Tag Archives: observations

New Orleans Diary: Week Five

30 Dec

Goal: To keep a weekly diary of my time here in New Orleans. This is Week 5! Which means I have been living here for over a month. And also it has been almost two whole months since I left Brooklyn which is pretty crazy. Hi, Brooklyn. Do ya miss me?

Waterbugs, Information: You may recall that last week I saw a waterbug in my bathroom and subsequently hid from the bug, also the bathroom, for a considerable amount of time following the sighting. Then the bug mysteriously disappeared. Dun dun duuuuuun. I then posted about the bug on my Facebook page at which point I received all kinds of comments. Some of them were full of concern, some were full of disgust and vomit emojis, and some were from people welcoming me to Life in the South. As a result of the post, I also received a few bits of information.

  • My friend Heather told me that New Orleans-style waterbugs fly at your face. AT YOUR FACE! Which, since my face is the face that is currently here, means that they will most certainly fly at my face which is not something I hope to experience. She told me to get the Raid in the silver can because it is full of chemicals and the shape of the nozzle allows for pretty good aim which means that you can, from a distance, spray that noxious shit and hopefully hit the attacking bug in mid (at my face) fly. That sounds like a really great idea until one remembers that time I accidentally maced myself in the face. I decided, as a result, to forego airborne chemical warfare and simply go for some traps.
  • My friend Rob told me that here in New Orleans they call these bugs “palmettos.” I am glad to know what they are called here so that when I tell people about The Bug and they think I am talking about silver fish (also ew!) I can use the appropriate regionalism to correct them so that we are all on the same disgusting, flying-at-my-face page.

Waterbugs, The Update: Following the initial sighting I was living if not a carefree life at least one seemingly free of waterbugs. That is until the day before yesterday! I walked into the kitchen to grab something when <BAM!> There it was! Sneaking around on the floor like the huge and disgusting flying hunk of roach that it is. Naturally, I screamed, ran into the bedroom and jumped onto the bed which clearly wouldn’t have helped me one bit if the bug had decided to fly at my face. Luckily for all involved it did not. I’m pretty sure it actually also screamed and retreated under the refrigerator. What to do?! I quickly mined my brain for information and remembered a story my friend Carrie had told me in which her basement apartment became ground zero of a short-lived waterbug infestation during a huge rainstorm and she lined the inside of her doors with duct tape. It worked! And so I snuck into the kitchen and, looking out for monsters (AKA waterbugs), I retrieved some gorilla duct tape – extra sticky! – and laid it out all around the refrigerator so that if the bug decided to try and sneak out it would get caught! Inhumane, I know, but it was the only way I would be able to sleep.

And then I waited. And slept. But also waited.

When I woke up in the morning I went into the kitchen to see if the bug had in fact gotten stuck. I discovered the most awful thing. Not only had the bug not gotten stuck, but it had used its brute strength to actually move the gorilla tape a good 3 inches away from the fridge and then somehow dislodge itself to live another day. It also left behind one leg on the tape. So gross.

In summation the waterbugs down here are like other fucking level. They are like terminators. Seriously if we could train waterbugs to do our bidding we could use them to fight wars. These fuckers are no joke. And this said by someone who now has a 5-legged waterbug wandering around her house, waiting for the next opportunity to fly at my face.

Clothing: I have lost all my pants. I was putting my clothes away yesterday and I can’t find them. I know I had them because I recently wore them but now they appear to be missing. Has anyone seen them?

Driving: But seriously, people cannot drive here. Or, well, they can’t drive in a different way from the ways in which people up North can’t drive. So here is the new thing I have noticed. You’ll be moving along at a steady clip with all of the other people except for the one guy who is driving 25mph above the speed limit and is, like everyone else, allergic to the use of blinkers. And then, as if from nowhere, there is the person driving 20 mph below the speed limit. I don’t think I have driven on a highway in Louisiana once without encountering this person. And he/she is always in the middle lane. ALWAYS. Which is an extra big problem here where the right lane oftentimes goes from lane to exit only lane and back again with basically no warning whatsoever. So it actually isn’t really a lane at all. But the slow person isn’t in the next lane over, oh no. The slow person is in the other middle lane. So this is what happens:

