Thursday, October 27, 2005

Sur la Route

That's right, I'm a travelling Trouble for the next couple of weeks. Spending time in PA with family and spawn, then jetting off to Colorado for a visit with the spawn 2.0 - 4.0 versions.

Already missing my tribbly Superfly something fierce, cannot wait for him to join me for a little Halloween whoop-dee-doo here in the land of the Amish. Second day here and I've already been to court. Nothing I did--this time--Trouble Jr.'s unfortunate choice in boyfriends has a parole hearing. Of course I offered moral support and of course I gave talking some sense into the girl my very best shot.

Why do young, beautiful, bright girls fall for the biggest losers, every time?

[sigh] Speaking of big losers, when I go to Colorado I'll be dealing with four: my ex and his latest wife, my mother, and the world's most cunning stalker. Is it any wonder to anyone that I have panic attacks the entire flight to Denver? Being with my wee sprouts is worth all of it, and then some.

Superfly, I am so incredibly lucky to have you in my life, and I plan to show you every day, in increasingly inventive ways, just how much I appreciate you. *SMOOCH!*

My friends, whom I adore so very much, thank you, too, for being you. You'll just have to be satisfied with my expressed love, darlings; all physical affection is Property Superfly. :)

*Waves from verdant farmland* You should see these albino pumpkins! No, not those, those are my boobs. I'm talking ACTUAL gourds, freakily non-orange.

A toast of spiced cider to all, with love.

xoxo T

Monday, October 24, 2005

...And in Other News

My goodness gracious.

The alternative newsweekly corporation (yes, I know how contrary that sounds) for whom I toiled in the early '90s as a Corporate Editorial Assistant to several gimongous egos, including the previously mentioned mini-Anna Wintour, is preparing a New York invasion.

I knew they wanted to, way back then, but they must have really saved their pennies, because they just bought Village Voice, Inc.

What will this mean for New Yorkers? Ask someone in San Francisco. Prepare to be dazzled by ad-heavy tabloids with long-form stories written expressly for journalism award contests, and a visual style that, like a Grande Mocha at Starbucks, is the same wherever in the world you find it.

You Have to Be Kidding Me

Ok, so I thought I'd combine new free time, a desire to exercise, and the pursuit of stress relief, as strongly encouraged from all doctor types. I love yoga, and have practiced for a couple of years now. Super-Bendy Trouble, remember? Anyhoo, now that I am a New Yorker, I'm fat out of luck for finding a cushy suburban gym like the one I frequented in PA. I have tapes/videos, but our space is frankly too small for downward-doggin'.

I walked past this place several times and peeked in the window. A huge banner out front reads "Yoga - Tai Chi". Sounded good to me, so I went round my first day of fashionable disability and inquired. Nice looking place, and the staff of mostly Korean people were the sweetest. A man, obviously in charge, brought me into a separate room, where he tested my flexibility (no, not like that, you perv) and talked to me about my twisted pelvis, my misaligned chakhras, and inverted energy distribution. He promised Dahn hak would right my crooked soul.

There was a lot of pressure to sign up (very spendy), but I could only afford a month. That seemed a decent time to give it a try. I was given a darling uniform festooned with a smiley-face and a gigantic hug.

My first class was strange, to say the least. The half-dozen people off the streets in their vaguely-martial-arts uniforms, clapping and jabbering in what I could only assume was Korean. The only yoga was a cobra pose at the end of class, the only Tai Chi was some warming-up exercises. The rest was an extremely repetitious sequence of stretching that, at least to my experienced eyes, were done incorrectly and downright dangerously. I mean, everyone knows you DO NOT bounce when stretching!

Nevertheless, the warm room, incense, soft music, and serenity of it all lulled me into a false sense of this-is-ok. There was a short howdy-do session after class and some seriously icky tea. On the way home I criticized myself for culturism and former-instructor snobbery. I vowed to give it another chance.

When I didn't make it in the next week, I thought it was sweet when one of the Dahn Yoga employees called the house to see if I was ok. I promised to be back on Monday.

