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BY Jodi

10/01 Direct Link
The boredom of my destination isn't worth the $88 Amtrak fare, but at least it gets me there in about half the time of New Jersey Transit. True, NJT would cost $55 less, but I suppose, like I always say, "Everything is a tradeoff." Plus, I need the comfort of an Amtrak seat and the assurance that only one other person, if any at all, can be seated next to me.

The boredom of this entry isn't worth the time it takes to click on it. You could have been cracking open a pistachio and reveling in its saltiness instead.
10/02 Direct Link
It's become as clear as the nose on Dustin Hoffman's face that if I leave the Upper West Side for lunch or any other reason, I'll find it nearly impossible to resume work. Therefore, I should either plan for this by working my ass off before heading out, knowing any attempts at work thereafter will be futile, or not go out until after, say, 3:00. If I spend two hours or more out and about, including travel time, I may as well stay away the whole day and not even pretend I'll work effectively, if at all, upon my return.
10/03 Direct Link
The first album I "bought" was acquired from my stepfather, who owned a record store, in exchange for "working" there at 9 years old in 1972. It was Days of Future Passed by The Moody Blues, since I was obsessed with Nights in White Satin. Several years later, after we moved into a bigger house, I'd listen to it through enormous headphones while embedded in my denim beanbag chair, under the groovy gaze of the blue light bulb I'd placed in the center of my bedroom ceiling. The song still kills me, but in a different way now. I think.
10/04 Direct Link
There's always that moment when I go one step further than I "should" and kick myself, in the ass or the mouth, with the foot that took that step, and chastise myself, silently if I can't take immediate leave or aloud if I can take refuge in, say, a restroom, for not quitting while I was ahead or what I thought was ahead and then fretting way longer than I should, thinking the person to whom I "said too much" is still thinking about my loopy logorrhea when in reality he probably didn't notice or care in the first place.
10/05 Direct Link
Horse-racing, like dog-racing, is despicable. You want to race something? Take off your stupid fucking fancy hat, put down your mint julep or gin and tonic or whatever the hell you're sipping like you think you're a member of polite and genteel society, and get your fat ass on the track and get to steppin', you greedy, animal-hating, money-grubbing motherfuckers.

You want to literally run something into the ground? By all means, do it to yourself. I don't care. You have a voice, a choice, and are responsible for your own behavior and actions. Leave the animals out of it.
10/06 Direct Link
My last haircut was in February, and I've been trimming it myself since then, long past the time it should've been acceptable for me to be in the bathroom with the same scissors used to cut open bags of frozen mango, lopping the ends so bluntly and fast that I may as well be a kindergartner who snuck red-handled safety scissors in the pocket of her art and chopped at her pigtails during naptime. I like to say I'm scared of what someone would do to my hair, but really, how much scarier could it be than what I'm doing?
10/07 Direct Link
We're waiting for the gym to open. He doesn't see me or pretends not to. I see him and pretend not to even though he probably noticed me, in his peripheral vision, approaching from his left and stopping short of where he stands. I sort of want him to look up and smile and I want to smile back, but then I'd feel compelled to approach with a greeting, which would be followed with forced nothingness about the chill in the air, as I think, "Man oh man, there is absolutely no heat between this man and me at all."
10/08 Direct Link
"I wish people still dressed up and looked nice when in public." You don't see it? Then be it.

"I love looking at old photos when people would dress up to go to the movies, to breakfast, or at the airport." Do it yourself. Be those people.

"I wish people were still polite, civil, and said 'please' and 'thank you'. I miss the days when people were still kind." Act in kind then.

