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Preview: Post No Bills: New York Adventures in Banality

Post No Bills: New York Adventures in Banality

Like Bridget Jones, except gay, more hopeless, and now with 20% more badonkadonk!

Last Build Date: Fri, 03 Oct 2014 06:51:54 +0000


Moving Shop

Thu, 28 Jul 2011 19:55:00 +0000

Hey! All four readers still subscribed! Maybe this will ping your RSS feeds, but just wanted to let you all know that I decided to set up shop at:

It's a work in progress and, frankly, this blog needed to move off of antiquated circa 2005 Blogger in favor of Wordpress. So, I am going to try and blog over there, no promises yet as to how frequently, BUT I do have one EPIC update waiting for you. Make sure you have a cocktail or a beverage as it clocks in just under 3,000 words.



Wed, 09 Jun 2010 19:44:00 +0000

It wasn't my intention to take a break from blogging, but around the time of February and March I didn't really feel like I had much more to say, which is a shame because I had been regularly writing since 2004. My life was settling down post move and I had entered an almost hermetic phase full of introspection and self reflection -- the kind that doesn't make for the best writing. In addition to thinking a lot about career goals and starting a new blog and twitter account to support some of my freelance work, I was having big thoughts about life, death, and the sort of psychic baggage I've been carrying around.

Again, not the sort of self involved, pretentious prattle anyone wants to read about.

Standing on the edge of the proverbial rabbit hole, I dove headlong into the dark with the intent to release past traumas and heal any fragments of my psyche. I read books on chakra clearing, listened to sound therapy music, and meditated. It was a pretty intense past few months with equal parts strange dreams and epiphanies. I felt the release that only comes with deep self examination. Through this I came to peace -- or rather a maturation -- with a lot of big issues in my life, specifically my dysfunctional relationship with my mother.

My healing work had to happened at the time that it did because on Sunday I found out my mother is sick and it may be cancer. Although I'm still in shock, I'm coming to realize that my process with this news would have been totally different had I learned this just a few months ago.

On June 8, 1997, my mother wrote in her diary that it was the day that she lost her daughter.

On June 6, 2010, my mother told me that she had been seeing an oncologist and hematologist for the last few months. There will be tests on her bone marrow. While doctors are not sure what is making her sick, she wanted me to know so I could prepare for whatever the future brings.

On June 8, 2010, I ordered my mother flowers and told her that I loved her.

I didn't realize it at the time, but the reoccurrence of this date in our lives shows me that there are no coincidences. We can now, after thirteen years and a life time of dissonance, start to heal our relationship.


Here's my mom, caught in a cell phone picture, with the flowers I sent to her at work. She said they made her cry. Hopefully in a good way!

"Speaking from experience ... you know it's not just ONE mouse, right?"

Wed, 17 Feb 2010 03:15:00 +0000

For those who are squeamish or cried at Bambi or keep mice at pets (quelle horreur!), you may want to skip this post. Okay? Okay.

Let us rewind to last week.

Ms. K and I discovered, much to our dismay, that we had a mouse. Unfortunately the burden fell to me to take care of our little visitor, and by "take care of" I don't mean cater to his every whim, but ensure that he would have the least painful death possible. (Before you squeal and post links to no-kill mouse traps in the comments section, I will remind you that you can get meningitis from mouse droppings and die.)

To make a long story short, I purchased some newfangled snap traps from the hardware, baited them with peanut butter, and went to bed with fingers crossed. Lo and behold it worked, having discovered a dead mouse in the trap the next morning.

Ms. K and I rejoiced! It was safe to go into the kitchen again! I felt a surge of something that I can only explain as primordial hunter pride. (Yes, I'm a woman. Yes, I killed a little mouse. But it is a disease vector! I win!)

But before I could rest on my laurels, I discovered another mouse in the kitchen. And I saw it scurry behind the stove, it's little tail wriggling out of view.

Shit! It had a friend! I may or may not have shrieked.

For the next day I stalked that mouse. I followed its trail, figured which point it was using to access the counter top, and created a funnel in which to direct it towards the snap trap.

In short, it worked. (I'm purposely glazing over the part of the story where the mouse doesn't die right away and it was up to me to put it out of its misery. With a cast iron pan.)

Over a week later and no more mice.

To rid yourself of any unpleasant imagery, I leave you all with the life and death of DJ Roomba.

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"Maybe we should move again?"

