Monday, November 13, 2006

musicians duet better

I haven't spent a whole lot of time thinking about it, but if I had thought about it, I wouldn't think that they still rang the church bells in my town regularly. I've not heard them ring in quite some time and although it always seems... great (or maybe even monumental) whenever I used to hear them, it's amazing how not hearing them seemed to completely escape my notice.

They were always appreciated, but somehow never missed.

Weary I was (and have been all week) as I shuffleed from my car to the house.
"Hi doogies" I mumbled to the too many dogs running around, through, and about my home -- is it a terrible thing that every time I pull into my driveway, I consider hitting one of them with my car? Not enough to really hurt them, but just to let them know that I can.

Gus jumped at my hand, biting slightly. I was just about to smack him away when I heard them and stopped, completely frozen.
At first it sounded like music coming from the inside of my car, but the longer that I stood there silent, the more clear the bells became and it didn't take long to make out the melody to "Jesus Loves Me".

The goosebumps were instantaneous, unexpected, and (I'm not sure yet) a little unwelcomed. That sort of struck me.

The song is so simple. It's a children's song, really (for those who are not familiar already).
The bells themselves bring a certain level of comfort, but the song was fitting as well.

I thought about a comment that my Art History professor had made during class the other week while discussing religious structures of the ancient world and the tradition that has carried on to build these structures high up or at least so that they reach up high (like a steeple).
She mentioned the temples and churches being a symbol of peace, tranquility, and a source of comfort for many people. This is still true today, of course, as evidenced by the fact that I felt comforted hearing the bells.
And yes, that is the feeling it was: comfort. Safety. Reassurance that there is this (oh dear - dare I say?) cosmic force "somewhere out there".
There is a God, and a creator, and a redeemer. There is a right and a wrong, and yes, Jesus does love me.

Faith is a crutch, isn't it? It's so damn easy to view this sentiment as weak, and unintelligent, and hell (!), slightly demented. Perhaps a little simple or naive. It's easy to think those things and I understand when people do. The fact of the matter is that faith is not really all that logical. Really, it's kind of the anti-logic.

But see, that's the point though, isn't it?
God's love vs. man's brain

Friends, I can battle logic; I enjoy doing just that in many other areas of my life. I can do that, and I'm O.K. with it.
I'm O.K. with Jesus being my crutch. And I suspect that Jesus might be pretty O.K. with it too (just wanted to use "O.K." one more time).

It's probably true that even people who don't consider themselves religious would find comfort and security in the idea of sanctuary.
It's probably true that many people, while they don't really feel like they "connect" with God, believe that God is there and perhaps even want to believe that they could connect with him if they wanted to.
I can see why a person would find a church - the representation of God's presence in the community - to be a comforting sight.

And I was comforted a little myself as I stood outside of my house, in the relative cold, to hear the rest of the bells.
My breath was slow and even as I watched it escape from my nostrils and disappear into the chilly night air.

This faith stuff... well, it seems silly sometimes. Really. I know.
But it's the only thing that's just totally beyond this world. Out of sight. Completely beyond any tangible experience here on this earth.
So simple that it's almost too difficult to understand.

And... well, that's the point.

Currently reading :
Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
By Chuck Klosterman
Release date: By 22 June, 2004

Sunday, September 24, 2006

here comes little nocturnal me

So today I drifted through an ice-capped fire of burning wood (read: Jersey City). There I was, back on my old playground. The air at 2nd and Monmouth smelled the same as it always had: like tar, dirty water, and minestrone soup.

Today I found myself living la vida mocha back in the good ol' JCNJ, putting (what I hope to be) the final touches on this campaign audit that I'm working on.

It felt kind of nice, sort of reminiscent to be back in the Jersey City office. Things have changed a little bit (there's new carpet… thank heavens), but for the most part, everything is the same. I was there all alone, so I cranked up the music and got to work. It reminded me of (one of) the time(s) that Amanda and I, frustrated and frazzled beyond words, turned up the tunes and danced like madmen in front of the huge picture window facing Newark Avenue at 11 o'clock at night, giving a big "F-you" to the empowerment of anyone but ourselves.

It also brought to mind a certain evening when we were moving furniture and bringing about some much needed re-arrangement to the office. Somewhere around 2:30 in the morning we wrapped things up and I disappeared to meet a new friend, drink some wine, eat some (much promised) ice-cream, and make myself totally late for an early morning diner meeting in Westfield. I made it to my meeting, and grinned silently and secretly to myself the entire time.

I kind of miss Jersey City. I don't miss the commute, and I don't miss the parking situation; but I do miss the cozy little office, the pet shop boys next door, and the baker dorks across the street. I miss the $1 treats at the little Korean bodega across Newark Avenue(Steven's Market).

I had defied and dreaded going to Jersey City all afternoon, but I knew it would be good for me to get away from the house and to get some work done on my own, less the crying babies, barking dogs, and obnoxious roommates (read: family).

I rolled home somewhere around 8:30 in the evening and felt pretty damn relaxed. I poured myself one, then two glasses of wine, and in my wine-induced state, wandered right over to MTVland, where I (unsurprisingly, in the tradition of Undressed, Singled Out, and the like) saw one of the most horrifying things ever.

Kallissa Miller. You might be familiar with some of her work. She has brought us some of television's greatest! Among them? Dismissed.

You might recall.

She has also brought us a new program entitled "Date my Mom".

Oh, the pain. It was so bad that I couldn't stop watching for a few moments.


These were MOTHERS completely pimping out their daughters.

It works like this, see: some bonehead guy is chosen and he has to take three moms out on a date. The purpose of the date is to give the mom a chance to convince the guy to date their daughter. This is usually done by inflating the daughter's looks, breast size, body type, sexual habits, talents, etc. Of course, the moms think the world of their daughters. And I really do believe that Donna sincerely thought her daughter Sabrina looked exactly like Jessica Simpson, but I feel like everyone involved in this project just…

You know what? I don't know.

I don't even know if I want to talk about it anymore. It was that damaging.

All this, and what I really came here to say tonight is that I have this little pair of shoes that I'm not quite sure what to do with (read: what do I wear them with and how do I prevent developing horrible blisters while walking around in shoes made of synthetic materials?!).

Disclaimer: more links will be added later when my server is back up and ru-u-u-unning.

Currently listening :
Ocean Rain
By Echo & the Bunnymen
Release date: By 27 January, 2004

Saturday, September 23, 2006

dirty skirty

I stare blankly at my fingertips, hand resting in my lap. "Whose Line is it Anyway?" continues to play in the background, but I had stopped paying attention sometime… well, I don't think I was ever paying attention to begin with.

Three of the five fingers on my right hand have turned bright orange – an effect that cheese doodles tend to have on me. Everyone is here, all around me but I don't really want to be. I've been busy the past week or two, but I'm not busy tonight and I really wish that I was.

I've been avoiding the confession but, I'm completely lonely. Surrounded by people, and I'm lonely.

And it takes a lot for me to feel lonely.

I've been avoiding writing these sorts of public confessions for fear of appearing weak or for fear of appearing like things are not getting better. But then I realized that in return, I've been writing nothing at all.


So, you want honesty? Then here it is: I'm not better yet; no, not 100 percent.

I'm still lonely, and I still get sad. And while I do get out of bed every morning and behave productively and responsibly, I now have nights when I retire as early as humanly possible because it feels good to sleep and to dream about other things, and to be somewhere else.

It's amazing the things that we'll do to distract ourselves from depression and loneliness.

I've actually been watching TV – which, well, I don't know if that makes things better or worse, probably worse. I hate television and I can't imagine that it's enhancing my life any. It's just… well, it's easy. And it's noise. And it kind of sucks.

But on the other hand, school is good. And physical therapy is good. And making duck nuggets is good. And taking pictures is good. And I developed my first roll of film ever on my own this past week… and that felt good.

I am good.

It's just that I'm not too terribly fond of the times that are bad.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I sit here completely inspired by sweat.

