What's this?
JoTM: It's Little Miss Muffet.
OIH: So this butt-pillow thing is her tuffet?
JoTM: I guess.
OIH: Okay, well... Maybe I'll go to Party City and... what time do you close?
JoTM: PARTY CITY?!?! How can you even say that to me? I can't even look at you anymore.


I fled. I went to Torrid. I improvised.. I called the boyfriend: "I am going to be a faerie, and you are going to like it." He did.

Except my corset and wings were pretty restrictive... and Joel couldn't drive and wear his armor, because he couldn't turn his head. We stopped at a 7-11 down the street from the house where the party was and buckeled and tied each other into our costumes in between fits of laughter (mine). He won second place for best costume, so that was fun. This very nice, but a rather dim 20-year-old dressed as a Sexy Nurse said, "Aw! He's your knight in shining armor! Next year you have to be his fairy princess!" I looked her right in the eye, then leaned over and threw up in the big bowl of hummus.

No, not really. Instead, I said something like, "No offense, but that is never, ever going to happen. I tried to be a tragic female Arthurian character this year. It, uh, wasn't meant to be."

I love Halloween. :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Oh, no...

Right now Sinead O'Connor is performing with some kind of Jamaican rock group thingy on the Tonight Show... and no. Just.. oh, this is awful. In my wholly unimportant important opinion, this is a bad career move. Not as bad as tearing up a photo of the Pope on live TV, but still... What is she-? Oh, no.

You know, actually, many years ago Gwen put a really wonderful Sinead O'Connor song on a mix for me about the troubles in Ireland, and it has this beautiful line: "We used to worship God as a mother..." It always struck a chord with me, but this new Rasta Irish-y thing? Why?

But now Conan is on. So there's that.

How many shopping days does Dick Cheney has left with the Bush administration, do you think? I'm hoping we'll see indictments handed down when the grand jury reconvenes later today. Harriet Miers for VP! Not.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Whoopie Pies and Anti-Depressants

I know an amazing person who has pretty severe diabetes. Like, Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias, Kidney Transplant Required diabetes. She's pretty cavalier about it. The last time I saw her, she was like, "You know what? I need a martini!" AND I KID YOU NOT, she pulled a syringe right out of her purse, stuck it through her oh-so-smart, black Donna Karan pantsuit and injected insulin right into her thigh. And then got our server's attention to order her drink "with a twist." This person is a mentor of mine anyway, but in that moment, my jaw dropped. I laughed, clinked her glass with my Diet Coke and thought: "Role Model."

So I'm not shy about the fact that I take anti-depressants. I have many, many gifts, but subtlety is not among them. I'm okay with that. In fact, I've been reading quite a few blogs lately where people are talking about their daily doses of Effexor. I'm thinking about starting a new blogroll, actually. Forget "mommy bloggers;" that's soooo 2004. This is the year of the "Effexor Bloggers!" Heh.

So you know, I like to say that I have my emotional baggage, but I've spent a lot of time making sure it's cute and it all matches. I had a lot of support from educated and supportive family members who knew my brain chemistry might go boink! at some point.

It's true that making peace with my body will be a lifelong journey, but my relationship with food is, at the moment, pretty decent. Of course, it's also true that I don't like to talk about my weight. (Period. No criticisms OR compliments, please! Nope! Thanks anyway! I know you mean well, but if we dwell on this subject too long I might be up all night trying on all my clothes to make sure they still fit! It's FUN! Woo hoo! Keep movin' folks! Let me show you how I can break boards with my feet instead! Yeah, my body does that. Cool, huh?)

But I think I knew my Food Issues were officially under control about three and a half years ago, when Alissa (psychology internship applicant extraordinaire- keep it up! You're doing great!) pointed out that my recipe book for crepes was right next to Geneen Roth's "Why Weight? A Guide to Ending Compulsive Dieting" on my bookshelf. Along those lines, I just got a care package from home containing (wait for it; wait for it) whoopie pies and anti-depressents.

