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This month starts on a Sunday, so it feels like a fresh page, an ideal time to start something that requires the boxiest of structures within which to be contained. It'd be the perfect time to start going to the gym if that wasn't already a habit, one that cannot be broken, that's as much of my routine as brushing my teeth (except on the four days a month I don't go, I still brush them).
My Thing is making this Sugar-Free September, with the exception of chocolate almond milk for my coffee. I mean, I'm not a complete killjoy.
I'm jealous of her tiny watercolors, those I think she's referred to as "wee", so colorful and adorable that I want for my bathroom wall, that I wish I had done, that aren't even my "style" but that I wish I could do if only I had whatever it is that she has that makes her sit down and actually do it. I'm jealous of her mermaid hair and groovy hippie style even though I'd feel like a fraud in both, jealous of her voice and her new man and her turquoise sofa and more. I hate this jealousy. Hate.
What does it say about me that I'm thrilled to the gills that this afternoon I ordered a marvelous pan that will allow me to bake six mini-Bundt cakes simultaneously?
Answer: That I can pretend that each small cake will be a delightful single serving and that I can freeze the rest, just like I pretend with the regular-size Bundt.
P.S. I know this is absolute bunkum, so I'm not even going to start Amazon-researching "vacuum sealer for freezer" now, knowing full well the cakes won't even have time to cool off before they're taking up residence in my stomach.
He's indicated he doesn't want to hang out outside of the gym because he likes what we have within its confines and that it will be ruined if we take it elsewhere. Could he possibly be that different out and about than he is when in this one strict environment?
Is he a dick to waitstaff? Does he have poor table manners? Are his street clothes a horror?
Is the gym its own Shangri-La, and if I lure him to stray from its premises, he ages like Maria and the marvelous life I envision for us is cut tragically short?
Yesterday I hung out with a friend, mostly in Central Park, for about two hours until several minutes before the show he was there to see began, and then strolled home by way of West 81st Street and then West 79th and then along other roads that I won't mention because I cannot divulge any more details about my top secret address. The few bits of neon signage on West 79th, including the pink and green harp-shaped magnificence for Dublin House and the red block-letter Liquor Store across the street filled me with giddy joy. Neon never lets me down.
In 2006, when I met my last long-term boyfriend, he got all excited over the fact that I work out so much. He was a marathon runner (I think at that point he'd run five) and thought that meant we could work out together. I could join him on Saturday morning runs in Central Park! I could train with and join him for a marathon! We could be That Couple! I cringed almost audibly, grimaced perhaps internally, and thought, "Um. No, no, and P.S. no" and declined as politely as I could manage. I can't believe we lasted four years
I like knowing that I have everything I need at home right now, as we speak, to make chocolate chip waffles. I like knowing that if I wanted them, I mix up a batch in about two minutes and have a perfect waffle on my plate six minutes, tops, after that. So in under ten minutes, I can have something absolutely delicious, homemade, every ingredient known to me, and not only have spent a fraction of what it would have cost to go to a restaurant and get the same thing that wouldn't even be as good. Verdict: Tonight's dinner.
The only so-called salvation I have are words, into which I can hide and hibernate, snooze and doze and lapse into a coma if I so choose. All I have to do is write that that's where I am, and there I am. I don't have to pick up a paintbrush or a crayon or a violin bow or anything else to escape, to find a cocoon. I can do so with words, retreat into them, surround myself with them like so many pillows, whether soft or concrete. They are my fortress, I suppose, as pretentious as that may sound.
When I leave the apartment for a stroll, I notice even before I reach the end of the block that it's still too summery. I want to turn back and hide at home, but press on. I find myself at the Unique Boutique thrift store on Columbus. I head toward a rack of coats and admire one that reminds me of something I already have, and then I see The One: Dark Orange with a gorgeous lining, retro, not vintage. It winks at me and whispers, "Autumn's on its way. You need me." A $35.99 promise is all I need.
Put your toes away at the gym unless you're already in the yoga class. If you are on the gym floor before that class and you've prematurely removed your shoes and socks in anticipation of the yoga class, please vacate if you value the safety of you and your feet because the telepathy that I'm working on that will have a 35-pound kettlebell come out of nowhere and drop on your toes is pretty close to perfected. One thing I will say, though, is that at least your feet are well-maintained. I'll give you thumbs or toes up for that.