Thu, 04 Feb 2010 19:28:00 +0000

Shit, dudes. We got ourselves a mouse in the new house. And not some cute talking mouse that secretly makes you delicious French dinners, but a disease spreading creature that poops on kitchen countertops and God knows what else.

When we moved into the apartment and I inspected the nooks and crannies of my new home, I suspiciously found steel wool in the strangest of places -- as in the radiators, linen closet, and the door jams. I remember wondering why some weirdo previous tenant had left steel wool everywhere?

Oh right, to prevent mice from entering small cracks in the walls. Duh! Too bad I threw some it away, which may or may not have contributed to our new houseguest's arrival.

Ms. K is not taking the news very well and since I'm the bug killer in the relationship, my duties now extend to mouse removal. Unfortunately for her, I'm at work and she's having to face the mouse hunt on her own while sending me panicked updates via email.

"Honey! You have to fix it!"

"I am afraid of that bad thing! OMG. I do not like this! Also, it
puts a dent in my cleaning plans!"

"Honey, I feel like you are not being the appropriate amount of
alarmed/ upset about this!"

"I need him to go away now!"

This will be fun to deal with when I get home tonight!

"I love you so much."

Wed, 06 Jan 2010 21:26:00 +0000

The whole addendum or coda or whatever you want to call it to the Deborah incident is that she texted Ms. K on New Year's Eve to say that she loves her so much. This text came while Ms. K and I were sharing a New Year's Eve dinner at Applewood, leaving both of us rather perplexed.

"She can't possibly love me!" Ms. K said as she showed me her cellphone in the middle of our five course dinner. "Maybe she meant this for someone else?"


On advice from me and a friend of hers, Ms. K ignored the text. It had to have been meant for someone else.

Except that Deborah was acting weird at work when they finally did see each other. Ms. K pulled her aside and asked what was wrong. After some evasion, Deborah confessed that she was jealous.

Jealous? Seriously? Jealous of me, jealous of Ms. K's close friendship with another person (that's another long story). Why do I feel like I'm in high school again? And I don't even work with Deborah.

"I'm not sure what gave you the impression otherwise," Ms. K clarified, "but I don't cheat on Rouge."

I hope this is the final words I write on this because it's all very immature.

"Don't touch my boobs, don't touch my ass, just stop it."

Thu, 31 Dec 2009 17:11:00 +0000

Ms. K has a coworker that propositioned her for sex last night.

Let's call this coworker Deborah.

Look, I'm not particularly the jealous type and I feel 100% secure in my relationship with Ms. K, but this is the same coworker who is quickly sleeping her way through the rest of the restaurant staff. Not only has Deborah slept with one of the managers who has girlfriend, she's gotten friendly with a waiter who is known to have patronized hookers. Hookers! So it's all a bit sordid and with a dash of a potential STD. And furthermore, Deborah has met me. Multiple times! She knows that Ms. K and I are married!

I guess this means that it was inevitable that Deborah would set her sights on Ms. K, but it's still gross. There's a lot of dirty back story that I could explain, but this is all you need to know. Deborah was rather sexually aggressive with Ms. K last night as they had drinks after work with other staff members. If she wasn't pressing her body against Ms. K while sitting on the bar stool, she was Mr. Grabby with the inappropriate touching. Or she was saying, "I was thinking of you all day." Or she was suggesting threesomes with the guy who has sex with hookers. Deborah even followed Ms. K to the bathroom at one point and she told me that had to forcefully say to Deborah, "You need to stop."

However it really didn't stop, so Ms. K called it a night and left the bar before anyone could slip her a roofie, coming home to me and regaling me with her story of bad touching and incestuous, alcohol fueled coworker relationships. With hookers.

I feel the need to go down to the restaurant and reestablish some boundaries, but my gut is telling me that Deborah is not the most stable person and thus my saying something would be like pouring gasoline on fire.

Dude. Too much drama.

"The apartment was found in disarray."

Wed, 16 Dec 2009 17:18:00 +0000

The Good:

Unexpectedly, my friend and colleague DJ surprised Ms. K and I with a wedding gift -- two wedding gifts! Orchestrating donations at work, she not only presented us with a lovely card signed by 18 of my colleagues, but two gift certificates -- one to the restaurant Blue Hill in Manhattan and the other to Char No. 4 in Brooklyn. Hey, maybe there's something to this whole getting married thing.

Furthermore, on the same day that we received the gifts, I unexpectedly won a free service probably valued at about $50. Huzzah. Time to take that luck to Vegas!

