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Miss Peach

Like putting a good belt on a cheap dress

Squeeze Me Dry, Why Don't You?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My fucking landlord has fucking gone and raised the fucking rent by 9%.

Yes, 9%. One measly percentage point under 10.

I hope you understand why I fell the need to say fuck somewhat excessively.

That... well, that's a LOT. Also, my lease? Expires tomorrow. And my "property manager"? Won't return my calls. And I'm getting threatening calls from a woman named Carmen who says we have to make up our minds about the lease by tomorrow. She sounds scaaaarrrrrryyyy, too. Oh! And she called my mom so THAT made for a lovely afternoon surprise. (In Manhattan, you have to have a guarantor on your lease until you're, like, 40 and make eighteen times the annual rent or something obscene that I will never, ever acheive.)

Me: This is Miss Peach.
Me: Whaaa? Mom? What are you talking about?
My Mom: Well, I just got a call from a Carmen... a Carmen... oh I don't know, but she said you didn't sign a lease and if you don't by tomorrow they're going to do something and WHY DIDN'T YOU SIGN THE LEASE?????????

Me, in mind to self: I cannot believe those motherfuckers called my mother but WILL NOT CALL ME BACK.

I'll save you the whole blow-by-blow, but basically we never got our renewal agreement, and then they called at 6PM on Friday August 18th about it, and we were all "you never sent it!" and they were all "we're faxing it now!" and then I got REALLY busy at work last week and totally forgot about it until Monday. Oops. So I finally picked it up and nearly fell over. And proceeded to call our property manager every three hours all week until today I lost it on the receptionist and in the end, we have no rights b/c it's not rent stabilized. Now, it takes 45-60 days to evict a tenant so we're cool until then, and in the meantime are scrambling to look at other places.

The bitch of it is: I like my apartment. It's fairly nice. We spent time fixing it up. It's got a good layout. Our stuff fits in well. It's quiet; it's not too far from everyone and everything, and is pretty much exactly the same distance from each of our places of work. I like the neighborhood. I like that my local bar (that I rarely walk into, I should note) is "Tap A Keg: A Hell of a Joint". No, no, it really IS named that.

And now I am going to have to move because my motherfucking landlord is a greedy motherfucker.

It's enough to make a girl want to leave the city.

It Can Always Get Worse

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I've been working until 10PM each night this week which, while semi-painful, is fine. I'm so incredibly busy that instead of looking at my clock and going "wow, it's already 2PM" I now look out the window and think "wow, the sun has set!" And then turn back and put in another hour at least. It's all for good and I'm not complaining, just highlighting the fact that I'm highly preoccupied.

Add to this the fact that I woke up this weekend with whatever freaky disease is currently circulating on the east coast, though, and the trouble starts. I've had a really sore throat since Sunday. So sore that my tongue feels swollen and it's almost hard to swallow, but not quite. A few advil seem to keep it at a tolerable level, so I've been tossing that back regularly. I know this is not a good thing. I know sore throats are supposed to go away after about 48 hours, after which you really should go to the doctor and have it checked out. I'm aware that this might be something worse than a little old virus and, as my mother just very passionately informed me, could spread and settle in my kidneys and THEN I'd be in REAL trouble. But have I mentioned I basically work and sleep right now? And aside from the sore throat, I feel fine. And others have said they've had long-term sore throats so maybe this is just what's going around? Is this a case of seriously wishful thinking?

Anyway, this isn't my point. So to get to it: this week I had to go to the studio of an awesome show of which I am an enormous fan that airs on a comedy network and claims to be a news show. Not the one that deals in truthiness, the other one. Totally for work, but still, a serious perk of the job, I'd say. Meanwhile, there's been a camera crew shadowing my charge and I (they're filming a documentary on him, and there's a good chance I'm now going to be in the background of it. On a sidenote, I'm not happy about that, but I really don't have a choice. Why is it that I wasn't given one though? I'd like to know!) So I get to the studio for the show, it's great (is it ever not, really?), and then I head back to the office and work for another three hours. As I'm getting ready to leave, I go to the bathroom, where I discover that my fly is down. Now, I hadn't gone to the bathroom since before leaving to go to the show. Which means my FLY WAS DOWN while at the show, which is embarassing enough, but I was also ON CAMERA while my fly was down.

Sweet Jesus. The preoccupation and sickness have taken things to a whole new level.

Also, I have a date tomorrow night. A date that has been postponed and moved twice before, which has taken ages to set, and which I basically HAVE to go on despite the work and sickness and the looking like crap because if I cancel, I will never wind up going on this date. I will seem the flakiest and craziest girl, and no one buys it when you say you're sick anyway, so there's no point in cancelling. And to make this worse, the skirt I wanted to wear tomorrow is at the cleaners--I haven't been home before 10 PM, so I haven't exactly been able to pick it up. So now I need to get up early to get it. Or devise another outfit. But I really want to wear THAT one. It doesn't have a fly, so that would save me the pain of reliving my earlier experience. But then again, if it's windy, the skirt might blow up, and then what?