  • The right lane is oscillating between exit only lane, new cars merging in lane and regular right lane where slow drivers are supposed to live so they don’t bother the rest of us.
  • The middle right lane becomes this lane where no one really wants to be because you have to be aware of the constantly changing status of the right lane. That being said this would be the perfect lane for a slow driver because all the other drivers who are merging and exiting and generally confused by signage can easily move into the slow driver lane because the slow driver is, well, so slow.
  • The middle left lane is where the slow driver now lives for reasons that I am not entirely clear on. This messes up all the other lanes because now there is a serious slow-down in the middle left lane resulting in a lot of tailgating. People love to tailgate here.
  • The left lane is basically the only lane that operates under normal lane procedures from what I can tell. The slow driver generally doesn’t venture over there. Although there generally is someone in a mini-van using cruise control at exactly 8 miles over the speed limit which can be problematic.

The result of all of this is a complete and total free-for-all. Every lane is a passing lane. Every car is tailgating some other car which means that every car is simultaneously tailgating someone else while trying to lose its own tailgater. And then there is the asshole who drives like he/she is from New Jersey. You know the guy. Driving really fast, weaving in and out of traffic with no warning whatsoever, squeezing into teeny tiny spaces. This person is almost always in a busted up coup with tinted windows. This guy has watched Fast and Furious too many times. I don’t not like that guy.

Conclusion: That’s all I’ve got for right now. The New Year is fast approaching and everyone seems pretty pleased that 2016 is over since it gave us Tr*mp and pretty much killed everyone that we love. And I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but unless 2016 flexes its muscles yet again, we will be inaugurating Tr*mp on the 20th day of January. And then we are stuck with him for the next 4 years unless he gets impeached at which point we are stuck with Mike fucking Pence. So I am sorry to say that 2017 is not looking like it’s gonna be all that much better. But there will be more New Orleans diary entries so that’s something, right?

New Orleans Diary: Week Three

16 Dec

Goal: To keep a weekly, running diary of my time here in New Orleans. I have hopes that this will sometimes cover some serious topics but so far I mostly have been talking about driving and plastic bags. That should change any week now, maybe even this one! You can read Week One and Week Two if you want to know all about it.

The Ferry: For the first almost two weeks that I was here I stayed with my super awesome, sparkly, magical friend Carie at her great spot in Algiers Point. As previously noted, I have a car, something that makes getting around a city with rather limited public transportation significantly easier. Especially considering that in order to get into the New Orleans you guys think about when you think about New Orleans you either have to drive or take the Ferry from Algiers Point to Canal Street just on the other side of the river. The ferry ride itself is rather nice. It’s like the Staten Island Ferry’s much smaller, somewhat lazier sister. It’s not lazier because it only runs twice an hour from each side of the river for most of the day. It’s lazier because sometimes it just doesn’t run. At all. For no real reason. So the other day I was driving back from the city, listening to the radio, when I heard an announcement that the ferry wasn’t running.

Oh no!

I thought.

Carie is at work on the other side and she doesn’t have a car. How will she get home? I had better go pick her up so she doesn’t spend a bunch of money getting back to the house!

So that’s what I did. No big shakes. But then the next day I decided that I wanted to go into the city and I didn’t feel like having my car. I wanted to just, you know, go there, wander around, drink too much Southern Pecan Iced Coffee from PJ’s and then make my way back home, twitchy from the caffeine overload but pleased that I didn’t have to drive. So I laced up my big girl boots and sashayed my way over to the ferry landing where I was stopped by a few men in bright orange vests who appeared to be in the middle of eating lunch.

Orange Vested Guy: Ma’am, the ferry isn’t running today.

Me, after I got over being called ma’am and feeling like an old fart: Oh, I see. How come?

Orange Vested Guy: Because the captain is sick.

Me: You just have the one?

Orange Vested Guy: Mhmm.

