Much To My Delight

Much To My Delight

Throw Away Your Television (yeah…no thanks)


Our television is broken.

I want to act like that’s no big deal, but it sort of feels like our kid left for college and the house is suddenly really quiet and boring and we’re left not really knowing what to do with ourselves.

I was never a huge TV person until I  lived alone for the first time 10 years ago. I had just moved to an apartment building in Denver after having lived in New York City, and the quiet sometimes made me feel very lonely. So sometimes I kept the TV on even when I wasn’t watching it to hear another voice in the room. Kinda sad, huh?


And truthfully, the TV’s not really broken-broken. The sound is still fine, but there’s a huge black cloud that covers everything. It kind of looks like a kid took a paintbrush and streaked thick black paint right across the screen. That’s right–I’m blaming everything on imaginary kids today. Get off my lawn!

So because we still have sound, I have reverted back to my living-single days and have the TV on right now because it feels weird to start the morning without the Today Show. It’s sort of like I’m living in the golden age of radio, when kids would lay down on the carpet and stare down a talking box. Instead of Orson Welles, I’ve got Al Roker.

So today (my day off) will be an interesting experiment. Without the pull of Sex and the City reruns at 1 pm, I may accomplish far more today than I do on a typical Wednesday. I’ll finish an entire book, cook three days’ worth of meals and clean this place from top to bottom.

And if I get really bored, I can always go grab a malted at the Woolworth’s counter.


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That’s right. I am a movie star.


We spent Sunday afternoon visiting with Vin’s former boss, Ari who lives across the Hudson River. Her town is called West New York but it’s located in New Jersey which makes for a crummy commute but a hell of a view.

greta view

Ari is one of the sweetest people on the planet and one of those women who felt like a Mama years before she ever had children. But now she does have children– ages 6 and 3, both boys–and she’s really hit her stride. The kids came running toward us when we entered the apartment building, even though they’d never met us before. That’s 2 cute points right there.

Like all kids, the first thing they wanted to do was show us their room. I was instantly envious of their two big windows and their crazy insane view. My view as a 6-year-old was a driveway and a cul-de-sac. My view as a 36-year-old is a clothesline and the crap my neighbors have decided to store in their backyard, like ripped-up drywall and spare tire parts.

As I perched on his Spongebob sheets, the oldest kid asked me: “Are you a movie star?” This question officially made him the greatest kid I’ve ever met. He definitely impressed me more than the one who puked all over my office on Friday (true story).

I was very tempted to toss my hair over my shoulder and answer, “Yes darling. It is me– Reese Witherspoon. Should I sign your crafts table or your wooden bedpost first?”.

Instead, I said humbly, “Oh, hahahaha–no, I’m not a movie star.” Inside I felt like one.

“Then what are you?” he asked.

Trying to describe “therapist” to a kid is like trying to give directions to a cab driver in a foreign language. I found myself struggling to word it  simply and precisely so we didn’t end up in a bad neighborhood.

“Well, if people have something that makes them confused or mad or sad, they can come to talk to me about it, and I’ll listen to them.” I explained. I don’t treat kids in my practice, and have not had to explain what I do to one before. I think kids think grown-ups come with three basic jobs: astronaut, fireman and movie star. I guess I don’t look like a fireman.

“Why do people make each other sad?” he asked.

This kid was deep, yo. Luckily his brother distracted him by knocking him on the head with a plane before I had to dive into that one. Sunday’s my day off, kid.

train set

Anyway, we had a nice little Sunday filled with finger foods, wine and tres leches cake. I even got to pose with their dad’s Emmy, and prepared a short speech in honor of awards season.

emmy winner!

I’d like to thank the academy for this tremendous honor, and one sweet little boy for making a nearly middle-aged social worker feel like a superstar for a day. Thank you.

God Bless America.



And doughnuts.

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A Day in the Life: Hercules edition


7:00 AM:  Woken up by the phone. It’s my first therapy appointment cancellation. We’ll call this foreshadowing.

7:30 AM:  The news plays ominous background music while reporting snowstorm. Relatives and friends call and text. “Is it snowing?” Is it windy? Can you walk? Is your house heated? Are you safe?”

7:32 AM:  Look out the window into the yard. Definitely less than a foot. Looks very pretty actually.

8:32 AM:  Load myself up with two shirts, one big sweater, my puffy jacket, two scarves and my fluffy fur hat that makes me look ready for January in Moscow. Last stop is my Muck boots. They’re the Rolls Royce of snowshoes. Nothing’s gettin’ through those suckers.

 furry hat

8:45 AM:  Get notice of my 2nd cancellation. Can slow my roll. No hurry to get to the office today.

