Friday, January 2, 2009

Immovable feast

The three of us began meeting monthly for Sunday brunch in the city wherever booze was served. The location changed as frequently as the weather but the company and conversation never faltered. We were young, in love with New York, and relished the time to compare our adventures over long meals. The stipulations in the beginning were plentiful: We'll meet at 11 but I have to study for the GRE this afternoon so I need to be home by 1; Three o'clock sounds great but I need to be on the 5:15 train because I HAVE to do laundry tonight. I refuse to buy panties at KMart at midnight again!; Let's meet at 1 so we miss the major brunch crowd and I'm home in time to see the Eagles game. None of these pleas were ever fulfilled of course because drinking, eating, and mostly talking was always too enticing to allow responsibility to prevail. Brunch always crept into a light lunch and sometimes even slid into dinner, when allowed by the "house." We all lived meagerly, saving for weeks to treat ourselves to such events; they never failed to deliver an extraordinarily divine afternoon.

Months of feasts abbreviated by errands, engagements, or (usually) closing time led us to host meals chez nous. The first up was Geoff who would host from his over sized 2 bedroom in Harlem, typically young-NYC complete with Phillipe Starck chair and craigslist roommate. Jane called me the night before to tell me that her boyfriend couldn't come because he moved out earlier that day and she would meet me at 125th and Lex at noon if I wanted to share a cab into Harlem. She is strong and proud and shares when she is ready so I took her cue to leave it alone and delicately accepted her offer, before rapidly dialing Geoff to speculate on the sordid details of this falling-out. Naturally, it was not the first.

I woke to torrential downpours and smiled to see the trees verdantly gleaming through the slamming waves of water. Arriving at the station, I met an icily calm-faced Jane (and her bf!) and swallowed my surprise only to have it choke me when Geoff, blunt and unapologetic, exclaimed a baffled (Oh!...) upon opening the door and seeing Rich. We feigned a blithe giggle of informality as I surveyed his kitchen, taken aback by the impossibly golden light surging through the room, then flooding the hallways to the rest of this inviting apartment. The light and Geoff; topless in worn flannel pants of blues and white resuming his station at the stove, tackling a massive skillet of smoking bacon while the arms of female stranger enveloped him and brushed his nipple.

I tasked myself with profuse bloody Marys and learned she was Melissa, one of Geoff's hometown friends whom we had heard about frequently. Pondering his intimate relationship with this group that has always been enviable I laughed out loud when Jane and I, beckoned by the radiance from his living room, came upon a nude portrait of the ten of them within the salon-style arrangement adorning his walls. Pressed to disclose the circumstances, he brushed it off with a veiled blush as one of those things kids do when they graduate.

Outside the rain surged. Rich and Melissa were seated among our triune and oh did we feast! Pillowy mounds of herby scrambled eggs; arugula salad with a homemade dressing coating the leaves lightly like fresh nylons; succulent potatoes and crispy bacon flanks grabbed by the greasy fistful; my Buzina Pop inspired lemon ricotta pancakes; fresh blackberries; not to mention the Screwdrivers, Mimosas, G&T's, wine... It was a celebratory feast of friendship, youth, maturity, and the city.

So in love with this city of friends was I, that I walked home over sixty blocks in unforgiving rain, slightly lost at first after all of that liquid happiness, but eventually smiling all the way. Geoff and I discussed the fete the next day through laughter as he admitted that he had to clean whipped cream off of his couch that morning, where Melissa had retired at nightfall, long before the three of us were ready to dissolve the party. A blur of this friend lunging for his fresh-whipped cream and strawberries before flopping on the couch scuttled before my eyes and the weight of the memorable evening sunk deep into my soul.

Older, wiser, I wince a bit when conjuring my tendency to irresponsibly squander the day through gorging gluttonously of drinks, food, friends... but one must acquiesce: these moments of insouciance bind this whole little package of my life together. Happy new year.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oh crap


Mid-make-out earlier this week, my foot roused a sleeping pig and his mouth frightfully lunged at its fleshiest part. I shouted my empty wish to get rid of the dogs, regretting it the second my childish mouth closed. He barely broke the skin, but the reminder of this little incident was ironically still visible when karma paid me a visit last night in the form of diabolical diarrhea from our five year old Jack Russel. A solo midnight trip to the emergency vet reaffirmed that he probably just ate something he shouldn't have... but your welcome for the $300 bill just to tell me that!!

