Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Site Up

She's Just Sayin' has moved! Come visit me at www.shesjustsayin.com Same great content, nicer packaging!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Moving On

This is the room where we painted over the mint green walls. We hadn’t moved in yet, but we drove over every couple days, each time with new supplies. First the primer, then the paint. It was the dead of winter, but thankfully the radiators in this building make it feel slightly cooler than a steam room. We brought lawn chairs to rest in when our backs got tired from stretching to reach the upper limits of the 10-foot high, pre-war ceilings.

This is the kitchen, where the former owner had installed a mini TV under the counter. We knew it was wrong to fall in love with a place because of owner-owned amenities. But a TV! In the kitchen! We could picture ourselves here, turning from the stove to see just how many supplies Rachel Ray was going to stack into her arms THIS time.

This is the bathroom, where we discovered a host of delights. Recently remodeled, floor to ceiling tile, a style we would have picked ourselves. Better, even. A tub AND a shower? Too good to be true. Towel rack situated over the radiator. Who knew stepping out of the shower in winter could be a delight?

This is the bedroom, what the HGTV and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition folks dreamily call ‘your sanctuary.’ We pored over paint swatches, decided on Glacier something or other. Paired with sand-colored carpet and honey-stained wood blinds, we could pretend each night that we slept in a beach-side oasis. We’ve cracked the windows in winter to combat the hot air hissing out of the radiators. We’ve cranked the ceiling fan in summer, falling asleep to the rhythmic click-clicking of the blades as they spun in dizzying circles.

This is our home. The first day we turned our keys in the locks (yes, locks plural - we live in Queens, New York) we jumped up and down and scratched our heads that we were HOMEOWNERS!!! We held dinner parties here (small dinner parties, it IS an apartment), hosted beery Super Bowl parties, counted down to our wedding, welcomed my parents for long weekends.

Soon this home will be our former home. The market is right to look for a house. Yards and driveways beckon. The scent of summer barbeques tease us. We own a home, but we’re ready to own a house. It’s time.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bitch and Moan. And Smile Too.

What’s chapping my hide these days…

** Why do movie studios presume that we all get dumber when the temperature heats up? I for one am tired of the inane movies that populate theatres each year beginning in May. A quick check of Fandango.com reveals the following winners: Land of the Lost (sorry Will Ferrell, I love you but I will NOT be seeing this trash); The Hangover (nuff said); Terminator Salvation (when will this franchise just die??); Drag Me To Hell (no idea what this about, but the title alone is enough to assure me it’s ridiculous)

[Author’s note – after I wrote this, I noticed that I had misspelled ‘dumber’ above with the brilliant ‘dummer’. So, movie studios, perhaps you ARE on to something!]

** Movie studios aren’t the only culprits in this dumbing down of Americans in heat. Let’s check the TV schedule, shall we? Oh look, "I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!" Premise: a bunch of sub-D-list celebrities try to live in the ‘jungle’ for some indeterminate period of time. Apart from the ubiquitous Heidi & Spencer, the ‘celebs’ are so sub-D-list that you have to spend a couple moments trying to understand why these people are considered celebrities in the first place. Enter Patti Blagojevich. She’s famous because? Oh, right, because she’s married to a wacko governor who used up his 15 minutes of fame already, mostly by having tremendously awful hair that would make even the Monkees cringe.
** Can we talk about Twitter for a minute? What’s with people who know nothing about it or how it works getting so angry about the fact that it exists? No one’s forcing you to sign up. Then you have the other camp, made up of people who also know nothing about it or how it works and yet pretend that they do, pretending that they ‘get’ it. Sometimes I feel sorry for these people. After all, they’re trying. But then again, it’s not that hard. Sign on. Write something. Read things. Repeat.

Lest this post become a Debbie downer grouchfest, I’ll leave you with a few things that are making me happy these days.
** Meaningful music that sticks in your head and makes you think
** Making people smile with simple compliments
** No longer needing a coat to walk out the door

So tell me…what’s chapping your hide? What’s making you happy?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Salute to Summer

Bright light pours through wooden-slatted Venetian blinds. A cacophany of bird chirps announce the morning. Alarm clock is off, there’s no need these days. Sheets are kicked to the extreme corners of the bed, rumpled in a cottony white mass. They cover toes during the night, and occasionally shoulders when a breeze blows through the windows. The windows are wide open, of course, mesh arms outstretched in anticipation of a cool embrace. Car doors slam, engines idle, neighbors talk.

The car is stuffy, the inside of an oven in preheat stage. The windows come down at once, there is no time to wait for the A/C to kick in. Drinks are on ice, resting comfortably in a blue and white cooler, the accessory you won’t leave home without for the next several months. You pull out a can, grimace and grin at the numbing sensation of ice water gripping your fingertips. A pop and a hiss, and you’re on your way to refreshment. Condensation slides slowly down the can. Icy droplets pelt your bare legs.

Dock creaks, sways gently with the tide. Jet engines roar in the distance, slight tang of jet fuel hangs in the air. Makes for a cloying scent, when mixed with the odors of algae and marine life. Boat putters, then stops. Engine is slow to start, out of practice. Motor finally turns over, and you’re on your way. Fine sea spray mists your face, upturned to the blue sky and benevolent sun. Your hair, mostly contained in a weather beaten hat, gradually sends stray pieces into the wind. They whip your face as the boat picks up speed and more wind. You brush the whipping strands back with a smile.