Awesome. I think my therapists Cindy, Linea, Francis, Dr. Bruette, that Other Mean Lady I Only Saw Twice, Because I Might Be Crazy But You're a Bitch and Susan would be proud.

Monday, October 17, 2005

"It's a meal! It's an obsessive disorder! It's both!"

Oh my God... It's my first day in the new office, and here I am hunching over my laptop and shaking with silent laughter. The good thing is, I've worked with most of these reporters before they escaped over the bridge from the Jeeklies, too. If Chris gets transferred, we can reunite the old team and play "Shut up-shut up-shut up Basketball!" again. But that's an entry for another day.

You have to go read these, especially if you've ever counted points. And then thank Andrea for emailing me the link.


Shh... nobody move..

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
..because Fred is snuggling with me right now. My cat does not snuggle with humans. With the resident dog? Yes. With me? The one who feeds him and buys him toys and occasionally lets him scream into my cell phone and permits him to visit the Lovely and Alluring Bike while I'm doing laundry and scoops his poop twice a day? Not so much.

And yet tonight, he is curled up against me, tucked under one arm for the last hour, purring like a motorboat. This almost never happens. I need to take my contacts out, gulp down the life-maintaining fistful of pills, and walk the equally sleepy and adorable dog. But not just yet...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

New Beginnings

First, since you're all so supportive and wonderful and emailing me to find out- YES! I got the promotion.

On a more philosophical note... Well, I've always felt that the Jewish New Year fell at a good time of year for me. My parents have always taught and/or worked in schools, so September always felt like a better time to start fresh that sloppy, cold January at our house. I started holding my own personal Rosh Hashanah in college.

So basically, I eat an apple with honey, put away my summer clothes, pull out the sweaters, give old things to charity, replace and file all the folders in the filing cabinet, and set new goals. I also get a full wellness checkup, visit the dentist and go to the eye doctor. Bella and Fred get their booster shots.

The spiritual path I've been following since I came into my own as an adult does celebrate the harvest and mark a new year on October 31st, but I'm not really bad-ass enough to really claim that as my own. I also don't feel comfortable going to a synagogue on Yom Kippur (and I kid you not, around here they sell tickets to gain admission and they cost $$$). I do try to make amends and have the heart-to-heart conversations I know need to happen. I try to put on my big girl panties and deal, set things right, untangle misunderstandings, restart and reboot, speak the truth and offer olive branches.

So... I talked to Stephen tonight for two hours. And it was great. I didn't call him a fucker the entire time! Most of our conversations, and there haven't been many, have ended with me in tears these past ten months. But I wanted to tell him something, because I didn't want him to read it on the Internet first, and now we've spoken, though most of you know anyway, so here it is... I am seeing a wonderful guy. (He's previously been described here as my Casual New Friend.) His name is Joel. We've been dating for two months now. He's a teacher, working on his masters degree, loves landscape photography, has nice teeth, loathes Bush, walks my dog in the rain, calls when he says he will, takes me to the airport AND picks me up, the whole she-bang.

Perhaps the most telling thing I can tell you about his personality is that my dog- an excellent judge of character- adores him. I mean, like, "Damn we're lucky Bella doesn't have opposable thumbs because she loves him so much she might try to assassinate a world leader to get his attention like that crazy guy who stalked Jodi Foster" adores him. Bella loves my new boyfriend like Fred loves the neighbor's bicycle. :)

“To everything there is a season. A time for every purpose under Heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to break down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. A time to gain, a time to lose. A time to keep, a time to throw away. A time to tare, a time to sow. A time to keep silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time of war, and a time of peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 )

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Whoopie Pile (Get it? Get it?)

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
What? What's that you say? You'd like to see another flickr slide show of a matrimonial-related event, especially one featuring funny photos of Kelly pointing at things? Well, you've come to the right place!

Follow this link for the slide show from Kelly's birthday/bachelorette/girlfriend par-tay, or just click on the photo of that gooey, yummy, glowing pile of heavenly, cakey goodness. Yummmm....

Friday, October 14, 2005

Hating the Waiting

In twelve hours, I will know if I am crossing the bridge.

