Saturday, July 31, 2010


The point of this picture is my new hair cut. The lesson in this picture is, "Hey, I do look like my mom."
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Fail of the Day #1

The book swap didn't specify a place in Union Square. I found that worrisome but didn't want to be the fussbudget who posted publicly, "But WHERE in Union Square EXACTLY?" Only to be told, "Chill, you'll see us. We'll be right there."

Am now in Union Square looking for a place to surreptitiously leave about 20 lbs of books where someone who likes books might find them. Has to be somewhere that someone won't call out after me, "Miss! You left your bag!"
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Painful Separation

Taking these away to donate. Even though there's a very slim chance I would ever have read any of these again it goes against my very nature to let them go.

But I'm doing it anyway.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, July 30, 2010

So Far Away

By the time I wake up tomorrow morning my girl, Auntie, will be married. I'm sure she's already fast asleep in preparation for her happy day. I can't be there in person but I'll be there in my dreams.

I love you and wish you a lifetime of happiness.

Have an extra slice of chocolate cake for me, please.


After checking out other police activity in the park I actually think the choice of parking space is legit. However, the cop in the driver's seat is asleep.

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I Are Genius

All my hair manipulation devices got tagged in The Great Flood. I thought they should be cleansed. Sterilized even. Apparently boiling them was the wrong way to achieve that.

Destroyed. Every one.

Guess who's getting a new comb and brush tomorrow?
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

1, 2, WHEE!

I have taken the day off from my usual ballet and friendship pursuits. The day will be filled with negotiating, cleaning and laundry. So why not kick the day off with housekeeping here?

1. Last weekend to get your submissions in for the WHEEEEEEEE! Photo Challenge.

2. First Fiction Friday over at Kizz & Tell. I'm sure you remember this but, depending on your work situation, that site probably isn't safe for it. I hope you'll go over at some point, though, and tell me what you think.

3. Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Show Us Your Documents

I had to send photos of the flood damage to the management office. It seemed more efficient to upload them to Flickr. So if you're interested in the details you can check them out here.

Sadly photos cannot convey the smell.

One, Two, Cha-cha-cha

Today has been a 1 step forward, 2.329 steps back kind of a day. The water is back on in the bathroom and the dripping is residual (or it was when I left at 8 this morning, thank goodness I own a lobster pot) but everything feels gritty and disgusting and there's no point in cleaning it up until all the repairs happen. Though I think I can throw that new toothbrush away tonight when I get home. I mean, that's not going to get any better. It's going to be a fight to get them to let me have my preferred handy person fix the walls and not the half-assed building guys. Well, no fight at all to let me do it just a fight to get them to pay for it. If they refuse I can try my homeowner's insurance but I've never used that before. Hell, I don't even know where the policy is because it's all wrapped up in the package that my mortgage broker got with my mortgage so I'll have to go through a whole new learning curve.

You know how I feel about forced learning.

I'd been slowly but steadily scraping away, cleaning my house and trying to erect some kind of life-sized balsa wood facade of adulthood. It seems clear now that 30 minutes of leisurely cleaning a day and a belief in the inherent goodness in the universe isn't going to get me to that goal. I don't care what Aesop says, that tortoise fixed the stupid race!

So then I grabbed the bull by the horns. I took my referral for a mammogram and I called, all by myself, to get an appointment. The woman said I couldn't have one until January because I'd already had one this January. Jesus Christ, I had a mammogram and didn't even remember it? Even I'm not that fucking crazy?  Am I?

While I sputtered and ummed and wracked my brain to remember an extra breastal squashing that might have escaped my notice she checked the year on that date and we determined that I'm all clear. She had me in her computer system and knew the referring doctor so I didn't have to butcher the woman's name. So there's that one tiny indignity averted. Another doctor's appointment to tack on to the rest. It's on the 11th. I'm wondering if there's a time I can discreetly take a picture of the weird cake decoration nipple markers. Then I'm realizing that adults probably don't wonder that sort of thing. Or do that sort of thing. Or, ultimately, because that would be the point, share that sort of picture.


My physical is today. I leave the office soon to get down there and hope the bomb scare in Times Square won't delay me much. Digestion, blood thickness and a dermatology referral. Someone help me remember I have to bring up those three things. OK? And when I do, will there be more appointments? Or will I just take 2 aspirin and not call him in the morning unless it's really, truly urgent?

Oh and did I mention my insurance premium goes up another $300 per month starting September 1st so I've had to pull the alarm bell here at work to get my insurance changed ASAP, too? I have. So add to the list of things I can pretend to do, "Explain the differences between health insurance packages and their relative merits."

Then, just now, right when I was going to end this on the appropriately introspective and melancholy note the phone rang and this conversation ensued:

"[last name redacted]?"

"This is [Kizz]."

"I have great news for you Ms. [redacted]! I have a great offer for you to reduce your credit card debt and..."

"I have to stop you and you guys probably need to adjust your records. I don't actually have any credit card debt."

"No credit card debt? No foreclosures?"


"Oh." but he rallies, "That's great to hear. You're doing great! Keep it up and I'll make sure we update our records."

So, there's my two steps forward. Quick, somebody put something heavy against my back so I don't start to slide!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


And this is why we can't have nice things. I spent time and money having the whole bathroom redone in January. Spent the last week really cleaning it up. Tonight I'd been home an hour when I heard a funny noise. Bathroom flooded to a half inch or so. Water coming out the outlet. Things ruined, including my new toothbrush. Plaster and crap backed up in the tub. All while the building performed maintenance on the water system.

Can't have nice things I tell you. Fuck.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Hot Kitty Hot

As I've said one million times before (possibly two million), I get nervous meeting new people. I project and over work it and I just lose my shit about it. Since I'm supposed to meet approximately 1499 new people in a week I've been thinking about this challenge a lot. I've made some strides to reach out to people I know solely via internet in order to ease into the whole thing. So now, of course, I'm also over analyzing my conversational style.

I think sometimes I talk too much about my pets. I mean, I listen to plenty of kid stories and job stories and home repair stories so I think I'm in good company but I could do a 2 hour director's cut HBO special with bonus dance mix about my pets. On a good day. It's not politics or religion so it's pretty safe. Except, is it? I fear that people judge when you talk about your pets overmuch. Do they think I want kids but am substituting my pets or that I'm a one trick pony or that I'm a shut in who doesn't interact with any humans? OK that last one might not be as far off as I'd like to think.

