blog entries from 2004
PNJ HAS A LOT OF BOTTLED UP BLOG TO OFFER -- after several weeks locked in a deadly embrace with workaholism (still ongoing - and actually enforced by circumstances beyond pnj's control)
so pnj had to rush out of the house the morning to get the haze (did you hear that julia roberts named her daughter after the haze???) to daycare. so pnj doesn't mind admitting to you all that this meant she was forced to cut a few corners (given that she was heading right back home after dropping the haze off) in her morning ablutions -- okwell really pnj just skipped the whole abluting process altogether -- as it turns out this is the best strategy for luring european tourists to your person to ask random directions. now one would think that one word of "head east on 78th street..." from an unwashed mouth would send them running, but no. somehow it seemed to draw them closer. must rethink this whole hygiene thing....
Africa is a continent NOT a country!!! IS ANYONE OUT THERE LISTENING????? If so, please tell my students so that they don't fail the final. Apparently, pnj speaks at such a high pitch that they are unable to discern the actual words she is speaking...
PNJ has been to the Bayou!!! here are some highlights -the wealth of bush-cheney signs in the trailer park (you do the math) -baby alligators -the false meatball (it was secretly made of flounder!)
perhaps now would be a good time to try one...
the other day pnj was at the gap purchasing a pair of pnjs and the lady in front of her in line was buying underpants. well apparently they have some kind of deal at the gap -- a starbucksification if you will. the sales lady handed the lady in front of me a frequent underpants buyer card (or whatever they are calling them) and started stamping it. then she leaned over the counter, looked the lady right in the eye and said "you get one stamp for each pair of panties you buy. when you have ten stamps we will give you a free bra. IF YOU DON'T ALREADY WEAR A BRA -- NOW WOULD BE A GOOD TIME TO TRY ONE." Like a bra is somekind of iced eggnog latte. the woman was in her fifties -- if she doesn't wear a bra by now it isn't because she hasn't tried one -- it is because she likes the feeling of her boobs slapping against her torso when she walks...
So may i be the first to say that having a two year old is the greatest F-ing thing. everyone makes you think that two year olds are a nightmare -- but they aren't -- they are HILARIOUS!!! apparently two is when you start letting it all hang out. hazel has recently become a nudist, and also a biter. just the simple pleasures, nudity and the taste of human flesh...
So pnj bought the "hickory roasted" pistachios at Fairway -- just plain old pistachios and salt, roasted over hickory -- and guess what? THEY TASTE JUST LIKE A VERY NUTTY SLIM JIM!!! Wow.
pnj wants you all to know that this is the greatest single morning of her entire life which must be why she is literally crying as she writes this -- tears of joy -- NOT disbelief, but JOY -- the morning wear she and every member of her family and of her home wakes up a winner. THANK YOU BOSTON RED SOX - THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. THANK YOU!!!
before becoming a mother pnj had many high ideals and fantasies about sewing all of hazel's clothing, and pressing leaves in wax paper, and making her own yogurt and other such marks of true motherhood. of course the reality is a tad different. yesterday thatch forgot hazel's hello kitty lunch-box when he took her to day care in the morning, the lunch box that pnj in an early morning panic fills with bizarre food scraps that she is able to dreg up from the kitchen while chastizing herself to get her ass to the market. the one we fill with small containers of left-over takeout vietnamese food and pizza, accompanied by some bag full of nuts or goldfish or pretzels or whatever snack food pnj is able to pry loose from thatch's bear-like clutches, the lunch-box where we put the store bought yogurt (make your own yogurt -- pnj? pnj doesn't even like yogurt -- there is really only one response to that ridiculous fantasy and its called -- get off the dope pnj! -- though in pnj's defense she did actually shame herself into making minimuffins and applesauce last week) and if hazel is lucky maybe even some banana pnj bought from the street vendor on her way home from work in a fit of mommyness. the lunch where inevitably when pnj picks hazel up from day care in the afternoon the teacher says -- "she didn't eat much of her lunch today - i don't think she likes **whatever** that was. why don't you make her a pbj on wheat again she seemed to really like that last week" and pnj says "yes, thanks for letting me know -- hazel is just so picky these days its hard to predict" (all the while thinking to herself -- yeah lady -- i'd make her a sandwich -- but that would require having actual bread in the house -- must remember to buy bread on the way home -- must remember to buy bread on the way home -- cut to 12 hours later as it is time to pack the f-ing hello kitty lunch box in the dark while blinking oneself awake over their cup of coffee while hurrying to finish lecture notes and anxiously digging through laundry pile to see if there isn't perhaps one clean thing to wear to work -- or at least one dirty thing to wear that smells like original scent speedstick and not b.o. -- and only then realizing -- we still have no bread) anyhow this hello-kitty lunch box was left behind. pnj for her part was long gone having left the apartment at 6:30 to head to fabulous big state u. where students needed knowledge and wisdom and where she somehow managed to spontaenously refer to Nancy Reagan (and her intriguingly toddler-esque body) as an example in her discussion of the arbitrariness of freakshows and the european fascination with the so-called pygmies and their proportions. arriving at daycare thatch realized - oh no! he had left that crappy old hello kitty lunch behind. well, fortunately, et voila! hazel was in luck and not forced to starve as the amazingly chic yet casual and mildly intimidating (in that way that someone who is gorgeous but wearing jeans and a t-shirt and who never smells like b.o. or speed stick, and works in some high powered bank but is thinking of quitting to become an art teacher in the public schools and is really nice) french mother of one of hazy's daycare mates had just arrived and offered to share the lunch she had made her son. apparently it was quite abundant - she had made an omelet and little potatoes and some lovely vegetables and included some nice fruit and well pnj could go on -- but needless to say la lunch was tres fantastique and now we are totally screwed because having had la lunch hazel is now tres aware of the possibilities that this meal presents and now has la measuring stick against which her own bag of leftovers shall now be judged.
