Friday, September 5, 2008

It's the whole damn world turned inside out

When I was in 5th grade I won a goldfish at a local carnival . It obviously wasn't very important to me because I neither named it nor kept it alive for very long. I watched it swim around and around the small glass bowl all day long, and I wondered how horrid and dizzy a lifestyle that must be. So, I reached into the lukewarm water, pulled out the fish, and decapitated it with a pair of ridged arts and crafts scissors. This may be a metaphor, or I may have been a blood-thirsty elementary school kid--but the point is--we were all braver when we were younger.

Now, at eighteen, I find myself feeling more insecure, more unsure about myself, my friends, love, and the whole entire world, than ever. Not in a melodramatic way, earth combusts and shatters sort of way, but in a way that makes me nostalgic for the days when I didn't second guess every move, motive, or word that I produced. Maybe we just don't remember all the anxiety that once existed in our little bodies, and a few years from now, I'll long to be eighteen again.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Times are hard for dreamers

Coming home to what seems like a deserted wasteland has taken a toll (or rather, toke) on me. I'm used to returning home from vacations, and prancing into the open arms of friends. I arrived home from Alaska today, and Emily was the only one left. We self medicated for what seemed like several hours, got terrible "you're so stoned and pathetic"-stares in Turriellos. In fact, I nibbled on my slice in a state of total paranoia and fright. We drove halfway to Cathy's only to turn a street or two before. I didn't think it'd be so painful to watch the masses drop like flies. Pack their respected tastes in granola bars, their preferred booze and pot, pencils, pens, and IKEA-ware, and up and go. Embark on their next four years of collegiate bliss--whilst I sit out the next 7-weeks. In lonesome agony.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What to do

List of things to do:
(but really...)

1. Stop crushing on boys I will never see again. Ever.
2. Haircut! 
3. Stop shopping. At least until paycheck arrives in September.
4. Make time to not feel so tired and actually blog some decent reads. 

I'm sorry. I am a royal letdown. 

Sunday, August 10, 2008

You're hiding underneath the smoke in the room

I visited Baltimore for my first time this weekend. Strange to say that it has taken me this long to do so. First of all, my best friend lives in Baltimore and it is certainly inherent that my lack of making the 4 and a 1/2 hour leap through Jersey and Delaware to Maryland, has taken somewhat of a toll on our friendship. And secondly, because my two adorable little cousins, aunt, and uncle moved there three years ago.

We arrived mid-afternoon on Saturday to a warm welcome from my aunt. No cousins in sight though. The house smelled incredible (my aunt is both a fabulous cook and food columnist.) "Something citrusy", Arel cleverly stated. We took a tour of their amazing house. Aside from the house being old and beautiful and full of character, I spent the whole weekend admiring their life-size paintings of popsicles and chinese takeout boxes--all simply expressing my family's love for good food. They also had a great collection of B&W photographs. Soon after the tour, my uncle, holding a giant carrier of various wines and beers, came home, tots-in-tow, and everyone suddenly became very aware of the rumblings within our stomachs.

Late lunch ensued. And much to my surprise, it consisted of nothing citrusy at all. Open face garlic aioli, avocado, and yellow tomato sandwiches. Stumped, we were. "Aunt Leah, where is the lemony smell coming from?", I asked. Kind of hoping that one of her famous and clever desserts were bubbling in the oven or on the stove. "Oh, I'm boiling lemons!", she exclaimed. She walked back into the kitchen and came out with a tray of bacon. I was puzzled. She set two pieces of bacon on her plate, my uncle's plate, and both Hanna and Noah's plates. She explained that, seeing as my family does not consume pork products, it'd be improper for her to have us enter a house smelling like crispy pig. I laughed and lent her a warm smile. I thought it was a sweet gesture.

The rest of the day was very pleasant. I had a 2-hour shopping excursion with my 11-year old cousin, Hanna. I bought her a pair of jeans at Nordstrom, and she helped me pick out a sale top at Anthropologie (someone needs to keep an eye on me when it comes to that store.)

We returned home, ate handfuls of chocolate covered coffee beans (for some reason I morbidly hate drinking coffee but really enjoy raw coffee beans.) I'm a strange character. We then headed off to Lebanese Taverna for dinner. A restaurant, which Benji explained as "yuppie Lebanese food". He was right. It was neither impressive nor authentic. And the restaurant certainly gave off a "holier than thou" vibe. Ranking high on the ostentatious spectrum.

Benji and Adam rolled around the house at around 1 AM, and I was overjoyed to spend time with my insomniac counterparts. Sleep came around 3--after a good video chat with Cathy.

