Thursday, June 30, 2005

"They do it down on camber sands."

Today is the last day of the fiscal year. To say that everyone is working at a feverish pace is to describe things here lightly.

For the last three days, I have been sporting a pony tail. Since I’ve chopped my hair last year, I’ve rarely worn a ponytail. When my hair was down to my ass, sweet relief was found in ponytails and French twists. Now that it’s shoulder length, I only put it up when I’m cooking.

However, the humidity has been brutal these last few days. So to avoid looking like a wet mop, I’ve been sporting a pony tail that has made me look even younger than I appear. With my business suit, grown up heels and backpack on, I look like I’m heading to an interview for an internship.

This is going to shock many people but I’ve been sporting a backpack as of late. I still use my pretty pocketbooks but I needed something to carry my lunch and my workout clothes. Since the sun is out longer, I’ve been changing into a tee and sweatpants/shorts and walking home. This has been my exercise. Sure our building has a gym, but pantrygirl is lazy and to be honest, too cheap to pay for the gym membership. Personally, I’d do better just flushing it down the toilet than to sign up for a gym membership.

A workout to me must be low speed. Mediation, walking, swimming and biking are doable. Spinning and any thing that requires prolonged periods of time staring at my sweaty self in a room full of mirrors? Not so much. I saw on television a clip about strip dancing for exercise. The male instructor was a cross between Paul Lynde and Richard Simmons sans weight.

Now, if I were to sign up for a strip class, I’d hope the instructor was a female. Call me whatever, but if I have to stare at a man gyrating and he doesn’t look like this guy below, I want my entrance fee back.

Eye Candy

BTW, it is ok to scroll back up and stare. I did for 2 whole minutes before my body forced me to blink. Thanks, D*ana for the amazing eye candy.

Going back to the workout, the male instructor had a class of 10 women who tried to follow his risqué moves. I don’t know what was more embarrassing, me watching the women trying to imitate Dick Lynde or me watching Dick Lynde being seductive. Again, a female should be teaching this class.

Yes, everyone has tried the seduction dance. However, most of us have done this in the comforts of our home and most likely in front of someone that is either smart enough not to laugh or just happy they are getting some that night.

The only way I’d be able to take a belly dancing, strip tease or pole dancing class is if I was with my girlfriends and we’ve each had three mojitos. Hey, that’s a great bridal shower to do! Next person I know getting married is getting a bridal shower pole dancing class. Be forewarned.

We’ll be off to enjoy our seaside holiday but we’ll be back shortly. Totally unplugged, I’ll be found on the beach with a book, blanket and a cocktail. With the red tide, can I eat lobster? What about crab, clam and scallops? If I survive the red tide, I'll be back to fill you in on my electronic-less holiday.

To everyone, have a wonderful Happy Fourth! Eat more potato salad. Enjoy the fireworks and watch out for those sparklers! A story for another day. Those things are deadly.

But behind the chalet...

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

"But I don't want no tea. It gives me a headache."

Some people pine over cars. Some people pine over clothing. Some people pine over diamonds. Pantrygirl pines for this:

Yes, that’s a major appliance, folks. I pine for a standalone chest freezer.
I spoke about this awhile back. My primary argument for the freezer was this:

Yes folks, that’s another appliance. I know. I know. I have issues. As you can imagine, this makes gift giving really easy for Lrudlrick. Forget the stereotypes, this year, Pantrygirl wants a high RPM blender.

The true reason I’ve reconsidered purchasing the freezer is to avoid looking like this:

Last night, a broiler chicken nearly knocked me unconscious. Lrudlrick was asleep. The two dogs were sleeping in the air conditioned bedroom. Nothing short of live game roaming in our kitchen would have led them out of the chill chest to check on me.

I wasn’t in pain. Ok I was but not serious enough for me to start laughing or cursing. However, I did feel like a complete donkey because of the way I reacted to the frozen carcass as it shot out of my freezer and onto my head.

Instead of putting my hand out like I normally do, I just watched the chicksicle as it careened towards my skull. I blame the heat. My reflexes don’t snap into action, as they should.

So now, I’m back to dreaming about this:

I guess I’ll be visiting Sears after the holiday.

Monday, June 27, 2005

March of the Penguins

Friday night, Lrudlrick and I went to see March of the Penguins. Yes, it seemed odd paying $10.50 for a National Geographic documentary that could have aired on cable but from the first time I heard about this, I wanted to check it out.

I’m surprised that it didn’t play on the IMAX. The images were beautiful. On a hot and hazy day, viewing an iceberg on a 8 story high screen would lower my body temperature by at least 5 degrees. I’m sure budget, the severe temperatures and physical constraints didn’t allow the French filmmakers to do so.

When I was a kid, my dad would tell me the story of how Emperor penguins went to incredible lengths to continue its species. He was astonished at how much these penguins would endure just to have one chick every year. The mortality rates for penguins during this journey is high. It is even higher for the would be chicks. Yet, they continue and return to the same breeding grounds they were hatched on. Imagine if we had to return to our breeding grounds. Oh my God, my brain just flatlined. Don't imagine if you had to return! Don't imagine if your kids had to return!

Just an aside, my friend called me up after reading this to tell me that her daughter would need to return to the one seater now presently in her guest room. Note to self: When visiting her, do not put anything on the one seater.

I won’t tell the story. Go see the movie. Take your kids. Go by yourself.

The only gripe I have is the lack of information provided. Morgan Freeman is great as the narrator but the script is lacking in basic information you would expect in a documentary on animal life.

What is the average life span of an Emperor penguin? 15-20 years
How fast can a Emperor penguin swim? 15 miles per hour
How fast can their predator, a leopard seal, swim? 24 miles per hour
How fast are they on land? apx 3 miles per hour. Try traveling 70 miles at a constant rate of 3 miles per hour 3-4 times just to feed your chick!

There are more that Lrudlrick and I looked up when we got home but we’ll spare you.

This movie will definitely open a child’s eyes to penguins. Library trips, Zoo trips and arts and crafts hobbies can all center around this topic. If you are looking for a feel good movie as a parent or an adult, go check this movie out. If you are looking for an entertaining and educational way to keep your kids occupied for the summer, check this movie out.

I dare you guys to tell me they aren’t adorable.