He went back to eating his lunch. I suspected he was lying to me but with no proof I sadly turned around and meandered back to the house, this time with considerably less pep to my step. Was the captain really sick? Do they really have only one captain? And was it possible that the captain was, in fact, among the orange vested men sitting there eating lunch but his lunch was just so good that he couldn’t be bothered to drive the boat 5 minutes across to the other side of the river?  So many questions. So few answers.

But that’s not all! There is another thing about the ferry that maybe, maybe explains the first thing. So the ferry costs $2 a ride. There is no discount if you live in Algiers like how there is if you live in Staten Island and have to take the Verrazano; there is no card like there is for the subway in New York; there is no ticket counter. You simply go to the ferry and drop your $2 in this big plastic container thing and someone in a bright orange vest sits there purportedly supervising the transaction. The thing is though that you have to have exact change because the orange vested person doesn’t have access to the money inside the plastic container so if you give them, say $5, you just overpaid by $3. But they also never count the money before you drop it in. It’s all on the honor system. So, theoretically, if you were a dishonorable person you could just drop a whole handful of nickels in the container that only amount to like 95 cents and no one would be the wiser. So maybe too many dishonorable people underpaid for their ride and the captain got miffed and decided to not come to work. Or decided to come to work but instead of working eat his lunch. Although I heard that the ferry operators make a fair bit of money so perhaps this logic is flawed. I will research this and get back to you.

Apartment (!!): I was really anxious about finding an apartment because I grew up in the North East and spent the last 12 years living in Brooklyn. Apartment hunting there, like basically anything else in NYC, has some element of cut throat involved. First of all, you basically have to promise your first born to whoever the fuck is renting the apartment out in order to secure it. Second, you have to give them all this information and practically a million dollars. And third, you basically end up living in a closet somewhere in a neighborhood no one has ever heard of but is maybe going to be “cool” AKA gentrified in the next 5 years at which point your closet will be too expensive and you have to move again. Not so here! I looked at 3 apartments and all the home owners were like


And I got to be picky about it and ended up getting a fully furnished apartment with a washer/dryer and a private yard in a great location.It’s basically a nothing walk from everything (nod to Jessy Caron for highlighting that little speech nugget). It’s so big I got lost in it the first day even though it is a railroad apartment, or a shotgun in New Orleans parlance. I discovered after speaking with some other people that it is easier as a single woman to find an apartment. I imagine there are some other factors at play here too but I don’t know enough about racial relations in this city to feel comfortable weighing in on all that. And so I will just say, phew, what a relief. And also, hey, does anyone need a kind of awesome room in Brooklyn? Because mine is going to be available January 1st. No promising of unborn children required. The neighborhood is actually cool and not only is the room bigger than a closet, it has a rather sizeable one all for you. I’m pretty sure I even left a bunch of hangers in there. Message me for details.

Job Interview: I had a job interview at an about-to-open restaurant. I knew when I agreed to go to the interview that it was a mistake. I have been on the opening staff of a few restaurants in my day and it always is a fiasco. Too much staff, not enough money, lots and lots of micromanaging. But whatever, I need a job so I went in and tried to have a good attitude about it. The third question the interviewer asked me was what my ethnicity was. Needless to say I turned down the job. (I will write a stand alone blog about this later, me thinks. Once I assess whether or not writing about it is wise or unwise given my need for a job. Speaking of, does anyone want to pay me?)

Bags: I discovered that you can, in fact, get paper bags here. Granted you still end up with A LOT of bags, but not nearly as many bags as you would if you were to opt for plastic. This further strengthens my theory that it is not that people here love bags, like I at first assumed, but instead that there is a general mistrust for the strength of plastic bags and so baggers here just put one item per bag for safety purposes. Paper bags, in comparison, seem to have more heft to them. They are the safer bet. And easier to recycle, it seems. So that might just be that. And this might be my last installment about bags. Maybe.

Conclusion: Some other things happened this week also but I fear that I spent too much of my real estate this post talking about the ferry and I might have lost some of you. But in case you were curious about some of the other things, they were fun! I went to AcroCats, something I highly recommend. Also, the Abita Mystery House, the Abita Brewery, Fountainebleu State Park that has some pretty baller trees, and I ate Tachos, something that I will be working to undo for the next month. If you care to know anything more about any of these events, please leave requests in the comments and I will be more than happy to expand upon them in my New Orleans Diary: Week Four post. Until then (and maybe sometime in between when I write about something of potentially political substance) I bid you adieu.