Today, I slept in--possibly to Hanna's dismay (she gave me the cold shoulder for most of the day.) Benji and Adam picked me up later on and we went for lunch and gelato at Fells Point--which can only be described as the Soho of Baltimore. Except, it's on the water. And less expensive. Not much like Soho at all, save the cobblestone.

It was a nice weekend.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

In the wise words of Raquel Marlena Gruber:
"youve abandoned your blog
july 22nd..
thats just neglect, tawya."

So, here I am, sixteen days later, updating all of you on the goings on.

Raquel and I have been chronic fanatics over the past few days. We like to read the "Sex Diaries" section that Ben introduced me to a week or so ago. It really is amusing. So, rather than going into a whole long process of reacquainting you with the past few weeks of my life, I will use the Sex Diaries numerical format. Only, you know, without quite as much raunchy stuff.

Total: One grave disappointment, two consecutive acts of intercourse, a good deal of sushi, one non-date, one encounter with a real psychic, one act of hand-holding, two finished books, six horror movies, one encounter with a celebrity, three bites of Mochi (round II wasn't any better than round I), four train rides, one bus ride, two trips to Westchester, one act of sleeping on a rug, one act of staying up 'til 5, one pregnancy test (with, of course, "NOT PREGNANT" results), one act of swimmer's ear, five acts of swimming, one screaming phone brawl, one act of semi-stealing, several job applications, two acts of backing out on jobs, one act of real job, one new/overpriced/Ella Moss tank top.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tell me all about what keeps you ticking

I have never been one for sentimentality. I don't even like chick-flicks like a normal girl should (save the occasional Meg Ryan flick.) I have never felt the need to possess any souvenirs. A glance at a photograph is almost always enough to remind me of a time, a place, a scent. However, this summer I have picked up the habit of "borrowing" (or in some cases, swiping) the clothing of people I long to remain close to. 

In my opinion, there is one particularly great thing about this whole clothing-taking ordeal.

Scent. Scent is my favorite of all five senses. Probably because scents are almost always indescribable and certainly distinct. While I may love words, there is something truly great about not being able to describe something. Being completely and utterly, word-free. 

The problem is, as this summer is flying by, I am finding that I can simply just not wash the borrowed clothing, and the distinct scents can linger on my collection of apparel (whilst they become increasingly soiled), or I can wash away the scent of my friends, lovers, and old flames, and all that remains will be some fabric, a slogan or design, and a size. I think without the scent, a little bit of the borrowed magic floats away. And eventually, people just want their stuff back. 

"I understand why people sometimes want to kill their lovers, eat their lovers, inhale the ashes of their dead lovers. I understand that this is the only way to possess another person with the kind of desperate longing that I have." 

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Arel came home from camp today and for the first time this whole summer, I feel content. I am undoubtedly aware that my contentment will probably disappear come Sunday--when he ships off to his next adventure--skateboard camp. 

There are absolutely two reasons why I feel at ease with him home:

1.) I love my brother. Sibling rivalry hardly ever takes place in the hallways and rooms of the Blau household. It may sound strange, but Arel and I barely fight these days. And even when we were much younger, we rarely fought. Bickering over who gets the last NutterButter or the remote control happens on occasion, but never a real, sitcomesque, bruise and punch fight that I so often observe amongst my friends and their siblings. He takes my side when I fight with my parents, he is the most pleasant passenger to have in my car, and we often agree on what we want for dinner. He is my best friend. 

2.) A part of me isn't sure what to do with myself now that high school is over. To an extent, I am trying desperately to live vicariously through his entrance into high school oblivion. I know that Kivunim and college are bound to be the greatest five years of my life. However, I suck with change and I'm well aware of that. My anxiety is boiling and penetrating into my veins. I'll get over it as I ease into these next few months, but I psych myself out like crazy. I'd like for him to be able to make me real tiny with like, a shrink-ray or something and tuck me into his backpack. I could live with another four years of Mr. Gross, mechanical pencils, and MLA format. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

We could sit in the sun, let the days all roll into one

I really do believe that it is possible for boys and girls, guys and chicks, men and women, to be friends. Afterall, I know plenty of middle aged men and women who have spouses and friends of the opposite sex. After a certain point in our lives, it's not only possible but, perhaps, necessary. 

