Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category

things I do when you’re not here
August 27, 2012

Change into that huge, unflattering, washed-out blue T-shirt advertising the Vermont forestry department, stolen from my brother’s dresser years ago immediately upon coming home from work. Or a wisp of a nightgown, should I miraculously resist my afternoon chocolate croissant and not feel terribly gross. (Note: this has happened precisely once. And it was maybe because Pret was out of chocolate croissants.)

Prance in front of the living windows scantily clad. You hate it when I do this, but then again you’re currently at the hospital, which our windows face. Regretting that whole modesty campaign now, aren’t you?

Eat whatever I want.

Ok, the above is nearly always true but now my meals are bent even more to my whims, which are decidedly bipolar in their range and unquestionably manic in their intensity. A pile of roasted eggplant and sliced radishes over arugula one night; half a pan of blackberry crumb bars another. Preferably eaten while standing up at the kitchen counter.

Rock out in the living room to Robyn (Look! I really am dancing on my own!)

Linger extra long on our friends’ couch upstairs like some sad orphan they haven’t even agreed to take in, long after Franny and Madeline are collapsed in opposite corners of the room, all play-dated out.

Recklessly decide to head out to a college friend’s place on 86th after 10 p.m., because all of a sudden, the comfort or novelty (post Philadelphia friend wasteland) or nostalgia or simple pull of having someone who in 2003 lived one floor above you now less than a mile away seems too much to resist. Also, he has the next disc of West Wing that we’re missing.

Write precisely one paragraph of awful fiction, though that’s one paragraph more than I usually get out when you’re around and there’s television to watch.

Sleep diagonally across the bed, utilizing all five pillows.

Enjoy that last step very, very much but think: “It’s still totally not worth it.”

funny things that have happened to me while I’ve been neglecting this blog
December 23, 2011

1. I whipped up this fresh vanilla bean, cranberry-filled, crumb-topped coffee cake. The preparation was intense – scrape the vanilla beans out from their pods! (which required me to watch a youtube video, obviously) remove your kitchenaid from where it lives! (in the linen closet, as all good New Yorkers do.) This was all especially arduous considering I was baking at 8 a.m. the day after I threw a dinner party for 10 without a functioning dishwasher (and thus, with a few too many beers.) But I pushed on, because my abundantly wonderful cousins, who have hosted me for many a wonderful meal in their Union Square apartment over the years, were finally coming up to see our little UES abode, and I wanted to be a good hostess.

The cake was delicious – the kind of delicious where even though you really, really adore your guests you find yourself fantasizing about when they might leave so that you can just be left alone, just you and your cake, in an environment in which you might be able to eat said cake straight from the pan with a fork without judgment. Also, the kind of delicious where you refuse to take a second slice in your guests’ presence, for fear that that would signal that it was ok for them to take another slice, and then you’d be less with even less cake.

The intricate preparation combined with the resulting deliciousness gave me a bit of a big head, I can admit this now. “This is the best thing I’ve ever made,” I told myself, “and definitely the most advanced.” I ran through a list of my culinary achievements over the years, and made the executive decision that I’d come quite a long way and was basically a professional now. “I never could have handled this in 2009,” I thought. “I am a baking expert.” I was getting so high on my achievement that I decided to leave a comment on the blog where I had found the recipe, essentially announcing my official entry into the world of culinary excellence. While scrolling down to the comments section, I caught a few words from the post: “super easy”; ” a cinch.” Hmph. The other comments seemed to concur: my piece de resistance was everyone else’s walk in the park.

I decided not to post a comment after all.

2. As previously mentioned, Francine’s best friend is under the weather, leaving her (and us) a bit desperate to find new playmates. In the laundry room, we ran into a girl on Dave’s rotation who has a two-year-old dog. We were trying to figure out if they would be a good match and I mentioned that Franny was a bit on the psycho side. “Oh,” she said, “she should definitely meet this other goldendoodle we ran into the other day. It was totally nuts, and the girl said it was the craziest dog on the Upper East Side.”

The thing is, that’s my line. I’m that girl. That’s our dog.

3. We’re chugging along with wedding planning stuff and are finalizing our ketubah, or Jewish marriage contract. The most recent step was to have our rabbi proof it. He had only two concerns – one, that we maybe adjust the date listed so as not to make the fact that we’re blatantly disregarding Jewish law and getting married on Shabbat painfully obvious and two,  “I think they flipped something around. It looks like you’re marrying your father.”

Turns out, my dad’s Hebrew name is David, and David’s Hebrew name is my dad’s name. Yes, for those of you keeping score at home, that’s one more tally in the “ways your fiance is creepily like your father” category.

So, the rabbi was wrong…but also, let’s be honest, kind of right.