"You've always been a good girl, smart girl, pretty girl, lucky girl
Happy as the day is long
This town has so much at stake in you
Do you have any idea what they put you through?

They give you all these big dreams, big plans, beneficial programs
A studio with mirrors for walls
Your doctors tell you work it through, smooth it out, feel your pain, let it out
They never let you learn how to crawl
They never let you make the rules
Why don't you make the rules?

Angela, this town is wrong
Angela, this town is wrong
Angela, spread your wings and be gone."
-The Nields

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Darn you, Oprah

You know, I usually tend to shy away from Oprah-isms. While I actually have tremendous amount of respect for the woman, I sometimes find that the glossy veneer that is required to mass market her ideas detracts from their authenticity somehow. Also, I sometimes find her "solutions" for bringing serenity and solitude into one's life are really only options for very wealthy people, like "Oh, looky! This woman retreated to her family's beach house on Cape Cod for three months! She walks through the house every day at 4 p.m. ringing a bell to signal that all stress shall be banished for the next meditative hour! Woo! I mean, ooohmmm!"

But every now and then she offers up a pearl of wisdom that really speaks to me. Just now she was interviewing Uma Thurm@n (UUUUMa... OOOprah: Bonus point if you catch that reference) about the failure of her marriage to Ethan Hawke and put this out there: "Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been different."

Huh. I haven't heard anything that profound since this was shared with me in August: "Time goes ding-a-ling-a-ling. Time does not remember. Time is a clock." (said by the adorable Andrew, now nearly 5)

Wounds are healing. Things are changing. It seems the universe isn't keeping track of the number of times I get to fall in love.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

There really is nothing better...

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
...than having all your favorite people in one place. The rest of the photos from Kelly's bachelorette/birthday/reunion party will be up soon (including photos of a life-size cardboard cutout of Harrison Ford/Han Solo wearing red lingerie and a bow hat), but in the meantime, there's really nothing better!

Friday, September 30, 2005

One Bad-Ass Gryllus pennsylvanicus

Right now I am sitting outside Alissa and Todd's house, close enough to the cozy, warm kitchen to enjoy their wireless Internet access, but not actually close enough to go into the warm coziness, because the door is locked. (Which is okay! No more apologizing! Because I invited myself! And I'm mooching free room and board! And you already had plans! I'm fine!)

But seriously? There is this incredibly determined cricket out here, man. He is CHIRPING his little thorax off. I mean, I'm not getting your average "cricket-cricket... cricket-cricket" here (which, by the way, is what the sounds of silence are like when you let it slip to the current wedding client's florist that "the last wedding I photographed, just two weeks ago, had all red and white roses, too. Yeah, well, no.. no florist. My friend and her wife did almost everything themselves! Same color scheme, in fact. So pretty!"

Response from client's florist : (::::cricket-cricket... cricket-cricket...:::) *Her* wife?

Response to client's florist: "YUP! So pretty! They're very close friends of mine." (with a maniacal smile that clearly says, "If you *even* go there, Betty, I will wrap you in a rainbow flag, cover you in honey and throw you to the lesbians!"

So ANYWAY, this cricket has attitude. He's all, "CHIRP! CHIRP! CHIRP! Don't even try to count the number of my chirps in 14 seconds and add 40 to get the temperature, bitches! I am chirping like it's 85 degrEEEs out here! [I assure you; it is not] CHIRP! CHIRP! Woo, it's hot!! I am going to mate or I am going to die trying!! Say, do you like pina coladas, baby? What's your sign? Playing hard to get, eh? Ah, you're a piece of gravel... Well, that explains *that.* I'm sure there are some other Stenopelmatinae around here! CHIRP! CHIRP! CHIRP! I'm a cricket! Do you hear me? I wanna hear you! GAAAAH. I'll even make peach pancakes! CHIRP! CHIRP! CHIRP!"

It has been a solid 30 minutes without a break. Aren't the crickets all supposed to die by the time it's cold enough for Haunted Halloween Hayrides (or rather, Eastern State Former Correctional Faciilties?)