However, there comes a time when a great friendship--between a guy and a girl--is just going so great, that it has to dive, head first, into murky waters. It's definitely not an uncommon phenomenon. Physical attraction is harder to handle than love. Love can be tucked away in a bottom shelf and kept there. It has no shelf life. It can be forgotten, left without refrigeration. Attraction is a bit more tricky. It doesn't stay away. It's in your fucking face and it can be blamed for terrible decisions and actions.
Physical attraction breeds a type of masochism. You fuck around, you get fucked. It initiates a tumultuous whirlwind of flogs and spanks--metaphorical ones, of course (depending on each case individually) but also, an abundance of rewards. The flog and spank end of the bargain is, naturally, the tipsy-turvy confusion of emotion that comes with doing something you probably shouldn't be doing to begin with. Guilt, jealousy, gut-idiocy. To name a few. However, the rewards side evens the seemingly ridiculous situation out. Touching a friend is soothing. You're not all concerned with what you're wearing, what your hair looks like, and the familiar smell of someone you're so close with can often times remind you of, well, home. It turns into something uncannily resembling what biologists like to call reciprocal altruism. Which is more or less when one organism provides benefit to another one without expecting immediate gratification (however, it ends up being conditional overtime.) Basically, he scratches your back...and eventually you suck his cock. Does that make sense? 
All in all, I can't say that I've come up with any particularly novel or great theory about why we always end up, in bed, with our best of friends. But I am sure someone will figure it out sooner or later. Perhaps we're all very, very addicted to the exquisite pain of wanting something very unattainable (because, after all, the two best-friends-turned-bed-mates rarely ever end up together.) Do not tell yourself that you two will live happily ever after. You won't. But chances are, your friendship will remain through thick and thin, and that's all that really matters in the end now, doesn't it? 

"I'm tired of the fantasy, because it doesn't really exist. And there are never really any surprises and it never really...delivers. And I'm tired of it. And I'm tired of everything else for that matter. But I don't ever seem to get tired of you."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I thought about the ghost we left behind

It's July 13th and I already feel like summer is dwindling. When the weather begins to get hot, I like to sleep in the least amount of clothing as possible. I normally opt for a white Hanes and a pair of underwear. This morning, I woke up, practically drenched, wondering what the temperature  could possibly be like outside that was causing me such sunstroke inside. Turns out, my mother, in one of her spells of the chills, turned the thermostat up to 76 degrees in the middle of the night. I've been sitting outside most of today and I can't say this is summer. I ache for my toes to touch the rocks in the backyard and scorch. 

Last night, Emily asserted that it "doesn't feel like summer". I told her it was probably just January with a heat wave. 

I'm not even sure what summer should feel like, but I'm pretty sure it isn't this. Perhaps we're all gloomed with the reality that college or abroad programs are a mere few weeks away, or maybe it's the simple lack of ice cream trucks, sprinklers, hammocks, that are bumming us out. I feel like Rumpelstiltskin. I fell asleep for a little while, and woke up an old, unfamiliar person. That was Rumpelstiltskin, right? I feel drained of my childhood. 

"This is how a package of Hostess cupcakes would sound, I thought, if Hostess cupcakes could speak." 

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"You are very handsome.  I want to gut you like a live fish. Split you open from the tail up the spine. Remove your guts and put them in mine. But I cannot."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Water in the hole

Since Arel has flown the coop, I have been going out to eat non-stop. I guess the lack of 'Relly sort of puts a damper on any form of family meal at home. I eat lunch out with friends, go for dinner with my parents, and have been spending a huge amount of quality hungover time with my good friends Cathy, Emily, and diner egg white omelets. 

Tonight, however, my mom and I decided--enough was enough. No longer could we throw away hundreds of dollars at Sidewalk Bistro or El Portofino (two restaurants we frequent in Piermont.) It was about time we re-kick the joys of home cooking. And so we did. My mom marinated and grilled steak, made a cucumber and yellow pepper salad (using all fresh vegetables from the farmers market) and I made my specialty: risotto. Now, I am accustomed to making risotto the way I have always loved to eat it--a lot of cream, a lot of Parmesan, and a lot of mushrooms. Mushroom risotto has been a comfort food to me ever since I watched its preparation on Molto Mario. However, this time, neither my mom nor I could stomach such heavy comfort food in this heat (93 degrees today...not okay...). It was time to call to the improvisational culinary gods for a bit of help. I rummaged through the pantry and found my handy arborio rice. Now all I needed were a few fitting veggies and a really great dairy-free liquid to bind it all together. 