In an effort to make myself feel better I thought back on my ancestry. Maybe this predisposition to pets is genetic. I mean, my great aunt married at the age of 45 and she and her younger husband raised poodles instead of kids. (Probably for the best and I'll spare you the Milk of Magnesia story to prove it.)

I immediately thought of my childhood cat, Blackie. (Shut it. I was 3.) He came to our house because he had curled up on the warm van engine while my dad was in school and the janitor came out to warn him before he started the truck. A year or so later (I was a kid, all times are approximate) he disappeared for a couple of days. My mother went downstairs to pee one night and heard piteous yowling. She finally found him holed up in the attic with a horrendous eye injury. Since this was before the luxury of 24 hour emergency vets she stayed up all night sitting in a chair with Blackie in her lap until the vet opened. He lost the eye but lived on happily without it to the ripe old age of 16.

My great grandfather (I think) had a dog that attended his lectures at a university. And another dog who attended parties on fraternity row.

The best story about my mom and cats, though, is that when she was very little and her mother would let her put out the cat food she would tell the cat, "Careful. Hot kitty. Hot!" just like everyone told her when they gave her food.

Let's leave out the infamous story about the way my grandmother hooked my uncle to the side of the house with what can only be called a leash. Or the one about his simplest tactic for escaping it.

And what about...

Oh crap, I'm talking too much about my pets again. At this rate I'm going to have to make myself "safe topic" flash cards for Blogher.

*All photos by me but none of these cats are mine. They're from a photo shoot I did for a shelter a couple of summers ago.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Night Vision

I've had this post half done for over half the day. Between working outside the office and leaving early to go to a doctor's appointment and waiting in the doctor's office forever I just haven't been in a position to polish and publish. But I'm here now!

It's been a while since I've seriously talked TV. Since we're in the full swing of summer shows I thought I'd do a list of 10 of those.

1. Mad Men, natch, is top of the list. Some were disappointed at the season opener but I always look at the first chapter of a new season as a reintroduction episode. This is especially true of Mad Men, which tends to do a lot of time jumping between seasons. SPOILER: It was both exhilarating and terrifying to see Don get some of his old bravado back in the last scene. That made me excited for what comes next.

2. True Blood remains fascinating even though it's kind of pulpy. I'm sure that's due in no small part to having Alan Ball (American Beauty, Six Feet Under) at the helm. The new cast additions are a treat and some of the old favorites, especially Todd Lowe (Zach from Gilmore Girls) as Terry Bellefleur, are better than ever.

3. A couple of weeks ago I heard Denis Leary on Craig Ferguson's show say that this is the second to last installment of Rescue Me. They are already filming the last set of episodes, which will be aired at a date I haven't looked up. On the one hand I'm sad to see it go. On the other I think it's probably time. Last season's full 22 eps in a row proved that Rescue Me, Leary and his writing partner Peter Tolan are better when they work hot, quick and dirty. Typically they write only one or two episodes ahead of what is being filmed. The show is brilliant at probing painfully deeply into characters and pushing those characters to their limits for our amusement. Intricate and engaging long term story arcs aren't what they're about and, after killing Tommy Gavin approximately 4 times in 7 seasons, even they may have reached the character-probing limit.

4. The folks at The Closer did something brilliant. They cast Mary McDonnell as a villain last season and, when having her and Kyra Sedgwick in close proximity turned out to be a treat for the senses, they figured out how to bring McDonnell back and bring the two hard hitting characters closer together. As much as I love the rest of the cast they could all take a couple weeks off just so I could watch these fine ladies work their magic. Except Joel the cat, he needs to stay.

5. I'm still bitter that Hung isn't a better show. It ought to be brilliant. It ought to be Sex & the City meets Top Chef but funnier and with better action sequences. Somehow the writers haven't worked out how to come up with different challenges to augment the overall challenge of running an illegal business one knows nothing about. We get it, Tanya's enthusiastic but inept and Ray is desperate yet indifferent. What else do you have to show us? Someone, please, make this show live up to its potential.

6. I'm not sure why I decided to watch Memphis Beat. Maybe because it had a sort of Treme feel? Maybe because I felt guilty for not knowing what trouble Memphis went through this spring until it was nearly over. I watched a couple of episodes and, despite, a talented cast it fell a little flat. I wasn't sure where it was going. Then last night I caught an ep that may have been the pilot (in which case I don't understand why I didn't see it first, I'm pretty sure I've been watching the show in the order it's aired) and it was great. It had more nuance, it had an interesting mystery, it didn't have too much of Jason Lee lip syncing and it had just enough of all the other characters. It's a fine show, not fabulous. My one huge pet peeve is that if it's central to your concept that the hero be a singer then hire an actor who sings, don't make an actor lip sync his way through a klunky device. Lee's working his butt off, she him some respect.

7. The new season of Royal Pains has been a little wobbly. I find it hard to believe that the accepted wisdom for bringing a loyal audience back is to remove the characters to a new location for a double episode. Even if it does mean more screen time for Campbell Scott. Our mainstays are still solid, the newbies are uninteresting. I'd much rather see more of resident teen and hemophiliac, Tucker, than be saddled with 2, largely interchangeable and distasteful blonds, one for each Lawson brother. That being said, I'm still happy to see the bros and their well-rounded female friends every week.

8. Burn Notice is, probably, the most solid summer offering every year. It's a formula show whose formula has plenty of room for bells and whistles to keep us interested. Plus stuff blows up. A lot. This season is no exception. I love all the characters a little more each episode and yet I appreciate how little I can trust the writers to keep it that way. Just when I really thought that Michael and Fiona might actually be right for each other...

9. Rizzoli and Isles snuck up on me. The ads didn't look any good but the woman playing Isles used to be on Dawson's Creek so, out of skewed loyalty, I thought I'd watch the pilot. It's a Frankenshow with the Isles character directly ripped off from Bones and the Rizzoli one straight out of Miss Congeniality. Honestly, I expected a little more forethought from TNT but even they don't hit it out of the park every time (Dark Blue, I'm looking at you). Then they brought in Donnie Wahlberg. That's the equivalent of a True Blood vamp glamoring me. I have to watch it if Donnie Wahlberg is going to be in it. It's set in Boston and he is Boston, delicious, Southie Boston, you know? So I'm going to keep watching and hope that Sasha Alexander can grow her character beyond the impression she's currently doing of Emily Deschanel. Barring that I'll cross my fingers for more Donnie.