The Bad:

Apart from losing a couple of paychecks to IKEA, things have been generally good. The new apartment is great! No regrets! However my previous landlord is less that happy with me and is threatening to sue me in small claims court. This can probably be sorted out without going to court and we've been playing phone tag over the last week, but right now the red voice mail indicator is flashing on my work phone and I really don't want to pick it up and listen to the message because I know there's a 99% chance that it is him. Needless to say I've been procrastinating on this all morning and, well, need to just nut up and call him back and sort it all out. He says, "The apartment was found in disarray," and I need to explain to him that that was pretty much how we received it from the previous tenant.

The Not So Ugly:

A couple of days ago, after going over a week without cooking gas, I finally made my first meal in the apartment, which was a modest supper of chicken, sauteed crimini mushrooms, and green beans. Apologies for the iPhone quality photo. My camera is packed somewhere . . . . But hey, note the granite counter top at the top of the picture!


"Attention Ikea associates, we have a Code 99 in textiles."

Tue, 08 Dec 2009 19:17:00 +0000

Since I still don't have cooking gas hooked up in my apartment, I've been subsisting on a diet of cold Thanksgiving leftovers, takeout, and the occasional meal from the Farm on Adderley. Needless to say this shit is getting old, but I should hopefully have full use of my new stove on Thursday. In the interim, let's look back over the last couple of months, scraping together a couple of half formed story ideas that never made it out of the gate because I was busy getting gay married and stuff.

* My parents bought my 27 year old brother a house in October. This sort of made me laugh in a way that really means that I'm crying on the inside. Do I want my parents to buy me a house? Absolutely not, but I find it funny that my parents would buy my brother a house yet have only visited me twice in New York in the five years I've lived here, complaining that it's too expensive to visit. Cue sad trombone.

* What else, what else . . . OH! I still haven't my parents that I got gay married.

* Because I switched neighborhoods when I moved, I need to find a new gym. UGH. Seriously, this was really the only Con in the Pros & Cons category regarding the move. But it is a big Con. The closest gym to me now is the Crunch on Flatbush, where the Yelp reviews don't exactly inspire confidence.

* Ms. K and I went to IKEA and spent a small fortune, which in turn is helping make our new apartment look like we had hoped the old one would look like. Plus we painted our bedroom "Electric Blue" and bought this rug. Fun!

"We have nothing to fear from love and commitment."

Fri, 04 Dec 2009 00:40:00 +0000

Brava, New York State Senator Diane Savino, brava. It's a shame the majority of your fellow senators didn't see your eloquent point.

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“It is hard to live near houses.”

Mon, 30 Nov 2009 18:05:00 +0000

Ms. K and I moved yesterday to an apartment in Ditmas Park. If you will permit me, I have some things to say.

Fuck you, Kensington. Fuck you, former residence and your inhabitants of sour faced malcontents. Fuck you, roach infestation. Fuck you, screeching neighbor child. And, especially, fuck you, old women in the elevator who mutter epithets at me in Russian.

Hello, Ditmas Park! Hello, beautiful Victorian homes that cause my heart to pang with the longings of home ownership. Hello, two block walk to the subway. Hello, new neighbors who muster the correct reaction to a friendly golden retriever. Hello, new big kitchen with granite counters and an abundance of oak cabinets, so much that Ms. K and I don't quite know what to do with ourselves. Hello, gleaming white new bathroom.

We moved three quarters of a mile to the east and it's like a completely different world. I walk out my front door and I am confronted with the sight of detached wood frame homes instead of the rumble of Ocean Parkway. While a welcome change, I can't help think of this:
"It is hard to live near houses. Big, broad Victorians, houses I dream of, with rooms and dark staircases, and sky painted porch ceilings. Houses with trees that shade unattainable octagonal-walled bedrooms, with people who I never see, walking up and down the stairs.

"It seems not right to live near houses, houses with yards, and lawns, and one, not too far, with an in-ground pool you can see from the sidewalk. On a hot day I watch two ladies sit on lawn chairs, chatting in one pieces, not even swimming, and am tempted to ask them if I might just – quickly – jump in and then out." [ more ]

Someday. Until then, we'll revel in our new neighborhood.

Fri, 20 Nov 2009 19:01:00 +0000

Dude. Seriously. I'm in this photo. I hadn't seen it in 20 years, but some crafty soul posted it to Facebook and now I feel all weird. And shameful of some bad 80s-ness going on. Also, I hate Facebook.

"Honey, I'm glad I larried you."