um yeah -- let's see, its 9:30 at night and our plane just pulled into the terminal at laguardia and we are all lining up in the aisle keeping our good old american impatience to ourselves while we wait for the folks in first class to "deplane" down the "jetway" -- ok, well most of us are waiting with a facade of patience, except the woman behind pnj -- yes, the woman in the bush/cheney t-shirt, the woman who has been calling her man "babe" all night in the row behind pnj (a term of endearment he endlessly reciprocated as they did the world's easiest crossword pnj has ever heard in her life -- imagine two people who call each other babe and wear republican t-shirts grappling for 15 minutes over a four letter word for a dress worn in india -- while you are sitting in front of them returning from a work trip unable to read your book on Islamic medicine because the word SARI is throbbing in your head), that woman felt the need to push past pnj thus forcing her up against the overly dandruffy lady (pnj means DANDRUFFY!!! -- she was like an alp) and then past the gentleman in front of pnj, explaining as she went "oh -- I'm just trying to get my bag" (which pnj thought was interesting because it seems like just about everyone probably had an f-ing bag to get!!). pnj can't help but feel that this behavior is a direct result of rudolf giuliani's disneyfication of times square. clearly this woman was in a rush to get down to Chevy's for some mozzarella sticks and a 94 ounce coke.
anyhow lady -- if you are reading this -- YOU SUCK.
p is for pokey that's good enough for pnj!
pnj has long been of the opinion that she can judge all her past experiences (jobs, places she's lived etc) by whether or not she came away with a good friend. atlanta was good, and there's margaret and jonathon and mike and of course anne and andy to prove it. and the diner was a good job because of danica, and the claremont because of kate (though of course kate was from long ago) and vina, and sexist tech because of neil (yes neil can even redeem the likes of sexist tech, and public health was louise, and botswana is dikeledi and petra and steph and givens, and new york brought k-dunk, and well hazel not only brought her own self but also bernadette (you know bernadette babysat this week for us, and when we got home at 10 pm we paid her and then instead of leaving we all hung out in the living room and chatted for 2 hours and had the best time -- and then the next day i was sitting on the train platform and playing with my cell phone -- which pnj NEVER uses -- because who can figure out what the number of it is to give to other people, and who can remember to plug it in to recharge , and who knows how to turn the ringer on, and basically its just very complicated -- but in any event pnj pushed some button and discovered she had something called a "text message" -- pnj had been "texted" -- which is very 21st century, and so she pushed another button and there was my message -- it was from May and it was from bernadette wishing pnj a happy mother's day -- pnj is not kidding when she says that bernadette is a big deal -- anyhow tonight pnj went out with the two people that are the reason that working at hoity toity u was worth it (dont get all excited, pnj was a teaching assistant at hoity toity which is about one rung up from lunch lady in the hierarchies of hoity toity u.) . yes nick and jennifer came to town and nick took us out for an amazing and utterly fabulous in a kind of hipster-zen type way, and it was so great -- and what did pnj do? well she had one of those tourette's syndrome kind of moment where she asked them the kind of question that only pushy relatives ask -- and fortunately they were cool about it (hey jen and nick if you are reading this) but as we were all recovering from the sheer exhaustion of it all pnj took some time to wonder -- does everyone have one question that others, in their overly tourettesian (pnj doesn't know if this is the right word, but she means that feeling where one has a question that they know to be both ridiculous and inappropriate and in the process of trying not to ask it wind up involuntarily blurting it out in a somewhat (passive) aggressive manner) moments seems to ask -- or do only some people? in the way that people love to ask thatch strange questions about mormonism (a practive i condone because as a jew pnj recognizes how these kinds of awkward questions help consolidate identity) or another friend of mine about her divorce, or no doubt some day hazel about being adopted from china.
pnj does not have a point -- nor does she need to have one. this is a post-experimental blog and sometimes it is about the process and not the result.
jeus nes parles pa bien francais
pnj just received an email in french. not spam, but indeed an email. in fact, pnj thinks (based on her facile understanding of spanish and even more facile knowledge of portugese) an abstract paper proposal for a conference that pnj is organizing. pnj does not speak or read french yet this email demands an answer. for those of you who do speak french how does the following reply that pnj has drafted sound?