Live penguin action! Thanks to A Welsh View.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

On the subject of penguin pregnancies:

pg: Can you imagine walking around with something between your legs?
L: Uh, yes.
pg: Oh! You know what I mean. Can you imagine having to wobble to move because of the thing between your legs?
L: Uh, yes. laughing
pg: Forget it.

Friday, June 24, 2005

A little taste...

I’ve never been much of a person to complain. Even if I’m left waiting for 30 minutes for a meal, I figure that someone is probably having an off day. Don’t sweat the small stuff, I tell myself, especially when it comes to little old me. A little waiting or inconvenience is nothing in the scope of things.

However, the voice of a woman I’ve never heard before came roaring out of me today.

I apologize but I can’t go into the details but I’ll just say that I never felt as compelled as I was today to stand up to something that was clearly wrong. I felt super guilty but still righteous in my actions. It was a weird feeling.

Things worked out and apologies were made and I only hope that it doesn’t happen to anyone else. I don’t regret my actions. I never felt that righteous about anything before, well not about anything close to me.

I suppose that’s what mother’s feel when they see something upsetting their children or potentially harming their children. I’m not a mother so I can’t be certain. But I believe that the feeling I had this morning watching someone receive undue grief led Ms. Pantrygirl to step up for the first time.

If you’ve been following along in my ramblings here, you’ll know that motherhood and being a good mom have been thoughts that recur in my head.

What makes a good mom and how does one acquire the traits of a good mom? I guess I answered one of my questions.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Resistance is futile... You will watch reality tv and you will like it.

Quick update for those interested in my “post it” in the bathroom issues. It’s gone! I went to the bathroom yesterday (No need for applause, folks) and it was gone. I kind of missed it but, eh. As I was washing my hands I had this sick thought that it would turn up again. This time it would be on a document I needed to sign. I’d recognize it by the dark stain on the corner.

Courtesy of Futurama Point

Yesterday as I watched J.Peterman try to Samba on live television, I saw a commercial for a reality show that I thought was a skit on Comedy Central. Apparently, 7 families will compete to win the affection of the neighborhood for a gigantic house. The house is located in a cul-de-sac.

The premise seems slightly sketchy but since I’ve been in NYC for my entire life, watched the gentrification of a predominately Irish/Italian neighborhood, been interviewed by 3 separate co-op boards and been on the board of 1, I can understand why this might be interesting.

Then they show the families. There are 7 families of multiple ethnicities.:

They have a Black family.
They have a Hispanic family.
They have an Asian family.
They have a Caucasian family.
They have a Native American pagan family. I’m only giving you information they clearly stated folks.
They have a Tattoo Republican family. Again, I’m only giving you information they clearly stated folks.
They have a Gay family who have adopted a black baby boy. BTW, the couple looks like George H. Bush and Jarryd from the Subway commercials.

Oh ok. I get it. They’re trying to pull out stereotypes and possible biases. All reality shows needs some sort of tension. A little contrived but, hey. BTW, I’m surprised that they didn’t include a Muslim or a ‘secret society’ family.

Then they show the neighborhood families that will make the final decision. Have you ever watched Knots Landing? The cul-de-sac looks like it was taken straight from Knots Landing. The families too, except there isn’t a dark haired person in the bunch. At least on Knots Landing you had Michele Lee.

From the descriptions given the families representing the neighborhood include a staunch republican, a devout Christian (denomination not specified) and the so-called “governor” of the block.

"Great, hon. All they need now is to put this in Texas and we’ve got a real ‘firecracker’.” I said. No offense to any Texans out there. Texas is lovely. Visited once. Had friends go to school there. Just not what you call the melting pot of diversity as it is in NYC.

Sure enough, the families are vying for a 3,300 sq foot fully furnished house in Austin, Texas. For non-NYers, NYers will spend a quarter million dollars for a 400 square foot apartment and think we're Blake Carrington.

From the state census, the ethnic makeup of Austin as of 2000 is:

White 65.4%
Black or African American 10.0%
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.6%
Asian 4.7%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1%
Some other race 16.2%
Two or more races 3.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 30.5%

Now the problem I have most about this is the photos and images shown on the commercial had each family in “traditional” garb for their ethnicity. The Korean family had Hanboks on. The Hispanic family had ponchos on. The tattoo family had black on. I’m gathering that’s traditional.

Tell me the producers are not blatantly trying to call out differences. As if the fact that the two white guys strolling along with a black baby isn’t different enough in Austin, Texas, you’ve got to make them wear nearly matching outfits?

I feel it morally wrong to watch yet compelled to watch just to see what else the producers can throw out there. We all know a neighborhood potluck will be a theme in an episode. If the producers ask the black family to bring potato salad and chicken, I want to see a fight.

Side note: When I was a kid, I was the only Asian family in the neighborhood. Every year, during potluck (yes, we had potluck) they asked my mom to bring either fried rice or sweet and sour chicken. Once, my mother brought potato salad and they asked if the rice was in the car.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

"Stop the world. I want to get off."

I finally get Lrudlrick who informs me that the he may be at his meeting for another hour to an hour and a half. I’m going to have to find a way to keep the pooches fairly cool until he gets here which could be anywhere between noon and one. I want to point out that I am slightly grateful that I was in my work clothes. I’ll despise it later but because I was going to work, I had my watch on. All other times, I rely on my cell phone for time. Note to self: Dependency to cell phone reaches past phone numbers. Start wearing a watch.

“I’m going into the park with the dogs. I’ll meet you in the front.”

Sitting on the hot asphalt for nearly 2 hours was not going to work with two dogs with chow fur. Plus, I didn't want to look like a derelict camped out in front of my apartment building. In the park, I hoped to find shading and some water for the dogs.

We get to the park and the pooches immediately drag me towards the right hand path. This path leads to the dog run. I get there and it’s empty. Of course, it would be empty. It’s a Tuesday morning. Everyone is at work. I'd be at work too if I didn't lock myself out of the house. I let the dogs loose and tell them to refrain from rough housing too much. Like the dogs understand anything out of my mouth that doesn’t include, WALK, OUT, SIT, BACON, CHEESE and POTATO.