And so it went. Meet, basil, asparagus, and tomato risotto:

2 c. Madeira wine
2 c. Low-sodium chicken consomme
1/2 Bundle of largely chopped asparagus 
1/2 Can of organic tomato bisque or stewed tomatoes 
1 Handful of roughly chopped basil
2 tbsp. White truffle oil
4 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar 

*Takes about 25-30 mins. to cook. Stir the liquids into the pot in intervals. Very small amounts at a time. Stir constantly in order to achieve a very creamy consistency. Right before serving, drizzle some more balsamic vinegar and truffle oil over the rice and just have everyone mix it in. 

Monday, July 7, 2008

You might open up your eyes

I tossed and turned last night. I think I was on a mental scavenger hunt for something I haven't been able to find in quite some time. Sleep. The other day, I misplaced my camera and went on a vicious search around my house for it. Giuliette and Ricky, both practicing Christians, mentioned that I should utter the words "Saint Anthony" and, while saying the saint's name, I would magically stumble upon the missing item. I thought that'd be a little bit silly, and ignored their suggestion. I found the camera a little bit later and all was good. But last night was just a hassle. Not only could I not find sleep but both of my ears were in severe pain. So, there I was, a Jew wiggling beneath my Anthropologie duvet, whispering "Saint Anthony" over and over again--hoping I'd find the sleepy solitude I needed so desperately. Sort of a ridiculous scene to play over in my head. 

The sleep never came. I'm not sure if maybe that was God's way of punishing me. Perhaps I should've been repeating "Moses" or "Devora" in my head instead. The godly smiting persisted when I crawled out of bed at 12:45 this afternoon, feeling as if I had gone half deaf except for a shrill buzzing noise deep inside my ear. I decided it was about goddamn (pun intended) time I get myself to a doctor. I called a local ear, nose, and throat doctor, but a snooty receptionist told me the doctor was away until wednesday. Figuring that I wouldn't be able to endure the buzzing and clogged ears all the way on to wednesday, I called my own doctor. I was lucky to get a 3:15 appointment (which means I wasn't seen until about 4.) Turns out, I didn't have an ear infection, but a bad, bad case of impacted wax. My doctor filled a Windex-like spray bottle with water, and attached a long, straw-like contraption to the nozzle. He squirted about fifteen spritzes of water into each of my ears, causing the wax to come spirting out each ear. Sorry, graphic. It felt good. I think my ears may be a-okay now. 

While leaving the doctor's office, I scanned the small cubbies of pamphlets. Hep-A seminars, babysitting requests within the county, and a rather out of place looking thick flyer. "ONE PEOPLE 1 SOUL: AN EVENING OF TRIBUTE TO THE REBBE" Now, there are places where a flyer like this would seem appropriate. A synagogue, a J-CC, a kosher butcher. Now, I might be Jewish, but I am also fairly certain that a doctor's office is more of a secular experience than a religious gathering (thank you, Beizer.) I also noticed that I was probably the first person to grab a flyer (for the sole purpose of being able to quote it in this entry.) I highly doubt that Marilyn O'Donnell and her six month old son with a case of the chicken pox, could really use a spiritual desert commemorating the Lubavitcher Rebbe

Things only became more comical after the trip to the doctor. My mom and I then ventured to the post office where we needed to both renew my passport as well as send my brother, who is off at camp, a box of Oreo Cakesters, Swedish Fish, and a Nerf ball. While the passport renewal took less time than we had anticipated, the shipping was the ridiculous part of the day. Leave it to the bureaucracy of the New York state post office to charge my mother to tape a box together. They literally made her pay $3.29 to tape her own cardboard box together. Talk about absurd. So, when we moved the box to the counter--to tape it up--a short, black man with a parted sea of grey curls, essentially yelled at us. "That is NOT the counter for boxing shipments!" He then pointed to a counter about two inches to the left of us and gestured for us to tape the small box over there. I believe there is probably some sort of criteria for being able to work at the post office. You must have some sort of personality disorder. I guess they call it "going postal" for a reason.

Bee bop bop

Last night I enjoyed dinner with Brice and Cathy. We went to one of those sushi bars with the conveyor belts. I am a huge sushi person, but had never experienced one of these restaurants before. I thought it was definitely time to give it a go. Overall, the whole experience was great. Cathy insisted on sitting next to the conveyor belt and being my very enthusiastic sushi liaison. For a half-hour, I shouted the names of rolls that struck my fancy, and Cathy delivered them to my place setting with smiles galore. When I jokingly suggested she get a job at the restaurant, she said: "I got an application already!", with a look of glee on her face. Before we even finished eating our first course, Brice had his eyes set on desert. I suggested the tiramisu or the chocolate mousses that looked very appealing. But just as we were about to grab a very unfitting desert for a Japanese restaurant, a small plate caught Brice's eye. 