10. I close with Friday Night Lights because it is on par with Mad Men in its quality. If you aren't watching it I cannot recommend highly enough that you rent or buy it on DVD and watch from the beginning. The writers keep the characters painfully within their limits even when it's nothing anyone ever hopes to see on TV. They don't shy away from all sorts of hard questions and they aren't afraid to take characters away from you when they don't belong anymore. This season has a number of hot button issues to it but I am most impressed with the way they are handling a pregnancy and abortion story line. I promise you it's not like anything you've ever seen on TV or in the movies before. I finally realized this season that NBC has consistently shied away from this show because it's so very good and its creators are unwilling to compromise that quality for a more lucrative spot in the network's line up. I greatly appreciate Peter Berg's tenacity in keeping the show going by partnering with DirecTV and I couldn't be more pleased that two of the show's most solid actors, Connie Britton (Spin City) and Kyle Chandler (Early Edition), finally received Emmy nods. I hope you, too, will show your support by taking in this treat of a show.

What are you watching?

Monday, July 26, 2010


As the day has worn on I have become inexplicably sad. Probably an off shoot of fear (Iran! North Korea! Oil Spill! Tornado!) combined with headache and the dread of going to the gynecologist tomorrow.

Aside: It's weird to launch an erotica website, read this book and have your first gyn appointment in years all in the same week. 

Now that I'm in the sad spiral, though, everything seems sad. We're all dying! Kids and pets need adopting! Someone on Twitter broke a nail! Not to mention the fact that the mail carrier seems to have misdelivered my Netflix so my Sondheim extravaganza has been delayed. It's simply tragic, I tell you.

Who's got something to lift my spirits? Little joke? Funny picture? Don't send cake, my stomach isn't right today. But thanks for thinking of it.

Hope your day is happier.

Chicken Butt

Guess what?

My new site, Kizz & Tell, is up and running! I worked on it yesterday and it's ready to go. Regular posts will be Mondays and Fridays but don't take my word for it over here. Take my word for it over there!

Remember, adult content, language and situations will be the rule rather than the exception over there so proceed as your temperament allows.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


So I went to the dentist yesterday expecting a hellacious cleaning after a 4 year hiatus between professional attentions. I was also hoping I could, without detriment to my chompers, get out of having x-rays taken. X-rays, I reasoned, are expensive. In the quote I received from the receptionist (thanks Audio Girl!) a new patient with x-rays would run about $400. Coincidentally that's the exact same amount that the veterinarian quoted me to clean Anna's teeth.

There's a joke in there about the health care system but my despair won't allow me to dig it out.

They didn't make me get the x-rays, well, they allowed me to put off the x-rays until my next cleaning in 6 months. I think they did that out of guilt because being a new patient, having a thorough cleaning and getting 2 teeth filled cost $770. That, also coincidentally, is the exact same amount as my coveted fancy lens. I paid for my teeth with my debit card. Guess I could have bought that lens after all.

You know, if I wanted my teeth to rot out of my head.

Apparently if I'd left one of those cavities any longer it would have been a route canal which, I'm assuming, would have been more expensive.

OK, got that all off my chest so I could tell you this, though. Have you had this numbing gel before? The hygienist who cleaned, she claims, more like 5 years of tartar from my teeth was a champion. She was my fairy godmother in a paper mask. I told her that the cleaning part freaked me out because my teeth were sensitive, not the gums I had to stress, the teeth themselves. I thought she might give me some gas or something but she suggested we try this numbing gel stuff. She seemed nice and I lose all backbone in medical situations so we did.

Tastes like crap but she reapplied it generously as she worked and, though I wouldn't call the experience pleasant (a couple of times there I thought she might accidentally yank a tooth right out of my mouth), it was the least traumatic cleaning I've had in a couple of decades. I do not dread going back in 6 months. Well, not much.

She offered me advil between cleaning and polishing, too. I refused at first and then relented. She thought that was smart. Given that 15 minutes later I was in another room getting my first ever fillings I think it was smart, too.

The takeaway from yesterday (aside from the regular brush, floss, go to the dentist regularly, and take the advil whenever it's offered) is ask for the numbing gel! And, if you can manage it, get the really nice hygienist.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


OK, now I'm just like the rest of you, I've got fillings. Just 2 to start but who knows what next time will bring.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, July 23, 2010

No Sir

"Are you waiting for the bus? To the airport?" He asked.

"No sir I am not. I'm just sitting here on the filthy floor of the Port Authority Bus Terminal eating my lunch surrounded by all the crap I need to be gone from the house for 12 hours. It's what you do when your plans to eat outside sitting on the filthy sidewalk get rained out."
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Pigeon Toed

This pigeon doesn't need an umbrella. I forgot mine. And my sweater. Gonna be a needlessly expensive day today.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cyclone Seller

I turned 40 in January of 2009. Right before my big party Kath called me up and said, "Don't read your email until we get there!"

So I didn't.

She and Alex gave me a promise for my 40th. It involved fancy pizza from a place in Coney Island, a Brooklyn Cyclones game and a ride on Brooklyn's world famous historic roller coaster, the Cyclone, which I had never ridden.

Last summer we ended up going to a ball game but we had the dogs with us and Alex couldn't meet us until later so we thought we'd split up the gift and have another night of just delicious pizza and delectable terror. Kath, however, is not a woman who does things by half measures so I got the whole package on Tuesday night. (Dude, I totally owe you a baseball game.)

The pizza was indeed amazing. We ate it outside the ball park and there wasn't a crumb left when we were done. Alex had acquired us some killer seats, just barely to the left behind home plate. We had a beer and some cracker jacks and took pictures with the mascots and I saw someone successfully charge the plate for the first time. Go Cyclones!