I pray that someone filled the trough with water but since I’m the first one here, it’s empty. The dogs run to the trough and look at the empty bucket and look at me. With tongues hanging out, they nudge the trough and look at me. “Dudes. I’m sorry. I don’t have any with me. We need to get a container so I can fill it for you.”

In a move, that would make ‘normal’ Pantrygirl cringe, I began scouring the area for an empty container that I could wash and use to give my poor dogs refreshment. All the time, Z-girl is walking by my side hitting my hand. Whenever she wants something, she will hit your hand with her snout. “I’m looking. I’m looking.”

Days later, Lrudlrick asks me, “Why didn’t you just go to a store and ask them for a container or a plastic cup?”
pg:Because, I was in the park where it was cool. To get to a store, I’d have to go out and walk a few blocks dragging the two exhausted dogs.
L:Well, what about the restaurant in the park. You could have gone and asked them.
L:Sorry. I’ve been locked out a lot. You learn from experience.

I finally find a Poland Springs bottle at the foot of one of the seats in the dog run. Now I can’t believe I’d ever pick up anything on the ground in the city, but I did. I was desperate. I took the bottle, ran with the dogs in tow to the public restrooms and washed the bottle clean, inside and out.

By this time, the running around, the heat and the anxiety I had must have hit the dogs full force because, their tongues were practically on the ground. I took them to the water fountain and filled up the water bottle.
Without my foldable bowl I usually use, I had to pour the water onto my hand and let them lap up as much water my tiny hand could cup.

Z-girl took to the water immediately. Using her giant booty, she wedged P-man out of the way and began lapping up what she could. Three bottles later, she finally was satiated.

I filled the bottle and moved towards P-man. I began pouring the water into my hand. He looked at my hand, looked at the water and looked at me with this look of revolt. “Do prey tell. Do you expect me to drink from your hand? I am a dog of refinement and shall require a bowl.” Yes, P-man has the personality of Stewie Griffin.

“P-man, please. This is all I have. I won’t tell anyone.” After a few coaxes, he drank a bottle of water from my hand.

Afterwards, we went hunting for shade. The dog run was nice but since it’s in an embankment, there wasn’t a breeze or current to cool it off. I couldn’t sit on the grass because of my dress so we settled on a block of benches in the shade and sat at an empty bench and waited. I sat like Forrest Gump for 45 minutes. Seriously. I had this work dress on that was above the knee in length. Any other type of sitting would have alloted the babies and toddlers a peek into where they came out of.

I tied their leashes loosely around the bench beams and let them circle the bench. Apparently this particular part of the park is frequented by parents and nannies during the weekday. A convoy of strollers was parked by several trees and mats, toys and bibs were strewn about. Thankfully, the dogs didn’t bark or make a scene.

With the dogs hydrated and settled into their relaxed positions, I started to relax as well. It took awhile. I kept thinking about the meetings I had to reschedule and the air conditioner running full blast in the apartment and the nuttiness I found myself in. I kept trying to figure a way to ensure my cell, PDA and a few dollars would be with me at all times.

Then I realized how ridiculously attached I was to my modern conveniences. I took this incident as a blessing. Heck, it could be worse. It could be raining. I could have left something on the stove. The moment I resigned myself to enjoy the reprieve from the hustle and bustle, a strong breeze blew in from the south. The coolness felt refreshing.

I started finally looking forward to our trip to the beach in July. I started making a small list of books I wanted to read during our trip when Lrudlrick came towards the bench. He had gotten out early and was searching the park for me. He gave me the keys and drove back to work.

When we got into the apartment, the dogs ran to their water dish. I called my boss. I decided to work from home the rest of the afternoon. I grabbed the phone and proceeded to the computer to check my work mail. I was back to my modern crazies.

For all you momma’s that reminded me many a times to make duplicates, I now have multiple keys. I even added one to the laundry bag pouch and one to the dog pouch.

"Bang, bang, I am the warrior"

It seems I have been living the life of alter-universe Pantrygirl for the last few weeks. I lost my id for the first time. I locked myself out of the house. I didn't cook for a week! GASP!

Now I'm slowly feeling back to myself again. I started cooking again on Sunday. My id was returned to me. I've remembered my keys on every excursion.

Maybe the new moon is bringing me back to 'normal' Pantrygirl. I know. Normal is relative.

Yesterday afternoon, Lrudlrick surprised me with a camera phone photo of this:

He bought me this tough looking but super cute purse for no reason. Man, do I love this guy. What a sweetheart.

Of course, I had to coordinate my outfit to my purse this morning. Yes, you heard that right. Outfit to purse not purse to outfit. I'm in my black pencil slacks, black pinstriped fitted vest, black and white silver studded stilettos and silver cuff bracelets. I'm feeling Patty Smyth-ish today. Scandal Patty not Don Henley Patty

Thank you, Lrudlrick. It was a wonderful surprise. I love it.

An open letter to the angel at the MTA

Dear Mrs. Bus Driver:

You have made me the happiest woman walking Manhattan today. Thank you for holding onto my id and returning it to me.

Who would have thought that in a city as big as ours, I'd ever get my lost id back!

Like a ray of sunlight you peeked into my morning. I thought I had lost my id forever. I thought I'd have to bear the scar of a 'replacement' id.

When you opened your purse and handed me my id, my faith in karma was restored. The moment I touched that vinyl covering, I felt like I was hugging a long lost friend.

I know I must have looked like a lunatic when you told me you had it. If you weren't driving, I would have hugged you. I suppose, we're both lucky you were driving.

I just want to let you know that every good deed in life goes forth and you've truly made me a happy woman.

Thank you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Lesson #2: Do not rely on your cell for important phone #s

You ever do or say something and the minute it happens, you realize it’s the wrong move. I’m not talking about times when you’re mid-sentence and realize that whatever you are going to say is either going to fall flat or be completely inappropriate. Since you’ve committed and you have the audience’s attention, you just have to finish it and crawl away. I’m talking about instances where the moment you do something, you realize it’s wrong and the little guy inside you says, “Shhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiittttttttt.” It’s a drawn out cuss because, well, it just is. There’s nothing you can do but say, “I’m a shmuck.”

That’s what happened to me on Tuesday, July 14th at 9:35am.