Dear Francis

5 Dec

The other day I made the grave error of engaging with a troll on The Internet. I know, I know, rookie mistake. But in my defense the only reason I got involved in the second place was because this guy (who we will call Francis) posted something I didn’t like in response to a (rather funny, if you ask me) joke that my uncle posted in the first place. I get irritated when people say things I don’t like to my family and close friends. And so, after some thought about the nature of my response I held my nose between my fingers and dove into the depths, responding to Francis with a clearly thought out and argued historical analysis about the Electoral College’s roots in the era of slavery and how, even today, it gives largely white states undue power in terms of the election of our President and that (among other reasons) is how we ended up with a racist, misogynist, ableist, white nationalist sympathizer in the White House. Well, wouldn’t you know it, my response was met with all kinds of assumptions about who I am and what I believe. And then he said that the election of Trump had nothing to do with racism and that Hillary lost because she was a smug, elitist bitch, but misogyny didn’t play a role, and that I “don’t understand (my) condition as a woman.”

My condition as a woman.

I pretty much tapped out of the conversation at that point but I would just like to say, right here right now, that I am perfectly aware of my “condition” as a woman. It is impossible for me not to be. Here, Francis, let me tell you a little something about it.

Every single month I bleed like crazy. It is like a goddamn flood. I bleed so much that the first two nights I have to sleep with an ultra tampon AND a pad and I have to get up at least once, but usually twice, to change my tampon because I will have bled through it. And, while we’re talking about that, a few years ago they stopped making the tampon that I needed because the OB company decided that, rather than throwing ladies with a heavier-than-average flow some sort of a bone, they would instead discontinue the tampon we relied on and tell us we should go to the doctor because our flow was unhealthy. We were unhealthy. Yeah okay great. Funny enough they only stopped offering the ones I needed in the United States so I had to have someone in Europe buy them and ship them to me so that I wouldn’t have to get up 4 times during the night the first two days of my period. So, Francis, you try forgetting about your “condition” when you’re dealing with that nonsense every 27 days.

And then there is just the day to day business of going out in the world. A few months ago I was heading home from my friend’s place after having dinner. It was warm out and I was wearing a floor length dress that I felt really pretty in. The guy I was walking with was on my left side. Two men approached us. As they passed on the other side of me one of them leaned in and, loudly enough for me to hear but in a low enough volume that my companion wouldn’t, he said “you look good without a bra.” In about a fraction of a second I went from feeling human to feeling like an object. Just like that. Just because some dude felt like pointing out the fact that he was staring at my tits and he liked what he saw. Stuff like that happens to us on the daily. Makes it hard to forget our “condition.”

Oh and then there were the two times that the same dude spit on me while I was running. And that time the delivery guy grabbed my ass as he rode past me on the sidewalk on his way to drop some food at someone’s house. And the time some asshole threw a glass at my face and gave me a black eye all because I dared to tell him I wouldn’t serve him a drink. Oh, man, and that one time I went out to drinks with someone I thought was my friend and he spent the entire time trying to fuck me. And how could I forget that Christmas night that I was reading in a bar and some dude informed me that women only really write about shopping? That was a great night. Oh and the one time I went bra shopping and ended up realizing how ashamed I feel of my own body because I have been disallowed from defining my own sexuality. And, of course, a few weeks ago when we elected a man who, in a recorded conversation, had admitted to repeated sexual assaults. Shall I continue? Because I can. I can go on for days, Francis.

But I won’t.

Honestly, if you don’t get the picture by now you never will. Honestly, Francis, I wish I could be a little bit less aware of my “condition.” Because maybe if I was less aware I could just, you know, live. I could just live like how you just live. Only if I could do that, I wouldn’t spend my spare time telling people about themselves.  I wouldn’t use my energy to talk about things I don’t know and could never hope to understand. I wouldn’t say that misogyny wasn’t a thing all while dismissing someone based on her gender. My stars, if we could be less aware of our “condition,” if we had that luxury, imagine what we could do. Imagine what we could do if we weren’t working as hard or harder for less; imagine what we could say if we weren’t constantly being talked over and talked down to; imagine what fun we could have if we weren’t constantly policing our drinks or concerned about some drunk asshole raping one of our friends; imagine what we could accomplish if people would just see us as equal.