I painstakingly purchased a new pair of sneakers today (that's Jersey speak for "tennis shoes") and in my excitement, I decided to take them for a little test spin.
I never exercise before 9:30 PM. Never.
Actually, who am I kidding? I never exercise at all. I did tolerate a brief stint at Curves when I felt that my mom was really needing a partner in crime, but otherwise: never.

Regardless, I've been wearing them around all day in hopes of breaking them in. For what I'm not sure, but I know that newly purchased sneakers need to be broken in. That, and part of me was sort-of planning ahead for the walk on Sunday. So in walking around the house all day wearing these things, I decided that I needed to take them out for a REAL test spin.

Folks, I just went running. Like, really running. For a good, solid 40 minutes, I was running.
No, I dont think you heard correctly.

I digress (but not completely).

I was so excited that I made a new iPod playlist just for the occasion.
So here I am, 40 minutes later. My heart is still pounding just a bit in my chest as I catch my breath every few seconds. My ponytail, once pulled taut, now hangs a tad sloppy and loose and the short little hairs at the back of my neck cling to my skin in sweaty strands as perspiration beads up into little droplets in my cleavage.
My legs ache. My hips ache. My feet ache. And above all this aching is my damp skin, feeling strangely tight as it sticks loosely to my clothing.
And this has inspired me.

Honestly, it's been a pretty inspirational day all-around. Earlier, I felt inspired (partially by my new sneakers, and partially by the start of my photography 101 class yesterday) to climb up on the roof of my house and try my hand at shooting the moon.

This was only partially a good idea.

I didn't see how I could possibly make it up onto the roof carrying a tripod, so I opted for steadying my hand by anchoring my elbow on my knee or some other handy and close-by object.

Camera slung around neck, I made my way up the courtyard wall and shimmied to the ledge of the roof. This was the easy part. I've done this a million times!
I can remember as a kid playing on the roof far more often than we played in the yard.
My siblings and I were relatively destructive by our very nature, and were known to sled off the roof during the winter, jump off the roof onto our monstrous trampoline during the summer, and utilize the roof as an all-purpose playground during the rest of the year.
All of this took place when we weren't cutting through our limbs with bow-saws or performing death defying stunts with our home-made wooden bike ramps. We owned bicycle helmets that one of my parents purchased (in what we now recognize as a thoughtful yet futile gesture), but they were always creatively used as props never as protective head gear. We were pretty successful overall, as I can only recall maybe three or four trips to the emergency room (and one was not even involving one of our stupid stunts it was involving a box turtle and my brothers bottom lip).
Regardless, the roof and I were good friends.

I perched myself on the peak, relying on the friction of the shingles to keep me steady, and brought my right knee up to rest my chin on. My left leg laid flat against the pitch of the roof, angled downward. I fumbled with my camera settings for a minute and then spent a few good moments trying to reduce the camera shake. I fired off two crappy shots and as I was aiming for the third, in dire concentration, WHOOSH!
Leaning too far over, I toppled sideways to my right as my left leg came swinging around, completely over my head.

And there I was, tumbling feet over head down the pitch of the roof and making a fervent effort to hang onto anything I could catch a hold of.
The shingles hurt like a bitch, but eventually worked in my favor. If we had installed the Spanish tiles (like my mother so desperately wanted) years ago, I'd have been in big trouble. So would have the tiles.

The leg swinging completely over my head did a little bit of a number on my hip, and I could feel it immediately as I clung motionless to the edge of the roof for a moment, catching my breath.

I made my way back to the peak only to realize that I hadn't really planned my descent. It's much easier to climb up the wall of the courtyard than to climb down. And granted, it's only 7 or 8 feet from the ground, but it still feels like a lot when you're sitting there.

So I did. I sat there. I sat there for a good 10 minutes.
I counted to three a few times as I tried to psyche myself up enough to take the Nike challenge and "just do it".
And in the meantime, I took a picture of me stuck on the roof. Thoughtful, right?

Yes, friends, I eventually got up enough guts to take the plunge.
It wasn't all that bad. And I knew it wouldn't be all that bad.
Suffering only a few minor scrapes, I made it out alive and ventured back into the house to share my story with my brother and his wife.

Apparently everyone had heard a noise up on the roof, but had no idea what it was. Rhiannon thought someone was up in the loft and had dropped a box.
No, no Rhiannon that was just me, falling off the roof.

All this, and this is the only shot I got of the damned moon.
I should probably take a little caution the next time I feel inspired.

Currently listening : The Dandy Warhols Come Down By The Dandy Warhols
Release date: By 15 July, 1997

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

nourishing our world

So I'm just going to cut straight to the chase: I totally saw a grown man pick his nose and eat it in Jersey City last week.

A grown man.

In a suit.

Driving the latest model of nice car.

He picked his nose. And he ate it.

Friends, the bar was raised last week; that is, the bar of grossness. I mean, a grown man picking his nose is disgusting enough, but I'm willing to give a man the benefit of the doubt realizing that every now and again that nose just needs to be picked. Sometimes it just begs for it. But eating the harvest? That's for kids. Really anyone beyond the age of 3 or 4 (Ill even stretch it to 5) has no business browsing the booger buffet.

I was doing some work for former candidate in Jersey City last week and as I made my way from my car to the office, a car pulled out a little ahead of me from an underground parking garage and stopped midway across the sidewalk to wait for oncoming traffic to clear before pulling out onto the road. I didn't pay much attention until I looked up and realized that the man was picking his nose. I looked away quickly, chuckling to myself but then did a double-take to clarify whether it was an actual pick or just a little scratch.

We all see people picking their noses in their cars, right? I feel like it's an activity that many individuals take part in under the strange assumption that, despite being completely surrounded by glass, no one can see them. It's gross, but it's also kind of funny to pull up beside a Mercedes Benz at a traffic light and to look over and catch the driver sort of digging away, wrist deep in his cranium and completely oblivious to the fact that I, along with roughly six other people, have seen him in all his glory behaving like my two year old nephew, Cheech. Regardless, I always double-check just to be sure: pick or scratch? Was it an actual picking of the nose? Was the person really digging for gold, or was it just a good, well-needed scratch? There is a difference, and I realize this as I myself have been in need of a good scratching every now and again. Heck, sometimes other people feel the need to scratch my nose for me (for whatever reason), and yes sometimes this scratching goes on while Im driving in my car, surrounded by windows and passing through traffic and thousands of would-be bloggers who will eventually write about seeing me pick my nose on the New Jersey Turnpike...

I digress.

So I did a double-take to be sure. Was this a pick or a scratch?

I took a moment to decide and just as a huge grin stretched across my face in realization of having a full-fledged picker on my hands his hand reached right down from his nostril to his mouth.

Nostril to mouth and that mouth was wrapped solidly around that finger; around that little mucus-y monster.

I immediately looked away from both embarrassment and disbelief. I think my mouth was actually, as they say, completely agape. I nearly lost my balance and teetered for a moment as I tried to regain it.

And then I laughed. I laughed and I thought about how I was going to blog about this later.

By the way, it's really, really important to me to share the most critical events in my life with all of you. I hope you know that.

And further highlighting my day is me forgetting to pull up the zipper on my jeans twice that afternoon after visiting the restroom. Yep, that's right: twice in a row I left my zipper all the way down. And I realize that this is something that happens to everyone every now and again, but twice in one day seems a bit much. This is one of the most embarrassing things that can happen to someone because while it is so obvious to everyone else, the victim remains completely aloof and unaware, going about his daily ritual and looking like a complete fool.

Here I am: making copies, sending a fax, talking to the auditor and discussing financial statements with him all with a gaping hole in and about my crotch area. I might as well have had "I pick my nose and eat it" tattooed on my forehead heralding to the entire planet my supreme idiocy.

But I will now stop talking about humiliating experiences such as nose picking or unzipped zippers. Instead, I will say that Friday night's fundraiser went swimmingly. And I will also say how grateful I am to everyone who came out and made it a successful evening.