The day was going fine. Sure, it’s hot out there and even hotter in my apartment but I was coping. Tuesday was to be the hottest day so far in the city. 94 degrees, they said it would be. I decided that the best way to keep the pooches cool in the apartment was to blast the bedroom air conditioner while we went for a walk. When I returned, I’d blast the fans in the bedroom, kitchen and living rooms at full force. I even directed the second fan in the living room, towards their beds.

I harnessed them in and grabbed their leashes. Instead of leashing them before we went out to the elevators, I let them roam free. It was the least I could do for these poor fur coated pooches in the blazing heat. As they ran out, I ran to catch them. As I pulled the door closed, the feeling began, like a piece of hard candy lodged in near my diaphragm.

SLAM! “Oh, Shhhhiiiiiitttt,” I said to myself. I instinctively touched the pouch on Z-girl’s leash. It was empty. I tried the door. It was definitely locked. Folks, for the first time in my life, I locked myself out of my own house.

The two dogs looked at me excitedly. Dejected and in need of a plan, I walked the dogs as I plotted out what to do. There is a pay phone by the train station. I can call Lrudlrick. Oblivious to our plight, Z and P sniffed every tree, every hydrant and every crack on the sidewalk.

We got to the train station and I grabbed the phone. Pantrygirl, think. How do you make a collect call again? Heck, it’s been nearly 15 years since you’ve made a collect call. In high school, we’d call our parents up collect. Just like the commercial, we’d speak really fast. “Pantrygirl at football field to Pantrypop.” Dad would reject the call and 20 minutes later, he’d be in front of the football field picking me and my friends up.

Like a sign from the Verizon people, a giant sticker next to the phone said, “Collect Calls dials 0+area code+number.” At least that was easy. I pick up the sticky phone and held it just close enough to my ear so I could hear. I dialed 0+212+ and then I froze. Damn you cell phone! I can’t remember my husband’s work phone! At this point, I decided the first thing I do after getting my keys replicated is kick my dependency on my cell phone, pda and laptop. Like a child learns his phone number, I’d sit and write my husband’s phone number and any other key numbers that I may need for emergencies, just like this one, until they are engrained in my head. I still remember my high school locker combination. 14-4-38. But my husband's phone number? Nothing.

5 minutes of staring at the keyboard and trying to figure out the pattern, I finally remembered it. I dialed the number and the operator puts me on hold as she tries to connect me. Did you know that most corporations don’t accept collect calls? Well, now you do. I ask her to try his cell. Did you know that most cell phone services do not accept collect calls? Well, now you do.

By this time, the dogs have grown tired of the payphone and want to move on. I spot the porters taking out the trash and I run to one of them who says I can use the super’s phone. Thank you, Julio! By now the dogs think my running around is a game and have taken to play, “Let’s try to trip Pantrygirl.”

I stand at the front door of the building like a stalker and wait for someone to come in or go out to get in. I get in and knock on the super’s door. The handyman opens it up and I tell him my situation. He looks at me reluctantly. I was about to go on a tirade when the porters come in and smile at me. He reluctantly moves out of the way and lets me use the phone.

What the heck was he going to do? Deny me the use of his phone? The phone that technically I pay for? I grab the phone and immediately call my husband.

“I’m in the corporate meeting. I’ll call you back.” he whispers. By now the dogs are confused and their leashes are tangled between my legs. I dialed 8 numbers within the same sequence as my work number to get my boss’. Note to self: Memorize boss’ number. I leave a hurried message that I’m locked out and have the two dogs with me and probably won’t be in. I’d call her when I get into the apartment.

Lrudlrick calls back and tells me that the corporate meeting is with the German guys that just bought out his company and he can’t leave for another hour or hour and a half. I had to figure out what to do until he could get out and hop a train over.

Tomorrow: How to keep two dogs fairly entertained, hydrated and cool in 94 degree weather while wearing a silk sheath dress and pearls.

I just don't understand...

Nothing can be easy when it comes to my mother.

All I want to do is give my StepDad a birthday present. I even made sure they added the gift card with our names on it.

I had his present express delivered to him to ensure it got there for his birthday on Monday. They've tried delivering twice now and they said no one is answering the door.

My mother does not leave the house.

Gift giving should not be this difficult.

Monday, June 20, 2005

"Till this evening is this morning life is fine..."

I was going to tell you about how I locked my two dogs and myself out of the apartment on the hottest day of the month but since my conversation with my mother Saturday, I’m not thinking about anything else.

My brother called me to tell me that my mother wanted to get together for dinner. Of course, I should have gotten the hint that something was up when he said he wanted me to call her to tell her Friday would be suitable. My brother likes to avoid my mother when she’s at the height of her moods.

I call her and it turns out she thinks my relationship with my brother is diminishing. Apparently she was informed that it has been 2 monthes since my brother and I spoke. I'm still not sure who told her that. In fact my brother and I had a conversation on Friday. We speak weekly.

She began telling me that any relationship issues are the fault of the woman and should thus be my duty to regain my personal relationship with my brother. She then pointed that I ruined my relationship with her and she didn't want that to happen to my brother and me. This of course led to a two hour argument.

I won’t go into details because it will only cause me to get angrier. In summary, I asked her how she expects our relationship to be. She summarized it and I told her that I thought that what she expects is not a relationship with a parent and child but more of a manservant to his master. I told her that if that’s what she wants and will make her happy, I will oblige but it will never be a substantial relationship. She got off the phone happy. I got off the phone with a stomach ache.

I know now that I’ve been trying to make something with my mother that isn’t possible. I was trying to have an adult relationship with my mother. She can never see me as an adult. She will never see me as a woman, a friend or a daughter.

Now I suppose most people would not have let it get this far and just sucked it up and said, “Mom’s crazy. Just do what makes her happy.” I didn’t. I couldn’t and still have issues with it. Why?

I figured out why on Sunday. I’m afraid. I’m afraid that if I play the game like everyone around her does, I may start to believe it and in return, I’d turn into my mother.

I don’t want to live in my head. I don’t want to think everyone is out to get me. I want to embrace realism and live life with hints of fantasy not the reverse.

The saddest point in the weekend was when I had wished I never called my mother and didn’t have to speak to her again. I know. It even looks worse on paper (pseudo-paper).