Titles of saved posts currently in my queue
May 26, 2011

  • Match: The Aftermath
  • No Title
  • No Title
  • No Title
  • Because having a puppy, getting engaged, and moving to the city of your choice is totally grounds for depression
  • Places I have cried in the last six weeks

I think that should clear up the last month and a half, yes? Bear with me as I maybe, kind of, sort of, attempt to get this party started again.

Lessons learned this weekend
March 13, 2011

1- It’s probably not the most mature or sophisticated idea to down a massive beer in an Irish pub moments before meeting with the manager of the fanciest restaurant in New Haven, which also serves as the Yale faculty’s watering hole. But it will make the act of sifting through a 30-page catering guide and listening to her pretentious ramblings just the teensiest bit more enjoyable.

2-Some people don’t have a sense of humor, which is all well and fine. But if they happen to be a bartender, this means you don’t need to leave them a tip.

3-Just because you have warm memories of a city that was easily accessible from your suburban hometown and had both an Urban Outfitters and a bookstore with a cafe in it – which seemed oh so cool at the time – doesn’t mean it’s actually a cool place to live in your twenties.

4- The puppy will trade a stick, a tennis ball or even your underwear for a treat. But she’s not going to let go of that dead mouse, no matter how much you try to entice her with organic dog bones or chase her around a tree or don the most horrified expression you’re ever worn. Relatedly: Ew.

5-The Mexican food you grew up on, from the little place downtown that witnessed every development in every relationship you ever had before leaving for college, and even some afterward, really is that good.

6- Yes, it’s a little weird that most of the people who used to live in your neighborhood – from Mrs. Kennedy, forever sitting in a silk nightgown in her kitchen and smoking cigarettes, to your bus stop companions for a decade – have all moved on, to Manhattan or graduate school or heaven. Yes, you’re no longer a child pumping your two-wheeler up the hill. Yes, there are new people moving in.Yes, you are getting older; maybe even old. But, it could be worse. You could be the one moving in with the children.

Today, I
January 5, 2011

woke up after 8 a.m.

got some good (wonderful, merciful, life-affirming) news

did not wear pajamas past noon

did not accidentally kill my puppy

wore tights that are warmer than pants and boots that are hotter than Uggs

tried cask beer

saw what all the fuss was about at The Dandelion

spotted Stephen Starr for the second time in five days

organically birthed a new inside joke

read all the pages I skipped in The Corrections

stopped wanting to be Jonathan Franzen

stopped wanting to be anyone/everyone but me

suspect I won’t have any trouble falling asleep


Today was a good day.

provocative questions confronted by yours truly this week
May 26, 2010

This is what you people wasted the last six years on? Is that a joke?

Is that a hickey?

Relatedly: How did I manage to go 25 years without getting a hickey?

What, in god’s name, is the letter that starts the words boy and bar doing on my bra?

Why is it so hard to find a greeting card that doesn’t make me want to vomit?

What, exactly, constitutes booty shorts? And how would one know if one inadvertantly purchased them?

Flats or flip-flops?

Curly or straight?

Tequila or tequila?

At what age does it become unacceptable to eat Drumstick ice cream cones? For breakfast?

Does Christie Lee ever get angry? Sad? Show a negative emotion of any kind?

Do I have anything to write about?

Well, I think we answered that last one, at least.

Bad decisions: a retrospective
April 20, 2010

The details from Saturday night are starting to float back to me, thanks to helpful reminders like my Pandora station (“Did I dance to that Black-Eyed Peas song with Lauren’s dad?”), that massive bruise on my thigh, and Dave’s 13-year-old brother’s curiosity (direct quote: “Why was Rachel so wasted?”)

It used to be a familiar occurrence, the learning about the things you did last weekend days after you actually did them. In fact, the Blabbermouth you know and love is the product of a vast history of alcohol-fueled disasters, most of which, of course, were simply known as Weekends at the time. Do you remember me back then? (Crowd nods heads, rolls eyes.) I wasn’t the easiest college roommate/spring break travel buddy/high school best friend to put up with. I was…how do I say this?…pretty much a drunken slut.

I honestly don’t regret any of it – the rough nights, the fun nights, the one-night-stands, the vomit. OK, maybe the vomit. That was gross.

I also don’t regret that I’m a little different now – calmer, more secure, more sober. Different things are right for people at different times, and the lifestyle that came naturally for me at 21 isn’t necessarily a good fit for me at 25. It helped me learn a few lessons and meet a few people, but I’m pretty sure it’s served its purpose now. And one can’t subsist on Big Azz margaritas alone forever, you know.