8:46 AM: Am struck by how many people are wearing terribly inappropriate footwear. Sneakers and dress shoes aren’t cutting the mustard today. Don’t be a hero! Get you some snow boots, son!

8:47 AM: Feel oddly smug. I’m never the girl with the best pair of shoes.  I could stomp across Fargo in these things.

9:00 AM:  In the subway station, notice this sign on the wall. Gut instinct says it’s a joke. I lose a glove every other Tuesday. Who puts up a lost notice for a glove? And who gets sentimental about them?

lost glove

train tracks

11:55:  Wait eagerly for 12:15 client. Snow days are the nemesis of the fee-for-service worker. Kill time with paperwork. Listen to classic country radio on Pandora. “If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?” seems fitting for blustery winter day. Notice benefit to nearly empty office: Can sing country songs no other New Yorkers enjoy.

12:15-1:00 pm:  See my one and only client for the day. Look down at her feet as she leaves. Great boots. This lady knows how to handle her snow.

1:00:  Supposed to have a meeting, but people leading it haven’t come into office yet. I have no clients scheduled until 4:15 and 5:30. Looking at a long afternoon of playing with my split ends. Ugh. I need a haircut.

1:02:  Bathroom break. Hey. I’m just trying to get you a clear picture of my day. Now multiply this by five. I had two cups of coffee this morning.

1:04:  Gut whispers that my 5:30 client will cancel because her kids’ school is closed. Call to confirm attendance. Yup- cancelled. Wave of relief washes over me. Call 4:15 client and reschedule for Monday.  SNOW DAY!

e village

1:10:  Walk outside. Sidewalks incredibly clear. Roads all paved. Only thing Herculean about this snowstorm was the effort made to convince us it was going to be much bigger than it actually was. Still, safety first kids.


1:14:  Pass this guy shoveling sidewalk in front of punk clothing store. Drag makeup like a MAC salesperson, midi skirt, fishnet stockings. This is how you shovel on St. Mark’s, people.

1:30:  On subway heading home, begin formulating plan to rip into my closet and drawers like a crazy person. Begin salivating. I love getting organized. (It’s staying organized that’s problematic).

2:00:  Dump everything out, drawer by drawer, starting with underpants. I throw out all but two thongs because I haven’t worn them since the Bush administration. What’s the expiration date on underwear, anyway?  A year?  Five?  Till the elastic cries for mercy? I pitch anything that would cause embarrassment if I were hit by a car and stripped down at the hospital.

2:20:  Now onto braaaaas. Toss, keep, toss, keep. Some of these have so much padding it’s a wonder they even fit in my apartment. Toss. Then neatly cradle survivors in a tidy row in top drawer, like they do at Victoria’s Secret. Man, I feel like a woman.

2:45:  The piece de resistance. Socks. I’ve been throwing them haphazardly in a big mesh basket in my closet for years. Nothing is paired. Nothing makes sense. Just one big cotton tangle. Vin looks at me with disdain every time I pull it down. I am shame.

2:47:  Dump all socks on my bed. Spread them around the comforter and turn on very bright lights. MATCH EVERY SINGLE PAIR. I’ve never been more proud of myself in my entire life. Today is the day I will make my husband fall in love with me all over again.

4:00:  And now. The closet. At first it looks like this. Oof. (See socks: top right corner).

closet before

4:15:  Am almost in tears admitting it’s time to throw out a 10-year-old skirt with stains all over it. Get choked up over a too-small Cubs t-shirt purchased during our road trip from Colorado to New York. Suddenly find tremendous empathy for Lost Glove Girl. Consider texting her just to check in and make sure she’s okay.

By 5:30, the closet looks like this (see below). Begin official countdown to see how long it will last.

closet after

6:00 PM:  Yay! Vin’s home. Aaaaaand he’s starving. Before I let him hop on Seamless, I show him my sock drawer. I bow down on one knee and open it slowly to add drama. He is FLOORED.

6:01: Okay, I was being dramatic. He is merely impressed.

6:30:  We order Japanese food. Sushi for me, fried chicken katsu for him. I feel energized and happy after the meal. Can’t stop opening my drawers and closet to admire my day’s work.

7:30:  Vin is passed out cold on top of a pile of reject clothing and a few errant unmatched socks.

8-10: I watch the predictably insipid “Valentine’s Day” while Vin naps. They don’t waste any time pumping holiday-themed viewing, do they? Wish Vin were awake to give his commentary.

11:00:  Join Vin in slumber. Dream of fresh, pure, lily-white New York City snow. Because tomorrow, that stuff’s gonna look like coke-flavored slurpee from 7-11. Glad I left space in the closet for my Muck boots. They’re keepers.

 snow day railing

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If I’d known I was going to stand near Scar-Jo, I wouldn’t have worn polyester.