I can’t just runaway though. If I did, I’d be like her when life became too real for her. Besides, she’s my only mother. I have to remember that it's the illness that makes her think they way she does. If it makes her happy, I’ll call her every other week like I used to.

You ever have a conversation with someone and leave feeling older, tired and exhausted? That’s how I feel after I talk to her. I feel like an apple left out in the sun: brown, wrinkled and dehydrated.

This is my small tribulation and if I ignore it, I will be less of the person I should be.

Tomorrow, I’ll return to happy shiny Pantrygirl and will share with you my survivor story. What happens to an Obsessive Compulsive, Anal Retentive woman locked out of her apartment with two pooches, no money and no cell phone? Find out tomorrow...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I just want to know why. Not, why me. Just why?

“How long will you be upset about this?”
I don’t know. How long will I have to pretend?
Am I mad because she’s not the person I thought she was?
Or am I mad because I finally realize the relationship is what it is and will never be anything better?
Or am I mad because I have to pretend to make her feel better while it eats me up inside?
Why do I have to pretend?

“She’s got problems.”
We all do.
Pretending is not going to make things better.
Yet I must.
Until the day I die or the day she dies, it will always be the same.

“Daughters need to respect mothers.”
“A mother never calls the daughter.”
“It is ok to yell at the daughter but not to anyone else. The daughter will take it and understand.”
“It is the daughter’s duty to listen to the gripes and inform the person it’s directed towards to protect the mother.”
“It is the daughter’s duty to protect the mother from hurting anyone or from being hurt by anyone.”
“You need to learn that your role as a wife does not supercede your role as my daughter.”

You’re hurting your daughter but you’ll never see. You’ve got an illness. I’ll forever be the one hurting you unless I accept your wishes. Even then, I’ll never be more than just your “lower class” as you say. I can’t do anything but take it and accept it.

I must swallow and realize there will be no reciprocation. Though it pains me I must say things that I disagree with to make you happy. I need to lie to you and in essence to myself.

It hurts.

Friday, June 17, 2005

"I think I'll make a snappy new day."

“You're special to me.” That’s what he would say. He never made me feel inferior to him nor was I relegated to being ‘just a child’.

Yes, folks, I’m talking about Mr. Rogers.

Everyday, I would religiously turn to PBS to watch Mr. Rogers change into his ‘leisure’ cardigan and skips. He was always chipper. He always greeted me. “Hi, Neighbor.” To be truthfully, I always wondered what kind of neighborhood he lived in. No one looked like him in mine.

He usually had an item in a brown bag to show off. Sometimes, it was a toy. Other times, Mr. McFeely would deliver a reel for picture picture. I loved picture picture. I loved watching how things were made. In case you want to relive some of picture picture’s reel’s, click here.

When my brother was old enough, I turned him onto Mr. Rogers. That didn’t sound right. I remember coming home from school and my brother would be glued to the floor watching Mr. Rogers.

Once, Mr. Rogers was making peanut butter with peanuts and butter. As a kid, there was an innocence that made you wonder if mashing peanuts and butter could make peanut butter. Here was a grown man doing it as well. BTW, when I was little, I thought all-purpose flour, water, tomato sauce and cheese = pizza. In case you were wondering, it’s not. It does however leave a seriously nasty stain in a toaster oven.

Whatever you did or felt, Mr. Rogers always made you feel special. If you were angry, it was ok to be angry. If you were mad, it was ok to be mad. If you felt silly trying to make a sandwich with peanuts, butter and bread, it was ok to feel silly. Mr. Rogers was a cheerleader for you. “I'm Proud of You.”

Mr. Rogers’ is gone now and as an adult, it just doesn’t seem right to Tivo him for an occasional pep talk. But I still have his comforting advice near me. It sits inside my desk at my office. Now I just need a cool red cardigan, some retro blue skips and maybe a replica of The Neighborhood Trolley.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

"Because the devil will take you under by the sharp lapels of you're checkered suit."

Out of all my uncles on my mother’s side, Uncle Stephen is the shortest. He’s also the nerdiest. That’s not an insult. Back in the 70’s, my grandparents requested that all their grandkids visit during the summer. Since I lived with my grandparents, I didn’t have to travel but I did have to share my room and the entire house with 11 cousins, 3 Aunts, 3 Uncles, my parents and my grandparents. I loved every minute of it.

Now I mention my Uncle’s height because as a child, the taller you are, the more authoritative you were. My uncle’s diminutive stature wasn’t too scary compared to my Uncle William’s 6 foot tall chiseled chin features. However, my mother thought the best way to threaten me to eat my crust from my PB&J sandwich was to tell me that my Uncle Stephen was going to go bananas if I didn’t finish it. Of course, this only instigated me.

Uncle Stephen is the only surviving son of my maternal grandparents and although I don’t see him as much anymore, he’s one of the influential male figures in my life.

On a flight to Atlanta, he taught me how to read the stock market listings. He also offered stock tips to me. Sure, I was a broke student but "you never know when you fall into luck", he would say.

He also told me to make sure I label my items. All his vinyls had a type written ‘This belongs to Phillip J. Fry’ sticker on the top left hand corner. I was always impressed by how he used his full name on all his labels, including the one on the Olivia Newton John album. He even sent me typewritten labels for my grandparents to use. Didn’t I tell you OCD runs in my family. Actually, it mainly runs in the male side of my family. I’m an anomaly.

When there is a deal, Uncle Stephen says never be afraid to grab it. Once he climbed into a giant truck bin to get a few ripe watermelons. In his fervor, the car keys fell out of his shirt pocket and he spent the rest of the afternoon searching the bin for his keys. Asked if it was worth it, Uncle Stephen said they were some of the best watermelons he had eaten.

Through everything, he never shows any stress, anxiety or uncertainty. I’ve never seen him break into a sweat. Supporting a family with 4 kids and being the primary breadwinner must be tough. Yet, he still finds time to take his kids on outings, go out with his wife, to even come home during lunch to do errands.

Uncle Stephen has taught me not to take life too seriously. We’re all in the same boat. Sure some of us are on yachts and others are in dinghies but we’re on the same waters and somehow, things will work out. Sometimes it's calm. Sometimes it’s rocky. In the end we make it to our destinations, a little wiser, a little more broken but the trip is what it’s all about.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

"I'm puttin' on my top hat, Tyin' up my white tie, Brushin' off my tails."

