The Week Begins

I talked with a friend for a little while Friday night:

Outside of the drowsy chatter and burning eyes, and perhaps the late hour (2 hours later in the eastern time zone), I wouldn’t have been able to tell four hours had passed. It was wonderful catching up. Thanks, you.

I’m starting to come down with a little cold. Scratchy throat, headache. I spent most of the weekend sleeping, and I meant to get a lot of work done. I don’t feel better than I did when I woke up Saturday.

It’s a big week, for some people more than others. We’ve gotta be tough. We’ve gotta be strong. We’ve gotta fast. We’ve gotta be fresh from the fight.

For Karissa’s Birthday

Dear Major Mortgage Company in Richmond, VA:

My friend, Karissa, her birthday is June 17. She’s in Japan, which means her birthday is about 2 hours away for her. She is closing a deal on a house through you guys, which is supposed to happen on June 17, and you assured her while she was here in the States everything would be fine, but now? while she’s halfway across the world? You want her to jump through some other hoops.


And now, she’s on the phone with you guys. She stayed up late over there so she could speak to someone during business hours over here to get your mess straightened out. I mean, this is a HOUSE. Not a small or light decision. And you didn’t bother letting her know about these formalities until … THIS WEEK?

You’re making her crazy. And then she’ll probably not be able to sleep, and she has to go to work all day, on her birthday, worrying about it. When you assured her she wouldn’t have to worry.

So, I’m asking you now: Fix it. Stop trying to go back on your word. Just fix it. And then send her a birthday cake. And arrange for someone to sing to her.

If you don’t fix it, I’ll have to come down there and kick your teeth in. Because Karissa asked me to. And she doesn’t ask me to do that often.

Please. Do what’s best for everybody.




Well, since blogs are inherently self-indulgent, I need to talk about my birthday some more.

I’ve celebrated seven birthdays here in NYC. Seven. In Biblical terms, that number symbolizes perfection. Completeness.

2003 – I hadn’t started my blog yet. (And when I did start it, I would only call it an “online journal” for years.) I went with my friend Janine and her roommate, Alicia to a one-man show. They actually let me tag along because I was still very new to the city and hadn’t made a lot of friends and the plans were very last-minute.

2004 – Oh, how funny. This is the year I sent CoffeeMate Creamer to a co-worker via interoffice mail, for fun, and it leaked everywhere and I got in pretty big trouble, because it kinda sorta turned into an anthrax scare. I mean, I was freaking out at the time, but now it’s pretty amusing. Stupid thing to do: New York City; white, liquidy, vanilla-scented substance, unsealed, all over the mail. C’est la vie, people.

2005 – That was the year we watched Episode III and I came up with that joke, and I threw a Napoleon Dynammite party. That was a cool party, people. Remember the invitation? Bingo, prizes, cake. Good crowd. Thank goodness the party was close to where we held Stake Conference that evening. Party on a Saturday. Nice.

2006 – Man, that was my 30th. What a great year! I had a XXX birthday party. That’s the Roman numeral for 30, you pervs. We had pulled barbecue pork sandwiches, lemon-mint lemonade, several types of desserts, and quite a few people showed up to my studio apartment on Bennett Avenue. There were worksheets with a matching game as well as a crossword puzzle about me. I’ll have to scan that in one of these days. That was also the year I came out pretty openly about my love for spelling bees.

2007 – 31. Prime number. This birthday was pretty laid back. I mean, how else can you follow your 30th? It was definitely time to start mellowing out. That was the summer I started cycling more and would put 30-40 miles on my bike every weekend.

2008 – So, I didn’t throw a party this year, either, but this was the year Becky and I roadtripped to Charlotte, NC and this was the year I had a month’s worth of dates and this was the year I got my driver’s license and started the process for naturalization. 32 was a good year. 2 to the 5th power.

2009 – My 7th birthday here in the city. It’s been wonderful. I’m trying not to talk about things that would dampen the spirit of my birthday, but it really does feel like my experience here in New York City has come full circle.

I’ve made friends who feel like family. I’ve made family into some of my very best friends. It’s time to focus. It’s time to let ourselves feel every emotion that goes along with this process. It’s time to be present in every single moment. This is New York City, after all. I’ve been awake for every single second of it. You know what I mean.


So I mentioned these girls are helping me relive my 20s, but last night was one friend’s birthday, and what we did to celebrate last night took me back to high school. Big time.

We went to the Village Vanguard. Best jazz club in the city. Monday nights the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra performs. They’re Grammy winning; they’re magnificent. We went to their 11pm gig. I was so glad my friend is a jazz lover and we were able to love jazz with her.

Experiencing live music with this chick is so much fun. She’ll analyze it and describe it, and I’ll just listen to her talk about music forever. Seriously. Also? She plays the trumpet. And just about every other instrument in the world.

Besides being musical, this girl is funny and fun and a fiercely loyal friend. She knows what she knows. And she knows it beyond the shadow of a doubt. And she knows it with more heart than anyone I know. And I know people with heart. She takes the cake. Today, it was cupcakes. Four of them. Hope the wish you made comes true.

Yeah, she’s totally one of those who excels in everything she does.

Don’t piss her off, though: she’ll cuss at you in her mind.

Thanks for the nostalgia. Thanks for your friendship I’m not worthy to have. Happy birthday.

Another New

Most of the time new friends make me nervous, not because of anything they’ve done or said. It’s only because they’re new, and I don’t know very much of their personalities or preferences or ways of thinking yet.

