maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. -arthur miller


Night of Gross

I proclaimed tonight the "Night of Gross" while in the midst of a quasi-hysterical fit about an hour ago. I'll tell the end of the story but not the rest, because frankly it's the only part that involves road head, which eclipses whatever else might have happened.

So I'm walking home with Crazybrains from sitting on a stoop outside Nanno's building. We're half a block from leaving Nanno, on York Avenue in the 70's. We start crossing the street, but are cut off by a white Lincoln Towncar that inside had a red interior and, most importantly, a fantastically obese woman whose head was firmly in the driver's lap. Face. Down.

Thus the aforementioned quasi-hysterical fit, wherein CB and I try to get the image of a gross, old, livery cab driver getting a blowjob from his plus-size...wife? Girlfriend? Passenger looking for a fare break?




If you go to engrish.com today, the "Engrish of the Day" picture is one that my cousin and I took in Japan last summer!

Em and I were too cheap to buy all of the stupid engrish products we came across, but we took pictures of a lot of them. That one was definitely the best.

Runner up: "Shoot me through my mellow heart AUDACIOUSLY", also on a t-shirt. yyyeah. I don't get it either.



As of about 1pm today, I am officially wisdom toothless.

I've been icing my face all day, and have determined that frozen peas are the best thing for the job. They stay remarkably soft and moldable to my cheek while at the same time retaining their low temperature for an impressive duration. Less well-suited to the job (but still functional) are frozen corn, tater tots, and coffee beans.

My fridge is stocked with orange jello, chocolate pudding, and home-made chicken soup (thanks, mom). Pretty much sticking to foods that have no independent shape for now. The more slurpable, the better.

J. and I made plans to see each other on Thursday. The plan is to see a movie, but if I'm feeling crappy he (very sweetly) offered to bring me soup and hang out on the couch. I'm hoping that if I ice my face nonstop I won't bet too chipmunky come Thursday...we'll see, anyway.

And in case you were wondering, actually do feel a little less wise since the removal of my wisdom teeth, but something tells me that's just the oxycodone talking.



There are certain songs that I know will bring back memories, recall long-ago moments. If I look at a list of songs I can probably pick out a few that will take me somewhere old.

Today Guster's "Happier" came out of my headphones on the way back from the gym. "Happier" isn't a song that I thought I associated with anything in particular, but as soon as it started my mind did a little flip. I went through a brief, regrettable Guster phase this year, with a few songs on heavy rotation on the iPod.

Suddenly, all of the dozens of things that were tying me to walking home from the gym on 2nd avenue at 7pm on this summer evening seemed to dissolve. Even though I knew I was walking past a Chinese restaurant, a bodega, a bar, with all the smells of a hot New York night, my mind was screaming "morning in the snow. on the way to class."

I know that I unconsciously tucked my chin to my chest to fight the non-existent January wind.

Trudging through the mid-July storm in running shorts and flip-flops, I felt snowflakes on my eyelashes.


getting ahead of myself...

Our parents have said it jokingly for a decade now. "You two are going to get married. J., be nice to bex. You'll regret it when you want her to go out with you and she won't because you teased her when you were twelve". So it's been this running joke since I was ten. And we've always had an easy (if sporadic) friendship-- he tried tirelessly to get me to go to his university, having me stay in his dorm room for a few days to show the place off, then reminding me to get my application in early. When my team played at his school last fall he came to the game, cheered for me even though he had no idea how the game worked.

Now J.'s graduated from college and is working in the city, and I went out with him and his friends this weekend. My hair looked great. We laughed a lot and he said he'd call to go for dinner this week. I was too tired at 2:30 AM to want to go back and watch movies at his apartment (other friends still around, and staying over. No big moooooove this weekend).

Clearly I'm getting waaay ahead of myself here, but it feels nice to be thinking of this guy who isn't HSG, who isn't any of the minor characters I've convinced myself I might like at school, who actually knows me and likes me with whom I have absolutely no drama yet.

I'll end this with a tip for all the fellas: pay for her cab home. It's a classy move. (Worked on me, anyway. God, just read this sappy-ass post.)

The (Product Placement) Island

A few things I learned from The Island:

-Ewan McGregor is unkillable. Dude can fall from seventy stories up in the sky and not. die.
-I have a girlcrush on Scarlett Johannson. You should too. She only had like seventeen lines in the movie-- her job was just to look pretty. Mission accomplished.
- Speedo, Aquafina, Miller Genuine Draft, Jack Daniels, Puma, Calvin Klein, and about four different car companies paid a lot of money to get futuristic versions of their products onto the big screen. Thumbs down for two-hour infomericals.

I won't even get started on Fantastic Four.


THUD (that's the sound of names dropping).

Yesterday was the 826NYC fundraiser I'd been looking forward to, and it lived up to my (very high) expectations. Sarah Vowell opened the evening, talking about the cause and about the podium, which was the podium from which Abraham Lincoln gave one of his most important speeches, in 1860. "Let me just touch this podium for a minute," she asked the audience. "And just for the record, I too am against the expansion of slavery into the Western states."

And in that moment, she cemented her place in my pantheon of favorite authors.

