Thursday, June 30, 2005

eye am scared

I'm not an exceptionally squeamish person. In grad school I did laryngoscopies until I was blue in the face, spent hours watching x-rays of people ingesting barium applesauce and pudding (and refluxing them, if I was lucky), cut open the vocal tract of a dead guy, and did a jillion oral exams, and trust me, some people have very bad oral hygiene. Granted, I wasn't into that part of my job, because um, hi, I'm not in medical school, but I'm just making a point: I'm not overly squeamish.

Except for one thing: I have a total eye issue. You know how sometimes people will touch their eye while they're talking to you, like they'll rub it or try to get something out of it? Yeah, that makes me want to die. I always have to look away because it totally squishes me out. And I can't touch my own eye... I have to put eye drops in by lying down, squeezing the drop onto the corner of my eyelid, and then opening my eye and letting gravity do its work.

There aren't a lot of times in your life when not liking to touch your eyeball is a problem, until you find out you need to get contacts. I'm far-sighted and wear glasses sometimes, and I used to have contacts, but I haven't worn them for years because I hate them so freaking much, and I can see fine without them. Or could, until recently. Lately I've been feeling like I don't see as well without my glasses so I went to the eye doctor, and she confirmed what I was dreading: when I'm not wearing glasses, I need to wear contacts. I don't want to wear my glasses all the time but I also want to be able to see, so this is where we are.

"I can't touch my eyeball," I tell her.

"How did you used to put the contact in and take it out?" she asks me.

"Putting it in was okay because I could just sort of slip it in without direct touching. But when I'd take it out, I'd just flick it so I didn't have to touch my eye."

"You'd flick it?" Now I feel a little ashamed.

Then she tells me she can teach me how to do it the right way. I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but I think it bears repeating: "I really can't touch my eyeball."

"Really, I can teach you. Next week, we'll set up a time and we'll sit down and I'll teach you how to do it. Without flicking."

Doubtful. "Okay."

She's confident. "It WILL be okay!"

Anxiety attack. "All right."

Now she's bordering on cocky. "It'll be a breeze, you'll see."

So, next Thursday, I'm going to touch my eyeball. Both of them. Wish me luck, or come over and get me a little drunk beforehand. It may take longer for me to find my eye, but I bet I won't be as anxious.

Friday, June 24, 2005

in which I refer to Neil Diamond twice

My mom and I were discussing the music that I was obsessed with when I was little. I loved Physical by Olivia Newton-John and any of Whitney Houston's dance songs or power ballads. I used to freak out with happiness when I'd hear What a Feeling (although I thought they were saying "take your pants down and make it happen" instead of "take your passion and make it happen"...interpret that how you will). Heartlight by Neil Diamond and Can't Smile Without You by Barry Manilow used to make me cry (Heartlight still makes me cry. In my defense, it's the ET song). And one more, apparently:

Her: And that Linda Ronstadt song.
Me: What? Linda Ronstadt?
Her: That song that went, "It's not that I knock it, it's just that I'm not in the market for a boy who wants to love only me."
Me: What?
Her: You used to LOVE it.
Me: When I was LITTLE?
Her: You don't remember? [singing] "You cry and moan and say it will work out, but I've got my doubts...All I'm saying is I'm not ready for any person, place, or thing to try and pull the reins in on me."
Me: So that song is basically the root of all my relationship issues.
Her: Wow, yeah. I should have played you more Barry Manilow.

Speaking of bad music, driving home from New York last weekend, Jen and I heard Hello Again by Neil Diamond*, and we were singing along (or, really, speaking along, because all he really does is say "hello" over and over, totally monotone: "I couldn't sleep at all tonight...and I know it's late...but I couldn't wait...hello." I was laughing so hard I was crying. Granted, I was delirious with exhaustion, but still...that song is freaking hilarious.)

*Fine, we heard it because it's on my iPod. Happy now?

Monday, June 20, 2005

lucky duck

Tonight during ESL class I made an offhand comment that one of the students was lucky. Another student, a very sweet older woman, said to me, "Lucky? What is this?"

How do you explain "lucky" to someone who understands and speaks very little English? "Lucky is when something good happens to you," I start out.

"Something good," she says.

"Yes, like...okay." I go over to my purse and take out a dollar bill, throw it on the floor, and then proceed to act out walking around idly and suddenly finding money on the floor. I pick it up; I'm excited. "I'm lucky!" (This is the unglamorous reality of teaching ESL when you only speak English.)

"I like when she acts," says one of my students. He's speaking directly to me. We haven't worked on pronouns yet.

"I know you do," I say. I once pantomimed football for him, reducing the game to sporadically interrupted suicide runs, which it basically is anyway.