Oh, and whatever you do, don't even THINK about trying to break into Alissa and Todd's house. Ever. Can't be done. Not even through the root cellar. Oh, no, you *ain't* gonna steal their laptops.

I'm gonna go wait in my car, I think.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A pink carnation and a pick-up truck

Happy Birthday to the Person Who...

Loves when I get song lyrics wrong, but once believed that the song American Pie included the words: "I was a lonely teenage drunken f*ck" instead of "I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck"

Wraps presents much, much better than I do.

Seriously had to restrain herself from saying, "Look, use a condom next time and don't hit my car in the parking lot."

Will wear a red wedding dress, tradition be damned, this coming November.

Knows that "dammit!" can be the right thing to say on any occasion.

Really, really loves her dog.

Points at trees wherever she goes.

Is marrying a man who is kind enough to offer to follow my rental car back to the airport, so we can have just 20 more minutes before we have to say goodbye. (Oh, and this is when gas costs $3.09 a gallon.)

Is the consummate union bridesmaid and union-compliant bride.

Does the "Lapsed Catholic Feminist Head Bow For a Blessing Instead of Communion" manuever like she's been doing it for years.

May or may not have been the person who taught her baby brother his first word: "Shit."

Can go nine years without even thinking about the phrase "Soft as a Grape" and burst out laughing instantly after hearing it again.

Once gave me a Chia Pet for Christmas. (Which I loved.)

Knows just what you should do if your dog eats any of the following: the Thanksgiving turkey, sparklers, chocolate, birth control pills, Rise and Shine Orange Shower Gel from Bath and Body Works.

Happy Birthday, Kelbaby! Can't wait to see you! :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Here come the brides!

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
A slideshow of Jill and Nikki's wedding (shot by Luke and myself) can be seen here.

(Or you can click on the photo of their dresses to see them on flickr.com. Enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Guilty Pleasures

Bad Canadian TV (Really bad. Awful, in fact. Don't click on this link. I already owe Gwen big-time for introducing her to this.)


Torrd (I'm a size 0! Arbitrary sizing! Woo!)

Whoa. I called up both of these sites to link to their URL... And Terry from Degrassi is modeling the psuedo-military fashions. It's like some kind of unholy pop culture... thing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Massachusetts, my favorite commonwealth

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
You know, too much love isn't really what we need to worry about. It's hate you need to keep your eye on...

For just one brief, heart-pounding moment, I thought this old man was going to start talking them about Jesus. If he had, I would have put my camera down and happily committed a hate crime against assholes everywhere, right there on the dock. He was just bewildered, I think, and a few seconds later, a woman in a passing car with a rainbow sticker honked and shouted "You rock, ladies!" out the window.

Such a beautiful weekend.

"And I recall in my sleep how you changed my life on Magnolia Street. A dream, but it's true; I am not the same since I met you. And I feel like I'm going home, but not to the one I've known."
-Catie Curtis

Saturday, September 10, 2005

College Friends

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Professors describe you all as being in "lock-step for your major," and they match you assignment for assignment, class for class, photograph for photograph.

They become your surrogate family before they move on. They make you angry; they make you laugh. They let you down and lift you up. They hold you as you sob upon hearing the news that your father has been hospitalized and "it may have been a heart attack" and "I'm already fighting this-here suicidal depression and this is badbadbadbad." They leave all the kitchen cabinet doors open, and your hair in the drain drives them crazy.

After graduation, the letters become postcards, and the birthday gifts become Christmas cards and the long, wordy emails become text messages. Meeting for coffee and stopping by on New Year's Eve are all well and good, but sooner or later, the truth is... you've been apart longer than you were together.

And in the end, the friends who stood with you in the shadows of Stonehenge turn out to be the ones who outlast even the most promising of boyfriends, and there's no one better to say, "I remember who you were. I love who you're becoming, and you'll always be my friend."

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
They have to be. They know too much.

Friday, September 09, 2005

From a phone call the other night....

Gwen: OH MY G-D!
Me: I know.
Gwen: OH MY G-D.
Me: I'm terrified.
Gwen: Why is this scary? This isn't supposed to be scary.

