Friday, December 19, 2008

Ugh nog.

I finally had to break down and buy a half-gallon of egg nog last night.
I usually don't drink it because I'm not much for anything milk based, including milk, but I just could taste that creamy icky colored Christmas drink so much for the last few days that I had to put it in my cart at the store. A higher power than I deemed it so.

So, as I settled in to watch "The Family Stone" on free On Demand*, I mixed a splash** of bourbon and a few shakes of nutmeg with some nog in a rocks glass. Mmm.

Then I spent the rest of the night listening to my stomach make horrid gurgling sounds.
I vowed to dump the rest of the carton down the drain first thing this morning.

Instead, here I am feeding the craving again as I just slammed another glass - sans bourbon but with more nutmeg this time. It was delicious.
I daresay that it is better without alcohol added.
(Bet you'll never hear me say anything so sacrilegious to my liquor cabinet like that again!)

Now, do I have another glass, or just quit while I'm ahead and wait for the gurgling?
Decisions, decisions ...

*This movie is so highly NOT recommended by me. Awful, awful film. Thank God it was free.
**By "splash" I mean way too much bourbon.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Burning the candle.

Gosh, where did the time go?

When last I wrote, I hadn't started Christmas shopping and now, two weeks hence, I am still not done.
Things have been going at a lightening pace this past month or so, and I've been enjoying every second because for the first time in years, I am happy and thankful for so many things.
(Knock wood!)

Have been so busy writing at work that I've not had a moment to myself for my own writing, and while it felt good, I know this little break I have coming up is going to be so very nice for me to 1. give my keyboard a well-deserved break, and 2. get my blue Papermate pen off its lazy bum!

Can't believe that this time next week I will be in my traditional "Merry Merry" Christmas jammies at my parents, with visions of sugarplums and the first hour of "24 Hours of A Christmas Story" under my belt!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"I kissed a ..." Oh, shut the hell up already (and other random thoughts).

My mind is racing - in a good way - so here are some random thoughts I've got going on in this noggin of mine:
  • I lit my favorite candle in the world tonight: Yankee Christmas Eve. It is delectable, and my apartment smells fantastic. I don't know why I am so drawn to it because my house never smelled like this as a child, but I find it so familiar and comforting. I'd burn it all year long, if I didn't burn the whole thing every holiday season.
  • I am astounded by how much I loathe the following: 1. Spencer and Heidi, 2. Pete Wentz and 3. Katy Perry. Who the hell are these people and why why why do we care so much about what the hell they are doing!?
  1. Spencer and Heidi: What exactly is there not to hate? His face, with that peach-fuzz 'stache and her always-agape mouth like she is just so surprised to see photogs capturing a moment they probably invited the photogs too? Please. Go. The. F. Away.
  2. Pete Wentz: I loved "The Jungle Book" just as much as the next person, but Mowgli as a middle name? Seriously? Jerk. Yet I don't loathe Ashlee for being half responsible. And I just have to hate any man that can apply eyeliner better than me.
  3. Katy Perry: Who decided to give this Betty Page-wannabe a record contact? Are we so hungry for girl-on-girl anything that we'll lap up an off-key song for the better part of a year? She is everywhere right now and reading about her in Rolling Stone every week is making me sick. She seems like such a dick.
  4. Speaking of K.P., SNL did a wonderful skit about her, which included the line "I saw a boat and I liked it." The other day, the damn song got stuck in my head, but I mixed up the song and the skit and sang, "I kissed a goat and I liked it" to myself. It happened whilst I was brushing my teeth and I almost choked because I laughed so hard. Where do these things even come from??
  • Having gotten all that off my chest, I must comment on how much I adore my mom's homemade iced tea that I bring home every Sunday mixed with Cabo Wabo tequila. It's like a little dash of summer right in my Stegmaier glass and cold apartment.
  • Thanks in part to an addiction to the new Guns n' Roses CD, "Chinese Democracy," I've recently come off another to Sirius' Led Zeppelin Radio, and returned to my guilty pleasure: Hair Nation. God darn I love '80s hair metal! Long live devil horns, yowza!
  • I have not started Christmas shopping yet, and it's making me nervous. I am so swollen with the holiday spirit (yes, I do realize how gross that sounds, but I can't stop saying it, here let me say it again: swollen with the holiday spirit. Ewww!). But as I was saying, I am just so excited about the entire holiday. I can't wait to wrap gifts (once I get them, clearly), write out cards and revel in my gorgeous lil' tree that looks exceptionally beautiful and bright this year.
  • I think I am going to hang up this blog and move on to my journal, I feel the itch of putting a pen to paper, instead of clicking keys, sneaking up. Sometimes you just have to go back to basics, non?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

As the Old Crow flies ...