Today, after another disappointing and joint-destroying class, I was handed an envelope and invited to attend an Introductory Session. Well, hadn't I already had one, with whats-his-guts? No, that was a Physical Session. This one is a Philosophical Session. I concentrated all my energy and mind into not rolling my eyes. Save your breath, all new age crapola is but a fart in the wind, to me.

So I get home and open the envelope. It's a password to enter a secret Dahn hak site for the enlightened-to-be. Up to this point, I just thought Ilchi Lee was an enterprising exercise entrepreuner with a handful of these places in New York City.

Interestingly enough, I was wrong. It's a damn cult, bent on world domination.

Leave it to me to find a brainwashing cult in a yoga class. (sigh)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Fantastic News! (perhaps)

My chosen profession is not, actually, a fashionably disabled life of leisure. It isn't the life I had before this, either. But before THAT, whoa, mama! I had the life, I tell ya:

Working at the cool alternative newspaper in Denver, I not only enjoyed the passes to concerts and such, I made incredible contacts in my chosen field of Journalism. Because my boss--a mini-Anna Wintour--was cool and fashionable, guess who I got to meet? That's right, the scenesters and style mavens. This is all pre-"fashionista", mind you. We're talking early '90s, when grunge (which I despised) was king.

Anyway, I fell in with a bunch of Hooligans and started freelancing, writing music, art, and lifestyle features for mainstream and alternative magazines and newspapers. I threw wild Lounge parties, the guys dressed in smoking jackets and the gals in smoking vintage, crazy old cocktails from Esquire's Guide to Cocktail Parties, 1950 ed., and my beloved Lounge music. Good times.

I joined a writer's group and the group eventually published an anthology about Gen-X motherhood. The book tour was fun; all those hippies and weirdos and me, splendid in high heel sandals and a vintage bombshell Hawaiian dress. The writer's group had a leader, Ariel, and she said, laughing, "Who's the Hootchie Mama?"

Thus my 'zine was born. Hootchie Mama Magazine had a great run in Denver in 2001-2002. I was promoting non-stop, writing furiously, and staying up all night with Arturo (don't get any funny ideas, you finks) putting the issues to bed. My ex-hubby was the website guy--boy was our site salacious. Too bad it's gone forever.

Since then, since the breakdown and losing everything that mattered to me in life, I've had a bit of writer's bloc. Couldn't compose more than a few expletive-ridden lines in an email.

But now, oh boy! I'm unblocked. I've been writing like my mouse is on fire. I'm several chapters deep into a book I queried to a literary agent. I heard back from her--she wants more! :)

Ergo the "perhaps" part of the Fantastic News. Publishing is a perilous, back-stabbing, demonic world, and it's dangerous to get excited before the book is actually for sale on

Fingers crossed, y'all!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Ye HTML Gods!

Despite being previously married to a massive tech geek, and despite working as an IT recruiter, I know precious little about actually how the damn things work, or what writing code is all about.

Inspired by LisaB's fantastic new site, I wanted to jazz up this old weblog. Please note the new "Links" section, where one might actually click and go to another, probably more interesting, site or blog. There's also a hit counter. Fancy!

Well, this bit of renovation ate up three hours of my time and wore my last nerve to a shiny thread. Nevertheless, I now know rudimentary HTML and Java scripting, so watch out! You never know when I might whip out something fancy.

Anyone catch the show "Kept", on VH1? I did, and promptly became obsessed. You see, Jerry Hall was looking for a cabana boy, and the lucky beefcake stood to win a year in the lap of luxury (nyuck, nyuck) and a cool million. The herd from which she was to choose her young buck was a collection of doofuses from America. I was pretty sure Austen the blond WASP wonder would win, or possibly the devastatingly handsome and charming Anwar, but my favorite Kept hopeful was definitely Seth.

Loutish and foul-mouthed, he practically personified everything the British complain about American men. God love him, he called the prissy model-wannabe Ricardo, "Retardo" as often as possible, and served as much-needed comic relief for the rather dreary show. The boys were given challenges for each episode, after the completion of which Jerry and her tittering hen friends would choose one for elimination, taking pains to point out every fault and foible.