Later in the same call...

Gwen: I'm glad you're happy.
Me: I'm glad *you're* happy.
Gwen: I'm glad we're both happy. When was the last time we were both happy at the same time?
Me: (deadpan) 1993.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Mission Accomplished

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Well, I'm about to leave for the airport, but I'm taking advantage of the superfast Internet connection at Kelly and Michael's house to upload a few photos from the shower yesterday.

You can see a slideshow of the celebration by clicking here.

Michael's mom is very nice.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.


Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.

Gravy boats are good for licking.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.

Kelly and her Mom

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
This one is my favorite.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Operation Bridal Shower

At the moment, I'm sitting in Newark International Airport killing time until my flight to Ohio for Kel's shower. Oh yes, I am flying to Dayton with salad tongs and serving platters and wine corks and chilling buckets in my suitcase. (My socks are cushioning the flower vases.)

This has been a busy week with a business trip to Delaware a for follow-up story on a rape/homicide/arson investigation, a false alarm health scare in my family, repeated collect calls from a *different* inmate at the Chestwester County Prison, and of course, filling tiny plastic tubes with sea salt and peppercorns to give out as favors at the shower.

And, apparently I also procured myself a boyfriend. Go me. ;)

YMCA Jesus, here I come! There are going to be *so many* pictures with YMCA Jesus.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Yellow Eyebrows

My apartment takes up the whole third floor of the converted multi-family house I live in, but two families live in two separate apartments on the second floor.

Behind door #1: the outwardly sweet but increasingly sketchy couple who have a gorgeous 18-month-old toddler named Alicia who adores my pets. She loves Bella, whom she calls "Goggie," and aside from her attempts to eat the salty, disgusting tuna flavored Whiska Lickins' herself, also enjoys petting Fred and feeding him treats.

Behind door #2, the Vaquero family, including Aide (eye-DAY) , now 6, and Andrew, 13. I used to say that if Dora the Explorer were an actual child, she would be Aide Vaquero. (Except that Aide has grown about a foot and a half since they moved in two years ago, and actually I kind of think that Gaby reminds me more of Dora Incarnate now, which is neither here nor there. But I digress.).

Now Aide, on the other hand, adores Fred: "I wanna touch your kitty! Por favor!" But Bella scares the shit out of her. The people who lived in the apartment before the Vaqueros (Are you keeping track of all the tenants? There might be a quiz!) loved Bella. She used to go in there for tummy rubs sometimes, so after they moved out and the Vaqueros moved in, Bella would stand by their door and wait for the love when we came back from a walk, usually while I shoved four more quarters into the dryer on the second floor.

The first time Aide met Bella, my dog was right outside her family's door (while I was adding more quarters to the dryer) in the common hallway, which she wasn't expecting. She opened the door, saw the dog, screamed, and slammed the door so hard that a decorative plate fell off the wall in her apartment. She was 4 at the time, so the breaking plate really scared her, too. Of course, Bella barked when that happened, and Aide has been terrified of Bella ever since.

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Anyway, last night I was doing laundry, and Fred ran down the stairs to rub his head lovingly against Andrew's bicycle on the landing. Aide came out when she heard me start the washer and asked to play with Fred. They were having a grand old time, what with the petting and feeding of the Whiska Lickins,' and she starts telling me that she's a big girl who's going to first grade next week, about a birthday party she went to at the American Girl store, and about her weekend trip to an amusement park "where she got her own Bella."

"My dad won me Bella!" She runs into the apartment and returns with an enormous stuffed dog that is quite clearly supposed to be a Rottweiler. "See?!? She has yellow eyebrows just like Bella!" Now, this giant prize dog is larger than my real-life dog. And it is absolutely ferocious. The stuffed dog has fangs made out of felt. Its fabric nose is sewn into a snarl. It is wearing a "spiked" collar made of pleather. It doesn't have drool made out of sequins or anything, but it might as well have. I checked.

