Monday, November 13, 2006

His car is in my garage.

It takes a whole lot of work to make it onto my shit list. It is an extremely short list. You can add your name by fucking with me, my husband, one of my family members or one of my close friends. Get there quicker by fucking with a combo of any of these elements.

If you fuck with me, that’s bad. If you fuck with my husband too, that’s worse. If you fuck up our weekend, it’s over.

His practical joke fucked with all three. He is now on that list. And right now his car is in my garage. No additional details needed.

If the garage were attached to my home, there would be no need to ponder further. Brake cables would already be cut, and I would have pushed the vehicle into a ditch. But the car is in our garage, which is located across the apartment complex. The distance could allow me the luxury of ignoring its presence all week if I want to – or, I can think of lovely things to do to the car until the shithead returns.

Wipe my ass on the door handle?
Leave a piece of rotting meat in the exhaust pipe?
Introduce the vehicle to my New Jersey neighbor Hoop (you can see his work above)?

The possibilities really are endless.

So what is a girl to do? This guy’s relationship with my husband is unfortunately important enough to merit his car being in our garage. Regardless, this is a prime opportunity for payback. It could be as garish as a “Pimp my Ride” episode gone very, very wrong. It could be as subtle as just him knowing this little “harmless” rant exists.

Payback is a bitch, buddy,
even if only in my bitter musings.
We’ll see if it goes anywhere from there.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Introducing: "the girls".

Since the 3rd grade, “the girls” have defined me. Boys had crushes on me because I had mine before everyone else. In high school, word was that I wore necklaces over my extra-large sweatshirts because I wanted to draw attention to them. I went to the gynecologist today, and even he seemed impressed when he caught his first glance - as completely uncomfortable as this made me. The attention “the girls” get has always made me very uncomfortable.

I am an average 5 foot 4, weigh an average 135 lbs, and carry a bit more than average size boobs. If I wear something baggy to cover them up, I look overweight. If I wear something that fits, it looks as though the goal of the outfit is to make you look.

Within the past year, I have taken the attitude that I would embrace the fact that I know people are looking. It’s me and my girls – nothing’s changing, so I have to work it. All right, maybe not work it so much as not shy away from reacting when they are reacted to.

My sister and I began performing “Breast Marionettes” acts at home. Hum a little ditty, grab the bra straps from under the top of your shirt, and you are ready to go. I like to animate the left one first, than the right, then alternating. It used to make my parents turn magenta. It was empowering to make someone feel just as uncomfortable about looking at the girls as I felt having them looked at.

The strangest power the girls have is that men feel free to say things they never say whenever the girls are around. I once worked with a supervisor who would only compliment my outfit if the girls were on parade. I mentioned this to one of my male co-workers, who at first didn’t believe me but did once he witnessed it himself.

Afterward, we’d joke that the next time it happened, my coworker would say “Yeah Aj, your tits look fantastic”, to which I would answer “Thank you so much for noticing. I’ve been working on them” or “Do you think this blouse makes them look bigger?” He bailed on the plan when the supervisor paid his next “compliment”, but I can understand why. To many, the titties are taboo. To me, they are the objects that many acknowledge, but cannot say anything directly about. And most of the time, I can translate what isn’t being said.

Every day I dress myself, and have to consider that what I am wearing could very well change someone’s perception of me. The girls are here. There is little repressing them, regardless of if I wear a turtleneck or a v-neck. Sometimes it’s hard to get someone to listen when they can’t get their eyes past my chest.

Back to the gynecologist. At the end of my appointment, he asked how long I have been on the pill. He asked if I had breast cancer in the family. He asked how old I am. He then told me that I should consider giving up the pill, as the hormones could put the girls and me at risk. This has presented a new issue – do I keep the girls healthy at the risk of starting a family before I’m ready, or risk loosing them in an attempt to plan my family and protect my autonomy? Part of my identity has become coping with my mammeries and the reaction they get. and I have finally become accustom to one way of dealing with the girls – as objects that attract eyes. I’m not ready to fully embrace the idea that they may also become a magnet for disease.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween! You know what this means…

The beginning of the 2006 Holiday Season! Start shopping now!!!

Christmas trees and decorations have been up at malls in the Northeast for weeks. It has only added to the insanity that my local mall has always been.

Willowbrook Mall has 3 wings. The “Trendy” wing features shops like Abercrombie and Fitch, Godiva and the Gap. It is anchored by Macy’s. “Posh” wing is home to the likes of Lord and Taylor's and Victoria's Secret, and is anchored by Bloomingdales.

The third wing is the “Ghetto” wing. It has the outdated kiosks, a puppy penitentiary shop and Spencer’s gifts. The wing is anchored by Sears.

The hub of the mall is the food court, featuring a Starbucks where baristas look down at you, and a Ben and Jerry’s where I found myself looking down at a guy behind the counter shamelessly scratching his crotch.