Together, we were able to raise a smidge under $2000 (which may not sound like a lot, but for a bunch of poor and underappreciated, young individuals to come together in a small space such as Maxwell's... well, it's a lot) and give out cool prizes like a 30,000 GB iPod (in the immortal words of John Bonaventura) and free passes to Great Adventure (that's Six Flags, for all you non-Jersey Neanderthals).

Thank you. You're all amazing people.

And now, I leave you with a little moment of zen from the evening:

Pilar * Becky * Moe

Pilar * Becky * Moe

Currently listening :
A Certain Trigger
By Maxïmo Park
Release date: By 31 May, 2005

Saturday, August 12, 2006

lather, rinse, repeat

And the truth really will set you free. Would you look at that?

Swinging back and forth, higher and higher, I toss my head back as far as I can and for the very first time I feel relieved for my now shorter hair. My eyes look upwards and fixate on a single star that I spy resting between the silhouettes of two tree branches. I slowly begin to play connect-the-dots with neighboring constellations, and above and beyond the whooshing wind in my ears, I listen closely to the words that are being spoken to me.

These words are words of truth that I want and need to hear. And although I want to hear them, every few minutes I find myself choking back tears with moderate effort - oh! these tears are desperately searching for release, but I'm not about to give. No, not this time.

It's a little like growing up and choosing not to cry when you scrape your knee or when someone pulls a band-aid from a freshly healed wound: it tears at you a bit and damnit if it isn't quite painful, but when you grow-up, you just stop crying over scraped knees (or spilled milk).

And yes this hurts.
Perhaps a little more than a scraped knee.
But right now I'm taking the John Mellencamp approach to all of this in hopes that, in the end, it will just hurt so good.

The truth is, friends, that rational people make mistakes and even sometimes behave irrationally.
The truth is that strength has tiny little cracks in it called weakness.
The truth is that big girls do cry, and that the people who have everything going for them sometimes fall; they sometimes look down and see their life broken into a million tiny pieces and resting in the palms of their hands.

But the other truth is that those pieces (at least most of them) can be glued back together - as long as you take a deep breath and work really hard at it. Like a puzzle, you have to want to finish it.

Finish what I've started... yeah.
For the first time in a really long time, I want to.
I really, really want to.

As I swing my legs forward and then backward, pushing myself higher into the air, I get kind of scared. It's been awhile since I've been on a swing. It's pitch dark out and the higher I go, the more concerned I become about how I'm going to stop. I could just jump off, but I'd probably end up hurting myself more than I'd intended to.

And then... well, the higher I go, the more that it doesn't seem all that bad. If it's all up from here on out then I think I can handle that.

I'm not going to lie; this life can really really suck.
But really: fuck it.
It's so damn beautiful that at times, I can hardly stand it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Apparently, our bodies' chemistry changes every 7 years. I haven't done all the research, but this is what "they" tell me (whoever "they" are). Regardless, I think this may be what's happened to me.

Me: the girl who was constantly warm regardless of the frigid temperatures.

Me: who had no problem running outside into the snowy tundra to check the mail or start my car wearing nothing but a tank top and boxer shorts (shoeless). I used to watch in wonder as every girl within sight was bundling up beneath the comfort of their boyfriends' sweatshirt while the thermometer soared to record highs. Perplexed, I'd gently pat the sweat from my brow and wonder if A: I was experiencing early on-set menopause or B: I was really a dude who looked like a lady. Or perhaps I'm just wired a bit differently than most girls, which would actually explain quite a lot.

Kids, things have changed. I've become obsessed with hot pockets. No, not the frozen sub-meals that come with strange cooking directions (the ones that I've never actually eaten - although I'm sure that they're aboslutely delish) - no, not those. I'm talking about actual pockets of heat.

While this has been (mostly) a recent development, it actually planted its roots about 3 or 4 years ago, while I was still working in Washington, DC. Mostly I'd be fine, but moments would pop-up during the day when I'd notice strange occurances: raised hair on the arms, slight shivers up the spine, bluish fingernails... holy crow! I'm freezing!!

I sneak a glance over at Alejandra who is completely aloof, powdering her fore-head and re-applying lipgloss. She doesn't look cold, she looks really comfortable.

I shiver and warp my arms around my waist as Alejandra, still completely unaffected by the sudden and drastic drop in temperature, browses casually through the copy of Vogue that is forever present on her desk (and yes, I will continue to paint this image of Alejandra as a crappy underling, but I will also let everyone know that I was a really crappy boss, and we now love one another like fat boys love cake).

At the time, I didn't own anything to the equivalent of the ugly sweater. No cardigans or zip-up hoodies... I didn't own any of these things because I never got cold. Coats were really only an accessory... at the time.

So I had a dilemma and I needed to fix it. I managed to find little "hot pockets" around the CRNC where I could hang-out for a few minutes and wait for my fingers to flush pink again.The office of pleasant, resident Mormon, Ryan Call worked pretty well because it wasn't really an office. It was our "back room", a storage closet really in which there were no air conditioning vents. While the rest of the office had condensation running from the windows and walls, Ryan's office suffered a musty haze that hung mid-air, and was a full 16 degrees warmer than anywhere else! This situation was great because I could swing back there and talk to Ryan about anything. You see, Ryan was an up-talker and could make you feel good regardless of what the conversation was about. This situation, however, did not last very long because I eventually began to feel really bad about the crappy straw that Ryan had been dealt and couldn't stand to look at him anymore. He would be there at his desk, shoved in a corner behind book shelves and mile-high stacks of membership kits that looked as though they might avalance at any moment. Two refrigerators hummed directly across from him making the room that much warmer. But Ryan would smile, and laugh, and never say a word about the heat as sweat dripped from under his chin and soaked through the back of his shirt. He's the type of person that would never acknowledge how uncomfortable the dripping sweat makes him, not because of pride, but because it might make you feel uncomfortable for him. So... I stopped visiting Ryan Call, for his sake and for mine.

Plan B: Pennsylvania Avenue, sidewalk in front of the CRNC building. DC weather during the summer is always hot and MUGGY. Everything around you not only looks sticky but also feels and smells sticky. So I found it a quick fix to run downstairs and vedge in the 102* heat for five minutes.

This plan was completely de-railed when I realized that creepy Marc (who was a guy with a small office right across the hall from us and whom we called "Rainman") began to schedule his cigarette breaks so that they were synchronized with my warm-up sessions. No further dilineation necessary... although, I could tell you a really creepy story involving Marc, a 30-second long hug, and an invitation to go back to Marc's place and let him cook me dinner. At the time it was really humiliating; now it's just funny and a little gross. Marc (and his office) has since been evicted from the building, apparently.

Oh well. Outside on the street was a little too smarmy anyway.

Plan C: Damnit! This should have been my Plan A!! Why didn't I notice earlier that the women's restroom on the 2nd floor was like a huge toaster oven?! So here became my permanent hot pocket.

The ladies' room had it's downfalls, just like all the other hot pockets - for instance it was always a pain when I got the biting chill at the bottom of the hour and then really had to pee at the top of the hour - but the restroom definitely had the most staying power.

Alejandra used to hassle me about it and of course, at the time, there was still far too much testosterone pumping through my veins to admit my sudden girly coldness, so I just continued to take frequent trips to the bathroom and allowed everyone to believe that I had an incredibly small bladder.

There is a particularly bad chill that I can recall when I found myself curled up atop the toilet seat in my corner stall, rubbing my toes and praying for the circulation to return. I completely lost track of time in my little envelope of cozy heat. By the time I stepped back into the office (which must have been nearly 20 minutes later), Alejandra just stared at me (with Vogue close at hand): "Were you pooping, Moe?"

I winced. It was definitely time to share my secret with her. It was also time to invest in a sweater.

I'm much more brazen about my chilliness these days. You'll almost never hear me comment on being cold, but I always come prepared and my wardrobe now boasts a broad selection of cardigans, zip hoodies, light-weight jackets and ugly sweaters. I also have a collection of blazers that borders the absurd.