"sacre bleu! sil vous plait moutarde des tin tin au congo. recherche ecole vou les vous avec vous yoo-hoo! mai oui, flefluer peplum et pamplemouse. frere jacques.
madame un petit rouge bon vivant juice."
today something great happened. something pnj feared these past few years might never happen again. pnj walked out of the bedroom and heard a familiar sound -- it was thatch, playing some ramones on acoustic guitar for hazel. after many long and sad years where pnj longed to hear that guitar in the living room, it was back -- and may i say -- better than ever.
13/9/04horror in the park
well today pnj and pokeythedog went for a lovely sunday afternoon stroll through central park. we took the bridle path around the reservoir as we often do. the park is part of the genius of new york (the subway is the other part). its incredible and huge and has fabulous trees and lawns and playgrounds (did you know that there is a DIANA ROSS playground?) and tons of fascinating people in it to watch and lots of places where one can go to be alone. yet every once in a while the glory of the park can get a little out of hand. today pnj and pokey saw a most unfortunate, indeed horrifying sight -- and we offer it here to all you men in cautionary tones. yes, that is right, a man in his sixties wearing an acqua g-string butt thong french marble bag if you will and nothing else, sitting on a towel with his legs splayed out and his ass hanging (and though he was thin, it was indeed, hanging)reading the new yorker. pnj had to stop pokeythedog who was going in for a sniff. for the first time in months, pnj began to long for winter...
one of my most favorite parts of manhattan is on 9th ave between 30th and 42 street. a great stretch. the cupcake cafe and all those amazing butcher shops advertising alligator meat and buffalo scrotum and all sorts of other incredible delicacies. nice and gritty and a tad anonymous, with the occasional errant tourist who went the wrong way at penn station or the port authority. today is it was a complete poser-vacuum and that can be hard to find some days in manhattan.
ah...the beginning of the semester...
pnj had her second class of the semester today -- that's right -- today she regaled her students with tales of small pox and tse tse flies and the epidemiological ramifications of the Atlantic slave trade and much else. a lecture which at one point culminated in some sage advice from professor pnj: "don't shit where you eat!" i told my students -- and they wrote it down in their notebooks. you, dear friend, should feel free to write it down as well.
stunned into silence
the republicans have done the impossible. they literally stunned pnj into silence. for the past week pnj has ridden the commuter train in and out of penn station packed with police carrying plexiglass shields, with semi-automatic weapons, with dogs and national guard and every kind of police officer on earth. pnj has hauled 9 bags of groceries and her abnormally tall child together up five flights of stairs because the supermarket does not deliver during the republican national convention (if you aren't from new york and you aren't clear on why pnj is so lazy that she doesn't just carry her own f-ing groceries on a regular basis then just imagine yourself hauling your family's entire week's worth of food and paper towels and whathaveyou up fifteen of the most crowded blocks on earth and then up five flights of stairs with a small child - instead of throwing them into the back of your car which is happily tucked in the parking lot waiting to take you to your home. now take that image and quadruple it -- because we aren't just any family -- we have thatcher and he is like a some kind of cross between a living breathing refrigerator that just consumes massive quantities of food in a steady and systematic manner and a large grizzly bear that is fattening up for a nice comfy hibernation-style nap -- and actually speaking of refrigerators we just got a new one. our old one was dying an ugly and obscene death that included the belching of fetid water in vast quantities into the vegetable "crisper" (a clear misnomer in this case) and the regular freezing of every substance that entered it. so all summer pnj fantasized about the new fridge she was going to get. she asked people about their fridges -- did they have a side by side or a freezer on the top or bottom. did they have an ice-maker? with shaved ice? what color and make was it? (the fridge, not the ice) meanwhile pnj and thatch saved. did we go out for dinner? NO -- we are saving for a new fridge. did we get a babysitter and go to the movies? NO -- we are saving for a new fridge. pnj made lists of things that she was going to cook in advance and then store in single or family size portions in the freezer to make her week go more smoothly. it was all going to be fabulous. we returned to our apartment after a two and a half month refrigerator-obsessed absence and measured the size of the space where our current fridge is (the only possible location for a fridge) and headed out to the appliance super-store -- where pnj accidentally gave hazel a kazoo and kind of annoyed the sales-guys who did not even offer to help us. the big moment was here!!! and what kind of fridge did we get? well we got the f-ing strawberry shortcake model, the my little pony of fridges. it turns out our fridge is TINY they hardly even make fridges as small as our fridge. ice maker? you've go to be kidding the thing doesn't even have enough space for one of those scary little drawers that says "meats and cheeses" it is like that scene in spinal tap where the stonehenge turns out to be like 3 feet high.)
but pnj digresses... the republicans who prevented me and hazel from entering the park or playground for 10 blocks because some bunch of republican idiots wanted to have lunch at tavern on the green. the republicans whose policies and ideas so anger pnj that she was forced last saturday to walk across the brooklyn bridge -- despite her notoriously intense fear of heights -- and major love to louise who helped pnj do so -- along with 50,000 of her closest friends carrying a sign about women's reproductive rights. the republicans who come into this city where i live having cut money for education, having cut after-school programs, having failed to support this city financially thus closing firehouses and failing to well-equip our police and firemen, having screwed us over by preventing us from raising the toll fees for people from connecticut who want to drive their enormous SUVs into the city each day to work as investment bankers or who drive in to party in the f-ing meat-packing district and go hang out in times square -- no they can't pay to clog our streets, better that we pay more to ride the subway, the republicans who sent us to iraq on false pretenses with no clear plan but who turned a blind eye in Liberia -- THOSE people came to new york and had a pep rally and to add insult to injury they looked at us all while they were here -- and with smirks on their faces thought we were just scenery for their new york party. anyhow -- all of that -- kind of shut pnj up for a while.