It was a school night so, with the Cyclones ahead, we ducked out after the 7th inning and shook our fists at the parking gods until something opened up near the Cyclone. Kath and I went in, and we read the frightening warnings (secure your glasses, it said, so we rode blind) and got all buckled in by the nice young men whispering "roll your neck, remember to breathe."

The Cyclone is a "high impact" ride. It's a wooden roller coaster built in the early part of the 20th century and it whips you around like nobody's business. I've never felt anything like it. I warned Kath that the first hill up would be where I'd be most freaked out and that I might start babbling. I thought I was doing OK until I confessed that being someone who rides the Cyclone is just the kind of person I wished I was and thanked her for helping me to become that elusive person. Operation No Babble: Epic Fail! But at least I babbled the truth.

On the first descent, which is nearly 90 degrees, I'm pretty sure my bladder changed places with my stomach. Seriously, it felt as though all my internal organs were suspended in mid-air while my neck was wrenched down toward my sternum. In a good way.

And I actually don't mean that last bit at all sarcastically.

It's the kind of ride that's so epic and bizarre and surreal that just letting go seems your only, quite enjoyable, option. At the top of the biggest slopes Kath would remind me "Take in your breath. Loosen your neck." but other than that we just screamed as happily and crazily and fully as we possibly could. I simply opened my mouth and let it all out. Except the pizza. I kept the pizza. Too good to give up.

You get an option for a reduced fare re-ride when you come down but I just didn't think that my neck or my misplaced bladder or my soul could take it. I was still sort of scared I'd done the whole thing though I was also indescribably happy. My legs were weak and wobbly and I was flushed and I couldn't stop laughing. Not giggling, more guffaws and bellows of this giddy, crazy-person laughter.

So Kath caught this one perfect photo of that feeling and then Alex drove us all home.

*All photos courtesy of Kath and her magical little Canon.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Photo Challenge: HOT/COLD

Woof, it's hot and I've been playing it cool all day but sometimes my job is feast or famine, you know? And for the past two days, y'all, I've been feasting like a one armed paper hanger. Got home, though, got some grub for energy and then....technical difficulties! Yowza. So apparently we have the ability to disable downloading on our Flickr accounts now. If you do that I can't grab one of your entries to put in the post. I've notified the people who have this going on and I'll post links to their pics if I don't hear back before I get ready to hit post. Whew! (Update: All photos now included!)

In any case, these are the results of the HOT/COLD photo challenge. There are many more in the Flickr Pool and I urge you to go check them out. When people enter more than one photo I have a really hard time choosing so I strongly urge you to go see. There are great, cool, winterized photos there but clearly I was mostly drawn to the summery ones here. Check the bottom of this post for the prompt for the next challenge. (Boy I hope I've thought of a challenge by the time I get to that part.)

by jkraye (taken by her son, A, who is 4)

Aren't those cool? And hot?

Next challenge is going to be WHEEEEEEEEEE! (We can abbreviate to WHEE for the sake of space.) Please submit your pertinent photos to the aforementioned Flickr Pool by 9am Tuesday August 3rd, tagged with "PhotoChallenge" and "WHEE" (and apparently enable downloading of your photos for Tuesday and Wednesday) and the post will go up (hopefully in a more timely fashion) on Wednesday August 4th. We've got some new members of the group and I'm really loving what I see from everyone.

Remember, you're welcome to submit as many photos as you like and they don't have to be challenge-related. Some of us (me) just like to trawl through the group and see what's up.

Moment of Silence

The photo challenge will appear later today. I didn't have the opportunity to put it together yesterday and today promises to be a little busy but it WILL get up.

In the mean time, though, Kitty of New York Portraits announced today that her beloved rescue cat, Dida, succumbed to kidney disease after a long battle. Please give all your furry friends a little extra love (and treats!) today in Dida's honor.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Once On This Island

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

My Benefactors

For tonight only, thanks to Kath & Alex, I get to revisit my 40th birthday. We've had yummy pizza, we're watching a good game between our Cyclones and the Lowell Spinners and then we ride the roller coaster. Hope your night is at least this fun!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

I Just Don't Know

Ridiculously I began to panic quite early this morning. "I don't have a list for 10 Things Tuesday. I don't know what to list. I don't know. I don't know!" So here is a list of 10 Things I don't know.

1. I don't know how I will react to riding the Cyclone this evening. I am equal parts pumped and petrified.

2. I don't know what to get a certain special someone for his 40th birthday in a couple short weeks but I'm brainstorming on it.

3. I don't know what Blogher is going to be like. I feel about it a little bit like I feel about the Cyclone only that ride will be about 48 hours longer.

4. I don't know why Audio Girl offered to make all my doctors appointments for me but she did and she mushed them into two weeks so, assuming I need no follow ups, it'll all be over before Blogher! She is beyond cool.

5. I don't know when the Flickr pool will reach 100 members but we only need 5 more people do to that. We got 5 new faces this week alone so it could be as soon as next week!

6. I don't know why I thought that Little Children would be a slow, sticky read. It's so quick I read almost 100 pages in a 24 hour period.

7. I don't know why I've been reluctant to tell anyone that my passport did finally arrive. It got here a couple of weeks ago and I've put it in a safe place. Now I plot my multiple departures from and returns to the country.

8. I don't know how to write a letter to a certain blogger to ask him out for coffee but I'm going to figure it out. I think.

9. I don't know if the credit reporting company is going to make me document all the loans, social security numbers and addresses on their report that do not actually belong to me but I really hope not.

10. I don't know if I have another list in me today, but I might. Stay tuned...

Monday, July 19, 2010

We Have A Winner! (or 6)

As is the fashion in fairness these days I went with to pick the winners. I integrated the one retweet (thanks Lisa!) in chronological order with the comments (one entry per person, if you commented more than once you were only entered for your first comment) and then I plugged all 20 discrete entries (that's the right use of discrete, right?) into the random number generator and kept pressing "generate number" until I had 6 people. Once it chose someone twice. I pressed again. I wanted 6 separate people.

All the winners have to do is email me with their address and preference for type of gift card (isabeau6 at hotmail dot com) and I will send them their tiny but heartfelt giftie! All the rest of you have to do is wait for the next giveaway 'cause I had fun doing this one! Drumroll.........

1. Lisa Shykula
2. Chrome (posting as anonymous but she emailed to tell me so)
3. Chili
4. The Other Laura
5. Mistiridiculous
6. SueB0b


Now on to all the great questions you asked.

