Wednesday, August 27, 2008

come clean, come clean, i know that you dream...

the above title, appropriately, refers to a culture club lyric. we're talking after the fall from grace, post heroin boy george. but boy did i love that song--blasted it in the car till the cows in the pastures paused mid fly-swat to glare as i drove by. oh, but wait. it was 1987 (?) so it was my mom doing the driving. and the blasting of boy george.

but nevertheless, there's something i've been hiding from you. something that is so simultaneously jump up and down exciting but then bury your head under a pillow humiliating that i've totally clammed up. see i grew up 100% positive that every single member of my family was reading my journal--my diary, if you will.

certain events tipped me off to this fact, like its constant movement from the place i would meticulously hide it. but of course then paranoia spun out of control and who knows anymore. i am completely open to the suggestion that no one actually ever tampered with my secret tomes, covered as they were in pathetic locks you could pick with a bobby pin (i know, because i could never keep track of those keys!) and dried pools of red candle wax, but still this paranoia completely affected me. i mean, the story about the doll that was supposed to urinate but because of some mysterious, ahem, blockage, refused to perform, thus brought me to tears was totally riveting--just what an evil family member would be desperate to come across on the sly. because surely they didn't have to already hear me crying about it all day.

gripped with this fear of exposure (i know, i know, so now i post my journal online. totally makes sense), with no faith in the privacy of my journal, i went to work cataloging the boring details of my days, leaving cryptic hints that only i could pick up on regarding anything that i secretly felt and couldn't share. this is something i still have a hard time with, especially now that my diary of sorts is posted for all to see. that brings its own issues of censorship and family calling you up to say that you got it all wrong. people threatening that i'll never get a job because google will bring up all this stupid drivel. but still i continued writing then, just as i continue now. because i'm compelled to. because it's my therapy. because i have to.

so the ridiculous journals pile up until there's tubs of them. and what is to be done with them? readings over a bowl of cereal? shabby chic end tables? i've employed both of these habits. but mostly they just sit and ferment like old forgotten wine--awash in denial, boredom, excitement, anger, and the occasional true secret.

enter sarah brown. sarah had this genius idea that it could be funny to sit around at a bar (the alchohol helps with the courage!) listening to other people read from their old diaries. but in order not to be super boring, the entries read must induce the reader to cringe. hence the name of the series. it happens in brooklyn on the first wednesday of every month and my god! it's hilarious.

and cathartic.
and addictive.

when sarah decided to publish a book of such embarrassing entries i was all about it, flooding her inbox with scanned submissions. because if there's something i have a lot of, it's embarrassing journal entries. why not put them to work? make people laugh. be able to laugh at myself.

i didn't figure i even had to worry about being selected, considering heather of the 2 million readers a month dooce fame put out a call for submissions. when i heard back from sarah that she wanted to use THREE of my entries, i panicked a little bit, but didn't back out. doubted my sanity, yes. i know, it makes a lot of sense. girl, terrified that people will read her journal, "grows up" (had to put that in quotes because, um...) and publishes them in a book sold in all barnes and nobles across the country. brilliant. so i thought, i just won't tell my blog. then no one will notice. and perhaps they won't. but come on--what is the point of this damn blog if i can't scream at the top of my lungs into it: SOMETHING I WROTE IS PUBLISHED! IN A BOOK. A REAL BOOK! nevermind that it's been selected because it's really, really bad. just nevermind that.

the bottom line is, the only people i don't want reading this book is my parents. and maybe my uncle because he's my dad's twin. i may be making light of this book and all, but it ain't g rated. it took me a long time to really free myself to write with a bit of abandon, and since those are the entries selected, i was a bit older than most of the other folks in the book i think. and that's just too much for me or my parents to handle. nor should they have to. can you guys appreciate that and help me out with this? no mom, no dad, no uncle allan. aunts--don't go out of your way, but not forbidden. rule of thumb--family members, don't talk about this. practice all that denial we're all so good at. cheers.

oh, and additionally, don't bother asking my polite, foreign boyfriend how he feels about this blatant show of exhibitionism--he's far from impressed or amused.

okay, i'm officially extremely uncomfortable. but i totally believe in the pure humor of this book and i'm proud to be a part of it. i'm still waiting impatiently for my copy to arrive in the mail. in the meantime, there's this handy little widget at the top of my blog that looks like the cringe book. if you click on it, it gives a sneak peak into the layout, intro, design of the book. minus the entries. the reason i gave in and posted about this is yesterday (the day the book was released) when i saw a piece of my writing that had been used in the opening pages (page9!), i actually got choked up and held back tears of excitement. thank you, sarah, for including me in this silly bit of fun. and huge congrats.

and for the locals...
next wednesday, yes, a week from this very day, there will be a book release party/reading. friends are welcome. oh, and sarah's blog is here
not only is she a great idea maker. she's a gifted writer too. yay for sarah!
(cringe photos by sarah brown too!)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

porn for women

the cringe book is out today. you have no idea what that is because i've been too chicken to share my future humiliation. maybe tomorrow. but for today i leave you with giovanni ironing my priestess dress for mieke's wedding (more on the wedding soon, I PROMISE!). don't they make books of this stuff? never mind that he's gay. i bet all those models were too. and it doesn't detract from the thrill of somebody else ironing my dress.