not only that -- but through this silence in some sort of displaced panic over the state of her world -- pnj has not eaten a single cookie. she's had quite a bit of salami -- but no cookies.
long lost relative! inheritance!!
well ms. pinkynicejuice just received word over email from a "banker" in brussels that a certain person with her "same name" has died with significant funds in the bank and no next of kin. apparently there is a major search underway for any surviving "nicejuices" (it is unclear from this email addressed to "pinkynicejuice" whether this deceased belgian was also named "pinkynicejuice" or perhaps "herve nicejuice" or possibly "dagmar margot juice" or what). all pnj has to do now is send the flemish some detailed info about her bank accounts and the inheritance will start pouring in -- you know pinkynicejuice is an unusual name so pnj is certain that she will not have to compete with many other kinfolk for her share of the pie.
ok so pnj does not claim to be a good parent -- not by a long-shot -- but she never thought it would go this far. the other night pnj decided to make nachos for dinner -- why not? i mean what is the difference between cornchips, cheese, and sourcream and all that nugget-shaped food they market to children -- besides jalapenos are a vegetable right? anyhow she also decided that we should eat "like a family" -- in pnj's family that means ***in front of the tv*** where all good americans eat (pnj is feeling extremely patriotic this week) so she carried hazel's highchair into the living room and strapped her in front of the tv, turned on the red sox game and pumped her family full of nachos. soon, however, our "family time" was interupted by a flashing blue light and a knock at the door -- it was oak bluffs finest. it turns out at some point before we strapped the haze in, she had picked up the phone and dialed 9-1-1. yes, too bad for her that the only words she knows are "bubbles" and "banana" because she was unable to cry into the phone or at the cop at our front door -- "help, help -- i need a decent meal and some f-ing peace and quite and perhaps some kind of activity that is good for my mental, physical, or emotional development!!!!!!" so we just said, oh sorry -- our baby must have dialed the phone by accident and then shut the door and thanked the stars above that we were in a small seaside resort town and not in manhattan -- having made two of new york's finest and possibly a few of the bravest too climb five flights to investigate our parenting.
so whose my favorite democrat?
AL SHARPTON -- that's who.
so pnj knows that she wasn't going to blog about her kid -- because frankly, that can get pretty annoying. pnj does remember before she had hazel -- how otherwise interesting and fun people would suddenly become intensely and insanely boring as soon as they had kids -- kind of like that awful thing where you otherwise cool and feminist girl friend suddenly becomes an idiotic f-ing make believe barbie doll and starts quoting you from weird advice manuals about ettiquette that were written in the 1950s about weddings, like they were the law -- you know the kind of crap about the "correct" price of engagement rings, or how many place setting to register for, or some arcane piece of crap trivia about who gives what toast when where you want to say to your girlfriend -- you know you are right -- that shit in that book is extremely important and meant to be followed to the letter -- in fact, you might turn to the part where it says that the white dress is a symbol of your virginity. uh oh! better build a time machine and take care of that so that you can be a good 1950s bride... anyhow despite how boring it might be pnj is going to go ahead and blog about her kid.
a lot of people talk about falling in love with their kid the moment they see them. they LOVE their baby, they miss their baby when they leave the room for 10 seconds to get a gingerale. they just fell in love. pnj did not experience this. pnj looked at hazel and thought -- holy crap! pnj was relieved hazel was cute and felt a tremendous sense of responsibilty towards hazel, but that was about it. As the weeks and months went by, pnj started to like hazel. sure i liked her, she was cute and interesting and nice. but also a little bit whiny and pnj was usually glad when it was time to leave the house in the morning and head off to work. pnj began to wonder -- why she was different from all the fall-in-love mothers -- all those ultra maternal super loving kind generous patient and extremely natural women who just loved their kids. yes, pnj knows herself to be cynical and selfish, but she never knew these qualities trumped the others. but you know, this summer, here in our little house near the beach and the woods, amidst all the clam chowder and fried fish sandwiches, and the trips to the beach and the red sox games on the couch, pnj has fallen in love with hazel. as it turns out -- she is a truly amazing and deeply lovable soul. (though pnj is still capable of getting gingerale in a carefree manner)
an open letter to tv (the open letter format deriving its inspiration from Emlyn's blog -- see the link to COACH on pnj's links page)
i miss you. you were my first love -- there in the den with the shag orange carpeting, and when we were together the rest of the world melted away. we seemed meant for one another, so lucky to have found each other so young, but so confident in our ability to speak to one another. i knew your history -- i understood where you were coming from, and you rarely let me down -- whether it was the flying nun, or the six million dollar man, or the big valley, or concentration, i longed to be with you. as we both aged, we seemed only to grow closer. you waited up for me to come home at the end of the night, you were there when i had to move and move and move again -- you were my oldest and greatest companion -- and you gave me the larry sanders show and seinfeld and my so called life.