It is not even 9 a.m. and I am already salivating for tonight's festivities.
I don't know where the road will take me, but I am 110 percent sure it shall include copious amounts of alcohol.

I think mayhap the reasoning I am so "thirsty" already is because of the fact that my haus has smelt of my yearly bourbon chocolate pecan pie (that's heavy on the Old Crow, natch) since about 8 a.m. this morn.
Old Crow Bourbon Pictures, Images and Photos
I thought I would save myself the trouble of making it tonight or, God forbid, tomorrow morning and then transport it before it can properly cool. Betty Crocker would be none too pleased methinks to hear her protege did such a thing!

I hope this weekend stems to be as awesome for you as I hope it will be for me.
Bring on the tryptophan!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bored ... or not??

Oh, I am so very bored and so very cold.
But I am really, really, really liking the fact that I am already in my leaf-printed Old Navy jammies and it's not even 7 p.m. on a Saturday night.
Sometimes, these boring nights are the best nights of all ...

So many better
things I could do, but much less
comfortable, yes?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh, Dorothy, you have bewitched me so.

It's taking me a little longer than I thought it would to get through "The Portable Dorothy Parker." It is deliciously large - 613 pages of her short stories, poems, reviews, magazine articles and personal letters.

I've been reading it on and off for about a month and a half now, and have highlighted so many lines and entries already that it resembles a textbook. I identify with so many aspects of her writing: the drink, New York, the dark thoughts, the era.
Dorothy Parker Pictures, Images and Photos
I'm finding that her poems enthrall me the most. That's surprising because, while I can appreciate poetry, it's just not usually my bag.

Dorothy is so darkly humorous, such as in "Resume" from "Enough Rope:"

"Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live."

So simple, and just so adaptable to anyone who just feels tragic some days, you know? The list goes on - she could have written "Nocturne" or "Symptom Recital" from some of my journal entries over the years.

Just a few minutes ago, I finished reading the short story, "The Little Hours," whose narrator is an insomniac, a trait I share. There are too many little snippets of brilliance for me to share here, so I can only suggest that you read the story yourself.

(OK, here's just one:
"Solitude is the safeguard of mediocrity and the stern companion of genius."
That's all.)

I look forward to getting deeper into the works of Mrs. Parker, about whom writer / critic / Algonquin Round Table founder Alexander Woollcott said,

"That bird only sings when she's unhappy."

I'd like to think that she was happy with her stories and her poems and her booze and her dogs. I'm pretty happy most of the time with all those things (sans dog right now) regardless of how dark or bitchy I can be. (Not that I can be compared to someone so incomparable as Dorothy of course.)

Here's one final savory Parker-isms:

"I know this will come as a shock to you, Mr. Goldwyn, but in all history, which has held billions and billions of human beings, not a single one ever had a happy ending."
Well, I'd still like to strive for one, wouldn't you?
The Portable Dorothy Parker Pictures, Images and Photos

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Loaded question.

From the moment I joined MySpace, I was addicted to surveys.
The addiction came naturally: I'm a nosy, inquisitive kinda girl, so I love reading other people's answers, and, likewise, love having people read mine.

I was so frequent a surveyor, that a coworker - who we will call "Tiffany" for shits and giggles - did nothing short of an intervention, so, as one of my 2007 resolutions, I resolved to keep surveys to a minimum.

Proudly, I have kept that vow now for nearly two years.
I still do some here and there, just to keep my public interested (JOKE!), so now it's an occasion when I post one, and not some eye-roll inducing occurrence.

Of course, when I see one posted from one of my favorite fellow survey junkies, I can't help reading it and I cannot tell a lie: I sometimes copy a survey, fill it completely out and then delete it without posting. This way, the addiction gets fed and I don't make anyone sick of me.

Tonight was one of those nights, and one question in particular stuck out.
"What would your one wish be?"
My immediately reply was what it always is: Unlimited wishes.

Of course, that struck me as something so completely selfish, but I refuse to change my answer.