I ooh and ahh over the stuffed animal and agree that Mr. Vaquero is an "awesome dad" for winning it for her. Aide runs back into her apartment to get something else to show me while I add the fabric softener. Now that my "big-boned" cat's source of kitty crack has lost interest, Fred wanders over to his lover, the bicycle, and rubs his head against the greasy chain while reciting a Shakespearean sonnet. Actually, Fred is really dumb. If he *could* talk, he would probably try to woo the bike with something a la Tarzan, like: "Me Fred. You Bike."

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
Meanwhile, Aide comes back with the birthday party goodie bag, pulls out a notepad and tells me she's going to draw a picture of me.

"You have a big heart in this picture because you love your cat!" she said. I suppose it *is* vaguely heart-shaped, but really? My heart is big, black splotch, and THAT is awesome. I hung it on my fridge. I might frame it.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


From our friends at dictionary.com...

Past participle of smite: to deal a blow with or as if with the hand or a hand-held weapon; to inflict a heavy blow on, with or as if with the hand, a tool, or a weapon; to drive or strike (a weapon, for example) forcefully onto or into something else; to attack, damage, or destroy by or as if by blows; to afflict; to afflict retributively; chasten or chastise; to affect sharply with great feeling: He was smitten by deep remorse.

"The population was smitten by the plague."


adj 1: (used in combination) affected by something overwhelming; "conscience-smitten"; "awe-struck" [syn: stricken, struck] 2: marked by foolish or unreasoning fondness; "she was crazy about him"; "gaga over the rock group's new album"; "he was infatuated with her" [syn: crazy, dotty, gaga, enamored, infatuated, in love, soft on(p), taken with(p)]

Yup. That about sums it up.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Boys, Boys, Boys

Okay, since I've been getting requests for updates, here's where we are on the dating front.

Cute Biochemist Curing AIDS: Gave him the boot last week. We had four (FOUR!) missed connections where he was all vague about plans and said he would call "closer to the time when we would meet up" and didn't. Whatever. I put up with that bullshit much, much longer than I ordinarily would have, because he would always have a good reason, or would call right when I was about to write him off, doing just enough in the nick of time to keep me interested. Feh. He's still really hung up on his ex. He mentioned her so often than I can tell you which version of QuarkXPress (a specialized, kind of uncommon graphic design program) she left installed on his computer. Bye! Bye now! Thanks for playing! BUH-bye!

Konservative Kisser: Yes, he of the Melting Up Against the Car session back in July. Is back. Or was. He emailed five weeks after the Personal Hazmat Situation to ask if I wanted to make out again. I'm embarrassed to say that I was simultaneously really offended AND rather interested, thank you very much. (Yes, that breaking glass/rolling parchmont/licking stamp sound IS my women's studies degree flinging itself off the wall and mailing itself back to Syracuse University; why do you ask?) We had the strangest conversation I've ever had in my life about our, uh, intentions. And then he got cold feet, and life reminded me of the people and things that are most important to me, so we agreed to give ourselves "time to think" and I haven't heard from him since. Which is good and right. And saves me money on postage more profitably spent supporting NARAL. Next!

Law School Student with Childhood Exposure to Crackpot Father: Is apparently not back in the city yet and emails sparodically. He sent an oddly worded email about my thinking "he must simply be a terribly unreliable person!" Which reminded me of the guy who was having the slow blossing love affair with his flute, for some reason. Not great, and probably not going anywhere.

Jacques the Cop: Actually, I need advice about letting this guy down really, really gently. In theory, he seems great. He's not like anyone I've ever gone out with before. He's Haitian, speaks French Creole fluently, an NYPD officer in his last year of law school, owns his own home. Our email exchanges were lovely. Then he started talking about our eHarmony commercial and how great it would be "a year or two down the road." (This is the one you've all been waiting for.) That made me make the same face Ariel the Little Disney Mermaid makes when Prince Eric suggests her name might be Mildred right before the Sebastian the Crab conducts the Everglades animals in "Kiss the Girl." (If you actually got that reference, I apologize if you just peed yourself.) So I emailed him to ask why he thought we would end up being eHarmony Commercial Worthy, and his answer was so nice that we met for dinner at Appleby's. I'll just tell you that, in person, the chemistry WAS. NOT. THERE. for me. He's nice, kind of a big teddy bear. I could see myself being his friend, if I were friends with people who make the argument against gay marriage by saying it opens up the legal process for polygamy and man/boy love. Which I'm not. So I was polite and listened proactively and was home before 11 p.m. And he's very smitten. I don't want to go out again, but I don't want to tell him that by just "closing the match" on eHarmony. Help? Please?