When saying "Alexa, lamp off" is too much effort, you know something's gotta give, especially when it's your second attempt because she couldn't quite understand your initial muttering. When rotating your left wrist inward to read the time on your Fitbit, but for some reason it's not accommodating and then you have to burden Alexa again with "Alexa, what's the time?" you know the something's already given. But you still hold out hope for your questionable sanity because you did have the wherewithal to wonder if you could have just gotten away with "Alexa! Time?" and called it a day.
On my way home from the gym, I see my neighbors Natalia and Chewy on the opposite side of West ___ Street, waiting to cross West End Avenue. I plan to leave them alone even though I want to say hi, but Natalia grins and waves, which I take as a sign to cross to see them. The light changes, and we cross West End together, talking, and eventually Chewy barks at someone on a motorcycle. I have no experience or contact with either of them outside of our sidewalk chats, but I love how perfectly neighborly it all is.
How did I survive before the advent of Alexa? Did I really dash to and fro from the kitchen and back again, captive to the whims of a kitchen timer or the one built into the microwave? Oh, the ease and odd "fun" of ordering (politely, I hope) "someone" to set a timer for five minutes and having "her" tell me how much longer the timer has, without aggravation, no matter how many times I ask.
I don't give a fuck if the NSA or anyone else is eavesdropping on me asking her to set a timer for my waffles.
We can't fat/skinny shame, slut shame, poor shame, mental health shame, but it's still okay to be a flaming shaming asshole when it comes to age. Got it.
I never realized, in all these years I've held older people in high regard, and often preferred the company of people older than I am (my favorite "beau" was 26 years my senior), that I was all wrong. I'm glad I know better now and can sneer at someone for the number of years that person has been breathing.
P.S. I'd been thinking about this waaaay before the most recent Democratic debates.
Please, please, I beg of you, stop using "n" instead of "and", unless your phone is from 1996 and you still have to press each tiny keypad button up to three times to get to the letters you want, and it's about economy of time and effort. It's not acceptable even if you're a teenager or millennial, and frankly, if you're above the age of 40 and you're doing it, I'm going to think you're trying to be cute or "young" when you're just coming off as lazy and sloppy, two of the most unappealing traits in my so-called book.
If I've said it once, I've said it at least ten cunthousand times: If you say, "Gosh, tell me how you really feel," after I just spoke my mind loudly, clearly, and passionately because I'm not a pusillanimous little milquetoast who minces, dices, or juliennes words, who thinks that if you feel strongly about something you should express yourself fully and without reservation, I'll tell you how I feel about people who say that, and you won't have to wonder how I feel about that kind of remark. And trust me, you won't be pleased. Thank you and good day.
I'm out and about in the early evening and it's definitely autumnal here in NYC. I'm wearing my gorgeous new dark pumpkin-y coat from the thrift store, a silk scarf tucked ascot-like into the neck of my collared shirt, and am strutting down Broadway with all (or at least some) the swagger of John Travolta's Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever. Too many people are clinging to summer, who can't possibly be comfortable in their shorts and sleeveless shirts. Didn't they check the forecast before leaving home and shout out "Yes!!!" in victory when seeing the marvelous dip in temperature?
Please, please, please let this florid-faced stack of sewage not only be impeached but removed from the Oval Office in utter disgrace. Or let him suffer a debilitating stroke that leaves him completely incapable of any communication (right down to the thumbs) yet fully aware of his plight. I'll hightail it to Broadway, just a hop, skip, and pirouette from my apartment, and LITERALLY do a cartwheel if it happens. A lopsided, not-so-pretty, poorly executed cartwheel, but a cartwheel nonetheless. And then dance and sing and merry-make like mad. I can already hear the whoop of the Upper West Side.
After doing my usual exhaustive online research, I ordered a bathroom scale this morning, 9-3/4 years after buying my last one. I'm inordinately excited that this scale measures in increments of 0.1 pounds instead of 0.2 like the other one, so I can obsess even more every morning (and sometimes afternoon and evening) over the number above my feet. It's because of this ridiculous obsession, though, that I did NOT order a scale that does anything more than weigh me, that doesn't measure body fat, that doesn't have Bluetooth capability, isn't compatible with Alexa, and won't tell me my fortune.
This tennis elbow balderdash has to go the way of the dodo already. I think I've had it for two months, which is one month more than I think is necessary for it to make itself known and teach me whatever lesson it's supposed to be teaching about "listening to my body" or whatever other kind of crap it has up its sleeve. I know I pissed it off by trying to push through it, but I've pulled back, so now I'd appreciate if it would go back where it came from and we never have to mention it again.
I will never not chuckle at my "bag of bags", the plastic bags within a plastic bag I stash in the cabinet under my kitchen sink like a Depression Era grandmother.