- I'd wish that my upcoming Christmas present Uggs will miraculously find their way to my feet before my trip into the tundra that might be New York City tomorrow.
- I'd wish that my credit card would somehow pay itself off.
- I'd wish that the monster cover story I'm working on and mapping out in my head could telepathically be translated to the computer without typing.
- And I'd sure as hell wish that I was Heidi Klum's identical twin sister.

And then I'd wish that narcissistic wishes like that would be negated by the wishes I already have, and the ones that I pray for, such as:
- "I wish Mom and Dad would feel better."
- I'd wish that all my loved ones, like my brother, could have their own dreams come true.
- I'd wish that God wouldn't let kids get sick, hurt or worse.
- I'd wish that our world wasn't so far gone in regards to ignorance, strife and the mayhem that gets closer every day.

I'd wish a lot of things I guess, but mostly, I'd wish that, if all my wishes came true, I'd stick to paying them forward.

And then I'd wish to come up with a better term than "pay it forward" because the saying really just rubs me the wrong way.

Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa ...

Wow, I knew it's been a while since I've blogged, but I didn't realize it's been this long!
I've just been in my own head lately, writing a lot of dark haiku/tanka, what I oft do when I am working through something that I just don't want to share with the world yet.

I guess it's like when the Talking Heads say in "Psycho Killer:"

"When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed.
Say something once, why say it again?"

I firmly believe that if I don't have anything to say, I don't.
(Now if only I could make that be relegated also to my mouth and not just my writing! LOL!)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Two haiku for you (+ a tanka) ...

Spent day - as I do nearly every Sunday - at my parents in Dallas, or my "country haus" as I fondly call it.
Mom and I took a nice walk around our pond, and up our dirt road a little. I so love this time of year up there.
The smells are so fantastic, the air is just so crisp and fresh and I found it very inspiring, majestic even.

So much so, that I am going to share two haiku and one tanka poem with you - as well as two pics I've taken previously. Enjoy ...

Rusty trees reflect
on the black inky water
under chilly sky.

(this photo was taken a few weeks ago, before the colors of the trees exploded)

Country air just smells
different - more pure, holy -
than the city air.
Breathing in its cool freshness,
I am reborn every week.

A sun-dappled path
leads off into the unknown,
leaves crunch underfoot.

(this was taken last fall, I love how ethereal the light is shining through the trees)

Thanks Liz Wakefield!

Tonight, I came across the beginning of one of my favorite movies, "Orange County."
I watched up until the part where the character Sean finds, buried in the sand next to him, the book that changed his life - the book that made him want to be a writer.

I wish I could say that my "I want to write" epiphany was as profound as Sean's, but sadly, it's not.

I wanted to be a writer because of Elizabeth "Liz" Wakefield.
Liz was one half of the "Sweet Valley Twins" book series that I couldn't get enough of as tween, and the thrill continued with the "Sweet Valley High" series as I got older. Both starred Liz and her twin sister Jessica, as well as their friends and sometimes foes in the fictional town of Sweet Valley in SoCal (at first, yes I did think it was our local Sweet Valley).
Both were blonde and beautiful, natch, but Jessica was the flirt, the fun one. Liz was studious, always writing and fiercely loyal to her sister no matter what trouble she got them both into. I loved how Liz would hole up in her favorite tree spot - something I had as well.

I lost myself in dozens of their books, and looked forward to going to Walden Books or Tudor Book Shop each month to pick out the new one to see what happened next to these friends of mine.

I would give anything to still have those books because I would definitely love to revisit Liz and Jess, and that innocent me who would take my notebook up into my tree and traipse away into a world of the characters of my mind.

Obviously, my inspirations have changed and grown in leaps and bounds. I'm into writers that I can only dare dream to emulate, but Liz will always hold a special place in my heart. After all, we're both 5'6" ...
P.S. - I'd like to think that Liz is a novelist, living in San Francisco or maybe London, perhaps moonlighting for the Chronicle or Daily Telegraph ...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oh my galoshes!

Given the torrential downpour today, I am super glad that I bought my new pair of black and white polka dot galoshes over the weekend.
Not only did they keep my feet dry and warm all day, but they looked adorable.

Best off all, they fed my insane love of smelling things: These galoshes smell like a tire store, that's how pungent their rubbery scent is.

I smell everything I come in contact with - and I mean everything - but since I got them on Saturday, they've really pushed me to my scent limit. They were so strong at first that I had to put them in the stairwell!