The good news is that he has medication and will likely recover; it is snowing gloriously hard (with tiny flakes for longevity too!); I am about to bake some yummies for my Sweep's return later this morning.

Even crap can't crap on my parade.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

There is a languor of the life

Sweep left early this morning to take his parents home following their short visit in NYC.

I miss him painfully and teared up when we hugged goodbye. I am by now embarrassingly aware that most couples are lucky to tolerate their partner, much less yearn for them as earnestly as we do. We are not normal but oh do we feel lucky! I digress. This love of my life pleaded that I relax on my day off; no blackberry, errands, annoying phone calls... Not one to disobey, my blissful day has unfurled as such:
warm tea
obnoxiously long bath, accompanied by the latest issue of New York Mag (Platt's where to eat in 09!!)
house hunting online, despite the rational side of me that contests that we are too poor to buy a pot to p... you know how it goes!
listened to the feasts of culinary heavy-weight Ina Garten on food network
cat nap with my pigs (they are the warmest softest pillows to hug!)
walked the pigs at sunset, lord is it beautiful and make me resent the fact that I miss it daily, confined in my office
Now I'm thinking about dinner and what I'll make for our NYE game night tomorrow. Craving mushroom tarts I was horrified that my virtual cooking bible SmittenKitchen did not have a suitable recipe so I'll have to wing it. Off to the store momentarily.
P.s. I'm definitely a morning person as evidenced by my mental deterioration over the course of the day.

Anyway, back to the parents. Normally tongue-tied, red-faced, and dreadfully shy when on the spot, I dreaded the arrival of Sweeps' parents... Luckily I was bolstered by some sort of co-habitational propriety pride and the visit went better than I ever expected... more pleasant than my own family visits come to think of it! I guess that's because though you shouldn't, it is more generally acceptable to tell your own mother that while you thank her very much for the lovely visit, she should mind her own business about how you are raising your dogs because among other reasons which include how happy you finally are and how little she knows of the circumstances, she has ahem never actually owned a dog.

Thanks to my newly purchased (Housing Works Book Cafe) copy of Emily Dickinson poems for the title of today's post.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sleepy Saturday

It is a deliciously cold Saturday morning.

Sweep and I woke up at 5am to feel the dark and frigid morning pummeling through our window... and upon remembering we did not have to go to work, fell right back asleep :-) I love our weekends.

We've walked the pigs, eaten some Huevos, and spent the morning enjoying reading in our new space. There is nothing like truly feeling at home in your apartment. A beautiful leather couch! Luxurious (ikea?!) chairs! Ridiculously beautiful lights! To say nothing of the love of your life sitting only 3 feet away... Today I could die happy.

It totally makes up for the months without furniture, sale-stalking, penny pinching materialistic path we've been on. Finally we can pause and enjoy the home we are building. It still needs A LOT of work but the peace I feel here can only intensify. My mom told me recently that anyone can throw a room together but it really takes someone special to create a room that evokes feeling. The secret, she said, is to incorporate whimsy. So far the only whimsy we have is our two fat pigs but I'm on the hunt...

A tribute to my love and our life, thanks to Yeats:

If Michael, leader of God's host
When Heaven and Hell are met,
Looked down on you from Heaven's door-post
He would his deeds forget.

Brooding no more upon God's wars
In his divine homestead,
He would go weave out of the stars
A chaplet for your head.

And all folk seeing him bow down,
And white stars tell your praise,
Would come at last to God's great town,
Led on by gentle ways;

And God would bid His warfare cease,
Saying all things were well;
And softly make a rosy peace,
A peace of Heaven with Hell.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Aggressively ignorant

Though I'm no one special (or only aspire to be in secret, as the blog title suggests), I firmly believe that no one deserves to be belittled. Behold the reply to my suggested edits, which I have been awaiting for the past 3 weeks. I thought I would share the latest little delight that just popped up in my inbox at 9pm. Just the gem that will help propel my job search. Disregarding his flagrant ignorance of the actual situation, and in many cases the spelling of the English language, I offer the following for your amusement:


I am sorry I do not know who and where you are, next time Ii'd appreciate, if you could shortly introduce yourself.

First, I received your edited text today, Thursday August 14, that is exactly one month after you people made me observing the deadline. Would you be so kind to explain, why it took you four weeks to edit our text. Yes, indeed, "our" text. With that authorship how I sent the text to you. Possibly you'll explain to me how my co-author jumped from that position to a footnote. That is a clear infringement on copyrights and intellectual property.