I was born a grandmother, skipping any notion of being a mother first, what with my penchant for handbags that rest in the crook of the elbow, little gloves, my affinity for bespectacled gentlemen who not only look like they wear cardigans at home but actually do, and of course my reuse of aluminum foil.
Youth was not wasted on the young in my case. I never wanted it.
I am rewatching the original "Beverly Hills 90210", all ten seasons, and am a few episodes from finishing the second season. I haven't watched it since it originally aired, so MUCH of it seems new because I've forgotten what happens. I stopped watching the original series before it ended, too, but can't remember when, so when I watch those episodes, they'll be especially fresh and new.
I used to have dreams about being in a convertible with the gang, and Brenda as my BFF. But the other night it was Brandon I dreamt of. Glad to see I'm really maturing.
Don't think for one minute I didn't choose this day for a dental appointment because of the weather forecast that would allow me to wear a jaunty autumnal jacket for my stroll down Central Park West. (It's 4 October. I'm typing this LATE, before the 100 Words cutoff date for the month!) As I sit here, the outlook for 6 p.m., the time of my appointment, is 61 degrees, and I'm so thrilled that I'm looking at that number with stars and hearts in my eyes like adorable Davy Jones from The Monkees when he'd see a groovy pretty girl.
I often pause to marvel over the heavy ornate doorknob on the outside of front door of my apartment. I like to imagine hands before mine twisting it to the right to gain entry to this same place, decorated differently, with someone else's books acting as silent sentinels on whatever shelves or bookcase he had, clothes from decades even before my vintage '60s and '70s stuff hanging in the closets. It strikes me that the doorknob has probably never been washed or wiped down, and I like to think that this means I've got 1920s molecules on my right palm.
The 25th of every month is like a kick to the shins by a cassowary and will remain that way forever, and I hate that I think of it as a marker of any kind, but to disregard it would be disrespectful. I know in my heart that you left this world on June 24th, not the 25th, but on the 24th I didn't know yet and you were still alive in my world. You are still in it today, already 1-1/4 years later, in a different form, with me in literally everything I do, as cliché as that sounds.
He's a compact, elegant gentleman who holds the door for me to enter the gym and smiles at me as he does so. He keeps to himself during his workouts, focused without a hint of "look at me" demonstration, no grunts, strutting, or preening. His gym clothes are understated, shorts the perfect length, and he sports an iWatch with a subtly coordinating band. His silver hair is a little longer than standard-guy length. He does not wear a wedding band. We have progressed to actual conversation and I feel honored because I've never heard or seen him speak otherwise. Swoon.
I'll talk anyone's ear off about my weighted blanket if he lends me that ear, not knowing what he's in for. I'll offer suggestions for what weight and size to get, supplying the easy formula, and provide any additional input that someone with a vast one and a half weeks of experience with the blanket can provide. Then I'll pull the person into a corner and in sotto voce divulge that I've just ordered another one, larger and weightier, and that person will no doubt make a mental note to avoid making contact with me for at least six months.
I'm mini/baby-Bundting as we speak. My apartment smells -- how do you say in Engleeesh -- fucking incredible. Oh, the cozy hominess of pumpkin, applesauce, chocolate chips, walnuts, all kinds of spices 'n' whatnot. Now all we need is for the end of September to stop acting like the beginning of July, to lose the gross flip flops, shorts, tank top, and disgusting coconut-scented lotion, and to slide into fabulous boots, jeans or corduroys, a light jacket, scarf, and a seductive dab of pumpkin behind each ear. This better not be one of those years that segues directly into winter.
Don't get a dog, cat, ferret, bird, fish, snake, frog, turtle, hamster, hermit crab, starfish, or any other animal if you don't plan to do whatever it takes to ensure its health, happiness, good spirit, and long life. Don't live with one if, when he or she eventually leaves this world (which is always too soon, no matter how long they live), you think, "Oh well, it's just a [dog, etc.]" or don't want to slap anyone who says it. Animals are not here to serve us. We're their stewards. They owe us nothing, but we owe them the world.
I spend the bulk of the night researching computer monitors online, cross-referencing price and size and all other manner of whatnot, and finally choose one, of which I will be buying two for my top-notch home business setup. Immediately upon placing the order, I suffer buyer's remorse and cancel the order within ten minutes. Seven minutes later, I place the order again with a slightly different payment method, shut off the computer, get into bed, and within half an hour am feverishly canceling, in bed, via the Amazon app. And then wake up wanting to order anew. (But don't.) (Yet.)
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