But I got used to their heady odor after a few days and now I find it comforting.
I love that I can literally say "Oh my galoshes!" and not have it not be a lie because I finally, at age 31, have my very first pair of galoshes ... now if only I could find a yellow pair to match my Paddington slicker!
andy warhol type galoshes Pictures, Images and Photos

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm ready for AARP Magazine.

I always knew I was born too late.

Some of my favorite music is from my mom's era, like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, etc, while some is music I know would make her late father, my beloved Pop-Pop, proud: Sinatra, Martin, Darin, Bennett.

Most of my favorite movies are old, and Steve McQueen is my most favorite actor ever.

I love reading classic books by classic authors: Kerouac, Capote and am currently reading "The Portable Dorothy Parker."

So it's completely natural that this old soul in a young(ish) woman would be drawn to my mother's AARP magazine.
I started reading it a few years ago and fell in love with the writing. It's so good, no, it's better than that, it's stellar.

It's a smart read for anyone, especially for someone around my age who has parents in the AARP age bracket. There is so much to learn about what to expect with their aging and I've seen some good financial tips (none of which I follow, which is stupid), and some of their people and area profiles are just great.

Case in point, this month's issue included a story about a New Jersey native, who couldn't wait to get out of the Garden State when he came of age, taking a trek down the coastline to places that I loved going on summer vacations, like Long Beach Island and Atlantic City and rediscovering his roots.

I highly recommend pilfering your parents' copy next month, if they subscribe.
If not, I won't charge you for this great Christmas present idea ...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Where are all my vampires?

Last year at this time, I was being ravaged by my annual cold.
Being that I absolutely adore Halloween, this was unacceptable.

I had a fantastic cheerleader costume that I simply would not miss wearing, so I holed up in my apartment the week before the holiday in hopes to kill the germs.
I crashed on my uber-comfy couch with tissues, what was practically an 8-ball of OTC meds, maybe one or three vodka and OJs (for vitamin C, natch) and the remote.

To my utmost joy, I found so many Halloween-related shows and movies on my cable. Thankfully, none of them were the blood-fest slasher flicks that frighten me so, I'm talking the real deal: old black & white classic horrors, where what you see isn't as frightening as what you don't, or what's implied. By far, my favorites were the many versions of "Dracula" starring the king of the Counts, Bela Lugosi.

Bela Lugosi Pictures, Images and Photos

I also enjoyed watching shows about my freaky obsession with the real Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, on The History Channel.

So this year, I was super excited to revisit my classically scary friends. Much to my disappointment, I've not seen a lineup like last year's all stars. WTF?

Is this not the haunting season? I mean, today, the Saturday night before Halloween, there should be more marathons of Dracula, Wolfman, Frankenstein and the like, then I can shake a stick at.
Instead, crickets.

Here I was, prepared to not leave my jammies today, save for a Target run (where I picked up the most adorable black and white polka dot galoshes, BTW) and sloth in front of the tube. Instead, after a sad trip through the guide channel, I shut the TV off and mustered up the strength to give the house a long overdo thorough cleansing - how very unvampire-like of me!
Now, I feel like I can't stop cleaning - it's like once you kill the lazy bug, you get into overdrive.

"Guess I'll watch my personal copy of "Dracula" now," she said with a frown.
Well, at least her house is sparkling clean ...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chase, I hardly knew ye, yet I despise thee ...

I did an interview that ran later than expected today, so by the time I left the office for lunch, we were well past my normal 12:30 p.m. feeding time.

In other words, we were entering dangerous Nikki territory.

Needless to say, once we were seated at a local chain by a delightfully friendly hostess, I was about ready to eat the menu - I was that hungry. We placed our orders the second our server came to offer drinks.

This is right around the time we were most ignorantly introduced to a bastard child I would like to call, oh, let me just pull the name out of my arse, Chase. Chase was a kid who had a jerk for a mother, a mother who let her rotten spawn run rampant throughout the restaurant, disturbing everyone in his wake.

As if it wasn't bad enough that the kid was being an asshole as he ran around screaming at the top of his high-pitched lungs, his mother would shout at him from their booth - which, as fate would so punish us, was right behind us.

"Chase, sit down!"
"Shh, Chase."
"Chase, get over here."
"Chase, do you want ice cream?"

While I was saying in my head: "Chase, would you like a sock in your mouth or a punch in the face?" It was ridiculous.

I grew up in a restaurant family whose parents had always said that, in addition to the smoking/non-smoking sections, there should be a no children section, to which I wholeheartedly agree.