Another guy imitates scratching a lottery ticket. "I win money," he says. "I'm lucky!"

Hmmm. Any non-money related examples? Didn't she see Napolean? "Shocks, pegs...lucky!"

"Lucky," she says. "I go to a party, I'm lucky."

"Good," I say, thinking, that depends on the party. (Most of the things you'd think of saying back to her don't really work: sort of, kind of, getting warmer, you're close...luckily working with young kids knocks all that figurative shit right out of you.)

I ended up borrowing her Russian-English dictionary and finding "lucky" for her. But she didn't have her glasses with her so I wrote it on the board. Have you ever written a word in Russian before? It's basically like inside out, upside down English. But she got it, and after she corrected my penmanship she told me they have nine vowels in Russian. And good parties, apparently.

Friday, June 17, 2005

speak up, sonny

Last night around 11 I was tired so my friends dropped my sorry self back at home...and then went right back to the bar and stayed until the wee hours. Tonight I plan to have dinner at 4 PM and fall asleep on the couch while watching Wheel of Fortune and knocking back some Ensure. That's right, folks: I'm now officially a senior citizen.

Monday, June 13, 2005


I wrote this when I was seven. Then Hasbro bought my idea and I made a fortune. Just kidding.

"My Little Ponys"

Once in a far away land there lived a big group of little ponys. The babies were named Applejack, Bow-Tie, Cotten Candy, Sugar and Spice and Taffy. The oldest were Twilight Moondancer, Star Beauty, Firefly Cloverleaf, Burning Beauty and Star Shine Flyer. One day the Jegabots horridble beasts jumped out of the blue sky the instante they did the sky darkened and the beasts let out a roar. The ponys jumped on their highn legs and ran for the doors! There were 3 little babie ponys behind the tree hiding. It was Taffy, Bow-Tie and Cotten Candy. 3 beasts roared after the little babie ponys. Eeeeeeee! they screamed before you could say “it” a beast bit Bow-Ties hair. Help! Help! Help! screamed everyone. The Jegabots flew up into the dark dark sky and were gone, so were the ponys! As soon as they were out of sight the sky lighted and the beautiful sun came out. Firefly spread her wings and flew into the sky. Come back! shouted Burning Beauty. It’s dangeres! cried Applejack. Where are you going? screamed Twilight. To get help! answered Firefly. Oh no! cried Moondancer. Meanwhile at the castle...

Sunday, June 12, 2005

it's a small dating world

Do most people and their friends live in a little Days of Our Lives universe, or is that just me and mine? Over the weekend we were discussing our twisted little circle of relationships in our early to mid 20s. It went a little something like this:

I got fixed up with my coworker's best friend and dated him for a long time, and then one of my friends started dating his roommate.

One of my friends dated a guy for awhile, and then introduced him to my roommate at the time and they dated for a couple of years.

One of my friends used to date Mark's best friend.

I introduced a guy that I didn't like to a friend and she ended up deciding to marry him.

I lived with a guy for two years who originally agreed to be my roommate because he was dating one of my friends at the time. (They had broken up by the time we moved in.)

I fixed a friend up with a guy I knew from college who then proceeded to stalk her. (He also had a semi-high profile job and would ask me in a really self-important way to please not to give his email address out. Like anyone ever asked.)

I dated a guy who used to date a girl that I graduated from high school with. He was actually at my (well, her) graduation, and, funny enough, he's in the background of a picture that my mom took of my boyfriend at the time, but I wouldn't meet him until six years later.

One time I got fixed up with a guy and didn't like him, and then one of my friends went out with him and didn't like him either. He's a friend of the guy that my friend decided to marry. (All of us are in the wedding party. No awkwardness there.)

I work with a girl who keeps pestering me to fix her up with a guy that dated a friend of mine in high school. (He's worked with my dad since he got out of college, and he used to write my friend love notes with Righteous Brothers song lyrics. In his defense, he was like 16 at the time.)

I'm friends with a guy whose best friend's sister Mark used to sleep with in college.

I just spent the wedding of the guy who I lived with for two years who used to date my friend sitting next to a guy whose wife used to sleep with a guy that I was forced to friend-dump because he was really, really annoying.

I'm sure there's a bunch I'm forgetting about, too. I guess it's a good thing we all decided to get our own social lives. For the most part.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

no day but today

My 19-year-old self is freaking out! It's the original Broadway cast, except for Mimi.

I'm also really happy that Anthony Rapp's bio includes his stint in Adventures in Babysitting. "Take it back, Brad! Take back what you said about Thor!"

Thursday, June 09, 2005

brain spillage

Some girls like diamonds. I like fighting frog pens.