When I was a little girl, my grandfather used to walk me to school. My grandfather was from the generation where you wore a hat and a jacket to take out the trash. Heck, he wore a buttoned down shirt, sweater vest and slacks to lounge in the house.

Every morning, my grandfather would pat on his hair pomade, put on his jacket and matching fedora and walk me 8 blocks to my school. I remember holding his hand and smelling the hair product still in his hand. It wasn’t that he had a lot of hair. He had that old man, hair on the side thing. What little he had, he kept neatly combed.

After school, the teachers would present each student at the steps and the parent/guardian would ‘claim’ the child. I remember standing out there looking into the sea of adults. My grandpa always was the most dapper of them all. He would stand way in the back, against the signpost. As soon as he saw me, he’d lift up his fedora and my teacher would let me meet him.

During our walk home, he’d ask me about my day and what we learned. Then when we got back in the house, I’d change into my play clothes and watch some after school cartoon. At 4pm, he’d call me to tea time. Tea time with grandpa was always a treat. He’d have his tea and pastry and he’d make me a toasted sandwich with tea. Grandpa had OCD and my sandwich would always be perfectly rectangular. The ham would never fold over the sandwich. The butter never melted out over the bread. Something about the perfectly cut sandwiches made me enjoy them even more. OCD reared its head early in my life.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on schoolwork and awaiting Grandma’s delicious dinner. In the evening before bed time, Grandpa would make sure I had my school clothes pressed and ready for the next day. He was the one who showed me how to polish shoes. There we’d be with newspapers on the floor to catch the droppings. He’d polish his shoes while I tried to imitate him with my parochial school Frankensteins.

I still have his shoe polishing kit with all his brushes. One set was for black shoes and one set was for brown shoes. The smell of polish to this day reminds me of my Grandpa.

Sometimes, I wish we still lived in a time where a walk in the park warranted wearing a nice outfit. Not all the time of course. Like yesterday for instance, but I’ll tell you that story another day. In a time where clothes are worn once, cut off shorts are acceptable at the theatre and flip flops are ‘appropriate’ attire, we could all use a little ‘dressing up’.

Monday, June 13, 2005

"Reminiscin'. This 'n' thattin'. Havin' such a good time. Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally. Golly, what a day."

When I was a little girl, I savored going to the drive in movies with my Dad. There we were, in our Silver Chevy Impala with the bright red interior. I wasn’t allowed to wear my pajamas like the other kids. Nor was I allowed to lie on the roof because it was too dirty for a girl to sit on but I still had my fun in the backseat. My brother and I would pretend it was a fort. Honestly, I don’t think my brother remembers much back then. He was still being potty trained and spent most of the time eating, sleeping or putting odd objects in his mouth.

Back then, we didn’t have VCR’s to play Shrek continuously. What we had were periodic summer specials. I saw Dumbo, Snow White and a list of other Disney films for the first time at the Drive In. My all-time favorite was Robin Hood. To this day, I associate Alan-A-Dale with my father. I used to pretend I was Maid Marian. My dad bought me the record and I played it constantly on his old Lloyd’s.

I still have the vinyl. I keep it as a reminder of my youth and simpler times.

The last time we went to the drive in, I was too old to be carried up to bed but I still tried. My dad picked me up gingerly and carried me to my bed and tucked me in. When he turned the light off he said, “That’s the last time now. You know you’re getting too big. Good night.” I fell asleep smiling knowing that I got away with it, well sort of, and for few more stolen minutes, I was still Daddy’s little girl.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Feeling very Alanis today...

Blame it on the weather.
Blame it on the 5:30 am alarm.
Blame it on the 12 hour work day.
Pantrygirl has a bee in her pretty bonnet.

1. People that talk extremely slow and low.
Professor, you are a professor. Your job entails weekly speeches to a crowd of noisy, hung-over and horny students. How do you get away with speak inaudibly and in a John Malkovich slow and smarmy tone? I suppose your classes are not of the lecture hall variety. We were sitting less than 4' from each other and I nearly popped a blood vessel trying to read your lips.

2. Girls that wear see through pajama pants with cotton heart panties.
Perhaps, I'm showing my age. I'd like to think that when I was 19, I had the decency to check the mirror to make sure my pajama pants weren't see through. And if I was feeling especially playful, I'd have the decency to wear cute undies under the see through panties.
What made this highly annoying was not only the cotton panties being clearly visible but that her ass jiggled every time she sauntered. Yes, she sauntered. Why was I focused on a barely legal's ass? Because it was in front of me for a full block and because it was jiggling.

3. Leaky faucets.
At work, the bathroom faucet leaks. I doesn't just drip. It streams. It streams and makes a loud noise as it ricochets off the porcelain sink. As if you need incentive to use the bathroom, it echoes throughout the tiled bathroom.
Above this sink and to the right, there is a sign from environmental safety and facilities.
“Every Drop Counts! Conserve water. Leaky Faucet? Contact us at: XXXXX.”
It’s faded and water-stained but it’s bigger than big.
I’ve called facilities about this sink. I’ve called numerous times and it still leaks. In fact, the cold water tap doesn’t really turn so if you want to wash your hands you need to scald yourself to be hygienic. I suppose this wouldn’t be a major problem since high heat kills most bacteria. However, I share my bathroom with the labrats. Isn’t sanitary conditions optimal to laboratory studies?

4. This

This is a picture of the back of the bathroom stall. That post it sticker has been there for a month now. At first I found this humorous. Obviously it was a busy day for whomever had to sign whatever it was because she couldn’t even find a moment’s peace to do a simple human function.
Then I thought about the fact that a post it on a bathroom door for over a month means that the cleaning staff has either done a half-assed job cleaning our bathroom or have not cleaned our bathroom.
Hey labrats! Get your swabby stick things and some Petri dishes here! There is bacterial growth on these doors and door handles that may cure some disease!

5. People who don’t listen.
I could never be in sales. If I said to you, “This will not be part of the initial implementation. However it is on our radar for future discussion” do not ask me, “So is this in the installation?”
I have a face that does not hide reactions well. I will look at you like you are an idiot. Sorry, that’s just the way it goes. I don’t care if you are the president of the high society of high falutin’ mumbo jumbo.