but lately, i feel like you have changed. something has cheapened you somehow, or maybe some horrible alien has taken over your body -- pumping you full of reality shows and botox and boob jobs and tired old sitcoms. even sports sometimes seems all wrong (except you -- remdog! and you too walt frazier! and you three charles and kenny!)and overly golf and figure-skating laden and pnj has seen every law and order twice. yes, there are days when i watch hbo or the chapelle show and i remember the magic, how it used to be between me and you, but mostly i just shut you off and wander away, and wonder what the hell ever happened to you. i hardly even recognize you. you were my compass, my magnetic north, but you have left me alone and disoriented, t.v. won't you come back and be your old self? i miss you.
look -- after a careful and exhaustive and highly scientific study pnj can now reveal to you all the very best possible combination from the icecream parlor in town -- it is..... ONE SCOOP CHOCOLATE CHIP and ONE SCOOP MAPLE WALNUT
do you ever go through a phase where you are so uptight that you feel like you might be able to give trent lott or martha stewart or the mother on "seventh heaven" a run for their money? i mean everywhere you go you are belching giant toxic clouds of uptightness -- people around you are muttering to themselves (f-ing relax, alright?) and as you try oh so desperately to dislodge the giant metal pole from up your ass you seem to only shove it in there just a wee bit further? do you know that feeling? well so does pnj. yes, dear friends, pnj is about as uptight as they come right now -- despite the fact that she is now running in the mornings and faithfully consuming a gin and tonic and thensome every evening in a failed attempt to burn off some of her current weird, nervous, mildy aggressive energy. surely the only thing that will fix this most horrid of circumstances is writing -- finishing the book that will not end. checking the thousand footnotes of the book that will not die. exhausting the overwhelming and constant urge to stare at its pages on the computer screen hoping that some day a book will just pop out of this machine fully formed. finishing a book is like picking the world's largest and most festering scab -- a scab that you are picking so intently that you don't even fully notice until its too late that you have been sitting on a giant metal pole and the whole time you have been fixated on the scab it has just been inching its way into your colon. yes, pnj thinks that just about sums it up. fortunately, pnj's book on a topic that i guarantee 99.99 per cent of you would call "obscure" if you were feeling kind, will no doubt bring in a wealth of riches -- and this of course, will make this whole horrifying process just a bit more worthwhile.
pinkynicejuice is supposed to be finishing her book. yes, dear friends, the most final version is due to the editor on september 1 -- this is why she hasn't been blogging (well, except for recipe blogging -- you might check out some of her new recipes on the pnj recipe page) because when pnj is actually able to write a sentence it damn well better be about some boring tedious aspect of the history of botswana that approximately three people total are ever going to read so that she can get tenure and lead the boring-ass life of a professor rather than some blog by which to amuse herself and == quite possibly you.
but you know, amidst this horrible stressy time of trying to write one's book, there is one thing pnj seems to have made time for -- eating -- that's what. write a sentence, eat a cookie. erase a sentence and replace it with another one -- eat a cookie. perhaps a cookie would help jar that next sentence loose... pnj just caught a long hard look at her increasingly substantive self and with the threat of splitting her pants imminent (and mind you thatch the money manager in this family is making dire predictions about homelessnes and us four wearing that barrel with the straps (pnj isn't even sure how we could get that barrel on pokey, as for hazel we would have to get one of those little pony kegs, i think) should pnj indulge in a little shopping -- perhaps better that she wear the tight pants until the circulation to her lower half is completely cut off and her lower appendages turn black and fall off -- thus saving on any future pants purchases). anyhow all this eating and stressing, and growing is making pnj contemplate something indeed horrifying. pnj is about to go running. that's right friends, running. not walking, not sitting, but running. if the earth starts spinning backwards on its axis thus reversing time, and suddenly the sky turns yellow and the sun blue and gravity fails to work and world peace reigns, you all will know why -- be forwarned that pnj is about to DEFY the laws of nature.
to all the students headed to botswana or doing research on some dimmly related area to mine who have written me from other universities asking for detailed and extensive help, introductions to others, bibliographic help that a trip to the library could have accomplished, climatic and hotel information about botswana contained in any tourist guide book, analytical assistance about barely formed ideas and extremely sketchy projects, and then received such help from pnj -- indeed hours and hours of pnj's time -- and NEVER so much as thought to send a one line email in return saying "THANK YOU" -- well if that describes you -- yes you (not you -- people who have the courtesy to say thanks), then let pnj be the first to tell you how very much you suck ass.
young at heart
pnj doesn't mind telling you all that she is 37 f-ing years young. that is right, 20 years out of high school, but taking her geritol (and if you are too young to remember geritol and the six million dollar man (and the six million dollar dog that was afraid of fire) then you are too young to read this blog.
anyhow, you know how pnj keeps so young? well, she hangs out with her college chums, and when we are all together, somehow any maturation any of us has accomplished on her own just disappears. here's a good example.