So now, here I sit, in the old and musty "Dirty Dancing" resort hotel lobby - just a few feet to my left is the front door and about 15 feet to my right is the outdoor patio entrance. I am eternally grateful every time the doors open, ushering in a brief but warm breeze to parenthesize the 52* atmosphere in between. And, of course, I've come fully prepared with a cardigan (I reserve the ugly sweater for special occasions only).

I'll probably duck into the 2nd floor business center - another hot pocket around here - a little later to type this up and to defrost my poor, frozen self.

Being cold is not anywhere near as bad as I thought - but neither is being a girl.

Monday, August 07, 2006

atlantic pity

Spirits are high this week (both alcoholic and melancholic), I'm happy to report. It's amazing what a little sun can do. Keeping really really busy also helps quite a bit.

So here I sit in the business center of an old, musty hotel which for some reason reminds me of watching Dirty Dancing - except I'm sitting in it. I'm sitting in Dirty Dancing. This resort has the same sort of nostalgic, 1950s adirondack family get-away with hunky-yet-not-so-cute dance leader who would like to whisk me away and expose me to all sorts of other-worldly (or just worldly) experiences that I'm far too naive to understand but will think that I do understand, feeling that for the first time ever my life is significant. My nickname is not "Baby" though - instead, it's "Bubby" and I'm a little on the hefty side. And we're not in the Adirondacks, but instead in an old, musty hotel off the Garden State Parkway with yellow-ish walls and a limited room service menu, just shy of the Atlantic City limits. And the only dirty dancing I do is the shuffle from my bed to the shower in the morning.

I've had enough of this joke.

I have sort of been on vacation the last several days though, hopping from San Diego to Atlantic City with less than 24 hours in between. I'll go ahead and confess that San Diego, while far more tiring and stressful was a lot more fun. This Atlantic City business (so far) is cake. Literally - I just had some down at the lobby restaurant. It was so-so. I'm not really a cake person. But regardless, this gig has been a little on the light side so far, and promises to remain so the rest of this week as I prepare for International Corp. to sweep in and be bored to tears with sales meetings all week while I sort-of entertain them. Probably a lot of older men looking for a good time while away on a business trip. Don't worry, I won't show them a good time... but they might think that they've gotten one. I'm the queen of illusion. I work in New Jersey politics - I've got to be, right?

And I'll have to take another trip to San Diego sometime because I didn't get to see all that much of it (really only my hotel and the Coors Amphitheater). I was tempted to take the rental car down to Mexico, but my father was very worried, letting me know that Tijuana is only full of "booze and hookers". I wasn't allowed to take the rental out of the country anyhow. Next time...

The concert in San Diego passed like a dream. Flashing lights, loud sounds, a satellite patch-through and a very happy Hank Williams, Jr. The show was a success and I'm still glowing from my run-in with Charlie Daniels (Hank's road manager and I got buddy-buddy and went on a secret mission to get my photograph taken with Charlie... very sneaky, but very fun).

Kids, I need to go on the road for a long time. I'm beginning to like this hotel stuff. I'm becoming a bit high-maintenance, and maybe that's not all bad.

Damn, it feels good to be a hamster.

Friday, August 04, 2006

just a thin colored wall

Most of you know I'm walking in the LiveStrong Challenge (to benefit cancer research and education) next month with several friends and we're working hard in the meantime to raise money for this incredible cause.I've booked a bill at Maxwell's in Hoboken for the 25th of this month and we have a terrific bunch of artists particpating that night in what is sure to be an awesome show of support for the cause and also for my dear friend, Pilar, who was recently diagnosed with cancer and is walking with us in September.

So what do I need? I need my friends to come out and buy a ticket that night (for a mere $8, you too can have the time of your life).
I need my friends to come out and bring their friends along with them.
I need my friends to help me promote the heck out of this event.
I need my friends to become a part of this cause.

So if you're in the New York/New Jersey area (or further and you really like long drives), please come out on August 25th and bring some friends with you. And if you're in a capacity to promote the heck out of this event, please please please do so! Email me and I will send you the link for poster images that can be posted wherever you can think to post them. Or, if you'd like actual printed posters/flyers to put up around town or in your places of business, I can fix you up with that as well.

For all the info, go to:

Much love (and expecting the world of my friends - because I think the world of them),

Friday, August 25th 2006
Maxwell's in Hoboken

8PM David Pearsall
9PM Allie Moss (with Ingrid Michaelson)
10PM Ian McGlynn
11PM Swiss Auto Club
'til 2AM DJ Mike Stefan

$8/ticket, 21 to enter

A limousine service has kindly donated a vehicle and a driver for anyone who would like to take advantage of it. We need to know if you'd like to ride to Hoboken in style for the mere cost of gasoline (split between everyone), then please let me know immediately so that I can reserve you a spot. We're still working on a meeting place, but it most likely will be in the Somerset/Middlesex county area.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

it's prettier than risk

And today was a scorcher, right?

I've been popping quite a lot of Tylenol PM these days in an effort to stifle the screams of my whip-lash (is that hyphenated?), caused from my run-in with a deer a few weeks back. This morning, I foolishly washed those capsules down somewhere around 4:30 AM, completely disregarding my intended wake-up call of 8:30.

Fast forward 5 hours: Here I am coasting down I-78 West into Pennsyltucky to meet my sister, my niece, and my Cheech and escort them safely home to the Garden State of euphoria. My anticipation the entire ride was difficult to mask and I shamefully took it out on the iPod, listening and re-listening to Huey Lewis & The News tunes while singing at the top of my lungs. I was driving my mom's mini-van... didn't I once dedicate an entire blog to my ridiculously unprecedented nerdiness? Probably. But it can't be helped - the heart of rock and roll is still beating.

I'd say I'm a little unhealthfully obsessed with my nephew, the Cheech, but I don't know that it's possible for any sort of unhealthfulness to exist when it comes to obsessions with Cheech. He's that incredible. My sadness when he left New Jersey to head back to the smokey mountains of Tennessee was heart-breaking, to say the least. I'd be lying if I were to tell you that I expected to love any human being as much as I love this child. It is only occasionally that I feel a little guilty for not putting Olivia or Elliana (my two nieces) in the spotlight. Ever.

They're less than a year old.
They're still growing into their cuteness.
They can't share with me in dialogue about Dora the Explorer.
I love them too - but the most I can do right now is hold them and hope they grow up to be anywhere near as cool as their older brother/cousin.

So what did the Cheech and I do today? We ran circles in the parking lot of the Wawa until we were sick from dizziness - making sure to take off our shoes beforehand, turning the soles of our feet a deep ebony.
We jumped on the bed.
We played monkey tunnel.
We harassed the dogs.
We went exploring in the garden and found japanese beetles mating and albino crab spiders waiting in prey.
We had a blast.

Another portion of joy has returned and for real, this is a time when I know beyond anything that God is watching out for me. There's no other reason He would choose to bring something so absolutely amazing into my life.

Currently listening :
Plan B
By Huey Lewis & the News
Release date: By 24 July, 2001

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

easy access

One o'clock in the morning, scissors in hand, I take a walk to the bathroom mirror and before you can say "no thank you, I don't care for meatloaf", off it goes: over a foot of hair. It took a full three seconds for what I had done to register.

Oh, shiesse.

So, naturally, off went the rest of it as well. It was a short lapse of judgement. No, who am I kidding? It was a short lapse of everything. At that very moment in time, absolutely nothing on my body was functioning properly with the exception of my hand. And as you can imagine, the aftermath has been treacherous at best.

It will take just a few weeks for me to adjust to this change - but those weeks will seem like an eternity. Everything has changed and even a simple task like showering has become an obstacle to overcome. If this change had happened gradually, it would have been so much easier to cope with, but I'm afraid that the loss was so sudden and so severe, that it will make the recovery that much more difficult. Washing my hair (if you can even call it hair anymore) takes about a minute and a half. And rinsing it - well, I don't even quite know how to explain this to you... have you ever picked up a gallon of milk thinking that it's full when, in reality, it's nearly empty? There's just too much give, right? Your arm flings up and over as you realize that the effort you were putting in does not match the task at hand (literally). It's the same feeling here. I prepare to squeeze the excess water from a length of hair that just simply is not there.