Friday, August 22, 2008

don't hate me because i'm going to paradox lake

paradox lake has become a sort of mecca for emre and i. could it have been three years ago that ten or so of us first stormed 'the cedars' for a weekend of cabin improvement and beautiful water? emre and i are so grateful that the cedars is still a destination for us. we're lucky that chelsea calls us up every year and says, "the adirondacks are calling us!" oh yes they are. and we're on our way. to share in our joy, to reminisce or to feel envious, check out a few photos from that introductory trip below.
missing kiyomi and skip a lot right now!

ah! and how could i almost forget the high jinx from last fall starring eddie and emre! check out the boys of paradox lake--a school project photoshop that ran so linearly i had to make a little movie out of the stills...
by the way, one of these 'men' is about to become both a doctor and a father (hint: it's not emre). be very afraid.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

dads and boobs

okay, so i have a new houseguest. don't laugh.
this house guest is a little unusual in that he hasn't actually come to my house. yet. after a red eye then staying out til 2 in the morning watching live music, he opted to sleep on the rumored-to-be rat infested floor at his recording studio rather than commute in from brooklyn in the am. i guess my pride can take it, but, you know, it's just that survey says i've been 'disappointing' house guests lately, so i'm all in a dither.

highlights from last night:

emre and i sat as the odd men out in a group of six friends as they talked about their toddlers. insane energy levels, reinforcing the word no, potty training--the usual mom stuff. it was awesome to sit back and double take that i was actually the only woman at the table. these were four really involved dads talking shop about their kids. for a long time.

then later, at the bowery ballroom*, i secretly marveled at the freedom with which the um, keyboard/saxaphone player (and i mean that slash to encompass the same instrument, by the way, not just a listing of a multi-instrumentalist) danced, er, bounced in her tank top, sans bra. i felt a little pervy being distracted by this detail, until later in the show when she gained the true abandon of only being obligated to hit a few keys on a casio. her bouncing reached a fever pitch and i wondered if indeed a really big wardrobe malfunction was about to happen in the form of holy bouncing boobies whopping her one (or two) in the chin. at this moment i looked around me at the very serious hipster, art rock crowd, looks of deep contemplation and enlightenment gracing their otherwise too-cool-for-school faces. i could barely keep from busting out into a full on fourth grade fart joke giggle. my shame was rescued by rafter (the aforementioned house-guest) who didn't have to even finish saying, "are you laughing at what i'm laughing at?" before we nearly collapsed into hysteria, all the while, oblivious multi-instrumentalist cluelessly owning that pair.
and just when i thought i had no image for this post, there she is, keyboard/sax tubing in mouth, ready to bounce. look, you just can't contain her!

*i admit it, i've missed being on the guest list. also, being with someone whose only crossover musical picks include bjork and the yeah yeah yeahs, my count of live music outings has decreased drastically in the past five years. but that bjork concert was definitely awesome.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

maybe office jobs aren't as bad as i thought...

thank goodness for my friends keeping me from feeling left out of the rest of the television owning world. this is all the olympics i need....
and yes, that is kim, mother of the cutest twins ever. seeing her in motion makes me miss her even more. 'medicine for people in need', huh? looks like the employees felt they needed it more.

Monday, August 11, 2008

sherlock holmes at the greenpoint b&b

ah, the joys of house guests. living 3000 miles from my hometown, with someone at least that far from his, also smack dab in the middle of a major tourist destination, it's not surprising that we get a lot of visitors. this is something i love--don't get me wrong. i, myself, am a very frequent house guest, much preferring to sleep on a friends floor than a hotel.

though now that we're all a bit older, or at least my friends somehow have their shit way more together than i do, the floor isn't so common of an occurrence. around here in the bedbug war zone, we save that luxury for our own home, where we avoid the risk of having to throw more furniture away simply by not buying any. what? you don't think the floor makes the perfect nightstand?

but what if your bed is on the floor too? (still looking for that pefect--meaning anti-bedbug metal and actually affordable--bedframe. and what's the hurry? at least now when i hallucinate at night and fall off the bed the bruises are smaller!). bet you wouldn't want a nightstand either!

yep, it's total luxury over here at the hotel greenpoint, where we just today wrapped up an action packed month of hosting emre's little sister, yasemin. residency was up to 5 people (and one particular cat) most nights, including little brother emir and his wife, haley. it was more laughs than a barrel of monkeys, and hey, at least we're all speaking to each other again.

