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BY Jodi

02/01 Direct Link
If I only miss three days a month at the gym for the entire year, I will be able to say I went 90% of the days. This would be doable if I wasn't planning to visit friends at least twice this year and won't have access to an Equinox. I suppose if I wanted to make up for those check-ins, I could double up on certain days, but that rings ridiculous even for me.

Now that I'm going seven days a week, my previous five-days-a-week gym-going doesn't seem that impressive and I wonder why I was such a slacker.
02/02 Direct Link
The groovy vintage amber-lensed sunglasses are here and they're pretty fabulous, except I feel self-conscious wearing them, even in the house, and can barely look at myself directly in the mirror for fear of embarrassing myself. I'm going to have to talk myself up to the experience of wearing them out and about because I'm going to think everyone will know I'm not used to sunglasses and will sneer at me. This is the same nonsense I felt when I got my Fitbit in September 2017, and now I'm an old pro with that and can't imagine ever feeling otherwise.
02/03 Direct Link
I don't know if they're twins but he and his "bro" come to the gym about 15 minutes after it opens, which means about 13 minutes after I arrive. They wear similar outfits. According to their sweatpants and hooded sweatshirts and maybe the baseball caps covering their full heads of sandy-brown hair, they've gone to Bucknell. Neither removes any garb before starting their workouts. They speak very little.

He checks me out every time he's there, looking over when I'm running, when I'm doing weights. I wonder if he has any clue old enough to be his mother's best friend.
02/04 Direct Link
I used to say that since I take such care to be "put together" when out and about, to coordinate outfits to flit hither and yon around the city, even if just to buy cherry tomatoes at Zingone Brothers, that when I'm home it's okay not only to be quite the opposite but to wear stuff that I wouldn't be caught dead in public in, that if a fire ravaged my building, I'd rather perish in the flames than dash outside to safety. Well, that has changed in recent weeks, and all of a sudden I'm obsessed with vintage loungewear.
02/05 Direct Link
(Continued from 2/4)

I'd thought, you know what, old pajama bottoms and stretched-out camisoles were fine if no one was going to see me (no offense to my cat) Did it matter? Never mind that Erica Kane sat around her Pine Valley mansion in fabulous loungewear. Hey, that wasn't real life!

But then there were times when my landlord would knock on my door or the cute UPS guy would have a package and I wouldn't want to answer the door or sign for the package because I looked like a hobo. Now I have a sexy mailman, so ...
02/06 Direct Link
I'd just passed the peanut butter shelves at Fairway, so was feeling very Bob-minded. He always stood in front of the peanut butter at Whole Foods, pondering choices, and I often pretended to be an obnoxious customer blocking his view. As I progressed down the aisle, I looked up at another shelf, and the name of a product was "BOBO'S." Bobo is a nickname my friend Dan (born on August 19, like Bob) gave to Bob, not to him directly, but to use with me. Then Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" came on and I almost lost my shit.
02/07 Direct Link
Continued from 2/6

I had only been on the verge of tears until then, but that set me off. He loved Louis Armstrong, and I could imagine him smiling his small smile to himself as he pushed his cart slowly down the Whole Foods aisles. I stood there and said aloud, "You're WITH me, aren't you. You are SO with me right now, aren't you???" and cried. I told myself, aloud, "Pull yourself together, deep breaths," went to the self checkout downstairs with my head down, and cried the two blocks home. "You're with me now too," I said. "Right?"
02/08 Direct Link
I sent my best friend a 12-ounce Whitman's Sampler because we'd been joking about some guy she knows who'd probably give her a box for Valentine's Day and be enamored of the "map" on the inside of the lid.

I know we're supposed to pretend we're too sophisticated for something as pedestrian as a Whitman's Sampler, but I find its low-brow status, its tradition, so refreshing when compared to all the artisanal stuff of superior quality that, as much as I make fun of it, I do enjoy as well. But Whitman's? It's dowdy and has no aspirations beyond that.
02/09 Direct Link
There is no excuse not to write at least 100 words a day, for this project or otherwise. What is one thing anyone can do, who wants to write, to make time to do it? Cut out "surfing" the Internet. Stop scrolling through social media feeds. Stop reading comments on websites, especially the trash whose sole purpose is to rile people up. Who needs that kind of stimulus? What benefit does it offer? None. Compare this to the thrill of having written something, no matter what it is, and feeling like you accomplished at least that much in your day.
02/10 Direct Link
Stephen Colbert kneels in front front of his desk, facing Marie Kondo, who's also kneeling. She's smiling and giggling like a toddler and although he's fawning like a kindergartener enamored of his teacher, it rings false and I'm as uncomfortable as if I'm kneeling too but on grains of rice or gravel. I'm cringing.