I'm not quite certain how I feel for the look of it yet. I look like Bridget Fonda in "Point of No Return". And as one well-meaning friend so thoughtfully put it: "It looks cute when it's pulled back."

So now comes the growing-out process, and the "how-do-I-style-my-hair-now?" process, and the "what-do-I-do-with-the-hair-that's-been-chopped-off?" process.

If I were married to Paul Mitchell, none of this would be an issue.

And PS: I'm going to do my best to donate the hair, but I'm not sure I'll have any takers.

Monday, July 10, 2006


OK kids, raise your hand if you have an email account that is formatted

Everyone, right?
Oh how I've ached for a normal email address, one that could even be considered "professional". Gone away are the days of "" or "" (I don't want to talk about that last one, but it really did exist at one point, very close to the birth of email) - you can't have such an email address and be taken seriously. The story behind moebe97 or moebe79 is too long--and too boring--to tell, but be assured that they exist only because monica.navarro was not available. My sadness was only momentary, however, as the advent of Gmail came along shortly. Ahhh... by invitation only! If I can just get myself an invitation, I can sneak right in and snatch up that (apparently) coveted!
Friends, there are a lot of Monica Navarros out there. Do you know any others? I don't even know any other Monicas, let alone Monica Navarros. So alas, while I continue to discover more and more people who have the email address (I don't think I've ever even seen any other type of gmail address... except for my own), I am just that much more saddened by my lack thereof. So, I've decided to take some action (in the form of an email).

Fr: (ugh)
Subject: coveted email

Dear Monica,

You don't know me, but we do have at least one thing in common: our name. I think it's a great name, don't get me wrong, but in sharing this name I do face a bit of a tragedy. You see, I've never been able to snag a monica.navarro email address. Perhaps you've always gotten there first (who could know?), but I've always seemed to just miss the boat.

I was ecstatic to open up a gmail account, while gmail was still relatively new, so that I could FINALLY have the email address I've always wanted! You can imagine my disappointment when I found that not only was monica.navarro taken, but so was every single reasonable variation thereof!
So I'm wondering this: would it be possible at all for me to purchase this email address from you? I don't know what it would take for me to get it, but I have a number of things that may or may not be of value to you. Money is one thing I do not have much of. I could probably throw you a few bucks, but I could definitely tack on some extras. I have a bottle of Grey Goose vodka that has yet to be opened. I also have a pair of brand new jeans from the GAP that have never been worn, but I was planning on getting rid of on eBay (they're in perfect condition and perfectly fine, I just didn't particularly care for them). I have two certificates for free ringtones that can be redeemed online -- in no time at all you could be rocking the casbah every time your phone rings (if you fancy the Clash, that is). Also, what size shoe do you wear? And do you like metallic gold?

I know this may seem silly to you, but I figured it's worth a shot. More than anything, I'd be interested to know what exactly it would take for you to sell me your email address. Although, well, I must say that if I had gotten to it first it would take a whole hell of a lot for me to let it go.


Let's see if she bites, yes?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I had no idea

Alejandra will eventually forgive me for having never read her June 29th Blog in its entirety until tonight. It is for this reason that I've only just now been made aware that I have been "tagged". I don't even really know what it means to be tagged, but I like silly games (most of the time and as long as they don't involve tap water or a spinning bottle), and I'm perfectly willing to entertain Alejandra's efforts to get me to post a blog. Granted, there is going to be absolutely nothing exciting in the next few paragraphs. Consider yourself warned, please.

Word has it that I'm supposed to play along and list the following items:

Five things in my freezer:
(oh how I long for the days when I used to have my own freezer! These days I have little to no say as to what goes into my freezer, so I'm going to take a wild guess)
* Morning Star veggie sausage patties (I think it's stupid and misleading that they call them sausage patties at all when there isn't actually any sausage in them).
* Sugar Free popsicles
* A large bag of ice
* An even larger variety of frozen meats that have been carefully vacuum-sealed and labeled with names and dates.
* Toaster waffles

Five things in my closet:
* A red sombrero that my parents brought me from Mexico City when I was 5. It can be seen here.
* Boxes and boxes of Christmas cards that I bought and almost sent out last year, but didn't quite get around to.
* One of these things.
* Five bridesmaids dresses that I'm sure I'll never wear again.
* A pair of metallic gold stiletto heels that Alejandra made me buy two years ago, promising me that she'd pay me back for them. She never has and they sit in my closet still.

Five things in my car:
(some of you may know that my Focus was recently destroyed in a tragic run-in with a New Jersey white-tailed deer. I only just got the new car a few days ago, so there's really not much in it at all. I guarantee nothing exciting).
* A package of armorall wipes (if you didn't know before that I'm a total geek, this should clue you in).
* An iPod adapter
* My secretly stashed map of NYC
* A bottle of vanilla lotion (secret weapon - because apparently I always smell like vanilla, the beach, or tostadas. The beach and Taco Bell were too difficult to fit in my glove box).
* What I think is a bootleg copy of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust.

Five things in my purse:
(I don't carry a purse, so I considered reporting five things that I typically carry on my person, but well... there are only so many things that I can carry on my person, and I think less than five is probably the limit. So I'm going to let you know what's lying around in the giant bag that I usually travel with or make day trips with. I haven't taken anything out of it since I went to Peru with it back in March and there are well over five things in there).
* A copy of Nick Hornby's "A Long Way Down" (I haven't read it yet, but I'll let you know how it is).
* Headphones from Continental Airlines
* A miniature pack of Charmin To-Go toilet seat covers - this has to be from Cecilia. Desires for sanitary environments aside, I despise toilet seat covers.
* A wedding invitation to Matthew & Martina's wedding last week
* A buiness card from Clinton Honda for the guy who sold me my Passat
* A bottle of Vicodin
* A medium-sized bouncy ball that I found in Central Park and have become unhealthfully obsessed with
* A Zip-loc baggie chock full o' Allegra (thanks, Greg)
* Two ball-point pens. One works, one doesn't.
* A miniature bottle of Opti-Free Express contact lens solution that opened accidentally and spilled all over everything inside.
* A miniature tube of Colgate Total toothpaste
* A miniature wheel of mint waxed dental floss
* An Italian Charm bracelet (I was looking for that)
* Advil
* Peruvian money
* Listerine breath spray that I stole from my sister and she still doesn't even realize is missing.
* A gift card to Macy's (thanks, Sal)
* A movie ticket to "Thank you for Smoking"
* A notice from the city of Summit for an unpaid parking ticket (it wasn't my fault, damnit).
* A headphone splitter
* A dimebag full of odor-free garlic tablets
* A tape measure
* A Radiohead CD
* iPod USB chord
* Some bobby pins
* A brochure for the Honda Fit
* Tons and tons of receipts

Yes, more than five things. But once I got started, I couldn't stop. It has definitely shed some light on a few things. First off, it seems that I carry around far too many drugs. I also have a tendency to pick up miniaturized versions of practically anything and everything (I did also have a miniature version of the 'fore mentioned bouncy ball, but I left it at Kevin's house the other day).

I think at this point I'm supposed to "tag" a few other people. I'm pretty limited here since not many people read this sad little corner of MySpace. So I'm left to tag the individuals who actually DO.

Caitlin, you're it. So is Katie, Alina, Greg, Ted, Jayvis, and that friend of Stephen's who is not my friend but keeps commenting on my blogs. You're it too.

Happy fourth to all. I'm heading to bed.

Currently listening :
Night and Day
By Joe Jackson
Release date: By 20 October, 1989

Saturday, July 01, 2006


First it was this:

Then it was this:

And after that:

But then there was this:

and even this:
Allies of New Jersey | Interview next Wednesday!

And perhaps, eventually, hopefully, THIS:

It's been an interesting week and a half, one involving Peruvian Lillies, ADHD sales people, a bacon egg and cheese biscuit, Becky Nash's little brother, NyQuil, pain killers, and a bottle of blush champagne. I used to share any and all of the interesting things that happen to me, but I find myself becoming more reserved these days. I like it just fine that way, I suppose.

