Saturday, July 30, 2005


just when I thought I had seen and heard it all Curves continues to amaze me and to accomplish the unthinkable...
What is the unthinkable you ask? Well, doing what ought never be done, but just now the pinnacle was reached when I heard the techno remix of Faith Hill's "This Kiss".

Next time I'm bringing glow sticks with me.

Currently listening :
By Coldplay
Release date: By 07 June, 2005

hold me closer, tony danza

:: written on 07/28, posted on 07/29 ::

And so it is (as Damien Rice would sing) that I am here, sitting, drinking, and writing.

I’ve spent most of my time here in the District of Columbia reading – and not with any specific structure.
I read a paragraph.
I take a sip of wine.
I stop and think for what seems to be a moment but is actually several minutes.
I read the same paragraph again, and take another sip of wine.

Alejandra is blow drying her hair in the bathroom, but she stops for a second to holler at me to help her find her other shoe. I shake my head in disdain as I imagine the piles and piles of clothing on the floor of her closet and beneath that, an even larger pile of shoes in no amount of order whatsoever. For some reason I obediently walk to the closet and begin crawling through the massive mound of laundry and footwear in search of a single black sandal. She interrupts me with a thought: “Oh! It’s probably underneath the couch!”
I dutifully make my way to the sofa and humbly, down on my hands and knees, locate the missing sandal. I’m only slightly shocked.
“How could you have even known that it was under there?”
But with the blow dryer running at full blast, I receive no answer and go back to the bed to read.

Tori Amos is playing over the stereo system.

Alejandra is getting ready for a date and she’s nervous – nervous like I’ve never seen her before. She asked me at least 13 times if she looked alright. She insisted that her face was too shiny and that she was sweating too much.
In her anxiousness even this morning, she was inspired to bake a pie. Of course, this idea was slightly born out of spite toward none other than me. Her kitchen, being approximately the size of a small walk-in closet, is nearly impossible to do anything in and I would imagine most frustrating to someone like Alejandra, a person of great culinary knowledge and ability. So as she was doing dishes this morning she randomly announced that she felt like baking a pie. It was 10:30 in the morning. We had just both finished our breakfast of instant oatmeal. I wasn’t sure right then what had brought on the urge, but I immediately muttered that it would be near impossible to bake a pie in that teeny tiny kitchen – especially while there were still last night’s dishes stacked to unmentionable heights on the 7-inch-wide stretch of available countertop. Alejandra, smelling both doubt and a challenge, nodded her head smugly and pulled the previously rolled pie crust out of the refrigerator and promised me a pie that “tastes like sex”. Her will is definitely stronger than my doubts and I had no reservations from that point on that within the next hour or two she would produce a masterpiece that would indeed taste like sex. If nothing else, the pie would at least work to eliminate the stench in her apartment that, despite our many efforts, continued to greet us upon each re-entrance.

I arrived in DC on Tuesday evening with great fanfare as Alejandra seemed to turn up missing. I had been calling her since I entered the city limits somewhere around 7:20 PM. I effortlessly navigated through Capitol Hill and arrived in her neighborhood of Dupont Circle in a mere 15 minutes, all the while calling her every few minutes to let her know that I would be there soon. I received no answer on any of these calls and was growing annoyed. I made it to her apartment and managed to (miraculously) find a parking spot on her block. She still was not answering the phone.


The trouble could have been fixed if I could have properly remembered her damn room number. I was certain it was 517, but couldn’t really be sure without talking to her. I buzzed room 517 at the main door and was met with an answering machine that didn’t really sound like Alejandra. I tried 417 and received no answer at all. 317 was the wrong person altogether and they weren’t too embarrassed to make me feel like an idiot for making the mistake.

At this point, I was unnerved. I had called our mutual friends to see if they had heard from her at all. They had not and furthermore thought her a bitch for leaving me stranded outsider her apartment building for the past 30 minutes.