Fri, 13 Nov 2009 17:46:00 +0000

I spent the greater part of last week alternating between googling about tax law and sharpening my pitchfork, ready to lead an angry mob of my disenfranchised gay brethren. While I haven't really gotten a clear answer on the inequitable financial impact of getting Ms. K health care, it's starting to look not as dire as the picture I painted previously. From what I understand, I have to pay tax on the value of the health care, not the actual benefit. Still, unfair is unfair.

However my rage might be voided. Tucked in the 1,000 pages of health care bill that the House of Representatives voted on last week was a provision to end the so called gay tax in regards to health care (and by extension domestic partner benefits too). Well well well. Here's to hoping that it passes in the Senate.

Another reason to tone down my angst is because I felt that it was sort of distracting me from just enjoying the moment and being in love, blah blah blah. So here I am, coming down from my soap box, enjoying the chocolate truffles and champagne that Denise sent me last week. While my parents still do not know that I got gay married, I did tell a cousin of mine and she was very supportive.

Ms. K and I joke that we got larried, aka lady married. We walk around the apartment saying "Honey, I'm glad I larried you" or "Honey, you're a good life" aka gay lady wife.

In other celebratory news, today marks my 5th anniversary as a New Yorker. And this is my 705th blog entry, which means that blog entry no. 700 went quietly unrecognized. Furthermore, Tuesday is my 31st birthday. Ms. K bought me a 1978 Bordeaux to mark the occasion.

Joyeux anniversaire!

PS -- Thanks to everyone, from Denver to Dubai, who gave Ms. K and I their best wishes and congratulations!


Wed, 04 Nov 2009 17:11:00 +0000

This whole Maine voting to repeal gay marriage thing -- and by extension California -- has me thinking. And angry. Mostly angry. I know I'm preaching to the converted here, but one of the comments on my initial "Hey, I got married" post was "Why?" The answer relates so poignantly to Maine's decision to revoke the civil rights of some of its citizens.


I know that on one hand marriage in the West is a dead institution and when I say this I speak of the institution that our grandparents and countless generations knew before. Women are no longer chattel to be moved from one family to another. There are no more dowries. Women no longer have to love, honor, and obey. (Sorry, honey. I know you were whispering "obey" under your breath as we exchanged vows.) Women, as a whole, are equal partners.

What is marriage in 2009? Again, it's about equality. It's about two people coming together to form a lasting partnership. It's about taking care of the one you love and vice versa, whether you're 30 or 90, regardless of gender.

So I think the question isn't "why" but "why not"? Especially since the gay marriage gods apparently giveth and they taketh away. (I'm looking at you, California and Maine.)

I've learned to value things differently as I've gotten older. While I don't need a piece of paper to confirm what I already know in my heart, I do want the legal structure of a partnership. And yeah, I want my wife to have health care. I want her to make the tough decisions for me should I ever, God forbid, be incapacitated. I want my inalienable right to equal protection under the law. Why is that so threatening to a large swath of the population, especially the voters in California and Maine?

And for one final dose of moral outrage, let me outline for you what lopsided, second class rights I'm entitled to currently. While the State of New York doesn't allow gay marriage (Fuck you, Albany), it does recognize "marriages" performed in other states. Ergo, Ms. K and I went to Connecticut to get hitched, which does perform gay marriages (ie, not civil unions). I'm in negotiations at work over what benefits will extend to Ms. K, namely health care. While things look like they are a go, this is what will happen should Ms. K decide to use my health care.

She goes to the doctor.

She submits a claim to my insurance company.

They reimburse her.

The IRS, because the federal government does not recognize gay marriage, treats the money the insurance company reimburses her as taxable income. Taxable fucking income. Just let that sink in a moment. So if Ms. K spends the night in the ER, like I did back in 2008, receives a $5,000 bill, and it is covered by insurance, we have to pay a percentage to the IRS come April. If your tax rate is 15%, that's $750 that will have to be paid to the IRS. If we were a straight married couple, this would not be the case.

This is what it is like to be a second class citizen in your own country.

I recommend reading the New York Time's "The High Price of Being a Gay Couple."

"I want to hear about how your families are responding."

Mon, 02 Nov 2009 22:27:00 +0000

Ah yes. The families. Anonymous commenter, you touched upon a major point that may or not have come across in my previous post. You see, my family doesn't know that I got married last week. It is infinitely complicated when it shouldn't be. Frankly I'm a little intimidated by my mother and don't quite know how to break the news to her. As for Ms. K, she told only her mother. Still waiting to see how this all goes down.