I'm doing pretty OK I'd say. I'm now a part of the club: both the one that hits deer in New Jersey and the one that owns a Volkswagen. I'd tell stories about the guy who sold me the car (his name was McManus), or I'd tell you stories about what I had to do to get the car (it didn't involve sex or microwave popcorn)... I'd tell these stories except I'm far too sleepy right now.

And grateful.
I'm sleepy, and grateful.

my love to all. ta!

Currently listening :
Pure Gold
By Harry Belafonte
Release date: By 24 March, 1992

Thursday, June 22, 2006

active ingredient

What most people find festive--a weekend at a beach shack with friends, a boat trip down a river, a crackling bonfire on a summer night--I see as a bleak nightmare to be grimly endured. I would sooner put lit cigarettes in my eyes than share a vacation house with a crowd. Inevitably there is one bathroom for ten people, so there is a constant line, and when its time to do your business, someone outside of the rickety door decides at that moment to take the CD out of the player as your furiously pull up your pants in the silence. Later, you are thwarted again as you realize that if you can clearly hear your friends newspaper rustling as he read the Times out loud for everyone's amusement, then they can all hear you. The days crawl by as you swell like a tick. No, thank you.

I do not way to stand in the kitchen with the car keys, seething, while one person makes a grocery list and another hunts for cash and a third announces to the housemates playing touch football that all fourteen of us are going to the grocery store in one car for a shopping expedition that should take ten minutes but will stretch for three hours, do you want to come along?

Every eternal day revolves around the meal. If you're at the beach, there's always someone who feels that it's their duty to boil lobsters, a joyless process of liberating the creatures from their muddy prison at the fish market, praying for the water to boil so they'll stop struggling, mustering your appetite as you wrestle the meat out of its shell, and then cleaning up the carcasses, the stench of which hangs over the kitchen for the remainder of the week.

If you're in the woods, you try to devise a menu from the macaroni and cheese mix and Vienna sausages offered by the bait and tackle shop that also sells toiletries and food, or, with noisy fanfare, you open the spider-corpse-encrusted grill out back to barbecue some dubious meat, which will be cold and raw in the middle and burned on the outside. On another night, you will make spaghetti, which the cook keeps tasting with the same spoon and putting back in the sauce, and you can count on someone throwing the cooked pasta against a cabinet door to see if it sticks, done to much hooting and clapping. When it comes to meals, everyone pitches in, so that your food is lovingly touched by fourteen sets of grimey hands, and since everyone is usually drunk by cleanup time, there will always be at least one chunk of beige food stuck in your fork tines when you eat something the next day.

The mantra of the gathering is always "Do your own thing," but of course you can never really do your own thing without acute self-consciousness. If you bring up a book that you're dying to finish, someone will plop down next to you and ask about what you're reading, or a group will gather around you and talk loudly so that you read the same paragraph three times. Somebody always brings a dog, usually a black Lab, and no matter how carefully you edit the guest list, there's inevitably one really annoying person in attendance, either some girl who gets too drunk and cries, or a meathead who likes to repeatedly remind her about it the next day when he's not checking all the various sports scores on TV as the birds chirp merrily outside. You buy flowers at a roadside stand to decorate the house, and in the tumult, nobody puts them in a vase. Days later they've turned to mulch on the counter where you left them, buried under a mound of moldy kitchen rags.

Silence is not going to happen, because silence doesn't mean Good Times, so there's constant chitchat, and one guy who takes it upon himself to play deejay. After lunch, time halts completely and gets stuck at four thirty for what seems like days, so the whole cabal bumbles around until someone cracks a beer and everyone else, relieved, follows suit. Then it's time to go to the grocery store.

After dinner, you can't go to bed early because everyone feels compelled to do the late-night Big Chill thing, and besides, there's an uncomfortable undercurrent because one couple claimed the good bedroom, despite having just joined the group this year. Then it's activity time. No, thanks, I dont play cards at home, so I sure as hell dont want to do it here. Or Boggle. Or charades. But you finally give in, and you drink more than you want to, and Boggle starts to seem sort of fun, and you think, Hey, this isn't so bad.

But then the next morning, after a restless, sweaty sleep on yellowed sheets and a musty dog-hair-covered afghan that the original house owners aunt knitted during the Eisenhower administration, you jolt awake at dawn to the sound of the stereo blasting courtesy of the one early-riser guy who's annoyed that no one else is up after he has already run five miles on the beach. Fuzzy headed, you make your way downstairs, where there is always a person eating cereal and making chipper small talk before you've had your coffee in a seventies earth-toned mug that's cracked and glued back together and has an ancient lipstick mark that has never been washed away. You grab the carton of warm orange juice that a housemate has left out on the counter overnight and pour it into a glass that foams up from the dish soap that somebody forgot to rinse during the drunken group cleanup.

Then, all you want to do is bike into town to that quaint little scone shop that you spotted during the drive in, the one that looks like an English cottage with morning glories covering the sun-dappled front patio, and buy yourself a scone, a cappuccino, and a newspaper and quietly read, but that is not what this weekend is about. Because even though the unofficial motto is "Do your own thing," if you actually do break away, there are raised eyebrows and hurt feelings, or, worse, as you make your escape and pedal desperately to the scone shop, you discover that you're playing Follow the Leader to fourteen bikes. Then your boisterous, hung-over mob noisily overwhelms the tiny scone shop. All the gentle regulars flee as the girl who drunkenly cried the night before complains that the store doesn't offer soy milk and the whole posse rearranges all the tables with loud scraping noises, so that everyone can sit together. God forbid you have two newspapers.

When you can't put off taking a shower any longer, you wonder why you didn't bring your flip-flops as you behold a rainbow assortment of pubic hair on the floor of the mildew-scented stall. After you're done lathering up in a trickle of cold, rusty water with Prell--always Prell shampoo, bought from the local tackle shop that sells toiletries and food--you reach for your one towel that you had carefully placed on the third hook, only to find it in a wet, fetid pile next to the john after it has clearly been used to swab your friends nooks and crannies.

Your mind races. Who used the shower before you? Was it one of the clean ones? Was it one of the guys in the nice gay couple or was it the husky one who came out of the bathroom after breakfast cheerfully announcing that he needed a plunger? Who is having actual fun here except the meathead guy and the couple who doesn't have a good relationship and are just relieved to be around others? As you prepare to go on a communal trip to the ancient movie-rental place that has Jaws in the New Releases section, and the long debate commences as you all try to find the one movie that hasn't been seen by all fourteen of you, you vow to yourself, Never again. Never, ever, ever.

** I love rants. They make me smile, especially when they're so incredibly unnecessary (and even more especially when in the written word). This is just a sampling really. Pay attention to what I read these days...

** Post Post Script: It has just come to my attention that the above post script was not as clear as it ought to have been. This rant is not from me but from the author of the charming and entertaining book that I am reading right now (see below). I love to rant, but I'm not near this cynical... a quality that I admire when it comes to light reading. I'll write my own words soon enough, I suppose.

Currently reading :
But Enough About Me : A Jersey Girl's Unlikely Adventures Among the Absurdly Famous
By Jancee Dunn
Release date: By 30 May, 2006

Friday, June 02, 2006


You don't need to know me well to realize that not much aggrevates me. I joke about hating orange jell-o and Canada. I rant theatrically over dirty socks every now and again. Sometimes I pretend to hate UltraGrrl, enjoying the thought of having an arch enemy... but the reality is that I don't have enemies. At least, none that I'm aware of (it's a possibility that UltraGrrl hates me as well), and I don't really hate anything. But while I don't necessarily hate anything, there are certain things that I have a massive distaste for. Automated telephone systems, tech support outsourced to foreign lands, black olives, and toilet seat covers are some of the many. But I've recently learned that amongst those things is the wireless blackberry.

I will never, ever own a blackberry. Be assured.