Except, sometimes, I’ll admit, I have those moments where I miss it a little bit. It’s hard to separate the nostalgia for my days of sex, drugs and Kenn Kweder from my nostalgia for college itself, since the two were so intertwined, but suffice it to say: I liked living with a gaggle of girls. I liked staying up all night. And those cheese fries always tasted delicious at 3 a.m.

As luck would have it, I still appear to be perfectly capable of getting drunk and making bad decisions (see: Saturday night.) In fact, you all were such a rapt audience for this past weekend’s debauchery that I considered doing it all over again tonight, minus the bar mitzvah part (just the alcohol and embarrassment, seeing as it’s a Tuesday.) Then I remembered a- I’m a Reponsible Working Person now, one who has to catch the 7:30 a.m. train to Wilmington tomorrow, and b- I already have tons of amazing stories in my arsenal.

So I was thinking that in honor of Spring Fling – which, yes, coincidentally was last weekend – I would take a little trip down memory lane and share a few tales from my personal archives of shame with you. (Mom, you can stop reading now.) If nothing else, they’ll probably make you feel better about yourself. Consider it a little Tuesday pick-me-up, from me to you.

Christine’s graduation camp-out sleepover, 2003: Kids, thank god there aren’t pictures of this on the Internet (note: if this is not true, please don’t tell me, I’d like to keep living in this bubble. Thanks.) I was 18-years old, thought I was hot shit, and somehow sought to reenact the drama of Dawson’s Creek, season 3, with a few weird twists. To this end, I a-chugged the better part of a handle of cheap vodka, no doubt smuggled in from Bridgeport b- joined a group of boys in baking a tent we had borrowed from our calculus teacher and c-told my boyfriend I was actually in love with a close family friend. (I wasn’t.)

The evening soon evolved into a massive disaster that seriously puts Saturday night to shame. And the kicker is that my graduation brunch – complete with catering and white tent – was the next morning. I don’t know what was more of a tragedy – the fact that my boyfriend, boyfriend’s mother and totally unsuspecting family friend all showed up at the same time or the fact that I was too nauseous to enjoy the fruits of my own omelette man. Sad.

Spring Fling, 2005: Believe it or not, this was actually the  first time Dave and I met. (It still counts if one of us was passed out at the time, right?) After chasing an unknown number of Bankers Club rum shots with Bankers Club vodka shots, I was extremely intoxicated and decided it was a good time to, um, escort my friend Mike back to his room in the quad.

After a sexual experience that was wrong on so many levels (not the least of which being he had already hooked up with about 60% of my friends), I immediately run to the bathroom, where I proceed to pass out on the floor. Cue the entrance of Mike’s roommate, our very own David Matthew. Apparently Mike is still in his boxers, pretty distraught over the fact that he just hooked up with his good friend, who’s now marooned on his bathroom floor. While Mike calls my three best friends to come pick me up, Dave comes up with the fabulous idea to feed me the Passover leftovers his mom had dropped off a few days before. I believe the line was: “Give her the Matzah, man.” (Thanks Mrs. B!) Not only did I survive, the whole ordeal also precipitated The Greatest Photo Ever.

My princess-themed 21st birthday party, 2006: Sparkly tiara + feather boa + pink franzia = a recipe for disaster. That’s really all you need to know. That, and my college house was a shit show.

Alissa’s wedding, 2007: My friend Courtney had been trying to set me up with one of her sister’s friends from college for years, so when said sister got married, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. When the plan actually started falling into place – I sat next to him, we flirted, he graciously offered to grab my tequila sunrise from the open bar – I did what any sensible college senior would do: got extremely intoxicated. In my defense, it wasn’t really on purpose: this was back when I thought champagne didn’t actually count as a drink. Apparently, I was wrong.

Rest assured, I eventually did seal the deal, conquering that hookup goal three months later. (Hint: he played the entire Justin Timberlake cd. And already had a spare contact case waiting for me at his apartment.) But that night it was not to be: I had to be forcibly removed from the after party and brought back to our hotel room at the Ritz, where I hear things went downhill fast. In fact, a few weeks ago, when Bridget and I were discussing possible, theoretical venues for my possible, theoretical nuptuals, currently scheduled for 2060, I insisted that my heart was set on the Ritz in Philadelphia. Bridget’s response? “You don’t get married in the Ritz. You throw up in the Ritz.” Touche, Gidge. Touche.

Senior formal, 2007: See that picture on my about page? The girl in the pink dress popping open a bottle of champagne amid her encouraging friends? Yeah, twelve hours later, that girl was wandering home from a local frat house, sans knowledge of a-what happened the night before and b, most importantly – what happened to the cream-colored satin stilettos she certainly had on her feet upon leaving her house for the downtown venue. She would never see those heels again — though she would eventually find out what transpired in those lost, blacked-out hours. But that’s a dirtier story for a different time.

