Snooze Button

Dear Snooze Button,

I've been thinking about us a lot lately and I just don't think this relationship is healthy. I know you've always been there for me, but it's like the more I rely on you the less I rely on myself! I just don't think this relationship is helping me grow as a person.

This is so hard for me, believe me, just one touch and I feel like all is well with the world again. But, I can't keep looking to you for comfort! At some point I have to do it on my own. Do you know what I mean? Oh, this kills me! You've always meant well, and yet you usually just end up hurting me without even knowing it. Like, staying in bed with you makes me late for work almost everyday! Ok, I know, I'm the one who always initiates that business...but that's what I mean!! Its a love/hate relationship and I can't do this to myself anymore. Anyway, I'm sure you'll find another woman by tomorrow and forget all about me.

Oh, who am I kidding?!! I can't live without you Snoozer! I'm not ready to end things... just stay. See you tomorrow? Same place? Same time?



More from my Dad (Well isn't imitation the highest form of flattery?!)

"Since you are so good with the internet, I want you to teach me how to use craigslist."

"I always want to improve myself, so please tell me if I have bad breath or you don't like my shirt. Believe me, I can take it."

"No more guys with tattoos. No more tattoos and no more homeless!"

"The whole entire family can't believe you're not married yet. We can't understand what your problem is, we discuss it a lot, but we still haven't figured it out."

"Most married people I know are so goddamned miserable and lead miserable lives."

"I already know what this whole, entire universe is about."

*Just in case your wondering why I don't quote my mom, its because she gets her own entire book. Yes indeed, been working on it for a while now...

Cherchez La Femme


"Cherchez La Femme-
The phrase embodies a cliché of detective pulp fiction: no matter what the problem, a woman is often the root cause."

I've been thinking a lot about this concept lately. Admittedly, I read tabloid magazines more than any one woman who considers herself an intellectual and feminist ever should. However, I have to say that while reading these rags makes me part of the problem, its also quite often a fantastic study on our culture and the way in which women are depicted within it.

I'm sure if I never looked at these tabloids I'd certainly have a much less cynical perspective and hostile feelings about it all. But alas, I do, I'm drawn into the wreckage. The sick thing is I often find myself being part of the beast, "Oh wow, look at so and so's cellulite!". Making myself feel better about the ridiculous standards I feel held up to as a woman by putting other women down. What the fuck? That wasn't the point- I'm horrified. So for a while, I put them down and don't open a single tabloid. I remember women are my allies not my enemies, and that these magazines represent a cattiness I detest.

Then, inevitably some headliner will pull me in; "Brad Is Sleeping On the Couch!". I have to look. The couch? Really? I thought the couch was reserved for lazy, big-gutted, farting, mid-western husbands-not Brad Pitt.

The thing is, mostly what I find disturbing about these stories is that women are usually to blame for all the trouble. Angelina's too controlling and too harsh, while Jennifer Aniston is too meek and clingy. Then there are the young "party girls". They are criticized mercilessly for drinking and hooking up with famous male actors who are at the same clubs doing it along with them.

But of course- the guys never get any heat for it. These men are acting totally appropriate for the way powerful, single males should be. The girls however, are "seriously troubled" or "at it again, friends are worried". How often do we point out how many women these guys are hooking up with in a negative way? Of course not. Because if a single male is dating a "string of starlets" he's idolized, envied. While an actress doing the same is looked upon as "skanky" and unstable.

Then lets look at the marriages. If the woman cheats, she is a piranha, but if the male strays, its usually because wifey drove him to it. She was (again) "too controlling", "letting herself go", or God forbid-"too preoccupied with her career" (something men in our society are lauded for).

Then, there is of course, the single vs. married issue. Single men are dashing catches that no woman can seem to trap, while single women are sad, pathetic creatures who are doomed to "drive all men away". Case in point, George Clooney. Clooney who is going on 50, has only ever been committed to one constant companion, his pet pig Max who even shared Clooney's bed till he died recently (RIP Max). Could you imagine what would be said about a single actress in her late 40's who slept with a pet pig every night? I'm sure "friends" would be "worried" and "deeply concerned". But not Clooney, it only adds to his charm.