I was growing weary of buzzing people’s apartment only to be met with disappointment. I didn’t want to try another door. So I finally, after 45 minutes or so, decided to meet the rest of the gang in sucky Georgetown for drinks and then, if I still never heard from Alejandra, would simply spend the night on Jeremy’s couch. Truth is it told I was relatively concerned about Alejandra. I mean, she had done these sorts of things before and it generally always turned out to be something silly, but this was a bit much. She was supposed to have been home two hours earlier and she knew what time I was coming into town. She didn’t seem to be home, and she wasn’t answering her phone at all (by this time, I had called approximately 14 or 15 times and left 4 messages).
I was wearing pajamas and had to actually change in my car, parked on the street, so that I could meet the kids in Georgetown.
It was at this point that Alejandra caught me, literally, with my pants down.
I didn’t even see her coming, but there she was, knocking frantically on my passenger side window.
“What the HELL are you doing?!”
I jumped (as much as one can jump while positioned awkwardly beneath a steering wheel).
I leaned over and opened the door.
“Bitch! Where have you been?!”
She laughed and I immediately felt that it was I who had been the idiot all along.
Alejandra HAD been in her apartment, room 617, waiting for me to arrive for the past several hours. Why hadn’t she answered her phone? Oh, well, it’s broken… completely. The hard drive has completely shut down and the screen no longer displays a festive wallpaper and digital time, but instead a solid blue screen with indecipherable white writing. It won’t even shut off. If you pop out the battery and turn it back on, the blue screen comes right back.

Yes, only Alejandra.

Minutes later, I was entering her apartment (number 617, as you recall).
“It’s a little bit of a mess…”
I was used to hearing these words from Alejandra, and they were so familiar that they were nearly welcomed, not just tolerated.
But… well, I’m not sure if it’s just that I simply never noticed before, or if it’s that it never really bothered me before. Perhaps I had grown intolerance for filth and stench – two things that I maybe had a tolerance for previously. I’m not sure what the case was, but nothing prepared me for her apartment.

The smell… oh, it was something to experience. I can’t even quite put my finger (or nose) on it, but it must have been a mixture of the two bags of trash, open, sitting on the main room floor waiting to be closed up and taken to the garbage chute, along with the newly added litter box for her kitten, Anais; along with the kitchen sink and countertops piled high with dishes (still adorned with food) from the previous three days.
She had done laundry, last week, but the bags of folded clothing still sat, torn into and rummaged through, on the floor near the front door, clothing spilling out from the ripped openings.
The floor near the kitchen was littered with spots of water and kibble from Anais’ dish. The kitchen floor, in addition to playing host to several small heaps of garbage absent of a bag (opened cans of either tomatoes or pineapple chunks, banana peels, garlic clove shavings, used plastic bags, and juice bottles that may or may not have still had juice in them) looked as though it had not been swept or properly cleaned in at least 3 months. A smashed martini glass sat on the floor near the bed amidst 6 months’ worth of dust bunnies and dirt. Her bed table was crowded with books, junk mail, a laptop, and no less than 5 glasses with varying levels of beverage still in them along with several stray and helpless looking earrings and hair pins. The surface of the coffee table was completely filled – not with magazines and books, but with several bowls encrusted with artichoke and spinach dip, salsa, and some other unknown substance from last week’s party. There were quite a few glasses sitting empty as well. Several empty or semi-empty wine bottles occupied almost every square-inch of unfilled space left in the apartment – several of the empty ones had gobs of candle wax melted around the sides of them. Whatever space was left after all of this was a place where clothing had been absent-mindedly thrown; piles of clothing were positively everywhere. All of this was covered in a quarter inch of dust.

Oh goodness.

I couldn’t bring myself to touch the kitchen, but I did spend my first morning in DC cleaning, if for no other reason than that I couldn’t stand to spend the next three or four days in this mess. I had just dropped Alejandra at her baby-sitting job in Georgetown and gone to Curves (bless my soul. Aren’t I GOOD?!) and decided that I couldn’t take to spend that much time in this disastrous mess. So I cleaned… and if I do say so myself, did an amazing job. I spent the rest of the day reading The Devil in the White City, feeling proud of my handiwork. Alejandra was proud too – called me a “damn good houseguest”. Yeah, I am, aren’t I?


I love the District… I really do. I dream about moving back here to a row house on Capitol Hill. As I drove into the city on Tuesday night, I had visions of walking home from the office, the summer wrapped around me in sunshine and flower beds… the houses are so beautiful on Capitol Hill, even the ones that I can afford to live in. I do really miss it sometimes. I don’t know that I would want to raise a family here, but it would be great to live here again for a time.

Alejandra lives in Dupont Circle, but she lives most specifically right smack in the midst of Embassy Row. The area is absolutely gorgeous. Flags from all over the world hang proudly from all the different structures, each representing well the country whose name it bears. Parking is impossible on Embassy row, but it’s almost worth it to live here. My dear friend dropped and broke the bottle of shiraz that we chipped in together to purchase last night for dinner (we’re both very very poor and decided to splurge on this one liter bottle of $11 shiraz) the moment that we walked through her apartment door in what seemed to be a very dramatic and depressing event. We sat on the floor near her couch just staring forlornly at the puddle of vino – it looked as though we had just murdered someone without planning on how to clean up the mess. She sent me out to buy a new bottle at the bodega at the end of her block.