so my whole point to this seemingly senseless and meandering entry is to discuss the usually unnoticed proprioception of the home that only becomes apparent with the inhabitation of someone new. i, like everyone else, i assume, am a creature of habit. i put the toothpaste back in the exact spot. i fold my towels exactly how my mother taught me to (and always smile when i open my sisters cabinets to find that same, unique fold). when emre moved in, it took me a little while to adjust to not having absolute control over every object in my space. living alone gave me a certain satisfaction, that responsibility of knowing that whatever was moved was moved by me, thus should be found again easily or at least through logic and memory. and now that i've lived with emre for almost five years (!) i've gotten pretty good at intuiting his habits, often wowing him by knowing exactly where any item he's looking for should be. and our house, mind you, is generally not the picture of tidiness, due to the disproportionate mountain of junk versus storage space we cling to.

so house guests are here. equilibrium is thrown off. whatever. i can deal. incidentally, when i am other's house guests, i start out trying not to make an imprint on the place i'm crashing. i pay attention to the way the soap was placed in the shower and where the sugar goes after coffee. i strive to repack my suitcase every time i open it. but just ask amy, abbie or kim--that routine does not last long. soon my junk has found its way into every crevice, so that when i leave, you find memory sticks in your houseplants, earrings in your dishwasher and shoes under the tub. and i'm the paranoid guest who would most surely break a glass while trying to help out by doing the dishes. the guilt, however, is too strong to just try to hide it. or, i just can't keep my mouth shut about anything, so there you have it.

which brings me around to the houseguest mysteries.
i have this spoonrest. my dad gave it to me one christmas. coincidentally, it looks like my cat prussia. not a coincidence, however, that it is a cat, because, hello, my name is kitty, no one's buying my dog spoonrests, are they? (that wasn't an invitation, by the way--i'm rather pleased that my name isn't doggy).

so one day i notice the spoonrest is missing. i don't notice it consciously. it's more in the vein of, "gee, the stove sure is getting splattered with tomato sauce and curry goop, where the hell is that cat? oh well, must be in the sink." fast forward 3 months and i'm still having that vague thought without actually putting my finger on the disappearance. not to mention how grimy the stove is getting.

even more months pass before i get a very unusual package in the mail. it's from japan. it's handwritten. the box resembles that which would house a princess diana collector plate. or a boston terrier plate. but from japan? i once received a lot of mail from japan. but that was in 1988 when my friend kiyomi lived there for a year. i remember the mail we sent back and forth taking a long time to arrive, but surely it couldn't be 20 years late (oh my, that calculation just sent me into shock!) now, don't tell me you don't have stupid thoughts like this when you're opening mysterious packages. you're just smart enough not to type them out and hit the publish button....
so the box reveals not a hello kitty collector plate, nor a cassette from my childhood friend, but this.
at the risk of sounding like a broken record, i encourage you to click on the photo to enlarge it to see the pain that arda, who is emre's friend, a former houseguest who lives in JAPAN (duh!), took, in krazy gluing the many shards of this spoonrest back together. even funnier than the thought of 6'6" arda, his enormous fingers stuck in krazy glue, is the image of the spoonrest breaking, minute pieces swept up and saved, packed up in the suitcase back to japan, guilt guilt guilt while procrastinating reconfiguring this feline humpty dumpty and finally, breath held while packaged up and sent back to the states. poor arda. i would have just told him to put it in the trash! but now it joins our large collection of krazy glued items that my closeted yet avid 'indoor futbol' player keeps making by breaking. in fact, now that i think of it, i'm not so sure emre wasn't in on this one. i can see it now: turkey in america vs turkey in japan. t.i.j. kicks the thai wicker ball and scores a goal through the bathroom doorway. he throws his arms in the air and makes that fake crowd hissing sound yelling GOOOAAAAALLLL! t.i.a. gets control of the ball, and, trying to make up for t.i.j.'s victory and reclaim his home territory, goes crazy, ball ricocheting off the stove, sending the ceramic spoonrest smashing to the ground. in the honor of sacrifice, t.i.j. agrees to take the rap, knowing the girlfriend could never be upset at him over an innocent accident. you see, a whole new angle to the story has emerged!

emre and i joked about holding up the spoonrest and dropping it on the floor in front of arda just to torture him, but felt that would be too mean. of course, that was before i knew what really, i think this thing could now weather an atomic bomb and come out stronger than a cockroach.

so there was that houseguest mystery solved. so tell me, what in the hell happened here?! you see my kitchen floormat. it looks like it got into a fight with the easter bunny. aha! you say. it must be food coloring. but no. there isn't a liquid substance in this house that possesses these indiglo colors.

so tell me, quiet readers of this site, what do you think happened? i don't care about the rug, but the curiosity is just too much for me to handle! i want answers.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

everyone's favorite--words of wisdom from emre

in regard to passing up the free wooden bookcase on the sidewalk:

emre: we have a phrase in turkey.
the one whose tongue gets bitten by the hot milk
will eat the yogurt with blowing.

me: very catchy.

Friday, August 8, 2008

for kim

ice path in the catskill mountains.
click on picture to appreciate fully.