I'd also like to go on the record for a moment while I'm on my tirade to say that this shit about Gerard Butler being a sex symbol is just that, a bunch of shit. I'd love to see a woman that chubby with a bulbous nose be considered hot. Just once.

Strangers Waiting

Let's talk a bit about street interactions, because one of the reasons I moved back from LA to NY was that I missed, and I mean-I genuinely missed, being able to just meet and talk to strangers. And, strange as this may sound, it took me a while to realize I that I actually never, ever did that before moving back to NY from LA. You know, eye contact, casual conversations with people at cafe's, deli's, etc. Now, I talk to strangers all the time. Those truck drivers that say hi, I say hi back. I like some girls shoes at Starbucks, I tell her. The street musician, I like what he's playing, I tell him so. We talk about it. I talk to street artists about their work, they ask me about mine.

The train has been a really interesting meeting place. I no longer look away if someone looks at me or smiles. Some of these interactions have actually gone a little further than mere casual conversation. I may have given one or two my number. Recently, I went on a date with someone I met on the L. It was a real snoozer which was funny considering that just a few days before, at 9:30am on the train, we were full on eye-banging. Now, I couldn't get out of this date fast enough (and neither could he, believe me I have no delusions).

The thing is this, I don't necessarily know if this much interaction is opening me up, or causing me to give up on people faster and causing them to give up on me faster as well. In New York, there is always someone new to meet. Does this make us less tolerant of people? Does this make us all so much more apt to flake out and drop out at the slightest annoyance?

Because, suppose you do live in some tiny town and your chances of meeting new people are so slim that you are genuinely psyched to when you do. And, what if that infrequency of meeting new people causes you to be more tolerant to their imperfections? Do you cherish connections more in general?

I want to share an interaction I had the other day, because to me it was a stunning example of this. I am walking off the train on my way home from work. I spot a boy (he really couldn't be called more than that because I suspect he was very, very young). Or maybe he spots me. I stop to look at some books nearby. By accident on purpose, of course. He comes over to talk and walks me home. I learn all about him in that short walk (but not much really). About, how he is a model and that he has a lot of free time in between gigs. This doesn't bother him, and he's from North Carolina. He's still trying to figure out what he'd like to do. Which is great, because that's what your 20's (or maybe teens) are for.

He said he'd like to get a drink sometime (so at least 21?). I said sure. I went home and got a text from him that said he would have liked to have kissed me. I thought this was sweet. To this I said, "Well, we just might" (cheeky, in my old age). Then I added, "I think you are probably a lot younger than me and I'm afraid to ask". To this he wrote "Age is like wine, it gets better with time, but at a certain point, it spoils". And just like that, it was all over.

I guess what I really think is sad, is that so much of it is so fleeting. And, its all because of the sheer overwhelming amount of so-called-opportunity. That because we don't really cherish any of these interactions in a deep way, it all amounts to very little actual opportunity. None. We are left empty, wandering, searching endlessly in an overcrowded city.

I think a lot of it is this is an expectation of something exciting-that kind of shallow type of interacting that has very little to do with making any real connections or friendships at all.

I was born and raised in New York, and the only other place I've ever really lived in was LA where I can tell you from my own experience, connections are even far more fleeting. If you've made a couple of good friends in LA, hold on tight, because there's not a lot of that going on.

I have dear friends in New York. My closest and best, those who have been with me through everything. I feel so lucky. But, I really want to become more aware of how special it is to live in a city amongst so many, many strangers. And, to cherish that more- all the interactions, as if they were each unique and special (I mean of course, lets face it, some just aren't). But, I'd like to believe and hold on to the possibility that this one stranger, could in fact become another good friend-if given a real chance.

I was told to write goes crap!

This one is gonna be so deep, so mind-blowingly good, you're gonna flip the fuck out, you'll see. Its gonna change your mother-f'n life. Hang on...just give me a second.........................................................................