So, you see, I am more aware of my own “condition” than I could possibly put into words. It is made apparent to me day after day after day through my own experiences and through the experiences of my friends. And so Francis when you and people like you dare to tell me what my own experience is, dare to try to explain to me that misogyny isn’t a thing, that this country wasn’t built through an incredibly sexist system, that I have all the opportunities as you, that Clinton wasn’t the victim of the patriarchy, that I should feel lucky for what I have, well you’ll have to excuse me for laughing in your face. Because you are so deeply intrenched in your own damn world view that you have no space for anyone else. And there are a fuck ton of us. So shut up, and get the hell out of our way. We know our lives. Your penis does not make you an expert.

To the Media: Do Your Damn Job

28 Nov

As you might have noticed, I am not usually someone who has a hard time coming up with things to say. Generally I am chock-full of opinions about all sorts of different things. But right now, I am simply at a loss. I really am. I feel like I went to sleep one night in a world that, though confusing, was something I was capable of working within and woke up the next morning here. In a place that makes absolutely no sense. It’s like, seriously, what the fuck is going on?!

I thought that perhaps by this point in time I would have backed away from my initial response to the election. The response that, if I had to sum it up for you, went as follows:

If you voted for Trump: fuck you.

But the thing is, the farther and farther I get from around 9:00pm on November 8th when I started crying because The Times had called  a Trump win, the more and more I double down on that sentiment. But now I would like to go ahead and actually extend that feeling of disdain beyond the confines I initially laid out for it. I would like to reach out to the media, not everyone, certainly not Charles M. Blow who is absolutely killing it, and say a big, hearty fuck you to them as well. Why? Well, I’ll tell you.

The media has a responsibility. It has a responsibility to report on the actual things that are happening out in this country and in the world. Do you know what it does not have the responsibility to do? It does not have the responsibility to normalize Donald Trump and his supports. And yet that is exactly what so much of the media has been doing since the day the sky fell down. Let me tell you a little story. Last week my friend Jessy and I were sitting in Chattanooga, Tennessee at a small restaurant downtown eating some dinner and drinking some wine. CNN was on the TV. CNN, the network that, by the way, Donald Trump called the Clinton News Network throughout his campaign. It was the night after Richard Spencer held that horrible conference in Washington, DC. So there we were, sitting, eating, trying to have a conversation about something other than the fear and disbelief that have been a mainstay in our lives since the election, when on the television screen came a video full of white nationalists giving the Hitler salute in the name of the President-elect of our country. And CNN called them the “alt-right,” a name coined by Richard Spencer himself to try and mask the true message of bigotry and racism promoted by the movement he now leads.  I was horrified but CNN, it seemed, was not so much. And it kind of led me to ask myself the following question:

Who the hell is the media trying to protect?

And then, quickly, I came to the answer:


And I understand, we all have a job to do. My job is to serve people drinks and to write about what I see and understand of the world around me. I do the latter here, where I am not accountable to anyone but myself and my readers. It is also a relatively safe space because no one has found me yet in my small corner of the Internet. I have not been the recipient of death or rape threats, have not been sent hundreds of anti-semitic memes. I am my own editor. And the thing that’s crazy is that that sort of abuse, unfortunately, seems to come with being relevant. (I can’t imagine what Charles M. Blow and other brave journalists out there doing their jobs are enduring these days.) In ways, I won’t feel as though this blog is very successful until I have a few vile haters. And I hope that if that ever happens, I have the strength and courage to double down on my beliefs and communicate them with even more gusto. I guess I won’t know until that day comes. If it does. All that being said, it is my responsibility, it is all of our responsibility, to talk about what we see, what we experience, and what we understand. It is not our responsibility, and it is certainly not the media’s responsibility, to try and justify our current situation in order to not ruffle feathers.