And true to form I don't actually know how to answer the first question but I'll ask for clarification and see if I can answer it in the comments. Janet/FondofSnape asked, "What's the new link that was in your feeder?" Do you mean what's the newest thing that just came into my feeder or are you asking about something I alluded to but never followed through on? Sorry, I feel silly not getting what you mean here, please help! Also please do send that photo of your friend to look out for at Blogher.

Chili, wants to know if I think Kizz & Tell needs a tagline. I just always like blogs with taglines. Every time I see "Mighty Girl: Famous Among Dozens" I get a twinge of envy that I haven't thought of something that memorable for this or the other site. As to your other question about my favorite things about blogging....well, the comments, I can't lie. I like that it gets to be a conversation. I also sometimes hate that conversation but you can't have one without the other. Like I said in the Pastille Day post I also like having a place to put all these things in my head that feels productive or...something. It's somehow more satisfying to put it out here that Alice Ripley ripped me up than to write it in a paper journal. Not all topics are like that but a lot are. Weirdly perhaps, I like being part of the crowd. It's not like I've got a super popular hot button kind of site here but it's mine and it's here and you all are here and when people talk about blogging I know what it's like and I enjoy that.

Auntie really liked the question thing. She had a lot to ask. "What do you think is going to happen with the Yankees now that The Boss has passed? Do you think his kids are gonna fuck the whole organization up? If so, do you think Tampa Bay is going to become the new Yankees to the Red Sox? (I think they have been gaining ground in that department for the last few years.)" Well, I don't think anything much is going to happen to the Yanks now that the Boss is physically gone. He's been so sick for long enough that I think the family members running the show aren't figureheads anymore so we've already seen what post-Boss YankMeism is going to be like. So, pretty much like before but with less, you know, winning. For now. It's a cyclical thing, they could manage to cobble together a winning team but it takes a little while to figure that stuff out and, not being a dictatorship anymore, also not having the Boss's name and weight behind their offers, may hobble them a little. It's NYC, though, they've got plenty of money to toss around and you never know what money can buy. Tampa Bay will never replace the Yankees in relation to the Red Sox. It's not about when or where you're winning it's about a relationship between organizations, and more importantly between fans, that makes that rivalry. It will never change.

Violet, I can always name that musical and yet I can't name that musical. What is it? (For everyone else here's the quote from Violet's comment, "Hi, yerself. (Name that musical)")

Grammar Snob wants to know about my commute. It's between 45 minutes and an hour. I walk or take the bus (usually walk because it's faster during rush hour but is still 15 - 20 mins) to the train and catch an express train that lets me off at Grand Central. Then I walk about 3 blocks to work. I should leave the house at 8 and get there just before 9. Sometimes I leave as late as 8:15 and still get there before 9:15. For the record I've had to walk home from work (not this exact location but close enough) twice (9/11 and the '03 blackout) and it takes me just about 2 and three quarter hours to do that.

Falnfenix gets the nod for most surprising question I think, "what, precisely, would you NOT do for a Klondike bar (or your favorite frozen treat)?" Gosh, there are so many things. I would not eat a banana. I would not hold a snake. I would not go on a transatlantic cruise. I would not suck a dick - not for a Klondike bar. The thing is, I don't like Klondike bars that much. Too much ice cream, not enough coating. For a fudgesicle or the homemade ice cream from that coffee bar in my neighborhood weeelllll, that sucking thing wouldn't be out of the question. I wouldn't drink a cup of water that all of you had spit in (happened to a girl I knew in HS for gas money to get home before curfew). I wouldn't hurt an animal, though I could be convince to dress an animal in a humiliating costume. And I wouldn't steal the frozen treat from someone else in order to make it mine. How's that?

Naomi B. wants to know what kind of breakfast cereal I liked as a kid. That might be the hardest question. We didn't generally have cereal. I mean, it was in the house but we didn't eat it. We were a toast household at breakfast time. Also, I don't eat my cereal with milk, I don't like milk, so whatever I liked had to be good when eaten dry. I went through a Cocoa Krispies phase that lasted a while, I think.  I thought I liked Honeycomb but I did not. My grandmother ate Kix. They were OK. Then I got old enough to buy my own cereal and the biggest treat ever is Frosted Flakes right out of the box.

Thank you to everyone for sharing your comments and joining in the fun. It's been a pretty cool six years and I'm getting more excited about what's to come, if that's even possible! I appreciate you all being along for the ride.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Just Really Quick

Couple more hours to enter the giveaway. Your odds are still pretty good. I mean, 6 prizes folks! Enter quick or tweet for your extra entry! Deadline is midnight and all you have to do is leave a comment, any (polite) comment will do.

By the by, we've also had 3 more members join the photo pool this week (93 close to 100) and we've had 2 more people contribute photos than last time. I do love me some steady forward progress. A four-year-old (and his mom) entered this challenge, folks. Surely you can too! (No pressure, promise, just kidding.) Deadline for the HOT/COLD challenge is Tuesday 9am and the entry info can be found here. Would love to have you along for the ride.

In other news I haven't left the house today. I don't feel as bad about that as I might, either.

Eat This Week

Things I have prepped to eat this week. From front to back a pea and bean mixture, shrimp in peanut sauce, an assload of cherries, cucumbers and tomatoes. What are you planning to eat in the coming days?
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I've pretty much been languishing all day. Sounds quite Victorian, doesn't it? Or perhaps Edwardian, hard to tell. If it were either, though, I'd have to be wearing much better clothes. I had a little spell last night. I've had these spells infrequently for a couple of years. I am planning to get them checked by a doctor but in the mean time really who doesn't want to do a little playful internet diagnosing of disgusting digestive complaints, right?

Here's the scenario, I'll have a lovely time at a party where I might have a drink. No excessive drinking just one drink maybe 2 if it's wine. The meal will generally be one that's somewhat high in fat. The two memorable occasions were a couple of years ago at a lobsterbake when I was still allowing myself to dip my lobbie in butter and last night. I'm not sure if milk products have anything to do with it, there was the butter that time and this time I had small amounts of milk products throughout the day but the meal had other oils in it. We started with onion rings if that's any indication.