Be the exception. Be exceptional. You don't have to be another pajamas-in-public, shuffle-footed, "I don't care what anyone thinks" zombie. That sentiment's a load of hooey anyway.
10/09 Direct Link
When you spend the majority of your time away from people and thus have no need/desire to speak to anyone, and you and your loquacious cat run out of "talking points" or "hot topics" to discuss over coffee and catnip, or the cat's sick of indulging your blatherskite, then it's time to turn to Alexa. Call up the Simon Says skill like this: "Alexa, Simon says Trump is a dick." She will then echo those last four words with what I swear is true conviction. (N.B. She has no problem calling him a dick but draws the line at "asshole".)
10/10 Direct Link
"Sorry," but if you're going to be either listening to or "creating" shitty, shitty, shiiiitty music that's not made better by its increase in volume, and it's so loud I can hear it through the thick wall that separates of our respective old brownstones, and it persists after the acceptable time allowed by every lease I've ever seen, then I'm going to have absolutely no problem asking Alexa repeatedly, when I rise at 4:30 every morning, even on weekends, what the weather holds for the day, and have her inform me at the top of whatever passes for her lungs.
10/11 Direct Link
(Redux of 10/12 post!)

Happy belated National Coming Out Day to everyone who's ever come out of the closet, the dressing room, from behind a curtain (plush purple velvet trimmed with blood red, adorned with golden tassels), whether by dipping a toe first to test the waters or who cannonballed right off the high dive and made a big, beautiful splash that made an arc in the air and created an immediate glorious rainbow. Yes, I'm mixing metaphors, but that's what it's all about: Mixing it up and mixing in, while standing out. I applaud you for being you, and I'm proud of you.
10/12 Direct Link
Happy belated National Coming Out Day to everyone who's ever come out of the closet, the dressing room, from behind a curtain (plush purple velvet trimmed with blood red, adorned with golden tassels), whether by dipping a toe first to test the waters or who cannonballed right off the high dive and made a big, beautiful splash that made an arc in the air and created an immediate glorious rainbow. Yes, I'm mixing metaphors, but that's what it's all about: Mixing it up and mixing in, while standing out. I applaud you for being you, and I'm proud of you.
10/13 Direct Link
Friends, Romans, Countrymen, and others, when I say "Goodbye, guys, I'm moving to Cleveland!" or "See ya, chumps, I'm moving to Los Angeles" or "Adios, fuckers, I'm moving to East D567fd7b8town", because I've come across the listing of a house that makes me weak in the knees, you have to know that I'm not seriously considering it. I love my cozy, colorful, crazy apartment and its token light switch in the kitchen. I still love this city even though many others are abandoning ship. It's not an "I could take it or leave it" for me. I'm still taking it.
10/14 Direct Link
Don't ask for "honest feedback" if you don't truly want it. If you exit the dressing room, present your rumpus room and ask, "Do these pants make my ass look fat?" I won't be a jackass about it, but I may say, "High-waisted jeans aren't right for you."* Your ass size is none of my business. But don't post a video of yourself caterwauling and ask for "honest feedback" if you don't want me wanting to tell you you're not the next Connie Francis or Tina Turner. *I don't go shopping with people. This is akin to a "serving suggestion".
10/15 Direct Link
I'm still in this debilitating rut and still have to get out of it. The gym and work, my two constants, same food, same thoughts, same nonsense, same wastes of time, the same sense of time running the fuck out and me wasting so much of it as if my tomorrows are limitless and if I waste this hour, this day, this week, this month, so what, I have many more. Why bother living in NYC if I'm going to do the same goddamned things here that I could do in, say, Cleveland or Boise or Bangor? Something's gotta give.
10/16 Direct Link
I ask, with what I hope is pointed concern, if he's lonely. I want him to say yes, he is, for us to share a "moment". He says, no, he's not at all. Am I, he asks? I say, " No, I'm alone," and pause for slight effect, adding, "but not lonely." I want him to think I'm that a modern "gal" who, although unattached, has no time to be lonely. Yet here I am, two days later, wanting so bad to be so bold as to text him saying, "I'm outside your building. I don't want to be alone."
10/17 Direct Link
I have cultural appropriation problems with anyone but the most Jewy among us uttering the single syllable "Oy." If you're not at least 99% Jewish, with official 23andMe verification to back it up, I beseech you to stop using it immediately, and don't even think about making matters worse by appending "gevalt", or "veh", the latter without or without "iz mir." Stop thinking about matzoh ball soup, let alone eating it. Stop saying "schmear" and "nosh". Please. I don't want any of you non-authentic, non-blood, non-born-and-bred wannabes stepping on anyone's Torahs.