As I walked down the street I experienced, for the first time, a yellow sky. Do you know that old Rogers and Hammerstein play South Pacific? Do you remember the song that she sings?

“When the sky is a bright canary yellow…”

I had never experienced that. And this sky, well it wasn’t exactly a canary yellow, more of a 20 year-old piece of paper yellow, or a somewhat dirty dishwater kind of yellow, but it was yellow nonetheless. I loved it. I instantly thought of the song and couldn’t resist singing as I walked, that is until I saw someone sitting in their doorway… I stopped and he stared. I smiled because I didn’t know what else to do. I had just been caught singing Rogers and Hammerstein slightly off-key. What is a girl to do?


Alejandra and I had lunch with Church boy Nathan this afternoon at Chipotle. I had never experienced the eatery before and Alejandra seemed amazed.

The burritos… well, they’re the fattest little burritos you’ve ever seen in your life. Sort of like a little baby. It was unreal.

Man… it was tasty though. Alejandra and I were too cheap to buy a drink, so we got tap water and loaded it up with lime slices and sweet ‘n’ low, making our own limeade. Tasty.

I was amused by the napkins, considering we had just discussed the fatness and baby-likeness of the burritos. It was altogether too much (to borrow a phrase from Gregory). See pictures below please.


And so this brings me to now… sipping vino while Alejandra is out on her date at Fuddruckers (it was her idea – and they DO have the best pump cheese I’ve ever tasted in my life). Tori Amos has long since ended and I’m listening to old classic Italian folk songs. I just got off the phone with church boy Nathan and we made plans to go see a matinee tomorrow afternoon. I’m leaving shortly to visit my old stomping grounds on capitol hill with all the merry CRNCsters… I really do miss this city sometimes, but right now I miss my family, and New Jersey, and Gregory, and Culver Lake.

I was in love with the idea of coming to DC and staying all week, but right now I’m in love with the idea of going home and putting things back in their place.

This has been a bit of a vacation, from myself more than anything, but I’m ready to go home. I felt muddled yesterday, but today I feel crazily at peace. Maybe it was the yellow sky, or the vino, or the almond pie, or the burritos as big as my head… I’m not sure what it was, perhaps just God alone… but I’m feeling at peace. I like that. I haven’t felt it in a long time.

The district will not sleep alone tonight.
I am here.

I wonder if Alejandra will bring me back any of that amazing pump cheese…

Currently reading :
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
By Erik Larson
Release date: By 10 February, 2004

Saturday, July 23, 2005

jew see

The glass doors seem to generate a gentle hum as I walk past, the colors slowly moving by, unfocused... I don't pay attention. There are too many choices to pay attention to.
I blindly grab one, two, three bottles from the shelves and move forward to the register, the condensation sweating from my arms as though it were my own.
This is my second trip to 7-Eleven so far today and I'm wanting the bottle of fruit punch gatorade in my hand so badly that I'm willing to open it and take a few sips before I even get to the register.

Last night's party... well, I just realized at some point today that I posted a blog last night. I don't really remember. I remember everything, just not little things (such as posting absurd blogs that make little to no sense).
Somehow, amazingly, I managed to pull myself out of bed this morning at 9:30 and haul behind back down to Whitehouse Station (from the lake) for my first appointment at Curves... imagine that. I belong to a "gym".
Sort of.
I joined for my mother, actually. She needs to move again and this is the only way I see her doing it. So if she needs the moral support, I'm there for her.
I bounced and hopped around to techno remixes of "let's get physical" and "what i like about you" for a good 45 minutes. I felt like shit, but it was actually good. I need to move again too. I hate the gym with a flaming fiery passion and I know that there's no way I would ever go - I much prefer the atmosphere of Curves. There's something about little old ladies and young Christian moms that just makes me want to MOVE IT. Dig?

Regardless, now I have tons of work to do and Sal is taking Amanda and me out on his boat this afternoon.

Tony turns 21 on Monday. Too bad he wasn't 21 during the course or Swiss Auto Club. It would have been really great for him to come to more shows.

And I'm going to be an Aunt... again. And yet again after that. Crazy, isn't it?