So then, relatively soon after ingestion I feel terribly sick to my stomach. Staying as still as possible helps to some extent but not much. Cold water splashed on the face or pulse points does not lessen the feeling at all. At the height it's about all I can do to keep from vomiting. It comes in waves. After a time of lying very still, maybe 30 to 45 minutes I generally get up, have a bowel movement and feel basically better but kind of peaked. Then sleep and I'm better the next day. Though I admit that today I've been a little reluctant to eat anything since last night I was away from home so the whole getting to some place I could lie still was sort of intense.

Some have said this could be a gall bladder issue. I've begun to wonder today if maybe it had something to do with the lactose since I had more milk products than usual. Sound like anything you've heard of? Have any home remedies other than "cut fat completely from your diet?" I'd really like to never do this again, please. Seriously, how embarrassing to end a really fun dinner with a friend by making her try to distract me from my own body and eventually hail me a cab to get me home safely and un-upchucked.

Thanks Kath!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Just stopped by my favorite holistic pet care store. Like Flylady's routines, their powders and potions and serums really do the trick. However sometimes you come out of there really wondering how the hell you're going to carry out their bidding. Have to spray something in my cats' mouths once a day for 4 to 6 weeks. Anyone want to video this shit? It ought to be a riot!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friendy Friday

I'm going to take a page from Cindy's blog and do a little Thankful Friday post. I'll make it people-centric, I think.

First off, of course, I'm thankful for Cindy. She's agreed, sight unseen, to be my Blogher partner/shield. She thinks that we're vying for the post of shield but she's the one who boldly IM'd Chookooloonks so I think she wins. I'll be happy to show her around the world of NYC, she's going to have to show me around the world of, you know, humans.

Thankful for JRH who spent a day and a half revising and revising and revising again a banner for Kizz & Tell. Then when I started to panic about business cards she volunteered for another day and half of revising not one but two styles of business card which were finally ordered yesterday in the afternoon. I think you're going to like what you see.

And to J.S. who is doing all the technical magicosity to make the new urls work. He just emailed to tell me that he's gotten slammed with a work project and has to go out of town but, knowing that Blogher is coming up, he's going to set it up so I can add the banner and start posting on my own and won't be held up by his changes. Another volunteer.

So thankful for Audio Girl who, upon hearing that I was continuing to put off my doctors appointments emailed, "I know how to do this. Send me your info and I'll pretend to be your assistant. You deserve an assistant after all this time." And she didn't even mind when it took me 3 weeks to get the information to her.

Thankful for Mameres who, upon reading my housekeeping post, said, "Call me if you ever need stuff assembled. Will work for food." Then he didn't mock me when I replied, "Actually, do you own a hacksaw?" He just sent me a photo of his hacksaw (not a euphemism).

Oh and for Miss Kath! We're meeting for dinner and drinks at a yummy little place in Alphabet City before we go see Alex's band play. She recently reminded me that we had to finish up my 40th Birthday present so we've got tickets to a Cyclones game for Tuesday and plan to eat pizza and ride the Cyclone (not necessarily in that order) that night as well.

I am definitely thankful for everyone who has entered the HOT/COLD Photo Challenge! There's some fun stuff in the pool right now and I'm sure there'll be more by the deadline Tuesday morning. Have you entered yet? It's easy, promise, even for a procrastinator like me.

Last but certainly not least I am thankful for all of you who have entered my 6th Blogiversary giveaway! I love all your comments and questions. I'm going to answer the latter when I announce the winner on Monday. Entries are open until Sunday at midnight and the odds right now are ridiculously good given that we're talking about 6 prizes. One comment = one entry. So does one tweet (I'm @Kizzbeth).

For whom are you thankful this fine Friday?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In Flight Mover

I am not a great housekeeper. Like so many things, cleaning seems to me to be a profoundly sucky way to spend one's precious time. I do not feel significantly better knowing my bed is made or my dishes are put away or the sheets on my bed are clean. Sure, I know they're good things but they won't make me or break me. I have also been gifted (nature? nurture? we will never know) with an ability to "unsee" things that are in the way if need be.

Remember that I purchased a couple of pieces of furniture with some assembly required in late April. I began assembling it in May, which necessitated laying some of the boxes down and opening them. At that point I discovered I couldn't assemble them myself. The final pieces of furniture were assembled in early June. This means that I, without frustration or complaint, climbed over those boxes for over a month. Not unusual behavior for me. I know that it adds steps to my day and I get that it doesn't have to be that way but when I weighed the scales with "strong arm a friend for help and have no fun but get this done fast" on one side and "finish that piece you're writing for the Colony and still have time for a drink with your friend who needs to talk" climbing over the stupid shelf didn't seem like much of a contest. Writing and friend win every time.

Lest I seem too altruistic also know that plenty of nights were spent neither writing nor drinking with deserving friends. Many of them were spent thinking, "I am never going to be able to do this right, this is going to take forever and I don't have any of the right tools and the directions are in a foreign language, why won't someone come and do this for me." And if we're being even more honest, I didn't actually do it right. Two of the shelves in the bookcase are the wrong way round and the drawers on the filing cabinets don't close correctly but it's done and everything's in it's place and I'm definitely not going to be able to take them apart and put them together correctly so we're calling it done. Again, I can unsee it if need be because there are more important things to do.

However, I do know that other people cannot unsee this stuff. Some people can't unsee anything. The built in toilet paper dispenser in my bathroom is too small for the rolls of paper that I buy. I generally open a new roll and set it on top  of the garbage can until it's been worn down enough to pull easily from the dispenser. It's more frustrating to me to be unable to get more than a square at a time off the roll than to have the roll off the dispenser. Someone stopped by to use my bathroom last week, though, and put the roll on the dispenser immediately. Couldn't unsee it.

Anyway, I thought I was going to be having a houseguest next month so I knew I needed to train myself to see what they would see and reorganize my house into a semblance of normalcy. I mean, I have a cat condo and combination of antiques and Ikea so I'm never going to come across all uber normal but I can come across as "weird but clean." I'm an actress! I can come across as anything. It wasn't going well on my own, though, so I turned to a popular tool.

Yup, I'm FLYing.

If you don't know about Flylady you should probably click that link and read a few things before you continue here. If you don't you might not be able to distinguish my sarcasm font.