several weeks ago thatch was out of town and pnj and hazel were flying solo in the city, so we hooked up with three of pnj's girlfriends from college and two of their husbands and kids and we headed for the playground by 85th street and central park west (you may want to remember the location -- that will become clear in a moment)to hang out. well this park has a giant sandbox with a tire swing and a slide that are within the sandbox. it also has two other slides and a swingset and monkey bars (did you know pnj broke her wrist on the monkey bars in fourth grade and her friend had to knock on some random woman's door and ask her to take us to the hospital?)and a bunch of other crapola.
so we are all hanging out and chatting, perhaps a bit of gossiping, and a touch of bitching, and then some kid (not with our group) slides down the slide, sits at the bottom of the slide and just f-ing hurls. i mean he wicked hurls. so what do we do? here we are six adults in their late 30s, all parents. do we say, "are you o.k. sweetheart? where is your mommy or daddy?" do we try to find this child's parent? no. we don't. instead we look at one another and go -- no way -- check it out! -- that kid just totally hurled in the sandbox. GROSS! and we grab our kids and run out of the playground. the next day when pnj walked pokey early in the morning, it was still there...
anonymous baked ziti
so earlier today pnj was standing in thatch's office, a rather cluttered (in that macho sort of tools and grease and parts of things sort of way) and dog-hair covered room in our apartment, while thatch typed away at his keyboard and tried to avoid pnj's full-on procrastination, anxiety stare -- when suddenly pnj noticed something disgusting on the floor. why it was a pile (of rather significant size) of baked ziti (at least it looked like baked ziti -- pnj wasn't about to grab a fork and taste this random food pile on the floor -- she can leave that to the experts). where did this come from? thatch was intrigued. he didn't know -- but he thought it had something to do with some crazy lady that he has been ranting about all week -- an old lady who was dumping big containers of salisbury steak in central park (pnj still isn't sure what thatch is talking about -- but he is definitely obsessed with it and pnj for her part is intrigued -- because really one hardly ever hears about salisbury steak these days). anyhow neither of us put it there. so we asked bernadette -- and she didn't just randomly drop a big pile of baked ziti in thatch's office. pnj thought it might have come through the window -- but given that we are on the fifth floor and the window was only part way open bernadette and thatch thought this unlikely. anyhow somehow mysterious, anonymous baked ziti just f-ing appeared -- materialized in thatch' office -- and you know that reminds pnj of a similar incident that happened several years back in botswana -- when thatch and pnj were living in a little house on a hill on the outskirts of a village. a very cute house with a thatched roof and windows that swung out with no screens, but wide bars on them to prevent someone from breaking in. anyhow -- one morning pnj and thatch shuffled out of our bedroom and into the sitting room/kitchen when we realized that there was a rather significant piece of poop just sitting on the couch. to the naked eye it appeared to be human poop. well, the door to the house was locked as it had been all night, and there were bars on the windows, so that just left the two of us. which of us had taken a dump on the couch and why? thatch and pnj had been together for several years at this point and yet, suddenly it sort of dawned on me, how well do i really know thatch? surely an hour or two ago i wouldn't have thought him capable of just pooping on the couch -- but there it is -- a big poop, and i know i didn't put it there... thatch of course was thinking the same thing about pnj -- when suddenly we noticed a baboon sitting outside the window hanging out staring in at us... ah ha! but though a baboon may have pooped on our couch in botswana, pnj highly doubts it brought baked ziti into thatch's office in new york -- and thus the mystery continues...
pnj just returned from london. let me be the first to say that there is some seriously bad fashion going on there. but let me also be the first to say this
FISH AND CHIPS RULE
P***Y the Dog
over these past several months, to none of your surprise -- bernadette has become somewhat enamored with pokey the dog. scratching her ears, saving her bits of left over beef lomein and other such delicacies, and generally appreciating pokey's utter-fabulousness. this is because bernadette has excellent taste.
pnj is glad to see this inter-species relationship develop, as early on it seemed that bernadette was a bit uncertain around pokey. she would never call her by name, and didn't look at her very much (which is incredibly difficult to do since pokey is so intensely charismatic). but after a month or two she warmed up to her and they are definitely good friends now. though in her charming tagalong tinged accent she does call pokey, "pockey". bernadette is wicked mo fo smart, and speaks amazingly good english for someone for whom it is their third language. but she does sometimes pronounce things differently from pnj.
but you know seldom are things what they seem on the surface. beware too-easy explanations for the goings on in your midst. pnj just relearned this lesson last week from her erstwhile friend and hazel's babysitter, bernadette. the other day, pnj was teasing bernadette for calling pokey -- "pockey" and bernadette informed her of this incredible fact -- a fact which once the ramifications of it were explored to its full depth had both bernadette and pnj lying on the kitchen floor laughing so hard that -pnj fears poor pockey-the-dog was worried for our welfare.
as it turns out -- POKEY is the word (probably more accurately A word) in the Phillipines for VAGINA. which is why when bernadette first met us, one of the first questions she asked us was how we had decided on pokey's name -- she didn't want to come and work for a bunch of pervs after all, and why her friends get such a total kick out of asking her all sorts of questions about how pokey is, and what pokey likes to eat etc. etc.
more animals than people
what could be worse -- you ask -- then riding in a packed subway car surrounded by women with those pointy bras on accosted by polyester clad boobs on all sides as pnj was this morning? well, dear friends, pnj will tell you.
no -- its not being guilted by the "artist" - the elderly african american man who sat next to pnj on the 2 train last week and "sketched" her and then pressured her into buying his sketch of her which made pnj look like a 50 year old haggard woman with anchorwoman hair, which he claimed "captured your true essence"
no -- what is worse is the a-hole international guy in the business suit with too much expensive cologne on who sat next to pnj on the commuter train (despite an abundance of empty seats) and then picked up her book bag (already too intimate pnj is thinking) and read its logo and said, you study africa? and pnj said yes while not even glimpsing up from her book on The Apotheosis of Captain Cook which is quite good. "REALLY?" I grew up in Africa." PNJ should have known...
cologne guy- which countries do you specialize in?
pnj -- Botswana
cologne guy -- Only Botswana?
pnj is silent and concentrating on what a complete dick captain cook was.
cologne guy -- botswana is the most beautiful country in africa -- MORE ANIMALS THAN PEOPLE (he exclaims with great self-satisfaction)
pnj -- yes, none of those ugly Africans mucking up the landscape (PNJ only thinks this to herself and says -- yes and leaves it at that).
cologne guy -- are you from south africa?
pnj -- no, boston
cologne guy -- Oh, boston (repeated in a smug and knowing way that we bostonians do not take kindly to). well, i spent three years in africa as a child because my father was a consultant.
pnj -- great.
cologne guy -- i should give you my email address so that you can contact me if you want to learn more about africa, because i could tell you a lot of interesting things. you know i was in nigeria in the 1970s
pnj -- that won't be necessary.
"take it away...frank!"
well when you work in academia, like pnj, you get used to some mighty large egos, rampant insecurity, and so many egregious examples of social dysfunction that you hardly even notice anymore. yet, every once in a while, some jackass manages to top 'em all and pnj was lucky enough to witness such a feat this past week, when she went to hear "frank" (psuedonym) a big shot african historian give a talk in the economics department of a university here in new york. well, there we were in the economics department, about 15 people sitting on chairs with notebooks out waiting for frank to tell us something fascinating. and so some prof. from the department gets up to introduce frank to the audience -- at this stage in an academic performance it is customary for the host to tell us all how delighted and fortunate we all are to be graced by the presence of the likes of frank, and a few wonderful details from frank's lengthy and impressive cv. but instead - well instead this guy stood up and said, "well, i am sure everyone in the room is familiar with frank == but there are probably some of you who don't know who I am." then he proceeded to tell us all a bit about himself (while frank stood there in front of his little podium looking confused) and he finished off that little maneuver with "take it away, frank."
pnj nearly fell out of her seat.
pnj is in a rotten-ass mood. and so f-it, she is going to share some of the somewhat mean thoughts she has had of late.
pnj wishes the student in her class would QUIT chemically whitening her teeth. it really is the MOST distractive thing one can imagine to be lecturing on while there is like a laser beam of light bouncing off this woman's teeth.
pnj wishes that the really wide-assed people of nyc would not feel themselves entitled to an extra subway seat. pnj also wishes that men didn't feel absolutely obliged to sit with their legs spread as far apart as possible on the subway, thus taking up two seats.
pnj wishes that the two stupid women ahead of her in line at the cheese counter at Fairway would learn to pronounce the word "Gruyere" before asking to taste every f-ing cheese up there and then wind up buying a piece of gouda. (yeah -- pnj is a cheese snob -- and is willing ot fight about it)
pnj wishes that the snotty little size 2 saleswoman in nolita would step in the poo of a tiny dog out there on the sidewalk taking a dump thus spilling her soymilk latte all down her nearly naked front.
ok -- thanks for listening, pnj will no go and bake a cake.
here are a few of the highlights since last we met...
pnj broke a tooth. yes -- that awful thing that one dreams about where one's teeth suddenly crumble in their mouth actually happened to pnj while eating bacon. this of course entailed several dentist visits and many hard earned dollars. nonetheless -- because pnj is not the kind of lady who doesn't make lemonade out of lemons -- let me share with you a great discovery -- next time half your mouth is numb on so much novocaine that eventually you have to eat even though it hasn't all worn off - - try eating an eggsalad sandwich on a moving train. it is an excellent way to get a seat all to oneself.
pnj bought the cutest purse on the planet. that's right, on the planet.
hazel is actually using words now (two to be exact)-- which is making life with her so much clearer because whereas before it was hard to know what the f- she wanted when she was making all that noise -- now one knows that if she says "da" it means that she just remembered that it has been a full five minutes since she last tried to pull pokey's tail and so she better f-ing get on it or she'll be behind schedule, and if she says "ta-da!" it means that she has just accomplished a truly amazing feat like standing up, or eating a piece of paper, or throwing meatloaf at the dog.
a little insight into the marriage of pinkynicejuice
well pnj and thatch have been married quite a while. a good marriage we both seem to think. and yet occasionally there are these disturbing signs that thatch is somehow is a flatulating cyborg from the planet nurple and well, as we all know pnj is a hobbit of the shire (hence my penchant for elevenses). as evidence of my husband's bizarre character and as insight into the trials and travails of "communication" which is supposed to be the cornerstone of any marriage, pnj offers you the following quote -- lifted directly from the most recent blog on thatcher's website over at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Die Backslash Die
A little game programming rant -- I just have to get this off my chest: backslash is a freaking terrible path separator. In C/C++ and many other languages (such as scripting languages used by game designers etc), you have to type it as "\\", because backslash is also the escape character. Meanwhile, in input prompts and many config files, you can't type it as "\\", because that means two backslashes.
Use the forward slash instead, always. The Windows API deals with it just fine, your programs will be more portable, pathnames look better, and you won't create unnecessary confusion for your team.
The one area of annoyance is that the windows command-line built-ins are a little stupid about forward slashes. Do yourself a favor and use a real shell instead."
ah yes, how perfectly crystal clear, and aren't we all glad that thatcher got this off his bear-like chest? this from a man who used to play in a band with an original song called "I Like Boobs"...
yesterday was hazel's birthday. she is now "1" and doesn't have to bear the stigma of being less than one -- zero if you will. to mark the occasion, hazel had her first cupcake. a very white and fluffy affair that she promptly face planted into in a fit of absolute ecstasy. by the end she had frosting in her hair, eyes, nose, ears, hands, face, and just about everywhere else. it was good to know that she won't be one of those people who "don't really like sweets" -- people of whom pnj has always had a very healthy suspicion. what's not to like? pnj suspects they are lying -- but the question is -- why? why lie about loving sweets as much as the rest of us? or people who say "i'm not really a dog person" -- what on earth is that supposed to mean? dogs are man's best friend -- so if you are not a dog person then you are asocial -- and you should just say it "i am asocial" dogs will know what you mean and so will the rest of us.
uh huh alright oh yeah oh no! fix youself girl you gotta cameltoe!
why did pnj leave this cd in oak bluffs?
well pnj and thatch and pokey have not only rearranged their lives to make way for hazel, they have also made room for bernadette the most fabulous babysitter on earth. not only is bernadette super cute and mini and wicked nice, she also thank heavens actually knows something about kids and now hazel can wave bye bye and drink out of a "sippy cup" thanks to bernadette's patient guidance. pnj for her own part is super into sitting around and chatting with bernadette when she should be busy writing her stinking soon to a block-buster best selling book on the history of botswana and when bernadette would probably rather be chatting on the phone to someone interesting -- anyhow guess what pnj and bernadette's favorite topic is? -- you guessed it -- gross foods that people in different countries (that includes you lunchables wielding americans and you too over there with the haggis)eat. (bernadette is from the philipines and she has some good stories about what dumb american tourists on vacation in the philipines eat!) -- anyhow pnj is getting a bit off point here -- so it sounds like everything's fabulous right? bernadette is awesome and hazel is well cared for an pnj has someone new to procrastinate with (and is too ashamed to turn the tv on in the middle of the day with bernadette there to witness it) and even pokey is getting some extra tummy rubbing in -- but there is one teensy problem. thatch and pnj are complete pigs -- it is our custom to live surrounded by unbalanced piles of papers and amidst clothing strewn about and to drink out of the carton and all that -- but now that suddenly feels shameful and pnj finds herself attempting to actually keep a clean apartment so that bernadette wont think we are disgusting (meanwhile she and pnj are busy trying to out disgust one another where tales of eating are concerned) -- this is not possible for pnj -- it somehow throws the world out of balance. this morning pnj took extra care getting dressed and put on pants and a shirt fresh from the dry cleaner and nice shoes and the whole shebang since it was her first day of class for the semester and then traversed her clean apartment to the clean bathroom where clearly the gods of disorganization and mess had had enough and decided to teach pnj a lesson -- in fact, my subway pass (which coincidentally had 20 bucks worth of rides still on it -- which for those of you not from new york is enough to get you about half a block these days on our ripoff high priced subway system while gas guzzling suburbanites are granted tax breaks for driving hummers...) fell into the toilet as I was peeing and I peed on it. Well 20 bucks or not I wasn't going in after it -- so pnj flushed -- but of course the new york subway card is neither a floater nor a sinker and it just stayed there all bright with its little magnetic stip staring up at me from the bottom of the toilet bowl. what flashed across pnj's mind at this moment? i'll tell you what -- pnj thought to herself -- why bernadette will see it in here later when she goes to use the toilet and she will wonder what has happened -- so i better stick my hand in there and fish it out -- so pnj did just that -- (GROSS) and then had to stick her hand in scalding water and wash and scrub it and her subway pass for a good long time. (this of course had some strange effect on the magnetic strip which was a bit tempermental this morning as pnj tried to enter the turnstile so that pnj managed to plow her liver into the turnstile which refused to rotate several times) afterwards for some strange reason pnj felt absolutely compelled to go and confess to bernadette that she was holding a subway pass that she had just fished out of the toilet -- as one can imagine she was simply delighted to hear this. pnj sincerely hopes she doesn't quit.
happy mo fo new year to you all!
and may the year bring you all many delights and fabulous gee whizzery type experiences of wonder and amazement.
pnj's new year's resolution is to be more hobbit-like and also to be more like pokey.