In fact, ruffling feathers is sort of part of the point. It is what helps to keep tyrants out of The White House.

Anyway back to my story. I sat at the bar with Jessy and I totally and completely lost my shit as I told her that never, never in my lifetime did I expect to look up at a television screen and see the Nazi salute on any station other than the History Channel. But clearly we are at a horrible place. And then, about 15 repeats of the clip later, CNN changed to a new topic: Hamilton. And I watched as a white man took the screen and lectured a female reporter on just how rude the cast of Hamilton was to Mike Pence. And I watched as she chose not to take the path of most resistance and defend them, but instead she agreed that, yes, they were very rude and yes, they were out of line, but maybe Donald Trump and Mike Pence stand for some problematic policies? Maybe?


We just watched the Nazi fucking salute like 15 seconds ago, lady! And you know what, the cast of Hamilton wasn’t rude: they were fucking afraid. They are afraid like so many of us are. And they, unlike so many, used the platform that they worked so hard to gain in order to communicate their fears in quite possibly the most straight-forward and polite way possible. They simply asked Mike Pence to look, to listen, to try and understand and maybe, just maybe, to humanize them a little bit. That is what free speech and artistic expression and the goddamn Constitution is all about.

So I guess I lied at the beginning: I do have a lot to say. But I guess what it all boils down to is this:

We are not somewhere new. We are somewhere old and horrible. We are somewhere that humanity has been before and it is about time we have the courage to call this what it is. We have the President-elect asking for the registration of Muslims. We have groups that used to be fringe but seem to be moving more and more into the mainstream calling for the release of phone numbers and addresses of teachers who they deem un-American. And we have a media who is so afraid of doing its goddamn job that it allows Donald Trump’s childish Twitter account to bury every news story of any value. Remember that Times article from Hitler’s rise where they said that Hitler wasn’t actually a threat? Where they said that he didn’t really mean all the things he was saying? Does that sound familiar? Because it should. Maybe the Times is calling a spade a spade this time, more or less, but a lot of other outlets are not. We have been here before. We have the power to impact the outcome.


26 Sep

Recently I have been bad at the internet.  I have been really bad at email* but even more than that, I have been exceptionally bad at my blog.  I think maybe I have been having sort of a self-sabotage moment, something to which I am no stranger.  I had my best blog day ever last month which led to my best blog month ever, hits-wise anyway.  I was really excited! I was like, yea, things are maybe happening.  Maybe if I write a few more relevant blog posts some of those readers that read my one socially relevant post will visit back for another fix and be like, hey, this girl is funny.  Or smart.  Or annoying but I can’t seem to stop reading.  But then I pretty much didn’t write anything at all!  I totally missed the train.  Like, I saw the train coming, I heard it’s train whistle thing, it started to slow down and just at that moment I dropped a dollar on the ground and instead of being like, “whatever, fuck the dollar” I looked everywhere for it because I really needed that dollar and then the train sped off and who knows when the next one will arrive.  Or, wait!  This is a better comparison and maybe more realistic.  It’s sort of like when I train for a half marathon (or a marathon but, really, that hasn’t happened since like 2007).  So I train hard for the half marathon – but not as hard as I could because I am sort of runner-lazy and also unmotivated – and then the race comes and I do a good job!  And I am having so much fun!  And I am like, “yea, this is great, and if I train even harder I can really kill this distance.”  So for half of the race I am running I am day-dreaming about how much I want to run the next race even better.  And then the race ends and I go about my day.  And then the next day I decide to give myself the day off because my legs are sore.  And then the next day it’s the same thing.  And all of a sudden it’s 3 weeks later, I’ve run like 5 times and now I have to try and get back into shape again.  It’s like, there this is crescendo of excitement when you work towards something and then the music just dissipates and rather than building immediately to the next crescendo, because the musicians are all there in their chairs already so you might as well take advantage of them and besides, they’ve already been paid for the next two hours, you say “fuck it! Consider the extra money an early Christmas/Channuka/non-denominational holiday present!” It’s just stupid.  I mean, I’m sure the musicians appreciate it but that doesn’t even matter because I just made the musicians up.  In the real-life version of this story I am not actually helping anyone, only hurting myself so the story is a little more sad.