Currently reading :
Magical Thinking : True Stories
By Augusten Burroughs
Release date: By 05 October, 2004

Friday, July 22, 2005


is this real, or am i dreaming?
It's very unclear.
sometimes it feels like I've been asleep for a long, long time.
other times it feels like I haven't missed a beat.

Currently listening :
Like a Prayer
By Madonna
Release date: By 25 October, 1990

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

fascination street

I had a dream last night. In fact, I had several dreams - the kind when one merges flawlessly into the next. Except, well, really it's only flawless in dream world. In the real world there is no way that it could be flawless, for it's simply far too bizarre.
Serial killer lockdown, right into barbecue with over-zealous volunteers grilling hamburgers the size of your head, right into conservative Christian home-school convention with familiar faces lurking in the most unexpected places... all taking place in the same house: the very house that I inadvertently fell asleep in last night while haphazardly pretending to watch a movie (but really ruminating... oh, that thing that I promise myself and pray to God that I will be rid of very very soon).

Serial killer lockdown ended as frantically as it started. I was hysterical, obsessive even as I bolted doors and boarded windows all over this house. He was loose and he was coming to get ME.
Sadly, tragically, awfully, horribly, it wasn't just one - it was many, and it could have been anyone. Anyone with that certain look in their eye.
The dream eventually lead to me purchasing a pistol (withough a license, mind you) and shooting my darling little brother three times in the chest, sending him into eternity.

No sooner was it that I had shot him that his wounds faded and we were at a barbecue together, Lisa and Todd Bourke (the over-zealous volunteers) were grilling the most monstrous hamburgers I had ever seen. All I wanted was dessert but all I could get were burgers the size of Baltimore. There was something to do with water too and somehow, the backyard become flooded and a few people nearly drowned.

The flood waters receded and beneath it lied the rear-end of a Weis Markets (doubling as an expo center) hosting a conservative Christian home-school convention. I wandered around from booth to booth amongst women wearing headcoverings and gently pushing incredibly well-behaved babies in strollers that looked as though they had seen at least a dozen diaper bottomed babies before this one. All the women and girls wore long skirts and button-down short sleeved blouses, I wore a tank top, flip flops and a denim skirt that came just to the knee. Most of the men were unattractive and I was bored but intrigued; bored because I've seen this scene a million times before, but intrigued because they do seem happy and... well, they don't seem like they necessarily have it all figured out, but they're comfortable with the fact that they don't, knowing that at some point they will.

I bumped into familiar faces and for some reason felt mildly ashamed for my seemingly inappropriate attire. I bumped into Kim LaMantia, a girl I knew from the training center in Indianapolis and she congratulated me for my "short skirt", laughing half mockingly and half envious. I don't think I've ever felt more strongly that I didn't belong somewhere but that I ought to.
I approached the back doors of the "expo center" and saw dozens of protesters outside. They carried signs and shouted indecipherable outcries at the closed doors in front of them. One woman held a basket of fruit and vegetables that appeared fresh and threw them harshly at the doors. Others around her picked up the produce that bounced back to the ground and threw them again. There was a lot of hate... and that really struck me. These people, as much as I sympathize with their feelings of someone else telling them what is right and wrong, or telling them to feel guilty, or telling them to worship this God, or abide by this rule... as much as I had sympathy for them, I was completely and utterly abhored of them. The people surrounding me inside were peaceful, polite, giving, loving... simply choosing curriculum for their children and enjoying the fellowship with other people of like sentiment. They were not actively telling anyone how to live outside of maybe their children - which is a whole other argument.

Hatred is such an incredibly horrible thing, on any side of the fence. I woke up disturbed that any human being could hate another human being so strongly simply for doing what they honestly believe to be the right thing.
It goes for conservatives too, who happen to be pretty spiteful as well.

For a second, I wanted desperately to be outside with those protesters just to infiltrate. I wanted to show them that someone like me, with my beliefs, can be an understanding and nurturing person who cares about others' opinions, religions, political leanings, and lifestyle choices.

Waking up this morning I realize that this is a lot of my problem. In my efforts to make everyone happy, I really just piss everyone off. The irony, eh?

This is the first dream I've actually remembered upon waking up in awhile. I think that it means I'm sleeping better, which is a tremendous relief.


I'm hoping for sunshine through and through today and tomorrow. I'm grasping for straws, but I want low low humidity levels. I want a blue sky. I want clouds, but only a few puffy ones. I want... clarity in its 100% most all-encompassing form.

I wanna dance with somebody, and feel the heat with somebody.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Currently listening :
By The Cure
Release date: By 01 May, 1989