A day in the life:  Movie Premiere Edition

9 am- 5 pm:  Regular workday stuff. Saw therapy clients. Offered support. Processed feelings. Drowned in paperwork.

5:15:  Someone tells me I’m cross-eyed. Perfect time to go to a movie premiere starring my Hollywood crush Dimples McGee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and relentless sexpot Scarlett Johansson.

5:30:  Exercise poor judgement. Decide to walk to Vin’s job on very humid day wearing 100% polyester vintage dress.  16 blocks, 7 avenues. Sweat. Wet. Got it going like a turbo jet.

6:15:  Arrive at theater. Am instructed to meet Vin out back (by the trash cans) in lieu of out front (on the red carpet). Tell myself this is probably how Beyonce sneaks into buildings. Still, it’s hard to feel sexy when dripping in sweat and standing next to garbage.

red capret

7:00:  Wait inside theater lobby as actors walk red carpet giving interviews. Meet Vin’s big boss for the first time. He asks me why I married him. Sounds like a trick question. I say, “Oh, because he’s such a hard worker, of course.”

7:01:  Taped “kick me” sign to my own back.

7:10:  Commence top-notch people-watching. First in are a few older folks, who seem above the hooplah of ogling young Hollywood. One woman has short buzzed hair, a big drapy scarf and socks with sandals. She looks like a therapist. These are my people. They head straight to their seats.

7:11:  Park myself in corner right before the screening room entrance. No one is getting past me. I live for this.

7:12:  Oh, hello Sean Lennon. You are looking quirky and artsy this evening.

7:13:  Queens in the house! Three guys who look like the second coming of Entourage walk past, quickly followed by an aqualine Adrien Brody.

7:20:  Sonic boom outside. It is poooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrring. Vin and other staff head out front to check on the tent covering red carpet. This could get sloppy. So many pro blow-outs shot straight to hell.

7:25:  People are dripping.

7:31:  Two unimaginably stunning models walk in wearing outfits that showcase all of their best features. One laments: “I bet my hair looks fab.”

7:32:  Want to ask if she’s ever looked at her own legs. If she had, she’d realize no one cares about her hair. Hold tongue instead.

7:33:  Ask Vin’s boss about models, “Are those people even human?” He confirms– no. I thank him for validating my feelings.

7:35: OMG Melanie Griffith weighs 10 pounds.

7:36:  Mr. Big Chris Noth is here again, with his eyebrows and popcorn.

7:37:  Two women wearing sequins are chatting in the lobby. One yells “Angela!” in a New York accent and asks her to hold her popcorn while she runs to the bathroom. You’ll see why this is awesome in three minutes.

7:40:  Tony Danza walks past.

7:45:  The three big stars of the film walk in — Julianne Moore in a glamorous black dress, Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a casual suit, and Scarlett Johanssen in sex appeal. Not sure why everyone describes her as “curvy” though; she looks pretty damn thin to me. They all do.


8:00:  Movie time! It’s Don Jon–the one with Jersey accents and spandex and lots of porn clips. Fun to watch. Got big laughs from me several times (Tony Danza steals the show). Glad I’m not sitting next to my mother though.

8:20:  The three guys who looked like the cast of Entourage are basically Joseph Gordon Levitt’s entourage in the movie. Two points casting team.

10:00:  In the car heading home with Vin and co-workers. Processed and validated thoughts and feelings about the evening. Another day in the life of a therapist.


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The very bad thing that happened while picking figs yesterday.


My favorite thing about my apartment is the fact that it has a backyard. My favorite thing about my backyard is the fact that it has a fig tree.


Prior to moving into an apartment with a tree, the only fig I’d ever eaten came sandwiched between two newtons. But now, I’m a veritable fig connoisseur. Every August the fruit begins to ripen, and after a long day of work I get to sneak into my calm, quiet oasis and pluck fresh fruit right off the tree. In New York City. Isn’t that lovely?

Every season I look forward to using up my bounty in myriad ways, and for a good four or five weeks, it’s a veritable fig-palooza round these parts. I mean, I put those fleshy purple fruit bombs in everything.

DSC_5618 DSC_5883 fig tart_small

Fig salads, fig crostata, fig tarts, fig and prosciutto, figs and goat cheese, fig kebabs, fig stroganoff, fig burger, fig and potatoes, fig tacos…you get the idea. There’s a lot of figs to go around. You gotta get creative.


So last night I come home from work, eager to collect the ripened fruit in my gingham-lined wicker basket old cracked Tupperware. I head out to the backyard and position a chair at the base of the tree so I can reach the fruit in the highest branches. I feel like Dorothy picking apples in “The Wizard of Oz”, right before she gets smacked on the wrist by a cranky talking branch. So, I’m tugging at the bounty and filling my container to the brim with fresh, organic fruit while softly humming an old country tune. I think it was “Lord I hope this day is good” by Don Williams. You know that song? Man, it’s a goodie. That boy can sang!