Anyway, moving on.  So despite the fact that I haven’t really been writing on my blog, I have been thinking about it.  I have come up with all sorts of fun things to write about.  Things that I think you might enjoy reading.  But I have also come up with this new thing that I am doing on Twitter which is what I was planning on writing about today when I sat down at the computer and before I got distracted talking about trains, running, and musicians.  This thing is called “#ObservationOfTheDay.”  Basically what I do is quite obvious.  Every day I make some sort of observation and then label it with my very own hashtag!  Pretty neat, right?  So on the first day of observing, I tweeted, “Twitter brings me more stress than joy and yet I know I will continue to use it.”  Why would I do this?  Well, I will tell you.

So when I had that one really big post where I got all the hits (most of them from Belgium) it was because of Twitter.  It was because I hashtagged something appropriately and somehow it found itself in the Twitter feed of a Flemmish-language web based newspaper and voila!  The entire population of northern Belgium (minor exaggeration here) was reading my blog!  I thought to myself “wow, this Twitter thing really does work!”  But then I realized that Twitter stresses me the hell out for some of the same reasons, in fact, that I am stressed out by email and regular mail.  It’s like, no matter what you do things are always being hurled at you.  Sort of like when we used to play dodgeball in gym class.  I hated dodegball.  Why would anyone want to go stand on a basketball court and have those big rubber balls thrown them?  It makes zero sense to me.  Anyway, I am constantly getting emails (major exaggeration here) and lots of credit card come-ons and clothing catalogues in the regular mail.  And people are always tweeting.  And when they tweet, they link to articles that look interesting so then after like 10 minutes on Twitter I have like, 25 tabs open with articles I want to read.  I always want to read all of the things.  It’s very stressful.  As a result, I don’t go on Twitter all that often which means that my presence on Twitter, as a tweeter, goes largely unnoticed.  That is a problem because, as I mentioned earlier, Twitter is useful for my blog but only if I have followers or I write about something culturally relevant.  I basically have no followers and I often write about nothing of consequence (this blog post being a perfect example of that) and so therefore my blog just sort of disappears into the world of interwebbery without making too much of a splash.  And so, in an effort to try and fix that, I have decided that I will tweet at least once every day.  (Hooray for structure!)  And thus was born #ObservationOfTheDay.

So yesterday my observation was,

“Dudes look silly in skinny jeans. Therefore, they (the jeans, not the dudes) should be thrown in a pit and burned.”

And then something great happened!  On only my second day of observing, I got a response!  (Granted, it was from one of my few followers who also happens to be a friend of mine from high school with whom I occasionally have amusing twitter-sations, but still!) He responded with the following hilarious bit of information:

“I know a guy who had a serious finger tendon injury from trying to remove his own skinny jeans.”

So I know that finger tendon injuries are no laughing matter (my brother had one from playing dodgeball – see what I did there? Full circle, bitches – and he had to wear a homemade finger-splint for months!), but seriously?  That is hilarious.  And I mean, I don’t want to say that he deserved the finger tendon injury but like, if you injure your finger taking off your skinny jeans then I am left to wonder how in the world you got them on in the first place.  And also, what technique this individual uses to remove said skinny jeans.  As a result of finding out this information, I became immediately happy that I had started my daily observations and had observed this one specific thing, but also sad that I have gotten this far in my life without knowing that someone experienced a serious finger tendon injury from removing his pants.  Better late than never, I suppose.

Anyway, observing is fun!  You should try it!  Also, you can read my daily observations @franklyrebekah.  Today my observation involves rice pudding.

*This is nothing new.  I am often bad at email.

Dog Shit Doesn’t Melt and Other Observations

11 Feb

I remember when I was little growing up in New Jersey whenever it snowed my best friend and I would each lie awake in bed, awaiting that early morning phone call and the tired voice of the class parent reporting

“No school today.”