But let's rewind a little.

While it may seem out of left field that Ms. K and I would run off and get gay married, we've been talking about it privately for almost a year. We've also gone back and forth on whether this was something we wanted to do, but the possibility of my health care benefits extending to Ms. K was a huge lure. I know it's not very romantic and neither is a civil ceremony, but there you go. That said, these are murky legal water we've waded into. No, we won't be changing our last names.

So how did this all evolve?

Back in September, Ms. K and I started talking about moving from our much maligned apartment. If fact, had I been blogging that month, I would have regaled you all of tales of apartment listings on Craigslist and the place in Park Slope we looked at. Great location! By the park! In a brownstone! Dog friendly! But the place looked like squatters had been living there and it was overpriced in its condition. Alas.

The thrust into moving and the challenges that it would create led us to another conversation about perhaps waiting till early 2010 to commit to moving. Then it was like, "If we're not moving this month, why don't we get married instead?"


I picked an auspicious date and time in the future, which turned out to be October 28th at 11:15 am. As that day grew closer, we scrambled to buy wedding bands, rent a car, and buy dresses to wear. I even bought a pair of 3 1/2 inch stacked heels to wear with my new blue dress. Ms. K looked beautiful in a new gray dress paired with brown patent leather heels that she already had. No virginal white for us; the jig was surely up. On the day of, we got up early and drove in the rain to New Haven. By the time the paperwork was done and the justice of the peace had married us, it was noon. So much for my auspicious time frame.

When we finally got home and returned the car, we drank a bottle of Moet in bed and lounged around as "joined legal spouses." Then it was off to our wedding meal at Applewood in Park Slope where we had the tasting menu with the wine pairing. Afterward, tipsy and full, we took a car home where we crawled into bed exhausted, but most importantly married.

"Blab blab blab blab blab."

Fri, 30 Oct 2009 20:39:00 +0000

I wrote a couple of blog entries to explain some of the stuff that has been going on over the last month, but then the phrase "burying the lede" kept coming to mind. So I'm just going to come out and say it.

On Wednesday, Ms. K and I eloped to Connecticut. We are, in the eyes of the State of Connecticut and thus New York, "joined legal spouses."

Questions? Comments?

"Don't worry, I'm gay."

Tue, 20 Oct 2009 03:19:00 +0000

Alchemy.According to Merriam-Webster, it means "a power or process of transforming something common into something special." It's not what I would call your every day, run-of-the-mill kind of word, but I randomly saw the word twice within a fifteen minute time period. First, as I was waiting in line to order a sandwich, I glanced upon the word on an advertisement. Second, it graced the book chapter that I woman was reading next to me on the 6 train. I was reminded of childhood episodes of Sesame Street. Boys and girls, the word of the day is . . . alchemy.Maybe there is something alchemic in the art of turning a random coincidence into meaning. Maybe I was turning something common -- a common event -- into something special.But there was nothing common about the two events that happened hours later. First, I randomly received a check for $189 from the hospital that I stayed overnight in way back in January 2008. I have no idea why the hospital sent me a check almost 22 months after I stayed here. There was no explanation in the envelope, just a check. Also, how often do hospitals reimburse? Color me confused, color me $189 richer.After leaving work, my windfall fresh on my mind, I headed to the bank to deposit it lest they decide to take it back. As I crossed the street to the corner of 33rd and Park Avenue, I saw man walking straight toward me. At first I thought he was going to let me pass, the street was busy with people leaving work, but we ended up doing this sort of awkward dance that people do when they're trying to not run into each other. I noticed he sort of looked homeless and it was as if he was intentionally blocking me from entering the bank."I was wondering if I could ask you a strange question?" he said.Great. Fantastic. What does this guy want??Before you think that I am uncharitable to homeless people, especially in the wake receiving an unexpected $189, let me explain what happened next. He started with his speech. "Don't worry, I'm gay."It was a disarming thing to say, especially to a woman in New York. Translation? Don't worry, I won't rape you! Meanwhile as he talked, some explanation of some situation that required my help, I was a little transfixed by the poor state of his teeth. They were either non existent or small, discolored nubs. Anyway . . .". . . . you see I've done something stupid and I've locked myself out of my apartment."Something clicked in my brain. Wait a second, I thought. WAIT A FUCKING SECOND! The speech. It was familiar. Because that's what it was. A speech. A con.Flashback to December 2004. I was new to New York City, painfully broke, and painfully naive. While crossing Washington Square Park one evening, I ran into the same man with the same exact story. I'm gay! Help me get uptown! I need cab money! I locked myself out of my apartment! I need to make an appointment for some job! Except that time I gave the bastard $20 because I believed him. He even asked where I worked and swore he would come back the next day with my $20, thanking me profusely. (Suck it, naysayers, I am charitable. And gullible.) After I had handed over the money -- the smallest bill that I had -- I knew that it was a mistake, but it was too late. He was already off on his bike. Sometime later I happened to read a description of the same guy and the same scam on Gothamist, confirming what I already suspected.Five years later I was face to face again with the con artist. And yes, it was the same guy . . . except time had not been kind on his teeth. (Karma!) In city of 8 MILLION PEOPLE, I run into the same man? What are the odds?! Had I remembered all the details of our last enco[...]