I’m feeling all content and loose and one with the earth, like I’m a farm girl fetching supper. I was feeling all happy and grateful for having such a beautiful tree in this cute little greenspace in the middle of a concrete jungle. At one point, I thought I could actually feel my blood pressure dropping a few notches, I was so relaxed. I was having a very special bonding moment with the land until AN EFFING BEE FLEW UP MY YOGA PANTS and ruined my zen.

So I jump off my chair and start yelling.


And then I do the only logical thing one can do when a bee has flown up your wide-leg pants and is stinging you in several places along the length of your leg. I run into the house yelling like a crazy person and immediately rip off my pants. Then I realize–oh wait–I don’t want these pants inside my house. There’s a bee in these pants! So I run back out into the yard and fling my pants on a table, hoping the bee will take the hint and fly out of there.

And then I look down and remember–oh wait–I always take off my underwear when I slip into yoga pants after work.

So I am now in my backyard smacking yoga pants against a table wearing nothing but a t-shirt.

And then I snap to, and remember–oh wait–you are not a farm girl. There are no plains as far as the eye can see. You live in Queens, and there’s a strong likelihood that at least 60 people can see into your yard at any given moment. And this is definitely a moment you don’t want anyone else to see.

So I run back into the house and put some pants on. Mercifully, I have not gone into anaphylactic shock and the swelling on my upper thigh goes down quickly. I’m again feeling grateful. Had the bee’s route continued north I’d be on an emergency phone call to my gynecologist right now.

I head to the kitchen and make a salad with fresh figs, some goat cheese, almonds, a garlicky dressing and a big mother-effin’ drizzle of honey.

Who’s having the last laugh now, Bee?

fig in a bowl

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A Day in the Life: The Queens Stoop Sale.

8:45 am:  Start nagging Vin to wake up so he can help me drag tables and all our old crap down to the sidewalk. Today’s our Stoop Sale!

9:30 am: Attempt to artfully arrange old crap so it appears fresh and exciting to others.

sale table

9:50 am:  While I’m inside, Vin makes first sale. Lord of the Flies goes to a hip dad pushing stroller and sipping coffee. Vin is ecstatic; does a little jig on front steps. Will likely frame first dollar.

10:00 am:  Officially open for biz. Chilling in beach chairs on the sidewalk. Gaze lovingly at my dessert table. I’m having a bake sale. Like a 10-year-old.

bake sale

10:10 am:  Vin starts reading his old books again before they’re sold. He picks up Wisdom of the Dalai Lama.

“How many of those have they had anyway?” I ask.

“What? Dalai Lamas? I think this guy’s number 14,” he replies. “Hey, you think I could be the next Dalai Lama?

“Eh. Why not? You’re nice.” I say. Seems like one of the bigger requirements.

10: 15 am:  A big-boned couple from Hungary embarks on the wares. Hungarian husband holds several sundresses up to his chest and asks: “These are your size?” I want to answer, “Well, they’re not yours,” but can’t gauge whether he’ll think it’s funny or rude. He buys one dress and starts low-balling me for a men’s leather jacket.

“Ten dollars for the coat.” I say.

“How about eight?” He tries.

“It’s brand-new, never worn. Ten.”

“I think nine. Who will lose?” he says while dangling a 20 dollar bill in my face.

I grab his 20, and hand him a 10. He loses.

vin dancing(Vin’s early morning dance routine. I told him he didn’t have to entertain anyone. Seriously, they’re just here for the crap.)

10: 25 am:  Woman my exact same size but 20 years my senior starts putting my skirts and dresses on over her clothes in the middle of the street. She buys a few things and departs. I take one of my shirts off the table and shove it in my purse. Seller’s remorse.

10: 35 am:  Dude! People are completely dismissing my baked goods. This is disappointing. Who doesn’t love homemade cookies?  Am surrounded by fools.


11:35 am:  Our friend Bridget arrives to camp out for the day. She’s brought a few things to sell. One of them is a Wonder Woman mug. Still in the box. This just upped the ante. Expecting crowds to swarm.

11: 40 am:  Crowds do not swarm. We continue baking in beach chairs propped up next to garbage cans while gazing at all our old crap.

Noon: Bubble tea break! We send Vin for my favorite jasmine bubble tea at the new spot Ice Breaker Milk Tea down the street. I went to the new store like three times their first week and got our picture on the wall.  This means I’m famous. If you’re in Astoria, you need to go there–they’re worried that not enough people in the neighborhood know about the wonder that is bubble tea. Like I said, surrounded by fools.

bubble tea

12:30 pm:  A big crowd appears. Everyone is asking me questions in Spanish. I suddenly realize that my enormous stack of books, all written in English, will still be mine at the end of the day. They are not going back in my apartment, I mutter to myself. I would rather box them up, drive them to La Guardia, and fly them to a storage facility in an affordable state before I allow that to happen.