I really might lose my mind.

Maybe it'll be good blog material though. I'm looking really hard for the silver lining here. Wish me luck!


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Five Books I Feel Guilty That I Haven’t Read

Friday, August 11, 2006

Gilead: I have heard nothing but astounding reviews of this book. Also, I work in publishing, and it seems I should have read (by now), the winner of both the NBCC and Pulitzer for fiction in 2005. But I haven’t. Something holds me back. I’m thinking it’s the fact that another novelist once said to me: “That fucking book. It won the Pulitzer, right? So I should read it, right? But that kind of writing? Puts me to sleep.”

The Tipping Point: Is it just me, or is this referenced in conversations all the time? Maybe it’s just that I have friends that read and loved the book, but I feel uneducated or something because I haven’t. To be honest, it just never quite appeals to me. I can’t say I’ve ever had a moment where I’ve thought, “Yes! A 280-page book on why and how ideas/trends/behaviors become massively popular!” So it just sits there, mocking me, telling me I’m not as up on things as everyone else, reminding me of how I’ll just have to smile, nod, and say, “Oh, absolutely!” when people reference it in conversation, and feel like a fraud. (And do NOT get me started on Blink.)

A Prayer for Owen Meany: I’m about to make a controversial statement, one that has caused people to literally stop speaking to me for hours at a time (well, that’s only happened once, and it was while I was traveling in Europe and my friend and I had been together for about two weeks straight, so I’m thinking it wasn’t just about this issue). I don’t like John Irving. I do not like his books, I do not like his plot lines, and I cannot stand the fact that there is a dancing bear in a tutu in the background of every third scene. I read The World According to Garp and nearly threw the book out after Garp’s wife bites off the guy’s penis. Come ON! Then I was strong-armed into trying A Widow for One Year, which a friend claimed had changed her life. I’m still trying to figure out how that was possible. A few years ago, yet another friend was shocked that I disliked Irving, and made me tell her what I’d read. She made me promise to read Owen Meany before deciding against Irving for good, and I agreed. Actually, I don’t know if I feel guilty about not reading it, or pissed off that I promised to do so.

All these classics (I’m putting them together b/c I think the reasons why are self-explanatory): 1984, Things Fall Apart, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, Crime and Punishment, War and Peace, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Lolita, and One Hundred Years of Solitude. And I call myself an English major!

You Can Come Back Now, OK?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I have a very, very lucky living arrangement. I randomly found a roommate through a friend nearly three years ago, and she seemed normal enough, and she came with a car. I was just grateful she wasn’t into, like, hard-core porn or heroin from what I could tell, and she seemed reliable. The icing on the cake was the thought of getting the odd free ride to Target.

Turns out, she and I get along really well. Gen is now probably the closest thing I have to a sister. And for an only, that’s really cool. Even though I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by close family friends and cousins and had a shared history with them, it’s not like I ever fought over clothes or complained about how long they took in the bathroom. To me, that’s always been the sort of thing that I never had as an only and that I didn’t think I would ever experience. I’m not saying I yearned for petty spats with a sibling; what I wanted was to be comfortable and close enough to someone to be able to be a complete brat about certain things without fearing that it would actually affect the relationship. (Aside from my parents, of course.)

These are the particular joys of sharing an apartment with Gen. I know that sounds like a backhanded compliment, but I really don’t mean it as such. I value the fact that I can—without any apprehension—say things like, “Hey, you almost done in there? I’d like to go to bed before tomorrow!” when she takes three years getting ready for bed at night, and she in turn will give me lots of grief about taking long showers. (And rightfully so. But let’s move on, shall we? After all, this is about her.)

Also, like some sisters, we have a slew of inside jokes that don’t always make sense to others. Several of these stem from either Lifetime movies (too many to even begin to list) or Arrested Development (we greet each other with “Hey, roommate” a la Buster, and also routinely inform the other that “I don’t understand what you’re saying, and I will not respond to it.” Also, we have the same ringtone for each other (mine doubles for Darren too), which is “Final Countdown”, G.O.B.’s theme song.)

And then there are the jokes that stem from three years of living together—through leaks that caused the ceiling to come in and the apartment to basically flood while I frantically built a dam of towels, to pigeons attempting to peck through the window, to trips back from Ikea with an enormous armchair hanging out the back of her little bug, to mice infestations, a traumatic move, and weird neighbors of all sorts that pepper life here. We cheer each other on in work and in life, and tend to be around when the crap happens too. A few work situations have come up in the evening that involved people screaming at me for prolonged periods of time well after I’ve gone home for the day. Gen has been around for all of them, and I can’t imagine hanging up and not having her pop up off the couch with a horrified look on her face going, “Who the HELL was that?” And I’m not sure, but I think she appreciates when I get really indignant about the fact that she has no textbooks to teach her students with. None. Zippo. Zilch. I’m sorry, but that’s NOT acceptable.