Alright, how about this...."an individual's ability to thrive lies in their ability to adapt to change". Or somethin.

I read this on the bottle of a lemonade I just drank. I got it all wrong too and I threw away the fucking bottle and now I can't find it because my office is so meticulous about garbage disposal. Either way, you get the idea.

Its too bad I'm set in my ways and don't adapt to change very well. That, and I have such tremendous creative blockage right now I can't offer you anything good or original.

Do I suck? Heavens no! Well, maybe right now I do. But this will won't last. Brilliance will return.

Why is writing everyday a good idea again???

What about some of the shit my dad says?

Try to keep in mind some of this is translated from Spanish:

"No one's gonna know you're fourteen in that blazer and the lipstick! Just walk in confidently. Here's some money for roulette, I know its your favorite. I'll be at the blackjack table."

"I hate alien movies. People are so prejudiced against aliens. Why are they always depicting them as evil?! It makes me angry!!"

"I don't understand American women. They say no to me, then they go make out with their dogs."

"I can meditate for 20 hours then levitate. I would show you but you would get scared."

"You were always afraid of everything, even the bubble bath"

"Don't go to college. All you do there is read. I had a cousin who read so much he lost his mind."

"Why are people afraid of ghosts? I wish so badly a ghost would come talk to me right now."

"You just called me while I was in Samadhi, this is the highest state of enlightenment. No you're not interrupting me, on the contrary, I love to talk while in Samadhi."

"I'm sorry that I hit on your best friend from college. I've changed. I like a woman now who is almost fifty. She has a belly."

"You focus too much on looks. What you need is an ugly man who will take good care of you."

"Now, Charles Bronson, that's a real man."

"Kissing can give you cavities. It's disgusting."

Since everything I've been writing lately is shit...

Here's what you get, you get fucking pictures of puppies. You don't like puppies? I don't know what to tell you, get help.

Crazy-Ass Gringos

Ever seen a well-meaning Mexican suddenly get caught up in a conversation with a crazy-ass Gringo? Maybe you don't notice these things as much as I do, but I seem to see it pretty often. Today outside a deli, a nice Mexican couple that barely spoke more than a sentence of English is listening politely to this dude who is out of his damn gourd.

"I'm sayin to them, don't make me wait till Monday, by Monday I'll be in Bellvue! You know what I'm sayin?" says, crazy-ass Gringo. The nice Mexican couple just nod their heads at him smiling uncomfortably and doing their best to listen intently.

And its sad to me, cause they don't just get to walk away from this crazy guy like we American citizens do. They feel obligated to stand there listening to crazy-ass Gringo go on as long as he wants to because they feel guilty for even being on our streets. It doesn't matter for a second that they make the best damn tacos at the stand on the corner; they have no right to walk away from this mess. They may even have to give this guy a dollar just so he can shut up and they can get back to work.

Later, I get on the train and a similar situation, well not really, but still, crazy American citizen vs. well-meaning illegal aliens. Crazy-Crack Gringo gets on the train going on about how he got in a shelter and all, but now he needs extra spending money (for crack), so won't you please, give it up.

A moment later, this trio of Mariachis (they have the uniforms on and everything) come through the same cart with their instruments, holding them like you know they have skills. They would've gladly played a nice little diddy for some extra dough, but crazy-crack gringo is so loud, they can't. Plus the Mariachi's know they have no right to compete with the citizen, even if he is really loud and annoying and out his damn mind on crack.

So, off they go on their merry little way. Quite humbly I might add. Off to play something nice and uplifting for another cart that I wished I was on instead.


My dad and I were talking the other night about my grandmother who passed away last year at 103 years old. He said that he and my aunts had been discussing her secret to a long happy life a lot lately. He said there were three crucial things they'd realized about the way my grandmother lived:

1. She found joy in the little things. Walks, drinking tea, chatting with a stranger at the supermarket, chatting with anyone for that matter (she was very social).

2. She always tried to bring harmony into any situation. If you ever talked badly to her about someone or had a fight, she would immediately explain why so and so must be understood and the hard time they were going through. In other words, she always strove to see it from the other person's perspective.