12:45 pm:  A man with limited English but strong affection for booze circles the tables for a good half hour. He seems to only be interested in items he can’t recognize and has no purpose for.

“This is for kitchen?” He is holding a rubber stamp.

“No, it’s for making designs on paper.” I reply.

“Open for me.” He instructs.

“It doesn’t open. You press it, like this.” Somehow, my tutorial is strong enough to make a sale.

He goes for the movie Magnolia, a two-box set on VHS. Readers under 22:  feel free to leave this page to google VHS.

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

“What is this?” He is definitely not under 22. He should recognize VHS tapes.

“It’s a movie.” I say. I feel like I am explaining Earth to someone who has just arrived from another planet.

“Open for me.”

I slide the tapes out of the box. He is satisfied and buys the tapes. I imagine him later putting them in his icebox to make movie popsicles. He also buys a drinking glass, two uggo necklaces from Forever 21 and Bridget’s teeny tiny drinking mug from Germany that he deems the best thing in the history of ever. He shakes our hands and thanks us for all the stuff. He had a very good time at our stoop sale and is wondering if our store will be open next weekend.

1:16 pm: When he leaves, Bridget and I share a giggle over his hodge-podge shopping and Bridget points out the alcohol she smelled on his breath. “I  wish we could be at his house tomorrow when he wakes up and is like, “Where’d all this crap come from?”

2:00 pm:  A really cute gay couple flies right by us, with one of them yelling back, “Ugh, what are you doing selling Mean Girls?”

I yell down the street: “I’ve watched it like 400 times already. It’s just time.”

They circle back and scoop it up. “Augusten Burroughs! Oh my god, this is like my dream stoop sale!” the same guy says before leaving with the video. I wish they weren’t in such a rush. We’d love to have scones with them on the front porch. They’re like our dream stoop sale patrons.


3:00 pm:  Our friend Diana arrives to keep us company. She’s brought her 4-year-old daughter Sophie, who’s like the greatest thing ever. She’s even cuter than that teeny-tiny drinking mug from Germany. And worth way more than 50 cents. She’s a natural redhead. A rarity. You can charge more for that.

Little Soph looks up at me and says, “Jenn, do you have any toys?”

“Nooooo. Sorry. But I have crafty stuff. Do you like crafty stuff?”

“Yesssss.” Geez this kid is cute. She picks out a little red heart made of wood and smiles like she just won the lottery. I wish I could get that excited about something so simple.


4:30 pm:  The glass domes on my cake stands are beginning to fog up from the heat. No one is buying the gruyere and black pepper scones, and it’s a shame because they are unholy. I head over to the dessert table and wipe the moisture off the glass with a napkin. Then I eat my feelings. They are delicious.

5:00 pm:  We sell a few more things, but crowds are beginning to thin. We’re shocked that no one has bought Bridget’s red pasta bowl or my vintage coat. I am starting to dread having to drag all this stuff back in the apartment.

5:30 pm:  We decide to hang it up. Sorry folks. It’s quittin’ time. Shop’s closed for business. Gone fishing. We’re busy washing our hair.

6:00 pm:  Money made? $170! I am ecstatic. Do a little jig on the front steps.


6:30 pm: Reflect on lessons learned:

1) Very few people want homemade food from a stranger…

2) Purses and costume jewelry will go fast if you price them low, and…

3) The only people to get genuinely excited about your old crap will be four years old or drunk.

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A Long Weekend in the Life: LA Trip (Part II)


Friday, July 5th

8:00 am: Callie’s husband  goes to work.  So today, we shop. And eat. Cause that’s how we do.

10:00 am:  Drive past exceedingly beautiful houses and well-tended lawns on the drive to Beverly. Hills, that is. Swimming pools. Movie stars. Except today, we don’t see any. Spoiler alert.

bev hills

10:15 am: Park car in garage (free for the first 2 hours, can you imagine New Yorkers?) and cruise Rodeo Drive. Sorry L.A.–it underwhelms. 5th Avenue — 2 points for you.

10:20 am: We see paparazzi. Callie asks who they’re waiting for. They clam up. I pretend it’s Beyonce, Hova and Blue Ivy. Cause that’s who I want to see.

bathrom trip

10: 35 am:  We both have to pee;  might as well do it in fancy hotel. Pretty Woman fans know the Reg. Bev. Wil. They have nice chairs so I sit in one.