I know kids are the most important thing in a parent's life, as they very well should be, without question. However, there is a time and a place for them to be seen and heard, and when they are screaming and running around like jerks in public is so not one of them.

No, I do not have children of my own yet, but I can damn well guarantee that my child will not act like that. I never did, and I wasn't raised to get away with acting like that in public. If he was having a behavioral problem that day, I understand. That's when you quietly ask for the check and get the kid out of there. No one deserves to have their meal ruined by a kid whose mother can't control him.

I had to do everything in my power to not go off on Chase's mother. Apparently, the hostess made a remark about the kid running around - which, even as a non-mom, I know is not safe in a restaurant with servers and hot food nearby - and his mother heard.

She found the manager and told him as they were finally leaving that she was not happy about it because, and I quote, "I am a good tipper and it's not like we were causing a scene." Uh really? Then why did everyone in the room look around at each other and let out a sigh of relief at the quiet front that descended upon us with your departure?

Our server apologized profusely for Chase's disturbance, not that she was in any way to blame. Hell, Chase isn't even to blame. I blame his classless ass of a mother. I can only image what she came from.

Thanks the heartburn, jerk!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Sometimes you just have to hit the local buffet, which is something I did tonight.
Often the favorite of the old folks (and formerly my very own beloved parents), there are always sights to be seen - I think it's kind of a good glimpse into our society after seeing how people behave at such dining establishments.
Like, for instance, the way they fill their plate like they'll never eat ever again, or picking off said plate while they are still filling it. Ugh.

But the best part about eating there, aside from a fabulous trough of fresh mac & cheese, is just sitting back and watching.
There's the elderly man who can barely walk that tugs on my heart strings. There's the rude people who push you or try to budge in front of you. There's the kids running rampant.

Tonight, there was the cat pee-scented elderly man.
I kinda fell in like with him when he stood behind us in line and said, "Well look at that," all-put out about the long line to pay. He was dressed like your average old man and looked somewhat dapper in his awesome Members Only jacket, something I will never find passe or out of style.

Then I got a scent of him.
The unmistakable scent of his cats wafted from him like the steam rising off that hot and yummy mac & cheese. I couldn't get away from him fast enough. And to think he reminded me a little of Ted Knight!

As fate would have it - and I should have predicted it would - cat man sat right behind us, so we got to enjoy him the entire meal.
That's what I get I guess ...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

E Merritt freeze out

While I adore Fall, it makes me dread what follows it: Winter. I live in the coldest house in the WORLD. I swear I can see my breath most of the time.

No matter what I set my heat on, I still freeze my arse off and rely on a lil space heater in my living room and bathroom.

My apartment is without insulation, which was brilliant on the builder's part oh-so-many years ago. As I type this, I am wearing a turtleneck sweater, a puffy vest, jeans, shoes and am contemplating using my Weekender fingerless gloves. But I think that might be just a smidge de trop, as they say in France.

Short of lighting a bonfire, what the heck can a girl without insulation to do??

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A lone drifter.

There are certain songs that just "get" me every time.
"Goodnight Saigon" by Billy Joel. Tear.
"Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler and "Proud to be an American," ditto.
The church song "On Eagle's Wings?" I weep until there is nothing left.
Then there are the songs that make me yearn for romance - songs like "Beginning to See the Light" (especially when sung by Bobby Darin, swoooon) and "Slip Away" by Clarence Carter.
Let me first explain that I have become addicted to the standards, or "Great American Songbook" as Sirius is billing the Sinatra channel.
All the songs conjure up visions in my head of dapper gents and classy dames dancing the night away together at the Rainbow Room in Manhattan as they tip back martinis and everyone is a writer, poet, artist or musician. Can't you just hear the glasses clinking? Smell the smoke swirling up from the pearl cigarette holder?
One song stands out so much - the first time I heard it was on an episode of "Sex and the City," the one where Big moves to Napa. And from the first sweeping verse of "Moon River," I was hooked.
My favorite version is sung by Andy Williams. Last night I heard it while getting ready for bed and I stood in the doorway of my living room transfixed. My legs ached to be swept across a shiny dance floor by a man who thinks the sun rises and sets on my smile because we are "Two drifters off to see the world. There's such a lot of world to see. We're after the same rainbow's end-- waiting 'round the bend ..."
Ahh, a girl has to be unrealistic sometimes right?