I am leaving for Rome countryside (at least until August 21 without Internet access.

I come back to you then.


How I would love to reply:

Dear M,

I am glad you reviewed my edits, three weeks after they were originally sent. Perhaps you were in the country when they delivered? No matter. Your co-author and I have been corresponding for the past week. I am happier still that neither of you have any feedback regarding the actual text which your co-author noted perspicaciously "does have a few abbreviations of the original text. it reads smoothly and we do not have any further remark on the text." Yes, it was transformed from illegible drivel (your contribution) to a concise and confident support for an emerging artist by my tireless department. Thank you also for not bothering to spell or grammar check your email, as I have already come to recognize this as your formal style.

Further, I was rather surprised at your hostile reaction to the design layout, as when we last spoke I was under the impression that you would write the text, and we would design the book... as was specified in our contract. Somehow the roles in the production have been transposed. Thus considering, I assume you will now be paying for the printing and design costs and must say that I am quite relieved by this new arrangement as I much prefer writing anyway. Please advise where the invoice should be addressed accordingly.

Lastly, I want to extend my thanks that you cc'ed my department supervisor and the miss-led advisor who brought you aboard this project. I feel confident moving forward that I will never again have to rewrite a text from you or your co-author... How does one manage to co-author a text merely 2000 words anyway? This magic of yours will keep me awake at night!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Now an adult, spending an hour with the man I love feels like a second. After two weeks away from the city together, frolicking on the west coast, I hollow out when he leaves. No one, me in particular, is allowed to be so happy. I am a collector of debt, guilt, lost memories... suddenly replete with joy. With all i am made of, thank you, someone, as surely I alone cannot be given credit for keeping this man in my life.

Back in NY, overwrought that we are now separated, he back to Boston and me skipping work, on an apartment chase. Head and heart in my throat after the day's efforts prove fruitless and... oh. Wait, is that my college roommate walking past my coffee guy? She, always so reckless and irresponsible while I tightly folded my toilet paper squares and double knotted my shoelaces in an attempt to capture a sense of purpose. She survived college with no knowledge of laundry nor driving, and never needed either. The eternal NYC native with devil red unkempt waves and smudgy black eyes vs. the suburban ballerina who could have been. No it's not her, just a mirror-image of her shadow from ten years ago. Remembering Sour gummy and PBR dinners chased down with stolen shopping cart races allows a flash of exhilaration, but this is quickly replaced by the weight of fixing EVERYTHING in her life and the word is out: I have quit babysitting-- no children, no naives. Our New York does not exist anymore. Momentarily I feel old and predictable... but the thought of nesting with my sweep makes me giddy and I walk on.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Keith Edmier Edition

Some say childhood never leaves us. How do gravel ripped knees and erecting mouse mansions with twigs in the forest shape our adult desire?

A turtle fleeing sticky five-year old fingers in our backyard, for the yard of a doberman. The bat nesting in our garage; he felt the broom while we kids danced spasmodically in the living room, knowing only that the excitement would prolong bedtime if only seconds longer. The sweet beautiful way my mom smelled after a bath when I pushed onto her lap for a bedtime story, wishing her tattered pepto pink bathrobe was less nubby, more soft when I buried my face in it during the scary parts. Single licorice sticks for 5 cents from Tennys on the corner and the majesty of walking there without an adult. The sickening confusion in my stomach when I saw a boy on the ground beneath my skirt, between my legs, looking up when I tried to stack my chair on my desk like I was supposed to in kindergarten. Alex Massey's grandmother's house on the lake with the floating water slide! Riding my bike down the biggest hill I could find during a mild summer dusk.

Recollection of my early development is sparse, scrapped together with bubble yum and bus rides, strawberry shortcake and Sugartown elementary. Sometimes visceral, often imparted through stories or photos. What I seem to desire, after 27 years however, is to have had a happy childhood. Just like the photos reflecting it, my memory is careworn, bleached by time. Bills mount and dreams go unfilled with every passing hour and what I cling to most is my youth, however erased it may be. All the holes in time are spackled over with a blithe certainty, and I long to cruise home on my street bike, basket in tact, to our perpetually pleasant family dinner.

A friend gave me an Edmier edition of Jill Peters for my birthday which I absolutely adore. It makes me recall my childhood, Houellebecq's "Possibility of an Island", and independent beauty all in one.