10:55 am:  At Barney’s; checking out shoes. Even on sale they’re $500. Chuckle to self. Current sandals cost 8 bucks and are mad comfy. Plus, they give my bunions the attention they deserve. I worked hard for those.

11:05 am:  Sweet saleswoman Harriet gives us skin cream samples. She tells us we have pretty coloring and calls our weekday outing a “Girls’ Day”. My friend and I look at each other and ask: How much longer till we’re ladies?

12:00 pm:  Tasty grubs at popular Urth Cafe. I order a Thai red tea latte and it’s huuuuuuuge. I tell Callie there’s no way I’ll finish it.

me and big tea

12:20 pm:  I finish it.

thirft shop

1:15 pm:  Hit Melrose for vintage shopping. Everything I know about Melrose I watched by watching Clueless. $30 for old stained t-shirts= wrong.  Acid-washed trench coats, rayon-polyester blends, 80s florals= Wrong again. Still, we both find cool stuff at American Vintage.

joans on third

3:30 pm:  Pit stop at Joan’s on 3rd. It’s like every attractive person in L.A. just dropped in for a snack. It’s just pretty everywhere. And I’m not just talking about the cheese counter.

6:30 pm:  Dinner in Malibu. Fish tacos. Mojitos. Mountains. Callie–you’ve got a good thing going out here, lady.

Saturday, July 6th

9:30 am:  Brunch at uber-trendy Gjelina.  This place is unholy. I order Morroccan baked eggs and they are a breakfast miracle. But this picture is of coffee. No one really wants to be the girl taking pictures of eggs with her Iphone.


11: 30 am:  Walk around area, stopping in fun little shops. Hit a too-cool surf shop with real retro vibe. Why is everything cool expensive??

2:00 pm:  Commence park chilling in Santa Monica.

2:30 pm:  Kicked back in beach chairs. Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy. Guy on bike rolls past and shouts, “Livin’ the life and lookin’ good!”  My friend and I look at each other and know: We’ve still got it.

2:40 pm:  Stare at ocean with old best friend Callie and new best friend Clancy. This little pup is the sweetest, most cuddly dog ever and I am obsessed with him. Clancy, you’re my new best friend. Call me every ten minutes.

3:40 pm:  Head back to Callie’s place. I fold chair, wrap straps around shoulders and wear it as backpack. Underestimating new gerth, I smack chair into rear-view mirror of big black Escalade with suited driver inside. Driver shoots me a look that says: “Whatever it is you thought you had, you just lost.”


3:42 pm:  I brush. that. sand off  my shoulders.


6:00 pm:  Hit hip consignment/vintage store Wasteland on way to airport. Very alternative staff is playing Nicki Minaj album loud enough to trigger earthquake. I turn to Callie and ask, “Is it just me, or is this the worst thing you’ve ever heard?” Callie mentions she’s had a headache all day and is this close to asking them to turn it off. We both share that if we were our mothers we’d have left the store by now.

6:06 pm:  Briefly reminded of the time mom asked gym receptionist to turn off rap music and play something nice, like Billy Joel.

6:45 pm: We check out. A salesgirl is enjoying the music and folding t-shirts. She is pantless. Just underwear, or something resembling underwear, and a t-shirt.

6:46 pm:  My friend and I look at one another and know: We are ladies.

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A Long Weekend in the Life: The L.A. Trip (Part I)


Wednesday, July 3rd:

9 am: Catch cab to JFK. Driver somehow confuses “Visiting a friend in Los Angeles” with “Going to visit family in Pakistan”. Driver seems disappointed I’m not visiting Pakistan. He is projecting.

next 5 hours:  En route to LAX. Uneventful. Uneventful always good.  First aisle seat ever in life. Not the last. That’s a flight game-changer.


2:37: I made it to California. California knows how to party.

4:00: Drop off bags at best friend Callie’s condo in Santa Monica. Natural light. Wood floors. Lots of plants that aren’t dead. It looks so California. I love it.

5:00: Happy hour dinner with Callie and husband Nile in hip hotel restaurant called FIG. Valet park. Naturally.  Half off everything but steak from 5-6. Giddy-up. I drink this:

war and peas

It’s called “War and Peas”. Made with sugar snap pea vodka, mint syrup and ginger, with a skewer of crispy prosciutto on top. Not the tastiest cocktail ever, probably the ugliest, definitely the most interesting. Our view is a sparkling pool and palm trees. La-la Land.

6:05: Big boob-job alert.

6:30: Nile chooses “Plate of Warm Cookies” for shared dessert. Well played, sir. Thankful none made with sugar snap peas.

7:00:  Nile goes for evening bike ride; girls shop Santa Monica Promenade. I spot a $30 Zara trench and Molly Ringwald.