Each episode, Seth burped and scratched his crotch through fashion shows, celeb-clogged parties, and various high society events. I waited through the eliminations each episode, expecting to see Seth ejected for his boorishness. When he survived elimination after elimination, I began to think old Seth from Bawston was being used as a red herring. I was wrong, he won!

He has a blog!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Yiddishe Momma Trouble

Instead of dragging out of bed before 7am, showering in a stupor, dressing "business casual", streaming out the door and onto the subway, working 8+ hours at something I don't enjoy and with people I can barely tolerate, and returning home to Superfly and a 9:00pm dinner of pizza and Cherry Coke, disinterested TV watching, and crashing into the dreamless sleep of the overworked; instead I've turned into my grandmother.

Such is the life of the fashionably disabled. I sleep until something wakes me up, have a leisurely breakfast, check emails and the blog roll, and then it happens: I plan dinner, clean, cook, and otherwise futz around. I'm in the grocery with the other bubbes, squeezing fruit and checking out expiration dates. I'm in the fish market with other bubbes, carefully choosing the fillets from the display. I actually clucked when I saw how much the price of milk went up.

Then there is the Laundry Room Scuffle. With only three washers and three dryers for the entire apartment building, you better move your ass or you'll find your wet clothes on the filthy floor of the basement. I don't know what it is with these people, but they guard their clothes (washed and unwashed) as if the zippers were made of solid gold. Your clothes, however, are worthless and vile, and don't belong in THEIR washing machine. I'm not above tipping that mean old man out of his chair if he manhandles my laundry one more time.

Also like my grandmother, I feel it necessary to be nice to everyone and polite to people in banks and stores and such. In Brooklyn, this is met with bewilderment and suspicion. Unlike my grandmother, I don't travel in pack of other bubbes, smoking and kvetching at warp-speed. I wander around by myself, evidently making strangers curious. I am asked impertinent questions, and not just by kids.

I go to Tai Chi/Yoga because I'm told to reduce stress in my life to barely-perceptible levels. Fat chance, I say. Anyway, the Dahn yoga class is surreal in an otherwordly sense: The instructors are so serene and perceptive, I feel a giant beam of energy is going to explode in the middle of the tasteful and thoroughly feng-shui'd room. At the end of class, we do a chant, the natural harmony of which makes your hair stand up. I leave class convinced I have superpowers, but I'm unable to convince Superfly of this when he returns home. My yoga uniform has a smiley face on it, so I'm psyched.

My grandmother does not do yoga or exercise of any kind. She smokes an alarming amount, eats whatever the Hell she wants, and is rail-thin. At 95, she still wears high heels and short skirts. She has younger boyfriends. She's French, ok?

Since she is fashionably unemployed, receiving benefits from the U.S. from my grandfather's pension, and France from her own, she needn't worry about cash. She travels all the time, around the world, visiting friends and relations. She is my role model, bet your ass.

But the last time I visited France, guess what she did all day? She bought bread and fresh ingredients for dinner, since my Tante Denise "cannot cook". She wears a pretty scarf over her silver mane, a chic suit and shoes, and the latest handbag to accomplish this. She tried to get me to smoke, and reacted in horror to my jeans and sweatshirt, and informed me she never wore underwear of any kind. She shopped, she cleaned the house becase my Tante Denise "cannot clean zee house properly", and she futzed around the rest of the day.

Or, I could be fashionably unemployed like my cousin Gilles, who travels around the world being a leftist guerilla. The family plays "Ou-est Gilles?" like "Where's Waldo?", only instead of a red-stripe hat, Gilles wears a ski mask and carries a semi-automatic, and instead of a densely-populated beach, the location is a jungle in Nicaragua. I stay in his room when I visit, and peruse his Marxist newspapers. I don't think I'm well-suited for Gilles' lifestyle. Oh, well.

A Yiddishe momma it is, then. Albeit a fashionable and sexy yiddishe momma, to be sure. I won't take up smoking, or hanging out with other bubbes, but the cat doesn't mind me swearing at him in French when he stomps across the keyboard, and I doubt Superfly minds having a home-made dinner for him every night, a clean apartment, and futzy things like laundry already done, right?