"Do you want to get another drink or do you want to go home?"

Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:34:00 +0000

It's funny to think that there was a time not too long ago in my life where I danced on bars, got hangovers with an alarming frequency, and went out four nights a week. I spent a good portion of my 20s sleep deprived and dehydrated, like it was a right of passage, but with age 30 came this strange thing called maturity and responsibility. And while the party is far from over in my life, it's now taken on overtones of a quiet dinner followed by a glass of port. Ms. K, who ironically is only 24 years old, has also mellowed from her free wheeling gal about town days too. My oh my.

We're okay with this, really we are, but now and again we are reminded that our tastes and habits have shifted in the couple of years since meeting. Take Saturday night when I thought it might be nice to meet Ms. K for a drink at 11:30 pm after she got off from work. A nice idea, yes, but it became clear that both of us were out of practice.

We tiredly drank a couple of rounds at Superfine and as the time grew long after midnight, we negotiated the remainder of our evening.

"Do you want to get another drink or do you want to go home?"

I yawned. "I can go both ways. Do you want to go home?"

Ms. K yawned. "Only if you want to go home."

God, we were like two old ladies, but two old ladies determined to recapture some of our past glory while simultaneously longing for our bed.

"One more drink!"

I yawned again.

By the time we finished our third round, we decided to leave and find an open restaurant even though it was nearing 2 am. Crazy. We should have just gone home, but instead we stubbornly took a car to Park Slope to see if Blue Ribbon still was open. It was, and in the car over I found a pack of Camel Lights on the back seat.

For a second I was excited by my good fortune. Camel Lights! That was my brand when I used to smoke! They're normally $9 a pack! I will smoke a free cigarette and recall the bygone days of my youth because I am wild and crazy! But then the moment passed and as I clutched the nearly full pack, I realized that some things were best left in the past.

Our hearts were no longer in our late night adventure, even though we had gone all the way from Dumbo to Park Slope at 2 am. It was time to go home to walk to dog and crawl into bed, accepting defeat and knowing better than to stay out into the wee hours again.

"We're going to crack open the big egg!"

Wed, 09 Sep 2009 19:49:00 +0000

I know, I know. I am a bad blog neglector. See, Ms. K and I got back from vacation and life sorta slipped back into this sleepy late August vibe complete with picnics in Prospect Park, bottles of white wine, and trips to the Cortelyou farmer's market. Naturally Labor Day weekend was a staycation since our travel budget was blown in Sweden . . . and then some. Basically a whole lot of nothing has been happening.

It's been a year since Ms. K and I moved in together and very nearly broke up in the process. Time flies! Despite our grand home improvement plans, our initiate stalled sometime in November. Dusty pictures remain unhung, trim is still not put back up, painter's tape is still up in the bedroom, and a To Do list is still on the fridge like a tally of our failures. I think the problem is two fold. On one hand, losing the car in the accident last January cut back on our mobility and the ease in which we could visit Lowes or IKEA. On the other, I think we lost steam in the end because we want to live somewhere else. To put work into a place that we would like to be out of in 6 months seems silly at this point. Never mind the fact that half our books still are in need of bookshelves.

When Ms. K and I got back from abroad, it became ever more obvious that we hate our apartment and our neighborhood. We even started poking around Craigslist to see what apartments were going for. But money is still a big factor and while it is not as expensive to get a back yard space in Park Slope these days, I'm sure we're both reluctant to double our (currently cheap) rent.

