The life and times of an ethnically ambiguous little lady.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Dream Lover

I had this dream that I ate an entire cake. It was a chocolate brownie cake. And I woke up feeling all guilty but relieved that it was just a dream. Then I went back to sleep and dreamed that I was awake and ate another cake. This time it was some kind of blueberry coffeecake number. After the second dream, I started to wonder if I was sleep eating or something, but then realized I don't have a cake in the fridge so I'm safe.

I told my boyfriend about my dreams the next day. He told me that the same night I was having those dreams, he was dreaming that I had gained 60 pounds.

I'm hoping that we're so in tune with each other that we're dreaming similar dreams, otherwise, it's foreshadowing. I really hope it's not foreshadowing.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I fell up the escalator stairs on my way to work this morning. That's right, I said fell up!

And some guy asked me if I was okay and I could only mumble, " probably shouldn't try walking before I've had my coffee."

Then I picked up my pride, stuffed it in my bag, and shuffled off.

And I'm a little annoyed because I've been doing this walking and stair climbing thing for a few years now and I'd thought I'd mastered it.

My knee hurts.


Monday, May 22, 2006

I'm old. (And my landlord is still a she-devil).

That's right. I am. I turned 27 this weekend. Not that it's a particularly interesting age to turn. After all, I don't qualify for any special senior citizen discounts. And I'm still probably going to be carded everywhere I go, because despite a few gray hairs, I look 15. I’ve found, however, that a little birthday hoopla really helps to dull the pain of getting older. And this weekend, that’s exactly what I got, for better or worse.

Friday night, my brother and a few friends took me to a concert at Radio City. The line-up had me pretty excited: The Roots (my favoritest group), Erykah Badu (like her music, love her hair, think she has enough attitude for most of the southern hemisphere), and Mos Def (I enjoy him). What I didn't bargain for was the line-up of surprise guests like Bilal, Slum Village, and a strange chick from LA in an Indian headdress. But the icing on this hip hop cake was when Dave Chapelle showed up to do a set and Jay-Z just "stopped by" to close the show. I might have to retire from show-going after this one.

It seemed like the beginning of a fantastic birthday weekend.

That was until I was woken up at 8 am by the construction going on all over my building. Particularly right next to my window. Which is right next to my bed. So they might as well just be hammering and nailing INTO MY EAR. Now, I'll let slide the fact that my oh-so-delightful landlord started all this construction without warning any of us tenants. And I understand it takes a while to take an ugly building and make it more ugly with bootleg aluminum siding. And I also realize it’s not my building so they can do what they want. But for the love of God, does this have to occur on a SATURDAY MORNING? Have you no shame?

So I did what any strong-willed tenant would do who is past reasoning with her she-devil of a landlord: I filed an anonymous complaint. And they swore it would be anonymous. So how my landlord knew that the complaint came from my apartment is beyond me. And now I'm wondering if I should file a complaint about the way they handled my c0mplaint. Lord.

But I willed the day to get better. And slowly it did. My boyfriend made me a lunch of champions. (Well, not actually one that you could use as fuel to compete with because it gave me food coma, but it was very delicious.) But what’s a delicious lunch without a snafu? Elon forgot to check the ingredients in the cheesecake he presented me, to see if there were nuts, a food to which I'm deathly allergic. And for once, I didn’t check either. What resulted was me downing Benadryl like it was going out of style, trying not to hyperventilate, and then making him feel worse by saying "how could you not check?!" Who's an ass? It's me!

But fear not, blog readers. I survived. I dragged myself out of my Benadryl coma and got myself together for my joint party with two of my close friends, Raquel and Tamar. Walking over to the party, I felt more in the mood to stay in my room and sulk like a teenager. It had just been a very long day. But there’s something about getting lots of friends together, the party spirit, receiving lots of hugs and well wishes, and a late night drunken conversation with a group of ten about sex, that can turn any frown upside down, (if we're going to throw down a cliché.)

The moral of this long-winded story? Sometimes life gives you allergic reactions, lemons, and loud construction early in the morning. It's up to you to make allergic reaction, loud construction lemonade. And if you can garnish it with a side of people that care about you, all the better...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Some Life Lessons

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, under pressure from Islamists, has warned the media against showing pictures of Saudi women.