So here it is: Please Comment with Your Suggestion on How Trouble can be fashionably unemployed and disabled!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Party On Down!

Went to an non-sanctioned JDate event, a gathering of chat friends from the infamous Jewish Dating site. I was an active chatter for 2 1/2 years, which in retrospect is profoundly embarassing. But! The big payoff is the many friends I've made from an inpersonal, nameless, faceless java applet. LB and Linny and Puck and Skiguy and TJ and Rack and Boogie and...the list goes on. It was at another non-sanctioned JDate chat event that Superfly and I met, so there's special place in my heart reserved for all things related to the notorious Lobby in JDate chat.

I digress. The party last night was uptown, at a pretty swanky place. Superfly had boy's poker night, so I got a ride with the darlingest couple, who met about a month before Superfly and I, under similar circumstances. When we rolled up we noticed a line to get in one side of the place and a doorman at the other door. "You here for ---'s party?" He asked, checking us out skeptically.

Inside there were hugs and kisses and a rush to the bar. A DJ played some kickin' '80s music while we all reminisced, gossiped, and kvetched our brains out. A good time was had by all, until the bar staff got impatient and opened the private party to all comers. In poured a bajillion guidos and all their slut girlfriends. I quickly lost patience, as I generally do with people who are inconsiderate and act in a manner that would embarass most chimpanzees.

Anyway! We all booked over to a nearby diner, where Superfly met up with us over a late-night breakfast.

No one's changed a bit, they look terrific (nice legs, LB! Va-va-voom!) and I hope they all find as wonderful a partner as I have, thanks to JDate chat. Boogie and Kaia, ConcertGoer and Teach, SweetNTiny and Minime, Trouble and Chopped Livahhhh.

It warms the heart, chat nachas.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Pre-Halloween Scaries

Twattie Jones, I thought of you and your love of horror movies when I read this:

"Important - read the story first

Strange but interesting.

This is a car advertisement from Great Britain. When they finished
filming the ad, the film editor noticed something moving along the side
of the car, like a ghostly white mist. They found out that a person
had been killed a year earlier in that exact same spot.

The ad was never put on TV because of the unexplained ghostly
phenomenon. Watch the front end of the car as it clears the trees in
the middle of the screen and you'll see the white mist crossing in
front of the car then following it along the road....Spooky!

Is it a ghost, or is it simply mist? You decide. If you listen to
the ad, you'll even hear the cameraman whispering in the background
about it near the end of the commercial.

A little creepy but pretty cool"

[And then you click on a videofile that made Superfly and I jump through the ceiling. If you are interested, let me know--I'll email it as an attachment.]

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Funny, I don't feel disabled.

I think I'll resist getting the Handicap plates, just so I can get a good spot at the mall, but it does answer the question of why there are 100 handicap spots at a given shopping mall.

I "won" my Hearing, if you can call it winning. I am officially disabled and on the dole with Social Security. I know it's for the best, enough medical professionals have told me working full-time puts too much stress on my illness, and that I need to make my health Priority #1, but it still feels like failure.

I've been working since Jr. High. I worked through high school, college, and almost every day since, even when I was a "stay-at-home" mom to 4. I got up at 5:00am and worked at Starbucks until my ex had to go to work. Then I wrote magazine articles or bartended, after the kids went to bed, and taught aerobics on the weekends. Hello, driven?

Contemplating a life without salary, benefits, office drama, etc., is spooky to me. I will concentrate on wellness, sure, but eventually I'll have to volunteer, or something, I'll go apeshit. Right now I'm still reeling. Oh, I forgot to mention: when I was driving back from my Hearing, my boss called on my cell and fired me.

2% of the population is Bipolar. You definitely know someone affected. It's really no different than someone with MS or Diabetes, it just affects a different organ. But I bet diabetics don't get the hairy eyeball from people when they see "Diabetes" on their chart. The ignorant comments and blatant discrimination I've received from medical professionals (shouldn't they know better?) is obscene. For example, I'm standing in Superfly's apartment, head-to-toe in hives and wheezing my brains out, and this EMT picks up my medicine bottle and suddenly gets all snotty and rude to me, whispering "She's bipolar" to her co-worker and fixing me with a sneer. Like my hives were a hallucination I dragged them into? Sheesh.