Now, while bitter statments such as this tend to roll off the tongues of so many non-promise-keepers these days, I really and truly mean it. Seriously. Believe me. Mark my words: I will never own a blackberry. Frankly, I'd be pretty happy if I never even saw a damn blackberry again as long as I live.

I've spent the past two and a half weeks trying to get a blackberry to function (not my blackberry) and shamefully, I was frustrated on more than one occasion nearly to tears.

I lose it. I become rude. I become nasty. I make people second-guess their career choices (I'm not entirely responsible for this - their career choices are mostly responsible for this - but I will take a bit of credit). Basically, I'm a bitch. But I sometimes feel that I'm entitled. I spent what I swore would be my last time on the phone with Earthlink wireless and their posse of techies out in south seas. I tried to threaten them, but they knew the great distance between us and the little amount of power that I could possibly expel that far. Drat.

When I hung up with Earthlink, I flip flopped my way down the stairs to head to my car and found it raining. No, pouring. Sheets of rain were coming down and filling the streets with a rushing creek of muddy rainwater. My car was parked two blocks away and I saw a man walking my route, past his ankles in water. I looked down to examine my attire. halter top, denim jacket, yellow skirt, black flip flops. OK. Let's assess here. All three of my umbrellas are in the trunk of my car, conveniently. My flip flops are goners. There's no way I can walk in them once they get wet. It would be a nightmare of both flip and flop, to their greatest degree. I waited for awhile to see if it would let up - during this time I realized how frustrated I was when my mom called and I accidentally dropped the F-bomb while on the phone with her... she didn't seem to notice.
I made a decision to give it a shot, figuring that I get wet in the shower anyway. I took off my jacket and rolled it up and tucked it securely under my arm (I knew it would be nice to have something to dry off with once I reached my car). Flip flops in hand, I opened the door and braved the two blocks.
The street was even more flooded than I gave it credit for. I had to lift up my skirt and walk through the nearly knee-deep swirling waters. A man wearing brown trousers and no shirt stood inexplicably in his doorway watching me pass and I strangely grew a little embarassed. I looked down to be sure of my footing only to realize that I couldn't see the ground anyhow. I was amazed at the amount of water! At that moment, all I could think was what a shame it was that I didn't have my camera with me right then. I so desperately wanted a picture of myself standing in that water, my skirt gathered around my legs; flip flops, phone, keys all in hand... it just would have been the kind of picture I'd want of myself.

Walking through knee deep rainwater and sitting, soaking wet in my car somehow put me in a much better state of mind. I felt so relaxed and my frustration over crummy earthlink and their evil blackberries subsided. The world was fun again. And good. And amazing.

So I headed home to sell jewelry and did just that. A woman purchased a pair of sterling silver hoops right after I got to the store. I told her they looked nice on her (and they really did). The purchase was only for $35, but it still made me feel better. It was the first sale I'd had at all.

Rain, rain, I wish you'd stay - I don't mind you here all day.

Currently listening :
Nouvelle Vague
By Nouvelle Vague
Release date: By 03 August, 2004

Monday, May 22, 2006


I'm a little worried.
I fear that I might have fellen into the habit of breaking habits only to form them all over again.
I find myself getting better only to fall ill once again, and again, and again.
It could just be the Jersey Fresh air that I breathe in on a daily basis, but my suspicions point to something a little larger.

God's faithfulness astounds and escapes me all at the same time - that, in and of itself, is pretty damn amazing. One day it can rescue me completely and 100 percent, only leaving me to crave more, causing me to desire a rescuing of not merely 100 percent, but of 150 or even 200 percent.
I want a cushion. I want not to have to depend on the blessings of my parents. I want my own apartment. I want to be able to properly furnish that apartment. I want to travel to London and possibly Ireland. I want a new car - a Saab 93. I want that gorgeous medallion strapless dress from Anthropologie and I want a wonderful pair of dancing shoes to match.

I want, I want, I want.
And while I do occasionally wonder about what God wants, I seldom ask. I seldomly file inquiries as to what exactly it is that God wants me to learn from these humbling experiences. I wonder how and when God will bless me next, but it is a rare occasion when I question how I am to be busy blessing others in the meantime.
I didn't know there was so much of me lying around.
Wow. There's a ton of it, laying around everywhere. My life is absolutely filthy with me.

** I live my life so much of the time at one extreme or the other. In previous days (and not all that long ago) I lead a largely selfless life, never able to say no to anyone, to the point of my own detriment. Recognizing a need for some change, I've pivoted to an existence of complete and utter self-absorbtion. **

I don't make inquiries because I'm too busy guessing what the response will be and then being scared to death of it. I'm frightened for what it will mean, for what I will be forced to give up. And so I sit in a selfish silence, concerned only for the "consequences" my break of silence will bring.
Please don't misunderstand. Many times I am really, really happy. When I am distracted by Southern Living orders, or relatively bad karaoke, or wholesale club memberships, or raw duck juice, or boxing on HBO...
When I'm distracted by my 2 year-old nephew, Cheech, assaulting my forehead with a plastic fish and then rectifying his behavior with a Curious George band-aid, it is then that I am truly filled with joy. But it is in the absence of these things that I feel how poorly I am glued together. My foundation has grown so weak, which leads me to believe that it was never really that strong to begin with.

I'm not all that crazy about taking on home improvement projects. Well, to be fair to me, let's just say that it's not that I'm I dislike the projects, it's just that I'm not the most diligent when it comes to those things. Yes, it took me over a year to paint my bedroom.

In light of this information: These self-improvements will not be easy to tackle. My stick-to-itness is feeble, at best.

In spite of this information: I will keep trying anyway. When I fail, I will go back and try again, and again, and again.

Friend, it's quite true that I cannot outgive God. Admittedly, I've never been wealthy enough to give it a fair shot, but I have tested the waters, so to speak.

My Cheech has left me, and has left behind him this almost shameful emptiness in my life.

Once upon a time, I had the equivalent of two jobs, a comfortable income, and many prospects.
Now I have no job, no money, and no prospects.

The Lord gives, and He take away, and I'll be damned if I'm not going to be blessing His name regardless.

Friday, April 14, 2006

blackberry bushel

Kosher for Passover: A Recent Exchange

Matt: What are you doing this weekend?
Me (Alejandra): Going home for Easter. I might hang out with (insert Jewish male friend's name) on Friday night actually. Probably go to Hoboken.
Matt: Oh god. You're so gonna have sex with him...
Me (Alejandra): No way! It's (Jewish male friend)!! And anyway, it's Passover.
Matt: So? It's not like you're made of yeast...

I've been meaning to plug this for awhile. It's Alejandra's baby (er, one of them. She also has a cat. Anais. She's in heat. It's kind of gross and Alejandra desperately wishes that Anais would "stop her sluttish writhing.")

But, you can read all about it yourself.

I've been meaning to write a blog about my bowler's anxiety, but haven't gotten around to it. There's no excuse really - I don't work anymore. Not having a job has sort of made me feel uninspired these days. That's a little depressing. But art is supposed to be depressing anyway, so maybe I'm headed in the right direction.


Monday, April 03, 2006

on the curb

I thought about writing a blog,
but now I've reconsidered.

That is all.

Currently listening :
Give Up
By The Postal Service
Release date: By 18 February, 2003

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

why i'm so brown these days

This was clogging up the main profile. There will probably be more to come because I love to think that everyone cares to see my vacation photos. I love to think that everyone reads these stupid blogs. I love to think that I am really really cool. I love to think that I never had anything to do with MySpace to begin with. Mmmmmm...

why i'm so brown these days:

Friday, March 10, 2006

mas fuerte

Shame is opening your mouth to speak to a family member and then realizing that you don't even speak the same language. Well, sometimes you do, but it's always because cheating is involved. I'm on their turf, and I can't deliver much beyond asking them to pass the butter or telling them that I love them (both two very important functions in any language, but I'm sure you see my dilemma). My cousins and aunts and uncles and my grandparents have always spoken English; what need was there to ever learn Spanish? In fact, it almost would have been selfish to learn Spanish when they were constantly desiring to practice their English when we came to visit! Right? RIGHT?!