Diversity in vendors in a mall is fine and welcome. What is strange about this mall is the way that, for the most part, they have kept certain shops in certain areas. It seems as though a class system is being perpetuated in this mall, but change is afoot…

A Tattoo Parlor that opened in the “Posh” wing.
Yes, you heard me correctly.
When did tattoos become so suburban that they now are available in a mall in Wayne NJ?
The shop is sandwiched between The Icing and The Limited.

The irony is just as tasty as the the placement of the recently opened Old Navy, on the left as you exit Bloomingdales. Talk about two extremes. I go from feeling dirt poor to uber rich in a matter of yards.

Only at the Willowbrook Mall can you eat at a California Pizza Kitchen, forget your leftovers at Lindt, run past a woman getting a tattoo of a dragon on her leg in the window of the Tattoo Parlor, pick up a 10 dollar t-shirt and walk through Bloomingdale’s to get to your car.

And just like that, Christmas trees in October make more sense than they ever have.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I never reset my “Vacation Countdown Clock” after our trip to Japan was cancelled. It is now taunting me, blinking all zeros. Today was the day we were supposed to leave. Avoiding a discussion about my distrust of Cowboys (the main reason for our change of plans) is probably best at this juncture.

My bosses recently came back from a trip to China, and brought me back a delicate white gong fu tea set. The tea that came with it, an oolong called Ti Kuan Yin (which is traditionally drank in the style of gong fu), was packaged in shiny airtight pouches inside of colorful metallic tins. When I opened the first pouch, I was overwhelmed by how lovely the tea was inside, and after brewing it found the leaves to expand to epic lengths and the infusion to be both intense yet easily palatable. When my husband saw it for the first time, he verbalized the sets best feature – one that I had been overwhelmed by as soon as I had received it. The set was once in China. It is now here. These leaves once grew in a plantation in China, and now they are floating in a cup somewhere in the New York suburbs.

Of course, much of the ”stuff” we have around us has made global journeys the nature of which few of us will ever have the chance to make. But often these objects are not made to reflect the culture of the manufacturer, so we loose sight of where it is from. That’s one of the things I enjoy about the tea industry. My company imports mostly from China, Japan, Taiwan, India and Africa. The containers look native to these places. The teas inside are the crop from the following season, often plucked and rolled by hand. Tea is a true ”objects” of the eastern hemisphere, and it both teases and sooths my wanderlust.

My grandmother fell in her home yesterday, resulting in a break in her femur, which will require surgery this morning. It was hard going to sleep last night, thinking about her and my mother, and what the next few days could hold for them. Today of all days I am so happy to not be getting on a plane.

At work yesterday, I was chatting online with a customer about types of tea – a fun part about working for an Internet tea business. At the end of the conversation, he told me he was off to bed, and wished me “Good Night from Spain”. At once my heart was swept away in the romance of chatting with someone so far away. How beautiful it must be there. But if I cannot be there, at least I am someplace where the world can come to me. Where I am now is just fine – it is where I need to be. I responded to the foreigner, closing our conversation by wishing him “Good Day from New Jersey”.

(picture from www.mistymorningtea.com)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I saw lightning strike the other night. Driving home, about 20 yards away from my car. It hit a telephone pole. Its color was a bright white blue. It was not as loud as I expected it to be. It hit the pole, and sparks flew down to the asphalt below. And as soon as it happened I had already passed it. One moment I was thanking God I was not hit, and the next I was thanking God for having seen it.

Two weeks ago, I was in Target on a Sunday. Always a bad idea. People were everywhere, and I was close to loosing my mind. Even a short trip for a quick errand had turned epic. Barreling toward the exit, a child darted out in front of me. “Holy crap” was the first thing out of my mouth, then I realized I had not hit the girl. A mother chased after the child, grabbed her by the arm, and shouted at me “you should have hit her. Then she may have learned something” – then smacked the little girl.

Last Friday, while approaching an intersection and entering a left hand turn lane, a car coming in the other direction across the intersection drove directly into me. I saw him coming just in time and was able to swerve out of the way without hitting someone else. No harm came to me or the other car.

Know that I am quite afraid of jinxing this, but for some reason I think the powers that be enjoy positioning me just close enough to trouble that nothing happens except for inspiration for a decent story. So yeah, because of quick reflexes and paranoia I tend to stay out of trouble – but regardless I’m sure I’ll continue to stumble close enough to feel the force of the lightning…and I’ll continue to write about it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

My husband hates my science experiments...

Feel free to also check out a series of home experiments I got paid to do...
www.teamuse.com
september 2006

Hugs and kisses,
-Aj!


(click to enlarge)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Epiphany Toilet’s Revenge

In one of my favorite episodes of Scrubs, there is the discovery of the “Epiphany Toilet” – a bowl that exists at the top of the hospital’s roof where, eventually, the entire staff visits one at a time to release and reflect. My company is located on the 4th floor of an old-fashioned warehouse. I was thrilled on my first day when I saw that our bathrooms have open windows and fantastic views of the hillsides and treetops. It was like peeing in the great outdoors, but with the preferred walls and door locks. I had found my own “Epiphany Toilet”.

Today, the Epiphany Toilet betrayed me, as all of the toilets in my life eventually do. It’s always just a matter of time.

This morning I was having, for lack of a better way of saying it, a more inspired visit to the water closet. The first flush was less than productive. The second flush straightened up matters a bit, but I deemed a third flush necessary and polite.

The flush began. And continued to gain force. And began to shoot water over the edge of the bowl. Not a bubbling, gurgling slow overflow. Oh no. Envision projectile waves of toilet water that pelted the bathroom walls. I ran into the warehouse, remaining remarkably dry and even more remarkably calm as my coworker turned off the water.

“That was pretty good”. he said. “Last time it went clear across the room”.

So between 9:50 and 10:20 this morning, I cleaned up about 2 1/2 gallons of toilet water from the floor of my warehouse women’s room with a dirty mop and a plastic cup. I’m used to bailing out water from the front passenger side of my car after bad rainstorms, and this previous experience proved to be quite valuable in this new scenario.

Everything smelled like toilet water for about an hour and a half. Tea was just not appealing. All I wanted was the water turned back on and a bar of soap.

Bastard toilet. This time I thought it was different. We had so many good times – moments of contemplation and meditation. Times of cool breezes from the world outside, then subsequent hot breezes from, uh, the inside world. Where did it all go wrong?

In two weeks, we are moving to another warehouse. And another toilet…

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Portland, Maine 2006

Thursday, July 20, 2006

STADIUM REPORT!
PNC Park (click to enlarge)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Last week we had a small bomb detonate in the apartment complex I live in. The block around the apartment which held the bomb was evacuated, and the street shut down. I did some laundry.

On Thursday, I noticed a spider looking at me from the wall above my linen closet. When I came back to my apartment after being away for the weekend, it was still there, frozen in the same position. I figure when spiders go to die, the last place they would do it would be so visible as a white wall above a closet. Maybe it lapsed into a coma. Damned if I am going to touch it.

On Friday, I ended my 2 1/2 year relationship with my old job. We had some drinks and some food, some laughs and some tears, and I walked out. 3 hours later my old supervisor called me to ask where a file was. If he calls again, I will charge him a consultant fee. Breaking up is hard to do.

Friday night, I attended a burlesque show which featured a woman who "lip" synced metal anthems with her genitals. Enough said.

Today I began a new relationship with a different employer. Trial by fire at a well known Trade Show. My legs ache but my spirits are high and cuticles are in tact (didn't feel the need to pick at them from stress). I think this may be a better relationship for me. Besides, they took me out for dinner and paid - a nice way to end a first date.

So that's the run down of what's been up. Luckily, my new gig will have me writing quite a bit, so I will most likely be updating here a bit more. No, I have not found employment as a professional mermaid, web-site traffic reporter, massage therapist, midwife, or mosaic tile artist. I am working in the industry of warm beverages, as a customer service manager and writer for an internet tea company. For the time being, I have found bliss.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

June 24th
24th Annual Mermaid Parade
Coney Island USA







Ps. On Friday, I gave my notice.
I start a lovely new job in 2 weeks.
More to come...

Friday, June 16, 2006

Wildwood NJ, June 10-11
The amusment piers and boardwalk are so distracting, that I never once made it down to the ocean. That happens almost every time I visit...







Burlington VT, June 5-6
Sunsets on the lake, a picture of Nectar's, a shot of the main street which they shut down for pedestrians, and views of the scenery as we drive out of town. A beautiful, calming place. If you haven't been and you love New England, you must make the trip.




Thursday, June 08, 2006

Pictures from the Jardin Botanique de Montreal
June 4th, 2006







Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Bidet? More like a Bidon't.

Boy and I were in Montreal this weekend. We stayed in a nice hotel that had nice amenities. Full bar, cable TV, bidet.

Its not so much that there was a welcoming, yet foreign, bidet staring at me each time I went wizz. Its that there was a towel over the bidet. A towel that was placed there to wipe, uh, parts.

The location alone was a subtle reminder of where that towel had been. This lead to thoughts of where the other towels, linens, pillows, and such had also been. But you can put all the rest out of your mind, because the others are not positioned right above the ass-water-pic.

I hope everything was cleaned in very hot water. And bleach. And I can tell you where that ass-cloth wasn't...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Montauk Point, Memorial Day Weekend 2006
Wish You Were Here...





Summer has arrived on the East Coast -
let the Professional Touring Begin!

5/25/06
The Presby Memorial Iris Gardens
The blooms peak around Memorial Day, so every year I try to visit as close to the big weekend as I can...


Monday, May 22, 2006

Did someone say Haiku?


Hot jasmine pearl tea
Bought at nine dollars an ounce
An expensive vice

Cried at work today
Eyes burn when I blink too much
Boss says he will fix

Death Cab for Cutie
Playing on my computer
Melancholy night

Looking for new work
What job would be the best fit?
Maybe one that pays?

Lock me in a room
Take away my day planner
Let me sleep for once

Have to make a joke
Pity Parties are no fun
Has John Badestow failed?

I neglect to write
Forgot my Blogger password
Then remembered it

Friday, May 19, 2006