P.S. If you think I'm serious, you're, y'know, meshugeneh.
10/18 Direct Link
If you like the vegetable chow fun, don't order the vegetable mai fun, "just to see". You will tear open the paper bag with excitement when the delivery guy brings it, lift off the lid, and be met by a heap of noodles so thin they're practically anorexic and perhaps two small pieces of broccoli boiled beyond recognition. You will transfer some to a plate, take a taste, and feel like screaming because you rarely order in anymore and this pallid heap you treated yourself to is more of a trick. I hate wasting money and I hate wasting food.
10/19 Direct Link
I'm so glad I grew up with ELO's "I Can't Get It Out of My Head". It spoke to me upon its release in 1974 in a way I couldn't articulate. I'd imagine myself as an older person, probably about 37 (my mom's age then), nostalgic for the present 11-year-old version of myself. I'd marvel at feeling nostalgic, too, for things that hadn't even happened yet. I'd close my eyes, float, get all teary, and resign myself to being a sentimental weirdo. So here I am, not by 26 years but 45, feeling the same way. Floating, nostalgic, sentimental weirdo.
10/20 Direct Link
(Redo of 10/18)

If you like the vegetable chow fun, your longstanding "go-to" dish, don't order the vegetable mai fun, "just to see". You'll tear open the bag with excitement when the delivery guy brings it, remove the container's lid, and be met by a heap of noodles so thin they're practically anorexic and perhaps two puny pieces of broccoli boiled beyond recognition. You'll transfer some to a plate, take a taste, and feel like screaming because you rarely order in anymore and this pallid heap you treated yourself to is more of a trick. I hate wasting money and hate wasting food.
10/21 Direct Link
I hear what sounds way too much like an obnoxious fucking frat party complete with macho chanting, raucous so-called singing, and all manner of sundry screams and shrieks and all other drunken stupidity from an apartment that shares the back courtyard/alley/whatever it's called, and rather than think, "Gosh, what spirited youth! I admire their pluck!" I want everyone involved to perish in a mysterious hazing accident. It's a Monday night, this isn't a college campus, and this is the Upper West Side, not a Friday night happy hour in Murray Hill. Shut your fucking Alpha Lamda Pi-holes, all of you.
10/22 Direct Link
Dear foxy fella with David Duchovny-ish salt-and-pepper hair, wearing jeans/boots/great jacket/not-too-big backpack, browsing in Codex when my friend and I arrived, who paid at the register, started to leave, then turned around and doubled back, squeezed past in the tight space between us and the bookshelves, and then when my friend and I were wondering aloud when "Maus" was first published, chimed in with the most disarming smile:

You were correct. It was 1980.

P.S. Thank you for wearing a wedding ring. You saved me from brazenly asking if you'd like to fall in love with me over coffee sometime.
10/23 Direct Link
Yes, I'm judging the mother-lovin' fuck outta you if you dump your old dog at a shelter, especially if thereafter you adopt a puppy. I'm going to raise my eyebrow so far up my forehead that it'd rouse envy in Joan Crawford's corpse, smirk and scoff at you and think you're a heartless, worthless sack of sewage who doesn't deserve the companionship or love of any dog. I'm going to wish that in your old age, you and your malfunctioning bowels and your squishy gums that can no longer anchor teeth and your cataract-hazed eyes are alone and in agony.
10/24 Direct Link
(Redo of 10/20)