Have you read? Sounds just like me, doesn't it? Oh to have a DH and at least one DD and DS to be able to set an example for with the routines that God has blessed my life with.

Here's the thing, though, that shit works. It's a great system and she's not wrong about the acts of cleaning and how to get them done even when you're not BO (Born Organized). The tone, however, makes me want to rip out my uterus and feed it to innocent bystanders. And I wouldn't shine my sink afterward, either. I expect an endorsement from Glenn Beck to pop up on the site at any moment. I'm scared to join any of the discussions or contact the group in any way. I suppose I shouldn't be afraid, it couldn't be clearer that no one properly associated with the Flylady would ever want anything but the best for me. If you've read here at all, though, you know that sort of talk makes me nervous.

But you know what? I don't have to contact the group. I don't have to do anything but what's best for me. Marla (Flylady) is committed to keeping the system and the site and its tools free to anyone who needs them. She has things for sale but there's nothing you have to buy in order to be part of her program. And the program works. It's the same as Weight Watchers for me. I didn't want to be part of "that" group of people but "that" group of people is doing something that I can't do on my own so I guess it's time for me to revise my actions. I've joined each group to the extent that I've been able and their systems have done right by me. While they may not have changed my life completely they have improved it clearly in ways I wasn't able to do alone and for that I am truly, truly grateful.

It turns out I won't have a houseguest next month but now that I'm paying attention to Marla I remember that it's not about that. I'm cleaning a few minutes every day. I'm making my bed and wiping down my counters and "swishing and swiping" my bathroom. I'm setting my timer and working slowly but steadily until the infernal buzzer goes off and the changes are undeniable. I've ditched a filing cabinet I bought as sophomore in college. You can see most of the top of my dining room table. Both of my antique writing desks (yes, both, I love my grandmothers) are clear enough to write on and there's room in my fridge for unspoiled food now.

I don't love it but I'm doing it and now it's OK if you come over to my place for that drink. Pay no attention the ticking of that timer.

*These photos were taken a year and a half ago. It doesn't look like that again...yet.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's Pastille Day!

UPDATE: This contest is closed. Six winners have been chosen. Their names were announced in a post on 7/19/2010.

No, it's not. Though some pastilles would taste lovely right now. It's Bastille Day, actually, and some prison food, even French prison food, would not hit the spot.

For me, it's Blogiversary Day!

Six years ago I finally got over my technical and creative shortcomings and I opened a free little blog that I decorated all in pink. My blog could be going to first grade in September. My blog would so fail first grade. It would sit in the corner and pick its nose and eat paste. Poor little thing.

After some indeterminate amount of blogging many people worry because, "Now whenever I experience something I'm evaluating its blog potential." I see where they're coming from but, for me, it was kind of a godsend. It gave me a focus because I did that evaluating and crafting and shaping thing long before I, or anyone, had blogs. I was working out something to say at a party or to a friend or at school so I'd have something useful to share in the least embarrassing way possible. To be sure that's not always worked out well either before or after I had a blog but it's been the way my brain works.

I am terrible at parties (yes, I will be at Blogher) until I can glom onto someone who directs the conversation a bit. Then I am only pretty bad at them. So on my way to any sort of gathering (yes, even if it was just the two of us and we were going to have lunch, and yes, even if we're related) I would watch everything around me and then maybe, I'd have to slam on the brakes for a black cat or the woman in front of me in line spilled a slushie or I passed an incredible street performer, and I'd mush that around in my brain, molding it into some kind of conversation-starter. Generally I'd use it the moment I walked in the door, petrified of forgetting the exact way I should tell it so spewing it out in monologue form, rather than waiting until the conversation lent itself to such a tale and using it to further an exchange. See above re: bad at parties. I'm getting better but, woof, I panic, what can I say?

Now I have a blog so I can collect these stories somewhere and not lose them. Having hundreds of friends and strangers read them is a damn nice bonus, too.

It's been a heck of a year for me blogging-wise, too. There are plenty of new eyeballs and voices here, many because of the time I got to spend at The Women's Colony, and that's started me down a whole new path. As a matter of fact, the new web site just showed up on my blogger dashboard this morning and I got a little choked up over it. JRH has been slaving away making a banner for it for almost 24 hours so things are really starting to happen! The site isn't live yet but soon. Soon, my friends, I promise. And you know what else will happen soon? This blog is going to get its very own, proper, no extension url! I bought it this morning. Just a few weeks before my first Blogher attendance and I'm starting to feel like a real, live blogger.

Crap. I still haven't made business cards. Anybody good at that?

Enough about me, though, I'd like to talk about you or rather I'd like to thank you actually and talk to you. How about a little giveaway then? Perhaps that will further the conversation. Since this little blog is 6 I'm going to give away 6 (very small) gift cards. Leave a comment on this post* before midnight on Sunday and on Monday I will randomly select 6 winners. Each winner will be able to pick the kind of gift card they would like. Dunkin' Donuts? Amazon? Donors Choose? Loew's? For an extra entry you can tweet about the contest (I'm @Kizzbeth over on Twitter).

If you'd like a little commenting inspiration I could use some input on the following:
  • Should the Kizz & Tell site have a tag line?
  • Should 117 Hudson have a new tag line?

    • What should those tag lines be?
  • Who are you?

    • Where are you from?
  • How did you find 117 Hudson?
  • What is your favorite Harry Potter movie?
  • Clooney or Pitt?
  • Sarandon or Mirren?
  • Grey's Anatomy or ER?
  • Buffy or Twilight?
  • You could ask me a question. Questions are fun.
  • Throw me a good party conversation starter, clearly I need some.
  • Just say hi.

Thank you for sticking around. Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting and caring. I'm really excited about the next six years.

*I understand that some people are having trouble commenting on the site. I'm trying to fix it but haven't worked it out yet. If you try to comment on this post and are unable send me an email at isabeau6 at hotmail dot com. I'll publish your comment for you and get you into the contest.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

People Will Say...

People have been saying such interesting stuff on the internet. I have to use my 10 Things today to share.