"There are photographs published in some newspapers ... and one needs to think if he would want his daughter, sister or wife to appear like that. Of course, no one would," the king was quoted as saying at a meeting with newspaper editors late on Monday.

These are pictures of women with their hair covered but their faces exposed. Their faces, not their punanies. And this is what's plaguing Saudi Arabia right now. This is what Saudi fathers worry that their daughters will grow up and do.

And as for the US? Our fathers worry that we'll grow up, get drunk, and end up on their copy of "Girls Gone Wild." Or worse, have daddy issues, and end up on their copy of "Busty Broads Lesbian Gang Bang 13."

And they say we have nothing in common with our brethren in the Middle East....

In other news:

Bears in a Netherlands zoo killed and devoured a monkey in front of horrified visitors. Zookeepers said a bear tried unsuccessfully to shake the monkey loose, ignoring attempts by keepers to distract it. The bear then climbed up and grabbed the monkey, mauling it to death and bringing it to its concrete den, where three bears ate it.

So let me get this straight: People are surprised that animals eat each other. Is the food chain really a new phenomenon? I mean, the animals are housed separately for a reason. We clog up traffic to watch the remains of a gruesome car accident, this isn't any different.

And really, I'm hoping that if your kid is excited to go to the zoo, it's because he's been watching Animal Planet and has some ideas how things work. If not, perhaps it's time for mommy and daddy and read a little Darwin's Survival of the Fittest as the next bedtime story.

This commentary has been brought to you by your friendly blogging vegetarian...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Strange Encounters of the Underground Kind

So I was part of a great reading series show last night called Inner Monologues at Mo Pitkins. Sometimes it's just nice to perform on a non-stand-up show, ya dig? Thought I'd post my piece here in case anyone wants to take a gander...

The subway is my pickup spot. Now don’t get the wrong idea; I don’t go trolling around down there exchanging blowjobs for crack (seriously, when you have a dayjob, who has that kind of time?). And I’m not one of those people that goes “Excuse me, ladies and gentleman. I am here selling candy for my high school basketball team.” (Although, that’s really only because I’m too short to play well.)

But I have struck up friendships through waiting for the train. And I met a former boyfriend on the subway. He asked me for directions and we got to talking. And then he followed me home. What can I say? It was love at first stalk.

But what I find most interesting is that I always run into people from my past on the subway. Like it’s my very own little tunnel of horrors. And since it’s a confined area, if someone wants to “catch up” there’s not much you can do to stop them.

It was a Friday night and it had been one hell of a long week. All I wanted to do was go home, cry a little (you know, to get the angst out), and get ready to throw back a trough of alcohol with some friends. As I stood on the platform I heard someone yell my name. My whole name. I mean really, what are the chances of two “Emily Lauren Epstein’s” waiting for the same train? So I turn, and I see a tall lanky fellow rushing toward me, rolling a suitcase behind him.

“Oh, man! I can’t believe it’s you! I haven’t seen you since we were like 13.”

And I knew he looked familiar. But I just couldn’t place him.

“Remember me? Matt? Matt Hacking? We went to camp together.” And as the last words rolled out, the little rolodex in my mind found the right card.

“Wow. It’s been a while. How’s life?”

And we caught up on the last 13 years. Apparently he had grown up, went to college, was living in Florida but was looking at law schools in New York, thus the suitcase. I filled him in on my end. We took roughly a minute for each year. Then we ran out of things to say, because after 13 years, you’re pretty much strangers. That’s when he pulled out the awkward trump card of the year.

“God, I just can’t believe you’re here. I mean, you were my first kiss! I was yours, too, right?”

For the second time in my life, I was speechless. Whore that I am, I couldn’t remember if he was my first kiss. (Incidentally, the first time I was speechless was when I found out that my mother had been married before my father. They got divorced because the man was gay. She didn’t feel the need to share this with me until I was 16, but that is a whole other strange encounter.)