3. She never tried to compete with men.

See, number three is where I think my dad is mistaken. The truth is, my grandmother never tried to compete with men because she felt they were actually the weaker sex and that because of this, as women, should treat them very delicately. I know this because whenever any of the men in our family acted out (especially my mean grandfather) she would look at me with such pity in her eyes and say "pobrecito" (poor thing). She really felt sorry for them. She felt the male ego was very fragile and so out of her sense of kindness never, ever tried to challenge it.

As for us girls, she expected nothing but strong, upright behavior. She accepted no nonsense from us-ever.

I do think number three was dad's subtle way of sending me a message. I have always been willful, argumentative, and competitive with men (including him) whenever I felt challenged. But, don't get me wrong. It's because unlike my grandmother, I see men as my equals. I believe in men. I think they are strong and capable in a way my grandma never did. She never gave my grandfather any shit (even when he really deserved it), but how sad that is to me, because it only meant she never really believed in his ability to change or grow.

Make no mistake, I still think my grandmother was an amazing and strong woman, but I'd also like to think she brought forth a new generation of women in our family. The fighters, the believers...and me.

I take it all back...

I want a normal life. I want to learn to bake and make quilts. I want a porch and a yard. I want the neighbors to ask me for a pinch of salt. I want to make jelly preserves. I want to bring the baby to dinner parties. I am not meant to be alone in Sedona! God help me. I may be losing it this time for real.

I'm Not Acting Crazy, I'm Acting Russian

The only thing that really sucks to me about being in your thirties is that you feel like you no longer have time to waste on bad men. Because lets face it, they are always the hottest and funnest men in the room. But try as you may, you just can't trick yourself into pretending you're not wasting seriously, valuable time. You've done this enough times now to know you will not in fact be "the one" to change him, and your eggs, the ones that you still have, would absolutely kill you. So would your friends. You know you've used up all the years you get leaning on those well-intended friends who saw it coming, bit their tongue, and didn't say "I told you so" time after time. At this point you know they won't hold back. They might even stop speaking to you, and really you couldn't blame them. Who will you cry to now? I suppose this is why as you get older you have to pay someone to listen to that kind of self-imposed torture; its called therapy.

Still, its really tough, because while you know your eggs would kill you, other body parts would really thank you. Generously. And, that gorgeous, womanizing, musician or the handsome, successful playboy all beckon you with great force. "No way" I say to these men. Not out loud, of course, so its never clear and somehow I've given them my phone number against my egg's will. I then wrestle with myself over the situation which causes me to act in really bizarre and contradictory ways. And, since these men seem to love crazy women they don't go away just because I'm acting mental.

I often wonder what it would be like to be more like one of my sensible friends. Well, for one thing these sensible women are all married now so I guess I would be too at this point. I have one friend in particular, she is so no-nonsense it drives me crazy! I can't analyze things obsessively with her, she gives me deadlines to get over things, and we're left with nothing but the present and the facts to discuss. Its vulgar, really. I mean what one earth would life be like if we just ran around making practical decisions? Russian literature wouldn't even exist. Its considered great for a reason, people. I understand its unbearable to watch, I mean I can't sit through an entire Chekhov play, but still, we have to consider it all pretty genius. And, tortured is such a good look on me!

Also, I wonder, without any drama in my life could I actually be happy? I suppose I'm willing to try it, just because I'm willing to try anything once. But, I've already come to grips with the fact that either you fall in love with a normal life and man, or you don't.

And, if I don't I promise to be happy in all my drama, live in the desert, have many animals, and paint in between torrid love-affairs. I will never cut my hair once it all turns grey, and I will wear long, sheer dresses and amazing jewelry. Lets forget I don't paint for a second, because anything is possible. This really isn't such a bad life, is it? Hmm...maybe I will go out with that charming mess, then. I mean, I do love Sedona, and I have always wanted to learn how to paint. I guess what I'm really trying to say is that the best part of being in your thirties is finally, really and truly getting to know yourself.