Now, I’m going home, early. I left the meeting early because 3 cups of strong coffee cannot keep Pantrygirl awake. I’m going to hobble home in the heat, walk the dogs and for the love of Pete, try to get this damn song out of my head.

Behavior of a New Yorker...

Found this at TimeOut NY through Curbed and Gotham Gazette.

If I recall, I've read this or something similiar before but it's still worth a good chuckle.
It's quite long so be forewarned.

My melty milkshake...

If your building's porters throw out your dead husband for you, you better leave them a nice year end tip.

BTW, when I read that article, the silly Milkshake song got engrained in my head. Now, I can’t stop singing it. I don’t even know how I know the words.

My milk shake brings all the boys to the yard.

Yesterday and today, I’ve been scheduled on campus wide demonstrations of a new product being rolled out to the departments. Essentially, I sit around and listen to the same demonstration play out every hour wishing I had my laptop so I could work on some priority deadline projects.

The first two demos were quite informative but now I’m beginning to panic. I had hoped to catch up on two major projects this week while my boss is away at a conference. Now she’s back tomorrow and I have yet to touch them.

Plus, these demos are scheduled all day from 7am to 7pm. Thankfully, today’s the last day. I’ll tell you coffee and biscotti become your best friend when you have to wake up at 5:30am.

And they're like, its better than yours.

I am not a morning person. Most of you know that by now. I rarely have to wake up before Lrudlrick. Therefore my morning noise, the sound of my vanity drawers being pulled and various bottles and containers being opened and closed, is usually not a problem. Stop giggling. I know you thought I was referring to another type of noise.

However, since Lrudlrick went to bed around 3-4am, (It was an Xbox night.) the slightest sound from my squeaky vanity probably would send my husband into a fit. So at 5:30 am, under the cover of dawn, I quietly threw my vast girlie products into a bag and tiptoed myself into the bathroom for my morning preening.

Damn right, its better than yours.

It was like a Turkish bath in the bathroom. It’s bloody 5:30am! If it’s hot and sticky now, what is it going to be like at high noon?

I can teach you but I have to charge.

I don’t even know why I tried to put on make up. By the time I got to my front door, it slid right off my face. The humidity is high and I feel like I’m a walking puddle.

Darren makes a point of how kooky NYC weather is. If you need historical weather data for NYC for the last week, check out his laundry bag.

Sure, they say we have four seasons but in actuality it’s two: Gym sock season and grey sludge season. We are at the start of gym sock season, where the thick fog of heat and humidity makes it feel like you’re inside a sweaty gym sock. BTW, walking around the South Street Seaport or Chinatown during this time, kicks it up a notch.

This is the time of the year, that waiting for a 1 and 9 train can be excruciating. Ok, waiting for the 1 and 9 is always excruciating.

I try to be optimistic though. Cute dresses, opened toe shoes and daylight at 8pm are nice benefits. However, today’s Audrey Hepburn sheath dress and black strappy sandals are not going to make me feel any better about hiking around hot, sticky asphalt or waiting in the bowels of the subway for a local train.

"La la-la la la. The boys are waiting.”

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

"And my lady, she went downtown. She bought some broccoli"

Last night, I tossed and turned restlessly. I was too tired to read, watch tv or write. Yet my mind couldn’t stop running a mile a minute. At one point, I accidentally screamed out, “Broccoli.”

Lrudlrick: What, honey?
pg: Nothing. Go back to bed.
Lrudlrick: Don’t be that way. What did you say?
pg: I said, broccoli.
pg: I was reminding myself to pick up some broccoli tomorrow. I accidentally said it out loud.
pg: Go back to bed.

During my tossing and turning, I created a list of topics to discuss today. Of course, it’s now a quarter after 5 and my workday has shuffled that list to the nether regions of my mind. Trust me, they were interesting topics. Well, they seemed like interesting topics at 3am. At one point I thought it may be wise to write them down but alas, I was too tired to fumble in the heat and in the darkness for a pen and paper in my nightstand.

I’m sure they will come back to me. They’ll probably hit me tonight at 3am in the middle of my ‘what-to-buy-at-the-pharmacy’ list making. “Cotton Balls.” “What?” “Nothing. Go back to bed.”

I know I’m not the only person who makes lists. Lrudlrick thinks I have an illness. He doesn’t understand how I can make a list of a list of lists I’ve made in my head. I call it the master list of lists. He calls it a disease.

Most people make a vertical list. My lists look like sentence diagrams. A simple list of groceries may include branches that denote specific brands, sizes and a description of the packaging. Most of the time I make my lists for myself. Sometimes I make one for Lrudlrick. Of course, he’ll leave it on the kitchen counter and call me to ask me to text message it to him.

Text messaging a list is a challenge for me. You’re limited to the amount of characters allowed. Let’s take the simple request for eggs, milk, butter and bread.

"I like jumbo eggs. Make sure you check each individual egg.
I prefer milk in a paper container instead of a jug unless the expiration date is better on the jug then the paper.
Butter always has to be unsalted and the 4 stick variety.
Bread depends on the freshness date. If it’s fairly fresh, then a small loaf of white, thin sliced is fine. If the Italian loaf is super fresh, then skip the sliced loaf and get an Italian loaf. If they have onion pitas (pre-sliced) then pick those up too."

Ok, that’s 499 characters. By the time I fit my list into the 160 maximum characters including spaces and sender’s info, Lrudlrick is home.

I finally come up with:
"Pls pick up: eggs(jumbo,check each), milk(medium, not jug), butter(unsalt, 4), bread(italian/slice), pita? (pre-sliced, small)
Luv U."

That leaves me with 4 characters to spare.

Of course, during the time it took me to compose my little txt message, I could have just gone to the local market and picked up the items I wanted and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy.

BTW, someone needs to do studies on B&J’s Chocolate Therapy. There are definite therapeutic powers in the luscious Chocolate Ice Cream with Chocolate Cookies & Swirls of Chocolate Pudding Ice Cream. I defy anyone to eat a scoop of this and not feel better.