So we have dreams and we're working on them, but it doesn't make for very exciting blogging. Ms. K wants to get her masters in Computer Science, we're both working on freelance projects, yadda yadda yadda. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, check out this video that blew my mind:

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Wed, 26 Aug 2009 16:26:00 +0000


You know, I had this idea that I would blog during my trip to Stockholm and Amsterdam. I even brought along my iPhone to connect to various wi-fis and to maybe capture my off-the-cuff thoughts about traveling, Scandinavia, the perplexing ubiquity of 7-Elevens in Stockholm, the akvavit, and Hell and Gore (or was it Helan går?). But it wasn't to be. How do you say mas cerveza por favor in Swedish?

Now that I am back in ridiculously hot, sweaty, dirty, and Augusty New York City, I've had time to reflect on my week abroad -- long enough to wish I was back in Stockholm or Amsterdam, probably because I had zero responsibilities apart from figuring out the next cafe to drink a beer in. Also it should be noted what Scandinavia calls Summer is what we call late September/early October. The temperature when Ms. K and I got off the plane at 7 am in Stockholm was a brisk 52 degrees, which was a little shock to the system after 89 degrees in New York with 80% humidity. Thankfully we packed jackets.

The day after our arrival, we were introduced to many Swedish customs while attending Beth and Nils's wedding, which was held in a church in Södermalm followed by a boat ride to a reception held on the small island of Fjäderholmarna. Specifically, we learned that Swedish weddings are enjoyably long (11 hours! Drinking!), entertaining (many many toasts as if attending a roast instead of a wedding), and punctuated by drinking songs and shots of akvavit (More drinking!). If only all weddings could be Swedish. Skål!

Then we were onto warmer Amsterdam and to the comforts of posh hotel bed at the Grand Amrath. A vacation is only as good as the bed you sleep on, right? The rest of the time was filled with walking around between meals of Indonesian food and lager and canal boat rides. Surely I gained 10 lbs, but I am afraid to look at the scale. August is a sleepy time in Amsterdam as everywhere seems to be closed for an extended holiday including the restaurant we really wanted to try. Guess we'll have to go back.

Someone previously commented that they were interested in knowing what I thought of the Swedes and Sweden. To answer, I thought Sweden was a lovely country, immaculately clean compared to New York, and wonderfully environmentally conscious, which translated into a no frills, utilitarian culture where nothing goes to waste. This is by no means a slam. In fact I think it's a quality that all of us Americans could stand to emulate.

Finally, one of the most exciting things about the trip was that I saw Greenland from my window seat on the plane. Greenland! And not some tiny speck on the horizon, but the high peaks of Mount Gunnbjørn, the coast, and icebergs. Icebergs! How cool is that?


Fri, 21 Aug 2009 11:29:00 +0000

We have returned. Proper update to come shortly.

"The beast! It's back!"

Tue, 11 Aug 2009 21:25:00 +0000

Last week Ms. K warned me via text that there may or may not be some gargantuan beast lurking in the bedroom and it may or may not be there to deal with when I got home as she was off for work.

A beast?? That sound alarming. My logic oriented brain kicked in with some pertinent questions.

What did this beast look like?

Huge! Black!

Was it an animal or an insect?

An insect! A huge flying black insect! It came through the open window!

After some back and forth, I deduced that the offending insect may or may not have been a dragonfly. I'll admit that I kind of made fun of Ms. K for being such a girl. I mean a dragonfly? C'mon. Not something one gets into hysterics about.

When I got home, I tentatively entered the apartment, crept up to the bedroom door, opening it slowly as if it was reenacting the scene in Ghostbusters when Peter Venkman enters Dana Barrett's apartment to investigate whether or not there was a demon in her refrigerator.

Like the movie, I found evidence in the bedroom of a hasty departure. Her open laptop had been flung onto the bed, laying at a strange angle, and there were papers all over the floor. But what was absent was anything resembling a beast or even a dragonfly. With the window still open, I figured whatever flew in had managed to fly back out. Case closed.

Or was it?

On Sunday, as Ms. K and I prepared to leave the apartment and get dinner, I heard her shriek from behind me. "The beast! It's back!"

I looked up and saw something large flying around the bedroom, which for a moment looked like a bird. Except it was the largest dragonfly I've ever this side of a science fiction movie.

Holy shit!! Huge flying black insect! Flying around our bedroom! But this was no normal dragonfly. No, it was something straight out of the Jurassic Period. I swear to God that it was about 6 inches long (that's about 15 centimeters for those keeping score in metric).

What to do?

Ms. K and I, armed with rolled up magazines and pathetically swatted at it in between shrieks, which only made it fly around erratically. Our savior came in the form of an 80 lb golden retriever named Harley, who sensing our panic, went after the intruder and mauled it. Immobilized, I swept the giant dragonfly onto a magazine and tossed it out the window.