Water dares you not to come in. It’s cool, the current is calm. Come on in.
Off you go!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

On Conquering My Next Life Goal

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately considering the possibility of writing a book. As I read that sentence over, I can’t help but laugh at myself because, seriously? Writing a book?! It feels a bit like saying, ‘Ya know, I’ve been considering walking the Great Wall of China. Just an itch I’ve been meaning to scratch!’

But the idea of writing a book has been sitting in my brain for a while, one of those long-term ‘life goals’ that you are instructed to jot down late in high school or at some point in college. You then spend the rest of your life wondering when you’re going to suddenly be reminded that you turned out to be a good-for-nothing layabout when that little postcard shows up in your mailbox, the 5 Things I’ll Do Before I Die list. When you look down at the list, from the confines of a dark private corner, of course—lest any friends or loved ones discover your failed potential—what will stare back at you is a cruel reminder of blind ambition exposed to the harsh light of Every Day Life.

Except the thing is, in my case (if I remember my list correctly) many of the goals I dreamed of achieving have been achieved. Moment of introspection: perhaps I aimed too low. Move to New York City: Check. Pursue a career in media: Check. Run the New York City Marathon: Check. Write a book: Stop being funny!

I think when it comes to writing a book you have to pat yourself on the back for the small progresses along the way. Deciding that you might just have the talent to pull it off is pretty huge, for example. This may be delusion on your part, but no matter. Embrace your egotistical self! Deciding that you’re going to make the dream a reality is another milestone. It’s one thing to think about getting off the couch. It’s quite another to pull your ass up and put one foot in front of the other.

The next phase is where it gets difficult. The plot. I have no idea what my book will be about. I’m still in the ‘brainstorming’ phase. Thankfully, my commute to work is just this side of unbearable, so I have plenty of time to stare off into space and ruminate on a plotline that people might actually care about.

I’ll tell you what I DO have. Characters! I’ve encountered so many people in my life who would make fantastic characters for my book. Names will be changed to protect the innocent, of course, but know this: if you find yourself identifying with a character in my book, you are either extremely interesting, incredibly complicated, or royally fucked up in a fascinatingly delightful way!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Motorboatin' Son of a Bitch

The boat sat parked in the street, resting its hulk upon the old trailer like a whale washed ashore. It took up a good portion of the suburban road, the way RVs overtake the cement driveways of houses out west. You can’t help but wonder, ‘who owns that?’

We do.

A couple months ago Mike and I, along with his cousin and his wife, went in together to purchase Mike’s uncle’s boat. To us, we were getting a fire-sale deal on an investment in summer fun. To his uncle, I think he felt he was finally ridding himself of a thorn that had been plaguing his side.

I have no way to prove it, but I suspect boat ownership is akin to having a child. You dream of all the fun things you’ll do together. Cruising! Water skiing! Tubing! You know that there’ll be work involved, but you’re fairly certain it will be worth it. You know that you’ll part with a good amount of cash, and then some more, and then some more. Those outlays will never be repaid, but you’re ok with it. The joys of boat ownership will far outweigh the hurdles you must leap!

Speaking of joy, is there more joy than assigning a namesake to your beloved? The name you choose is important. It will become a representation of you for all the world to see. The boat we bought was named Roxy, after the beautiful Boxer Mike’s uncle owns. Much as we love Roxy, now that the boat was ours we wanted a name that better represented us. We thought about ‘Four Friends.’ Admittedly not the most imaginative of names, but it was simple and true.

So how to replace ‘Roxy’ with our new name? Surely we’d need to paint over the old name, and paint on our new one. Mike took a closer look at the word Roxy.

‘I think these are just decals,’ he mused. ‘We can probably just pull them right off and then paint our name on.’

He fiddled with the letters for a bit, and then came to a startling conclusion.

‘This is just electrical tape! This will come off no problem.’ As a test, he pulled at the corner of the letter ‘R.’

Sure enough, it came off. And all of a sudden, the new name of our boat appeared.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Seven Hundred Thirty Days

For seven hundred thirty days, take away a few, I’ve woken up next to the man I call my husband. Day one, the day after we were pronounced husband and wife, I tried out the word ‘husband’ like a little girl wearing her mother’s high heels. “Morning, husband” I whispered, although it may have come out as a question. The word felt so grown up, so adult. And just two nights prior, we had been out until two in the morning dancing at a smoky Bermuda nightclub.

Let’s be clear; day one wasn’t really day one, as far as waking up together is concerned. But it certainly marked a turning point. Being married IS different. You are legally bound to the hairy creature beside you. You are to love him in sickness, when he stuffs pieces of Kleenex up his nose to stop the mucus flow. You are to love him in poverty, when he’s frittered away $1000 on Super Bowl boxes. You are to love him when he’s angry, inconsolable, grieving.

I’ve been to more funerals since I’ve met my husband than I’d ever heard of before in my life. For the longest time, he swore a dark cloud hovered over his head, and that it now hung over mine, by association. He didn’t understand that his presence in my life lit a floodlight in my heart.

Seven hundred thirty days has meant gaining a finer understanding of each other’s breaking points. It has meant knowing exactly what the other one needs, without exchanging a word. In seven hundred thirty days we have fine tuned our post-dinner choreography. In our narrow kitchen, we know where to stand, when to move, who’s washing, who’s drying, who’s taking out the garbage. We still pretend to let that pot soak overnight, waiting for the other to give up and wash it after growing tired of the eyesore resting in the sink.

Seven hundred thirty days marks two years. Just a couple steps along our hopefully long and winding path together. What’s down the road lies beyond a bend that neither of us can see. But what’s behind looks pretty sweet, and today I savor that.