Anyway, since I’m extremely quirky with my grocery habits, I’ve decided to avoid asking Lrudlrick to pick up anything and just pick it up myself on the way home from work. It saves my husband the difficult task of reading my Sanskrit and I get to do the next best thing to making lists, checking off items on a list.

Today's opened toe shoe: Black ankle strappy shoes with a tiny silver buckle. Heel height at a moderate 2 1/2 inches.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Ladies, pull out your opened toe shoes!

It's official opened toe shoe season, ladies.

Pantrygirl wore her first pair to work this season, a beige strappy 4" high pair of yumminess.

Note to the cleaning lady though:

Putting a sign that the floor is wet on the south side of the building does not mean we should assume the north side is also wet. I just did an imitation of Tuffy mouse, the grey ever-hungry nephew of Jerry mouse in Tom & Jerry, ice-skating. I'd offer a screenshot but I can't find one online. Trust me though, the episode, Mice Follies, was definitely a classic.

Ladies, don't forget to get those pedicures!

Remember, don't forget to smile...

You ever have one of those days where you’re not feeling 100%? That’s how I felt Sunday. Strangely enough, it took a stranger’s smile to wake me up. The mugginess didn’t bother me. The piles of laundry waiting for me didn’t get my goat. The stranger’s smile made me realize that people don’t smile enough in the city.

We scowl a lot. We may even avoid eye contact. Sunday, an elderly couple looked at me and Lrudlrick, nodded and smiled at us. It totally made my day.

Usually when someone I don’t know smiles at me, it’s either, my blouse is open, my skirt is riding up or it’s one of my psycho groupies following me around.

Now, I’m not saying you should smile at everyone in your subway car. That’s just psychotic and asking for trouble. Maybe a smile to the token booth clerk you see every morning or to the vendor in the cart while you get your coffee would do.
An unexpected smile can do small wonders.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Motocrossing on a landfill...

I'm sick of hearing how Bloomberg's crusade to get the Olympics in NYC is a rich man's dream.

Personally, I wouldn't mind the Olympics here. Heck, if it does happen, I'd volunteer to help out at a venue.

I've heard people who don't even live in the city say the stadium will do more harm than good. Business-wise, the stadium can bring jobs and visitors into the city. The Olympics will generate income from tourists and also beautify many neglected areas throughout the five boroughs.

Anyone read any good articles regarding a neighborhood's thoughts on the Olympics in NYC? What do the people in Staten Island think about adding an equestrian center in their area? How about people in Pelham Bay? What do they think of a world class pentathlon stadium in their neighborhood?

For a city that prides itself in it's real estate, these enhancements to the existing areas will not be abandoned once the games are over. Not only will local and country wide competitions continue but also give local schools and neighborhood residents can use these facilities.

So much focus is on the main stadium that someone should see what outer borough residents think.

For more on the proposed venues check out: this NY Times article on the venues and life after the games.

You heard it here...

"I could see them get hard just thinking about selling our place." -- Lrudlrick describing the real estate agents' reactions when he said we were thinking of selling.

Here is an interesting discussion about the current real estate market in NYC, courtesy of Tim at


I woke up this morning on my couch. I wasn’t just on my couch. I was on top of the pillow that provides the back support on my couch. Yes, like a cat, I was precariously hanging on top of my couch. Lrudlrick was on his man chair working.

I have a tendency to fall asleep on the couch whenever Lrudlrick works late. It’s been a habit for quite sometime. I just don’t know how I got to sleeping on top of the pillow.

I still haven’t found my id. Numerous calls to the MTA and visits to the campus security office have turned up nothing. I guess I’ll have to go to HR next week and pay the $15 penalty. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that my one and only id photo that looks like me is gone forever.

My id had a decent photo of me. This is rare. I’m not a good id picture taker. I’ve fallen off of stools, smiled at the wrong camera and even once was so pale I blended in with the white background. All you saw was black hair, two beady eyes and red lips.

I try. I really do. I make sure broccoli isn’t stuck on my teeth. I make sure my lip gloss isn’t running off my face and my hair isn’t standing on end. I think it’s because I have soft features and soft features don’t stand out in a flat photo.

I was proud of my id photo. It actually looked like me. Now I’m wishing I kept my hair appointment last week. I’m desperately in need of a hair cut.

Dear photo id, goodbye. We’ve shared some great memories. I’ll always remember you. You were the first id that looked decent. I can only hope you’re not wedged somewhere in a Manhattan bus’ undercarriage. Godspeed, my dear id. You are gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Beware of Pantrygirl imposters...

It’s been awhile and I apologize. Right now, I’m still at work. Yes, it’s been that kind of day for the last two days. Since I’m eating my lunch now, I thought I’d drop a quick note.

The topper of the day is that I lost my work ID on the bus. This ID is also my access card so I can’t get into any building without begging someone near me to let me in. Plus, I’m now paranoid that someone is walking around with a photo of me and my name and pretending to be me. I watch too much ‘24’.

In NYC, especially after 9/11, everyone walks around with their id hanging around their necks. Lanyard people are making a killing. Funny thing is, in a city filled with people so absorbed in their own lives, we know a lot about the people around us. We know where they work, their name, their shift and sometimes their department.

I never put leave my id on when I go outside. I’ve got enough to deal with when I’m outside. Homeless and Crazy People flock to me like pigeons to stale bread. You’ve heard of gaydar. I’m loondar. I really don’t need a loon to scream out, “Hey! Pantrygirl! Pantrygirl! You know me! Look at me when I call you!”

Anyway, I called the MTA three times and no kind soul has turned in my id. Why did I have my id out? Well, like an idiot, I thought, it might be a good idea to take it out of my bag so I don’t hold up the line by the security guard. I had it in my hand. Of course, the little clip thingy that holds it into the hookie thingy (I’m not lanyard savvy) opened up and my id popped out. I didn’t notice until I was at the guard station and when I lifted my lanyard up, it was empty.

What gets my goat is, two weeks ago, I found a college id of a student in front of my building. I ran back into the building and flagged every person walking in to see if they knew who she was. I finally got her apartment number and returned. Doesn’t karma count here?

Please, if you have my id, return it. Good karma will come to you.

Now I have to get back to work. It’s the end of the fiscal year and everyone wants the impossible.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Words to Live By

There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out. -- Russian proverb

Related tags: