Monday, September 25, 2006

My John.

My shower is of the weird marbled stall variety, like the kind you had in college, if you went to the University of Little Nottinghamshire in the 1500s. While charming and at times useful, in that I've often been able to dodge various men's dreaded whispers of "Let's shower together" under the excuse of less than 50% of the unholy coupling being able to fit (and not under the more honest excuse "Showering with someone else blows"), it's still pretty damn inconvenient to have to go all swami if I want to shave my legs. It's also kind of strange that I don't have a tub, considering I have tons of extra yardage in my bathroom, to the point where I have - gasp- empty shelves. My toilet even has its own alcove, so you feel secret and naughty and regal when you lay a twosie. In a neighborhood where your local supermarket offers specials such as this:

Stock up for the winter.

Well, it can be a home away from home. Anyway, recently, I'd been finding a small flood had formed each time I showered. At first I blamed myself and the chemolike amounts of hair that I lose when I bathe, but I soon realized that I had some sort of plumbing problem. After a brief phone call with my landlords, an old Polish couple so stoic that I can only assume that the NYC real estate market is no biggie after the horrors of Dresden, they assured me that "Josef" the handyman would be at my door at 9 the next morning.

At 810 AM the next morning, my buzzer rang and woke me up, and a few minutes later, a 75-year-old Polish man arrived at my door, wheezing what I assumed would be his last breath. He evaluated my situation by swearing under his breath in Polish for a few minutes,and then somehow managed to communicate that he'd be back at 9 on Monday to "tub", and that for me, there would be "no washing for two days". I assured him it wouldn't be a problem, as I could shower at the gym, which is odd, since I don't belong to a gym and have no reason to lie to a man that shares less than 20 words in common with me, but hey, sleep deprivation makes me outright lie, what can I say.

At 845 AM this morning, Josef arrived, having brought a younger helper of about 60, who I assume will be doing the heavy lifting and rescue breathing. Josef and I were old friends at this point and past the need to communicate with words, and since I was sopping wet and wearing only a bathrobe, I was happy to snatch my birth control, give him the keys to the place, and point at the bathroom in a grand sort of ribbon-cutting gesture, while I went to my bed/living room to dress. For anyone who's not had the pleasure of lotioning themselves down to the harsh Slavic yells of Polish laborers, it's like going to a spa where everything has to be done urgently. Before I left, I caught view of a missing wall and Josef grunting something about "tub" and "moving sink", and I saw this tool on my kitchen floor:

Is that a.....I'm just gonna assume you're happy to see me.

So I'm guessing that tonight's not a good night to entertain.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Stingray tears

After enjoying a brief respite from last week's eye problems, I've found myself in ocular hell all over again, when my lifelong battle with dry eyes finally reached breaking point (read: having trouble seeing the TV). Granted, I do have prescription glasses that I don't wear for medical reasons (I'm medically vain), and I don't imbibe any liquids that aren't diuretics, so it's not exactly nature's fault, but it's finally gotten to the point where five-and-a-half senses* isn't going to cut it, and something's got to be done.

Probably not the best hangover cure. But so pretty.

According to the good people at, which I imagine is the least beat-off to site on the internet, this can be caused by a number of things, including decreased lubrication as we age (no, you're not weird because you just pictured your grandmother's snatch. It's a perfectly natural reaction), or the lack of blinking that typically accompanies activities such as "watching television or looking at a computer monitor", which pretty much describes 87% of my waking hours(the other 13% breaks down to time spent in transit between said monitor and said TV, refilling of my glass, and the occasional how's-your-father given to the undercarriage).

Basically, they're telling me the cure for my chronic dry eyeness is to blink more, which is just about the most patronizing prescription ever given, second only to that given by my father, an incredibly intelligent and infuriatingly calm Physician's Assistant, who, upon telling him that your arm/wrist/back/leg is causing you excruciating pain when you move it a certain way, will simply look at you and say, "Then don't." By nature, I think blinking, like breathing, is supposed to be a sort of involuntary process, one that I pay my autonomic nervous sytem good oxygen to perform, so attempting to make it voluntary is both frustrating and fucking impossible. I'll remember for a minute or so, get caught up in the ramblings of the good people at Cracked or Unleashed, then suddenly remember my vow and blink 20-30 times in rapid succession to generate some lubrication (hey baby), which results in me looking like a coquettish young vixen, attempting to seduce my computer. If I had to use this much effort to breathe, you'd have found me living the Arthur Digby Sellers life long ago, purely out of sloth.

So, you like pizza and sex?

Apparently, there is one drug out there that can cure this, and it's shown results in 15% of those that take it, though frankly, with those odds, I'm probably better off splitting threes. I've gone to Duane Reade to purchase Artificial Tears at the low cost of $4.99 per half ounce, but that seems a little pricey for an excretion. If I'd known what the going rate was, I would have been saving that shit all along- I probably waste at least fifty bucks every time I watch the end of Armageddon. The final option is to cut out my own eyes, but I think that 's more of a last resort (shout out to Oedipus, for setting that bar pretty high). We'll see.

*No, not dead people. I'm just really good at touching things.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Turn, turn, turning onto 81 S., Garden State Pkwy.

As with the end of any season, there's always regrets, mine namely being that I would most likely remember this as "the summer I watched the entire series of Oz on DVD", and that I had a terrific new bikini that had yet to be exposed to sunlight. Knowing that nothing short of a time-space wrinkle could undo the amount of assfucking and heroin snorting that I've witnessed in the past couple of months, I decided to work on the second, and so my friend Lee and I decided to rent a car and drive down to the NJ shore beach house that my friend Jess had rented. Knowing that Saturday was going to have bad weather (I believe the term "hurricane" was bandied about, but as the only time I left my apt was to purchase a bottle of vodka for the trip*, I'm just going on hearsay), we planned to leave Sunday morning.

*It's funny how events that some people would call "personal low points" can be other people's "personal high points".

That's actually considered a pretty nice little Saturday in Russia.

Anyway, the trip was a breeze (for anyone in the area, 95.5 FM- All Bon Jovi's "Bad Medicine", All the Time), and the weather at the Jersey shore this weekend was unreal, with the dreary grey Saturday followed by two days of perfect sunshine and angry, tourist-fucking waves. Being a fairly active person at the beach, I can usually spend hours boogie boarding to and fro, but after one particularly violent ride in which the ocean floor politely reminded my c5 vertebrae who was running the show, I decided it was best to stand in the shallow water with the rest of the masses and just enjoy wading around.

What followed was three hours of horror, in which I actually heard a wave break the sound barrier, and found myself closer to God on several occasions. If one made it out past where the waves were breaking, and past the bodies strewn across the shore, it was actually quite pleasant, and I even found myself in a few "We're all in this together" type conversations with strangers similarly enthralled to find themselves still able to walk. At one point, two 11 year-old girls targeted me as a potential confidant and asked me to tell them if there was really a Santa Claus, and following my refusal to tell (with some bullshit not-quite-comfortable-being-an-adult dismissal like "I'm sworn to secrecy" and a twisting of an invisible key in front of my mouth that was so fucking lame I actually heard my 13-yer-old self making fun of me to other kids), they conferred briefly and countered with "Are you able to tan?", at which point I decided that I'd best risk the trip to land before I found myself taunting preteens about their virginity.

Maybe if you weren't so harsh on her, she wouldn't have wanted to sell her tongue. Did you ever consider that?

Poseidon was having none of my high road, however, and after inadvertently showing my breasts to several unimpressed starngers, I ended up in a face plant somewhere nearish the shore, and at some point a grain of sand somehow got trapped in my eye socket (well, I assume it was from the weekend's beach time, but it could also be a the little plastic neuss that comes in the Clue box). It's an odd feeling to sit at a desk in front of a spreadsheet with facial lacerations, knowing that you look far, far more hardcore than you actually are, and for those who have never had the particular pleasure of something stuck in your ocular cavity for an extended period of time, it ranks on the Annoying Scale just above oral surgery and just below my mother*, but all in all, a good time was had.

*On a follow-up note, my mother informed me last night that she now weighs 140 pounds, and although I'm happy for her, she's getting dangerously close to my own weight, and I'd rather not have to commit suicide.