I often joke that she is half my sibling and half my spouse, and I think that’s the truth in a way. Most of my friends live alone now and couldn’t wait to part with whoever they shared a place with. They were itching to live alone. I, on the other hand, get worried that Gen will decide to move back to her hometown or in with her real sister who lives in the area, and I will be forced to either find someone else (doubtful) or find my own place (likely). I am willing to put up with the small inconveniences of living with someone else that you aren’t romantically involved with to keep hanging out (a lack of equal space in the common closets comes to mind, are you reading this G? I kid because I love. And also you have an appalling amount of seasonal decoration to store, but it is MIGHTY festive at our place for all holidays, so there’s a benefit there too). Because at the end of the day, it’s fun, and we get along, and we tend to laugh really hard together.

As a teacher, she gets the summer off. Usually she sticks around, but she’s been gone since the last week of July and won’t be back until the end of the month. And let me tell you, it was really nice to have the place to myself for the first two weeks. I’m not going to lie. It was great. I lived it up. But the novelty has completely worn off, as evidenced by my forty phone calls to her a day. I’m hoping August races by for many reasons. I won’t be so busy and feel stretched as thin as I do at work come September. Fall will be on the horizon, and as I have only one trip to the beach left, I’m ready to pack it in and start anticipating next year. I’m going to see family over Labor Day, and can’t wait to get goofy with my little cousins and hang out at the pool, having tea parties with my eight-year-old best friend (and cousin) Sophie.

But mostly, it is so that Gen will return and I will stop echoing around our place. I’m almost looking forward to the piling that will occur when I come back, and the fact that I will no longer have control over the music or the television or get to pick the couch or the chair.

Come home soon, roommate! In the meantime, I’m totally having a party AND plan on spreading out my stuff on every. single. countertop. Wheeeeeee!

Sandcastle by the Sea

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Five Ten-Cent Words

Friday, August 04, 2006

I used to LOVE vocabulary lessons and tests. I like reading with a dictionary nearby so I can look up words I'm not so sure of the meanings to. I work in an industry where using prententious vocabulary is considered a virtue and not so much a pompous, obnoxious thing to do, which is nice, because I have an outlet to use the words without coming off as a colossal pain. Lucky me, and trust me, lucky you, because otherwise there's a good chance I'd be writing posts in language Jane Austen might use if not. And really, unless it's actually Pride and Prejudice or Persuasion, I'm thinking people don't want to encounter such discourse.

So, for this week's installment, I present you with five of my favorite ten-cent words. Some are useful, some are dumb, and some are just what I call FUN! (Wait, could this have something to do with why I'm single??)

1) Idiosyncrasy: this one is just fun to rattle off. Also, I have many idiosyncrasies which my roommate, if she ever read this or in the event she did could figure out how to post a comment, could tell you all about in detail. For instance, I get incredibly irritated if the sponge is left in the sink, and not placed on the counter next to the sink. And, please, keep the shower curtain pulled all the way across the tub, okay? And this is only the beginning, the tip of the iceberg, the smallest of my demands. In short: I’m annoying to live with, and my roommate should really get a medal or something. Though her propensity to pile all of my shit out of sight—which, ahem, if you can’t see it, NEITHER CAN I—might result in my being awarded a medal as well. In which case, I think both of us getting a prize for living with the other undermines the point of the award altogether, so maybe we can just pass on the whole shebang.
2) Archipelago: ooh, really fun to say as well. I don’t have an archipelago though, so I can’t really speak to my personal experience of them. I suppose if I were to write a novel or travel to, say, Alaska, I might have occasion to actually use this word in some way. I do enjoy the candles made by Archipelago Botanicals, and if I were ever to open up my own boutique or something (which I don’t plan to do, but you never know), I might name it Archipelago. And then start a chain. Ha!
3) Salacious (also, lascivious): This is a classy way to say something is dirty, and I like it. It’s particularly useful for cocktail parties because it doesn’t sound bad to say, “it’s really quite a salacious novel!” where as to say, “dude, that’s one dirty book” just doesn’t go over as well. Lascivious is really fun to say too, and it’s basically a synonym of salacious, but I have trouble getting it out sometimes. I might need the aid of a speech therapist to nail the pronunciation of that one.
4) Solipsistic: I really think of this as a fancy-schmancy way to say someone is a navel-gazer, but a navel-gazer would use it to glowingly talk about their navel-gazing behavior. I have no idea if this makes any sense to you whatsoever, but sometimes I like to toss this into conversation with certain, ah, self-impressed jackasses whom I come into contact with regularly in my line of work, and they seem to find it charming. Plus it’s fun to say. Wheeee!
5) Lugubrious: This one I love because it seems like onomatopoeia. It just sounds so sad and weighed down but it seems all to dramatic a word for such feelings. And, following in line with the others, is a shitload of fun to say. Not that I ever do, really, because it’s a little over the top.