We loved it so much, in fact, that to this day whenever there is a snow event we send each other text messages with the beloved phrase, partially for laughs and partially wishing that life were still like that, that a snow day meant a day free from responsibilities and open to sledding, snow angels and igloos. She is a teacher now so for her the snow day still holds a little magic and allure but for me, there is no such thing as a snow day. Just frustrating white powder all over the ground that is only magical until the first dog pees in it. I do not like snow in the city. Part of the reason why I do not like snow in the city is because people are assholes. Let me explain.

It is commonly held knowledge that snow, when the temperature rises above freezing, will begin to melt. It might leave puddles in its wake but the cold white substance that used to litter the ground will be no more. What seems to not be commonly held knowledge, unfortunately, is that just because snow melts, and just because you can leave things in the snow, does not mean that those things also melt. In fact, they do not melt. They may change shape or structure, but they still remain. Your hamburger? Still there. Cigarette butt? Still there. Dog crap? Yup, also still there.

Okay, so in my mind one of the things that you agree to when you decide to get a dog is that you have to follow that dog around with little bags and pick its poop up off the floor so that some unsuspecting person doesn’t step in it. You do not then tie the bag and drop it on the floor like some people do (I have never understood this). No, you tie the bag up and you deposit it and its contents in the closest garbage can to be properly disposed of, far away from the sneakers and sandals of your neighbors. Another thing you agree to is that you have to take that dog out in all kinds of weather unless of course you have one of those small stupid dogs that craps on a pad in your bathroom in which case you might as well just get a cat, at least they go in a covered box.  On a normal sunny day, people in my neighborhood tend to be relatively good about cleaning up after their dog, save the errant pile here and there.  (Oh, and to the person on my street whose dog has the runs all the time, I have two things to say: (1) take that dog to the vet, there is obviously something wrong with it and don’t bitch about it being inconvenient because there is a vet at the bottom of the street and (2) just because the shit is runny doesn’t mean you don’t have to pick it up.  As far as I can tell the bags will protect your precious hands from both runny and solid poo.)  During the snow, however, people constantly leave dog poo behind, perched atop the mounds of snow littering the sidewalks.  People, that dog shit does not melt.  As the snow melts away, the dog shit just sort of moves around, breaks down, and becomes these exceedingly unsavory brown stains with chunks here and there.  And you know what?  Despite the fact that the shit is not a neat little pile like it once was, it still stinks.  And you know what else?  It is actually easier to step in now that it has spread across the entire sidewalk.  And you know who inevitably steps in it?  Me.  I do.  Every fucking time.  So please, people, I am begging you.  Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night should stay you from cleaning up after your goddamn canine.

And now for some more, slightly less involved, observations and pieces of advise:

1. Rain boots with holes in the bottom are not good to wear in inclement weather.  You know what is better?  Basically any other shoe, preferably water proof, without holes in the bottom.

2. It is very important to actually know your gym lock code before you close all your belongings inside a small locker and go take a shower, returning with only the small, hand-towel sized piece of fabric to cover your entire body.  Because you know what is not awesome?  Crouching down on the floor entering in every possible combination of numbers you can remember in a frantic effort to free your clothes.  Also, not awesome?  Having to send the cleaning lady (who is incredibly nice and accommodating and only sort of laughs at you) from the locker room up to the front desk to get a young women who can’t weigh more than 105 pounds to try and break your lock with a giant pair of pliers because, as it turns out, she is not strong enough to break the lock open.  You know what is awesome and not awesome at the same time?  Having your lock magically pop open from the pressure, resulting in a moment of happiness and also a moment of worry that you are either (a) stupid and actually managed to get the code right but just didn’t pull the lock down hard enough to open it or (b) have been trusting a faulty lock with the protection of your computer which has all of your school work, including the beginnings of you thesis, saved on it.  Not that any of this happened to me this morning.

3. If you notice a feather sticking out of your down coat, don’t pull it out.  There are only more feathers behind it that will also begin to stick through the ever-growing hole that you are making in your coat by yanking on the feathers and before you know it there are feathers everywhere.  As it turns out, and this is something I never would have thought,  people on the train and on the train platform do not appreciate having feathers fly all through the air and then land on their clothes and in their hair.  They think it is weird and kind of gross and they give you dirty looks.