Not quite.

The fire crackles and burns bright blue embers, the wind sending some of those embers afloat and sending all of us dodging. One of them managed to bite the secondary toe of Kristen's left foot, leaving a hideous blister in its wake. I have it all on film, not wanting the moment to diappear forever as Kristen cursed the fire keeping her warm.
Tony was burping and spitting a mouthfull of beer onto the fire while Cristina, Elisabeth, Kristen, Cecilia (and admittedly me) sang a slightly off-key version of Only the Good Die Young. We could be heard all the way down the beach for certain. It was glorious. Somewhere in the midst of all this we spied three flash light beams shivering their way down the beach from about a quarter of a mile away - clearly my father, Kelly, and Norm (her father) on their way back from the cave down at the end of the cove (clearly, because we are just about the only people on this blessed beach out in the middle of nowhere). I quietly excused myself from the blaze and made my way quickly toward the surf to catch them. As I came closer, their flashlight beams caught my silhouette and shined my way. I continued into a blinding beam of light, shielding my eyes to no avail.

I joined them and we walked together as they told me about the all the crabs wandering the beach down that way and also the bat the size of a monkey that they had seen in the cave. Kelly was wide-eyed and slightly shaken, but all in excitement. Unlike the Jersey Shore, there are no lights out here - just starlight and moonlight. As we walked, we could see the outline of two or three men wading in the surf. Fisherman.
Dressed in nothing but a brief swimsuit, the men were skin diving into the surf to catch fish. We struck up a brief conversation with one as he walked us to his basket, sitting 10 yards from the incoming tide. THe fish smellled strongly, like oil and salt water and, well, fish. I looked down into the basket and saw about a dozen fish flopping urgently against one another, desperately (and fruitlessly) trying to find their way back to the ocean. My father waved his flashlight across their glittering scales.

"esto pescados de la noche"
Night fish, the fisherman explained to us, and then kindly asked us to keep our flashlight beams from the waves lest we scare away any of their game.
They would stay out for another two hours, catching whatever fish they could before making their way back up the beach and climbing the rocky cove (easily an 800 foot incline) back to the road where they would most likely bicycle back to their respective villages and prepare their goods for market.

As I made my way back toward the fire, I felt like I was on my very own beach. MY beach. This tiny little cove, the palm trees, the caves and the tumultuous waves... it felt so small and so vast all at the same time. The sound of the crashing waves pounding in my ears, I began to run, kicking up sand everywhere as I went. I ran just for the sake of running, just because it felt great to run. Because it felt great to lick the salt from my breath. I ran until I (blindly, because of the lack of light) hit a slight incline on the sand and tripped. I caught my balance, preventing a certain faceful of sand.

When I returned to the fire, Tony was dancing around the flames and chanting what he interpreted as a Native American rain dance chant. When that got old, he decided to smoke a cigarette with his belly-button while everyone sang Bob Marley tunes. We stayed until the fire burned out - a good three hours later. We stayed until Tony ran out of creative ways to entertain us. Until we ran out of songs to sing in English that my cousins knew and could sing along with.

I really, really love this.
Just this.
All of this.

Currently listening :
Volare! - The Very Best Of The Gipsy Kings
By Gipsy Kings
Release date: By 05 September, 2000

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Two times.
That's two (2).

Two (2) times in the past twelve (12) months I have welcomed a new woman into my life. Well, honestly, they could hardly be considered women. At best, "pre-women", maybe. But these two little girls are some of the greatest accomplishments my siblings will ever tackle and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just a mite proud.

The shape of those eyes, the pucker of those little lips, her button nose... yes, she's a Chexican just like her Aunt Monkey.
I arrived at the hospital earlier this afternoon, computer speakers in tow (JC can't stand to be bored for any longer than 38 minutes) and walked through an endless maze of sanitary tiled floors, dodging my way gracefully around wheelchairs and food carts, before finding the maternity ward. Guarding all the precious newborns and their glorious trust fund accounts was a single guard and a huge red double door magnetized and alarmed to the max. I had to be buzzed in, and I'm guessing that I didn't look all that threatening because they barely looked up when I walked through the door. No questions were asked, and no answers were given as I made my way to room 423.

Stepping in through the door, I was greeted by the image of my brother, t-shirt and baseball hat clad, holding his new born little baby girl. She looked like a little pappoose, swaddled tightly in her blanket. JC had her resting in the nook of his elbow as he fooled around on his laptop computer (shockingly). He smiled at me and looked down at Elliana.
"Isn't she so cute?"

I'm not the emotional type, per se, but really it was more than I could take. I instantly swelled with pride over my big brother, over this little human being which he had created. Her nose, her eyes, her mouth... everything was so incredibly small. She already knew how to pout and get whatever she wanted from daddy.
"I think she looks exactly like you" he told me. "even her nose and her chin - she's all you, if that's even possible."
I didn't say anything, but I was secretly overjoyed at the thought of her taking after me. I hadn't previously felt like I'd had any part in this creation. I didn't feel like it had anything to do with me outside the fact that JC is my brother. But her looking like me... it's pretty damn cool.

I watched as JC's massive hand adjusted her tiny little stocking cap more snugly over her head. He smiled at her and I could tell he'd been doing this all day - just looking at her and smiling at her and being amazed by her.
I turned away so that he wouldn't see the tears welling up in my eyes.

When did I get so sappy anyway?

This is my brother. This is wild, unrefined, and unreasonable JC. And this is his daughter, turning him into butter. The melted kind.

Currently listening :
By Sigur Rós
Release date: By 13 September, 2005

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

have an OK day

Children are such gifts from God. A child's laugh, or smile, or slightly off-key rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", or their ear-piercing screams at 3 o'clock in the morning that last until 4:45, or their projectile bowel movements that necessitate bed changes every other day (your bed, not theirs)...

I feel so incredibly selfish and horrible right now. I'm an awful Aunt. I have a... well, she's beautiful in her own way (babies come along after awhile), niece who is healthy even though most of the time, with her constant grunting and groaning sounds like she is not. She has ten fingers and ten toes, she can finally hold her head up straight, and her baby acne is coming in full bloom.
Why can't I help but feel like a horrible person for being irritated every time she defecates on my bed?
Good heavens, I'm building this to sound as though the child wears no diaper, but I assure you that the contrary is quite the truth. Her mother has not yet been properly trained in the method of drop-cloth diaper changing.

My home has been over-taken by nap time, feeding time, bath time, and bed time. I have a new alarm clock: my two year-old nephew (The famed Cheech Meister) who faithfully drags me from the depths of sleep every morning by climbing on my stomach and yelling "Monkey! Monkey! Wake up!" -- Sometimes he supplements this by counting to ten in Spanish or by asking to watch the Curious George movie trailer on Quicktime. He's my hero.

Somehow, over the course of the past 6 or 7 months, I have become the most selfish and narcissistic person that I know. The trouble is, I'm torn between feeling really enamored and feeling really disappointed. What a dilemma! Finally, the chance to be completely self-absorbed! The chance to up my potential wit at least 65% (it's a well known fact that the funniest people on earth are all supreme narcissists)! Finally, finally, finally... and I feel so guilty that I can't even crack a smile, let alone an admirable joke.


This is a really shitty web log.
I defy myself. Really.

I would move on to more interesting subject matter, but this is all I've got these days: screaming, pooping infants; moody two year-olds, four over-hyper and loud, barking dogs; a cat that likes to spill kitty litter all over creation and lick my toes while I use the toilet, and a wing of the estate that's under construction... I've got nothing else.
No wonder I'm self-centered, there's far too much else to focus on. It would be way too difficult and probably take too much time. But hey, isn't that what narcissism is all about?

You know, this isn't half bad actually.
I don't care if you're the center of your universe as long as I get to be the center of mine as well.

Currently listening :
The Trial of the Century
By The French Kicks
Release date: By 04 May, 2004