Admit it – don’t you feel like a better, more capable human being now? You’re welcome.

what not to do at your boyfriend’s brother’s bar mitzvah
April 18, 2010

A step-by-step guide to making a fool of yourself

1. Order a vodka grapefruit at the open bar. On an empty stomach. Next to your mom.

2. Repeat.

3. Insist on being the oldest participant in a heated game of Coke and Pepsi. Lose balance during a particularly tough combination (Coke! Pepsi! Dr. Pepper! Wayne’s World?) and go careening across the floor, skinning your knee and elbow in the process, and scoring a massive bonus bruise on your thigh. Ignore your boyfriend as he repeatedly beseeches you, through a series of extremely obvious hand gestures, to control your cleavage, which is now dangerously close to emerging from your strapless dress.

4. Flick off the DJ (with both hands) after, inevitably, losing at Coke and Pepsi.

5. Ignore your mom when she suggests you “just get grapefruit juice this time.”

6. Laugh about that other special occasion where you were convinced champagne didn’t count as a drink. Down your and your boyfriend’s champagne flutes anyway.

7. Watch in slow motion as you spill an entire glass of wine over Table 12 – populated by your boyfriend’s grandmother’s old lady friends, who you’ve been taken over to introduce yourself to. As the alcohol cascades over their designer handbags, apologize profusely and repeatedly mention that your boyfriend is in medical school.

8. Agree to awkwardly pose in the family portraits, while awkwardly joking about how awkward it will be if you guys break up, since you’re now going to be forever immortalized in a frame in his parents’ living room.

9. Have a long, intense conversation with your boyfriend’s friend while waiting for the bartender to prepare your eighth vodka grapefruit. Pleased with the heart-to-heart, say “I so wish we were at the same table.” Insert foot into mouth when he informs you, you are, in fact, sitting at the same table. And have been for the last two hours.

10. Corner the 12-year old with whom you’ve been feuding on Facebook for the past week, after watching him weasel his way on to the horah chair generally reserved for siblings and parents. Wearing a cream-colored suit and surrounded by three 12-year old girls, he tries to tell you “fucking” has a different meaning for your generation. Take that as your cue to launch into a 20-minute long diatribe about what middle school was like in your day, in an attempt to prove you’re really not that out of touch. Ignore the fact that his eyes are glazing over. Continue talking until your dad comes over and forcibly removes you – at which point the 12 year-old looks up earnestly at him and says, “THANK. YOU.

11. Pass out in the passenger seat while helping boyfriend to ferry assorted important items – gift baskets, leftover cake, grandmother – from catering hall to his parents’ house. Insist on speaking another language, of your own invention, loudly, while tottering in your 3-inch heels from the car to your apartment. Watch as your boyfriend repeatedly tells concerned onlookers you’re fine.

12. Try, and fail, to convince your boyfriend to take you to IHOP.

13. Return to apartment and immediately burn two mini-bagels and a pot of tortellini, while expressing amazement at the fact that you’ve come away hungry from the same place that fed you six full-sized entrees during a tasting last month. Try to remember what you did with that giant 100 Grand bar you swiped from the kids’ dessert table. Fail.

14. Wake up with a raging headache, a Facebook friend request from the kid in the cream-colored suit, and little memory of the night before. Try to figure out what happened between the hours of 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.  – did you escape to that Indian wedding upstairs? Discuss seventh-grade gossip with the middle schoolers congregating in the girls’ bathroom? No one seems to know.

15. Vow to never attend another coming-of-age party again. Or, in the alternative, regain your college alcohol tolerance. Something has to give.

Perfect Winter Saturday
February 6, 2010

Wearing: Dave’s track pants, my college roommate’s Model Congress sweatshirt

Watching: Old Office episodes, for the billionth time

Listening to: Feist, Regina Spektor, Motown classics

Baking: Bittersweet chocolate & pear cake

And occasionally venturing out into this:

Things Dave has done recently that lead me to believe I’m dating his 12-year old brother
January 12, 2010

  • Spent four hours straight on the Web site
  • Informed me that our shower doesn’t need to be cleaned, ever, because there’s water in it all the time. Obviously.
  • Defended a meat-only diet as a sustainable alternative to my suggestion that we eat salad with dinner
  • Neglected to change the radio station when Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA came on during a recent car trip
  • Suggested we purchase the following: a remote-controlled monster truck, gummy vitamins (Costco-size), Playstation, xbox 360, and a box of hostess oatmeal cream pies, aka a dessert even I will not eat. And I’m not so picky when it comes to carbs.

That being said, I still feel more 12 than 25, so maybe this isn’t such a bad thing.