Phew! We were safe once more! I even apologized to Ms. K for having made fun of her. But what I didn't tell her was that two days later I saw four of that fucker's brothers flying around outside the bedroom window probably looking to avenge his death.

We've inadvertently started a dragonfly war. Good thing we're leaving the country!

"You're throwing away my youth!"

Fri, 07 Aug 2009 03:22:00 +0000

There were a tense few days last year after Ms. K and I moved in together where, frankly, neither of us had much to say to each other. She took one look at all my accumulated crap, contemplated the reality of having it merged with her own, and figured that she wasn't impressed. Cue a night of her sleeping on the couch followed by a trip to our new storage unit, our love finally saved.

But before you think Ms. K bullied me into letting go of sentiment, the pendulum eventually swung the other way. It's just that her cull wasn't as dramatic as my teary eyed trips to curb with bulging trash bags because Ms. K had already done a big cull before we moved in together. Still many things remained in the way of gratuitous kitchen supplies and clothing purchased during the later years of the Clinton administration.

In the run up to our trip to Sweden and Amsterdam, it became obvious that Ms. K needed new adult clothes. With shopping bags full of purchases from a high end discount store in Gravesend, I locked my sights on the stuff that needed to go, clothes that hadn't been worn for years, holding up each offending article with no mercy.

Synthetic blend pull-over from Express? Gone.

90s era surfing logo t-shirt with arm pit stains? Gone.

Jean skirt that is so short it could be a belt? Gone.

Ms. K winced as each item went into the trash. "You're throwing away my youth!"

Whatever nostalgic argument she had, whatever story of inappropriate activities she once took part in whilst wearing said clothes, I wasn't hearing it. Payback's a bitch.

"No, honey, it's our desk."

Mon, 03 Aug 2009 19:57:00 +0000

Each day that goes by, Ms. K and I become a little more merged, a little more complexly interwoven. It's been a year since we moved in together, but there's still plenty of stuff to cede to the collective "we".

"That's my desk," Ms. K will say of the glass IKEA desk that houses both my iMac and her Macbook Pro.

"No, honey, it's our desk."

That's all fine until I started sharing my Netflix account with Ms. K and discovered that a certain someone (ahem) had been watching Cher: The Farewell Tour, irrevocably throwing off my Netflix recommendations. This stands in sharp contrast to the unfortunate pile up of Holocaust themed movies in my queue that I am understandably never quite in the mood to watch. Although Ms. K and I recently watched The Reader, I joked, noting my Netflix queue, that we could follow The Reader with a double feature of Sophie Scholl: The Final Days and Bent.

Hmmm . . . Cher: The Farewell Tour isn't looking so bad anymore.

"Your life was more interesting back when you were a swinging single."

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 16:18:00 +0000

Today marks the end of another July in New York, a time when humidity and my body conspires against me and I walk around in a endless soaking of sweat. I'm looking forward to my trip to Stockholm for obvious reasons, but also because I have a feeling that the weather will be nicer than it is in Gotham.

Continuing a recent trend, I've been very remiss in writing in my blog. Ms. K is unimpressed and has periodically declared, "Do you not love your blog anymore?" I do love my blog, but summertime apathy has not helped. That and my life is blessedly boring these days. Do you forgive me, dear readers? However I think Ms. K has an emotional attachment/investment in my blog because it is how we met. And for those who have been around long enough, the 17th marked our two year anniversary. Why does it feel longer? I mean that in a good way of course.

"Although now that you point it out . . ."

Tue, 14 Jul 2009 18:17:00 +0000

Ms. K shot me an email today.

"I was just reading your blog. Maybe you could mention that your current girlfriend does not look like a teenage boy."

Yes, it's true, Ms. K does not look like a teenage boy, or Daniel Radcliffe, or any of the actors from the Harry Potter movies.

"Although now that you point it out," she continued, "I have seen pictures of [Crazy Ex], and you are right. She does look like him. Weird."

See, it's not just me.

I don't give much thought to Crazy Ex as she's ancient history, but while I was out for drinks with work colleagues last night, one of them asked, "Are any of you still friends with your exes?"

Funny that you should ask . . . . No.

"Really? What happens to those feelings? I don't think they ever really go away."

They do, I insisted as an emotionally divorced jumble of memories spilled into the forefront of my mind.

Look, if your ex-girlfriend looked like a blond Daniel Radcliffe you'd banish those feelings too.