Thursday: July 4th

7:00: Up before everyone else since I’m on NY time. Relax on Callie’s porch, hanging with the succulents. It is sooo quiet here.

10:30: Take Callie’s dog Clancy for morning walk. It goes like this:

10:17:  I’m 93% sure I want to move to Los Angeles.


10;30:  I decide I’ll be living on the other side of this door. Yes. This will do just fine.

11:00:  A tall, beautiful woman flashes her best “Welcome to California” smile. We’re 97% sure it’s Brooke Shields.

 1:00: Lunch on the patio at “The Rose”. Holy fish taco heaven.


2:30: Walk to Venice Beach.



2:45:  I buy some cool street art from this fellow. And then we do some people watching. It’s like whoa.

2: 49: Middle guy yanks camera out of my hands shortly after this picture’s taken. He’s holding it ransom. Payment is 10 bottles baby oil and 4 dozen eggs.

2:50:  I’m kidding.


Real Time:  You probably knew that already.

DSC_0277Dude-man-bro. That was siiiiiiiick. 

4:00:  Back to Callie and Nile’s place. Fire up the bbq. Skirt steak, chicken, salad, baked potato. Righteous meal. Callie notes that she has done her American duty by putting something on a grill today. I salute her.

8:30:  We hop in the car and head to Sweet Rose Creamery for ice cream. Callie goes horchata (yum!), Nile picks mint chocolate chip;  I go with salted caramel. Ice cream dude asks if I want it in a chocolate waffle cone.

Me: “YES”.

Him: “No worries”.

He asks if I want salt sprinkled on top.


Him: “Right answer.”

Me:  ”Thank you.”

Him: “No worries.”

I take my first lick.

No worries.

9:00:  We walk down the street to catch a few fireworks. We had a hard time deciding where to go, but managed to catch a few colorful blasts. God bless ‘Merica.

9:35:  Walk back to the condo. A distinguished gentleman stops short about 2 feet in front of me. Rips a cacaphony of farts. It sounds like fireworks. A few colorful blasts.


Happy 4th of July from L.A.

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A Day in the Life: The Wednesdate

Every so often, Vin and I will take off work on a random Wednesday and go on what we call a Wednesdate. You can feel free to punch me in the face for calling it that–I know I’d want to. Here’s how our day of fun went down yesterday:

7am: Wake, drink mama’s happy juice (see Sunday’s post), eek out a blog post, watch Today Show. Did y’all see this kid president video? Seriously, if that boy’s up for adoption, I’ll gladly find a spot for him in my barely one-bedroom apartment. He rules.

8-8:45: Pre-contemplative pep talk to get myself to the gym. This includes positive affirmations and several high fives to the bathroom mirror.

9:30: Enter gym. Guy hands me two promotional t-shirts–one burnt orange, the other blinding neon green. Affirmation worked– am handsomely rewarded for effort before even exerting any. Hop on elliptical next to guy who smells like he works out much harder than I’m about to.

9:31: Not sure if I can handle what’s happening in my nasal cavity. Pretty sure eyes cross for at least two seconds.

9:35: Is this over yet? I think I might be dying.

9:40: Hit my stride. Helped along by my new favorite song–the one Marnie caught Hannah dancing alone in her room to on the last season of Girls. (PS: I love that freakin’ show. It makes me feel uncomfortable at least once an episode and Shoshanna is amaze (that’s her saying– “amaze”. Not mine. I would never say “amaze” (or presh, or mani, or totes. Just FYI). For realz.

10:20: Leave gym, head home.

10:30-12:30: Shower, quick snack, bicker with Vin about appropriate footwear for lunchtime restaurant with strict dress code involving suit jackets and no sneakers.

1:30: Lunch reservation at 21 Club for NYC Restaurant Week. This place is very money. We are not money and they know it. They seat us by the bussing table.

1:35: Look around the joint. White men in suits as far as the eye can see. The room is almost pitch black and there are toys strung up from the ceiling. This restaurant is very old New York. It’s for schmoozers. For business deals and handshakes. Feel gratitude for not having a job that requires shmoozing. I’d suck at it.

2:00: My lunch: salmon tartare with taro chips, roast chicken with truffled potatoes and haricots verts, vanilla creme brulee with raspberries. I’ve had worse. I’ve also had better.

2:30: In the bathroom, overhear a mature woman tell a young lady: “You know, my girlfriend’s husband just died. He left her $100 million dollars. His first big deal was made here. My friend loves the 21 Club.” Internal monologue says duh.

2:55: Wrap up the bill. We’re given a delicate plate with baby macarons and tiny chocolates. Class. Maybe we’ll come back for the full-price menu and try their $34 burger. More likely, we’ll continue getting greasy $5 ones down the street at Petey’s.