Anyway, I started thinking back to my first kiss. I was thirteen and I was definitely at camp. I’ve always loved to talk the talk, but was never much of a walker, which was probably why I was quite stout at that age. And so of course, I told my boyfriend at the time that I was a sexual buffet on legs. That’s right people, I said I’d gotten to third base. Twice.

And yet, I’d been dating this guy for like two weeks, which is roughly 20 years in camp time, and we’d done nothing more then snuggle. I guess he was shy, and I was shy, so he decided to make things happen: It was time to trade some spit. So he did what any teenage boy would do. He challenged me to a game of Truth or Dare. Except it was just the two of us.

“Truth or dare?” he said, smiling mischievously.

“Dare?” I said tentatively, trying really hard not to make some inappropriate comment.

“Okay. I dare you to french me.”

“Okay.” Titter. Titter.

I lean in for the kiss and I realize I have no idea what I’m doing. As I feel his breath on me I stop.

“Hold on. You know how I said I got to third base? Well, I actually only got to second.”

“Okay,” he said, as he leaned in for the second time. He lifted his hand to brush my hair out of my face and again I intervened.

“Actually, I’ve only gotten to first.”

“Don’t worry about it,” he said, looking more determined as he leaned in for the third time.

“So, here’s the thing,” I mumbled. “I haven’t gotten to first base. I actually have no idea what I’m doing. I’m so scared.” And I curled up into a little ball.

Which is when he said compassionately, “so are we going to do this thing or not?”

And I nodded, cause it was time. Time to kiss a boy and get all angsty over it. And somewhere in the middle of that long, saliva-y kiss, I realized he probably hadn’t ever kissed anyone either, because he not only shined my tonsils with that tongue, I think he also cleaned my kidneys.

And it was after that little flashback that I realized, that was a long time ago. And that boy definitely wasn’t Matt Hacking.
I looked up at Matt. He just looked so damn expectant. And I figured, what’s a little white lie amongst camp friends?

“Yup,” I said. “That kiss was sure something. You have a very long tongue. And from what I remember, you were such an animal it felt like you turned into a totally different guy.”

He beamed from ear to ear. Just call me the sexual libido fairy.
And thankfully, that’s when the train came. And that’s why I now stick to the bus. After all, it’s always good to have an escape hatch of the above ground variety.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

What's next, the apocalypse?

I woke up yesterday morning and it was sunny and I had a bunch of shows to look forward to and I remember thinking this might be a pretty good week. It's amazing how fast things can go downhill.

I was sitting in Washington Square Park yesterday afternoon, watching the dogs at the dog run flirt when I get a call from my grandmother. She's hysterical. She explains that my uncle has passed away, the police are at his apartment, and there will be an autopsy to determine the cause. This man was 50 years old. There's no "oh, well he lived a long life, it was time" crap. A child isn't supposed to die before his or her parents. It's just not right. And to make matters worse, it's my grandmother's birthday on Thursday. What a birthday.

The weirdest part of all this, is that apparently he died while he was getting dressed: Getting dressed for my great aunt's funeral. There's some kind of twisted irony in that. And the way I've always coped with things is to find the humor, but it seems difficult on this one. What lesson do we learn from all this?

This morning I woke up, and I still felt like I hadn't processed everything. Then I get a call from my friend. Seems there's a fire in our neighborhood of Greenpoint. A fire that is, in fact, across the street from her apartment. It started at 5:30AM this morning, and the FDNY still haven't quite got it under control. Apparently, it's a 9-alarm fire and over 400 firefighters were called in to try and tame it. Can you imagine waking up with that across the street from you?

So she asks if she can bring some things that are important to her over to my place for safekeeping. And it's funny what constitutes as important. Sure you've got your papers and your passport and stuff, but then it's the memories you want to take with you. For her, it was her childhood violin and her grandmother's linens. That's what she'd run into a burning building to save.

And I thought about what it might be for me. The first thing that came to mind was my grandmother's corduroy chair and ottoman. Not exactly practical.

But I guess there are some lessons to be learned from all this: Hold on tight to those who are important to you and let them know you love them. Get dressed with a buddy. Buy homeowner's insurance.

Now put all that on a hallmark card...