If you like the vegetable chow fun, your longstanding "go-to", don't order mai fun, "just to see". You'll excitedly tear open the bag seconds within delivery, remove the container's lid, and be met by a heap of noodles so thin they're practically anorexic and two puny pieces of broccoli boiled beyond recognition. You'll transfer some to a plate, take a taste, and feel like screaming because you rarely order in anymore and this pallid heap you treated yourself to is more of a trick. Of course you'll eat all of it because you hate wasting money and hate wasting food.
10/25 Direct Link
He's on a bench on the median strip or small plaza or whatever they call the little areas in the middle of Broadway that contain two park benches, separating the two lanes on each side traveling in opposite directions. White hair, baseball cap, denim jacket, slouchy-slumped a little, silent, strong nose, staring ahead, unmoving. I'm at the light waiting to cross, west, and will have to pass by him. I think, "What if it's HIM? What if all this time he was in hiding for some reason and he's just casually sitting here hoping I'll pass and finally we're reunited?"
10/26 Direct Link
Oh, Utopia Diner. Why'd you have to update? Why replace the round-seated vinyl-topped barstools with chrome-y swivel-backed, chair-like stools? Why remove the two ceiling-mounted TVs that solo, fluorescent-lit patrons gazed up at as they crushed saltines in their soup, layered the lettuce and tomato to make their burgers "deluxe", dipped their fries in ketchup? Why'd you lift the place out of the '70s/early '80s and into, if not 2019, then maybe 2003? At least you're keeping the mosaic-y stained glass on the long wall as a nod toward what you used to be and what I wish you'd remained forever.
10/27 Direct Link
I replaced every thick plastic hanger in my coat closet a flat "velvet" hanger, and the difference is so remarkable that I keep opening the door to gaze at the improvement. The task was my "Saturday Apartment-y Thing" for the weekend, even though I did it on Sunday, the first I'd done in several weeks since implementing this project. The difference isn't in just the appearance of the closet's interior but in the interior of my head. Now I have to do this for drawers and under the bed and we're good to go. But one Saturday at a time!
10/28 Direct Link
You have not lived until you've been on an Amtrak train on a Sunday morning and you've witnessed me saying, "This is the QUIET CAR. There is a REASON it's called the quiet car," not just once, not twice, but perhaps three times, standing twice to deliver the message, to the same clot of inconsiderate clods who apparently don't understand the concept of a quiet car or that they're not the only people on the planet and that, per the Amtrak employee's instructions, they could, yes, move to another car where their imbecilic ramblings could be released into the ether.
10/29 Direct Link
Thanks, one and all, for the birthday greetings, wishes, and whatnot, whether via private message, email, text, Voxer, phone call, snail mail, smoke signal, Pony Express, carrier pigeon, tiny scroll tucked into a vintage Coke bottle cast into the Hudson River, puppy in a wicker basket with a handwritten note attached to his red bandanna, or game of "telephone" that ended with my cat whispering in my ear something not even close to "Happy birthday, you gorgeous creature" but which I won't divulge in the interests of her privacy. I apologize if your telepathic messages didn't quite reach me, though.
10/30 Direct Link
For Hallowe'en tonight, my surefire crowd-pleasing costume is me dressed as you dressed as me dressed as a "sexy" something dressed as you dressed as me in a cushy plush zip-front robe thing that my mom and sister got me for my birthday, lounging on my 20-year-old sofa with my non-costumed cat, watching "Sybil" starring Sally Field and Joanne Woodward as people who are not themselves in a city that's the one I live in but 43 years ago that I wish was like that today but isn't. (I had a handful of "Enjoy Life" chocolate chips. Boo 'n' all.)
10/31 Direct Link
If you ever tell me that "Mercury is in retrograde" as an explanation for something being off or weird or wacky, I will never take anything you say seriously, even if you tell me Al Pacino is standing on my front "stoop" with a series of cue cards in his arms spelling out the many he loves me and not only needs me to costar with him in a surprisingly well-written romcom but to be his wife and join him in a time machine back to 1974, and swear on a stack of vintage Butterick patterns that you're not lying.