After lunch at Desmond's on Sunday with Jen and Steve, it was too summery to call it a day. So they indulged me and we went to Fun and Games, where we played skee ball and some cowboy shooting game. They had Dance Dance Revolution (or their generic answer to it) and glow-in-the-dark laser tag (!!!) but we had time constraints. Another time.

Anyway, Jen and I are very, very, very good at skee ball. We almost got ivy league scholarships for it. When we tried to cash in our tickets at the end, we realized we could only afford stupid crap like a single, solitary, plastic-wrapped Swedish fish (Steve got that, it was so funny and sad!). So, being the true friend she is, Jen donated her tickets so that I could get the fighting frog pen. It lights up when you write with it. Everyone who plays with it pretends to punch their face and get knocked out. Mine is red. We technically have joint custody but I'm a little possessive.

I want someone to text me. People are texting each other and I'm not a part of it. I know it might involve turning on my cell phone, and I would be willing to do this. I once had a text message on my phone for months and didn't realize that was why it always beeped at me when I turned it on. So maybe just don't send me an important, time-sensitive text.

Dentyne Fire spicy cinnamon gum is wicked good.

I'm bored with all my shampoo and products. I need to go spend money at Sephora. Or rather, spend gift cards, because the gift givers in my life know me all too well, thankfully.

You know what would be cool? I want for Carly to come out with me and Melissa the next time we get together. This is sort of a public request for a date, so you can't say no. Or I guess you could, if you really wanted to. Text me.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

me, and then some

What is your most marked characteristic?
Goofiness, for better or worse. I'm continuing to push for legislation to make uncool the new cool.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Can make me laugh until I can't breathe, extremely smart but not arrogant about it, walks that fine line between offbeat and wacko, very kind, has fun doing pretty much anything, good kisser.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Can make me laugh until I can't breathe, extremely smart but not arrogant about it, walks that fine line between offbeat and wacko, very kind, has fun doing pretty much anything, GREAT kisser.

What do you most value in your friends?
Just that they're there, whatever the weather. Flakiness is kryptonite to friendship. For a girl who isn't serious about too much, I take my friendships seriously and I think my friends pretty much know that I adore them. (I should also say that I have some of the kindest, funniest, most wonderful friends on the planet, and many of them have friends who are also the kindest, funniest, most wonderful people on the planet, so I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by circles of awesomeness.)

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I can be ditzy.

What is your favorite occupation?
I love my job. Having said that, it pisses me off sometimes, just like anybody's job does, but I love and believe in what I do in a way that is hard for me to express without being sappy. If I wasn't doing this I'd probably be teaching second grade. Other than that, I'd love to be a columnist again, for a real paper this time. (Jen's friend Audrey writes a column for the Jewish Advocate called Everyone Loves a Single Girl, which I think sounds like the most fun thing ever.)

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
First, I would have to have finished everything on my to-do list (notice I'm too Type A to have suggested just ripping up my to-do list), and then I'd leave for Fiji with my friends and/or Ron King.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Seeing kids that I love who have terrible parents. (Here's my PSA for any of those considering procreating, from the admittedly secondhand perspective of someone without kids: Read to them before bed, help them with their homework, make sure you feed them well, go to every school play you can, and put them first in every way possible. This isn't a "The More You Know"'s heartbreaking how many parents don't have this shit figured out. Okay, rant over.)

In which country would you like to live?
Australia or New Zealand, but only for a little while because I'd get homesick, plus I'd get sick of all the hobbits.

Who are your favorite writers?
John Irving, Wally Lamb, John Steinbeck, Pamela Painter, Oliver Sacks, J.K. Rowling, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Blake Nelson (sometimes).

Who are your favorite poets?
Quinton Duval, Christopher Gilbert, Pablo Neruda, e.e. cummings, and whoever wrote that poem about plums in the icebox.

What is it that you most dislike?
When you're mean or ignorant or too smooth; I like simple and sweet and silly. And, of course, the Big Five: coffee, cheese, potatoes, bananas, and beans. Dunkin' Donuts actually has banana-flavored coffee now...blech.

Which talent would you like to have?
I'd like to be able to sing really, really well. Then I'd go on American Idol and when I won, instead of screaming "Thank you, America!", I'd dismantle the whole franchise on live TV, but not before getting the nation grooving to my rendition of "More Than a Woman" by the Bee Gees, falsetto and all, but then I'd launch into "Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me" by Mac Davis for that "come hither, now go away" effect.

How would you like to die?
In my sleep, as an old lady, warm in my bed, and then I'll walk up the steps and kiss Leonardo DiCaprio and have all the people around us clap. Yuck. Just drop me off a building or something, but not for 70 or so years.

What is your current state of mind?
Tired, but good.

What is your motto?
Don't do anything I wouldn't do, peanut.