It never ceases to amaze me when friends find me quickly. I’m usually relatively well-guarded. Making friends used to take so much longer. And it surprises me when our dispositions are somewhat similar. Somewhat.

I’ve made a good friend these past few months. In some ways I feel like I’ve run into a twin: we’re both kind of quiet, yet feisty. But we look nothing alike: tall, short; strawberry blonde, dark brunette; curly hair, straight (except tonight, when she straightened hers); fair complexion, dark; blue eyes, dark brown.

There’s a 9-year age difference, which, if I were 14 and she were 5, it might be a bigger deal. Plus, she’s a lot more mature than her age suggests. And I’m a bit more immature. So we meet in the middle.

We celebrated her birthday this evening. There was cake. And candles. And good company. We went around the room and said what we like about her. One of her best friends wrote her an awesome song. Then the rest of us tried to follow that.

When it came to my turn, I said, “[My friend] is perceptive. And patient. And deep. And a fast and easy [planned pause, at least 1 second] … friend.” Then the group burst into laughter.

Then I explained how easy it was making friends with her. And others pointed out that the bunnies really took to her, then she told a story about how the bunnies licked her hand the last time they saw her when she schlepped it all way up to Inwood on a local-train, shuttle-bus weekend to attend a citizenship celebration.

She definitely does not take her friends for granted.

Another adjective for the list: devoted.

Add, still, and if you could, a bunch of other thoughts about friendship that language can’t capture.


Happy birthday, girl.


The DAYS in JuLY Pass MAINly on the FLY

Becky’s birthday party was a huge success. It was one of those where she invited just a few people to hang out and celebrate with, but just about the entire LDS singles community decided to show up. I couldn’t even think about food, having come from a gorgefest a friend of Becky’s had planned. Becky showed up late to her own party, which is nothing like showing up late to your wedding, because showing up late to your own party is classy. I would recommend it, because the guests waiting for you? Their eyes light up and they’re so happy to see you and then the party officially begins.

I will try to remember all the food: crackers and melba toast and pitas and three types of hummus and Ina Garten’s onion dip; crepes with chocolate mousse and chocolate syrup and whipped cream and fruit; cucumber sandwiches; meatballs that stewed in the crockpot a few hours; smoothies; the Midnight Chocolate ice cream cake from ColdStone. The spread was awesome. People ate their hearts out and everyone seemed to have a good time. And Becky had a blast, which was great to see.

This past Wednesday I had the chance to meet up with LJ Ray and another LJ friend of his. We had fun conversation with Indian food for lunch. It’s always great seeing him, but it seems like we’ve already caught up since we read each other’s blogs regularly.

Friday, Becky and I went out for French fries and bowling. It was a lovely evening, except on the subway platform, which is the innermost circle of hell. The fries were delicious, and the guys running the place at the time were Filipino. They talked to the customers in English but spoke Tagalog to each other. 

We bowled two games: she won the first, and I took the second. A tiebreaker is in order. It’s in short order, and I must break the tie. I hope Becky reads this, and I hope she’s not intimidated, because it would be fun to see a confident attitude struggle with defeat.

If you take a look at the sidebar, you can see that Pig and Chicken have a blog. I discovered it only Friday, and while I was surprised and only briefly hurt upon finding the blog (because they didn’t tell me about it), I am more pleased they have found a creative outlet. I encourage them to write as much as they can. Also, I’m very proud of them. Type away, little friends!

Right now, I have a large food headache. Large modifying the headache, not the size of the food. It’s not like I was swallowing entire watermelons. That would probably give me a headache, too.

This has been a long week.

Oh, yeah. I had a dream that I made out with two guys last night. At different times.

Birthday Meditation: I’m Glad Your Mom Makes Awesome Fudge

Sometimes her curly hair makes me so jealous.
And her clear, big blue eyes are infuriating.
And her intelligence of the computers and
business adminstration mocks my brain.
And her spirituality oozes out of a heart that already overflows
with compassion and generosity.


I’ve known her nearly four years, which is a healthy glimpse of eternity.
I’m grateful for her friendship, which I’m grateful to know I have forever.
So, I’m not bummed I missed the first twenty-five years of her life.
We’ll have neighboring mansions in heaven. And Wiis.
Always, I’ll be glad she was born
and our paths have crossed
even if all those things about her
make me mad.

Happy Birthday, Becky.


People, Saturday is my roommate’s birthday. What should I get her? I’ve come up with the following:
-abacus with flashing lights as beads and talks in algorithms in Stephen Hawking’s voice
-retro Richard Branson t-shirt
-Bill Gates decoder ring
-Latin dance lessons to go with her not-on-purpose seductive looks
-Anne of Green Gables airbrush tattoo
-giant key to the city with an inscription from Mayor Bloomberg, “Becky Rocks NYC!”
-Murder, She Wrote Mad Libs
-pita bread and hummus, where I’d write in the hummus with a butterknife, “How Pita-ful: Guilty of Hummus-ide!”
-one control for the Wii console, so at least she can pretend to play in front of the television
-jet propulsion lab

Do you have any ideas? I really need ideas. Please feel free to leave a comment. They won’t appear publicly until I approve them, which probably won’t be until after her birthday.

Speaking of comments, please don’t let the process for submitting comments keep you from commenting. Your opinions matter. You can leave whatever name you want, and the email address is to be sure you’re a human being, not some Dolly-the-sheep-Intergalactic-Planetary droid-clone robot trying to spam the account. The email address is never displayed. Then, if you have a website you want linked to your fabulous name, you can complete that part of the form, too.

Easy? Easy.

Thanks, everyone!