1. Lost hedgehog. I don't know that anything I can say about this will be better than those two words. However, anyone who steals or lets their child steal another kid's hedgehog surely has something nasty coming at them from the universe some time soon. (Clinton Hill Blog)

2. Maggie Mason has been using Mondays on her blog to republish previous works so they're all in one place. Yesterday's piece about simple etiquette is a good primer for everyone I meet every freaking day. I can almost not decide what my favorite part is. What about this, "One attends funerals not only to show respect for the departed, but also to support those who are mourning. Skipping them because you’re squeamish is childish." But maybe this, "It’s not polite to push your beliefs on others unless you’re holding a picket sign large enough to give fair warning that they should avoid you." I won't go on, you should read it yourself. (NB: I am guilty of a few faux pas on that list as well. I'll try to be better.)

3. I guess I hadn't thought this through entirely but the Twilight books are actually promoting abstinence. Well, sexual abstinence...of a sort. It's kind of weird. Not OK to have sex but OK to get married at, like, 18 and let some dude suck the life's blood from you. Which, well, we won't go into how apt a metaphor I think that actually is. (Feministing)

4. Rush Limbaugh has done a lot of bellyaching about New York City. Which is, it turns out, where he lives. Weird. Apparently, though, he's had enough and he's leaving. I weep. You know I do. I wonder if he's moving so he can teach at Glen Beck University. (Gothamist)

5. One of my stock phrases about why I love NYC so much has to do with being able to have anything you want delivered anywhere you want at any time you want. My city? Just got better. Delivery inside Central Park. No need to put on shoes when you get thirsty. (Gothamist)

6. Sara Brown and her friend coined this term to describe a certain kind of person. They call her "A Janice." No offense at all if your name is Janice. I can't begin to explain exactly what it is so you should read it. I can't imagine you won't immediately recognize the type. I've worked with a few and, wow, not my favorite. (Dooce)

7. I know, I know, you don't think pit bulls are bad dogs exactly you just know that their brains work differently and they can't be trusted, at least not around kids. I mean, you wouldn't drive your kids around in a jalopy and you wouldn't let them run free with pitties. Well, except maybe for this one who woke the parents up to fend for themselves but saved the baby without their help. (Foster Dogs in NYC)

8. The link in #7 to that particular web site? I put it in my reader recently against my better judgement. A lump in my throat and a stone in my gut every day. My god there are so many dogs, good dogs, great dogs being abandoned and mistreated. What the fuck, people? Spay. Neuter. Spay. Neuter. Spay. Fucking neuter. No excuses.

9. One of my bigger fears is drowning, followed closely by large things like whales or, well, the ocean. And yet, a lighthouse for $10K, that's a steal, right? How cool would it be to live in a lighthouse? You could at least guarantee there wouldn't be snakes, my number one fear, with a bullet. (Brokelyn)

10. Last week Schmutzie wrote this intense post about coming across a mated pair of crows while walking in her town. I tweeted it so maybe you've read it already' should go read it. It broke my heart. She followed up this week and, while it wasn't worst case scenario, it was still a little sad.

*The photo is my friend, Rick Mullin, signing books at the launch of his epic poem, Huncke. Thanks to @mameres for coming to the launch with me!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Next To Me

It's not often that a musical wins the Pulitzer Prize but this year Next To Normal did just that. I finally got around to seeing it last night just one short week before the original star, Alice Ripley, departs the show. I'm so glad I saw it and a thousand times more glad I saw her. Many thanks to Chrome for helping me secure an affordable ticket.

I want to write about the show but am finding it difficult. Part of that difficulty is because it's a deeply personal show and I don't think I can write about it fully without writing about people I have agreed to keep out of this space. I know, I know, some  of you want to comment right now before you read any further about how it's my space to do with as I wish. However, I gave my word and that's the way things go and our lives intersect with a whole bunch of folk, even when we don't write on the internet and it's up to us to navigate those rapids to the best of our individual abilities. Which brings us right back to Next To Normal.

Our lives get all tangled up with other people before we sometimes even get a chance to think about it. This is a play about a family coping with the kinds of mental illness that bloggers talk about a lot. Over the course of the evening you can't help but get a real sense or at least a real reminder of the depth of those entanglements.

The two personal things about watching it I feel I can share are 1. it's the stories about families, all kinds of families, that punch me in the neck and 2. their first house had a red door.

The one thing I can't have you finish reading this without saying is that you really ought to see this play. There is something in it to touch each and every one of us and it's written so well you may not even notice you're being reached until the tentacles are wrapped around your vital organs. I cried so hard during both acts I almost couldn't keep quiet. The performances are not to be missed either. Ms. Ripley leaves the Broadway production next Sunday, takes a break and then joins the national touring cast. I believe she begins touring in November, so wherever you may be in the US (and maybe Canada) you could have the opportunity to see her. She is extraordinary. She uses her hands like a modern dancer and I can't explain why that's important but it is. She acts the hell out of that character from the moment the curtain rises until the very last note which makes for a pretty conflicting ending as far as I'm concerned. Which is not, of course, to diminish anyone else on the stage with her. It's as strong a cast as I've seen on Broadway lately and so it should be to live up to the work and Ms. Ripley's powerhouse performance.

Lest I make this piece sound like a huge emotional wank for anyone who's ever come within 10 feet of a Xanax I'll refer you again to the Pulitzer Prize. I don't care if you don't like musicals, it won this accolade for a reason, and it's not so much a musical as an opera or an operatic rendition of a classic novel or...ok, back to the intellect. I thought as I left the theatre last night that I would like to teach this play in tandem with A Doll's House. That particular Ibsen gem popped into my head about halfway through the first act right after The Wild Duck. A Doll's House is more appropriate. You could make a case for pairing it with some Chekhov, perhaps The Seagull or Three Sisters. Emotionally probably Strindberg would be the best. I found Miss Julie so disturbing I've pretty much blocked the plot so I'm just going on instinct there but I'm pretty sure it'd work. What a semester that would be: A Doll's House, The Seagull, Miss Julie and Next To Normal. You'd definitely need a Xanax after that.

Go. See. Bring a hankie. And a notebook. And your open heart. This play is for you. Yes, you. Yes. Every one of you.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


What's you view this fine afternoon?
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Kicking It Off

I just added a few photos to the Flickr pool for the HOT/COLD challenge. Have you found anything to contribute to that yet?