3:00-3:20: Walk up 5th Avenue. Lots of tourists to dodge. Weird, balmy weather. Hair starting to defect.

3:30: Pop into Henri Bendel to look for new eyelash curler. Am immediately accosted by luxury skincare saleswomen who try to sell me some ungodly expensive creams. Saving dialogue for separate post. Let’s just say Vin’s change in footwear bit us in the collective ass; these people actually thought we had money.

3:40: Enter Apple Store on 5th. As usual, there are probably 700 people in there. It feels like the tropics and smells like a locker room. Scent so familiar; look around for elliptical guy.

3:42: Try to pry raspberry seed from rear molar with tongue.

3:45: Vin says to salesperson about slim computer, “This thing is so sexy. If Heidi Klum was standing right here next to it, I think I’d spend more time ogling the computer.” Salesperson chuckles. I am dubious.

4-4:15: Vin and I spend time sitting outside the Apple store tapping away on our Iphones. It is so meta. ( Just learned what this meant earlier this week. May have used it wrong).

4:45: We’re seated at Serendipity–the ice cream shop made famous by a corny John Cusack movie that romanticizes cheating on one’s fiance two days before the wedding. It’s cute in here, but Vin is sitting in front of a huge painting of a guy wearing nothing but a banana hammock, and it’s distracting me. 

5:00: The famous Serendipity “Frozen Hot Chocolate” arrives at the table. Feel disgustingly decadent until table next to us orders the deluxe version with a big hunk of cake and an avalanche of hot fudge on top. My stomach hurts looking at it.

6:00: Back home, glance in mirror. Shit. My skin looks incredible. If Shoshanna were here, she’d prob call it totes amaze. May need to get schmoozy job to afford fancy skin creams at Bendel’s. 

8-10:  Vin heads to parents’ house; I watch American Idol on couch. Ugh. Nicki Minaj is the worst. Every time she calls someone “darling” in a fake British accent I want to rip off her dumb wig.
10:30: Time for bed. Drift off to sleep in my neon gym shirt, with sparkling pores on my face and raspberry seeds still in my teeth. Goodnight, New York.
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If I’d known I was gonna run into Brad Pitt yesterday I would have washed my hair

A Day in the Life–Movie Premiere Edition

8:45- 4 pm: Work, blah-blah-blah, Unfulfilling lunch, work, Cyber Monday purchase (six new bras!), blah-blah

4:00: Vin reminds me that Brad Pitt’s new film premieres at his theater tonight.

4:01: Scan my outfit. Denim slacks, striped shirt, nerd blazer. Wave of regret washes over me.

6:05: Finish up work. Run to grab burrito bowl from Chipotle for dinner. A quarter cup of rice, a pinch of chicken, a dusting of cheese and an ocean of pico de gallo. They should rename this thing the salsa bowl. What a rip. Quickly followed by indigestion.

6:20-6:50: Travel to Vin’s job on the west side.

6:51: Arrive at theater. A crowd of people straddle two sides of walkway. Vin and I allowed to pass through metal gates to enter theater, past fans and papparazzi. Not-so-gracefully trip over metal gate. Crowd disappointed I am not Angelina Jolie. Papparazzo shouts, “Hey, that was Ashton Kutcher!” as my husband walks past. Guy was probably kidding. Heart swells with pride regardless.

7:05: Red carpet set up inside. Holy cow. There’s Brad Pitt. Homina-homina-homina. Lift jaw off floor.

7:07: Park myself by the entrance to the screening room, right by bins of popcorn. Watch very pretty people with really nice outfits swarm in. Rose Byrne, the snotty one from Bridesmaids, walks in with a friend. I outweigh her by 100 pounds.

7:08: James Gandolfini walks past. Feel skinny again.

7:10: Mr. Big Chris Noth grabs a bag of popcorn and tosses a piece in his mouth. Looks at us, furrows brow and says, “Is this popcorn?”.

7:20:  Gaggle of unimaginably beautiful statuesque blondes walk in. Feel slightly frumpy in my therapist work-wear. Get over it. This is the best people-watching I’ve done in years.

7:30: Lots of famous people walking by me. Some more famous than others. Some hotter in person than on TV. Some not.

7:50: Vin escorts me into area where Brad is hiding out until everyone is seated. Say excuse me to Brad as I pass by him on the stairs. Act cool during. Clutch pearls after.

8-9:40: Watch movie. Pretty good. Very violent. Kind of weird to see everyone I’ve just passed in the lobby shot in the face.

9:45: Steal “Friend of Pitt” sign off a theater chair. Save for my creeper scrapbook.

10:00: Hit the subway with husband and his co-worker. Compare thoughts on various celebrities. That Angelina’s a lucky lady. Then again, so am I.

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