David Sedaris hosted the event, and towards the end of the reading he and Vowell made their plea for donations. He started by dropping $500 in cash into the collection bucket. Why should we give mony, aside from the obvious reasons? "Because I love money so much. I just want to smell it," Sedaris said. Reason enough for me.

On top of Sedaris and Vowell, there were Joyce Carol Oates, Akhil Sharma, Charles Baxter, and Amy Hempel. Wonderful writers, all. But the big surprise came when for the last reading of the night, Steve Buscemi walked out on stage. He, in all his creepy, surreal glory, read a completely appropriate story-- a laugh-out-loud funny account of a guy being shot in the head. Seriously.

All the stories read were from Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules, which I will soon own.

Name-drop event number two was tonight. I saw Avenue Q with my dad. It wasn't as good as the first time, but that's to be expected I guess. The highlight was at intermission, when who should be standing next to me as the aisles filled with people but Clinton (of Clinton and Stacey (of TLC's What Not to Wear)). He was taller than I expected, but a little less cute. With a freakin' beautiful boyfriend. So I tried to call anyone who might care that I was like four feet from Clinton (whose clothes, for the record, looked great), and of course noone picked up their goddamn phones, so I geeked out all alone with only my non-TLC-watching father for company. Perfect.



Two hundred and twenty-nine years ago, those men, brilliant and frustrated, decided it was time. I imagine passionate arguments, white hair curling in the heat, tailored jackets made by tailots in the way that no one makes anything anymore thrown over the backs of ancient chairs. Unable to wait any longer, they politely asked Great Britain to Kiss Our Collective American Ass.

And so they presented this list of grievences, this list of self-evident truths. I read the Declaration in awe and with a little bit of contempt. Created equal, are we? Millions of dead Native Americans (for god's sake, it's right there in the name-- Native Americans. Why couldn't they see it?) and ninety years of slavery, not to mention the thousands of Asian Americans who wouldn't see citizenship until 1965. These are our original sins.

And yet there is hope for redemption in the Declaration, and then ten years and eleven months later in the Constitution. Perhaps it took those years to realize what is now so evident. We can hope only for a more perfect Union than what came before, and if we work tirelessly and believe in it hard enough maybe someday we'll get there.

I speak of America in religious terms because I know no other way. Sins. Redemption. Faith. Our founding fathers are more than heroes, they are legend. Monticello and Mount Vernon are the American Mount Olympus.

I study America because it is frustrating, challenging, and inspiring. Our narrative is one of blind faith in ideals and nose-to-the-grindstone hard work. President Clinton said in his first inaugural address that there is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by what is right about America. I can't help but be moved by his optimism and unwavering faith in the principles that the founding generation wrote down for the first time in the history of the world.

Today I'll go to the gym, watch fireworks, and laugh with friends. But at the same time in the back of my mind I am constantly in awe of the real reasons we all get together to barbecue and drink cold beer on July 4th.

I celebrate America's birthday today and look forward to the challenge of creating a more perfet union in our own time.



Today was a very long day.

Started out normal: woke up around 7:30, at work a little before 9. Instead of my regular day at work, I spent about six hours renewing my CPR certifications. Adult, child, and infant CPR and First Aid? You are all my bitches for the third year running. I own you, and I will soon have the valid Red Cross cards to prove it. Now, since I've done this a few times already, the re-cert class got pretty slow and my mind wandered, as it is apt to do. Instead of concentrating on, say, how to treat unconscious choking, in my head I was off on a whole thing about how the instructional video was so goddamn old, and how funny the hairstyles were, and how maybe this was those actors' first job ever and they are earning their SAG cards right in front of my eyes and isn't that exciting? Oh right. Heimlich. Got it. (Nice 'do, Lady With Heart Attack. In a very 1987 kind of way.)

So six hours of that. Then I spent the last few few hours at work doing my actual job in the playroom. I was playing Candy Land with a girl named Frangie, a sibling of a patient. For some reason I kept calling her "Frangia", and couldn't for the life of me figure out why.

Two hours later, on the train to meet The Dish at 42nd st, it occurred to me. It sounds like Franzia, the boxed wine we often enjoy in large quantities at school.

After work I went to the Mets game with The Dish and her sister and her sister's boyfriend. A very good (if somewhat rainy) time overall, and the Mets won, which is awesome. It was also fireworks night, so we were there til like 11:30 checking out the show, which was SO good. Probably one of the best of the season, other than the Macy's 4th of July show, which is impossible to get near anyway so this was great. Fireworks are magic.

The last part of the night was spent in Brooklyn, at a party with a ton of people I went to high school with. I dragged The Dish (who wasn't totally thrilled, but I think was pretty entertained by the drunken fools I grew up with), but she left after an hour or so. I stuck around and had a chance to catch up with some people. It was mostly very good, to see all these people that were once such an important part of my life-- my physics lab partner, the people I went to falafel with every day for lunch, the one who I always left parties with late at night becuase we grew up so close to each other.

At long last I'm back home, ready to sleep and sleep and sleep. Tomorrow night I'll see an old friend's band play, so that should be a good time.

Twenty-two hours since I last saw my bed. Like I said, it was a long day.