Behold, Mochi

To the naked eye, these little critters are harmless, small, round, often pastel-colored cakes made of pounded glutenous rice. They're pretty much adorable. Unable to contain our excitement over our teeny, exotic deserts, we opened the lid to the Mochi and decided they needed to be consumed before our shrimp tempura rolls. Brice was first. However, as soon as he laid a finger on the Mochi, he made the strangest face I have ever seen. If only I had taken my camera out at that very moment, I would've been able to capture the face of ultimate horror. "Baby skin!", he shouted. "BAY-BEE. SKIN." Cathy and I wiped our puzzled looks off our faces, and picked up our own individual cakes. Brice was right. Against my fingertips, our desert felt like soft, heavily baby-powdered, toddler flesh. I wish there was a less grotesque way of describing the Mochi's texture. Now that I was intensely grossed out by the Mochi's feel, it was time for a taste test. We voted Brice first again. As he bit into his little sea foam green cake, I cringed. He didn't seem too displeased though and Cathy and I inched our mouths closer to our tiny treats. Against my lips, the Mochi was powdery and soft, but I could not seem to rid the image of horrid cannibalism and the consumption of human flesh, from my mind. The bite was fine once I punctured through the layer of rice with my teeth. Little did I know, there was an ooey-gooey surprise waiting further in. A second bite ensued and behold, sweet red bean paste. That second chew lasted a mere nanosecond before I yanked my napkin off my lap and spat the masticated blob of pink mush and maroon mush into it. Now, I rarely ever spit out a mouthful of food at meals and particularly at restaurants, but I found the urge hard to fight off after that taste. 

A look at the inner depths of a red bean Mochi:


But overall dinner was quite good. Excellent company, fair sushi, and a memorable experience. We will certainly return. However, I think we'd all be down with a slice of New York cheesecake on our next visit.  

Well then

When Nick Lowe belted the lyrics "you gotta be cruel to be kind", he must have been on to something. In a day where black polished fingers are chic, S&M fetish clubs open up in what used to be a Baby Gap, and heroine is the new Mary Jane, have we replaced all things considered good...with the bad? 

At a certain 4th of July party the other day, I found myself on one (or rather three) too many tequila shots. Now usually, I am a lightweight of almost comical proportions, but this particular night, the shots just weren't getting me tipsy. This pleased me so much, that I was inclined to tell everyone how not-tipsy I was. Which, in retrospect, probably means that I was tipsy. 

At one point I lost an earring and heard a cling against the hard tile of my kitchen. I bent over, in my new smocky-mini Urban Outfitters dress, to retrieve the jewelry and, inexplicably, exposed my rump to 3/4 of the party. I spent about a minute on the floor--searching for my precious $4.00 earring, and had a moment of revelation. I thought to myself--"How silly it is that, at eighteen, we can't find anything better to do with our lives than get shitfaced." All of this introspection occurred to me during the oddest moment. I was bent over, like an abused housewife, with my ass exposed to two dozen guests. But, somehow, I found myself oddly at ease knowing that...well, we were all drunk and no one would really remember seeing my butt the next morning. And I guess it all occurred to me in that minute--we love to be bad because it means we aren't being good. I guess that in of itself, is fun. Doing what we know we shouldn't be doing, and then being able to pretend as if it never happened, when the sun rises. 

And with that, I will leave you with a picture that is capable of summarizing my entire 4th of July evening.

Yup, that's me on my way up.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The start of something new

There's something unexplainably exciting about new things. Crunchy new book pages, the scent of a pair of newly purchased leather boots. We roam this earth looking for an enhanced way to live and it seems as if the newest, the latest material items, are the secret password to our login of, well, happiness, I suppose. 

This blog is no different. It's something new, something exciting. I will exercise the art of repeating my URL in my mind at work today. It will surge endorphins through my blood. I am hoping that within a matter of weeks my new black MacBook's keys are worn down to white flimsy squares, and I will not be able to produce enough words per-second to satisfy my bloggy-writing-hunger. Sadly though, I am a modern day underachiever. In my perfect world, people would begin scrapbooks and never finish them, mix the flour with the water with the yeast, and never let the bread rise, or maybe paint only half of their room. I guess I am stuck in some sort of perpetual rush. Perhaps this is why I am such a fan of short stories. Let us hope that this blog is an exception to my quick minded ways.

 'Til next time.