Eventually they stand and he asks if she can fold a bottom sheet. She places it on his desk, and it appears she's going to fold it. She winds up rolling it into bolster pillow shape, and I can sense Colbert's disappointment despite his lavish praise.
02/11 Direct Link
I'm going through too much TaB. Maybe buying it by the 12-pack isn't such a good idea, because this makes it way too easy to drink sometimes three or four a day since it's only like 60 cents a can this way rather than $1.25 at the corner store. Or maybe I should get a grip, stock the refrigerator with three cans at a time the way I've been doing, but just control myself and limit myself to two cans a day and drink this stuff they call water the rest of the time.

Why is TaB so damned FABULOUS??!?
02/12 Direct Link
Anabelle's father always came home from work in what her mother called a "chipper" mood. Anabelle wasn't quite sure what chipper meant, but if it meant that her father would do a little dance over the threshold of the front door, his black shoes shiny like a new eight ball, and present from behind his back a Twix bar for her and a flower or two for her mom, she'd take it.

She knew this was better than the way Margo's dad came home, "looking like death," as Margo's mom put it, licking the spoon clean of Margo's Spaghettio dinner.
02/13 Direct Link
Today marks 11 years since our dog, Taxi, left this world. Today is the first year that you haven't been here to send me your morning email telling me there were no words for the day. Today is the first year you're with him wherever dogs and the very best of people go after they're done on this plane. If that's even, y'know, a " thing".

My friend Kelly told me she knows Taxi was "there" to greet you, ears flopping. That notion simultaneously thrills and kills me. If it were true, I'd be the happiest girl on the planet.
02/14 Direct Link
I just tried to open one of two bottles of seltzer I bought this morning at Fairway. It was IMPOSSIBLE. I was just running out into the front hall to put something in the recycling bin when my adorable neighbor who lives in front of me entered from outside. I asked if he could open it for me, saying, "If you open it, I'll say, 'Ah, I loosened it for you' like my grandfather used to." He opened it and said, "It was hard to open," and seemed to mean it. I have never felt Old Jew-ier in my life.
02/15 Direct Link
Now my cat is just showing off. After standing directly in front of me, blocking my view of the monitor, and me pretending for less than a nanosecond that I don't have to see what I'm typing, that if I'm patient, she'll move and I'll be able to see, I lost all sham patience and told her to get the MEOWMEOW* out of the way. But now she's showing off by extending/stretching out a back leg like a prima ballerina and walking away like it was her idea.

*I used a word somewhat more colorful but not nearly as cute.
02/16 Direct Link
He's the only one from whom I'll accept THOSE KINDS of messages. Even before we, uh, got together, I allowed it from him because for some reason with him it wasn't bawdy and disgusting and unwanted the way it has been from others. Several fellas who are friends have tried, and despite my saying, ew, no, stop it, I don't like talking about stuff like that, have tried anyway in a "good-natured" way at first that later I think someone more "feminist" than I am would have said was "harassment"-y. But this guy? Yes. He can say whatever he desires.
02/17 Direct Link
Why in the world would I order a Beyond Burger at a restaurant in a way I can easily prepare at home without the upwards-of-20-dollars price tag? I'm not a miser or a cheapskate, but come on. If you're going to give me a non-meat burger, create your own recipe. Ditto goes for giving me a Gardein or Boca. Please.

Now, if it's Indian food, yes, bring it on. I won't make Indian at home, and any feeble attempts at something even vaguely Indian-y haven't yielded results even close to restaurant Indian. I'd father pay out the nose-a for dosa.
02/18 Direct Link
Someone needs to explain to me the appeal of the following:

Trips to Disneyland and Disney World for anyone over the age of 10. Even as a 10-year-old, you could not have paid me to go.

A cruise as a vacation option. Stuck on a big boat in a tiny room with other Americans. It's bad enough I'm stuck with them on a 13.1-mile-long island just off the East Coast. And compared to those staterooms, I'm sure my apartment is a fucking castle. Ahoy, no.