On the other hand, both my dentist and my doctor have relatives who are bipolar and they were just awesome to me.

Hey! Maybe I should combine a few of my talents and go on the road with a Bipolar Awareness Kararoke Tournament!

Monday, October 10, 2005


For those of you unversed in the Elvis lexicon, this means, "Taking Care of Business, Baby".

Which for me means driving back and forth to Pennsylvania to visit lawyers, doctors, and karaoke bars (oh my!). Plenty of trouble afoot for Trouble, but I got this, don't you worry.

You see, one of my docs has been cooling his heels on refilling an important med, leaving me stuck in a feral mood turnstile. Anyone that crosses me feels the mighty wrath of Wicked-Witch-of-the-West-East-North-and-damn-South Trouble. It's a good thing Superfly wears his Teflon cape or he might get singed (by accident).

Oh, and I have to get root canals (yes, plural) and crowns and filings and maybe braces (again?!)and for good measure, whitening. Ye Gods. Nothing like a periodontal abscess to make a bad mood turn demonic, rest assured.

Tomorrow my life and mental health go on trial. Please send positive thoughts my way, and a virtual clue-by-four to all those who live to vex me. Thank you, thank you very much.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

L'Shanah Tovah!

A Sweet New Year to my fellow Yids and the usual Best Wishes to all youse goyim. ;)

Brisket! Round Challah! Kugel! woot! woot!

Oh, yeah, and I'm meeting Superfly's parents for the first time. Also the entire rest of his family. I figure, with all the arguing that is rather likely to be happening, I'll get less of the 3rd degree. Heh.

Be well, everyone, and don't be shy about sharing your meeting-the-parents stories or Rosh Hashanah stories.

Oh, and before I forget! Any of you single ladies interested in meeting a hot, young Rabbi? Met him at the 3rd Ave. Street Fair and he's cute, no ring, appears to be in his '20s. I was amazed to learn he's the Rabbi, he looks like one of the Hillel guys from my college days.


We awoke this morning to the sounds of squabbling between two guys. When one guy yelled at the other,"STOP YELLING!!!" as loud as can be imagined, we busted up. Living in a Habitrail apartment building, you'll have this.

Yesterday was so wonderful. For the first time in probably 5 months, Superfly didn't have to spend his entire Saturday photographing a sports event. We slept in, missing the Ragamuffin parade. On a whim, I tried calling the Trouble offspring and actually got them on the phone: it was awesome.

Friday, I got to see my friend at her office--a TV studio that plays host to a soap opera, among other things. A very young, hot-actor type walked past me and smiled. I gave him my smoothest, most suave look, and fell down the stairs.

That night was a karaoke party in Superfly's honor at Sing Sing. The St. Marks bar, not the prison. He starts his fab new job this week and his former co-workers gave him a sweet send-off. You read about how fantastic he is from my blog, but the proof is in how many people showed for his going-away, and how sad they are to see him go. This place is so cool: a private, soundproof room with drink service and comfy couches is the ideal environment to observe your co-workers singing "the Pussycat Song".

Update: My conundrum is no more. I will stay in my current position for as long as I can. As TJ correctly pointed out, what's been missing in the World of Trouble is stability. Another opportunity to be paid to write in NYC may or may not come along, but I need to focus on the needs of today.

And today we're going to the 3rd Avenue Street Fair, where I'm to try zeppoles--supposedly the Italian version of funnel cakes. Oh, and my beloved E-A-G-L-E-S are going to make short work of the KC Chiefs, while I enjoy hot wings and beer. Superfly is a Jets fan, take pity on him.

Isn't the weather gorgeous? The combination of sunshine and crisp, Fall air can't be beat. I want to go to a Halloween party. Say, why don't you tell me about your cleverest Halloween costume?

I dressed one year as Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. Black suit, white shirt, black bob wig...and a huge syringe sticking in my chest.

Beat that!