Finally, I will just close by saying that I'm not at all excited about a different boy that my friend Julia (hi Bebe; viva Las Vegas) christened my "Casual New Friend." I am not at all blown away by our first date. I am not at all touched that he likes Bella. I do not find the fact that he's an inner-city high school teacher who loves his job at all endearing. I'm not at all happy that he wants me to meet his friends, or that he calls when he says he will, or that he loves landscape photography as a hobby and is really a damn. good. shooter. I definitely didn't want to jump the random man in front of me in the check-out line tonight simply because he was wearing the same aftershave that my Casual New Friend uses. I am impervious to the fact that he's the type of dork who wears white socks with black shoes.

My heart is made of stone. I wear "my suit of armor even when I'm eating my Lucky Charms" these days. If my ability to be hopeful could be captured in a iconic image, my hopefulness would be a dry, shriveled peach pit. Nope. I'm not interested in my Casual New Friend at all.

Monday, August 22, 2005

We return now to the regular blogging agenda.

First, an addition to the list of Dating Scenarios that Alarm Me: Start talking about how "smashing our eHarmony commercial will be" before you even meet me. Whoa. Scared of *that."

Second, an update about my pets.... Well, sort of. The f*cking Rogue Skunk has spawned. There are little baby skunks running all around my neighborhood. Bella really likes baby animals, which is how we found Fred and George. (Aw, George... Hope you're the most pampered cat in Miami right now.) So yeah, my dog likes kittens and the tiniest puppies at the dog park. This has "Impending Doom" written all over it. Last night, we were out on a walk when a baby skunk skuttled out from behind some trash cans. This is a no brainer. Run away! Run Away!

And then, I kid you not, another baby skunk appeared on the sidewalk about 200 feet in front of us. One behind us, one ahead. So Bella is pulling on the leash in both directions, all: "The Cuteness! Lookit! Look at the Cuteness! The baby fuzzy thingies that look like cats! I love cats! Baby cats! Fred is a cat! Fred is my friend! Fred was a baby! Can we take the home and keep them? Puh-LEASE?!?!"

Oh, HELL, no. No. No baking soda, no peroxide, no tomato juice. Just no. So I did what they teach you in self-defense. When faced with two potential attackers on the sidewalk, walk in the middle of the road. Yes. In traffic. Wave your arms around and be very noticable so you don't get squashed. So we didn't get sprayed.


Saturday, August 20, 2005

This is (what is) happening.

Brad is still in the ICU, but his condition is stable. The fight continues, but for now, the expectation is that he will return to his life as he was living it, perhaps with additional assistance, before this particular medical crisis.

Clearly, we're at a new stage in this battle.

He has taught me so much- how to toss pennies out of a second story window into the neighbor's pool (when I was 8); how to fit a rosewood marimba into his van (roll it up the wheelchair ramp); how to be attractive to the male species at a football game (correctly identify and refer to the "line of scrimmage" on a fourth down); how to get the most out of my 401k (when I was 24)- but the greatest lesson of all is to never underestimate the power of sheer will. Long-distance coin-flicking skills aside, that alone may be his greatest lesson and his legacy.

And right now, I remain humble in the presence of a living legend.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Rehoboth- last week

Originally uploaded by GypsyPeach.
"There are places I'll remember/
All my life though some have changed/
Some forever not for better/
Some have gone and some remain./
All these places have their moments/
With lovers and friends I still can recall/
Some are dead and some are living/
In my life I’ve loved them all/
But of all these friends and lovers/
There is no one compares with you./'
-In My Life, the Beatles.