Skinny jeans unless tucked into boots (and even then). Extra explanation needed if purposely torn.
02/19 Direct Link
My parents had a paperback book in the early '70s about subliminal suggestion, and I'd sneak breathless peeks at it when no one was looking. My nine-year-old head spun with the notion that one of my favorite cookies, Oreos, were possibly riddled with hidden sexy words around the perimeter of each chocolate half, and the thought of biting into SEXSEXSEX (never mind the filling!) filled me with devilish excitement, perhaps even more so because those were often the cookies I'd pilfer from the kitchen and stash n my underwear (!)for transport, under(wear)ground railroad-like, to the bathroom for secret nocturnal indulgence.
02/20 Direct Link
I'm trying with some (not all) of my might to forget that the very attractive guy I met at the gym last week fist-bumped me in approval during our discussion and to instead focus on the fact that we introduced ourselves with a handshake of optimal firmness, grip, and duration, which means he can't possibly be a Howie Mandel-like germaphobe. I'm also trying to forget the thumbs-up he displayed when he later saw me on the treadmill. I liked him and his marvelous head of hair enough that I hope he hasn't forgotten to tell me he has a wife.
02/21 Direct Link
Although "attached" earlobes have always sort of weirded me out, because they often create an "alien" appearance, I cannot for the life of me remember the earlobes of most fellas I've been involved with. I do remember, though, when apart from one I saw infrequently, I suspected he had attached lobes. I was squeamish when struggling to recall, and thought, oh god, no, what if when we get together next I see they're attached? I remember being relieved, though. If it's who I suspect, I must confirm on Facebook. (Confirmed! Poor shmoe has no clue this was even a concern.)
02/22 Direct Link
The good people at Zulu were kind enough to replace the lid on my water bottle after I wrote to them about the defect that had threatened to harm my fingers. I'd asked "nicely", of course, and they obliged because of that. I imagine that had I written in a scolding manner like a harridan, or had complained rudely, they would still have responded in kind, but not as readily and not as seemingly happily.

There was no need to make anyone on their end feel bad. The exchange made me happy. I'll take any happy crumb I can get.
02/23 Direct Link
Congratulations to me on creating a job for myself 13 years ago to the day that has allowed me to live in my own groovy bachelorette pad with a darling private patio on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with only a cat (or two) as a roommate. It may not be the most glamorous or "creative" work on the planet, but who the fuck cares. I do it at home in the company of said cat and with as many TaB breaks as I want and in whatever outfit I choose (which is sometimes pajamas). Happy workiversary (ugh), me!
02/24 Direct Link
Your reality is what you think of, change your attitude and that changes everything, blahblah. I don't know the exact quotes, but I know the gist, and consider them as I run on my preferred ("favorite" is a stretch) treadmill (in the corner with nothing behind it but the ledge/radiator and plate-glass window and to its left the same thing). I look out at the other gymsters and try not to think, "What a bunch of losers" (even though they, like I, are already ensconced in their workouts by 6 a.m.) but "This is a good group." Oddly, it works.
02/25 Direct Link
After the first day, the fast becomes easier and I don't think as much about food as I would otherwise. "What to eat???" isn't a decision, and I'm oddly relieved that I don't have to decide what to have for lunch or dinner. All of my "open" food has been consumed so nothing is laying in wait to go to waste ("Or waist?" says someone with a wink).

After the second day, I allow two slices of sprouted toast with one tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter for the day, and it's as thrilling as French fries on an ordinary day.
02/26 Direct Link
Bi, trans, gay, gay only on the High Holidays, nonbinary, nondairy, straight, straight-ish, starfish, fish 'n' chips, Chips Afuckinghoy, Hoyer lift, lift and separate, separate but equal, Equal or Truvia, Tuvan throat singer, Singer sewing machine, macchiato, tomato, tomato/tomato, potato/potato. I don't give a fuck or a fig, flying or otherwise, or the ass of a rat or any other ass-having thing what label you attach to yourself or what you do with your precious parts in a private or public setting. Are you an asshole or not an asshole? That's all that concerns me. Then we'll go from there.
02/27 Direct Link
My friend recently ended a dalliance with a married man. She's married too, so it's not like either one of them was "worse" than the other. I didn't see the appeal at all, because the guy's spelling and grammar were atrocious, and the few photographs I'd seen of him just didn't jibe with the guy she would describe to me. I didn't see how that person could incite or inspire the overwhelming desire she had for him, for doing things in parked cars and hotel rooms. Really, the man misspelled "crotch". But to his credit, he didn't fuck up "tongue".
02/28 Direct Link
Some days I can't focus to save my life or that of a dog who's fallen through the ice of a pond and whose survival depends on my getting out there pronto and not wasting one moment looking at dresses on Etsy or daydreaming about a nice cold TaB. I try to work and it just won't happen. Even five minutes is pushing it. Other days I'm so immersed that I forget to eat and my fingers fly on the keyboard of their own accord, and I feel an odd headiness. Those days the dog would be alive and kicking.